Saturday, September 18, 2010

Desert sojourn: day 9

I sent this morning to a party at a friend's house in Wonder Valley. Perry is part of the ex-San Francisco crowd, which numbers six or seven. He's an artist whose house is itself a work of art. It's almost impossible to take pictures inside, because the decorations and colors are such that a photograph tends to lose perspective. But the picture linked to above gives at least some idea of the colorfulness.

During the party I met another artist who lives nearby in Wonder Valley. We went over to see the studio she and her husband built. A large quonset hut on a concrete slab, it stayed remarkably cool in 93-degree weather with just those whirly roof fans going. It was packed with workbenches and storage shelves along with works of art finished or in progress. I took some pictures inside without asking, more for my own research (who knows, there may need to be an artist's studio in this book), so I won't post them.

After that, I came home; it was already after one in the afternoon. I worked a little and took a nap, and then put in a good two solid hours of transcribing last night's conversation with the disk jockey, which I described in yesterday's post. I didn't leave the house again until nearly 7 pm, when I drove back to Twentynine Palms to an art opening. As usual, I was more interested in the milieu than the art itself. One or more artists had transformed what seemed to be a series of work sheds into galleries and installation spaces. In front of these was a dusty courtyard where a rock band was playing. Kids were running to and fro in the crowd, which was mostly composed of people in their 30s and 40s.

I saw a few of the folks from today's brunch, but I didn't see the friends I was supposed to meet, so I came home, listening again to the Giants broadcast on the radio. The reception is better in Twentynine Palms, which is to the east and a little bit farther away from San Francisco, than it is here in Joshua Tree about 500 feet higher in elevation. Don't know why.

Now it's 9:30 and I'm bushed. I've been getting up around 5:30 or 5:40 every morning to walk, and today was no exception.

Tomorrow's supposed to be real hot -- 102 instead of 95.

I liked this article in the local paper about some filmmakers using the apocalyptic landscape of a shooting range-dumping ground as the backdrop for their movie. This is actually one of my themes, or theories about life here: that people come here and use the vast expanses of the desert as the backdrop for their own fantasies. They wanted a grungy landscape -- they found one.

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