Tag Archives: california

a merry day in a working-day world

History-Revealed-Issue-72-September-2019My letter to the editor of BBC History Revealed regarding “The Wild West” was printed in the September issue of the magazine – again! Today was the first day of the new issue which was downloaded on my Kindle Fire during my one-hour lunchtime at my regular Starbucks store. I have since ordered a hard copy of the magazine for a keepsake. It feels great to see my own writing published in an established periodical. Robert Waldo Emerson said: “Thinking is the function, living is the functionary.” Likewise, I want to actualize my thoughts from a deep cave of silence.

The following is my letter published in the September issue of BBC History Revealed.

“Dear Editor:

The article about the Wild West in this month’s issue was particularly interesting, since I am a recent immigrant from the East to the West: the restive nature, the swashbuckling gunslingers, the outrageous outlaws and the ruthless vigilantes were all embroidered on the popular Hollywood-generated image of the West that became something of a  factoid to people living outside the West.

Even though the U.S. Census Bureau declared in 1890 that no more western frontiers were left to conquer, I believe that the culture and ambiance of the West remains here in California. As someone who lived many years in New Jersey and the New York City before moving to Camarillo, the most distinctive characteristic of California is its unsullied beauty of nature in replacement of the skyscraper jungle as I see every day on the commuter’s railways.

Surely, there’s no more John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gary Cooper, or Paul Newman with Robert Redford walking in the streets. Yet, the spirit of eternal youthfulness is still nuanced by a combination of its beautiful rusticity of nature and a diversity of people interacting with the special aura surrounding the land.  For this reason, the West has not lost its charm with its continuous saga of immigrants in search of better future and the timeless beauty of nature.”

before the train came

It was an ordinary commuter’s early morning on a platform at a train station. A train would arrive in 10 minutes, and the people whose faces were no stranger than those of my distant relatives were starting to gather on the platform, waiting for the second earliest morning train to carry us into our destinations of a new grateful day of livelihood or leisure or even escapade, maybe. Which might be the case of The Man and The Dog in this video I took as the train whistle was heard in the distance . 

donut queen – review

 

Place: Donut Queen

Address: 2650 Ventura Blvd, Ste 105, Camarillo, CA 93010

The first thing I have noticed since I came to Southern California is the absence of many common food franchises that have become something of a suburban landscape on the East Coast. Maybe I haven’t looked around much yet, but even such paucity of voluntary or involuntary excursion will not yield to a sudden discovery of Franchised Food Emporium. A scarcity of food franchises notwithstanding, these Southern Californians seem to be blessed with a wealth of local food proprietorial to regional characteristics, such as demographics as well as fauna and flora.

95465d3821ae91541b407bc7276ae7f0That said, a place like Donut Queen is a gem for anyone who likes that bona fide classic tastes of homemade donuts with a cool view of the Wide Wild West. The interior of the store is not exactly up to the standards of the Michelin Star Admirers, but it’s cozy and clean enough to make a customer feel welcome. But the most of all, their selection of donuts is quite pleasing to the eye and delicious to the taste buds to make anyone sworn off donuts for dieting break the vow and become a lover of it. Surely, nothing in excess as written on the terrace of Delphi  should become a motto to stop anyone from inordinate indulgence, but the donuts at Donut Queen is one Witchcraft. Plus, the proprietorial ice coffee is a hidden gem of Donut Queen that tempts you to come back for it again and again.

It is said that nominal determinism really matters, and I guess it matters when it comes to a place like this Donut Queen

Author’s Note: I have neither sponsorship nor affiliation with Donut Queen. My writing of this essay is unknown to the proprietress of the store. It comes from my appreciation of what I like about the place. 

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pony express

Joe loves things Western: ranging from the rugged, restive beauty of mountains and vales to the legend of the ghost riders, to the saga of pony express, and the unforgettable Magnificent Seven. But above all the aforesaid, Joe is fascinated by the sprit of go-aheaditiveness conflated with unquenchable curiosity thanks much to his literary and cinematic proclivities for the history and culture of the West. In the spirit of a Pony Express Rider who used to deliver important mail from California to Missouri on a horse relay in the mid 19th century before the advent of transcontinental telegraphic network, Joe likes to run an errand for his customers in the town. So this video shows one of Joe’s regular routes that is always bustling with activities, businesses, and people, the wholesale picture of life in kaleidoscope that makes you realize you are not alone.

Coffee with Bach and Thoreau

la-patisserie-jean-beraud

La Patisserie by Jean Beraud

It was still early when she got to downtown. And it was still an hour early before her day at the office was to start. That feeling of earliness needed to be indulged by the leisure of solitary coffee time at her regular coffeehouse that had lovely outside seating where you could enjoy a capricious respite with a cup of coffee and watch the swing of things, the world in motion, and the parade of the human race. That time was precious time for Julie, and it was to be observed religiously  in a way the Vestal Virgins guarded the sacred fire in the temple lest it should die out, as that would mean the peril of the Eternal City. The aroma of freshly brewed hazelnut coffee could do so many wonders, and one of them is vitalizing your listless, half-awaken stupor under which you would find yourself an unconscious somnambulist or a peevish whiner. This rhapsody of morning coffee is also testified by a testimonial of Johann Sebastian Bach, the father of Baroque music, who described himself as a “roast goat” without having a cup of sensuously aromatic coffee in the morning.

Julie, as a faithful myrmidon of the power of wonder beverage, got her first morning hazelnut coffee and placed herself in the corner of her regular coffeeshop to set her cognitive functionality for a work day in motion by reading her subscription on Kindle Fire and writing down some notes from the reading. In fact, there was a set of rules of reading Julie adhered to: reading hardcopies on her commuter train and Kindle in coffee-shops because she found such modus operandi of reading quite congenital to her mental exercise. So there she was, doing what she always did, unless otherwise there was anything else that called for her urgent attention to attend before her work hours began. Then when her silver pocket watch indicated twenty minutes to nine, Julie headed for the office. That was how Julie began her normal work days. That was how she began to live another existential everyday.

That particular morning, which was Friday, was a lucky one, for no exigency was awaiting for her to execute first thing in the morning. Julie was a legal assistant at a litigation firm, where a myriad of pleadings, discoveries, settlements, and confrontations were norms of the trade. And it had been only a week since a happy chance placed her into the position offered by goddess Fortuna, who had finally countenanced her new future on the frontier. Yes, it was a frontier, a new land of unyielding dreams, high hopes, and exciting desires that Julie had felt deprived of in that grey, grim land by the Atlantic Ocean. Even Henry David Thoreau attested such tenebrous somberness of the ocean as a Sea of the Old Habits and Constraints that bound people in the Memory of their aborted wishes and crushed ambitions and encouraged them to migrate to the Elysian Fields by the Pacific Ocean, which he romantically compared to the River of Lethe in his poetic pathos. Reader, you might think it as a humbug or even a jest in your most postmodern mode of thinking in the ethos of textual parallax thriving on non-platform media. But when you become known that our life is still woven by the Fates under the supervision of Fortuna and that you are made of spirit, fire, and dew, you will swivel your head in wonderment in recognition of Thoreau’s poetic perspective on the Exodus to a New Land where nature is all the more conspicuous by the relative absence of the Gothic skyline that rudely dominates the vault of heaven on the Other Side of the Continent. Julie knew it all, and that was why she wanted to start anew in the West, where the Lethe of the Pacific flew, where the rugged hills and primitive mountains setting against the deep blue ocean still maintained the rustic charm of a village maiden.

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