ventura highway, in the sunshine


oh, hey, look. it’s Wednesday.

Today was supposed to be my EA recap. But alas, I am planning on cross-posting it to TMITM, and it needs some editing.* So instead, enjoy a wee bit about my vacation-that-wasn’t.

I know that it’s been over two weeks since I returned from my trip to California, but I figure it’s never too late to tell y’all what happened, right?

Well, the crux of the trip was, if you don’t already know, that my Granddad died while I was out there.

We knew that it was getting towards the end for him—he’d put himself on hospice care several months ago—but no one expected it to happen just yet.

I’m glad I was there. I’m glad I got to see him one last time. And I’m glad he went out on his terms—he was at home and surrounded by family.

So there’s that.

I ended up staying an extra week, to attend the funeral and spend some extra time with my Nannie and my mom and just chill some. The service was nice; the local VFW came out and did a flag service as well as a gun salute. (Something I’d hoped to have for my father as well, as he also served, but alas, we only got a flag service at that one.) I learned a few things about Joseph Dewey Montgomery that made me even more proud than I already was to be his oldest granddaughter. I ended up just hanging out most of the second week, even though I’d wanted to do stuff like go to the Getty and go up the coast a ways to take pictures of stuff. I took a lot of naps. I really miss being able to take an hour or two to doze off in the middle of every afternoon.


One of the things I did do when I was out there was go to my cousin’s wedding. It was lovely. Her new husband is an absolute trip, and I love my family! Turns out my other cousin and I are practically the same person. It’s interesting to find that out about someone, especially when you consider we grew up on opposite sides of the country from each other and only get to see each other once a year (Cuz, you really need to come out here next month. Start working on that, kay?).

So we decided to go hang out with her friend whom I shall refer to as Brady the night after the wedding. He and his roommate live in Northridge, right near CSUN in what is essentially a fancy hippie commune. It was a really neat place, if a bit rundown lived-in. There’s a giant stage that takes up much of the center courtyard. It has a yin-yang painted on it. There’s a common area with a dartboard and zebra print walls. There’s art painted and situated all over the place. The folks who live there are for the most part really cool. At least, the ones I met were.

There was Dani, the massage therapist. We sorta connected immediately. She has a great vibe; just a really positive and open energy about her.

Yes, I regress into hippie mode around these sorts of people. My spiritual side—or at least the side of me that wants to believe—comes out.

There were the gorgeous Latina girls, Chellie and… Denise? I can’t remember the other girl’s name. They were all hanging out together when we arrived, PBR and blankets in tow. Most of the folks who live in the building tend to leave their doors open when they’re home, and other tenants wander through, chatting or inviting you downstairs to take a hit off the hookah and watch some movie with Mos Def and Bruce Willis in it.

Then there’s himself. Ah, this boy amused the shit out of me.

I called PBR shitty beer. Because, let’s face it, it’s cheap American beer. It is, by its very nature, not that great. We’re not talking about some Belgian craft beer. Or even Sam Adams. We’re talking about fucking Pabst Blue Ribbon (although I’m kinda sad we didn’t totally hipster it up and get the tallboy cans), folks.

Well, “Brady” got all offended. All kinds of offended, even. It made me giggle. “It has a blue ribbon! They don’t just give those out to anybody, you know!”

These days? Yeah, they kinda do.

Most of the evening continued in that vein. I had a grand ol’ time having fun at his expense. That probably makes me a terrible person, but hey, he’s a hipster—what else can you do with that sort of guy? He has a full-sized poster of Johnny Depp from Crybaby on his door. His bedroom door. If he hadn’t spent most of that night trying to get into *anyone’s* pants, I would’ve wondered about him. He was absolutely flustered when he found out that I live in Baltimore. “Oh my GOD have you ever met John Waters?!” Well, no, Brady, but Baltimore isn’t exactly a tiny place. And yes, I enjoy his films, though I refuse to ever lay eyen upon Pink Flamingos. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

Not only is the boy a hipster, he’s one worse: he’s a hipster who thinks he’s a greaser. From the white t-shirt and badly spelled Irish tattoo (no, my dear, having a tattoo that says “Erin Go Brach” isn’t phonetic and cool, it’s just badly spelled) to the switchblade and the beat up chucks, to the leather jacket and the pseudo-punk leanings, the boy clearly wants to be James Dean Johnny Depp from Crybaby. And just as clearly is trying way too hard to pull it off to succeed at all. Also, all that crap in your hair? Ew, dude.

It’s fucking hilarious, let me tell you.

OK, I’ll be honest, he seems like he’s a nice enough kid at heart. He’s just so young. And he tries so hard to impress. And make himself heard. The lot of us were all chilling, drinking, chatting away having a good time. I’m sure he was in seventh heaven, surrounded by good-looking women, but every time he wanted to say something, he had to make sure we all knew he was about to say something. And if we talked over him—and we did, constantly—he’d get all pouty and offended.

Really there, guy? Get over yourself.

That evening was probably the most noteworthy event (that wasn’t a funeral) of the trip. Well, other than heading down to Hollywood and only having enough time to DRIVE PAST Mann’s Chinese before having to high-tail it to Burbank to meet up with Prisco, his wonderful lady and Seastar.

Otherwise, it was rather interesting. I seem to have moved into a new place within the family. I seem to actually be considered an adult by my aunts and uncles now, for the most part. It’s an interesting new place to occupy, really. But that’s a different post.


* Yeah, I know what you’re thinking here: What, Lizzie, edit? Surely this means that the earth has ceased its rotation and hell itself hath frozen over. Yeah, well, I’m trying to be better about it, ok? :~P


4 Responses to “ventura highway, in the sunshine”

  1. Great story, Lizzie.
    I love hearing about hipsters from other parts of the country (Godtopus knows, we have ’em in Tulsa, too).
    Pics and video from EA looked like fun, I’ll hop over to TMITM and check out the review.

    • they’re everywhere, spen. there’s no escaping them. kinda like zombies.

      the EA will be up tomorrow! (it’ll be cross-posted here, actually).

  2. Hahaha, PBR is terrible! The reason it even has “BR” at all is because it won a prize at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, back when brewing beer was NOT done very often in America. When it took weeks to import beer with minimal refrigeration, I’m sure it tasted awesome by comparison.

    You are a damn hippie, just like me. Stop hiding behind your axe, poseur!

    • i mean, it’s drinkable, when you’re broke and can’t get Boh. which is equally terrible, but at least i’d be representin’ the hometown drinking that swill (true story: Matt claims to really like Boh. much more so than PBR.).

      and shhh, don’t tell anyone! i quite enjoy hiding behind my axe.

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