Saturday, July 08, 2006


So I would like to say that I hate Los Angeles, not only because it would allow me appear fashionable, but it also would allow me to riff on Randy Neuman and use I Hate LA as a title, or I suppose I H8 LA, But actually I don't hate LA that much, not with the same passion as I do, say, Las Vegas. And this most recent trip has pretty much enforced that pleasant ambivilance I have towards the place.

It's actually a bit of surprise, since I have a lot of scar tissue grown up in the LA area. Here's where TSR fed me to Ester Shapiro during the Dynasty debacle. And here was the site of the rathole TSR poured a bunch of money down when we had our first West Coast operation. And here's the site of the rathole TSR poured a bunch of money down for our second West Coast operation. So I should have a hefty chip on my shoulder about the town, but I don't. Part of it may be that it doesn't seem to have any real center to hate, only an undifferentiated mass of civilization in which notable architecture and artifacts bob up and down, artifacts notable only because they have been pressed into our mass-mind by the fact they are in LA.

So I was down there for three days making the recordings for the upcoming game I'm working on. And frankly, it was a great experience. We were camped out in a luxurious recording studio that was decorated like Zorro's Bordello, the staff and crew were on the job, and the voice talent was just spot-on. My greatest regret was that I was hunched over my script for the bulk of the time, checking these excellent voices against my work. Some phrases look better on the page than coming out of the human throat, but for the most part the changes were minimal, and my spirits are lifted as we now get the bulk of the recordings in the can.

And I've picked up some things about LA, even given my confinement. For example, never get on Highland when there is a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Don't worry if the people in Pirate costume on Hollywood Boulevard are actors or fanboys -they are likely both. The food at El Coyote near the corner of Beverly and La Brea is recommended, but be aware that Thursday is the night gay couples tend to dominate the scene. And no matter what the booklet says, the Citywalk up at Universal Studio is does NOT contain. "The hottest restaurants on the coolest street in America" (a phrase that amused my boss to no end).

Other than that, I have nothing to rail against. The hills were brown and scrubby, and it looked like at any moment a fleet of medical choppers would come over the rise, heading for the 4077th. And the highways were every bit as white-knuckled as I anticipated, though navigation was aided by a margarita from El Coyote (they make them strong). But all in all, it was a pleasant business trip, though I intend to completely blob around the house this weekend as result.

More later,