ahead of the pack for the first time in a long time - 72 hours until baby jesus's big day, and i've had two christmases already. the freedoms of being finished with gifts and having no midnight-mass-related obligations are keeping the holidays mellow, and i have no complaints.

on seattle, part 3: i've been too ashamed to admit that i concluded it wasn't for me on the second night of our trip. joe and i found ourselves at shorty's, a coney island-themed bar downtown, and its clown murals, surf rock jukebox, and disaffected bartender led me to believe that i need to go back to southern california. it's much more complicated than that - i couldn't find a building that felt just right, i didn't want to serve coffee for a living, i balked at getting so far away from my folks. i'm certainly at my best after big changes, and i felt like the belle of the ball after moves to palo alto, boston, oxford. i had studies to anchor me, though, and being alone and relatively aimless didn't seem so magical when i actually scouted the supposed site of my latest reinvention. i couldn't wear flip flops, couldn't find a room big enough for my crap, didn't realize that i'd been counting on an instant connection with the city. it's humbling to realize for the four hundred and seventy first time that i'm not very good at anticipating my needs, but i have a death grip on the notion that each fizzle gets me a bit closer to the right move. chicken soup for the generic loser's soul.

stupid reasons for los angeles: naked-toe-friendly weather. vaguely familiar yet intriguing vibe - high comfort, low boredom. the concept of a city of people who know they're rich and/or famous for stupid reasons - san franciscan faux-righteousness annoys me. i look forward to being scorned for my thrift store clothes and not-insubstantial butt rather than for my failure to free mumia. nothing but love for genuine activists, mind you, but i'm tired of californians pretending to be serious. i would also like to live in a bungalow and park my car.

fair-to-middling reasons for los angeles: wisp of a chance of working connections and finding a decent job, attractive cost-of-living figures, minimal relocation expenses.

real reasons: i want to see my sister at college, and to have coffee with my dad again. i need to be provoked and safe enough to really work at getting into grad school. i can't leave joe; we're utterly dysfunctional, but i'm not finished. so there.

found art: at the nomadic waste area in big bear this morning, a garbage man sat on a green plastic lawn chair. after watching us chuck our bags, he stood and threw the chair in a dumpster.

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