After a harrowing three-leg flight, I arrived much the worse for wear, and am only now starting to feel normal. The sun is slow breaking through the overcast today, which is just fine; all this Saturday morning it has been quiet, with no one stirring except for the hummingbirds and the cheeky gray-headed jays.
I won't detail the horrors of cattlecars-in-the-air, since you've all been there too, except to note that in the Minneapolis airport I was surprised to discover how fast and far I can still run.
While Ron and Claire were busy packing for their trip to Asia and doing the thousand other things that had to be wrapped up, I just sat outside like a zombie, not only to stay out of their way, but because that's all I was up to doing. The gentle weather has been healing, and I'll never fail to be amazed at the wonderful food growing in the yard: apples, apricots, tomatoes and oranges. The hibiscus and roses aren't edible, but feed the spirit.
Yesterday morning I was pumped up to take that lovely 2 1/2 mile round-trip walk to Java Station, and check on any changes during the past year, before diving into that lovely sixteen ounces of Kona coffee. But, aaargh! -- my favorite yellow-painted wood tables outside are GONE, an action taken by the new owners. The endless wait to get into the unisex restroom remains the same.
Two houses that had been for sale for over a year had the signs down, but may not have sold. The six lovely new Spanish-style houses at the very end of Vieja Rd., two blocks away from Ron's, are all STILL for sale over a year after they were finished (there are currently over 2,000 homes on the market in L.A., Ventura and Santa Barbara counties priced at $2 million or more. That's just unreal). Our favorite place, on the end of the spur and backing up to the vast and undeveloped Mesa bordering the ocean, has been reduced from $2 mil to $1.8 mil -- when Nancy comes out, we have to hop on that deal!
Well, probably not.
Saw a sign on the back of a truck yesterday: Sodem & Gromora Landscaping.
I wish I could transport (NOT by plane) all you out here to walk along Old Vieja Road, which shows as a regular route on the map, but is anything but. Half is paved, with beautiful, peaceful houses and estates, but then it ends at a metal barricade, with a low section for horse riders to pass over. From then on it's dirt, bordered by dozens of huge eucalyptus trees, exuding that unmistakable Vicks VapORub odor. Their smooth trunks are swirled with subtle colors that have no names and would drive someone who's tripping right over the edge (disclaimer: this blog does not advocate altered states of consciousness, in public at least). Great mounds of some species of shrub are covered with red flowers whose petals look and feel just like tissue paper. Hundreds of horseshoe impressions indent the dusty trail, and of course you have large steaming mounds of horse product to step around. Astonishingly rural scenes in the midst of uber-class surburbia: not only many horses, but chickens, ducks and goats while Audis are parked in driveways. You know the Corollas belong to the maids.
Weird Scene on De La Vina Street: I went to a free music event held in the performance space next to Jensen's Guitar & Music last night, billed as "Noise/Experimental/?" The first group, Soul Manure, "played" a fairly long piece with an old Japanese movie projected on the back curtain, a TV on showing skateboarding, and instrumentation of violin, guitar, electric bass played with a bow, and keyboard. Second, a soloist from L.A. sat on the floor in the dark with one blue light, playing long sustained notes on an old Fender, with an iPod providing whooshing sea sounds and then what must have been a hurricane in progress. He said he was on tour for 2 1/2 weeks, so there must be an audience here for this digital-age Warhol happening stuff. Who knew?
I bought a cool 45-watt used amp at Jensen's, same brand I have at home, but this one has a fuzz-type effect on one channel. I was lucky it was a good buy, but boy are things more expensive out here (about 9.5% sales tax, too).
On the national scene, a clever writer in the Washington Post skewered Fox Noise nicely:
"The world. Flat. We report, you decide." Teach the controversy!
The sun's out now, so I must be too. Your intrepid reporter will probably have some more odd tales to relate, so tune in next week!