- 24 april 2003 -

Part I: The Plan.

I got a call some weeks ago from Chuck, whom you may remember as a journaler back in the 20th century, back when screenwriters were the thing to be and keeping a journal online was cool.  Well, okay, perhaps screenwriters were never really the things to be and online journals weren't really ever cool and Hollywood and La Interneta are really just places in our heads, but whatever the case, I did get this call from Chuck asking me if I wanted to go on a motorcycle trip to the Bay Area.

It made me think about last summer when Chuck and I were planning a motorcycle trip to the Bay Area.  Wait, I have to digress here...

The Bay Area.  The City.  In Northern California that means San Francisco, essentially.  We Los Angelenos don't call San Francisco The City.  I think you have to be north of Salinas before the term comes into play.  If you live in Ouagadougou one supposes the Bay Area is somewhere near The Tiny Republic of Togo.  But we Los Angelenos are accommodating and understand the provincial mind of the Northern Californian.  We're tolerant that way.  San Franciscans, in particular, are interesting and arouse curiosity and we treat them sort of like darling state pets.  People come from other states and other countries, maybe even The Tiny Republic of Togo, to view them, to get a taste of their ways and perhaps some footage of them acting out.  Really something to see, and it all generates tax dollars, so we are appreciative.

Anyway, that first road trip didn't come off, I was told, because "Vegas didn't get the memo."  It seemed like a perfectly reasonable explanation -- when Vegas (another place if not cerebral then at least within the brain stem) doesn't get its memos one figures there is something happening that is bigger than oneself and one let's it go at that.

The planning this time centered around Chuck's pending purchase of a motorcycle from a fellow in Cotati, a tiny town within the Bay Area, near The City, or at least within the influence of its nomenclature.  There were contingencies running beneath the main strategic idea of me riding up there, him flying in, acquiring the bike, and us riding back south together, financial contingencies, and I extrapolated from the raw data that there would again be the chance that a place would not get a memo.

Like last time, I simply set aside the time and was going to go on a road trip with or without Chuck.

A day or two before I left the word came that all memos had been received and Chuck would be getting his motorcycle.  This was good news for I was forlorn when our previous plans fell through.  At JournalCon in San Francisco, the destination of the first planned trek, I did my best to reassure disappointed attendees that Chuck was a man of great character and charm - those of you who heard me speak of him at the initial banquet may remember how I sang his praises.  Character and charm.  Character and charm.  Character and charm.


Viv had scheduled Good Friday off, so with her home I was free to go up for a three-day weekend of fun and frolic in... Up There.

Because I am cheap, I called Lucy on Thursday and inveigled her into an arrangement wherein I could lay claim to her floor.  She was having another guest over that weekend and he had already staked out the couch.  This set up was fine with me as I come fully equipped with floor-sleeping apparatus.  Later that day I received a memo from her indicating that I had been upgraded to couch.  Her guest, upon catching wind of my intrusion, graciously booked a room at a hotel.  Am I beloved, or what?

At a little before 10:00 Friday morning I fired up the Harley and hit the road.  This was a true expedition in that I wanted the route to be the most expeditious without being dull.  Also there were dinner plans.  The fastest way to San Bruno (Lucy's town, a settlement well within the vortex) from here is to take Interstate 5 north to Highway 46 west across to Paso Robles and then take US101 north the rest of the way.  But everything north of the Grapevine on 5 strictly is Snoresville, baby, so for me it was 101 all the way.


to be continued


  today's music:

"Trav'lin' Light" -- Henry Mancini and His Orchestra -- THE MANCINI TOUCH


today's wisdom:

"Ultimately, cities may exist only as joyous tribal gatherings and fairs, to dissolve after a few weeks."

- Gary Snyder

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