Wkend Memories

What I did:

Caine’s Arcade. Surely you’ve seen the awesome story? If not, click here. (Seriously, if you haven’t watched it yet, do it!!

So I headed over Saturday morning to get a look for myself.

I drove around for the first time on a block of auto supply stores that clearly don’t usually get this type of traffic.

We know that because Caine’s dad has said so in interviews, and because the block was alive with a sort of excitement that is created by an increased number of people – and possibility.

Men in the street gesticulating, saying something in Spanish I couldn’t quite use context clues to understand. So I slowed and rolled down my window for one of the guys. He waited patiently for me to ask for something I didn’t kno I needed to ask for. When we both realized we weren’t saying anything, he asked, “Windows?” “Oh…sorry. No thanks.”

Someone had started one of those huge bbq grills. Another guy was charging $5 for parking (despite a plethora of available spots on the street).

A neighborhood brought back to life – if only briefly – because of one little boy’s imagination.

The first guy I met was from Sonoma. (We won’t talk about the fact that he sparked up the conversation as my pathway across the street was blocked by a funeral procession. Or that he put the “tall, dark and handsome” in “tall, dark and handsome.” Or that I was convinced he was sent from heaven, and this was the best meet-cute ever until he mentioned his fiance…blah blah blah.)

The second couple I met was from Vegas. They were probably my parents’ age and we had a good convo about our concerns as to how this might all affect Caine one day and how well he’s taking everything in stride. And how that might mean he is too young to grasp the enormity of it all, and therefore is handling it better than an adult would.

I also met an LA couple about my age, and the guy said sheepishly, “We don’t even have kids.” I assured him I didn’t have any either, and that I thought that was perfectly fine.

I purchased my fun pass and saw him for the first time.

He is all business. There’s a 20-second limit to each game. If you want to play again after that you go to the end of the line. As presented in the video, all the games work. I didn’t get to play the crane game, as it was of course the hit of every little kid there. And just like in a state-of-the-art arcade, kids walked away crying.

We asked Caine how he felt about the whole thing, and he responded, “Proud.” This was his dream. To have a line of people out the front of his store, waiting to play games he had made.

Ciclavia. This was my second time. If I’m being honest, I’ve probably had two long distance bike rides since the last time I did it six months ago. Which explains why – after 17 miles of city streets, up and down hills and things – my hip joints and thighs are currently reminding me I’m not a kid anymore. But oh the fun we had!!

I only wish it was easier to take pictures while riding a bike!

I took the pic on the left over my shoulder during a stop at a light in an effort to get a shot of the crowd. I had no idea the guy behind me was posing so perfectly!

After riding downtown and enjoying some fish and scallop tacos, we headed down another part of the route to The African American Firefighter Museum. To get there we passed through this magnificent pinata district. That I didn’t take a picture of. We stopped at the museum, however, and I’m so glad we did.

Inside, we met a 93 year old man who is a WW2 vet and retired firefighter. He told us how when he came back from WW2, there were only two firehouses in LA he was eligible to work in, and neither were hiring at his level at that time. We also learned that draftees called up during WW2 earned $25 a month to fight in the war, “well they got room and board too.” He had gone in through the ROTC as a lieutenant so he made more than $100 a month. He also told us about losing the love of his life after 50 years. And then, like a doll or something, he would start repeating everything. He told us the bit about his wife at least three times in five minutes. But when I tried to ask him how they met, he launched into another story that ended up being one of the others we had already heard. As best as I could get, her uncle was part of the ROTC program he was involved in.

On our way home I stopped to capture this shot of LA traffic on a Saturday afternoon.

We also grabbed beers and the end of the Dodgers/Padres game at HMS Bounty.

Such a great day! But I was DYING by the time I got home. In a good way, of course.

What I Watched:

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. This doc had me on Amazon looking for a juicer. As I face dietary restrictions in an effort to keep my body from making more kidney stones, I am for the first time being forced to take a serious look at what I eat. As well as have things I love get the “in moderation” treatment. (I wrote a blog post about it, but it seemed very alarmist so I didn’t post it. I’ll rewrite after I meet with a dietician specializing in these things.) The idea of doing a juice cleanse in an effort to start at square one is very appealing.

The movie is avail on Hulu, which means you can watch it for free. Like right now. I recommend it.

Coachella on Youtube. I don’t think any of us had a clue as to how great the quality would be of this Youtube venture. But the ability to watch Coachella on a large screen with great sound systems from the comfort of various friends’ houses was fantastic. I’ve been to the desert. I’ve had the experience. I very much appreciate the ability to enjoy the music and drool over close-ups of Andrew Bird and Dr. Dre from the comfort of a couch.

That being said, nothing compares to a live music experience, and Sasquatch is still very much a part of the plan as long as I find myself jobfree come Memorial Day wkend.

What I Read:

The Fault in Our Stars. (By John Green) This being a YA book, it took me a cumulative of less than six hours to read. But it didn’t feel like a YA book, except for the fact the main characters are teenagers.

I liked it a lot. In the way that you like things that make you silently sob so much that tears run behind your ears and down the back of your neck (soaking your pillow) because you’re propped up in bed reading at 2a and CAN’T STOP NOW.

As I read, I was at the same time jealous and racked with guilt. It’s the story of two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. The title is adapted from a couplet from Shakespeare’s Caesar:

“The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

This is purely a work of fiction, but it feels possible if not probable. Several things resonated. The characters felt real, and I grew attached to them very quickly. It’s more a book about living than it is a book about kids with cancer.

It definitely had me reflecting and re-evaluating. And I highly HIGHLY recommend it.

What I Listened To:

Of Monsters and Men: My Head is an Animal. I’ve had this album on heavy rotation since it was released a couple weeks ago. And if I’m playing favorites:

I also just jumped onto the Spotify bandwagon. Altho so far I’ve only strayed from the Ultimate ‘Mad Men’ Playlist (SO GOOD!) a handful of times to listen to things like Gotye, or the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Once or Drake or…Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was obsessed with them for like a whole afternoon. Which is weird, as I don’t even have a back door.

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