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 dowtown spread out before me, and palm trees sillhouetted 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 travelling 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 seond 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?

Videos and Pigs

wanted to write this yesterday, damn california power outages messing with myspace! I was going to talk about my weekend and how incredibly and horribly hot it was, and why, apart from some pleasant drunkeness with friends and air-conditioned bookstore diving, I spent most of the time on the couch watching videos.  My ego desired some explanation of that…

But it’s old news now so I just wanted to note that I saw the new Pirates of the Carribean (lovely air-conditioned theatre, forgot to mention it), a bootleg copy of the 40 year old virgin (hell of funny after all!  Just wanted to mention the point, first made by Bev, that the show in Tijuana is NOT a horse show but a donkey show.  Still disgusting and so so wrong), a scathing documentary about Enron, the second season of the Office, and finally, the meat of today’s entry, East Side Story, a charming documentary on socialist musicals behind the iron curtain.  Now I shall whet your appetites by telling you that there were MULTIPLE scenes of beautiful women in tight fitting gray overalls and kerchiefs, that harvesting wheat looks like so much fun I’ve a mind to do it over my upcoming holiday and I’ve already bought the dress I’m going to wear, and that songs about the fatherland and the joy of work really CAN be fun!  While I was afraid that the quality wouldn’t compare to Astaire and Rodger’s flics, the number that really turned me around was one on the joys of feeding pigs, apparently you let them out of their pens while sweetly singing come here come with me little pigs, and then you all dance down joyfully together to the trough.

There’s an interesting parallel in American bluegrass, I’m so glad the cold war is over so I can say this! There is a great song, the version I know is by Ralph Stanley whose chorus goes “I’ve got a pig home in a pen, corn to feed him on, now all I need is a pretty little girl, to feed him when I’m gone.”  All I have to say is that capitalism and the resulting urbanisation of our society seems to have robbed us of so many rural porcine delights, and the tender declarations of love so inspired!  And I now scorn my childhood fear that my Devonshire and genuine pirate-speaking grandfather’s pig would have eaten me if it ever had the chance…My opinion, however, that chickens are evil incarnate has not changed, and I thank god everyday that they are not bigger than we are.

Beach!

Every now and then I remember that I live in a city beside the ocean…I love the ocean, but to reach a piece of it that is wild and beautiful and untouched by people requires a very long drive from the heart of Chinatown.  I especially love an empty beach at night when you are surrounded by waves and darkness and the world stretches out in front of you forever.

Janice and I went to the beach yesterday, and though both of us prefer beaches with no one on them, we somehow ended up in Santa Monica on a hot Sunday afternoon.  First stop was the surf liquour for snacks!

Some juice, salt and vinegar chips, cheese puffs, and chocolate chip cookies later, we headed west to where the land ends and the sea begins…and met not only the ocean, but an astonishing overwhelming number of sunburned people.  It was a bit frightening in fact

There’s the pier off in the distance…And the people go on for miles packed thick under multicolored umbrellas…I suppose it is a uniquely LA scene, but I do think once was enough for me!  Still, nothing like swimming in the ocean, and I finished most of the crossword, hung out with Janice and friends, and did some quality people watching.  First, everyone next to us was Russian, that was somewhat astonishing.  I almost got the courage up to ask them what a five letter word for soviet cooperative might be, but in the end my courage failed me.  Second, were these two lovely ladies…

Yes, indeed it’s true they are wearing matching bikinis, straw cowboy hats (cleverly trimmed with leopard skin print to perfectly accesorize), haircuts AND haircolor, and though I did not photograph them from the front (not wanting to be rude you understand), I do believe they had very large and matching silicone breasts.  I might miss ridiculous shit like this when I leave.

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