Out of the office until further notice | 27th April 2011 | 22:47 PDT

My idol for the weekend... (via crenshawcomm.com)


I'm feeling those good vibrations | 27th April 2011 | 19:54 PDT

Last couple of days have been pretty chilled, watching football, making friends, finding a way to stay in this amazing city.

On my way back from Abbot Kinney Boulevard where I'd been to the Three Square Café and Bakery (great chilled out place with very tasty food, great vibe and friendly staff) I was cornered by a modern hippy on the beach front, he spoke to me and I return conversation. He had a strange looking chair that looked like a torture device, I was trusted it wasn't.

The recliner of ruin
I sat down on the recliner that was based on this ancient oriental meditation healing device, they said it works because you body is made up of 70% water and the sound vibrates through this and kills all the bad mojo, or something - I lost concentration as it sounded like bullshit, and yes I was skeptical

But yet I was taken to another place... they put a mask over my eyes and told to completely relax (well, duh) - and I had two thick bowls placed on my chest, that was meant to vibrate to the rhythm of my heart these (as pretentious as it sounds) were incredible, they reverberated throughout your chest and completely relaxed you.

In addition to these bowls there were gongs and tubular bells all around you, these created a soothing harmonious constant sounds that made your hairs stick on end and kind of put you in a different place and the sense of calm that flows around you, was simply incredible!

It's highly recommended, man!

A step into America's history... Almost | 26th April 2011 | 22:12 PDT

Today, I stumbled on probably the oldest place in America. A warehouse full of the old things, that added all up would make it the oldest thing in America, maybe. I found my local antique store.

Full of history and culture of generations gone by

Upon entering this "mart" it was like I taken back in time many many years, so many years back, I would probably need an extra 2 and a half digits on my hands just to count all those many years back.

I should have guessed "antiques" here in this 'ere country means, bric-a-brac - this was essentially a flea market, cleverly disguised as an antique store.

One of the many antique areas within the store and the types of goods.
There was really all sort of bits and pieces that were simply just over-priced junk...

Fish bowl of 8 Balls...hmmm $145? DEAL!
Half way through I got a bit hungry, luckily this was catered for with a delicious snack I could buy for only $80

Yummy, can I have seconds?


Hands up if you really want this next item (all these were $80 each)
Fantastic Royal Wedding mug memorabilia, yours for $49 - Deal. Done!
Composed: Back at the house

Looking for that special substance | 25 April 2011 | 20:22 PDT

I was on the hunt for a well known Californian Mecca today, somewhere so special I was willing to walk a 11 mile round trip for it, that's dedication to the cause. Only because the craving was too great to ignore and I just had to find this place, and as I have been here for 2 weeks, it was about time.

My adventure involved my to clamber over and defeat a thousand tiny sand dunes, I fought hundreds of temporary locals speaking their weird confusing tongue, I wore my flip-flops to a skin's thickness on the boiling hot concrete, I negotiated through drugged up street rebels and dodging fast moving and wile hunks of metal and wood on wheels.

After hours of battling, I made it!

Cue some holy angelic music upon entry

In-N-Out Burger, The bestest most amazingest brilliantest wonderfullest fast foot joint in the whole of California... nay... THE WORLD!

You're damn straight, it's Quality, You Can Taste
I need to go back there ASAP and this time, I'm having everything massive and unusual off their not-so-secret menu... My mouth is watering all over the keyboard just re-thinking about it.

Cheeseburger RIP - 17:01 - 17:03
Composed: Back at the House

Where are you from? I'm from En-ger-land | 24th April 2011 | 20:37

Today, was a typical day nursing tiredness from the night before, which consisted of the usual. Meeting up with a friend, heading into the valley, have a few drinks with some people, all of which, seemed to be either writers or actors and then there was me... some dude from England being "so, yeah, I do web design..." - yawn

One of the best moments of the night has to be this kid, over enjoying the last of his spring break a bit too much. We got chatting for whatever reason, out of the blue he accused me of putting on an English accent and requested I stop as he didn't believe I was from England. This was something I couldn't really comply with, but I tried putting on an American accent and made up some bullshit story I was from Jersey or something.

Maybe this would've been more obvious? (via franceinlondon.com)
He proceeded to be the higher authority figure on how to do the accent and tell me how to do it properly, which by the way, he was adamant was so good he fooled English people in the past he was from Liverpool.

He said his piece in his best Liverpudlian accent on to say some token Brit saying "Lets put another shrimp on the bar-be" or whatever and I was totally fooled, it was absolutely brilliant... if Liverpool was located in the East-end of London and it was populated full of Dick van Dyke disguised cockneys from Mary Poppins.

At that point, we knew it was the bookend for the night and we decided to split. The place was dead any way.

Composed: Back at the House

Man, what a buzz kill | 23nd April 2011 | 15:45 PDT

Yeah, we're embracing and losing control to the music, man

After a gruelling session of sunbathing and juggling on the beach, I took a walk along the park to be confronted by a band just jamming in the sun, appropriately named “Under the Sky”

Until the police showed up and shut down their electrical equipment, as they were being too “loud” - they weren't, their singing was louder than their instruments, but apparently there's a law that you need a permit for playing electrical equipment in public, but acoustic is OK, so we got an even louder acoustic session being played out in front of us.

They're ideal for a lazy afternoon, great vibe and great entertainment. They play every Saturday during the summer between 2 and 5.

Composed: Palisades Park

Remind me again, why people do this? | 23nd April 2011 | 11:50 PDT

I've just done some exercise, by "just" I mean, after a 20 minute lie down basking in the sun with skin tears steaming from my pores, proving to myself how unfit I am and judging by today, I'm never going to run again, ever. In fact, anything strenuous as it's hard and the repercussions afterwards, just aren't worth it. I'm not even going to walk anywhere either, I'm going to get one of those fat tanks (mobility scooters) to haul my useless unfit arse everywhere.

It all started as I was told about this place by my house mate to aim in one directions and you'll come across it.


I headed out into suburbia towards a really quiet street, I knew I was kind of heading in the right direction as the amount of tight exercise outfits being seen on the streets was increasing as I got nearer to the epicentre.

The view from Adelaide Drive
On Adelaide Drive (which has multi-million dollar houses on it and a great view down a valley and down to the ocean) as I turned around a bend in the road, you get confronted with a street full of Lycra zombies, each one doing either strange movements (to, I guess, warm up/down) lifting weights, doing press ups but most walking slowly in a weird fashion towards this small gap in the hillside.

At that moment, I felt like I was on a suburban safari and I just stumbled on a watering hole by accident, I could say what animals these people were, definitely not human, perhaps flamingos, though keep fit zombie flamingos.

What I had stumbled upon were the Santa Monica stairs, 2 sets of steps that take you from the hill down into the valley and has been adopted by health freaks as their outside gym, there are two to choose from, a concrete set and a wooden set. It felt like the concrete set is where you started to work up the the wooden steps, as they're narrower, shallower, and had frequent stopping platforms along the way. Sod that, I thought and went straight to the wooden ones, which were busier, wider, steeper, and one place to rest there.

The stairs with a few trapped fitness zombies

It was kind of full on, going down was easy, it was like controlled falling, but going back up, or running back up, I should throw in there was quite gruelling and maybe going from no exercise to a full on run, didn't help, and probably should have worked up to it, I only managed 3 flights, in total consisting of 1050 steps. Which was nothing compared to the others there pounding up and down the steps like they had been doing it all their lives and it was their only form of exercise and got really good at it.

I'm off to shop for a mobility scooter and a stair lift.

Composed: 4th St & Adelaide Drive, Santa Monica

Sometimes, some things just have happen | 22nd April 2011 | 22:50 PDT

Well, it had to happen, really it did, sooner or later, it just definitely had to happen, there was way too much tension, pressure and nervous energy being built up, but it's out the way I can focus more clearly on tasks ahead, I can now walk down the street or work in public without giving myself whiplash or having one roving eye bouncing around my head looking around.

My boy Ducky, right here! (via laguiatv.com)

I've just, seen my first celebrity, well a celebrity I actually recognise, and most wouldn't. It was Ducky from NCIS or David McCallum as he probably prefers outside of his character (was also in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Great Escape) he was just walking down the street, I noticed his voice first, sounding very educated English accent (though from Glasgow) and it took me completely off guard as I just popped out to get my Subway on (footlong chicken orchard salad if you're interested, with all the salad possible) and I wasn't even thinking about seeing celebrity at the time, crazy, crazy, crazy.

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

I've acquired something lovely | 21st April 2011 | 10:55 PDT

Rafael? Purple? We don't give a shit, just buy our coffee!

I have a new name, thanks to the girl at Starbucks.


This came around as she wrote down my name super quick (After going, what the hell is a Rupert?) and the barista thought looked like Raphael then changed his mind to Purple. I panicked and just agreed with him... Least it's unusual and not Wayne Winchester.

Composed: Starbucks, Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

A Productive Day, Cleverly Hidden: Part II | 21st April 2011 | 00:45 PDT

Welcome to the underground world of art and performance

Upon my return to the house at 4:20, I got a text from my friend reminding me of this thing going down on Santa Monica Boulevard, it was a non-profit theatre project called “Consuming the Arts” at Lounge Theatre.

I got there after a 2 and a half hour bus ride across town, damn rush hour traffic. It was well worth it, there was free wine! Oh and some great acts consisting of:

Two short films, called “Franny the Elephant” and “Supermarket Superhero”. The latter being my favourite was set in a supermarket and this kid dressed as a superhero making all sorts hand gestures to stop cars etc. and helping others out around the store, it was a mixture of humorous stuff and that serious thoughtful stuff you get in a film, moral of the story? The former was a budget kids show and it was funny in places, I just lost track of what was going on and couldn't understand the voices half the time, so I was looking gormless through most of it, the girl next to me was loving it, whooping, clapping and was in absolute hysterics – must be a translation thing.

Like the stand up comedy guy, Matt Geiler – saw him before the show being super funny and probably typically him, but during the show I just didn't get it, he got half-naked and sang about poo (it was improv and it's what the people wanted to see) – and I'm not a fan of comedy and song being fused together anyway, probably because I exhausted that part of my brain listening to Weird Al Yankovic non-stop as a kid, again loads of people in the audience were laughing. I'm just a typical English grump.

Two plays, which were kind of serious for the mood of the evening so far, but I liked them both equally, both very well acted, one was about this girl who would write letters to people she loves, like Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, who all go on to die and reckons she's responsible for their demise, the second was about falling in love, it's ups and downs and moving on to take the next step after a big set back from a previous relationship.

Finally Music, that was live! By Jesse Thomas, my highlight of the night, great music that suited the mood brilliantly, songs about love/ex's possessions/break ups – she was funny in an honest scatty kind of way, that really didn't give a damn about you and that is kind of cool. Very LA though.

I think they're taking Consuming the Arts on the road around Los Angeles to help underprivileged children find an outlet for their situation and give them focus in life, by using as many mediums of art as possible to their disposal to help them. I like.

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

A Productive Day, Cleverly Hidden: Part I | 20th April 2011 | 16:35 PDT

This has nothing to do with my day. Saying that though, I did cross a road

I got a lot of work done and had the most productive day I've ever had, I feel so clear and lifted from all of life's strains.

Is what I probably would be saying had I not decided to go to the pub at 11am to watch soccer/real football for a short while as I had work to do, this ended up with me talking to this retired businessman from a major record label, who had been on a Concorde and everything, that's pretty exciting added with his name dropping of people from the late 90s, really friendly guy and lived in London for 6 years and now currently Malibu.

I was at the quiet and chilled pub called the Britannia, as you can probably guess a British pub where the walls are littered with very British things, like Magner's Irish Cider, Guinness advertising and giant sail ships from the 1900s – sorry Scotland, you can take the guys drinking before noon, if you like?

I was recommended a better place to go to called The Olde Kings Head, so after my friend left, I headed over there to catch the end of another match. This place was dark, pitch black almost, like a true British pub during a game in summer.

That damn sunlight still made it through and when it did (like someone opening the door) everyone would look over to see what was going on then be temporarily blinded by their actions until their eyes would adjust to the light. This was funny, seeing many people all blinking simultaneously with their mouth open trying to get rid of the stars in their eyes and feeling around for their drink is something that has to be seen... or not as the case may be.

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

Matt's Problem | 19th April 2011 | 18:05 PDT

It's gonna be OK, eh! (via detroitbadboys.com)

Overhead a guy on the phone:
“Yeah... Matt just found out he's Canadian... Yeah... He's devastated”

The sound bites I hear are genius, I always thought Grand Theft Auto games always over-exaggerated the whole thing, but it is just how it is over here... amazing!

Composed: Santa Monica State Beach Park

Ahh! John Wayne | 19th April 2011 | 16:12 PDT

The place where I experienced what I thought I experienced before I experienced it

I've just had déjà vu, even as I wrote that I knew I was going to write it, but seriously just before I wrote that I thought I was going to write a series of actions I had thought I thought I saw previously being played out right in front of me, like how I thought I remembered.

So, as yesterday was wasted working, well I wouldn't say wasted I was handsomely rewarded with sliced apple, sliced salami and giant salted Shreddies! Today I felt like a walk, I decided to go to a store called “Ahhs!” that I was recommended that may have my balls (juggling)

Wow, it looks so magical!

This place was incredible, well it was full of crap, but to the brim of unique and wonderful crap, such as life-sized cut outs of William and Kate, costumes, toys, everything branded was like Glee Magic Eight Ball, Spiderman Golf Clubs, Two and a Half Men chairs and Hannah Montana Condoms. Maybe not those exact items but my point being, this place is just full of shit. Absolutely shit.

Oh, maybe not
I ventured in anyway, if anywhere were going to have my balls, it would be here and after 20 minutes of being mesmerised by the fact that the majority of these fine items had a place on this Earth and wondering why all this go back straight into recycling.

I failed there and couldn't find my balls anywhere, I noticed a sports store next door so I thought I'd give it a go... but, they didn't have the balls I was after, but they did have many other fine balls for me to choose from, cheap ones too and after much deliberation, umming and ahhing, I decided to take ownership of three small white softballs that are used in the little league over here, result!

I skipped all the way to the beach via the house and walked about 100% of the way as the beach was 3 miles away from my then, current location.

En route back, I passed a cancer clinic called “John Wayne Cancer Institute” - after my initial thought of, surly that's a character name and not a real guy, my brain kicked in and I researched into it more and yes, he was a real person. He died of stomach cancer in 1979 and put himself forward for research to find a cure... My only issue is the logo choice of the institute, which is a silhouette of him walking away presumably towards a sunset.

(via centerwatch.com)

This says to me: If you come here, you're on your own, in the middle of the desert, and your demise is almost certain

Uplifting stuff.

I'm currently devouring a tuna sandwich on the beach, then I'm going to play with my balls for a few hours and I may juggle as well.

Composed: Perry's Café, Santa Monica

We return after these messages... | 18th April 2011 | 21:34 PDT

Why watch TV, when you have this on your doorstep?

Headache? Try Hedpirixitol 5+Infinity super-strength fast-acting full-on-synthetic-Chinese- shit plus! It may work before you even realise you've had a headache.
Warning, may cause death, dying, a bit of deceased and may result in being six feet under.

This is awesome!
This is manly!
This has leather!
It has real horses in each tyre!
It does 10 MPG on the highway!
It is cheap at a mega-dollar price!
It's the new sports sedan mini-van!
And it's American!

Teach your kids to be a success in life with this American football themed glow-in-the-dark sand!
Just put it in the supplied steel cauldron and microwave it until super-rad-awesome flames spew out everywhere, hand to your child to play in the yard by the pool and they'll learn, Math! Art! DIY! Taxes! Democracy! Baking! Child Care! And first aid!
Get this for your child NOW! Or they may end up failing any chances they may have in life to be a happy success!

Have depression? Don't worry we're here to help you by teaching you the ways of cheering up, being happy, smiling, getting on with it and stop being a whiny pussy loser. Call now for your free consultation!

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

Bus Ride | 18th April 2011 | 17:29 PDT

This is a bus. It is blue.

My first bus ride in LA today! Boring.

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

My Californian Castle | 17th April 2011 | 10:41 PDT

Reenactment of my escape also, that's not my house

I needed to escape the house.

Which is nice (the house, not the escape) – it's in a great location 3 minutes to a park (strip of grass with sculptures on it it next to a main road) 10 minutes to the beach down the bluff (a green cliff) via a load of stairs.

The house itself is a ground floor apartment an is spacious... If it weren't for all the consumable debris everywhere, this house is simply full of crap memories. To be fair to my landlady (very friendly, easy going, chatty and scatty) did say she hates holding onto things and that most of this stuff that has been exploded all over the house was her daughter's who was coming back in June to take it or chuck it. Just a few months of swimming through the apartment then.

The rest of the apartment is pretty much how you'd expect an apartment to look like after 15 years of living with minimal upkeep, kitchen is kept clean but its organisation can only be described as... Perturbed. It's a walk in wardrobe that you throw things into that happens to house a fridge and cooker.

Bathroom's good, again messy with a thousand chemicals, lotions, and some other things, typically a bathroom and it does the job. It's also yellow! - yeah, it used to white (I imagine/not hoping)

My bedroom/sanctuary is big, tidy, the hub of calm in the house. Recently painted white, new bed, I feel like a king, especially as the landlady sleeps on a sofa in her room with a shit load of shit everywhere and as you'd expect a water feature in the middle of the room in the form of a dirty bucket of liquid.

It's not as bad as I described it, it's loved, homely, looked after as much as it can be and a very sociable house. My only gripe with it (other than the mess)is the lack of communal space as landlady's son (not met him yet) has set up base in the front room next to the front door, so everything is kept within your room, but the room has TV, wi-fi etc. so can escape from it all without any hassles.

My sanctuary from one end

My sanctuary from the other end
UPDATE: The house has now been cleaned and is indeed spacious, landlady's son is friendly and the communal area is the kitchen and landlady's room so no gripes any more!

Composed: Starbucks, 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

MOCA's Art in the Streets | 17th April 2011 | 00:03 PDT

What a great day! Met up with a new friend here in LA, found on rent a friend off Twitter (friend of a friend) who also helped me find some accommodation over here.

We went to an Organic Café in Venice called Urth Café (which I guess is a really pretentious way of saying Earth) huge queue, huge menu and ended up being served by someone talking at a thousand words a second, or so it seemed.
Earth Café, though in LA it's spelled U R T H
After that bombardment of the senses my confidence levels were running low of what I actually ordered, until the food arrived and I'm pretty sure it was what I ordered but I wasn't expecting the Olympic pool sized cup of coffee.

A few hours of shooting the breeze with a blend of immature jokes, we said our goodbyes and I went on a hunt to find some juggling balls and no where stocks them, the amount of times I had to demonstrate what I was after with my hands, I could've re-learnt how to juggle 3 times over. The only person I didn't have to do that to and understood what I was after was a deaf guy running a market stall on Venice Beach, though I think it helped that the yellow shirt I was wearing was so loud.

It's not until you wear something so bright you realise that many people here wear black, white or brown.

After unsuccessfully finding my balls on the streets, I decided to eat my feelings with the best cupcake I've ever had, from a place in Santa Monica called Yummy Cupcake on Wilshire Boulevard – simply amazing!

Later on, I was working, sort of and I received a text from my friend from earlier inviting me to Downtown, LA for an art party.

These buildings are taller than most. Taxi is the size of a car.
Driving from the coast to in and around LA and towards the skyscrapers was pretty ace, I'm a big fan of high-rises their architecture and basically everything it encompasses, it took about 30 minutes to get there and about 20 minutes to find the place and about an hour to find a car park that wasn't full, this place seemed popular...
Entrance to Art in the Streets at MOCA
And with really good reason, it was the “Art in the Streets” being held at MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art and it was essentially about graffiti, its meaning, its history and modern artists displaying their works with a good blend of live art, DJing, dancing and drinking outside. This was an amazing exhibition and it was huge, massive, gigantic, huge... again!

DJ spinning the wax to the invisible dancers, they were so good!

After the hassles of parking we only really had an hour to enjoy it, but it was a visual feast, creative obesity, photos, information, sprays, images, interactive, videos, signs, cut and paste, stencils, everything.

Kook as a massive cut n paste piece
Think we'll definitely be going again if we can, you'll need at least a few hours to a day to see and appreciate all its offerings, it was busy as well which was a shame, as tonight was the Saturday of opening weekend and was filled to the brim with hipsters being “experts” on street art (though they never cared for it until, it was taken off the streets put under a roof and get charged to see it in all it's synthetic glory) and every hipster trying to spot Banksy, ROA, Saber, Mr. Cartoon, Jaime Reid, Phase 2, Kaws or the other 50 contributing artists... More often or not you don't know what they look like.

I may go back with a “I'm Banksy” t-shirt on and see how many gullible people I can fool.

Small sample out of a huge collection of sprayed subway cars
Sprayed bus by the entrance

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

Another Australian | 15th April 2011 | 18:40 PDT

Walking by a yard sale.

“Hey, how you doing?”
“Fine, thanks, you?”
“Good, are you another Australian?”
“No, I'm English”
“Ahh, I was close though, right?”
“haha, yeah!”

  -  No, you weren't and what did he mean by “another Australian”? There was no one on the street except you and me, surely not everyone who walked by you today could've been Australian... could they?

A typical me compared to a typical Australian
I guess I will never know, nor never care, will just assume he's a crazy red neck who took a wrong turning to New York and ended up staying.

Composed: Palisades Park, Santa Monica

Life's Ambition | 15th April 2011 | 16:58 PDT

Maybe my life's ambition is to drink margaritas all day and learn Mexican

“Wake up and smell your life's ambition”

This what I woke up to this morning from a take away coffee sleeve, it was an advertising by Docker's Pants with a khaki arse looking at me as I laid there in the ditch with a banging hangover induced from a Jack Daniel's binge from the night before...

This is cooler than the truth and it would also imply I left the house during darkened hours, as f yet I've had no reason to die, so I don't.

Instead I lie there in my comfortable bed, clear mind and well rested and two thoughts enter my mind as I read that advertising opportunity from Docker's Pants.

My First Thought
I've packed way too many brown clothes, 3 brown shorts, 1 pair of brown trousers/pants, 5 brown t-shirts, 1 brown shirt and a pair of brown flip-flops... This is ridiculous I think I am going to have to have some of laundry accident with tie dye or buy some really crappy clothes from Wal-Mart or TK Maxx/TJ Maxx (though, I chose the latter I'd spend so much time looking for something not brown and not XXL that my holiday/vacation would be over)

Types of brown (from: azizaizmargari.wordpress.com)
It's also worth noting, I hate brown as I own too much brown and thought I packed only non-brown items, perhaps the brown rot spread from my flip-flops during the flight, like rotting apples in a fruit bowl.

My Second Thought
was my need for a new shoulder bag, now I didn't want to buy one because I have loads at home so I thought I'd be resourceful in an A-Team/MacGyver sized proportions and make one from random bits of debris that seemed to have littered my floor already, I scooped up a belt and long-sleeve t-shirt.

And I accidentally made a tank.

So, I tried again and made a bag, no sewing required just full on genius spreading all over this bag, looking awesome and me being in LA, I thought I'd show off my new fashion item to the world that matters and well, no one noticed nor cared. They were probably too absorbed within their own sponge bubble to realise my bag was a t-shirt and awesome, ahhh fuck 'em.

Composed: Park Bench, Opposite Cabo Cantina, Santa Monica

Fox News on the scene (eventually) | 15th April 2011 | 16:04 PDT

“Oh my god, that is so so cool!” someone said
“Jesus, that is like, totally amazing” another said
“Oh my god is that a real whale?” said a third

Whatever was going on, it seemed to god damn massive and on a biblical scale and by my location on the pier, it must be something to do with action around the water and you'd be fooled if you thought it was an American paddling if you judged what was going on from the third exclamation (a low blow, I know)

That whale is there somewhere

What it actually was, was a seal (not a whale, though easy to get the two confused) that was really close to the shore having a bit of a laugh by playing around with the land-lubbers. This seal get huge kudos as he was catching a few waves and surfing with some kids and generally content.

Or he was struggling to escape the tide and will die of exhaustion, still everyone involved had a whale of a time.

Fox News appeared in the chopper hovering over the scene about an hour after the event, when the seal and everyone else had left to go back home and get some dinner.

Seagulls: Bigger than Fox News

Composed: Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Need New Name, Need New News | 14th April 2011 | 12:12 PDT

Rupert? Rubert? We don't give a shit, just buy our coffee!

I have a very difficult decision to face as my name doesn't exist here, well it does but they've replaced 'P' with a 'B' and I wouldn't normally mind but the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has somewhat tainted the fine reputation American Rupert has... Luckily though I don't have to sigh and await abuse/obvious comments when I have to give my surname as the poncey cartoon bear from The Express newspaper as thankfully her can't swim across the pond.

I've had so many names over the years and as my brother calls me, Captain Identity Crisis Kid, I doubt that will change any time soon, perhaps 'Bear', being the symbol of California could be a winner. I'll no doubt panic next time someone asks for my name and blurt out a name called Wayne Winchester III, I'll see what works next time I am asked.

Californian flag and look, it has a bear.

So, the news here, as in the coverage of the new, and this is not uncommon knowledge, is that it is crap and just an extension of entertainment. From memory it has gotten worse since I was here last, a few examples being this news report on work hours – “Which Country Works More Hours Than Anyone Else”.

They only showed the top 3, in third place was somewhere like India. In second place was China. First place, was blanked out. I had to wait for the commercials to find out the answer...

“So, which country work longer and harder than anyone else in the world, it's not America, we didn't make it in the top ten. The hardest working nation that works harder than America and everyone else is... Mexico. They work harder than China, Japan and America. Back after these messages”

After those messages it got better, they've turned this informative entertainment into something interactive and fully customisable. One of their special features was the ability to text in what report you would like to see, obviously a new idea to this station as the selection wasn't important news, but still stuff they felt the need to record with the intention of broadcasting it on the news.

They showed the winner after an hour of voting with hard-hitting articles to choose from like:
Text A to hear about a homeless people's bake off, without a kitchen?
Text B to see a woman's entire collection of nasal hair
Text C to to watch a dog lick itself for 5 minutes

I hope it gets a good response, I like to see it be developed further into something like:
Text A to hear about the volcano at Yellowstone Park that is hours away from erupting
Text B to learn about the new virus that could wipe out California that's being dubbed “National Lampoons: Back to the Plague Part II, with a Vengeance”
Text C to have live footage of the axe murdering burglar, robbing your house right behind you.

Results in an hour.

Pen down and time to relax outside and listen to the busking blues player on the promenade

Composed: Starbucks, 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Weekly shop and the choices you make | 13th April 2011 | 18:06 PDT

This has nothing to do with shopping

I did a weekly shop yesterday! Holy shit, I hear you say... Which reminds me, I need shower gel.

I spent a good portion of my time looking at everything and seeing why the hell everything seems to contain chocolate or peanut butter. Actually that's obviously a lie. What I mean is there will be the normal standard version of a product you'd normally find in a supermarket, then there's the chocolate version, a peanut butter version and a chocolate peanut butter version, if you can't make up your mind. Then some topping really out what you'd expect like, tuna covered cereal bars or cheese or carrots or chicken and it extends to other food stuffs of the alphabet.

In all honesty I went shopping twice, first time was to look at everything and deciding what I should consume while I'm in this country, then the second time I actually bought food, mainly salad bits because I hate cooking, peanut butter and jelly, bread and tofu...

To... Fu

What the hell is this stuff? It tastes like toe jelly, not that I've eaten toe jelly but my conclusion comes from it looks and acts like jelly but unstable and crumbles on the touch (this is the extra firm tofu too) and toe cause it tastes vile, like a toe... after a run... in a plastic bag... with dog dodo in it. I really need to get rid of this stuff, it's useless!

I've had tofu before and it's been OK, but this is shit, shit shit! And I'll probably still buy it though cause it's super cheap, I'll just need to mix it up with expensive sauce, problem solved!

Composed: Back at the house, Santa Monica

Not sure why this was urgent to share | 13th April 2011 | 14:46 PDT

The sign says "Good Brew Coffee Shop"

Crap coffee, friendly service. This place was an act of desperation, I've been trying to find somewhere to write these inane ramblings.

I'm currently sharing a table with these French people who proudly shared their inner-monologue about me, when their camera didn't work I and couldn't take the photo, idiot was one of the words they used, and they weren't that far off the truth – but they don't know me as well as I do, so I thought they were rude, but they are smoking and I will have the last laugh without coughing up black bile and phlegm in about 50 years time. Ha-ha!

Also, one of the troubles situating yourself near a tourist trap, you get trapped from that feeling of escape/freedom as every accent "Allo Guv'nor", "bonjour, tu baises idiot", "hallo, du Idiot Englisch" brings you straight back home, though any freedom in the US Somehow feels oxymoronic on a whole as an outside looking in.

It's probably no different anywhere else, just people being people, doing their best to get some food in the fridge and stay out of the hospital. I have a feeling this thought may change about The States, we'll see. I'll probably end up in prison as I conclude it's free.

Aww, now that's cute. A mother calling their child "Offspring" - "Offspring, offspring, c'om' 'ere"

Jet-lag still bringing me to sleep at 8pm and awaking me at 8am, 12 hours sleep, what the hell? No one needs that much and no one needs to get up that early, fucking ridiculous, I got loads of chilling to do awake, I can't waste it asleep.


Actually I have work to do, but an hour into it I gave up and went for a 10 mile walk on the beach from Montana Ave to Marina del Rey and around. I like to meditate every so often but nothing relaxes and clears your head more than walking by the ocean's edge on the sand, towards the sun, watching everyone getting on with their morning routine, which mainly seems to consist of running, sunbathing and surfing – everyone smiling and saying "hi!"

I may give this running on the beach a go, though it seems to be either muscle-bound Jason Bourne wannabes or super-old weather beaten snakes and despite the 60 year age gap they both run at 0.2 MPH, they're so slow, they still run faster than me though as I'm yet to do any. I can only imagine I'll leave wakes and craters in the sand from the sheer velocity of my majestic sprinting on the sand.

Composed: Sean's Café, Venice Beach

This really isn't a café, is it | 13th April 2011 | 08:57 PDT

The questionable café from the outside

I hate jet-lag, it had me awake until 11pm, and waking up at 6am, I don't know what time is any more, it's like being thrown into a blender of confusion and being poured out into a glass of confusion topped off with sprinkles of crazy - what the fuck am I on about? I think I have too much on my mind that I need to dispense that I couldn't extract yesterday cause of that awful

This is French café is pretty good, people smile at you and tip their hat when they sit down, strangers talk to each other, the authentic French staff (from Mexico) fresh feeling croissant with a slab of brie, it's a hub of calm with a shell of cool. There is something a bit odd with it all though, I am questioning myself whether if this is a really a café. There's a peppering of 20-30 somethings but it's mainly the grey brigade, could have changed by now as I haven't looked up in a while...

... Yep, its changed, far more mixed now other than the crazy grey with a plastic jacket on with a world map on it, which looks like it has been ripped straight out of a 1970s geography class, he's so hip he needs a replacement.

You learn to love it I guess.

What makes this a questionable café (yes, even though the average age has dropped severely as the time edges nearer to noon, I need to put my next observation into a context) is the classical music; The wonderfully, light, crisp, whimsical, free, eloquent, educated, gentle classical music. Being played so people on the space station can hear it, it's astronomically loud! It puts boy racer's loud sound systems to shame and I'm surprised the windows are still in their frames, it's much be registering on a richer scale somewhere in Dubai.

I think I've stumbled upon a... middle-aged day nightclub (shuts at 4pm) no wonder people are smiling at strangers and starting random conversations with them. I better down or hide my coffee, I don't want someone to date rape it and I wake up in the evening with a sore head and a sore... Then, have an awkward chat about the weather if they're there (maybe I'll have the chat to myself if they aren't) I'd then have to do some sort of night time walk of shame, most likely naked with strange photos on my digital camera.

It would also be a waste of a day and sunshine, I've got shopping to do, people to see, work to be done, I can't be wasting it being drugged and raped. Plus, don't these people have jobs (other than drugging tourists and selling them to the highest bidder)

Time to go I think

Composed: Rose Café & Market, Venice

First Supper | 12th April 2011 | 21:30 PDT

Hey you there! Not. So. Slow.

My entire experience at Mercede's Grill took as long as it will take to read this.


  -  Now... this is where it went wrong, my own error of course, it was when I was made out to be and branded "English" AKA "You-Don't-Tip-The-American-Way
-ish" from then, service deteriorated.

"Hi, sit wherever"
I sat therever
"Here's menu, water, crisp/chips"
"Thank you"

  -  I probably shouldn't have said "thank you" either as each one of those items were thrown, lobbed and launched over to my table. I suppose speedy service is what Americans do best and I doubt it has anything to do with the bitterness of this failed actor serving me. He gave me as much time to decide what I'd like to order than his last audition for that TV pilot, he also couldn't remember his lines... Sorry the 4 beers on the menu, one of which wasn't even served that day.

24 seconds later, salad and a pale ale ordered, as I write a few ponders down in the sunshine for a whole 24 seconds, that's when my evening meal was being hurtled across the restaurant's stratosphere. Being English, I thanked him for my tossed salad of substandardness. I clearly was taking too much time as 24 seconds later he took it away, along with my water and complimentary crisps/chips. Least I had beer to grasp on to...

So, I gulped down my entire beer in 2 rather large gulps and the bill was darted from the till to my table as soon as my empty glass touched the table. 24 seconds later I paid and left, leaving a healthy 20% tip, hopefully counteract their prejudice and make them feel really bad and guilty about their actions, like telling off a dog for shitting on the carpet, then feeling bad, giving it a treat and saying sorry.

I left there with them forcing a smile and saying "goodbye" - which is better than "bye" I guess. Maybe next time this happens I'll Frisbee back the food and hope to hit them square between their well-being... Yeah, take that! Maybe I'll learn how to administer proper effective revenge while I'm out here, perhaps there's a course on it.

The thing that got me about this experience is that I understand the more customer rotation, the more money you make and not everyone has good days at work, so if the restaurant was packed out with people, I'd understand. But it was just me and a family on holiday/vacation from butt-fuck nowhere within the states - damn family annoying the workers and ruining my service... C'est la vie

Composed: Cadillac Hotel, Venice

Opening Night | 12th April 2011 | 18:30 PDT

Oh hello again - Venice CA.

Early evening here on Venice Beach, flight was comfy enough, wine was free (probably be stealth charged later) and customs other than being miserable shits, were friendly and accommodating.

Nothing of any incident so far, taxi from the airport had no idea where he was, he also happily drove on the beach board-walk and almost ran some Jamaican over in front of his crew, he was a Vietnameses driver - so probably only job he can get to make a living to support him and his family etc. - fair game to him doing it and fucking up, I saved $5 on my cab fare, so win-win... No idea what I'm talking about, it's early morning in the UK so anything in my body requiring blood will suffer.

First sip of beer in the sunshine is brilliant, though it tastes like smoker's lung - must be American Authentic! So, the last time I was here was 2 years a go, for 3 days, instantly nothing has changed but then again, why would it? Same hotel, same room (up one floor) same scenes. It feels like home a little bit, or just familiar, I'm pretty certain once I get stabbed/shot/hassled I'll bottle up and hate everything.

Walking up the board-walk to the fishing pier with the sun on my back, people still selling the exact same things, placed the same way, just the artists of society just getting on with whatever suits them at the time, I think that's pretty awesome, money's nice, living is nicer.

Any who, the surroundings haven't changed, I was expecting a little, but nothing changes really just the finite amount of situations and dramas that life throws at us.

Though I should add that my trip here isn't really to "experience", it's to live how it'd like and not eat into my savings too much, It's a practice run before I venture off the beaten track, with laptop and wi-fi, it's also to tick off 2 of my "must do by the end of the year" new year's list, that my sister made me do in a pub one evening in December.

  1)  Live by the beach (Even for a bit)
  2)  Freelance successfully (more money in than out)

It's to test myself not to give it all up and see shit and go "great" like most backpackers do, I will be just as drunk though and until I get settled, it'll be hard to define the future and that's the fun - THE UNKNOWN!

Composed: Mercede's Grill, Marina del Rey