There are some little things that are really different here than back in the midwest. The first smell of outdoor California every morning, at least out my door has become an aroma-therapudic way to start the day. Maybe it's because the groundskeepers are constantly cutting and trimming that such sweet smell is ubiquitous, but it is fresh, green and tropical with hints of Eucalyptus. It doesn't really match the smell of wet leaves, wet dog and mud, but it's a close second.
Another difference is the grass. The texture is different. The grass here seems very astroturf-ish to me--the stuff Brett Favre used to not be able to play on. Each blade is thicker and it feels rougher on bare feet. It does make picking up after the dog easier though, so that's a plus. The grass sort of holds things up so dropping your keys, phone or change doesn't have to mark the beginning of twenty-three minutes on your hands and knees hoping to catch a glimpse of something shiny.
The few times I visited southern California before moving here, it struck me how few flying bugs there were. Coming from Packerland, we're used to sharing our homes with ants, wasps, bees, spiders, mosquitoes, dragonflies and endless numbers of flies. But not down here, here seemed like paradise. Leaving the patio door completely open extended the living room, brought in the fresh air, and welcomed rather than fought nature.
Now that I'm here I realize there are at least two flies in California. They are freeloaders and constant irritants to my poor old dog. She is doing her best trying to catch them in her mouth but its been a rather pathetic and sad exercise. I felt really bad for her, so I started going after them myself, although not with my mouth. We both looked ridiculous. I would swat at them with a pillow until I started breaking things. She would take over and snap her floppy old jowls in the air, then look at me as if to apologize. At her age, she shouldn't have to apologize. Since I threw all the Wisconsin fly swatters away thinking I wouldn't need them anymore, I had to go makeshift. The obvious choice was the plastic handled pancake flipper, mistakenly called the spatula back home. The noise and wreckage caused by the slamming metal brought this idea to a quick end. Besides, this was just too easy for the flies, who looped around in front of us, wearing hideous grins of superiority. I don't know how they know, but flies can tell what you're thinking if you're out to kill them. My arm barely moves and off they go, rolling around in the air holding their laughing stomachs with their six little spindly legs.
Does random imply meander, or meander imply randomness? Are events random as we meander through our day?
Like Friday, November 13th. Adolph took a bus to return a pair of shoes, couldn’t find the store, and came back home with the shoes. I biked over two miles to pick up some flyers, the flyers weren’t there, and I came home without them. Adolph and I rushed to the bus stop, arrived long before the number #15 was due, waited, and waited, more and more people waited with us, the bus never came.
Driving in California is a little different than back home in Wisconsin. I lived in a school zone, so my ususal speed was between 10 and 30mph. That's driveway speed here. There are so many apartment complexes with only one way in and out that there are fewer intersections, lights and crosswalks. That makes possible speed limits of 45-55mph just to get to Home Depot and the corner CVS. So if you move here, practice clamping down on the accelerator without your dog flying into the hatchback.
You should also know that motorcycles can drive anywhere they want to. They are not considered the same as cars, like in some places, but more like teenagers on bicycles. Cycles can drive between stopped cars in a traffic jam, or slalom happily past you. If you're not used to looking directly next to yourself when you change lanes, you'll want to start. You may be sharing that lane with some kid on his way to the beach. Look out.Something they definitely have right is the ability to do U-turns at most intersections. For people like me who are often going in completely the wrong direction, it's a timesaver. Way to go, California! Get with it, rest of the country.
Popular Event Kicks Off Holiday Season in Village with Ice-Carving Exhibition
Shorewood’s annual Holiday Shopwalk on December 5 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. kicks off the holiday shopping season with free trolley rides, special offers and complimentary refreshments from local merchants, strolling carolers and a visit from Santa. Residents and guests will enjoy riding the trolley along Oakland Ave. and Capitol Dr. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., compliments of the Shorewood Men’s Club and the Shorewood Foundation. And children will delight in a visit with Santa from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at Shorewood’s new bookstore, Open Book, at 4093 N. Oakland Ave. Shorewood’s annual Holiday Shopwalk is presented by the Shorewood Business Improvement District.
The signature part of the event is an ice-carving exhibition, featuring world-renowned, award-winning professional ice carvers who sculpt 300-lb. frosty blocks of ice into stunning masterpieces along Oakland Ave. and Capitol Dr. in front of select Shorewood businesses. The carvers are national sculpting champions, and many have represented the U.S. in Olympic and international events. This year, 20 carvers will be featured at the following locations:
1 Stowell Associates Select Staff 4485 N. Oakland Ave.
2 American Family Insurance 4484 N. Oakland Ave.
3 Allstate Insurance 4451 N. Oakland Ave.
4 Goody Gourmet’s/Vanity Fur 4425/4429 N. Oakland Ave.
5 The Men’s Room 4423 N. Oakland Ave.
6 North Shore Bank 4414 N. Oakland Ave.
7 EYEZ Boutique 4314 N. Oakland Ave.
8 Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors 4164 N. Oakland Ave.
9 Goldi 4114 N. Oakland Ave.
10 Robert Laurence Salon/Shorewood Press 4060 N. Oakland Ave.
11 Sendik’s 4027 N. Oakland Ave.
12 Oakcrest Tavern 4022 N. Oakland Ave.
13 Actaea Works/Anytime Fitness 4001/4009 N. Oakland Ave.
14 Gloss Photography Studios 3805 N. Oakland Ave.
15 Harleys: The Store for Men 3565 N. Oakland Ave.
16 Culver’s 1325 E. Capitol Dr.
17 State Farm Insurance 1410 E. Capitol Dr.
18 Shorewood Police Department 3936 N. Murray Ave.
19 Garden Room 2107 E. Capitol Dr.
20 City Market 2205 E. Capitol Dr.
“Shorewood’s annual Holiday Shopwalk continues to be a favorite for families and guests in the community. This year an increased number of ice carvers provides a terrific attraction – it is amazing to watch the talented sculptors in action as they carve their blocks of ice,” says Barb Caprile, marketing director for the Shorewood Business Improvement District.
Shorewood’s vibrant business district features a wide selection of award-winning restaurants, coffee shops and delicatessens, specialty boutiques and apparel stores, salons and spas, and more - all within convenient walking distance. More information can be found at www.shorewoodwi.com or call 414.962.7002.