snack journal

One can hearts of palm
A couple scoops of guacamole
Squeeze of lemon
Green salsa from across the street
Cracked pepper
A little bit of creole seasoning

Hearts of palm are perhaps my favorite canned veggie.

ciao coachella

It's the time of year when every entertainment journalist in LA poops their pants over Coachella.  Sorry, poops HIS or HER pants.

I realized that the time in my life where I may have been interested in this music festival is over.  And its not just me, Coachela has changed too.  Can it really be passed off as indie anymore?  Look at this year's lineup.

To be sure, there are a few acts that I'd be really excited to see, like The Knife, Girl Talk, Lana Del Rey, and Arcade Fire, but going through the whole three day shit show wouldn't be worth it.

The rest of it seriously looks like a lineup of a KIIS FM Jingle Ball with a couple of 90's grunge acts thrown in for street cred and then three lines of illegible stuff of who even knows what it says.

If I see another add for "festival clothing," or another article on which celebrities went out to Palm Springs last weekend, or another MDMA-fueled tank top-wearing muscular dude posting instagram photos of the daytime rave at the Sahara tent, I will retreat from society.

That said, all this inner rage in my head toward Coachella is making me want to go to a show, go camping, or go to Burning Man.  It's not that I want to stay home on the couch and watch SNL alone, its that I'd like to experience something different, grittier, subversive... albeit maybe where people pick up their own trash and where beer consumption isn't regulated to an out of the way locale and where the median age is above 23 and where people don't care about wearing the latest from Urban Outfitters.

Oh man, I am so crotchety.

Here's a smattering of photos from when James and I went four years ago.  It's all you need to know.

my minds telling me noooo..... but my bunny... my bunny's tellin me yeeeessssss

I've learned a ton about rabbits today.

 - First and foremost, they're hilarious to just sit and look at.

 - They eat hay and kibble.

 - They play with cardboard.

 - They're a lot bigger than I thought they would be - like ten pounds!  The size of cats.

 - Some white ones have red eyes.

 - One of them tried to bite me.  I think they're adorable but they sort of scare me because they're unfamiliar.  A lot of absolutely unscary animals scare me.

 - You can donate used toilet paper rolls, cardboard, newspaper, and tiles to your shelter and they'll all be used in caring for the bunnies.

There are about twenty at the North Central LA animal shelter, where I volunteered today.  The supervisor said that people bring them in after buying them from street vendors (specifically in Santee Alley, also home of the bacon-wrapped street hotdog) and realizing that they're a lot of work and live for ten years.  I guess those who drop them off usually lie and say they were found at a park.

It's funny to consider the stuff on earth that you don't pay attention to until you're cleaning out its kibblepoop-littered cage.  I made up songs about them as I made the rounds (in case you wanted to know, most of the songs just consisted of me taking an existing song and changing the word body to bunny) and have watched like ten Youtube rabbit videos since I got home.

Volunteering was fun.  I felt like I was working on a farm, listening to dogs howling and roosters crowing, handling hay and being outside.  It was pretty solitary work, which fits for most people who love animals but feel awkward around humans.

It occurred to me that I would rather wipe up rabbit pee for free than work as a property manager at my old job.

Here's an LA Times article from a few years ago about an LA fashion district bunny selling bust.

Here's a news clip also.

Note - Okay I definitely did not mean to do this, but Easter is this weekend.  Weird.

wildin' out

This month's issue of National Geographic features the American trend of owning undomesticated exotic animals as pets.  I assume it happens elsewhere too... I think I've seen photos of tigers riding along in some sultan's sports car in Dubai, eating diamonds or something.

But this was about how each USA state has different laws about keeping bears, tigers, lions, cougars, pythons, and wolves, to name a few of the most familiar storybook creatures.  In California, it's prohibited.  In Nevada, five hours east, there are no laws or regulations, so having your own backyard zoo is technically easier and cheaper than getting a license to have a dog.

I really love animals.  Especially dogs, but sometimes I get tripped out by the fact that we basically own a living thing and that's an entirely accepted part of our culture.  But dogs love us, too.  And they couldn't survive on their own, probably.  So having a pet dog isn't the same as keeping a big-ass bear in a fenced enclosure, right?  To some people, maybe it is the same.  I think one of the most interesting things in the world is to learn about is the treatment of animals in other cultures, even if that "otherness" is just some man in Idaho who has different ideas about pet tigers than I do, or even some family down the street that will buy a new dog from a pet store instead of a shelter. 

Because I would never EVER think about getting a pet that's not a dog, cat, rabbit, or anything that's not on this domesticated animal list from Wiki.  Like, EVER.  Besides being scared of anything that I suspect could eat me (yes, that's you, large dogs), I think it's so wrong to have animals in a too-small cage just so you can look at some tigers every day.  And even with animals that aren't predators, like kangaroos, is it really necessary to keep them instead of a dog?  Will they ever really love you back?  Do they want to be in captivity? 

Do I think zoos are wrong?  They provide a lot of beneficial research, kids can go to see wildlife (and in turn give a shit about it), and they are a proper well-funded environment in which to live.  Maybe I think they're creepy, but I can accept them easier than I can accept the fact that we farm entire species just to eat - and yeah, I accept that too because I eat meat, but it still skeezes me out when I think about it too much.  

Okay, I 'm waaaaaayyyy off on a tangent.  My point is, who is to say who is right about any of this?  From where I'm writing, where pet dogs are as beloved as human children and you never see a wild animal more exotic than a squirrel, it's easy to be like, "fuck those hicks in Ohio," and move on with your day.  Maybe I should get a midwest pen pal so that I can understand them instead.

So, the link to the article is here, in the April 2014 issue.  It's a pain in the ass because Nat Geo makes you sign up for an account before you read it, but it costs nothing and I think their articles and photos are worth the time spent creating a password and sifting through future email spam.  The photos below are also from the website.

In addition, I found a feature in GQ (I know, of all places) about Terry Thompson, who was mentioned in Nat Geo for releasing all 56 of his exotic pets into his neighborhood in Ohio before killing himself.  It's really sad and bizarre.

And here is a website where you can buy one of these things.
Kinkajou - $2500
Prairie dog - $150
Zebra - $4900
Baby camel - $15000
Skunk - $700
Sloth - $7500
Capybara - $800
Warthog - $4500
Capuchin monkey - $7900
Lion cub - $2500
Female red kangaroo - $3250
Orange tiger - $1000
Brown bear - $1250

The Elephant in the Living Room is a fascinating documentary on the subject as well.  I watched it on Netflix last year and it was the first I'd heard of any of this stuff.