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Monday, May 30, 2016

Sharing my Happy Place with Cinnamon


Today I took Cinnamon into Long Beach to Rosie's Dog Beach.  I'd assumed it was a smallish stretch of beach, with some sort of barriers at either end.  Nah... it was just a big stretch of beach, which made it all the more fun.

There were dogs of every sort, but Cinnamon wasn't about to follow any of them anywhere the water was still touching... this was as close as she got to wet.

And having had the waves come that close, this was her response:  


As unhappy as she was with all that water around, she was thrilled to have so many doggie friends to play with, and human friends to pet and adore her.  We were only there about an hour before she'd had enough, and next time I go I'll have to bring a blanket and shade as well as water.

I had a good time, picked up a few shells (there are plenty, but nothing really spectacular) and picked up some sea-glass, which I'd eventually like to incorporate into a multi-media piece.

Parking at the beach is metered, and costs a dollar an hour, which I thought was a total bargain, all things considered.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Festival at the Beach


This morning started off grey and cool, but I headed down to the beach for the "arts festival".  There were a FEW artist there, including Dane Capo, a young artist who's work I'd seen before online, and which I find extremely interesting.

Mostly there were a lot of booths by local businesses who'd extended their shop fronts out onto the street, and some manufactured stuff... but there were a smattering of local artists and producers.

Now this is where I have to give a big shout-out to Millicent's Preserves and Madison's Favorites, where I purchased the best sweet sauce I've tasted in a while: apple chipotle.  Yes, the woman at the booth tried to interest me in the raspberry chipotle, but I've had that so often in Santa Fe, and frankly, I was pretty sauced out by the vendors offering so many different pepper sauces, including a few that were some sort of green chili, but the fact is, some things just can't compare to genuine New Mexico chilies and sauces.

Well, except the apple chipotle... that was good enough that I think I'm going to use it to glaze my Thanksgiving turkey this year.

The best part of the festival was seeing some of the local work, including a tinted resin series that looked like encaustics, which of course, would NEVER hold up in the hot sun.

And it was hot when we left.  The clouds had burned off and the sun was shining and the crowds started thickening up...   And by that time Cinnamon was hot and quite willing to leave the excitement of all the people (and dogs) and head back.

Today I contemplated the fact that there are two feelings of congestion: one is happy and celebratory, like a festival or like Canyon Rd on Christmas Eve.  The other is the feeling I get just driving around LA county, and not seeing any really considerable open space except the ocean itself.

In Santa Fe there were places you only saw a handful of houses on all that land... even in the city, and there were places where you couldn't see houses at all.  That kind of openness is missing in LA, the feeling is that nature and the earth are beat back to the county limits, or preserved in minute, well controlled reserves as small parks.

Today, after paying $20 for parking a half mile from the event, I realized just how every inch of land was a commodity in LA county, and had to be paved over, built on, or in some way commercialized in order to meet the desires of the people who live here.

The homes, many of which are monstrously large and which replaced the smaller beach bungalows, stand empty because they are only visited a few weeks per year, something that seems horrendously wasteful to someone like me, who would be happy to have ONE home, and just can't understand the virtue in having two or more.

Not just that,but it's these displays of excess which crowd the beach and the land around it, building a tall, solid wall of faux Mediterranean which blocks off the sand and sea.

Today, however, I was able to enjoy some of the older and more traditional buildings in the area as I walked to  my car, and had been refreshed enough by the fun and people at the festival to not dwell on such gloomy thoughts.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Leap

I knew it wasn't going to be terribly easy.

I figured I'd done it before, always landing on my feet.

This time I had doubts. I knew the economy is not the same as the last times I've taken leaps.  I knew it was risky.

Because sometimes when you take a leap of faith, you land somewhere special.

Other times, you go splat.  

I'm beginning to worry this is a splat.

I've been here 10 days, and have zero prospects.  It's not that there aren't places available, it's that the rent is out of reach for me without section 8, and there aren't places available that accept section 8.

I widened my search, even though I know the odds are slim that I'd be able to port into Los Angeles County, when my paperwork is in transition in Long Beach.  And once I port to Long Beach, I'd have to wait a year to go to LA.  

Long Beach is giving me until September 28th to find an apartment.

You read that right.   September 28th. That's how tight things are here for section 8.

Today I was looking at places that are over an hour away... out in the far reaches of LA county, just hoping that one of the listings was still open.   Out in the far reaches there are a number of 55+ communities similar to the one I left in Santa Fe.  I'd decided I could go for that... and that the medical and being in CA was more important than the beach.

So far no one has a vacancy.

DeeAnne has already put me up for longer than I expected, and I expect longer than she expected.  I'm so grateful for her providing a roof while I search, but I am more and more feeling like a burden.  And I know that's all on me, she's been nothing but warm and welcoming.

But every day I can't help but ruminate on the fact that I'm homeless.

Today I caught myself thinking about calling the old complex in Santa Fe and asking if there were a one bedroom available. Not that I think I can change my section 8 port now.  Not that it would solve anything with my health and medical, but honestly, i don't have medical care now.  I'll go in to Long Beach on Tuesday and see if there's anything that can be done there, as things are starting up for me again... a gastric event two nights ago, and intestinal symptoms when I woke up today...

But now I have three days ahead of me... the holiday weekend... where there is absolutely nothing that can be done.  I hate this feeling of helplessness.

Today I cleaned and repacked everything.  If there's a place for me to go, I'm ready to go there.