technically speaking, i live in new hampshire. i vote there, my dog gets his tags there, and my car's plates offer you the choice of living free or death. and lord knows i want to live there. i want to plop a double wide next to my parents' house, and turn the former industrial air conditioner showroom in town into a movie theater that shows cartoons on saturday afternoons, and meet some dude with a 1982 toyota landcruiser who totally takes charge when bats get into the house (and cedes charge in almost any other situation).
to do those things though, i need money, and to get money, i need a job (even the dude requires cash-- landcruisers don't go biodesiel by themselves). to get a job, i spend a lot of time in los angeles. i see myself as nh resident who works in la with the world's longest commute. because if i start seeing myself as resident of ca, i might step into oncoming traffic.
so, what follows is the ov-review (a overview/review hybrid, just like my car, but without the push button start) of my latest trip across this great nation. but before i can get to that, i should give at least a brief mention of the la to nh leg back in may. it was actually between oakland and syracuse, took 3 days, and was essentially uneventful. although i did eat a couple delious meals in elko, nevada (basque food AND slot machines in the bathrooms!) and omaha (you got a problem with choice steak? prime is for pussies!), and one meal at a mcdonalds where they were out of beef. BUT there was a guy there wearing a baseball hat that said "FUCKING A", and that was much better than a big mac.
en route to oakland from LA, there were a few notable events, and they were as follows:
-i took a gas/pee break in a town called "los banos," which i thought was awesome. that place should be the mecca of peeing. ha ha toilet fart pee pee i'm an adult.
-my cousin sara is getting her phd at santa cruz, and she showed me the campus, and it's like oz/middle earth/smurf village, but with more sandals. she also fed me and gave me a nice place to sleep, which i didn't exactly deserve, since, when she visited me in new york, i took her to popeyes in times square and stuck her on a foldout. plus, no redwoods.
-i visited ashrita at her job in san francisco, and she worked with a guy i interned for back in college, and we hugged before realizing that is not something we had ever or should ever do. especially since i'd just spent 3.5 hours hiking big basin and sweat so bad i could feel it in my socks. still, no harm done, and if he'd asked me to run dumb errands, i probably would have done it for old time's sake.
-ashrita complained to me how someone she knows in sf always goes out of his way at parties to talk about ashrita's exboyfriend and how they dated even though it was really long ago, and then maybe two hours later, when her roommate put on a cd, a cd that happened to be of music by a band featuring a guy i dated TEN YEARS AGO, what do you think ashrita did? loudly? with a sweeping motion of her arms for extra dramatic emphasis? she has since apologized, but the irony was not lost on me, and i'd kind of like to lose it, because i'm still embarrased.
anyway, here are a few pictures of note from that leg of the trip:
this is the coast at santa cruz, which is, duh, pretty. cousin sara told me that the flora you see here-- i think it was call ice plant-- was put in by reagan during his reign as governor of california. he thought the plants were, duh, purty. they were also, duh, not native, and killed all the indigenous plants and majorly fucked up the local ecosystem. i guess the one good thing to come out of this is a fresh reason to hate ronald reagan. loathing that cocksucker really never gets old.
i stopped at big basin thinking i'd just take a li'l stroll since i had time to burn between santa cruz and san francisco, plus i had a hankering to see giant trees. the ranger, who looked like the guy from the movie once/the frames/the commitments/ the spin doctors/the entire country of ireland, asked me if i wanted to see a waterfall or a view, and, like the fucking moron i am, i said view. view, as in,i hope you find this view stunning, because it took me about two hours to reach it. i got to big a nice place to see the countryside from a great height. and since the ranger station wasn't at the top of a mountain, said view would have to be reached by, ya know, going uphill. in jeans and a shitty pair of adidas. with really unclear markers and a kind of crappy map since big red ranger had a bit of a 'tude. and i have a less-than-streamlined, manatee build.
i got lost, i got bitten by at least one kind of insect, i got a bad case of swamp ass, and it was all the for vista you see on the left. the way down was actually really nice, a path along a small gulch with trees all around and natural bridges and the like, but i was too rattled to really appreciate the scene since i was convinced i was going the wrong way and when my body was eventually found my cousin would say guiltily that she wished she'd spent more time with me on the coast, thus making my death the fault of none other than ronald reagan (think about it). in the end though, it was a nice hike, albeit three times longer than i intended it to be, and helped to make up for the next 3 days of sitting on my ass in a car waiting for the next flying J travel center truck stop, hoping that it be one with a barbershop inside because that shit's just too weird.
oh, and this tree had a ball.