The art of being Californian, it seems, is to cultivate a loose-limbed insouciance while secretly working away like a frantic ant.

--Richard Fortey The Earth: An Intimate History

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Something New Every Day

Well, I learned three new things today.

1. Potato plants can and will grow from eyes cut out of store-bought spuds.

2. What said plants actually look like.

3. Don't pull up the aforementioned plants, thinking they are weeds. You will both be pleasantly surprised at the find and hit with viceral remorse that you've just killed a food-bearing part of your family.

And in other news, the watermelons and serrano chiles in my garden are doing fantastically well (why I felt the need to plant no less than 5 serrano plants is beyond me--I can cook spicy but not that spicy).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We'll Call This a Lesson Learned

I've just returned from an extended weekend at Mammoth. Because airline service isn't provided from San Diego to there yet (but it is coming), the trek must be done via automobile and done through either the snarl that is Riverside/San Bernadino or vortex that is LA. Either way, it is one long-ass car ride.

Or better: road trip. See, I have a secret rule that any car ride that last longer than five hours is actually a secret road trip. And the seven-hour joyride from San Diego to Mammoth easily qualifies.

I hate road trips. It may be the sitting still for so long or the absolutely unchanging and uninspiring scenery through the Adelanto (also known as the city of unlimited possibilities) corridor of hell, but I just can't handle it. The stale air from the airconditioning, the growing numbness in my right leg, the crick in my neck, the same black road over and over and over and over and over. But really, I've said all of this
before, so enough of my hatred of being trapped in zooming piece of metal for hours on end.

This trip, I decided to read as much as I possibly could to distract me from my motionless misery. I brought seven books and set the goal of reading at least five of them before I returned to San Diego.

Besides wanting to have dedicated time to read, we journeyed to Mammoth to visit with friends and family and drink much wine while listening to music in an outdoor setting. In other words, this weekend was Mammoth's wine
Festival. Wineries from all over California pushed their fermented grape juice as the sound of guitars wended its way through the evergreen trees. The festivities started Friday night with a little pretasting in the Village.

That night I learned an important thing about myself: do not buy "art" while inebriated at high altitude just because it happens to stimulate your mind to make interesting connections. It isn't the "art," it's the altitude. Your mind would make interesting connections at the nearby, overpriced children's store but you aren't going to buy a $75 tee-shirt.

Or maybe you would if you hadn't already bought said "art" and were already experiencing intense buyer's remorse.

I am still upset at myself though the weekend wasn't an entire bust. I did get another piece of art that is indeed just that. It is beautiful, speaks to me even at sea level, and is already up on my wall.

The other one? Ummmm, maybe I can salvage the frame.

*Did I get to my five-book goal? Oh, hells yes.
Books read:
John Berger's King: A Street Story
Novella Carpenter's Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
Steve Dublanica's Waiter Rant
Jesse Ball and Thordis Bjornsdottir's Vera and Linus
B. Traven's The Bridge in the Jungle