By Carol Pearlman
August 22, 2014
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHa HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
First of all, let me make it clear: I never complained about Vallejo — the city I chose of my own free will and about which I have no regrets — or the people I’ve met, who continue to fascinate me in so many ways. Those who read my last story & understood otherwise need to check their reading/language comprehension skills.
What I did complain about, above all, was my own blunder in buying a condo on the heavily-trafficked main road along the river. I was blinded by the fine views from every room, the 2 ½ bathrooms, the fireplace & spacious patios, and deafened by what I consider a perfect location, location, location. It was my own dumb mistake & not the fault of Vallejo, although Vallejo could certainly do something about it by diverting trucks & buses off the river drive at Sonoma, which is a business street anyway, & turn Mare Island Way into a lovely tree-lined entrance into the city, with parks, roundabouts, flower beds, fountains, & other appealing sights to welcome visitors to our town.
Then I complained about Cathy’s cleaning service, that didn’t clean, my general contractor, “R” who spoiled my concrete floor and knows nothing about hanging wallpaper, and my pathetic lack of patio furniture – which, come to think about it, was no big deal considering the experience of sitting on a busy speedway with a roaring car-chase movie taking place just inches away.
One of my kind neighbors suggested I think of it as crashing surf, another said plants will help, and someone even proposed a water fountain. Yeah, Niagara Falls, maybe. These neighbors, so kind & helpful to me, are proof of the saying, misery loves company.
For those who think I haven’t plunged into Vallejo’s life, I want to point out that in addition to VIB, I subscribe to Vallejo News, and Vallejo Arts & Entertainment to learn what’s going on, & dutifully mark it all in my calendar. I came out for the Artwalk on Georgia & Marin Streets on Friday night & went to the Filipino Culture Fair on Saturday, which turned out to be more of a black entertainment event, and a great one too, featuring some fabulous musicians & singers & a couple of skinny young teen-agers in white face, who tore up the street, lip synching & dancing so fine, they could qualify for America’s Got Talent. I need to point out that only a handful of people showed up for this event. Then, on Saturday, I attended a wonderful performance of La Boheme at the Mira theatre, together with a mere 29 other souls, all of whom left hall in tears (spoiler: Mimi dies).
I faithfully read the incessant NextDoor emails to find out what’s on in my neighbors’ minds, I try not to miss Moschetti’s on Saturday mornings, which lifts my spirits & brings new people into my life, and next weekend I plan to visit the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum, the Kennedy Library & watch a performance of Waiting for Godot.
A couple of weeks ago I had a front row seat at the drag show at the TownHouse, which was rollicking fun, attended an excellent photography exhibit at ARTIZEN, on Georgia Street, heard a rocking live rock & roll concert at the Empress Theatre, watched the Wacky Races, otherwise known as Absurdium, or something like that, on Mare Island, and sat through one long inning of the Admirals, or local baseball team, who lost, shopped for vegetables at our sumptuous Saturday morning farmer’s market, and of course, as any new home owner must, make regular visits to Home Depot.
Regarding my lack of patio furniture, I discovered the surprisingly fruitful dumpster bins in my complex, and a thrift shop on Redwood Avenue with fabulous stuff at cheap prices. I now own 12 outdoor chairs, none of which afford me any outdoor moments of peace & quiet. I’m considering buying a box of earplugs for visitors, if I ever get any after all this disclosure. We could watch the great flocks of birds that swoop over the river at sunset, a billowing sailboat filled with wind, the silhouettes of runners & strollers, and ignore belching, farting vehicles, especially big buses whose drivers like to shift down right in front of my house as they barrel down Curtola Parkway & growl onto Mare Island Drive.
The good news is my pulmonologist told me my lungs are already so bad the soot of the road won’t make them any worse, but I should keep up my swimming, the best exercise for me. Since I arrived in Vallejo, I’ve been trying to find a good gym with a heated indoor swimming pool, which is no easy feat. First, I had to survive the con-job hustle rip-off gangsters at In Shape, who refused to answer any of my questions, starting with, “do you have a pool?” unless I showed up at their facility, signed their waiver giving them permission to solicit me in any way they see fit (pun intended), and spoke to a “fitness specialist,” aka professional sales person who would earn a commission for signing me up. I told them I wouldn’t step foot in their club even if they paid me. Imagine my joy when I discovered 24 hour Fitness near Raley’s, with its friendly welcoming staff, interesting enthusiastic members, a delightful 85 degree swimming pool, and Silver Sneakers free membership for seniors.
Yes, I’m hanging in, but I still have no shelves for books or clothing, because workers constantly let me down. I know, eventually, at least before Christmas, hopefully, I’ll finish unpacking and things will settle down, surely, but it can’t be soon enough for me.
And, what ever happened to summer?
At least I enjoy visits to my grandkids, who light up my life & make everything else insignificant. We’ve decided to create a cookbook for grandparents & grandkids; the three of us will come up with ideas & recipes, the 7 year old will do the illustrations, I’ll supervise the cooking & write it all down, and the 2 year old won’t stop reminding us not to forget her favorites: strawberries, chicken & rice.
On the subject of books, a couple of VIB readers bought my book & told me they loved it. Thank you! There are several 5 star reviews posted on Amazon’s website, but sales aren’t exactly soaring; I need more business. So, how about it? Buy my book. It’s a good story well told, with lots of sex & intrigue, without whining & complaining; you’ll get hours of entertainment, and it’s only $2.99. A bargain! Go ahead. Look on Amazon Kindle Books for FLATBUSH PRINCESS. Buy it. Please!