The Friday after Jilly and Ashley left I spent in bed with an unknown virus. I already felt it coming the day before but I just thought it was fatigue, but Thursday night I hardly slept because of a fever and a sore throat. On Friday I couldn’t even be nicely ill and watch films or read books because I couldn’t stay awake for more than an hour, and the trip to the chemist around the corner for orange juice and some extra vitamins proved to be quite a challenge, actually. Luckily I felt a bit better in the evening (not well enough for the ISD trip to a pub in Manhattan Beach for pre-St. Patrick’s day drinks unfortunately) and on Saturday I was only a bit tired still, so I could watch “No country for old men”. I am very happy that I was well enough on Sunday for a bigger adventure: the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, about two hours east of Los Angeles. I’m not really into tennis, but I’ve always enjoyed watching it on TV with mum (this doesn’t go for all sports she watches, such as ice-skating which I find incredibly boring to be honest). Anyway, Paul and I set out at 0830 to see what the desert is like, and it turned out to be quite pleasant. We first browsed around the practice courts, where we saw Nadal hitting some balls with Monfils. Then we saw snippets of matches on some of the smaller courts, browsed the merchandise, had some lunch, did the “how fast is your serve thing” (where my first attempt went flying over the fence, clearly I need to work on sending it towards the speed camera instead of up in the air) and finally we ended up on the main court where we stayed for pretty much the rest of the day. Because we had the cheapskate tickets we were sitting all the way up in the top, but we could still see what was going on very well and we also had a nice view of the mountains surrounding the grounds. The first full tennis match I ever saw live (not counting the one time where my dad had challenged my uncle Bert ;)) was a very enjoyable one between Tommy Haas and Andy Roddick. The next two games weren’t as interesting (Sharapova vs. Daniilidou and Federer vs Garcia-Lopez, although Federer does play extremely pretty tennis) but still fun.
Last week was work as always. A bit frustrating because I wanted to program something and found out that I don’t really master the “programming mindset”, which is fine, just something to work on. I did lose some precious time over it, but I also learnt to word things better through talking to various helpful people at ISI.
I also went to the cinema twice: on Thursday and on Friday. The first night to “In Bruges”, a most entertaining film, shot in Bruges, so lots of familiar sights and with some hilarious characters and a serious plot. The Landmark is also one of my favourite cinemas around here, for various reasons. Friday night a delegation of ISI went to see Horton hears a who at The Bridge, a cinema I’d never been to before. Apparently the Dr. Seuss books are very popular children’s books, but I’ d never heard of it. I was a bit sceptical beforehand about going to children’s film, but it was really good. Afterwards we had dinner at a nice Thai place and dessert at Ben and Jerry’s.
On Saturday there was stuff happening downtown. It also happened to be fabulous weather, so top down + airconditioning weather, the height of decadence ;). First stop was Bed Bath and Beyond for some feathery ammunition, the next stop was Pershing Square in downtown LA for World Pillow Fight Day!!! There is no way to put into words how much fun it is to smack total strangers with a pillow, so you should just go to go to my flickr set and/or watch this video. There were just feathers and laughing people everywhere…next year I’m definitely up for it again (wherever I may be then). After the police had ended the event we walked around the city centre for a bit. Had a look in the Central Library (gorgeous building & a lovely park next to it, mum, you’d love it!). Got told off by a security person for taking pictures of some stairs, because they were next to a bank building and because of 9/11 they can’t have people taking pictures things next to buildings…
Then there was some more walking around, towards MOCA which has some nice ponds and fountains, and past the Walt Disney concert hall (it’s still on my to do list to go to a concert there!) to the LA music centre pavilion which has fountains coming out of the ground, like in The Hague (only in The Hague the distance between them is wide enough to stand between them, here you do not want to do that). On the way back we called Gully to see whether he was up for drinks and dinner at a really cool place with a swimming pool on the roof (and also if he could tell us the exact address). The place turned out to be around the corner from the library, so when we were looking for it before we were pretty close. On the rooftop we lounged on the sofas on the fake grass, made a mental note to always have a bathing suit with us from now on for situations like these when you want to swim but can’t without being indecent and watched the lights come on in the city. When we got hungry we went downstairs and had a splendid dinner on the terrace, followed by a game of pool (after watching only one move I decided to refrain from messing up the game) in the uberhip lobby to the music of a DJ who was mixing vinyls…
Around 2300 it was time for some more decadence: going back to the Westside with the top down. (Especially after reading about the particularly cold Easter in the Netherlands I just have to rub this in).
Easter Sunday was easygoing, most of the time anyway. There was some work, but there was also some breakfast, some relaxing by and in a pool, retreating to the shade to avoid getting sunburnt, an afternoon nap, a fabulous home cooked dinner.
This week I ran on Monday, Wednesday and today (for those of you who don’t know, I’m trying to get my fitness up to a decent level again by running along the beach in the mornings) and yesterday evening I also went to yoga again for the first time in a while, which felt very good.
Now I’m off to sleep, it’s 23:13 here now and I have a telephone meeting again tomorrow at 08:00. Last day before the weekend though, so there will be a bagel brunch at ISI, as well as meeting with the reading group, which should all be cool.