Monday, December 14, 2009

There's a part of the country/Could drop off tomorrow in an earthquake

As indicated below, I am in San Diego for work.

I am sort of afraid of California. When I think of it, I think first of Stephen Reinhardt, and then second of Hollywood and its swarms of attractive people. That is, the real Hollywood, not my own beloved semi-home which is Hollywood for ugly people. In that vein, I learned recently that one of the socialite girls of whom I was terrified in high school has is now in California doing entertainment reporting.That yours truly is what passes for a D.C. socialite of equal rank may say everything about the two regions.

I learned New York, long before ever visiting it, from the pages of various novels. I know virtually everything I know about California from various indie songs. See, e.g, Dar Williams' "Southern California Wants To Be New York", the Decemberists' "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" and more Mountain Goats songs than I can count easily. I know I should recognize that, of course, San Diego is not Los Angeles. At the same time, I persist in naively seeing California as a vast undifferentiated and scary mass. I have a hard time getting past the concept that states can be bigger than some kind of Platonic ideal of U.S. state-ness etched in my brain.

So far, though, California is less scary than I would have imagined. I found seals lying on the beach. The seals were nice, and perhaps another time, I will even post photographs of them. There are oddly high numbers of undergrads who walk around wearing fuzzy boots at the university that I am visiting. This is strange, given that is warm out, but undergrads are too young and naive and foolish to be scary. I have also even managed to do actual work and also, not die from the cat.

Work travel is also nice. I fear I am not used to travel being so nice and so feel absurdly guilty about spending any money on anything. I am not going to blog about the specifics. I fear that if I do, I will read this entry in ten years and ask myself, as Joan Didion did in one of her essays, "Was anyone ever really so young?"

Tomorrow perhaps, there will be a substantive post about policy. I briefly considered putting one up about Lieberman and health care but could not think of anything to say that would not sound like boring hackery. Again, perhaps, tomorrow.

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