Being in Orange County for the weekend puts living space into perspective. Plotnik has disliked O.C. since they cut down all the oranges to build subdivisions, but he has to admit that brother Schmeckl's house is one of the world's great party places.
Plotnik loves Brooklyn and all its low-rise diversity, but he has to admit that Brooklyn came, then went, then came again and now has probably gone again.
Plotnik loved visiting BZ in Providence, the mobster-chic capital of Rhode Island where the ex-mayor, who has already been in jail twice, is running for mayor again, but he has to admit that New England winters are not for him anymore. And, anyway, any state capital that doesn't have its own Craig's List region is just too small for him.
As for Stiletto City, it is hard for Plotnik to imagine living there again unless he was in the Witness Protection program. (If you were searching for The Great Plotnik the LAST place you'd look would be Sherman Oaks.) But he has to admit that Stiletto has always had a frontier spirit unique to itself. It will always be the underdog, lacking in substance but making up for it in creativity. People from around the world flock to Stiletto City for a chance to do whatever the hell they feel like, because no matter how lunatic your idea sounds, the guy next door is already doing it.
Plotnik loves living in Saint Plotniko, where he and Ducknik fit so comfortably into the bubble, but he has to admit it would be great to have a swimming pool in the backyard. It's hard to get a swimming pool into a bubble.
Last Saturday night after the party in Orange County, Plotnik and Ducknik, who have traveled a lot and are already planning the next adventure, sat on the pool deck at the Hotel Schmeckl/Bear and saw the palm trees waving and heard the crickets chirping, and played with their kids and grandkids, and felt their family all around them, and neither one of them could think of anywhere in the world they could go that they could possibly enjoy as much as this exact spot at this exact moment.
Part of it is the insane blessing of celebrating Rosie's 100th birthday earlier that Saturday -- which she had forgotten by Sunday -- she told us on the phone that it sounds like we had a wonderful shindig and it's too bad she hadn't been invited -- but that was just the backdrop. The real beauty was that we were all together and there hadn't been a sad occasion to bring us there.
The point might be that there is no place that will make you feel perfect except for every once in awhile. You can live in Heaven and you will miss Hell. (Substitute "Paris" and "Canoga Park" if you like.) Some of us, like Schmeckl, just want to stay in one spot. They feel weird when they're not home. Others of us, like Plot and Duck, can't ever find that one spot. It's too hot, it's too cold, it's too crowded, it's too empty, too humid, too dry, too Republican, too P.C. It's too Southern, Northern, Eastern, Western. What it comes down to is everyone loves their own bed.
Put that bed where your heart is and you win this battle.