Meanwhile, time in Santa Barbara is fine— relaxing, low-key, and nostalgic; it's the site of our wedding a few years ago. The hotel is lovely and centrally located, the kids have enjoyed the Aquarium at the end of the pier. But it's hardly the rustic, outdoorsy (but not camping!) experience we were hoping for. It's more like vacationing in Pasadena, but with a coast. Yes, we could take day trips out and about, but we haven't really committed to being here so haven't made the most of it. Today is do or die: we go to Big Sur, or pull up stakes and find somewhere else. We're traveling with another family with 2 other boys, excellent companions, so we've got a little caravan going.
At times like these the desire to fling Angry Birds, or other games of that ilk, is itchingly palpable, but I've abstained. If Benj is having an electronic game-free vacation, so should I. Though I do have 2 Scrabble requests— is it rude of me to ignore? Surely common etiquette dictates that I play... no, no, it's the poison talking.
Current events, via Angry Birds!
I have gotten scads more reading done, however, and not just on the internets. I just finished "Finishing the Hat," a lyric memoir by Stephen Sondheim. Anyone interested in musical theater, or song-writing in general, should pick up this weighty tome. It's like having a master class in lyric-writing, with Sondheim offering critiques not only on his musicals (from the beginning all the way through to "Merrily We Roll Along" ) but other composers as well. Fascinating.
Currently reading "The Little Giant of Aberdeen County" on the iPad, and a cool graphic novel called "Cages" in... person? (What's the opposite of digitally? Naturally? Yes, I'm reading that book naturally. Or perhaps substantially. I'm reading substantially. I like that. It implies weight, heft. Perhaps not the most practical thing to bring on vacation, a substantial book, but I couldn't help it. It's that good.) "Cages" is written and illustrated by Dave McKean, who did all the covers for the Sandman series. It's a substantial book, indeed.