All I can Remember is that One of Those Cities Was Santa Rosa

This page written circa 5 May, 2006.

I reported in the previous soapbox that the stress reduction from an anticipated house sale had lightened our hearts and increased my energy. It seems I was then hearing only the sound of the jet winding up, and it is now positively screaming. Last weekend we had a garage sale, shopped for Yuki's birthday present, watched Mrs Henderson Presents, rode train and carousel and played in Howarth Park, visited the Sebastopol apple blossom fair, and ate well in several places. This weekend we have a party and two lots of house guests. The rains have stopped, perhaps for the whole summer, but it would be hard to attribute all the activity to that. In amongst it all I rode and envied Dan's new e-Go scooter.

When Kay and I decided to relocate from Australia to California, circumstances were different from those prevailing now. We knew people here already, Marion and Kent quite well; I had been to Santa Rosa several times over the preceding years and Kay at least once, so we knew it well enough to feel comfortable; we could leave our real estate intact in Sydney behind us in case we wanted to return; also, we had no kids to encumber us. None of the above is true for the NZ jump.

About 6 years ago, How-Siang introduced me to the music of Laura Love, and a year or so ago Andrew pointed out that she has a track called "Santa Rosa". Amazing, I thought. Some recent Googling revealed that no less than three other people have released tracks with this title: Gino Vanelli (whoever that might be), The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Abba, no less. I am not aware of anyone who has written a song about Hamilton or Waikato. "Haul Away" is a lovely Split Enz track that reveals Tim Finn's beginnings in Te Awamutu, but that is the most visibility the region has had in the musical landscape as far as I can discern.

An actor's connectedness is reflected in his Bacon Number. We could postulate a similar measure of prominence in the landscape of popular music lyrics, the Lyric Number. That is the number of times some place or person is mentioned in a song title, with reduced score for a mention outside the title. The score is about four to zero in favour of Santa Rosa over Hamilton. Fortunately is it not a measure of quality, simply prominence. More people trip over Santa Rosa, understandably.

I think we are seeing the "leaving of Santa Rosa" as some sort of inevitable life event. Dan & Karen have already gone (to LA). We speculated years ago as to who in our close group would be first. Now we make the jump on the ninth of June. My last day at Agilent will be the second of June. This departure will close the Santa Rosa chapter of my life, and open the Waikato chapter. Dan and Steph asked one of those memorable, incisive questions: What are we going to miss once we leave Santa Rosa? This is our thought on that matter-

And so, on to the next chapter. We are accumulating DVDs faster than we are watching them, from the magnificent The Ascent of Man to the fascinating 24, a birthday present from Yuki who tells us it is popular in Japan. I have even ordered DVDs of Onmitsu kenshi, dubbed as "The Samurai" in Australia, a program I loved as a 7-year-old boy. In Hamilton we will have but to search for house and school, and we will be without the bulk of our possessions until we move into the house we choose. Watching video may prove to be our main recreation for a while. An excellent opportunity to reflect upon the goodness of Hamilton versus Santa Rosa.

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