Okay...sorry. Couldn't eat the burger and type at the same time. Here's what you need to know.
First off, I'm a good person. I contributed some coin to KCRW (our NPR station) today. My soul has been cleansed. Guilt free, I can listen to all the radio personalities beg and cajole the listenership for bread and go "Yeah, what's wrong with you fucking people! They'll give you a T-shirt."
When I decided on burger tonight the usual quadrangle of choice popped to mind. We have the 101, Fred 62, Canter's, and Swingers for dining after 11p.m. There's a host of Denny's and such, but, really, this was an act of love. I wanted my burger to taste kind of like burger.
Canter's and Swingers are west of La Brea, kind of a hike, and are last ditch. Swingers has this gaudy loudness, bright orange walls, and this reverence for cows. It's not Hindu. You can eat them. It's just cow decorated and slightly annoying.
Canter's is the place where old servers go to die. Souls are sold in Hollywood for SAG cards and 5 line roles and when the vig comes due, the sellers work at Canter's.
My place nestles equidistant from Fred's and the 101. I tend towards Fred's, its mediocre product, and uncomfortable counter stools cause I know some of the waitresses from around. I fulfill two needs there. I eat junk food and flirtatious, 20 minute junk food relationships. They smile. I smile. We all go home happy.
But it was too fucking crowded and no one worth the wait was on. So, the 101.
See Swingers? The movie not the aforementioned diner. They filmed the last scene in the 101. Probably others, but it's been a long time. That movie epitomizes the Los Angeles experience from Los Feliz to Vine and Franklin. That's where the arty kids move. It's where those who believe they have something to say live. At least that's true when I got here and definitely in the time of Liman/Favreau.
Those of us who stayed and aren't making Iron Man remain cool and hip just with wrinkles. I noticed a new one on my eyelid this morning. Fuck.
So, I'm eating this, okay, but not great burger by myself in the booth as you know around midnight. The waitress and I have exchanged pleasantries and assurances, but around we don't know each other so it lacks flirtation.
A new couple sits in front of me. The smartphone held my attention so they escaped my notice. I detect an accent from the fella with the goofy, Abe Lincoln beard while he gives into the chocolate goodness exuding from my milkshake mere feet away. But meters to him.
Here's the thing about accents in LA, my neighborhood especially. BEWARE! This is still the capitol of reinvention and mental illness, so the psychotic you met on Craig's list may have just decided he's English.
I listen, chomping on my burger. My inner Anglophile tweaks when I hear things like "this guy called..." or "that would be lovely" and "cheers." He's continuous, unending. Whether the front of the back of the blonde head before me wanted to talk I don't know, but he wasn't allowing it. Perhaps, he thought it gentlemanly to do all the talking. Or, perhaps he decided that to survive this date he must. I've had those dates myself.
The woman I was living with and I during Yellow Dust Season. Which is a time in spring*and fall apparently* when the winds from the Manchurian deserts sweep across the Korean peninsula and eventually to North America, leaving a nasty trail of sulfur, carbon and other delicious pollutants in its wake. We woke up one morning to scratchy red eyes, sore throats and this dense fog that obscured anything beyond a block away. Every year hundreds of people die of lung complications from it. Hence the masks and the "the world is about to end" feeling to the picture. None of my students at the time even thought it was a big deal. Given that some of these kids were 17-18 years old, it just showed me what kind of shit you can become accustomed to over time.
Oh, and one of the teachers at my school got fired when someone asked for a definition of pollution. She had simply pointed out the window and said "That."
It's Day 7, it's evening. Time to add this first week to a different tally: my time with the outside world, spending time with real people over a real conversation and not a polite one, has been dwindling.
The last thing I did socially in a group of more than two other people was over thirty days ago, in December. I have had no social interaction, no interaction outside of office and home, in the year 2008.
It is February. Let's shoot for March.
How many days does it take to get listless and bored with the world to the point of self-destruct? Not a gross depressive episode out of despair mind you, but out of a desire for anything- anything at all- to be different? At what point does routine utterly fail to bring any kind of comfort, and in fact become a skipping record?
Just a drawing of Merrick, in response to a friend's drawing; x-posted to my normal blog; there's also a post a few posts back to the drawing my friend did of Merrick.
Joseph Carey Merrick, aka the Elephant man was afflicted with Proteus Syndrome, along with several other diseases, having won the Russian roulette for Bad Genetics.
The thing that strikes me about him, from the accounts I've read, was that despite being rather horrific in appearance, and having been treated horribly by others, he maintained his dignity as a human, calm composure and peaceable attitude, instead of falling towards rage or despondency, when the odds were, for the most part, against him.
The drawing was done pretty quickly in pen and ink, over graphite, scanned and then colored using Painter Classic's watercolor 'brush'.
The time taken to complete this? under half an hour.
So. I'm trying to teach myself Korean; I've got some books and phrase books, and am now slowly working my way through the ABC's. Graph paper helps me write; otherwise I end up scrawling all over the place. Some part of me is tempted to learn to write it with my left hand, but I'm going to wait and decide upon handedness until after I've got the symbols matched with their sounds.
So far my favorite letters are the ch'-sound letter, because it looks like a little man, and the h-sound because it looks like a man in a hat (sorry, I haven't gotten this computer up to par on languages, like my laptop- the laptop in question being setup for English, Romanian and Hungarian).
I like learning new languages, or at least trying to; my mind likes having something to 'chew' on. Latin is my first and foremost linguistic love, and I am not too proud to say I'm less than mediocre at it, because I've been neglecting it in favor of working on Korean, and I don't want to get my languages crossed too much.
Happy 96th birthday to comics industry giant Creig Flessel, an artist whose first published work was the cover of Detective Comics #2 (!) in 1937, and who played a big role in shaping DC's look in the very early years with numerous covers.