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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Patriotic Road Trip - Part 1

Disclaimer: To assert my right to freedom of speech (which is preserved not through misguided military invasions, but by common domestic practice) on this American holiday, I will now begin this blog post with a rant sure to piss off more than a few, who probably deserve it. If you wish to skip it, go down to the spot that begins with +++.

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!

As you probably don't know, we celebrate the 4th of July each year to celebrate, not the throwing of tea over the sides of boats whilst disguised as Indians (how brave, no pun intended), not the preservation of the Union, nor the day America was discovered by Europeans, but the date the Declaration of Independence was signed 230 years ago.

Don't worry if you didn't know that, since two-thirds of you don't know the complete words to the National Anthem. And even less, much less, of you attempt to vote because of apathy or laziness or stupidity (you simply don't take the time to educate yourself on the candidates and the issues).

Also, most of you who can recite the Pledge of Allegiance don't know that it was written by a socialist Baptist minister in 1892, well after the War of Independence and the Civil War, and that the phrase "Under God" wasn't added until 1954.

Frankly, I prefer the pledge as it was written: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." But then again, I'm not a fucking theocratic Christianist, either (nor Republican); whom by the way, have more in common with Ossama Bin Ladin and the late not-great Ayatolla Khomeini than they have ever had with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or James Madison.

Again, don't feel too bad if you didn't know these things, because the 4th of July is really about two things: not working and barbecuing, something Americans really take pride in (uh, except for the 4.6%, or 10,806,983, of you above the age of 15 who are unemployed).


Since the 4th of July fell on a Tuesday, that gave me a super long weekend, since there was no way in hell my boss was going to come in to work on Monday, and because so, he gave everyone else the day off (unpaid of course) as well.

That was nice of him, don’t you think?

We tried to make the most of it, even though we did waste a lot time sitting around watching murder mysteries. While we love a good British murder mystery (we're watching Midsomer Murders), they can get a bit, dare I say?...boring after a while.

I think I just dared.

So on Sunday we took a road trip (yaayyy!).

Our destination: The Pt. Reyes Lighthouse.

We began our trip by driving up Highway 1, which winds it's way through Marin county and the small, sometimes exclusive, communities that dot it. It's like the fictionalized Cotswolds in Midsomers Murders, only less grand churches, less stone houses, about 500 years less old, less wet year around, and with most of the murders happening unsolved in Marin City.

But other than that, totally the same.


Eventually we came upon the little hippy town of Bolinas, and true to its reputation, it was hard to find and very hippy-dippy. Though, 40 years after the Summer of Love it seems like there's a real thin line between what is "hippy" and what is just white trash with Batik and knock-off Tibetan jewelry. And although it would seem as though these people and I would be fellow travellers, 10 minutes in the town of Bolinas made me want to drag out my black clothing, my Docs, and my grindcore/crust records all over again.

I don't know. I guess everyone has their orthodoxies. I, on the other hand, hate orthodoxies with a passion (even when I agree with most of the tenets).

Instead, Bruce and I ventured out onto the beach, which was pretty beautiful. It was a nice day and the tide was just coming in. We scoured the shore for pieces of beach glass and odd-shaped rocks and shells. It reminded me of when I was a boy and we would go to the beach in North Carolina, scouring the beach for shark's teeth and sand dollars.

Bolinas also has a few, nicely painted homes with some fabulous decks that jet out over the shoreline. These are probably not owned by the original Bolinas hippy colony, whom according to this Wiki entry, have all but abandoned the town or whose children remain, but as unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts.


Nevertheless, it was time to eat and we were starving. We decided to stop in to the Coast Café, since it looked like the best, if not only, game in town. The weather was sunny and we scored a nice seat out back on their patio.

Not long after, a very nice (non-hippy) waitress took our order. Bruce had the Avocado, Bacon (Niman Ranch), and Cheddar (or ABC) omelette ($8.95) and I had the Marin Sun Farms cheeseburger ($10.25). Our food was brought out shortly after our order.

Bruce requested some jam with his toast and was given a jar of Maddy's Jammin' blackberry jam, which was from Maddy's Jammin' shop right up the street. I taste-tested some of the jam and, though a little sugary, was pretty good. Looking at the label, I noticed a poorly drawn image of an Indian-looking woman with her jars of preserve.

"Is this suppose to be Maddy?", I said to Bruce. "What. Is Maddy fucking Pocahontas? No, I wanna know. She better be Indian or I'm going to be pissed. Don't fuckin' mock my people, bitch!"

I occasionally get on the "I'm a Person of Color" trip, though mostly in jest, since I'm 1/16 Cherokee Indian. Usually I do it when I feel like acting retarded or anti-PC because I'm soooo not a person of color. I'm not even ethnic white.

Later, the conversation drifted towards my burger.

"I know this is grass fed and 'grass-finished' and all, but I don't taste the difference in flavor everyone keeps talking about", I said.

"Yeah, but you're eating a cheeseburger. Look how much shit you've put on it", said Bruce.

"Yeah, but…" and this was true since I specifically asked for a side order of mayo because I usually don't trust that there will ever be enough on my sandwich.

And right then, I got the most terrific whiff of something nasty. I looked at Bruce and said "do you smell that?" No. After while, Bruce smelled it too!

"What is that?"

"I don't know? Is it the person behind me? Maybe they've sat us next to the compost pile. Is it the tide?" I said.

Ever so often I would catch this whiff, and Bruce caught it too so I know I'm not crazy, but it smelled like Stinky Tofu!

Anyway, other than that, the food was excellent and so was the service and when I come back to Bolinas dressed all in synthetic materials, except for my calf-skin boots, and a "The Dalai Lama is a terrorist" badge on, I'll be sure to stop by again.

Afterwards we stopped by The People's Store, which despite the pseudo-socialist name, was actually a fantastic little grocery. It reminded me of a mini-mini Rainbow Grocery, although with a better produce section and less vegetarian-lifestyle bullshit. The Bolinas Summer Faire was happening in the courtyard of the store and there was some dude playing guitar while a young woman sang something decisively folky.

Not folky in the Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Woodie Guthrie, The Weavers, pre-electric Bob Dylan sort of way, but more what you would expect from a Rainbow Gathering trading circle, and actually most of the 15-20 people assembled there looked like that's just where they came from.

We finally made it in to Maddy's and despite her round face, she didn't look ANYTHING like her picture on the jar. However, she was definitely jammin'; a Grateful Dead CD played in the background. Despite the fact that the woman on the jar was not the woman standing in front of me, I loved her selection of homemade jams and jellys and baked goods and when she told me that her quince jelly was made from local fruit, I couldn't resist buying some.

After that, it was get me the hell out of here! We jumped in the car and it was time to put a new CD in. I needed to de-hippify in a major way, like Meryl Streep in Silkwood, the part when she has to scrub her body in the shower after being exposed to radiation, and I scoured through the small CD collection we brought along. Had I known this would happen, I would've demanded we bring something other than Jimi Hendrix, The Fairport Convention, and The Beatles.

Luckily I found ONE 4-year-old drum and bass CD that went down like an aural cool, electronic, dissonant glass of water.

Thank Jah for pre-programmed music.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,
How can you possibly waste your precious holiday watching Midsomer Murders? I mean you wouldn't want to live there (supposing these cute little villages actually existed) because there are so many murders every week - and what would that do to house prices? (House values being a British preoccupation). Anyway we fall asleep watching it over here in Blighty - we prefer 'House' or 'Six Feet Under' or 'CSI'. Anyway keep up the good work of entertaining us with your regular globs, I mean blogs.

Thanks, Heather

1:50 PM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...

I had no idea how dangerous, licentious, and full of insanity these quaint little English villages were until I watched a few episodes of Midsomer Murders.

I mean, when we travelled through the quaint English countryside 2 years ago, we didn't get that vibe at all, but then maybe we weren't around long enough.

One wonders what the birth rate must be to keep up with the death by unnatural circumstances rate. I suspect it must be rather high, but as we have seen in numerous episodes, those births have often been under illegitimate circumstances.

Then those children who do not know their father is the local town bishop grow up to be homicidal maniacs!!!

You know, over here in America, we have the same thing going on, only when they happen here, chances are they happen in what we refer to as a "trailer park" and those who live in them, "trailer trash".

What a difference an ocean and few thousand miles makes!


10:57 AM  

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