Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page
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I went and saw Steve Poltz in concert tonight.  He’s great.  He performed in a small coffee shop in Altadena, called The Coffee Gallery Backstage (2029 N. Lake, Altadena, Ca. (626) 398-7917).  Intimate, fun, more like a friend playing in your living room than anything else.

* * *

My sister Virginia’s in town.  I’ve been teaching her how to drive stick shift.  In the Volkswagen.  It’s harder to find 1st and 2nd gear in the Volkswagen, but on the other hand, I actually like the Miata, and don’t want to see it suffer.  She’s catching on quickly, though, and I think soon we’ll be able to go on actual main streets during, say, normal business hours.  She’s been driving an automatic for several years, but she just seems to have trouble when faced with a situation that requires an immediate decision that doesn’t involve pulling over and starting from first.

* * *

On the weekend, we went to Venice Beach.  My sister bought sunglasses.  Susie, ever the alternative girrrl, bought a leather wrist guard.  I suppose a falcon is next. I like falcons, so that’s OK, but our cats might get upset.

* * *

I’m crazy busy at work with tons of not-fun things, like entering data, and writing proposals for doomed projects.  They WILL be well documented, that’s for sure.

* * *

On Saturday, our good old friend Matt came over and Susie made her (patent pending) scallops and pasta and salmon and a large dose of cream recipe.  It was a hit.  Sometimes it’s not a hit.  I don’t know of many recipes this simple that turn out so different each time.  It’s always a mystery.

* * *

The hot tub has become my friend.  We’d gotten out of the habit of using it, until recently.  Now, it’s in full swing.  Also, we went over to my friends Debbie and Tracy’s place, and used their hot tub.  What a fun way to hang out and chatter idly.

* * *

One of my clearest memories of being 16 is driving home from a youth summer camp training meeting at about 11:00 at night, me and some friends in my mom’s dark blue Oldsmobile, followed by some other friends in [James Court’s] blue Duster. (That’s not his real name, I’m changing it to protect him.)  James was a good pal, and we still keep in touch.  He’s big and burly and nice, but unpredictable.  I was being a big shot, or at least a big pain, and I was driving faster than him and stopping him from passing me on the two-lane street.  I pulled up to a red light in the left-hand turn lane, and waited even after the light turned green.  I thought, hey, I’ll pull a trick, staying here until the light is yellow, then I’ll go and he’ll be stuck.  But James caught on quickly, and after honking and yelling a few times, he suddenly pulled out into the oncoming traffic lanes, roared by me, and screeched left.  He could easily have been killed.  And I was left behind.  I learned a major lesson that day, consisting of the following parts. 1) Other people are far more creative than you think. 2) Other people will do crazy things if you block them from doing the normal thing. 3) Teenagers with cars are as dangerous as you think they are, and then some.  4) I’m not really very good at being a reckless bad ass.  5) For some reason, all the girls were in his car.

* * *

Ask me about the phone booth in France.

* * *

Not now. Later. It’s time for me to go to bed.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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