Saturday, June 27, 2009

Here's another entertaining Letter Home, written shortly after our arrival in the Promised Land:

Dear Friends:

Life is California. I’m trying to expand my job search and be creative, but I was actually filling out a Home Depot application online last night. With budget cuts, human services is real tight, and small businesses are scaling back. Still, I remain optimistic. As our neighbor Clint Eastwood so eloquently stated, “I don’t believe in pessimism” Speaking of one of our greatest actor/directors, I am applying to the Clint Eastwood Youth Program in Monterey, which works with – well, troubled youth (“What’s a yute?” – name that movie line). I did take a break from job hunting to have French fries and an iced tea at Rappa’s, a nice restaurant right at the end of the Monterey wharf. As I was gazing melancholily out to sea, I saw my first otter… darned if they aren’t cute little buggers. He was rolling in the water, swimming on his back, tapping his little chest. The gulls and pelicans swoop around as if they are on the tourism payroll. And the rusty trawlers ( what beloved film has the character “Rusty Trawler”?). Last night I stepped outside, and could hear the roar of the ocean. I invited Sarah to walk down to the beach (timed at 10’44” if you go by the NOAA building, 13’44” if you go by the municipal golf course). There was no moon, but the Dome of Heaven was spectacular. So the earth and sky were lit by starlight. Even in the dim light we could see the big, curling waves crashing against the rocks, rolling powerfully in to shore. We walked along the barely discernible path that meanders through the low dunes, and I stumbled down to the water’s edge, marveling at the night sky. It was truly ecstatic; interrupted only by the lighthouse and occasional headlights, it was downright primeval. I haven’t seen a bright sky like that in years. And a big shooting star. Very romantic. I am still trying to grasp the fact that we live half a mile from this spectacular beauty. We unpacked a bunch of stuff and found some lost treasures, including my beloved crushed, rusty bottle cap collection. Sarah was busy hanging up her little birds all over the place, which I must say adds a festive touch to balance out my harshly militant minimalist aesthetic.

More animal chatter: I looked up yesterday to see, through the horizontal blinds, shapes that didn’t look peoplish, and sure enough, there were two deer at the door. I think they were collecting money for tic collars. They didn’t look so good. They try to eat my seaweed sculpture and they’re gonna be venison, you know what I mean? Well, I’m getting bored, and if I’m getting bored, you’re probably getting bored, so I’ll let you go. Just because this is a mass email, doesn’t mean I am not thinking of you individually, so I think it is OK to say I really miss you. Give me a holler and catch me up with the minutiae of your life (we were taught in radio to always address the amorphous ‘audience’ in the singular, so that the individual listener feels they are being talked to personally, which of course is a bald-faced lie, but hey – that’s show business). All seriousness aside, though, it does mean a lot to hear from you. It can be a lonely existence at times. Give the girls (and Dmitri) at Woodstar a little peck on the cheek for me, will ya? Yours in good coffee and pastries, from PGJJ in Pacific Grove, I remain, always and eternally, yours, Paul 

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