Sunday, July 19, 2015
The Los Angeles Derby Dolls have moved from Echo Park to East Los Angeles, only a stone's throw from the house. Brennan got us tickets to go see LA compete against the team from Minnesota. Brennan and his roommate Iisac used to live in Minneapolis and would regularly go to roller derby. They supported their Midwestern sisters, while Rob, Derrick and I cheered for LA. LA clobbered them, something like 214 to 41. I thought it was nice how the announcer tried to make the defeated team feel better, pointing out that this had been their second bout of the day. At the end they started playing the theme music to The Price is Right. Not sure why, but it made me realize how upbeat and cheery the tune was.
This morning I found the theme music and put it in a new playlist I created called August 15. I told Brennan how I was going to play the music at the perfume store where I work and make all of the customers guess the prices.
On my way into work I stopped by Blick to buy art supplies. I had a coupon that would allow me 20% off a total purchase over $50. I picked up some pieces of wood for carving, some pens, sketchbooks and a set of French Curves. I didn't bother to calculate, I know how things just add up. When I went to the checkout to pay, the total bill came to $49 and change. The sales associate said that I'd have to get one more thing to be able to use the coupon. I grabbed one more pen. She said "You're really good at shopping! You should be on The Price is Right."
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Today I drove downtown to buy Fahrenheit. It's always been one of my favorite fragrances. The smell of it brings me back to the mall in the 80s. I've always obsessed over scents. I'd leave my mom to look at clothes in the department stores on a Saturday night and I'd creep over to the perfume counters and try on every fragrance. I know only an old man would say this, but they really knew how to make 'em back then. I am an old man - I know. But it's true. The original Fahrenheit was perfection.
I knew that I'd probably find an old bottle of Fahrenheit at Universal Perfumes on Los Angeles Street. They have everything. Tons of mall classics from all decades. On my way there I crossed over the 7th Street bridge from Boyle Heights and noticed the new Silverlake Wines at Mateo Street. I pulled over and stopped inside. On my way back to the car I noticed a new store - the gates were up over the windows and two women were unpacking boxes and setting objects on to the counters. The objects looked hand crafted and Japanese. They saw me squinting through the windows and beckoned me to come in.
I looked at a lacquered wooden bowl that had been hand-lathed. It was made in the Ishikawa Prefecture. I bought it. The women seemed pleased. I may have been their first customer. The shelves and cabinetry were gorgeous. I asked who made them. One of the women explained that a woodworker in Korea made everything and they had it shipped over. Wow. The store was called The Good Liver. It's my new favorite store.
After the Good Liver I parked my car on Crocket Street, near Skid Row. I walked over to Universal Perfumes from there because parking is a nightmare downtown and i know that you can park on Crocket Street. I felt stupid walking past a campus of tents and homeless people with a hand made Japanese bowl in my bag and a (fake) Rolex on my wrist. I reached Universal Perfumes and asked for the oldest bottle of Fahrenheit. It smells like the gorgeous scent that I remembered from the 80s - pre reformulation. I bought a bottle and sprayed myself three times.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
There's a feline family living in my garden. They just appeared around two weeks ago, a Momma cat and maybe five kittens. They mostly hide in the lavender or watch me walk to my car while crouched under oleander leaves. Sometimes from my bedroom window I see them on the driveway playing or all nuzzled up, nursing from Momma.
I keep a bowl of water out for them and every evening around 7 I leave a plate of food. I can tell that they've become used to this routine and expect me to be consistent. When I come home from work and get out of my car, I see their faces poking out from the shrubs reminding me of our little arrangement. I wish I could keep one but I'm severely allergic to cats and they are most decidedly outdoor animals.
I need to call this woman I've heard of who will collect stray and feral cats, have them fixed and then return them or try to find foster homes. I feel like I'm supposed to ask my next door neighbor if the Momma cat is his pet. If so, I wonder if I should ask for his permission. The kittens will grow up and then produce even more families to fend for themselves on the the streets of East Los Angeles. But I don't think I will approach the neighbor. If the cats do belong to him I don't think he cares. The only thing he seems to care about is moving the beat up station wagon parked outside his house to the other side of the street on Wednesday mornings for street cleaning, then moving it back at 12:00 on the dot, when parking is permitted again. He leaves the ugly car there at all times, except Wednesday mornings so that no one will park outside of his ugly house. One time I brought my garbage cans down to the street on garbage night. I left them next to my driveway towards his driveway - only because his brother had a massive truck parked on the other side of my driveway. He came to my house to complain the next day. He said that I didn't respect him.