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Archive for October, 2009

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Thanksgiving: polenta terrine

Office harmony: Fire department + Lifeguard Operations. Manhattan Beach

E’s hankering for meatballs: my Ikea fig break

Fire!

C’est l’Halloween

South Hollywood

Some mid-October farmer’s market goods

The Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers club

Prickly pear season: Hermosa Beach

Sunpower Natural Cafe‘s raw tiramisu

Birds of paradise

Frolicking pig detail, The Adoration of the Magi with Saint Anthony Abbot c. 1390. Getty Center

The neighbour’s persimmons

…and avocados

An enjoyable Sunday afternoon: bossa grooves of Haruchi Kanda in Japanese Village Plaza

And, as promised, Doomsday pictorials:

The scarf is Heather’s. She must’ve dropped it between mile 25 & 26 while finishing 3 minutes before me. Somehow I managed to spot it, pick it up, and tie it fashionably around my neck.

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One week

is all I’ve got, people.

My Visitor’s Visa is up and I’m returning to Canada next Saturday night. Keeping the peace with the US is paramount. Yes, that is an LA reference.

Since April, I’ve been a tourist living with a legal alien. The alien and I thought there’d be a little more lenience with our Canadian common-law status but the answer is no and the move was hasty and the bottom line is that I must heed this 6 month stint so that I may return with a fatter, better Visa (accessible through native soil only). This means, the alien and I must live apart from one another for the first time. It’s the most tragic thing, ever, but we’re trying not to be sappy as there’s love and Skype. And Christmas. And visits…

Things I am looking forward to: WORK! FRIENDS! BULK BARN! PANTS! CELSIUS! KILOMETRES! Even paying rent and shopping for liquor during bank hours. Does anyone know if it’s still gonna be apple-picking season in the first week of November? Who wants to come with!?

But, until next Saturday, I am in Los Angeles. Let’s keep the blog as LA-based as possible until my departure. What better way to do this than to post some paparazzi pics of Jay Leno and his ridiculous steam-powered car making a lunch break for some Taste Chicago?

Turning off his car:

Amigos lovin’ the attention:

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401

The number 401 has equal importance to Canada as it does to the USA. In fact, Wikipedia lists “Highway 401” before “401 K” in the “401 disambiguation” search (the real 401 being the year). One of my favourite Jeopardy moments was when a contestant’s final score was $401 and Alex Trebek commented about the Canadian highway.

Doomsday was today. Remember? Oi.

I had been avoiding blogging about the marathon 1) in fear that no one would care 2) out of embarrassment. I pulled another muscle (running friends: I KNOW!). E thinks it’s a natural reaction schemed by my body in defense of training. Some random part of my leg or foot that I’ve never hurt before will suddenly throw in the towel and go on strike.

But not this week or last week. 4 Sundays ago. I pulled my left hip adductor yet didn’t realize until a few days later (oh the stealth).

Anyway I was pretty sure one week ago that I wouldn’t be able to run. In fact, having to run 3-4 paces to catch a bus was painful. The pounding would go straight through my ground beef muscle and aggravate the tendon at my hip. I tossed around the idea of seeing a doctor, but found out that because my insurance termination with Blue Cross and my flight home are three days apart, I’m out of the whole “free health” deal. Awesome!

But I really wanted to run. And because of this desire, I fell into a deep depression. Sleepless nights, bad dreams, fear of gaining 60 pounds, the usual. H and I had both signed up and she was noticing major improvements in her training so she carried the excitement and enthusiasm for the both of us – right to the start line! Ground beef or no ground beef, I was running this thing!

Oh the pain.

I was on the road for a pretty decent 3h:50min finish until around mile 15 when I had to actually stop running and use the port-o-potty! A move I’ve never understood in races. Such a time waster. But I’d eaten something very, very wrong which rendered my pre-race Saturday a Pepto-Bismol night (running friends: I KNOW!). To add to the upset stomach/pronounced limp, I was thirsty. Like, homeless man leather-face parched.

Not once did I hear my Venga Bus. The live music was established at only 2-3 stages along the entire course and the bands were all wannabe Maroon Fives. Granted, it’s probably pretty difficult to set up a music station on the beach? At mile 25, there was a lone guitar warrior (who must’ve been over 60) blasting out a solemn, greatly embellished version of Hotel California. Motivational!

I was doing the required math and figured I’d be able to finish in under 4 hours but by the last mile, and in combination with Hotel California, it was just not happening. So I settled for a 4:01 which I am soooo proud of!

What kept my smile was the shocking number of doppelgangers. At mile 3 was an Ivy C-L who stayed in my vicinity throughout & finished just after me. There was a Colin B, a Rob W, an Angie F, a Michelle S. Too many Fabio F’s to count. An Ian R and an Ian W. They were all around me and I loved it! The short stint around the Cal State U of Long Beach was amazing: their uni has a giant blue pyramid!

Now, I’m in my jammies. It’s 5pm in California and Thanksgiving in Canada. I can’t move. My adductor at this point has transubstantiated from ground beef into tough week-old Genoa salami. I wanted so badly to go to the store with E to find this but after taking 2 minutes to get out of my chair, we both figured it’s best that I remain seated/blogging. Expect lots of blogging.

Oh! I can’t wait to get all my anguish-faced marathon photos emailed to me! That’s a fun blog to watch for.

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Life’s a Beach

Using one LA beach as a distraction from this weekend’s events at another LA beach is not really the best plan of action to tame las mariposas.

This Sunday = doomsday.

Same body of water, different sand. This is basically how I feel:

There’ve been a lot of tsunami warnings recently for the beach towns. Fingers crossed for this Sunday?

Inland, a hangout on Melrose doesn’t help either…

It’s inevitable. At least I can use the race as an excuse for my recent excessive porridge consumption…

Let’s just say I’m definitely not California Dreamin’ about this marathon!

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Do you remember the North Hollywood Shoot-Out?

This morning, we had a plan: hop on our bikes and visit Bank of America’s North Hollywood branch. We’re no crime junkies, but this story is just so interesting AND it all happened 20 minutes away!

Here’s the story:
Larry Phillips and Emil Matasareanu are pals who met at a gym. They shared a passion for the illegal modification of AK-47s and homemade body armour. Together, they robbed 3 banks and one Brinks truck before spending months scrutinizing their NoHo attempt, which went down February 28th 1997. The special thing about this robbery is that the pair were so heavily armed with their own specially-made ceramic body armour (3 bowling balls in weight!) that they couldn’t be taken down by conventional police weapons. The two guys were absolutely loaded with guns specially modified with armour-piercing ammunition which means they could shoot through police’s body vests, but their own vests were impenetrable. It got to the point where police had to run to nearby gun stores to buy better guns! In the end, SWAT forces were called upon.

9:17am – Enter bank, demand money.

9:38am – Cops enter the scene. Emil drives out of the parking lot while Larry walks beside the car, shooting at the cops.

9:51am – Larry splits from Emil at the corner and fires repeatedly at police while walking along a wall. He’s shot in the thumb, and therefore has major problems re-loading his gun.

Larry ends up killing himself by shooting himself in the face – speculated an accidental suicide as he was dexterously impaired.

Emil proceeds to drive down the sleepy neighbourhood streets of NoHo with cops shooting from every angle.

9:56am – Emil’s car tires are now totally flat, so he tries to steal a pickup truck without the proper ignition key. By this time, SWAT officers were shooting beneath the cars at Emil’s feet with M16s and Emil succumbed to the pain and collapsed. Cops did not call the aid of ambulances for 45 minutes as the scene was deemed too dangerous. Emil bled to death.

By the time the shooting had ceased, 1,300 rounds of ammo were shot by Larry and Emil.

Most American police officers now carry better guns because of this crime, and police cars are now re-enforced with Kevlar doors.
19 LAPD officers received Medals of Valor for their efforts in the NoHo Shoot-Out, which was the biggest shoot-out in California’s history. Here’s the Wikipedia entry. There’s also a movie, 44 Minutes. Check it out.

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Getty-up!

Like a breath of fresh Bel Air

Getty

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