First thing on Saturday morning I hopped in the Troutmobile and headed down to Venice Beach to see what the freaks do in the morning.
I was happy to find some good parking on Washington Blvd. I was happier still to find a really good coffee house (just past the Crapbucks) called the Cow's End. Filled up the travel mug, stopped into a greasy spoon for a great bacon & egg sandwich, back to the coffee house and then... to the beach.
One of the first things I saw was this guy. I think he's why I pulled out my camera in the first place. I hadn't decided which direction to walk. Usually I will stand and take an area in and wait for something to catch my eye to lead me in one direction or another... this guy was just, bang. Right there. It's like my version of getting to work on Monday morning and finding a pile of work sitting on your desk. I barely had time to digest the bacon & eggs, for crying out loud!
he was just wailin away on his electric guitar. His electric guitar which was not plugged into anything. At least not in this universe. I took a handful of shots of him, my favorite of which is here on the old Mothership Kreddible Trout Connection
then it was on to other sights... though not entirely dissimilar.
There's a Welcome Back Kotter joke somewhere here but I can't seem to find it and very few of you would even get it if I could find it. Bet those of you who would get the non-existant joke now have the theme song in your head though. You're welcome.
I was then caught by beauty on the beach. My fiancee wasn't too keen to hear this when I told her about it, but I hope the photo will clarify things a bit. She knows I'm moved by beauty (it's why I'm engaged to her) and I do find it everywhere I go. It's mostly all I shoot. But I think she'd rather me continue to find it in roadside rubbish and the sides of falling apart buildings. I'd just say that amongst all the almost naked people on the beach that day, this person stood out. ...do you blame me?
It's funny that my fiancee doesn't have any issue when I photograph wet men in tight rubber clothes...
...or does she?
...and speaking of marital bliss...
"Honey, we used to fish so much together, now we fish so far apart."
It's sad, but on the beach, there's no species of female that gets any peace...
"hey baby! nice tail feather!"
Above the beach, in this land where nothing ever stops, the planes went on in a never ending parade. Really, it was constant. I was able to take this same shot half a dozen times in several minutes. Same framing. Constant.
Then it was back to Hollywood Blvd to see it in the daytime. Or so I thought. I hopped into the Troutmobile, consulted the map and headed, via Santa Monica Blvd toward Tinseltown. It really doesn't look that far on the map. It wouldn't have been if LA wasn't a perpetual state of traffic. I had planned to spend a couple of hours down there wandering around. By the time I got down there I had just enough time to have an In & Out Burger (my first... it was pretty good), snap a handfull of shots, get back in the car and head back.
I really do think I'll save my rants about driving in Southern California for a special blog entry devoted entirely to it.
I was able to spend about half an hour on the Blvd and I'm very glad I did. After munchin down on an In & Out combo meal. The people down here are religiously devoted to this place. It's like a cult or something. I fear telling people that it's merely alright as it might provoke a fisticuffs. It's kinda like the devotion to Tim Hortons in Canada but at In & Out they at least serve stuff that tastes good. I'm still pretty happy that my first In & Out Burger was in Hollywood.
Then... oh my god... then I saw one of my all time TV personality heroes: Dr. Geek from the Blueblocker infomercials of the early 90s. I was very upset that there was a huge line up to have him rap to people's names and I had no time to ask him to rap a Kreddible Trout Rhyme. Really. If I hadn't been on a tight schedule I would have paid the man to have him say "uh-huh, yeah, listen to me, this here man is kreddible t. I know you all question it I know you all doubt, but this is the man, Kreddible Trout." or something like that. Shit... I wanna go back to LA right now & try to find him. Maybe on my way home...
...even in this land of dreams and excess, we can still find the daily grind. The hustle and bustle. The morning commute...
I don't know if any of you remember The Electric Company or it's version of Spiderman.... but I saw one of them thought bubbles pop above his head once or twice with the words '...grumble...grumble...' in it.
I had left my stuff at Robert's as the thought of the majority of my worldly possessions in a car parked in LA sounded like a bad idea to me. So, it was back to the Pacific Palisades to gather my crap, say my thank you's and get back on the road. I was destined to arrive at Colonel J's around dinner. It was 5:45 before I was pulling out of Robert's driveway (I envisioned the neighbours peeking out from behind their well manicured hedges sighing in relief).
Traffic was... wait for it... it was tiring and stressful is all I'll say for now. And long. After several hours of driving I arrived in San Diego at Colonel J's and finally met the other madman in this operation and his generous and patient family. What's weird is, as much as there was a world of anticipation, I didn't take a single picture of the big meeting. See, this is why I'm not so good in the photojournalism realm. Moments like this pass me by. It possibly had something to do with the fact that I already knew him before we physically met. As soon as he opened his mouth it was like I was talking to a crazy old friend.
And now, almost five days beyond that moment, I will take a bit of a hiatus from the blog thing. I am in San Diego and getting my head around all the art I have to create in the next 23 days. And the amount of promotional things I have to make up. And the display units that have to be made. And the occasional sleeping and eating that may need to be accomplished. I have an awesome little storefront that I'm working out of right around the corner from where I'll be set up at The Mission Federal Artwalk. It already resembles a mad scientist's lair. If anyone in the San Diego area wants to stop by, I'm on Kettner street between Fir & Grape. I will be there almost constantly from tomorrow on. Wish me luck folks.