20 June 2011

Day Dreams of L.A.

Say what you will about Los Angeles, you've got to admit it is the American capital of good weather. People come here from around the globe to bask in our temperate Mediterranean zone and unrivaled 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. In the immortal words of Joe Walsh, however, "I can't complain but sometimes I still do". Though I try not to whine much, somehow I manage to find something to bitch about most days regarding our supposedly perfect climate.

We Finally Got a Piece of the Pie (a la mode)


Well, it's official, readers; we're movin' on up.  VJR Headquarters has transplanted, relocated, uprooted. You can now get your fill of the contents of my brain here, at my very own site: www.vivajoyriot.com.  

Thanks to my cousin J,  I am now the proud owner of my own domain.  He had the brilliant idea to host my site, and only a year and a half later, I've finally taken him up on the offer (three cheers for better late than never: Hip Hip, hooo...

08 June 2011

How Can I Be Sure of You

For your visual and aural consumption today I submit one of the world's best songs, by Harry Nilsson. If you aren't familiar with him, you can find him filed under MUSICAL GENIUS, in the "Woefully Under-appreciated" section, under the subset "Died penniless, way too early".  Beware however, this stellar song is set to possibly the world's worst video, if measured in terms of visual quality and relevance to subject matter.

It's non sequitor-ialness evokes that genre of film I always secretly loved and wanted to create: the karaoke video. (Which apparently now I can!)

If I were a musical arranger like Nelson Riddle (whose name should have been a character in a novel, by the way) I'd work Nilsson's version together with the song of the same name, originally by the Young Rascals. I tried to find a good live version of that song, but stumbled onto a better performance by Dusty Springfield. (I love when a woman makes a man's song her's, a la Peggy Lee). As soon as I find a time machine and book myself a job as a lounge singer in Acapulco circa 1972, I'll add my little medley to my set list. Until then, enjoy Dusty.
But I must interrupt: can we just talk about her hair for a moment? Some serious architecture was involved in that nectar bun. Let us now praise the men and women who created the elaborate coiffures of those days. Do people still know how to do that? And where might I find such artisans? I think I just might feel most myself in a chiffon, rhinestone-encrusted caftan and thirty two pounds of bouffant. I'm just sayin'.

06 June 2011

beast of burden

Whereas most domestic flights allow each passenger two pieces of checked luggage, and one small carry-on, today my metaphorical baggage feels slightly over the limit.  Something like this, in fact.

Sacramento Airport
It is a tired cliche that the useless, outgrown thoughts we lug around in our head to no good purpose are called (in pop psychobabble terms, anyway) "baggage". But it is an apt metaphor.

Do you ever wish you could unscrew your head from your neck, shake out the contents and scrub the whole thing out with a little of this? 

Faultless Starch 04403 Bon Ami Cleanser





Today I do.  I'm tired of hearing myself think.




I am torn between wanting to A) slice my chest cavity open to pull back the ribcage, spilling my guts out all over the floor or B) suit up in full-body Kevlar. Or one of these. Hence the boring, vague post. For someone who aspires to be a writer, self-revelation doesn't come easy. There's always the possibility that my (again, metaphorical) guts will not clean up so well, won't fit back into my chest cavity once liberated, or will make everyone in the room gag. And yet the alternative, the Kevlar option, doesn't leave much room for movement. Anais Nin encapsulated this conflict much more eloquently when she wrote, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."




03 June 2011

Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. Just because I want to doesn’t mean I will.


On a whim, I decided to join a round of a strange competition. For one month, I agreed to follow a very strict regimen that required me to do the following, daily: follow a strict and extremely healthy diet, exercise 20 minutes a day, get 7 hours sleep, avoid alcohol, drink 3 litres of water, give up a bad habit and take on a new good habit. Each day I received (or lost) points for following the plan (or not). I was a member of a team, competing against other teams. We all put $$ into a kitty, and the winner at the end of the month would have the most points and keep the $$. Most remarkable about this for me was a self-imposed abstention from what would quickly reveal itself to be my slave master: sugar.

“What's the big deal with sugar?” you may ask yourself. Nothing, according to the beet and cane growers of America. "Its natural!" they tell us. Maybe it is a source of empty calories, and perhaps it rots your teeth. But I intuitively sensed the white crystals were worse than that for me.  A month without sugar, would, in fact,  prove to me that sucrose ruled my life. I structured my entire day around its delivery to my body. I may have given up sweetening my coffee long ago, but sugar was in just about every single other thing I ate, even the things I wouldn't classify as "sweet". And that was before even factoring in my daily “treat”, be it dessert after dinner, something sweet whilewatching tv, or my mid-afternoon “pick me up”. When I was sad, I craved sugar. Bored? Think of something to do/somewhere to go that involves a sweet something to eat. Happy? Let's celebrate with a treat. Angry? Damn if I don't deserve a baked good! The list goes is endless. 

02 June 2011

Photo Finish Friday: Willow Weep for Me

Sunset Blvd at Vine
June 2, 2011