April 19th, 2007

abstract butterfly


Any ambient artist who adopts the nom de musique Rigel Orionis is all right by definition, just as it is somehow cool that the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 hardcover novel I bought for five dollars on Saturday had a prologue that summarized dozens upon dozens of prior novels of the same type.

Tonight we had to change the channel a lot to avoid the wrong sort of coverage of the tragedy of yesterday. I did watch the fellow Sanjaya get told he had been voted off the American Idol show, which seemed to me appropriate and yet I completely liked the fellow.

I have more travel coming up, with a trip to California tomorrow afternoon and a lightning trip to Utah next week. Our neighborhood yard sale is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, so I hope I can find the time to buy price tags and sell off all these inessentials I now own.

I read with sadness of the mounting violence in Iraq.

I ate two bowls of raisin bran for dinner. My current lunchtime passion is Firehouse Subs, where the roast beef always tastes like roast beef rather than "beef memories".

I hope my nephew and I can go to another chess tournament soon. I'll have an hour or two free in California, and my digicam in hand. We'll see if my eyes and ears let me see and hear.
abstract butterfly

Westin Bonaventure

When I first began to do business travel to Los Angeles, in the year of 1987, I often stayed at the Westin Bonaventure. I remember one night in 1988 when I arrived very late, and hundreds of Japanese tourists were sleeping on their luggage, and I wondered if they believed that an hour on one's own luggage while routine room assignment matters were worked out was just part of living in America. They used to get full in those days, and put me in parlor conference rooms, which sounds awful but is actually cool, in a way I could explain but wouldn't really add to the narrative quality of this missive if I did explain it. Indeed, I am very fond of this hotel, notwithstanding that it sounds as if I just said two negative things about it. When I took the red elevator tonight, a placard advised me that this very elevator was the place where Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed a key scene in "True Lies". But I like the hotel because it's a place where the staff is courteous, the location favorable, and it's got a lively air about it.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I worked a building or two over, and came here often to eat lunch at the cafes in the hotel. There's a charming Korean barbecue, which is inexpensive and heavenly. I'll probably eat at some cafe tonight, perhaps sushi, perhaps something else.

I have not stayed here for years upon years. I ordinarily might prefer to stay with kenmora and his wife H., along with their elegant first grader B, but this trip involves a series of conference calls punctuated by a court hearing, which makes being near the courthouse useful to me. We passed restaurants which are "old haunts" for me--like Engine Co. 28, and we are walking distance from places like The Water Grill, a dark, intriguing fresh seafood place, that I love.
I am very good at downtown Los Angeles, from its open air mercado to its sleek downtown buildings. I speak its language. I love the downtown public library, the faux Mexican market on Olvera Street, the Central Market farmers' market, the little Mexican restaurants, Little Tokyo, the Pantry with its 24 hour breakfast, and the familiar feel of the Superior Courts building. It's not at all picturesque, but instead this rambling assemblage, where the ghost of John Fante dances with the ghost of Aimee Semple McPherson, while the ghost of Aldous Huxley looks down from a neighboring hill, where Vedanta Temple lies.

Perhaps I'll grab a quick dinner and relax, looking out my window at the lights. Perhaps I'll see if the library is open late tonight. Perhaps I'll take a cab to a club and see an acoustic or electronic show. Perhaps I'll work and feel alive in that way, too.

When I am in the Westin Bonaventure, with its curious circular glass towers, I am somehow at home and at peace.