Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The mothballed 5 and dime

When I was a wee lad my grandfather Tata would take me to the local five and dime store there on Pico, not too far off of Vermont. It was a different neighborhood back in those days, a whole different LA. The store was run by another little old immigrant guy, that much I remember. He and my grandfather were pals, comfortable in the way that older working class men on equal footing can be. While the two old friends talked (maybe not so old back then) I would be given the run of the store. Back in those days, with those three year old arms, I could only carry so much stuff. The toys I chose were all inexpensive, cheaply made stuff for the moment. For my grandfather it was about pleasing the boy and that made the experience a good one for both of us.
I've been fortunate. My life is filled with many possessions, but let me tell you, I would give up any number of them just to have one of those little pieces of joy that came from the heart of my grandfather.

Accumulate Man has been alot like that, like a small shop filled with overflowing abundance, filled with lots of little pieces of joy. It's probably not too much different of an experience than what those two old men shared. It's been comfortable place for me to sit down and share stories with you. Sure, they've been on the most part fairly personal, a big scoop of stuff off the top of my life, a dip into the old memory bin, but it's also been a place to share bits and pieces of cool stuff, newspaper articles, all that, that have popped up along the way. It was fun for a long time, even after the Tengu Spirits of my old workplace came along and trashed the joint. I came back, straightened things up, went at it full force there for awhile but somehow I think I've either outgrown this place or just knew it was time to move on. To that end my stories about and for Jane will continue to spill forth over at the old "LFW" site, and Futon Cinema, as scattershot as it's been, will be, for the unforeseen future, the best place to find me and the further adventures of Accumulate Man.

Yeah, this was certainly "the place" to be there for awhile, but things change. Life on this end has changed dramatically from the days when you, my old team mates, awarded this spot "Best Blog". I have gone from full employment to being a economic statistic, from being wacked out and broken hearted to being fairly well along the road to spiritual recovery and happiness. I am living through the biggest historical event since the Great Depression as a soldier on the ground, and like the Joads I'll soon find myself along with all my possessions heading off down the road into some uncertain sunset. These days, instead of chatting with patrons from behind a desk I find myself spending alot of time chatting with my new old friend, talking man talk with him and all his customers while he sets up and slings his dogs.

There are a lot of us out here testing new waters, you know? I see them all the time in line at Helpline, and work with a few who are casualities of the great banking crash. There are a quite a number of folks who are turning inventive, too, taking their old skill sets and applying them in ways they never really thought of before. For instance, a few weeks ago, while running an errand, I met a gal, a newly minted personal chef, another soul inbetween positions, and told her about the Hot Dog King and his up-on-the-hill dog cart business. I introduced the two of them and starting next week she'll be making salads for his concession. She considers the upcoming venture to be some sort of great adventure. When I come back from my interview down south I'm thinking maybe I'll buy a portable restaurant grill and start up a branch business alongside my old buddy. Taqueria style Mexican food. What a great thing to do until my ship comes in.

Right now I have no idea what kind of ship I'm waiting for. Years ago when I was younger, much cockier, I thought of myself as being fairly bullet proof. I don't think I would have considered myself untested, but I really don't think, looking back on that old life, that I was really truly tested at all. Slowly but surely, layer by layer, I am being stripped down to my lowest common denominator. I am being pared down like a crisp Bartlett pear, peeled back like a Vidalia onion. I am getting down to the core of my being, finding out who my friends really are, discovering once and for all what my true values are all about. In the coming months I hope to see how to best apply those values, where they'll take me, who I can count on to help me see them through. What's great is that the party on the other end will be small, compact and filled with real people, real friends. Real. Wow, what a concept.

So, let's just say that this old five and dime of memories and stories needs to be shuttered for awhile. What you might see here, instead, are a lot of older pieces popping up, posts put into hibernation long ago. Not too much unlike Captain EO was at Disneyland. Think of what's coming up as a "greatest hits" tour. An anthology of Accumulate Man's best stuff. An airing out of the closet.

Okay, until I land let's just say that I'll see you all later. I think I'll go and trip the light fantastic with Jane for awhile, watch a few more movies and hang out a bit with my fellow unemployed foodie pals. Wish us all luck, the bold travelers and the rocket testers, the edge seekers and the great unwashed, yeah good luck and God's speed,all that. Right now, even with everything that we have going for us, we're going to need it. See at you at sunset!


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