Sometimes I get restless on school nights. It happens frequently this time of year. If you, dear reader, enjoy mathematics or logic, think of it this way: my total amount of motivation (M) is inversely proportional to how much work (W) there is to do. (Translation just in case you hate math and/or logic: the more work there is to do, the less motivation I have to do it.) I generally refer to this phase as "burn out," because after fourteen weeks of the grueling and exhausting task that is avoiding homework, I'm totally beat. As a graduate student, I've done this enough times that I've figured out a sort of system to get me through the semester. For instance, having gotten some of my work done today, I decided that I could leave the house for a short this evening.

I should have taken the "play first, then work" approach, because by the time I left the house, it was 8:40 pm. A time, I thought, that was perfect to hit a few stores to walk around a bit and maybe do some shopping (and simultaneously missing some of the earlier crowds). I thought wrong, evidently, because everything in this part of LA closes practically as soon as the sun sets. Nine o'clock rolls around and suddenly doors are barred and gruff security guards warn you that you'd better be either exiting the premises or else going to wait in line for the release of the new video game you've never even heard of at that one shop in the mall where there's a mass of people huddled together chattering excitedly and holding signs and wearing t-shirts to show their "true fan" dedication.

The whole time I just kept saying to myself, over and over, "Wait just a second. This is L.A. This is fucking L.A.!" As if saying that would make me snap out of the dream that had taken me back to a version of L.A. circa 1952 that, in addition to the general stores lining the dirt road, had stores that sold violent video games to those who would willingly stand in line for hours just so they could be among the first in the world to play it. At midnight. But dammit, they were going to close that store at 9 and make those loyal patrons stand there outside the store until midnight, at which time they'd let them in only to a specific spot, and then they'd make them purchase the thing right away before sending them the fuck home so they could close down again and be done with it.

Seriously, L.A. You're supposed to be all big and grown up, homes. And, you're supposed to be alive and kicking whenever I want you to be, dammit. I'm so disappointed in you right now.