Sunday, March 30, 2008

sunday drive: wilshire boulevard

Wilshire Boulevard starts at the west end of Mac Arthur Park and marches straight to the sea, a distance of some twenty miles. Along the way, it passes through downtown, Mid-Wilshire, Hancock Park, the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Westwood and on through Santa Monica. It is a amazing street. Like rings of a tree, growth patterns of Los Angeles can be observed just by driving this iconic street.

For this sunday drive, I began at the site of the former Ambassador Hotel, sadly demolished by a myopic LAUSD. I was too saddened by the site to photograph it, and am using a postcard instead. I pulled the lens cap off at the Perino Apartments, on the site of the world famous Perino's restaurant, and drove to Saint Monica at the ocean. Ride along:

More Photos Here

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

four things

Tagged by Doralong I now must confront the terror of the four things:

Four Jobs I have had in my life:

Souvenir seller at a hockey arena

Commercial Painter - I painted Shopping Centers

Customer Service Advisor (Toll Free Voice of Reason at a Major Auto Manufacturer)

Sales Manager- dull title which pays the bills

Four Movies I would watch over and over:

Sabrina (1954)- Possibly my all time favorite

Sunset Boulevard (1950) - Sorry, All About Eve- this was the Best Picture of 1950

Breakfast at Tiffanys (1961) - Cinematic Perfection

Hairspray (1987) - But Tracy ain't no First Lady, she's a Hair Hopper

Four Places I have Lived:

Flint, MI

Chicago, IL

Studio City, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Four TV Shows that I Watch (Sporadically):

Pushing Daisies

Desperate Housewives

The Simpsons

Six Feet Under, thanks to DVD

Four Places I have Visited: (I'll use four favorite places to visit)

Palm Springs


Avalon, Catalina Island, CA

San Francisco

Four People Who Email Me Regularly:

Betty, who made me start blogging

Crazy Ass Ron, who'm I've known for almost 20 years now



Four Favorite Foods:

yellowtail sushi with a Sapporo

a fine Gruyere

corned beef and feta omelettes

fried clams at a dockside diner

Four Places I would like to be right now:

Aboard RMS Queen Mary 2

St Maarten


Right here, petting a purring kitty

Four Things I am looking forward to this year:

Concours at Pebble Beach

Memorial Day in Palm Springs

Dad's Birthday in Michigan in August

Summer days at Venice Beach

Four People who should post four things:



miss janey


on the pier

A picture perfect Easter Sunday. I roamed the streets and took photos of old signage. Michael (the ex I am friends with) came by after work for dinner. I wanted to see the sunset. We found ourselves strolling on the bluff overlooking the ocean and pretty soon we were walking out to the end of the Santa Monica pier. It was a very peaceful place to me. While walking on the wooden planks. I realized that the last time I had been here was last Easter with the Clan. Here is a repost of that day:

easter parade - a reprise

Michael won a stuffed dog playing Wack-A-Mole. I named it La Wanda after the black hooker he picked up in Pebble Beach last August. I have pictures of her smiling on his lap in the back seat of the Duesenberg. We were certainly the talk of the Concours that day.

Easter brunch with the Clan turned out well. Betty wanted to get all of us together for the first time since John's passing. We scattered to the winds at Christmas- Ken was in Paris with his Mom and daughter, Lee and Jordan went to Rome, Betty was in Montecito, everyone was everywhere but here so as not to have to face the empty house. But Easter, bringing with it the promise of spring and rebirth, seemed perfect to reassemble. We all knew each other because of John, but today was not for him. It was for us.

We arrived at the restaurant on Ocean Avenue in two immaculately polished Rolls-Royces and a strategically synchronized Minivan. Heads turned. Our little party of twelve, equally balanced between ladies and gentlemen and ranging in age from fifteen to eighty-four streamed inside and were directed to a lovely table on the patio with an ocean view. The brunch was enormous. There were tables and tables of food. The seafood was in hiding, but Lee and I managed to find it (and everything else). We made two trips for mussels. They served bottomless glasses of Champagne. We lingered over brunch and talked about a hundred different topics. Anita and I waited in the dessert line behind three paper thin supermodels attempting to resolve their food angst and "just have a little bite" of the Creme Brulee and pecan tarts. We asked for one of everything.

In the near distance we could see Pacific Park, which is an amusement park on the Santa Monica pier. Anita commented that she had never been there, and we soon realized that none of us had set foot on the pier in simply ages. So we decided to take a walk.

Our resident mother hen, Bruce, asked Lee (our senior most member) if she wanted to relax on a park bench with him. "Nothing doing", she replied. "I'm gonna ride the Ferris Wheel". And she did ride the Ferris Wheel, dressed to the nines, accompanied by seven of us in two gondolas. We took goofy pictures of each other while aloft. Ken bought a giant handful of ride tokens, so in recombinant pairs we rode the Roller Coaster and the Monster, and played midway games. We were conspicuously overdressed and laughed like teenagers. It was a great spontaneous time. John would never had allowed it. Perhaps that was part of the fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

signs of santa monica

Santa Monica, easter sunday 2008. Vintage signage and old buildings for your enjoyment.

More Images Here

Happy Easter, Everyone

Friday, March 14, 2008

lay down sally

By now, most of you have heard about Sally Kern, the Oklahoma legislator who became a you tube sensation for saying that Gays are a bigger threat to America than terrorists and reminding us all what a "Dumb Okie" is.

Her unique blend of stupidity, meanspiritedness and pious bigotry would of course be somewhat humorous in a Fred-Mertz-in-drag kind of way if it wasn't so dangerous. With antigay violence being what it is, all we need are more dehumanizing attacks to encourage even greater levels of violence against suspected gay and lesbian people.

Of course, we all understand dehumanizing propoganda- it's exactly the technique that Adolf Hitler employed when setting into motion his extermination of some six million people- mostly Jews, but also Gays as well.

Well, a voice of reason responds to her- in the voice of a high school senior whose own mother was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. He quite eloquently places her neatly in the trash where she belongs- via an exerpt, from BigAssBelle, one of my favorite bloggers. This is an excerpt, I'll post the full version as soon as I can. Take a look.


Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worse than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone.

I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.


What does it say when a high school student shows more love, compassion, leadership and maturity than "Christian" Represenatative Sally Kern and her legacy of hateful buffoonery?

Lay down, Sally.

Go away. Just go away.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

i'm yours

Light hearted and fun, this is a new tune by Jason Mraz, who first gained notierity touring with Alanis Morrissette on her "Jagged Little Pill" tour.

Far from jagged, its quite a fun springtime romp. Have a listen...

From Perez Hilton, of all places

Friday, March 7, 2008

thirty three

Sorry to be silent for so long but work has been very intense of late and leaves me pretty much exhausted at the end of the day when I should be busy blogging for all of you. All three of you. Both of you. Whatever.

Getting ready for a weekend trip to Palm Springs to hang out with friends and see "Gypsy", one of my favorite shows. I'll be driving to the desert, which has made me think about my driving habits and how they have changes since the move.

I'll jump on the 10 freeway to head east. It's interesting to note that I haven't been on a freeway since January 9th when I did the walk through on the house with the realtor. Quite a change from the forty four mile per day commute. And in Los Angeles, no less.

Last Monday, I reset the trip odometer in the car to just get a picture of how much I am driving these days. Sunday morning it read 33. Thirty three miles. This was for a whole week. Maybe a gallon and a half tops. Not claiming any type of enviromnental superiority here but it does suggest that the old fashioned concept of living near work makes a whole lot of sense. Of course, it is not feasible for everyone and it required a lot of change for me to pull it off. But the commuter mindset of drive great distances to work and back just doesn't make sense anymore.

So far, I'm very happy with the non-commute and the extra hours in the day. And I'm, looking forward to using some of that saved up gasoline for the weekend trip. The weather in the desert is supposed to be beautiful. I'll talk to y'all on Monday.