Really stupid...

If an idea is good, it's on the verge of being stupid. ~ Michel Gondry

I have always had this theory… get a group of people in a room, throw out a bunch of ideas and at the end of the night, look at your list to find the most idiotic and that's the one you should do.

This blog was spawned from one very stupid idea - run the Leadville 100. I gave that a shot in the summer of '07 - completed 73 miles - and survived. The blog lives on...

RunStuRun has moved to

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

L.A. stories...

Wow... there IS a pay phone in L.A.

You know, you're really nobody in L.A. unless you live in a house with a really big door. ~ Harris

I spent the last few days visiting my buddy John and his brother Mike in L.A.. They have a great place in Playa Vista and we spent a fun-filled three days just pretty much kicking it. No real agenda, which was nice.

I flew in early on Saturday then John and I grabbed some food at A Votre Sante in Brentwood. This is apparently a pretty frequent destination for famous Hollywood stars (the Butterscotch Stallion frequents this joint) but none were spotted while we were there. I found the food to be decent, nothing special. Just in case you were wondering. We then drove around Brentwood and the surrounding hills where John gave me a tour of the area and L.A. history lesson.

Not sure how Donovan scored a hat trick when he was two rows in front of us.

Mike showed up later that afternoon and we then headed out to watch some soccer. The Galaxy was playing Chivas USA in an inter-city rivalry that was actually pretty fun to watch. The Roach brothers have some sweet connections so I was treated to amazing seats mid-field, about 25 rows up. Pretty perfect, really. The Galaxy won 5-3 with Landon Donovan pouring in a hat trick. After the game, I drove the guys back to the Playa (John has a sweet whip) and then we went out late-night to Father's Office, a cool bar with a new location in L.A.. They revamped an abandoned old bread factory and turned it into a bunch of upscale shops and whatnot. Pretty sweet.

Mike and I headed out the next morning to a trail run (Sullivan Canyon) John showed me on our tour the previous day. This was a relatively mellow run that was mostly contained within a lush canyon that climbed up to Mulholland Drive (the dirt portion). Mike thought this was 2.5 to 3 miles to the top but it ended up being closer to 4.5. While in the canyon, you wouldn't really know you were in L.A.. Pretty amazing. There was some wildlife, lots of trees and other foliage and the trail increased in pitch throughout the run. I felt kindof like crap as the heat was bugging me a bit and I ran out of water thinking it was only going to be about 6 miles total but it was a lot of fun. At one point, I had about a hundred butterflies flying next to me while I ran down the trail. Sweet! We grabbed a drink at the Brentwood market on the way back to the Playa and then rousted John (he's a vampire) and then headed out for some lunch.

As you can tell, I ate a lot while on the trip. L.A. has some kickass, funky, vegan restaurants and fortunately for me, John and Mike were willing to give them a try. We hit Silverlake, a cool village that is home to a lot of artists and musicians (Beck, Silversun Pickups, etc.) and ate at Flore. Great food for sure. There was this Jame Gumm looking fella working there, which was amusing and a steady stream of freaky people, which made me feel right at home. We kicked around Silverlake for a bit then headed up to the observatory for a peek at this massive city (20 million people) from above. Then drove by the Scientology Castle for a laugh and around Hollywood. Good stuff. We ate that night at Mao's Kitchen in Venice. Good eats, pretty mediocre service. But if you know that going in, you're okay.

Johnny... seriously watching this dog.

Monday morning, I was planning a big run but opted to ride bikes instead. Mike and I rode to Santa Monica for breakfast and then back through Venice. There are some people you see almost every time you go to that area, like Johnny the Dog Watcher and the Running Guy. Johnny sets up shop during the farmer's market and watches everyone's dogs for them. Pretty awesome. The Running Guy is this dude in his 40s (I am guessing) that you can pot blocks off. He never wears a shirt and I literally have seen him almost every time I have gone to Venice. Not sure what his deal is but the dude is like leather and is ALWAYS running down the boardwalk. Probably puts Dean Karnazes to shame. We also saw a habitat-challenged-opiate-enthusiast (homeless junkie) walking down the street with a $5 cup of coffee. Not sure exactly what to say about that but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Pelicans are cool.

Mike and I rode back through Marina del Rey, watched a shitload of pelicans dive bombing for food for a bit, then took Reggie for a walk. Mike needed to get back to the desert so we jammed down to Santa Monica for an amazing lunch at Real Food Daily, a quick trip around the Promenade to check on the world's biggest Chia Pets and then back to the Playa.

Chia Pet

I seem to have picked up a bug on the way home as my throat is wicked sore today. Hoping it isn't serious but we'll see. If it is, it will be the second time this year that I have gotten sick post airline travel. Lame.

I am looking forward to staying home for awhile after so much travel these past two months but did really enjoy my trip. It was good to have very little planned and to just kick it for a few days. I highly recommend that type of vacation.


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