pool, MSNMark1

Back, kind of

I wondered when my last post was. I'd never stopped posting for more than a month or so.  Up to last year, I read and commented faithfully. 

Well, I posted 6 months ago, just before I started my new job. It's going pretty well, more demanding to get into my new role than I expected, but it's coming along.  I'm working for a very dynamic organization that promotes and funds housing for homeless people with mental disabilities.  I'm in the lending unit, and it's pretty exciting.  

Also demanding.

At the same time, I'm in a new relationship.  Today we started moving into our new place, in Hollywood near Paramount and Larchmont Village. Very beautiful 3-bedroom place, and a very livable neighborhood.  We're pretty thrilled.

I will be around LJ.  Read recently in polomex 's Facebook page about how the critical mass has kind of gone away.  Well, I appreciate the nudges I've gotten from maxauburn  and joncub.  

Actually, this journal might need a kind of reboot so I'll be tinkering with it if I find I have time.

I'll be in and out.  In the coming week, I'm moving.  Following that, a trip to Boston for a week (April 15-24).  So I hope to see a few of you I haven't seen for several years.  

More later
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Full, Wattaburger

TSA guy

I'm boarding to go to Dallas (oh, Love Field, not DFW!) and had to go through the scanner a couple of times.  As I was repacking the TSA guy held up my studded snap-on cock ring and asked, "is this like a dog collar for a tiny dog or something? This is what was holding up the scanning".  I just said "No, it's more personal than that".  He laughed and I just packed up.

Just here for a few days, packing up family stuff I left in my trek across the country.  
1 Sea breeze

Briefly updating

Fun bike ride down to the beach today with Josh,vwcub.  About 15 miles round trip, boy am I out of shape!  Also, my tires were very low, we had to go to Pep Boys and put some air in.  

I need more exercise.

I've been doing the same stuff: consulting in Venice with a sideline in Palmdale.  I applied for a job at "my dream job" location, and had a second interview. It seemed good and productive (although I did step in a big cowpie on an issue related to my current project in Venice).  Both clients know that I am up for full-time work that would take me away from their projects. 

If my "dream job" doesn't materialize and I don't build up more clients, I am seriously going to evaluate my career path, by the Winter.
I want another dog.  Things to work out. 

I am starting to read a book by Barbara Frame, about the Knights of the Templar, in preparation for re-reading Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum", maybe in Italian (with a crib of the translation at my side).  I read "Pendulum" once and felt hampered by an inadequate understanding of the historical context. 

Going buggy for a vacation.  I'm assuming I can get my Palmdale clients funded, then they can pay me for the past 13 months.

We had a good meeting yestereday.  Their housing project will happen, but it won't support their organization.  I stressed that they can do that, one of their group comes out with a decent job. The others need to leave their dead-end jobs and get into the field, so they gain knowledge, skills and contacts.  They are very dedicated people who have accomplished some small projects.  I'd like to see them go farther.  

My apartment is palatial by some standards. But hard to fit everything.  I got some shelving that helped me sort junk out and get useful stuff in useful spots.  Now I have to move some big bookshelves and get their contents back in them.  Always a bitch. But I can get some paintings framed/glass replaced, get some new curtains, paint a little (no more violet, seal the wood bathroom floor, touch-up), etc.  I can get books and records out of the kitchen and maybe get a new table there.  

Nice to have my sister's truck, I kind of miss life on the bus. 

  • Current Music
    "England Swings" Roger Miller
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1 Sea breeze

Dave Ryan, Senior, RIP

My father passed away today in Oregon, after a long spell with Alzheimer's.  Just 3 weeks shy of his 89th birthday. We were not that close/a little close.  My parents split when I was 2, he had gone off to Israel to live on a kibbutz, and she had decided to keep the kids in New York.  he was a bit of a dreamer, well, a lot of a dreamer, maybe that was part of the split.  

Both my mother and Dave remarried, she to an artist she had a tempestuous relationship with, he to a wonderful woman he'd met at the same job where he met my mother.  When we lived in New York, he was around regularly, though I think he was away for some long trips for photography.  I remember weekly visits, and gifts of models and toys.. probably the gun in this picture that he shot (the icon).  He had another son when I was 7 or 8, only one child.

When I was 9, fourth grade, my stepfather packed us off to Rome, Italy where he could be an artist (composer of modern orchestral music) and Dave took his family off to Japan where he had a concept for a sociological photo-essay.  Our trip was shortened due to finances (damned Guggenheims, or maybe it was my parents' budgeting skills), while Dave and his family stayed in Nagano-Ken for 8 years. The photo-essay was left uncompleted, though I believe the layout exists and the negatives are there to be printed. They became potters and moved to the Oregon coast.  

While they lived in Japan, we spoke once a month by phone.    Although they lived a very frugal existence, they were generous with gifts and an occasional letter- I still have some of the art books he sent.

After they returned and moved to Oregon, we kept in touch as I grew up.  Talking at birthdays and holidays, usually, and I would visit.  Maybe 6 or 7 times since the 70's.  

Anyway, he has had a slow decline over the past 15 years.  He lost his sight, suffering cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.  It took him several years to learn to use the books on tape that are provided to blind people.  And over the past few years he has been more and more befuddled. 

I'm grateful to the side of the family that grew up with him that they helped him be comfortable in his decline.  He was a pretty strident atheist and not a believer in the afterlife, but sometimes it is good to pass when the body is played out.  He will be remembered.

PS  No arrangements yet for a service. He will be cremated.  I don't have a photo of him, other than one from my last visit, and he explicitly asked me not to share that.  

  • Current Mood
    not surprised
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I had two dreams.  

One, I had lain down for a nap in the afternoon, I was just tired. It was a restless sleep but I did fade out.  I felt I was part of a quilt-like pattern.  That was the dream, it was kind of like the pillow at the beginning of "Mullholland Drive".  I got a phone call and was all buzzy, groggy.

Then this morning I had a dream of being with friends in a neighborhood that was a bit sketchy, but where we felt safe.  We were talking about leaving our windows open at night without worry. (I should hope so!)  Then we were talking about how Bruce Springsteen's son lived in the area and he had security around to make sure he'd be ok.  

This could pretty much be my own neighborhood, which is mostly solidly middle class and "USC adjacent".  My block is safe, there are parts of the surrounding areas I would stay away from.

Anyway, our opinion of Bruce Springsteen's son seemed to reflect that he was a bit of a pampered brat, protected by his father's wealth.  I was awake for about 10 minutes musing on the dream before I came to and realized that Demi Moore wouldn't be the mother, rather Patty Scialfa.  Must have confused my Bruces. 
Full, Wattaburger

should-be-at-work post

I had a nice weekend, spent it alone.  Saw a lot of "Law and Order:  Criminal Intent" 'cause I have a crush on Vincent D'Onofrio (well, the whole cast) and it's good, too.  Last night I saw a 2006 episode where they gut the rationale for torture and waterboarding used by the Bush administration at Guantanamo.  Well done, a bit late, but well done.
  • I've had a lot of great visits lately, which is nice since I haven't been out of town in awhile.  bostonbear  (Glenn) was here in March, a quick visit and get-to-know-LA trip taken while he was in California on family business.  seabear59 (Gary) came for a few days 3 weeks ago-I'd say the showing of "How to Train Your Dragon" followed by a trip to Mozza Pizzeria were high points of the trip.  bearsrider (Paolo) was here last weekend, and I was happy to show him the beautiful Norton Simon Museum, a quick tour of LA, bring him to visit our friend Dave(Dave) who has been out of action with eye problems, feed him real LA burritos from King Taco, and get his guidance in my spaghetti sauce.  Pictures to follow (my camera is broken, only takes a few shots so these are Gary and Paolo's pictures).
  • "How to Train Your Dragon" is worth its own post.  I really enjoyed this, and I have mostly withdrawn from the current blockbuster mentality based on younger people's childhood toys ("Transformers" triggered my leery eye).  Certain elements of this were stock, like the boy's effort to please his father.  But the execution was incredible and artfully designed. Full of little epiphanies and grace notes, when the final credits rolled over beautiful illustrations I was really grateful that they planned these little surprises of beauty all the way through.  I guess that my fascination comes from getting into Norse mythology after exhausting Greek and Roman stories, in children's books when I was learning to read.
  • I've been getting back into reading some, started with a brief book by David Reiff about the illness and death of his mother, Susan Sontag.  Good book, sincere, with a little repetition of the key themes and a few obvious pokes at family rivals (hint, Annie Liebovitz is mentioned twice, the second time in the context of her "celebrity death photos" dragging SS into shame).  I may write more about this book later.
Now I have started "the Grand Inquisitor's Manual" by Jonathan Kirsch, which is about the Catholic Church's Inquisition, starting in the 11th Century.  I heard the author interviewed several times on its publication, it seems to be as much about the way that punitive morality is passed down by a repressive patriarchy, as about torture (same message as "Criminal Intent", water torture was the key tool in extracting false confessions in the Inquisition).  So I am interested. 
  • After sitting around all Saturday, I went to the LA Times Festival of Books on Sunday. I got a cool t-shirt from swaptree.com (ok, it is white with black lettering and XL). They broker book trades on the internet.  The Fair is huge, taking over much of the common open space at the center of the UCLA campus. It even goes into the courtyard of the Architecture building (one of the homeliest buildings, which features a naked bronze nymph that must have been the model for Phillip Johnson's horrible lady/angel statue at the AT&T building).  
Mostly I just walked around feeling like I was getting exercise- and it's true, I am sore today.  When I was studying at UCLA, I got down to 155 running around the campus (and jogging at the beach).  It was good to be around book people- lots of hot guys, too, though I didn't meet my future husband (this is the "kind of place" I expect that might happen).  

The most notable encounter was at the Anaïs Nin booth where I chatted with the volunteers who were selling "Books from Nin's own collection from her house in Silver Lake".  Oh yeah, the house she lived at with her second husband, who she forgot to tell her first husband about, she was just out in LA for her health.  Then she gave Husband #1 the rights to edit her lifetime of journals resulting in a contorted project which I read 5 volumes of when I was young.  

I told the volunteers about the party my mother threw at our place that Anaïs attended in bohemian Greenwich Vilage when I was a baby.  Then I poked fun at the book collection, which was all of her own works.  They stood up for Anaïs, saying she had other books too, and she stocked up on oatmeal to make sure there was food for starving artists.  Anyway, as much as most of my favorite writers are women, I would prefer to read Henry Miller's rampant egotism and sexism over anything she wrote, in fact I'd probably prefer reading the other men she fucked, including her father, psychiatrists, and whoever else was around.  

(Yes, part-time husband and expurgator Ian Hugo's experimental film works were fascinating, while Nin's stuff is overworked and breathy. But even with him, that's not his real name.)
  • I took the bus home and ate a hamburger, stayed up too late watching "Criminal Intent" and catching up with bear411/www messages. 
A few photos to follow another day.

Gary visit

I know Easter is a busy time, but seabear59 Gary B. is coming down for a couple of days.  I'll get him tonight at Union Station, and probably bring him over to Chinatown for some good food.

Sunday?  Maybe a movie at LA Live, or maybe a trip to the Old Getty Museum to see the Aztec art exhibit.  

Monday?  probably the other half of what we didn't get done.

Oh, and since it's Gary, I'm sure we'll get to Amoeba Records. 

Contact if you'd like to hook up with us for any of those events. 

  • Current Music
    KCRW blandness
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Full, Wattaburger

Busy days

  • Work.  It's good I have work. I'm almost "making it".  I have one client with all my bills backed up, I'll catch up a bit once I get them some money to pay me. (Yes, that's what I do.)
  • Relaxation  I had a nice day at LA's Central Library recently.  (Although they have named it after our do-nothing former Mayor Richard Riordan.) I got some good books, one each by Thoreau, Louis Erdrich, Dexter Filkins, a book called the Grand Inquisitor's Manual which is about patriarchy (and religion) in history, and one for fun, Smilla's Sense of Snow.
    • A little reading should replace some internet and the compulsion to plow through my TIVO and my Netflix list. 
  • Family  My brother's doing well, really. My sister is good. My birth father has been in the hospital with pneumonia, but I am hoping he will make it to his 88th birthday in July.  My stepfather's chamber music is being revived in London at the end of the month, and I am trying to become a better executor of my parents' estate.  So I will be contacting some of their associates to let them know of the event.  
  • Getting out of town  I haven't gotten out of town much in the past few years.  Luckily, I do have a couple of handsome visitors expected over the next few months. But I do yearn to see my family, and then friends.   Dallas has to be first, because I have a bunch of family stuff semi-abandoned there.  My high school buddy has a grease-fueled F350 and he's agreed to help me out.  I'm shooting for April.  
Facebook  Well, it's not as deep as LJ. As I sort my list there for availability (can't chat all day all the time), I do have a special niche for people I have known here for 6 years. It's funny that a site as broken as Facebook has achieved such socio-cultural dominance.

Here's my favorite mangled exchange on Facebook so far, with someone that, who knows, I might spend some naked time with someday.  ("Favorite" meaning "scariest.)

Me:  Jabber jabber jabber
He:   May I ask you a personal question?  
Me:  Sure!  
(long pause)
 Me:  Yes....
He:  Well, I'm surprised!  
Me:  (alarmed!) What? I thought you walked away.  I was just saying that you can ask me anything.....
He:  Oh, I did ask- I asked if you were HIV positive...
Me:  Oh shit!  No! I'm not! I was just trying to say I was still waiting for the question....

Now that's worse than the fabled Bear411 for mangling messages (no, if I put "facebook" on Bear411 the messages were being purposely deleted without warning).  

Back to being busy- I'm out tonight to see Allen Toussaint at Royce Hall, and have a semi-housewarming here in West Adams tomorrow. Need to clean! 


  • Current Music
    "A Hard Day's Night", Otis Redding Live
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