In San Diego, Cons are Conning

But up here in La Jolla, I’m sitting in a Peet’s Coffee after a hair-raising game of real life Frogger that involved me passing through a breach in a wire fence, crossing a freeway and a couple of six-lane roads in order to find a CVS and replace my long-suffering travel size can of shaving cream, which chose the worst possible moment to give up the ghost—that being halfway through a shave on the first day of Comic Con.  C’est la guerre.

After five years of living in Boston, Southern California feels increasingly weird to me.  The weather is perfect even at its most horrible, so, of course, you want to walk everywhere.  Right?  Only, good luck with that, unless of course you want to drive somewhere where you can walk.  In Somerville, errands are a great way to spend a Saturday: you walk to one square to go to the spice shop, to another square for groceries, a third square because they have a bookstore you haven’t visited in a while.  Not so, SoCal.

Then again, in late July, when Boston’s peaking in the high 90s with humidity, Los Angeles is mid-seventies, dry, and sunny.  And in February, when Boston temperature plummets down to wickedness, even if it never reaches true depths of Michigan evil—well, in Los Angeles it’s also mid-seventies, dry, and sunny.  So there’s that.

As for the con, well, I haven’t reached the floor yet, though I keep hearing joyful rumors—like that the Legend of Korra Season 2 will premier there on Friday, guys guys guys Season twooooooooooo at last it’s been so loooong.  I can give only smatterings of evidence.  In front of the Peet’s where I sit writing this, a man and two women all wearing black t-shirts and con badge necklaces are negotiating whose turn it is to drive their car.  The guy’s black t-shirt has written in red, “I (snake) COBRA” where the (snake) is the logo of COBRA, the heinously ineffectual terrorist organization from GI JOE, only with a little dimple at the top to warp is silhouette into a heart.

On our drive from the airport last night, we passed the Ghostbusters mobile, like from the movies.  A perfect reconstruction, just driving around the streets of San Diego, back brimming with movie-reconstructed props and plastic ghosts.  What do they do with that the rest of the year, my host asks.  I say, it’s probably like those 1930s trucks people drive occasionally around the waterfront in Boston—most of the year is a process of upkeep and repair, waiting for the weather to change.  And now, here, the emotional weather is right.

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