tethered to their haggard bodies

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The dismal drive home from my folks’ place… six long hours of cows, brown grass, and barbed-wire fence. I asked Sharaun to drive because I knew this is the only chance I’ll get to write today – barreling homeward down the highway. She’s a pretty good driver, but must be a really poor colorer (’cause she can’t stay in the lines for crap). Intro paragraph: over.

It was a good weekend away, just the two of us. Even though the drive there and back is long and empty, it’s a good chance to sing along to some tunes, talk, and share a #2, animal style, with the other Southern California road warriors. I get pretty liberal with the music choices on the long trip, since it’d just be one six-hour fight if I tried to keep only my ears happy the whole time. Really, it’s my chance to “get with it,” and be relevant with what tunes I know. I mean, where else I’m I gonna learn that Usher has like three “songs” in the top ten right now? Certainly not on my own, that’s for sure. So I let the tonal indiscretion slide, and sorta benefit by at least being able to say “yeah, I’ve heard this song… it blows hard.”

We headed down south Friday night, getting a late start because Sharaun was busy at work preparing sub-plans for her absence today. It’s cool, I hung around the classroom and practiced my rope-skipping skills, which, I might add, are severely terrible. Saturday we all rode out to Los Olivos and did the art gallery thing. We thought maybe we could find some paintings for our house, but it seems local Santa Barbara artists are obsessed with brown-hill landscapes dotted with cows or horses. It’s either that, semi-nude native American women – again riding horses. So, we passed on it. Not that there’s not some talented hill-and-squaw painting artists down there, but it’s just not right for our crib.

After hitting the galleries we took a trip to the Chumash reservation casino. Casinos are always a mixed-bag for me. I enjoy gambling, and there’s something about the draw of a casino that I like. But there’s also a really depressing side to the whole thing. To see these old women rooted in front of a slot machine, smoking cigarette after cigarette. It makes me sad, especially since so many of them have those little “frequent gambling” cards – where you just store money on them and insert them into the slot on the front of the machines. They’ve got them tethered to their haggard bodies with stretchy cords, clipped to their lapels or blouses – like some life-giving umbilical cord to the mechanical entertainment that sucks them dry. Between the “greatest generation” chipping away at their social security pull for pull, and the white-trash couples in neon spandex and oversized Eminem t-shirts – casinos can be a real bummer. Anyway, we dropped $10 each and called it quits. Too bad I’m always too intimidated to actually sit down at the blackjack tables, I know how to play.

Sunday was my buddy Shaine’s wedding, and the whole reason for the trip (although spending Father’s day with dad was a worthy aside). Shaine was my best friend in the 5th grade, my first real best friend I’d say. It was really surreal to be at his wedding nearly 15 years later. Taking place aboard a yacht on Marina del Rey, the whole affair was awesome. And being that he was getting hitched into an Armenian family – there was plenty of Armenian dancing and music. It was a total blast, and I always love watching people of other cultures. The customs and dancing and music, all fascinating and enjoyable. Anyway, it seems like he found a great one in his new wife – and were really happy to be able to be there. Not only that, I got to listen to Death Cab’s “405” and “Los Angeles” while I was actually in LA and on the 405. Neat.

I guess I’m outta here, don’t wanna burn out the writing in me – I still have to do another one of these tonight, for Tuesday. Because we all know, if I don’t write at night – I don’t write. And I’ve been told lately that my blog sucks and that I need to work on being funny on demand more. So yeah, I’ll give that a go.

Until then, Dave out.


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