The LA Auto Show is Coming


Remember a couple of days ago when I was all, “I love my kids and I want to spend time with them.”?

Well, that was a few days ago & I still love my kids but I am about to abandon them for three days and I’m totally okay with that. It’s AUTO SHOW TIME. I’m starting to get emails from the manufacturers about parties, press conferences and off sites and I realize that I’m looking forward to this more than I ought to.

The folks at Lexus won’t tell me what they’re unveiling but I did recently attend an event where I got to sit in and start the engine on the 467 hp RC F (apparently open bar and actually driving the cars isn’t a good mix). It’s their new coupe that is styled much more like a European car than any other Lexus in the lineup. I didn’t get to drive it but I can tell you that there’s a certain rumble one enjoys when starting up a motor of a certain size and this didn’t fail to delight. I’m looking forward to taking a spin even if I have to do it at a dealership.

lexus RC F

The grill is made up entirely of Lexus L’s

I think I’ll try to plan a story about the Lexus F collection. I’d driven an F from Lexus before, in fact we had an extended drive in the 450 RXF and covered two states and 1,200 just a few years ago. We as a family loved that car and now I’m noticing that there’s a full collection of F or F Sport vehicles which are sportier versions of the standards.

I’m curious to see what all the manufacturers are doing but the cars I’m looking forward to learning more about are the Lexus CT200h, Ford C-MAX Energi, the entire Mini Cooper line, 4 series BMW, Volkswagen Jetta and the Beetle. Of course I’ll ogle the luxury lines and dream about the day that I can afford a Bentley or Rolls Royce and I’m going to hit as many press conferences as I can but I’ve got my sights set on a few of these cars. You know… because I’m basically staying home and hanging with my family, expect when there’s rubber and metal on display.

Oh, also, Mr. G is celebrating a big birthday so we just bought him a big car. I haven’t driven it yet. In fact I’ve hardly sat in it.


I’m ThisClose to Becoming a Dirty Hippie


The Auto Show wore me out. I mostly forget that I have RA these days. I have this baseline amount of pain that’s really quite tolerable. It keeps me from doing stupid things like handstands but it’s not enough to remind me that holding this camera for six hours will hurt my wrists.

When I say “hurt” I don’t mean ache. I mean the kind of searing pain that makes you want to cry like a 3 year old. When I overuse my hands they go cold and then they go numb and the only sensation that pokes through the numbness is the burning pain that also serves to totally depress me.

When I was first diagnosed with RA that was the pain I was living with day and night. So even though it infuriates me that my body has betrayed me like this and the pain is back it also reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to have a (mostly) well controlled disease. Yes, I’d like to be in a remission but the reality is that I may never get there. I’d like to arrest the disease and make sure it stays confined to my hands and feet.

In any event I’ve found that the most magnificent, albeit time consuming, way to control both the pain and inflammation is acupuncture. I don’t even believe in acupuncture. I’m pretty sure I show up for an hour, a crazy lady with perfect skin puts a couple dozen needles in me, I listen to Howard Stern (you know to get my qi flowing) and fall deeply asleep for an hour while the acupuncturist and her assistant sit around giggling about the stupid people with needles in their faces.

But even with that it helps. I’m typing today and I haven’t taken a narcotic in almost a year, since the time I discovered acupuncture for flares.

I’ve also started juicing.

If you smell a whiff of patchouli on me or hear me mention “recycled clothing” for the love of all things holy please do an intervention.


You’re Not Media You Can’t Come In


I spent the day at the LA Auto Show. This is my sixth or seventh year where I’ve attended as credentialed media and it’s the first year where I felt like I had a valid plan of attack. I decided to skip the press conferences and to pick one car from each manufacturer to photograph and follow up on at a later date.

The best laid plans…

I have to confess that I got incredibly distracted once I hit the Convention Center floor. There were only three Bentleys and I diligently slobbered over all three of them. I swooned over a Morgan display, ogled the Plus 4 and fell hard for the Callaway Corvette and trucks on display.

I am polyamorous with the cars. I can’t even apologize for it any more.

This year is a good year though. This year I’m looking at cars I love but I’m also looking at cars I might buy. We have two leases ending in just months and to say I’m excited about two new cars is like saying Lady Gaga is slightly eccentric. I am over the moon… except there’s one thing.

Last week I’d decided that I want to keep my car. I cannot tell you how much I love my Lexus. Unfortunately they no longer make the HS so if I want to stay in it I’d need to buy my car at the end of the lease. This is a horrendous fiscal decision that just about everyone regrets but one I’m ready to make because I just love that Lexus so much. Every time I almost run out of gas I giggle because I used to fill up every Friday and now I fill up every two weeks or so, longer if I’ve had a press car. I don’t know how much gasoline costs because it’s not a meaningful part of my budget.

Everything in that car is perfect, except that it’s almost three years old.

So I’m looking at all the hybrids (I’m a hybrid devotee) and there’s a sea of Priuses, a C-Max that I’m dying to really drive and a few options from BMW. Something happened and I was pulled over to Lexus where I was prepared to be disappointed but then the heavens parted, angels played harps, butterflies danced on rainbows and I saw the GS450h. The bamboo trimmed interior made me think of a spa and the 348 hp combined with 34 mpg ratings had me looking for Ashton Kutcher to tell me I’d been punked. There are a zillion details on the GS450h that I’m looking forward to exploring when I finally get behind the wheel and one of them is the triple memory seat. I personally like to use two memory settings for just myself. I sit two basic ways, one with a ponytail, and one without. When my hair is up behind me I need the seat to recline a little further. I have a lot of hair.

There are a few places to eat during press days. My favorite is always Porsche. I’d been there in the morning for a German sausage and fruit cup and on my way out of the show I thought I’d pop into Auto Trader’s media booth for a bottle of water.

I went to walk in and a man in a suit asked me if I was media. I showed him this.

Well, I didn’t show it to him so much as he lifted it up to examine it and he said to me, “This lounge is only for real media.”

I may have stuttered. I didn’t quite know what to say.

“This is only for real journalists.” He repeated and pulled his iPhone out of his pocket (hello irony) to ignore me a while.

I started to walk away when he sort of tsched me. You know that horrible sound that middle school girls do when they don’t like someone. That’s the sound that the Auto Trader guy gave me. I turned around and I was going to say something to him but then he was staring at me again like he hated me.

And this is where I knew I was an adult. I didn’t mention to him that the Auto Trader is no longer in print. I didn’t scream at him about how he didn’t know that media was in his pocket and his grubby hand. I bit my tongue when I saw his cheap suit and bad haircut and I walked away.

I don’t even hate Auto Trader. I just really really dislike that guy.

I guess I’m growing up.