I’m Wanted

You remember that Monster.com commercial from a few years ago, the one where people danced in abject euphoria to ELO’s “Do Ya, Do Ya Want My Love?” when they got new jobs?

I always wanted to do that.

You know that gig I interviewed for last week, the one I was really hoping to get? Well next month I’m going to have a business card that says “Editor” on it.

So one guess what I’m doing as a result. This might help you figure it out.

And feel free to join in the joy.

Arrivederci Dubrovnik

Just a quick hey say from the ship just off the coast of Croatia as the anchor’s being raised at Dubrovnik where we just spent a marvelous day and now and we’re on our way around the heel and toe of Italy’s boot for a full day at sea before coming into Rome.

It’s been a marvelous trip so far. Susan and I had Venice for a couple days and nights in the marvelous Hotel Al Gazzettino just off a small canal in the “downtown” of the San Marco district, pretty much equidistant between the famed Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal.

To finally see Venice was a dream come true for both of us and it seemed very much a dream to stroll through its network of crooked streets over bridges and down tight alleys and discover what a magical place it is. We walked at all hours: 2 a.m., noon, 6 a.m., and  took literally hundreds upon hundreds of photos of as many nooks and crannies and sights as we could cram into the time we were there.

Tuesday at noon we boarded the boat and spent another night in the port of Venice and on Wednesday we joined an excursion that visited the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano — all three marvelous places, each with their own unique characteristics that take quaint to a whole new level.

I’m sorry I don’t have a random selection of images to show you but wi-fi connection issues with the laptop have forced me to use one of the computers provided by the ship and these desktops don’t have firewire ports so it’ll be a chore involving transfer of hundreds of images from the iPod to the laptop to a flashdrive to these desktops and that’s just a route I’m not in the mood to take at the present. Maybe tomorrow.

Once back onboard from our island hopping yesterday we disembarked at about 3 p.m. saying a fond farewell to Venice for the open Adriatic and this morning we dropped anchor outside Dubrovnik for a tour of the walled city before boarding a replica 18th-century sailing ship for a one-hour cruise to the Croatian island of Lopud where we enjoyed a fisherman’s lunch and then a hike across the small island. Some did it for the secluded beach at the other end in which to take a dip, I did it for the exercise and photo opportunities.

Back on the sailing ship we were brought back to Dubrovnik and Susan and I filled a couple hours walking through that enchanting place, eventually making our way up onto the tall walls that surround the city for the breathtaking vistas to be found there.

And now we’re back on the ship and the sun has set and further adventures and a whole mess of calories await us both onboard and off. Being off the grid and away from news sources until yesterday I didn’t hear of the Griffith Park fire or the high temps baking Los Angeles in their own ways. Check-ins from our pet sitter indicate that all is well with the animals at home and I hope the same for any who’ve dropped into this dormant place.

 When I’m not up on the deck poolside tomorrow, I’ll find time to get a sampling of pix up here or on Flickr tomorrow.

If The Cars Don’t Fit, You Must Ticket!

In my almost-three years here, I’ve combated a veritable platoon of parking tards who insist on hanging their vehicles’ asses over the edge of our driveway apron to varying degrees of idiocy and inconsideration. Some dangle out juuuuuust enough to make it moderately inconvenient to back out or pull into my side of the tight two-car garage. Others look like they’re purposefully trying to keep me in or out or just intentionally don’t give a damn.

Regardless of the measure of their hangover, I never fail to speed dial the city’s parking enforcement number and request they be stung with a citation for their senselessness. And I never fail to find any humor in the aggravating situation, until this time around. I couldn’t help but guffaw incredulously as I was on hold waiting for a dispatcher and snapping shots of this Mini whose owner was about a foot away from leaving half the car’s length over the line.


See it’s one thing when an SUV or a Volvo wagon plays space invader, but a Mini? What kind of spacially challenged spaz do you need to be in order to accomplish this act of unadulterated dumbfoolery? Seriously, I know this is one of the smallest cars on the market today, but it ain’t that small. Not by three feet.

Another One Of LAX

I don’t trouble myself or my point-and-shoot cam with equalized exposure settings and such, I just snap ’em and stitch ’em, like this series of three taken around 5:30 p.m. Friday from the 8th floor of the El Segundo garage behind the building I work at (click to enlarge):


Previous LAX shot, here.

Love is…

…going up in there with nothing but a paper towel and a prayer to grab and pull undigested and unknown lengths of string stuck dangling out of the back end of your string-eating pup.

Today’s was about eight inches long. Lovely — and shut up! If I can do it without hurling you can read about it without losing your breakfast. Don’t make me post a picture!

Vroom 222

I couldn’t help but climb aboard the Platform Of Truth (aka “the scale”) after all my exertions with the patio yesterday and found that I’ve descended to 222 pounds. I’ll probably pop back up to 224 or more as everything settles, but I can’t blame it on water loss. I must’ve downed a 12-pack of diet Snapples during the course of the day’s work.

There are two episodes I can specifically remember weighing in the immediate vicinity of 222 pounds — both a heck of a long time ago. One was in the fall of 1984 when I was knee deep in my yuppie craze and weighing myself religiously after every workout at what was then the Nautilus Aerobics Plus healthclub on Ventura in Studio City. The last time was in 1990 and I was a full-throttle Sparkletts Man, the very nature of the job being a daily rigorous workout with the 40-plus pound water bottles.

There were too many times in my life where I never expected to be this “slim” again. And once I hit 216 I will be at the lowest weight I’ve been in my adult life. Perhaps that milestone will arrive in time for my birthday climb with Susan to the top of Death Valley’s 11,049-foot Telescope Peak over Memorial Day weekend. Once we attain the summit, I’ll simultaneously be the smallest and tallest I’ve ever been.

Long Day

I’ll keep it simple… mostly.  With the new streamlined computer came the need to streamline the workspace. In a nutshell, that meant losing not only the old eMac, but the PowerMac 7600 that I kept around just for old time’s sake. That also meant getting rid of the improvised desk that was basically a slab of wood (the top of a desk whose legs had long since broken) sitting somewhat precariously upon a computer workstation, a relic given to me by Jim Laris who was the publisher of the Pasadena Weekly for whom I worked until he sold it to the Times.

Anyway, I started early installing the set of desk legs I got from IKEA yesterday and then an under-desk keyboard drawer, and only finished the long day a couple hours ago.

Here’s the before at 8 a.m. and the after at 6:30 p.m.:



Do you know it’s been almost five years since I’ve had an actual space to extend my legs? Heaven! Even with all those wires dangling down there.

And the new computer is a blast. A firewire cable between the eMac and the iMac was all I needed to transfer everything from one to the other. That alone saved me four or five hours spent rounding up old application install and upgrade discs of yore. Nice.

The first thing I did was go to iTunes and download last week’s missed episode of Lost.  Then I let it gobble up my disc of Felix Mendelssohn and spit out the overture of The Hebrides.