monster vs. monster

how i spent my summer vacation (week one)
June 3, 2010, 4:05 am
Filed under: nice day, round up | Tags: , ,

greetings from california! i stepped off the plane missing providence something fierce, but i think i’ve made up for my non-home sickness by having a fantastic first week of the summer. i spent a few days with my mom in riverside, and man, there is some crazy stuff in southern california! mostly my days consisted of riding around on the freeway pointing at strange billboard signs and shouting “whaaaat?” over and over. relatedly, i would like you all to know that jazzercise is alive and well in the inland empire.

i do have some photographic highlights that i caught amid trips to line dance, hike, and watch shakespeare plays, like this EPIC MASTODON (or wooly mammoth?) STATUE which, as far as i can see, has no reason to exist aside from being awesome. i found the masto/mmoth statue to be strong and assertive while still quietly graceful, especially silhouetted against the setting sun. it completely captivated me. i seriously made extra trips up and down the freeway to gawk at it, and its visual appeal was rivaled only by the biggest scandia amusement park i’ve ever seen.

for our romeo&juliet and hamlet outings we parked next to the redlands mall, which seemed oh so very excited to proclaim itself.

and we sauntered, several times, past these two very serious dudes, whose names i couldn’t quite make out. shortly after taking this picture, i was attacked by a sprinkler system. the two dudes maintained their very serious faces.

luckily, once we got to the shakespeare locale, there were many optimists about, to cheer my sodden spirit.

unluckily, the plays were a little heavily acted (and more or less mourning-free!). ah, well. it’s community shakespeare. they have the noble goal of working through all 37 plays before they repeat one. unwise, but noble.

our monday morning hike up mt. rubidoux was definitely a highlight, though it felt less like hiking and more like walking uphill on a paved road. downside: no rustic payoff. upside: less fear of snake attacks.

oh, and cacti. lots of cacti. i love seeing what plants actually choose to grow down south.

there is a cross at the top of the ‘mountain’…

as well as this little tower (called “peace tower”) and a bridge to nowhere. the tower has nothing in it, but the windows are barred. the bridge has only one way to get up/down, and i’m not sure why it needs to cross the path, nor why it leads to an empty barred-up tower. still, it was nice to look at. unless you looked down, like i did, and see an old half-eaten pop tart laying on the side of the steps. thank you, hikers.

mostly, other than complaining about people eating plastic food and dropping trash wherever they may, i spent riverside-time hanging out with this cat, getting started with my summer reading, searching for the perfect wedding-guest-dress, and knitting the ugliest scarf EVER. when i get back in a few days i’ll add to that list some cooking, some clog dancing, some pillow-seaming and some sweater-knitting.

on a whim i drove up the coast monday night to see watercolor paintings and good luck at the biko coop in santa barbara. it was my first time ever going to a show alone, and i was incredibly nervous at the start, but once i showed up and started meeting band members and munching on free bananas, it all felt right as rain. good luck was AMAZING and i danced my face off. watercolor paintings surprised me by being quiet and heartfelt and lovely, and we all sat on the floor and lots of people sang along. i took no pictures, since the space was so small and i felt a little, i don’t know, obsessive, but i picked up a w.p. cd and have been listening to it nonstop. i highly recommend them.

i left town the next day, and on my way out of ventura i saw this paper mache llama in my old neighbor’s yard. a fitting departure, i think. i’m in oakland now, and there is much to look forward to. tonight is why? at the new parish downtown. tomorrow will be drinks with the bestgirlsever, friday we have art murmur, and sunday the always enjoyable temescal street fair as well as the second annual issues birthday party! it’s like i never left.