We are currently back in Los Angeles for a few day pit stop between the Singapore and Paris legs of this trip. The main reason for this stop over was so Ripley could see his doctor for his 4 month check up. Dude turns 4 months old today and is apparently healthy as sin and in the 95% sizewise or something like that. Point is he’s doing good so no worries. The secondary reason for the trip was to swap luggage – drop off some of the ‘super duper hot weather gear’ we brought to Singapore and pick up some of the ‘it gets a little colder at night’ gear we might need for Paris. But since this trip also include jaunts out to Dublin, New York*, Denver*, Las Vegas*, Toronto, Montreal and Costa Rica (*for me at least) it takes a little bit more thinking ahead of time. I’ve had a bunch of random thoughts and observations flying through my head but non seemed worthy of their own post so I thought maybe I just collect them into a big cornucopia of randomness in one shot. Like to hear it here it goes.
- This is the first time I’ve been to Los Angeles since moving here in 2001 that I didn’t have a place that was mine to “come home to” so to speak. We’re staying with friends, and I suspect that for the rest of my life I could always visit LA and stay with friends but doing so makes it feel like I’m visiting. And the feeling of visiting the place you think of as home is weird. To me anyway. I’ve talked about trying to figure out what home even is before, but for me it’s been Los Angeles. Not a specific place, just the city. Though without a specific place in it that is just mine, well it’s weird that’s all I can really say.
- Sort of continuing on that same thought, this is short term and I know it. Even though some people jumped to conclusions I never planned to move out of LA, and this trip is still just a trip. When the trip is over, the final leg of the flights will end at LAX – but it was stupid to keep paying rent while we were going to be out of town for most of the year. So when we get back we’ll find a new place. Originally where that place would be was up for discussion. I wanted east side, Tara wanted Venice. We decided we’d have to weigh out pros and cons and compromise, but every time we talk about it there seems to be less compromise and more “we’re just moving to Venice.” I won’t lie, I dreaded the thought of moving west, but Venice surprised me and there are many things about it that I really like, but I also know Silver Lake still feels very much like my neighborhood and I miss it. I don’t really have a point to this other than that I’ll probably have a Venice address again before the end of the year.
- Stuff I brought to Singapore and never once used: hooded sweatshirt, Jeans, beard clippers, cycling cap. Stuff I brought but used very very rarely: long sleeve dress shirts, long sleeve zip up t-shirt thingy. Stuff I brought multiples of that I probably could have brought a few less of: socks, underwear, cameras, headphones. Stuff I brought and used all the time and could have used more of: short sleeve Ben Sherman shirts. Stuff I brought and used but probably won’t take on the next leg: Clever Coffee Maker, baseball hat, big ass suitcase. Stuff I didn’t take on the last leg but will probably take on this next one: Hario V60. Stuff I didn’t have but wished I did: a Bike.
- Speaking of the clever coffee maker vs the Hario v60. The CCM has it’s charms for sure, but I just could never get it dialed in just right. I was messing with grind size, messing with brew time, remessing with both of those and I just never felt like I had it right. With the V60 I’ve never felt like I had it wrong. It’s also smaller, so I’ll be swapping that out this time around. Bringing the V60 does present a little problem in that for it to really shine you need to use a slow drip kettle, like this one. I have one here in LA, but it’s really not good for traveling because it’s big and the spout is delicate and long… I just know that something is going to happen to it while it’s in my suitcase. I looked all over and there isn’t a more travel friendly version out there. There really should be. you’d think somewhere in my network of friends would be some industrial designer who could whip something up for me. Yeah, me too.
- I’ve been failing on my writing goals, but also failing on my reading goals. This is likely because I “worked” a lot more in Singapore than I was expecting to. Lots of meetings. There are fewer people in Paris that I’ll need to meet with every day so I hope to make up for the slacking of the last month.
- Some friends were telling me the story of how some delivery guys moved the wrong thing in their house the other day and accidentally broke about $10,000 worth of crystal that they’d had for some 20+ years. It was heartbreaking for the obvious reasons, but times had changed and that isn’t the kind of thing they’d spend money on these days and really only had for sentimental reasons. Now that it was forcefully removed from their lives, they both sad to see it go but had no intention of trying to replace it. This is interesting and fits right into what I’ve talked about in regards to stuff and how it ends up owning you. As long as we have it we fight for it and defend it and keep it with us all both physically and mentally, and that is hard to get away from and the thought of opting out of that is very difficult (would you just give away everything you had or could you find reasons to keep this or that?) yet when their feelings didn’t play into it, when they had no choice, when it was just gone, it was kind of a relief to them. I know people who have had their houses broken into and felt the same thing -stuff that was taken, that they never would have given away, they didn’t want to replace after the fact. I’ve felt the same thing, things I lost when my first marriage ended, that I didn’t think I could live without, once I realized I could, I didn’t want to replace them.
This all makes me think about the stuff I still have and that I’ve been clinging on to. If it was gone tomorrow how much of it would I feel the need to replace? That is really hard to say objectively and abstractly, but honestly if every single book I have was just gone tomorrow I’d be really bummed, but I probably wouldn’t replace a single one of them. Same goes for DVDs. There are some CDs I have that I actually worked on that I think I’d have to get copies of again for my own archives, but not really because I ever listen to them in that format anymore. What about clothes? In talking about that previous discussion another friend was talking about travel and luggage, and how lost luggage means lost clothing, and even if the airlines pay to replace what is lost, they are replacing “2 t-shirts and a pair of pants” not “that t-shirt that I bought in Japan and when I saw that band play and is cut just right” or “those jeans I’ve had for 10 years and that fit me just perfectly and I love like a stepchild.” Part of my whole ‘uniform’ thoughts on clothing means I don’t have those attachments – yes I do have a box of t-shirts that were given to me at some point and mean something to me, but I never wear them. The clothes I wear are more utilitarian and replicateable. I can buy Dickies pants anywhere. Short sleeve plaid shirts are classic and ubiquitous. So while I would of course need to replace lost clothing because I don’t think walking around naked forever is a good idea, I don’t think I’d miss those “specific” articles.
- I didn’t really trim my beard the whole time I was in Singapore and it’s getting a bit scary. I kind of hate it, but at the same time am hesitant to chop it off because I’ve got a whole month put into it so far. It’s actually itchy and annoying and I don’t really like what I look like with it. What the hell is my problem?
Clearly I’ve diverged into just rambling and since it’s almost 2am now I’m calling it a night. Will keep chewing on the above thoughts, we’ll see where they lead.