Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey

Welcome to the Picture Extravaganza Edition. Enjoy it while it's hot, because you won't be getting this shit very often.

So Palm Springs it was over the weekend! Hilarious. The desert is an oasis of pastels and Tommy Bahama flowered shirts, obscenely tan older women and overpriced boutiques, rolling golf courses and blowing sand, and more golf bags at the airport baggage claim than you've seen in your life. And, of course, vast, vast wealth. What a sea change from the misty cool granola vibes of SF. Everything in Palm Springs is big and bright and ostentatious and suburban. Though I'll admit that I loved the Southwestern architecture and the ubiquitous clay roofs.

My co-worker (and buddy) Claudia and I flew down for this wedding for two of our friends for whom we have strangely and somewhat inaccurately been given credit for their getting together. Long story. Anyway, so we went for the weekend to partake in the revelry. Not only was it amazingly sunny and 100 degrees the whole time, we got killer tans, sat by the pool, read cheesy shit, ate stellar food, drank delicious champagne, and - oh yes - drove around the whole weekend in a ridiculous brand new red Mustang convertible. What can I say - it was fab.

The desert outside of the Mustang window at full speed. Hello, tumbleweeds! Every street there is named after some obscure local son: Gene Autry Trail, Kirk Douglas Drive, etc.

Claud rockin' the shades at the stoplight on the way to Indio. We turned lobster-red in the span of minutes.

The golf course (right in La Quinta, where all the big guys like Arnold Palmer play) at sunset, following the ceremony. We stood, sipped champagne, watched them walk in on a carpet of rose petals, and sweated. It was gorgeous. And almost enough to silence the most vocal of wedding critics (er, Yours Truly). Tear. **Oh yeah, and we hung out with a certain ballplayer's sister (he happens to be a smokin' hot new lefty pitcher for the Giants whose name rhymes with "mosquito" - and who bought his new 10-million dollar house in the Marin Hills from Jim, the groom). This was a little bit exciting. Just a little bit. I'm still trying to decide if it was appropriate or not to propose marriage to him via his big sis.

Tired, sunburned, and busting out the Palm Springs hottness at the airport this morning.

So, you didn't really get any of me, and, that being deliberate, of course (I hate pics!), I'll add one more since I'm feeling nice. Picked up some poolside reading on the way down - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" - and once again, am loving it. A friend once described his stuff as decidedly "below-the-belt," and I think of that whenever I return to it. Sensual and earthy and real and body-rich. Good shit. Check it.

And thus ends the Palm Springs adventure. I will remember the wind whipping my hair in that convertible for a long time. And the way that goddamned song ("take a look at my girlfriend, something something something" blah blah blah) kept coming on the radio every two minutes. But I've gotta say, it's nice to throw on a scarf here at home in the chilly SF evening again. Ahh.


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