Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life: How Beautifully Blue The Sky

Since I didn't have work today, and it was so gosh-darned California gorgeous out there, I rolled out of bed this morning, plucked up my camera, and took off in a random direction. Actually, it was just the opposite direction of how I usually drive to work cause, well, that seemed newer and more interesting.

Let us commence with the photo dumping, shall we?

A Dalmatian plantation, I say!

I spent a good deal of time tiptoeing by bushes until this bird got into a place where my camera would focus on it properly.

Admire the oddness that is Christmas decorations on green grass.

I liked that these people's patios were over the garage for some reason.

So, during my outing, I happened upon an Antiques store and couldn't resist popping in to look around based on the overly crowded window full of dusty oddities. I browsed a bit while the owner spoke with another older gentleman who obviously visited frequently. This man left, and I asked if I could be allowed to take a few pictures. The owner said he'd have to charge me for that, because some people had taken advantage of taking pictures earlier, so I contemplated then asked if he'd take my card - or should I come back another day with cash. I also happened to slip in that I was a student, hefted out my big expensive camera, and he was generous enough to relent. I decided to only take one picture. Here it is:

I'm fairly positive I have at one point - and may still - owned at least half of those horses.

After I left, I went to take that fence over the underground tunnel picture up there and the guy who'd been in the store earlier came by and noticed me taking pictures and asked about my interest in photography. Good ol' Rudy and I got into a very nice conversation in which he shared some spots he thought I could get good pictures, the place everybody goes for the best brunch around here, and where he worked should I ever want to stop by and ask where any of these places were again. He works in transportation, so I guess he'd know best.

And now, a little section I'd like to call: Palm Trees In The Sky... until I think of something more interesting.

I want to retake this one when the sun's in a less inconvenient spot.

How beautifully blue, indeed.

Life: But The Cat Came Back

That my first day at the office was unusually hectic for them was a solid truth I would come to discover in attending my next three days of work. Everyone had more time to sit back and chat, I met new people, and learned new things. Relatively new, at least. I'd be a poor excuse for an art-school graduate if I didn't already know the vague concepts of scanning and copying things - but each machine is slightly different, so they took me through the steps.

As it turns out - and as most of you probably already knew or guessed - interning generally comes down to "sit over there, and if I need something I'll ask you". This is beneficial to all teams because they have an assistant who can do the time-consuming jobs they don't have the multitasking concentration for, and the interns get to sit at a desk and work on their own projects in the meantime. Meaning, no one's wasting time. Well, not too much. For a while there, I was nervous about opening something of my own, like I should be somehow more dedicated, but even asking if there was anything I could do brought up no responses so I began to relax.

Among my miscellaneous tasks during those first three days, I was asked to do a "run" - basically, I was asked to drive around on some errands. Mike gave me a Mapquest picture of an area and circled where I was to drop off a certain package, and also visit a nearby bank to pick up their money. He also requested that I not give into the urge to take this petty cash and make a run for the border. I made no promises ( but was fairly certain I didn't have the gas nor the patience to make it all the way to Mexico anyway; I didn't even consider Canada at the time. )

Since my task took me straight to Rodeo Drive, I was promptly in the midst of LA-style and immediately underdressed. By the third day, I'd gotten very used to wearing comfortable, warm clothes for the office, so being sent back out onto the streets reminded me of my lax wardrobe. Oh well. I was only the messenger.

Picking up money at the bank was a strange experience. Not because I felt suspicious standing at the teller waiting for them to confirm I really was from where I claimed I was from, but because as soon as I slid that plastic bag in my purse and walked outside, I was fairly certain everyone for miles could immediately sense that I was carrying very large sums of money. Even though I was underdressed. Kept me on my toes.

The second task was to drop off the package. Right. I had another little map that was to show me where, just a few blocks away, I could find a talent agency this package was meant for. Since I had to make a quick phone call to my ever-helpful mother to find out the street the map didn't name for me, she also took the time to inform me that this company catered to some high-minded individuals and I should keep my eyes open. Ah haha. Yeah, okay, mom.... ( but secretly I am keeping these eyelids peeled, man. )

There comes a moment where, once you know you're in Possible Sighting Territory, every single person that passes you by starts to look familiar. You catch yourself staring at completely random faces in an attempt to squint hard enough and turn them into some passer-by on some network show once. It really plays with your mind. As does hordes of cameras.

This discreet photo-taking opportunity of mine happened as I was strolling casually down the sidewalk and suddenly walked into this pod of camera people glued to the glass window of a Nail parlor. My furtive glance inside as I realized what was happening produced nothing of interest and I wasn't really of the mind to stop and geekishly ask them who they were waiting for, so I passed on and just flashed my phone at them as I went to get this reminder. They were still there later, freaking out as the person left the store, but all I saw was a woman with dark hair from the back. One of LA's paparazzi mysteries.

Driving back was full of traffic and more traffic, so I took my leisure time enjoying the sites. Including this incredibly large Bloomingdale's. These two quickly snapped pictures cannot really capture its grand size - or, at least, what I presume to be its size, unless it's part of a larger mall, but still. The building seriously loomed. And went on for a while in a wall of neutral cream off to the left. I also wondered if the store was actually on top of the parking ramp like it appeared, or if that hulking addition of hunk on top of it was just so they could more monstrously swamp their slightly less grandly sized font.

I also noticed this sign here. Maybe you can't read it, but it's an advertisement for a speech coach teaching people not to talk with their accents anymore. Found that pretty interesting, and not something I've ever really spotted anywhere else.

Speaking of which... driving along did not prepare me for this sight, either. Don't be fooled by the apparent skirt and bra - that is a man, as a surprised glimpse into my rearview mirror as I passed revealed to me. The bra conveniently opens up at the boob area, generously revealing man-nipples in all their glory for us.

Henceforth, this picture is dedicated to my friend, Owen. Not because he has sagging man-nipples and a penchant for bras... but because he has an appreciation for people who do. Rock on, Owen. Until China shuts you down.