Comfort in the eye of the beholder

Sooooo, since this whole global pandemic thing started, has anyone else gotten a handwritten letter in the mail

telling them that the letter writer wanted to share some comforting thoughts with them? And the comforting thoughts were from the Book of Revelation, a/k/a the real weird part of the Bible about the Apocalypse?

I know I’m not the only one, because Benny and Smoothie’s mom received a similarly addressed when I did, back at the beginning of May. We did not open that letter because when I read mine we got so freaked out that we immediately sealed it in a Ziploc bag and I washed my hands in boiling soapy water for about seven minutes, but I’m assuming it says the same sort of thing.

I finally decided it was safe to open the Ziploc bag again today, so I brought it to Benny to refresh my memory about it and the letter to his mom. He said he heard that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were starting to do this instead of going door to door during COVID-19. That totally makes sense in one way, as the letter and enclosed business card made reference to On the other hand, if Renee here is really so excited about saying au revoir to this wicked world, why is she practicing safe distancing?

I don’t know, Renee. Thanks for the offer but no thanks.

Published in: on June 24, 2020 at 5:14 pm  Comments (3)  
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Soul kitchen

This is a weird bag of trash to leave on the sidewalk. What’s it all about – squabble about dinner chores? Healthy choices fatigue?

Oh wait. There’s a sign.

Okay, it’s a memorial of some sort. A real kitchen rat, or has someone destroyed a copy of Ratatouille after too many quarantine viewings and now they’re feeling guilty?

Published in: on May 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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The riddle of the 2 Freeway

I’ve been looking at this piece of graffiti near my house that’s on a bridge over the Glendale Freeway. At first I assumed it was a dog and shouted, “Aw, look at that guy!”

But the more I’ve looked at it, the more I’m convinced it’s a rendition of this guy:

Has a math-loving pharaoh moved into the neighborhood? Freemasons? Is the freeway really a Hall of Records for ancient Atlantis?

It’s probably a dog.

(UPDATE – Saturday, November 23rd)

It is the Sphinx! It is! Someone helpfully added the Great Pyramid of Giza to clarify:

Sticken the thonge out

A friend of mine who directs horror movies found this flyer the other day near his home around Griffith Park:

It’s too perfect, right? It can’t be real, can it? But it’s also too perfect to not be real. I don’t know what’s going on.

I also just realized that I know of at least one other horror movie director who lives in the general vicinity of this flyer. Is this some sort of new screenwriting pitch technique? YOWHOO!

Published in: on July 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm  Comments (4)  
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Otto Homme

All week I have seen this van parked outside of the Lycée International of Los Angeles.

I’m not sure if this belongs to the music teacher or the school bus driver, but either way I think this must be an awesome school to go to.

Oh hey! Turns out the school has a few reviews online. Amani doesn’t say anything about the van, but: “I have been coming to this school since preK and I am in 6th grade this is the best school ever. There are a lot of friendly people and if you think of sending your child to this school it is a great idea. Bye.”


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.


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:


the alarm clock:


the mysterious acronym enthusiast:


the mainstream Facebook president with driving core values:


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


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


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


a beautiful video game unicorn:


and the guy I’m probably voting for:


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.

IMG_6791 IMG_6793

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

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


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

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.

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

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

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.

One of my favorite misspellings outside a bar in Keokuk.

A mysterious kingdom in Tennessee.

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

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

Miss Ann’s, which shared a parking lot with

these braggarts.

I saw this after I bought some nose spray someplace.

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.

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.


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.

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

And then some random New Orleans things.




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.

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