Friday, December 30, 2005
Quote of the day: There is no end, there is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.
- Federico Fellini
Lyric of the Day: I hope you know more than you believe in.
Recipe of the Day: Tuna fish with mayo and mustard and chopped onions on pasta.
- James Beard
Monday, December 26, 2005
Now its time for some re-heated pesto lasagna...
Finally, after two hundred pages, "Will In The World" is beginning to show signs of life. Shakespeare is now in London (which sounds a lot like East Hollywood) and he's fallen in Christopher Marlowe and Robert Greene, the supposed model for Falstaff, as well as various other playwrights, all of whom seemed to have ignored the hick from Stratford.
Like I said, just so you know....
Saturday, December 24, 2005
But I'm looking forward to tonight. An organization called Food On Foot will be passing out sandwiches on Hollywood Blvd. until midnight. I'm tempted to take photos but that might be a bit intrusive.
[I guess my idea now is to keep coming back to this entry during the course of the day to give a little cross-section of Christmas Eve 2005.]
What is it about John Wayne that prompted AMC to have a day-long John Wayne festival on Christmas Eve?
A few days ago I saw a recipe for pesto lasagna. How hard can that be?
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Now its time to wrap and mail Christmas packages. [Can I say "Christmas" on the J-Weed? Yes, I can.]
*I kept forgetting to adjust the setting from "close-up".
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
An overall sense of pre-Christmas anxiety this afternoon made me decide to stop everything for a few hours. From two until six - no television, no music and no computer. Any other activity would be allowed as long as it was quiet and given my full attention. In no particular order I read Friday's New York Times, last week's New York Observer, the current issue of Sun magazine, subscribed to a year of Sun, shaved, wrote and mailed several Christmas cards (if you're reading The J-Weed on a regular basis, you're probably going to be getting one by the end of the week), exercised (see part 4 of my November 25th entry), watered my carrots and parsnips (both coming along nicely), walked to the super market, tried to take close-up photographs of flowers in the neighborhood (unsuccessful), did two loads of laundry, threw several pieces of chicken with a new BBQ sauce ("Sweet Uncle Rays") into the slow cooker, read some of "Hand Carved Coffins" by Truman Capote, took out the trash, changed the kitty litter, drank green tea, vacuumed and exercised some more.
Actually, the momentum of it all carried me way past six and left me feeling calm and with quite a lot of satisfaction about getting it all done.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
"Was that you, crying in the ambulance?"
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
But the good news is that I'm now watching Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye." Forty three minutes into it, I can find nothing wrong with it
Sunday, December 04, 2005
By the way, if you ever want to feel like Jack Lemmon, especially in his early Sixties -"The Apartment" phase - go the supermarket on a Sunday night, put four frozen dinners in your cart and and then walk up and down the aisles for a while.
And now, I too, have a cricket in my sink.
I'm almost finished with "Assassins' Gate" and the story just never improves. The contrast between the integrity and sacrifice of the soldiers along with the Iraqi people against the incompetence of the politicians is truly disturbing.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
And we were the only ones there.
Off to the side there was an LAPD K9 unit training German Shepherds to attack heavily bundled figures, savagely clamping down on their arms and sometimes succeeding in dragging them to the ground.
As I recall, we lit our candles, there may have been a few others burning as well a some bouquets from others who didn't stay, but the anniversary of the man whose death had just as much political and social impact as his brother's, was clearly a non-event.
Then a policeman walked by with a bucket and a hose. A cat had crawled into the engine of his squad car and he had to hose out the remains.
Friday, November 25, 2005
1.) "Scarface". I've never seen it but its on Bravo right now...chainsaw scene...a bit hard to take. Let's go with "Napoleon Dynamite", especially after an afternoon of reading "Assassin's Gate." If there was any serious commitment to the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq, George Packard (who described himself as formerly being pro-war) did not see it in any of his trips there.
2.) I was up taking photos early this morning and saw a lost dog wandering in the middle of the intersection of Doheny and Santa Monica Blvd. Wait - that was no dog - that was a coyote. I tried to get a photo but it went trotting off to the west in the eastbound lane of Santa Monica Blvd. So I turned around and took the above photo. (Does it look familiar?)
3.) Buy a mason jar, buy cheesecloth and buy a selection of seeds - alfalfa, mung, lentil and wheatberry. Soak them overnight, drain them and seal them in the mason jar with the cloth. Keep them in the dark. Rinse them twice a day. In about 72 hours you'll have something edible and oh-so healthy. [But don't get the wrong idea. Right now I've got more chicken in the slow cooker with more BBQ sauce and apricot preserves mixed in. ]
4.) Lay on your back on the floor. Hold an 8 lb. handweight in each hand, arms stretched above your head. Lift the weights up off the floor. You'll feel your stomach muscles working and this is not a bad thing.
5.) "Napoleon Dynamite" - I can see why it was so popular. The ending, beginning with Napoleon's dance, was so upbeat, almost sweet, and preceding it was a 'Wes Anderson in the Midwest and on a very low budget' story. For some strange reason it's left me with the desire to see "Raising Arizona."
6.) Prior to the war, the White House estimated that $2.5 billion would be needed to rebuild Iraq's infrastucture. Today, it is past the $200 billion mark.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
In some respects, it hasn't been a great day. I stayed home from work with what may or may not turn out to be the first cold of the season. The hot water heater broke before I could take a shower. Early into nap #1 repairmen came to tear off the building's old gutters and put new ones into their place. I asked them (politely) if they would use rubber hammers but was repeatedly ignored. Lousy movies all day on TMC. However, between nap #2 and nap #3 I did venture out into the beautiful California weather to take some photos.
Identify the location of the above photo
and a shiny new dime can be yours!
There's other good news as well. Tonight I cooked some delicious BBQ chicken in my slow cooker. Adding apricot preserves to the sauce was a good move. Early tomorrow morning I intend to go Lake Hollywood to take some more photos. Later in the afternoon the Netflix people tell me I will be receiving "Napoleon Dynamite", a movie I've never seen but am looking forward to.
And let's not forget what Thich Nhat Hanh says:
Life is precious as it is.
All the elements
for your happiness
are already here.
There is no need
to run, to strive, search or struggle.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Los Angeles should be proud that Arlington West is here.
You never know where your next blog entry will come from.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
_x_ plant carrots
_x_ laundry and vacuum
_x_ read John Ashbery article in New Yorker
__ post office
__ figure out this damn cell phone
Okay, now I've got about 80 Danver Half Long carrot seeds planted on the roof. They should sprout within 3 weeks (around Thanksgiving; mark your calendars) and be ready to eat in 60 to 80 days. It feels good to be planting something again.
For tomorrow, roasted chicken with maple syrup and sweet potatoes.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Did I forget to mention that John Houston is another director that makes better movies than Hitchcock?Are any of Hitchcock's characters in any of his movies as vivid as what I'm now seeing in "The Asphalt Jungle"? Twenty minutes into it and everyone is stepping into or out of the shadows and ready to betray everyone else to get the girl, to get the jewels or, in Sterling Hayden's case, to get back home to Kentucky. Next time you're tired of watching a blond-woman-in-distress movie, watch this movie if only for the cinematography.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
(What in the world is the movie that's now playing on Turner Classic Movies? Its got Bob Cummings as an escaped convict with a Betty Grable/Ginger Rogers-type love interest. Its set in the southwest with a blind hermit who plays classical piano, a busload of circus freaks who protect him, communist sabotuers and that's just in the first half hour. )
Anyway, this was the afternoon of the World's Longest Hearse Procession at the Petersen Automotive Museum. More than 70 hearses ranging from the above 1947 Cadillac immaculately restored, to many vehicles who used the procession as a forum for their various Gothic sensibilities, none of which I understood until the procession was over and the live music by The Ghastly Ones started to play their strange mix of Surfer Goth. With an Elvira look-a-like dancing with Frankenstein, and the original Vampira off to the side signing autographs, all on the top floor of the museum's parking structure on Wilshire Blvd., I realized this was about having fun. (Sometimes I'm slow, real slow.)
...and now I've learned that the movie is "Sabotuer " by Alfred Hitchcock, a director who [brace yourself] bores me. Unlike Billy Wilder, John Ford or Howard Hawks, his characters seem thin and his plots contrived. I could sit down right now and watch "The Seven Year Itch", "My Darling Clementine" or "Only Angels Have Wings" for their secondary characters alone. Whereas "Vertigo" seems preposterous, every frame of "Rear Window" is clearly shot on a studio lot and "North By Northwest" is interesting if you don't mind villians who belong in comic books.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Am I the only one who can't wait until the Special Prosecutor releases his indictments? Is a Cheney-Rove-Libby trifecta too much to hope for?
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
As far as I can tell, there's no reason not to drink apple cider vinegar. Even tho there's nothing definitive from the FDA, and probably never will be, its said to be potent detoxifier as well as rich in potassium. But most of all, the cleansing properties of apple cider vinegar will ward off kidney stones, which means I should drink the stuff by the gallon.
And then there's bee pollen. Again, there's nothing that can be documented regarding the many claims that it strengthens the physical body as well as the immune system. However, what can be confirmed is that it, like the wheatgrass juice I wrote about last month, is extremely rich in vitamins and contains nearly all the known minerals, enzymes and amino acids.
I admit that I like the old-timey, semi-crackpot theories about health. Besides having (perhaps) some fundamental validity, especially in regards to prevention, they entertain me and give me a sense of being connected to a way of life that continues to thrive just under the surface of Los Angeles (and everywhere) in the 21st Century.
And Another Thing: "Walt Whitman's America" by David Reynolds. Its subtitle is "A Cultural Biography" and this is what makes it so good. Everything that was happening to America in the middle of the 19th Century found its way into "Leaves of Grass." Photography, women's rights, Swedenborgianism, the geography of rural Long Island and of course New York City and the Civil War, he wrote about them all as they were happening.
I now realize I missed tonight's "Celebrity Poker" but that I'm not bothered by not seeing it. As much as I enjoy watching any poker game, a big part of the appeal is watching the professionals play. I love their individual and widely varied strategies, their personalities, their camaraderie mixed with intensely competitive natures, even the way they dress, which with the exception of Johnny Chan, ranges from bland to stupefyingly bland.
Everything that I had to write about tonight has been about subjects at least one hundred years old. I wonder what this means....
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
1 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp Djion-style mustard
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp honey
1 1/2 lb salmon filet (4 pieces)
Combine yogurt (or sour cream), mayo, mustard, ginger and honey. Set aside.
Cook the salmon in 2 inches of boiling water in a large pan; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8-10 mins (if salmon is one inch thick).
Take the salmon from the pan and spoon the sauce over it.
Eat and be grateful for The Jimson Weed Gazette.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
My preconceived notion of this man, as I tried to surreptitiously take his picture, was that he was an Old World equivalent of a grump. Unable to sneak a picture, I reluctantly tried the forthright approach, "Could I take your picture?" With this he instantly transformed into a courteous gentleman, still of the Old World, and not only willing to accommodate me but also extremely eager to talk. He spoke no English although when I showed him his picture, he quickly pulled out photos of his wife in a hospital bed and started to cry. Clasping her picture, putting both his hands over his heart and then showing me more pictures, I couldn't understand if she was dying or dead.
In the space of half a minute I went from "Hey, he'd make a cool picture for my blog" to under-trained and overwhelmed grief counselor to 'This guy is not unlike my own father; totally bottled up but with so much emotion just under the surface.' It didn't matter I didn't speak a word of Russian, he simply had to acknowledge his loss in the presence of another human being. Still out of my depth, I offered him the bottle of water I was saving for a homeless photo subject. He took the water with one hand and reached into his pocket to pay me with the other. I quickly made him understand that this was just my attempt to do something for him. He smiled and let me take another picture.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Sunday, before and after my trip to MOCA to see Basquiat paintings, I took a handful of photos that I'm happy with although I would agree they fall under the "L.A. Summertime Angst School of Urban Anxiety" but, like I say, I'm happy with them and am going to try and post them in the sidebar.
I've mentioned this to a few people since yesterday but while seeing the Basquiat paintings I realized that one of Basquiat's recurring themes is mental illness, his mental illness. Nobody seems to agree with this and I'm not denying his gifts with color and composition but while many other artists try to do justice to the human body or nature or society, Basquait choose to represent his mind. Overflowing with seemingly irrational references to consumerism, racism, his Spanish-Caribbean roots, black sports heroes, black jazz artists, and more I never got the idea that he was trying to make sense of it all like a good Westerner, only that I was witnessing a mind at war with itself.
But to appreciate Basquiat even more, go to the other show that Moca is displaying - "The Blake Bryne Collection." Usually I would be more sympathetic to this show in that, by and large, they are done by people like me, white and college educated and not much else, but without exception the paintings, and some sculptures, just sit there waiting to be discussed by their peers. A photostat of the dictionary definition of the word "Tart" (by Joseph Kosuth) or "Mesa" a collage by John Baldessari just can't compare with "Irony of Negro Plcemn."
Sunday, October 02, 2005
First of all, would it have killed you to have told me the Little Tokyo Farmers Market is on Saturday, not Sunday?
But now it's October and that means it's the weather for:
Cook one pound of your favorite sausage in a large skillet.
Add plenty of cooked and cubed potatoes.
Next, put in a 16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Cover (8-10 mins.?)
After these have cooked through, stir in an 12 oz. can of diced pineapple. Be sure to include the sryup as this ties it all together.
Now its off to the West Hollywood Book Fair...
Also, the West Hollywood Book Fair and "The Control Room."
Friday, September 30, 2005
2.) What could be easier than taking a half teaspoon of Spanish Bee Pollen everyday?
3.) When was the last time you watched "On The Waterfront"?
4.) Or "Sweet Smell of Success"?
5.) You have pocket fours and you're first to act (under the gun). Do you raise or fold?
Get back to me.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
_X_ Haircut [Sunday]
_X_ Buy shoes
_X_ Buy corduroy jacket [Monday noon]
___ Add Flickr to side bar (possible?)
___ Tutor [cancelled]
_X_ Little Italy Festival (photo op?)
_X_ Apple bread pudding at Famina
_X_ Pay parking ticket & write a FU letter to Culver City [Monday midnight]
Possible: meditate; laundry; go to Doug's [done]; Caesar salad with cheese tortelinni [done]; watch "The Misfits" and write a blog entry about it. (as of 10:55 pm)
Favorite classic radio song (at least for today): California Dreamin' by the Momma & Pappas
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Yes, after spending an unscheduled hour on the backstreets of Banning with Fred, I made it to The Joshua Tree Inn on the (I believe) 32nd anniversary of the death of Gram Parsons. I briefly spoke with the desk clerk and presumed proprietor of the inn, whose interest in anything, Gram Parsons or otherwise, seemed to be nil. At any rate, there were no stoner musicians, no rockabilly tourists from Japan, no other death-freak pilgrims to pay their respects to guy who wrote a large handful of beautiful and very influential songs so I got in my car and drove on to Joshua Tree National Park, the west entrance to which is just a half mile east of the inn.