Sunday, November 29, 2009

And Ladies, He's Single

I'm sure there are lots of great people from Red Bluff, California. But this is the guy I will always think of anytime someone mentions that small Northern California town just outside of Reading.

He-or should I say the sound of his truck- arrived about 30 seconds before he did at the gas station where I was filling up. The thumping bass from the 1000 watt stereo and the crackling roar of a pair of shortened mufflers announced his arrival.

His white Ford F250 was lifted far beyond any practical need and his tires were the size normally reserved for giant trucks that crush cars on ESPN 6. When the door opened I expected to see a guy the size of the Brawny man but instead a guy about my size leapt from the driver's side door. The fall was so far that a small parachute wouldn't have been impractical. It was like watching Yosemite Sam make an entrance in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. After landing, he pulled down his tank top, checked out his triceps in the chrome bumper and strutted over to the pump. It was then that I noticed the huge pair of testicles hanging from his rear hitch.

And the finishing touch. A bumper sticker that read, "It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Love LA

Travel and Leisure magazine just released their 2009 ratings of the best cities in the United States. Cities were rated in categories such as Best Restaurants, Best Museums, Most Intelligent People and Best Overall.

As usual, Los Angeles was mostly ignored, even in the category of Best Looking. Really? There are cities with better looking people than Los Angeles? They certainly aren't showing up for the focus groups.

The reason I mention this is that it got me thinking about one of the reasons I have always loved Los Angeles. The people in LA just don't give a shit about that sort of thing. I'm not sure if it's confidence or apathy or maybe illiteracy, but it works for me.

People in other cities seem to be convinced that they are in some sort of feud with LA. Go to San Francisco and you'll frequently hear a group at a cafe table going on about how much better SF is than LA. Same for New York. And Seattle. And many other places. The funny thing is that they seem convinced that people in LA are doing the same thing.

I got news for you guys, they're not. You're in the ring alone, throwing punches at someone who never even knew there was a fight going on. Or could care.

People from LA are lovers, not fighters. They love LA. But they also love San Francisco. And New York. And Portland. They love your restaurants and museums and bagels and all your smart people. They can find something to love about most places and most people in the world. And they would rather focus on those things than on the stuff they don't like.

No professional football team in LA. Again, the only people I hear bitching about this are from other cities. How bizarre is that?

In LA, we all just go out and enjoy another day on the beach with all the other ugly people. Oh look, there goes Giselle roller blading by in a thong. Yuk.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Ding

Well it finally happened. Our new house got its first official major ding last week.

Some lunkhead managed to back his ginormous delivery truck into our carport roof. Even though I was pissed off I must say there's some small part of me that was glad to get it over with. Like when you get that first door ding on your new car. Now I can just get on with my life and stop wondering when it's going to happen.

Building a new house is an amazing experience for a lot of reasons but I never realized how strange it would feel when all the workers had left and it was just Melanie and me sitting in the middle of this brand new, never lived in... thing. Alone and afraid to mess anything up. Out in the middle of nowhere.

Every time I stood up I was careful not to scuff the brand new red oak floors. When I went to a cabinet I took plates out very carefully and set them gently down on the table. God forbid I should nick one of the beach cabinets.

In the beginning, the house was so very empty. Not just physically empty but emotionally empty.Nothing had ever happened there, good or bad. No one had ever fallen in love, had a fight, screwed on the patio under a full moon, cooked a huge meal for friends, vomited, laughed, cried, sung, danced, received great news or horrible news.

It was our job to breath the first life into that house, to start the never ending process of turning a house into a home. Someday, we'll sell the house and someone new will move in and add their own stories to the history of the house. But it will be cumulative. Some of us will always be there.

It's been about a year since we first sat at that dining room table in our empty new house. Today it feels like a completely different place and I'd like to thank all the friends, new and old, who've helped get us on our way.

I may even thank that driver someday. But not just yet.