Bless Me Father For I Have Barked

The 78th Annual Blessing of the Animals is taking place at Olvera Street this Saturday beginning at noon, with the procession commencing at 2 p.m.

Susan and I have made this a spring tradition since 2004, bringing our Russian tortoise Buster who serves as house ambassador for our four cats and two dogs.

I snapped this photo of a true dee-oh-double-guh blessee from the event in 2005.

Heading Home


 (click to quadrify) 

Sunday downtown: The parakeets were an awesome surprise. The movie was decent. The Julius Shulman photo exhibit was extraordinary. The too-crowded Murakami show was for another day. Olvera Street fed us. Then we biked home. Here’s Susan in the lead coming through the 2nd Street Tunnel.

Grand, Just Grand

So last night Susan and I loaded up a canteen full of cheap red wine and brought along some bread, cheese, salami and olives to snack on at downtown’s California Plaza off of Grand Avenue before enjoying the Grand Performances presentation of China’s Guandong Modern Dance Company (reviewed nicely by Lewis Segal in today’s L.A. Times).

Afterward we walked around the watercourt and the skyscrapers taking pictures, of course, and then opted to stroll up the street around the Disney Concert Hall and through its gardens.


click to triplify

The requisite Flickr photoset is here. Susan’s is over here.

Tonight we venture out into the wilds of Topanga Canyon for a picnic before what sounds to be the Theatricum’s fascinating Transylvanian transformation!

Boldy Going


As you can see from the snap above just as we were about to bike onto the northbound 110 Freeway (no, not really), the IAAL•MAF’s regular Thugsday roll last night was a small affair. Just me, Eric Richardson and Stephen Roullier on a nice nine miler that took us to the top of Radio Hill, a place east of Dodger Stadium…


…previously unknown to me whose prominent features are a tall radio tower and a small tattered sagey/brushy garden whose most interesting characteristic while we were walking through it was one healthy looking skunk that had sequestered itself for the night in a cactus patch up ahead of us.

From there we rode back down to Eric’s place to pick up his wife Kathy who was kept off her bike due to a foot injury and the four of us then walked through downtown back to our regular stop at Joymart in Little Tokyo, where on 2nd Street about a block from our destination we encountered a stinker of an entirely different kind — the two-legged jackass variet exiting the passenger side of a black Acura that had parked  at the curb momentarily before our arrival.

Rising from the vehicle at the same moment we passed him I can only imagine our quartet on the narrow sidewalk (three of whom were pushing bicycles) caught him unawares because in facing us he let out a minor exclamation… but one that hinted of something along the lines of recognition. As if he knew one of us from somewhere. But as I passed wondering if he might clue us in where that somewhere might be, instead he went an entirely different direction by calling us “eco-hipsters” and casually and condescendingly bemoaning how “downtown will never be the same again.”

While he got the ecologically minded part right, I am in fact forbidden by age, weight, wardrobe, hairstyle, vehicle choice, musical taste, bedtime hour, diction, and general prejudice of things hipster from anything being remotely resembling such status –  unless being so decidedly unhip itself becomes hip. And in all honesty there are much more loaded things one can say to get my hackles up, but this managed to wrankle at base levels: because it was just a silly thing, not to mention judgmental and elitist.

For a couple beats I waited for the sadsack to sense his idiocy and chuckle in passing the unprovoked statement off as a lame attempt at humor. Instead he just stood there disdainfully — if a bit wobbly — watching us as if he was some sort of self-appointed classless downtown lord and arbiter of culture. Without a half-finished bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand as definitive proof, I can only cheaply hope/hint as to any state of inebriation, but from my perspective there was a certain sway to his stance and a glassiness to his gaze. Or maybe it was just straight-up retardation.

So somewhat retardedly I said “Guess you’re some sort of neo-asshole?”

“Damn right. And proud of it,” he replied, to which I suggested he go have another drink and then drive (home to Encino perhaps? Or worse: some lofts around the corner) before calling him a dickwad and continuing to San Pedro Street where Stephen made the good point about not taking shit like that seriously.

But it’s not that I was affronted by what the idiot had to say, just the imperative he felt in saying it.

It may be somewhat contradictory of me to operate from a foundation that’s one-half “if you don’t have something nice to say then shut the hell up,” and the other half’s “if you do have something crappy to say well then back atcha bastard,” but that’s how I roll: intolerant of the  intolerant.