All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

Posts Tagged ‘yucca valley

The Weekend with Mom : Yucca Valley, Salton Sea, and others

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OK! The time has come for the massive weekend explanation. I find it easiest to illustrate with photos, so I’m linking off to my Flickr set.

Yucca Valley
I have no photos from our visit to Deeze and Annette’s. Their house feels so much like home to me that I don’t even really think to take photos there. My mom and I stayed up late talking to them and it was so nice to see my mom genuinely appreciating my friends.

Pioneertown
Similarly, the photos from Pioneertown really were pretty lame. My mom took some pretty good ones, but she doesn’t use Flickr, so it’s a little hard to get the photos in here without some amount of effort. Plus, she doesn’t read this blog (as far as I know), so I don’t want to give her indication of how to find it.

The Walk Near PioneertownSeusscape
Mom and I went for a walk through the burned out brush near Pioneertown, CA, outside of Yucca Valley. I took some photos of plants and found two cans from when there were pull tabs that pulled off the can! One is a reaaaaly old Coke can and the other is a Coors with a bullet hole in it. I didn’t take photos of those, but they’re sitting in my car in arrested decay.
Bright Orange Flower The Lesson of the Empty Space

The Windmills

A Windmill is Very Tall

A Windmill is Very Tall


On our way down to Salton Sea and Slab City, we stopped off at some of the huge windmills that are in the mouth of the Coachella Valley. I’d never seen the windmills up close, so it was quite a thrill. As you may or may not know, Jetfuel, Connie-Lynne, and I all undertook to build windmills for the Burn this past year, but they actually completed theirs (I did not).

WindmillsWindmillWindmills

Salton Sea
This warrants a large photo:
Dead Fish
Mom and I drove off the main road and down to the Salton Sea shore (no, she didn’t sell sea shells by the shore of the Salton Sea). I was amazed (disgusted?) to find that the whole place smelled AWFUL (truly stomach turning) and it was pretty clear why after about 40 seconds of standing there: the entire shore was covered in mounds of dead fish, fish bones, and bird poo. Really, every gross thing you can imagine was all over the place there. I don’t know how to describe how gross it smelled, but it sure was picturesque:
Salton Sea
Why are all the fish dead? It’s seasonal and based on agriculture in the area. Nitrates and other fertilizer runoff causes a huge algae bloom in the Salton Sea, resulting in a reduction of oxygen in the water. As the algae consumes all the oxygen, the fish literally suffocate in the water, dying by the thousands. They wash ashore and rot.
Acres of dead fishmore dead fish
There were also a lot of birds hanging out:
Another Bird in Flight

Salvation Mountain
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen is Salvation Mountain

Crap. I have to go to work, since my mom needs to use the internet and I need to send a big file.

Also, there was this sunset:
desert sunset

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Written by normalslife

November 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Desert Doubles -or- How the Hi-Desert Changed My Life (part 1)

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We’ll see how far into this I get. Since I’m blogging for my own personal record, the pressure’s kind of off to be either thorough or entirely factual. The account that follows may be more truthful than factual. Take that however you want to.

After work on Thursday, I drove out to see Dave Lowery and John Hickman play their acoustic set. I wasn’t expecting much at first -I was early for Cracker- but almost all the members of Camper were up on stage doing their own acoustic band thing and they were really good. If you’ve never been to Pappy and Harriet’s, I need to set a little stage for you … specifically, about 4″ of stage off the ground. The musicians are really there in the crowd playing only a few feet from the front row (I have to imagine that it’s a little awkward playing there at first).

Some friends showed up and we moved to the front between sets. Like, really really really the front.

And then Hickman came out and did a set just by himself. He’s all smiles. He seemed to be having a really nice time during the set and I could see the sheer enjoyment of the experience of playing music for an enthusiastic crowd. It’s hard not to feel like you know him since he’s so accessible and friendly. And he was really amazing. It was the first time I had seen any of them live, so it was amazing to hear the components of my favorite band deconstructed into their individual parts… and here was the phenomenal guitar of John Hickman playing right in front of me. Which led right into…

… Dave Lowery. As I mentioned, I’d never seen Cracker live and I’d only seen photos of Dave Lowery in concerts. He’s not the most, ah, um… “excited” person I’ve ever seen live. Basically, it seems like he’s an incredibly shy person who just loves to do his songs without a lot of socialization or showiness.

But they started playing and -I hope this isn’t heresy- it was like a pilgrimage to see them… all the driving, all the money, all the effort… it was all suddenly worth it for those few acoustic songs when I was so close to the stage, just hearing their perfect and unamplified set.

And then it was over. I was stunned and stood around for a few minutes talking with Arlette and Justin and Beth, and meeting Judy, Arlette’s friend, who would later turn out to play the most central role in the whole weekend… but that’s later.

And that later will have to be tomorrow, since it’s bed time now.

Photos from the most amazing weekend since the Amani weekend

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I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet, more for my attention span than for yours. All the photos link to a bigger version on Flickr.
IMG_0024Wizards of Warlock are playing in SFI took this photo for Shady
me and arlette are having an amazing weekendat the Yucca Valley swap meetJoshua TreeBob goes in for a head bonk

Written by normalslife

September 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm

People know more obscure Cracker songs than I do

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Tomorrow is the beginning of the Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven Campout!!! Believe it or not, I’m more excited for this weekend than I was for The Burning Man. Cracker is my favorite band (if I have one, which I’m not sure I do, but if I did it would sure be Cracker) and I’m so fucking excited to see them live that I’m even driving out the two hours tomorrow night to catch the acoustic set and then driving back to come to work on Friday morning.

Pictured at the right is “O Cracker, Where Art Thou?,” which is still my absolute favorite Cracker album. I know, I know… purists will say that joint albums do not count in “favorite Cracker albums,” but those purists can go to heck. It was the album that first got me into Cracker (being a bluegrass fan first, alt-country fan second) and taught me the tight-but-loose, complex-yet-simple sounds of Cracker. Plus, it’s bluegrass. Plus, it’s got a reference to a tasty snack (Cracker and Leftover Salmon).

I checked out the diskography and it’s not even listed there! What a travesty! And I wasn’t sure if I even really qualified as a true Cracker fan until I noticed that yes, I do have all the songs, and yes, even some of the bonus tracks (thank you, Gabriel, wherever you are).

Arlette set up a wedding registry for me at her work, so Dave Lowery and I are going to be happy to receive all your gifts as soon as we announce the wedding. *cough* Or just give me gifts.

Written by normalslife

September 11, 2008 at 4:43 am