Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Words of Wisdom

The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart.
--Anthony T. Hincks

The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer. --Billy Wilder

America...appears like a last effort of divine Providence on behalf of the human race. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write hard and clear about what hurts. --Ernest Hemingway

You can't be for big government, big taxes and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy. --President Ronald Reagan

Liberation is a permanent inner peace attained through the complete abandonment of delusions. --Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed.
--Misty Copeland

If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down. --Mary Pickford

It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. --Gerald Brenan

When the state puts you in jail for walking in a park with your child because it's too dangerous but lets criminals out of jail, it's not about your health. --Kevin Sorbo

You have to be able to slow down enough to switch your focus away from all the ways things could be better, to know how good they already are.
--Katharine Ellison

Successful people don't wait. They don't get stalled on one step, one issue, one project. The continuously go about the problem of creating value. They're not interested in struggling and waiting. They're focused on doing. --Frank Darabont

A drop of ink may make millions think. --Lord Byron

Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them - in order that the reader may see what they are made of. --Kurt Vonnegut

Don't compare your life to others. There's no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when its their time. --Unknown

Rather than tell the audience who a character is, I like to show the audience what a character wants. --Aaron Sorkin

Their is a piece of my heart that lives in the ocean. When I am at the beach I am in my place of devotion. --Jen McIntosh

Does (the plot) force your character to choose or leave something behind? If your protagonist can easily go back to the life they lived before it isn't strong enough. --Jordan Rosenfeld

Commitment is doing what you said you would do, after the feeling you said it in has passed. --St. Camillus

My dream is to have a house on the beach, even just a little shack somewhere so I can wake up, have coffee, look at dolphins, be quiet and breathe the air.
--Christina Applegate

The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity...
To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race. --Calvin Coolidge

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The technology gods giveth, and the technology gods taketh away!!!

The past few nights have been rough for those of us who love our country and don't want to see it trashed, don't like seeing the inmates running the asylum, and don't like what it says about our society when thugs vandalize places of business.

But then I saw this:


How fun would it be to be a fly on the wall when the cops show up and inform these lowlifes that the TV's they stole ratted them out? Seriously, I want video.

Updated 6/2/20: Per this article on TMZ, looters who stole devices from the Apple Store at The Grove are in for a surprise when they get this message:

Sometimes I wonder if technology hasn't taken over our lives, and then I see something like this and I turn into Jesse Pinkman.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Stuck between...

Stuck between "I need to be financially responsible which meant moving away from the beach" and "I'm not getting any younger"...

You only live once, they say. I'd settle for that.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Big Boy has been kidnapped!!!

The Norco Bob's Big Boy has been kidnapped!

Footage of the Bobnapping can be seen here. If you recognize these thugs please contact the authorities (or Bob's in Norco).

There is some suspicion that this might turn out to be a high school senior prank, as it wouldn't be the first time some teenagers decided to temporarily relocated the beloved local icon. I think my Mom used to have stories like this from her high school days. I don't know what else you'd do with him - you can't keep him, someone will eventually rat you out. And given how much this year's seniors missed out on, you really can't blame them. Except for the part about breaking the law and all that.

Whatever the case, I hope he gets home soon and in one piece.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

"Breaking Bad" - the gift that keeps on giving

Breaking Bad ended its run in 2013, and yet this popped up on a Better Call Saul Facebook page today:

So I googled it and here were some of the results:

In addition, if you go to the Madrigal Electromotive home page, you'll see this:

This is also a page at Madrigal:

Too freaking funny.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Really tired of hearing about "the new normal". Looking forward to getting back to being the country our military paid the ultimate price for over the years.

Enjoy your long weekend, but don't forget those who gave their lives.

Images picked up out and about the internets. If you spot one that's yours, let me know so I can give credit where it is deserved.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Recent reading: "Dallas Noir"

Dallas Noir edited by David Hale Smith

Dallas Noir is an installment of the "Noir" series from Akashic Books. I bought it after returning from my trip to Dallas late last year because I was just so taken with the city, at least the small part of it I got to experience.

Gotta admit it wasn't my favorite of anthologies, but that could have something to do with me not being a Dallasite. Each story is set in a different part of town, so they might be more meaningful for readers who live there. I think that's the case for me when I'm reading Southern California-based anthologies. I also think that the darkness of the stories (despite the fact that I do love tales of noir) clashed with what I saw when I was there, which was a clean, beautiful, friendly city. I'm sure it has its seedy underbelly and maybe I just wasn't ready to see it yet.

A lot of the stories were good. IMO "In the Air" by Daniel J. Hale (Deep Ellum), "Night Work" by Clay Reynolds (Old East Dallas) were the best and my favorites.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

This won the internet today

The video is here.

I don't know which made me laugh harder, "You have a phone, call 911 yourself!" or the reaction to that holy effing shit landing

Also, 'Merica.

Friday, May 22, 2020

End of an era

So long, Pier 1.

Buckle up, folks, there's going to be a lot more of these.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The continued cratering of the formerly World Famous KROQ

This article went up on Variety a couple days ago: It's the End of the World Famous KROQ as We Know It. It's laden with a boatload of business stuff that turns my brains to mush and lists of songs/artists that seem to go on forever, but a few things really stood out for me. First up (bold mine):

The decision to blow up the morning show brought severe consequences. In the past two months, according to Nielsen’s most recent L.A. report, KROQ has dropped more than a share point among listeners age 6 and up (from a 2.5 to a 1.4 share of the market) — placing the Entercom-owned station far behind its alternative rock competitor, iHeartRadio’s KYSR-FM Alt 98.7 (at a 2.2 share). What’s more, according to one metric, KROQ lost half of its listenership in the weeks following the decision to yank “Kevin the Morning with Allie & Jensen” off the air.

As I predicted in this post, Entercom's decision to trash the morning, especially the way they did it by unceremoniously booting Kevin Ryder, has had a devastating effect on KROQ's ratings.

But then came the decision to pull the plug on “Kevin in the Morning” during the early days of the COVID-19 stay-at-home quarantine. It left listeners who had formed a deep attachment over 30 years of “Kevin & Bean” without a familiar routine that would have mattered even more these days, and wound up demoralizing the staff that was left behind.

The reaction from KROQ’s most loyal audience was swift.  Two months later, the station is still constantly deleting angry comments on its social media posts (particularly on Facebook), while listeners en masse write how they’ve stopped tuning in.

“Many of these people on social media, they haven’t listened to KROQ in years,” says Kaplan defensively. “They just wanted to glom on.”

How the hell would he know if commenters have listened to the station recently or in years? It shows a breathtaking arrogance and disrespect for the station's longtime listeners. It also makes it clear he doesn't want to deal with the aftermath of Ryder's firing. Whether or not Kaplan or anyone else at KROQ or Entercom want admit it, they fucked up.

Ryder's contract was set to expire in November 2020 and the article offered a way management could have taken the high road, easing Ryder out in a way that would have been respectful to both Kevin and the listeners and could have made the loss easier to absorb:

Indeed, KROQ could have taken much of 2020 to celebrate the 30-year legacy of Ryder’s run — and perhaps even have reunited him with longtime partner Bean for a true farewell. KROQ’s sales team could have signed up sponsors and monetized it as an end of an era event. And management could have capitalized on the pomp and circumstance to spin a proper passing of the baton to new morning show “Stryker & Klein.”

That sounds like a fantastic idea, not to mention kind of obvious. How they didn't take that route and can keep their jobs is beyond me.

I guess what I personally take away from this article is that I was fortunate to be an Angeleno when KROQ was in its glory days, but unfortunately nothing lasts forever. KROQ will probably never be what it was to the L.A. of the 1970's - 1990's, but then again, Los Angeles has also changed and not for the better. In a way, the city and radio station may have peaked together. As a Southern Californian it just kind of sucks to see both move beyond their glory days. It was fun while it lasted.

The end of the world as we know it, indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lockdown humor

A sense of humor is important at a time like this.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Spooge from "Breaking Bad" doing dramatic readings of classic TV theme songs? Done!

I'm not kidding. Actor David Ury, notorious for playing Spooge (he of the epic ATM machine death) in Breaking Bad Season 2, has been posting videos of himself doing dramatic readings of classic TV theme songs and it's freaking hilarious. You can find them on his YouTube page.

Three's Company, The Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, and Flipper are among the classic shows that get the dramatic monologue treatment from Ury.

Gotta salute this guy. David Ury, you are the hero we didn't know we needed during the lockdown. Looking forward to more!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Los Angeles Magazine headlines suggest we're having a big fat fun staycation

Actual headline on page 19: Blow It Up! Blast the AC and enjoy life indoors with spicy hot sauces, awesome new TV shows, and virtual Pride celebrations. Plus chic summer fashions (and masks) for venturing out.

Seriously Los Angeles Magazine??? Apparently I completely missed that the past couple of months have been one big carefree party that our political overlords seem determined to continue indefinitely. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

I guess I shouldn't be shocked. This is the same magazine whose cover currently sports these headlines: INSIDE THE BUNKER WITH ERIC GARCETTI The Mayor's Epic Battle To Save Us From The Plague and KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE QUARANTINE. The list of virtual pride festivities on page 38 bears the title PARTY STILL ON! 

Gotta say, I haven't seen quarantine coverage this tone-deaf since Nancy Pelosi Antoinette posed in front of her $10k+ fridge, showing off cartons of ice cream whose price tags would have Whole Foods agape.

A quick glance through this rag would suggest we've spent the past two months partying like it's 1999, rather than suffering through an unprecedented societal and economic disaster that may or may not have been completely necessary depending on which doctors you listen to, and may or may not be at least partly politically driven at the expense of hard-working, law-abiding people who deserve better.

I've seen a couple of stories online just in the past few days about people committing suicide due to their livelihoods being destroyed by the lockdown and I expect to see more. A few days ago I watched a video of a man in tears because he's losing his life's work, a humble music store, also due to the lockdown. The tone of those stories are nothing like Los Angeles Magazine's giddy hipster headlines.

You know who isn't going to go broke or lose their livelihoods? You know who won't be sobbing on camera because their businesses have been destroyed, who won't be offing themselves because life has become unbearable through no fault of their own? People like Nancy Pelosi, Eric Garcetti and their ilk. They are going to be among the few who emerge from this situation feeling like kings and queens of the quarantine, while most of the constituents they don't give a shit about will find themselves newly cast as paupers, many in spite of a lifetime of hard work.

The magazine's rah-rah approach to what's happened to us since mid-March is jarring. I'll be interested to see if in future issues it profiles Angelenos whose businesses and lives were destroyed by the mayor's epic battle with the flu (fixed it for ya, Los Angeles Magazine) and the open-ended shutdown Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom take such delight in threatening us peons with. Given that the magazine reads like a mouthpiece for those guys, I doubt it. The few paragraphs given to Californians rallying for the lockdown to be lifted before the state's economy is totally annihilated is tellingly titled JOINING FORCES FOR NO GOOD. Yep, tone-deaf.

On the other hand maybe I should take into consideration that Los Angeles Magazine isn't aimed at the average Angeleno like me, but at the city's elite, people who can weather prolonged loss of earnings, or like our politicians, haven't missed a paycheck. It's not geared to the Los Angeles I'm a part of. I wish this issue had come out last month, because I just sent in the renewal a few weeks ago and I wouldn't have if I'd seen this issue before I wrote that check. Turns out that probably wasn't a great use of my money. Oh well, guess I'm just gonna have to pass on that fashionable Johnny Was face mask touted on page 32.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

One of those nights

I miss my home. I really loved that apartment. It was my home. I was so comfortable there. It was mine.

And Sophie misses her fireplace, and so do I.

So homesick.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Nine years

It's mind-boggling, actually kind of terrifying to think it's almost a decade. Miss you Dad.