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Dear reader, not all suffered on this Hawks journey to the Old Country. Paul L and Victoria flew in great comfort on the always reliable and genteel Aer Lingus, direct to Dublin. We were stretching the limits of baggage civility, and managed to carry a guitar bag, hard guitar case, two backpacks and a bag stuffed with Hawks Cds and t-shirts onto the plane, where we endured the mild scorn of fellow passengers as we commandeered a number of overhead bins. But air travel is a vicious jungle, and we are willing to be predators and usurpers, to milk the collapsing system for all it’s worth.

We buckled in, pleased at our misdemeanor. Into the air, Aer Lingus, the dry smog and smoke streaked air. East over America 7.8 miles high, less horrible food than United, bowdlerized version of Iron Man on the small TV screens, 1.5 Ambiens–may we muse on Ambien, for a moment, dear indulgent reader?, in James Joycean style as is appropriate to our destination, for Joyce touched all things ancient and modern, and Ambien is the essence of our modern decline, a startling item in the age of shock fatigue, a product pushed on the public through endless TV ads, wherein a sleepless lady pops the pill and is visited by blue butterflies that guide her to the land of nod, from which the naive viewer might conclude that these Ambien pills are a mild comfort aid like Tylenol, but no, dear reader, these are in fact a powerful narcotic in the same league as morphine or dilaudid, perfectly legal with a nod and a wink from your friendly physician, while faithful harmless marijuana can still and does still land you in jail by American law and capricious fate and circumstances, thank you, kind reader–and fitful slumber, and we were suddenly over the green fields of Ireland. Touchdown, no fatalities. Dublin Airport has cool cafes, nice bookstores, a mellow vibe, and cheap and fast internet. Let’s join our Hawks brothers stranded at an LAX adjacent hotel, and rag for a moment. LAX–what a miserable excuse for an international airport. The people of Southern California take it deep with a sheeplike docility, like they put up with all other aspects of their slow motion melt down. Our mayor is a shiny toothed weatherman, all lies and rotted optimism: “It’s another beautiful day in the Southland, a high of 105 in Woodland Hills.”

But I digress again, and again, dear reader. Ireland, north bound. We caught the gleaming new bus out of Dublin airport to the MI north, through green fields, into County Meath, lots of new commuter/second home action on the hillsides. Ireland’s housing boom, while not as apocalyptic as the Southern California explosion that filled Orange County and Riverside fields with beige McMansions to the farthest horizons, has mitigated the lonely Irish landscape of old. Paul L wishes it would all stop. There is history, and there are historical moments. It’s time to stop the paving.Paul L also wishes for rain, black clouds, mist and chilling winds. This puts him at cross purposes with the native population, who have endured the most intense rain in memory. As the Far West endures months of no rain. The first signs are upon us.

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