Okay, so it turns out the weekend was a good idea. I managed to quell any sense of impending disaster for most of the weekend, and headed off to work yesterday feeling – dare I say it – fairly positive and energetic. I’ll check in with ya’all after I’ve been back in the mill for a few days, but right now the odds of my survival seem high.

Mischief & I got up Saturday morning and headed out. We had the only truly disappointing meal I’ve ever experienced at Hugo’s (stick with the pancakes, I guess…?), and then cruised up the coast. Allison diverted us along the way to take me to an old, abandoned oil refinery which we wandered around for a good while.

I have a serious fetish for decay and dilapidation; the structure is stunning. I could have happily wandered that place for hours, and I desperately want to shoot something there, even if I have to steal it. Our explorations ended when we climbed through a broken window into a building filled with documents being stored and an alarm went off.

Mischief’s face as she came bolting back around the corner was priceless. She would make an abysmal thief.

We spent the evening at a show featuring Beware of Safety, one of her favorite bands. There were three other bands playing, the first of which – The Victor Ship – was really good. The show was a haphazard affair held at the utility room of a tiny church, and had the members of the other bands not hung around to watch, I think the audience would have totaled 9 people.

Which is a shame because the 5 guys who make up Beware of Safety are truly remarkable musicians. It’s a post-rock band, which, to me, is simply a modern rock-instrumental version of program music. This lengthy dissertation on the nature and origins of post-rock doesn’t draw that distinction, but I’m not bothered. The guys in BoS are able to produce live music that is every bit as structured, intricate and layered as a small-scale orchestra. It was amazing.

The next day we drove up to Cambria, prowled through town and stopped outside Nit Wit Ridge, an interesting house built entirely from found materials. Unfortunately, we were 15 minutes late for the tour, and the fascist hippie that runs the tours wouldn’t take us through.

We stopped to eat Italian food that was only matched in its blandness by its mediocrity. Then we drove up to take the tour of Hearst Castle, which I had been to, but never in. I hate to admit it, but it was fairly breathtaking. It’s only regrettable that Hearst’s mansion is in California, which is the world paragon of poor museum science, presentation & preservation. If it were in France or the UK, it would be a real experience.

As it is, if you can forget being herded like cattle and treated like children, it is a really remarkable collection of antiques and artwork.

As we rode down the hill, our discussion – Mischief & I talk all the time, about anything and everything – turned to the shape and nature of our relationship. As I’ve written about, she’s had a rough time with a few previous guys, particularly the last one. There are a lot of trust issues, and we’re both wrestling with her residual neediness and occasional paranoia.

More than anything, this girl just wants someone to put his initials on her and let it rest at that, but getting to that point for her both of us is a process not unlike threading the winding hilltop roads near the coast… sometimes there aren’t signs; you just have to follow your nose.

Whatcha think?

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