Olympic Blvd. - Thursday July 13 2000
Things that should be used until they are absolutely useless before replacement:shoes - I love thinking about the stories my shoes could tell if only they could talk. The ones I've been wearing for most of my California experience have been a rugged but understated black pair of Vans I bought for six dollars from a thrift store in Hillcrest, San Diego in September of 1998. Recently a tiny patch of yellow foam padding became visible on the rear seam of one of them.
reference books - there's nothing more intellectually sexy on a desk than a beat up old dictionary. They're best when the first and last 20 pages are so dog-eared that they must be carefully unfolded before they can be read.
keyboards - I love the idea of typing so much text that I wear out my input device. It's easy to do with a modern Gateway 2000 keyboard (ick!), but nearly impossible with clackety old original AT keyboard (yum!). Speaking of Gateway 2000, now that we're here in the year 2000, is there really any use for the gateway? I walked into a Gateway 2000 store on Wilshire and was so icked out by the greasy qualities of the salesforce that I stayed for less than a minute. (Actually, the real reason I left was that I learned Gateway 2000 only sells complete systems, complete with those icky keyboards.)
bicycles - After all those miles together, I'm willing to forgive and compensate around any idiosyncrasy that develops.
At lunchtime, finding myself still lacking a bicycle, I was forced again to set out on foot. It's important to get out of the office even if the goal isn't food.
I walked eastward down the wide, tree-studded median of Olympic into the part of West LA where Olympic crosses Bundy Drive. Olympic is only grudgingly a surface street as it runs through this fringe eastern section of Santa Monica; I have a feeling it was designed to serve freeway functions back in the days before freeways. Its motorists react to it in a way that confirms this hypothesis, almost resentful as they wait for the light at Stewart Avenue. I think that intersection was the setting for the Decomposing Gummy Dude Dream I related in the entry for the 11th.
As Olympic nears Bundy it turns into more of a corporate corridor. Several large new office buildings under construction here, including the new headquarters of Etoys.com. What with the OSH's hardware and Staples Superstore, there's plenty to buy if one is in need of either household hardware or office equipment. But I was still entertaining the hope of finding a cheap source for bicycle supplies. Still accustomed to the conventions of small town America, I found myself actually pondering the question, "where do they put the Walmarts in Los Angeles?"
In this particular commercial zone, I even had difficulty finding food. Eventually I resorted to buying an extremely greasy deep-fried chimichanga and chicken thigh from the "deli" located within a gas station. The guy ordering food in front of me was built like a jack-o-lantern, and must have had to eat big lunches to maintain his girth. After he'd ordered several big fattening deep-fried items, the woman waiting on me thought he was finished ordering, and had nodded at me indicating I should place my order. But then the jack-o-lantern man interrupted to say, "and I'd also like about ten of those," pointing at the deep fried potato wedges.
Rubbery, meaty, greasy, pockmarked, translucent, suddenly unmoving, suddenly not a part of our world.