Friday, June 22, 2012

Someone Should Make a Public Restroom App For People Like Me

We're still recovering from The Great Flood of 2012, and as part of that recovery, we need to find a desk to replace the one that was doused in poop water.  It hasn't been easy finding a replacement.  As is usually the case, we have caviar taste on a tuna fish budget.

After doing some online searching, we found a desk that seemed to have potential.  Unfortunately, the closest store to have it in stock was all the way in the Valley, so Saturday, we piled into the minivan and took a little road trip to the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

For any of you who grew up in Southern California during the 80s, the words "Sherman Oaks Galleria" should conjure images of Jeff Spicoli and valley girls who sound like that Kardashian sister...the short one with the baby (not Khloe, not Kimmie..I can never remember that last one's name).  Anyway, imagine a town full of girls who sound like that.  I know.  One of them is bad enough.

Since the shop we were headed to was located at the Galleria , we thought it would make a nice little outing to visit the place made famous by Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

The Sherman Oaks Galleria back in the day.
What a disappointment that turned out to be.  Turns out the place was torn down and rebuilt into a restaurant/movie theater/gym multiplex, with a furniture shop tacked on.  For all the foot traffic and terrible parking it had, this place offered very little that held our interest.

But I suppose it didn't matter much, because I wasn't feeling too well and was ready to go home from the moment we arrived.  You see, I have a finicky stomach.  Ever since having my gall bladder removed 10 years ago, I've had to be especially careful with what I eat and how I eat.  It's nothing I can't work around, I just know that I shouldn't skip breakfast, and I shouldn't have a meal less than 1.5 hours before a trip.  Otherwise I take the chance of my stomach making life difficult for me.  And by difficult, I mean pain-filled and embarrassing.

I've managed fairly well and haven't had problems in a while, so when I realized that I hadn't eaten breakfast (and lunchtime was fast approaching), I threw care to the wind and suggested The Meat Locker for lunch.  I was in the mood for bbq, and this place has a good hot link sandwich.  The kind that leaves your lips burning.

Unfortunately, my stomach was having none of that, as was evidenced about 20 minutes after taking my last bite.  I'm very familiar with how this is going to progress, and it's about now that I start weighing my options, developing a strategy for how I will approach this situation.  "If I can make it to the Galleria, there'll be a bathroom there..."

Turns out this was no regular stomach revolt.  My belly was TICKED OFF and was not going to let me get away with a simple visit to the restroom.  Oh no, not this time.

You know the kind of pain you get when it feels like you need to stay near a bathroom or else something mortifying is bound to happen?  And that feeling just lasts and lasts, making you wonder if anything is ever to come of it?  That's how my Saturday went.  Despite the pain, we managed to visit the furniture store, found nothing, wandered the Galleria, found nothing, and decided to drive down Ventura Boulevard, looking for a hidden gem of a furniture store that would carry the desk of our dreams.

We got about 2 miles down Ventura Blvd, when we found our first furniture store.  By then, I was practicing my lamaze breathing, because the pains were coming so fast and furiously that I couldn't speak, let alone peruse the aisles of a furniture store.  BH ran in, found nothing desk-like, and ran back out.  At that point, I told him, "we need to find a restroom." And thus began our tour of Southern California's public restrooms.

Fyi, the McDonalds on Ventura Blvd, near Woodman has outstanding facilities.  I would recommend this one to any of my friends.

By the time we made it home, I had spent about two hours staring at the tiles of various restrooms across the valley.  And my poor BH and kids had lots of quality time together in the minivan, waiting.

But not all was lost on this trip.  While visiting the Vons Pavilions restroom in Woodland Hills, BH and the boys decided to use this time to shop the toy aisle at the grocery store.  By the time I came out, winded, they were knee deep in matchbox toys.  They spent way too much time trying to decide on which they wanted.  I tend to get antsy with stuff like this, so I suggested we get going.  To which he thoughtfully replied, "I was just trying to kill time, so you could go again in a little while.  Get comfortable."

He's a keeper.

Turns out his tactic wasn't foolproof, but what it did do was buy us enough time to coincidentally be in line at precisely the same time that Lou Diamond Phillips was in line paying for his groceries.

Lou Diamond Phillips?  Yes, Lou Diamond Phillips.

There we were, sharing the same grocery store air with the guy from La Bamba.

Pa-da-da-da-da-da Bamba!

Given the state I was in, I was in no mood to even consider a meet and greet.  So I settled for a paparazzi-esque photo of him as he drove by in his black SUV.

Truly, I could just be pulling your leg with this photo.

I wish I could say this was where the tour ended, but sadly, it was not.  At some point, late in the afternoon, I finally recovered.  Not feeling energetic enough to cook dinner, we went to Taco Bell.

I skipped dinner.

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