The Infinite Fountain of Love and Loss flows unceasingly into the pool of memory and sorrow. I created this blog in response to the most dreadful tragedy every parent fears, the death of a child, our 24 year old son, Jake. We are now on an unimagined journey along this road of grief and recovery. If you can find some comfort within these pages, than I will have succeeded in some small measure.
Terry has a cookie business, and a few times a year we do ‘shows’. Our favorite one so far is Artisanal L.A. A couple hundred local makers of artisanal food, crafts, beverages, music, and so on, gather to exhibit their wares to the public. We have had a booth there for a few years where we offer tastes of the cookies and sell them to the craft-minded people who have forked over a few dollars for the privilege. We usually do okay, the goal is to get our brand out in the marketplace, make new friends, and collect names for our mailing list. We also sell a few cookies.
Last year, the show was held in The Magic Box, an event venue on South Broadway. It is quite an experience. Folks show up on Friday with all the fixings for their 10 x 10 space and transform the second floor of The Reef into an amazing festival of locally produced goods. Saturday and Sunday are all-day affairs with thousands of people streaming by asking for samples. We spend a lot of time cutting and offering little cups with a piece of cookie. We might give out 1,500 samples over the two days. The best thing about the shows are the other vendors. We barter cookies for whatever we find interesting, kombucha, beef jerky, cheese, handmade crafts, it’s a lovely community.
These 4 cow-inspired chairs are in the lobby of the building, I shot them on our way out, late Sunday evening after two hectic days. I was in such a hurry to get home, I didn’t check the shot until later, but I kind of like the out of focus look for this one.
We recently got a new brew pub here in Venice. Walker Firestone opened this brewery/bar/restaurant/retail store in what was originally a Sizzler restaurant. Called ‘The Propagator’, they brew some of the beer here on the premises, import some from elsewhere, and have a bottle shop with some of their most popular six packs. You can get a 2-quart growler of most any draft and a big 22-ounce can that they fill and seal right at the bar.
They offer a bewildering array of varieties, some 20 or so, with perennial favorites and a rotating selection of various projects F/W is working on. Wild yeasts, high gravity (read high alcohol, like 14%), blends, fruit infused, and so on. Most of their beer is of the hoppy IPA style that has become so popular. Personally, I find much of it is too bitter. I prefer a darker, maltier brew with the hops in balance, not overpowering. We went shortly after their grand opening. We haven’t been back since. Some of the beer is good, the food so-so. Thus ends the commercial.
These benches are in the foyer cum lobby where you wait for a table. Presumably, some days you can watch the minions going about their brewing chores if you sit there long enough.
Here’s another guest photo from one of our regular contributors. I don’t have the story of why she was at the Mental Health Center, she is one of the mentally healthiest people I know. Maybe she was waiting for a friend. Notice how the fence outside the window is set up to keep people in. Hmmm.
Having other folks send me photos brings new perspectives to the Project that I truly appreciate. Thus far we have 6 outside contributors and are always looking for more. Please email me via the link with your shots of waiting, or if you have any philosophical commentary on waiting or any of the photos, please feel free to leave a comment. The Waiting Room Project belongs to all of us. Remember, “They also serve who only stand (or sit) and wait.”
I have participated in a few marketing research surveys over the years. Typically, you take a pre-survey to see if you qualify and if you do, you are invited to participate. They usually involve a new product or re-branding of an old one, and you sit in a group from one to 20 and give your ‘input’. The products range from hard drives to healthcare, baby products to beverages. For your time, you are compensated with cash, a check, or lately a gift card. It is an easy gig, I’m pretty opinionated; I wish I could do it at least once a week.
This survey mandated that I bring a friend to participate or I couldn’t qualify. So the two of us trekked to the offices of this company in the Marina. Spacious, well-lit, this company provides conference rooms with audio-visual capabilities, everything is taped, huge wall to wall one-way mirrors behind which sit the faceless minions observing, taking notes or whatever faceless minions do while the public is offering its opinions, and cheerful interviewers. The ‘sponsor’ or client whose product we are evaluating is rarely present, but it’s impossible to know who is sitting in those darkened rooms behind the glass.
This interview lasted a little over half an hour, and my friend and I departed a little richer for simply giving our reactions to a series of slides with graphic designs. That’s all I can say, there is always an NDA involved. I have never seen more than one or two people in the spacious waiting room. This day, there were two folks sitting around the corner, but I especially liked the perspective of this hallway.
Here’s another guest photo. Marty has sent me pictures before, so he is a full-fledged member of the Waiting Room Project. I am intrigued by this one. There are several elements that are unique. There is a child’s chair next to the blackboard but no chalk. What is in the cup on that chair? What is that object on the left side of the frame? Who are the Apex Artists? So many questions. Thank you, Marty, for a most provocative photo.
This pic is of my friend Rakefet waiting for her car at the Sixty Hotel in Beverly Hills. She has graciously given us permission to post it here. An inveterate selfie shooter, the Waiting Room Project welcomes another member. She is an enormously talented actor, comedian, and now film producer finishing her first short film. If you get a chance to catch her act, don’t miss it. Thanks, Kef, for the photo.
(NB. When a guest shoots in color, I post the unedited photo as shot. Stay tuned for more guest pictures.)
We were here last year with our cat, Dudley. He developed a limp that wouldn’t go away. At first our regular vet, Dr. Dean thought it was tendonitis and treated him for it. It got better and then came back. At one point he could barely put any weight on his right front paw. After some expensive X-rays, Dr. D noticed an anomaly at the top of Dudley’s humerus, the upper arm bone. His preliminary diagnosis – bone cancer. It had turned the top of his bone where it meets the shoulder into a spongy looking mass with a chip of bone floating in the joint. He recommended us to the VCG for a more detailed opinion.
Sure enough, Dr. Pierro confirmed the diagnosis. The treatment? Amputation of the entire arm. Drastic, sure, but there wasn’t a choice. Expensive? You bet. We started a You Caring fundraiser for him, and sure were overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of friends, family, and surprisingly total strangers who contributed to his surgery. (If you want to donate, just click the You Caring link. It’s still active.) It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before.
It was traumatic for all of us, but Dudley pulled through, and amazingly, doesn’t seem the worse for it. He still leaps onto the roof of our house, jumps onto the 6-foot high wall, and roams the neighborhood just as before. The one thing he can’t do is climb trees, or scoop his food out of his bowl with his paw as he used to do. But for a tri-pawd, he gets around pretty darn well.
The VCG is a wonderful place. All the folks who work there are caring and compassionate. The waiting room is spacious, clean, and modern. I don’t know what the person and her companion in the photo were waiting for but I’m sure they were well taken care of.
Here’s another guest post, this one from my friend L. While not technically a waiting room, he was waiting to see the doctor and I love this shot. The neatly folded gown, the clean paper. It’s as if they are waiting for the patient. You can wait nearly anywhere, and as this Project expands, we are seeing more interpretations of the concepts.
The more people participate, the better this gets. Thank you, L. for thinking of us and for the wonderful shot.
The Waiting Room Project adds another contributor. This guest post is from a friend who takes the Los Angeles Expo line from her home in Santa Monica to work downtown. She has been posting wonderful pictures of her journeys, and today, sent me this one. I love it. It embodies everything of what the Project is about. Excellent photography taken with a smartphone (in this instance a Galaxy III), the variety of waiting areas, the feeling of a nearly abandoned space, and there, in the distance, a lonely soul or two waiting for the train. Perfect.
I am excited that the WRP is gaining a little traction with other people. Please send me your waiting room photos to share. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a room. I will be posting them as they come in, and want to thank all the contributors past and future, in advance, for taking this project to another level.
This is what was my local bank. I did business with Bank of America for many years with my former business. Originally, we used a BofA that was across the street from our accountant in Westchester and had a spectacular personal banker there named Ellen. She took great care of us and our business accounts. BofA has a lot of regulations surrounding its business accounts, someone once characterized it as a law firm that accepted deposits, but Ellen always managed to make it easy for us. But it was a schlep for me to deposit the checks in Westchester, so I mostly used the ATM at my local branch on the Venice traffic circle. Ellen retired and we changed accountants around the same time so I officially moved our accounts to this branch.
We had a couple of personal accounts there as well. Jake had one and we used our account to transfer money to him occasionally. We never kept much money in there, we don’t use BofA for our primary personal banking.
I”m not quite sure why I was in this bank last year, perhaps to finally close our last remaining accounts. While the lobby isn’t exactly completely empty, it isn’t exactly bustling with activity either. This photo captures two distinct waiting areas and not a customer in sight.