Dear readers. I am writing to you from my friend’s bungalow in Sonoma County. California is a joy. Grassy hills loom like green and blue ghosts. Strangers wave to you or ask you directions in relaxed, friendly, undemanding tones. In the afternoon I consumed zebra tomatoes and Chubby Hubby. For dinner we had tamales and taquitos. Tomorrow, my friend promised to restock his medicinal marijuana supply at the Peace in Medicine shop. “They sell it in stores here?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, “welcome to civilization” …
Almost everyone is speaking English here. I say this as someone who accidentally said, “ei” instead of “no” when the server at a café asked me if I wanted any organic “mesclun,” which I unfortunately by that time heard as “mescaline,” but actually is a green salad of French origin lacking hallucinogenic properties. In addition to mesclun, one can purchase crystals at the crystal shop downtown, or stock up on patchouli oil at the equivalent of a hippie five-and-ten nearby. Walking the sun-kissed streets, we ponder the significance of recent events, such as the moment that Maria Shriver began to wonder about the identity of the father of the family maid’s son.
“Maybe he was lifting heavy furniture,” my friend suggests. “Or maybe the kid started speaking with an Austrian accent …”
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is also a topic of discussion. As it was revealed earlier this week, Putin will reassume his position as president once Dmitri Medvedev’s term ends next year. No one in the West openly believes in the charade of Russian “democracy” anymore, but now it’s clear that that country’s leadership doesn’t really care either. I wonder who the “opponents” are that Putin will “defeat.”
Estonians are once again chattering what the return of Putin will mean for their country. During the Medvedev years, the Estonian president had several meetings with his Russian counterpart, one that ended with him walking out of a conference and another that saw him praised for managing to sit through a Victory Day parade. There were even slight murmurs of hope among the more optimistic that the Medvedev thaw could continue, following the painful era of the border treaty debacle, in which the Russians used a magic diplomatic eraser to remove their signature from said agreement, and the Bronze Soldier affair, which saw the redeployment of noxious Stalinist and Third Reich propaganda, consumed with enthusiasm by local idiots.
Few in the US are interested in this. They would like to hear more rambling Rick Perry sound bites, blather on about baseball, or watch VH1’s top hip hop jams of all time. In the meantime I am still trying to figure out what to do with my deposit in an eco hotel in the El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico. We were supposed to go last year, but were unable to do so. It was unfortunate because it is a goddamn beautiful place. When I inquired about swimming pools, I was informed that we could bathe in slow-moving natural waterfalls nearby.
The hotel promised to hold the deposit for a year, ending in Jan. 2012, and we initially planned to return, but now, with three kids and plenty of responsibilities, it is looking more and more impossible. How I wish someone would finally invent a method to “beam” me to different geographies for a limited fee a la Star Trek. Sadly, technology still lags the imaginations of 1960s Hollywood screenwriters. The deposit at the oasis in the jungle, called the Casa Cubuy Ecolodge, is $480. We are trying to hand it off to an interested party as soon as possible for as little as $300. You can contact me directly for this one time offer.