I Went for a Walk

Last week I had to take my car in to get the passenger side door lock replaced. Owning a car that was built in the previous century means that as you round the corner into your second decade of ownership all sorts of interesting parts begin to fail. In February the coolant system needed resuscitation. In March the computer brain that causes all the dashboard alerts to light up all at once caused all the dashboard alerts to light up all at once. Then in April Jackson discovered that he could open the passenger side door even when it appeared to be locked. "How do I keep opening a locked door?" he shouted over the sound of the car alarm one day. "YOU'RE DOING WHAT?!" I inquired politely at the top of my lungs.

So one morning last week I left my car at Swedemasters at 8:15 a.m., which gave me 45 minutes until I had to be at the acupuncture office where I'm currently undergoing a series of treatments meant to restore the cyclical functions of my lady parts. (The transition between blithe fertility and never having to look another tampon in the eye comes at a price, ladies. Fortunately, Chinese herbs and tiny little needles strategically placed in my toes/knees/scalp may keep the aging process from killing me HA HA HA.) Anyway, between the garage where I'd left my car and the acupuncture office I had a 20-block city walk to enjoy, so I took some photos! For you!

There used to be so many great thrift stores on lower State but we're down to this "curated vintage" place now, I guess. And the Goodwill on Carrillo. I don't go thrifting anymore, anyway. Probably because somewhere along the line I decided I liked wearing clothes that actually fit, and didn't used to belong to a man who used too much fabric softener.


Wait, isn't punk dead? I gave away my Buzzcocks button in 1982 and thought, "Well! That's over then, time to listen to some Style Council." I'm pleased to think that in a post-ironic world, however, that a fresh Germs t-shirt can show a sort of bracing sincerity. (And: nice backbend, Iggy.) Maybe this is some sort of museum display to honor The Middle Ages of Vinyl.

Then I went into some sort of walking coma for five or six blocks, so you don't get to see any photographic evidence of the mall blocks (Wetzel's Pretzels, Juicy, Lucky, Betsey Johnson, Saks). I came to just in time to capture an underexposed Granada Theater marquee. When I first moved to Santa Barbara I worked at a bookstore just up the block from here. One morning I came into work with a cappuccino I'd bought from a little cafe that, along with the bookstore, also no longer exists. I walked in, set my coffee on the counter, put away my bag and jacket, and the next thing I knew the bookstore owner had knocked over my coffee with a file folder, glanced at the giant mess spreading all over everything, shrugged, and started looking up something on the computer. I was horrified that my coffee was about to destroy a significant number of mass-market paperbacks, and that the only thing to stop the mess from spreading was an invoice for the paperbacks, but I was also really pissed that my boss hadn't even apologized for leveling my breakfast. Years later I learned that she was on some fairly heavy antidepressants, and had been ever since her son had accidentally been killed on a Boy Scout camping trip. So, you know, in my mind I went back in time and forgave her for not offering to replace my $3.00 cappuccino.

I really like how they've positioned those two CLOSED signs, like the force of all caps will negate the fact that the door's actually wide open.

A Schwinn Corvette! I was thrilled to find that someone's put the Schwinn catalog of my youth online. The tandems: such a mystery! Those college girls seemed so grown up. My first bike was a burgundy red Lil' Chik. My second bike was a blue girl's Stingray with a banana seat and a sissy bar. My third bike was a burgundy Collegiate. Then in 8th grade I broke out of the Schwinn tradition and bought a blue Nishiki road bike with $89 of my own saved-up money. I didn't buy anything again until I moved to Santa Barbara and didn't have the money for a car. I found a second-hand silver Sears men's three-speed for $50, but then I left it locked to a car port when I moved to L.A. Apparently I was in a hurry to get out of town.

Downey's. Jack and I went here once twelve years ago and had an delicious if somewhat fussy dinner to celebrate something, I no longer remember what. (Probably moving away from L.A.)

This fitness-themed storefront presents a graphic display of the difference between five pounds of muscle (left) and five pounds of fat (right). And so close to a restaurant! Man. That's nasty.

I still hope to avoid this place but I know there are worse things that could happen to you. The mother of one of Jackson's classmates died of cancer on Friday, for example. I'm not sure she was even 40 yet. So, yeah, hi, I have nothing to complain about, especially not the blisters I was getting on my heels at this point. Nothing. I'm breathing? Ambulatory? I get to see my kid grow up? We have enough to eat and three televisions? Yeah, I'm not going to let the fact that I'm disappointed with this weird hippie yogurt I bought on sale ruin my day.

I like thinking of a false beard as a "face wig."

Last year when I was applying for jobs I interviewed at a place I really, really wanted to work for, but they chose someone else, and I was actually sort of heartbroken about it. Six months later, when I was at the job I did manage to get, the first place called and asked if I wanted to interview again. Again, they gave the job to someone else. Then, last Friday, they called and said, Don't worry, we're not going to make you interview again, we're just flat-out offering you a job, do you want it? And I jumped up and down and laughed and my heart grew two sizes, and then I gave everyone back their Christmas trees and all the children in Whoville held hands and sang a humble song of thanks.

I had a dream last night that a Volcano Goddess came to me in the form of an otter and told me to stop leading such a frivolous life (and also that there was a ghost monster next to the building I worked in). I don't know what it means, but she was pretty furious when she said it so it seemed like a good idea to pay attention.

Sometimes you need to stop trying to make a thing happen when you want it to and just let it happen when it's ready to.