Santa Monica is touristy. Then I see Arianna Huffington at Midnight Special bookstore. She indicates that we can use the lazyness and spinelessness of our leaders to our advantage. Public protest gets things done. During her speaking engagement, there’s a beady-eyed conspiracy theorist who keeps interrupting other people trying to ask questions, especially when talking about the 2000 election. He hates Nader, apparently. Diana and I leave at this point. I came to see her speak, but know her work well enough not to have to sit through a Q&A period. There’s a lot of angry faces in the room, but it seems to me the anger shouldn’t be directed here.
The drive to LA – beautiful, actually. I never realized the road to Southern California was so flat, although I passed a cattle ranch that had thousands of cattle and no grass. Maybe it was one of those cattle processing farms that I read about in “Fast Food Nation” or saw on Frontline. I saw two Hummer H2s. I’m most definitely not in San Francisco anymore. I meet my cousin Diana and her husband Peter at their place in Santa Monica. We go to a restaurant, and then Diana and I head over to a bar called “The Brig”. It’s a dive bar redone in LA fashion. The women are really skinny, and evidence of cosmetic surgery seems abundant.
I’m never staying in a hotel again. Why should I, when a beautiful bed and breakfast near Alamo Square is slightly cheaper. There’s barely anyone there, so I get the tudor part of the mansion to myself. There’s a fireplace and clawfoot tub. Yes!
Tonight my friend Leda and I went to the ‘Alternatives to Economic Globalization’ conference at the Palace of Fine Arts. I recognize a couple of people from New College, lending further evidence to my theory that communities in SF are formed through groups of interest moreso than knowing your neighbor. What made this conference so inspiring was that it wasn’t a bitch-and-moan session, it was a report on alternatives on the way the world can do business, and tread lightly on the environment while embracing human rights. We went to the Orbit Room afterwards and talked over a mojito. Leda just had an article about time management published in the latest Utne magazine. She informed me that United for Peace is adding ‘and Justice’ to their title to be more representative of the social justice mission of the organization.
I chat it up with a few people at the bar – maybe I’m more comfortable here than I realize.
I’ve registered at New College for my final baccalaureate semester – and it took only 13 years to accomplish. I can’t wait.I’m staying tonight and tomorrow night at the Villa Florence downtown. After checking in, I pass out on the bed, asleep. They’ve given me a tiny room next to the heating unit, which makes a loud humming noise. I need a break from this – I call my friend Trina, and we meet at Uncle Vito’s for pizza, and then go catch a late show of ‘Frida’. Frida – an amazing story, and relevant since I had just seen her and Diego Rivera’s artwork a week earlier. I was inspired by their passion for their work, and it reminds me why I shouldn’t attempt things in half-assed matter. Genuinely pouring yourself into something can be painful and/or satisfying, but it’s a real experience.
Death to Smoochy is hands down my favorite movie of the year. I don’t know why. It got panned by most critics, but it’s a great play on commercialism and makes me think about what the behind-the-scenes at the ‘Bozo Show’ might have been like. Ah, the seedy underworld of PBS.
Photos from the Pink Door, on the occasion of my moving from Seattle to San Francisco.
A wacky wedding photo snapped in Portland with my friend Jeannette.
Photos of a visit to my cousin Kim’s in sunny San Diego!
Select photos from Peter and Diana’s wedding near Marblehead, MA.
Photos, pierogies, borscht and blinis!