Sometimes you just need to put something on video. As promised in the video here is the link to the original blog, You Are Not Equal, I’m Sorry. After viewing the video please click over and give the author, Dina Leygerman, the views she deserves!
I always thought I’d make a very entertaining on air news reporter. I’m guessing the producer wouldn’t like me much but I can almost guarantee I’d be a viewer favorite. One thing that always baffles me is how those people have so much to talk about in a breaking news situation when there is no new info to pass on to viewers. As an example the Los Angeles area is in the tail end of a crazy heat wave right now. Temperatures are triple digits and we are breaking records left and right. Of course any weather activity at all is a HUGE story for local Los Angeles news folks. Here is a taste of what it would be like if I was on on-scene reporter:
Bob – Let’s go out to Wendy. She is on the streets of Los Angeles were the temperatures just hit a scorching 104. What is happening out there Wendy?
Wendy – Well Bob it’s hot. Real hot. I’m sweating. I’m starting to smell really bad too. How is it in the studio? Air condition working well there?
Bob – Yes it is Wendy. You should get inside fast.
Wendy – You think? Thanks for the great insight Bob. That’s why you are an anchor and I’m out here hoping for the end of days. (To onsite producer) What number am I in line for the anchor position? I need to know how many people I need to knock off so I can sit in the comfy cool studio like ol’ Bob there.
Bob – Thanks Wendy. We will be back to Wendy in the next hour to see how things are going.
Bob – I’m told I HAVE to throw it to Wendy again. As a reminder she is on the streets of Los Angeles where we have just broken a new heat record.
Wendy – You say “we” Bob but do you really mean “we?”
Bob – Ummm … Wendy … (to producer) What is she doing?
Wendy – I’m (bleep)ing hot Bob. I’m moving this party to this here water fountain.
Producer off camera – She can’t go in the fountain. Someone stop her. George do something.
Wendy – George set the camera right there and come in here. The water is fine.
Bob – Wendy is there anyone around you can interview?
Wendy – (Now screaming because mic was left on the side of the water fountain for safe keeping.) And ask them what Bob? If it’s hot? What they plan to do when the sun finally does land on top of them? There isn’t anyone out here but us Bob. It’s instant sunstroke. George and I are dying for you out here just to report it’s hot. I can report that from the air conditioning of the news van.
Bob – We seem to be having technically difficulties with Wendy’s feed. Let’s take it back to the studio.
Wendy – Technical difficulties my (bleep). The mic is melting. If you want to call that a “technical” difficulty be my guest.
Bob – (to producer) No. I’m not doing it. No. Fine. (To camera) You guys asked for it. Back to Wendy …. Wendy …. Wendy …. Wendy
Wendy – (holding camera in passenger seat of car while George drives through a McDonalds). … with chocolate sauce. Yah. Oh and ask for a glass of ice. I want to poor it down my blouse. Stupid on-air dress code. HEY BOB … WE’RE HEADING BACK IN TO SEE YOU AT THE STUDIO. YOU WANT AN ICE CREAM? Get Bob one too. He is cranky and needs a treat to perk him up. BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO.
You know in The Big C where Laura Linney’s character goes a little wack-a-doodle and starts digging a pool in her backyard? I predict that will be me before the end of summer 2014 ends. I don’t do well in super heat. Riggins does not do well in super heat. Based on all the evidence our summer in Los Angeles is going to be SUPER HOT. At some point I’m going to lose my mind to dehydration, grab a shovel, head to the back yard, and start digging. Then I’m going to grab the hose and just let it fill up into a muddy wonderful mess so the dogs and I can splash around like cool little piggies. To you it sounds like a mess. It’s 91 degrees right now here. To me it sounds like heaven.
91 DEGREES …. END OF APRIL …. 91 DEGREES. For the next few days Los Angeles will be threatening record-breaking temperatures. I’m not okay with that. I live at the base of the LA Mountains. A nice little piece of desert I like to call my own (well it’s someone else’s and I give them money to live on it). The sun is drawn to this area and beats down on it with the power of … well … the sun. Anything left out too long like awnings and lawn chairs are sun washed and faded. 80% of the neighborhood relies on succulents and cactus as their main garden features. Even the “breeze” is bullshit as it is really just a hot gust of wind we call the “Santa Anas.” All in all it is a hot mess. Literally.
Riggins is a black dog and almost 9 years old. Those two things make him extra sensitive to heat, although most dogs can get heat exhaustion/stroke very fast. It is something I have to be very careful of especially when hiking with the dogs. Frankly I’d rather go out with the pups in the rain vs. high temperatures. On hot days I eat enough flying bugs to hit my protein quota for the day. When it gets as hot as it is now and will be for most of this week, our options of where we can go are very limited. There aren’t a lot of hikes that offer shade or enough shade. I also have to worry about the trail getting too hot for their sensitive paws and being able to hike with enough water. Finally, although just as important, if it is a “red flag warning” day I need to be aware of not getting myself into a position where a brush fire could cause us issues. It’s a real concern as any moment now the hills around me could go up in flames with a snap of my fingers (or some assholes cigarette thrown out the window — I saw a guy driving around Griffith Park recently throw a lit cigarette out the window.
STUPID STUPID STUPID. Don’t do that. That is a really bad move and could cause mass destruction and death given the right circumstances. The hills are crazy dry right now. One little spark and … poof!). All in all it’s a pain in my butt.
Better for all of us to just stay inside and chillax (as my sister would say). If you need us we will all be lying on the bed on top of the contents of the ice trays I will dump there.
Stay chill … or at least try.
You know I dislike cleaning my house and since I have a zillion dogs coming in and out I have to do it all the time. It’s exhausting. Here is my current absolutely genius idea. Starting tonight it is supposed to rain in Los Angeles for a few days. It happens so rarely I’m sure it will make national news. In fact, if I turned on the news right now I’m sure there would be some kind of “storm watch” countdown happening. It just so happens my kitchen floor mats need to be washed. Why don’t I just put them out on the back fence and let the rain wash them? Then, when the rain stops, lay them out to dry? Isn’t that genius? To tell you the truth my big mat has been hanging out there for a while already. Someone peed on it and I cleaned it but felt like it needed to be aired out and then never brought it back in. Not just anyone peed on it. A dog peed on it. It isn’t like one of my friends came in, pulled down her pants and squatted right there in front of my kitchen cabinets. What I’m trying to say is this whole plan will take very little effort for me. I’ll just have to add the little mat and then when it is all said and done bring them both back in. Is there an easier way to clean a rubber backed kitchen mat I ask you? Nope. Great. I’m glad we are all on board with this plan.
(Pictures of kitchen mats are boring so here are some pictures of Asscher, Riggins, and me on our hike this morning.)
I don’t care about football. Yes Riggins is named after an ex-Redskin football player but that wasn’t my doing. Blame that on my ex-boyfriend. Luckily its an adorable name and fits him so there was no need to change it when Riggins and I headed off on our own. To those under 40 Riggins is better known as one of the leads in Friday Night Lights and that is who everyone assumes he is named after. My guess is that the FNL Riggins was named after the Redskins John Riggins so I don’t feel like I’m lying when I respond, “yes” when asked if he is named after cutie Tim.
Los Angeles, my city, does not have a football team. We have a baseball team (two if you count Orange County … no one in LA does), a soccer team (or so I hear), a hockey team (two if you count Orange County) and basketball teams coming out of our ears. Football we got nada. It’s tragic for people like my dad who LOVE football. You really have few choices if you are a native (or native-ish) LA-ian when it comes to who to cheer for. Those who migrated here will vote for whatever team is from their home city. Those of us that were born (or nearly born) here have to choose our team. Some go for the ex LA, now St. Louis, Rams. Others go for the less obvious ex LA, now Oakland Raiders. The Rams were part of LA for a long time, 1946-1994 (I had to look that up). If you are true to this city, like my dad, then you hate the team that deserted you (like my dad). It doesn’t matter who is playing against the Rams my dad wants that team to win. The Rams left him high and dry and he is hurt by this fact and no amount of time will ease his pain. Most of us slide on down to San Diego and cheer on the Chargers. Still others randomly pick a team based on friend loyalty and/or team colors.
The Super Bowl to me is a time to chat with friends and eat a bunch of bad for you stuff. That is what I did. I went to my friend’s Super Bowl party fully prepared to watch the game. Honestly I gave that up before it even started. I had brought Dragon over with me to enjoy the festivities. He’s a good party companion. We started in the garage/back yard (aka the main TV viewing location) but then I got hungry and I wanted to see what new food had appeared so I headed to the kitchen. Someone brought taquitos and I had to have some of those so I hovered around there for a bit. Then I wanted my phone, to take pictures of Dragon in party mode. I had to go into the kids room where my purse was and got involved in a conversation about whatever cartoon was on TV. I took some pictures of Dragon and sat back down to watch the game only to realize I had left my giant bottle of sparkling water in the kitchen so I had to go back to get that but on the way I cruised by the bar and saw that someone had brought pre-mixed margarita drinks. I’m not one to say no to a margarita so I poured myself one of those and forgot all about my water and sat back down. Then I remembered my water and got back up and realized they were watching the game in the
living room which was way warmer and less crowded with better sight lines then the garage/back yard. So I sat down. Then some new friends showed up and I had to head to the kitchen to chat with them. This went on from the time I got to the party around 2:30 until I left after the game about 7:30. I figure the cardio I did walking back and forth gobbled up some of the taquito calories.
Anyway … that’s how I celebrate the Super Bowl. I can’t tell you many details about the game except that Bruno Mars is adorable and tiny enough to fit in my pocket, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers don’t give a crap about the cold they need to be shirtless, and that the bird team beat the horse team by a lot. Obviously I should be a sports announcer.
I live in Los Angeles. 5 minutes from downtown (when there is no traffic so if you want to get there in the middle of the night). My yard is small and if I wanted to I could hand my neighbor coffee through my side fence to them lounging in their living room. What I’m trying to say is I live in a city not the country. So explain to me why I have to live with a rooster?
A couple of years ago my neighbors got a rooster. It was a loud son of a bitch. It was a complete and total asshole. It started crowing before the sun rose and then continued long into the morning. It wasn’t like a snooze button. You can’t anticipate when the next crow will happen. You think it is over and then COCK-A-DOODLE-DO. At some point I realized my annoying alarm clock was no longer around. I was beyond happy.
Guess what? They got another rooster. What the hell do they do with a rooster? I don’t know. I suppose they have chickens too I just can’t hear them. I suppose I’m lucky in so much as this rooster isn’t as nearly as loud as the other but he sure is chatty. That critter cock-a-doodle-dos at any time of day. He has no sense of rooster timing. It’s 11:49 as I type this and he is going strong. COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!!!!
Roosters have no place in my life.
You know I like dogs. It’s not a secret. Dogs seem to like me too so they often come up to me to say hi. What do I do? I bend down and give them a big ol’ kiss right on the top of their head. Doesn’t matter what kind of dog, who he is with, what he looks like, or how clean he is. SMOOCH right there on the noggin’. I did that very thing this morning while the dogs and I were hiking in Elysian Park. An older golden came by on leash and wanted to say hi. Without hesitation I bent down and gave him a kiss. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? What makes me think I have the right to do that?
First of all you should never ever pet or touch a dog unless given permission from the owner. Something I obviously feel doesn’t apply to me. Secondly there is a right way to introduce yourself to a dog and bending down cooing, “You are so cute … muuhaw!” isn’t the correct way. Some day a dog is going to bite my face off. That will teach me.
Secondly how gross! Dogs are dirty animals. I don’t know where that dog has been and I think it is okay to put my lips on him? I’m horrified at myself.
I doubt I will change.
Have a happy weekend!
Last week I told you some of the crap things about corporate life so I thought it was only fair to share some of the nice happy things about dog sitting (which is what I am doing right now). Enjoy!
* Adventure. I’ve been able to go to a number of places I’ve never been before. Even as a LA native I had never visited these places before! Some of my favorite hiking spots with the dogs are new to me because of having to find places to take them. Elysian Park, Hahamonga Watershed, Upper Rose Bowl Trails, the zillion of Griffith Park trails, the old zoo, the list goes on!
* Exercise. I’ve known for a while that exercise is the most effective stress reliever for me. With the dogs I get in extra exercise if I want it or not. Due to my dog sitting profile I tend to get very active dogs which means we all have to be active! No room for slackers.
* Patience. Never my strong suit but when walking 4 or more dogs at a time patience is a must. Don’t even get me started on the accidents in the house. P A T I E N C E.
* Warmth. I have an extra layer of warmth in the form of dogs whenever I’m sitting watching TV or sleeping. I’m always very cozy!
* Knowledge. I had no idea exercise/yoga pants had such amazing dog hair attraction qualities. It’s really fascinating. I think my floor is clean then sit on it to put my shoes on and get up with enough dog hair on me to knit a sweater.
* Stamina. I now know I can stay up for 24 hours in a panic searching for a lost dog. Silly Miles.
* Outdoorsy-ism. You know all that hiking? Sometimes you have to pee during a hike and you are on a hill with no one but the dogs around. I’ve gotten really good at sneaking behind a bush if it is required.
* Riggins. Riggins is an only child and would often show signs of “only child syndrome.” He is still my baby (and he knows it) but he has gotten much better and is now very happy to be a member of a pack. I’m always very proud of him when he meets a new dog or owner.
* Tan. From hiking. Sure I have horrific tan lines in the shape of a tank top and multiple lines on my legs from shorts, crops, and socks but I’ve never been this tan in my adult life.
* Cleanliness. I have to vacuum ever other day, or so. I have now used all the attachments on my vacuum. It’s very exciting. How many people can say that?
* Unconditional love. It’s amazing to me how quickly a dog will attach himself/herself to me. Riggins has always been my companion and there for me through thick and thin making me feel forever loved. Now that feeling is just multiplied by two, or three, or four …
As I continue to hunt for a job that will pay me enough money to survive and allow me to breath freely, I’m thankful I was able to do this gig, learn so much, and be this happy!
Last week while taking the long way (aka I got lost) to the Hermon dog park I passed by the LA River Center and Gardens. Since I was once an avid customer of the LA River bike path I had read about the center a number of times but never really knew where it was. I was excited to return and check it out.
Monday Riggins, Dragon, and I set off on our adventure. The park is located near the corner of Ave. 26 and San Fernando. Unlike other locations in Los Angeles, it has a huge parking lot. I assume this is to accommodate special events when they are happening but on a typical Monday it was a breeze finding a shady spot. I was a little nervous walking in with two dogs. I had my “the web site said dogs were allowed so f* off” speech all ready. I never had to use it. The only people we saw were those who were either working on the gardens or in the few nonprofit organizations that reside within the garden buildings (Friends of the Los Angeles River, Northeast Trees, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and the National Parks Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. And yes, I did immediately return home and check their web sites for open positions I could apply for.). The folks there didn’t seem super happy to have a crazy woman and her two dogs invade their little oasis but they left us alone.
Inside the buildings courtyard is pretty darn amazing. Oddly enough it reminded me of the Leela Palace in Bangalore that I had visited while I was there. Except it wasn’t as grand, you couldn’t get an amazingly americanized brunch, and Bangalore wasn’t just outside the gates. It did share the fact that it is a lovely oasis in the middle of a city (and, if we were being honest, not the best area within the city) with beautiful plants and architecture that gave you a place to get away and just wander around. The dogs and I did a couple of loops checking out all the nooks and crannies and looking for the perfect photo backgrounds. Much to Dragon and Riggins dismay there were almost limitless pretty picture options!
Just outside the courtyard you will find the bicycle staging area. It has a drinking fountain, tire pump, and other facilities cyclists may need. I had expected the center to back up right to the bike path but it doesn’t. There is train tracks and the actual river between the end of the bike path and the center. To get there on bike you would have to take some LA streets. Not my favorite on my bike, but good to know it is there if I ever need it.
Just past the courtyard is the actual River Garden Park. It’s kinda crappy. I’m sure it’s amazing when it is clear of weirdos hanging out and the water element is on but that isn’t what we experienced. It’s tiny and separated from the center so not really a positive or negative addition.
I have to say the courtyard would be an AMAZING location for a special event. I’ve spent the last hour looking at photos of folks who have had their wedding there. There is even a beautiful outdoor fireplace and a built-in bar. It’s designed for a party. Based on the reviews I read it is crazy expensive. Still, it would make a wonderful location for my 40th birthday party. I just need to win the lotto and make a crapload of more friends before next March!
We hadn’t done nearly enough walking to poop out the dogs so on our way home we stopped by another park, Rio De Los Angeles State Park. What a friggin’ gem that is! It is huge, very clean, and pretty. They have some spectacular playground equipment complete with a water park! It also has tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields, and a walking trail. The dogs and I took the walking trail. It’s an easy loop that takes you down close to the railroad tracks (and therefore the river). It has been restored to look like the wetlands the area once was, which makes it another time-out from the city just beyond the gates. When we were there the majority of folks at the park were on the soccer field. There were only 2 kids on the play equipment and only 1 very smart child having fun in the water. I got close to take pictures and couldn’t help but laugh at his happy giggles. He was having way too much fun. I wanted to leave the dogs with his nanny (I’m assuming) and go have fun with him! I honestly don’t know why everyone with kids isn’t there everyday! My mom suggested perhaps it wasn’t a safe neighborhood. Ok. I’ll give you that. Outside the gates is a bit of a crapshoot. That area is mostly industrial. The FedEx joint is next door and the Kia dealership is a bit further down the road. When I had a crappy Kia that’s where I’d go for service and then walk across the street to this dive burger joint for THE BEST breakfast sandwich of all time. I was the only woman customer there and the only person that would mark “white” when asked ethnicity on a form but I never felt unsafe. It is technically on the edge of Glassell Park which isn’t known for its safe and gun free neighborhoods but come on … what neighborhood is really safe? The park is clean, well-kept up, and oodles of fun. Just hit the ground if you hear gunshots.
Yesterday, Feb. 14th, I took part in the event “1 Billion Rising,” (more info found in an earlier post – http://wp.me/p159Ee-9q) a global strike to refuse to accept continued violence against women. As I mentioned in my original post I don’t have much personal experience to bring to the table but I think it is an extremely important issue and one that deserves all of our support. 1 billion women (1 in 3) hurt by violence is simply unacceptable. I’ll give you a quick walk through of my day then leave you with a video from the founders of One Billion Rising.
Sadly Riggins didn’t join me in protest. First of all, he refused to learn the dance to Break the Chain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WufjSyE_rK8), which was just lazy on his part. Secondly, he doesn’t like crazy and/or smelly people and I was headed to the heart of downtown Los Angeles. He was better off left at home.
Parking at Pershing Square, where the gathering was being held, was pricey so I drove up a few blocks and parked at a cheaper lot (since it is near one of my favorite bars it is also a parking lot I’m familiar with). The jaunt to the event location would not even be a question in NY but here in LA that length of a walk is simply unheard of. I wasn’t in the best area but in the middle of the day the streets of downtown are a 1:1 ration of scary and businessmen/women. I figured being a victim of violence while heading to a rally against violence was simply too on point to actually happen
The gathering I went to was one of the smaller ones in Los Angeles as women (and a few brave men) ducked out of their offices on their lunch break to lend their support. As more participants came together we all grabbed a cardboard heart to write why we were rising and tied it around our wrists. I REALLY wanted to write that I was doing it for the penguins (why? read – http://wp.me/p159Ee-aM) but this was serious stuff. Not the time or place for an inside joke just to make you and me giggle. I wrote, “I’m rising because love is better than hate …. always.” I ran out of room so the bottom half is unreadable. Still, it seemed more appropriate than the penguin comment.
The event organizers introduced themselves and started things off. First a very nice (I assume. I mean, I didn’t talk to her but I figure she is nice.) women in very tall heels (extra points for dancing in those) sang an original song she had written. Deep … moving … emotional. Then a dance troop did the Break the Chains dance for us before a quick tutorial. I was very happy I put in the time the night before and earlier in the morning to learn the dance as the tutorial was down and dirty and not much help if you weren’t already in the know. Then we all danced it together. It was FABULOUS! So much fun to just not give a flying freak what anyone thinks and dance with all your might in the middle of Los Angeles. After that they put on more music and just let the dancing continue.
Later that day I went to my Bar Method studio in Pasadena which had donated all their classes to One Billion Rising. With the complimentary class was a suggested donation to the cause. You know I love Bar Method and the fact that it was supporting such a positive message was an extra bonus.
All day it was inspiring to watch online as the videos come in from around the world of women and men rising. If you want to check them out some can be found on V-Day’s YouTube page or the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRising). I hope that our global dance party helped bring attention to the horrible issue of violence against women and sparked more discussion and solutions.
As promised — Video
*Trigger Warning* A film by @EveEnsler and Tony Stroebel.