Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Prisoner

The Deukmejian Wilderness Park in Glendale finally reopened last month after being closed for almost a year, due to the ravages of the Station fire. It was one of The Misers favorite places to picnic. We went there just the other day, sandwiches in hand, and discovered that we were the only ones there. We had the whole park to ourselves! It was a beautiful day, and after eating, Bee and Sparky threw a beach ball around while I perused a cookbook. It seemed so odd that no one else was around - we felt like we were in the Prisoner's village only without the crazy bright clothing and striped accessories. Where was everybody? It was all very relaxing and we Misers felt very lucky indeed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ghetto Life

How can you tell if you live in a ghetto? If the super market down the street from you keeps their liquor and baby formula locked up. And how can you tell if your neighborhood is improving? When this very same market starts to leave the liquor unlocked. That's when you know that things are looking up!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mr. Walking And Reading

Sparky and I were saddened a couple of days ago when we heard that Mr. Walking and Reading had died. We did not know this man personally, but have seen him out and about Silverlake for years and years. We first espied him way back in the day when we were both employed at the Recycler Classifieds. He would walk briskly down the street in just a pair of shorts and tennis shoes while reading a newspaper. We saw him almost on a daily basis, and had no idea who he was so we called him "Mr. Walking And Reading." On cold winter days, Mr. Walking And Reading might wear a windbreaker. But on most days he was shirtless, and thus was deeply tanned. We saw him everywhere, and whenever we saw him we would say to one another, "Hey, there's Mr. Walking And Reading". Later, after we were both no longer working at the Recycler, we found out from a friend that Mr. Walking And Reading was a physician, and was well known around town. Apparently others had noticed him, too, and documentaries and murals had been made about him. We probably should have started calling him "Dr. Walking And Reading" but we never did; old habits are hard to break. R.I.P., Mr. Walking And Reading, you were a truly unique individual and we will miss seeing you walk rapidly thru the neighborhood while reading a newspaper and wearing nothing but shorts and sneakers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weed Whackers - guest blogger Sparky

I awoke last night to a violent and perverse scuffling in the alley. It was after 2 A.M. For a few moments I was totally lost and thought a home invasion was in the works. The swearing was loud and drunken but no bottles were smashing or windows breaking. WTF?! I crept to the bathroom window, upstairs above the only streetlight in the alley. I refocused my eyes. I could tell from the swearing I was dealing with a couple of youngish white guys who were mad as hell, but this was not what I had expected. The taller one with hipster beard and glasses was wielding a sling blade, his shorter, bald pal with long baggy checkerboard shorts and big combat boots was attacking with a sword. Seriously, a sword. The blade was at least four feet long and had to weigh half as much as he did. They both hollered, grunted, and chopped with vicious abandon at every defenseless weed in the alley. Sample dialogue: "Fuck you motherfucker weed fucking with my fucking car one more fucking time...", etc. They chopped, swore and whacked their way up and down the alley. I bore silent witness to their mayhem as they branched out, slicing and dicing Mr. Piano Man's avocado tree into submission.
As I watched them move out of sight and into the labyrinth of barking dogs down the alley, it hit me that there was an entire segment of society that was feeling screwed over by the New Depession that I hadn't thought of before: guys in their late 20's-early 30's, making good bank in the industry, or at hip media jobs, where there is no sense of loyalty or job stability on either side. These guys used to go to work everyday with the attitude of 'take this job and shove it' because I can, and will, get something better that pays more in like, two days, man. And now those guys hadn't worked in a year, and their unemployment was a dry teat. Student loans the size of a normal mortgage were also raining despair down into their young souls, and they suffered the anger of the helpless. Fuck those motherfucking weeds!
And then they came back up the alley working the other side. They were still swearing like fucking mud wrestlers, but were seriously winded. Suddenly they stopped right below me, looking at my truck. "What the fuck is this?" Huff and puff. "A fucking Highlander?" "No, it's," huff, huff, huff. "A hybrid. Escape hybrid." The smaller, bald villain rested his weapon on his shoulder. "They're good people," the big fellow slurred. "Good people. They keep their shit trimmed." And they walked off. "As do I," said the sword whacker as he chopped a single foot long piece of bamboo from next to our gate. (Well, that filthy weed was getting a bit out of hand...) And as they walked on, I saw the unmistakable outline of the alley's only Great Dane, Mitzi. "Come on, Mitzi. Back in, back in." And the weed whacking neighbors returned home. And as weird as it was, it's always good to know that your neighbors think highly of you.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm feeling very lazy these days. Don't feel much like doing anything except for sitting on the beach looking at the ocean. Which is exactly what we did today. It's swell being able to go to the beach on a weekday - one of the few perks of being an under employed Miser. These little pleasures in life have become so important to us lately, and make us feel richer than kings and queens and even Oprah.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Daze

Summer is definitely here. Maybe its been here all along, and I'm just finally noticing. Which makes sense really, because I've been barely here in Los Angeles ever since school got out. But I'm back, ready and raring to enjoy every one's favorite season. I have that slightly giddy, anything is possible feeling in my stomach. If I were to have a soundtrack for my summer, it would have to include "Dancing Days", "Doin' Time", "Margaritaville" (as sung by Sparky), and anything and everything by U-Roy.