Listen to Mira, it should properly set the mood for this whole blog.
Today, Monday of all days, has started out as, and remains to be, a series of disappointments, followed by my surprising amount of patience on my part, thereby rendering the situation rather neutral in the end.
I awoke at 7:55am as the Sun’s heat and light struck my face through the thin plastic layer of my tent. I began getting ready to pack up my things (first, by getting dressed), when I heard what sounded like voices, likely from a police cruiser nearby. Continuing to dress myself, I was very much shocked into wakefulness by a loud brief BWOOP! from the cruiser right next to my tent. Sucks to be right sometimes. Fortunately, the cops didn’t seem to want to get out of the car, and gave me a 30 minute time frame to rid the sidewalk of my presence and belongings; plenty of time for me, especially as the Greenhouse Effect takes over my tent.
My gym, 24 hour Fitness, is not a far walk from where I post my tent, but in recent days, the shower situation has become less than ideal. Soap dispensers have been going missing from the walls, as well as the temperature regulation handles going awry, making it difficult to find a good showering temp. I’d really wanted to get a good shower in, as I’ve been sick for the past few days; nasal leakage, and breathing as if I’m underwater. A nice powerful stream of hot water helps to clear the sinuses, for maybe a few hours.
I decided that, today, I’ll try out the 24 Hour Fitness in Pasadena, as it’s near the Pasadena City College area, and is on my way to the school. Before I got there, however, I needed a new combination lock, as I had left behind one of my two locks several days before, no longer in possession of it. A Staples store is on the way, but Google maps indicated that it was permanently closed. I decided to head that way anyway, because I’d been there recently, and it would only be a minor inconvenience if I had to hit up an Office Depot in the area for another combination lock.
The trip to Staples was pretty much uneventful, I did get to enjoy several comedians on Pandora radio, and I made my way back to the train station for a bus ride toward 24 Hour. Waiting at a nearby bus stop, I heard an urgent call of nature, and initially tried to ignore it. Never really wise to do so, I got up, knowing I’d miss my bus, and made my way into the nearby Starbucks to use the facilities. Crap, it has a keypad. That’s typical when there’s a concentration of homeless in the region, and there’s a shelter that’s about a 10 minute walk away (I almost stayed there, but my instincts changed my mind).
Waited in the line, added $10 to my Starbucks card, and paid ~$3 for my Trenta Shaken Black Iced Tea, No Water, Sweet. Got the code for the toilet and made my way in to drop the kids off at the pool.
Made my way back to the bus stop after retrieving my very large caffeinated beverage and kinda sorta almost nearly didn’t get on the bus, as I had almost not seen it until it was very close.
Oddly enough, as I sat on the bus, I managed to make it to my destination without knowing it. I could have missed it entirely, had I not simply looked up at the right moment. Getting out, I noticed there was an Urth Caffé at the corner, and made note to head over there for a lunch after my workout.
I had to circle the entire block before I found the entrance to the gym (no real obvious signage for the entry) and made my way down. Got some quick instructions on finding the men’s locker room from the staff, made my way in, changed out, and went to take my first shower of the day.
As I showered (under pathetic water volume/pressure), another member came in, fully dressed in what appeared to be official Hipster regalia (flannel shirt, Chucks, skinny jeans, “trendy” hairstyle, etc.), and proceeded to slowly remove articles of his clothing. One article came off, 1-3 minute pause. When he was down to just pants and wife-beater, he seemed to forget that he was in a shower room and just faced away from the stalls, placing his hands in strange orientation to his head, chest, and back. I’m not sure what the hell was going on, but it wasn’t exactly a comforting situation, I’m vulnerable in my nudity, this guy is acting really weird, and is in plain sight of me. Near the end of my time in the shower, he finally managed to complete his ritual and disappeared into a shower stall a few doors away.
I got to watch the remainder of Jupiter Jazz part 1 (Cowboy Bebop episode) and the entirety of Part 2 while on the treadmill. Cleaned up in a second shorter shower (different stall with more water/pressure), reclaimed my tea from the locker, left a few personal articles to be picked up after my trip to school today, and made my way out.
I walked the brief walk to Urth Caffé, and upon entry, was greeted by a very personable petite young lady who was quite forthcoming with food ideas, based on my questions. I love when customer service actually tries to answer my questions, instead of deflecting, like a politician, to some special of the day or a rote formulaic answer. Customer service is my bag, and I like a good encounter. She made standing in line looking over a menu rather enjoyable.
I ordered my food and made a quick dash to a bar seating, but it was covered in crumbs. I headed outdoors to a corner where I could people-watch instead. After about 10 minutes, one of the staff came over and asked me about my Starbucks drink. Apparently, Urth Caffé has a policy in which Starbucks (or perhaps any competitor) products are not permitted in eye sight. Fine by me. She offered up a free drink of my choice, even made suggestions to my liking. I settled on the Large Spanish Latte, a throwback to when I had originally tried Urth Caffé a few years back when I joined my friend from West Hollywood.
The food took a surprising amount of time to arrive, although it was lunch, and even made sense, when it got there, it was somewhat lukewarm. Okay, fine, it’s here, it’s delish. Although the bread is a bit burnt, that’s kinda sad. How long did you wait for me, Mr. Panini Prosciutto Di Parma? As the food arrived, the server indicated they knew I had a drink coming along as well. That didn’t arrive for nearly 10-15 minutes. Not upset, mostly just sad that it wasn’t going very well. The honey encrusted walnuts embedded in my spinach leaf salad were delightful!
As I neared the end of the salad (the drink had arrived and I was sipping it methodically), I had encountered what looked like an olive pit from on of my previously devoured olives. But, alas, it was not an olive pit, but a honey encrusted bee.
That’s right, I didn’t have a fly in my soup, I had a bee in my salad. Again, not upset, just sad that this whole ordeal has come full circle. I organized my plate so that the bee was isolated from the remainder of my food leavings, and waited for someone to come by. As anticipated, a busser came by to take my plate, he seemed to be in a hurry, almost avoiding hearing my indication of the presence of a bee on my plate. I had to pick up the fork and tap the plate a few times for him to look down and see. He placed the plate back on the table and went to find someone.
The lady who confiscated my Starbucks tea and offered me the free Latte came by and nearly whisked away the plate, again, I made several indications toward the plate, and she seemed to notice. But she also wanted to get that plate out quickly. I was approached my a very sombre young Asian man who seemed a bit upset at my bee salad situation. He apologized and offered me some sweets or gift cards, etc. I declined and instead asked for a discount on the meal. His rebuttal was a full refund. I wasn’t going to balk at that. The food was delicious, a bit late and cooler in temperature than I’d like. But overall, the actual eating and the flavors,etc. were quite up to snuff.
I appear to have a reserve of patience today. Not sure where it came from. But all’s well that ends well, I suppose.
Sadly, there’s a 95% chance I won’t be eating at that Urth Caffé in Pasadena any time soon. Once bitten, twice shy.
I’ve now lived in Los Angeles, California since January 2012, so roughly 2 years and 2 months. I can say with certainty that I’ve experienced
3 4 total Earthquakes, each progressively larger than the former.
The first was in late May of 2012
It was the day before the Occupy Wall Street: Los Angeles Edition was to travel to Chicago to protest the NATO summit meeting. I was sitting in a large outdoor courtyard with a fellow Occupier near a cafe on the property. We were likely conversing about the upcoming events, but also his decision to head in another direction once the action was over after the few days we were going to be there.
A shudder took us from our conversation. A large quick shake that disappeared just as quickly as it had shown up. My description then is apt now, it felt like the Subway Train underground had wrecked. The sudden jolt felt like nothing other. It wasn’t incredibly powerful, there was no residual shaking and nothing was creaking nor groaning. It came and left like a thief in the night.
March 17th, 2014, ~0600
I lay asleep on my inflatable sleeping pad. I am gently rocked awake by something completely foreign to me. It’s an odd sensation feeling an earthquake under a cushion of air. It was the most pleasant waking experience I’ve ever felt. Barely a second later, another gentle shake, with a slight increase in duration, shook me yet again. How wonderful!
My neighbor was getting ready for work, and I called to him to see if he had felt the experience. I suppose he was too busy to notice, as he had not felt the shaking. I decided it was time to sleep for a few more hours, as I didn’t have early classes that morning.
[March 29, 2014, ~1430]
I could be mistaken, but as I write this, I may have just felt a small aftershock from the earthquake that happened the night before, The following account details that event.
UPDATE ~1445 - Verified that I was not the only person to experience the aftershock. An acquaintance noticed a crack run up his wall inside his home.
March 28th 2014, ~2110
I sit in the Famima!! convenience store of my regular nightly choosing. This was the day I retrieved my new computer (that I will need to return, as it is not the computer I bought) and had spent most of the day in the USC Leavey Library trying to get updates and programs working how I needed them. The quake happened less than an hour after my arrival at the store. It shook, and this time, it was hard.
It’s difficult to describe how an Earthquake feels, but I’ll do what I can. First, this doesn’t account for all quakes, as they occur in various ways, with various geology affecting how the ground moves.
Here’s the thing, and it’s likely the main reason why people fear Earthquakes, the solid ground that you never think about - that lies beneath your feet day and night for innumerable years of your life - it’s now moving. It’s moving in a way you would never have thought. It’s as if someone is shoving you around with your feet. But it’s not your feet. You could be sitting or sleeping, just as well.
And it’s not as simple as moving only your feet, because that’s a more drastic gradient, between your feet and your head. No, your whole body moves all at once, but you feel it from the ground up. It’s fucking surreal!
I’m stunned and fascinated by this crazy and strange machination of nature. It just so happens that I’m currently taking two Geology classes in community college, and the information I’ve garnered from these classes has shed light on this subject, something I’ve had a passion for for many years now.
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.
Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow. Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black