Wednesday, May 21, 2008

'Tis Partch season, which means an early-morning flight from Boston to Orange County and a festive layover in Dallas. Why didn't I fly to Los Angeles? I have finally flown enough times in the last couple of years to get a free flight, but of course American Airlines doesn't make it particularly easy for me. Whatever. Another change from this year is that certain family cars (my old Volvo, ahem) have been sold and so there is not a vehicle available to me. My father was kind enough to rent me a car, and for this I am very appreciative. He rented through Midway Rental, which has an office at the Airport Radisson Hotel at LAX. He also gets an amazing discount because he "knows people." Anyway, yesterday I took a Primetime Shuttle (or whatever it's called) from the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana to LAX. The driver hauled ass and it only took 40 minutes. That was nice.

At 3 PM I arrived at Midway with all my luggage, including the adapted viola, and I was patiently waiting for the car people to pull up my records. They had no record. Then a second guy who worked there found my information, and said, "Oh, the car is in West LA." Goody. I called up Daddy-dear, put him on the phone with them, and of course he did his usual terse-tone thing (I hate that, but hey), and the guy on my side of the line said, "Don't worry Mr. Arnold, your daughter will have a car this afternoon." I felt like such a JAP. Anyway, I know that I was probably supposed to get some not-snazzy car, which is perfectly fine with me, but this particular Midway facility only had luxury vehicles. I was a little frightened.

Five minutes later, a guy pulls up in a silver 2008 Dodge Charger. It looks like this.

"Here is your rental car, Ms. Arnold."

"Oh shit," I thought. I've never driven something even remotely bling, and now I am supposed to be 100% responsible for this homey-mobile for two weeks.

So I sat my fanny inside, he showed me how to start the thing (it has a crazy not-key-apparatus thing), and I drove off. Just like an old lady with an erect back and hands at 10 and 2 o'clock. I cannot let anything happen to this car.

Before going to my parents' house in Palos Verdes, I had to stop at my favorite weird Asian store in Torrance. I parked the car, pulled out the key, and the radio and dash lights were still on. "What the fuck is this???" I called Midway and said, "Hi Freddy, this is Rachel, the girl who rented from you guys about 30 minutes ago. Can you please tell me how to turn off the car?" He kindly explained that I had to OPEN THE DOOR and then the car would turn itself off. "That's spiffy," I thought.

Anyway, I am trying to drive this thing as infrequently as possible. I have rehearsal tonight in Mt. Washington and it is the only drive I am making today. I actually walked down the hill ::gasp:: to the store today from my parents', and some random old man on his lawn said, "Is your car out of gas?" I answered, "No because I'm not driving it..."

Aside from all of this, ya'll should come to our Partch performance(s) on May 30/31st at REDCAT.

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