California

Joshua Tree and The Backroad to Sin City

Sculpture by Noah Purifoy

Wow, there is a lot to keep me going on this journey, even without museums, restaurants, or indoor performances.  I am especially grateful to have this opportunity to see a few of our incredible national parks. My first on this trip is Joshua Tree. On Sunday, while the rest of America was watching the Super Bowl, I was hiking one of America’s Super Parks.

Continue reading

Santa Barbara to Palm Springs: A House, A Cemetery, and Murals

Mural, Coachella, California

I left Santa Barbara on Thursday, heading for the places I’d lived as a child, not exactly intentionally but because those places were on my path anyway. My first stop was more of a drive-by. After buying gas in Pasadena, I made a 2-mile detour south to San Marino, where I lived as a teenager. Rich, conservative San Marino was an unlikely place for us, neither rich nor conservative, but we survived the John Birch Society, the cops who trolled the likes of us in Lacey Park, and being the only family without a gardener.

Continue reading

Cambria to Santa Barbara: Murals, the Funk Zone, a Kayak

Yesterday, I had a beautiful but uneventful drive from Cambria to Santa Barbara. Sometimes I need to remind myself that travel is mostly not about events. It’s a lot of feeling the moment and the place, which can mean inspiration, wonder, disgust, reverence, fear or omg even boredom. And, like the rest life, travel is trying things that don’t always work out.

Continue reading

Berkeley to Cambria: A Prison, A Rookery, A Clydesdale

Yesterday morning, I left Berkeley in my car with a suitcase, a bag of food, and a plan to get to Louisiana at some point. I’m not sure of the path I will take, or how long I will be on the road, but I am happy. Free and unreliable and doubled masked. My first destination: Cambria, 200 miles south on the California coast.

Continue reading

My Pandemic Trip to Louisiana

Painting by my favorite Louisiana artist, Clementine Hunter. 1886-1988.

In the past six months, I have been operating at about 30% capacity. Yes, I have tried volunteering and writing and baking. I hike a lot and keep in touch with friends and family. I remind myself how good my life is, but my feelings ignore my thoughts. At this time of my life, I need new places and people and ideas. I need instability.

Continue reading

The Crack in Everything

Stock photo

Last week, I nearly had a melt down when the formatting in my 286 blog postings unexpectedly disappeared. This relatively trivial problem triggered something that kept me up all night questioning the meaning of life. What am I doing here? Why? Who cares? This is not my usual thing. Even while it was happening, I knew my existential angst was not about formatting.

Continue reading

Bird-Brained

Pablo Picasso

Here in Berkeley while I am waiting for “the clouds” to pass, I have made a few new friends. This has been possible without visiting bars because my new friends are birds. I’ve gotten to know them by putting out treats on the top railing of my deck. I don’t do this just to be nice — there is plenty to eat year-round in Berkeley’s moderate climate. I do it for a little entertainment and hoping to learn something. Continue reading

Send in the Locusts

Allie Brosh

At our outdoor distanced dinner this week here at Maison Marianne, we laughed about a post on social media that said “I think my bingo card for 2020 is full.” And it’s only August.

Remember when the corrupt Senate impeachment process was the worst news? That was a million years ago in February. Since then, a global pandemic, economy tanking, demonstrations and rioting.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, this week in California: 560 raging fires and the worst air quality in the world after two days of rare lightening storms.

Continue reading