When you're about to leave on a multi-month, sort of planned trip and move out of your apartment, you will need a lot of energy. So get coffee. Lots of it. At all times of day.
Get breakfast at old school greasy spoons like Dinah's or Pepy's Galley (which as an added bonus is located in the Mar Vista Bowling alley). Wonder if you will be a cranky old person who eats the same thing at the counter every single day. If you keep eating chilaquiles and bacon every other day, realize you probably won't live as long as these grumps eating poached eggs. Enjoy making your endless refills of diner coffee different each time with those handy flavored creamers.
Walk to your neighborhood Starbucks instead of indulging in the daily afternoon nap of your early unemployment (i.e. last week). Here it is a lovely mix of young scruffy writerly types and old Jewish men. This is the magic of your neighborhood. In a moment of desperation, get coffee at 7-11, but don't be surprised when it's disgusting. Mislabeling Irish Cream as French Vanilla is a major blow to your taste buds.
Be fancy at Urth Caffe. Laugh at the ridiculous size of a Spanish Latte, but of course gobble it all up much too fast. And gobble is the right word because it's somehow more food than drink like -- maybe it's all that condensed milk in it? Sit on the patio and be judgmental of the Hollywood-ness. Instead of enjoying your final moments with your boyfriend, eavesdrop on the next table. It's not because you're a huge jerk. It would be impossible not to listen when the guy starts talking about his "very strong feminine energy" which is frequently mistaken for being gay. And then a very detailed comparison between the various life coaches the two have frequented.
2. Revisit a former hobby
Remember when you loved spinning? You even bought the shoes! So go back to the YAS spinning/yoga studio in Venice that you haven't been to in approximately 2 years. When you call to reserve a space in a spinning class (part of the 10 pack that you purchased in the Spring of '07), be prepared to wait while the receptionist digs through the inactive files. Shamble through some excuses over the phone to explain your hiatus. In class, pick a bike in the corner so you won't be shamed by your slowness and faux resistance dial turning. Even with your purposeful slacking, be prepared for the almost vomit feeling when the class is over. Laughingly compare this to the "workouts" you occasionally do on your own, barely breaking a sweat. Oh, this is what actually working out feels like: shitty.
3. Have some ethnic shopping adventures
Think of this as more "practice," like riding the bus. This is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Go to one of those mini market-cafeteria-restaurant combos, like Aladin Sweets & Market in Los Feliz (Indian/Bengali). You won't really understand how you're supposed to order. So you'll awkwardly hover around the tables, stack of menus, and the food counter/video rental area until someone notices you. There will be food sitting under heat lamps, much of it meat. Order what the lady recommends and don't worry about how long it's been sitting there. Your stomach needs to toughen up, anyway. Eat your mysterious but tasty brown dishes until you're in a meat/rice/fried stuff coma. Finish it out by browsing the market for some impulse treats like sweet toast, tea, and mango bars.
Go to the Elat Market in the afternoon if you feel like getting jostled and elbowed by 4 ft tall old Middle Eastern ladies. It is way crazier in the daytime than early evening – probably because the serious cooks spend all afternoon making dinner from scratch. Use your basket to push through the crowd in the produce section - especially by the fresh herbs. At the butcher, it's less pushing, more yelling. Exchange looks with the Mexican butchers when another little old lady freaks out because she thinks her number was skipped. Notice your American notions of personal space and orderly lines. Now you will actually appreciate your usual ghetto Vons experience for its lack of stress and polite shoppers.
4. Play outside
No matter how uncoordinated you are, go to the Los Feliz 9 hole golf course. There are so many reasons why. It's cheap because it's owned by the city. It was in Swingers. It's next to the scenic LA river. And it is a total joke. By the 2nd hole you will have forgotten to keep score - it is definitely way over 3, that's for sure. Even when your boyfriend surrounds the hole with his feet in a V, you'll miss the putt. It's ok. You'll throw your hand-me-down Wal-Mart golf clubs in mock anger and skip off to the next hole. And the semi-serious golfers around can't get mad at you – you’re wearing a sundress! And they know they need to be at a real golf course to expect real golf etiquette and taking the game seriously.