Tuesday, April 22, 2014

not the image I expected


Believe me, you should be looking at a team of USC hip-hop dancers, practicing on the roof of Parking Lot D as I extracted my car at the end of a long day.  Only ... I reached out to insert the memory card into the lower of these two slots, slid it into the top one by mistake, and it's swallowed it.  Completely.  I don't even know if, when I dig out a piece of firm but bendy wire, it'll be reachable.  Probably not.  Probably I won't be able to insert any CDs, either.  Ever.  

It was that kind of a day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

the shrine, from the ground up



I normally admire The Shrine from the roof of the car park, not from the sidewalk - something that I remedied en route to CVS today (where I was asked if I had a Senior Card.  That so did not make my day I don't know where to begin.  And it's not as though I was looking particularly decrepit and downtrodden - indeed until that very moment, I'd been walking along very happily, thinking what a perfect spring day it was).  This was erected in 1925/6 - in full Hollywood orientalist mode - just a couple of years after the previous incarnation had burned down - in 45 minutes!  Here it is, going up in flames ...  That building in the foreground, on the USC campus, is Old College - standing where Taper Hall (home to the English Department) is now ...



Sunday, April 20, 2014

easter lilies


It would, certainly, have been more appropriate to have taken this image of calla lilies during the glorious sunny day that we had today, but I wanted to see how far I could get with showing their shining beauty in the night time, without using flash (which, of course, bleaches out all those lovely shadows).  The answer is "not very far at all" ... not in terms of how they almost glow in the greeny-black dark.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

reading for fun


On a junction box between Gelson's and Trader Joe's, in Silver Lake - certainly reading the newspaper is presented as the most fun, family-bond-building thing in the world, here.  I'm confused by whatever ethnicity is or isn't suggested - maybe Guatemalan, but there again, maybe not.  It's certainly a great piece of street art, positioned - from my logistical point of view - halfway between artichoke hearts and lentils.

Friday, April 18, 2014

californian poppy


One of these days, when I have nothing else more horribly pressing to do, and when we have unbounded funds at our disposal, our back yard will be transformed into an oasis for native plants, with occasional sections devoted to European roses and lavender and vegetables.  But until then, I content myself with getting terrifically excited when something unexpected appears, like this Californian poppy (I threw down a large number of seeds last year, optimistically, and a few have actually managed to flourish).  The trouble with the Yard Renovation Project is that to be done properly, it requires a good deal of rebuilding and reinforcing and removal of concrete and and and - not a happy prospect when there's only a long steep narrow flight of steps leading to it, and no access for machinery of any size.  "But what do people DO?" I asked our realtor, when we were buying the place - "I mean, if we WANTED to put in a pool" (which we don't - nasty things, in my experience, that fill up with leaves when you're not looking) - "however would we go about it?"  "Oh!" she said brightly.  "People would use a helicopter to drop everything in!"  Just like in a construction site on a Swiss mountainside.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

the ominousness of palm trees


Most of the time, I look at palm trees and equate them with the craziness of living in an urban sprawl of well-nigh reliable sunshine that makes even difficult days (think: office politics) seem cheerful once I'm driving home.  But today was grey and cloudy, and these belong in some Walter Mosley novel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

california spring


I know that it counts as spring - know that it counts as nearly the end of the semester - when I see the jacaranda trees come into bloom.  This is the most magical color, and they're just beginning, all over Los Angeles.