The treachery of images

We have a new cleaning crew for our office this week. I don’t know why we have such a problem getting a decent cleaning crew, but we do. With the last crew, one morning I found a used coke straw on the toilet paper dispenser in the restroom. Another time I found a big unflushed turd. Maybe they had nothing to do with either incident, but there was just something suspect about that gang.

One crew after another gets fired for knocking over plants or rearranging papers on peoples’ desks or stealing random crap. I myself find that kind of activity funny in a corporate sabotage sort of way, but I don’t think that’s the perpetrators’ intention. It seems more due to apathy than a “stick it to the Man” attitude.

I think if I worked for a cleaning service I’d try to get work cleaning offices rather than deal with peoples’ houses. There’s just way less fungus, less pubic hair, and less pet barf in an office. At least my office.

So anyway, here’s what the new cleaning crew has to say:


Whatever, Magritte. Just try to remember to empty my paper shredder tonight, okay?

Published in: on March 19, 2008 at 11:18 am  Comments (2)  
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The Fern Dell ghost

At about 9:45 most weekday mornings, I see this guy either walking or riding a bike on the north side of Los Feliz Boulevard between Fern Dell Drive and Hobart. I guess I notice him because he’s so cool looking; and by “cool,” I don’t mean “neat,” I mean cool. He’s in his ’60s or ’70s, and he’s always wearing an old baseball cap, red Converse high tops and what I guess you would call dungarees that are cuffed at the bottom. He never wears a shirt, and he has this really sunburned barrel chest.

I love this guy. He looks like an old rich artist who likes to pretend he’s a merchant marine. He looks like he could beat the crap out of Norman Mailer. I know Norman Mailer is dead, but this guy could have beaten the crap out of Living Norman Mailer. You know what I mean. It makes me so happy to see him that he more than makes up for the terrible new mommy aerobics club that hangs out in that part of Griffith Park (more on them later).

So anyway, on my way to work this morning, I decided to take a photo of him. Look what I got:

Nothing. He’s not there.* Is he a ghost? Wait, I think you can take photos of ghosts. Is he a vampire? He doesn’t seem like a vampire. He’s a ghost if he’s not real. And he might be too cool to be real. I will try to find out more.


Carol Channing is alive and well…


… and a total klepto when she’s been drinking. Here she is over the weekend, trying to steal my friend Sabrina’s purse:


So sad.

Published in: on March 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy Flatulence Day

Face it – St. Patrick’s Day is one of our stupider modern holidays. It started as a celebration of a non-canonized “saint” driving the snakes out of Ireland in the 5th century, even though it’s commonly agreed upon that there were no actual snakes in Ireland at that time.

Okay; no matter. Now it’s just a celebration of Irish culture and heritage. We celebrate it by wearing green, putting an “O'” before everything we say, eating corned beef and cabbage, and drinking beer until we puke. For some reason, none of this is considered offensive. The beer drinking part, in fact, is so ingrained into the holiday that I strongly suspect this story today in the UK Daily Mail about beer being better for your brain than wine was planted by some enterprising Guinness flack:

The study compared brain scans from diagnosed alcoholics with those from healthy adults.

In non-alcoholics the hippocampus was 3.85ml.

In beer drinkers it was 3.4ml, in spirit drinkers 2.9ml and for wine drinkers it was the smallest, just 2.8ml.

The hippocampus is located deep within the brain’s temporal lobes and is also one of the first areas of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory, navigation and spatial awareness can all be affected, and it can also cause feelings of disorientation.

I think the folks at Charles Shaw should work on a counter-attack for Bastille Day, or at least the day this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau comes out. Both of those events are so far away, though, that they’ll probably forget about it by then.

In the meantime, I’m going to look for more evidence about this idea that beer is good for you, investigate Pepto Bismol stock options, and enjoy this clip of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra playing a beer jingle by blowing on bottles:

On notebooks


I’ve written in notebooks for some years, even though I’m not very disciplined about writing in them regularly. I write down fake band names, dreams, good slogans, books and movies to checks out, excerpts from stories that will never be written, and mysterious lists.

I’m looking at this one list right now from a notebook I had about ten years ago, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s referring to:



August Who Would Not Have Any Soup

Jimmy Sliderlegs

Little All-Aloney

Slovenly Betsy

Envious Minny

Frank, The Liar

Heedless Hugo

Slovenly Peter

The Cry Baby

I wish I knew what it was about.

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Storefront art – the appropriate pig


I’ve written online about storefront art before, but in case those previous posts disappear, I’ll give you a brief summary: storefront art is a picture painted on a window or wall of a store that transcends its original purpose of selling more tires or carpet or gyros. It is a legitimate work of art.

I’ve been told that Los Angeles storefront art has the most prosaic subject matter in the country, and that you won’t find paintings of bleach bottles on storefronts in other cities. I will have to explore this further. I do know that we have some very mysterious examples of this art in LA; some pieces provide us with absolutely no information as to what is going on inside a particular place of business, and others are pure surrealism.

I picked today’s example because it is the rare example of a store mascot reacting appropriately to the store’s business: here we have a meat market, and the pig on the outside looks worried. Good reaction, pig. I’ve never understood pigs eating ham sandwiches or fish begging for the sweet peace that only a spring water-filled can can bring. Any animal that dumb deserves to be eaten. But this pig here is clearly imploring me not to make him into a BLT. That’s some pig.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fancy notions #1

After too many years of letting my brain lie fallow, I decided to start a bjournal (blog’s such an ugly word) in an effort to get writing again. And that’s where you are – at my bjournal. Howdy!
Initially, I will probably be focused on a couple of topics like store front art and etiquette/superstition (more on those later), but I doubt I will be able to stay focused on a couple of topics so eventually this is going to go all over the place. However, I realize that I need some sort of unifying theme here. So that’s where the idea of fancy notions comes in.
For purposes of these posts identified as such, I’m using the “ornamental, decorative” definition of fancy, and the “small articles such as button, thread, ribbons, etc.” definition of notions. And I will focus on some fancy notions in my possession that I have yet to do something with. If you can think of something I can do with them, please let me know in the comments section. If you can do something with the featured notions, and think you’re really going to do it, write me an email. If I think you’re serious, we can make some sort of deal and I’ll send you the notions.
Today’s notions are two buttons and about 39 inches worth of yellow pom pom rickrack. The pom poms are about 1/2 inch in diameter, smaller than your average pom pom, I guess. There is something funny going on with the shank for the margarita button, so you would have to fix that or use it for something that doesn’t need a shank.
Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 10:39 am  Comments (1)  


Published in: on March 14, 2008 at 5:23 pm  Comments (1)  
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