Year in Unpublished Pictures

Year in Unpublished Pictures

I’ll take my cue from Cindy and use the year’s last post to put up some pictures I like, but probably haven’t published here before. 
End of Year 2
(Left to right by row)

  1. Los Angeles at twilight from Montecito Heights (mid-December);
  2. View from Coit Tower and dusk;
  3. Horse trailer on highway from Monterey, CA;
  4. Little sofas for sale in South Central;
  5. Mom sleeping on floor of the living room;
  6. Debs Park in the fog;
  7. Young UCLA football fans shocked by the game against Washington;
  8. Vero rooting for UCLA; and
  9. My mom likes to make faces too.
Agua negra?

Agua negra?

There are just a few amusing things about the name of this water distribution store in Bell Gardens.  First, did its owners really choose an abbreviation that brings to mind “dark water”?  Second, it seems “Dark Water” is located at the corner of Jaboneria and Florence Avenues.  Nothing like a dark water store on the corner of a street named after a soap factory.

Dark Water

Elfing With Attitude

Elfing With Attitude

I’m a David Sedaris fan, especially at Christmas.  His seasonal tales never fail to amuse.  They replayed him reading “Santaland Diaries” on the radio today and I laughed all the way to work.  It’s a 15-year-old story, but I still like it.

Here’s the link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5066175

Tamal Chronicles

Tamal Chronicles

‘Tis the season for the tamalada, that annual ritual where families and friends gather to make dozens and dozens of corn husk-covered, spice-infused corn-meal packets.  For those of us with moms who make them, this means tamales for dinner for weeks.  This is not a bad thing.

 For those whose moms aren’t schooled in the art of the tamal, it means relying on a connection–that friend who once a year gets you some tamales or that workplace fundraiser where the tamales are for sale to those sorry enough not to have a connection. 

Whether you give or receive (a tamalero or a tamaleado), remember that distributing tamales involves peril.  Pass a bad tamal and your reputation is out the window.  Receive one from a stranger and you may ruin your tamal appetite forever.

One local tamalera, when given a dozen tamales from a fundraiser to get rid of, drove to the far eastern edge of the county (where she was unknown) to hand out the hard-as-rock, bland cornmeal packets.  She didn’t want anyone to think she’d lost her mind and bought bad masa, or bad meat, or not steamed the tamales to perfection.

To those cooking today, good luck with making and distributing the best of tamales.  Otherwise, I’ll see you at points east later today. 

Denying Holiday Cheer

Denying Holiday Cheer

The U.S. Postal Service has me rolling on the floor tonight.  It managed to take the mailmen eight days to return the Christmas card we sent the neighbor.  This is the neighbor who lives directly across the street. 

When the card did get returned, the word “Vacant” was scrawled across the address and “not deliverable as addressed” stamped on the envelope. 

Guys, the address is literally across the street.  If you’d looked up you’d have seen the numbers and a house with decorations on it.  Hardly vacant.

Next year, we’ll address it to “The Rodriguez Family” seems “Los Rodriguez” threw you.