Thursday, August 31, 2023

Gabon Nostalgia

I'm listening to the news on the coup in Gabon. 

Gabon! Where is Gabon, you may wonder. I would probably wonder too if I hadn't been there in between Cameroon and Congo (Republic of, where I bought Tin Tin carvings). 

I went back to read about it today. Here's an entry, one that gives me a bit of wanderlust.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Remember the Lines Down the Block?

I thought climate change, me having a real job, and the loss of groundwater were signs of the apocalypse. But nothing prepared me for this. 

In and out of the DMV in four minutes.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Stop the presses! I did something unexpected. Even I didn't expect it.

I bought a car. A gently used 2016 Prius from a friend's mom. I take possession tomorrow, Sunday.

Why? Even I am not sure. I have done just fine without owning a car in Los Angeles, and I've learned so much about the region by having to navigate it all on trains, buses, Lyft, and rental cars about 8 times a year. I've been to spots longtime Angelenos haven't even visited, more due to my exploring instinct than anything else.

I nearly bought cars a few times over the pandemic, when I didn't want to get on a bus or train, but in the end, there was nowhere to go. I live in what some call a walkable 15-minute neighborhood, near three supermarkets, a weekly farmer's market, multiple restaurants, my office, nail salons, coffee shops, a deli, and in case I'm feeling in need of a greasy spoon with car show, Bob's Big Boy. There are three bus lines nearby, and all of them go to transit hubs--the metro, Burbank's wee airport, the commuter rail, Amtrak.

The only times I really miss having a car are when I want to go to pottery class, to meet someone on the West side, or carry a box to the post office. But I have a wheeled luggage cart for the post office—which is also within ten minute's walk.

So why buy one at this point, eight years into mastering Los Angeles without a car? And when what I was really looking for was a manual transmission, possibly on an ancient VW Bug?

All I've got is the Prius fell into my lap. I went for a test drive and it was silky smooth on the road. And at some point, I'll need to drive home. As in the other home.

Today, I caught the 155 to the Red Line to the 2 bus to Echo Park, and after that took the 4 back to the Red Line to Hollywood/Vine for the 222 bus back to Burbank, then the 155 to the foot massage place and finally walked home. My last hurrah! And you know what? The buses are unchanged, but the Red Line is shockingly filthy and gross still, which happened during the pandemic, and two men had a fist fight at Hollywood and Western.

Nice of the metro to celebrate my last big day on it.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

So Far, So Good

Today's semi-dull update: I took an hour of my rainy Sunday to scrub the wheels on my Aeron chair. (A used one I bought off Craigslist early in the pandemic.)

I did this because the gunk had built up and was leaving little marks on my bamboo floor. Eww, gross. I guess I didn't know you had to clean chair wheels. They're clean now.

Unfortunately, it was a real struggle scraping out all my long hair that had wound around the casters. So I ordered some inline skate wheels for my Aeron chair to see if that makes a difference. Will they get gunky? Will they collect hair? I've switched them in--I guess we'll find out.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Don't Do It

Random thought of the day: I don't like the term "do" when applied to a destination. For example, "I did Rome last year." "I did Madagascar in a weekend." "I haven't done Jamaica yet."

It's just...weird. Think about it. You visit. You tour. You go to. You went. You experience. "Do" is so general. It sounds like having done everything somewhere, when in reality as tourists, we see just the tiniest sliver of the culture we visit.

This isn't anyone else's problem. Like when I got tired of people saying "I'm a traveler, not a tourist" (spoiler: you are still a tourist).

It's just something that grates on me.

Apologies for complaining about something random instead of noting there's a lot of water outside today in Burbank.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

And Then What?

They promised us a hurricane but we got an earthquake.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Before Storm Hilary

An ambient thickness enshrouds the Los Angeles metropolitan area tonight as we await our atmospheric destiny. Most of the birds seem to have taken shelter wherever they go when they sense danger, and the supermarket's bottled water has vanished too. Though I know where that’s gone. At least the shelves are not bare of toilet paper on this occasion. Probably because everyone bought bidets in 2020. Disaster is no longer novel.

I have about 10 days of earthquake supplies stashed in a corner base cabinet, and I’ve dug out a big candle and lighter. Every mobile device is charging. I recall the robocalls Jersey City used to send out requesting I take in my patio furniture, so I tied up the condo complex’s umbrellas and stacked the chairs. I asked the HOA manager to send out a mass email requesting people move their plants off their balcony walls, and to my surprise, everyone complied.

And so we wait. Floods are inevitable, as in Baja, but Hilary has already been downgraded to a tropical storm, so perhaps the effect on LA will be similar to the dramatic winter thunderstorms we get. We’ll find out tomorrow.

Friday, August 18, 2023

New Problem

I recently learned about little flies that inhabit plants when one waters their plants too much. 

Which I did because I was leaving town, and now I'm learning about how to get RID of these little flies.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Request for Breakfast

This is new. 

I might have spoiled the yard cats too much while I was home.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Heading West

This morning, I discovered the sofa stinks of Bernie Tomcat from his great escape, but it was too late to do anything about it. Maybe I can solve this predicament over New York Comic Con in October. 

Here are a few photos of my trip home, bookended by a feral neuter appointment at Liberty Humane and Brittany’s wedding. 

Next stop, LAX.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Too Cool

A smooth fellow boarded the uptown 4, blaring music from his Bluetooth speaker. 

As he sat across from me, a commercial for English muffins kicked in. 

He looked down, his whole persona destroyed by commerce. He angrily kicked an overripe banana under the subway bench.

I Am Doing This Wrong

I went to a wedding yesterday, and instead of waking up with warm thoughts of friends and romance, I woke up wondering why menus offer a dish made of chicken or beef, and chicken is named chicken like the source, but beef isn’t called cow.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Like Every Day

 I heard yesterday was Cat Day. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Kitty Trauma

Bernie Tomcat is only visiting at night these days, when there is no food because even if I were to leave out food at night, the raccoons and opossums would get to it first.

I hope he's finding chow somewhere else.

He's sporting a nicely clipped ear and a shaved butt. The hair will grow back, but the ear tip is obviously permanent. That's how people know he's a community cat with his shots and neutering, not a feral in need of assistance.

That said, I watched some ASPCA videos on how to prepare cats for neutering and now I feel guilty. Poor Bernie went through a lot over at the humane society!

Monday, August 07, 2023

What Will I Ride?

Did you know it’s possible to break a broom? I did not…now I do!

Saturday, August 05, 2023

They Don't Look Feral

My supervisors await my service.

Friday, August 04, 2023

He Lives With Mom Now

 They forgot to include Charlie in this article! 

Who Would Win In A Fair Fight?

Lots of drama going on in the yard, not always involving cats and raccoons.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Is Anyone Home?

Poor tuxedo cat. His name is Bernie, and he did NOT like being trapped and vetted. The night I brought him back from the humane society, he verbalized for a few hours, letting me know he did not appreciate having his butt shaved, his ear clipped, and being drugged and held in a small trap.

I spoiled him with rich, wet food, watered down so he'd get some moisture, though he lapped up all the water I gave him too.

Paola and I released Bernie 24 hours after his surgery, as instructed. He was scared and shivering, unlike Jay and Bart when they were released. Jay just kind of backed away slowly. Bart raced away at top speed. Bernie gingerly walked off into the nun's garden, looking deeply unhappy.

I kept trying to find him the next day, because I worried he was having a reaction to the anesthesia. I didn't see him, and I still haven't, but he showed up last night on the security camera footage. Hooray, Bernie is recovering! He'll be back to annoying the other community cats in no time.

But hopefully he'll be less aggressive and less spray-y now.