Thursday, October 30, 2014

San Francisco 10/14... OK

This past weekend we drove up to San Francisco for a long weekend. My sister was visiting and so we decided to meet up with her for a couple days and crash her vacation. We also stayed with a long time friend, which was good since I don't get to see him much anymore. Yay!  We ended up going to Alcatraz one day, which was awesome (pretty much no one I talked to had been before!) and included art from Ai Weiwei scattered throughout the buildings. Although visiting a jail is kinda weird on some level, the views, the experience, the decay of the buildings and the resulting textures and colors and the nature all really add to the experience. Buy tickets in advance and go! Then the next day we drove up to Muir Woods to see the giant Redwoods. Yay for trees and more nature and green and nice smells and old living things! Then we came home and now I am back at work. I think this started out as a quick post & a couple photos and grew to 11, although I will hopefully post more later.

I took I think 6 cameras along, which included 2 medium formats - my yashica mat and diana, so I still have film to develop. Random people around me were super fascinated by the yashica mat and I heard comments from people from time to time. Film is so novel to people now.....

 This was part of the Ai Weiwei exhibit in a bathtub of the hospital in the jail. These kinds of textures and colors make my mind go crazy, I love them so much. If I was visiting alone, I would have been so lost in all the peeling lead paint flakes, rusting, decaying, breaking, textures and colors all over for hours...

I found it interested that the windows that weren't barred still projected the same sort of shadows as the jail bars...

 Nothing like the tallest living things in the world to make you feel tiny and insignificant

Stopped in Sausalito before heading back over the Golden Gate bridge...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Concrete River Biking

This past weekend I decided I wanted to go out on a 15 mile bike ride on my road bike. I knew I'd be biking 5ish miles the same day on my hybrid, so that seemed reasonable considering I'm still dealing with a healing knee. So we went out yesterday afternoon on a pretty much exactly 15 mile ride (without even mapping/using any measuring devices while riding and making it up as we went) that went through the Toluca Lake residential area to the bike lane that follows along Forest Lawn past the cemeteries and around Griffith park until you can hop on the LA River bike lane along the 134 approaching Glendale. "That's so exciting" you think sarcastically, "tell me more".


Since I've lived nearby, for quite a few years I've enjoyed the Halloween decor of Toluca Lake. The Lake (yes, there's a real lake, but not for the commanman like myself.... we may only peer through the plant covered fence of the golf course to gaze at the water) is surrounded by expensive homes and many people that are involved in entertainment to some degree. Some years the residents seem to either encourage each other, have elaborate parties that  must include crazy decor (one year missing vulture signs started appearing around the neighborhood after a large, extravagant party in one of the ginormous houses) or just like showing off and as a result, things can get kinda insane sometimes (like the house that literally has a giant pirate ship like thing that is constructed in their front yard every year!) Anyway, this just makes for exciting and amusing bike rides in the area at this time of the year since you can easily stop and look at stuff. AND SO OUR RIDE BEGINS!

This house had probably 20 of these skeletons in the front yard with various similar signs and themes... 

Sometimes simple works best and contrast brings it's own experience to the situation (much like the cute little girl I saw running around with a fake plastic bloody leg stump in the store this weekend)

 FINALLY! For so many years I've wondering how to get onto this path because it's kinda hidden and despite living near the LA river, I have to bike about 5 miles along the LA river in an indirect way before getting to an entrance to this path. Hopefully one day LA will get their heads out of their asses and finally make a continuous path across the valley and connecting with surrounding cities. It would be... novel.

on one side of the path...yay! nature!
...and in typical LA fashion, a freeway on the other side.

so many birds! There's at least 5 different species here alone...

LA is so often a reminder to just kinda pretend a bunch of stuff doesn't exist if you ever want to enjoy anything, mostly due to people.

 I wish I knew this bike's story..

I was both disappointed and impressed by the bike lane along Forest Lawn. I noticed these small loops in the street to detect bikes at the intersections. There were still giant ones for the cars, but the bike lane was *gasp* designed to detect bikes!!! 

On the other hand, the bike lane was in pretty terrible condition in a few place, which made me thankful that there wasn't much car traffic. In one area going east around a curve, the lane nearly disappears and causes the bikes to suddenly have to move into the car lane. Going west, there's some places where the asphalt is in terrible condition with cracks and extreme unevenness that would be ok for a car, but can easily mean a tumble to the ground on a bike. There were also a few moments that left me feeling like "how the fuck am I supposed to move over there from here?!?!"

Anyway despite my complaints, it was still a nice ride and I could easily see going further down the LA river path at some point...yay for road bikes and strong legs that make traveling marathon like distances something that leaves you feeling somewhat... normal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ciclavia 10/5/14 Diana-y 1111

OK! THESE ARE PHOTOS. FROM ciclavia. ON October 5 of year 2014 CE as shot BY A CHEAP toy CAMERA that CONSUMES FILM, of the MEDIUM format OR 120, called the DIANA. IT is very LOVELY and DELICATE, and I DO Not LIKE TO admit it BUT, HOWEVER, CONtra I ENJOY shooting WITH IT much better than the HOLGA. FOR THIS set, Instead of the BEGINNING of our TRIP, the END is where I BEGIN.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I am a relatively new fan of GusGus considering they've been around since the 90's. They were one of those random YouTube finds that I got sucked into. A sometimes weird combo of electronic, actual lyrics with a large number of vocalists (now more than in the past...) with chill, Iceland inspired music. First I listened to the album "Arabian Horse" a ridiculous number of times because it was awesome... then a couple months ago I started poking around on some of their other videos on youtube and noticed some were put up fairly recently, which is to say they actually released a new album this year. While browsing comments of a video, I saw a mention of shows, looked it up and was super excited to see that they were only doing 5 shows in the U.S. (they seem to be much more popular in Europe than the U.S.) including one in Los Angeles in October! Usually I miss these sorts of things by days (like realizing the last Type O Negative concert EVER in LA happened the day before I found out about it), so I was super excited and immediately knew I wanted to go. I'm sure I've been driving people around me crazy in the meantime with my excessive listening of them and random lyric spurts (until it no more exists!!!!!)

Anyway, the day of their show was tonight (or last night October 8!) Joy! I think this was maybe one of the first times I went to a show alone, but it worked out. I road the train/bus to The Roxy in West Hollywood had a good time listening to music and chatted with people. GusGus played for about 90 minutes and included a bunch of their songs from their latest album "Mexico" ("Mexico", "Obnoxiously Sexual", "Crossfade", "Airwaves", "Sustain", "This is Not the First Time" ..and I think "God Application"... or maybe I just wanted to hear that) a few from the album before that ("Over " & "Within Me") and even "Add this Song". I know I'm missing some, but I felt better about being a "new" fan since I actually knew all the songs they played. They really seemed to enjoy the audience dancing along and they kept dancing (like they were enjoying themselves dancing, not look at this awesome choreographed thing I'm doing dancing), but unfortunately the floor was so full that there really wasn't room to move much.

The trip home was actually the part of the night I was most unsure about. I had been to all the areas I had to wait for buses, but during the day, not alone at midnight. And I've had some surprises when going to shows in the past (like the first time I went to the smell, not realizing where skid row was in relation to it and having to enter through the alley!)  It ended up ok besides missing one bus by about 10 seconds. Luckily that was in West Hollywood which was less sketchy than Hollywood. At one point at the bus stop in Hollywood there were 8 other guys there besides me (not that that sort of ratio is weird to me.... I just usually know the guys) and there was a lot of weird shit going on that I kinda turned my back to because I didn't really want to know what was going on if they left me alone and there were a bunch of police driving around anyway.

Joy! Anyway, how can I not take my camera along?!

He told a story at some point about visiting the Hustler store across the street....

Högni Egilsson, Maggi Lego, Birgir Þórarinsson & Daníel Ágúst

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ciclavia 10/5/2014 - 1

Yay! Yesterday was the 10th Ciclavia, I think maybe #8 for me? I don't know! I'm kinda glad I don't know anymore. It was the first one I took my road bike to. Because my hybrid has a step through frame and a rack on top of just being heavier, the road bike was 50 times easier to lug up and down and around throughout the Red Line subway stations (having to lift my bike over the turnstiles when we ended up at a station entrance without a handicapped turnstile at a couple Ciclavia's sucked to say the least). I am somewhat embarrassed to admit it was also the longest ride I've taken my road bike out on at nearly 22 miles. (I've been out on longer rides, just not with this bike!) I had been going on shorter rides up until now, kinda getting used to the bike and adjusting things, never really more than 10 miles at a time. I also got some new bike shorts recently from Terry which seem to make the experience a bit more comfortable as well. So yay too, for 22 miles on my road bike.

We got to 7th And Metro around 9am since it was supposed to be 100000 degrees (or 100). I filled my 3L camelbak halfway with water and froze it the night before and then filled the rest with water in the morning and I had deliciously cold water all day, which was kinda awesome & much recommended. We ended up biking down to the East LA end, hung out there for a while and got some food before turning around & going to the Echo Park end and then turning around again and going home from 7th/metro. Ok, Ciclavia pictures!

someone was a little lost.....Ciclavia people were yelling at him.. not sure how he ended up in the middle of closed off streets..

this picture makes me laugh because it looks like they are dancing.. these were some of the most enthusiastic intersection volunteers we came across

There were some crazy bike racks in the East LA area including this butterfly and a bunch of flowers

 I love this one! The colors! The single girl riding! The signs! The sky! Exclamation points!!!

I am so drawn to anything that involves painting on random things in group settings. There was no paint when I went by or this mobilemurallab truck would have been another example of the same...

OK. and since narrowing down photos today is a challenge, I still will have another post from this camera and I still have 2+ rolls of film from my Diana camera to develop from yesterday!