Saturday, November 26, 2011
three times, but lord i'm only coming up twice
spent a couple days in Corona Del Mar, Dave and Tom's house is probably the nicest one that Ive ever been in, and still manages to feel like home and not a museum. They live a block from the beach in an extremely affluent neighborhood a little south of LA. I got some clothes washed, stretched on the beach, walked for 7 or 8 miles, ate two delicious meals with Tom and Dave, one prepared by Dave and one at the Rock n Fish in Laguna Beach, slept a good deal and showered alot. Dave and Tom are a hoot to talk to, and I found Dave to be very encouraging, they're a good couple and I hope to see them again. Wednesday morning I got up early, packed up, put a bunch of layers on and began heading up the 5. I didnt get very far before traffic had a different idea about my schedule. I sat in line for a couple hours, Josie cut out once, and I couldnt get her started, so I had to pull off the side and tinker. Despite my quick frustration, she got right back in the vehicular crawl in no time. It finally all cleared up North of LA, and I hit the mountains. The scenery was something to write a blog about, and the sun was treating me like a lady. Josie was running like a bitch in heat, and she only presented the lurch/pop problem once, and I stopped and drained a bit out of the floats and she quit. I'm guessing something in my carbs need to be adjusted? Probably the floats themselves? Ill have to see what the viragotech guys say. The day went by and by, and 9 hours later I was in Davis, CA. Jason greeted with me with a hug, as did the rest of his housemates. He has one of the best living situations I can imagine. It culls the best from community living without having any of the bullshit that I feel accompanies it alot of the time. They had dinner ready when I got there, and I sat down at a large table with 7 or 8 other people while Charlie served us all of the food he'd prepared. It was all worth putting in my mouth on a daily basis. The spicy brussel sprouts, the spinach, the gnocchi, the homemade bread, all of it was exactly what I needed after a long cold ride. I noticed my hands were shaking during the meal, and my eyes were adjusted to the lack of wind and lights yet. After these long rides, Ive found that it takes a few hours of me opening my eyes wide and blinking alot before they start feeling normal. Thanksgiving morning, we got up early and rode in Sara's bike-laden minivan over to Sacramento to the 24th annual Appetite Enhancement ride. Even though it was overcast and raining somewhat, a couple hundred people were there by the time we arrived around 1030 or so. It was 10 dollars for all the food and beer you could consume. The food involved alot of fruits, breads, vegetables, dips, and grilled fresh mussels and oysters. The beverages consisted of about 6 or 7 different draft beers, 2 different types of wine, 3 or 4 different types of hard cider, and a variety of coffees. There was a soul DJ playing by the name of Larry the Flower. He'd also been djing at a bar we'd visited briefly the night before called G St. He had some talent and all the people were squirming with some rhythm in the mud. We stood in a small circle and chatted for a few hours until the bike ride commenced. I rode a collapsible bike that was about a third the size that it needed to be, but it got me there. I'd have to guess 500 people did the ride down to the river, maybe a couple miles, with a lap in front of the capitol building. We got down to the river and everyone had brought the water bottles full of beer that had come with the entrance fee. It was rather cold out and no one was in the water, but all of a sudden, Robby was undressing and Sara and Yumi were already running to the water in their underwear. Luckily, one of my layers consisted of a pair of swimming trunks, so I peeled down to it and took off after them. There was hundreds of people watching the four of us wade out in this icy water, cheering us on. While we were standing out there talking about how cold we were, some sea lions started blowing water up in the air and chasing a school of fish, 30 or 40 yards away. They startled us at first, and we couldn't tell what they were. After we got out and gave numerous people high fives, I stood and let myself drip dry while watching other people in the crowd get motivated to run into the water and right back out. One of the fellas who had started the Appetite Enhancement ride presented Yumi and Sara with some gift certificates for being the first in the water, which was pretty cool. We rode back to the van, loaded it up, and went to sit in traffic. Yumi and I sat in the back and laughed just about the whole time. She smiles alot and it makes her a treat to be around. Jason and I had some cooking to do before the Community Dinner that evening at 530, so we broke out the pots and pans, and he blared some James Brown while we jiggled and stirred. We made pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, and corn pudding. His roommate Charlie was baking lots of his prize bread and there were people in and out the whole time. Some of them being Bean, Emily, and her friend Jennifer arriving from San Francisco. Big ol' hugs and smiles, once everything was baking and all the dishes were clean, Jason gave us all a tour of the complex. I hadn't seen much more than the inside of his house and carport, so I tagged along barefoot. The place is huge. From my understanding of it, a bunch of people back in the 80s decided to by a neighborhood of houses in the middle of Davis , and then took down all of the fences in their backyard and created a community space. They share all sorts of things, but also give each other plenty of space. Family's live there, with an assortment of couples and grad students. The dinner was scheduled to be in the new community house, more or less in the center of their backyard. We collected the food we'd created and went on over. Everyone was friendly and seemed to use my name alot when they were speaking to me. The dinner was huge, 40 or 50 people sitting at a T shaped table, feasting. They had everything I could imagine and more. Coupled with the meal, my weariness from the last couple weeks rested heavily on my shoulders, so I washed my plate while everyone else was still dining and went back over to Jason's and passed out on the floor for 14 hours.