Good morning and greetings, spring training fans. That’s right, America’s national pastime (second guessing the President-oh wait, that’s the Republican Party’s national pastime) is being played throughout the grapefruit leagues in Florida and Arizona. For me, I don’t get caught up in the notion of grown men trying to hit a horsehide stitched sphere until after the NBA playoffs are over, unlike like my beautiful wife, who doesn’t get excited about baseball until after the World Series. Or to quote my brother Paul, who uttered the following phrase on national TV while anchoring the sports desk back in CNN’s early days, “Love is like baseball and there’s nothing like a twi-night doubleheader.”
For today’s photo frivolity we are heading down to the arch at Its Beach (photo #1.) It’s been a while since we visited my favorite arch de triumphe, or in the words of Led Zeppelin, “It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled.” It’s all about the light. Or to quote the Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO to my close friends, “You’re walking meadows in my mind, making waves across my time. Got a strange magic.”
Here’s a story that always warms my heart and surrounding organs. I was down at Its Beach around sunset time a couple years with my trusty golden retriever, teaching her how to sniff out bombs on network TV. The sky was nothing special so like a Harvard graduate I left my camera in the car. All of a sudden, before you could say, “Beyonce,” the light shone thru the arch at an incredible angle. It was breathtaking, just stunning. It was like the angels were harmonizing with a young Debbie Boone while singing, “You light up my life.”
I stood there like a mental patient in wonder and disbelief, as being camera-less was a tad disturbing. I would have had to sprint like Marion Jones on steroids to snap this shot but it would have been worth it. It was as if God, Bill Gates, or even Michael Jordan had just appeared. I hadn’t seen anything that amazing since I was window shopping in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. This light show only lasted for about 30 seconds and then the moment was gone, as were my hopes, dreams and jump shot. Or in words of the Grateful Dead, “Turn on your love light, let in shine, let it shine.”
Well, being the type of person who likes to turn bad into good and who always sees the positive side in everybody and everything, I decided after 23 hours to stop festering on what I had missed and to go back down there and get that three point shot. I returned the next five days at the same time and never once did the light shine through the same way. The moral of the story is, I should always have a camera or sketch pad with me because a mime is a terrible thing to waste. Which brings me to the words of those low spark of high heeled boys from Traffic, “Either light up or leave me alone.”
So today we feature some moments of sunlight streaming thru the arch. Since dogs are not officially allowed on this beach I rarely go back to this place of photographic joy. I am hoping the city buys the land back from the state so much like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, I, too shall return to Its Beach. But for now, these pictures and others on my website will have to make due. If you look closely at photos #4 & #6 you can see the cormorants lining up on Bird Rock. Which is not to be confused with Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock.”
On to our late night action. “Big night for the network last Thursday. Barack Obama became the first sitting president to ever appear on a late night show. He was on with ‘Leno.’ Of course, it doesn’t count the time Thomas Jefferson was on ‘Larry King.’” Former President George W. Bush just signed a $7 million book deal, though, reportedly, he thought it was to read one. And Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is writing a book about his role in the Bush administration during the economic crisis. It’s weird, the book starts on Chapter 11. That’s odd.” –Jimmy Fallon. Thanks, Jimbo.
“Hey, you hear about this? Very strange incident at JFK Airport in New York City today. An AIG executive going through security had to empty out all his pockets. You know what fell out? Senator Chris Dodd. In international news, the president of Madagascar left office after a popular radio host there rallied support against him and will likely take over in a special election. And today, Rush Limbaugh said, ‘You can do that? And hey, congratulations to Japan for winning the World Baseball Classic right here in Dodger Stadium. Yeah, they beat Korea 5-3, which is perfect. You have the Japanese playing the Koreans in a city full of Mexicans to determine who’s best at America’s pastime. I think Lou Dobbs’ head is going to explode when he hears this.” –Jay Leno. Thanks, Jayman.
“Let me tell you a couple things about myself. Last week, I got married. Talk about your March Madness, you know what I’m saying? … Another success story for eHarmony.com. … I wanted to get married before my son did. And we went to the courthouse, and the guy says, ‘Are you the father of the bride?’ –David Letterman. “Mexico’s government just offered a $2 million bounty on its top drug lords, which is different from what we do here in America. We give our biggest criminals bonuses.” Voters in Iowa are already receiving phone calls about whether or not they approve of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. They’re instructed to press one for ‘yes’ and two for ‘you betcha!’” –Jimmy Fallon. And “President Obama has made his prediction for the Final Four. He made his prediction today. The only ones left standing after next week will be Citigroup, Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.” –Jay Leno
Which brings us to the Final Four. Our Sunrise Santa Cruz college prognosticator, Dr. Michael Schur, had predicted that the Memphis Tigers would take this year’s crown. Well, much like Toulouse-Lautrec, they came up short, and if my sources are correct, both Michael and the Tigers are working on their free-throwing shooting as we speak. The good doctor’s latest pick for this year’s champion are his North Carolina Tar Heels because “Tyler Hansbrough came back for his senior season, Danny Green is my favorite color and most importantly, the Ty Lawson goes to the runner.” Dr. Schur may have been wrong about Memphis and I apologize to all of you who had them winning it all but let me say this about Michael. He’s feels your bracket pain. He’s the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off of Brandi Chastain’s back.
That’s it for our final blog of March 2009. For you college hoops fans, I hope you caught the Villanova-Pitt game on Saturday. It was an epic Big East battle and the best game so far in the tournament. So enjoy the early springtime action and remember, it’s always darkest before the light. When I used to drive from New Jersey into New York, I was always exciting about seeing the sunlight at the end of the Holland Tunnel. Three thousand miles later, I’m still excited about that light. So enjoy the Final Four and we’ll catch you the open court. Aloha, mahalo and later, Walter Davis fans.