Friday, May 11, 2007

hello, my name's dante.

So for the second time in two months, my neighborhood experienced a brush with fire [a brush fire, specifically]. This one was much closer than the first. So close, in fact, that I started to consider what I’d take with me if I were told to leave my home, just as the residents in the neighborhood down the road from mine were. So close that I could smell the smoke. So close that, as I drove up my street, I could see 100-foot flames, climbing up the ridge, maybe a quarter mile away. And, according to KTLA [inexplicably, the only station covering it], the wind was blowing west – i.e. my direction. Not a great feeling.
[Sadly, I don't live in this building.]

So, although the only mandatory evacuation I want to be a part of involves a venti coffee and a brand muffin, I started to make a mental list of what I’d have to load into my car. What was most sensible? What was irreplaceable? What was the most valuable?

Here, then, was my checklist:

• personal documents [taxes, passport etc]
• laptop/external hard drive
• notebooks
• artwork and photography
• pinochle trophies and ribbons
• a rare copy of Miracle Legion's 1987 masterpiece, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise."

• iPod
• iPod Dock
• manuscript to my upcoming novel, "I Will Remember You Until The Day I Get Alzheimer's"
• photos of iPod and Dock
• hairshirt
• knife set
• DVD’s of “The San Pedro Beach Bums,” Season I; “When Things Were Rotten,” Season 1; “Rhoda,” The Complete Series; and “Quincy,” Season 5 [If you ask me, Klugman peaked in ‘79]

• set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• photos of my set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• Terrible Towels
• autographed picture of Myron Cope
• "Map of the Polynesian Prostitutes' Homes"
• my collection of “Boy’s Life”
• Jimmy Hoffa's copy of "How To Make Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
• Bigfoot footprint plaster mold

• the master tapes of “The Beatles For Sale” [Up yours, George Martin! You want ‘em?? You’d better get yourself a damn good lawyer!]
• official Super Bowl IV inflatable hemorrhoid ring
• hooka
• lucky cheese gratin' scarf
• book on tape — “An Illustrated History of Yogurt-Based Cuisine in the 60’s” by Spiro Agnew
• ...and “Guernica”

…These are the things that matter in life.

But that’s just my opinion.