Monday, May 28, 2012

Farewell L.A.

My sojourn on the Left Coast is winding down: I'm sitting in the lobby of the Burbank Airport Marriott, checking e-mails, tallying up my bill to make sure I haven't been overcharged, having the first of several cups of coffee.

This has been a wonderful long weekend. The reason for the visit was the annual AALA Roundup, sponsored by the gay and lesbian groups of AA in Southern California. There are workshops, meetings, banquets, fun and fellowship as they say. I saw several old friends, and tried to reconnect to someone dear to me who has, as nearly as I can tell, gone into seclusion with no way to contact.

Leo Carillo Beach, looking north toward Malibu
But in addition to the celebration of recovery, I took the opportunity of being really away to travel around a bit and visit old haunts. (Thanks to Hertz and a couple of free upgrades I've been tooling around in a candy apple red Toyota Corolla LE with the most awesome GPS.) I went up into the Hollywood hills to see the house where I used to live, completely redone now, having been severely damaged in a mudslide back in '95. (I don't like what they did with it...) Visited West Hollywood and the French Market, strolled around Beverly Hills, then back to Silver Lake to Sunset Junction, the funky little area on Sunset Blvd. near the house where I first moved back in 1988. It's very much alive and well, although A Different Light, the gay & lesbian bookstore is gone now, where I used to participate in poetry readings on Sunday nights, which led to my being published in an anthology of works culled from several years of those readings.

Yesterday, after a couple of workshops, I got in the car and drove up the coast to Leo Carillo State Park   north of Malibu, a camping ground and beautiful beach with rock formations to climb, caves to explore, and from which you can see harbor seals swimming just offshore. It was suggested to me, after a workshop on Prayer and Spirituality, that meditation can take many forms and I was reminded that, for me, getting in the car and driving, all alone, can be very calming and joyful. So I got on the freeway (well, two or three, really) and then through Las Virgenes, a long road through a deep canyon with spectacular views, that let me out on the coast in Malibu. I drove to the beach, explored a little, and fell asleep on the sand. Then back down Pacific Coast Highway to Venice, where I strolled Abbott Kinney Blvd., the main drag, and shopped and had one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten: prosciutto, grilled asparagus and goat cheese with lemon zest on artisan bread. The whole day, though tiring, was remarkably restorative.

 A couple of nights I dropped off to sleep, fully dressed, at around 8 or 8:30 and didn't wake up until six the next morning. I've eaten well, and been reminded of how blessed I am -- in so many ways -- and that this is a wide, wide world. I mean, I know this -- I've traveled to many places here and abroad -- but it helps to be reminded from time to time, to actually see these places, meet the people, reconnect with old friends and remember that the little world I spin around in back home, which can give me such agita, is just a small piece of the larger puzzle.

In some ways it's been very emotional, seeing the places I used to live and remembering... I was a different person then, but aspects of that Fred are still with me. And now we're all coming home.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Update from Kona

well I know it's been awhil;e since I tried to write anything but I have been very buzy getting use to my new house and owners and there's all the sleeping I have to do. Like these humans say There is never eoungh time in the day. but Hey I'm not a complainer.

The Cat in the Bag
Last week it was one Year that I've been with the new Humans and it has been very eventfull. I have learned how to get up on the fish tank and jump from there to the top of wehre they keep the TV, the arm-war they call it (I think thats French or something) and then they get all nervous becase they think i'll hurt myself jumping back down but that shows you how much they know. I can get down just fine even tho Chris usually will come over and reach up and get me. I mean I'm not a baby. I actually had a birthday not long ago and the human Chris tells everyone that I'm really 62 in human years which I think we could do without brodcasting that all over the place.

that Human, Chris, has been working a lot at his catering gigs (he calls them) and getting up before dawn some days to go to work so of course I'm up with him and sometimes I will sit with him while he's on the computer doing that work he has to do for jewel school so he can get a certified paper and start doing jewel stuff. Which I know he likes because sometimes he watches on the TV when they're selling jewlry on those shows with the really happy ladies with the big teeth and fancy fingernails. He says that sometimes the deals aren't bad. He likes the color stones the best, diamonds not so much, and when the commercials come on for those Pandora charm bracelets he gets angry like someone just poked him with a fish bone.He really hates those. But he takes good care of me and makes sure I have everything I need, even treats sometimes. He calls me Kona Man and has a little song he sings.

the other Human called Fred is working very hard at his job at the nursing college and going to therapy for his shoulder which has been giving him trouble. The therapy lady has him doing exercises at home to get better and he uses a big rubber band for one of the exercises but I mean a BIG rubber band that he lets me play with sometimes which is awesome. It seems to be a little better. He hasnt said anything in a long time about his cancer so I guess that means its okay for now.

He is going away next week to Calrifornia to see some old friends and maybe go to the Venice beach and Beverly Hills and just relax because he's been so stressed out the humans call it. Sometimes he looks so tired and sad so I try to cheer him up and give him love bites on his ankles. He doesnt understand this. I dont either, its a cat thing I guess. the Other Human Chris says theyll get the Pet Sidekick (?) to channel me and find out why I do that but it will probly be a waste of there money because I don't know. Maybe I'll make something up so they don't think theyre wasting there money on the Pet Sidekick.

Well that's all fornow. It is spring and I can sit in the open windows and smell the birds and trees and the Chinese food in the air. My humans are going down to Maryland to get a French picture they bought next month and see some family members of Chris's. They found this French picture at an anteek mall which i gather is wehre humans sell old things that some people dont want but other people do. Theyre always getting pictures and rugs and little pottery things for flowers and I've seen enough TV now to know that this is very gay and is part of their DNA and they cant help it. Like me biting Fred's ankles. Don't ask me why!

That's all for now--
Your gray-furred friend Kona