Nearing Six Months In SoCal

We’re coming up on six months in SoCal. This six months has gone much faster than the six that preceded it. Living with one foot out the door, unable to make long term commitments, knowing we were going, was difficult.

People say moving is stressful. It is. No one does this for fun. There are advantages living in one place an extended length of time. Reestablishing a routine is tough.

I had to go to Santa Ana this afternoon. About 20 minutes away.

It was someplace new, but landmarks looked familiar. Some, like the Orange County Register’s building, I’d only seen from the freeway. I hardly needed the GPS on the way back.

So many things to learn. Where are the light switches in the dark? Who’s got good pizza (not easy here)? We must find a dentist.

We have no wired telephone. Contemporaries ask about that, wondering if it’s a switch they should make. Probably.

Does AT&T have a cell plan where I could add a second number to my HTC One? That would be great. I don’t want to give up my 203 number.

Do I need 949?

Does anyone care anymore?

A Walk Through Hicks Canyon


We walked a lot this summer. We’ve slacked off. Bad. This afternoon Helaine and I headed to Hicks Canyon Trail.

This area has loads of preserved land. Much of it is mountainous wilderness. Some open space with commanding views of the Pacific. Not today.

Walk Hicks Canyon and the ‘burbs are on both sides.

A headline in the Orange County Register said,

Hicks Canyon trail good for beginners and their dogs

That’s our speed. We brought Doppler too.

Hicks Canyon Trail is a long, thin sliver of parkland. For most of the way there are two paths, one paved, one dirt. The trail runs alongside Hicks Canyon Wash.

Easterners might find this concept foreign. Most of the rivers and streams here run intermittently. They’re dry more than wet. A dried riverbed that floods after rain is called a wash.

IMAG0323-w1400-h1400The wash is dry today.

On either side of the trail are nice homes, moderately large, very tiny lots. We approached one. Dogs began barking. Then these two guys came to the fence.

I’m not sure you can find a cuter sight than this!


Dodging The Earthquake Bullet

There was little damage. Why not?

intensity.jpgAnother full day in Connecticut with my parents in town.

I’m a little late getting this posted, but I did want to speak briefly about today’s Southern California earthquake. It was originally posted as a 5.8 and then ‘downgraded’ to a 5.4.

It was felt over a large area with plenty of people. There was little damage. Why not? I suppose California is now well built. New construction takes earthquakes into account.

It was also reasonably far from Los Angeles, 27 miles–out in the boonies of Orange County. If my map reading is any good, the epicenter is in a rural park. It was also pretty deep and right now, not assignable to a known fault line.

From the Orange County Register: The quake also cracked plaster and loosened ceiling tiles at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda.

You take the good with the bad.

The USGS says “Most likely, the recent mainshock will be the largest in the sequence. However, there is a small chance (APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 10 PERCENT) of an earthquake equal to or larger than this mainshock in the next 7 days.” I sent a note to friend a moment ago, “You tell me, is there any utility to it?” In other words, it’s a provocative sentence, but useless in real life.

There will be another quake near Los Angeles… a worse quake… a tragic quake. It’s just a matter of when. But so is the next Hurricane Katrina and Barneveld tornado. Life is full of chances we all take.

My Creative Family

We are a very small family. Even then, I am only in touch with a smaller subset of my relatives. Outside my immediate family, my closest relative is Cousin Michael. He and his family live in California – in the OC.

Michael is our most educated Fox. He has a closet full of bachelor and masters degrees, plus a law degree and PhD.

When he was in high school, he wanted to be a farmer&#185. That’s not the normal career path for someone born within walking distance of the Flushing El, who could see the Empire State Building from the front steps of his Queens apartment building.

If I remember correctly (and he’s not shy about correcting) he then studied library science, and of course, law. I’m sure I’m leaving something out.

He ended up working for the federal government as a staff attorney for the Labor Board in Washington. I remember visiting his office in a government building so depressingly institutional, linoleum and green wall paint would have classed the joint up.

At some point in Washington, he got hooked on theater. I don’t know how that happened, because Michael and I were out of touch for many of those years, but he got the bug. Michael gravitated to directing.

Though he taught and occasionally did ‘lawyer work,’ directing was obviously his vocational passion.

I have never seen Michael’s work, but now I’ve gotten to read about it. His latest production, Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” is in the midst of a short run in Santa Ana, CA.

The Orange County Register’s reviewer was very positive.

This could be some bizarre, post-nuclear world where everyone struggles for survival, or it could simply be the extreme result of societies that value ideologies or materialism over human life. The time, place and context are never specified because, as director Michael David Fox’s staging proves, Beckett’s ideas transcend such specifics, creating disturbing images while raising philosophical questions deeply troubling once dwelled upon.

Beckett means for us to dwell on these issues, and Fox and company oblige with a compact staging that, like “Godot,” can be achingly funny one moment, stark and bleak the next.

I wish I could pop on down to Southern California to see it. The show runs through May 20, Friday and Saturday evenings and a Sunday matin