My Maiden Voyage…Hello from Los Angeles

Hi, everybody.  Several days ago, I received an email from Diane, asking me to hold it down for her from Los Angeles.  Bear with me, while I get warmed up…

Upon accepting my assignment, I remembered that I had busted my first Canon digital Elph camera riding motorcycles in the sand dunes near Mexico…

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These are the last two images the first camera took before the sand-moto in which we were riding suddenly plunged into a ditch.  My elbow got chewed up by the sand paddle tire, my head hit the metal rail and a wave of fine sand crashed over us, filling my open mouth, my eyes and the lens barrel of my camera.  Nice.  Lens barrel decides never to retreat into body of camera again. ("Error 18…Error 18…") Just to have Canon look at the camera costs $ 160.  Hmm…. A new camera costs $ 500.  "The new math" tells me that it’s better just to buy a new camera.  $ 500 later…I have a new camera.  I was doing some work on a tv commercial job and promptly dropped the new camera.  Coincidentally, the lens barrel decides to not retreat into body of camera again.  ("Error 18…Error 18…")  However, this is the final picture that Camera #2 took prior to expiring.  This is my hunky friend, Ben, standing next to the road outside Harris Ranch, a bizzare steakhouse / hotel thing in the middle of nowhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Ben is currently a videographer and editor for the porno studio, Raging Stallion.  He also has a really long snake that I like to play with when I’m in SF — "Marco," a 6 year old California King Snake.   

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I speak of these pictures not only because I am now amassing a pile of junked Canon cameras on my desk, waiting to be fixed or replaced, but because the final images taken by both cameras were shot in sandy locations.  I didn’t think I needed to tell my friend Gareth Kantner, who let me borrow his Canon digital camera, what I did to the other two.  He did ask, curiously, "Don’t you have a digital camera?"  I simply looked at him and asked, "Do real friends ask questions like this?….And you better have brought the right cable…."

Ok.  Armed and ready to go.  As I gleefully live in the megalopolis of Los Angeles, most of us drive everywhere and drive A LOT — unless you’re The Empire known as Vaginal Davis, who can’t /won’t drive anywhere, despite being born and raised in LA.  However, here is Vag, driving home the musical hits from the Roaring Twenties at his unstoppable Friday nite club, Bricktops.

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And Vag attempting to drive home something much larger than the ouevre of Scott Joplin.

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I received a letter from Volvo saying that a very important part on my car had been recalled and that I needed to take it to the Volvo dealership to have it swapped out or my car would explode into a BALL OF FIRE WHEN I WAS TRYING TO MAKE A 9 O CLOCK DINNER RESERVATION.  Fine.  I drove all the way to Pasadena to have the 2 hour procedure taken care of.  While waiting, I read two completely depressing articles, back to back, in the LA Weekly, our free press.  The first was about how American corporations are being intimidated by the horrible, organized Religious Right, who are staging boycotts against the companies if they think the corporations are being pro-gay in any way.  So some corporations are pulling their advertising, including both print and broadcast, during bland, mindless TV shows like "Will & Grace" and "South Park." Read the chilling article (and D. Ireland’s follow up blog):

http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2005/06/the_new_blackli.html

The next article was a beautifully written and bittersweet essay on the rampant and destructive use of crystal meth amongst gay men, penned by an ex-crystal user.  (Don’t be surprised if the Religious Right are operating meth labs out in the desert…)

http://www.laweekly.com/ink/05/29/features-valenzuela.php

Nice double whammy news moment to start off my big gay day.  Jesus.  Is my car done yet?  But because I don’t like the service department at Pasadena Volvo, I have other repairs to have done at another Volvo mechanic 30 minutes away, because it’s Los Angeles and we have multiple mechanics.
I drop off my car at mechanic #2 and while waiting for a friend to pick me up, I do one of the most subversive things to do in Los Angeles. 

I walk.

Here’s some stuff I saw along the way:

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Her name was Kate and she was sitting on a little wall with a boy about the same age.  He was speaking into a mobile phone, saying over and over, "She doesn’t feel sick anymore…"  I told her that I thought she was gorgeous and she allowed herself a little smile.

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I need to call this number.  Look how easy it is to organize your life – all on the palm of one hand.  PDA? Fuck your PDA….just give me a Sharpie!  (Wait, don’t.  If you read that article about Amercian corporations, I think Sharpie is one of the weak-kneed bucklers…

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I saw this and wondered what it would feel like.

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I bought a sweatshirt from a line called Junker, made from recycled fabric, which my friend’s 20 year old cat promptly covered in hair.  It looks like I’m abusing the cat but I actually love (most) animals and was trying to be sweet to it, despite its persistent squirming.

– Dino

 

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