Monthly Archives: January 2007

weekends

they’re full up to overflowing and I’m exhausted, I just don’t want to forget everything once I’m on the plane…so, in a mad rush to finish and go to bed, went to the mercadito with bev and jose and gauri, sang to the marichis and thought how much I’d miss mariachi and got sad, walked past the stalls where they sell mole and chiles out of buckets like so

and thought how much I’d miss mole and chiles…I also stocked up on magical oils like theses:

thought they might come in useful in Scotland, and I just don’t know how widely love potions are sold there…it’s the secert to my success really. I also went to Santa Barbara and on the train Bob Dylan singing the times they are a changin’ actually made me cry, can’t believe how many years ago he wrote that and how much worse things have actually become. Saw Sten and Shithi and baby Didin…now Didin stared at me for 10 minutes or more like so:

I couldn’t decide what was wrong with my face, it made me very nervous…luckily she decided I was worth her while and we became friends…here’s my beautiful friend and her family:

and damn but I shall miss them! No photos of beautiful Santa Barbara or Goleta or the ocean…it was raining all weekend, and looks to be cloudy and drizzly the rest of the week. Just my luck my very last week in california shall be without sun…doesn’t seem fair.

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global warming and stuff

I’ve only had a few hours sleep so forgive disjointedness, and i’m watching An Inconvenient Truth…and preparing myself to be really depressed. I think I need to hurry up and go see a glacier because apparently there won’t be any left soon, i shall just bump that to the top of my list…i think we’re pretty fucked…

But why didn’t he make this movie 10 years ago? So many people feel that the election was stolen in 2000, hell, i think the election was stolen and still, angry as I am that Bush is president, I think it’s…i don’t have an adjective…why didn’t people rally round him? I think the election was stolen but I have never seen him as my president. Perhaps it’s cause I wasn’t active in his campaign, I didn’t quite understand what was coming, I know it’s in large part because he yielded and didn’t fight…you can’t rally round someone who has already given up. I wish he hadn’t. But now he’s talking about Katrina without mentioning structural poverty or racism, and I suppose that’s why I’ve never seen him as my president. He better start talking about power and who gets to make what decisions and why, and what it will really take to change our course or I shall be more angry at him than global warming.

Yep, I’m depressed…and I’m sold already, watching 20 different interesting scientific phenomena proving that we’re fucked is not real fun. I want to know who is responsable, who is profitting, who is pushing leglislation that is pushing us backwards…and what are we going to do? And it’s not like we’ll just be able to talk those corporations and politicians into doing the right thing….

Alright. Problem – population growth. Those damned poor people having all those kids, its a fact poor people have more kids. So let’s stop exploitation, support land redistribution, wealth redistribution…end poverty. And what will that take? Still, those poor third world countries ain’t contributing much to global warming.

Technology. I love it. But there’s immense profit to be made in automobiles, gas, oil, mining…why must everything be based on those things? And is it a coincidence then that we have the president we do? Funny enough there’s immense profit in war as well…for a few people.

Well, we’re ending on a high point, we can fix this, we just need political will, la la la…it’s true enough, I’m just too cynical about what forces are required to change political will due to the forces we’re up against, I suppose it’s good for the innocent majority he’s trying to gavanize that he didn’t talk about that too much…maybe they’ll stop buying hummers. I’ve just been in the trenches trying to change political will for too long I suppose, it’s like slamming your head against a wall, because even when there is progress it still is nothing compared to the scale of the problems as politicians are entirely controlled by big money…still, the earth really is astonishingly beautiful, I’m not sitting by and watching it be destroyed. But I knew that already. As someone who does not own a car in L.A. I’m rather proud of myself, but I shall try not to let that make me a pretentious ass…it seems to be a major failing of far too many environmentalists, and their emissions might possibly be another major cause of global warming.

The secret to fun on jumping castles

Alright, this will be quick, had a little goin’ away party last night, so much happened, I’m off to san diego in 30 minutes, so I decided to just focus on one thing before I post the rest of the pictures…chinatown, 2 am…you know who you are. And you should be afraid 🙂

Right, so if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who actually owns an inflatable jumping castle, and you’re lucky enough that he decides to throw you a little going away party one Saturday afternoon (Gerry, you are the best), this is how to have a good time.

1. Find an adult friend who also wants to jump in the jumping castle. Funnily enough, this is a bit difficult, I cannot understand why…Ludin can’t either.

2. Kick all of the kids out of the jumping castle (one of the few perks to adulthood as far as I can see)

3. Get in and start jumping!

oh the joy! DO NOT allow the kids to discover that you are only pseudo adults, they will quickly pile in, and since this is a small home version of the industrial strength fair castle, it will immediately start to deflate. And I’m a bit out of order here…you should have taken off all of your jewelry before entering, because if you don’t, it will get trapped in the netting and you will end up like this…

arse in the air and children laughing at you…so you boot them out again, wait for the thing to re-inflate (with some help from Evelin, photographer), and then jump once more. Sadly, it often happens that you forget just how tiring jumping castles are, and when the kids pile in again you don’t have the strength to boot them out, you end up semi-comatose, getting bounced around like so, this is when it’s not bad, Ludin looks positively asleep:

This, however, this is not good at all:

So finally, with the last ounce of strength you possess, having given up the battle against the evil children and the castle that continues to deflate and inflate, you struggle out of the mesh exit designed for 5 year olds, and collapse onto the grass like so…

And then. once you’ve some breath back, you spring back up and put on a good show like everything happened as planned and you’ve had the upper hand all along.

Ta Da!

like sharks, children can smell fear and weakness…

mango hookahs

I highly recommend…they’re quite lovely, and habibi’s is a cool place, a bit far but I wish I’d known about it when I was at UCLA because i might have wasted a few less hours in class listening to stupid professors in black turtlenecks and v-neck sweaters telling me how to think. Not that I’m still angry about that or anything…anyways, here we have the best shot of the evening…Gauri

I might never be forgiven for posting these, but gauri at least despises myspace so I think I’m safe…here’s sumaiya

I don’t think I am yet able to smoke a hookah with the same je ne sais quoi as them, but one day perhaps…And finally, me at the end of the evening…I’d had quite enough by then…

I might have a silly grin, but god damn I shall miss my folks here! We didn’t get a group shot because I was busy smoking, about 10 of us and dinner was delicious, but here’s some faces I shall miss

Kique, Evelin, Jackie, and Baby Steve. Right, definitely bed time..

twenty f’ing four

I’m watching the season premiere of 24, though for how much longer I do not know…jack has emerged from 2 years of torture in a chinese prison with a nasty looking left hand, a splendid physique, a tan, and all of his teeth, if it weren’t for the artistic scars, long hair and beard you’d think he’d been at club med. The dialogue when he met his buddies for the first time after two years of torture in a chinese prison was priceless. He’s just escaped from the evil arab terrorists the us gov handed him over to, in the most gruesome fashion possible mind you, and has gone rogue again because no one will believe his information because they are all fucking idiots. We have the evil arab in our midst taking advantage of the nice trusting white family…that is infuriating, and the gov has just blown up a house in inglewood. Anyways, all politics aside (hard for me to do of course), this plot has holes in it a mile wide, perhaps they are really hoping that the split screen and clock counting down will be enough to distract the viewer. They really should pay me mad money to rewrite their scripts so an intelligent person can sit through them without feeling a bit insulted. I suppose I am still sitting here and watching it, however, so I’ll give them some credit, though the freezing temperature in my house is helping ensure i remain under covers with not much better to do than watch tv. And Assad is pretty hot.

Oh, now the plot rests on stress caused by a ticket taker on the metro…the la metro redline…we have no fucking ticket takers on the la metro…dear oh dear, and we end on a cliffhanger…two more hours on tomorrow. A four hour season premiere that “will change everything,” they claim. Turns out this is the minute by minute blog, keifer sutherland is getting interviewed on fox news next, can’t wait.

I’ve just had three of the most inspiring days of my life, people taking back their right to the city, the battle is on and it’s almost tragic I’m leaving the states…it’ll make the next three weeks inspired though, i’m all fired up again. Right, i just have to say the news is absolute crap, holes in the plot a mile wide much like 24. Are we at war? cause fox news does not seem to have realized it, the latest car chase got pretty emotional though, and i’m glad they reviewed what exactly the OJ simpson case was about and recapped his book. well, here we go, we’re going after osama again, he was the target the whole time after all, that’s a relief. And crack federal troops in ski masks and carrying automatic weapons are wandering around Tijuana looking for drug cartel members, fox has embedded some reporters, they got a good shot of a guy with scary looking tattoos, sadly nothing else to report yet, surprisingly people are running away from the men in ski masks and very large guns.

I’m for bed I think, inspiration and alcohol really have left me a bit sleepy…that and the stupid state of television. Kiefer said about five words if you’re interested…for some reason jack is a bit subdued after two years of torture. I can’t forgive them for making that small, I really can’t.

LA Adventures

They’re winding down…a month to go exactly, and I have never loved LA as much as now when I am about to leave it…it is an amazing city. I only have 4 weekends left before I leave, and they are full to overflowing with plans already…This is more of a journal entry for me to look over when I’m nostalgic in Sctland, so apologies…yesterday spent the day with meo and her unborn, haven’t seen her in ages! We went out to brunch and then walked about Silverlake a bit, went to Secret Headquarters, the new comic book store and it’s great, I got Love and Rockets which was madness because i am supposed to be getting rid of all of my material possessions, but i swear i am going to read it on the plane. I also realized that a few blogs ago I stated that men only look good in boxers…the Tomatoes episode, a classic LA moment…and I have to now partially reverse this sweeping statement and say that to ME, men only look good in boxers. Apperently, to other men, men look much better in small colourful briefs or thongs…this thought gives me a shudder, but as proof I offer the following view into Rough Trade:

We wandered on in, it’s quite tame in the front room, you can see the hard core bondage stuff peeking flirtily from the back, and there’s an upstairs as well, but meo wasn’t feeling like stairs so we scarpered. We also found a great T-shirt shop, and I bought one featuring “chelvis,” or che crossed with elvis, it’s ridiculous…

We then headed over to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, i cannot believe in all my years here I had never gone the 20 minutes down sunset to see it. It’s quite beautiful

though they would allow no photos inside the bastards. I even went to look for a picture to scan of the inside because it is quite glorious but actually found jack all on the internet and I realized my big art books are almost all sold…hooray for that! It was beautiful, if a bit cold, and sadly I discovered that Mr. Wright did not understand plumbing or allowing for rain so apparently most of his 28 roofs leaked…anyways, it’s highly recommended in spite of a slightly annoying tour guide. The views over LA were incredible as well, and since it’s been so windy the sky was incredibly clear, and you realize what a difference the absence of smog can make in your life…

Saw Pan’s Labyrinth, everyone must see it, and on the big screen if at all possible, it is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. With the possible exception of you Chris, if you’re reading this, given it is a bit of a fairytale. Still, it’s an anti fairy tale really, and the previews are crap as it is only partly goth fantasy and the other half you might not be able to resist – the Spanish civil war and the splendid facsist step-father. It’s all about disobediance and doing what is right, has incredible characters with actors to match, and I loved it. I believe i will even buy the dvd as I think it requires a couple more viewings. I have also have discovered I have a bit of a crush on Dave White who writes reviews for movie.com; here’s what he says: “What’s the Deal? Do not, I repeat, do not take kids to this movie unless you’re somehow convinced of their innate worldliness, knowledge of the Spanish Civil War and its dour aftermath and ability to withstand nightmare-inducing horror. Because more than anything, this is a frightening, brutal adult fairy tale that really takes its cues from old-school fairy tales in which something evil never fails to befall hapless innocents. It’s violent, creepy and unlike anything you’ve seen in a while. It’s also insanely imaginative and beautiful. An awesome movie, but not for little kids. At all…And Another Thing: I want to send writer/director Guillermo Del Toro a thank-you note for not being afraid to go down the darkest, most heartbreaking path toward his movie’s ending. Anyone have his address? I might send some chocolates, too.” Alright, so this isn’t the funniest review, a good one was blood diamond, which I was also contemplating: “What’s the Deal? It was high time Hollywood stopped trying to make people care about genocide in Africa with stuff like Hotel Rwanda and simply embraced its natural impulse to exploit. Now it’s just a really exciting and gory backdrop for a chase movie about a hot smuggler chasing diamonds who then falls for sexy American journalist Connelly.

Who Hates Jennifer Connelly? My guess is that it’s director Edward Zwick. I have no proof of this, mind you, other than the little problem of her performance being world-class awful. It’s the kind of sore thumb that makes you think careful editing and a grudge was involved.

When to Check Out: The last scene, when the guy from 7th Heaven is talking and the diamond industry gets to tell you that they do not condone the sort of “conflict diamonds” the whole movie is about. Then there’s uplifting dumbness with Hounsou. If you just get up and go, you’ll save yourself from a big inappropriate laugh in a crowded theater.”

he’s brilliant, I shall be reading all of his reviews from now on.

Today, chinatown with Ruel, haven’t seen him in ages either. We had dim sum at the Empress Pavilion, and it is the best in town…this morning’s feast was worth every second of the hour wait to get a table. Here’s a view of the restaurant, it is huge and packed to overflowing so that the poor servers with their carts full of hot steaming deliciousness can hardly move around…you really have no idea what you’re getting because English is in short supply, but you can see it…we passed on the tentacled thingie that looked somewhat alive, and the shark fin was a surprise but not bad at all if a little chewy.

Go here too if you’re ever in town. 15 pounds heavier than before, we stumbled out the door to get coffee and dessert (managed that somehow without unbuttoning my trousers), and amble around chinatown, saw groups of men standing around playing a complicated game involving concentric circles and white game pieces, a woman playing the something something, I’m really betraying my ignorance today, but the stringed instrument she was playing was heartbreakingly beautiful, a nine year old Mongolian contortionist who did amazing things that made my stomach turn a bit, as you can see:

a woman who could balance absolutely anything…she had 3 raw eggs balanced on a stick on her nose and made it look remarkably easy…I might try it myself later, though I’d be happy with just balancing an egg on an egg in the palm of my hand. Apparently almost no one else can do this 3 egg balancing act, and I quite believe it.

I shall miss this place just a bit I think.

California Dreaming

January 2007, god damn but time goes fast, no? Back at work now, so so so sad, but I don’t mind so much because I’ve only 33 more days to go before my move and the count down has begun! Work makes it go faster at any rate, most of the time I hate my days passing as frantic blurs behind me, slipping away into mist. With something so looked forward to however, they can race as fast as they please. I’ve a feeling 2007 will be brilliant anyways, I’m doing something absolutely mad to start it off, and a year so well begun can only promise great things. I’m leaving all of my baggage and material possessions in the states, I’ll have quit the mad crazy rush of work at the height of my powers, I’m single again, I’m moving to the UK which I have been thinking about since I sat in a kitchen at the tender age of 5 and contemplated a bucket of fresh milk and cream on my Gran’s devonshire farm, and all these things are inspiring a million thoughts and dreams to rocket about my head, who knows what I shall do?


I don’t fucking care at the moment in the general sense of the word…as long as I grow and grow and grow, break out of shells, ruts, and habitual ways of being, it is what I am demanding of 2007. I love New Years and its reflection on the past, dreams of a better future, it’s a good time to think once you’ve gotten over the hangover…not that it should be the only time. But life is so short, so short…and it goes by so fast. If you don’t take stock and push yourself, whatever time of year you may choose to do it, how can you live without regrets? This is all a build up to a couple of stupid new years resolutions, but I take mine seriously and you all can hold me accountable. I do not want to conform to low level misery and boredom, a world narrowing about me, a hollow in my couch cushion that conforms precisely to my ass.

1. To be bolder, wilder, and live life to its fullest. I’ve been getting better and better at that, and my shyness is going, going, perhaps it shall be gone?

2. To bring out the best in those around me (a bit hokey I know, but how better to move the revolution along?)

3. To make approximately one million new friends in my new city and have people i can always call up to go out with, travel with, laugh with, go to pubs with, dance with, see live music with, play cards with, be football mad with, take random day-trip adventures with, go hiking with, talk crazy politics with, walk the city with, rebel against the world with, watch movies with, be a bit lazy on Sunday mornings with, cook with, try new things with, bike with, build a beautiful world with…because these things make life so so good to me.

4. Clearly doing much more of the above list of activities

5. Write as I’ve never ever dreamed of writing before

That’s it, not a bad list I think, I shall enjoy fulfilling it. If I could sing I’d scrap all the above and be a long cool blues singer in a black dress, but as it is, I think I shall have a damned good year. As shall everyone lucky enough to be my friend