Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coast Starlight

I got home to LA from Portland via the Coast Starlight on Friday night. Well, I got home on Friday night, but I left Portland on Thursday afternoon. That's Amtrak for you! Driving that distance only takes 16-18 hours, but the train'll take twice that long.
There was this one really surreal moment in the southern Oregon wilderness when the train stopped and the lights went out and a few minutes later I saw the rest of the train go by outside my window. There went the parlor car, the observation car, the diner car, all the people I'd seen earlier in the café. Why was my car left alone in the darkness? I felt a moment of panic, but realized that Amtrak, as institutional a service as it is, probably wouldn't abandon riders in the woods. Later someone made an announcement to explain the kerfuffle, and then the train came back and picked us up and we continued on in the darkness. I messed around a whole bunch with iPhoto and Final Cut, trying to make a sort of stop-motion slideshow of pictures of faces. Should be done soon.
I mostly managed to avoid becoming part of the train "community," antisocial loner that I am. I prefer to use the train as a private space, where I inhabit my own ontological zone. Headphones make it possible.
I took some footage out the window, and having reviewed it last night, I've found that the window offered a sort of 1970s sunset glow to most of it. Plus smudges.
Now I'm back in LA, I went to the farmer's market this morning, and I'm starting to feel less disoriented here. I can't get over this Belle & Sebastian album that I apparently never bothered to listen to before, and it's got some fine ass pop songs. Dear Catastrophe Waitress.