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Archive for the ‘Lemons or Lemonade ???’ Category

I have been working on a fairly lengthy blog about the insurance industry (scam…slam) but will also be adding tons of new pictures as I am scooting the entire rest of the contents from the lake house over the next two days…and the beach house the following week.  Lots of work…but ran into some incredible memories in the process. There was the Easter Bunny posing in a bikini (me)…pictures of me fishing (wearing nothing but a bikini)…and a few pictures (with clothes) that remind me how very sweet and innocent I once looked.  I hope you are enjoying fresh grown peaches that drip juice down your chin…and banana splits that make you feel like a child again.  Top off your day with an ice cold jar of lemonade and a piece of homemade lemon meringue pie.  Is that you in the back yard sitting on the garden swing ???  Just don’t forget to switch off the heater on your water bed before turning in for the evening.  Hot summer nights often take on a life of their own.  Close your eyes…enjoy the whir of the air conditioner or better yet…the crashing sound of waves on the ocean.  Life is good !
I have spent more time in the past week observing behavior than taking in sights and sounds. The countdown to leave Los Angeles is drawing ever near.  Decisions have been made…lessons learned and freshly made lines in the sand duly noted.  The entertainment industry has neatly wrapped and tied everything and everyone into a little bundle.  There are those whose lives are spent on the inside…looking out…and those on the outside looking in.  It matters not what you have done…revenues generated…or how incredibly talented you might truly be.  The industry is made up of a fortress built strong…much like a steel door that requires a key.  It is the private club within a club…that revolves ever so slowly around the fading images of who you know…and who knows you.  Sadly, rudeness is the word of the day in an environment less entertaining or amusing as it holds the heads of innocent hopefuls submerged going great lengths to avoid communication of any kind.  On the other hand…if you are seeking to mix and mingle in an environment where people not only have manners…but aren’t afraid to show it…try visiting the kind of store where everything is a dollar or less.  Your ears might delight to the sounds of "excuse me"..over and over again as the corner of polite and frugal meet at the end of every aisle.  In a neighborhood where many people take the bus on a daily basis…if you pay the small amount owing on a stranger’s bill…you will likely find them in the parking lot chasing you down to return the favor. I had never experienced the hop and ride way of life before this week.  My first journey was something I will never forget as the man seated next to me rejoiced in recalling the number of dead bodies he had reluctantly buried.  Killing them was quite a joy…but having to bother with digging graves in which to place the bodies was annoying to say the least.  He went on to explain the difference in aroma between good drugs and bad ones and enjoyed sharing stories from his recent past…burglaries joyfully executed, ladies of the night he had visited many, many times.  In the midst of his tale telling was a brief military career during which he occupied his off hours raiding unsuspecting businesses and homes…and being a good soldier…he mailed home his loot to his mom.  If his had been the ramblings of a crazed person or even that of someone strung out on drugs…I might have been less likely to listen.  By contrast he not only seemed knowledgeable in the subjects of which he spoke…but how very much he looked forward to a large scale bloodbath planned for next year.  After standing and asking the other riders for rolling papers as he was heading to smoke a big fat one on the beach…he announced that the only good (fill in an enthnic group) is a dead one…and despite the urgent call for attention and hoping someone would take issue with the hateful comment…we arrived at his stop…and he merrily went on his way.  If I scared easily…I might well have given up the idea of ever riding the bus again.  As it turns out…I am a bit more resilient than that.  On the bus ride home I sat next to an older woman who was quite excited about learning to drive. She was clearly a bit on the slow side of average…with six decades or better under her belt…but held the same thrill about driving that any teenager entering driver’s ed might have.  As we motored along…I saw that the driver not only knew most of her riders by name but had a nice smile and greeting for them all.  My next two bus rides were a pleasant mix of young and old…happy and solemn…eyes looking to the left and right but seldom meeting.  Today I took a different route and was surprised to find among the riders two well known celebrities.  Both got off the bus in Beverly Hills at strategic locations.  I intentionally set myself up for about four miles of walking in Santa Monica today.  My only errand took all of two minutes to check the contents of my mailbox.  It was a three letter day… IRS to be exact.  A group of about ten of us waited patiently more than an hour for a bus that never came.  Finally a bus employee stopped by to say the bus stop had been moved to around the corner. We all headed in the direction of the elusive corner…and then scattered taking different paths.  I noticed that a young girl had chosen to adopt my every move as I looked up and down the street and back again.  As it turned out…she was visiting from Korea…by herself…for the first time.  She had traveled on her own to Paris the previous month.  We visited and compared notes as we walked the half dozen blocks to the next stop.  I admired her bravery at such a young age.  It is the same kind of independent travel I have known for most of my life…but seldom seen as a solo act.  For the first time in a long time I resisted the urge to exchange emails or addresses with the nice young girl I had met.  We wished each other well and walked away.  I had mentally been showing her Disneyland and Griffith Park and all the things she did not get to see on her own.  I cannot help myself sometimes…I simply like to share…knowledge of people, places and things.  I am a friendly person in an unfriendly world.  So the recap of my week goes like this…lemons to the entertainment industry for insisting I have a lawyer to represent me…which then becomes lemonade when it costs them a whole lot more money in the long run.  Lemons have been handed down to poor people who can ill afford to even eat decent meals…but lemonade for the compassion and manners they show to each other.  Lemons on riding on a bus where the new knowledge of the day was a detailed and lengthy confession of death and drugs…but lemonade to the bus drivers who not only know their customers…but treat them with dignity and respect. I am glad I took the opportunity to see how other people live…had a flavorful taste of a primarily latino neighborhood…and met some wonderful people in the process.  Next stop…a beach somewhere in the sun…right after my work has been done.  


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