Wednesday morning heavy rain kept me from the airport for my appointed plane. I caught another one two hours later. I finished the sci fi by Anderson which was, like most of his work, set forth in entertaining fashion his various political theses. I landed in Philadelphia, where this car driving company picked me up for a trip to the Philadelphia part of New Jersey. The driver was enthused because Philadelphia had beaten Dallas in the recent football game. Philadelphia fans care about this rivalry much more than Dallas people do.
I like Philadelphia, because it feels familiar and home-like to me although it is nothing like any place I ever actually called home. I go there once in a great long while, for this bit of business or that, and always enjoy driving through it. I ended up in the "Philadelphia part of New Jersey", a heavily-wooded, hip looking area not far from Princeton, not far from Philly.
After a late Wednesday meeting and a slew of business done by cell phone, I had an interesting discussion of the problem of tolerance in a polarized time. We left it with a fascinating question: "what is the huge moral blindness we have today, comparable to slavery or Jim Crow laws in another day". Lots of good answers to that one, and a good point to ponder. It's easy to know the things we know are wrong, but what things do we do wrong societally that we don't even properly fathom to be wrong?
I got up early Thursday, and when my AOL wouldn't load, I used some spare dawn time to revise my novel.
I loved reading it again, after being away from it for nearly two years. I do not think it is a very good novel, but it is certainly a Gurdonark novel, the fruit of the poisonous tree which is this weblog.
After Thursday's meeting ended, I tolerated a flight which included a Chicago to Los Angeles leg bunched up like a pretzel in a middle seat in coach. Everyone was very nice to the big man in the middle seat with the huge briefcase, though. I had headphones, though, and an airline channel devoted to rock by bands like Interpol, Blink 182, Auf dur Maur, the recent Cure, and various combinations of ringing guitars, moaning synths, and voices talking about doom, destruction, kissing, longing for a beer, and losing one's girlfriend.
When I finally landed in Los Angeles, it was 61 degrees at night. I took a shuttle past all the palm trees which are the non-native cinematic palms and not good and admirable native California palms. Everybody always wants to dig up invasive weeds, but I say they should start with those invasive palms. But there's a palm crisis on right now, as Vegas has appropriated much of the "weird French Foreign Legion looking, Rudy Vallee in an oasis" LA palm crop, so I should count my blessings in getting to see the desrt island palms as rabidly as sheep.
I picked up my rental car, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, in a bright red. I needed only a CD of "Theme from Shaft" to be 1972 cool, but I instead listened to the indie station at Loyola Marymount University. I have a second cousin who goes to that college, but whom I don't know very well. I wonder if she listens to that station.
I got up at dawn to go draft an order prior to my hearing, and then handled my hearing with ease.
I stopped in the law library to look up the answer to a burning question, and then got on an hour long conference call, while parked on a side street off Bellanca, near the airport.
When the call ended, I headed to LAX airport. The line for security clearance stretched for a block or two. The neighboring Southwest Airlines block stretched for blocks on end. Thanksgiving has already begun for some travellers. I made my plane, though, and alternated between reading the LA Times, listening to more loud music on cheap headphones, and watching 2 and 1/2 men, a fairly amusing sitcom that nonetheless depends on too much pointless vulgarity for its punchlines. Still, any show with Marin Hinkle in it cannot be all bad, any more than the Jami Gertz driven truly banal comedy the previous evening could be all bad.
But isn't it odd when good TV actors and actresses are used on really dumb shows? On "once and again", the quality of the writing was wonderful, and nobody watched it. Jami Gertz used to get to play in a movie or two in which she acted, not to mention a good ER recurring turn. Now Marin Hinkle is in a popular show, but one not nearly so well written. Jami Gertz' show is a rip-off of a James Belushi show,which is almost frightening to imagine.
Other sitcoms which are truly abysmal gain an audience, and, while channel surfing, I passed by a show in which women jilted off a game show called "The Bachelor", in which they all feigned love for a lothario who feigned love for them, got to complain about how his intentions were not pure nor honorable. Television is Ionesco, if you just crinkle your eyes a bit.
I finally found my car in the Hilton airport parking lot, to which one goes when regular American Airlines parking is full. I drove home, where a kind Finnish mail artist had sent me the coolest booklet
of poetry and notions, bound together with a casual thread. I loved the little booklet, but I also loved the wild bird stamps which decorated the envelope. A Helsinki oriole looks alot like a Baltimore one.
I've had a week filled with too much travel. I must finish off my Texas MCLE tomorrow, and then fill in the gaps I need for California legal education requirements. Saturday afternoon, the huge fish tank will arrive. I am eager to get working on giving away the "donation tanks" I have gathered. I will not go to dulcimer class tomorrow, but I plan to play some music for practice anyway, autoharp or dulcimer.
I feel a holiday spirit coming on. I love this time of year. My wife figured out why our older dog is going into our backyard and barking each evening. A huge owl now sits in the tall trees several houses down. I love owls. I hope I hear a "who".