Whirlwind Tour ends on a Tornado

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

Well, hooray, my website has finally been restored, though there’s still some elements that are missing. At least the things that were most important have indeed been recovered, and what’s not there will be back shortly. All this just a few days after my time in California which I had desperately needed.

I don’t recall such a trip where I literally made appointments to see people, but now I understand better how people in the real world operate.  For my one full day in LA, I managed lunch at 1:30 with a comedian friend in Studio City, tea at 5:00 with my ex in Culver City, drinks at 7:00 in Culver City with a former neighbor I hadn’t seen in over 40 years, and a quick stop at The Comedy Store in Hollywood at 8:30 before heading back to Azusa where I was staying. The day’s mileage was well over 100 miles, but a lot of people do that every day in LA and just accept that it comes with the (vast) territory. I did manage that entire day’s journey without encountering rush hour traffic, so someone was on my side.

The rest of the two weeks was spent in and around San Francisco. Went to a Giants game (lost!); finally got to participate in a Beatles’ sing-along night that my friend Joshua has been running once a month for over three years; played in a Mothers Day Frank Zappa tribute show at a private club along one of the piers; did a podcast; saw several people I hadn’t seen in well over a decade; and was involved in two separate dinner parties honoring Eileen’s memory. Though most of the people in the dinner parties had only met her when we were out in California early last year, the impression she left behind was unanimously strong. One person said Eileen was the first mature woman they’d ever seen me with. I couldn’t totally disagree.

But the fun and merriment had to eventually end, and on Monday I saw my dad one more (last?) time before heading back to SF Airport. The flight went first to LA before changing to a direct flight to Heathrow. On the TV monitor at SF, there was the breaking story of the tornado in Oklahoma, and I immediately thought “Oh no, if we leave from LA we’ll be flying over that.”  And that’s exactly what happened! About an hour into the flight, just as meals were being served. I managed to finish my salad before the plane started rocking back and forth. It rocked so severely that even flight crew was ordered to sit. And for some reason it was only MY food tray that decided to fall off the stand and onto the floor. This was still not the worst turbulence I’d ever experienced, and I wasn’t worried as I saw the flight crew wasn’t. The only time that ever happened was on a late lamented People’s Express (remember them?) flight from LA to New York, where we encountered severe winds over Arizona. One person got up from her chair to go to the bathroom, and I heard one of the attendants shouted out “Will you sit down, Goddammit!” THAT one I was worried about.

There was one more brief spell of turbulence maybe another hour later, but otherwise, the flight arrived safely and on time, and London was the same cold I’d left it in two weeks prior, plus there was the Woolwich incident to remind me that there’s no place totally safe from lunacy. But this has been a busy week, so I never really had time to react to that, nor to even recover from jet lag until yesterday. Each day since I’ve been back, I’ve been waking up around 5:00, and unable to get back to sleep, though I’ve managed afternoon naps on most days. I think I’m over it now, for this morning I woke up at 10:00 AM. I’ll be back in US in September. Stay warm for me.


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