Alternate States of Reality (10/11/2008)

This blog is another email from times past – a trip back to a time long ago when I used to travel to Los Angeles very frequently on business. All of of this is now a distant memory, but a memory that will take a long time to completely fade away. Times have changed.

The trips to Los Angeles are becoming second nature to me. I drive the streets of El Segundo as if I know them like the back of my hand. Then there are the regular drives that I make north of LA to Burbank, on the crowded expressways that dissect the concrete jungles of downtown LA. The expressways are really amazing, with metered entrances, several lanes in each direction, soaring flyovers, and even some elevated sections that let the people who are carpooling fly high over the regular lanes of backed up commuter traffic. Although I have never lived in California, names like Pasadena, Ventura Boulevard, Burbank, seem so familiar to me. (Maybe I listened to too much California music when I was growing up.) All over the world we find a way to live in our different states of reality, but at the end of the day it is all a human creation. My life as a commuter, traveling at least once a month to LA, has become my reality, and it would be hard to argue that it is not my own creation.

With my regular trips to different places these days comes the attempt to make some adjustments and allowances for my internal state of affairs. Actually, this could be more of a psychological issue than physical. I have no pain, perhaps a very slight physical ache once in a while (that could be more mental than real) that I can ignore for the most part. I do need to remember to carry around my innumerable medicines. I seem to have no problems with the endless walking that is involved in getting from place to place within the airports even though I am dragging my luggage around with me all the time. I have no troubles with the endless bus rides to and from parking lots and distant car rental places. I do not feel any particular weakness (although I still have not been able to get back to my more strenuous efforts on the trail during the weekends).

I have had to try to adjust my eating habits during these trips and that is still a work in progress. But I have also found certain places that I can visit again and again during my trips to LA. The Subway deli with its veggie patty sandwich is an old standby. The Japanese eat-out place looks promising, especially the Salmon on rice with teriyaki sauce, consumed with a green salad and cranberry juice. I have become a regular at “Thai Dishes”, a hole-in-the-wall joint on an inhospitable stretch of Aviation Boulevard next to an old military aircraft factory and a railroad line, not far from DIRECTV. The spicy chicken and vegetable combinations, washed down by some Singha beer is a delight after a long day at the office. I drink a lot of water. (I now have to sit in the aisle seat on a flight rather than the window seat.) During the last trip I ate just fruit for breakfast on my last day because fruits are supposed to be good for you. I am not convinced that everything that I am doing really makes sense. It is the conventional wisdom of the day that one follows, but it is quite possible that conventional wisdom changes with time and is not always correct. One lives according to today’s rules, whether they are right or wrong. Does anybody have any wisdom beyond that?

Yes, I am building up an alternate state of reality with my trips to Southern California, and perhaps I will be able to survive this reality long enough to enjoy a different and more fulfilling reality some time in the future, before time runs out. I have a feeling I am not the only one in this state of mind.

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Kuriacose Joseph

I am an engineer by training. I am exploring new horizons after having spent many years in the Industry. My interests are varied and I tend to write about what is on my mind at any particular moment in time.

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