For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Head Trips are Starting: When Cleaning Goes Weird

Oh, I'm torn! I want to write, but in two or three minutes, an episode of a comedy I captioned is starting, and I've always been curious as to what got changed in the final edit, if anything significant at all. One of the most entertaining challenges of the job is figuring out how to convey sound effects to the non-hearing viewer. And sometimes it's just downright fun.

This episodes was one of "those" episodes that had me busting a gut and scratching my head.

...But then again.

I just found a piece of paper in an old copy of Seattle's Cheap Eats. A life insurance and travel health insurance dated for my Epic trip I took the spring my mom died. (We thought she was getting better...)

Wow. What a great, weird, wonderful trip that was.

I was working at a bookshop and had all these great guides that I pored over for plans. Hopped in my Hyundai and spent almost four weeks driving down to San Fran and staying all over the place.

Kicked things off with a 2 night stay at my favourite writers' retreat in Oregon, followed by a night in Ashland for the Shakespeare's Festival, at which I say Othello starring Anthony Heald (who was awesome) on the Bard's birthday.

The next day I grabbed coffee and a muffin to go and drove up to the top of Mount Ashland to catch the sunrise while pondering life for a few minutes over a tasty pastry before the long drive to Sacramento, California.

I stayed at the hostel in the centre of town, by the historic district, in a restored 1880s hotel that the city invested some $2 mill in. Fantastic hostel. Met this guy there who I really hit it off with while I was applying aloe vera on my arms, swiped from the kitchen plant, standing the there in the kitchen. (Bad driver's burn!) Somehow started talking music. What, Orgy and Nine In Nails and all the basic food groups or something?

We started smoking cigs together on the porch as the sun went down, chatting, and next thing you know, we're the only people out on a warm spring night, wandering the historic downtown at about 2 in the morning on a Thursday. We came to a place on some strange street where we heard the strains of a band jamming in rehearsal. We sat down and who's rehearsing? Cake, man. We listened for, god, an hour? Found our beds somewhere around 4:30am.

The next morning, we all got up and pestered the staff for Where the Locals Eat, and had brekkie in this circa-1890 greasy spoon that had kickass potatoes. Guy's name was Dan and we never corresponded after that. Great night, though. I remember he was an American expat living in Germany, just over for a holiday after a breakup or something.

I spent the day checking out the local public market and wandering, learning the hard way that American money all looks the same when I paid someone a 20 I thought was $1, and found myself a little broker when I did it a second time. ($1us was about $1.35 Canadian then.) Christ.

Then it was off to San Francisco for moi.

And, that, friends, was where it all went a little odd. Never really wrote about that trip. Time to get it all down before facts and anecdotes start to escape me. The fortune teller, the strange religious analogist who lied when he said he could take a critique, El Fuego, the lost attempt to find the Church of John Coltrane, uh... the gross man who sat next to me at a fantastic dinner table who failed to understand the practical limits of napkin uses at the table, um... travels in the Mission District. Sleeping in a lighthouse. Santa Monica on a slow day. Great photos in Carmel. Strange hotel encounters with a persistent Jewish Guy who was 5'2 and wore lifts and lacked the capacity to understand anything spoken in negatives, like, "Never gonna happen", or "No, no, and no", or "Not a chance". There comes a time when even optimism cannot help you, people. And when that time comes, Accept it.

How many of the stories I'll bother to tell, I don't know. A couple need tellin'.

One day. :)

But, for now... Kurosawa's Seven Samurai's playing on Turner Classic Movies. How odd, but cool!