Sunday, October 27, 2013

Star Trek Viewin', Henry Street Remembrin', and California Dreamin' -OR- A Saturday Night Blog Entry Posted Sunday Afternoon

The Sun sinks toward the horizon over the Pacific Ocean as seen from Will Rogers State Beach. This is along the stretch of Pacific Coast beach (relevant to part of this blog entry) that is either in the northwestern-most part of the of the City of Los Angeles or next door Pacific Palisades. Picture taken April 7, 2010 by AllyUnion.


This entry is being completed and posted Sunday afternoon even though I started it and intended to post it on Saturday night. The updated content in places and some of the images reflect this.

Saturday night.

I'm home after a good gym work out -- 5.6 mile jog and 36 minutes in the pool doing 41 lengths of the pool (i.e., 20-1/2 laps), though not much weightlifting (although I never really do much of that). I just got there too late to do the full three-part routine.

16th and R Street, Washington, D.C., 9:52PM Oct. 25, 2013.


I stopped at Dupont Italian Kitchen (D-I-K) bar because Chris H. was working upstairs, but I only stayed for two beers before grocery shopping. I'm home now doing two loads of laundry and deciding whether to make dinner or eat out. I really spent too much yesterday / last night, including dinner at Anne's (where I haven't been in years). Actually, I had a crummy, abbreviated time (the atmosphere wasn't good and the bartender was jerk) at the upstairs bar, though the steak dinner with broccoli and carrots was excellent. I actually brought half the dinner home.

View outside my apartment building in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 4:03PM Oct. 26, 2013.


I think tonight I'll just make dinner at home and then go out -- "LaLo", No. 9, and / or Nellie's. I'll just skip my Saturday night sojourn to Old Ebbitt Grill.

Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 12:33AM Oct. 27, 2013. The guy in the white shirt (I think he was visiting from Australia) at one point ended up on the floor -- still dancing with the Asian guys dressed up for Halloween as Asian sex kittens. (That was a common theme last night out and about: Folks in Halloween costumes.)

It was quite festive in there last night with upbeat music and folks dressed in various Halloween costumes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Larry's Lounge may look like a friendly corner pub, and it is, but the place is really more of a speakeasy.


Money wise, I've been splurging a bit lately owing to the 401k loan. But I'm quickly reaching a point where I won't be able to return the full $3,000 all at once -- which is my only option aside from the regular paycheck deductions scheduled to start in early December and run for 4 years (yes, 4 years, but the monthly deductions are quite low).

I'm not concerned about the time frame but rather the possibility of needing a loan in an emergency that I could not take as long as this one is outstanding, and the rule in our plan is that you can only pay back the remaining balance all at once or under the regular paycheck deductions.

Another view from outside my apartment building but looking to the southwest along New Hampshire Avenue toward the intersection of U and 16th Streets, Washington, D.C., 4:03PM Oct. 26, 2013.


"Star Trek: TOS" Viewing ...

I'm home watching an old Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) rerun on Me TV. (And next up, the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie.) This Star Trek TOS episode is "Mirror, Mirror" -- quite an amazing one. Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura end up in a "savage, parallel universe" episode.

I think the "parallel Universe Spock" is the most fascinating one of all because of his essentially unchanged morality and ethics.

I've noticed on these original series episodes have somewhat altered special effects -- most notably on how the (invariably Earth-like) planets above which the Enterprise is orbiting look much more "real" in terms of continents, oceans, and whorls of clouds.

That is NOT how they used to look when I watched this show all those decades ago (in the 1970s) at my maternal grandmother's house on Henry Street in South Amboy, N.J., with my uncle (who still lives in that house) on my weekend trips from my dad and paternal grandparents' house in Long Branch, N.J. (My mom and Ray were living at SHAPE, Belgium at the time, where he was stationed in the U.S. Army.)

Ah, Henry Street.

516 Henry Street, South Amboy, New Jersey, as seen in a Google street map view (which incorrectly identifies it as 539 Henry Street).

This is the house in which both my mother and her younger brother grew up with their mother but no father. It is the same color as back in the 1970s. My maternal grandparents had a violent marriage that ended many years before I was born. My maternal grandfather died in 1970 or thereabouts. He was the one grandparent I never knew, and my grandmother simply never talked about him. There are other family stories and secrets here but I'll refrain from posting those.

As for the house, my paternal (Italian ) grandmother -- who visited from Long Branch and was in this house at least once -- complained about how it was like "going up to heaven" climbing all the stairs to the top floor living area.


The part that is the most warped, so to speak, is that there is NO relationship whatsoever with this uncle (Rob) and we (my mom and I) are not even allowed to go to this house on Henry Street. As it is, I can't even imagine what it's like inside, what decades of splendid, neurotic Polish isolation (he never married) and Old World-style misery have turned it into.

Anyway, all of that is immaterial. My point here is that my uncle as an adolescent with no father figure in this life and watching this show when it was first on in 1966 and 1967 idolized both Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock.

To reiterate the earlier point: There has definitely been some improvements to the special effects of TOS episodes.

One other Star Trek related item: I was watching an episode of The Next Generation ones on BBC America while on the treadmill at the gym earlier today. It was the episode


A Dreamtime Visit to the City of Angels...

On Saturday morning, I had this prolonged and very involved dream in which my dad and I were somehow in Los Angeles (a place I've never been). Somehow we ended up staying there on these strange streets (relatively suburban looking). I remember thinking it would not rain because, well, it doesn't rain much in the L.A. basin. But then skies darkened (coming in from the east) and a thunderstorm started with a drenching rain.

A Bing map birds eye view of a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway where is located the northwestern-most geographic boundary of the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County as that boundary meets the Pacific Ocean. I believe that boundary is somewhere inside the yellow circle I drew. Why this is relevant is explained further below.

In the upper left is a large structure with a red tiled roof and narrow rectangular pool that is The Getty Villa (with an access road to it with the same name shown). There is a close-up picture of The Getty Villa below.


Eventually, we were in some auto mechanic / hardware store near the Pacific Ocean, and I was trying to buy something from this lady, except I can't recall what it was. It involved something on the ceiling.

This is the Google aerial map version with the same yellow circle that I drew showing the area in which is located the "northwestern" boundary of Los Angeles City / County boundary where that boundary meets the Pacific Ocean (along Santa Monica Bay)


In the dream, there was then a strange sort of gridded road atlas overhead that told me where I was, and it turned out I was near the Pacific Ocean on the northwestern side of Los Angeles -- near the geographical city limits with Los Angeles County where that boundary intersects the beach and the ocean.

Here is a map I found showing the city limits of Los Angeles, although it is not very detailed in terms of labeled streets. Map source here.


Such a location in fact is just beyond Santa Monica, which is a separate city and sort of cuts a "notch" in the geographic continuity of the City of Los Angeles. It is at the border of Pacific Palisades and a few miles before (east given the contour of the coastline) Malibu. There is a place called Will Rogers Beach. Not only that, but the direction of the coastline there runs due east-west, and the boundary appears to run along a NW-SE diagonal, which makes the boundary I saw in the dream (a line running NE-SW intersecting a coastline running NW-SE) not realistic.

A picture of the houses on the hillside in Pacific Palisades just off the Pacific Coast Highway along the Pacific Ocean to the northwest of Los Angeles. As to why I am posting a picture of a place to which I've never been and that has nothing to do with my life, well, this part of the entry is relevant. The link in Panoramio for this picture is here.

I find Southern California just too alien for me.


Anyway, in the dream, it was a tranquil evening, except the Sun was setting in the wrong part of the sky (i.e., over land as it would on the East Coast along the Atlantic). It was also flatter and not as arid as it is in real life.

This is a picture of The Getty Villa, which is located just outside the Los Angeles city limits in Pacific Palisades. The place appears to be some sort of museum of Greco-Roman art. Image source here.


I asked my dad if he take a drive by the ocean and he agreed to do that. I was pleasantly surprised since the whole thrust of this dream (and others I've had) is that he is irredeemably beyond any ability to do anything that I want, and it is very disturbing.

Will Rogers State Beach at the northwestern-most end of the City of Los Angeles very close to the boundary of Pacific Palisades as seen as sunset. Image source here.

This image -- admittedly a strange one with the "ghostly" apparitions of the couple seated on the beach -- sort of captures the tranquility in the dream. I would have made it the lead image except the proportions of it aren't good and I don't like the apparition quality.


I'm unsure whether to try to take a bike ride tomorrow today (the one I intended to take last Sunday). The issue is that my gym (the YMCA National Capital) is closing for its very delayed and shortened annual shutdown. It normally occurs the last two weeks of August but it was delayed (owing to the renovation on the Anthony Bowen YMCA facility). The closure is from Oct. 30 - Nov. 3rd, but the pool is shut down for an extra week owing to the need for extensive re-tiling and re-grouting of the bottom.

Anyway, next weekend there is no gym option (well, I guess I could go to the Anthony Bowen one), so maybe I should take a bike ride then.

I also need to buy some new clothes, and I never seem to have enough time to do anything.

**Updated 7:30PM 10/10/2015: Content removed**


A few other items ...

So re. the potential computer malware issue I mentioned in my last entry, at this point what I think is actually happening is the anti-viral software (and remember I use my work laptop at home, so this is the IT department's anti-viral software) is blocking some cookie sort of thing from StatCounter that seeks to track. I'm considering getting rid of StatCounter (I've had it for at least 6 years through all my blogs) and use another site meter. I may have no choice in the matter.

Late night scene along U Street by Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 2:47AM Oct. 27, 2013. I was walking home from Nellie's, where I went after going to Larry's Lounge (Gary had driven me to Nellie's).

In the picture, a young black girl is walking with the young white guy in a costume -- one that allowed him to be nearly shirtless (and it was a bit chilly last night for that). He was attractive. I mention this because a few seconds earlier, the girl had some sort of verbal altercation with these other black girls that she may or may not have known. All I caught was one of the other girls yelling something about someone (the guy?) getting "a rope" for her, to which she replied something that ended with, "Go back to your slum!"

Ha ha


One other item: My new air conditioner does not work as an air conditioner when the outside temp is lower than the indoor temp. This means that when the old steam radiator hisses to overheated life, my apartment soon becomes too warm and the only thing I can do to cool the place off is put the fan in the window. I'm very unhappy with this sh!ty new air conditioner. It also leaks water. I let someone else make the actual purchase for me -- and I paid him the cash -- and this is what I got.

Lastly, actress Marcia Wallace has died. She is probably best known as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, though as an actual actress, she is certainly best known for her role as the receptionist Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show. Wallace was 70.

Upstairs late night at Nellie's, Washington, D.C., 2:17AM Oct. 27, 2013. Oooh, the costumes that people were wearing.


OK, that's all for now. My next planned update may not be until Monday night, i.e., early Tuesday.


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