Mælk, melk

My friend Tori and I went to check out the wildflowers on Monday and for some reason wound up taking a detour around Lake Elsinore. I’d never been to Lake Elsinore before, and I found it kind of scary and kind of magical. We did not find Prince Hamlet nor any lake monsters but did come across an abandoned military academy that Bela Lugosi’s son attended:

and a lot of “Don’t Worry About The Dog, Beware Of Owner” signs. The strange part came when I suddenly needed to hear the “Milk Crisis” song from Sesame Street that another friend had recently shared with me. I dialed up the clip on YouTube,

we started singing along, and before we knew it, a dairy farm appeared:

It was a Dutch dairy and not a Danish dairy, but it was still rather remarkable. Lake Elsinore, what other mysteries do you contain?

Point well taken

I drove by what is probably my favorite liquor store sign today and thought about trying to take another picture of it, but I was late for an appointment. I always take rotten photos of this sign for some reason, and I would really like to have a nice photo of it someday. When I don’t stop to make another photo attempt, it’s because it’s too hard to park there, or the light seems bad, or whatever. And I already missed getting a photo of it before it got a big hole in it.

When I was leaving my appointment, I heard the news that the Melrose Witch (a/k/a Lava Lady, a/k/a Wellington Witch, etc.) had died. I drove by the liquor store sign, took a few more rotten photos, got home and bumped up the color on the photo as far as it would go, and now I’m posting it in honor of the passing of a most unique lady.

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RIP, Ray Suzan Strauss. You were one of the first things I liked about Los Angeles.

 

UPDATE: More links about Suzan Strauss here and here (I’m being informed that my hyperlink color is too close to my regular text color, so you might have missed one of these above)

Your vote counts, but has to use its fingers

Don’t worry; I’m not going to talk about the US presidential race. I could barely handle all the “fuck you”s that my unflattering Jollibee post engendered years ago, so there’s no way I’m going to take on something as obviously volatile as this year’s contest for the Oval Office. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to shine a light on some candidates for the US Senate that my fine state of California has on its ballot this year. If you’re like me, you know that these lower-ticket races are just as important as the big one, but there aren’t any Facebook memes about these candidates so you actually have to do a little homework to know who to vote for.

The big thing to know is that there are 34 aspirants vying for one seat. That is a pretty big field to get through. Thankfully, thirteen of those candidates couldn’t handle submitting candidate statements, so I will eliminate those guys right off the bat. As for the remaining 21, I am happy to say that the spectrum of opinions presented is wide indeed. Here are some of my favorites.

There’s the 70-year-old Eagle Scout:

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the alarm clock:

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the mysterious acronym enthusiast:

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the mainstream Facebook president with driving core values:

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the Christian who actually seems to embody good, decent values and somehow that’s very confusing to me in this day and age:

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the … okay, this guy can go suck it with his Andrew Jackson nonsense:

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the only candidate willing to speak up about mind control slavery (tl;dr: she is against it):

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a beautiful video game unicorn:

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and the guy I’m probably voting for:

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So many different voices, almost too many choices! It’s such a breath of fresh air, isn’t it? I’m sure I’ll find someone who speaks for me. And you 13 who couldn’t turn in a statement? Try harder next time.

You can click on any photo to enlarge the image for ease of reading, or don’t. It doesn’t really matter.

 

Insert Dorothy Parker joke about horticulture here

Up on a hill above Santa Barbara, amongst the blue dicks and the golden shower tree and the other plants that might make you giggle, there is a crumbling house covered in medallions honoring thinkers and artists and scandalous women. Also a house or two. It’s not entirely clear what all these things have in common, but it feels like there is some sort of connection. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s a bit of mystery.

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William Harvey, another William Harvey, King Philip, Kate Dickinson Sweetser, Leonard Robbins, Will Durant, Captain Thomas Abbey, the “Tent of Mars,” Peter Ochremenko, Violet Oakley, Vuchinich, Nan Britton, George Record, William Jennings Bryan, Emma Goldman, a prairie schooner, William Penn, Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecroft.

Any ideas?

 

Post-trip script

As usual, there were a few photos from our trip that didn’t fit neatly into other posts. I’m starting to feel like the person who shares way too many vacation slides after inviting friends over to dinner; I’ll understand if you slip away before dessert.

Three blues brothers in Rock Island, Illinois waiting

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for a breakfast place to open. They will be waiting for a long time.

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Jack.

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An excellent D & D-themed park in Carbondale, Illinois. More photos starting here.

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A future water tower from the past when they had better aesthetics for the future. We stayed in a cabin close by and I got menaced by a gang of raccoons when I tried to take a photo of them raiding the dumpster.

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An elephant’s grave in Oquawka. A rather sad tale.

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An otherwise rather boring mall in Hazelwood, Missouri. I was expecting more from the area labeled “Circus Of Fire.” More photos starting here.

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One of many lies in Hannibal, Missouri. A place that seems to be rebranding itself as the Steampunk Capital of the US. I’m not sure what that is about unless it has something to do with that Rush song.

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One of my favorite misspellings outside a bar in Keokuk.

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A mysterious kingdom in Tennessee.

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A sign in Memphis that I would have liked to have seen at night.

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Lisa Marie’s toy, which I hope has good memories attached to it.

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Miss Ann’s, which shared a parking lot with

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these braggarts.

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I saw this after I bought some nose spray someplace.

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The Frog Farm was an excellent place; we bought a small wooden alligator from the artist Louise Cadney Coleman. I wanted to buy an enormous driftwood peacock but couldn’t figure out how I was going to get that back home. More photos starting here.

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The Britney Spears Museum in Kentwood, Louisiana seems to be closed but there is a pretty neat ghostly mural on the wall of the video bingo place.

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ghost

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I kept wanting to get my hair cut and maybe fashioned into a fancy ‘do at various places on the road, but I kept chickening out. I would have gone here but it was closed.

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Abita Mystery House, which really must be seen to be appreciated fully. More photos starting here.

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And then some random New Orleans things.

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margeThere was a lot more. Cats and canoes, tiaras and MG conventions, miserable food at a diner where they kept trying to get us to go to the place next door instead, a delicious bag of apples. Maybe you should do this trip yourself some time.

To be saved for future use

Hey – look what I saw today:

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Somebody was throwing it away.

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Well, technically that’s the recycling bin, but that time machine is still being discarded. Why would somebody throw away a time machine? Didn’t it work? Did it work too well? What do you make from a recycled time machine?

Published in: on April 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Soft serve pastoral

Benny and I visited our friends Peter and Sally this weekend in the Valley. We don’t see them enough, and so I’m sure we overstayed our welcome (we actually invited ourselves over), but they were very gracious as they always are and insisted that we stay until the ice cream man came by.

The sun went down, we had eaten as many hot dogs and slices of grilling cheese as we could possibly cram into our stomachs, and still there was no ice cream man. “He comes at night,” Sally explained. Hm. “It’s soft serve!” Okay. We would have to see this ice cream man with his mysterious night-time soft serve.

Some time after 7 pm, we were playing dice games in the backyard when Peter and Sally’s heads shot up. “The ice cream man!” They sprinted toward the back gate that opened onto an alley. Benny and I heard nothing. No tinkling music, no slowly choogling motor, nothing.

Peter climbed halfway over the gate and started waving desperately. A van sped by. Peter waved more broadly as Sally shouted. “It’s okay, he’ll come around again.” Either the first time or the second time around (he was going really fast), the van driver finally stopped well past the gate and backed up to us. Peter managed to get the gate open. And that is where we saw this ice cream truck.

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There was something otherworldly about this truck, there was no denying it. The extensive menu including full dinner selections, the night-time silent speeding through alleyways – this was some secret and precious thing. Secret and precious even without a pastoral scene on the side panel of children swimming and playing

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and enjoying ice cream and Cheetos

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but of course this truck had that too. And yes, the soft serve was amazing.

Maybe this was all just a dream. If it was, thanks for the dream, Peter and Sally.

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Driving around today, I saw a license plate holder that was supposed to say “Failure Is Not An Option” but it was broken so it only said “Failure Is Not,” and then I saw a bumper sticker that was supposed to say “There Is No Excuse For Elder Abuse” but it was faded so it only said “There Is No Excuse.” For a while I thought the cosmos were trying to tell me something about cowardice or laziness or the importance of carpe dieming, and then when I was almost home I saw these mattresses:

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Hm. Now I’m quite confused.

 

 

To Make a Dadaist Banana Slicer

There are some commenters on Amazon that seem to be paid by the word for writing reviews of mundane objects. There are some who seem genuinely desirous of helping one’s fellow man in the search for the perfect bucket. Some seem bored. And then there is Amazon commenter GoldWave.

I feel like I know a lot about GoldWave (she has an elderly cat, suffers from toenail issues, enjoys snacking while doing household renovations), but I don’t know why she has written 463 reviews about such items as apple pectin for pets, Q-Tips and The Communist Manifesto. The closest I can figure is she is providing material for cut-up technique writers. All right, then. Let me take a crack at using what she has provided.

Whiplash Salvation! It’s all about a bunch of nobody jerks. How good is canned spinach going to be? My fingernails will even go right through these bags, and then I decided to try this turkey version. I had become jaded by nail cutters over the years. They weren’t at all bad, just not as crispy. Okay I am not using it for potato chips. However, out of necessity, I’ve also learned to settle, depending on where I (or my finances) happen to be. If you have a cat that has gotten to that “only wants to eat sauce” stage, you might want to try this product, since it is by far the sauciest I’ve found. It has a peculiar mincemeat flavor. I adore spices like cinnamon, and I’m an adventurous eater with exposure to many varied types of cuisine. I’m not using the pepper one as I grind pepper fresh but will probably start using it for cinnamon. The cartons look deceptively small but each one produces a large skillet full of hashed browns. My only problem is that it is HUGE and I have small hands, so using this is going to be a little more of an effort than I originally envisioned. I have small hands, but not like freakishly small. Oh well; I guess my complaints are sort of irrelevant, since this is what this is.

Hm. Nope. The original full-length reviews are much better. Why is she doing this?

Thanks (I think) to winna on Metafilter

 

A different Fern Dell ghost

I observed this

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while on a nature walk in Los Feliz this afternoon. So many possible interpretations; it’s like a Rorshach test. What do you think?

 

Published in: on February 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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