The Other End of Sunset

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy brain-day to me

And it's one more day up in the canyons,
And it's more more night in Hollywood
-- Counting Crows

Did you ever think that you'd end up living a lyric? There's no view from my house, up in the canyon, but my nights in Hollywood have been warm.

But the difference is language,
and just the bits that you got wrong
--The Streets

I miss my friend Guy. Hope your house renovation is going well, ours is almost done!

We are screaming inside,
we can't be heard
--Sarah McLachlan

SL and I sat at a restaurant the other day, having a glass of red wine, under the heaters, by the smoking section, with the backwash of friends resonating in our ears.

Overhead flew the Life Flight helicopter.

The sound reminds you that someone's life will never be the same. Or several people. A family. A tribe. A sect.

Never the same.

Just the sound.

You're on the road, but you've got no destination
You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination
You love this town even if that doesn't ring true
-- U2

It was JR's birthday a couple of weeks ago. April 27th, for those of you playing the home game. My most-excellent coauthor (Jim) pinged me to offer his sympathies.

It must be hard for him, who knows so much of the story, to know what to say.

It is still hard for me to know what to say, and what not to say, and when to say it, and when not to.

Happy 48th birthday, Jeanne. Hope you are enjoying a beach somewhere, and a girlie vodka drink.

From the depths of the sea, back to the block
-- Snoop Dogg

Don't ask me to parallel park your car. Ask SL. She can park. She can fit a dump truck into a compact space.

It's very annoying.

I can't park a Prius in a football stadium.

We have even taken to switching from me driving to her driving, in the event parking is required.

She can get the car to fit in the space, guaranteed.

But I never hit those yellow posts that stand sentinel over the parking lots.

Ask her about the right rear quarter panel.

And then duck.

I'm just waiting ‘til the shine wears off
-- Coldplay

I use Twitter. And probably most of you do as well. It's clear the apocalypse is coming.

One of the bars I hang out at pushes twitter updates, regularly. CNN has breaking news via tweets.

There are some VERY surprising people following me. And my updates aren't that interesting. But they are remarkably like this blog entry.

When does the whole "rivers of blood" thing start?

I went on a horseback riding lesson last week. I'm ready.

And if you get that joke, go have (more) hot cocoa.

I run the marathon to the very last mile
Well if you battle me I will revile
People always say my style is wild
-- Beastie Boys

What is the deal with all the scooters in LA? Sitting at a red light at Barham and Cahuenga, listening to Lily Allen.

Just in front of me in queue are two scooters.

On my left, lane splitting to the front, another scooter.

In the intersection, turning left, yet another. Who was riding a brand-new scooter, in a brand new coat, with brand new boots that had no scuffs on them. Who didn't really know how to ride her scooter at all, but she looked very cute trying.

Are these the Horsemen? If so, I'm ready -- I even know how to shift gears, although I guess that’s unnecessary.

I don't have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
--Van Morrison

SL and I rode to San Diego last week. The ride was glorious – sunny, warm, no traffic. Much of the ride is on the freeway, but along the ocean. Easy, fast, and pretty, all at the same time.

I haven’t been in San Diego in a long time. Specifically, the last time I was in San Diego was when BF and I went down to pack up Jeanne’s apartment after she got ill.

Packed up her apartment because we knew she’d never need it again.

We ended up loading up her car with dozens of boxes of stuff, and mailing more boxes of papers and clothes and what-have-you.

The boxes sat in my garage until after she died. It wasn’t fun sorting them then.

She had written me a letter. I found it in her papers. Kind of like that movie, about the guy who mails his wife letters to find after he dies?

SL and I took a side trip through north San Diego county. We rode through Encinitas, where Jeanne lived before we met. Jeanne took me to San Diego to show me her past. I took her to LA to show her mine.

SL and I passed the house that Jeanne and I made an offer to buy, before we changed our minds. We rode by the donut shop that Jeanne loved.

We rode past Jeanne’s office building, her apartment building, and the hospital where the first doctor told her she was going to die.

Poets, priests and politicians
Have words to thank for their positions
-- The Police

I went to church camp when I was younger, in Conway. Yes, I think it’s odd, too, but it is still true.

No, I don’t speak in tongues, thanks for asking.

No, I don’t handle snakes.

Really, enough religious questions. Back to my story.

At camp this year, we played a group game. It was called Killer. One of the group was the killer, but nobody knew who it was. She (or he) “killed” people by winking at them as the game progressed.

If you were killed, you went off to the side of the area. Eventually, someone figured out who was the killer, and the game ended.

The killer was selected from the group in a clever way. The entire group huddled around, with their eyes closed, and their hands in the middle of the huddle. The last killer reached out – blindly – and tapped another person’s hand. That person in turn reached out – also blindly – and tapped another hand. The owner of that second hand became the killer for that round, in a literal case of the blind leading the blind (folded).

Now, let’s try not to make Calvary jokes about a church camp celebrating a killing. Nor let us make Deliverance jokes, although Arkansas does make one think about them.

And, for God’s sake, no pun intended, let’s not dwell on the irony of a church camp teaching a game about killing.

The final round of the game was the night before we broke camp for home. That “killer” was going to have to make it through the next day and all the way home on the bus without getting caught.

I was that killer. And, through a complicated process, it soon became clear to everyone that I was Jack-the-Ripper-in-the-Blood-of-the-lamb.

Since everyone knew it was me, I should have gotten caught, yes? But no. In a group-think exercise, everyone decided that they should try to get me to kill them. An early suicide cult, if you will, with everyone acting out their inner death wish.

So I responded in the only way possible: I refused to kill anyone.

Truly I come to bring peace, not the sword.

My mother had a vision
and I was found
-- Marc Cohn

Take a look around you, the next time you are in public. Find the guys in the chino pants, with dark shoes and ill-fitting shirts.

They are computer consultants, come to sell you a new database.

Run away.

I have a tale to tell,
Sometimes it gets so hard to hide it well
-- Madonna

Vic is graduating from school this month. A strong clean-up hitter, with a good slugging percentage. Way to go, Vic.

25 years and my life is still
Trying to get up that
Great big hill of hope
-- 4 Non Blondes

Happy Brain-day to me, later this week.