Tuesday, January 15, 2008



Where I am.

Hermosa Beach. Two streets from:

Alive & Well. Fish World. Flower World. California Sushi Teriyaki. Nancy Nails & Spa. South Bay Soccer. Skooby's. Amigos Tacos. Maui Rose. Rosa's Mexican Restaurant. Town & Country Pizza. Oki Doki Sushi. Just Massage Studio. Skate Surf Smoke. The Gym. South Bat Jiu-Jitsu. The Roth Group Real Estate. Bow Wow Boutique. Discount Cigarettes & Liquors. Triangle Hardware. A & M Auto Repair. Boxing Works. Asian Art Furniture. Nails & Waxing. Fluff and Fold. 7 11. Hermosa Design Center Futones Waterbeds. Poulet de Jour. Domino's Beach Cities Cycle. Hair's the Place. Westside Rentals Where Quality Tenants find a place to live. Cleanrite Cleaners. Royal Nails. Hermosa Saloon. Pacer Darts.


I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Dana Point and beyond to San Clemente. In a 7 11 I asked the clerk: is this where Richard Nixon lived? While the guy was giving me my change and saying he didn't know who I was talking about another guy had come in and was standing near me. Long time no see, he said. He gestured to the highway, Down there a little bit is Nixon's favorite Mexican restaurant.

When I drove passed it: Dave's Mexican.... though when I asked at the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce the girl said Nixon's house was inside a gated community and could not be seen from the road. She thought his favorite Mexican restuarant was El Mundo in San Juan Capistrano.


I had an address: 22401 Antonio Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita. I was looking for Coto Insurance Services which is owned by one of the Real Wives of Orange County.
I am sure everyone knows this show on Bravo. Now in its third season--- doesn't that sound like I can speak TV talk?

22401 Antonio Parkway is in the middle of a shopping center. Well, the name over the door says: REALTY EXECUTIVES. Two blond women came to the door of an office off the little lobby: Can we help you? Is this where the woman from Real Wives of Orange County has her office? They rent space from us.

I picked up two local newspapers from the lobby. The Cota de Caza News and the Trabuco Canyon News. The latter newspaper serves communities from Coto de Caza to Walden. Many houses for sale with prices well into the seven figures. Being from Manhattan--- or at least living in Manhattan--- one is really unaware of what wealth looks like when packaged up as a home. All those tall apartment buildings look alike. Of course even on East First Street in Manhattan there is a small building going up in which a small one bedroom condo will sell for more than one million dollars... but who lives around 22401 Antonio Parkway

I must quote 8 lines by Lana Chandler, Society Editor and author of Society Scene Exclusively for the Coto de Caza News:

The 34th annual Candlelight Concert was an amazing, electrifying evening that the guests will always remember. This upscale event, attended by the society elite, was orchestrated by event chair Pat Poss, honorary co-chairs Sally Crockett and Carol Wilken, and devoted committee members. Their efforts raised the bar and stunned the highbrow guests with transforming the Orange County Performing Artscenter Segerstrom Hall into a New York Nightclub Studio 34. The ambiance was perfect for the special performance by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons...
(at a future date I might be forced to quote more of Lana Chandler, Society Editor and author of Society Scene.)


Driving through Long Beach. Jeffrey MacDonald once was a doctor here. For the last 27 years he has been in prison for killing his wife and children. Do I have to say the Green Beret doctor? Fatal Vision?... the most famous son of Patchogue.

We were in Boy Scout together. He is a year older. I remember our father's because of the rain sitting in a car drinking and smoking all night during an overnight camping trip in Yaphank. All the boys were in sleeping bags in tents. The Dads...

I have often thought that he is innocent and though his case has been appealed up and down the ladder and here have been films even by the BBC suggesting serious doubts about the case he will never get out of jail. And now on the internet you can see the autopsy photos of all the parties...


Traveling slows reading down-- which might be a mistake--- for so much of what is written is not designed to be read:

I am sure you have heard the name Karl Kraus, the Austrian writer who wrote savage investigations of the mis-use of language in the Austrian press before, during and after WWI.
Like Ezra Pound, Kraus well knew that the debasement of the language is always necessary to further the bad aims... you might know Kraus for writing that psychoanalysis is a disease that proposes itself as its cure.

Some sentences or phrases that I do not understand:

one of the strongest early stories

powerful, precise and startlingly modern qualities

pushes his characters.

And from Kathryn Harrison: -there's the writing, clean and stark
-sentences feel less written than rendered
-I've fled into a novel
-he friable boundary between fiction and nonfiction.

And it was a pleasure to read the journalist Joe Conason putting on a funny hat for his look into the fortune teller's crystal ball: In the years that follow the second Bush presidency many of us will no doubt continue to ask ourselves...