Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are we having fun yet?

I have to admit that I had a pretty damn nice time over on Catalina.

What I didn't do, for a host of reasons, was take many photos this time. Mainly, I was pretty busy at times when I might have been feeling photographic, and I didn't see much that wasn't shown here when I went over a year ago.

If you're one of those who wonders about someone who finds getting dirty, sweat-soaked and sometimes bloody (it's amazing how many ways I can cut myself with ordinary hand tools) while laboring in awkward places "fun," you'll wonder about me. Most of my time on the island was spent here in the Casino -- which little notices assure the moralistic was never used for gambling -- building, perched on a little spit of land at the edge of town...



The decorations are wonderful. Art Deco chandeliers and giant fresco paintings tower over the main entrances...



Here's a better view of the main auditorium than I posted last year. I was working behind the (roughly) triangular openings above the movie screen, which required climbing rickety and unattached ladders. Getting access to the one on the right meant a 20-foot climb, followed by swinging one's self to one side to get through a door. The penalty for messing up would be a drop to a cement floor. Not nice. A couple of the meds I've been prescribed warn that dizziness can be a side effect; they were right in this case. But I did it anyway...



Venus arises from the sea above the middle of the screen. She, like the rest of the decorations in the theater, are painted and gold-leafed onto the ceiling, which is actually canvas...



So my concept of "fun" was all about spending hours in cramped circumstances making repairs to 80 year-old machinery. It feels pretty good to make such things work again, even when -- maybe especially when -- you have to deal with evidence of dubious engineering and horrible cheapness on the part of the thing's original builder.

It's a big change from what I ordinarily do, though, and I like that. Despite my ego, I don't even mind that it's the ultimate in "behind-the-scenes" labor which a vast majority of people will never notice, nor really understand if they do happen to notice. I know, and so do a few others, and that's reward enough.

In fact the only bad part of the trip was being forced to stop working and sit through the movie that was shown in the Casino Sunday night. I realize that both my age and IQ numbers are far too high to put me in the right demographic for "Speed Racer," but I still maintain that it's probably the worst movie made in the last 20 years or so. The audience -- local civilians -- seemed to think so, too.

I'll be going back again soon. Much more work to be done. All I have to do is get the doc to change my Rx so I don't get -- shall we say -- itchy about climbing those ladders!

8 comments:

Birdie said...

didn't you report about a fire they had there? It would be so cool if we could visit Catalina during my visit in August....I didn't see much of it the one time I visited years ago.

Anonymous said...

The casino is in the live web camera shot of Avalon which I look at periodically.

Get Westy to fly you over there!

Anonymous said...

Look at it this way...if the writing gig or the music thing doesn't work out, you could always bill yourself as a trapeze artist.

S

Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures. I would love to visit there.
Betty

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing Scrib. Amazing building. Will have to google the location.

Anonymous said...

Quite a place. I'd like t see where all the high u rickety ladders are. With that sore of visual environment I'd think the onset of an attack of vertigo could easily happen.
John

susananne said...

What a beautiful place, i will look it up too. Hope the meds get sorted out Scribs and am glad you kept safe too while climbing!

Elizabeth said...

Any medication that doesn't let you exercise can NOT be the RIGHT medication -- hope you get that cleared up!!