After over two months of pretty much non-stop work, I find myself with an entire week off.
It’s not entirely a bad thing. I’m not earning any money, but I have a chance to catch up on things like dentist appointments, laundry, housecleaning and attacking the waist-high weeds that have taken over the garden.
I’ve been running most of my errands on the bicycle, since gasoline has had its annual “it’s almost summer, pay up suckas” price hike and is hovering, in my neighborhood, around $4.50 per gallon.
Note to Europeans: Stop snickering. America was built on cheap gasoline and when it starts to approach something similar to what the rest of the world is paying, we panic. Maybe they should start listing it by the liter here – it would cost just as much to fill up, but the number on the sign would be smaller and we’d feel better.
Since I’ve been biking so much, I’ve been able to smell the night-blooming jasmine, which is flowering very early this year, but that’s a good thing. I hate synthetic jasmine perfumes, but the real thing smells wonderful, and the jasmine in the summer is one of my favorite things about Los Angeles.
In case you’ve never been here during the summer, Cestrum nocturnum was originally imported as an ornamental plant, and now grows wild (and cultivated) throughout the city.
It doesn’t blanket the city so much as it settles in areas, which one walks through. At the old place, I could open the windows during the summer and the scent would fill the entire apartment.
In the new place, I have to walk about 10 feet to find a plant that’s blooming, but the landlord planted several plants outside the window, so I have high hopes for the summer.
The smell will ease the pain of my upstairs neighbor’s bad guitar playing.