Friday, December 30, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Too cold to take photos; this one is a few months old, taken on the skanky part of Sunset Blvd.

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.
-Gram Parsons

Recipe of the Day: Tuna fish with mayo and mustard and chopped onions on pasta.
- James Beard

Monday, December 26, 2005

Gower St. (Christmas Night)

Just so you know, last night I took almost a hundred photos. This morning, in the cold rain, I took more than fifty. None of them were extremely spectacular. Now I'm drinking mate from a gourd (a gift), with a heat massager (a gift) while reading "Will In The World" under a burgundy colored blanket (a gift) with "It Happened One Night" playing with the sound off.

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

Christmas in L.A.

It's Christmas Eve and I'm not doing anything until tonight. Between now and then there will be errands and chores (haircut, laundry, cat to the groomers) and I'll read my book, "Will In The World", which is getting to be another kind of chore. I got up early to take some photographs but my back is sore and I don't know why. I just turned off an incredibly disappointing Henry Rollins documenatary. Many years ago he wrote several vivid, angry, articulate and observant books about his travels, his music, as well as his grief about his best friend dying in a holdup. Now its all about driving in LA and what a hassle it is to fly. The sight of Henry Rollins performing in a dinner club with so many "Reserved" placards on the the front row tables is just pathetic.

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?
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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Quote Of The Day

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.

If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

Wu Men

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Chairs Of Farmers Market

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Posted by Picasa After several days of technical problems with my camera*, I am back in the world of the photoblogger par medicore. And let me say how grateful I am for it, a Nikon Coolpix 5600. The above photos were not cropped or photoshopped in any way. All I had to do was get out of bed at 6:30, drive down the street and there they were. (If you're familiar with the Hollywood Farmer's Market, you might realize that these three shots were taken within one hundred feet of each other.)

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

Merry Christmas To Me

It's only December 13th and I've already received my favorite Christmas present of the year.
Thank you, Lucas!
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

More Than You Need To Know

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

No Blogging Until The End

- of "The Misfits." Its not everyone's favorite movie but I like everything about it. It's about a way of life (Nevada cowboys in 1960) that is not only physically gone but is based on a sensibility - "I smell wages on you" (Let's call it "Transcendentalists Noir") - that's also disappeared. I'm no judge of acting but Marilyn Monroe seems to be just excellent. Also with the equally great Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable. Directed by John Houston and written by Arthur Miller.

"Was that you, crying in the ambulance?"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Problems. Nothing But Problems.

This evening I went Christmas shopping at the none-too-crowded Beverly Center and got nothing for nobody. However, for myself, I did find "Therma Sox". I bought them with the intuitive certainity that, although I didn't know how, great amounts of healing energy would soon be travelling up from the soles of my feet. Now that I have brought them home, I have nothing but problems. First, I have no microwave, the preferred way to heat the gel-like substance that goes into each sock. Cleverly, I steamed them (am I not a genius?) but found the heating gel too hot to handle. Letting it cool makes the sock considerably less effective. Another problem is that you can't walk on the sock as the gel would squish out under the pressure. So here I am, immoblized in moderately warm socks.

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

Why Didn't Somebody Tell Me?

- that "Good Night, And Good Luck" was such a boring movie in which nothing happens? I understand and even admire its attempt to show how today's journalists, especially the telejournalists, are not living up to the standards of fifty years ago. (I also like to think that the movie was motivated by George Clooney's outrage over President Bush feeling comfortable to make several jokes about not finding WMD's to a roomful of journalists, all of whom found the jokes to be laugh-out-loud funny.) Perhaps it will shame a few into action. But the movie itself was nothing but people talking about what other people are talking about and then they talk some more about what they're going to talk about on the talk show. And a lot of it sounded like verbatim transcripts of speeches, Senate testimony and newscasts.

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.
Last night, as I was roasting potatoes (uncooked cubes slathered in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary and cooked for 20-30 minutes) I took advantage of a free trial subscription to Napster. Giving the installation away for nothing made me suspicious; it seemed too much like AOL and who wants that? The surprise was finding "The Specials" from 1979 for $9.99.

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

The Ambassador Hotel Is Coming Down

On the night of June 5, 1993 a friend and I went to the Ambassador Hotel to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's assassination. We brought Mexican candles and even thought to bring a lighter along to keep them going.

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.