Liz Phair and meteors and sleepy drives, Oh My!

So last night Liz and I had one of those unplanned experiences that reminds you why you're getting into this crazy thing called marriage to begin with.

It all began on Wednesday when Liz told me that rock chick extraordinaire, Liz Phair, was going to be playing three sold out shows at the Troubador in Hollywood. My Liz has always been a fan of that Liz for as long as she's known her. I remember when we first drove to Los Angeles on that soul-revealing trip in May, 1999 that a new Liz Phair album had just been released so we bought it at some random Wal-Mart outside of Houston. (That was also the first day we noticed the slow leak in one of my tires, something we had fixed 800 miles later at another Wal-Mart in Roswell, New Mexico, but that's another story for another day.) Anyway, all three shows this week were acoustic, which meant it would be more of the classic Liz Phair and less of the poppy, recent side of herself.

So my Liz got up the next day and went to work at the Hospital thinking no more of it, and I scoured Craig's List looking for tickets. I couldn't find any, so I did what usually NEVER works. I posted an add looking for tickets at face value. (Which, being a small show was only twenty bucks). Later that day I check my email and see my ad has been answered and we would be going that night. I text a message to Liz at work sharing the news.

A bit later in the day, I'm reading news online and see a piece about the annual Perseid meteor shower. Now it runs from late July through mid August every year, but there's one specific time where it peaks. This year it just happened to be last night...or early this morning--1:18AM here in the west coast. The trouble with that is that in Hermosa if the light pollution isn't bad enough, there's almost always a guarantee of fog every single night. I kept the meteor shower in the back of my mind until later.

When Liz got home after her long day at the hospital, she was first a little grumpy that she would need to go to the gym quickly so we could meet the guy who had our tickets. With a little grumbling she kept her gym commitment and a smile came to her face by the time we left for West Hollywood.

After six years in this town, I was shocked to realize I've never been to the Troubador. It's a very old school little music venue, and it was perfect for the fun, intimate show. I could tell that Liz loved ever song and we left after the encore a bit after 11PM. After such a good show, we didn't want to go home...but what to do?

I suggested we go watch meteors--something not easily done from the heart of Los Angeles, but with two hours til peak time, we would be able to get out of the city. We debated between driving east to the desert or north to "canyon country." While the desert would have been much darker, it would also have been a much longer drive, something I'd later be glad we didn't choose. And with that we began the trek to no specific destination up to Canyon Country--a strange hilly area between the San Fernando valley and the fringe of the high desert in Palmdale. After about 75 miles, and an excursion into a town with no bathrooms and finally a Denny's filled with strung out teenagers, we finally exited onto a dark stretch of road. We found a safe spot, opened the convertible top, and looked up.

It wasn't quite the "shower " the articles promised, but that's because across the horizon there was still a lot of city glow from Los Angeles, Palmdale, and Santa Clarita. (Some say you can see as many as 240 meteors/hour at the peak if away from all light pollution.) But it was by no means a disappointment. We saw fast ones, slow ones, dim ones, and bright ones.

Liz devised a scale to explain the brightness of each meteor: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,bright I thought I saw one that was much brighter than a meteor she labeled a 7 and decided to add "super bright" at the end of the scale. Liz, however, will tell you that my scale is not official and that there is no super bright. (trust me, there is.) After nearly an hour it was starting to get cold, so we put the top back up and headed home. Somewhere between Northridge and LAX I started to become very tired, but we made it home safely.

So with all the hectic schedules and busy lifestyles, we can still sometimes find that random and totally fulfilling experience that helps us understand why we're happy with each other and that everything is exactly as it should be. (this is the part where you go...awwwwwwwwwww)


Liz Stiles said...


Liz Stiles said...
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