Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why I Frustratedly Still Support Joe Bray-Ali for City Council

1 May 2017

Today, the L.A. Weekly quoted me in response to the controversy that has embroiled my friend Joe Bray-Ali’s candidacy for L.A. City Council. I wanted to post somewhere to clarify part of my take on this. The other places where I write about bike stuff (Streetsblog L.A., Bikas, and L.A. Eco-Village) are non-profit (either actual or potential), so I can’t post opinions about political candidates there, so I am doing it at my kinda-backwater catch-all blog here.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bray-Ali’s offensive comments and the ensuing scandal, please read my piece at Streetsblog L.A. last Friday.

Up front, I’ll mention that I’ve been friends with Bray-Ali for more than a decade. I know that he can be a mean-spirited attacker, but he was generally attacking anti-bike folks like City Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Here’s the conclusion of today’s L.A. Weekly article:

Bike activists are split on whether to continue supporting Bray-Ali. The group Bike the Vote rescinded its Bray-Ali endorsement; prominent activists like Damien Newton and Don Ward have done the same. Activist Joe Linton says he’s still supporting Bray-Ali and tries to put a positive spin on the whole affair.

I mainly want to clarify what I meant by what the Weekly calls putting a “positive spin” on this. I don’t and can’t put a positive spin on Bray-Ali’s comments. Bray-Ali’s online comments are offensive. His comments are derogatory to transgender people, blacks, fat people, and others. These comments marginalize and harm people. The comments are not defensible.  (more…)

10-Month-Old Maeve Speaks First Real Word Today: “Mama”

4 June 2014
What Maeve looks like today!

What Maeve looks like today!

Maeve is 10 months old. I’ve been busy writing full time over at Streetsblog Los Angeles, so I haven’t posted here, but I wanted to do a quick piece on Maeve’s first word. Uttered today. “Mama.”

She’s been babbling a lot for a couple months. The first word isn’t so much a quantum leap or a corner turned. It’s more another nudge forward along a gradual continuum. She’s been saying stuff like “muh-muh-merm-muh-uh” to Carrie for around a month, and “dah-duh-duh-diem” to me for a similar time.

Today, on the bed, reaching up to Carrie, she blurted out a clear concise “mama!”

Some Musings Seven Days into the Baby Maeve Era

7 August 2013
Maeve sleeping - which she does a lot (see below), with Carrie's hand to help show size

Maeve sleeping – which she does a lot (see below), with Carrie’s hand to help show size

Our beautiful baby girl Maeve turned 7 yesterday. 7 days that is.

She’s a newborn. I wrote my take on her birth story here. She’s doing fine. Her primary purposes in life are: breast feeding, pooping, peeing, and sleeping. Frequently she tosses in a bit of hiccuping, arm/leg flailing, grunting and looking – all for good measure.

I am not sure what format is going to work to blog about Maeve… I figure I will start with a couple paragraphs as a sort of status report, then write some not-all-that-deep thoughts about some things I’ve been noticing. (more…)

Renewing My Passport, Heading To Europe This Fall

22 August 2012

Though I blog here in the first person, I don’t think I write all that much about my life. The Periodic Fable tends to be my thoughts, not my journal. Today’s post is more like a journal – strictly about me and where I am hoping to head, and not as deep and thoughtful as when I blog about important stuff like comics, sports, mystery novels. (sarcasm)

At the post office, mailing off my old expired passport to be renewed

Yesterday I found my expired 1999 passport! Within two hours, I filled out forms and wrote a check and biked to the post office and sent it off for an expedited renewal.  (more…)

L.A. Union Station crowds

1 November 2011

Nicely crowded tunnel at L.A. Union Station

I took this photo last Saturday, on my way down to Orange County to see the greatest Sondheim appearance that never happened. It’s a shot of the main hallway connecting to the rail platforms at Los Angeles’ Union Station, which is one of my favoite people-watching places. It’s also one of L.A.’s great architectural historical monuments… and the site of historic racist removal of L.A.’s Chinatown, which was forcibly evicted/displaced to make way for the station. I was really happy to see such crowds, on a Saturday afternoon. (more…)

Sondheim Rhyme: Sublime

20 August 2011

As I wrote about here, I’ve listening to a fair amount of Stephen Sondheim… and more you listen to Sondheim, the more his genius kind of sinks in. Like other great art, repeated listenings just get deeper and stronger. The first time I hear a Sondheim piece, I can get the basic gist, and I may like it – especially when it’s performed in a musical. I admit that, sometimes, hearing a piece for the first time, without knowing any of the plot that it hangs on and is completely integral to, it can be more difficult to appreciate. The first time I heard the soundtrack to Sunday in the Park with George, I didn’t get it… and now it seems like it’s part of the fiber of my being.

It’s repeated those listenings and viewings that deepen one’s appreciation for Sondheims work. It sounds deceptively simple… but then there are huge underlying complexities… both musically and in the rhymes. I am not a musician, so I can’t explain the musical textures (maybe watch this NY Times video to get a wonderful taste of it), but lately I’ve been thinking about the way Sondheim rhymes.

When my mom, the biggest Sondheim fan of my life, was in the hospital, I was thinking about her, cruising Youtube for Sondheim, I came across this 2010 PBS Newshour video:

Starting at minute 9 in the video, Sondheim talks about rhyming things based not just on sound but also spelling! This is something I’ve never thought of… isn’t rhyme just about sound? Isn’t that the definition? Sondheim says that he prefers rhymes that are spelled differently, because they surprise. The examples that he uses in the video is that “suffer” and “rougher” is a better or richer rhyme than “rougher” and “tougher.” The other example Sondheim cites is rhyming “journal” and “colonel.”  (more…)

Spelling Fail – CHILDERN

30 April 2011

maybe that's where slow childern go

Spelling fail spotted on Vermont Avenue just north of Sunset Boulevard last night. “Childern” should of course be “children.” I am a harsh proofreader and felt compelled to photograph and post this… though it’s actually not a big deal. It’s probably “close enough for government work” as the joke goes.