Saturday, July 18, 2015

Journey to Beachland

Journey to Beachland


We need some rain, folks. The Golden State is fast losing its shine. Even too-cute-to-sweat Santa Barbie Land is starting to fade around the edges - the nicely landscaped shoulders of Hwy 101 look like they are gasping for breath. Big signs say "Using Reclaimed Water" every quarter mile from Goleta to downtown, but I don't think they are using enough. Everything looks thirsty. The dolphin fountain by Stearns Wharf has been disconnected, decommissioned, droughtified - no water, the dolphins are newly polished, ringed by plants. In a bizarre twist, I saw two fat girls jogging on the bike path near East Beach. What the hell is going on? Fat girls in SB????

You don't even want to know what the rest of So Cal looks like. Not quite Texas, but getting there. From the rolled down windows of the non-airconditioned and spectacularly ugly Spugly the Gas-Efficient Sweatbox Transporter, vast portions of the interior of the state could pass for a crumpled version of Oklahoma. And I don't mean that in a good way, in case you think dirty, dusty, and hot are cool. Dirty, dusty, and hot are not words that the founding fatherdudes included in the Last Whole California Hippie Constitution.

The new wave of resident hipsters in SB seem oblivious to their plight for the most part. They walk boldly into busy crosswalks tapping merrily away on their phones as though their 4G microwave signals could and should repel GPS-guided motor cars. Wouldn't it be deliciously morbidly funny if a texting Kia driver mowed down a jocular texting pedestrian and it turned out they had been texting each other? It will happen somewhere if it has not happened already.

I visited the Mission Santa Barbara for the first time since about 1988. It now costs $8 for a tour of the church and $4.32 to light a candle in the crowded lobby. The moneychangers are in charge of the temple, Jesus. It's time to come back and kick some tourism tail.

For free you can walk around the grounds and check out some beautiful vegetation and colorfully tiled Stations of the Cross. Here's a cool looking passion flower.

The Stations of the Cross, for those of you not in the know, are a devotional aid depicting scenes from Jesus's agonizing walk to his dying ground carrying a wooden cross upon which he was summarily crucified. If I remember correctly, there are fourteen stations in total. Station number four shows Jesus and his mother Mary. She kinda looks like she might be imploring him to drop that crossbeam and run away to California. "Come on, Jesus, forget this stuff, I got a VAN!"

A week or so ago, the Mission sponsored the annual chalk on the sidewalk art show. Several drawings were still in pretty good shape. The drought is good for something anyway.

I had great visits with my friends in town before heading home via San Luis Obispo and the Pacific Coast Highway. Eddie All State reminded me to remember that old saying: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." Don't cling. Let it go. Makes such good sense, no?

The traffic on the  Big Sur Coast was intermittently crazy, but as usual, the scenery was just the right medicine to make me forget all about everything else. Works every time. My vacation  from being on vacation is temporarily over. Now it's back to being on vacation again. Ahhhh, life is good.

Peace, Love, and the Mighty Spacific,

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