Saturday, May 26, 2007

neighborhood shots.


There’s a dog on my street with whom I love to interact.

Oslo [pronounced “Oh-slow”] likes to hang out in his front yard and poke his head through the fence — and hedges — to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. He introduced himself to me a few months ago, as I was walking down the street. Suddenly, the manicured hedgerow became Oslo and we've been friends ever since. He’s never made a peep and he doesn’t jump around maniacally like every other Weimaraner in the known free world.

He just sits there, making this face.

Oslo's cool.

Friday, May 25, 2007


So, I've decided to shoot Beachwood Canyon. I find it's loaded with a bizarre mix of typical Los Angeles architecture, typical British architecture — the kind one might find in the countryside - and, surprisingly, Asian minimalist architecture. [This led me to say, "Oy vay! It's Feng Shui!!"] The lighting wasn't optimal for shooting the homes, so I'll shoot them at a later date. There's also a stable at the end of my street. I asked permission to photograph it, knowing full well they'd deny the request. [I said, "I shoot horses, don't I?" They said, "go away."]

...And, as per usual, you can click on 'em to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

somewhere, tinky winky is laughing. hard.

And then he’s gonna have a threesome with Dipsy, and Po [a ho, I'm told] and laugh even harder.

Jerry Falwell died today. So, okay, let’s just come out and say it, shall we? Jerry Falwell was a nasty, hateful tool.

Oh my god! Did he just say that? About a man of the cloth??

Yes. Yes, I did. And I would argue that Jerry Falwell was more about green paper than cloth. He had exactly zero scruples, and if there is a Creator, he’s instructing St. Peter to bitch-slap Falwell and have him dragged to Hades by God’s Bouncers. [They look like they’ve been lifting, so don’t mess with them.]
Don’t believe me that Falwell was a no-good shithead? This is what he said after September 11th:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

…uh... Jerry? As the kids say these days, WTF?

Wait, it gets better. He thought you were stupid [much like the ad guys mentioned in my May 6th post]. I know this because of what he said two days later:

"I hold no one other than the terrorists and the people and nations who have enabled and harbored them responsible for Tuesday's attacks on this nation."

And he expected you to believe him.

He then blamed the media for incompetent reporting. Personally? I blame the media for not calling him on it. No, I blame the media for not treating him the way Tony Soprano last treated Christopher Moltisanti.

But, much like a Ginsu Knife offer, there’s still more: Falwell contested that, “when The Antichrist comes, he must be, of necessity, a Jewish male."

Yeah, Jerry, Sandy Koufax is the beast. And it’s not “666.” It’s “000.” Which is, of course, a perfect game. I can see how Jerry might get the two confused.

Anyhow, I couldn’t possibly go through all of Falwell’s bullshit with one post. It would have to be the length of a novel, and who the hell wants to read a novel about him? If you want a book about an asshole, you may as well read, “The Cat in the Hat.” Sure, he’s one of the most celebrated characters in children's literature, but let’s be honest with ourselves — he’s an asshole. He comes in and trashes his hosts’ house and puts their pet’s life in jeopardy. But at least he’s not that pervert, Tinky Winky, ‘cause that guy loooooooves that Judy Garland.

But back to Falwell — who was only marginally smarter than the average children’s literature character [and av-er-age bear]. Let’s not revise history. Let’s not insult everyone’s intelligence. Let’s not react as Senator John McCain [R-AZ] reacted.

In a statement today, he said, “Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Falwell’s family at this difficult time.”

Not that you ever had it, Senator, but you’ve officially lost my vote. I can’t abide another idiot in the Oval Office.

But, as cold as it sounds, I think the world is a better place now that another idiot is in the dirt.

Oh my god! Did he just say that? About a man of the cloth??

Yes. Yes, I did.

Friday, May 11, 2007

hello, my name's dante.

So for the second time in two months, my neighborhood experienced a brush with fire [a brush fire, specifically]. This one was much closer than the first. So close, in fact, that I started to consider what I’d take with me if I were told to leave my home, just as the residents in the neighborhood down the road from mine were. So close that I could smell the smoke. So close that, as I drove up my street, I could see 100-foot flames, climbing up the ridge, maybe a quarter mile away. And, according to KTLA [inexplicably, the only station covering it], the wind was blowing west – i.e. my direction. Not a great feeling.
[Sadly, I don't live in this building.]

So, although the only mandatory evacuation I want to be a part of involves a venti coffee and a brand muffin, I started to make a mental list of what I’d have to load into my car. What was most sensible? What was irreplaceable? What was the most valuable?

Here, then, was my checklist:

• personal documents [taxes, passport etc]
• laptop/external hard drive
• notebooks
• artwork and photography
• pinochle trophies and ribbons
• a rare copy of Miracle Legion's 1987 masterpiece, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise."

• iPod
• iPod Dock
• manuscript to my upcoming novel, "I Will Remember You Until The Day I Get Alzheimer's"
• photos of iPod and Dock
• hairshirt
• knife set
• DVD’s of “The San Pedro Beach Bums,” Season I; “When Things Were Rotten,” Season 1; “Rhoda,” The Complete Series; and “Quincy,” Season 5 [If you ask me, Klugman peaked in ‘79]

• set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• photos of my set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• Terrible Towels
• autographed picture of Myron Cope
• "Map of the Polynesian Prostitutes' Homes"
• my collection of “Boy’s Life”
• Jimmy Hoffa's copy of "How To Make Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
• Bigfoot footprint plaster mold

• the master tapes of “The Beatles For Sale” [Up yours, George Martin! You want ‘em?? You’d better get yourself a damn good lawyer!]
• official Super Bowl IV inflatable hemorrhoid ring
• hooka
• lucky cheese gratin' scarf
• book on tape — “An Illustrated History of Yogurt-Based Cuisine in the 60’s” by Spiro Agnew
• ...and “Guernica”

…These are the things that matter in life.

But that’s just my opinion.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

people don't read blogs.

…they read what interests them, and sometimes it’s a blog.

Howard Luck Gossage almost said that. Actually, what he said was, “People don’t read ads, per se. They read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Gossage was a genius. He created ads like this one:

Pretty good ad, right? You’re damn right it is. And if there were more ads like it today, people would be less likely to turn the page, change the channel, and drive past without so much as a glance.

Why is intelligent advertising so hard to come by? Well, I think I know the answer. [What were the odds?] It’s because advertisers think that you’re stupid. Really stupid. Like, Rain Man-Forrest Gump stupid. Peter Boyle-doing-Frankenstein-singing-“Puttin’-on-the-Ritz” stupid. And the reason they think you’re stupid is because no one has told them that they’re wrong. It’s also Rupert Murdoch’s fault, but then so are “American Idol,” “In Living Color,” and “90210.” For which, he should be playing Scrabble™ in the rec room at Attica Correctional Facility, with a shiv tucked away in his sock just in case his cellmate decides he looks like Mamie Van Doren — which, by the way, he does.
[Rupert Murdoch, above]

But you’re not stupid are you? You’re actually pretty damn smart. And without making it sound like I’m trying to get you into bed, you’re pretty damn attractive, too. [But, uh, you’re gonna get that thing fixed, right?]

My point in all of this is… is… well… this:

We accept too much in the way of mediocrity. Our airwaves and highways and newspapers are chock-full of it. Networks are convinced you can only handle bite-sized portions of information. And it’s troublesome when the majority of our population gets its most accurate political information from comedians.

I suggest an intellectual revolution.