August 29, 2009
The Spokesman Review refers to Los Angeles as being “blanketed by smoke,” and yes, that’s exactly what my neighborhood feels like this morning. Not since the Sesnon Fire have we woken to this much smoke in the neighborhood. I was in a panic, thinking the fire was moving in our direction, but a little twittering and googling showed me that Los Angeles is surrounded by fire, hence the blanket of smoke. (People used to turn on the radio or the TV, but since we have neither, we are reduced to these primitive methods of communication.) I’m not going out to run today, not good for the lungs. Maybe it will clear up enough by tomorrow. The problem with a blanket of smoke is that smoke isn’t exactly what you want to be blanketed by.
If you’re reading this and you’re not from Los Angeles, the problem with LA is that a lot of the areas you would really want to live in the hills and canyons where there is green or in Malibu are areas where there are lots of natural disasters. Everyone gets the earthquakes, but mudslides, fires, and evacuations happen a lot more often if you are in the canyons and hillsides. We live near a hiking park, Omelveny Park, and that’s why we moved here so we could hike in that park, but that park with its miles of brush caught fire twice in the last couple years. And we are near enough now to smell the Angeles fire. On our way home last night, we could see the fire licking the hillside, orange flames against the dark tiny homes in the foreground. I worry about my thirty parakeets and all this smoke. My daughter says to bring them inside. In fact, she says to bring all the pets inside. Oh, that sounds like fun. We have houseguests tonight. Let’s bring inside the following pets: Two rabbits, one boa, one python, six chickens, two dogs, six cats, thirty parakeets, two doves. It will be a party, cha cha cha. Under a blanket of lovely fresh re-circulated air conditioned air, we can listen to some Bossa Nova, maybe Buena Vista Social Club… and party down with our guests and all these animals. One dog is large and not house broken. I’m thinking they all stay outside and we just let them be like those canaries in the mines. If they survive the night, I go running in the morning. (Oh, you PETA people, I’m half kidding, they’re going to be fine, calm down pussy cat.)