Posting from Cruising Altitude

Having trouble getting motivated to work on the plane. Instead I’m chomping on ice, wearing my fleece hoodie backwards like a half snuggie and surfing my iPod for songs about home.

Both “California” by Tom Petty and “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” by the Decemberists would be perfect if it weren’t for the damned harmonica.

2Pac’s “California Love” – A day brightener and no harmonica.

“California Stars” by Billy Bragg is a keeper.

“California Waiting” by my beloved Kings. How does my new 86 year old friend put it? Caleb can eat crackers in my bed any day.

Then there’s Zeppelin’s immortal “Going to California”. Skipped. It hits a memory nerve right now. But Led Zeppelin is family, they’ll be here when I’m ready to come back.

Landed in Vegas for a plane change. Currently the restaurant speakers are playing “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains. Coincidentally, earlier this trip, we heard this song in the car while driving through DC. I insisted we change the station, saying, “This is a California song for me. I don’t want to hear it here.” A couple days later, after Andy headed back west, as I drove myself to the hotel alone, it came on the radio again. I listened to it that time thinking I love it and it’s not just a CA song, it’s also a driving song.

Here’s how: “Man in the Box” adopted me in a vivid dream one night around 1998. In the dream, I was riding west on Olympic Boulevard where the road bends, rises and falls again going through Century City. I was sitting on the back of a convertible with my arms raised high. It was night. Wind in my hair. The song filled all the sonic space. They say what matters in dreams is the emotion; this one screamed joy at top volume. My quintessential Los Angeles dream.

One more flight and I’m ready to start a new year.

(Well, not literally ready or honestly ready but it made an okay ending to the post.)

Finally at LAX

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