Don’t look now

I was taking a walk the other day along the canals of Venice

admiring the chateaux

and whatnot

when I turned a corner and suddenly spied an unusual building.

Unusual and a bit… sinister?

Yes, definitely a bit sinister.

I decided I should probably turn around the way I came, but just then a flash appeared and something that looked an awful lot like an archangel – is that Uriel? Azrael? – alit on the roof, sword aloft.

I tried to run, but things got so dark and strange

that I have no idea how I eventually made my way back to safety. It’s possible that this guy saved me,

but he’s not talking.

Modernisme 90210

I had a little time between work meetings today, and because I’ve always found the fluid designs of Gaudi* to be quite invigorating, I decided to take my lunch break in Barcelona**.

Just amazing to me that he could take something like the exposed roots of a tree situated on a property

and echo it in the lines of the architecture.

With all of the organic elements

one nearly forgets that this is actually a dwelling of some sort.

Until Trash Day, that is.

*much better photos and actual helpful information about The O’Neill House can be found on iamnotastalker.com

**pronounced “bevərli ˈhɪlz”

They’re all dead dogs, Brent

Benny and I went with a couple of friends to the local pet cemetery this weekend. I’m kind of surprised that I never went to this pet cemetery before. Actually, I’ve never been to any pet cemetery before other than a pretty makeshift one on Catalina Island and a micro-cemetery down at the Red Car property. (Re: the latter, I think we had more pet graves in our side yard during the fateful Guinea Pig Plague Year when my brother and I were kids.)

But this one in Calabasas is a proper cemetery, with drooping trees and quiet paths and gentle grassy hills. And it being Los Angeles, there are plenty of famous animals

as well as pets of famous people.

There are people who blame themselves too much for the passing of their non-human friends

and people who maybe need to take some time off from having pets.

There are wordy tributes

and not so wordy tributes.

Funny names

and awesome names

Big guys and small guys.

Pets who were a bit challenging

and pets who were extremely patient.

You might think that the pet cemetery is a depressing place, but there is so much love there that I found it exactly the opposite. If you’re having some trouble these days finding the humanity in people, go find yourself a pet cemetery. Bring along some ghost treats.

Heron go “caw”

I don’t know whether to tell you to turn your sound up or not for this video. If you turn it up enough, you can hear Josh Payne playing music on the banks of the LA River. If you turn it up too much, you can hear the girl on a first date talking about how much Los Angeles is different from Brooklyn. Maybe next time I will bring a more directional microphone.

Whatever you decide to do sound-wise, emulate the herons and try to enjoy some nature this weekend. Remember to keep breathing.

Published in: on September 18, 2020 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I know the dream that you’re dreaming of

It’s been a weird one and certainly more subdued than most, but I hope that wherever you’ve been hunkering down,

you

had a

beautiful,

empowering

and inspiring

Pride Month. Love to you all.

A hug waiting to happen

My friend Mara used to keep a blog consisting of cliches about Los Angeles that she found in random media. I’ve never asked her why she stopped writing it, but I suspect that the task was so monumental that it would have consumed her if she had kept it up.

Even though the blog is dormant, she still shares particularly good examples of this bad writing with friends on social media. And you know what? After I don’t know how many years of people complaining about it, the New York Times is still printing a lot of really shitty writing about LA.

This week they ran a pointless article about how people in LA hug a lot. As a greeting. To back up her thesis, the writer of the article talked to one lifetime Angeleno living in Sherman Oaks (a publicist) and a bunch of people who just moved to LA from angrier cities. There is an obligatory mention of a shaman and jokes about gluten and actors and chakras. People spending all their time in cars? Check. Sunshine, all the sunshine? Check. It’s one of those articles written by someone who thinks that everybody in LA works in the entertainment industry.

I happened to spend some time this weekend riding my bike (yes, in the sunshine) at one of the city’s semi-regular Ciclavia events, the route this time going about six miles down Central Avenue from South Central to the Watts Towers. And once again I have to say jeez o petes, NY Times, the real Los Angeles is an enormous, diverse city and I can’t believe you’re still acting like a throwaway joke from Truman Capote is the reality of our lives here.

Maybe I’m being too sensitive. This guy


may very well be a shaman, and I would have gladly accepted a hug from any of these characters

… actually, I’m still on the fence about the last crew. The birds were good but the bird lady was giving me some real Dennis Woodruff vibes. Anyway, you and your hugging article can suck it, NY Times.

Published in: on February 25, 2020 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Might be a Ministry fan

This front yard might not look unusual to you if you are reading an archived copy of this post in, say, October:

but bear in mind that I took these photos yesterday, April 16th.

Maybe it’s some “Christ rising from the dead” display in honor of Easter on Sunday. My bible knowledge seems to be a little rusty; what part had the giant smiling worm and Pokemon bellsprouts?

 

Curb appeal

Directly across the street from this


I noticed this:


Guys, if you lose a dog, you might want to check around here. It seems to be some sort of canine vortex or something. Be sure to watch your step.

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.

Across the universe

I was minding my own business this weekend when suddenly I found myself in someone’s garden

and I forgot where I was.

Was I in India?


Indonesia?


Grandma Prisbey’s Bottle Village?

Nope. I was at the Haunted Shack Gardens in Pasadena, made by the artist Shrine. And as I usually do in incredibly beautiful places, I got overwhelmed by everything and took terrible photos. I don’t have a single full image of Shrine’s house, which is covered in an elaborate geometric design. No. I got stuck on what the designs were fabricated with:

 
Sorry. That’s how things go with me. If you want to get a better idea of what this amazing place looks like, and what a real artist can do with a bunch of old garden hoses and rusty bottlecaps and old nitrous canisters,


go to Shrine’s Instagram page where he’s posted some good photos of his place and a lot of his other amazing art pieces too.

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