I’ve always wanted to ride a horse on the beach. Fortunately, my loving family made sure I got a chance to live my dream. The lesson: if you’ve got something you’ve always wanted to do, do it soon. I had a great time but it took me several days to recover from spending three hours on the back of a horse. If you want to go on the same trails and the same beach, check out this fine company.
We went to Balboa Park to celebrate Mother’s Day last weekend. A group of Native American tribes were holding an outdoor gathering that was open to the public. It was fun and educational. We learned that in the days before the white man invaded, tranquil and peaceful indigenous people would sit together around the campfire, living in harmony with the natural environment and with one another, enjoying bacon wrapped hot dogs! It’s a good thing a few intrepid and courageous people were able to keep that tradition alive long enough to see it embraced by the masses.
Native American bacon wrapped hot dogs have special medical qualities – that’s one reason why it’s OK to eat them. That’s also how they justifiy the $35 price. Alexis thinks they use kosher hot dogs to wrap the bacon around, because irony tastes better. Exactly. Like I said, we have to take a little personal responsibility for our own health. Everybody knows kosher hot dogs are better for you.
The colorfully-dressed, feather-crowned guy who sold me this outdoor feast told me all about the history and about the powerful medicine in these hot dogs. He looked at me earnestly, like a brother might, as I held the two $20 bills.
“Do you know these medical hot dogs will take away gray hair?”
“How, by making it fall out?”
“No, by invigorating your body and making you young again. You’ll see.”
I still remember holding the big, heavy black camera in my small hands and trying to keep it steady while at the same time pressing down the steel button hard enough to take the picture. My dad was sitting still on a reclining lawn chair on the concrete patio of our old-fashioned 1920’s garden court apartment complex, in part of town now known as West Hollywood.
At the moment I took this picture I was positive it would be a masterpiece. When the pictures were developed this was the one I was most interested in – after all, it would prove to the world what a hugely artistic and gifted little boy Gerry and Joan had on their hands.
Imagine my chagrin when I discovered I failed to, as we say in modern corporate lingo, “meet or exceed expectations.” To make matters even worse, I could tell that my dad was actively disappointed with my first effort at photography.
Today is the seventh anniversary of his death.
…Yeah we are. The first picture is from 2002 and the second is from a few days ago.
Which is the useful life?
Ocean Beach has a colony of parrots, originally from northeast Mexico, who have decided to kick back and enjoy the Bohemian vibe and counterculture traditions of OB. I love these birds and how colorful and loud they are. When they finally showed up, I called Alexis on her cell phone. As a result of a bad connection and mutual senility, the conversation went something like this:
“Alex, the parrots are back!”
“What? Parents? Black?”
“The parrots are back!”
“The parents are black? Whose parents are black? Who cares?”
“No, not black, back.”
“Back? Whose parents?”
“Not parents, parrots. The parrots are back.”
It’s a good thing that my wife and I are so well educated. Who knows what our efforts at communication might look like otherwise? Anyhow, the cool birds have returned and here is some proof.
…but what is it, and how can Lana tell it’s licking her fingers?
Today is the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. My mom took this picture on Rutherford Drive in the Hollywood Hills back in the summer of ’81. I plan to publish many of my father’s photographs and movies soon, along with his book on the Middle-East. No doubt a grateful world will wonder what took me so long.
This is a nice action shot from 41 years ago. You’ll notice that I am being photographed from above, with a cliff behind me and rocks about a hundred feet below. Nobody said it wasn’t OK to climb up the sheer face of an ice-covered mountain until after I had done it! If it was so dangerous, how come I wasn’t more closely supervised? What do you expect a nine-year-old kid to do out there, memorize multiplication tables?
My mom took this picture immediately before she started yelling at me for taking so many dangerous risks. Startled by her outburst and frightened by her fury, I lost my grip and fell backwards to the rocks below.
This would not be the last life I lost, tragically. Fortunately I’ve still got a few left.
Rainbow and I are happy with later sunsets.
Alexis and I went to the local elementary school to check out the science fair exhibits. One kid wanted to figure out which of his two dogs was smarter. Another compared the number of un-popped kernels of popcorn from various brands. A lot of the exhibits were interesting.
Elana’s project compared the sugar content of Coke with that of fruit juice. “Why do you drink that stuff?” OK, I like a glass of Coke now and then. Just be glad I don’t mix in a bunch of whiskey.
Then it came to me – a great idea for a kid science project! “Alcohol absorption rates of the grownups in my family.” The budding young scientist could put all the adults in his or her family through series of tests of cognition and coordination, carefully noting their condition as they consume booze shot after booze shot. They could all take video game driving tests, too, and compare the results with the legal standards. Here’s an entrepreneurial tip: go for an endorsement deal. Don’t you think one of the alcohol companies would pay to get access to all the parents in the science fair exhibit hall, not to mention the next generation of customers?
This is one idea for a kid science project that you won’t have trouble getting the family to participate in and support!
For no extra charge, here’s today’s rainy sunset at the beach.