California Dreamin’

I must have looked a fright to the poor gas meter reader this morning. I completely forgot I was in my pajamas when I answered the door. They’re just sweats and a big red flannel shirt and gray slippers, but they really scream “I slept in this outfit” when combined with my uncombed hair and unbrushed teeth.

It was 10:00. You’d think I’d have my shit together by then. But I’m heading to California on Thursday and I’ve got a lot of writing to do before I leave.

I was in the middle of a project when he arrived. I had eaten a bowl of cereal and drank some green tea around 7:30, but other than that I was glued to my computer. I saw the him in his bright yellow jacket walking up the sidewalk and I cursed the fact that I had to get up and let him in because I was in the middle of a thought, but then, hey, he was just doing his job and so I directed him to come in through the back door and I blocked the dogs out of the kitchen so he could get down the stairs to the basement and out again without being accosted by three large curious dogs.

An hour later, my project was done and sent to the appropriate recipient. I had a ton of pent-up energy so I put on some workout clothes and hopped on the Oprah elliptical.

I’ve made it a point to listen to “California Dreamin’” during every workout this past week since a week from tonight I’ll be on a red eye home from LA after spending five glorious days in the sun with my sister, brother-in-law, nephews, cousin, friend Kristin and my favorite stylist in the whole world, Michael.

Carlene and I leave Thursday morning. As most of you know, I’m not a real fan of flying, so I’m loading my iPod with new meditations and Pema Chodron teachings to keep me calm at 30,000 feet. I’ll pair that with crossword puzzles and reading Health, Backyard Living and the opinions page from last Sunday’s Pittsburgh Trib-Review. Distraction is my middle name.

Back to “California Dreamin’” for a second. I didn’t download the Mamas and Papas version. I love the Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades version best. You can see their performance on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zAbPBgt0Uo . It includes a bit of Shaw’s “Crystal Ball,” too. Good stuff.

I’ve never been to California. Seen it plenty of times on television. I love visiting somewhere I’ve only seen in photos or video. It’s like watching a movie based on a favorite book. It might be just as good, worse, or better than expected. Like the first time I was in New York City. Photos and video helped me identify landmarks, but they couldn’t capture the atmosphere, the smell, the background noises, the attitude of the people, and the visual perspective of a 5’5” outsider. California and its hills and sprawl and cars and smog, well, I have an idea of what it feels like, but I can’t wait to see it all up close.

Everyone I know has been to California. How come it’s taken me 44 years to get there? Anyway, just as I do with all my travels, I’ll blog from there and fill you in on my perspective as a 5’5” outsider. I’m hoping to bump into a celebrity or two at Whole Foods. I heard that’s where all the stars grocery shop. Maybe I’ll see Tommy Shaw. God I hope he keeps his long hair. He’s yummy.

I’ve got all my summer clothes out and laundered, I dug out my sandals from the back of the closet, and my camera, iPod, phone and computer batteries are all charged. If I forget something, I’m sure I can find it in California. You can find everything in California, right?

California. I’m going to freaking California! You’d think I was 8 years old.

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7 thoughts on “California Dreamin’

  1. Cheri

    Have fun in California, I grew up in San Luis Obispo County (half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the coast). In the country. My oldest son lives in Pasadena. Conway Twitty lived down the street from a friend of mine and I once saw Victor French in the grocery store. I saw Malcom McDowell a few years ago when I was in Santa Barbara. I hope you see a star or two (or many)! My mom (and son) say that it’s been hot out there this week (unlike the snow we’ve had).
    You’ve never been to California….I’ve never been east of Colorado 🙂

    Reply
  2. kristin

    i can’t WAIT to see you! THREE FREAKING DAYS!!!
    xoxoxo
    ps, thank god you don’t need the legwarmers here.

    Reply
  3. Me

    Okay, so you probably won’t see a celebrity at our local Whole Foods way up in the north Valley – sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. However, Dana saw Dick Clark at the Northridge Gold’s Gym the other day and said it was sad; he’s really a shell of his former self.
    Let’s see…I’ll take you to Amoeba Music when we’re in Hollywood – I’ve seen Vince Vaughn there before. I can’t guarantee much except for people posing outside of the Chinese Theatre that look like celebrities!
    My list of celebs since I’ve lived here:
    Katy Segal (her kids sat in front of me on a little train ride at the Studio City farmer’s market)
    Seth Green (at Kinko’s late at night – he’s super short!)
    Vince Vaughn
    Billy Bob Thornton (at a museum with his daughter)
    Ryan Phillipe (at the grocery store in Studio City)
    Shemar Moore (soap opera star at the grocery store in Studio City)
    Kathy Najimy (Dan from Dan Band’s wife, voice of Peggy Hill)
    Brittany Murphy
    Lily Tomlin
    David Spade (have my photo with him – he’s super drunk in it)
    Nia Verdalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding – also have my photo with her)
    Neil Patrick Harris
    Pussycat Dolls
    Jon Polito (one of the busiest actors in Hollywood [look him up on imdb.com – he had a pretty “big” part in American Gangster – oh, and he LOVES me! If I ever need someone to tell me how awesome I am, I can go to Jon)
    Ricki Lake
    Morgan Fairchild (I spoke with her at a local coffeehouse in…you guessed it! Studio City)
    Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertenelli (they were picking up their kids from school and walked across the playground Ian was playing at in Studio City)
    Okay, I’m sure there’s more, but I don’t remember at this point. Since I’ve moved to the blue collar world of Van Nuys/Northridge, I don’t see the celebs like I used to when I lived in Studio City. Maybe you’ll get lucky, you never know!

    Reply
  4. Toni

    Last week I flew home from San Diego. I was deeply engrossed in the book I was reading (to keep my mind off of the turbulence). Before I realized what was happening I heard a loud boom and was completely jarred out of my skin by a rough landing. I almost screamed, and I had a deathgrip on the seat in front of me. I’m sure I looked rather ridiculous.
    Enjoy California. It’s beautiful right now!

    Reply
  5. kristin

    look out for the elvis impersonator in front of graumann’s…he grabbed my ass on friday when i took my parents there. there were a lot of johnny depp look alike pirates, though. pirates are hot. perhaps you should bring me one…
    there’s also a not-so-fierce lucille ball impersonator. not good. not good at all.

    Reply
  6. Kathi

    I’m turning 45 in two months and I haven’t gotten to California yet, so you’re ahead of me! Have fun and hang on if there are any seismic rumbles.

    Reply

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