Photos of Malibu Pier

Again, no editing or making the photos all nice and neat. What you get is what you get. I could’ve spent a few more days at Malibu. I’m glad we weren’t visiting Santa Monica Pier because it’s always smelly and sort of gross. It’s overrated in many ways. However, this pier is a great place to visit as it has a relaxing energy and not as busy and crazy as Venice Beach. There’s something about driving on the PCH. Too bad I couldn’t dip my feet in because unlike the surfers, I heed the warnings not to go into the water.

Photos of La Brea Tarpits

I used to edit my photos beforehand, making them more presentable, but today not so much. Here are the photos from my very quick visit in the La Brea Tarpits Museum because I had about 50 minutes to see everything inside. I was able to see more outside at a leisurely pace. It was the first day of walking quite a bit as the other time was when I went to the Malibu Pier. It was interesting to see the skeletons of animals that got stuck and died in the tarpits. I’d like to go back again, but more than likely I’ll visit a different museum if given the chance.

Journal Entry Type #161: 16 days later, I’m still here!

It’s been half a month since I posted anything. It was freeing, beneficial, and helpful in many ways. Even though I had a yearning to get back to blogging, I had to step away for several reasons. One, I had family visiting for five days and spent time with my family versus burying my eyes and face inside my computer. Sometimes, I write things that no one reads because they don’t find it interesting or don’t care to read because they too have a life to live. I admit I spend the most time on FB in terms of social media and should be spending more time on WP instead. I should download the app on my iPhone because I might have a fighting chance to use WP more to my advantage.

Two, I went for a long weekend to CA and Los Angeles (Hollywood, Malibu, and North Hollywood in specific). I was a spur of the moment thing as my roommate had training in a suburb of Los Angeles County. It had been five years since being in CA and I loved every minute of it. I saw a kinds of things I don’t normally see including grass, trees, and bushes. I saw a car wedged under a semi-truck and too bad I didn’t take a photo of it. I know it’s bad to take a photo of something tragic but from what I saw the person was no longer in the car. Of course, I wouldn’t have taken it had the person still been in the car. It’s crazy how people in LV and LA drive as if they are in a movie. I call them Fast and Furious drivers and for people who ride motorcycles, the wannabe Tokyo drifters.

Three, there is realization I don’t need to post everything that happens to me or what I think is important in my life. I’ve stepped away from some things in my life no longer serving me or isn’t as relevant anymore. When I visited Hollywood and took a photo of the boarded up ArcLight, the day before I left on a plane back to LV, the screenwriters committed to striking. The last writer strike was about a year after I graduated from film school and so much has changed since that time. I didn’t become a famous screenwriter nor even a screenwriter, but now dedicating my time to novel writing and poetry (although not so much now). Those who are working screenwriters have had their source of income dwindle. They’ve had to work harder and longer to make ends meet. Long gone are the days of optioning a script or TV show idea for a million dollars. Long gone are the days of Quentin Tarantino being the norm.

That’s why they are striking, in order to get their due. The whole topic of AI in film (threatening actor and actress likenesses without getting paid) and computer systems to write the skeleton of a story without a human writer (threatening the need for human writers and creativity) is scary. It’s really become a reality for many unknown writers with substance (as I believe I’m a decent writer) that writing stories and finishing them because you like doing it must be enough. It should be enough because like the two CA lottery tickets I bought, the chances of winning are so slim that you (including me) should do for the fun of it. I know I keep harping on this point of enjoying what you have and what you can do in your life. There’s something to be said for balance and a good foundation. I’ve been off kilter a little bit and a part of my time away is needing time to myself. I don’t need to write or blog to get money although sometimes I wish I had the energy and drive to be more aggressive in my blogging.

My rewards are finishing my books and righting my wrongs. This is why I’m still alive. This is what my purpose is and while it has changed somewhat, I’m trying hard to believe I’m here for a reason. Maybe, I’m here because of a combination of luck and misfortune along with the ability to show my fortitude and tenacity. These three things I mentioned above means I love water and ocean water in particular, I love big cities and all it offers, and I love being a productive thinker as much as a non-productive doer (at times). Good luck to everyone as May turns into June. It will be here before you know it.

Random Advice Type #14: Effort, Energy, and Synergy is a Life Process

When things bother me, I tend to retreat inward and my mind spins in many different directions. One time it can go left. Another time right. Shortly after that it will try to go in opposite directions and feel like your body and mind is not working together. This is when I go a little (more) crazy in my head and start to obsess about certain things that happened earlier. I think about how I reacted to a specific situation and how I probably overreacted. I’m in my head way too much and all the inadequacies of the past come flooding back along with more current ones that have surfaced. The definition of synergy is the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. When I remove myself from the issues I’m sitting in, perceived or not it doesn’t matter because it’s real to me, I have to dig deep down to get through this.

This is where synergy comes into play to stop the mind from repeating all the negative and anxiety ridden thoughts in my head. There are a few things I have to do in order to reset (in a way). The first is getting out into nature. I ended up going for an hour walk/hike and had to brace myself for the windy weather that I wasn’t aware of prior to going. I didn’t want to job and instead walked at a fast pace and went a little bit uphill on my hike. The second thing I did was come home and meditate in the silence by reading out loud certain passages and phrases that help me feel centered and whole again. The third thing I did was what I call “do my cards” which amounts to common sense and spiritually driven advice.

Without going into too much detail, I want to speak about fate and destiny. We don’t control everything in our lives, but we do have a choice in many ways. Do we want to cooperate with our true self or work against it? Do we want to interact and feel the joy in how the different parts of us work together for the greater good and greater whole? Trying to mirror your private self with your public self is just as important as working to make your emotional, physical, spiritual, and even sexual self as grounded and even as possible. Not one slice of the pie should be larger next or across from another slice. Balance is really important to me. I try my best to attain it as much as I can each day of the week. The advice I usually get reflects my current situation with my thoughts, feelings, emotions, processes, agenda, and more. To close this, I leave you with the following.

It’s hard to find any kind of peace or relief when a shit storm is brewing around you.

The last thing you want to do is fix the problem because of how emotional you feel.

After some time, you do need to go back to it because whatever you feel will crop up again by hitting you in the face or getting a reminder of some sort.

At certain times you have to face whether you will remain in place and go through the same motions or convince yourself the risk of changing your perception of your comfort line is worth it.

Who you are should be evolving and never stop and your awareness of this expansion (hopefully) instead of contraction should be noted because it’s as important as eating or not eating.

April Quotes

The Last Ten Movies I’ve Watched

The best movies out of these were Predestination, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Pride, and Marrowbone and the least I liked out of these were Gamer and Annabelle: Creation.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) is the movie that tested Terry Gilliam in many ways. He finally was able to film this movie although with a different cast including Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort. Although it would’ve been great with Depp and Rochefort, Adam Driver as Toby Grummett and Jonathan Price as Javier Sanchez/Don Quixote did a comparable job. There are some hilarious scenes but not in the traditional sense. It’s definitely a commentary about getting old and losing one’s mind. It’s comedic and serious at the same time.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) is the true story about the origins of Wonder Woman. The movie explores the relationships between William Marston (Luke Evans), his wife Elizabeth Holloway (Rebecca Hall), and their live-in friend/help Olivia Bryne (Bella Heathcote). The original Wonder Woman was radically different back then, and we all can thank Gloria Steinem for introducing to us again what this superheroine is today.

Annabelle Creation (2017) is the precursor to the other movies in this franchise and deals with the concept between good and evil. After a couple heals from the unexpected death of their child, years later they take in orphans and nuns after finding themselves without a place to stay. The parents (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) end up needing to protect themselves and their guests against an evil doll.

Centurion (2010) is based on the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion during early second century AD. The Picts capture Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) but escapes and finds refuge with General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West). Together with other Romans, they trek the countryside to fight against Pict threat.

Predestination (2014) is about an agent who time travels to capture and identity the Fizzle Bomber. The agent (Ethan Hawke) meets a man named John (Sarah Snook) and they work together to save lives and their part of the society as they know it.

The Company You Keep (2012) deals with Jim Grant (Robert Redford) and his past ties to the Weather Underground militant group that is responsible for the 1980 murder of the bank’s security guard during a robbery. His life falls apart when Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) speaks about her past and the secrets they kept reveal themselves amongst the current and former members of the group.

Pride (2007) is based on the true story of Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) during the 1970s. He’s having a hard time finding a job due to racial inequality. He becomes an integral part in turning the Marcus Foster Recreation Center into something worthwhile for the neighborhood teenagers. He teaches them how to swim better and becomes a hero in Philadelphia.

Gamer (2009) is about John Tillman played by Gerard Butler. He’s the highest-ranking warrior in the game called Slayers. He fights against opponents with the help of a teenage gamer Simon Silverton played by Logan Lerman who hears him. As Tillman fights for his freedom, he also has to fight for his life.

Marrowbone (2017) is about Rose played by Nicola Harrison who has run away from her abusive husband with her four children. When Rose and her children arrive in the U.S., they live a life in seclusion in a small Maine town. The children include Jack played by George MacKay, Billy played by Charlie Heaton, Jane played by Mia Goth, and Sam played by Matthew Stagg. The longer they stay there, their father becomes more a threat, and they must find a way to survive.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) is the true story of Tamara Faye LaValley (Jessica Chastain) and her rise to fame as the wife of Christian preacher Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield). Her inspiring personality is loved and despised by the conservative circles. She is embraced by many during their time on 700 Club, but their downfall comes at the hands of her husband when he is arrested.

Random Calendar Info #46

If you find yourself in a volcanic eruption, move upslope to avoid debris and mudflows. Don’t try to outrun lava or sit on the ground. Try to get to the safe side of the flow. If you use your car, only use it to leave the area.

If you need to jump into a dumpster from a building, tuck your head and try to do a three-quarter somersault. You will most likely fall on your back and aim for the center. Don’t land on your stomach because you have a great chance of breaking your back.

If you need to free your leg from a bear trap, place one hand on the top of the spring. Press down on the springs to compress them and slip your foot out when the jaws are loose. Release the springs slowly and get a tetanus shot.

If you find yourself on top of a moving train, crawl on all fours and lean into the wind. Move with the train’s movements. Lie down if the train turns or enters a tunnel.

If you find yourself in a subway without power, keep your possessions close and press the emergency call button. Open windows for air and evacuate the train if possible. Stay away from the third rail.

If you want to lie during lie detector test, force yourself to breathe faster during the pretest and don’t fidget or be completely still. Don’t anticipate the questions you might be asked. The goal is to get false readings by biting your tongue.

If you have a broken nose, pinch the bridge of your nose with head tilted back. Put ice on your nose and don’t try to straighten your nose if it’s crooked. Go to the ER as soon as possible.

Poem: Swallow You Whole

They say–

Who says? Who is they?

I don’t know who they is? He just told me they. Am I supposed to know who they are?


How am I supposed to know who they are when they don’t know I exist?

You’re supposed to consider the source.

It was the hottest day of the year.

How do you know that?

The phone told me.

The app on your phone? You don’t watch the weatherman, anymore?

Not only men tell you what the weather is going to be.

You know what I meant. It was a generalization.

That’s a shitty generalization. Surprising, given your age.

I don’t how to respond to that–

Your remaining silence is not enough.

Wait. Are you serious?

The sun was supposed to be behind the clouds 50% of the time. It’s not as you can see.

Don’t go, not on account of the sun.

I’ve gotten enough vitamin D. My mouth is now dry from thirst.

I want to know more. If you leave, I will bite the corners of my nails until they bleed.

That is not my problem, is it?

I guess not.

No guessing. It’s a hard no.

Some people claim if you stay quiet for hours, you will turn into a different person.

Again, which people?

There will be a part of you that turns stronger and more purified. You will become a better you.

That sounds like a lie.

I’m not the gullible village idiot. I’m here because I want to be here.

Me too.

You can leave whenever you want to!

I know.

The last rocks have been cast aside. The hands are brittle.

I need to stand up.

Then, I will sit down.

You will keep talking about more, that nonsense.

There is a lot more to say on a full stomach.

You should ask them to fill your emptiness.

Maybe, I will.

You have much to learn before I swallow you whole.

Random Calendar Info #45

If you want to test the edibility of a plant, don’t eat for eight hours before eating something new. Separate the plant and make sure it isn’t poisonous. Rub it onto your skin to make sure you get no irritation within 15 minutes. Put the plant on your lips for three minutes, proceed to your tongue for 15 minutes. If you are fine, chew a little bit and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. You can swallow it if there is no irritation. Don’t eat anything else for eight hours. If you are fine, you can eat more of the plant. If not, you need to drink water to flush out the toxins from your body.

If you are near a mountain lion, make yourself bigger and throw stones at it if you can. You need to convey you aren’t prey and don’t play dead. Fight back if you are attacked.

If you need to set a signal fire, find an area that won’t start an uncontrollable fire. Don’t start a fire unless you hear or see a rescue helicopter if you have limited supplies. Create high flames to alert rescue teams.

If you find a bird or squirrel in your house, open your window or door and leave the room. Close the door to the room and wait.

If you find yourself in the dark underground, stay calm (I know) and retrace your steps slowly and carefully by remembering features along the way, use your phone or watch for light to help you, and move in the direction of moving air or outdoor light.

Random Calendar Info #44

If you find yourself getting hit by a car, jump in a tight tuck or ball position (yeah right) with your arms over your head. Turn your shoulder toward the car and brace for impact (probably windshield). Try to roll off the windshield still in a balled up position. Once on the ground, try to get out of danger as fast as possible.

If you find yourself on a running camel, don’t yank on the reins because it won’t stop the camel. Pull the reins to one side so it runs in a circle. Wait until the camel slows down (hopefully it does).

if you find yourself stung by a jellyfish, rinse the skin with seawater, apply white vinegar if you can, remove any tentacles with a credit card or towel.

If you find your scuba tank out of air, signal to your empty tank and if no one can help you, look straight up and exhale continuously as you swim to the surface.

If you find yourself near a bear, back away while making noise. If it is aggressive, remain still and don’t run. If it attacks, try to injure the bear by yanking on its snout or poking the bear’s eyes.

If you fall through a floor, try to push your body up and out of the hole. Don’t kick your legs or reach for furniture close by.

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