Friday, February 27, 2015

Talk to the hand

Glove left-behind by tree service.
Third rejection, from Otis College of Art & Design.  Six more to go.

Monday, February 23, 2015


A rejection from University of Iowa Non-Fiction Writers Program arrived today by email.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I received my first college notification yesterday - a rejection letter from University of Pittsburgh.  So I expect to receive more notifications in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I'm taking another writing class through UCLA Extension this quarter. Here's a short fiction piece I wrote for our weekly assignment exploring the use of similes. It's based on an observation of two random people I once saw in a bar.

She perched on the second barstool over, stirring her margarita with the little red straw. She looked like a real-life Bratz doll, oversized head, big tits and attenuated limbs. Her pillowy lips were glossed a shining toy-like pink.

She wore a hot pink knitted shrug over a black t-shirt, and a hot pink plaid newsboy hat pulled low over her hair, though it could not completely contain the bronzy waves spilled out around her shoulders and down her back. Dark glasses big as saucers shielded her eyes completely, though the bar’s light was dim.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Waiting game

Westward beach, Malibu
Graduate school acceptance notices start appearing in in-boxes in February. So far, none have appeared in mine - nor rejections, either.

There is a webpage I told myself I wouldn't visit, but I have been unable to resist taking a peek at least once a week. It tracks acceptances in a wide range of programs. People who sign in voluntarily post the dates they received a notice.

This is not a scientific study - for all the 6000 or so applicants to a program, maybe only five are even aware of the website and choose to post their experience. So if only three acceptances appear for a program that accepts twelve students, it does NOT mean that there are nine slots open!

So far, two of the schools I've applied to have appeared; University of Alabama phoned one accepted applicant on February 10th. University of Pittsburgh emailed two accepted applicants, one on February 14 and one on February 18.

Methods differ among schools. There's no regularity in how they do it. Some send acceptances first, others rejections. Other activity on the list shows several schools - not any of mine - sending out a dozen or more rejections this month.

A look back over last year's activity shows that this is the week that notifications start appearing - whether by mail, by email, or by phone.  And most people are notified by the last weeks of March.

So for me it's a waiting game right now, trying to get through each day without thinking about it - and without taking another obsessive peek at the list!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Unlucky day

Just learned that the organization of a project I was working on last month bounced all its payments to our organization and other vendors. The total so far is $18,000 with more to find.

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

UPDATE: The guy called in and explained what happened, and promised to resolve it. I'm not entirely convinced yet, but I'm relieved if he's genuine.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Cracking crabs in the South Bay!

We're at Quality Seafood on the Redondo Pier.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A bunch of bull.....

There isn't much I haven't heard about, working all these years in the events business.

But today was special. I got a call from a parent who's organizing a fundraising event at a local school. He wanted to know if he needed a permit for the activity he was planning.

"So," I said. "Why don't you tell me what your plans are?"

"Have you ever heard of Cowpatty Bingo?"

Apparently, this is a real thing. You take a large field or paved area, grid it off into squares, and sell off squares at ten or so bucks a pop. Then you let a cow wander out onto the space and do what cows do.

The buyer of the "winning" square gets a cut of the money as a prize, the rest going to the charity.

My caller wanted to know if he needed a permit to organize this.

Fortunately, our city doesn't require permits for events on private property, so he was fine. But then he wanted to know whether he'd run into any opposition from animal rights groups, or if there were any laws that might affect his event.

Well - our city is famous - some might say notorious - for being passionate about animal rights. In the past, a squirrel abatement campaign came under serious fire from activists. Just this year, children's pony rides at the Farmers Market were outlawed on the grounds of animal cruelty.

He did allow as how some of the moms on the committee were concerned for the cow's sense of dignity, and wanted to make sure the event wasn't humiliating for her.

I suggested he contact the SPCA.

What's next, Donkey Basketball?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Neon night

Night on Broadway was a free event to showcase Los Angeles' historic Broadway last night. Here are some of the sights.

Broadway between 4th and 7th was closed off to traffic, with info booths, food trucks and street art provided.

Dancers at the vestibule of the Los Angeles Theatre
Broadway's historic theatres were opened up, and programmed with music, dance, vaudeville and classic films.

The street was busier on a Saturday night than it's been in years.

Local stores were open - the Latino-owned jewelry stores, clothing shops, shops with electronics and games and cowboy boots. The taquerias competed with the food trucks - I ducked into one for an al pastor taco with seeringly hot sauce.

It was the newer, corporate chain stores that seemed to be closed - the Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Gap.
Felix Chevrolet sign, visible from the Expo Line's Jefferson USC station
The event organizers encouraged folks to take public transportation to get here. I took the Expo Line from Culver City.

Many people were downtown to see Broadway for the very first time.