Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Walk Back from the Farmer's Market

On my way back from last weekend's Farmer's Market, I was happy to see progress on this building:

See what it is?

Plants growing on this wall:

The plantings are placed in a special fabric lining the exterior and soon enough, the entire building will be covered with living plants!

Ironically, the building is across the street from the official headquarters of all things plastic and made in China:

On that same block, I encountered this oddity:

It's a pedestrian subway.  It was built so that peds could cross the street from here:
to there:

I can't imagine there was ever a Los Angeles so safe, so carefree that anyone could have thought "this will be fine.  Pedestrians will walk unguarded through underground tunnels.  That should be safe enough.  Nothing could go wrong there."  WHO'S IDEA WAS THAT?!?!

I've seen quite a few of these relics throughout the city. Not once have I ever seen one that wasn't closed off by that horrible fencing.  Something about this reminds me of the Charlton Heston movie, The Omega Man.  Right?  Isn't that where those gremlin creatures lived during the day?  Or maybe it's where the vampires now sleep by day.  No one ever goes down there and in their bat form, they could easily escape through the fencing.

Next I came upon a new restaurant with this menu:

What?  Tex-Mexican/Indian fusion?  Is this a perfect city, or what? (except for the part about being too dangerous for underground walkways.)

Get it?  It's like a play on Cowboys and Indians?  Only with different Indians?

The is the quintessential LA mini-mall.  Not only do you have the above gastronomical uniquity, but you can also get a Thai massage:

and Mongolian barbecue:

presumably, you can dine there while you wait for repairs on your car.

But wait!  There's more!

Before or after having your nails done or your brows waxed, it looks like you can pop in for a quick medical consultation and then pop upstairs to pick up your prescription for medical marijuana:

Let me just add, I know nothing about the nature of services provided at "Consulting and Care for Wellness."  I'm just guessing.  My apologies for any confusion, inconvenience or legal entanglements.

That was the end of my walk last week.  Groovy, huh?

Last Weekend I Took a Long Walk . . .

. . . through Silver Lake on my way to the Silver Lake Farmer's Market.

I took a few pictures along the way, figuring I'd knock out a quick blog post about it. So much for that

Behold, a bunch of pictures.

This front yard has a nice river of colored rock:

 Across the street, they like color:

and hand stencilled details:

and unique, angelic gates:

and sunny faces:

at this big house around the corner:

they have a sense of humor:

and, apparently, small children:

they also like little chairs:


then, I came across one of my LA dream houses, The Maltman House:

ok, these pictures don't really do it justice. Check out the link above for a much better idea of the delights this house has to offer.

But many a time I've stopped at this house and peered into those big glass windows.  I love the house but I've often wondered if I could tolerate a bunch of yahoos driving by and looking into my windows. On the other hand, as shown in the link, the views from those windows are amazing.

Tomorrow, my return trip. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

What Did You Do To Celebrate Earth Day?

I haven’t done anything to celebrate Earth Day this year just like I didn’t do anything to celebrate 420 Day .

Getting myself to work this morning was all I could manage. And no, I didn’t take the bus. I don’t deserve that much penance for my sins.

But sometimes, maybe doing nothing is the best thing, especially when the something you would have done can only be more harmful to the planet than any helpful thing could have been helpful. Does that make sense?

Like this for instance: All day I've been hearing about a 13 year old boy's attempt to climb Mt. Everest, making him the youngest person to ever summit Everest.

If the boy wants to do this and if somebody wants to shell out the enormous amount of money for him to do it, then fine. But don’t run the story on Earth Day as if this were some kind of celebratory event. What resources were expended in getting that boy to the top of Mt. Everest? How many gallons of fuel are expended each year in getting wealthy non-Nepalese to the Himalayas?

How much detritus has the mountain accumulated in the years since this tourist climbing began?

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer but this Everest climbing is anything but Earth friendly.

Everest climbing is nothing more than ego. Everest climbing is about fulfilling a fantasy of conquest. Everest climbing is putting oneself eye to eye with the gods, classic Aristotelian hubris. I think we know how that always ends.

I would love to visit the creatures of the Galapagos one day, but I would never suggest that the visit would express my love of Nature or would be in any way more eco-friendly than a trip to London or Rome. If anything, it would be less eco-friendly. At least in London I’m not trampling through the habitat of creatures any more endangered than I am.

To tell you what I think, I don’t think we’re going to make it. It’s 2010 and we in America have just now gotten the idea that we shouldn’t expect to receive a fresh, new plastic bag every time we go to the store? In 2010 alternative energy automobiles are not affordable for the majority of Americans?  In 2010, the 2nd largest city in the US does not have a public transportation system that is acceptable for the majority of middle class commuters?

In the meantime, until we get those little kinks worked out ice caps are melting; the rain forests are still being plundered; bio-diversity shrinks on a daily basis; the hills in my county burn more often and more fiercely every year while those in other parts of the country face worsening hurricane seasons.

All this while a big chunk of our population continues to deny that climate change is driven by human activity.

To tell you the truth, I don’t really know who’s right in that debate. I could be swayed either way. But I’ll say this, it doesn’t matter. Even if we’re not at fault, there must be something we can do to mitigate the impending disaster. Something with more impact than a compostable chip bag.

The solution? I don't know. Cut out waste where you can and enjoy what we have while we have it?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Really Quick Update

It's just before 10 on Saturday morning.  I'm sitting here on my back deck.  The fountain is running.  The squirrels are playing.  I'm updating my Facebook and checking out my blogging homies.  Everything is just ducky.

Then what the hell?  The sound of some kind of gas-powered motor.  I run upstairs to look out the back window and it's exactly what I expect to see - some fool two backyards away throwing up dirt and debris with a leaf blower.

I can still hear him as he moves down the street.  Those things are banned in the city of Los Angeles.  But nobody cares.  I care.  But I'm not going to chase him down and wrest it from his hands.

I hate those things.  Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sarah Palin Network

In case you missed SNL last night (as I did 'cause I was having too much fun with my taxes) here's what we missed:

I love Tina Fey. I love her enough marry her. Stupid H8ers standing in our way!

And yeah, the husband would be cool with it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why It's a Good Thing I Don't Have Children

. . . because I think this home video is the funniest thing ever . . .

I could watch this all night. It just kills me.

The funniest part is that the mom follows them with the camera even though the kids are freaked out of their gourds as if Charles Manson had come to the window. 

And the dad in the bunny suit?  What's up with him?  He's standing at the window just watching the chaos unfold.

Years of therapy?  Priceless.

Try to have a happy Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Being Good for Good Friday

Good Friday is a day of penance and fasting. We abstain from eating meat. It is a solemn day for observant Catholics.

I’ve abstained from eating meat for each day of the past 22 years. I haven’t been observant for more than 30 years. Yet, I like the idea of a day set aside for contemplation. I no longer spend any time thinking about the meaning of a resurrection but I do like the idea of contemplating where I’ve erred.

Not that I’ve spent the whole day in contemplation. Having the day off, I did spend some time picking up around the house and sorting some receipts. And tonight I’ll be seeing a play. But still, I managed to get in some time for some guilt and recounting of my sins.

Nothing like a good old-fashioned Mea Culpa.

They’re always the same sins. My sins are usually sins of omission. They usually take the form of a failure of compassion or empathy or a failure to show respect. Sometimes they are one in the same, my failure to empathize combined with a failure of respect has manifested in what I was recently told by a friend to be my most salient characteristic.

“Did you know that when we think of you, the phrase that most often comes to mind is ‘I don’t understand how anyone could like/dislike (insert anything number of items here).” Apparently I am consistently intolerant of the views/opinions of others. Fancy that.

My intolerance can be directed at anything. “I don’t understand why anyone drinks beer.” “I don’t understand why anyone would vote Republican.” “I don’t understand why anyone would buy a home in a new housing tract.” “I don’t understand why anyone would have that many children.” “I don’t understand why anyone would live in that part of the state.”

You get the idea. I have strong opinions. That part is no secret. What surprises me is that it seems that I express myself almost exclusively in this way. It seems that I am not known for welcoming the ideas, thoughts or opinions of others. Yes, I knew that. What I hadn’t realized is that I so vociferously object to choices that differ from mine.

Lie. I did realize that. What I didn’t realize is that others had so taken notice.

So, to recap, failure to empathize and failure to respect are my downfalls. As in this post.

I wrote about those whose lifestyle choices differ from mine and an anonymous commenter called me on it. I do think that reader misinterpreted my tone. Perhaps wherever she is from, people write with irony-free sincerity. Not here. Well, what can I do? I have a case of congenital snarkiness. It runs in the family and I am not the family’s worst practitioner. You know who you are.

I just know someone is going to call me out on the beer thing. I’ll just say that at a young age I developed opinions about beer. I can’t let go of them now.

So . . . back to my sins. On the radio today I heard a host discussing with guests a new theatre project in the softest, most supportive and sweet natured of tones. This person really wanted to encourage and support the artists he was interviewing.

I didn’t buy a word of it. It sounded like a lot of New Age talk, where everything is supposed to be positive and upbeat. But I’d heard a song from the production that was the subject of the discussion and honestly, it was just dreck. And maybe somebody should have told them it was just dreck before they started selling tickets to the thing.

I think I can be supportive when something is worthy of my support. But I cannot speak that New Age Speak. I cannot be positive about everything. Considering my background, I’m lucky I can be positive about anything.

And no, I don’t understand how or why anybody would live in one of those beige cookie-cutter tract homes and I don’t understand why anybody with limited financial resources would have so many (or any) children and I don’t understand why anybody who truly cares about this country would vote for a party that seems determined to undermine our basic Constitutional rights and to consistently support acts of aggression in foreign lands.

Ah. Empathy. Respect. Tolerance.  The challenges for the year ahead.

Wishing you a peaceful Easter.