Friday, September 22, 2006

Recently, I've been having fun with a little web toy called Mr. Picassohead.

Here're a couple of my latest creations.

Misery Loves Company

Perilous Love

If any of you decide to make one of these, drop the link into the comments for this entry. I'd love to check 'em out!
Update: It's a clear day today - lots of oceany-type clouds - and yes, I realize people can have latex allergies. I'll give you your money back now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Endless sunset.

That's what we're experiencing. Except when the sun actually sets - then it's dark. But all during the day, the sky is orange, the sun is dim, and everything around has an ochre hue to it.

"But why?" you ask.

It's the fires. "The Day Fire" to be precise - so called because it started on Labor Day. The smoke is now billowing its way up to LA county due to the changing winds, and it's thick. I drove past Hollywood proper on my way to Occidental Studios and couldn't believe my eyes as I looked out at the town from the 101.

See the color behind that fire bomber? That's what I saw drifting around the Hotel Roosevelt and engulfing the Capitol Records building - dirty orange air, the sun glowing wanly in the vague distance. Gross.

I've been working on a video today, and I kept noticing the color of the sunlight as it filtered through the window. Wow, what time is it? I'd think, but then I'd look at the clock . . . 2:40? What?! So I'd step outside and Egads! the sky be filthy. Then I'd go back to the video, forget about the sunlight for a moment, and then I'd suddenly notice it again. Wow, how long have I been sitting here? It must be late and . . . 4?! Incredible. Yuck. Incredibly yuck.

On top of the smoke and the dust, autumn in Los Angeles means new and devious allergies. Before moving here, I never had a single allergy. Not a one. Now I've come to think that the pollutants and abundant flora varieties of Southern California could make Basalt sneeze and reach for the Kleenex. In fact, I think it's made me more susceptible to developing new and interesting allergies in other areas, like medicines, por ejemplo.

See, last November I developed a bad sty in my eye and it was a tenacious nogoodnik, too. The doc prescribed some Erythromicin gel to smear on my eyeball, and it seemed to work ok, but then the sty started coming back a couple months later so I used it again. This time, my eye got worse. Much worse. It burned like the dickens, it became inflamed, and . . . ohmygosh! my eyeball's wrinkled! What's. Happening. To. Me.?
After a brief, urgent call to an optomotrist friend of mine, I found out that the human eye wrinkles when it's having an allergic reaction to something placed in it. Whew. That's it? I wasn't allergic to that medicine before! How was I to know? It must be that I'm in an allergy-causing environment. I'm becoming oversaturated with allergy-type-stuff and it's starting to manifest.

That's it: No more dairy, wheat, soy, penicillin, cat dander, wool, shellfish, ragweed pollen, bee stings, or mango skins for me, no sir. Time to live in a latex-lined cell with nothing but distilled water and boiled, free-range chicken.

Unless there's a chicken allergy I don't know about.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How do you know it's nearing autumn in LA?

When you see set-decorating stakebeds driving around with these in the back. Otherwise, you'd never know, would you? All those productions shooting stuff now that'll broadcast in October
. . . that's about close as we get to the changing of the seasons around here. Except when the rains come, and of course pilot season, but it still stays green.

I could smell the ocean from my house today, and I live in the valley. Who needs beachfront property? Actually, it's a rare day when that happens. There must be a serious onshore flow happening - helps to keep it cool.

Because Dang! it's been hot. Last weekend, I walked out of my apartment to throw some stuff out in the trash and when the sun hit my skin, I felt like an ant under a magnifying glass. And I'd imagine I scampered just as quickly as those little guys do, too. Heidi and I ended up having a lost weekend of movies as a result. Don't knock hibernation 'til you try it, is all I'm sayin'.

This weekend should be different. My weather Widget says it'll be in the low 80s and partly cloudy all weekend long. Now that's nice. We should be able to get out and about without getting our exoskeletons seared off by that mean, freckle-faced kid, The Sun.

This is also the weekend for me to start calling in for my first jury duty summons ever! Since I'm not working on anything steady at the moment, I hope I get placed on some high-profile case that lasts a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll even get to be the foreman! 12 Angry Men, here I come. So if there's an even longer span between now and my next post, you'll know why.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Personal horn-tooting session, if I may:

Today, I renewed a stranger's faith in men.

It went down like this. -ahem- As my wife and her friend attended a casual business meeting at Priscilla's in Toluca Lake, I was left in charge of said friend's 11-week-old infant. As Heidi and friend went up to the counter to get chai teas and a double espresso for me (thank you, Ted Beam), I watched the baby. She was awake and looking at me quizzically. I asked her if she wanted to play and she smiled at me so I unhooked a toy from her stroller and had him walk around on her blanket with his dangly feet and crinkly mane. She liked him. She'd smile and clasp her hands and watch him as he made his way around the stroller, sometimes stopping to sniff her feet, sometimes crinkling his mane, sometimes lying down amongst the folds of the plush, pink lamby blanket. We had fun.
Eventually, the girls returned with their drinks and asked how the baby and I were doing.

"Swell," I said, and we kept playing.

Once the girls sat down, a lady from the neighboring table stood up and leaned over to talk to them. She said, in a loud voice, that she'd been watching me with the baby and that I'd renewed her faith in men. I think she said "commend" somewhere in there as well, and she said she thought the girls ought to know that she was impressed.
I got sheepish and woulda kicked a stray rock or an empty can if it'd been in sight with a "'tweren't nothin'" muttered under my breath.

toot toot