Sunday, September 30, 2007

Swerving Away From The Action

It was a sunny, warm early autumnal Sunday, which was just fine for the Militant as he still wishes it were Summer and not Fall. Close enough.

So there was some event called the Swerve Festival going on this weekend at various locales, including Barnsdall Park, where the Militant had to attend to some covert Militant activities, totally unrelated to the festival. The Militant was never really clear what this festival was all about, but according to the website, it's described as, " a new annual festival dedicated to celebrating West Coast creative culture and its community inspired by art, film, music and action sports." Which is odd, as the Militant - a Southern California native - considers himself interested in an unspecified number of those activities, yet never found much in this festival that really interested him. He did see some sort of environmentally-oriented exhibit (pictured above), which included an ethanol-powered grill that cooked popcorn which was for sale, a long row of decorated recycling bins and a set of stationary bicycles that recharged car batteries. The Militant thinks eco-stuff, as long as it's not too paleskinned hippy-dippy-flower- power in nature, is totally cool, as there's a purpose behind it, but nothing else looked that interesting, really. And there was hardly anyone in the park, which had much more vibrant atmosphere the previous weekend when it hosted Thai Cultural Day in the exact same space, so perhaps this festival didn't gain much local interest after all.

To be fair to the Swerve folks, though, there were a whole lot of other events happening this weekend, so maybe it was hard to get that captive audience. Hey, timing is everything. And perhaps this being the n00b phase for this particular festival, it takes time, and a reputation, to grow. But maybe next time they could be a little more focused on their theme or purpose. Over the past few months, the Militant attended the Feast of San Gennaro, Thai Cultural Day, FPAC , an arts festival in Little Armenia and the Lotus Festival to sample and learn more about the Italian, Thai, Filipino, Armenian and Asian/Pacific Islander cultures, respectively. The Militant still wasn't clear what kind of culture, theme or focus was being represented at Swerve.

Bussin' It West

The Militant hung out with an out-of-state operative visiting town for the weekend, who wanted to try out the (M) Orange Line busway for the first time (the operative quite enjoyed it) and rode the (M) Red Line subway towards the general vicinity of the Militant's compound. The Militant wanted the operative, a pizza connoisseur, to try out his favorite pizzeria, and since the operative already was in possession of a Metro Day Pass, the Militant recommended they ride Metro Rapid 704 to La Cienega Ave. The westbound bus was rather packed on a Sunday early afternoon, much to the surprise of both the Militant and the operative, who flew into town from a nearby state. After alighting at their destination and walking three blocks south, they sampled some slices of pie. which is normally quite good and currently subjected to various online accolades. Unfortunately, the re-heated slices were left in the oven a bit too long that they were slightly charred and worst of all, the namesake owner was not on the premises, which, according to various foodie types, partaking in a conversation with is part of the experience. The pizza was "good, but not amazing," according to the operative. But the operative was open to trying out the place again.

On the 704 ride back, after the operative showed the Militant some digital camera pics taken in the Central California coast over the weekend, the name "Atascadero" was a key word for another rider, a somewhat raggedy man in his 60s, to join in the conversation. He went on to mention that he spent time at the state hospital in that Central Coast town and once met serial killer John Wayne Gacy there. The operative continued the conversation with awkward fascination while the Militant politely nodded, but while writing this entry the Militant discovered that Gacy was never institutionalized there and in fact lived (and was subsequently imprisoned) in Illinois. Guess people can be so broken, so isolated, that they'd say anything for a conversation. Though the other rider wasn't threatening in any way, it's telling to see how mental illness might just become this country's downfall, affecting people from the very poor to the very rich.

But at least for today, the sun still shone for everyone who wanted to be under it.

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