Postcard from California

The hotel where I’m staying is alarmingly close to the Reagan Presidential Library. It’s nice, though. My room has a little private balcony that overlooks the pool. It does not, however, seem to have a phone that can dial the 800 number for my long-distance calling card. Heather at the front desk keeps telling me to call the phone company operators, who in turn have told me I need to check with the hotel switchboard operator who is… well, Heather. Who has made it clear that telecommunications is just not her thing. Three operators and Heather have concluded that I guess I’m not supposed to be dialing an 800 number from my room phone, which, by the way, has specially labeled speed-dial buttons not just for the taxi company and room service, but for the Reagan Presidential Library. At least I have internet access.

The last time I was in this part of California was in high school, when my grandma and I visited my great-uncle and great-aunt, who lived in Santa Monica and sort of never threw anything out in their house, which isn’t to say that they were filthy, because they weren’t, just a little crazy, like some kind of eBay bomb had gone off in their house, and the only way to deal with being around so much stuff was to feign interest in whatever object such as a candy dish or Avon bottle or novelty transistor radio shaped like a baseball or ziploc bag full of latchhook rug yarn happened to be close to you, and if my great aunt saw you touching or even looking at the random whatever, she would insist that you take it.

This trip isn’t anything like that, of course. It’s been so many years, though, that I am actually sort of gawking at the palm and citrus trees out here.

I have no idea what time it is. My Midwest laptop clock and the California clocks don’t agree. Is it 11:00? 1:00? 12:00 but then really 11:00 due to daylight savings but then, really, in non-California time, 1:00 a.m. Or maybe 12:00 now. Either way i need to sleep.