The problem with dropping such a big bomb in my last post is that no other post can possibly live up to it. Those of you tuning in to see if I'm now pregnant with Brangelina's two-headed love child or am actually a 6'2" black man cleverly disguised as a dyspeptic, kind-of-white female poet living in Utah or that I'm actually the blogospheric beard for a young lesbian trapped in Damascus will just have to be satisfied by posts on bad Santa Cruz food and more travel preparations. Anyone actually following this blog may be wondering when, in fact, this travel will actually start. "Get ON with it," those readers are probably muttering, and I have to admit, I'm starting to feel the same way myself.
So, to make me feel as if I was at least one step closer to my Year of Self-Indulgence, I went to see this summer's Film of Self-Indulgence, a.k.a., Midnight in Paris.
The fact critics have been calling this Woody Allen's "best film in years" and a "charming romantic comedy for women" shows a) just how bad Allen's films have been in recent years and b) just how much we hate women. The visuals are stunning (hey, it's PARIS), but the movie is the same bruxism-inducing formula Allen (post-Farrow) has perfected: neurotic but supposedly sympathetic male writer struggles to love utter bitch of a girlfriend/wife, is plagued by creative impotence, flirts with potential infidelity with a fantastically unreal female muse, experiences collapse of nostalgic dreams and loss of fantastically unreal female muse, ends film with ego happily assuaged by arrival of more nubile, barely legal, new girlfriend.
As I was dozing off to the soothing whine of Rachel McAdams, it struck me that one thing Allen did get right (besides the Ernest Hemingway spoof, which is, actually, hilarious) is that nostalgia is ultimately a loser's game. We are all living in the best imagined times of SOMEONE else's dreams, including--as we age, perhaps--our own, and that maybe the best thing to do would be to take better advantage of the "cultural history" in which we are currently flailing and sulking. In other words, carpe diem, folks. It's a bumper sticker with Robin Williams' face permanently attached to it, sure, but it does still carry a certain resonance.
Which made me realize that I am NOT just traveling in the future, I am traveling now. And I am traveling quite a lot this summer (though admittedly Cleveland for a week-long writers' conference may not be anyone's idea of a hot-spot destination). I'm living in Santa Cruz and traveling to Napa and San Francisco, I'm traveling to Seattle and staying in Port Townsend for another writers' conference. So instead of writing about myself traveling ONLY in the future, I'll also be posting about my travels in the here and now, which may assuage some of your readerly concerns and my own impatience to just GET ON WITH IT. Here's me, getting on with it. Complete with photos. As this post unspools, please enjoy these photos that I have taken with my own camera and struggled to upload onto my constantly disappointing new IPad in the ever-unspooling Delightful Present. (A caveat: though I've spent the last three years writing about photography for this weird book that's coming out in November, I'm not actually a photographer. Please abandon all hopes. These won't be very good.)
So, first off: what does one do when one is in Santa Cruz? First, one goes to the beach.
Next, one buries said husband in said beach. One builds him a Sand Body.
Yes, sadly, that pathetic strand of kelp is meant to be pubic hair. Next, one laughs about this with friends.
Next, one entertains oneself at home. Because Santa Cruz, while having this:
it still doesn't have great restaurants. (Yes, I know the photo is sideways, but fucking Blogsy--which I had to download just to get this crap UP, isn't easy to navigate for these types of fine-tuning details, and the IPad in general is MAKING ME LOSE MY MIND. But back to my story.) Home, however, has this:
And, most importantly, this:
Finally, overcome by sun and sand and the evening's many syntactic entertainments on cable, one gently calls one's beloved a cunt-eyed cocksucker, and trundles off to bed.
And that is what one does while traveling in Santa Cruz. If anyone would like to suggest something else for me to try in Santa Cruz--remember, I'll write about it for you and even take photos!--I'm open. I would like to finish this post-post with a shout-out to amazing Dr. Michael McNett, who recently back-channeled me (how filthy that sounds! I think it's an expression from Deadwood!) to ask me to learn to play the Dan Bau, a traditional Vietnamese music instrument that has only a single string. A single string! Thank God, because I can barely handle ten fingers as it is. Michael is doing his own traveling soon, as he'll be in Beijing from August to October learning acupuncture. Michael: give me your blog address! Michael is the kind of wonderful doctor (and human) who goes to other countries either to help medically relieve their citizenry there or to learn something there that will help relieve our citizenry here. He's the kind of guy who, for fun, makes jewelry whose entire proceeds go to orphanages in Nicaragua or Honduras, and who makes people like me who travel to exotic places just to gain ten pounds and buy cheap sneakers look like shit. Thanks, Michael! I'll be thinking of you while sitting in Hanoi, surrounded by egg rolls, plucking my one-stringed instrument. (How filthy that sounds! I think they did that on Deadwood!)
In the meantime, I'll leave you with this image.
Doesn't it make you want to travel? I mean, if any photo in the world would make you want to run, it's probably this one.