Tuesday, July 31, 2012

shopping bags

one very obvious difference as you travel between different parts of this fair city of angels is the shopping bags. there are some parts of town where plastic top valu bags are the norm.  other parts of town see a lot more paper trader joe's bags.  and somehow, forever xxi transcends territorial boundaries.  i'm sure there's something very deep to be said about demographics, geography and class regarding the what, when and where of shopping bags, but one fairly obvious one (at least once you know to look for it) that was pointed out to me by a close friend can be illustrated by these pictures.

as nice as it would be to believe that this woman is returning home from her trip to restoration hardware, i'm quite certain this just isn't the case.  we're actually travelling towards the nearest restoration hardware and it's miles and miles away.  returning something perhaps?  at the time of day this picture was taken, there's no way to reach restoration hardware via train before closing.  here, we have another similar story with victoria's secret.

now i'm not suggesting that victoria's secret is not within the reach of this woman nor that any such shopping she might do there is unexpected.  however, i have been to the lingerie shop enough to know that when they pack the bag, it's never that full and they always top the bag with frilly-looking tissue.  also, as it just so happens, while i wasn't taking this photo, i noticed the contents of the bag were definitely much more suggestive of a hoodie than anything victoria's secret sells.

nothing says "i love my farmer's market" quite like a plastic bottle of coke.  well, nothing but a bag with "i love my farmer's market" actually printed on it anyway.

now, why all these shopping bags from places most likely not shopped at?  the nearest i can tell is domestic help is returning home with some gifts from residents of helped domicile.  after all, just because you're paying someone slave wages to clean up after you and look after your offspring or step-offspring doesn't mean you aren't racked with guilt over it.  the feeling is easily assuaged by sending the help home with a little not-good-enough-for-me-but-you-might-find-it-nice care package once in a while.  "here, put it in this restoration hardware bag i happen to have lying around.  that way, you can feel fancy on the train without blowing the thousands of dollars i made my husband spend on doorknobs and drawer pulls."

Friday, July 27, 2012

only as old as you feel

despite the backpack, i don't think this woman feels like she's six years old.  but if she does, i need to find out what her secret is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

yes, dumpsters

is it just me or does it seem weird that in a place that has benches specifically designed to discourage sleeping there are also two dumpsters?  i mean how much trash can be produced if no one is meant to linger?  there is a farmers' market that takes place very near here once a week.  perhaps this is where they stow their dumpster?

Friday, July 20, 2012

bird flu! sars! whooping cough. WHOOPING COUGH!

you can never be too careful.  the chloroform i put in the kerchief should be kicking in any minute now.  i can't just let her wear sneakers so mismatched to her outfit without doing something.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

modern furniture

i believe they call this "flintstone moderne."

Friday, July 13, 2012

brain teasers, pt 5

unbridled patriot or guy whose bags never cross presidential administrations?

art theater manager or maestro salieri reborn, plotting a nemesis' death?

child of chris farley and meat loaf or child of chris farley and michael madsen?

ok, this one's a little different.  it's about the garment, not the person, and there's a ternary (ie, 3-way) choice.
pashmina, sari or toga?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1000 words

as much as we all want to put racial stereotypes behind us, i still occasionally hear people use phrases like "you're so white" with each other.  well, if this guy ever hears it, i think it's meant in a literal, physical sense. that level of physical whiteness is something the guy below is trying to achieve without genetic advantage.

Friday, July 6, 2012

paper clothes, pt 2

remember them folks in paper clothes i wrote about a while back?  well, had a couple of em ask me for directions.  should come as no surprise they were heading to county* to pick up their belongings.  though i knew that before they said anything to me, i didn't wanna be insulting or presumptuous.  after going through the formalities of the directions, the shaved-head latino said, "just finished in jail.  first time.  73 days.  dui."  it's like he had to make this introduction every day for, well, 73 days.  though he was latino, his accent almost sounded more eastern european.  "it's crazy, man.  but, man, i was so drunk.  it's messed up, you know.  it's the system too.  i'm from venice."  for you non-angelenos, that's the venice that gives venice beach it's name, not the venice in italy.  "professional musician.  i play the drums.  where are you from?"  after i answer, he continues, "you ever come to venice, look for the drums. you find me."

he turns to his friend, who looks a bit like a shorter, less intimidating version of nick sobotka from the wire.  "you go to the valley after?"

"i'm supposed to.  sort all that out when i get my phone.  right now, i'm too pissed to even think about it."

"man, you got to have money and brains.  i been in venice thirty years.  i got all kind of money.  but you need brains.  you have money and no brains, you lose everything."  truer words were never said.

i look down the train after we've been riding a bit.  the shaved-head guy is doing chin-ups on the upper hand rail.  seventy three days'll build up some funny habits, won't it?

* -- that would be l.a. county jail for those of you not up on incarceration lingo.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

earplugs, if freddie freeloader doesn't interest you

i happen to like hearing all the weird, incendiary and often inane chatter on the train.  it helps me keep my finger on the pulse of things that probably don't want to have their pulse taken.  not surprisingly, many people are not like me.  most of them wear headphones, bobbin their heads to whatever beat's rockin their world right that moment.  but some just want to enjoy the silence.