Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back to Los Angeles

No access to the Internet this morning. Ellie and I vacated our small house in Los Angeles last night, to make room for the family; our kind neighbors, currently out of town, agreed to let us use a bedroom in their house, and they have suspended wi-fi service in their absence. I’m reduced to writing my blog entry as a Word document, to be transcribed later when we get back to our own territory. Oh, the woe of it all!

Actually, the big woe this morning is the cold that has been threatening Ellie for the past few days, but which seems to have come into full bloom during the night. She is now resting in her (strange) bed with her (familiar) cup of tea, and I’ll be taking on the difficult task of getting her to rest in the course of the day. The family have their own plans for the day. Sensibly, they pre-booked tickets for the Universal City extravaganza from London—the kind that allow them, supposedly, to get into fast-tracked lines so that they don’t spend their entire day waiting in those dreadful long queues. The storm of energy will be gathering shortly across the street, so it’s definitely a good thing for Ellie to be sheltered from it this morning.

Yesterday was spent almost entirely on the freeways—from Joshua Tree to Laguna Beach to pick up George from his dog-sitter, our good friend Lisa, who takes such good care of him while we are gone; then back on the freeway for the trip back north to Los Angeles. It’s a trip that normally takes us an hour door-to-door, if we pick our time; but yesterday it took nearly twice that time, with an accident that delayed us on Interstate 5 north, resulting in traffic that hardly moved for miles on end.

I am not good in such a circumstance, I admit it. All the good stuff learned from the Buddhist teachings and from meditation goes right out the window when I’m stuck in traffic. I tell myself (and Ellie reminds me, annoyingly) that there’s nothing I can do about it; I remind myself (and Ellie reminds me, annoyingly) to breathe. It does no good. It’s like watching Sarah Palin on the television news: I can’t help it, my blood boils. I watch, helpless, as my mind surrenders first to anger, then to rage. At such moments, I’m close to understanding those Tea-Partiers, who seem to have sacrificed even obvious self-interest, let alone reason and common sense, to a visceral feeling of victimization and self-pity.

Traffic notwithstanding, we arrived back home in time to get an unusual amount of clobber from the car, unpack, and sort through the piles of mail, even to take a relaxing sauna and a shower before preparing for the arrival of the family via a separate, and slower route from Joshua Tree. Amazing how small the house does seem when its population expands from two to seven! With the inflatable double futon that we use for guests at the beach, we managed to convert the downstairs into sleeping room enough for all five of them—but, with their large suitcases opened out to serve as drawer space, with remarkably little floor area left over for navigation. A good thing we have a bed to sleep in across the street.

We put together an easy supper of leftovers—soup, various meats and cheeses, bread and crackers—and settled down to watch the Nova special on the development of telescopes over the centuries and the increasingly spectacular views of the universe they afford. Before it finished, though, everyone was tired, so we left the end of the program to record and crept off to bed…

1 comment:

mandt said...

We watched the NOVA special too!