lish (lishd) wrote,

xmas 2014 in los angeles, CA

this write-up is a bit delayed, as i caught lobar pneumonia about a week after this trip, spent a week with a 103°F fever, & wound up in the ER getting IV fluids as it's not possible for a tiny lish to keep up with both eating & the amount of water being burned off by 103°F. i'm still recovering & will probably be coughing into february, but i did want to document this awesome trip as best i could.

so i went to southern california primarily because face to face was playing their first three albums, each in full, over three consecutive nights. it worked out beautifully that testing4l & i had wanted to spend more time in the city, & phil also loves f2f. plus there was a bonus task to perform...

thursday, december 25, 2014
i left for the plane at my normal leaving time for work, so that wasn't too early, & had a very weird conversation at the bus stop with a man wearing several trashbags as clothing. they were arranged somewhat artfully & he complimented my dreads in a "but they came from spaceships, right?" sort of way. i had only one other encounter of note after my bus & light rail ride: i ran into an old coworker of mine, paris, at the airport. he's awesome & doing much better than when he worked with me seven years ago.

after a couple planes (nice & cheap on xmas day) on which i decided to be a thirteen year old girl & snapchat the trip (i've saved only the most interesting snaps, don't worry), i landed in LAX & met up with phil. we went right to izzy's, where i had latkes & whitefish on a perfect egg bagel. & i mean perfect - the best bagel i've ever had. i then met phil's new girlfriend, seok, & performed the most major task besides the f2f shows - shaving phil's head.

this was a big deal. phil had been growing his hair for a thousand years & never thought he'd cut it ever. when he finally decided to shave his head, it coincided with the trip, & i offered. he was stoked that i wanted to do it, as he wanted me to do it, & i was honored. so we spent 2.25 hours hours making that happen - not just a buzzcut, but fully 100% shaven. i sectioned off his hair, cut it as close to the scalp as possible (as per his request; check out the Worst Haircut I've Ever Given below), & then shaved him down. it was epic! seok took photos, & i was relieved & pleased to see how good he looked bald.

after the shavening, we all went to canter's where i delighted in a corned beef special & chocolate egg cream. back at our hotel, i took a forever shower in all the hot water while phil got dosbox going for king's quest V, & i then dutifully fell asleep during its opening screens.

friday, december 26, 2014
we headed to the iron press for breakfast, & my belgian waffle with bananas, strawberries, & nutella was awesome. we then headed to prehistoric pets & the reptile zoo, two top-of-the-list places to visit that i'd run into online about a month before. it was more than worth the ten bucks admission to the zoo, & i SO wanted to hide one of the baby dumeril's boas in my jacket, but i'd previously checked southwest's reptile policy & they are completely opposed to snakes on their planes. oh well.

we ran through a "rare book store" that had no rare books for sale, then drove back to the hotel to play more kq5. on the way, i spotted a chick-fil-a, which i'd completely forgotten exists since we in seattle have been waiting for years for one to reopen locally. (at least, now that they recanted their anti-gay stance.) i made phil swerve & take me right there, & i was oh-so happy to eat my original chicken sandwich while drinking a tart cherry/blueberry juice i picked up at a local grocery.

we left a bit early for the first show of face to face's trifecta set. the venue, the observatory, was THE most intelligently set-up venue i've seen - it was arranged like a colosseum, with tiered standing areas, rails to lean on, & the entire pit was surrounded by a 4' wall. a tiny lish like me could stand immediately next to the pit & still be 100% protected from it. it was terrific. we stood directly to the front left of the pit on all three nights & it was perfect.

night 1 setlist
performing "don't turn away"
opener: pulley

you've done nothing
i'm not afraid
no authority
i want
you've got a problem
everything is everything
i'm trying
nothing new
walk away
do you care
merry xmas
not enough
i used to think
not for free
don't turn away
walk the walk
it's not over

the show was amazing, exactly what i expect of f2f. high energy, lots of fun, & of course i sang along to every single word. they played the entire first album in order, & then added some rare bonus tracks (all of which i knew, of course). we later decided this was the best night of all three.

after, we tried to find delicious food, but the only thing left open was ihop. so we went... & heard the next table over talking about the show. phil asked if they were there, & it turned out that we were talking to the lead singer's parents & nephew. AMAZING. we chatted a bit, complimented them, joked around, & let them enjoy their meal. phil sneaked off quietly, & when he came back i discovered he'd prepaid their tab. he said it was just the right thing to do, & i couldn't've agreed more. half an hour later, they discovered what he'd done, & came over to thank us & talk some more. they asked for our contact info, & phil & i gave them our business cards with no actual hope of being contacted (& indeed we weren't)... but it was still pretty cool that they'd offer to hook us up in some way. :)

we ended the night with more kq5 & fell soundly asleep.

saturday, december 27, 2014
i forget where we went for brunch, but we sat at a circular bar that had an entire piano INSIDE the bar, which made it incredibly awkward for the barkeep. my seared ahi salad was great, though phil was less than enthused about his steak. we attempted to find shave ice afterward, & ended up going to three places before we found a fourth that was both open & NOT a catering operation listed as a restaurant. -_- that said, the one we did find, was AMAZING. they basically sell xue hua bing & i looooved it. it was so good that phil & i joked that it's like the room of requirement, in that the snow station only appears to travelers so weary from searching that they have earned the snow station. we meant to go back before the trip ended, but couldn't make it during open hours.

after our hours-long-should've-been-one-hour shave ice trek, we relaxed in the room & played kq5. we headed to umami burger for dinner, where i had a very delicious cali burger. i don't eat much red meat, but after hearing how their beef is handled, i relented & it was a joy. we headed to the observatory after that, for f2f's second night.

night 2 setlist
performing "big choice"
opener: guttermouth

i know you well
you lied
big choice
it's not over
debt *matt
late *matt
merry xmas
not enough
i used to think
not for free
don't turn away
walk the walk
you've done nothing *matt

the tracks marked *matt included a special appearance by matt riddle, part of the original face to face 3-piece. he helped write the songs on the album, & it was pretty astounding to watch him play with the band, as he hadn't done since 1995.

this was the least of the shows, but it's also the least strong of their first three albums. it was still super fucking awesome though, & we loved it. the only mild disappointment is that the rarities they played after the album were the same as the previous night. eh, couldn't really fault them for not wanting to re-learn unique rarities for each night ON TOP OF having to play ENTIRE albums that they've never fully played live... plus one of those tracks was "merry xmas", which is a high favorite & one i never thought i'd hear played live.

we finished kq5 after that & went to sleep somewhat more exhausted than the night before. one f2f show by itself is a workout; we were definitely feeling two in a row, haha.

sunday, december 28, 2014
we'd been staying in santa ana since that was nearest the concert venue, so we took sunday to drive down to LA proper. we left early & picked up my friend landon, who's an old co-worker & current friend of mine. he took us to guisados, which he claimed as the best mexican in LA. & damn, he was right. the housemade tortillas alone were worth eating there - thick, soft, utterly delicious. i had the sampler platter & stuffed myself silly with those & the cinnamoniest horchata ever.

we visited the la brea tar pits next, which i'd been interested in doing during the last trip, & it was really cool! i got to see actual bones of beasts found in the tar pits, as well as gaining a better understanding of the tar pits themselves. A+ museum, would museum again. we dropped landon off after that, & headed to...

k-zo. omg. we had the most amazing sushi there last time, & couldn't WAIT to go again. there wasn't much new that we hadn't tried before, but we re-ordered favorites, & had TWO pieces each of kurage (jellyfish) nigiri. o-m-g, SO FUCKING GOOD. the nodoguro (blackthroat), phil's favorite last time, was even more delicious this time. we finished with a very odd roll that included mountain yam, & we took it as a high compliment that the chefs, to whom we gave free reign, chose that for us.

we drove back to santa ana, hit no traffic, & arrived at our normal time at the venue.

night 3 setlist
performing "face to face"
opener: unwritten law

walk the walk
i won't lie down
can't change the world
everything's your fault
take it back
put you in your place
merry xmas
not enough
i used to think
not for free
don't turn away
you've done nothing
it's not over

this was the second-best show of the series, & we totally loved it. same rarities again, which we expected this time, & some repeat audience members each night, too - notably, some guy pushing 50 with a stark gray mohawk (awesome), a dude who wore the same descendents holiday sweater each night (holy hell i hope he owns a washing machine, 'cause ewww), & our PUNK TWINS. we're not sure if they showed up this way on purpose or not, but they both wore near-identical black & white plaid shirts with the sleeves cut off at the shoulder, black tshirts underneath, & jeans. it was adorable.

the trifecta tickets came with fancy foil posters signed by the band (they'd been selling them unsigned for $40 the previous nights!), so we picked those up & headed out back. we hung around for about forty minutes, but none of the band came out to say hi - can't say i blame them after putting in three nights of hard work. we left when i figured it'd gone past the point where the band would expect someone to still be waiting on them. oh well, i had met trever before anyhow, but i'd've liked phil to have that experience, too.

monday, december 29, 2014
phil drove me through chick-fil-a again to get lunch for the airport, & we swung by to pick up his girl seok before heading to LAX. i made it home after two planes & a very kind last-minute ride offer from gorthok.

at home, i ordered a frame for the poster, died from pneumonia, then finally hung it the night before doing this writeup. in the bottom corner i added the ticket stub to cover the poster company's logo. X)

man, what a fun trip. thanks especially to my newly bald friend phil for exponentially increasing the awesomeness! :)

next post: my NEW BABBY SNEK

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