California Here I Am

Hello all from overcast Southern California!

I’m “home”, visiting with friends for a week in San Diego.  Per usual in June, the weather is upper 60s and overcast most of the day (the infamous “June Gloom.”) This visit is a mixture of hitting the usual favorite spots (more often than not centered around food), Cub’s/Padres games (yesterday and Sunday), and, in an effort to clear away some of the clutter accumulating in the house, cleaning out a closet or two, which is like opening a time capsule.

You see, we’re staying in the house that I grew up in. Since my father died, my step-mother has been living in the house, along with all the junk crap keepsakes of three households accumulated over the course of six decades. There are closets and cupboards here that act like the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers’ movie A Night at the Opera; you open the door and a wall of stuff comes tumbling out on top of you. Yesterday, we rediscovered Shrinky-Dinks and about 35 unfinished craft projects (latch-hook pillow anyone?) from 1977.

Tuesday we went to the “World Famous San Diego Zoo” (do they still call it that, I wonder?) which I hadn’t been to in about fifteen years. Much of it is new, with more naturalistic enclosures, and as always, an impressive collection of animals. We did hit some older sections of the zoo that haven’t changed in decades–the same concrete and metal enclosures from the 1960s that I remember so well; pens about the size of a living room with bored animals pacing back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

Especially disturbing were the mongo-sized sodas in plastic cups with huge molded plastic animal heads that everyone seemed to be sipping out of. It looked like people were slurping the brains out of the animals. But worse, these cups seemed like an incredibly ecologically unsound thing for a zoo to offer, a zoo that works for the preservation of endangered species. I couldn’t help but see landfills heaped with plastic animal heads poking up out of it.

Any-who. The zoo is very cool, the pandas rocked, the koala bears are as cute as ever, and the birds from around the globe especially of interest. And, as always, now that I’ve seen the zoo, I’m good for another decade before I have to see it again.

Wednesday we drove up to LA to the Getty Museum, which was A-MAAAA-ZING. I took loads of pictures and will gush about it further when I get home. Suffice it to say that LA is still a big turn-off in my book, but I’d make the trek up to the Getty again. It was that cool.

Yesterday’s high point was the Cubs’ shut-out victory over the Padres. The new park is very nice, the jumbo-tron annoying (remember, I’m used to Wrigley Field) and the fans hilarious–arriving late and leaving early. By the seventh inning, we had a beautiful clear view across rows of empty seats. Many Cubs fans too, which made it fun.

More seafood is on the agenda today along with a pilgrimage to Sunset Cliffs, overlooking the Pacific to watch the pelicans and the surfers. And perhaps another delving into the time capsule closet, where you never know what you’ll find.

2 thoughts on “California Here I Am

  1. Hey–great to get an update on your trip as it is happening—envy the trip to the Getty–alone it sounds like worth the trip
    finding any slinkys and barbie clothes in those closets?

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