Friday, September 25, 2009

My Late Summer Vacation

Get your own cabana, this one's mine and it wasn't cheap. Neither was that $40 pitcher of Mojitos.

There comes a time when you realize the futility of your cheap as free Sprint phone. That time is when you're on the West Coast for 10 days with very little access to a computer. You notice that the "m.Facebook" page is lacking, or the annoying way some feeds just don't publish in full on your Reader or your phone's inability to interpret any web page that isn't specifically designed for shitting phone browsers. These quirks start to get to you. Sure Twitter is still pretty much Twitter, but I'm old fashioned I like the sound of the keyboard, the click of the mouse and the radiation from a monitor instead of in the palm of my hands. By the way, if cell phone use might cause brain tumors, can you get hand cancer from texting?

The state of vacation is a weird place and though this vacation had a focus (little sister got hitched!), I found myself suffering from mini-anxiety attacks at thoughts of missing something going on out here on the Interweb. Relying on newspapers and passing glances at a random TV did little to quench my thirst for "knowledge". The very thought of reading something current on a piece of paper is laughable. And, with the holy New York Times clocking in at $6 at our luxurious mid-level resort, our only sensible option was complimentary daily copies of USA Today.

What's strange is that at first I didn't really miss Philadelphia or our friends there (both of which I like a whole lot). No, I knew they'd still be here when we got back. The thing I missed most was knowing things first, reading and hearing bits of useless information with the illusion that I am somehow in "the know". Not about important things, but which celebrity just died (RIP Swayze), whose adapting what lame book into a lame screenplay, whether John Hodgeman or Gary Busey said anything witty in the last 4 hours on Twitter, and what idiotic thing did MTV make someone I don't give a shit about do on an awards show. Some of these things I didn't find out about until the day after they happened if you can imagine that. I actually missed sitting at a computer for 9 hours straight. I know, sick.

San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park. No jokes here - it was awesome. These animals are saving wild populations by getting it on all the time. Oh, yeah. I think it has everything to do with the sweeping vistas.

But, then I begin to succumb to Southern California's rhythm and that seemingly relaxed 82 degree, 0% humidity haze that washes over brown, sometimes charred, hillsides dotted with Spanish style luxury homes propped up by matchsticks. It is a place of extremes and dichotomies. Sure, that dude's t-shirt is wrinkled and torn, but it cost $400. The landscape is sweeping, but deadly. This place looks great on film; I feel that every time we visit. But being there for the first time near the summer months...the air is dry, the sun is unrelenting and can suck the life out you even if you are temporarily distracted by trying to figure out in which episode of Entourage you might have seen that one strip club down the street or the medical marijuana depot you're current peering into regardless of the tinted windows.

Stopped at the 4077 for a break under that large shrub on the right. Loretta Swit actually still lives here.

Yes, we went to Malibu (twice) and Griffith Park (for 15 mins) and a lovely farmers' market and shopped on Melrose, but we also got some downtown action. We attended a friend's sweaty art opening near Skid Row, ate at an amazing breakfast spot with bacon donuts down the street from which my husband had the misfortune of discovering what the combination of pot and poop smells like as he passed some locals on the sidewalk. Parts of downtown LA made Philly look tidy.

We arrived as the fires were 75% contained and right before the winds brought their terror. It was a great week in LA with some of our bestest friends. We visited a land entirely of yogurt, watched my sister's WAKA game, briefly witnessed the glory of Coreyoke (yeah, that's right live band karaoke where the band is made up of dudes dressed as Corey Feldman), learned that my husband and I suck at poker and I discovered that beer is way too filling in this hot dry climate, but chilled tequila hits the spot!

And now I'm back. Back to scouring my feeds, reading email press releases, attempting to draw clever conclusions and craft entertaining and/or ironic observations. I'm even going to see some flicks in the coming weeks (The Invention of Lying, Couples Retreat, A Serious Man, Where the Wild Things Are). Part of me hates that I'm back in regular non-vacation life. It blows here sometimes. But 10 days in SoCal has also renewed my respect of the seasons. There's a chill in the air this morning under gray skies, a thick quilt of low clouds signals that fall is really here. Change is good. If April is the cruelest month, then October is the awesomest. The Halloween season will officially being for me tonight when I tour (and review) the Eastern State Penitentiary's Terror Behind the Walls which I am completely not scared of at all.

Looking forward to keeping up the good fight and celebrating TRICC's 2nd birthday in a few weeks. Hope you will continue to join me, fair readers.

"Sitting there at that moment I thought of something else Shakespeare said.
He said, 'Hey... life is pretty stupid; with lots of hubbub to keep you busy, but really not amounting to much.' Of course I'm paraphrasing: 'Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'"