Friday, December 02, 2011

Before I went to Baltimore, my dad came to visit me here in Los Angeles. It just so happened that the first day of his visit fell on the last day of my job at Disney. This wasn't planned; it just happened that I went from the arms of the goodbye hugs of my coworkers to those of the hello hug from my dad. Sometimes life just works out perfectly that way, and we get dealt a best case scenario of what could have been a much more blunt transition. We enjoyed absolutely delicious burgers that night at Olive and Thyme, a fantastic cafe/bistro in the neighborhood, then chatted near the fireplace, me with a cosmo and my dad with scotch at the Hotel Amarano in Burbank.

On Sunday, we drove to Santa Barbara and had brunch at the absolutely gorgeous San Ysidiro Ranch. This is a photo my dad took of me before we enjoyed a fantastic meal and excellent service. It was really top notch, the resort was gorgeous and lived up to its five-star rating. The weather, which had threatened to be rainy, threw us a break and after the marine layer burned off, offered a stunning, clear day with just the right amount of cloud cover.

Me at San Ysidro Ranch

We then toured around Santa Barbara, visiting the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, where we looked at the cubism exhibit and impressionists collection. It's so weird to be standing inches from a Van Gogh and think of him painting those brush strokes, locked in the torment that was his mind. I was standing as far from his canvas as he was when he painted it, but as an outsider looking in. Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime and considered himself a failure as an artist. How could he have imagined, that his paintings would be the most recognizable in the world, even by those who don't study art. Something tells me that even if he knew, he'd still consider himself not good enough.

The Picasso and Braque cubist works were awesome as well. A totally different experience, you could see Picasso and Braque in their Southern France retreat, cigars and wine next to their experimental paintings. I love being older and rife with the wisdom that enables me to appreciate works of art like this in the depth that they were meant to be. And, to get the full effect of my life experience and that of the artist's meeting and challenging each other's perspectives.

After that, we walked around and visited the town's many galleries and weaved among the crowds on the sidewalk that were also enjoying the beautiful day. My dad, for all his world travels, had never been to Santa Barbara, so it was nice to be the one to experience it with him.

In other news, my next door neighbor, whom I really liked, moved out to go to nursing school in Arizona. This, so she could add that to her credentials as an aesthetician. She was the one sitting with me when the psycho neighbor told me to tell her unannounced callers to "go fuck themselves." And, Oliver got along so well with her cat Dominick. Their friendship was beyond cute. When she'd go out of town, I'd look after Dominick and let them have play dates. I'll miss her a lot, as she was a great neighbor and "got it." Meaning, she could tell who was on the level and who wasn't worth getting to know. If only my filters had been as sharp as hers were upon moving into the neighborhood.