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.