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California Impressions
By Joe Janey
from Los Angeles,USA

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"The reason why people are so obsessed with image in California is because of the climate. The states natural environment for the most part is sunny. This brightness during the day makes you tend to notice your cloths more. Any dog hair for example really shows up in the bright sun."

As I travel south, I see nice people fishing along the many hundreds of lakes connected to each other. Thousands of fishing boats pulling up large quantities of Large mouth bass. Gigantic pre historic sturgeon. As we drive the serene landscape becomes wider bigger and more of it. We are in the processing of relocating to a place none of us know exactly what to expect. The predictable warning signs fly by us along side the interstate. I hate LA I wouldn't touch that place with a 10 foot pole I think to myself. But this just makes the prospect living there that much more exciting. The draw and lure of prosperity. The fish in the desert waters growing to such enormous size. So much so that the fishermen who catch them have to ride them on their backs all the way to Hollywood. It was on the way to LA that Jack and I met these pro anglers. Jack and I where on our way to a fishing party. I tried my hand at chewing tobacco. (something all fishermen around the world do universally.) In my my mind, I'm still thinking it is shredded beef jerky. The same beef jerky that I had the night before to fit in with my fellow anglers. At the bar I beg and plead with our new fisherman friends to have a dip of my own in my mouth. Try a little of the real snuff that is being consumed at an alarming rate all around me. The inside of the bar looks like something you would find in the middle of Alaska. Antlers and trophy heads and prize winning fish mounted on boards adorn every corner. Life size stuffed Elk Moose and Bear surround us. However is a very hip Hollywood establishment and we are lucky to even be there. Lucky to be in the presence of celebrity pro anglers we had run into by pure luck. As the night wore on, to my surprise I didn't realize all the lake country between SF and LA. I'm glad we took the back country to get were we were going. Finally, after all the desperate attempts to finally get my own dip, out of nowhere one is given. I stuff my face with the cherry flavor Leaf tobacco and exit the bar to throw up. Leaving inside unknowing of my absence. Walking along the side walk to regain my composure, I notice a smaller lesser known bar. It has only been on the sunset strip for a couple of days now. I think due to the fact that has been converted from one of those short orange school buses. The is no sign on the place, no name. The bartender sits in the drivers seat. A malnourished alcoholic dwarf sleeps next to him in a drawer, away from prying eyes. I look at him disturbed as he lay in a drunken state of unconsciousness. "Time to get a drink," I tell myself and order a beer. Climbing over the rows of seats to to take my place in this fast growing hotspot on the sunset strip. Just a concerned Jack wondering where I am enters. He is now adorned with fishing lures and tackle. I tell him to take a seat in what I believe is the greatest little bar I've ever been to. We are laughing, glad to be with each other in this crazy uncontrollable environment. "Are we Moving I ask?" The whole school bus seems to be backing it's self at an ever encreacing speed backward onto the free way. The regulars tell me this is a normal thing for this place to do. I am told it is a mobile bar and nightclub and just, "go with it." The bartender however I'm not so sure about. He looks a little drunk. And I wonder about the permits you would need to operate a business like this. "OH he's great does this everyday around nine or so I am told" We climb up a elevated light rail system and I am amazed at the verticality of the vehicle/ bar/ nightclub we are traveling in. We drop back down onto the freeway. In my mind I'm just thinking how smart we were earlier in the day to make up our own phony charity for drinking money. This causes me to remember the events from several hours ago. The high society get together. Rich middle age women laughing in their unmistakable fake ways. The one, telling jokes that no one finds funny. She explains it is her duty as a well off individual to give to charitable organizations. "Hows Everyone doing?" she asks. A voice is heard somewhere, "Pretty good except for your lame jokes." We decide that we should probably leave. But first we'll need some of their money. After Jack and I are broke as usual. We find an old mason jar and an old women and move in for the kill. Feeling kind of guilty I am told this is perfectly moral thing to do given that she is a terrible person to begin with. We decide to sit her down and tell her that we are people of good faith wanting to give money to staving children around the globe. I blurt out, "children's giving foundation." A quick jab in the ribs from Jack soon follows and he takes over the talking. Smoothing out any doubt she may harbor. I get the feeling she wants something in writing. "Absolutely everything is in writing" I say as I scramble for the nearest piece of scrap paper and a pen. She is to drunk to notice the lack of professionalism. We are off the hook. A large check is written out. We decide it's time to leave.
Back on the bus remembering I laugh. All that money and It probably didn't put a dent in her pocket book. I feel a little bit better and order another drink. Just then our bus slams on the breaks. It is now 5 in the morning. The first rays of the sun breaking through the smog of what seems to be downtown LA. Everyone is dead. I can't find Jack anywhere. Somehow, I am calm and collected. For some reason I know he is safe. Back at the Anglers bar in Hollywood where the night is still young. I look around, there is nothing I can do for these people. Plus it's probably illegal to park carnage on the freeway. I decide to head back to the anglers bar and walk away from the scene. Maybe I was wrong. By the time I got back to Hollywood some time had past. It was considerably darker and I was now on Hollywood Blvd. Some guy walking my direction on the other side of the street was yelling offensive things at everyone in his vicinity. He was not crazy however, just craving attention any way possible. "If he says one more thing I'm going to say something back" I think as I walk. Of course he does. Almost a knee jerk reaction I yell back facing away so he wouldn't be able to tell where it was coming from. "YOUR A FUCKING MORON... JACKASS". He wheels around hearing this. Hitting his ears screaming I'm going to kill who ever said that!!! He knows it was me. I am caught. Defeated I say, "Yeah well enjoy prison asshole." It was then when I woke up.

To recap my dream I had the other day. I mean to put it all in order it went like this. People fishing on all these mysterious chain of lakes between SF and LA. Going to a stuffy party and conning a lady out of her money, Ending up running into these fisherman we saw earlier on the drive down to Hollywood. Getting transported on a moving bar. Everyone dying and me calmly walking back to where Jack was. Last but, not least, dealing with a crazy asshole. What could all this mean? I explained my dream to Jack and could tell he didn't believe me. He thought I was making it up. The truth of the matter is that I''m leaving out a lot of details. This dream is one I remember because it was early in the morning and I fell back asleep. The kind of intense dream you remember right before waking up. The kind that you can only remember if you try not to. I was explaining all this as I was remembering and felt that it would be worth writing down. Dream logs are pretty interesting things for loosers to keep. At least made for some pretty interesting fiction, don't you think? Thats what I feel this story needs more of.... entertainment. On a boring side note. I've been studying maps of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This has proved to be a frustrating since they can't provide a single map for the entire area. Every city has a definable shape except LA. This map runs off the page. There are so many people in the world.

LA is down on the bottom part of California. Supposedly it's the crossroads of the world. It seems more like the place where out of work actors and musicians flock to. The hub of the entertainment industry brings with it a pompous attitude. LA is the place where you go to become rich and have your picture taken in New York City. The Los Angeles metropolitan area spreading out in every direction for hundreds of miles. All the peoples that inhabit the world couldn't fill it. Cars in bumper to bumper interstate traffic having everywhere to go except forward. People on the other end of town may not even exist. Historic Hollywood, very interesting and all torn down. Modern buildings look out at billboards selling overpriced antiques. The harsh slap you in the face LA awaits. For now wet, damp, cold, small town, small town Oregon surrounds me. But, it makes me think about places that are warm and distant. Even a clown like me takes the time to dream. All of the times I've spent arguing back and forth about nothing. All of the different states of mind and opinion I've held over the years. Tillamook Oregon has nothing on me. And I've seen bigger cheese factories in Wisconsin. There. Take that. I seem to be in a big hurry to get someplace else. I wanted to write a timeline on random subjects starting with the birth of a human beings life and ending it with their death. I think it was something to do with LA. A lot of people down there begging for any positive attention. Although I do love the phony glamour of Hollywood, I think San Luis Obispo is more my style. A California native holds a Starbucks cup in one hand and Sunglasses in the other. Actors are cast in the roll of acting important. This would take up too much of my time. I would get to preoccupied with my alter ego Joe Hollywood. I need to become the genuine and sincere, Joseph Love. The title of my movie will be called, "Meet The Real Joseph Love." My goal is to become the biggest sellout of all time or die trying. Wal Mart will be screaming for the DVD release. I'll tell them. "Well, it's not really my decision to make." and that will be the truth.

People like me, I'm a funny guy... I hope. Yep time to move on. Left to many foot prints in the bay area. Even here it seems the past with me being in the band is coming back to haunt me. Nope LA is the best place for me to live. In a city where everyone is trying to stand out I will try to blend in unnoticed. Big enough to hole up for years in peace. I'm thinking of becoming a full fledged hippy. At least they don't talk really fast and between they do speak it's usually because they have something to say. Yes. LA is already proving to be unlike other places I've been to before. For instance in a normal city you can go online and there will be several guides to explain the place. Not LA I tried. Apparently there is absolutely no connection down there. In fact they don't have district. Hollywood no one knows where it begins or ends. It was never mapped out. I wonder if people realize they actually live there?

I had no idea of the different classes and segregation when I first moved to California. All different kinds of people living in such close proximity to each other. All lumped together and sectioned off at the same time. Oakland was for black people. The Mexican community lived in the Mission district in San Francisco. There was China town. This was a lot different from the single Caucasian ethnic group I had known in small town Minnesota. The middle ages with it's caste system of royalty and peasantry had never left. Here it all was laid out in a modern city. A city that prided itself in it's very diversity. Diversity that never mixed outside of workplace situations. Even that was a maybe. In the middle ages the royal family lived in the castle. Within the castle walls offered protection for peasants who worked for the king. This was at a time when the power of the Catholic Church in Rome was declining. The collapse of the Roman Empire brought rise to the dark ages. With these thoughts I would look up at lazy California mansions hanging from the hills laughing down at the rest of the unfortunates. How long will it be before some kid reads about California politics in some far off futuristic history class. About wealthy California home owners that dwelled hills. While below them resided the poor black and Mexican populations that served them. In dysfunctional ghetto flat lands life is hard. It's a place where people work, scam and deal to survive. A place where dreams are born.

Well, I don't think I'm quite ready to talk about being back in California mainly, because I don't know whats going on around here. A whirlwind of different ideas of things I should be doing things I should be thinking about. It seems like settling down here will be the correct thing to do now after all. I am ether way happy to do what ever while down here. One thing I know I have to do for certain is finish this book. Regardless if it means writing it here in Oregon, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo or china. Random drinking sessions. Letters and christmas cards. Telephone conversations from parents and relatives far away. With that guilt for not holding up my end of the communication. Not reaching out hardly ever anyway and saying hello. Wrapped up constantly in my own affairs and those that I don't really know or hardly know. It's that strange time of year again. When Christmas is officially over and New Years has yet to begin. So Let this be my new years resolution. Which is. Come on, I know I have lots that I want and hope for. I'll probably think of something after all this. 70 degree holiday weather has past. When I can call people up that I care about and have normal sober conversations. The phone is ringing again. California conversations. Not picking up not caring. Speeding up lifestyle from 30-mph to 100. Celebrating this holiday season with friends over family. Looking at orange and lemon trees ripen in warm suburban California small town big city streets. Watching the beautiful people in this world wearing shades throwing up tofu. Looking at the skate boarders and 60 year old surfers in Pismo Beach. . The cold air of Oregon leaking in to a house with out heat. Shaping my thoughts of survival. Causing my fingers to become numb and the plastic on the computer to crack has moved on. Moved on down south past where I left my past before. Traveled though time saw the Bay area in during the night instead of a large band vehicle of some sort with a car instead. Out the window memories of places spent during the night time hours on the freeway flooding back. Looking at the place I lived Just a year ago as new and foreign yet old ugly and different at the same time. I'm here now I have the computer set up. Living for 100 dollars a month temporarily at Jacks friends house. I have the computer in an upstairs loft where I can look out and see palm trees sway in the warm strange time between christmas and New Years. Here I am not working for a short time. Do you know where I can get a job? Yeah, you do? 1000 answers coming in from 1000 directions. They know me here from my old band The Phenomenauts. They want to move to Hollywood with me some of them want to start a band. Sometime me wanting to go start a band with them. The old sociable me coming out of the closet to make an appearance. To let myself be known that I am actually here. That I made it to this unlikely destination of San Luis Obispo. That Yes I quit this band that you saw me as this different being. Now look at me like I'm human and what do you have to say. Not much neither to I unless I'm drunk .In which case I ramble on for hours just like this Talking about places I've been. How oregon was like to live. Did I like it. What made you quit your old band. We've got to jam sometime. I need to get your number. Check out the new cellphone/ Ipod/ car I just got to impress you with. I don't care. I like that people are on the move here. People having a sense of style weeding out those that are the phonies. No, not really well yes actually. I can't help it I want to know if I'm talking to a real person or not. Want to make sure authenticity is there in conversations held. If your trendy admit it kind of thing. Have a sense of modesty. Don't put others down that live in Oregon that you don't think could be as hip as your unoriginal self. OK I had to get that out of the way. I love it here. I think I would love any place thats new to me. Most places anyway. There is always something new to learn anywhere you go. In this case the weather happens to be a little more favorable and more to my liking. However I don't remember what summer is like here for some reason . I think I've only been down here during the Winter for some reason. Maybe by the time summer hits. I will be living in a different place and have formed a new band. Or be living in Paris as an English speaking librarian. I miss my dog and want her down here with us no matter where we end up. Don't worry she loves Jack's parents and is up in Oregon currently. She'll be OK hard to travel with animals. Hard to find a place to rent with them as well. Jack and I we'll get a place eventually here or Hollywood I don't know for sure at this point. Felling kind of unhip the other day so I had. Jacks friend who says she is about to make a lot of money cutting hair cut mine. Again don't be confused I love to here how people here have all these ideas how they will become millionaires in a very short amount of time. And by the time she was done with my hair maybe she's right. I said that maybe I could hook her up down in LA with one of my imaginary rock star friends. No I didn't say that but, it would have been funny or made me feel lousy for falling in to the fame game down here. I have talked a lot about that subject during the writing of part one of this book actually. I think the reasoning for it was because for the longest time I wanted to become rich and famous myself. Still do but more for the stability factor than anything else. In oregon because of the lack of economic prosperity everyone played the Oregon Lotto which I too played for a time. The reason for this led to gambling habits and despair. The face of harsh reality of not gaining forward momentum kept people keenly aware of there designated station in life. Jack got a tattoo from this guy on his way to prison before we left. Anyway. Optimism. The truck driver in California might meet the right person and have his own trucking company you valet might be in the rock band that gets signed to a million dollar record deal. In this optimism flourishes. So much so that it tends to with weaker people to make them arrogant and unsure. Nasty and foul with the idea of riches on the tip of their pierced tongue. Yes I've thought about fame and money. About commanding the masses with a passing gesture. But living in Oregon playing the Oregon Lotto made me realize, yes the money you have makes you attractive. But only draws you towards and makes you alluring to those that are weak. The easily impressed, the money hungry and brainless of the world. You become a magnet for all shitty people in the world trying their best to cut corners. And even if you are certain that those all around you have the purist of intentions after you have driven your rocket car up and down the street and stuffed your face at the finest restaurant in town got drunk with mixed drinks a exclusive bar. The excitement can only last for so long. Traveling the world. Traveling place to place in general gets old and you are stuck with the same old person in the end your self. The reason why now I am still attracted to the idea of fame is recognition for a project that I've done. Me Joe Hollywood. Money is attractive only for it's temporary material satisfaction and long term stability factor. Knowing I could have a house car and savings. Knowing I could help my parents out that have helped me out over the years kind of thing. In fact I think thats the very reason that I have grown so distant as I've grown into adulthood. That is that I thought that I would be able to repay them sooner. And when It doesn't look like I can repay them ever is when the feelings of guilt and frustration transforms itself into childlike anger towards them. In other words sorry I haven't visited in 5 years. It was all out of guilt and frustration. Of never having money or being on my own two feet for any substantial length of time. I apologize. Sorry for running place to place with out a phone call or hello. Of traveling the world and putting you from my mind because of deep seated feelings of guilt. Again sorry. Will try to change my ways again. Will have the repeat New Years resolution that I had last year without any action. The longer time is spent the harder it becomes So Joe Hollywoods New Years Resolution will be to call his mommy in-between the quest for fame he has been searching for.

And so my journey continues onward to southern California. The saga of Joseph Love continues. Accomplishing next to nothing at the end of the day is over. Endless amounts of money translates into opportunity. A solid week of drinking, and socializing in San Luis Obispo. My hermit days are over. Even rainy Oregon wind cannot reach me. Hollywood beckons. Genocide against the unfashionable, ugly and bald will be witnessed first hand before me. Look out, there is a new kid in town. One thats younger, hipper, and lives in Beverly Hills. His name is Joseph Love. A powerhouse of explosive LA entertainment and raw sexuality. Joseph Love is taking the world by storm with his most perfectly groomed micro beard. A black belt in Karate, Nintendo and the secret arts of the ninja his powers are used for only good. Knowing he was going to famous at the age of 2 Joseph Love's parents took him out of school to go on his first audition. Now days some of Joe Love's favorite things to do are sipping on a power juice walking in and around the hills of beverly. He eats three different kinds of cheese a day. Has four security guards with him at all times. Loves to drive in the latest European sports cruiser and listens to music of his own making. The small central coast town of San Luis Obispo would never do. Currently, Joseph Love hanging out with 6 different Celebes right now.

Well, it's all true. Plastic people driving from one place to another on cell phones. Forgetting to eat and throwing up tofu. Guilded Californian children with perfect hair, bodies and endless money. Glam masking wild west unsophistication is a huge element here. Especially when your talking about Hollywood. The destination where I will study these people from a far. Listen to the language and observe the culture. Do those who walk through life effortlessly really do? Can people have everything and nothing at the same time? I am now at the tip of Antarctic wilderness. An explorer of the deepest Amazonian Jungle. It is now time to set up camp. Study the penguin up close in their ideal natural habitat. Map out the surrounding terrain. Years of research and study has lead to the return of this hostile hell on earth. With me I have assembled a group of researchers to accompany me. A camera man, physicist and Dr. Joseph Hollywood PHD. Let us begin our journey into the unknown.

January in San Luis Obsipo has proven to be HOT this year. Summer time is here. Winter wind, snow, and rain the rest of the country is experiencing now brings a feeling of calm knowing in the January heat. Ice storms that took your breath your breath away making movement hurt and piss freeze are raging hundreds of miles away. Childhood memories of dry summers reminding me in the, I can't believe it's winter heat. Running outside happy warm and free barefoot in the backyard with friends can be accomplished here year round. Summers I wished would last forever finally do. A 12 year old's dream come true. The hot upstairs attic converted to a writing/sleeping quarters is my adult treefort. For me and Jack lemon tree's grow in full bloom next door. Oranges nobody picks can be eaten at any time I feel. I could stay here forever and watch the rest of the world face reality. The day is mine to do what ever I choose in a t-shirt. Flies are flying, birds are chirping. Laid back people are sunning themselves in outdoor cafes. telling stories. A hum a sigh-lent tune. The long January Summer daze are here. Life was ment only for pleasure. Pain just a means to an end. All the tension that has occurred in my life is now gone. Another working day that seems like a day off. Paradise isolated from the rest of the frozen world. Nothing to report, no real worries. In about a month or so maybe I'll pick up and move. Have a bunch more roadblocks in my path down the road. Things like that will inevitably occur. I'll probably be shocked, surprised or disappointed when it does. I'll be angry and disillusioned. What it really means is nothing. Life was ment to be spent fishing down by the river on a hot summer day. The sun should hit your cold back slowly warming it until you have to cover it with a towel or T shirt everyday. All this happy thoughts are making me nauseous. In reality, what would I do if there was an earthquake right now? Would if a tidal wave destroyed the town. What would I do then. Huh! The last time I experienced an earthquake was in this very house. No one is safe. We're all doomed.
Yeah, I was downstairs in the living room watching television when all the sudden out of nowhere the whole house started to pitch and sway back and forth. But I was confused more than afraid. It was a slow building earthquake. The kind where at first you might think that it was just some movement of heavy equipment from the street outside. Later it became evident that it definably was an earthquake. I stood up in the middle of the room and hoped for the best as things fell off the wall. Jack grabbed me and we ran downstairs. It was really odd to see the staircase sway back and forth like that. No-one got hurt we were all ok. And on the news they talked about it. The hippy neighbor guy said, "Wow that was cool!"

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