04 June 2012

My LA Awards

(en) It's been three amazing (+ sometimes, not so amazing) years in LA.  Suddenly, our time here is done.  Two + a half years ago, after learning about the toxic effects of particle + ozone pollution (LA ranks #3 + #1 in the nation respectively), LB + I decided we needed to get the fuck out of LA + move back to Chicago once I'd finished my qualifying exams.  Fast forward three years later.  In one month, I passed my oral exams, LB was hired at Children's Memorial in Chicago (which is one of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the nation) + we found an apartment we absolutely love in Rogers Park.  It was a surreal acceleration through time.  Anyway, now it's time for me to hand out my awards for LA.  Before, I used to just make two separate lists, but this time, in honor of Hollywood + arbitrary merit, I'm switching to awards as a way of helping me sort through, extoll + also critique my time in this fast, glitzy, dirty, colorful, city of amnesia.  So here goes:

(es) Hemos pasado tres años asombrosos (y a veces, no asombros) en LA.  De repente, nuestro tiempo acá ha terminado.  Dos años y medio al saber sobre los effectos tóxicos de la contaminación de partícula y de ozono (LA está clasificado primero y tercero, respectivamente), LB + yo decidimos que tenemos que largarnos de LA + regressar a Chicago después de aprobar mis exámenes eliminatorios para mi doctorado.  Adelantá rápido tres años:  En un mes, aprobé mis exámenes orales, LB se fue contratada por el Hospital Children's Memorial (que es uno de los hospitales más prestigiosos de los EE-UU) + encontramos un departamento que nos encanta en Rogers Park.  Fue una aceleración surrealista en tiempo/espacio.  De todos modos, así es la hora para conceder premios a LA.  Antes, yo creaba dos listas apartadas, pero esta vez, en el honor de Hollywood + el mérito arbitrario, he optado por conceder premios como modo de ordenar, hacer elogio + también hacer crítica mi tiempo en esta ciudád rápida, glamorosa, súcia, de colores vivos, una ciudad del amnesia.  Etonces, ¡vamos allá! (en inglés):

(fr)  Ça fait trois ans extraordinaires (+ parfois, non-extraordinaires) à LA.  Tout à coup, notre temps-là, c'est fini.  Deux ans et demi, après avoir entendu parler des effets toxiques de la contamination de particule et d'ozone (chose curieuse:  LA se classe premier + troisième, respectivement), LB + moi avons décidé de quitter cette ville + retourner à Chicago dès que j'avais réussi aux examens de qualification.  Avancez rapidement trois ans après jusqui'ici.  Dans une mois, j'ai réussi mon examen oral, LB s'est fait embaucher à l'hôpital Children's Memorial à Chicago (qui est l'un des hôpitals de pédiatrie les plus prestigieux des étas unis) + on a trouvé un aparto qu'on y adore absolutements dans le quartier de Rogers Park.  Pour être honnête, c'était une acélération surréal.  En tout cas, maintenant, c'est le temps à décerner des prix.  Avant, je créais deux listes séparées, mais ce temps-là, en l'honneur de l'Hollywood + de la valeur arbitraire, j'ai choisi à décerner prix pour m'aider à ranger, faire l'éloge de, + aussi, critiquer mon temps dans cette ville rapide, glamoreuse, sale, aux couleurs vives, une ville d'amnésie.  Voilà de quoi il s'agit (en anglais):

My LA Awards

Best Coming of Age Moment:  Getting married to LB at the Beverly Hills Courthouse out of the blue + then eloping to Tokyo for our honeymoon

Favorite Vegan Restaurants:  Vegan Glory, RFD, Native Foods, Bulan, M Café, Cru, Café Gratitude

Most Annoying Part of LA:  The traffic, the pollution, the overconfident (+ dangerously) self-absorbed drivers (denizens).

Favorite Hike:  The Hollywood sign walk, followed by the Palisades

Best Museum in LA:  LACMA, followed by the Jurassic Museum of Technology + the Getty

Craziest Shit Award:  The naked woman walking down Hollywood Boulevard by herself with a piece of iceberg lettuce covering her junk, holding a sign that said "justice."  A close second is this dude I saw in Hollywood wearing an orange LA county jumper, with a handcuff still hanging from one wrist who quickly jumped on a motorcycle (+ either hotwired it or used the key, I don't know which) + drove down the sidewalk on Santa Monica Blvd

Favorite Vegan Fast Food Joints:  Veggie Grill, Doomie's

Biggest LA Cliché that's Not Actually a Cliché Award:  Legions of starfuckers, the class spacialization + total lack of racial/cultural intersectionality, materialistic label snobs,  a complete + utter self-absorption (solipsism?) + the waves of plastic surgery veterans deferring their mortality like the bitches they are. 

Favorite Beach in LA County:  Santa Monica

Worse Part of LA that No One Tells You About:  The cultural amnesia, the silent nativism + the seasonal atemporality (aka perpetual spring), which makes it impossible to know what time of year it is

Favorite Neighborhoods to Walk around:  Larchmont Village, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Hollywood, WeHo

Favorite Part of LA:  The vibrancy, the open space, the beautiful people, the unavoidable run-in with celebrities (which helps to humanize them instead of glamorize them), randomly stunning streets, the visual idiosyncracies of the city

The Most Exciting Part of LA that Somehow Still Exceeded My Expectations:  Getting to work with Aimee Bender + TC Boyle

Two Minutes of Hate Award:  Bellicose LAPD officers who act like thugs, asshole drivers who make u-turns during rush hour or who don't thank you when you let them merge on a busy street + angelenos who hog the sidewalk/shopping aisle/street

Evolving Parent Award:  Adopting Gogo! at Barks + Bitches

Most Empowering Moment:  This is a tie between getting my name legally changed in the LA Court System + meeting my Japanese family for the first time in my life Ōsaka.  A very close second is passing my qualifying exams

Two Things I'll Never Miss:  The sound of helicopters hovering over my head like a police-state at three in the morning + the construction that's been going on next to our apartment for the past fucking year

Favorite Side-trip:  Driving to Santa Barbara + kicking it with TC Boyle + some of his friends at his Frank Lloyd Wright house

The Most Awesomest Accomplishment Award:  Climbing up the Great Wall of China with LB.  Close seconds include seeing the Forbidden City + speaking (in childish) nihongo to my Aunt Shizuko for hours

Coolest Thing I Never Thought I'd Do but Did (aka Most Empowering Moments #2):  LB + I running in the 13.1 1/2 marathon in Venice + the Rock'n'Roll 1/2 Marathon in downtown LA.

Saddest Beautiful Thing I Ever Did:  Going to the Griffith Observatory with LB, my mom + brother, + seeing our time in LA about to end

Best College Football Game:  The SC v Stanford triple overtime, followed by the SC v. ND game the year before

My Baby's All Grown Up Award:  Hosting Christmas at our house in K-town twice + feeling like LB + I have become the nexus for both our families

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