I'm in Morro Bay tonight, awaiting a journalism conference in the morning. I don't know anyone here, and after introducing myself in the lobby, it was quite clear that I would not be invited out to cocktails with the rest of the gang. I got odd stares, and "who are you?"s aplenty. I don't think it helped that I was disheveled from the drive, wearing flip flops, and generally unprofessional in appearance. That last sentence wasn't parallel. OH WELL. I did what anyone in my situation should do--I went and bought a carne asada burrito for dinner. It was good. This constitutes three consecutive days of poor food choices. The only movie I want to see on the pay per view is Changeling, but I think I'll wait to catch that one when I'm not 500 miles away from my children. On the radio on the way up, I kept hearing about that man in Belgium who went on a stabbing spree at a daycare, and I tried not to let it get to me. I'm always wanting silence, and here it is, and man do I miss the noise. My cell service doesn't work here either.
The drive up was gorgeous. Well, aside from the accidents. It was rainy today, and in Southern California, that means that people go skidding off the road left and right because they simply can't handle it. But the clouds, fog, and mist gave this silver glow to the ocean--it looked as though the light was coming from underneath. And of course, I forgot my camera. Out in the distance, I spotted the silhouettes of several oil rigs, but even they looked pretty out there in the fog. On the way up, I drove past a prison and various groups of farm workers hunched over crops of strawberries and grapes. Incarceration and back breaking work don't seem to belong right up against all of the natural beauty up here. It seems even crueler. Anyway, I'm here now, and it's gorgeous but I'm lonely and I can't even say good night to the kids. So I guess I'll read a book and try not to let the quiet creep me out. And, who knows? Maybe my fellow professors will think I'm cooler tomorrow.