Thursday, April 24, 2008

You can almost see Disneyland from here

We're staying in a nice but also sort of odd place, the Embassy Suites in Anaheim, just a few long blocks down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland.

Here's the view from our room. If you could crane your neck just a little bit to the right you could see the tops of a couple attractions at the Happiest Place on Earth. That big lot outside our window is an abandoned golf driving range. At least I think it's abandoned; I've never seen anyone using it.

Better days behind for the Harbor Greens Golf Range:

The room is comfortable as can be, and it comes with free breakfast and a complimentary evening happy hour -- I'm enjoying a free beer and pretzels right now -- but it's also overflowing with sunburned, slightly pudgy couples and their Mickey-eared and princess-gowned kids, all seemingly fueled on way too much soda.

Also just now the lobby was crammed with a bunch of teenagers wearing tuxes and silky dresses. In the elevator a 30-something guy looked at me and raised an eyebrow. "I don't know," I said, "the world's lamest prom party?"

When I told Gina where we were she broke out the all-caps: "MAN, are you going to go to disneyland? you know you want to."

Probably not this trip. We're staying here because it's centrally located to Long Beach, to friends Michelle wanted to visit at the Orange County Register and to the Commerce Casino, just up the 5 freeway.

Which reminds me, I need to jet now to meet my friend Stuart for some poker action there tonight. It ain't Disneyland, but it'll do.

More to come, including a report on last night's M&M card game, as well as my lunch today with my buddy McDermott in Manhattan Beach. Nice photos with that one.


mich said...

I hope you had a good poker showing, Mark! I should tell you: As much as I miss you, I've had good parking juju ever since you headed south. I guess Seattle's parking strips might not be big enough for the two of us.

Jim Thomsen said...

True confession: I once wrote a letter to Terry McDermott, back when he was writing a column for The Times, and all I said was: "You're not very bright, are you?"

He liked it so much (I think) that he cited it in his farewell column:

For what it's worth, I've loosely followed him since his southward migration. And I can say that he, like all of us, has gotten better with age.

Sorry about the cheap shot, man. I was apocalyptically arrogant in those days. Life has pretty well beaten the piss out of me in the intervening decade, if it makes you feel any better.

Mark said...

Jim, that's funny. I actually remember the quote in Terry's parting column and what a kick he got out of it.

The truth is he was very bright then, as he is now -- brighter than you and I and a couple of our smarter friends all put together.

Jim Thomsen said...

I can't even remember what I found so disagreeable about what he wrote. I'm sure time and perspective proved me wrong. Probably I was just jealous that he had what I thought I wanted at the time. Turns out I didn't, though. Doesn't make him any less valid. Wish I knew that as well then as I do know.