Opening Ceremonies

Opening Ceremonies

I want to be in Munich!! This is possibly the craziest thing I have ever seen…woke groggily up in the middle i think – helps keep it surreal which I can only suppose was the effect aimed for, also the only station showing the uninterrupted version is entirely in Korean so I have no idea really what the fuck’s going on except what I can see and that makes no sense…so many men with leiderhosen!! Not that I mind a man in socks up to the knee and leather shorts!  And were they cracking whips – what were those things?  And those boxy metal things they were hitting on their knees later on?  It looked like they were…well, you know, I know you thought it too…And the crazed models…why is everyone wearing such crazy things on their head…And wait a minute, that’s not grass!!  It’s plastic and there it goes and…red grass?  Oh, not grass either.  Breakdancers!  Wow!  Now they’re showing over and over some contraption with flowers and with what looks like some kind of effigy hanging by the neck…And the women brought out like wedding cakes – they’re STILL hanging somehow above the crowd.  Good thing they kept the speeches short…ahh, the leiderhosen are back!  Ooh, and flags!  Ooh, and inspirational music in English!  I’m clebrating the day!  Nice to see Pele again!

How am i supposed to go to work, and when will i find time to shower??

My heart is breaking…I WANT TO BE THERE

I went in to work early this morning…have been wasting a lot of time at work and been generally unmotivated – results inevitable but not pretty.  Sadly I forgot my keys and my coworkers arrived in their own sweet time damn them.  I thought about going in front and watching the action in front of the methadone clinic but I decided I loved life too much for that, so I spent some time sat out in back, playing with the digital camera and resting my feet like so…

I like my feet, though faulty genes gave me joints that are going to need some work later in life – see how my big toes scrunch inwards?  That’s no good…still, they enjoyed the downtime.  I actually got a nap in this afternoon as well, when 6 of us piled into Bobby’s old bronco to head to a meeting and I got to lie down in the back, it was just like old times!  The world looks entirely fantastically different when lying flat on your back (keep it clean children!), downtown is much more impressive when staring up. All I needed to complete the day were some cookies and a nice glass of milk after my nap, sadly, adults don’t seem to be appreciated as much as five year olds.  Nor can they climb trees or fly kites without some comment.  So i’m going to ask God, or the Devil, if they could reverse time in my case and send me backwards, as soon as the world cup is over!  As it is, can hardly wait for tomorrow!

Pick Up lines

Holy mary mother of god, it is fucking hot!!  Took a little walk this morning to the metro to go to Hollywood/Vine farmer’s market, and met a nice cholo named Tony…as he passed me he looked me up and down (no better way to make me mad), turned around and walked with me a block or two…he said hey girl, (in the best rico suave homeboy style) what’s up, looking for a party?  I think I heard that right but am not sure because I still had my i-pod on to protect me from strangers (didn’t work with this guy…he was persistent).  Still, Sunday morning?

No.
Can you hear me?
Noncommittal shrug. (I was still hoping he’d take the hint…boys, if a girl doesn’t take out her headphones when you talk to her on the street, you’re not going to get her number)
You like to smoke weed?
No.
Never?
Never.
Come on girl, why not, did you quit or something?
I quit, it did nothing for me.
What??  Nuh-uh. You like chrystal?
Hell no.
Do you like to drink?
No, I never drink. (though I do hate to lie on a Sunday)
Where you going?
The metro, and here we are.
Don’t you want my number?
No thanks, I’m married and have lots of kids (The second lie is always easier).  Take care now.

A brief moment where i feared he was going to get on the train…i thought about trying to convert him to mormonism if he continued, but luckily, he accepted defeat…while admiring his courage, i have spent some time this afternoon staring into the mirror trying to figure out what gave away my tendency to spend wild and crazy Sunday mornings tweaked out with a joint in one hand, chrystal in the other, and a forty clutched between my knees…I’m really really hoping it was just wishful thinking on his part and my long legs…

I mean, do I look like a stoned meth fiend??

I know, I know, my room is a dead give away but I swear I’m cleaning it…

Apple Valley

Just got back from a little staff retreat at Highland Springs in Apple Valley…how much do I love the people I work with??  Thursday late morning we drove up and did a lot of work, then we swam, lay by the pool, relaxed in the sauna, ate a dinner we didn’t have to cook, played a little soccer, drank beers and margaritas and told a lot of very funny and very innapropriate stories (which I cannot relate here in mixed company) until really late.

I got up early in spite of the late night, the fact that I was still a little drunk probably helped with that, and went for a hike, it is such a beautiful place!  The path initially went straight up…here is one of the views:

And I believe this is what I would look like if I could ever find the courage to get up onto a pair of stilts…

Walked and ran back down, had breakfast, did some more work, swam, laid by the pool, relaxed in the sauna…mmm….lovely.

We had seen the signs for a cherry festival in Beaumont, so we decided to stop on the way back home and pick up some cherries, and some pies, and some funnel cake and who knew what else?  There was a little carnival but the first thing that met our eyes was this shining example of carnie culture…

And guess who else was there?

Yep…God.  We were pretty excited until we found out that not only was it $5 to get in, but that with all of our crazy weather, and possibly global warming, there were in fact no cherries.  Although tempted to pay $5 just to ask God how he could allow a tragedy like this to happen and possibly hit him in the eye, I sadly piled back into the car and Bev drove off.  At the edge of Beaumont we passed El Rancho restaurant and cocktails,

But  no one else was feeling the same uncontrollable urge to stop there and fill up on MGD so we continued on, back to home sweet home…

Disgusting que no?  Just imagine what the inside of my lungs looks like breathing in all of this crap!  Everytime I come back to LA I ask myself, why oh why do I live here?  Soon, soon I’ll be gone.  That little white flash of light middle left is Gehry’s Disney Hall by the way, isn’t it shiny?  I live about 10 blocks from there, in the heart of the smoggy darkness…

Save

Death

I just found out that one of the old women I used to work with died.  She died on Thursday and they didn’t find her until Sunday, and she was one of my favorite tenants in that building.  We have this video of her talking about all the problems they had with management, Property Management Associates the bastards, harassing and threatening elderly ladies.  Not that you could threaten her.

My favorite part of the video is where she’s talking about the fact that the manager won’t give the tenants the key to the back gate. She was a kindly, grandmotherly old African American woman, and she loved her wrestling. But when she got mad…damn! She said something like…if there was a fire, do you think I could get my black ass over that fence?  Hell no!

We finally won the keys to the back fence two weeks ago. It only took us two years.  I’m worried about the other ladies though, they’ve all been living there friends together upwards of 20 years.  They’re saying death is in the air…I suppose I’m still young enough and far enough away from death, I can’t feel it the way they can…

Nutshells

I promised depth and here it is, but i confess, I am a little out of it…my depth I mean, because i am reading The Universe in a Nutshell, and unfortunately my old physics teachers apparently taught me nothing…maddening because apparently nothing is at it seems, everything has multiple possibilities, and we don’t really know anything for sure, which is so much more exciting.  One thing I did learn today: in Newton’s world instead of the apple falling smack down onto his head it was just as possible that the world, with Newton on it, flew smack up into the apple.  Of course, that theory would have worked best for Newton if the world really was flat, which i suppose we have come close to proving is not true.  I also learned that microwaves are the cosmic background radiation emanating from the big bang (if you believe in that of course)…they pervade the universe, all at a constant temperature, with only small variations of a thousandth of a degree which have been mapped and show wrinkles in time.  And all this time a machine that somehow harnesses these amazing things has been sitting on my kitchen counter, and I have simply been using it to bake potatoes, I clearly need to spend a bit more time understanding the mechanics of my kitchen appliances.

I think i need to read about 10 additional books to understand anything else of what I’ve read today, if anyone can explain such things to me I will invite you out to coffee.  I’m off now to play soccer and try and break some of the outdated laws of physics with my newfound undertanding of strings and quanta and the voluptuous curves of the space-time continuum…

I shall let the stupidity of the following speak for itself…

This is from last weeks downtown news…and we call ourselves a worldclass city!  I shall write more about depth later, i suddenly got hungry.

Unacceptable Employee Behaviour

Today in my alter-ego role as mild mannered and caring supervisor, I received an important invite to a one day seminar, entitled

How to Deal with Unacceptable Employee Behaviour

Curious to find out what Unacceptable Employee Behaviour was (in my experience this is actually a much more common failure among supervisors and I know lots about that), I read on.

Apparently Unacceptable Employee Behaviour falls into categories of clearly recognizable types. You have to love that, it’s always great to find new stereotypes and label people by them, it makes this crazy world so much easier to understand and deal with unaided by medication. I offer these labels to you as a gift of hope, to classify your Unacceptable Employees or perhaps even yourself as the first step in overcoming denial and finding help before you get fired. They are:

1. The Excuse Artist
2. The Short-Changer
3. The Intimidator
4. The Gossip
5. The Clod
6. The Downer
7. The Minimalist (a nice artsy ring to that one!)
8. The Soap Star
9. The Itch
10. The Smarty-Pants

Am I definitely a Short-Changer? I suppose Soap Star is not quite the same as porn star so that’s not right, I am an artist but without excuses, I prefer speed to Downers, and love getting my back scratched but haven’t much in common with the Itch. I have been known to kick both Clods and Gossips, with cleats on. While wishing for my ego’s sake I were the Intimidator or the Minimalist, alas, I have found myself to be the proverbial Smarty-Pants – though i’ve been desperately trying to avoid that title since grade school where it generally meant getting pounded. Of course, even though I have frighteningly become what might be termed management, I still believe in “challenging management authority openly and forcefully” which has led to some interesting conversations with myself. I don’t believe an “undercurrent of anti-management chatter” to be too harmful, so maybe as a bonafide grown-up being a Smarty-Pants is not so bad, though I might not fit in so well at the local dive bar if it should become public. Luckily no one there can read as far as I can tell. If you tell, that makes you a Gossip, and you know what happens to them…

What is your Destiny?

I got this in the mail today

Who are you? Where are you headed? What should you be doing with your life? Tickle’s free Whats Your Destiny? test will answer these questions and more.

…Here I am supposed to go to their website to find out what careers will fulfill my destiny and what famous people share my life’s path.  I’m choosing to believe it is Jon Stewart and Beckham rather than find out the bitter truth…

Now that you’ve glimpsed your shiny future, how about some insight into how to get there most successfully? Plot your perfect course with help from a free sample Life Path Reading.

How do they know that my future is shiny?  Honestly.  I could just as likely get hit by a truck carrying live chickens tomorrow on my bike and die in a cloud of feathers in front of Bark Avenue, the new gentriferific drop-off-your-dog-so-we-can-babysit pet spa in the neighborhood for yuppies who are too busy to have dogs and thus have discovered a new way to waste some more money. They are also too busy to figure out for themselves what their destiny is, or put more thought into it than a quick survey, and perhaps a self help book or two.  Still, I wouldn’t put myself in the hands of anyone named Tickle.

So I, the great master Arg, after years of transcendental meditation and a short stint as an ornamental hermit in the wilds of Norwich, am offering a short workshop on your destiny, fate, and eventual tragic death.  I prefer the zen method, where I will beat you about the head with a knobbly stick until you reach some kind of awakening.  It will be a gritty and “real” experience strong enough to break through the layers of supeficiality, faux-culture, and botox that you have been daily building about yourself to actually preserve you from your destiny.  All are welcome to join me at this workshop, but you have to be rich.  And pay in cash.  Please inquire for more details.

Arg vs the oppossum, round 2

As you might have guessed, I didn’t stop feeding my cats. I have three, which is probably two cats too many. The first, Micros, I brought home from the pound as a source of unconditional love and affection without slobber or too much responsability. She is performing admirably. The second, 28, I rescued from the basement of the building I was organizing at the corner of 28th and Maple. The veterinary assistant sniffed and would not believe that 28 was his name, but after I had forced her at knife point to write it down on the form she told me it wasn’t a very good name. Like I care. The third cat, Frida, is the punk anarchist from work who refused all instruction, so she was fired (fucking establishment) and someone had to take her. She is twice the size of my other cats, eats about four times as much, and has long white hair which clings to my person throughout the day. I hope to shave her this weekend in an attempt to find out how big she is without fur, create a conversation starter at cocktail parties, and improve my professional appearance. She does not run, she galoomphs, and i once saw her galoomph 50 feet across the office at breakneck speed only to run bang on into a table leg. It’s a special kind of cat can do that.

So you’d think a small opossum would be no trouble, wouldn’t you? Three cats led by a furry little superhero…one rodent, not good odds those. Unfortunately my cats are a group of lazy, good for nothing, lilly livered cowards who busied themselves in calmly pretending that the opossum did not exist, even when it was clearly scrabbling against the bedroom window, somehow trapped INSIDE my room between the glass and the blinds. Had it been a poor defenseless moth now, that would have been another story. Being that it was 3:37 am, i could think of nothing more effective than opening the window and poking the rodent a couple of times. No effect. I took another picture which at the moment is marooned on my work computer but it should be up soon. I poked the rodent again. I then tottered back to bed to ruminate over the strange and stubborn character of your garden variety opossum, utterly unknown to me before now. Some time later i heard a soft thump as he gently fell out the window, and I knew the battle was won for moment, but I also knew he would be back. Oh yes. He would be back.

As an arch-nemesis the opossum deserves a name, but I haven’t yet hit on one suitable, let me know if you all think of one. But rest assured that a plastic trash bin and a broom are now at the ready by the bed, and I shall carry the day…

Here’s the picture, please notice his shifty eyes and disdainful smile…

Arg and the opossum

My first adventure…so, as some of my ardent fan base may know, i baked cookies yesterday, and put them on a plate on my table beside an open window for a photo-op like so:

Well, about 1 in the morning as I was in that nice and warm halfway place between sleep and dreaming I suddenly sat straight up in bed remembering the blasted cookies left on a plate on my table in front of the open window. So throwing my robe over my jim jams I rushed to their rescue

I had sleepily placed about half of the cookies in a tin when my eyes, drawn by a strange sense of animal magnetism I have never yet felt, were drawn slowly to my left, where with a small cry of astonishment I found a large rodent regarding me steadily, and his beady black eyes locked with mine in a primal contest for domination as my mind feverishly considered his species. Since he was sitting up regarding me and had not moved for what must have been a minute entire I discarded rat and landed upon opposum. I forfeited the stare down in a desparate rush for my camera…just imagine the possibilities of a photo of an opossum sitting calmly in my dining room chair….i returned sadly to find him disappearing out of the window, though I confess after pondering the logistics of forcibly ejecting an opossum from my house i was happier about his exit than not. Back at the Arizona homestead we had a special plastic trash bin with high sides that was perfect for scooping up unwanted visitors with some small help from the broom, upon which they could be deposited at a distance from the house. Perhaps in a later episode I will say more about all of the exciting critters i have ejected from my room, but I found myself woefully unprepared now that I’m in the big city.

The good news is that the little guy did not go far…I think all in all I prefer the animal kingdom to show me a little more fear and respect, but here he is, hanging upside down to my great joy! Just outside my window he was, probably waiting for me to back away slowly from the cookies.

And as I contuned to shoot pictures he grumpily moved along at a slow and diginified pace so here’s another shot:

I have to say the one eye-opener of the evening, is that my cats just sat around and watched the whole time. I’m going to have to stop feeding them.

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