i’m going to south korea this weekend. i’ll be living there until the end of next july, living in the major port city of busan and teaching english to kids, ages 5-13. i leave saturday morning from san francisco, and until then, i’m frolicking in santa cruz with one of my best friends from college, boda. i’ll get to the california adventures in a moment. but first, some ground rules.

there’s only one, really. i don’t capitalize much of anything. if you think this is lazy or reflects poorly on my intelligence and upbringing, so be it. just don’t complain about it to me. i like the way a page of uncapitalized text looks. it’s an aesthetic choice! no bitching.

now, for california: dad’s suggestion to go the redwood forest was brilliant. we checked out big basin yesterday, which meant hours driving through the mountains and a staggering amount of colossal trees. i was surprised how many had been struck by lightning, some of them so damaged that they were leaning at a sharp angle, yet were still growing. in the forest, it was remarkably quiet, and even the harsh winds we’d felt as we drove to the state park were dramatically calmed. there were blue jays all over the place, and we could hear an owl, though we never saw it. it was simply awe-inspiring, being surrounded by something so clearly ancient. i thought of tolkien’s tree people in the lord of the rings, the slow mannerisms he gave them, and it seemed the perfect personification. words and photos can’t do it justice, but i attached a wee slideshow anyhow.

today has been lazy. boda cooked me some broccoli and mushrooms with egg and ginger for breakfast. it was kind of a weird combination. we walked the whole one block from his house to the beach, which is mostly shale cliffs punctuated by the occasional small beach. the water near the shore is thick with kelp, and the weather was chilly today. later, a trip to the “medicine” dispensary, which i was not allowed inside, as i don’t have a medical marijuana card. chase (boda’s roommate) is a pothead of the highest order and has in his possession an impressive variety of both products to smoke and devices with which to smoke them. hash oils, THC extract, cow pie cookies with a dose of “medicine” baked into each, not to mention endless tiny plastic petri dishes containing samples of all the strains the dispensary has to offer. his room is like the lab of some mad scientist/apothecary. it’s like a caricature of stoner life. this guy’s dedication to getting high is nearly religious and can only be broken when he gets caught up talking about, get this, conspiracy theories. his favorite is that 9/11 was an inside job. so far, his winding comments on the topic have tied in blackwater private security operatives, nazis, prescott bush and some secret israeli fighting force.

boda is attempting to bake a loaf of bread, though he added three times the water his recipe called for. the glop on the counter is rising at an alarming rate, spilling out of its stainless steel bowl and threatening to take over the entire kitchen. we’re off to the store to buy more flour to feed the thing. by the time we’re done, we’ll have enough bread to feed the entire neighborhood.

One thought on “a california prelude

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