Friday, March 27, 2015

Hey lady, why don't you take a hike?

I am back to having every other Friday off, so this morning I woke up early so I could take my son to school. I haven't been able to do that in a long time; I was happy about it. Due to my schedule and my office's inflexibility about being on time (I mean, really. The nerve!), it's better if my husband takes him, and picks him up. When I got to do it in the past, I would always take a nice long walk afterward. I like that part, too. So, earlier in the week I had asked, via Facebook, if any of the parents at his school could recommend a good area to hike or walk nearby, and one of them told me about the Dominguez Gap.

It was a little hard to find - despite having a great Yelp page, the Yelp directions are not rooted in reality. However, the Yelpers were kind enough to give better directions, and after a wrong turn or two, I found it. It's in a weird area: between the 710 freeway/LA River, and a trailer park. There's also the bike path, and the Blue Line off in the distance. I felt a little uneasy at first - I wished I'd had a dog or a friend along with me - but after a while I relaxed and just walked and looked around.

There is a marshy area that stretches along the path. I can't call the 3 miles (I traveled one portion twice) I walked an official "hike" because half of it was paved, but there was some wildlife and flowers and plants, and I have quite a few little rocks and pebbles in my shoes. It really was beautiful. Next time I will bring a hat, though, because there isn't a lot of shade.

I saw:
  • Two dudes on horses having a rather inappropriate conversation
  • Three other solo walkers - all walking in the opposite direction
  • Two dog walkers - one leashed, one not (the dogs, not the walkers)
  • One runner
  • Countless ducks and little birds
  • Four lizards
  • Dozens of butterflies
  • Three dragonflies - one flew beside me for quite a while
  • The Italian cycling team (hey, it could've been. I think it's been too long since I saw "Breaking Away")
I said hello to everyone I passed, except the runner, because he appeared to be in pain. Also he was wearing headphones, and I doubt he would have heard me. I figured by saying hello, a murderer or rapist might be put off by blatant friendliness and rethink his or her path in life.

I used to just walk the residential area near the school because the homes there are huge, obviously expensive, and beautiful. I will admit that I probably prefer eyeballing the rich houses to this sort of isolated, possibly artificial, but still lovely, wilderness. It's good to have an alternative, though, and I did feel a bit more meditative and peaceful than usual.

Afterwards I drove to Starbucks and got an iced Cafe Americano; that feeling might be short lived.

Monday, March 23, 2015

minutiae, part 2

Yesterday, I decided to treat myself to some Albertson's fried chicken for dinner. I also picked up some chicken strips and mojos for the boys. On my way out of the parking lot, I stopped at the sidewalk to let two teenage girls on bicycles go by.

I had the window down and the radio on. I was driving Patrick's car, and I was listening to KUSC. I liked what I was listening to so much I used Soundhound to find out what it was (and I just bought it off of iTunes). It was the Allegro maestoso from "4 Romantic Pieces," by Dvorak, played by Gil Shaham and Orli Shaham. If I've misidentified it, I apologize.

Anyway, because I can't listen to any music at a decent volume, it was rather loud. And I'm sitting there, waiting for these girls, who were riding their bikes on the sidewalk, to pass (I was glad to see them on the sidewalk. Traffic is very busy on that street and cars scream by at a million miles an hour. I never pull out thinking I have enough time so I always wait until it's absolutely clear).

This Sunday I was super lazy: I showered at like, 2pm. I didn't put on any earrings or blow dry my hair, which means that my naturally wavy hair, which blow drying, in general, tames, was pulled back into a messy ponytail, and my bangs were looking pretty wild.

One of the girls, who was blond and adorable in that way blond teens usually are, got rather close to my open window and said, in a surprisingly masculine voice, "I love your curls!"

They were gone before I had a chance to react. But I laughed all the way home.