14 December 2018

How do I say this without sounding corny ...

I love Los Angeles. All of it. But, here in this very expensive city, the rush-rush-rush all day long-long-long really does make one feel as if they are, well, draggin' arse.  About ten years back, I gave up, sort of, and so, am about to make a decision to "keep up" once again, as it were regarding a new career choice.  LA offers lots of professional choices. To be continued.  But, I'm thankful to a friend (two actually) and a cousin who is a brother from my mother's sister, for their kicking me (politely) in the arse because I was draggin' a-double-ass.

Amongst cities in California, I've lived in LA neighborhoods in South Central and Inglewood, Korea Town and Malibu Canyon (tucked into the Santa Monica Mountains where mountain lions and bobcats and coyotes and roadrunners and deer and raccoon and cranes and red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons and wild parakeet and great-horned owls and well, all such animals live -- in fact, just down the road apiece from where I live, the ubiquitous they -- truly mad people -- are about to build an "animal bridge" so that these aforementioned animals can transverse Hwy 101 safely ... a $50million double ugh).  I've lived behind the "Orange curtain" (Orange County) in Newport Beach and in Irvine (both of which many people still consider and call "LA"), and I've lived in the Valley (San Fernando to be precise -- which many Westsiders would like NOT to consider part of LA). Los Angeles has many (read, hundreds) of neighborhoods, each unique and ugly and beautiful in their own way.   I mean, c'mon, there are 11 million of us living here, so it figures, am I right? You could literally make a movie about all of them. In the last few decades Echo Park or Los Feliz or Hollywood or Silver Lake are the only cities that seem to make a dent on the writers' imaginations of these geo-prejudiced films -- I myself plead guilty of a yarn set in K-Town.

Food covers a host of (lack of) cultural sins for many of these more challenging neighborhoods which are dirty and dangerous and oft-dull.  But, good food overcomes, brotha. Good food overcomes all manner of bad neighborhoods, bad neighbors, suspect food trucks, restaurants with "C" health ratings, and even ugly architecture.  Bland design, the horror! but the unfortunate ho-hum ubiquity of many parts of SoCal. But that good food, gawd dang, it's good when it's good. When great? Holy cow it's sooo good.  Like Jonathan Gold good. Jonathan Gold, legendary food critic, within weeks of discovering he had pancreatic cancer, passed away -- he the casually nonplussed cool writer with the platinum palate.  He was a foodie god around these parts. He knew LA / SoCal neighborhoods like no one. His reviews, insights, encouragements, and taste will hereafter be missed. I've gotten to know many LA writers (of magazines and newspapers and online zines of all sizes and import) over the years. He's one I'd have wandered endlessly strange LA lands to meet and treat to a luncheon meeting. RIP JG the other.  Here's what Nancy Silverton (Mozza) had to say in the LATimes.
“He, more than any chef, changed the dining scene in Los Angeles,” said longtime friend, chef and Mozza co-owner Nancy Silverton. “He really was the ambassador for our city.”
So, if, no, when you come to LA, just know that when I say hundreds of neighborhoods, I mean it. You can enjoy or get offended by each and every one of them. But, if you come to LA, come also looking for good food, you'll appreciate the journey regardless of the architecture that may be lacking.

See you when you get here, Dear Reader.  If you know your dates of arrival I'll pick you up at LAX!

05 December 2018

From the School of Old ... in the Key of Trad Dad

Trad Dad FatScribe Tweets into the Ether About Millennials
I'm old school.

I don't think cops should be ambushed.  Or shot at ... let alone shouted at.  Or even refused service at fast-food joints with a barista or hair-netted marionette whose strings reach all the way back to some email pushing talking points from progressives, or some intersectional obsessed young upstart who has not clue one regarding what IRL real life is all about, in any way, shape or form. I'm so old school, I think cops should be called officers.  In my old neighborhood in SoCentral where my two boys and I lived for almost 8 yrs, we'd wave at every single LA firetruck (Station 66 was a mere 2 blocks over) and every single police car and their officers who, thank goodness, drove through our narrow streets near Hyde Park off Slauson.  LAPD and LA Sheriff's alike were welcomed sights for sore eyes.

I'm old school, like I said.

Even though I'm not, really that old, not like Boomer old. I'm Gen-X (okay, that's old enough) old, which is typically liberal/moderate leaning, but I am decidedly and definitely worldview old, like a good classical liberal should be. I believe that sex, sexual innuendos, and crass talk are inapprops for the workplace. Totes inapprops (thanks Paul Rudd for that introduction into vapid vernacular of modern comedic cinema).  It breeds contempt, the crassness, not the comedy.  Those who accommodate such behavior, make allowance for it that is, or who engage in such conduct become inured to the idea of "boundaries."  If there was ONE thing I learned from my divorce, it is that boundaries ("you do you & Ima do me") are important in all walks of life, even when talking shite at work.  If it's after work, off-hours, at the local watering hole, say whatever you want to whomever you want. A co-worker who may be in your vicinity can leave that joint if you're acting the fool, being out of line -- he or she or they can simply walk away. But a co-worker cannot or should not have to leave their work place because of your proclivity for inappropriate conduct.  See the diff?  Making my trad dad point?  (I'm feedin' ya pearls, here.)

Yeah, I'm old school that way.

I respect my friends who may be third-wave feminists or progressives who believe in breaking barriers, but please try and remind your friends that some of us in turn may be old school first-wave classical liberals who believe in standards, standard-bearers (formerly called gentlemen), and Ed Ruscha's "Standard Gas Station," but I don't need to get sneered-at if I happen to be in front of you and hold a door (God forbid -- yeah, I said God).  Oh, and don't think you'll be adjudged poorly if you offer a polite thank you to the schlub who may hold a door open for you someday. Just the other day I was having steaks with a law school bud in Manhattan Beach and waited for a beat to hold the door open for Kurt Rambis (all 6'7" of his maleness) who politely said "thank you" and we both met our parties waiting for us. It's called a societal courtesy, and they're a good thing (as my gal Martha Stewart is fond of saying), whether said courtesy is offered to a male or female, and we all could use more of that in our lives.

I'm old school in my schooling, too.

I believed and believe that university was/is for iron to sharpen iron. That newly-minted young adults go in to the halls of academe to learn to hit deadlines; learn the beginnings of a profession; and are warmly shown how to think critically by taskmasters who are tasked with inculcating young minds with knowledge of life & profession, throw in some wisdom, sure why not, but not ideology.  Our Gen Next sons and daughters in this current class of higher learning with accompanying high six-figure price tags should not to be brainwashed by a hegemonic structure of progressive pabulum that completely shuts down a critical word, a different approach, or a traditional worldview to the "issues of the day."  The traditional approach to university life seemingly worked for a century or two prior produced the greatest progenitors of powerful global reaching companies ... and now college life is about subjective social justice warriors ready with their doctrinaire answers desiring to work in high-paying Silicon Valley.

Yup, old school like that.

06 November 2018

Friend or foe ... Vote!

Selma march, 1965 (unknown)
I love Fall.  My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving: family; falling leaves of colour (I like the colorful spelling of color better -- it's the Anglophile in me); expressing thanks to the divine and our fellow man for the things we're blessed to have and thankful for those we can hold.  I love Fall (capital 'F' fall). I love Fall so much, I'll even call it Autumn.

One of the other things I love about Fall is the franchise, our sacred November right to vote on the things of import in our lives which happens on "the Tuesday following the first Monday in November."

Some tips from a sclerotic conservative of faith:

1. If a measure/proposition involves a tax increase, vote agin it, my friend.  I mean the government already wastes so much of our money and have the poorest of poor stewardship history with our money, they have forfeited the right to ask for anymore of our funds.  So, no, you get no more tax funds.

2. If it involves a bond, same as above ... that's a nope vote, and I'm votin' agin it once more. Our brood, our amazing children, are already saddled with a Sisyphean task of paying off the debt handed down by Boomers, Gen-Xers (my guys and gals) and others, that they WILL NEVER be able to pay off this giant rock heading up hill. It is immoral to give successor taxpayers a pecuniary financial bill of attainder (say that 3x fast).  So, no, bond measures are 95% a bad decision waiting to be voted upon (sorry 5%, but your sacrifice is to the good).

3. If it involves a tax CUT ... Yessir, I'll take two please and I'm fer it. And, when that frozen day in hell occurs, please call me from my lovely dirt nap grave where I'll be spinning, son.  Spinning I tells ya.

4. If an election involves a person who wants MORE government in our lives, I'd suggest voting for his or her opponent. Less government is better in our lives.

I could go on, but I'm afearin' I've become partisan in my PSA "get out and vote" message, so I'll leave it there!

Seriously, I'm sure none of us cares what each of us are registered politically (Dem or GOP or Ind.) -- though I admit a passing bias toward what you are in your worldview, i.e., conservative or progressive (do liberals even exist any more?) -- but, as I'm sure we all agree, we all need to exercise the franchise every two years and get out and vote.  That is, as long as you are a legal resident of these United States, with attendant citizenship rights to vote.  Just sayin'.

So, exercise the franchise, Dear Reader!