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2012-10-29 - 10:57 p.m.

Cold, wet fog! Is this your picture of Santa Monica? Brrrrrrr.

For about half a minute, I thought about visiting the Tar Pits but crikey. Over an hour bus ride IF I don't make any mistakes, and IF I don't piss off any already pissed-off bus drivers...nope. I decided to take it easy on myself and stroll over to the same exact lobster place I dined at last time. Same lobster salad, same raspberry martini. I had a good seat overlooking the water and, once, the fog parted, and I actually had a view. Of course, the fog came back, and it's wet and muggy to this very moment. Did I mention brrrrrrr?

The title of this entry, I'm not homeless, I just have a lot of stuff to carry may sound like the name of an art installation in San Francisco, but it's an actual sign that a woman was carrying in Santa Monica. You would think the fortune in heavy silver jewelry she was wearing, at a time when silver has topped $40 an ounce twice in recent history, would be enough to tip off the astute viewer of humanity, but the bus drivers of Santa Monica are equal opportunity haters. Wear all the expensive jewelry you like, you're not fooling them, you're probably still some kind of bum in the perfect disguise of a prosperous person who travels the world.

I strolled to the end of the pier in search of performing parrots, but they weren't out yet. I thought about getting my fortune told, but the loud so-called psychics of California, yelling on their cell phones, did not seem auspicious. A kid performed, "Comfortably Numb" to suggest that this was an impossible aspiration put forward as an outrageous lying boast as opposed to an actual description of an attained achievement. A guy manipulated a monkey puppet with a sign, "I would tip you." This, I thought, was either sincere or good psychology, since it addresses one of the key concerns about visibly down and out street performers, that is, if you were in the same place, would this guy help you out? Probably not, one thinks, and generally walks on. But, what the hell, if it's all about switching the same dollar bill back and forth, you're not out anything. So why not give him a buck?

People swimming fully dressed or standing aghast, also fully dressed, because of the cold and fog. People speaking in Spanish or Spanglish. Which reminds me that I actually overheard a trio of people speaking Spanglish in Tokyo. If they had not spoken, I would have put them down as Filipinos, but they must have been Americans. Blah blah blah mostly in Spanish, with a clause or a sentence sort of randomly in English. I'm told there are ideas better expressed in English. OK, I get, "it's because of the Y chromosome," is a reason to burst into English. But some of the phrases seemed, to me, to be perfectly without nuance -- for instance, "we'll see her again soon" seems like it would be the same in any language, and I have no idea why English was used other than as an ornament. Sort of like how English letters and words would be used sorta randomly as decoration in Tokyo.

It's a bit tiring to walk through crowds when you can understand, or almost understand, what is being said. A German man said, "It's hard for me to understand in Tokyo," but I think understanding is over-rated. The fog and cold chased me off the pier, and I strolled through the park, but on a chill Monday afternoon, it seemed that there was no business here except the drug business. Don't get me wrong. When I visited before, I could not avoid seeing the open drug selling. (Indeed, last Saturday, after a particularly clumsy transfer of pills from one man to another, the seller noticed me noticing and yelled, "You want a picture?" at which point what do you do but crack up laughing?) But today it was to the point where I didn't know where to look to avoid looking like I was looking. So I left the park altogether -- clearly, it was no weather for the beach -- and went browsing around some of the colorful back streets. There were really a lot of cute, colorful, and inexpensive items for sale -- but most of them were handbags, and I'm sure DH will plotz if I show up with yet another handbag.

Owls seem to have returned to fashion. I saw the owl pajamas in Tokyo but they're already here in Santa Monica. In fact, there were several booths at one of the markets that were filled with what I would consider to be Japanesey fashions -- the micro skirts of silly fabrics, the knee or over the knee socks, the spiked six inch heel Mary Janes. Didn't see so many people wearing that stuff though.

In the late afternoon, the trio of parrots from my photograph the other day had emerged, but they were not performing. I drifted further and somehow found a rooftop place with a view of the (foggy!) outdoors and a real, blazing fire. We needed a fire to get the chill off. They were having a happy hour, with almost no one there. I enjoyed the dirt cheap hand-made with fresh mint hisbicus mojito and teriyaki chicken wings. Hmmm. At that price, I may have enjoyed two of the mojitos in question.

Then I floated to the bus stop where, miraculously, the bus pulled up just as I stepped up. Oh, the bus driver had plenty of occasion to yell, scream, and generally act out...but not at me, tee hee.

I seem to have spent a lot of time griping about the buses. Oh, don't get me wrong. The buses are great. I can't get over how cheap. I'd be willing to pay an extra quarter and have those bus drivers go through some sensitivity training but hey. It's a fantastic deal. Even if you go wrong, as I did once, you're only out a dollar. I would have spent over $120 on taxis. Instead, I spent $5 -- and it would have been $4 if I just took the advice of that crazy bus driver yesterday and learned to fucking read, people! :-)

The new hotel near the airport is in a rather grim neighborhood but they themselves are great! The manager gave me some breakfast bars and bottled water for tomorrow, as well as two free wine coupons. Wheeeee. I'm sipping the wine even as I type this. Can you tell? Wheeee redoubled!

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