Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Ode to THE 405

It occurred to me last night (while driving home from my friend Meredith's after eating copious amounts of vegan Thai food) that I have a favorite freeway. This seems like a ridiculous notion, but then...I do live in Los Angeles; a city where freeways get so much respect that everyone puts a THE in front of the number. How do you get to Northern California? THE 5 North. How do you get to Vegas? THE 10 to THE 15. Duh.

I grew up near DC and highways were just "270" or "495". These highways are, apparently, not worthy of the "THE" designation. Honestly, when I go home now...most of the highways seem sort of like a joke. The main road from Frederick (my hometown) to DC is 2 lanes for part of the way. TWO lanes? Seriously?? That's crazy to me. Freeways here (what is the difference between a highway and a freeway?? I feel like NO ONE in Maryland refers to anything as a Freeway) are like 8 lanes...and that's still not enough. The best part about drivers in LA is that they use ALL 8 lanes to block traffic by going 40mph rather than 65. The only way to maintain a constant speed is to dangerously swerve in and out of ALL 8 lanes. And if you don't want to get looked at like an alien...then do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT refer to the carpool lane as the "HOV". No one knows what that means. (I mean, but seriously...what alien on the east coast thought up "High Occupancy Vehicle??")  The carpool lane in LA is 24hrs a day 7 days a week...you may anot exit the lane at your choosing...you must wait until a break in the double yellow line. You can and will get trapped in the carpool lane. You, also, cannot ride in it by yourself just because it is not rush hour...because in LA..it is ALWAYS rush hour.   The last time I landed at like 11pm and saw long trails of brake lights...I knew I was home.

So, last night on my drive back to Long Beach from MDR (like, oh my God...Marinahhhh del Rheayyy)...I got to thinking...I really just love THE 405. It's my most favorite freeway. It's glorious in its size. The lanes are luxurious. The road is so bumpy that you almost always think there is something terribly wrong with your car. Sometimes, you can see downtown LA if the smog clears enough and planes fly right over you to land at LAX.

It's like a little piece of heaven on Earth :P

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Out to lunch :)

I almost never go out to lunch. It's pretty normal where I work...people just hang here and eat at their desks or in the break room. This basically means that I eat for a VERY interrupted 20 mins or so while trying to catch up on my blog reading. I'm just in the habit of not going out to lunch...in fact, I look forward to my free Internet time every day. Eating in every day also saves money.

That being said...it's REALLY nice to get out and treat myself now and again. I spend all day under the fluorescent lights of a lab, so it's nice to see that weird shiny thing in the sky and get some vitamin D. 

Urban escape at The Camp

Today my coworkers took me out on the town in Costa Mesa. I don't spend very much of my free time in Orange County. I work here all week and when work is over...I just want to head home back across the line into LA. And weekends? Well, something about the thought of driving to where I work on a weekend...you get me, I'm sure :P

As I was saying...my very hip and savvy coworkers showed me what I've been missing. Lynh and Rami took me to a really cool area not far from our lab called "The Camp". It is soooooooooo hipster, but soooooooo awesome. The Camp is a little urban escape disguised as a shopping center. You sort of feel like you wandered into Portland. There are vegan restaurants and co-op stores and Patagonia!! :P It's a small piece of paradise in the concrete jungle of Costa Mesa. It even felt a little cooler amongst the pines and just maybe it smelled like rain. Ok, not the rain part, but I felt the instant need to don a flannel and some hiking boots.  There were fire pits and a hammock to enjoy while you waited for a table at whichever tasty restaurant you'd chosen to visit.

All the parking spaces had messages :D

We chose Umami burger. It's kind of a thing and I've never been. Umami is (apparently) the fifth taste...translation it's the taste of MSG ;) Whatever we say!! When in fake Portland...

We all ordered the umami burger and thin fries. It. was. divine. Even the ketchup was amazing!! (it's homemade). Everything had a very distinct and enjoyable flavor. The burger was cooked just right and was pretty no nonsense aside from a crispy Parmesan sort of cracker that sat atop its grilled perfection. Yum. 


Ps. I'm not a very good vegan...but hey, Lent is over and I'm pretty meat free most days ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I am an insanely lucky girl. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I have really wonderful and supportive friends.  These are the kind of friends that a girl needs at all points of life...both happy and sad. I try to be a good and loyal friend and I like to think that is why I have good and loyal friends. Either way, I'm blessed...very blessed.  

So, to my friends that read my silly little blog and even those that don't...THANK YOU. I love you. You mean the world to me and there are things I couldn't get through without you.