i spent almost an entire week in santa barbara. i got back last night. i'm just going to lounge around the house today to re-aclimate from the whirlwind trip.
last sunday i drove down to sb with g. she had spent the weekend visiting me. she and her speedy gt eventually lost me on the last leg of our trip, some 50 miles before we reached sb.
monday and tuesday i spent working at hvs, my ex employer, when i wasn't running personal errands. wednesday morning i worked some more, including helping to decorate the old office for the annual fiesta party.
the old gang
balloons and beers
the party went well. over 200 people showed up. it's a lot more enjoyable now that i don't have to schmooze with the clients. the party sort of turned into be a babyfest. four of the guys i used to work with all brought in their babies, ranging from 2 to 8 months old. you can guess what they all harrassed me about all evening.
thursday i left santa barbara at 9 am sharp. at 9:20, i hit a deer.
here's my full report, aka more information than necessary. skip as preferred.
i had just finished climbing the steep grade on san marcos pass. there were few cars and we were all going downhill pretty fast. right when i passed stage coach road intersection, i saw something jumped out of the bushes from the left side of the highway about 30 yards ahead. it went prancing across the street right in front of the car ahead of me. the guy slammed on his brakes and began skidding. i also slammed on my brakes because i was sure the guy ahead was going to hit that deer. i could see it all happening. the guy was skidding and skidding and just when i expected the impact, the deer sprang back and missed the car completely!
now the deer is back in the middle of the road, hopping back and forth sort of in a circle trying to decide which way to go. there was no on coming traffic so it looked like he was going to go back where he came from.
except he didn't. he decided to continue hopping across the road, right into my car. i was still skidding when the deer hit me so i was going at most 25 mph. it all happened so fast! my arms were fully outstretched pushing on the steering wheel. my right leg was pushing on the brakes so hard i sort of lifted myself out of my seat. i could feel all the boxes in the back seat pound on the back of my seat. my cd player and cds went flying off the passenger seat. the screeching of the tires, the awful thump of the deer, the shattered bits of glass raining down. all the commotion in one split second.
he was a good looking deer. when i hit him, he looked exactly like the silhouette on the deer crossing street sign: a head full of horns and upright on his hind legs. he landed on the vertical bar that transitions from the windshield to the side window. his head hit the windshield before he flew off my car, landing in the middle of the road. i came to a complete stop about ten feet past him. i sat in my car and, in my rear view mirror, i could see him frantically crawling across the high way using his front legs.
the woman who was driving behind me pulled over in front of me. she came knocking on my window yelling, "are you okay, honey?" i opened the door but it couldn't swing out so i had to push to get out. the air smelled thick of burnt rubber. i realized i was shaking uncontrollably. the woman gave me a big hug.
chp officer+fireman retracing event
there were no signs of accident on the road, no blood, no shattered car bits, nothing other than two sets of skid marks and two parked cars on the side of the road. my car was banged up but the damages were mild. a fireman happened to be driving by so he made a u turn and parked behind me. he put out red cones, called chp, and saw to it that i was okay. i got back inside the car and called for a tow. the woman left and two chp officers showed up. one wrote up the accident, the other one went looking for the deer with a shot gun.
i felt a bit numb. my mind kept rerunning all the thoughts that flashed through my head the moment the accident happened, including all the conflicting emotions. i remember thinking "f--king deer!" right before i hit him and then thinking "i'm so sorry" right after i hit him.
i spent a lot of time on the phone with various people. my mechanic was talking to me when i heard the shot gun go off. my mind sort of went blank.
towed safely to tri co auto glass parking lot
i left my car at the shop and went to lunch with g at de la guerra plaza. the fiesta was happening in full force.
stage at de la guerra
i had a chicken sope and watched flamenco dancers of various ages. we sat in the sun for half an hour and waited patiently to see g's cousin.
five year olds
live flamenco music
g's cousin doing a solo piece
around 4:30, they finished replacing my windshield and rear view mirror.
as good as new
friday morning my right leg was still sore. i set off again at the same time on the same highway. i made it to san luis obispo hitting no more than an empty card board box. i went to see my mechanic at sunset honda.
i hung around despite this threatening sign
my awesome trusty mechanic jake took on my decrepid car despite his full schedule. he's been my mechanic since my starving student days at cal poly. we swapped our deer-hits-car experiences while he fixed my poor old car. i didn't realize that the accident had broken the bulb in my driver side head light.
it's a rare beautiful sunny and calm day in sausalito today. my right leg is still a bit sore but i'm fine overall. i'm glad to be back, i guess. i start a new job in the city monday. i'm enjoying my last weekend as a care free bum. i hope you're having a wonderful weekend, too.
i went to the main sf public library last sunday. i was waiting for jg to pick me up out front when i was caught in this madness:
i was standing on the curb and i could see a horde of people pouring out of a building across the street. i watched them walk orderly along the pedestrian crosswalk toward the library. next thing i knew, there were a bunch of men with walkie talkies rushing up right behind me saying things like, "camera ready?" and "real serious now. pass it on. real serious now." when i turned to take the picture above, i realized that the camera was pointed directly at me. the cameraman then panned over to the approaching blondes.
in the distance i could hear another man giving instructions to the women, "no smiling, no talking, real serious." right then jg pulled up with a confused look. i didn't realize that the production had almost stopped traffic.
i still have no idea what that was all about. the women were almost uniform in height and weight. it must have been an art project of some sort, the making of some guy's pipe dream.
meanwhile, back in santa barbara... i took this picture the day before i hit the deer.
it happened on a good day
i always entertain starting a collection of lost pet flyers. i've taken a few before only when i knew for sure that the pet had already been found or when the poster is fast becoming trash. for instance:
not much love but real photograph
i saw that flyer this past tuesday near my office. the duct tape on the top had come undone and the paper itself was bent over and weathered to a crisp. but i didn't dare take it down. in fact, i did my best to tape it back up.
so, what happened wednesday? it was gone! there was another copy taped to the bus stop canopy across the street and it was also gone. i was really bummed. oh well. it wasn't a very passionate flyer anyway.
moving along. here are a few neat shots of da hood where i now spend the best eight hours of my days.
window front of a nondescript business
a closer look
kitty cat in upholstery store front
it's an odd neighborhood, a confusion of mixed use buildings. there's a ghetto hip air to it. hard to explain.
this week i'm going to ignore the self imposed limitations of this blog and show you my work space. these were taken while everyone was at lunch so i wouldn't incriminate myself.
view facing the man
facing colleague+utility room soon to be hidden
critters under my desk
pretty much everyone in the office owns a dog that he/she brings to work. i'm not crazy about the canine fest but then again, i'm not crazy about working either. but if i had to add my own to the madness, i'd bring this one:
i saw her last night when i went to pick up jg at his office. i envy her fantastic shiny schmeebot brown coat.
it's been a long week for me, crossing the golden gate sixteen times and eating out nightly. getting around is a bit easier now that i don't have to depend on public transportation. the downside is having to re-park my car every two hours and to avoid certain curbs on street cleaning days. on the upside, i get to see jg at lunch almost daily and, of course, i'm making money. but it's still very difficult for me to keep optimistic. the ambivalence about settling here isn't subsiding. i found a flyer that says it all.
taken in mill valley during g's visit
here's hoping your weekend is a lot less foggy than mine.
nothing noteworthy to account for this past week. i'm not sure if it's a curse or a blessing. both, i guess.
it began with one minor tragedy: getting the front bumper ripped off my car while backing out of a parking space in san rafael. the whole incident was witnessed over the fence by three guys working in a body shop. they came rushing over but they couldn't fix it because of some unhelpful excuse like working on a rush job. they offered to put it back for me without charge if i came back wednesday. one even said he has a truck he could lend me while my car gets fixed.
i drove home with the tweaked and unwieldy bumper assembly shoved diagonally inside the car. i was so emotionally charged that i seriously considered driving straight back to sb. jg wouldn't have been able to stop me because he was out surfing with his brother. needless to say, i didn't go through with it. that afternoon, jg rewired the signal lights and put the bumper back where it belonged. he said that if i had gone to the beach with him, none of this would have happened. i said that if i had stayed in santa barbara... you know who won that conversation.
monday it was back to work as usual. wrestling the machine, week two.
mudman+my colleague peter
the office was a mad construction zone: drywallers pounding nails, general contractor shouting, electrician singing meow meow meow meow. everything was covered with powdered gypsum. the floor was covered with drop cloths and power tools. there was the huge shop vac in the bathroom which i had to straddle over in order to use the toilet. this lousy working condition went on pretty much the entire week. and the dumb partition wall still isn't finished!
whenever the chaos got unbearable, i would take one of the dogs for a walk. check out my new favorite:
she belongs to the general contractor who kept her out of the way by tying her to the tree in front of the office. i brought her inside so she would have a place to lie down. her face is full of gray hair but she has the energy of a puppy. lovely dog.
she was found in hollywood, abused and abondoned. she had a bunch of bibis in her when she was rescued. i would have never guessed her past from her personality.
move over nicky, here comes hollywood
thursday hollywood's owner came by to show off his new car, some top of the line lexus. i went out to look for hollywood and some how ended up taking the suv for a test drive. i swear i didn't ask for it. i was rather sad to learn that hollywood isn't allowed to ride in the luxury beast. but i had a lot of fun slamming on the gas and brakes while punching the million buttons on the dashboard. there's a tv screen showing the city map in real time. when i put the car in reverse, the screen switched to show a live bumper level rear view. when i opened the door to get out, the entire car lowered a la kneeling bus style. it's absolutely ridiculous!
thursday evening jg and i went to the opening night of an art exhibition called threads at 744 alabama.
party on third floor
jg, kristy, and kirk
i was invited by kristy who works part time at the same office i do. she's been super nice to me being similar in age and having lived in sb. only she's an artist and has a studio space on the same floor as the exhibition.
a whole slew of blurry pictures to show you everything i saw.
fabric: sewn paper
art about threads
jg looking at... art
hey, hand knitting!
beautiful skirts for sale, surprisingly affordable
the party continues
schmeebot loves eucalyptus leaves
nothing to do with threads
there was a bunch of pieces i couldn't see because of people crowding in front of them. eventually the space got so full that we pretty much stood in one place and talked.
these next shots were taken during the fashion show portion of the exhibition. i was kneeling uncomfortably along with all the other short folks who were pushed out front. there wasn't much of an introduction. a path was cleared, someone blew a whistle, and the models came a struttin.
one+designer, the end.
there was some clapping before someone blew the whistle again and announced, "five minutes until the next designer!" we all hightailed out of there.
friday couldn't go by fast enough. the job was lagging and there was no dogs that needed to be walked. so i walked myself over a few blocks and discovered chocolates.
6 x $2 = a lot of money for junk food
the dagobas are only as good as their wrappers. newman's own, y'all, bar none!