Tag Archives: los angeles

Cooked gardened cleaned

At my brother’s, I cooked, gardened, and cleaned. It was hot and dry and, unlike here, SUNNY. We watched a lot of TV, too. It’s kind of one of my jobs. Was happy to turn my brother onto Shetland and Justified. Last visit it was Vera.

He was feeling so much better than last visit that he was episodically downright chatty. The old Billy. Is it too much to hope that the fevers and abdominal pain are over for now?

The drugstore on Eagle Rock Parkway was closed when I went to pick up some meds. American life at its worst: a young store clerk tried to apprehend a shoplifter and was shot and killed. There were balloons and flowers and Jesus candles lining the sidewalk. People huddled in grief. It was hard to be too upset about the inconvenience of going to the place on York Boulevard, three miles away, with a clerk who could barely ring up items, meaning it took an eternity to get through the five people in front of me. Okay, so I got annoyed in spite of the tragedy.

Zooey, the 15 year old black dog, does not seem to be in pain but is bladder challenged. She has trouble getting up and can barely walk, so there is a constant race to launch her toward the rear door and get the slider open. She needs to go A LOT. Three times during the night, often. A whole other layer of caregiving but also a lesson in survival. She has sooo much personality.

I doubt I’ll see her again.

Delilah is the other dog, mentioned before. A right lioness. Formerly anxious (still anxious with fireworks) and now dignified and mostly calm. I’d take her home if I could!

Because of the Covid-surge, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. There’s much more to say about everything but I have other writing to get back to. I hate it when I lug my laptop on a trip and don’t even open it! This time I edited six chapters during my flight home, so at least there was that.

More about ravens tomorrow. Talk about chatty!

Dove serenade

Bougainvillea blossoms litter the yard like the tears of a passing angel. The pool, mid-repair, gapes like a wound. Another one.

Birdsongs I don’t recognize stitch at the margins of sky. I’ve learned that at least some of the songs are produced by a pair of mockingbirds. Irritating, mischievous creatures. My brother despises them and wishes he had a BB gun.

Snapshot: two nights ago, Billy fell asleep during the Lakers game but any attempt to change channels was met with an indignant snort.

Dogs bark from across the canyon.

My back hurts the usual amount. Took Tylenol yesterday. It helped. But even with my hands crabbed with arthritis and my achy sore spine, around here it’s hard not to feel like a locomotive fueled by blessings.

Look at me pop up to get a blanket for brother, lean over using both arms to spread on lap and legs. There I am standing and chopping onions for dinner after kneeling and clipping the rosemary bush. I get to take my own damn shower.

What makes you feel gratitude this Memorial Day weekend? This is a Peet’s coffee household. Oh, yes!

The generosity of others is on full display. I might’ve mentioned that I like chocolate covered almonds. Within three days, the basket on the kitchen counter over-spilled with bags of the confection.

A misty smog smudges the sky again this morning. It has generally cleared later in the day, but sitting under its pewter gloss now, it’s hard to believe the sun will shine. Isn’t that a comment about something?

Silhouetted against the grey, perched on a dead branch: a mourning dove. She regales me with her call. When she flies off, her wings creak.

Korean BBQ, Los Angeles

If it had been pouring rain, I’d have thought this Korean BBQ restaurant, Quarters, a scene straight out of Blade Runner. This was LA, after all.

A dark and moody atmosphere with thudding, loud music. Grills inset into the tables, billowing with savory clouds of smoke. Waiters in black showed off mad skills with tongs and scissors. The meat just kept coming!

Small plates offered up greens, sprouts, scallion pancakes, pickled veggies, and all manner of hot sauces. It was exotic and delicious.

This was September, 2018. I guess I’m still catching up with myself. This might have been my favorite dining experience while traveling last year, although the taco truck a few blocks away was a close second. And the place at the base of Mt. Hood was really good, too.

The taco truck had a line that snaked through the lot out onto the street. The good ones always do. A lot of humanity there: the mother holding a vomiting baby, a dog licking up the puke, earning him a kick from a four year old (wonder where he learned that), a lanky, tall guy begging up and down the line. It was a well-practiced spiel. You kind of had to respect that. He worked at the church just over there. No, he wasn’t a user. He wasn’t begging, in fact. Okay, sure.

I abandoned the line to go over and watch the pork carver — a young man skilled with a knife. I loved to watch him flip pineapple chips into the open taco waiting in his other hand. Such precision! Such drama! Poor K was left in line, the lanky guy continuing on without missing a beat. Like I said, admirable. We ended up giving him and a few other homeless men money that trip, but it felt useless, maybe? They were everywhere. Chapped feet. Carts with sleeping bags. Those haunted faces. A problem so much bigger than emptying one’s wallet on a Saturday night.

This was nothing, my son told us. We oughta see ‘tent city.’ Blocks and blocks of the homeless. Like a refugee camp.

Instead, we went to one of the most interesting and beautiful monuments to wealth on the planet — the Getty Museum. One of Getty’s admirable legacies? Admission is free.

Five months is a long time, sometimes. This five months was. The ongoing onslaught of news, turning weeks into months and months into years. My sister’s decline. D’s success with EMT training. A break up.

And it just. Keeps. Coming.

Today, Barr will be appointed AG. Already dipshit in chief has offered his quid (or is it his quo?) — a position on the WH legal team for Barr’s son-in-law and a position in Treasury for Barr’s daughter.

No wonder a nice meal ranks high on the list of good experiences these days!