Always Sunny Here in Southern California

Shilo Inn, Pomona:  Self slept blissfully last night, perhaps because of yesterday’s various excitements.  Arrived in Ontario airport at 11 a.m., right on the dot.  Jennie and son were waiting for self at the bottom of the Arrivals escalator.  And it was such a beautiful day!  As son drove away from the airport, self saw mountains again.  Snow-capped mountains.  Not as high as the ones in northern India, but higher than the ones she sees in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jennie and son decided to ditch career fair, even though they had both dressed up for it.  Self felt extreme guilt.  Shared humongous lunch (Pad Thai, pork curry, chicken teriyaki with brown rice, crispy chicken appetizers, soup, dessert) at small, cute Thai restaurant.  Passed by Jennie’s place so she could print out tickets for Circue du Soleil.  Drove to Santa Monica, listening to lyrics of a song that went, over and over:  “I’m sexy and I know it.”  Parked by pier.  Walked across the sand, watching:  men exercising on rings, a cute little doggie in a pink coat with white polka dots, bikers, skateboarders . . .  Everyone looked so healthy and fit, amazing.  Finally, reached the blue and yellow Cirque du Soleil tents, handed our tickets to a young man who self thought looked familiar —  like maybe he was in a TV show or had a bit part in a movie?  But what would he be doing collecting tickets at a Cirque du Soleil Show?

Watched OVO —  super-fantastic!  Sat spellbound at the caterpillars, butterflies, spiders, ants, aerialists, tightrope walkers, clowns, frogs and so forth.  Loved the lizards scaling the walls, and the man in a cocoon, and the gigantic slinky costume …

Afterwards, had dinner at a Mexican restaurent at the end of the Santa Monica Wharf.  Were serenaded by mariachis (Son requested something “romantic.”)  Self tried to keep intense poker face.  Self learned she was capable of wiping out, all by herself, a large plate of guacamole, chopped tomatoes, re-fried beans, and carnitas.  It turned cold!  Walked back to the car, looking up at the lighted hotel and apartment windows.  Passed a few people playing beach volleyball, then a sign saying “Muscle Beach.”  Thought immediately of Schwarzenegger and Maria, and wondered if the Schwarz had ever been here, on this same beach, when he was a young man competing in all those body-building contests.

Passed Casa del Mar.  Passed a place called Shutters on the Beach and checked out the menu.  Drove to self’s hotel in Pomona.  Jennie and son stayed for a bit, chatting.  Noticed after a while that son was fast asleep on the bed.  Said our goodbyes parting is such sweet sorrow see you on the morrow.  Self lent Jennie her copy of Rogue Magazine’s Bacolod Issue.

Santa Monica Wharf, after the Cirque du Soleil Show

Today is the next day.  Self trundled over to (very dark) hotel restaurant and got a plate of breakfast (included in the hotel price) to bring up to her room.  She will resist taking even one bite.  She will share it with Jennie and son, thereby preserving what is left of her waistline.  Stomach already very distended from yesterday’s indulgences (Stop staring at the pork sausage and scrambled eggs, self!)

Perhaps, today, a movie: Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in “The Vow.”  Self shared with the young people her fascination for all things Channing.  What else?  Discussed watching line dancing, having dinner in Claremont, walking around the campus.  Self brought up the Getty Museum.  Jennie had seen it, but son hadn’t.

Moments ago, received text from son:  he and Jennie are running a little late, had to stop by the campus.  No worries!  Self settles down to read a book she borrowed from Jennie yesterday:  Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, by Timothy D. Wilson.  She opens the book at random and finds herself on this paragraph (on p. 172):

The trick is to gather enough information to develop an informed gut feeling and then not analyze that feeling too much.  There is a great deal of information we need in order to know whether someone would make a good partner, much of it processed by our adaptive unconscious.  The point is that we should not analyze the information in an overly deliberate, conscious manner, constantly making explicit lists of pluses and minuses.  We should let our adaptive unconscious do the job of forming reliable feelings and then trust those feelings, even if we cannot explain them entirely.

Fascinating stuff!  And now self must step out of the hotel room and go for a walk, because the bright day is too beautiful.

Stay tuned.

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