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February 20, 2007

TT: Over here

I haven’t spent much time in California: just two brief trips to San Francisco and a week at SummerFest La Jolla. I’ve never been to Los Angeles, except for a couple of hours spent in the airport between flights. Thus my current visit is in the nature of a get-acquainted tour, and I had a terrific tour guide yesterday. I arose at five a.m., went to Newark Airport, boarded a transcontinental flight, and spent most of the next six hours writing, after which I was picked up at the San Francisco airport and shown around town by my friend Heather Heise, a pianist and blogger who recently retrofitted herself as a composer of avant-garde music that she “plays” on her iBook. (It’s good stuff, too.)

Heather took me to the Ferry Building, where we grabbed a bite to eat, sat in the sunshine, and paid a memorable visit to Recchiuti Confections. Then, since she's the organist at Mission Dolores, the eighteenth-century church to which Jimmy Stewart followed Kim Novak in Vertigo, she gave me a private tour of the chapel, basilica, and cemetery. After that we went straight to the Musée Mécanique and spent a happy hour popping quarters into player pianos, orchestrions, and other coin-operated music-making devices.

I also had my fortune told by a mechanical wizard:

Being practical is very good in some matters but not in affairs of the heart. Toss logic and reasoning to the winds and enjoy the thrills of romance when it comes your way. Cultivate romance in your marital relations for a happier, richer life. Enlarge your circle of friends and social activities. You may safely increase your scope of interests instead of concentrating too much and long on a single project. There’s hardly a possibility that you will scatter your forces to your detriment. Don’t permit disappointments to affect you to the extent that you adopt the “world-is-against-you” attitude. Many opportunities cross your path but if you fail to recognize them and lay the foundation for your future, place the blame where it belongs. After much travel in your early life, you may be quite content to settle down and literally “take root.” You are qualified to form a strong love partnership.

In the evening we drove out to Berkeley and dined superlatively well at Chez Panisse, after which I returned to my home-away-from-home, a cute little boutique hotel not far from the theater where I’ll be seeing Hedda Gabler. I asked the desk clerk for an Ethernet cord to hook up my iBook to the Web, and he asked me what color I wanted.

Now I really, really need to get some sleep. More as it happens, or at some point thereafter....

Posted February 20, 2007 12:00 PM

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