Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Trees reflected...
...along the south side of 3rd St. (between Hope St. and Grand Ave.)

Trees in silhouette...
...along the north side of 3rd St. (still between Hope St. and Grand Ave.)

Tooting my own horn: This marks 28 posts in 28 days. An unprecedented level of output on the site. That was mostly photos, admittedly. As viewed by four people. Thank you for your participation. Any similarity to persons, living or dead, is coincidental. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Building guts

The skeleton of the building that will eventually be the W hotel,
on the southeast corner of Sunset & Vine.

Movies... somewhere in there

The back side of Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight theaters in Hollywood,
taken back on February 18, while we waited to catch
a 5:00 showing of El Laberinto del Fauno. Which was good.

(See the spot I took this from a satellite picture. If you want to.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

They called this promotion

Leading up to the recent Academy Awards telecast, ABC littered the L.A. area with billboards featuring quotes from movies.

I guess some people would be inclined to watch the show by seeing "I'm the king of the world!" in three-foot tall letters. People who didn't have to sit through Titanic. Twice. Moving on.

Anyway, here's another quote they spotlighted:

And why would I be mentioning this now, after it has passed? Look closely at the text on the poster. (Feel free to click on the picture to enlarge it.)

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too."

You're probably thinking: And?

Fair enough.

However, life in Doug-world is not so simple. Because I remember that terms in direct address should be separated by commas, I look at that and think: "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too."

(There's a reason I don't get invited to more parties. I know this.)

Beyond blind adherence to grammatical convention, it seems like anyone who has seen the movie and listened carefully would discern there's a pause between "you" and "my"--admittedly, not as long as between "pretty" and "and," but a slight pause just the same. How does one denote a pause with punctuation?

Well, if you don't know, then you probably don't care how Hollywood is destroying our children's ability to properly use punctuation.

(There's a reason I don't get invited to the Oscar after-parties. I know this.)

A letter from my departed sunshine queen, babeling

Another combination of abject pandering with the convenience of opportunity:

Hollywood Blvd., 9:29 am today
(a little over 12 hours after the end of the show).

Removing the banner (as seen from directly below).

Only slightly more garbage than usual on this street.
(Unrelated: I also like the way the line of the clouds
kind of parallels the line of the buildings.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What is anything about, really?

Today's glib observation:

The internet allows access to information and communication unprecedented in human history. It's remarkably democratic, facilitating the presentation of many ideas by those who otherwise would have no voice. Without it I'd have nowhere to post my rambling essay-type ruminations and not-terribly-groundbreaking photos for a handful of others to read intermittently.

However, any amount of time spent perusing even a small percentage of the content available reveals one disheartening fact*: No matter what thought I may get, no matter what opinion I may have, someone else has already had it and expressed it with better depth of understanding and with greater eloquence than I could. Somewhere a person with more time to devote and a deeper inclination to ruminate on it has already written what I would had I the time and inclination.

That's the danger of investigating what others have said about a topic one is considering: one's utter lack of originality is revealed. Nothing new under the sun, nor in my brain.

There's always someone who knows more about a given subject, someone who has a broader scope of experience with it, someone who is more well-read on the topic.

With one exception. I am the only one who is focused on a particular topic, who knows more than just about anyone else about one subject. It's what the blahg is about, ultimately.


I'm not suggesting I'm a subject of broad interest for the world. It's what's known as a niche market. Or at least I keep hoping there will eventually emerge such a demographic.

(* This is not to suggest the internet is filled with facts, of course; with information, yes, but not necessarily with accurate information.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All around the world

Around the back side of the former SBC building in downtown Los Angeles.

And a less ominous angle, at night.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where the sun doesn't shine

The 4th St. connector between Figueroa and Flower in downtown L.A. doesn't get much sunlight, surrounded by the Bonaventure Hotel to the south, the bridge and ramp to the north, the Arco parking garage to the east, and hills next to the 110 freeway to the west. Yet, at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon, there's these shadows pointing to southwest.

Yes, the sunlight, in the southern sky, reflects off the curved Deloitte building and sneaks through the other skyscrapers to hit this little spit of sidewalk, casting shadows that shouldn't be there.

It's like an annual thing

A year ago I posted pictures of these trees blooming in downtown L.A., and now, because they've bloomed again, I'm doing it again. That is, I've taken new pictures of what they look like this year.

Like last year, they didn't actually turn out that well, but like last year I'm not letting that stop me.

And I still don't know what kind of trees they are. Like the coming of the seasons, some things don't change.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Product placement gone wild?

This week Jim Carrey's new film The Number 23 opens, but somehow I feel like I've been seeing promotional material every time I get thirsty...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Xin Nien Kuai Le!

In honor of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year, I offer these shots from the trip I look to China back in October/November of 2003.

Starting with the obvious...
Part of the reconstructed Great Wall at Mutianyo (with a sepia filter applied).

Hidden behind the soft drink signs, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.

Yours truly at the Temple of Heaven, Beijing.

One of my favorite shots: A cutey in pigtails in front of a lion statue at the Forbidden City, also Beijing.

And for those of you who didn't know me three years ago, the links below lead to the two albums I prepared from this trip which would give you an overview and explain a bit about why I was there:
Album #1, Album #2

Xie xie.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Night falls on California

This evening at Cal Plaza, downtown L.A.:
Children playing in the fountain.

Reflections on the waterfall in the Water Court.

The lighted spire next to the Water Court.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Below the awards

Hollywood/Highland station on L.A.'s Red Line (its "only subway").
(Click here to read a bit about what the designers had in mind.)

This is the station directly below the Kodak Theatre, where, of course the Oscars will be held next weekend. (Notice how I'm sort of tying this in with the other post from today--don't get your expectations up that this will happen again.) To give you some idea of what level of influence that has in this town, on the day of the telecast, not only will Hollywood Blvd. be barricaded (and covered with red carpet), but this station will be closed (I presume that means trains simply will not stop there). Not merely during the show. All day.

That's right. The Oscars will shut down mass transit in Los Angeles.
(Oh wait. That should have been the lead. Man, I'm not good at this. No wonder I don't work in television news.)

Awarding my ignorance

Awards shows continue to be produced because they appeal to the natural competitiveness all humans possess (whether consciously or not). While the expression of the human condition may be best conveyed through art, the concept that appeals to our instincts is sport; someone wins, someone loses. The only way for art to approximate achieving the attention that sporting events receive is to become sporting events in their own way; someone has to win to prove dominion, even if it's completely subjective.

For example, a show that merely listed a bunch of worthwhile films would not garner the attention laden on the awards shows such as the Oscars. Just like we have interest in seeing someone hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the Super Bowl, we find the holding of the little gold statue to be important enough to observe. Admittedly, far more people watch the Super Bowl, because that's an actual battle decided before our eyes, not merely the dominant collective whims of those who are in an organization to which most of us don't belong, but far more people watch the Oscars than watch the Ebert & Roeper show where the movies were initially reviewed (which, at best, pitted the films opening at the same time against each other, but even then there's not one left standing, so to speak, when the show is over; all could be deemed worthy or all could be deemed unworthy).

If nothing else, the fact that awards shows continue to be produced gives me a chance to mention this anecdote on the subject.

My girlfriend and I continue to watch some of these awards shows. We are often at best only somewhat familiar with the works nominated, and even less so with the works being awarded, but that does not stop our vicarious participation in the process (viewing a tape-delayed broadcast of the festivities, despite being mere miles away from the venue).

We go to the movies with some regularity—probably at least a couple times a month. I'm not sure whether that frequency puts us above, below, or at the average, but it strikes me as having at least a reasonable familiarity with the contemporary cinema. However, when the awards start to be announced in the early part of the year, invariably there are more movies nominated that we have not seen than we could possibly see before the awards show if we watched two each day.

My girlfriend still puts us on a heavy viewing schedule in January to try to catch what we can, but it is always futile. Still, that's the point of them having the shows in the first place: to spur those who seek to be kinda with-it to get out to the theaters so we can delude ourselves with thoughts of having a basis for judgment.

Why judging art is encouraged this way is another issue, and one we shan't explore now.

I don't track entertainment news with any fervor, but in the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that she has a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. Occasionally while flipping through channels I stop for a few minutes at the E! network, when there's absolutely nothing else on (not even sports highlights on ESPN). Of course, the coverage that leads up to the major (or even minor) awards shows gets makes it difficult to claim to be oblivious to what those who handicap the races (so to speak) have to say about who is considered the front-runner in the most prominent categories.

Nonetheless, the favorites don't always win. At the Academy Awards last year, Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain. However, that's all I remember about the awards from a year ago. Okay, that's all I remember about any Oscars show. Ever.

(Don't worry. Other people are keeping track of remembering these things. I presume.)

Just like there's no reason we should have any active interest in the broadcasts, there's even less reason we should try our hand at predicting the winners; it's not like we have any inside connection to the voting process, or, as noted, even much personal basis to judge one performance over another. It's the equivalent of going to the track and placing a bet on a horse because it's pretty, from the standpoint of making an informed decision. Nonetheless, my girlfriend prints out ballots for us to try our hand at guessing who will win.

I do watch a reasonable amount of TV. I spend far more time watching shows than I do watching movies. I would not consider myself any more fanatical about TV than I am about movies, but by virtue of it being available in my home, I see more of it.

For the recent Golden Globes show, there were 14 movie categories, and 11 television categories. Out of those 25, there were three were I had seen all the nominated works. (It is no coincidence that they were all comedy-related ones.) There were many where I'd seen none of the nominees. All in all, I had little foundation for my speculation on my ballot. Still, it stood to reason that I would fare better with the small screen awards than the big screen ones.

In the movie categories I correctly guessed 11 of the 14; in the TV categories I correctly guessed 5 of the 11. Of the three categories where I saw all of the nominees, I guess only one correctly. (Even that doesn't fill me with pride; it's not like any of the comedies had a chance against Dreamgirls. Why musicals are put in the same category I still don't understand.)

Clearly, familiarity with the material works against me in such games.

Frankly, actually seeing the works probably runs contrary to being able to guess how journalists would vote en masse; there's no emotional connection to any of the movies or shows to cloud one's ability to go with the name whispered by the little voice in one's head. Really, of course, the game is not so much deciding which one was actually better than the others but attempting to anticipate how the Hollywood Foreign Press is likely to vote; there's an art to that, I suppose, but it has little to do with the art nominated.

"I am vacant of my own opinions sufficiently to guess how those with opinions ostensibly more important than mine will vote. Hooray for me!"

The only award for choosing so well in the one category: Being in the doghouse because I got more right than she did. (Just kidding, honey!)

There's really no justifying any of this. Really. But we'll still be watching the Academy Awards next weekend.

A spectacle is a spectacle, I suppose.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reflections on love

Yeah, that's the Disney Concert Hall in the background.
No, I'm not sure what that has to do with love, either. Seemed like something that would pander to the appropriate demographic.

Oh no!

I understand why Godzilla always trampled Tokyo. It wasn't merely a dramatic visual (despite the archaic special effects); he was frustrated (I presume, by virtue of being a giant mutant lizard), and could only achieve catharsis through wanton destruction.

If I were a giant mutant lizard, I'd take it out on every metropolis I could find. Hell, sometimes I think the only thing holding me back is the knowledge that I'm not a giant mutant lizard.

So instead I appease my frustrations by romanticizing the notion of tossing skyscrapers aside like toys, and the unbridled joy of lack of concern for the consequences of one's actions that I'll never get to experience in my daily existence.

At least not until the radiation makes me 40-feet tall. That fire breath is going to be freakin' sweet.

If you insist on something topical (feel the love)

If you haven't previously, you can read this piece I wrote 11 years ago about Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rock on

Stratified rock at Pt. Lobos State Reserve, back on 28 Sep 2006.

(Yes, I still feel compelled to break up the essay posts with pictures.)

Forward to the past

Sometimes I think about how to get out of the predicament of my present career situation, and I usually I come to believe the best solution involves time travel. Granted, I have not developed a means of manipulating space-time (nor do I have any notion of "space-time" other than hearing it mentioned in science fiction shows), and were it such that the aforementioned career circumstances allowed me the wherewithal to even attempt such a venture, then those circumstances would not really require time travel to improve. Nonetheless, I've more or less concluded that only by going back in time and convincing my younger self to choose more prudently when it came to learning practical skills that would be more marketable later could my present situation hold much chance of improving.

Sure, the obvious use of time travel would be to go back and have my younger self make some strategic wagers on the outcomes of sporting events, but I've seen enough episodes of The Twilight Zone to know the moralistic consequence of manipulating the past merely to gain material wealth. I'm not stupid—unmotivated, certainly, but not stupid.

Everyone has the same reaction. First they think that solution preposterous and delusional, then they feel compelled to offer the pithy but worthlessly vague advice: "If you want to change, make it happen."

To avoid the uncomfortable stares I have stopped trying to explain how that's not what I want. (Something I learned early on, and something I would not need to advise my younger self: Just tell people what they want to hear. No one really gives a crap about figuring out someone else's situation; others merely want to think that everyone else is exactly like they are, and anything else they may be told merely sends them into an unavoidable tizzy.) What they do not grasp is the flaw in the assumption in their argument: that I want to change; what I want is to have changed in the past so I don't have to change now.

There's only so many days in any lifetime, and when one's 20-year reunion is in one's rear view mirror, one has already spent the primo days where one should have changed, the days where one's circumstances are less established and easier to change. One doesn't know shit, but that's what makes it so easy during that time: one has not experienced the futility of the changes about which one was excited but which turned out disappointing. By the time one can look back on that many days, one has squandered them if one is inclined to look back and see them as squandered. It's too late. The time to act has passed, but only by realizing that the time has passed does one realize it was the time to act; only by a visit from a traveler from the future can one instead act while the time to act is still available.

To confirm what you're now thinking: Yes, it's not entirely unlike the Back to the Future movies.

The conventional logic that gets beaten into us is that, when one comes to the realization of the squandered days, one should enact changes for one's future. Oh, how blithely naïve. One has a long pattern of behavior developed by that point; the only thing that causes significant alterations in the way one conducts one's days at that point is the imposition of outside circumstances: winning the lottery, get laid off, having a serious medical emergency, becoming friends with Tom Cruise, etc. Left to one's own devices, one can attempt the annual New Year's resolution over and over, but the best one can hope to do is tweak the existing pattern a bit.

You think that fatalistic because of the efficacy of the brainwashing—er, conditioning you've received, you lucky sods. I'm not sure how I missed out on that—perhaps that's what happens when one attends a public university—but I cannot help but lament that I don't get to maintain that blind optimism like the rest of you when I am unable to suppress the thoughts of where things went awry for me professionally. It would be freakin' sweet to think there's hope, it really would.

Perhaps what I need is to travel back in time and ensure I get the brainwashing. That makes the most sense. Even if I could meet up with my younger self, how would my younger self not think he (I) was completely losing it, much less convince him (me) of what changes he (I) should implement while the time was still opportune for such things?

And I've seen enough episodes of The Outer Limits to know that the way this meeting with my former self would happen. Another time-traveling version of me from my future would come back to the point where I interacted with my former self and advise us both (present me and past me) that past me shouldn't listen to present me, because the advice proved to be more harmful than helpful further into the days past the squandered days, and he (future me) came back to prevent the mistake I didn't make until I (present me) went back. At which point past me would probably have a premature heart attack and kill us all.

So, I suppose my present circumstances aren't necessarily that bad.

I mean, those circumstances did lead me to the woman I love. And I didn't even have to get advice from the future for that. (At least, not that I'm aware of.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

No stars here

Can you guess where this residential street lined with pine trees is?

Here's a hint:

Focus on the sign on the building in the background.

This is Lanewood Avenue. (Go ahead and check out the link; you can see the trees from satellite photos.)

Yes, it's in the heart of Hollywood, between the famous boulevards of Sunset and Hollywood. A couple blocks north one would find no trees but a sidewalk lined with the names of famous people in five-pointed shapes, but here, there's this mini-forest in front of every building on the block.

And only in front of the buildings on this block. And only on this one block to the east of La Brea Ave. And nowhere else on the surrounding blocks, the surrounding city, and (for the most part) the surrounding metropolitan area, can one find pine trees this tall or in this concentration.

Here's the view of the pines from the nearest major intersection.
Notice the street sign under the traffic signal.
(Click to enlarge.)

And I have no idea how they got there. I presume some developer planted them at the same time, years ago. (A search has revealed no insight, but I admit that's hardly surprising. Frankly, it's somewhat heartening to know that not every single bit of possible human information has been documented beyond all possible mystery.)

Um, yeah. I understand that you will find this utterly unremarkable, because you haven't walked in the area, passing the dilapidated strip club where the homeless camp in its litter-strewn alcove, crossing the intersection where billboards like the one below on the right are not uncommon*, then taking another fifty steps and turning down this tranquil block of giants, only to emerge from under their shade and within three minutes navigating through tourists and striding blithely past the theater where the Oscars will be held in another week and a half.

So I guess this post (that displays my simultaneous fascination with and disdain for Hollywood) is mostly just for me. (I'll leave the obvious jokes for you to compose in response to that in the Comments.) Thanks for tolerating the self-indulgence (again).

* Really. The attorney for Rodney King. In the civil suit, I presume.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Petting the punk train (it will seem better in years)

Interesting coincidence of no consequence that is not actually all that interesting, described in a stream-of-consciousness format because it seemed like a good idea at the time:

One midday as I waited for the train, I listened to the radio on my Walkman for a few minutes. On the radio they (I presume there's more than one person involved in the broadcasts) played a song I'd heard a few times, and at the end the DJ noted the band responsible was called Be Your Own Pet, and mentioned the band was from Nashville (I presume the one in Tennessee). Then just after the train pulled up to the platform and I got on and grabbed a seat, I pulled The Believer magazine and glanced at the letters page, and the first letter I read suggested to the editors that they do a story on new punk bands and youth culture in general, and specifically recommended that the band "be your own PET" (that's how the person put it in her letter). Not that I'd consider them to be a "punk" band from the song that just got played on the radio by them, but I suppose the criteria used for determining who is punk from who is... whatever contemporary rock sub-genre moniker is applicable... may be different in Tennessee than it is here in L.A. Or perhaps if I were a youth these days rather than having been one a couple decades ago I might think of them as "punk" because I wouldn't have the same association of what "punk" means.

Granted, "punk" was probably more the attitude than the specific tempo or chord progressions or aggressive lyrical content. Well, not all the lyrics were that aggressive, really; the Ramones, whom many would consider the ones who set the blueprint for punk, had songs like "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and that is actually less aggressive, from a lyrical standpoint, than Abba's "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)"—which is, by most standards, not punk. So, perhaps if BYOP wears leather jackets like the Ramones did, then they may be as worthy of that description as any band.

Heck, the de facto poster boy for punk (in the mainstream), Sid Vicious, wore a leather jacket, and he couldn't even play his instrument; he was nothing but attitude. I'm willing to give Be Your Own Pet the benefit of the doubt that they play their instruments. Being able to play is not necessarily "punk" but I have pretty much come to expect that. Well, depending on what one is setting out to do. I still like the Monkees, and they didn't play their instruments when they were put together by TV producers. (They did play them later, when they toured. Well, Mike and Peter were already musicians before being cast, so to say the Monkees didn't play their instruments was only half right.) And if the criticism of the the Monkees is they were manufactured, well, Malcolm McLaren had a heavy hand in the lineup (and the name) of the Sex Pistols, and they are generally considered punk (I would put them in that category); their bass player never really learned to play bass, so the Monkees could actually get more credit than the Pistols in that regard. However, as we noted, the point was attitude, and in that regard Davy, Mickey, Peter, and Mike couldn't compete with Johnny, Sid, Jonesy, and Paul. Well, at least not with Johnny and Sid.

I still like the songs by both the Monkees and the Pistols (and the Ramones, and even Abba), whether they played on them or not, more than that song by BYOP that got played on the radio, even though BYOP may have a more spotless origin.

That's probably not a coincidence. It's sounds like a cop-out, but it's probably true that I'm too old to take that much of a shining to these new punk groups, whether the magazine ever spotlights them or not. Everything that used to be seems better than what is now, even if back when it was now it wasn't as good as what used to be back then. So perhaps in about 10 to 20 years I'll be all over Be Your Own Pet.

So my advice to young musicians of today: Be patient. I may jump on your train, despite my no longer being your core demographic. However, it may not be until well after you've broken up.

If you're any good now, you'll seem really good down the road.

More overexposure

Prologue to this post: These photos were taken in Round Valley in the Mt. San Jacinto wilderness (reached by riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway), 14 Oct 2005.

To be straight up front: They are not the best shots from the day, but they do have a theme.
They are the ones where the sun is in the picture.

I know the conventional photographic perspective dictates that the way it obscures details makes for awful pictures. I'm not of the opinion that they are good pictures. I'm also of the opinion that merely making good pictures isn't always interesting photography. However, do not interpret that statement as attempting to convince you that these shots are interesting. You think whatever you think.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

State of this American male

So last Saturday evening we attended the festivities celebrating my sister's birthday. Although the intent was to go to P.F. Chang's for dinner, the wait as of 7:00 p.m. was two hours (for a party of nine), so instead we opted for the Japanese teppan bar place next door, Wako something-or-other (named for the town in Japan, I assume), where the wait was about 20 minutes.

While we waited, we ambled over to the bar and ordered a round of drinks. Many in the group selected specialty drinks from the drink menu next to the bar, including things like green tea vodka martinis. I glanced at the ingredients in something listed as the "Wako Castle": vodka, whiskey, sake, plum wine, and some mix that escapes my recollection. Far and away the most alcohol of any single drink on the menu. Feeling particularly manly at that moment (for some reason), and not doing any driving at any point during the evening, I ordered that.

Then as the bartender started to prepare it, I noticed him put ice in the blender along with the ingredients. Hmm. It didn't mention being a blended drink, but oh well; if that's what it was, that's what it was. Still: vodka and whiskey and sake.

Then rather than reaching for a glass, he pulled out a… vessel… shaped like a castle in Wako (I am led to believe) and poured the frozen concoction into it. I looked back at the menu and realized I hadn't noticed the small print noting the drinks in that section came in a souvenir glass. "That you keep."

Well, uh… vodka! whiskey! sake!

And then he inserted into a small hole in the side of the "castle" a short straw. The length of straw barely poked out of the hole.

This he set on the bar for me to pick up, without (thank goodness) any fanfare.

So I reached for it tentatively. I could only hold it for a few seconds before grabbing the napkin to wrap around the clay glass in a futile attempt to insulate my hand from the intense cold. (Ah, there's a reason why blended drinks like margaritas are served in stemmed glasses, and it's not entirely ornamental!) And to drink, I had to essentially put my lips up against the side, to practically kiss the castle.

It was at this point that I noticed a pair of women seated in the corner looking at me. One of them had to completely twist around to see me. And it became clear quickly that they weren't so much admiring my masculinity but being amused by my abject lack of it.

After that I held the drink low, bending over to sip. Soon thereafter we were shown to the teppan bar where our dinner was prepared in front of us.

I set the "castle" behind the drink menu, until my friends took that away.

Eventually I gave up and ordered a beer—a large beer—and I displayed the bottle on the table with what little pride I could muster.

The meal proceeded fine from there until the waitress asked if I wanted it wrapped up. I said, "No, that's okay." But she insisted. "Come on, you have to take the pagoda," she said as she snapped it up and scurried away.

Hey, it's a castle, I thought, not bothering to actually say anything audibly.

Minutes later the waitress returned with a bag containing the "souvenir," which my compatriots demanded I not leave behind. It could be used as a planter, it was suggested. (Uh oh. Effect of beer being negated by that.)

We then headed over to see a burlesque show (yes! dancers in lingerie... with as much re-masculation as is possible from seeing them with one's girlfriend and one's sister). And rest assured, I didn't even look at the drink menu there.

As for the "castle": I left it in my sister's car when the evening was done. Somehow it slipped my mind.

Happy Birthday to her!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Proof I have left the metropolitan L.A. area, at least in the past.

Joshua Tree,
Joshua Tree National Park, California
15 May 2005

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Palm in the fog

Photo taken outside the building where I live, taken about two hours ago.

Yeah, I really should get over feeling compelled to have captions all the time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Talking to you is like long division

With songs being licensed for commercials left and right (The The's "This Is The Day" for M&Ms, New Pornographers' "The Bleeding Heart Show" for University of Phoenix, the Buzzcocks' "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" for AARP—yes, the retired persons group), I find myself wondering how Rhett Miller's "Singular Girl" never got poached by a relatively obvious cell phone company. Sure, it's only a homonym (to the extent that the name of the company is to be considered a word), but where else would they find a song that so blatantly sounds like it's saying their name?

Heck, it's not like Rhett wouldn't go for it; his songs for the Old 97's have appeared in commercials previously, and they even recorded a special version of the Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" song for that restaurant chain, so he's not so much of an artist to fail to snatch up some corporate dollars to feed his kids.

However, now it's too late. Cingular is being phased out by AT&T, so technically there's not much longer going to be a cellular company whose name sounds like "singular" and who would be interested in concocting an ad campaign around a girl—or more likely, around the boy pursuing the girl. Hell, if I can come up with that much off the top of my head, someone in any agency should be able to phone it in.

(Heh, phone it in.)

Perhaps such a commercial would have boosted sales for Cingular to the point where they could have absorbed AT&T. If Rhett can make people want to eat ribs, selling phone plans would be a snap.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

High on Burbank

The Valley: It's where dreams are made.

With a crane, apparently.

Or whatever that building with the smokestacks makes.

Spam subject line of the day

As with the previous spam message subject lines I've spotlighted, this one had something that made it stand out. I tout this one because of its honesty.


It's so considerate of this spammer to properly identify the nature of the message. I almost bothered to read it.

But I didn't. That's not what this recurrent feature is about.