Friday, February 27, 2015

Where I Was From

Flew back from SFO last night, a lemon in my pocket, blue bottle coffee beans tucked in my bag, reading Didion's Where I Was From (picked up at Books, Inc. - where I got a 10% discount for recommending - strongly - Adam Johnson's Orphan Master's Son to another customer).  Spending today in a coffee shop in Shaw, grading papers...  over-caffeinated.  But rolling..

Oh California.  Everything is warmer there, Joni.  There was a lemon tree on the property in Alameda - an incredible sight in late-February for a non-Californian.  

And what to say about SF?  There's an energy there, an attitude, that I find quite compelling (and a bit surreal).  A real city.  Incredible contrasts block to block.  Post-hearing, JS took me on a tour of his favorite spots.  Cocktail bars where I had variations on rye, savoring the zest..  huge overstuffed burritos and Negro Modelo.  Conversation stretching back 10 years..  the world of audio-visual archives still largely the same.

It was just a taste.  A slice.  And a thin one at that.  But I caught views of the hills.  The bay.  Cormorants drying their wings...

Didion's take on Cali is fascinating.  I read the White Album and Slouching Towards Bethlehem long ago and have always loved her voice.  Her direct, unflinching approach.  And that great liminal novel Play it as it Lays.  Where I Was From fits neatly into Stegner, interestingly enough..    and after reading the discussion in WIWF, I now want to read Norris' The Octopus...

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