Archive for August, 2007

When I was a kid and first heard the term “thunderheads” — perhaps from inimitable Eyewitness News weatherman Dr. George Fishbeck — I mistook it for “thunderhats,” and that’s what I called the meteorological phenomena for many of my formative years and then some. My belligerent and impeccable logic when I was inevitably corrected was that they looked far more like hats than heads. Duh.

Anyway, with the current heatwave L.A.’s experiencing fueled by a high pressure system currently parked out over the midwest we’ve had thunderhats out there over Antelope Valley on the perimeter of Los Angeles this past couple days and I snapped this fine example building way back behind behind Glendale’s Verdugo Mountains in the marvelous open space of the vast church parking lot located behind the Costco in Los Feliz Atwater Village yesterday afternoon (click to quadruplicate):


There’s something about the parking lot where the Ralphs is on Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake that makes people silly. A couple years ago I apparently wasn’t crossing  in front of a stopped car fast enough because when I’d barely gotten by the driver gunned it past me and flipped me off and when I shrugged a WTF!? at him as he glared at me in his rear view he slammed on the brakes and made like he was going to open the driver’s side door but remembered what a chickenshit he was and kept on going when I took off towards his car ready for whatever rumble might have awaited us.

Then today coming across the lot in my car, southbound on the right side of the parking lot lane with a two cars coming northbound, the trailing car without reason or need justs pulls directly in front of me as if to go around the lead car, but then doesn’t and just stops. And so does the lead car who’s now waiting at my 10 o’clock for a car behind me that’s pulling out of a space.

Does Car No. 2 pull back in behind Car No. 1 so I can go by? No. Does Car No. 2 stop? No. Instead Car No. 2 keeps coming toward me  until there’s only about 15 feet between our front bumpers. Then she stops. And now I have to wait for Car No. 1 — who’s doing nothing wrong — to wait for the car to exit the space behind me. When that happens does Car No. 2 then pull back to the right? No. She sits there barely moving and entirely unwilling or unable to acknowledge she’s sorry or a tard until I opt to go to my left and around her and as I do I give her a smarmy look and say mostly to myself in my closed up cab with the A/C and Sirius radio going full blast: “This isn’t England ya know!”

Not the cleverest thing, but hey.

And she responds how?  Of course by fully animating in a nanosecond as if someone hit an on switch. In the blink of an eye she went from comatose or overdosed to sitting fully upright and jetting her arm out in a full-thrust extension toward me upon the end of which stretches one of the most adamant middle fingers I’ve ever been given. You’d think I’d just insulted her mother or her hair color. And for added emphasis she yells “fuck off!” for all she’s worth and loud enough for me to hear in my closed up cab with the A/C and Sirius radio going full blast.

And then I did this remarkable thing: instead of going ballistic I laughed at her and shrugged at her irate over-reaction and just kept on going to a space up ahead where I parked and got out. I laughed even harder when I saw she’d done the same thing and was glaring at me with  eyes in a head that barely cleared the top of the door frame of her sports car. Seriously if she was five-feet tall then I’m a hipster. King of the hipsters.

To make things even more ludicrous, she was damaged. I mean physically. As she got out in the open, headed thankfully for some other venue besides Ralphs where I was going, Ms. Gimpy walked with a pronounced limp.

As timing would have it as I was on my way out of the market she was also heading back to her car from wherever she’d been, limping and a-glaring at me and so ready to open a can of badmouth on my ass. I just shook my head and kept on going.

I suppose it’s been hotter, but even temperature records weren’t broken today I don’t think there are many who’d find appealing the idea of cycling 13 miles under the blazing midday sun around the city then sitting down to a plate full of pastrami at Langer’s Deli before pedaling another couple/three more back home.

Count me in and my friend Stephen. Our fellow IAAL•MAF’er Manny would’ve been there too (as he was the one who gave me the idea for the ride to the landmark eatery in the first place), but he got a last-minute opportunity to work on a really amazing gig and understandably had to bow out.

Yes it was hot. Yes pretty much the last thing I wanted to do after the No. 44 on the vaunted deli’s menu was ride, but as this is pretty much the last week for me to go out in the middle of the day and do something so crazy I was happy to do so and glad I did.

Plus we got to see stuff like the Westlake Theatre sign on Alvarado next to MacArthur Park backgrounded by tall thunderheads building up beyond the San Gabriels out over the high desert (click to quadruplify):


It’s the little things that make it all worthwhile.


Thanks to my friend Michael, Susan and I got to go with him to see the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 tonight from some mighty fine field seats: Section 11, Row L, Seats 1, 2 and 3 to be exact. It was very exciting stuff with Jeff Kent getting his 362nd career homerun (moving him ahead of Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list)  and their ace closer Takashi Saito (above) coming in for the top of the ninth to put the Nats down 1-2-3 and preserve the victory for his 36th save off the season.

It was my first time being in attendance at a Dodger win in I can’t remember how many years.

…Here’s a shot looking west at Venus and some sunset-colored clouds over the Panamints taken from Mesquite Spring Campground at 4:32 p.m. November 12, 2005 (click to quadruplicate):


The kind comment of the LA Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey calling me courageous in response to yesterday’s post about the last few months of my job search is greatly appreciated, but it takes a different kind of bravery to post a photo of me I found this morning while looking for my map of Death Valley. You’ll have to check it out after the jump because I’m too chicken to put it up ffront here, but first some background info to help soften the ridiculousness of the shot.

It was taken 17 years ago in September of 1990 in what I would hyperbolize as the prime of my resurrected life. I was about eight months separated from my first wife (and my then less-than-one-year-old daughter Katie). I had an apartment in the south of Glendale and a good enough job with Sparkletts with a route that included parts of Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Atwater Village and Glendale. In addition the physical rigors of the job had helped me to drop about 40 pounds, aided by the fact that the bulk of my diet no longer consisted of delivery pizza and bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups. As a bonus I enjoyed an increased social life. In short it was a time for me to feel my oats.

Having said all that, hindsight is not kindsight… especially when it comes to the fashions of the past, which ryhmes with aghast which is how I feel seeing the then-me now. So without further delay hence, let the pointing and laughing commence:


Checking in on our quartet of avocado pits this morning, I found that the first one we placed in  water August 4 is also the first one to launch a seedling skyward (click to doublify):