Posted by: GeekHiker | January 10, 2010

Random Thoughts ‘Whilst Hiking 1

I headed out today for a short, completely unstructured hike to break in a new pair of hiking boots.  Well, I’d intended it to be short: as it turned out, I wandered around and up and down ridges for over six miles.  Whoops.

I ended up at Griffith Park since my original hiking destination was suffering from full-parking-lot syndrome.  Griffith Park isn’t my favorite hiking spot, as I usually find it to be too crowded with huge groups, loud families, and over-primped people working on their exercise programs.  It’s not exactly conducive to finding a little peace and solitude along the trail, if you know what I mean.

It’s exactly those types of hiking situations that have my friends and I sometimes delving into a common conversation topic in L.A.: why stay?  It seems everyone, native or no, seems to ask that question of themselves from time to time.  Often while crawling in slow freeway traffic that has no cause whatsoever.

This, however, is not that discussion.

No, as I was wandering through the park, passing by far too many women who’s hiking preparation involved putting on far too much mascara, a quote from an old sitcom (“It’s Like, You Know…”) that I’d read a long time ago popped into my head. (Interestingly, I don’t recall ever watching the actual show, but the quote has stuck with me.)

For those of you not in Southern California, and who have endured the nasty weather that’s hit the nation for the last week, maybe this will put some perspective on why L.A. is such a hard place to leave for so many:

Robbie: You’re gonna be like everyone else, talkin’ about how you hate L.A., like it’s a prison camp with five area codes. How the people are so dumb, so plastic, so silicone. How nothing’s open late, you have to drive to take a walk, the houses are ugly, the clothes are loud, the bagels are doughy, the pizza sucks, the murder trials last two years, the marriages last two months. Then you throw in earthquakes, aftershocks, mudslides, road rage, race riots, guns, tasers, pepper spray…. Just as your head’s about to explode, boom. One warm afternoon you play softball and you think to yourself, ‘My God, it’s January.’ Next day, you wake up, it’s two years later, you’ve sold out every belief you ever held sacred. And you don’t care, ’cause you’re living way-too-happily-ever-after in a beach house waiting for your Guatemalan gardner like very other brain-dead southern Californian.

Robbie: Ew, what is on this pastrami?

Shrug: Raisins.

Robbie: Oh yeah, I left that out.



  1. Those are awesome quotes!

    Well, if you wanna get out of LA but bring the warm weather with you, there are plenty to choose from in the rest of CA. I personally prefer Northern CA, but not SF (nice to visit, but too expensive, too big, too crowded… to live in). How about Arizona (it’s WARM in the winter too)? Or Florida (oh wait, you are not 86. Okay, scratch that! :-))

  2. What? What is this nonsense about warm weather? Why wouldn’t you want to live somewhere where it’s cloudy and snowy in the winter, with icy deathtraps along the roads and sub-zero temperatures? You could bust out “The Big Johnson” sleeping bag, which I DOUBT you would use in LA. Doesn’t that sound like MANLY FUN?!? Seriously. You don’t KNOW what kind of fun you’re missing.

  3. Sorry GH, but having lived outside of the dreaded LA area, you should know better. I may be cold, snowed in, and cabin feverish but I still would rather be here among the REAL people than be there.

  4. Whoa Whoa Whoa, Homer. There are some *REAL* persons living in this area THANKYOUVERYMUCH. Not everyone is plastic. And although I am guilty of hiking with mascara on at times, I am far from caught up in the nonsensical lifestyle many other Angelinos are living. One thing I’ve noticed time and time again is that it’s often people who move here from other places that end up giving LA a bad name. The bleached, botoxed, boob-jobbed sect of the city isn’t typically comprised of people who were born here. Anywhoo…

    GH, I don’t know if you’ve been up Canyon (off of Franklin in Hollywood) but it’s a much quieter hike than Griffith Park. I’ve only been a couple places in the Park, but I noticed a difference for sure. If you’re coming up this way, I would definitely give that one a shot next time.

  5. This two sentences go down as two of my favorites ever:

    “Well, I’d intended it to be short: as it turned out, I wandered around and up and down ridges for over six miles.  Whoops.

    passing by far too many women who’s hiking preparation involved putting on far too much mascara”

    I don’t have to help you remember that I don’t envy you because, I can go to the beach in December if I want, but you know… I just did anyway 🙂

  6. @Mel Heth: I forgot to add, “present company and commenters excluded.”

  7. Being from NY, I’m supposed to hate LA. I think it’s part of the NY residency requirement. But I think that’s just to deflect from the fact that we have our share of botoxed, plastic, can’t drive, over-primed people too. Maybe we should just send them all out to LA?

  8. Thank you, Homer Dog. You are forgiven.

    Dingo – please don’t contribute to the problem.

  9. K – I would totally take it with me, but I’m not sure it would fit in my carry-on. 😉 Of course, I also prefer Northern California: it’s where I grew up!

    MissMcCracken – Yeahhhhh… just not ‘feelin the jealousy yet…

    Homer-Dog – Ooooh, ouch! LOL

    MelHeth – Seems HD struck a sore spot there! I think it’s a mix, though. After all, aren’t all those Kardasha-something’s L.A. natives? I have been up Franklin Canyon, but not in a couple of years…

    Narami – Yes, but can you go up and play in the snow on the same day like we can?

    Homer-Dog – Heh, good backpedal!

    Dingo – Or we could send them out to NYC? And while NYC might hate L.A. (I think it’s just jealousy over the weather), L.A. has an inferiority complex to NYC about… well, about everything else!

    Mel Heth – You are a forgiving soul. 🙂

  10. @ Mel Heth: You are welcome and thank you for your forgiveness. I have found it fascinating how quickly I’ve turned on LA since I left in 2008. When I lived in California, while not a big LA fan, I would defend the state now and again. I have to slow down and think my comments through a little more carefully now.

  11. Homer, I think it’s natural to turn on the place you left – otherwise why would you not want to live THERE? You’re justified in pledging allegiance to your new home.

    I just get defensive because I come from 3 generations of very down-to-earth So Cal natives. I don’t want my people continually getting a bad wrap. 🙂

  12. Homer-Dog – I’ll vouch for the fact you had no love lost for LA when you lived here, but surely you miss the mountains?

    Mel Heth – I agree. It’s a way of dealing with potential regrets. Still, do you really think that people who exchange things like this as gifts are can really be considered “down-to-earth”??? 😉

  13. I miss them when I’m on a flat Nebraska trail. I never missed them when I was on a trail climbing the mountain. 🙂

  14. (you remembered that whole entire quote – lol?) well, this is one new yorker who is extremely jealous of your weather.

  15. You know what they say: You live or die in LA. I’ll take the former!

    Nice blog post. Love that quote! I’ll have to try to memorize it.

    I’ve seen a lot of cougars on the trail here in LA, but all of them were wearing lipstick. 😉

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