Ryan Reynolds’ character in “The Change-Up” (I’ll review tomorrow) is accused of being a quitter, someone who never finishes anything. I’ve certainly been guilty of that in my past and on Saturday promised pt. 2 of my excellent adventure to San Francisco and never delivered so…
Interstate 5 runs the length of California and then heads into the Pacific Northwest. It’s a God-forsaken highway, with the exception of parts near San Diego and up near Oregon. I decided to take that route to San Francisco last Wednesday because it’s the fastest and I wanted to get there quickly to eat sourdough, smell the fog and feel the wind. I’m not entirely certain it wasn’t a contributing factor in my illness. The 5 is horribly dull and stupidly hot, so after arriving in the city, hoping I’d live to get the girls home on Friday, I had already decided we’d take the 101 back – and we did.
Coming off of 19th Avenue, onto the 280, which takes you to the enchanted land of Apple, the fog sits on top of the forested hillside like CGI cotton. The landscape rolls and, unlike the 5, a driver does not drool from the mouth corners in a zombie-like state. There’s plenty to look at, it’s not flat, and I have at least three friends who live just off of the 101 – which I reached after the 280 by going through Gilroy, the garlic capitol of the world – in case illness came upon me once again and I needed to seek refuge for the night.
We were cruising along, but I had a couple of problems. I’m flipping through the radio stations looking for something to listen to. I’m getting a lot of Spanish, so I flip right past because I don’t speak Spanish, and everything else is Christian. Now, I believe in God and all that, but unless Jesus is going to take the wheel – and he didn’t Wednesday in Oakland – I don’t want to hear songs about him. Why are these the only choices I’ve got in the Central Coast?
My next problem is just a painful reality. I’m cruising home, passing on the left, and on the right for those who’ve never been told to get over, and beep my horn at the rental truck who’s never been taught anything, and conceivably will reach my destination long before these others. But then we all hit Santa Barbara and the mysterious traffic that always exists there, and get stuck together – those who’ve driven the speed limit and those, like me, who haven’t. The big rig that shuts down a lane in Carpenteria adds an hour to our trip home and I don’t make it back before illness sets in again.
Look, it’s been a few days now. A visit to the doctor and phone calls with friends have put me on the road to recovery. The cold sores on my lips from the trauma of last week lead me to walk around town with a paper bag over my head, but what are you gonna do?
So the debt ceiling. Yeah, yeah, whatever. But Gabrielle Giffords showing up to vote? How great was that?
At “The Change-Up” premiere last night, I kept staring at this guy who looked just like Jonah Hill, only a lot thinner. Was I the last to know Jonah Hill had lost a ton of weight? Good for him.
One last note from San Francisco: Miss T was kind enough to get me coffee one morning because I couldn’t get it for myself. She asked me, “Half decapitated, right?” I didn’t correct her because I was too weak, and it’s not as if she’ll go through life getting it wrong, like the grown woman I heard years ago who pronounced the “S” sound at the end of Illinois. Okay, one more note. Last one, I swear. When’s the last time you had a piece of buttered cinnamon sourdough toast in the morning? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long.