Los Angeles – week 3

This week has been fairly quiet as I’ve been on my own and also working from the apartment all week. So I used to opportunity to catch a couple of movies, sort some logistics issues and iron some niggles that were still on-going with the apartment.

On Monday I went to see “Runaway Jury“, a courtroom thriller written by John Grisham and starring Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack. I quite enjoyed it, but I had never read the book so had no expectations. One of the bizarre things about the movie is that it has quite a powerful ensemble cast who don’t actually say very much! I recognised most of the 12 jurors from other movies and tv series, such as Jennifer ‘Flashdance’ Beals, who literally has only a couple of lines to say but is seen regularly throughout the movie. It brought back memories of my time a few years ago as a juror. I ‘served’ my time at the Old Bailey and I can honestly say it was nothing like this movie!

I’ve had my eye on a new digital camera since I arrived in the USA, having seen rave reviews of the new Canon digital SLR before I left the UK. I had seen a couple of mail order ads in US magazines that were advertising the camera ridiculously cheap, so I tried to source it from them but was having problems because I didn’t have a US-based credit card. So last Friday I was informed that I could arrange to wire the cash to them, I just had to email them the order details and they would send me the wire details.

Well by Tuesday I had heard nothing back, even though their web-site promised email responses within 24 hours. So I phone them up only to be told “Oh, email is down”. So I then got onto discussing the wire transfer details with them, only to be told “Oh, there is a minimum $1500 purchase on wire transfers”. No-one mentioned that last week. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! So politely told them where to go!

Also on Tuesday, thoughts of home came flooding back as Sarah Ferguson was on breakfast tv, going on about diets and healthy eating yet again. The fact I’ve gone over a week now without a do-nut is nothing to do with Miss Ferguson! Nor my mother or girlfriend!!

Since I arrived at the apartment over 2 weeks ago I had been telling Graham that I was sure that I could smell gas. Occasionally he would agree, although he didn’t sound convincing! Well, by Tuesday it was really bad so I reported it to the management office here on -site at the apartment complex. A chap turned up a short while later to find that the gas for the fireplace was switched fully-on, and obviously had been on since we moved in. That is very scarey.

Tuesday was also the hottest day of the year. Costa Mesa where I live hit 97degrees, with many of the surrounding areas reaching three figures. Temperatures today beat those reached during the summer months, and when you consider this is late October it’s quite bizarre. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 90’s for quite a while yet.

Wednesday’s highlight was the lottery, or it would have been if I’d won! The jackpot was $99 million, approximately £62 million. It was won by just 2 people.

On Thursday I went to see “Under The Tuscan Sun“, this is one for the girls as a newly divorced woman escapes to Tuscany in an effort to rebuild her life but also ends up having to rebuild her newly purchased Italian villa. The only reason I went to see it was that is stars one of my all-time favourite actresses, Diane Lane.

After a discussion with Tori, (it’s all your fault!), on Friday I went down to the local Best Buy store where I tried the Canon camera out and bought it straight away. More expensive than by mail order but still almost £300 cheaper than buying it in the UK. I then drove down to Huntington Beach to test it out, you can see the results here. The coast was very foggy, surrounded by a ‘marine layer’ as they say in these parts, but with the sun trying to break through and also setting at the same time it led to some good photo opportunities.

Saturday is supermarket day and I crossed the picket lines again to shop in Vons. The supermarket workers have been on strike for 2 weeks now, with no end in sight to the dispute as the company are standing firm and refusing to budge. Anyway, as I was approaching the picket-line the two people manning it decided to walk over to the other entrance to talk to their colleagues. Perhaps it was the red & white striped Sheffield United shirt that frightened them off! (No Richard & Brian, I’m not going to discuss Friday night’s result!!)

The big news this week though are the forest fires. As of today there are now six fires raging around Los Angeles, with the largest now having burnt some 20,000 acres of land and destroyed over 200 homes. Click here to see a photograph of today’s LA Times headline. Because of the wind direction, ash is now falling here in Costa Mesa even though the fires are some 20 miles away.

Ok, signing-off for another week. Take care.