The Getty Centre and the Walt Disney Music Centre

Today was a more cultural day.

Jackie took me up to the Getty Centre which would have to be one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. The contrasts are amazing. The buildings are stark white, there is creamy, yellow tinted stone all around and beautiful gardens with lush green grass. Being California, there’s plenty of blue skies as well. We had a brief wander around, checking out the art but we were more interested in being outside.

photo title: zig zag
Stairwell at the Getty Centre

After this we meandered our way to the Walt Disney Music Centre. This building is truly astounding. It would have to be one of the most amazing pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen. It sweeps up into the sky, all lusterless, curved metal that can be lit different colours. Every time I looked at it, all I could say was it’s amazing, just amazing. There’s an amazing blend of glass and metal so hence this photo of the front entrance:

photo title: swept away

So, a few days into my trip and I’m still freaking out about the traffic. Part of my brain is telling me we’re on the wrong side of the road and we’re going to be crashed into. The whole left-hand turn from the centre stresses me out because I can’t help but think someone is going to smack into us. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to but I’m trying. When we’re on the freeway it’s okay because all the traffic is moving in the same direction. I’ve promised myself that I’m never ever going to drive in America. I think I’d have an accident in about two minutes flat.

But now I’m going to have a grumble because I checked my flight details today from Baltimore back to LAX only to discover it’s been moved forward by two hours. So now it’s leaving at 7.05am which means I have to be at the airport by 6am. Which means getting up obscenely early. I have no idea how far away the airport is from the hotel. What really stings is that I now have to work out what I’m going to do for 12 hours at LAX. Sigh. Thank god I checked.

Tomorrow is possibly a trip to Golden Apple comics. We were at Borders this evening and I was so tempted to buy a hardback version Runways vol 3 because it’s a good $10 cheaper here but I couldn’t bring myself to give money to a global business when I could give it to a local trader. (But how do I explain buying stuff fro Amazon?) I did buy myself a diary for 2009 because yet again, well cheaper here than at home and it’s exactly the same as the one I have for this year.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually buy something. I’ve bought hardly anything at all.

Squee!

Jackie is a crafty, crafty woman. We went to downtown LA today to go to some comic book shops and have lunch a nice hotel (as you do). We went to Meltdown on Sunset Boulevard which was pretty cool. I spied a Batgirl t-shirt I really liked but they didn’t have it in my size unfortunately.

We were going to go to Golden Apple comics but decided lunch would be a better choice. Jackie took me to The Standard and we settled into a table outside by the pool. We’d ordered and were just chatting when I was surprised by a guy walking in wearing the Joker t-shirt I’ve got on my Bubble folio. That man turned out to be Tim Sale with his lovely girlfriend Christina.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I had no idea and I had a mini fangirl meltdown at the table. (Hi Tim!!) As I recovered, the fangirl part of my brain was kicking the rest of me for finally taking out my copy of The Long Halloween out of my backpack. D’oh!

It was a brilliant lunch and Jackie is a crafty, superb woman 🙂

Today’s photo (which is probably going to be a favourite even though I hate having my photo taken and I should’ve taken my sunglasses off):
tim and me
Tim and I, The Standard Hotel, Sunset Blvd.

I’m here

My laptop is telling me it’s 10.48 Monday morning but it’s actually around 6pm Sunday here. So I’m feeling a bit disorientated and my stomach is having a grumble.

I didn’t really sleep on the plane (dozed for about two hours) so I conked out at about 2pm and slept for four hours.

Check-in at Melbourne and customs at LAX was pretty awful. At LAX, three planes essentially arrived at the same time and it appeared that they’d seriously underestimated how many people there would be. So we queued. And queued. And queued some more. But in the queue, I had my first star sighting. Guy Pierce! Lined up with the rest of us smucks. When I finally made it through and was out on the other side, I was so, so pleased to see Jackie standing in a Tim Sale Emerald City Comic Con t-shirt. Jackie, Jake and their adorable son, Daniel are my incredibly generous hosts while I’m in Los Angeles.

Anyway, I’m here. I’ve seen the Pacific from the other side. And I got to see the dawn at 30,000 feet.

Today’s photo:

A mono-rail station at downtown Disneyland.

It’s almost time

Well, it’s officially Sunday 21st of September (by 15 minutes). So today’s the day I’ll be going to the airport. 15 months in the planning. Lots of scrimping and saving. Plenty of wondering if the day would ever come. I’ve sat at work, looking at the damn calendar since the start of the year, willing the days to count down.

And here we are.

I’ve packed my bags and I think I’m all organised. Right now I’m backing up my data to my removable drive (worse case scenario stuff). I’ve tried to think of everything. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but hopefully it’s not something expensive and I can get whatever it is once I’m there.

Squee!

Eeep! moment number two

I have no savings. None at all. All the money I had saved has been converted into American dollars. Nothing, nada, zip. Eeeeeep! I keep thinking oh, I’ll just get money from my ING account and then have to remind myself there’s nothing in it and there won’t be money going into it until October. It feels very peculiar.

Only four more days at work and nine days until I leave. I really need to write myself a list of all the things I need to get before I go. Shopping day next Friday.

Nine lives

photo title: Nine lives

I’m going through a creative lull at the moment so I’ve been flicking through some of my older photos. And on occasion I find something I like. Not sure why I didn’t pick this photo the first time around. I like the tilt of her head and her face in sharply in focus unlike some of my other Catwoman photos. There’s another shot I like as well but the background is proving particularly problematic and I haven’t found a solution I like for it as yet.

Anyhoo… only 12 days until I go. Very excited. I’m starting to think about things like packing so I can weight my suitcase and what I actually want to take with me. It feels a little surreal, I’ve been planning this for so long and now it’s almost here. My brother has started asking me how many days to go when he sees me. Actually, I think I’m also excited because I get two weeks off work. I think I’m already in holiday mode because I find myself not caring about any of the projects I’m supposed to working on. Oops. Can’t help it though. It’s my first overseas trip so it’s natural that I’m going to be a little excited.

It’s just a pity the Aussie dollar has tumbled against the American one so I’m losing more cash than I thought I would. But I keep telling myself it’s nowhere near as bad as it was a few years ago when I would’ve lost half my savings in the currency conversion. As it was, I only lost $300. Could’ve been a lot worse. I’m hoping that the dollar will rally and I’ll get more bang for my buck when I do my second conversion.

And I still haven’t bought any sunscreen, a second sketchpad, power plug adaptor, tim tams or the majority of the things I had on my list.

Mental note to self

Must remember to buy new sunscreen.

I’ll be in sunny California for several days and my Melbourne winterised skin will probably get burnt to a crisp without it. And to be honest, American sunscreens just don’t cut it when compared to the ones made here.

Having an eep! moment

I am travelling 14 hours, about 20,000 kilometres to a country where I don’t know anyone. I will be on my own for nine days, relying on the kindness of people I’ve never meet before. My thought this morning  before dragging my sorry arse out of bed was I’m going to be staying with people who I’ve never spoken to or seen in real life – I must be crazy.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!

But really, isn’t that what all overseas travel is about? You’re in a country where you essentially have none of the usual supports. I’ll really be on my own and that is a little freaky.

But all this still can’t overwhelm the excitement I feel. I’m going overseas! I’m going to meet some people who I spend more time communicating with then my friends who live two blocks away from me. It’s going to be brilliant, fantastic.

Oohh… QANTAS lets you check out what the inflight entertainment might be and I can watch Iron Man again. My god, I’m nerdy! I get distracted from freaking out by the fact I’ll be able to watch Iron Man.

Hoorah :)

The mini-moo cards came out brilliantly and I didn’t mess up the text on the back. Booyah! Man of steel is my favourite I think, followed by Haunted Knight and The Long Halloween. Now all I have to do is make myself give them out when I’m in Baltimore. I’m going to keep a few for myself as well.

Also, there’s a suitcase in my bedroom that’s just waiting to be filled.

A moment of insanity?

An idea is stuck in my head of once again venturing back to uni. I got curious and checked out what courses Open Universities offered and I found a Communications degree that offers a journalism major. Now the idea is stuck in my head and I’m seriously contemplating whether or not to enrol. The timing is wrong for session three (running from Sept 1 – Nov 28) but session four could be a goer to start it as it’s over summer.

I’m crazy.

I told myself after finishing my multimedia degree that I would never ever go back to school. However, right now I feel a really strong desire to re-skill. I don’t want to do IT support for the rest of my life but it’s really hard to get a decent job these days unless you have either a university degree or loads of skills. I was interested in journalism when I was still at high school and wanted to study it at uni but I was heavily discouraged from pursuing it (in other words, everyone told me I was crap and wouldn’t be able to hack it). I’ve always wanted to be a writer but I don’t feel I have the imagination for it. Writing for a newspaper really appeals because I’d get to write but it’d be factual so I wouldn’t feel pressured to come up with something.

If I did a degree through Open Universities, I could still work. It’s all online learning, which would really suit me. I’m also entitled to FEE-HELP so I could defer the fees (and accrue an even larger education debt).

Can I afford it? Do I really want to commit to something like this? How big a change do I want to make? Do I really want to put myself through the pressure of studying again? Am I having a mid 30s crisis?

I don’t have to rush to decide. Enrolment for session four doesn’t close until November 14 and by then I could’ve decided this is a crazy idea and I was mad to even contemplate it.