Saturday, July 4, 2009

Godzilla's on vacation

My husband and daughter are off to Tucson to visit his mom for the July 4th weekend. I spent yesterday cleaning house, interspersed with watching NCIS, noodling on the internet, and napping. Today I rewarded myself for a job well done by going to L.A. to see a few friends and get a little shopping done.

This worked out great, because when I called my bff Siri Bhrosa about getting together she suggested I join her and her husband Kirtan Singh at the Walnut gurdwara in leading kirtan. I haven't played kirtan at gurdwara here in Bakersfield in the 9 months that I've lived here (this is entirely because I haven't been assertive at all getting on the schedule). I couldn't find my little shabd book anywhere in the house, so chose one to play from a handful of printed shabd sheets I had on file, "Chit Aavai Os Parabrahm Lagai na tatee vaao." Perfect. Gratefully, God was merciful and my voice was working today. So often I start losing my voice or it cracks or otherwise malfunctions.... but today it was right on and the energy was great.

Afterward as we were driving back to L.A. Kirtan Singh commented on how he loved how empty the streets all were. It's Saturday, the 4th of July, and looking down the road there was not a single other car on that street. His theory was that everyone must have left the city en masse for the holiday.

I think he's right.

After our little Walnut trip, I stopped and visited with my other bff Hari Bhajan for a couple hours, and then headed out to do a little shopping around (I'm looking for just the right area rug for my living room... no success today). Headed down Robertson Blvd. toward the 10 Freeway, this is what it looked like around 4 PM:

Shopping done and not quite pooped, I decided not to stay in L.A. for the picnic and fireworks at Rancho Park. I got on the 405 and headed north toward Bakersfield around 6 PM. You would have thought, except for the fact that it was still daylight, that it was 3 in the morning, there were so few cars on the freeway. It was so bizarre, to be in L.A., on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, driving on a surreally empty freeway, specifically the 405 freeway from LAX and northward.

This is going north on 405, headed out of San Fernando Valley:

And this is I-5 somewhere north of Castaic:

I did not hit traffic of any substance at all until I neared Bakersfield!

Normally, we all know, L.A. is so jammed with traffic it can take an hour and a half going from the West side to downtown, a distance of maybe 10 or 12 miles. In fact, typically when I am leaving L.A. and my car is stuck in the tight rows on the freeway with all the other zillions cars wherever the hell they are going, I am struck by how if these same cars were on the 99 going north out of Bakersfield, you'd think a mass evacuation was in progress. You'd think Godzilla was coming over the mountains about to invade us and we were all cramming the freeways getting the hell out of there. L.A. is like that all the time, in a constant state of Godzilla coming.

God, I love Bakersfield.

Oh, but my poor husband. He is coming home from Tucson
tomorrow, Sunday afternoon, at the end of the holiday weekend, into LAX, and then he is driving home to Bakersfield. It is too painful to even imagine. But at least he will come home to a clean house and a happy and unstressed me :-)


  1. Great seeing you yesterday. Sorry you didn't find the rug of your dreams, but you were lucky with traffic and that counts for a lot!

  2. You know, it was empty in Santa Rosa, too. I commented on the same thing!

    BTW--How did you take those photos while driving? :-)

  3. Very carefully. At least there was no worry about hitting any other cars.