Around the Clock Trivia: WBFF’s First Legit Reader Contest

While I’m busy cleaning up my puppy’s bodily fluids (and solids), I thought it would be fun to engage my readers in a game of “guess those 12 random locations.”

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I’m a pretty big Pinterest basher. After all, it’s the thing that causes every girlfriend to freak out when you throw away a wine cork (“I was gonna use that wine cork to make a corkboard, and then use the corkboard to make homemade wine corks!!!”)

But I’ll be the first to admit that Julie hit a home run with her Pinterest-inspired homemade wall clock:

Rather than use pictures of ourselves for the 12 numbers—which would have been a progression of photos with me wearing less and less clothes in each—we chose 12 different locations that had some kind of meaning or relevance to both of us or at least one of us.

The challenge to my readers, of course, is to name all 12 locations. You don’t need to be too specific…the town or city will do. For instance, if we had a picture of the Space Needle on the clock, you could guess Seattle and you’d be right (we don’t have Seattle by the way).

The first person to guess all 12 locations correctly—and since there’s no way anyone will be able to do that, I’ll award the person who gets the most correct—will win an actual prize with real value. Even if you’re unsure, give it a try. My prediction is that no one gets more than eight right.

The prize will be your choice of a fully paid In-n-Out Burger meal (this prize can only be redeemed in LA, in person) or a specially autographed photo of two of LA’s most famous people (shipping included).

Below are the 12 pictures with a corresponding number before each picture. Please reply in the comments section, email me, tweet me or MySpace Message me:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

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Throwing Down the Gauntlet on LA’s Toughest Physical Challenge

Do these stairs look intimidating?  I can’t tell if this photo does them justice, but they are fucking ridiculous.  I’ve tried walking up them twice now, and the next time I go, I’m taking camping gear and setting up shop at the halfway point on night one.  It’s about a three-day journey to the top at my pace.

I haven’t even begun exploring LA’s most difficult hikes or running trails, but I’m calling it already: this staircase at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City is the toughest workout you can get in the city.

Beyond the fact that it’s like a third of a mile straight uphill, the stairs are completely uneven and awkwardly spaced so you’re sometimes taking two or three steps in between each stair.

I’m throwing out the challenge to all comers now: visit me in LA and run all the way up the stairs (and live to tell the tale), and I’ll buy you In-n-Out Burger or Five Guys as a reward.

If you think you’re in shape, I promise you’ll rethink that after the staircase-of-death challenge.  Just look at the people in this picture who are either stopping mid-stairclimb to rest or actually having to sit down on the stairs.

The allure of the stairs is the promise of amazing views of the entire LA area at the top.  I tried to take a picture of the view, but threw up all over my phone instead.

Adventures in Relocating: Exploring the Five-Block Radius Around my Apartment

I guess by now I was supposed to have explored a lot of Los Angeles, considering I moved three weeks ago.  The girlfriend arrives on Friday, and she’s probably gonna ask me all sorts of questions I don’t have answers for, like, “Where’s the nicest beach?” and, “Where do you like to get your hair done?”

Only problem is I haven’t been to the beach, and I definitely haven’t gone to the salon since I’ve been in LA.  The first 10 days were a waste because I was laid up on the couch with a herniated disc in my back that was caused by three straight days of moving (OK, it wasn’t anything nearly as severe as a herniated disc; it was actually just a stiff neck, but a really stiff neck!).

But once I was out of the ICU, you’d think I’d start exploring my new city, right?  Am I allowed to say that exploring LA completely on my own never sounded like fun?  That I’m not in the same mindset I was when I traveled by myself through Europe and Australia three years ago, willing to go anywhere and meet anyone?  Also I knew that once Julie got down here she was going to want to explore all the popular places anyway, no matter how lame I tell her they are.  So I’m waiting.

But before I moved down here, LA experts told me that I better live in an area that had everything I’d need close by…restaurants, bars, grocery store, hospital, homeless shelter, and any friends you actually want to keep up with.  Obviously this is because of the ridiculous traffic and how spread out the city is.

So if I couldn’t explore all of LA in my first three weeks, the least I could do is explore the five-block radius around my apartment.  I wanted to know what’s within walking distance, hoping to minimize how often my car leaves the garage.

Here’s what I’ve discovered is within reasonable walking distance of my apartment:

-Essential fast food: In-n-Out Burger, Rally’s Burgers, Wendy’s…In hot weather, I typically average nine milkshakes per week.  All three of these restaurants meet my requirements of proximity and shake thickness.

-Essential fast casual Mexican: Chipotle…How I haven’t eaten here for 20 straight days is a mystery.

-Restaurants: Millions of them, an abundance of Thai places, Harrison Ford’s son’s restaurant, no big deal

-Bars: My biggest concern moving to Culver City was a perceived lack of dive bars in the area, places I could get a $2 PBR and the only food they serve is the three bags of chips hanging in the corner.  I still haven’t found any true dive bars in walking distance to my apartment, but I have found a couple decent sports bars.  They’ll each go through try outs in August to see which one turns into my Sunday football bar.

-Grocery Stores: Trader Joe’s, Albertson’s, Smart & Final.  The S&F is so close I could go purchase something right now and get back before you finish reading this sentence.

-Cosmetic Surgery Facility: For the ass implants I’m planning to get eventually.

-Hospital/ER: For future slipped disc issues

-Starbuck’s: I still don’t drink coffee, but I can suck down a hot cocoa like a champ.

-Farmer’s Market: Tuesday afternoons, meaning if you live in Culver City, you have to choose between having a job or getting fresh vegetables.

-Movie Theater: Apparently it’s a good thing this is so close because my go-to activity for when I’m bored and by myself is seeing a movie.  I’ve seen four and counting since I’ve been down here on my own.

-Frozen Yogurt: For when I’ve overdone it on milkshakes.

-Dry Cleaners: Assuming one day I come out of retirement and look for a job, might have to get the suits that currently sit in a ball in my closet dry-cleaned.

-Brazilian Steakhouse: Already bought a Groupon deal to eat here soon. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a brazilian steakhouse, slap yourself in the face and then go find the nearest one now.

-Sony Studios: People have suggested I should sit outside the Sony buildings and write movie scripts all day, theorizing that someone who works for Sony might see me and offer me a job.  More likely someone will see me there day after day and call the Cops.

-City Hall & Police Department: No idea what the benefit is to having these things close to me, but it can’t be a bad thing, right?

-Culver City Park: A pretty decent park that includes basketball courts, baseball fields and a skate park (three things I will never use), running/hiking areas (which I will use), and a pretty sweet dog park (debatable whether I’ll ever use this or not):

-Balona Creek: Sure, there’s nothing pretty or scenic about it (see picture below), but it’s a four-mile bike and running trail that goes to the beach, meaning you can run or bike to the beach and back and never have to deal with cars or traffic lights.  Even if some of the Yelp reviews told stories about women getting attacked by homeless people along the creek, well, good thing I’m not a woman (if Julie ever has to be on the trail alone at night, I’ll arm her with a butter knife or water gun).

-Flower Shop: Obviously good to have right next to my apartment for when I piss Julie off by suggesting she ride her bike alone along Balona Creek.

Basically what I’m saying through this long-winded blog is good luck getting me to leave Culver City once I do the obligatory one month of LA exploring in July.