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The No Facebook Experiment : Day 5

No Facebook For A Week: Day 5: Friday, July 2, 2010

Text Contacts with FB Friends: 2
Email Contacts with FB Friends: 3
Telephone Contacts with FB Friends: 2
In-Person Contacts with FB Friends: 3

Friday was a day where I got some things done – mainly a long-overdue oil change for my ’05 Saturn which I originally intended to celebrate its 5th birthday with (the birthday car wash is still overdue…). My friend and bandmate Keith’s brother-in-law Ramon works as a manager at a Mountain View GoodYear Tire facility in Duarte. Even moreso, that brother-in-law happens to be an old friend of mine from junior high school, whom I’ve known for some 25 ears already. The result was not only an awesome discount, but a cool way to catch up with my old pal, whom I last saw nearly two years ago, and some nine years before that.

Best of all, I got to see up close the car inspection process – something I’m usually afforded from a considerable distance – and got to see up close the underside of my 2005 Saturn ION2. The car was in pretty good condition, save for tire wear and a minor fluid leak in one of the front axles. I was also amazed how relatively clean the underside was – I was expecting a bunch of caked-on crud.

Some minor repairs and an eventual tire replacement was in my future, but nothing immediate or urgent. Best of all was the interaction aspect. A lot of people in the service industry strive to “be your friend,” some genuinely, most superficially, but having an actual friend of yours work on your car is an unexpected luxury.

Ramon also inquired about my band playing at his daughter’s 16th birthday party next Spring, he was already planning for it. Either way, I’ll be seeing him again in the near future, or at least every 3,000 miles or so.

Later I took my time heading back via Pasadena (I glanced at my old office building, just once, if only to be thankful of the fact that I wasn’t inside), dropped by The Whistle Stop on Colorado to browse, and back through Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

Later that evening, I took a bike ride with my friend Rod, a fellow hardcore cyclist type, and we took a nighttime jaunt with our road bikes to Downtown Los Angeles via Sunset and Glendale Boulevards, winding up in front of  Little Tokyo’s 2nd Street Jazz where Rod recognized a friend of his, who was also someone I knew – Tim, who plays bass for a band that had a show there. Though it’s a jazz club, all the acts tonight played rock/metal. I also spotted another FB friend, Patrick, who was playing guitar for another band that was on the bill that night. Rod and I locked our bikes and went in, I also took the opportunity to chat with the club’s owner, Ko Matsumoto, who called me earlier in the week, and touch base for a show he wants the Soul Barkada to play there on August 4.

While hanging out outside, I sent texts to another friend of mine (on FB) who happens to live across the street, but after responding later, he informed me that he was heading home from the Westside and was preparing for a flight out of town in the morning. I also texted my sister in the Philippines, who responded via email since part of the text was cut off. Spitz Little Tokyo across the street had a live DJ and was blasting Empire of the Sun’s “Standing On The Shore”; I was actually more excited about that than the live music back on the other side of the street (Relax, Elson, you’ll see them live at the Music Box on August 13).

Afterward, Rod and I met up with a couple friends of his in front of the Caltrans building on Main street, where they were supposed to be taking pictures. It was there that I rode a “fixie,” or a fixed-gear bike for the first time. Nice and light, but kind of strange – especially when you pedal hard and expect to coast when the rear wheel nearly starts kicking you in the ass. Call me old school, but I kind of like freewheeling; it’s my compromise with the forces of gravity after working hard pedaling uphill – and the breezy downhill coast is the reward.

The four of us rode our bikes through Downtown, through the Arts District and L.A. Live, and heading back via 7th Street. Rod was half-jokingly asking me if I was ready to be a convert to the fixie world, but after telling me stories about fixies getting jacked and complaining about leg pain after practicing his skidding moves, I don’t expect to be joining Fixie Nation anytime soon. After 7th St, we rode up New Hampshire, where he went home via 4th Street and I continued north back to East Hollywood.

Facebook is great and all, but interacting with friends, whether old or new,  in person, is much better.

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