And I walk right through the door

When the manager came around, I told him, “I came into your gym yesterday. When I was working out, someone popped the lock off my locker and took about two hundred dollars out of my wallet.”

The manager was round, with a tuft of brown hair. “Can I see the lock, sir?”

I got the lock out of my car and showed it to him. “There, you see? There’s a bunch of dents and scratches on the top that wasn’t there before. And the lock was closed yesterday when I got back to it. I’m guessing somebody pried or forced it, took my money out.”

“Something like this happened about a month ago,” said the manager. “The lock was bent in the same way. Are you going to use this lock again?”

“Hell no,” I said. “It’s yours.”

“You get a lot of stuff stolen?” asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I do.”

I wish I could unzip my skin and take it off just to take a walk

I’m apparently speaking at the Alameda Literati Festival on November 3 (that’s this Saturday). I’m part of a panel at 10 a.m. and I’ll be doing a fun little presentation at 1:00 p.m. on the topic of “How To Write Your Script.” There’s no cost or anything. If you’ve got a story inside you that needs to come out, come around and I’ll tell you how to do it.

I’m driving in my car, I turn on the radio

The air’s a little worse out there today. It’s nine a.m. and normally we have bright blue skies by now — the sky is this sickly yellow. We left a window open in the bathroom last night, and now the bathroom smells like smoke. A handful of people left work yesterday when the spreading fire started to threaten their apartments and houses. Biggest concern for us in Costa Mesa is air quality — the Santa Ana winds blow east to west, and the Santiago Fire is vast and smoky. Here’s the map. For general reference, we’re approximately at the intersection of the 405 and 55.

Thanks to everyone for the concern and support — the wife and I are perfectly fine, and are similarly concerned about others.

To my surprise, yes, one hundred stories high

SoCal has little brush fires all the time, but this smattering represents the real deal. The wildfires down here are quite something. There’s a nasty orange veil of smoke on the horizon. About ten miles east of here is what they call the Santiago Fire, presumably started by humans. The fabled Santa Ana winds howl off the desert and whip the wind east to west, out over the ocean. There’s a sickly yellow veil of thin acrid smoke everywhere around Irvine and Costa Mesa. It gets worse the farther east you go. Schools are closing, or at least keeping the kids indoors. I went up to Los Angeles today to get headshots done, and the sunset was sinister.