Friday, March 23, 2007

'Buddhist Style'

Empty box seen on the sidewalk of Yucca St., one block north of Hollywood Blvd.

Nowhere near a restaurant.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Say hello to Abe and the beaver

I just saw a new commercial for the presciption sleep aid Rozerum. You've probably seen the one where the guy meets Abe Lincoln and a beaver in what we are supposed to believe is a dream and they talk about how they've missed him due to his insomnia.

In the new ad our protagonist (?) is sitting at a bus stop with his somnambulant companions, and when the beaver addresses him as "chief" he identifies himself.

As "Doug."


In the somewhat-amusing, somewhat-annoying Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central, her dog is named Doug.


A think of a guy I knew in high school (named Doug) who told me this: "Everyone either is a Doug, or wants to be a Doug."

I always considered those words to live by, but now I realize there could be a downside to it coming true.

(It was so much simpler when my name was flying under the radar and merely used in Nickelodeon cartoons.)


Eh, at least I have ribald commediennes to keep me entertained at this hour, until the drugs kick in and I get to sleep.

Springing into action

Vernal equinox: Today at 4:07 pm, Pacific Standard Time.

Which, now that Daylight Savings Time was moved up so that it went into effect over a week ago, means it will occur at 5:07 pm.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Quote-to-be-taken-out-of-context du jour

"I could count the things I didn't do yesterday that I should have done. I could count the things I should do today that I'm not going to do. I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. … I don't amount to the powder to blow me to hell. I've turned out to be nothing but a bit of flotsam."

- Dorothy Parker, "The Little Hours"

A tree grows in Hollywood... sort of

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A tree grows in Long Beach

Tree A (left): practically barren.
Tree B (right): in full bloom.


There're right next to each other, presumably getting the same amount of sunlight and water:

Yet they are so different. (cue dramatic music)
Nature isn't fair, but sometimes it's pretty.

I like this shot better, even though you can't see the trees as well:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blinded by the hidden light

In the Project Room of the Pasadena Museum of California Art...

Dan Goods' The Hidden Light.

A projector casts this strange green, noisy light on to the wall. Above my girlfriend blocks part of the scene with the round disc.

Below I stand by the projector and cast a large silhouette of my hand on to the wall. But what's that in the palm of my hand's shadow? (Go ahead. Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

A projected movie of the planets is also cast on the wall, but it is obscured by the green light until the viewer blocks part of the latter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The story of the squirrel ($8 worth of terror)

Along the stretch of highway south of Monterey, California known as "17-Mile Drive" one of the spots of interest is the lone cypress.

During our trip down the California coast last September my girlfriend and I spent the $8 (yes--eight fraking dollars) to drive along that stretch of private road. While it was technically lovely, it became clear that the only way to make it seem worth the that entry fee was to hit the highlights, and so we made several stops, including the spot mentioned above.

We parked in a marked stall in a lot off from the road. There weren't many cars, being a Thursday morning. We walked along the edge of the cliff next to the parking area to where a set of stairs allowed us to walk down to a platform with a closer view of the famous tree.

After snapping a few photos there the novelty had worn off and we ascended back to the parking area. As we approached our car we noticed a squirrel near the driver's door. Being a wooded area, it wasn't surprising to see such a creature. However, what did prove unexpected was how he didn't scurry away as we got close.

Okay. It stood to reason that the animals had grown accustomed to the tourists and weren't afraid of people. Still, I figured he would move eventually; being by the driver's door, I needed to go where he was.

When I was a couple steps from him, he did move. He charged me.

That's right: He didn't flee. He came at me.

I had what was the obvious reaction to being challenged by an animal five-feet shorter than me (when standing up on its hind legs): I jumped back and ran several steps away. I retained some dignity by virtue of not shrieking as I did this. (Not much dignity, admittedly.) He didn't pursue me once I retreated.

Some other people came back to their car nearby at this point. Rather than laughing at our predicament, they noted the squirrel had been similarly aggressive toward them when they got out of their car. They then quickly got into their car while snickering and drove away.

During that moment of our distraction, he scurried under our car. From where we stood we couldn't see whether he was still under there or had gone out the other side. We approached with trepidation, leaning down to try to see under the car. We didn't see him.

Then he emerged out from under the front of the car, and again we fled.

I tried stamping my foot, to see if the noise would frighten him away, at least long enough to allow us entry to the car. He was unfazed by the gesture.

At the point we exerted our superior intellect with this clever ploy: standing at a safe distance, doing nothing.

Eventually, I think he grew bored with us and went off to torment some other tourists. Still, we hurriedly got in the car and locked the doors right away, as though the squirrel could pull on the handle and get in. Even as we drove away we laughed nervously, convinced he would suddenly jump on the hood or spring up from the back seat.

We made no further stops along the route, and sped through Carmel in order to get back on Highway 1 as soon as possible.

It was quite the red-letter day for humanity, formerly the dominant species on the planet.

Facts you don't need to know but are nonetheless true: We took as many pictures of the incident with the squirrel as we did of the tree.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The textile project

We'll pretend these extreme close-ups count as artistic growth...

Ikea can be a source of art... kind of.