Tag: los angeles

4 years

4 years ago today…I arrived in LA.

Purely coincidentally, I happen to be on a train returning to LA from a long weekend vacation in the Bay Area.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/4-years/

Escape from LA!

I’ve been in LA for over three years now.  It kind of blows my mind that I’ve been here this long.  I don’t hate LA, I’ve actually come to enjoy parts of LA quite a lot.  One of the things I don’t like though is the cost of living here.  One of the big reasons I’m still here, is that I haven’t been able to afford to move.  I haven’t been able to save as much as I’d like to have since I’ve been here.  Part of that is my own fault, spending money on things I don’t necessarily need and not prioritizing savings as well as I should.  But part of it, is that I just haven’t had a lot left over after paying rent and bills either.

In the end, this has contributed to a feeling of being trapped here in LA.  I don’t like that feeling.  So I’m making it a goal to do something about it.  The first step was to reexamine my budget and make some changes to prioritize savings more than I’ve done in the past.  The second thing I did was open an account on SmartyPig.  SmartyPig is essentially an online bank that offers savings accounts.  While I already have a savings account with my local credit union and with ING Direct, and could have easily just used that to build up a “moving fund,” SmartyPig has a little different focus.  It is a goal focused savings account.  You set up specific goals and the time line you want to complete them in.  What sets it apart from just your standard account is that it interacts in your social networks.  I’ve connected my goal to my Facebook account, so everytime I add money to my account, it’ll post something on my facebook wall.  I’ve also created a widget that I included on my blogs sidebar.  The widget shows the percentage of progress I’ve made towards my goal.  The other thing that is nice, is its easy for friends or family to contribute to that goal if they so choose.

The goal I created is this:

My goal is to save up $2500 by June 30, 2011.  This is based on what I estimate it would cost me to move back to Portland.  My lease is up at the end of July, so I’d like to have this fund in place by the time I’d need to put in 30 days notice.  I’d still need to get a job lined up, but just having this money set aside for this purpose will take a lot of pressure off of me.  I won’t feel as trapped here in LA.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/escape-from-la/

LA Songs: Jamey Johnson “Playing the Part”

Listening to the album this comes from this morning on my iPod.

I think this might inspire an infrequent series of posts about LA Songs.  The video is full of LA for sure.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/la-songs-jamey-johnson-playing-the-part/

New York is Killing Me (ft. Mos Def)

Finally picked up this full album…had an download of this track earlier.  A mix of spoken word and jazzy trip-hop from an old master.

I have days that I could replace New York with Los Angeles.  Thankfully today is not one of those days.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/new-york-is-killing-me-ft-mos-def/

So. Cal. Rain

Even the Pidgins don’t like the rain in So. Cal.  Its been raining all week in LA.  And not just the normal barely a shower type of rain, but close to a half of a years average rain fall in a week kind of rain.  Lots of streets have flooded and mud slides are happening all over the fire ravaged mountains on the east side of LA.  A little rain is good (at least in my opinion), but the rain we’ve had this week is a little more than the environment can handle down here.  Most of it is just going to run off down the river beds into the ocean and not help the drought conditions anyway.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/so-cal-rain/

Humpday Haiku: A Foggy Day

fog filled mornings a
reminder so. cal. summers
do indeed relent

I’ve decided I need to get back to a habit of writing more.  Both on this blog and in general.  So to help kickstart this goal, I’m going to start posting a haiku every Wednesday on the blog.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/humpday-haiku-a-foggy-day/

Loving Everyday

I think I need to spend some time sitting (reading) with Richard Rohr.

Graciously stolen from this post by Gareth Higgins: How are We Present to Reality?

A remarkable thought from Richard Rohr, which, if I read it thoughtfully enough, I think might get me through the day:

“Somewhere each day we have to fall in love, with someone, something, some moment, event, phrase, animal, or person. And it must be done quite definitively! Somehow each day we must allow a softening of our heart, which usually moves toward hardness and separation without our even knowing it. We can now prove neurologically that it is easier to move toward cynicism, bitterness, fear and despair than it is toward goodness, beauty, or appreciation. All spirituality is intended to help us recognize and counter our downward spiral toward smallness.

The world often tries to conjure up life by making itself falsely excited, by creating parties, even when there is no actual reason to celebrate. I have often noted in poor countries how people create fiestas because they have survived another season or even another day. We create fiestas to create fiestas, which I guess is not all bad; but after a while the ungirding of joy and contentment is not there. We have to create and discover the parties of the heart, the place where we know we can enjoy what is, and that we have indeed survived and even flourished another day of our one and only life. Just make sure you are somewhere, and always, definitively in love! Then you’ll see rightly, because only when we are in love can we accept the mystery that almost everything is.”

(Read the rest of Gareth’s thoughts)

An interesting thought indeed.  It seems somewhat appropriate for me in relation to my recent spiritual struggles.  Living in a place like Los Angeles can be quite the beast.  Its a tough place to find your niche.  At least for me it is.  I’ve been here just over two years now and still haven’t found my “community.”  Sure there are a handful of acquaintances and even a few friends, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gelled into a community for me.  Perhaps the comparison to my community in Portland gets in the way of this.  Perhaps the struggles of my first nine months working here and what that did to my confidence in myself…to my self-esteem…is sub-consciously hindering me in my relationships.  I don’t really know for sure.  I know my internal life has struggled and I’m sure it has affected my external presence.

In reality, things aren’t that bad.  I’ve got a job that pays well enough for a level of financial security I haven’t really had since leaving my parents house.  I’ve found love that is amazing and surprising in so many ways.  I just sometimes need to remind myself of that.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/loving-everyday/

LA – Made in Mexico?

from Losanjealous:

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/la-made-in-mexico/

Musical Obsession of the Moment

Robert Francis

“Little Girl” from the album “One by One” (2007)

Found via Buzzbands.LA (here)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/musical-obsession-of-the-moment/

Only in LA…Psychiatry: an Industry of Death Museum

Near such prominent Hollywood landmarks such as the ArcLight Theaters and Amoeba Records, is Psychiatry: an Industry of Death Museum hosted by The Citizens Commission on Human Rights.  If you are thinking, “this sounds like something from the Church of Scientology,” you’d be right.  They make no effort to hide their connection to the Church on either the website or at the museum.

The museum is basically a series of short videos explaining the evils of the psychiatric industry.  There are also exhibits showing various pieces of equipment used in psychiatric institutions.  A large focus is placed on connecting psychiatry to the holocaust, and the suicides/overdoses of prominent figures in Hollywood/the arts.

In the end, it feels a lot like propaganda.  Taking events out of context, magnifying abuses, and using leaps of logic to get a specific point of view across.  Are there valid points in the exhibit? Sure.  But I feel they get lost in the presentation.

I do think, however, that we as a society (and by we I mean America) look for the easy way out too often.  That we expect some pill to fix us, when the mind and self are much more complex than that.  That the mental health industry is just as prone to greed and abuse, as many other industries. 

Is psychiatry complete BS as the folks at the CCHR would have you believe.  I don’t think so.  But I think there does need to be more of a balance in how we view and treat mental illness.  

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/only-in-lapsychiatry-an-industry-of-death-museum/