“The Cats” along Highway 17 near Los Gatos, California.
Although I had driven this particular stretch of freeway through Las Gatos countless times, I did not recall seeing this particular overpass before. It was exceptionally tall, far taller than the other overpasses that I did remember; they were generally about fifteen feet above the freeway. It was a perfect black against the imperfect black of the night sky.
Living in Santa Cruz can be a challenge at times. One of the major challenges is getting to and from places in the Bay Area, where most of my musical, job-search, and social activities located.
For San Francisco trips, one takes Highways 17, 85 and 280 (or 101 as suggested below) into the city:
If I am not in a rush, highway 1 along the coast is always a rewarding experience.
For the east bay (Berkeley, Oakland, etc.), one instead follows highway 17, which becomes I-880, along the east side of the bay:
The trick is avoid the bridges. Sometimes this is unavoidable, and one ends up making a “grand circuit” to and from Santa Cruz around the bay.
The trip is about 70 miles each direction (slightly longer on the east bay side), and about 90 minutes unless one hits bad traffic. Really, it's not so bad, and I have been doing trips like this for years for music and art events, or to see friends, family, and such.
But when it becomes several times a week, and nearing every day, it starts to wear on you. Almost all of my job interviews are in the bay area. Then there is the upcoming performance schedule, back-to-back shows in SF and Oakland followed by the tour.
And this weekend will top them all:
Saturday. Rehearsal for Polly Moller and Company. Then br'er performs in San Francisco that night. It's quite a coincidence that br'er is touring the west coast right now, just as I am about to go on tour. Indeed we will also be crossing paths again in Seattle when we both play on October 20th.
Sunday. Rehearsal again. Then the :plug3: headphone festival in San Francisco. I have a solo set at 7:30PM.
Monday. The tour's kickoff show at 1510 8th Street in Oakland. I have a solo set in addition to our group show.
Tuesday. I need to stay overnight so that…
Wednesday. We leave on tour from SF and Oakland bright and early.
This is out of control. Not because of the activities themselves, which are manageable, but the fact that it is far from CatSynth HQ every day. I have options to stay overnight to make things easier (and will likely do so some of the nights), but that means being away from home, away from everything that needs to be done here, away from Luna (which also means setting up more cat sitting arrangements).
Living in Santa Cruz is becoming one huge liability. It was fine when I was working every day here and going up to the city once a week or so, but now my life and all the action in it seems to be back in the bay area. How long can I keep this up?