Friday in LA was soft, warm, no plans or obligations. Just a few possibilities that never came to pass. I did the California thing--shopped in an upscale mall built no doubt on reclaimed toxic ground next to the refinery. Wine and a blazer. That's what I bought. Then I explored El Segundo, which merited all of that second as the cafe I stopped in for caffeine blared a soap opera. The walk was good. The beach was unwelcoming unless you were in an RV. The hotel lunch wasn't bad, a Mexican buffet of sorts, but the seafood soup was a very pleasant surprise. Just killing time until the evening.
The LA Times Book Awards ceremony was, as usual, long, but pleasant enough. I sat with Elena and fellow "Fresno Poet" and friend David St. John and his lovely daughter. You can check out the winners here, if you're interested. I was mostly interested in poetry, and Stanley Plumly won that for Old Heart: Poems among many worthy nominees this year (Albert Goldbarth, Marvin Bell, Jean Valentine, and Elaine Equii). The afterparty was lavish as usual, with chocolate fountains and food stations that featured lobster farfarelle and Korean barbecue shortribs and sushi and other savory items. We ate and drank, ate and drank, and talked into the evening. Stuart Dischell was also there, old brother in the word, another transplant to the south, and Albert was delightfully witty, as usual. The evening passed quickly into memory and I made it back to the Hacienda early enough to rest up for the book festival.
Because this is shorter, I'm going to take care of some meme nonsense because Chryss and Amy E. said I have to.
Here are the rules:
A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
1) Ten years ago I was...
finishing my PhD, which I defended the same day the Santa Barbara pier caught fire. Driving back from LAX, I saw it burn fiercely and bright, probably all that creosote, but I thought from some distance it was all of downtown.
2) Five things on today's to-do list:
Lunch (Sonia's Cuban) with Carson and Taylor, Toby's rec letter, proof poems for Chattahoochee Review, syllabus for tomorrow, house show (Honest A's reunion cf. Carson above) tonight.
3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:
Hmmm. Are supermodels things? Bad joke, but really, don't you have to be some kind of asshole to hoard that much money? I'd like to think I wouldn't keep that much. I'd have to start some kind of foundation divided between environmental and human rights concerns that would keep me from every accumulating that much money.
4) Three bad habits:
Hmmm. 1) I procrastinate. I'll do the other two later.
5) Five places I've lived:
Here (Valdosta), there (Fresno), Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Salt Lake City, Utah. (That's six, but I'm still down two bad habits, and maybe Fresno counts as one of my bad habit[at]s?)
6) Six jobs I've had in my life:
Custodian, Snack Bar slave, Statistical Clerk (US Forest Service), Life Insurance Agent, High School Teacher, College Professor. (Be honest, guys, how many of you typed "blow" and then erased it.)
I'll tag Mike and Liz and John and all of my Myspace friends.