California Adventure: Slow Start

My introduction to LA was not what I hoped and not really what I expected, either. Not that I had any great expectations, I just wasn't prepared for the isolated feelings I had. I landed in my new place Memorial Weekend. Doesn't sound too bad except I don't know anyone in LA and could only go as far as my feet would take me because, coming from NYC, I don't have a car. Fortunately, I am in the middle of LA and about a mile away from The Grove. The neighborhood I lived in reminds me a lot of a neighborhood I live in in Phoenix called Willow. The houses in this neighborhood were built before the concept of tracked homes was invented so each house is unique and has a character that modern "cookie -cutter" neighborhoods can't touch.

My new neighborhood reminds me of the Willow District in Phoenix.

It suits me and my tastes and it's a great neighborhood to take Shea on his morning walk. We have a little loop we walk but I think I need to change it up to keep it interesting for him. Or for me maybe. I have been listening to the audiobooks of a very long fantasy series I started reading long ago called The Wheel of Time. It has been great to keep my mind off of things I should not be thinking about. It's a very long (12 books) and rich story that is very easy for me to get lost in. It's an escape for sure but I'm ok with that right now.

Shea has found his place which, unsurprisingly, is the bathroom floor.

There is a place at The Grove called the Farmer's Market which is somewhat of a misnomer since there is only one produce stand there. It is basically a food court full of places you would actually want to eat at anytime. From Cajun to Brazillian, Korean to Maylasian, there is a great variety of good food. I spent my first week eating lunch and then catching a movie at The Grove movie theater.

I had a nice little break when a friend was in town and invited me to go to Magic Mountain with him and his girlfriend. I had not been there since 2006 so it was a lot of fun. I love riding roller-coasters, especially the smooth ones with loops and barrel rolls. They make me feel like I am flying.

Hangin' with Maria at the Self Realization Garden by the sea.

So last week I finally bit the bullet and rented a car because my friend Maria was in San Diego with her boyfriend and wanted me to come down to hang out. We met at Encinitas, just north of San Diego. It is a small coastal town that looked as though India threw up it's yoga culture and it all landed there in all it's colorful lotus flower glory. There were yoga studios everywhere and 'lotus' cafés and restaurants. We met at Swami's for some organic food and smoothies while right across the street, the Self Realization Center beckoned us to walk in it's beautiful and relaxing garden. It was full of people meditating, searching for themselves I'm guessing.

Ben showing me how to fly and even showed me how to start the thing up.

So from the meditating garden, Maria's boyfriend, Ben, took us to see the F-16's his fighter squadron flies. He is a fighter pilot in the Air Force and was in San Diego training other pilots. He took us out on the tarmac and showed us the jets and I even got to climb on one to check out the cockpit and controls. It's just like the movies and video games.

I'm working on finding my groove. All that work on a graphic resume went for naught. I've got a couple of consistent freelance gigs so I'm not desperate to find a job. If I can find a couple more of the former I won't even think about looking for the latter. I haven't done any photography since I've been here which I need to change. I've been wanting to do a self-portait but haven't figured out exactly how I want to shoot it. I'm thinking I should do several different options and see which ones work out the best.

So that's the update. Thanks for reading.

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