Monday, October 31, 2011

economy bouncing back?

the empty lot i was hoping some naturalist or biologist would save from development by making some discovery is now under development.  i guess no discoveries were made or it wasn't important enough or the economy really is rebounding for someone.

there aren't enough hotels around lax already so another one is being built. with three separate office-park/strip-malls with "for lease" signs on them across the street, the view will be wonderful.  being a half-block away from a leading industrial gas supplier's delivery point to a defense contractor will be great for the guests too.

as they say in real estate, location, location, location.  blocks away from lax and minutes away from the beach make this a prime locati--you know what?  fuck it, i'd rather have a nature preserve.  if i try sometime, maybe i'll get what i need.

Friday, October 28, 2011

real, live music

i don't usually take kindly to aural impositions on public transportation, in case you didn't already know.  bosses suck, kids drivin you crazy, salon done fucked up your hair uh-GAIN, don't know when your cousin's family is movin out.  sometimes it's kinda interesting, but it's usually the same old.

i don't usually give money to panhandlers either.  yeah, i'm sure your niece needs surgery, your mom needs cancer treatment, child support hasn't come through, (what in god's name is ebt anyway?), someone or another's funeral expenses are due and your church is trying to rebuild AND it all happened last week.

but this family here had me ready to pull out all my change.  at first, i was worried the tambourine would hurt my sensitive hearing and i've oft been disappointed by music played by people in wifebeaters, but once the song got underway, it was, as they say, awwwll goooouud.

they busted into a hyped-up, cracked-out version of "come together" (yes, acoustic but cracked-out).  while i'm not the biggest beatles fan, i will say this was my favorite rendition of the song.  and lest you think them boys is just playin percussion, they jumped in to add some backing vocals.

of course, the one time i wanna reach for some change, i'm like spearhead.  i got a hole in my pocket...dear liza.  if only i knew where they were performing next.

Monday, October 24, 2011

brain teasers

just a few puzzles i haven't figured out.

hipster or german emigre?

burnout or roadie for the only samoan band to ever open for ozomatli?

hot rod junkie or real-life pirate?

duckie dale's nephew or kid who had to throw together an outfit out of his grandpa's closet?

Friday, October 21, 2011

skaters, pt 2

here's the second installment of skater pictures (click on any to enlarge).

it's not unusual for the people i ask to photograph to be a little skeptical of my motivation.  this guy was one of them.  most people aren't asked by strangers to take their picture most days, so i understand.

this guy was not skeptical at all.  though he didn't mind having his picture taken, he did ask about this here blog, at which point, the big dude with the binder next to him asked about it to.

that style "A" is ingrained in my memory as the one that that baseball team uses on their uniforms.  i have no idea if they still do though i'm guessing even if they do, that's not why this guy has it on his board.

i actually talked to this guy (caesar or maybe cesar) for a bit.  he's a discretionary train rider.  though he has a car and has used it to commute to cal state long beach, the parking and traffic are too much for him to bear.

i gave salvador props in the last skaters post for customizing his board.  this guy is definitely giving him a run for his money.  this board has eight wheels mounted on four trucks.  when i asked him what was up with that, he said he can glide right over train tracks without even feeling it.  with eight wheels, there's always a pair in front and one in back making contact with the solid ground on either side of the track.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

backpackers. no, real backpackers.

when you live in a city, it can be hard to remember or understand that there are tourists.  okay, maybe if you live in waikiki or las vegas, it's not so hard, but in l.a., people forget that modernist architecture (eg capitol records, theme building), the entertainment industry (eg sony pictures, grauman's chinese theater) and, yes, even the shopping (eg melrose, robertson) can be an attraction; and even easier to forget is that griffith park is the largest city park in the country, almost five times the size of the famed central park in manhattan.

i can assure you though, europeans are drawn here every summer.  being european, they tend to count on the trains to get around, so you see a lot of people like those pictured below, especially near downtown.

who knows if they're camping in griffith park or not, but they look like they could if they wanted to.  hell, it looks like they could camp anywhere if they wanted, maybe crawl into the backpacks themselves.

the eclipsed guy in the white cap
has his own eclipse-inducing backpack

for the most part, when i hear the big-backpackers talk, it sounds like german, but a couple of british accents greet my ear as well. someone once said to me, "in l.a., you can ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon."  i guess the european version is you can hike to a campsite from downtown (no, the pictures were not actually taken downtown, but take my word that these folks went there).

Monday, October 17, 2011

doll scalper on the loose

"what've we got, dex?"

"doll scalp.  usually there's a head since the hair is actually sewn in, so that should narrow down the victim search.  pink tips on the hair are definitely not blood, so the scalper really knew what they were doing.  now that i look at it, so did the colorist.  do you know how hard it is to do this shade of pink?"

"where's the body?"

"there are no chips of plastic or ceramic nearby.  the actual removal was done elsewhere.  it's possible the scalp was dumped here."

"but isn't it, like, a trophy or something?  why would someone go to all this trouble of carefully removing the hair and just leave it here?"

"high-traffic area.  the perp could have dropped it while fighting foot traffic or was forced to dump it when authorities were hot on their tail.  or maybe it was given to an infant as a pacifier.  sometimes they throw things unexpectedly."

"alright, we'll check the security cameras and canvas the area.  someone had to see something."


"ahhhhhhhh, my precious.  reunited at last.  those police will never understand our relationship.  you must never go running off like that again."

Friday, October 14, 2011

trash porn, pt 6

gotten rid of a car lately or, well, ever?  according to the u.s. dot, cars last an average of 13 years.  that sounds high to me, but given my family's fleet of three averages 24, maybe it shouldn't.  if the car you got rid of was not sold, but scrapped, it probably goes through a process of separation so all the stuff that can be re-used or recycled does.  some of the higher value parts, however, go to a place like this.

this is a junkyard.  mechanics (maybe even one you've used when you last needed body work done) and enterprising diy'ers visit places like these in hopes of finding that replacement part that's either no longer made or much more expensive to buy new.  i'm not sure exactly how lucrative a business auto wrecking is.  but if this were boston, you can bet housing and retail would have taken over a spot less than a block from a station such as this (though maybe not, it's been awhile since i've been back to boston).  interestingly enough, here's another one right across the street.

or maybe it's the same shop.  it looks like this side has the parts under the hood and the top photo has the body parts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

rising again

whistlin dixie doesn't make you a whole lotta friends while you ride on the blue line.  though a far cry from the gang battlegrounds from the 90s, the part of town the blue line goes through may now be even further than that from the waspiness of la confidential, barton fink or, ironically enough, chinatown.  i'm not sure if the previous owner of the blanket below found this out the hard way or if this possession just got left behind the usual way.  either way, this out of place article just needed to be recorded for posterity.

Monday, October 10, 2011

droolin on the docs

dude's a little tired this morning.  i know the feeling.  guess he won't be as prepared for that presentation as he thought he'd be.  can't say i don't know that feeling neither.

at first glance, them city docs should be offended at the inattention.  but upon closer inspection, the paper's not even facing the right way, 'less dude likes reading upside down.  wait. those city docs are just meeting minutes anyone can print off the web.  OHhhhh--dude made himself a drool bib.  BRILLIANT!

Friday, October 7, 2011

wide open

a guy facin me is lookin slightly to my right.  "you alright?" he asks someone that clearly isn't me.  my eyes were in my book and i figured if anything was wrong, i'd find out about it soon enough.

after readin another sentence or two, i notice the guy is still lookin.  a lady sitting near him is also lookin off to my right.  "hello," she half-says/half-asks.  i think maybe they're lookin past my row, so i look behind me.  it becomes obvious they're lookin at the guy across the aisle from me.

"is he breathing?  i don't think he's breathing," someone behind me says.  i notice the guy everyone's lookin at has a catatonic look on his face, eyes glazed over.  his shoulders don't look like they're movin up and down at all, makin me wonder if the guy behind me is right.

the woman snaps her fingers in front of his face.  "hello," she asks again.

finally, i reach across the aisle and nudge the guy on his shoulder.  he gives a start, looks over at me as everyone else breathes a sigh of relief and says, "huh?  what?" not having any idea what's going on.

"people were concerned about you," i say.

"i was just sleepin," he says.

"your eyes were open," someone blurts out.

"yeah, my brothers used to fuck with me while i was sleepin so i learned how to keep my eyes open."

"half the train thought you were dead."

"nah.  what stop is this?"

p.s.  i thought this'd be the most noteworthy thing to happen on the blue line this day, but later, four girls get on and start detailing lesbian views on stripping, porn and the specific criteria for "stickin me with that shit."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

maintenance ... in real time

usually stepping on the train is a relief.  you on your way to where you goin and if it happens to be not-so-pleasant weatherwise, the train is climate controlled.  not so this day.  the car felt like a swamp, even coming from a somewhat swampy outside.  i guess it gives an appreciation for just how much work the air conditioning does to comfort a trainful of people.  luckily, at the next stop, this man boards.

no, not the guy in the shades, the one in the orange vest behind him.  i know you can't see his face, but after a couple of minutes of pokin his head around up there, while the train's movin and without a ladder mind you (kids, don't try this at home), the air starts to clear.  though we all owe him a huge thank you, all that's audible is some aunt goin on about her nieces' and nephews' (over)weight.

Monday, October 3, 2011

lost youth

i've often wanted to recapture my youth.  maybe go back to high school and try out for the football team (though probably not, thanks to dave duerson, may he rip).  maybe go to my college music class and show off some turntablism (but playin bass like victor wooten was pretty cool).  hell, maybe i'd learn how to take real photos so this here blog looks better.

that might be how it'd be for me.  bur for this woman, it's pigtails and a strappy, open-back tank top.