Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tea and Saturdays - Saturday 1/31/2009

I do love a pot of tea on a weekend morning.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's loose Chai is one of my favorites. There are lots of recognizable bits of spice in it, like whole green cardamom and anise seeds. I usually use two teaspoons of this and one of CB&TL's English Breakfast tea in my three-cup pot because I like a strong tea-ish brew.

Perfect companion to my Chapter 2 lessons in using Elements 7.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Found Stuff & Cinemark- Friday 1/30/2009

Random, I know. But I like this sort of thing... Stuff that is not in the right place.

Found this on the sidewalk near the coffee house off of Santiago Road. About a mile from our house, on the other side of the 14. Weak weak coffee, but a friendly place.

After working at home all day, I walked over the hill to meet up with Hydra so we could catch a matinee of The Reader.

This Lancaster multiplex was probably built in the 1990s, but they had a sense enough to make it into a modern day movie palace. The facade reminds me of steamship funnels. Let's get on board!

Cinemark at night. I leaned against the back of someone's big hulking truck to steady the camera for this shot.

The tail lights started blinking and I thought I might have set off the alarm, but no! The owner had just remotely unlocked the truck and was getting ready to climb in. What are the chances I'd pick one of the few vehicles in the lot that someone was about to drive off!

I probably giggled a bit too much in my explanation of what I was up to, leaning on her truck. But she smiled, so I guess it was okay.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Signs o' the Times - Thursday 1/29/2009

Can you read that sign outside of Mo's?

"Recession Never Tasted So Good - 1987 "Black Monday" Prices Every Monday after 5p.m. - On selected dinner entrees."

On the one hand, it looks like a good idea. On the other hand, I'm skeptical that much will be a deal here. Mo's is over-priced and has an attitude.

I'm amazed they've lasted so long, but every time I've been there with coworkers, we've seen studio types there. Execs, sometimes meeting with actors you recognize.

Personally, I'd take them to The Smoke House, which has a lovely old Hollywood ambiance. In fact, we did go there last week for my and Jens' belated birthday lunch.

I had the catch of the day with shrimp sauce. If you go, you must order the garlic bread. So yummy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Benny & the Jets - Wednesday 1/28/2009

Things were a little off this morning. I woke up coughing (from the cold that just keeps giving) at about 2:30 and moved out to the recliner in the living room even though Hydra strenuously offered to go.

I never did get back to sleep. But I did read quite a few pages of Inside Inside by James Lipton, with which I am offsetting my current fascination with graphic novels.

Anyway, Dierdre the hip waitress was at the end of her shift when I came in. I like her. She's friendly, and refills my coffee, and doesn't game me like I think one of the older all-nighters does. (Sigh, I know restaurants too well, having waited tables for ten years myself.)

She was very tired. I was very tired, and a little woozy from the sinus medicine I took as soon as I arrived at my table.

Even the head waitress was off kilter. She came with her usual armload of fresh donuts and warbled, "Oh, is it Wednesday? I was supposed to be here an hour ago."

The whipped cream on this just slightly weird morning was the drunk at the counter.

Now, I kind of understand the 2:30 drunk who has just been ejected from the bar.

But drunk at 5:15 a.m.?

Honey, you are working over time.

While I tried to concentrate on my writing, he ordered and waited, humming along with random snippets of the oldies playing on KRTH 101.

Deirdre brought him his food. He tucked into it. But when Benny & the Jets came on, he started singing in a medium-loud voice, "Deirdre! Deirdre! Deidre and these e-e-e-eggs!" He gesticulated over the plate like he was orchestrating the music from the heart of the over-easies resting there.

Okay. Um. That's it. The whole story.

It seemed really funny at the time. Maybe it was the Tylenol Extreme Sinus Headache tabs.

Okay, enough of that.

See what I did this evening with the Photoshop Elements 7 software Hydra gave me for my birthday? Can you tell the difference?

It's not big and artsy. I just took the shine off the table.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please Pick Cherries - Tuesday 1/27/2009

This might be a good time to mention that my Canon A590, which I am willing to carry around in my backpack, is on the fritz. I don't want to carry my Nikon D80 around in a jumble with my notebooks everyday, so the last few shots have been taken on my new Samsung cell phone. T-Mobile has made downloading and accessing them very easy.

It doesn't take fabulous photos. It's only 1.3 megabytes. Then again, my first digital camera only had 1.5.

Actually the staticky look of this shot, taken through the screen of the window in front of my desk is expressive of the condition inside my head. The tree guys showed up around 7 a.m. and were still at it when I fled the office at 3:00 p.m.

It's not the trimming that is causing the fuzz in my brain, it's the incessant loud gnashing whir of the garbage-truck sized wood chipper that's been going non-stop all day.

Also, this morning I came within arm's length of being the 6th car in a 5-car pile-up coming around the big curve from the 14 to the southbound 5.

So I would have really preferred it if this nice gentleman had been using that cherry picker for its stated purpose!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today's FBI... It's for You - Monday 1/26/2009

I don't know why, but I find this motto a leeeettle creepy.

It reminds me a little of the faux motto Hydra's street theater troupe used to use for the CIA : "Don't call us. We're already listening."

[Hydra warns me that this joke may have been stolen from some place, since he knows for sure that their rendition of the song "War" to the tune of "More" was lifted from Mad Magazine. Twas the Revolution. Parody to the People was the rule of the day.]

OneL called the FBI the other day to check some facts, and the guy practically recruited her. We've been calling them every few weeks or months for years, but this public relations guy is new and he sent her some FBI gear. Pretty cool.

She gave me a pen and a lanyard. It's probably not a good idea to even joke about possible uses of any of this stuff. So I won't.

But I have to admit, I went to the website and looked at the jobs and the pay scale is pretty nice...

Graphic Afternoon - Sunday 1/25/2009

I was back at Barnes & Noble this afternoon while Hydra ran a couple of errands and then browsed the shelves himself. Picked up a couple of graphic novels and took them to a table at the cafe and read them. I spend a decent amount of money there every year, so I feel okay about this.

I'm in a bit of a graphic novel frenzy right now. This tends to happen early each year, as the annual Best American Comics comes out and I either receive it as a gift or buy it with a gift card. I'm about half way through it and I've already put some books by graphic novelists on hold at Los Angeles Public Library.

It's a better collection this year than last year, so far. Credit this to Lynda Barry being the guest editor. She drew her introduction! Perfect! Artists I'm seeking out: Rick Geary, who does graphic versions of historical true crime stories like the Lizzie Borden incident and (hee) a biography of J. Edgar Hoover and Lynda Barry's latest book.

Today I read 30 Days of Night written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. The images are, it may be odd to say about such a violent tale of crazed flesh-ripping vampires, kind of magical. A page early on that depicts a police car in a snow storm is what drew me into the story. I've put a couple of this book's sequels on hold, but I'm concerned that Ben Templesmith isn't illustrating I put the book he both wrote and drew on hold too : Wormwood.

Also read the amazing Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa, which I would highly recommend to anyone who's interested in reading a graphic novel that does not involve a vampire, a zombie or a superhero. This is a fable about the lengths a parent will go to, to try and save his child.

I love days like this. I wrote, I read, I watched some home improvement shows on TV, I made soup ahead for my lunches this week. Bliss.