Tuesday, September 16, 2008

this shadow weighs a ton...

one stopover in San francisco and an overnight bus put me in Santa barbara for a couple days with janice. Back to sf tomorrow night for a couple days, then another train north. This is being pecked away on my iPod, stealing a neighbors internet with hopes that it doesn't crash again, so please forgive gram and typo errors. Janice makes a great hostess, so come visit and she might let you borrow the car while she works.

Drove down the 101 to Ventura today where my parents lived for a while a long time ago. The drive was amazing, and I loved every second of it. I came back through Ojai on a winding stretch of highway 150, passing by ranches and citrus farms, and a picturesque spot called the Coyote River runoff basin.

We cooked fish on the grill last night, and janice told me how one of her friends doesn't even own an indoor table, just a picnic table outside since it never rains. It's beautiful here, but I'm doing my best to back Chicago because, hey, what good is a mild summer if you can never look forward to fall, right?

The mountains and tunnels and countryside coming through Colorado were breathtaking, and I see why people say the california zephyr is the best train in the USA. The observation car was packed and everyone's faces were glued to the windows, oohing and aahing and pointing out the landscape. I was pretty taken aback by the sheer size of the mountains on either side as we went through Glenwood Canyon, and the scenery as it unfolded in the valley below. I can tell you, I haven't had much in the way of religious experiences, but someone got that whole part just right.

I'll try to find a real computer soon, so I can post some photos.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I rode a train.
Colorado is beautiful.
As are the Sierra mountains.
Sonia is fun.
Trains are cold.
Lounge cars are for memories.
Schedules are for suckers.
I'm a sucker.
But I'm alive, in San Fransisco, and have a bed to sleep in.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

single cells would swing their fists.

Andrew Bird stood there, alone, the first time in years. Almost insignificant, he was dwarfed by the stage, hiding behind his mop of hair. Looking out at thousands, he began to play, and all the chattering stopped. A single note pierced through the evening, followed by another, then more.

Layers upon layers were built, swished around, manipulated. Deep bass tones bled into playful higher melodies, lighted colors danced around the stage, and everyone sat, contentedly watching and listening.

We had blankets and sheets, throws, sweatshirts, and a tablecloth. Bottles and bottles and bottles of wine, snacks galore, and the best company you could ask for. Those who couldn't make it missed out, and were missed.

Leading up, the weather was a 30 percent chance of rain. Morning of was 60 percent. Before we left for the show, it was up to 70 percent. But not a single drop of rain fell the entire night, and it was a pretty amazing thing.

I'm looking forward to more nights like this coming up, as fall has made its appearance. Good music, great friends, and an even better atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Whale fight.

I was walking through the hall when I overheard on the television that the United States is ranked 48th in the world in life expectancy. How in the world can that be possible? I understand that our health care system isn't up there in the top 5, but I never would have expected us to come in that far down the list.

It got me thinking about different aspects of our lives, and how much time is spent doing different things. Work, exercise, socializing, family, food, relaxing. Maybe somewhere along the lines we got it all wrong. Maybe our priorities need to be re-evaluated. Or maybe it just requires some simple modifications to the way we already do things.

Yesterday, we had a nice bbq at Nate and Kate's place, and damn, I don't know how, but Nate always makes the best pork chops I've ever had. We all sat around the kitchen floor and talked for a while, had a few drinks, and Kate broke out a deep fryer. It was its maiden voyage, and how better to christen a fryer than with curly fries? Oh, I'll tell you how.

Funnel-cake battered, deep fried Snickers.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "I'm completely, utterly repulsed. Yet I can't stop salivating..."

Andrew Bird at the Pritzker Pavilion tomorrow. 74 degrees.
Chance of rain: 30%
Chance of awesome: 100%