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How I rationalized spending an embarrassing amount of money on a day trip to LA 

Do you ever say or do something and then instantly regret it?

click to enlarge NO RAGRETS Based on an illustration by Aubrey Beardsley, my new tattoo was hand-poked with love at Come What May in LA. - PHOTOS BY KASEY BUBNASH
  • Photos By Kasey Bubnash
  • NO RAGRETS Based on an illustration by Aubrey Beardsley, my new tattoo was hand-poked with love at Come What May in LA.

That's how I feel essentially all the time—I've been told I lack a filter—and it's especially how I felt after I scheduled an appointment with a semi-famous and very expensive tattoo artist ... in the middle of the day on a Thursday ... in LA.

I don't know how much the general public knows about journalists working in the local news industry, but we certainly aren't rich. In fact, those of us who are just starting out are often barely scraping by.

So to not only drop several hundred dollars on some useless body art, but to then also use up an entire vacation day to do so AND spend additional money driving to and from LA in a single day? It's obviously a horrible decision.

But what can I say? I got caught up in the cool Instagram photos of tattoos and the fact that this particular artist would only be in LA for a week or so. I got lost in the idea of being anywhere but the office, where I would usually be fielding angry phone calls, on a weekday.

So here I am, on the way to LA on a sunny and cloudless Thursday morning, with plans to use up a good portion of my already lacking savings on gas, delicious food, museum visits, and a professional poking and prodding.

My boyfriend—who only gently judges me for the ridiculous choices I make—is driving. We're several episodes deep into our favorite podcast, The Moth, and running right on schedule.

First stop: Pizzeria Mozza.

If you've ever watched Chef's Table (I've watched every episode but I am not and do not claim to be a food expert, so please leave me alone), you'll know why we chose this particular place for lunch. There's this really great episode of Chef's Table all about Chef Nancy Silverton and her obsession with baking the perfect loaf of bread.

click to enlarge THAT'S AMORE Chef Nancy Silverton serves up incredible pizzas at a reasonable price, and with near perfect crusts, at Pizzaria Mozza in LA. - PHOTOS BY KASEY BUBNASH
  • Photos By Kasey Bubnash
  • THAT'S AMORE Chef Nancy Silverton serves up incredible pizzas at a reasonable price, and with near perfect crusts, at Pizzaria Mozza in LA.

Pizzeria Mozza is one of Silverton's restaurants in LA, and the cheapest of them all. We arrive right at noon. We order two pizzas: one topped with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere cheese, and sage, the other with broccoli spigarello, caciocavallo cheese, onion cream, garlic, chili flakes, and Parmesan.

It. Is. Incredible. The crust! It's the best I've ever had. So bubbly and crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside! So thin and floppy yet strong enough to hold the delectable toppings horizontally! I'm in pizza heaven, and although my boyfriend says he's had better pizza in Italy, I've never been there, and this is the best pie this tongue has ever had the pleasure of tasting. (Again, I'm not a pizza expert so please don't call or email to tell me that Pizzeria Mozza sucks. I don't care what you think.)

Bellies filled with cheese and bread—which is arguably the worst time do something you're really nervous about—we head to Come What May, an inconspicuous little tattoo shop on West Washington Boulevard.

My tattoo artist is only a guest at Come What May for a few days. She's from Canada but travels to different shops around the world, doling out the effortless-looking and beautifully subtle hand-poked tattoos she's known for.

click to enlarge I LOVE YOU FOR INFINITY The Broad is almost too good to be true. It's free, there's parking, and I was able to experience one of Yayoi Kusama's famous infinity mirror installations. - PHOTOS BY KASEY BUBNASH
  • Photos By Kasey Bubnash
  • I LOVE YOU FOR INFINITY The Broad is almost too good to be true. It's free, there's parking, and I was able to experience one of Yayoi Kusama's famous infinity mirror installations.

I'm paying extra for a customized design, which is based on an Aubrey Beardsley illustration that Oscar Wilde commissioned in the late 1800s to be published alongside his controversial play, Salomé. In the play, which is based on a story from the Bible, a girl named Salomé convinces her stepfather to kill John the Baptist and give her his head on a silver platter after she dances for him at a dinner party. It's really Salomé's mother who wants the head because she has some longstanding beef with John the Baptist.

It's a great story, but I really just love the illustrations. So I guess I want to look at one of them every day for the rest of my life? I don't know, man. Tattoos are weird.

When it's finished (and it's more beautiful than I ever thought it could be) we head to our 6 p.m. appointment at The Broad, a contemporary art museum that is somehow, some way, free to enter. I'm not expecting it to be an amazing experience, but alas, it is. We get to see much of what I learned about in high school art history—from Andy Warhol to Kara Walker—and pieces from some of my personal favorites, including Cy Twombly, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Yayoi Kusama.

On the way out of LA we stop at Hasiba for the best hummus I've ever tasted in my life, and then we drive back to SLO without issue.

I feel all warm inside as I finally lie down in bed that night. It's been a perfect day. Everything went as or better than planned. So I guess every once in a while making totally irrational decisions pays off, and ends up feeling perfectly rational. Δ

Staff Writer Kasey Bubnash is officially on a fiscal freeze. Send thoughts to kbubnash@newtimesslo.com.

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