Our neighboor was outside drinking beer before 9:00 this morning. I'm entirely in favor of that, even though I could never manage it myself. We've woken up pretty early the last couple days, and I rather like it: I can get alot done in the morning before I eat breakfast, and then even if things go downhill from there I've still been productive. Only problem is it's hard to get up early and then still stay up this late (which I did and Leah did too because we were doing more inventory business at the store). As a result I am very very tired, and can barely type. So I will stop now.
So not only was Michelle featured more prominantly on tonight's Tru Calling, she was the one who died! She got to groan dramatically and grab the lead girl's ankle and say 'you have to help me!' with a scary face and anything. She even got to act opposite Jason Priestly! That's what you get when you're a real actor, I guess. You also get people asking you if people really have sex with each other when they're filming sex scenes, and you get to respond in the negative, even if you've never been in one yourself. The episode wasn't bad, much better than the last one we watched; but the show that followed it, which we watched as well, was much better. Fox has clearly hit on a clever marketing strategy: get actors people know in person to act in their shows, providing a lead-in to other shows! Or something like that. I admit that some of the finer intricacies of the tv broadcasting world are probably beyond me.
Leah did something very nice for me, or rather gave up the chance to do something. I sure appreciate it. So no writing tonight, just spending time with the love of my life.
If I miss a day can I blame it on daylight savings time?
Today is Palm Sunday, of course, and we went to church and all that (one note: I expected, being in California at all, that we'd get palms off an actual tree, but no: they were the exact same you see in our Boston churches). But that was ages ago, and now there's something else we're focusing on, that makes the day notable. And that something, of course, is baseball. I saw some children playing a league game last week or something (this being tropical LA they start early, I guess), but now we get the real thing; and thanks to happy coincidence the first game (not counting that Yanks-Devil Rays nonsense in Japan), ESPN's 'opening night,' is Boston-Baltimore.
However, while watching the game on ESPN is all well and good, folks can do that anywhere in the country. Folks who don't care about the Sox, or even folks who don't care about baseball! I need to do better than that. Thankfully, MLB.com is there to help me out: for a low low fee of only $14.95 they let me listen to all the games I care to via interent radio, straight from the originating broadcast. I figure I might listen to games from a couple other cities throughout the course of the summer, but you know the real reason I signed up for this deal: baseball isn't baseball without Joe and Jerry on WEEI. So here I sit watching the game with the sound turned off, and listening to the call on the radio, just like I was home in Boston. The only problem is, something in the internet is slowing things down, so the radio here is about 40 seconds behind the tv. Ah well. I'm reading a book too, so it doesn't really matter.
And for those who think I'm nothing but indolent, I worked today too. And there was some excitement at the store to report too, with a big dumpster fire in the alley next door and all kinds of terrible smoke blowing up the street and into the store. Also another famous personage came in to buy clothes, but sadly I wasn't there at the time. Leah was though, and she'll write about it later. She'd better, anyways!!
I woke up a bit when Leah went to work this morning, but not really... and then I didn't get up for real until nearly 9:00. And all morning I felt like I was still asleep, so I might as well have stayed in bed. And now look at me: it's nearly midnight and I'm still up! At least that's because the end of my day was rather better than the beginning. Leah and I had a very nice Seder and then sang songs together, so it was well worth confusing my internal clock still further. I have some things to say about baseball, but I'll save them for a later day, when it's earlier.
Today we went to IKEA and got a brand-new bed, and let me tell you, it was a major endeavor. The biggest thrill was trying to tie the mattress to the car, only to notice as soon as we got on the freeway that it was doing a very good impression of a wing and was quite willing to take off on its own if it couldn't get the car to come with. A highway patrolman noticed too, and pulled us over and very kindly told us to get the **** off the freeway, and gave us directions home on the surface streets. Which we didn't need to be told to get off, cause we knew that already, but the directions were welcome. As was that he didn't give us a ticket. And then I had to build the bed all by myself (alternate title for this post: 'like legos for grownups'), because Leah was at a meeting for work. But now it's all home and all built, and all our new sheets and comforters and pillow-cases are on it, so it's about time to try it out for the first time with a good night's sleep.
That is all.
No wait, it isn't all. But it is a bad movie, it really is. Quite bad. I already knew that, but I hadn't seen it until this evening, so now I know how bad it is in grizzly detail. Even the fight scenes weren't very good. Oh well, it had to be watched.
So far, something I've noticed about LA is no biting bugs (except on that hike we went on) and no allergies (for me, that is). I didn't really think anything of it, because it's been winter after all, appearances to the contrary; so we wouldn't really have either of those things back home. But while there's still no bugs, I'm afraid allergies have been making their presence felt among the male members of our household: both Arron and me have been sneezing all day, in varying severities. Leah thinks I'm dying, I'm afraid. I don't know whether to be pleased at the sign that spring here might be normal, like spring elsewhere (not that I'm usually particularly susceptable to spring allergies, but whatever), or irritated, because, you know. At least I have a nice bed to sleep in now.
Dan asked me to write in the blog because i haven't in like a million years. Mostly i've been busy with work, and way exhausted, and not enthusiastic with sharing this information with the multitudes. But some interesting things have happened.
1) Queen Latifa came into our store the other day. You will be pleased to know that she is an enlightened despot. She was very nice to all our staff, and funny too, and dropped over $700 for clothes for her and her Personal Trainer. To get in shape she does everything from hiking to yoga. She's been the famousest person yet to come into our store.
2) i went to yoga yesterday, and who was in my class but my good old friend David Duchovney! He is quite strong, but not too flexible through the chest. he's got a circular tatoo on his outside left ankle. Best part, though: he was wearing lululemon shorts that I SOLD HIM!!!
Dan says the readership wants these kind of details.
in other news, i will be going away this weekend for a conference for work. To learn how to communicate better. i am not looking forward to 12 times 3 hours of sitting. i am bringing my sneakers so i can run up and down the stairs during my breaks.
And dan is great, as always. a little sick today, but he will be better tomorrow for his first babysitting job in CA!
I babysitted today for the first time since moving out here, and I'd like to report that children in LA are no different from children in Massachusetts; at least those ones who've recently moved from Colorado.
Since our bike is stolen and Leah had the car all day at the conference, I had to ride the bike Kimberly bought for the store a couple times, and was I ever embarassed. It's one of those big cruiser things, with the wide seat and the high handlebars, and while that kind of thing might work for some people, for some people in California, I just wasn't diggin it. I felt like quite a tool, truth be told.
It turns out I didn't have allergies at all, just a cold. So in traditional fashion, I fed it; and in doing so I discovered what is surely destined to become tradional Passover fare the world over: cream cheese and horseradish sandwich--on matza, natch. Good stuff.
I went to church this evening for Good Friday, but I didn't like the service nearly as much as the ones I'm used to back home. No fair. Why do people do things differently than how I'd have them do them?
I got my new bike. I picked it up at REI, put it in the car, drove over to where Leah is having her forum thing, took it out of the car, and biked home. This was so Leah could have the car to get home herself, when she finally has the opportunity to at like midnight or something. But it also let me see alot more of LA than I had previously.
The first thing that I saw was that the airport, LAX, is very big. Where I left the car was out by the inland end of it, so my first step was to get down to the ocean, and that took a good long time. I noticed on the way that LA is kind of Will Rogers crazy: I saw two streets named after him, not to mention the school I saw yesterday (you'd think there weren't any other actors around the place!). I also saw, today, and RH Dana school, which was nice. Even if Mr Dana didn't have very many nice things to say about Los Angeles in his book.
Then I got down to the beach, and saw that Playa Del Rey is a pretty nice place, with some cute little houses. And then I saw that, even though the inlet at Marina Del Rey is only a hundred or two yards wide, you still have to go about a mile around the whole harbor to get to the other side of it. And are the boats ever packed in tight there: unlike the east coast, this part of California has a severe shortage of harbors. At the other end of the Marina I came to the edge of Venice, and saw that that fine city does indeed posess at least one canal, and a very charming one it looks to be too. I would have examined it more closely, but bikes weren't allowed on the path that ran along it. Another day, then. In more familiar territory, I saw the full spectacle of a nice weekend day on Venice Beach, which was something to behold, for the first time.
And then I was back home in Santa Monica, and only had to go seventeen blocks inland to get to our nice little house, which distance seemed like nothing after all the countless miles I'd just traversed. When I got home I was plenty hot and tired and ready to lie around for the rest of the day, which, with some small exceptions, I did. So you're lucky I roused long enough to write all this story down!
Also: Happy Easter! Welcome happy morning indeed.
No one thought to bury any power lines in Los Angeles, and they're tangle is everywhere all over the place. A bit to the south of us, down in Torrence or something, there's some some sort of industrial facility and the skeins of wire that reach out from it in every direction, together with their attendant towers, completely blight the landscape in a very depressing fashion. We don't have it that bad here, but with a glance out of my window here I can count 17 different lines attached to the two poles closest to our house, and an indeterminate number (it's dark out) strung along the next cross-street down. And on the corner it's even worse.
Not that I have anything against these sorts of lines (unlike the high-tension ones in Torrence): they have a certain interesting beauty to them, and they do give the birds somewhere to hang out. What I do object to is the noise the wires seem to be making lately. I say lately, though I don't know if they've always done it; but it does seem that it's getting worse. It's a sort of a crackling buzz, that you don't notice at first but once it gets a toehold in your awareness it soon expands its presence to a suprising degree, and drives you completely to distraction. Thats what I object to. Fortunately the freeway is so loud (amazingly loud, indeed) that it provides some competition, so I'm not insane yet. No more than usual anyways.
We sure are looking forward to coming home in a few days. Too bad the path to home leads through about 420 pounds of dirty laundry, that we have to clear out of the way first.
Oh yeah, and about the title: it hasn't rained here in, like, a month.
The other day in the closing seconds of an NBA game a player (Bob Sura of the Atlanta Hawks, if you're keeping score at home) threw up a bad shot on purpose so he could get his own rebound and assure himself his third triple-double (double digits in points, rebounds and assists) for the third consecutive game. It worked, and it was quite a feat: only a handful of players have ever done the three-in-a-row before. Even better, the first of the three was his first triple-double of his career. So everyone was happy for him, right? Sadly, no.
Too many people who watch sports, it seems, have a certain notion of 'sportsmanship,' and they think that Sura's little stab at personal glory went against it. Note, of course, that the people who complained the most aren't athletes at all, and couldn't be if their lives depended on it. This is especially true of the commissioner--commissioners of all the major sports are pedantic reactionaries who care more about the perception of sportsmanship and the image of the game than they do about the games themselves and the sportsmen who play them.
Because really, who did this hurt? Sura's teammates liked it, his coaches liked it, the crowd liked it I'm sure (I believe it was a home game for Atlanta); and the opposition Nets didn't mind too much, because they were losing by a big margin anyways and I'm sure they just wanted to go home. What good does it do anyone to take the triple-double off the books, and make Sura apologize in public to boot? Besides making a few self-important non-athletes feel better about themselves, of course. And it's not even like Sura was playing selfishly: that little thing about 'double-digit assists' means he passed the ball off pretty well too.
All told, this is just a big ridiculous fiasco that makes me sputter with indignity, rather like I do when I hear people wax indignant about 'excessive celebration' by NFL players. Or talk-show denizens moaning about baseball salaries being too high. Who created this absurd image of hero-athletes being perfect examples of humanity, and stuck-up humanity that never has any fun at that? Fans and commissioners, I think. And those folks who run the Olympics.
... in going to sleep and waking up terms. The little calender may say otherwise, but why should we let five rows of text rule our lives to such an extent? We were at another pricing and tagging 'party': lots of money gained to fill our empty cupboards (we'll buy food with the money--it's not like we're just stuffing the cash in the kitchen drawers), but at what cost to soul and sleep cycle?!
We're packing up for the big trip to the East, and failing to get to bed early in preparation. I mean, we meant to go to bed early in preparation, but failed. Because we were packing. It's all so exciting!!
It's a cool, rainy morning and as I type this Bill Frisell is playing 'I Want to Go Home' on the speakers--good signs both, I'm sure. We're leaving for the airport in about two hours, and we're just about ready except for those last-minute things: and it always the last minute things that take the most time and scrambling effort. We'll make it, though.
No entries for a while due to very busy and stressful vacationing. So, an update:
We flew over the middle of the country in the middle of the day, something I haven't done for a while, and I sure enjoyed it. Utah or Nevada or someplace sure has some amazing looking cliffs and canyons. As always, I wished I had a heads-up display to tell me what each of the features were, or at least what town, county or even state we were over. The snowy slopes we passed must have been in Colorado, I know that much. The sun set about the time we were over the Great Lakes, so I didn't get to see any of the east here, but that's alright: we'll catch that on the way out on Monday.
We did all the fun Patriots Day things on the 19th, and Leah was a wonderful sport to get up at 4:00 AM with me to catch the reenactment. Then she ran the road race, her first road race, and both finished in good time and had a good time. Maybe I'll try to join her for the race next year... maybe. The race and the early start to the day made her too tired to go watch the parade though, so I took that in myself and reported to her later on the highlights.
Since then, all we've been doing is working at the Yoga Journal conference and driving back and forth from Boston--both the conference, which is at the Sheraton, and the airport. I hadn't driven into the city that many times in my life before, that I have this week. It's all very tiring, and even more so for Leah who actually has to be at the conference in between driving to and from!
The weather here is warm and spring-like, and we now know that however superficially spring-like LA may seem from time to time it's missing a few key elements that makes the New England version so exciting. The other observation I have to offer about the differences between the two locations is, Boston drivers are in fact worse, in the sense of being more aggressive, than their Angeleno counterparts. LA drivers are bad because they drive fast and don't pay attention, but in Boston folks, whe they get in their cars, become aggressive and downright vindictive. It may be better, that they're watching the road enough to see that you want to merge into their lane (or see that you're in the lane they're merging into) but if that awareness only makes them grip the steering wheel more tightly and send you bitter looks as they escalate the thrilling battle of wills... why, I might say that I prefer inattention.
And here we are again, back in sunny Santa Monica. And sunny it is too... or actually was, since it's dark now. But I mean, it sure was sunny when the plane landed, and hot too: I could feel the heat as soon as we got on the ground, still inside the plane even. After we told everyone back home that it gets cool here at night, we seem to be being proved wrong. We're going to get a fan, I think.
So we probably have alot more to say about the trip, but I can't summon the energy to write any of it right now. So maybe it'll all be forgotten, or maybe we'll get it down a little later. At least we're both so tired that adjusting to California time will be pretty easy: I can't imagine that we'll be waking up any early tomorrow morning. We both feel like we could sleep for about 20 hours now, in fact.
And, it also needs to be said: it's sure good to be home. My own computer and our own bed... wonderful.
So this is California again. It's in the high 80s temperature-wise, and there are hordes of little green flies plaguing the city, and us. I don't know which was more unpleasant today. Probably the flies, but it sure is hot too. We went to the beach this afternoon, which was great fun. Checking the temperature online just now I see that we're in a high surf advisory, and we can certainly attest to that: we were afraid to go deeper than up to our waists on Santa Monica beach, and we picked what looked like the calmest spot. About a half-mile north it looked like the breakers were reaching 15 feet or even higher, and looking from the pier towards the south we saw spray overtopping the Venice fishing pier.
Also proof of California: I went to the grocery store this evening, cause we didn't have any food, and I parked next to a hummer (H2) that was parked right down the middle of two parking spots. Even better, they were marked as 'compact only.' Don't you love entitlement?
This morning it was bright and sunny at our house, so we decided to go for a walk on the beach. Only, on the beach it was not warm and even more not sunny: visibility was about fifty yards, in fact. So it was nice to walk along, just above the water-line, down towards Venice, in our own little world. Sometimes it's nice to have all those buildings along the back of the beach, but sometimes it's nice to be able to pretend they aren't there. Out of sight, out of mind and all.
Then after that I went to the farmers market, and bought a good amount of delicious food for a small amount of money. The sun came out on 3rd St. at around 10:30, but it subsequently disappeared again and the afternoon was cool and gray everywhere, at least as far inland as we can see. A great relief to everyone after three days of record heat.
We've been dealing with the news described in the title the last couple days, news which may require this blog to be renamed in the rather near future. Which of course means we now start noticing all the extra-nice features of this sunny seaside paradise we live in. I went down to the shore this morning and sat and read on the pier for an hour or so: now why haven't I been doing that every day?! or at least a couple times a week... Let it be noted, in any case, that our shore here smells somewhat better, and much more like you expect from a natural or traditional shore, before say 10:00 AM and the hordes of people that visit it every day (after that hour) with their trash. Also it was a very nice day today: clear and sunny, but though warm in the sun not at all oppressively hot. Such is life.