Crypto current sea

Aw, man. The LA River sucks. I can’t even believe they call it a river. Dumb concrete channel doesn’t even get wet unless it rains, which it never does. I mean, how can it be a river if people can race cars on it? How can it be a river if people film WWI battleground scenes and giant mutant ant attacks in it? Can people ride a boat on it? Can they fish? Is there even any wildlife that lives there? Why do they even bother having bridges over it?

Wait.

What’s that?

Fine. Maybe the LA River doesn’t totally suck.

Thanks for all of your magic, SC Mero!

Leave Gome alone

Alan Wagner lives in a much more interesting neighborhood than I do.

I’m so glad I’m getting my first vaccine shot tomorrow, and I’m so glad I don’t have a lawn.

Published in: on March 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The host with the most

The other older gentleman besides Jacques Pépin that is keeping me cool and calm during this global case of the sniffles that has wiped out over three-quarters of a million people on the planet (so far) is someone Benny found while looking for some YouTube crafting videos. Like Monsieur Pépin, this fellow has a smooth voice, he’s very open to letting you experiment with the techniques he demonstrates, and he seems to like young children. Folks, if you haven’t met him already, I’d like to introduce you to The CrafsMan.

He may have other things in common with our friendly chef from Lyon, but it’s hard to tell for sure because The CrafsMan is a man of mystery. I believe he lives somewhere in Louisiana, and he is married to a lovely woman, and he may or may not still have a regular day job of some sort. Other than that, he’s an enigma. A smooth, yet fuzzy, enigma.

There also seems to be no end to his interests and expertise. Do you want to learn how to:

? The CrafsMan has got you covered. If for some reason watching someone make cool crafts makes you feel pressured and inadequate, you can just listen to The CrafsMan talk about some of his favorite things. If all you really need is some ASMR to calm down and The CrafsMan’s normal videos make you laugh too much, heck, he’ll read you some Frog And Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. Eventually, you’re probably going to find yourself imitating The CrafsMan. It’s okay. Lots of other people do it too, and he doesn’t seem to mind.

I don’t know how we’d ever get to meet him in real life, but that would be such a neat thing. I imagine him coming over to Benny’s workshop and examining all of the boxes and drawers and things, and they could talk about different kinds of tape and rubber hams and maybe the baby skunks would come out to meet him, and … oh mercy. I need to calm down. CrafsMan, if you ever read this, know that you have a place to stay in LA when things get safe again. In the meantime, keep on steady craftin’.

Ship shape

Benny and I are going to try to make a boat this week, so now seems as good a time as any to share some additional information a friend found recently about the building shaped like a boat in our part of town. It’s not, as I previously thought, associated with anything Disney, but rather a former broadcasting center for a Christian musical show with a nautical theme – The Haven Of Rest. Maybe I could have gathered this from the fact that there was another building close by that was labelled “Haven Of Rest,” but I had always figured that place to be a mortuary.

Both buildings are currently being encroached upon by condo development, but the boat house seems safe from the wrecking ball as it’s on the list of Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monuments. You can catch it starting at 13:44 in this video, but watch the whole thing if you like four-part harmony and folding machines. Anchors aweigh, my friends.

Randyland, Randyland

There’s a place called Randyland that is very close to where I live. It’s one of those places where you can’t take a proper photo of it. Well, maybe you can. I can’t. And of course I tried.


These were taken around 3:30-4 pm at the end of December. Randy of Randyland told us that it looks different at different times of the year, from different vantage points and of course at different parts of the day.


Same time, same time of year. That’s Randy in the lower left corner. I still can’t get a decent photo of this thing. It’s huge. Those are not 12-ounce bottles up there. The thing in the middle of that eye up there is a glass vessel the size and shape of a human head.


Right now the whole thing is kind of a Virgin de Guadalupe with a huge eye next to it, but Randy noted that it’s always changing. It’s been about 17 different things in the past 20 years.


Ugh. My photos. So inadequate. Go here and here for better pictures and a better sense of scale, preferably while listening to “Happyland” by Harpers Bizarre (written by Randy Newman). Then keep an eye out for a scheduled tour, or bug Randy yourself for a private showing. It’s viewable from the street, but so much better when you can see the thousand bottled little suns from their proper vantage point.

And the rest, 2017 edition

From my last two posts whooping and hollering about the amazingness of some different lands that we visited, you might get the impression that I don’t appreciate the USA. That would be wrong. I love a place that has this merry-go-round sign for a Chinese restaurant

and this giant polar bear casino

and this crazy pastime

and this sign

and this fish ladder

and so much more that there’s no way I can include even just the best stuff from a four-state road trip in one post. I love you, USA. This isn’t a popularity contest. Chill out.

For those about to rock, please place $6 in the donation box

The Republic of Molossia was not the only magical land Benny and I traveled to last week. We also visited the monuments and islands of the Petersen Rock Garden near Bend, Oregon. I was excited to go there, but the photos I saw prior to our visit really didn’t prepare me for the scope of the place. Maybe my pictures won’t do it justice either.

This place was built by a Danish immigrant in 1935 or so using unusual rocks that he had collected from around the general area. I’m not sure if he meant for the place to be a land unto itself, but it sure seems like it. There are miniature houses

of varying levels of grandeur,

a patriotic monument

or two

and even a separate island area guarded by a lighthouse

and some peafowl.


There was a cat who was trying to give us a tour, I guess,

and a chicken who was being rather show-offy about being able to walk around the moated mansion that had been roped off from us humans with caution tape


(actually, there were a lot of chickens – a lot),

but no other humans anywhere. At least none that were willing to come out and talk to us.

It’s too bad the museum was closed because I hear that inside there are little castles made out of rocks that glow in the dark. Oh well. Maybe next time.

I hope there is a next time, actually. There seems to be a lot of controversy about this place lately, around who is running the place and whether they’re greedy creeps or good stewards who are just overwhelmed by regulations and the enormity of maintaining the place. The garden keeps closing and being saved and closing again.

It’s open now, albeit in a bit of a state of disrepair. And as with all things, the future is unclear so if you want to see this place I would suggest you make a trip there soon.

The Marks of maturity

I’m back at work on a research project, and somehow found myself looking at a lot of “Daisy Bell” videos on YouTube this morning. If you are asking, “What is ‘Daisy Bell’?” I’m not going to make fun of you, because it’s a rather obscure title for what I thought was a pretty well-known song.

If I tell you, “It’s ‘Bicycle Built For Two’,” and you still look at me uncomprehendingly, I still will not make fun of you. If I go on to tell you, “It’s the song HAL 9000 sings in ‘2001’,” and nothing yet registers, I still will not make fun of you.

I hope you are not a young person with a beard who is sitting there with that bewildered expression, however. Because if you have a beard, I will think you are older than you actually are, and when I show you this video and you ask me, “Why is that potato wearing that hat?” I will make fun of you. I know it’s not fair, but that’s what I’m going to do. You look old enough to know better.

Watch. Crystals

Once upon a time I was in a band with some pretty magical creatures. This weekend I had the good fortune to hang out with two of those magical creatures. Would you like to hear about it? Of course you would.

Julie and Elana and I drove around in a really sexy red spaceship car and played with awesome dogs and lolled about in pools of varying temperatures, and we talked and talked and talked. It was such a fantastic weekend. You need to have a weekend like this. If I had my own planet, everybody on the planet would get to have at least one weekend like this. Not too many, lest it not be properly appreciated, but at least one.

It would have been a great weekend even without the Crystal Cave. But we were at this swap meet and Julie said something about a crystal cave being there right in the middle of the swap meet, and well, what would you do if you heard that there was a crystal cave in the middle of the swap meet?

img_7793

bobcrystalcave

We found it and went in, of course. That guy with the tooth is Bob, and he made the thing. Twice. You can read more about it and see more pictures here. As you can tell from our faces, it was not a disappointment. After we got out of the cave, Bob even let us go in his sooper sekrit light show room. I’m not going to post photos of that because… well, it was sooper sekrit and you should try to go see all of this on your own if you can.

So now I’m back in real life, but I’m still happy because that whole weekend wasn’t a dream and all these people and things really exist in the world, at least for the time being. As we were leaving, Bob told us, “Share the joy!” and so I’m doing my best. Have a good week, everyone.

Top photo and video by me; bottom photo by Elana Scherr

Grars and hypes forever

I finally got to vote in the presidential primary today, and boy, am I exhausted. How much longer until November? I don’t know if I can stand it.

One good thing about this election cycle, though, is I got this great t-shirt:

IMG_7407

Of course I got food stains on it four hours after I took this photo this morning, but seeing as the shirt was designed by Mr. Let’s Paint, a man known for painting while riding a bicycle while making smoothies*, maybe those stains are meant to be there.

If you want your own great election shirt, greeting card, shower curtain or baby onesie, you can go here to order one and customize colors, sizes, and so on. I’m not getting paid to shill these; I just think this design is a pretty good depiction of this year’s democracy in action. USA!

*Also painting while running on a treadmill while playing chesspainting while shaving while riding a bikepainting while running on a treadmill while interviewing Eric Andre while baking cookies, etc.
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