I was really shocked when I saw this GOOD infographic, which states that 0.9% of LA commuters go via bicycle, and so few commute via motorcycle that we’re lumped in with “other”. But when I looked around, I realized I do indeed see way more bicycles on the streets of LA than motorcycles. And now I’m becoming one of the 0.9%. I got a new bike on Black Friday, a Fuji Absolute hybrid. I call her Miss Absolute. It’s immensely more comfortable and faster than the vintage bike I was on before.
I’ve lived and ridden in LA for over a decade. In that time, I’ve seen some messed up driving and survived plenty of threats on my life. (some perceived and some real). I’ve even grown pretty confident on my bicycle in the 5 months I’ve been riding. But the past couple days I’ve seen some seriously crazy shit. And it’s not even a full moon. What is going on?
Last night I rode my bicycle from downtown to Hollywood and back. I had 2 cars almost run stop signs into me. Then a minivan pulled into the oncoming lane to pick his friend up at the corner just as I was turning the same corner. I discovered I can lock the wheels on my bicycle very easily without crashing. two wheel slide! wootwoot! But just the same it scared the hell out of me. That kid’s parents will be getting a nasty letter from me courtesy of the DMV’s letter forwarding system if I can find the link on their new website. Although I fear that budget cuts may have led them to discontinue that service. Continue reading Is LA Suffering an Outbreak of the Crazies?
Recently I rebuilt my dad’s old (as in, 40ish years old) 10-speed, with the help of Jim and others at the Bicycle Kitchen. It’s been great to have a fun way to get some exercise and I can tell immediately that cycling builds all the muscles I most need to endure a full day on the track. Because I’m not one to set aside time to exercise, I’m also using the bike as a regular form of transport at least a couple days a week.
When I was a kid, there was a horror movie about this fog that enveloped some town and scared the shit out of everyone. I only recall the bit about the people trapped in the grocery store, wishing they could go home, but The Fog would git them if they tried to leave.
The story of Bilbao is a dull and rather existentialist one full of ennui and lonesome misery in the endless rain, which I can’t rush through. I will try to give it justice sometime tomorrow, but really think it’s more likely to spark a novel.
Right now, I’m in a better mood after rejoining my friends in Barcelona. I’m even grateful to be back in Raval, because the muslims store owners see no reason to shut down on Easter Sunday, unlike all the devout Catholics driving this country deeper into financial ruin by taking damn near an entire week off for Easter. Speaking of which, I finally went to church in Barcelona! Paddock Motard Bar (which I happen to live very close to, and you’ve read about before here), was open for Sunday services: to show the MotoGP races. They had set out all the chairs they had in rows facing the TV’s and the place was packed with rabid fans watching the 125 race when I arrived. It was awesome! Everyone was going crazy, and it felt so damn good to be somewhere in Spain where Easter didn’t seem to be bringing life to a grinding halt. However, mother nature brought MotoGP to a slippery halt, as it was rained out. grrrr. It rains like 4 days a year in Qatar, and it seems those 4 days are always when the GP is in town! They actually had to cancel the race because they run it at night to show off some fancy lights. The problem is: bright lights + rain = zero visibility. pffft. do it in tha daytime, people!
I’m more interested in keeping my eyes on the prize. Whenever I need a boost, looking at real estate in LA makes me happy. It’s a pleasant way of daydreaming about what I want in life, thinking about where I want to live next. So today’s entry is this third floor loft in the fabulous Barker building. I went to a party at a friend’s loft there in August (which feels like a million years ago) and fell in love with the place. The sexy rooftop pool/spa, the Urth caffe across the street, the whole downtown arts dist. vibe. Love it. Would sacrifice a private garage for it…
I saw this as I left the office today, down in the Arts District. It’s proud papa is Marcus from ZVO, they make these gorgeous HYBRID!!! bikes! It’s gas/electric, not gas/pushbike, so cool!!! He said it’s rumored to be capable of 60 mph, which on those tires (assuming the front tire is as skinny as that back one) must be crazy!!! I so want one. It’s the perfect antidote to my dirty little habit. Yes, the sustainability consultant has a penchant for fast and dirty high-powered race bikes with unfettered exhaust systems…
Except that the worst of it is over. Appraiser came today, told my realtor “Oh hell yeah, this place is worth what they’re paying, no doubt!” Yaaay. The buyers wanted some credits for a few things, it seriously pisses me off, but really it’s a drop in the bucket. I can’t wait until it’s really all over, it’s so stressful, worrying about if for some reason it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, I don’t want to move. I like my home. But it’s too far from school. And I need the money to pay for school. Not for shoes, dammit! It’s been rough, I’ve been battling that empty feeling. Coupled with an “OMG, there’s no land beneath my feet, I’ve had the earth pulled out from under me!” feeling. So I’ve been craving Barneys. I have this shiny black card and if I pay with it, I get to pay 21% extra for shit I really don’t need and feel like a complete patsy for doing so. It’s a card I got in a moment of Shoephoria. It was worth it (because I paid before the end of the month), but I’m glad I haven’t used it again.
Been working. Keeps me out of trouble. But it’s really boring. Got a little bit more interesting today, but I still want to do something else. Not sure what, besides buy shit I don’t need, can’t afford, and will have to schlep 2500 miles. Almost played hooky every day this week, esp. today. But couldn’t think of anything better to do except get in the way when the appraiser would come over, and well, I knew that would be a bad idea. A friend said he might join me for the road trip, that’ll be nice.
Got some totally hot guy calling me up and wanting to hang out, but I’m so not in the mood. I realized tonight, while thinking about it, that I don’t fall for individuals based on their own unique qualites so much as I fall for their potential. Does this guy seem like someone I’d want to spend the rest of my life with? Does he seem like he’d want to spend the rest of his life with me? OK, so in reality, those ones scare me. But I’m not even attracted to the players anymore. And I’m always so quick to find fault. I’m officially old. I think this time, I’ve lost my libido for good. We’ll see what happens when I’m at a school with a basketball stadium right next to my department’s building…Cuz it always comes back to height. Maybe the nasty tagging habit would be less offensive if he were a lot taller?
Motherfucker. Lemme at him! I’ll show that bastard what happens to scumbags who destroy the single greatest source of oxygen in this oxygen-deprived city. If I had the power, I’d reach down his throat, tear out his lungs and rip them up into tiny pieces. Then perhaps he might understand the importance of oxygen, and why we all enjoy breathing so much. I took this picture on the way home from work today. I assumed it was some careless, stupid smoker, but apparently it was some terrorist loser asshole trying to ruin it for the park and for the rest of us trying to eke out a living in this semi-arid desert. Only my flue is open, and I can smell the smoke, even though it’s blowing away from where I live. Or was an hour ago. I hate when people burn trees, and this is the THIRD fire we’ve had in Griffith Park this season, and it’s not even summer yet! Grrrr.
Here’s one of the park in happier times, after a big rainfall:
Last night it was terrifying. The buyers were eager to get my counter offer, and I was freaking out. The idea of not owning a home, not having a place fer my shit, was beyond scary. I kept reminding myself that I’ll be an extremely wealthy homeless person, and be able to use that money to buy a nice home in North Carolina, but the fear still wouldn’t leave. I like my place. It’s got all my stuff in it. So as I signed the counter offer, I perused the real estate listings in Chapel Hill, reminding myself that one of those places will be mine soon enough.
Well, practically first thing this morning the buyers accepted my counter (and final) offer and it’s on! Today it’s not so scary, it’s just another step in a series of activities that make up life as a grown-up. Now I just have to pack up all my toys (after making the place even more gorgeous for the inspection/appraisal) and git along. But now I’m really happy about it, since it’s all working out so well. Timing, location, and appropriate upgrades combined to bump the value 100% in under 5 years. Awesome!
I have this quote I scribbled (years ago) on a pink post-it I kept in plain sight, not sure if it came from Rob Brezny or Lloyd Schumer (The Onion horoscopes) but it’s a lovely affirmation: “Working and saving is one way to get rich, but it’s not the only way.” I’m going to miss my beautiful place here in LA, and I actually apologized to it last night, in a moment of extreme materialism. But it really is a major creative expression, and I’m glad the buyers love all the work I’ve done.
Well, after much toil and trouble, what with clearing out all the junk I can’t live without, cleaning the heck out of the place, and then trying to get a 1G video compressed to a size that doesn’t make it look like a retarded blur, I finally got it!
So here it is, folks. http://guests.themls.com/profile_page.cfm?mls=07-180279
Chez Moi. For sale. If you have to ask how much…. ;-P No, just kidding.