Friday, September 14, 2007


I was at the airport two hours early, like a good citizen passenger in the Age of the Patriot Act. One suitcase, one guitar, a laptop, coat and a backpack.
The friendly clerk winced as I lifted my wheeled bag on to the scale.
"That might be a little over the limit," she said, nervously. "You might have to pay a charge."
"OK." I'd come this far, and was leaving for two months. Let's move forward, I thought.
"Actually, sir, I can't allow this bag on at all."
"Excuse me?"
"Its' over the weight limit, and the FAA has strict rules about this. You're four pounds over the limit."
"Um well, what can I do?"
"Do you have room in your backpack for anything from your suitcase?"
I had packed every inch of everything, and there was no room for even a paper clip.
"Is there anything you can remove from your suitcase?"
"Well......." I knelt down and opened the suitcase, marveling again at what a freakin' excellent job I had done packing. I was at a loss, though. What could I take out? Where else would it go?
Then, reaching down to the bottom level, I pulled out my favorite cowboy boots--my perfect winter avenue and prairie friends for the last twenty-odd years.
"Weigh those," I said, handing them to the clerk.
She looked over the digital scale, and chuckled, "Four pounds."
I took off my worn sneakers, and began to pull the boots on. Eyeing a trash can across the lobby, I limped over with one boot one and one boot off, and tossed them away. Twenty bucks at a Reebok outlet store, they can be replaced. I limped back and stepped into both boots.
Just a tiny bit taller, I said, "Let's fly."

Day Un

You don't get more LA than me. I can tell you why not to use Fountain Avenue as a Hollywood shortcut, or where exactly to park when you go to Dodger Stadium. I know every shortcut, almost every LA soon-to-be-overdiscovered secret,and can chart the vagaries of LA's economic landscape and forgotten First District.

But now, I am in another country; on an island, in a diverse and cosmopolitan city the size of a council disrict, and I am making my way.

I'll be based in Montreal, Canada until mid-November, and will be filing stories for Foothills Living magazine. You can see a lot of those stories at our I'll be traveling all over the eastern part of Canada and the US. But this blogsite here is a little more personal.

And in a final answer to the countless persons who've asked me "Why?," I would answer only, "Why not?" Life is short. I can do this now. Let's see the world.

Highland Park isn't going anywhere.