Some guy has some interesting thoughts on California.
Human ingenuity is a beautiful, wondrous thing.
It's 10 PM, and in Needles, CA, the temperature is 101F. I just got back a little while ago from the Friends & Family campout up in Willits. I hadn't liked that party when I went a couple of years ago; but then, that was in The Bad Relationship and it was difficult to enjoy a lot of things. Still, I remembered the vibe from the people being vaguely hostile or grouchy, and the drugs of choice being either alcohol and tobacco, or psychoactives in realms I don't like being around (e.g. cocaine or ketamine).
(Yes, for some people cocaine didn't go out of style in the early 80s. Somewhat surprisingly, whatever its physical effects, it doesn't inevitably ruin your life, though I was conditioned to think so: many people use it in a controlled manner with varying frequency, and it appears not to wreak quite the personal devastation of heroine or crystal meth. I take it largely as reinforcement that people who are going to fuck up their lives with substances are going to find some way to do it, and we should start laying some more responsibility on (and lending our energy to) the users and less on their means of destroying themselves.)
But a ticket came up through a friend, and I went to help wrangle lights with the gang from Koil. Along with most of my friends, as we've aged and grown and our priorities and interests have changed, I have an ambivalent relationship to dance parties these days. I'm not usually thrilled about the music, I've never much liked dancing, and I easily start to feel disconnected, being surrounded by people I don't really know and am not talking to, even though they're perfectly nice: they're just there for different reasons than I. So I found that having something to do to get the party going and clean it up afterwards was just what I needed. It brought up many memories: I had largely forgotten that I spent about 5 years training to be a professional theater tech. Normally, when I remember how to do something, I do it wrong first, then remember the right way, go back and fix it. This time, facts and information magically popped into my head right before I needed them, tips and tricks that when combined with common sense (well, the common sense of an engineer) get stuff done in a way that won't damage the equipment and will keep everything running for the entire show.
I got to explore my theater-tech self, or facet, again: along with the factual knowledge, segmented off in my brain, is an attitude and a vocabulary, much rougher and harshly matter-of-fact than the more graceful facets I use most of the time. I guess I'm pretty good at fitting myself into a lot of situations, or at least making myself less conspicuous; at least, that's been my experience, and Ann has noticed it multiple times. The lighting and sound crew are a fun bunch, and I genuinely like both them and the work, so it's not much of a stretch.
And now I am delightfully tired.