The sun was setting so nicely over the green-brown hills, touching them with a simultaneously spectacular and soothing golden haze. But then I realized that the reason I could take advantage of this stunning view was that I was on the 405 South, stuck in traffic. And perched on top of those otherwise rolling hills are the McMansions of the stupidly rich.
Such is Los Angeles: at once breathtakingly lovely and terrifyingly unnatural.
Being in LA stresses me out; there are just too many people trying to get to too many places too fast. And they all seem to be angry. There's a sort of understood violent subtext in the air, where if you let your guard down for even one second, you will be cut off, nearly killed, or at the very least scowled at. And that's just merging from the 405 to the 101. Oy.
The weather was (and generally is) lovely...until the Santa Ana winds picked up (at one point, they were blowing at 83 mph!) started a few really bad fires through Malibu, Castaic and other areas of the coast. Last night I heard there were upwards of 700 firefighters working on the coast, and Pepperdine was being evacuated. They lost the big Presbyterian church and Castle Kashan which had always been driving-to-the-beach landmarks (for me anyway), schools are closed, you can smell the smoke from miles away. Driving back up the 101 N yesterday afternoon, we drove through thick clouds of yellow-brown smoke for at least an hour.
Nothing too out of the ordinary for October in LA, but every year fire season surprises me anyway.
In happier news, my friend Sterling just booked a 4-year contract with All My Children. His character's name is Dre, and apparently he is in a garage band. I want to get TiVo just so I can watch it. You may also recognize Sterling from Disney 365, when he was with High School Musical the stage show (on tour). So funny.