Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random Sunday

It is odd. During the week it is hotter than Jenny McCarthy circa 1993 but it cools down to paradise levels on the weekends. This is too bad for me, but great for people who have jobs.

I decided to get out a bit and walk around. Took the  lo
ng route to the comic book store, browsed a bit and started walking around. For the hell of it I decided to grab a bite at Fat Burger, home of the Fat Burger. This was a joint I went to regularly when I was sleeping on Aaron and Barb's couch when I first moved down. It would take about 15-20 minutes to get my order and it would be all I needed to eat for the day. I enjoyed the wait time because it gave me a chance to read. This is going to sound odd, but there are a few Burger joints that relate directly to movies for me. The first time I ever watched Serpico, I'd picked up a burger and fries at Rally's a chain that no longer exists in Tucson. Now every time I watch Serpico, my cued recall kicks in and my sense are filled with their burgers. Odd ain't it?

So Fat Burger reminds me of Sergio Leone. I had started, read most of and finished a biography about him at the very Fat Burger that I was venturing to today. For my mind, my history, Sergio Leone was born, made a bulk of his movies and died in that very Fat Burger. It was one of those odd Vonneghut time moments. Sergio Leone had become unstuck in a Fat Burger. Stuck really, but that doesn't sound as hip.

It reminded me of how I felt when I first moved to LA. A fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate. As clean as a person could be shoving a giant burger and fries in their face that  is. It was a nice moment though and I felt pretty good as I started walking home. The burger was good. I recommend it if you are a burger fan.

About twenty minutes pass. 

Just down the ally from my apartment, a car drove by with a couple in it. They were fighting. I could visibly see the man yelling. I can't really classify it as "They" in a fight since all I witnessed was "Him" screaming. I had a quick flash of all of those times I had screamed and yelled and hurt while sitting behind the drivers seat. Whoever in the passengers seat dealing with it the best they could. My stomach turned. I found it odd, my body reacting that way. Then the thought of concentrating on the reaction made my stomach turn more and it compounded upon itself. I reached the dumpster a few feet away a threw up. 

I find it all to be an interesting outcome. Pleasant memories and ugly memories turning into a physical reaction on both the intake and output of food. The burger wasn't as good coming back up. I wouldn't recommend it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

R.I.P. Ken Ogata

I missed this, so it's a week late.

Ken Ogata a great Japanese actor passed away last week from cancer.

He was in some great films and even portrayed author Yukio Mishima in the biopic Mishima. Go figure. It is one of those biopics that goes outside the box and examines the man's life through recreations of his work as well as his last days before committing public suicide. It's a really interesting film and a great performance by Ogata.

He also starred in two films by Shohei Imamura who
 I'd written about when he passed away about a year or so ago. Vengeance is Mine and The Ballad of Narayama. I've only seen Vengence, which is a must. Both are available on DVD and now I have even more reason to sit down and watch Ballad.

All in all he had been in about seventy movies and he is one of those actors who was great to watch and every time you'd see his name in the credits, you knew there would be something solid going on.

My condolences to his family and his work has not gone unnoticed.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm walking to the bank to deposit a few bucks this morning and a guy who lost a hand at some point is walking the opposite direction. We have about 30 seconds until we cross paths and about 10 seconds until he will notice where my eyes are gazing, so I do a quick intake.

Either homeless with mental issues or just a guy wit
h mental issues who is not well cared for. This is surmised by the fact that he is taking to himself and jerking his stump around tat would signify making a point id there was a finger on said stump to point. 

He wore khaki green pants and a khaki green shirt with a red star in the middle of it. I found this confusing. If it was just the khakis, he'd give the impression of a solider who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but the red star pushed it into head scratching territory.

The stump looked relatively fresh. Not having been around a ton of amputees in my life, let alone bare stumped ones, I'm assuming it was a relatively new situation this guy had to get used to. The end of the stump appeared to still have some scabbing and was way too red to have been there a while. Again, this is only an assumption on my part. If you are missing a hand and reading this, you might be able to let me in on some stump secrets. Also let me know how type and how many words a minute.

20 seconds left and I do that whole thing about not trying to pay attention to his stump. I'm looking at the side walk, passing cars, acting like the shrub in front of a building is the definition of sublime. Really stupid stuff. I speed up a little and pass him. he continues to mumble and replay some past debate in his head. That's when I hear the thunking. 

I turn around and the guy is running his stump across the bars of an iron fence. And not lightly. Thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-phssssssss, as he finished the fence and started dragging it along the side of the building that owned the fence. When he finished the length of the building, he went back into his one man argument.

Now I've pretty much figured out the scabbing and the redness came from. That can't feel good, but for some reason he felt obligated to find ways to use his stump. It makes me wonder if anyone has suggested getting him a bongo drum and just letting him have at it. That way he skews more eccentric than off his rocker.