As Much

I notice the parrots around the neighborhood all the time now. I can recognize their chatter. They fly far enough overhead that they appear in silhouette, indistinguishable as anything remarkable until the sunlight hits them just right and their feathers flash green for a moment. They usually flock in small groups of four-to-eight, always in an even number of birds. The largest flock I was able to count had 22 birds.

It rained a little the other day. It was nice. The television at the laundromat was tuned to the local news which was reporting on the slick roads and the potential for mudslides. An actual quote from the broadcast, “It’s rained as much as half an inch in some places.”

Oedipal onesies:

Suffering the Fools

All people of a certain nationality are endowed with a good sense of direction. This was implied by an off the cuff comment made in my presence last week. The person who said it saw right away that I was struggling to parse his words. So he explained his intent using the bigot’s defense. “It’s a joke!”

To be honest, I didn’t know that awareness of the nationality in question was strong enough here that a stereotype, beyond those associated with foreigners in general, would have surfaced. Bigots were easier to understand when their biases were dumb, rather than stupid.

Wildlife

There’s a chattering of bird warbles high up ahead. We come out from under a canopy of trees and I slow down to look into the tall palms across the street. It’s a flock of parrots. I cross the street for a closer look. Tricia points at an approaching car, “Jeff.” I’m carrying the baby, “I see it.” The flock thins out. A group of four fly west to Sunset. The others stay behind, lower their voices.

Welcome to Los Angeles

Spotted on the Los Angeles Metro blue line:

  • A young man inspecting a stack of brand new counterfeit iPods.
  • Another man agreeing to buy one for the special price of $40.
  • A girl returning home after visiting her boyfriend in prison. “He only has two months left.”
  • A man screaming with rage at me, possibly for looking at my girlfriend for too long.
  • A tourist fainting from the heat, collapsing into the aisle, and choking on her own vomit.

Ha Ha. Life is rich.

Focus

The woman we’re subletting from has several motivational quotes and focus words posted around the apartment. It sounds cheesy, but actually comes off as charming and encouraging. Then there’s the billion dollar bill taped to the ceiling over the bed: the last thing seen before going to sleep, the first after waking up.