Wednesday, April 9, 2008

One day until D-Day, 'Driving Day' that is...

House of Secrets comic shop window posterThat's right folks, only one day until D-Day, the 'D' standing for 'Driving' or maybe 'Disaster' - let's look on the bright side and hope it's the former!!

It's my first two hour lesson, so if you know anyone who may be in the Burbank or Glendale area in California, tell them to watch out for someone who may be driving on the wrong side of the road.

Not sure what type I'll be driving yet, or more importantly what colour it is, but I do know it's an automatic, which is such a relief. My last driving lessons were about 16 or so years ago, when after about 20 lessons and a mock driving test with my instructor I decided to not carry on learning. That was mainly down to the fact I didn't want to learn to drive - I've never had the urge to own a car or drive one, plus I hated how my instructor overused his training pedals for the brakes and clutch, which really put me off driving for years.

If we hadn't moved to L.A. I probably wouldn't have needed to learn any time soon. Living in London with all the transport links (that we love to moan about, but is still fantastic with the huge choice and regularity of buses, trains, tubes, boats and taxis), plus the ability to walk to most places if you wanted to, means you can get around without a car.

Plus it's expensive to run a car in London, with the Congestion Charge, astronomical cost of parking in Central London and lack of parking spaces near work. I think London is also a scary place to learn to drive as it's a city into which roads have had to be incorporated, whilst L.A. was almost built with cars in mind with its wide lanes and lack of pedestrian pavements. London drivers certainly do speed around those narrow city streets, so I think it will be easier to drive out here, especially as I'll be learning on the 'right' side of the road, with no UK driving history to confuse me.

So that's something to look forward to tomorrow. Today I've taken my weekly pilgrimage to the House of Secrets comic book shop in Burbank to pick up some reading material - sadly it's not a great week for new comics. Luckily I recently received an emergency entertainment package in the form of a copy of SFX and EMPIRE magazine from a kind British friend.

I do love magazines, especially UK ones. They are printed on such nice paper (American mags tend to be printed on poorer quality paper for weight as most of their circulation is via subscription, so it keeps mailing costs down) and they have that British wit and viewpoint (cynicism and sarcasm mostly), which you just can't get in mags over here (sorry, but it's true!).

Also just for all my ex-work friends (not ex-friends), you can take the boy oAdam Carolla, Comedian and radio personalityut of work, but.... I still can't resist looking at the home interest magazines whenever I go into a Barnes & Noble, Borders or a magazine kiosk. It's very strange to see all the 'export' copies of the mags, plus even those from my old BBC days. Not many copies of Ideal Home around though...


Anyway, in TV entertainment news, my most recent prediction, about who was voted off next on Dancing with the Stars, was absolutely correct (second time lucky I guess) and Adam Carolla is out! Next week will be more tricky to predict.

My last thought of the day really needs to go to this little gem I've walked passed before in Burbank, but didn't have my camera handy. Am I allowed to say 'only in America'??

Here's a classic piece of 'Americana' - the "God Shop!" It has to be right up there with pink-haired preacher lady.

The God Shop Gallery, Burbank CA
I'll go now, before I offend anyone else...

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