We's in California

Saturday, September 23, 2006

LA County Dept of Health and Safety Notice 3847B.22 (rev C)

Although this policy has been followed for quite some time now in Los Angeles, we would like to officially inform you that real cups will no longer be used. So please, no more real cups. Serving coffee to customers in real glass cups will not only lead to swift punitive measures, but also to financial ruin due to the obvious astronomical overhead of purchasing and washing real cups, the loss of respect in your community and, in some rare cases, will result in bleeding from the eyes, ears, and nose.

Recently Dayna and I set out to find a place in the Valley where you can sit down and get coffee in a real cup and wasn't a Starbucks or a Coffee Bean. These two things mutually exclusive to begin with. We've tried this many times before to no avail, which would explain our shock and awe when we found such a place on Ventura Blvd. A small locally owned coffee shop. It had everything we've all come to expect from any local coffee shop worth its own salt:

Badly painted paintings by a painter someone who works there knows.
Mismatched, wait, no, eclectic tables and chairs, each with 13 layers of paint.
The girl behind the counter with short hair and one of those things on her chin.
The huge assortment of herbal tea with flavors like mother earth zen, earthy zen buddha earth, and raspberry femi-choco blast.
The table of asians.
The white unshaven university student in the corner with messy papers all over the place, but all he's been doing for the last 3 hours is playing with his iBook figuring out to get as many local hot babes as possible onto his myspace friends list.

And here's the kicker: paper cups, even if you're not taking it to go.

For shame I say, for shame. Why is this? I've seen this in other coffee shops trying to give off that indie environmentalist chique, but they still use paper cups no matter what. I know in Canada that still even corporate chains like Jim Hortons will actually give you a real cup if you're sitting in. And who can forget the Robbins Donuts cups of yester-yore: beige, yellow and brown with just a hint of cigarette smoke aftertaste. What's that? You say they're recycled? Doesn't matter. Although the environmental concerns, I feel compelled to resist our generation's apparent (and appalling for that matter) disregard for class the public space. Think about it, we are the least classy generation in quite a while. And I can say all this because, you all know, I'm such a classy guy myself. So let's bring back real cup, if not for our children....

I'm writing this on a plane by the way. We're going to Indianapolis for the weekend. It's to see Sufjan Stevens and it's our 2nd anniversary (in that order). When you read this please pray for Dayna, she's sitting beside a plane talker. I was disappointed when I discovered that NWA stands for Northwest Airlines, and not the rap group from the late 80's. Now that would be an airline! I hope there aren't any Snakes on This Plane.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Mighty LA River.

The LA river is a river to behold. From Canoga to Compton it carries food, hope, and used needles to those who live downstream. Looking at the LA river makes me think of what a normal river would look like after a nuclear holocaust. I think if I were to be on an environment committee that went around to schools and set up displays about preserving the environment, all I would do is bring a giant picture of the LA river on a poster board. I realize that there are 15 million people in LA and any resources the city has should be put toward essential services, but it seems as though they've just given up on this eyesore. I suppose I'm amazed that water even comes out our tap when we turn it on. Flying over LA on a clear day, you can see massive resevoires somewhere northeast of the city and I for one am grateful.

Last week I was filling out a form at the bank and didn't know the date so I turned to ask the other person at the table and it was Sinbad. He told me it was the 8th. I continue filling out my form and when I got to the counter, the teller said everything looked fine except the date was wrong and that it was the 7th, meaning I had to fill in the form again. I asked her "Is that Sinbad?" She told me that indeed it was and that "...he comes in here all the time." To which I replied "Well then are you sure because, you know, Sinbad over there told me it wa the 8th". To no avail, I had to waste another 10 minutes.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fill it with petroleum distillate and re-vulcanize my tires, post haste.

Finally made it to the LA central library. The interior design is actually quite similar to Winnipeg's new central library. The exterior however, is a bit different as you can see. LA is ripe with art deco buildings, it's awesome.

Like this building here. So art deco.

I"m not sure if it was the smelly bums or the lack of "what's new" shelves on the social sciences floor, but I never stayed the whole afternoon. I did manage to use the self checkout machine, which I must say is a lot better than those ones from the 70's in the Dafoe library that looked like they were going grind your arm into a pulp if you came near them.

In a classic case of overcompensation for the vulgarities of ones youth (which by my count ended forty some days ago), I've been trying to learn the violin since we moved here. And starting a few months ago I've even gone so far as taking lessons. The building on Melrose where I'm taking them doesn't feel like it's in LA. It's quite old by LA standards and has..get this...a small courtyard. From the courtyard a staircase leads upstairs to the main office and a narrow outdoor balcony. Music wafts (There is no other word for it. Really.) through several of the windows lining the balcony while a french mime sits in the corner with a scarf and a glass of wine, and smokes his cigarettes in long slow breaths. Ok that's not true, but I like going
there every week. It feels like an actual place, not a 76 or a Jamba Juice.

So today after driving all the way there, turns out the receptionist was wrong and all the classes were indeed cancelled, even though I called earlier to ask. I was in such a sour mood on the way home that not even Jay Leno driving a ridiculous Monty Burns car from the 30's with goggles on could make me smile. Always leave a camera in the car.

There goes Jay into the sunset. You're not funny Jay. Even when I wanted you to be.

Croc hunter: 1832 - 2006.