Typical Tuesday

Power went out sometime Monday night so alarm did not go off…got up at 7:50 am thinking I had all the time in the world because the alarm had not yet gone off, when in fact I had to be in front of city hall in ten minutes.  Holy fucking shit!  (I exclaimed, I’m always extra poetic in the mornings), ducked my head under the shower, threw on some clothes, thank god they matched, ran out the door…made it by 8:15, not too shabby at all considering!  Public hearings, ah how I hate them! Frantic prepping of tenants to speak against the displacement of families with public funds, they did well!  I didn’t have to speak thank god, get me in front of a microphone and my stylish intelligent exterior dissolves into abject incoherence.  A few hours later and we’re done.

Was walking by the cathedral and passed a couple of these little squares…

If you can’t read it, this little plaque in the sidewalk says “Right to pass by permission and subject to owner…”  What the hell?  How is this possible on a public sidewalk?  I jumped on it, and continued on.

Off to work for a management team meeting, I wasn’t in the mood and therefore very surprising and highly inappropriate comments escaped my lips regularly, luckily everyone else seemed rather in the mood for such comments so I escaped unscathed.  Of to my desk for a brief 20 minutes to begin attacking the mound of papers I have to go through, and then out the door to meet with some tenants who are very upset…very understandably given their building currently looks like this!

The bastard owner did this to the building while tenants were still living there…he did remediate the asbestos finally at least.  The inside looks like this

Turns out the bathrooms on the second floor have no support underneath them, lovely!  They were shut down on an incredibly stressful Friday afternoon.  Came off today though, nice work on our part I think.  The rest of the place still dismal though, have much to do to get that shit fixed!

Finally, off home, hot and sunny and look what I found just down the block from my house?  It made me happy!

Bannanas!  Aren’t they cool?  The sight of them almost made up for all the suffering of the day, a good thing I can appreciate the small things in life!  But then I got home and had a rejection notice in the mail for my novel…three down one to go, and back to the drawing board for an ambitious arg who really wants to be an Author with a capital A.  Even if it is a crap mystery romance.  Still, these people didn’t even bother with a letter, just wrote in green ink on my query letter (returned posthaste to my doorstep) “think we’ll pass on this one, good luck!”  Luck is not what I need, what I need is an agent!  Damn them!  You all will just have to wait a little longer before you can buy my book on the shelves, I know you’re pining but what can I do?

Today was better.

ARG and MEO hit Hollywood

Arg and Meo took a little bike trip down to Hollywood today, sadly it is being cleaned up and turned into a giant mall…but enough is left of the grit and madness and classic movie star murals to make it worth a visit from time to time, though I shudder to think what tourists make of it!  Now that I think about it though, they must love it, who doesn’t love sex shops and playmates lingerie and stripper shoe stores?  Whenever my lime green shiny leather boots with their five inch platform heels wear out (happens far too often I can tell you) I sleep soundly knowing they are easily replaced!  It’s very educational for the whole family, I know I certainly learn something new about human anatomy and what you can do with it everytime I head down there!

Still, the old movies are magical…Some of my favorites are by the gentleman who said “a lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.”  I don’t know what kind of cake that would be honestly, but who can resist it?

He also said “Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”  I don’t know why I think that is funny.  But I do.

Another favorite…I have to interject and say that I had no idea these folks were painted on the roll downs because I’ve only ever seen them up and the seedy stores behind open for business, but they’re great…another favourite is

The master himself, who said “A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.” (I’m looking these up by the way, I really loves quotes and can never remember them unless I’ve seen a movie 50 times so…), he also said “Ecstasy is not really part of the scene we can do on celluloid.”  And lastly, particularly relevant for today, “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”

One last femme fatale to balance things out, a mosaic:

Always wanted Bette Davis eyes, someone yelled big eyes at me from a car the other day but I don’t think that counts, nor do I have any idea if they were being insulting or complimentary.  I took it as the second.  My favourite quote?  “I’d love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair.”

I’d have liked to have run into Humphrey Bogart, or Lauren Bacall, or Katherine Hepburn, they’re all over but didn’t see them today.  We did see the enigmatical king of flying mammals screaming at some people in a car…he was very very angry indeed…

Off he goes, striding away in the sulks.

The afternoon was spent at the Tofu festival in Little Tokyo, which was supremely unphotogenic.  Very yummy though.

70th Floor

hat’s where I was, 70th floor of the tallest building in LA, I love pro bono corporate lawyers! During our meeting (5 hours of meeting, and I can barely sit still for 2, it was a sad test of arg’s superpowers though some superb doodling was accomplished) I actually looked down upon helicopters as they flew about their business. If it had not been smoggy I might, just might, have seen the ocean. I did see my house, look, here it is as you face north from downtown! I pointed out some of the sights as well

And the view south into smogginess…

My office is somewhere on the far top left in lovely South C, didn’t feel it was worth a red arrow! I bike through here every day, but I now know I am invisible from such a height…I suppose this perspective makes it much easier to really screw over poor people…Sadly, thus also die my dreams of an executive looking down one day and falling in love with me from afar…I shall simply have to work harder at getting hit by a jaguar, you wouldn’t think it’d be so hard given how poorly their owners drive!

BARCA!

Big game last night, anticipation, as is all too often the case, was much better than the match sadly, but still, Ronaldinho came in second half…and the crowd went wild!  No Messi sadly, only 7 starters, Marquez was there, Omar Bravo for the Chivas…ended up as a tie 1-1, some good shots on goal, one of them off the crossbar, but a pretty defensive game alltogether though Barca dominated.  Some drama around the Barca goal I found later, supposedly should have been offsides, but who could tell where we were??  The crowd really deserved better because it was an amazing event.  Since most of the male population of Jalisco currently lives in LA you can imagine the Chivas fervour and the crowd was amazing, the distractions on the whole were better than the match, and here they are in order of appearance…first though the view from where we were sitting

You can see that forgiveness is necessary for a lack of the play by play excitement that might have been had I been in a box seat.  I’ll try and make richer friends!  So, focus on what I did see…ie distractions:

1.  Coors light…the only alcoholic (if you can call it alcoholic) beverage served at the event, a tragic mockery of beer on sale a pitiful 2 glasses at a time.  Luckily I forgot to eat something before so I just made it to the proper feel-good haze required for a football match.

2.  A small child sat behind who was cute enough, but thought it great fun to hit my back as I was watching

3.  The wave, made the rounds several times during the frequent dull moments

4.  Some idiot female dancing and threatening to take of her top (she never did to great general disappointment)…she had my entire section on their feet staring to our left and blocking my view.  I suppose if you don’t have your own breasts a view of someone elses is pretty exciting, especially for all of the 10 year olds in the crowd who might have never seen them…5 policeman converged…the police had a mighty presence at the game, this isn’t quite in order but here they are escorting the refs off the field from the first MLS game (it was a doubleheader), mildly amusing as no one really cared about the game or the refs…

6.  An unknown man to our left in a very large sombrero somehow incited the ire of the crowd which commenced a massive food fight and the throwing of cups of beer and water…didn’t get a good shot of that sadly, but the police were forced to intervene a second time.

7.  Sprinklers!!  Oh yes, someone forgot to turn of the automatic timer so the sprinklers came on in the middle of the game, just on our end of the field and sadly play was far away as Barca rushed the Chivas goal so no one got wet…All of the action happened once Ronaldinho was in and hell for me because it all happened on the other end of the field mostly…

8.  Fireworks!  How fans got fireworks in I do not know, but they were quite lovely against the backdrop of downtown…

9.  Smoke bombs?  Is that what they were?  I don’t know, but there was an entire section of mad chivas fans complete with red and white streamers and as far as I can tell no one there sat down for the duration of the two games, and they had drums…The smoke effects were quite impressive however, I imagine the police intervened yet again, but could see nothing!

And so there you have it!  A great time had by one and all I believe!  Especially when the Chivas scored to tie the game, a lovely header in the last minutes.

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Friday!

Hurrah for the weekend! Especially since this is how I spent most of my Friday…

It looks exhilerating I know, it was, ah the joys of public record requests about really bad people! We’ll get him, that’s the good news. The bad news is that I have another crate to slog through.

More bad news, they painted over one of the murals on Broadway the bastards, like LA isn’t dingy and dirty enough without them covering up the art that is out there…here’s what he used to look like:

He’s interesting at least, but they have now painted the whole side of the building a horrible beige colour, must have been this week or last, sadly I can’t remember when I last saw him…I suppose I should at least look up who he was and why he was there, and who fucking destroyed him, I rather think it was the city because I think they own the building. Still, came by Gehry’s Disney Hall on the way home and I do love that building, hopefully no one will ever paint it beige as well.

Isn’t it beautiful? It should be on a hill or a lake or anywhere you can see all of it at once and wonder…as it is crammed between buildings you can only capture its beautiful curves, I love round buildings! LA probably won’t ruin this one for another 100 years or so…

God is All Around

Took a little walk from the office to 21st and maple yesterday to take photos of rats and roaches – my favourite part of the job!  The good news is that I get to take photos of other things, I love this neighbourhood.  If you need a bit of religion this is the place to come, just walking down to the local liquor store can be a religious experience.

Juan Diego and la Virgen

Ghetto boyz tags as well, those are some active kids! Brave as well, I’ve seen them out on the street spray paint cans in hand in full daylight.

La virgen otra vez

Christ makes an appearance from time to time as well

And my favourite

The owners of El Principio, “The Begining,” are definitely among the faithful.  it’s not just stores though, regular folks do things like this…

If anyone needs an apron, I can get you one, just let me know.  We have hardware supplies too, with folks selling fresh cilantro, nopales etc every couple of blocks as well, yum.

It’s an amazing place LA.

How you know you are loved…

how do you know you are loved?

Folks we’ve helped drop by the office bringing fruit, and it can only be because they love us!  To date we have received 3 watermelons, 4 mangos, 2 plums and 5 apples, which totals quite a large fruit basket.  And a fresh juicy sweet watermelon on a hot day…my my, it is an almost sinful pleasure to eat.

Saw Manu Chao last night, hell of amazing concert!  Half punk and half reggae blues and since I danced all night I vote it altogether fantastic.  I also saw Lisa Bonet, of Cosby show fame, and sadly Mike, the one person I’ve had to fire in my life and I still feel terribly, even after all the shit he said in the exit interview and seeing his empty filing cabinets.  So obviously I hid.  It wasn’t hard to do, the Shrine was sold out.

And lastly, passed this on the way home the other day and had to stop…

Lasers?  Wow, I looked, but saw not a one…I’m thinking of bringing a marker with me on Friday when I shall pass that way again and writing something in because this sign has a lot of potential…what shall it be?

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Hey hey!  So I got a new bike! Beautiful, clean lines, single gear because I bought it from a mad bicycle purist, at least he believed in brakes because not all of them do.  I can lift it over my head with one hand.  It’s a beaten up turquoise kind of colour, it flies down the street almost by itself and rides like freedom.  It’s thin tires are just a bit skittish over the bumps and cracks and potholes of LA’s mockery of pavement.

But oh the pain it has brought to my tender ass…

Jesus is coming to Echo Park!

Terrible day today but enough of that.  I walked most of the way home today, hell of hot but I like walking and seeing the city in ways i’ve never seen it before, and it’s also good for thinking and getting tired so you sleep better because i’ve been doing lots of the first and not so much of the second…thought about what to do with myself and where to go and what I want to be and the best color to paint my toenails and why things are the way they are and how many squirrels it takes to screw in a lightbulb and similar sorts of things.  I’ll say now I had no time to eat a damn thing today so I was a bit lightheaded, though a lovely old woman who brings me her mail so i can translate it for her also kindly brought me a mango, I’m eating it later for dessert.  She thinks I don’t eat enough, though I don’t know what could give her that idea…

On my journey I saw an old guy in a wheelchair shaded by three very large chinese flowered paper parasols in brilliant shades of yellow, blue and purple.  I saw another old homeless man who using a sharpie had written on the back of his jean jacket in very large numbers 007.  I walked up the hill on 6th to find downtown spread out before me, and palm trees silhouetted against the blue mirrored glass of skyscrapers.  I saw heat rising from the pavement in waves.   I saw a man with a sign that said Arab arab = 9/11 and that made me incredibly sad.  I saw a tiny little traveling carnival called the Silver Streak with a carousel and a pirate funhouse and a giant bumpy slide…

The good news is that Jesus Christ is coming to Echo Park in a little less than a year.  Hooray!  About damn time too, he has left us on our own for far too long and christians have become just about unbearable.  I hope mohammed and yahweh join him, and whoever the mormons and jehovah’s witnesses believe in comes along as well, and buddha could add a sense of humour to the party.  I found these notices wheatpasted along sunset…took a picture but am missing upload capabilities so here are some excerpts, they’re brilliant!

“This is all the words for the return of second time to the world to fix the word.  Everyone of Los Angeles is giving God the greenlight to let Jesus Christ to Echo Park lake on 7-7-2007 at 8:00 pm, with a rainbow & 1,000 doves representing angels of god and angels of los angeles to be at echo park.

word-lotus-us-for jesus-ol>Olga prophet and St for christ.  he’s going to stop everyone from 40 and up so we can live to see 3007…”

and so on and so on, he’ll also be giving away green cards and clothes, and “heeling” people, not sure what that is, sounds a bit violent actually, but you have to be in echo park on 07-07-07 (ahh, numerology, my favorite exact science) to get them.  Think I might go, though absolutely sure that I won’t be living here anymore.  Think you can make something happen if you post enough hand written notices along sunset blvd?

Just communities, just cities, Just connections between country and city. Also, the weird and wonderful.