LA Beckons

As much as I liked working for Disney, I definitely don’t miss having to go down to Los Angeles so often. Southern California and I just don’t get along, and the past few weeks have been filled with pleasant reminders of how estranged we’ve become. United and Hilton both sent me cards revoking my Premier frequent traveler status. Every time I get in my car, I know exactly what side the gas tank is on. I haven’t slept in a hotel since February. Disneyland is starting to seem like an interesting place again. And I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had to drive south on 101 towards the airport.

But there’ve been developments over the past couple of weeks that make me kind of anxious to go back. First is the new Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios. I’m not that big a fan of “The Simpsons” (“Futurama” is more my thing), and I’m definitely not a fan of Universal Studios — having stayed at a hotel across from the Universal CityWalk six or seven times, I’ve sworn repeatedly that I’d never willingly go back.

But the Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure in Orlando is just awesome, even good enough to warrant paying admission to an otherwise dismal theme park. I’ve been avoiding reading too much about it or watching videos, but from the snippets I have read, it sounds like it’s a solid rehab of the “Back to the Future” ride, if not as cool as Spider-Man. I can’t remember if I ever actually rode “Back to the Future,” so it’d all be new to me.

Whether it’s worth a six-hour drive? I dunno; I’ve done stupider things.

The other attractor was this blog post on Entertainment Weekly about The Swell Season (warning: that links to a myspace page) on tour. It’s Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from Once, performing songs from that movie. And the closest they’re coming to San Francisco is the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, on October 4th.

I liked the movie enough to send me into a consumerist frenzy on Amazon afterwards, and I ended up getting the movie’s soundtrack as well as the Swell Season CD. Both have mostly the same songs, but there are enough subtle differences to make me feel like I didn’t waste my money. I imagine seeing and hearing them live would add even more. Seems like it would be a great show.

(Especially since Iron & Wine is opening, and I’ve gotten to be a fan recently. Which I guess means I’m squarely in the VH-1 demographic now. Or else I’m just very pro-beard music).

Again, worth six hours of torment on I-5?