I (was) in LB!

Howdy precious Blong Peeps,
I promised I’d tell you about my road trip to Long Beach, so here we go:

On Saturday March 5th Linda drove me to Kettleman City which takes about four hours and is kinda halfway between Davis and Long Beach. That’s where we do the “Cathy Speck hand-off” and unpack all my suitcases, oxygen equipment, the bedding to make myself comfortable and all the liquids I need to keep myself hydrated and nutrient-enriched. Then we pack all of it into Blanchie’s car and her wife Luukie drives us down south to Long Beach. It’s a shorter distance there than to Davis, but it can take longer due to LA traffic.

Blanchie Simon, aka Angela Simon PhD, is the best BFF this grrrl could ever ask for. We met in Davis, Ca in 1986 when she was working on her PhD in Social Psychology at UC Davis. We have been connected at the heart and soul level ever since then. And we went through all of it – all sorts of devastation and jubilation and everything in between. We continue to ” be there for each other” and I’m so sorry that I have to die and leave her behind to deal with the sorrow. I can’t fix that.

Blanchie and Luukia live in a great neighborhood in LB and have three friendly dogs and cats and fabulous newly renovated backyard. Hmm, I’m kinda telling this story backward. I mean, the following story is about our drive back North on March 14th, at the end of my love-filled visit. Oh well. Hang on, it’s a wild ride :

Okay, these phonetos tell a story or two. First we have my BFF Blanchie in our Kettleman City motel room making our new ” gangsta sign” – it’s the letter “d” pointed up. It means “dyke up,” like the idiom “man up.” Why were we talking like, that you ask ? Well, I’ll tell you- it’s a fun BFF story.

We were driving north on “The 5” as they say in SoCal speak. There are very long stretches of nothing but mashed insects on your windshield, and we talked about those insects we killed by driving so fast ( 80 mph in Luukia’s 8 cylinder Tacoma pickup.)
I told Blanchie the story about what a sensitive little girl I was and how I would cry after our family road trips when I saw the dead butterflies in the yellow Ford station wagon’s front grill.

Of course Blanchie laughed at me, and mocked my naive emotionality. Said she in a deep, authoritative voice, “Oh what a cry baby, c’mon Cath, woman up !” And I said, ” that’s right, I was such a cry baby back then, now I need to just dyke up.” We both started saying “dyke up !” over and over again and thought we were totally hilarious. That’s what BFFs do, of course.

After we checked into the motel we decided that we were gonna make “dyke up” be A THING. It’ll go viral, and we started it. You read it here first. And since Blanchie so wants to be in a gang, she came up with the “d -up” gangsta sign, Brilliant Blanchie !

Okay, whew ! Next story: we only stopped once between Long Beach and Kettleman City and that was to get gas and go pee. ( Say it like it is, Cath.) As soon as we pulled into the gas station, I shrieked ” OMG ! An endangered species right there, I hafta take some phonetos ! It was a public telephone ! I know, right ?

The next story is sincere and serious: my friends since forever Janet Chaykin and Denise Curry came to see me when I was at Blanchie & Luukie’s place in LB. Our visit was purrrfect in every way. Blanchie borrowed a trike for me to ride and the four of us rode/walked a mile to a cafe to pick up a special-order pie for Luukie’s birthday. Blanchie gave me a really hard push and I went flying downhill for a block and a half then took a left onto another downhill street. It was so friggin’ fun. I was flying ! And nothing bad happened !

We went down at least two alleys which were nothing like the picturesque alleys of central Davis. But there were three plants worthy to be phoneto-ed, and here they are.
There you have it.
Those are my stories for now.
I hope you enjoyed the tour…

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