Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I have lived in a busy, noisy, bustling city for quite awhile now. There is never any real quiet, no solitude. I hear traffic noise like static on an old television twenty-four hours a day. The neighbors upstairs have a large dog they leave alone all night at times, who then runs back and forth, whining every few moments. There is shouting in the alleys, cars screeching between buildings and kicking up bits of broken blacktop. Scavengers pulling apart garbage bags in Dumpsters while the people on the third floor drop another load off the back fire escape into the alleyway. Jets from LAX and Long Beach Municipal drone during the day, and police helicopters tend to hover around this area at night.

Only recently has all of this noise been grinding on my nerves. I think it began the afternoon I was waiting for the shuttle to work, standing by myself in the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral, far enough away from the streets to not really hear the traffic. The quiet was just serene, and full, and it felt as though I could raise my arms and the breeze would lift me into the sky.

I think the closest quiet place, were I to set out from where I live, would be at least an hour's drive away. Maybe more. Yes, there are parts of the beach that are quiet, but then a helicopter passes overhead, going to Catalina Island... or people walk up and are talking loudly... a boat passes too closely to not be heard... I just want a place I can go, lie down on the grass, close my eyes, and be. I want to listen to the small rustlings of the leaves, feel the cool damp of the earth on my back as the sun warms my face. I want to listen to birdsong uninterrupted by machines and people's shouting.

Funny how, when I was in my early 20s, that was the farthest thing from an ideal spot to live. I wanted noise, bustle, neon lights and open all night stores. I wanted nightlife every night of the week. I wanted excitement and glamour and pseudolove. Now I could have that still if I really wanted it, but I don't. A little is fun, sure... but I want the clean, fresh open air, too. And I want trickling water that's not from a leaking faucet, birdsong not prerecorded, and to lie in sunlight from the actual star and not from electric bulbs in a claustrophobic bed.

Yes, this is all coming into consideration as I mull over moving.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


After struggling to write a decent cover letter, which seems to be one of the hardest things for me, I submitted my resume, cover letter, and a letter of rec from the man for whom I now work to a private university up in Oregon. By very offbeat chance, I happened to see they are hiring for a program assistant in one of their departments. After looking over the job description, I realized it pretty well describes what I do now. The listing doesn't tell the salary, but as long as I can live decently and I have full medical, dental, and vision, I'm all cool.

Granted, I am in California. They may take one look at that and nix me. I'm hoping not... I'm hoping they set up a phone interview, though for what is probably a lower job I doubt they will go to such trouble. (But you never know!)

I am off work the next two days. I could type in all these things I plan to do, or things I could decide to do, or things I would like to do over these next two days... but really. I will probably do whatever seems to present itself at the time.

I did just look at the ticket prices for Stone Temple Pilots on New Year's Eve. Ummmm, no. Not worth parting with $99 at this time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hollywood Thoughts

It's still early... didn't I say that yesterday? But it is. Sunny and clear again today, like a proper Southern California day should be. Minus the smog of summer, that is. I am toying with the idea of hopping a train and going up to Los Angeles, though my fundage isn't too spiffy at the moment. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I maybe wait until New Year's Eve (or Day) to go? The weather is perfect to take photos at Hollywood Forever, though. I haven't been there in a few years... sad, but true. And it's just a bit of a jaunt down Gower from the Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station down to Gower and Santa Monica where the cemetery is.

I have yet to visit Rudolph Valentino's crypt-space. There was some really bizarro floofloo happening there last time, complete with limos and a red carpet, and Liberace-looking men. I would love to see the Lady in Black... isn't she the one who visits him as a ghost?

Another thing I find lovely in its not-so-incongruous manner, is the sight of the Paramount Studios water tower looming over one side of the cemetery. Yes, Paramount is right on the other side of a wall, and graves are in the shadow of some of the buildings there.

Gregory Peck is in the mausoleum underneath the awful Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in Los Angeles. (I tend to refer to it as Our Lady of the Parking Structures, as that is what the thing looks like to me.) I've been there numerous times. I will most likely go there this week, too.

It's amusing to walk through the gift shop there and see things like Our Lady of the Angels cabernet for sale. Maybe I will find something my parents will like, but most likely not. (If I want to purchase Catholic ephemera, there is a great store on like James Woods Blvd. that has a HUGE selection and lower prices, usually.)

By the way, the top photo is one I took. It is the sign for the Hollywood History Museum, just off Hollywood and Highland, and next to the other Mel's... the one that's not the drive-in. It was taken on May 15, 2008, on one of my jaunts to wander around up there. Maybe it was after I had seen Eddie Izzard at the Kodak Theater in "Stripped"? I think probably so. the other is obviously an old Chesterfield cigarette ad featuring Gregory Peck. Not sure how old it is, but I would guess it to be around 1949, since the ad says "starring in Twelve O'Clock High".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Musings For Now

It's pretty chilly out today, at least for Southern California. But it's bright and clear, and the air smells of woodsmoke and ocean. A perfect day to go out walking and wandering for me.

It looks as though more neighbors are moving out. Unsure from where, though it seems to be the front of the building this time. (Good.) When I parked my car last night, I saw an eviction notice on the door of one of the freaky drug houses. There are two on one lot catty corner to me across the alley, and the front one had the white paper with the big red letters. Maybe this will cut down on the yelling and screaming and 2am fights a bit.

There is a Saturday farmers' market about 10 blocks down from me until two this afternoon. I should amble down there, see if there are still any pluots to be had.

Friday, December 26, 2008

At Work The Day After Christmas

It is cold in this office building. From what I can tell, a lady in Cardiology on the first floor, someone sniffling in their office way on the other side of the building in Pharmacology here on the second floor, and I are the only people in this building. No one on the third floor from what I could tell. I have the Tramp Heater on full blast to help warm up my office. Gotta love the hot little hussy.

Well, I got an extension on the traffic ticket I got three months ago. I can pay it... a whole whopping ten bucks for the processing fee because it's just a FixIt Ticket, but I don't know if I will be able to get in there in time to avoid the $300 fine for being late. Better safe than sorry, as Long Beach Courts already got enough of my money, thank you.

I was perusing the sales a bit online, too. I think I might wander through IKEA after I get paid. Always, always you can find some little something there that will brighten your day for under $5.00. One of the things I love about the place.

With all the people moving in and out and in and out from the center to the back part of my building, I have seen roaches... way too many for my liking. I had started spraying the "unscented" Raid, which works, of course, but while it is definitely unscented, it still makes humans and animals all headachy and woosy. As I don't want to have to leave my windows open when I spray, I went to Home Depot to see about getting one of those sonic things. While I was there, a guy who was gathering items to rid his kitchen of a sudden conquering army of ants (thanks to the rain) began talking with me. He said forget the Raid, because although it does work, you may as well use a degreaser like 409 instead. I looked it up on the internet a day or so ago and by gum guess what? It seems degreasers and all actually dissolve roaches. (Of course, this brings to mind the melting head in Raiders of the Lost Ark.) I'm using it and seeing how well it really works. Oh, also read that stuff like Banana Boat oil can be left applied to areas, and it will literally clog up their lungs and suffocate them. I don't mind that, either; a house smelling of the beach and just-cleaned kitchen? Nice.

And speaking of the kitchen, the sink finally became unclogged last night. Well, less clogged, you could say. After leaving the Liquid Plumr Max gel in there for HOURS, I finally said screw this and did what it is said you are not to do: I took a plunger and started working away. The third time I did this, the water seemed to me lessening in the sink.... I did it another two spats, and saw that yes indeed, it really IS beginning to drain! I let it go all the way down, and began pouring near-boiling water from pots on the stove into the drain. This morning it still looks good, but when I look down into the drain itself, I can't tell if there is still a clog or if that is just shadow against the white PVC pipe. I plan on getting another bottle of Liquid Plumr or Drano to pour down there overnight.

Disturbingly, the people upstairs were banging away and making odd noises that sounded way too much like trying to disassemble the kitchen pipes by themselves. The joys of apartment living.

I should go get more tea and settle in to do another jaunt of work. I've actually got a lot of work to do, but am very unmotivated this morning. Gotta do it, and I will feel all the better for it when I've completed it.

Plus, it's Friday!
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