Sunday, May 31, 2009
I am gearing up for the next leg of this journey; a train ride from Los Angeles to Jacksonville Florida.
By way of Chicago.
That's right. Chicago.
It seems that Hurricane Katrina is still having her way with the South as the train tracks from New Orleans east are still not up and running since the big blast. So, I could either take the southern route from Los Angeles through Arizona, New Mexico...to New Orleans and then head north to Chicago, or I could rent a car in New Orleans and drive the rest of the way (with a bicycle strapped in the trunk) or just skip the southern route all together.
I decided that being dumped off in New Orleans was not my idea of a good time and would stress me out too much, so that was out.
So, I will be going to Chicago, changing trains there, then going to DC and changing trains there and then heading down the east coast to Florida.
I have to believe that when an adventure takes a turn like that, it's for a reason, and so I am excited to see who I will meet, or what will happen on this trip.
I leave on the evening of the 3rd and get in to Jacksonville on Sunday morning. My friend Donna will pick me up and I will stay with her for a while before heading to Georgia to see Regi.
I have started packing and repacking, and setting items aside to ship home like my heavy jacket and items given to me by family.
I will try to write faithfully on this blog until I leave California. And maybe, there won't be any earthquakes between now and Wednesday!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
"If only I had...What we all "shoulda, coulda, woulda" in situations had we known what the future held.
treated the one I loved
called the doctor sooner.
Understood the full extent of the illness.
taken better care of
him or her.
not lost my temper.
expressed my affection
Last night Ken (my bro) and I went to see the movie Angels and Demons. Oddly enough, he and I unknowingly had just read the book; he in Hawaii and I on the train to LA.
Boy, was the movie different. Of course, it always is different because a screen-play adaptation can't give all the details or draw out the plot like a book. So, I expected that.
But, this was really different. I spent half my time trying to figure out where key characters from the book were in the movie, and why some key elements weren't used and different twists added.
It was a good movie. It moved quickly and had lots of action. But the best part of Dan Brown, the author of the book, is his ability to weave lots of information (about the Illuminati in this case) into the story without making you feel like you are reading a text book.
I was very good though in that after the movie and during, I didn't point out what I thought were some obvious flaws like that it was broad daylight in the movie after 8pm when the first murder took place which got me thinking, "it must be summer time, maybe it gets dark later there, but then it's so far south it would be more like Southern California that doesn't stay light near as long as Washington State in the summer..." and of course I lost track of the movie. Pointing out things like this to Anne used to drive her nuts.
Then at one point in the movie Ken leaned over and asked me if I had ever seen "Hunt for Red October". I guess a character in the movie was in that movie.
He had forgotten my problem with remembering movies. It used to drive Anne really nuts.
We would be with some friends and one would ask us if we had seen a certain movie. In unison, she would say yes and I would say no. Then the whole thing started. It went something like this:
Me: "Really? We saw that movie? When?"
Anne: "Oh, you remember (giving some reference as to a time), we saw it with so and so.
Me: "I don't remember it. Who was in it?"
Anne: (So and so, some actor's name).
Me: Who is that?
Anne: He was in (such and such a movie)
Me: Really? Did I see that movie?
Anne: Of course you saw it...
Me: What else was he in?
And on it would go until Anne would get frustrated and tell me she was never getting sucked into this kind of conversation again!
She would of course get sucked in, but as the years went by the conversations grew shorter!
She also wouldn't let me go pick out a movie at the video store alone either as I would inevitably come home beaming at the thought of watching the one I picked out that, of course, we had already seen.
So when Ken asked me about the movie I just laughed and he remembered this story. Some people learn faster than others.
So, I will probably rent Angels and Demons two years from now and watch it anew (in my mind) not remembering the book either, and have a different critique on it.
Life is always so fresh and new for me!
Monday, May 25, 2009
As I am going through the pics on my camera, I thought I would share some of the trip Anne and I took to Alaska a few years back.
First, a picture of me and Anne in our berth on the Alaska Ferry heading up to Alaska. I took the picture through the mirror in front of us. Clever, don't you think?
We called it, "Lesbian Jailhouse"
Next is a man fishing in Ketchikan.
Close up of a glacier
As an unemployed lunatic, this is my future house.
On Saturday I decided to take a drive to Mount Baldy. Mt. Baldy is about 25 minutes from Ontario, and part of the San Gabriel mountain range.
As young teenager I hiked on the mountain every Saturday with some of my siblings and my brother-in-law. As a young adult my friend Trici and I and whomever else was along, with a snoot-full of alcohol and a lung-full of pot would pile into her VW pickup (this was the 70's folks) and she would drive us up there.
So, this was something to do and a literal drive up and down memory lane.
Not much has changed on the mountain. It's drier having absolutely no snow on it even on its peak, the road isn't any better and the hair-pin turns are still as hair-pin as ever.
Coming home I stopped at a Carl's Jr for some dinner and was surprised to notice that there was a rent-a-cop working there! Security guards in fast-food restaurants?
I thought maybe he worked nearby and was on his break until an armored car pulled up and the guy came in to get the money and waved at the rent-a-cop.
What's this world coming to when there's a security guard at a Carl's Jr????
Friday, May 22, 2009
"Your loved one has died.
You are unprepared.
The death has struck
like a tidal wave.
You are cut loose from your
You are all but drowning in the
sea of your private sorrow.
The person who has
been part of
your life is gone forever.
It is final, irrevocable.
Part of you has died."
Wow. That's it! That is exactly how I feel and I have been struggling to put it in words for months. Part of me has died and I feel completely cut loose from my moorings.
Lost. Vulnerable. The one and only person on this dustball we call earth who knew me inside and out--and still loved me!--is gone forever and poof, just like that, my life is completely upside down. I don't know who I am anymore, I don't know where I am going, and the person I had the most history with is not around to share that with and help me find my way.
And the worst part is that no one can really reach into that place in me and comfort it. They can offer solace, friendship, love, but it won't reach that place.
I think that's why so many people have a hard time dealing with someone who is grieving. There just aren't any words to say, not enough hugs to give, that can reach the person where she needs to be reached. I think only God can do that.
Unfortunately for me, I am not on good speaking terms with God right now even though I see His work in my life every day. Maybe that's the best I can do right now--acknowledge the work of God in my life every day.
But then, that's the best any of us can do.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday evening after getting home from my foray to Long Beach I was sitting in the living room zoning out on the TV when an earthquake started to rumble through the house.
Now it was only a 5.0, and it was centered in LA so it didn't hit here near so hard, but, I was alone, and well...I am terrified of earthquakes.
I grew up in Southern California and experienced many earthquakes and they scared me. But it wasn't' until I moved to San Francisco and the 1989 quake hit that I learned to new terror over them.
It was 7.1 quake that hit at about 5:15 in the evening. My partner at the time and I were both home in our third story apartment, she on the balcony smoking a cigarette and I in the bedroom taking a nap.
When the quake hit it bounced me out of the bed, and my partner nearly off the balcony. She spent nearly the entire 15 seconds of the quake trying to get back into the apartment while being thrown back onto the balcony. I only made it to the bedroom door and had to hang on for dear life just to remain standing. We both figured this was the "big one" that was going to split California off the continent.
When it was over, there was stuff strewn all over the apartment including several bottles of wine that had been torpedoed from the rack on top of the entertainment center to the far side of the living room.
We spent the night agonizing through the many hundred aftershocks, in the dark, drinking the wine that had been shot all over the room, and listening to her Walkman radio for news.
I never want to go through such an ordeal again, and I thought, "what are the chances that there would be an earthquake in Southern California in the few weeks I would be there?" I mean, what are the chances?
Damn good, I guess.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
After my night of debauchery at the hostel, I had a few hours before I needed to be at the train station. Not wanting to miss at least seeing something of Portland before I left, I chose to go to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.
I had some of Steve and Phillip's French bread and "dirty sock" cheese for breakfast, grabbed my camera and little map and set off.
The weather was with me again as it had been raining earlier but stopped on my walk to the garden. The area was "old downtownish"; one way streets, old brick buildings, Victorian style homes, and of course the odd homeless person.
I will copy the blurb from the AAA guide about the garden as it tells it in better detail than I can.
"Designed in the 15-Century Ming style, the urban garden was built by artisans
and craftspeople from Suzhou, China, Portland's sister city. The garden features
a bridged lake, open colonnades and stone paths that wind through courtyards and
nine pavilions where visitors can relax.
"The freestanding rocks framing the garden's waterfall are limestone (called Tai Hu rocks) mined from Lake Tai, a freshwater lake near Suzhou. Trees and shrubs, many indigenous to China include, maples, pines, dogwoods, wintersweet, plum, wisteria, hibiscus, bamboo, tree peonies, magnolias, camellias, orchids and water plants. A teahouse overlooks the gardens Lake Zither."
Next I came across a man teaching Tai Chi to some visitors and when I stopped to watch, invited me to join in. While I have been interested in learning Tai Chi for several years, doing so in an open courtyard with a hangover and little time to even see the garden, prevented me from joining in. It looks like it takes quite a bit of balance, something I am not known to have!
The rain stopped again as I made my way up the street (the street that had the traffic lights in my favor and which I used to ride to the station) the rain seemed to abate somewhat and so I was still fairly dry when I got home.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
But, alas, I am not.
My brother's computer must be old. I can't find a thing on it. It moves slower than I do with a raging hang-over. It is covered in more dust than I am.
So, the pictures will come later after I disect this computer tower to find where to plug my camera in.
I have finally gotten around to starting this blog. Why call it Dear Lucy?
A friend at work suggested that I email every day as it could be used later to keep track of all that I am doing.
I had thought about having it Dear Anne as she is the main reason I am on this crazy trip, but it seemed morose.
I could have used Dear (any friend or relative), but how do I chose?
The only other "girl" I have in my life is Lucy my wonder beagle, I hear tell she is pining over me, so it seemed fitting.