I didn't mean to go so long without posting, but life has its way of interfering with my writing time. Not that that's not always a bad thing, especially when the interference takes the form of a weekend trip to Humboldt or something equally nice. I mean, right now the reason I have time to write is 'cause I'm home sick with a nasty cold. I'd really rather be healthy and at work 'cause I feel like shit. We're talking a real sick day, not a 'mental health' day here. I have my script rewrites staring at me (whadd'ya you lookin' at, ya lousy script!), but can't quite get through the fog of sinus congestion, headache and fever to work on it. Although I really should push on and do it 'cause I might turn out some great stuff with my internal critic laid low.
I woke up early Monday morning with a mild sore throat, which developed into a full-blown cold with the speed my cats when they hear the rattle of the dry food at dinner time. ZOOM! Hiya, Dana, I'm here to make you feel lousy! Go ahead, take your Emergen-C and Theraflu. Go ahead. I'm still gonna hang around, make your nose run so you have to blow your nose on the Muni and be the sort of person no one wants to sit by, and then I'll clog it up so your whole face feels like it's being punched. HAHAHAH! I LAUGH at your Theraflu!
However, before it hit I had a lovely visit up to Humboldt County to visit Brian and take Boska up to stay with her dad for a while. Boska was a champ during the drive Friday afternoon/evening, keeping me company and
scenting up the car with her own particular odiferous blend of eau de chien and farts. Hey, they kept me awake and focused during the dark, scary, rainy portion of the drive through the redwood forests. I suppose I shouldn't have fed her those onion rings from Burger King. She did love her double cheeseburger, that's for sure. She also got 90 percent of the bun from my Angus steakburger.
We arrived at Brian's temporary abode in Trinidad around 9pm, a gorgeous house set back about 200 yards from cliffs above the ocean. He's acting as caretaker/handyman, helping friends get it ready to sell. Fireplaces in the living room and bedroom, a gas burning stove in the kitchen/family room area, a reading loft...nice.
There was a bowl of homemade chicken soup waiting for me when I got there. I supplied a bottle of Old Patch Red from Trentadue Winery. Before eating, we stuck Boska's dog bed by the stove in the family room, threw her other blanket in front of the fireplace in the living room and let her wander around, smelling new smells and checking out her new digs. Boska and Shmoo got reacquainted, a reunion somewhat sullied by Boska's attempt to steal Shmoo's catfood.
Next morning I woke up on the couch. Boska was pacing back and forth with that 'gotta go, gotta go' trot, while Shmoo wandered up to me, gave me a head butt and started his plaintive cry for breakfast. Brian was still dead to the world, so I gave Shmoo some dry food, threw on a fleece top over my flannel pajamas, put on my Ug boots and took Boska out for her morning potty break.
Breakfast was toast made from fresh bread from the Samoa House restaurant, slathered in butter, honey and Gehost Ski Queen cheese from Norway, and fresh oysters. Seafood is inexpensive and plentiful in Humboldt, depending on the season. Lunch was even better - fresh cooked crab, one for each of us, accompanied by fresh avocado, lemon slices, melted butter and more of the bread. I'd brought a bottle of French Cat Chardonnay (a TJ's exclusive for $4.99) to go with it, a perfect combination. We watched LAND OF THE DEAD while we ate. Nothing like a good flesh-rending zombie movie while you're ripping succulent crab flesh from the shell...
Does this make me a sick person?
Don't answer that.
We took Boska for a long walk so Brian could show me her new stomping grounds. There's a path that leads down to the beach, actually the old Highway One. Huge chunks of it have eroded; they had to build a service road so people could get to their homes. In the opposite direction, the highway is now an overgrown footpath through a primordial forest that brings JURASSIC PARK or KING KONG to mind. You can still see the white line running down the middle of the path, faded and patchy. Very post apocalyptic.
Boska loved it. So many new smells! It did my heart good to see her bounding along like a puppy, snuffling at bushes, rocks, piles of mulch. When we took her back to the house, we told her she was a good dog and she wriggled on her back in canine ecstasy. If you've ever seen a full grown dog (she's half Rottweiller and half Aussie Shepard) do that, you know how silly they look. And it's something she hasn't done in a long time. I knew I'd made the right decision to bring her up for visit, no matter how much I'd miss her in the interim.
Shmoo made me feel welcome by sleeping on the couch, under the covers with me Saturday night. I'd wake up and hear him purring right next to my ear. He's a very special cat, that one. He's trained to come running when he hears the theme to Night of the Living Dead (the original, not that awful 30th Anniversary Edition with the new score). How special is that? He's evidently turned into quite the mouser in the last few weeks and gives a Hrrrawwoooo hunting cry when he's caught one. Kind of like the Martian tripods in WAR OF THE WORLDS.
All in all, it was an amiable, relaxing and entertaining visit. Brian looks like he's 10 years younger and, even with the uncertainty of his living situation, has regained some of his joie de vivre. And I'm feeling like I'm getting one of my best friends back and that there's a chance of somewhat integrating my old life with my new one. So even with this shitty cold, I'm in an awfully good mood. A little optimism goes a long way. So take that, Cold! Along with some more Emergen-C.