What’s with the morbidity?

We live by perhaps the most dangerous intersection in our whole city. Almost every day there is a near accident, and sometimes the near accident becomes actual accident. It’s not particularly blind, at least not compared to 95% of the rest of the intersections in the vicinity. And yet, people still drive like maniacs around here, and we’ve seen thousands of dollars of damage and street signs taken out, and cringed regularly at the gut-wrenching sound of brakes squealing and metal crunching. The speed limit is 35, but people like to drive 40 or 45. Understandable, were it not for the apparent danger of this particular piece of road. If I were not opposed to speed traps on principle (even when I’m not speeding), I’d be tempted to call the local police station and have a cruiser sent to patrol this area (especially around lunch and evening rush) for everybody else’s own good.

Anyway, today was no exception. Tires squealed, horns blared, and what did I do? I effing ran to the door to watch. And as soon as I got to the door, I asked myself, “Why am I here?” I didn’t actually want to see an accident. But I was uncontrollably drawn to it like some kind of closet sadomasochist who hates watching people get hurt, whose belly flops at the sound of car accidents, and yet who kind of secretly hopes to see something bad happen because a) bad things makes for good stories, and b) serves them right for driving like a-holes. Why are we (I say we because I know I’m not the only one like this! Yes, rubbernecker, I’m looking at you.) so fascinated by the morbid?

Like yesterday, a Cessna crashed on the freeway (no joke) about 4 exits from where we live, and landed on two cars. Our first reaction? “OOh, can we see?”

And what did we say? “Man, I wish I were the dude in the VW, because how awesome would it be to have to call someone and say, ‘Can I get a lift?’ ‘What happened to your car?’ ‘Oh, a PLANE landed on it.’”

Photo courtesy of: The Santa Barbara Independent.
Or: “Um, boss? Can’t make it in to work today.”

“Why not?”

“Cuz, a Cessna jacked up my car.”


“No really, I promise. Here’s the news report!”

(Obviously, as long as there were no injuries and the guy in the plane had insurance to cover costs of damage to vehicle.)

Who I would NOT want to be is the pilot of the plane. “Umm, boss?…


A Spectacular Fall

Night photo “Knapp’s Castle Electrified”, taken by my husband, Toby Keller.

Last night we went up to Knapp’s Castle for a sunset picnic to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 25th birthday. It’s a gorgeous setting in the Santa Ynez mountains. The road leading up to it has fabulous views of both the ocean and Santa Barbara below on one side and of Lake Cachuma on the other. The “castle” is a ruined old property built by George Owen Knapp, founder of Union Carbide, in 1916. It was later purchased by Frances Holden in 1940, who invited her friend and world-famous opera singer, Lotte Lehman, to live in the property. But it caught fire soon afterward and was destroyed. Now it is a popular hiking destination as it has an air of mystery and sadness juxtaposed against the stunning backdrop of the Santa Ynez Valley, with Lake Cachuma below and exquisite sunsets above.

Excited we were, and thus, heavily laden with food, pots, blankets, and barbecue equipment, we trekked out to the spectacular spot. Little did we realize how treacherous our endeavor could be!

I happened to be carrying a pot full of boiled potatoes. I was trying to navigate a particularly steep little spot in the trail, when all of a sudden, zzyuuupp!, I slipped and fell plunk on my bum! It was a quite spectacular fall, yet ever so efficient! I barely knew what had happened before I was jolted on my ass, straight up through my head. I blinked. Then for lack of any other reasonable response, started laughing like mad.

I figure I must have slipped on some round stones in the path, because my legs had flown straight out from under me, and I landed as if I had just planned to sit down in the path. I even managed to not discombobulate the pot I carried. It was perfectly safe and sound, though I did splash potato water all over my arms and pants.

Unfortunately, as the night progressed, it became increasingly difficult to sit down on my poor thwarted tailbone. But after a little Icy Hot, a couple of Ibuprofen, and a good night’s rest, it is feeling better–if a bit stiff–this morning. At least it wasn’t one of those “Oh no, I am falling!” falls, where you can see it happening before your very eyes, and yet are powerless to prevent it. I much prefer to be surprised by my spills and tumbles.

P.S. For those who were following the “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop” storyline, the proverbial other shoe has dropped. While we didn’t talk about the situation quite overtly, the other person let me know in their own way that my message had been heeded and no ill-feeling was meant. Following their lead, I showed them too that, despite the criticism, I very much care for and appreciate them, and so our little to-do came to a very sweet and satisfactory resolution.

Wardrobe Fail

I went to the market today, and as I was paying for my groceries, the guy bagging the groceries complimented me on my shirt. He went on in quite some detail about the little images that were printed on the shirt and how he really liked all of them. I smiled and said “thank you”, paid for my things and went on my way.

Then I got home and happened to walk past the mirror. That’s when I realized the shirt I was wearing today is a tiny bit see-through and my bra was…shall we say, slightly off-center. And thus bagger-boy had most likely seen more than just shirt. I’m officially never wearing this shirt in public again. Wardrobe fail.

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