the city and the country (California trip – May 2012)

easy way to remember where you left your car at the airport – guess you could also write this information down, but that’s less interesting – this was our first time to fly out of Hobby Airport – much easier/faster to navigate than IAH
behind the bar at Tosca (I took the same shot last time we were there, in 2009) – we stayed just up the road at Columbus Motor Inn – super economical digs that are in a great location with FREE parking – while waiting for the bus outside the motel, we were engaged in conversation with a “colorful” old lady who said that I smelled good (just the right amount of scent, not too overpowering) and that I must be a good woman so James should occasionally wear “the thong” if he wants to keep “getting that poonanny”
for something different, we spent a couple of nights in Pacifica, a hamlet about 15 minutes south of SF – we stayed at the Seabreeze Motel, an old school beach motel that is located next to Nick’s Rockaway, the happening place for the entire town – the dance floor was hopping both nights, with locals dancing to a surprisingly good cover band playing typical drunk middle aged white people fare: “Brick House,” “Play that Funky Music White Boy,” etc.
we usually get a Hyundai – this car’s bigger engine was nice for all the driving we did in the mountains, though I was a little skeered when we were driving through “warning: falling rocks” areas where you could actually see the rocks rolling down toward the road as you zipped by
we were having a nice picnic at Lake Berryessa when James laid it on me that the Zodiac killer did some of his nasty business there – how romantic
on the back deck of the house we borrowed from friends in Napa – we did a lot of this
we did a lot of this, too
sweet Hana, the dog next door – she stopped in to see us each morning and again in the evening – she was also good for taking care of leftovers
Jarvis Winery, thanks to two passes from our friends Philip and Jonathan – it’s in a fucking cave – seriously, the entire operation (except the vineyard) is inside a cave that was dug with the same machinery that dug the Chunnel – I wanted to rollerblade down its hallways, inevitably falling on my ass and probably cracking my head open in the process
it’s so fancy, there’s a waterfall inside – our tasting group included five drunk Iraqis and a rich couple from Boston – the lady part of the couple and I took a bathroom break – she carried on our conversation throughout our time in the water closet, even as she let loose a rather prodigious fart – didn’t miss a beat
fighting stupidization
Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael – this was the first Ramble that Phil Lesh (bassist from the Grateful Dead) put together with the blessing of Levon Helm (who did his own Rambles at his place in Woodstock) – they played the Band’s “The Band” album all the way through because Levon had died just a few weeks before – the night featured Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes plus a lot of weed
back at Hobby, they couldn’t offload the luggage because of lightning on the tarmac – the bad thing about having wifi on the plane is I was watching a serious storm move into Houston as our plane was doing the same – we ended up stuck there for over an hour waiting for our luggage, then drove through a monsoon to get back home – welcome back!
the haul from City Lights (SF) and Moe’s Books (Berkeley)

6 thoughts on “the city and the country (California trip – May 2012)

  1. You have friends in Napa? Holy shit. I knew you were some kind of misplaced royalty. Those pictures were great…that whole area is just fantastic and i want to go back someday and spend a year just bumming around. The only napalese friend I ever made was a county sheriff who picked me and my backpack up on the north side of St Helena and dropped me off on the south end of Napa with a suggestion that I should “check out Berkeley.”

    I was just grateful that he didn’t check out the contents of my backpack and I boogied on south to Santa Cruz. I could still boogie back then.

    I got my stickers and my flip card. I don’t know anything about Minnesota except every time I order bicycle parts that’s where they come from. Thanks for the card, though. The stickers are cool but the one I put on the dog fell off.

    That reading list looks to be very appropriate for City Lights. Putting Bukowski (One of my Spirit Guides) on top is correct; Vonnegut…a little midwestern for the SF scene and he finished out on the Vineyard. Who the hell is Foer? I could not make out all the titles but I hope one of them was Ray Carver. And Flannery O’Conner.


    1. That’s why I gave you more than one sticker. Figured it might take a couple of tries before you found the right home.

      The titles you can’t make out are mostly plays. City Lights has a great selection of scripts, unlike bookstores in Houston, so that’s what I tend to buy out there. And always one Bukowski book.

      We were very lucky to be able to borrow that cool house. The house is built into the side of a mountain, so when you’re sitting on the back deck it’s like being in a tree house. And when you look down the twenty or so feet to the ground, there are deer and birds and fat lizards. And friendly dogs. Perfect place for hanging out with a wine buzz and listening to the birds. Plus, no internet or phone service, which provided a true break from the day-to-day. My only complaint is that it got into the upper 90s during the day, but it did cool off nicely each night.

  2. Ahha land of the bungholes ! It looks like it was a great trip. The pic inside Hobby is funny the woman in pink has that completely defeated look that is common place in airports. I dig the tree pic.

    1. I like the lady in pink, too. Her outfit is so damn cheery, complete with a flower in her hair, but she looks so sad. Like she knows the party is going on without her. Just out of frame is a young couple on the floor practically humping each other. Maybe I should have included that picture for some emotional balance.

  3. I was getting more of a “the party’s ended and now I’m waiting for my luggage before I can drive home” vibe of of Pink Lady.

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