Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Electric in the morning, giving way to dismay in the evening

I have been home for just about a week. Other than being plagued by the most bizarre, and unrelenting jet-lag, everything has been magic. I can't keep my eyes open past 10 pm, and I am wide awake at 8 am. Not that there is a damn thing wrong with keeping regular business hours, but I don't have a business, and therefore have no reason to keep said hours, especially against my will. This was the last picture I took before my flight home. It was 7:30 in the morning en route to Heathrow after five long, cold weeks in Europe. A study in miserable disarray.

And the view from my living room window the first three nights that I was home. Electric in the evening as well.

I have the odd pangs of recollection from the last tour, though, for the most part I am home. The return of sunshine, a proper bed and edible food products has flowed back into my life. There were some good times, to be fair. I saw some good friends in Glasgow, and we drank terrible tonic wine made by monks and favored by hobos.

And then I was dropped at an airport hotel in London to shower and run for my flight. I was blessed to spend my last few hours on tour with an airplane full of english football thugs. Ten minutes into the air the pilot reminded all of us that if several passengers didn't stop smoking then the plane would be diverted (presumably to someplace more terrible than London). I had been harboring some resent towards the good people of England for some time, this was just insult to injury. I decided that it would be cathartic, if not recreational to go watch the Mayweather-Hatton fight in a bar last weekend. Hatton is a squirley Mancunian freak with a huge following of pale, sickly-looking English fans, most of which were at a bar down the street from my house. I waited, with marked intensity for someone, anyone to step on his neck or punch him in the throat. It was some Rocky IV-type nonsense. His fans were ravenously supportive. He got laid out twice in the 10th round, and for just a moment everything seemed right with the world.

I have, as I've suggested, sunken into a rather relaxing schedule of wandering around the city during the day, having a drink or two followed by an elaborate dinner at night and falling promptly asleep after reading 3 pages of a book or watching fifteen minutes of a Gary Oldman movie. I saw No Country for Old Men the other day, which has nothing at all to do with Gary Oldman, but it is a good flick. The writing was impressive and, while I usually find Cormac McCarthy to be a tad obsessed with the language of the wild west, some of the dialogue really stuck with me. I am thumbing through 'The World Without Us' which Harley lent me. It's an experiment of sorts examining how the world would react if humans ceased to exist. I'm also picking up the odd Kurt Vonnegut book to get me through the winter. In saying that, it hasn't really been much of a winter here. Yesterday the sun was beaming over the bridge.

And the sky was deep blue.

I drove out to the Point Bonita lighthouse in Marin . It was a leisurely hike out to the point, and free of the usual droves of school children. And it was followed, not long after, by our friend Yenie throwing a party at her house celebrating not only the fact that she has just left her job, but also the wondrous event of her mother making 25 pounds of spare ribs.


San Francisco is full of these amazing parks and accessible outdoorsy activities. This is a ten minute drive from my apartment in the city. I can't talk it up enough. I always appreciate living here, but a little affirmation never hurts. Hopefully this will stop the deluge of friends moving to NY from the bay area. That and the fact that New York can be a downright miserable place in the winter...and summer.

I have been kicking around a number of ideas to busy myself during my time off. I'll be in North Carolina over New Years, hopefully in a cabin in the woods, just that much farther away from it all. Seeing either The Melvins or Neurosis was pretty tempting, for sure. Until then I want to take a crash course in some musical instrument, jazz banjo maybe. I was looking into surfing lessons, since my friend Mark in LA took it up rather religiously a few months back, but after seeing reports of 80 foot waves at Mavericks the other day, I think I'll wait that one out. I'll mostly be hiking. Or stumbling upon giant cameras.

I suppose it begs an explanation. One of the world's largest examples of camera obscura is in this weird, camera-shaped box on Ocean Beach. It's like a huge pinhole camera that projects an image onto a large bowl in the center of a dark room. I have been half-heartedly looking for it for a while now. Best 3 dollars that I have ever spent.

I am going ice skating and then to see the RZA tonight. The two events are unrelated. Might I suggest that you go out and get the 'Trojan Dub Rarities' set if it's even a little bit cold where you are. Also this website makes me happy.