rants, reports, raves, and embarrassments from eric trules

los angeles

A Good Neighbor

Some people say, “Good fences make good neighbors.” I like to say, “you’re lucky if you find a good neighbor. Especially a good next door neighbor. Especially one who’s lived in the neighborhood longer than you have. One who will keep an eye on your dog when you leave town for a couple of weeks. And especially one who has fought Emile Griffith, ex-Middleweight Champion of the World. There he is. Gravel voice. Boxer’s pug face. One eye. Laugh like a happy machine gun. Eddie “El Gato” Gasporra. Echo Park resident since ‘81. Or was it ’85? Or ’89? He’s…

July 4th, 2015: Cassius & the Kid Soften the Curmudgeon

Yeah, ok, so I’m a curmudgeon. A parsimonious tough guy. On first approach, I have a stern face and a menacing growl. I put people off. I’m not very open to meeting new folks and not very easy to get to know. Some take it for arrogance, but c’mon, you know that’s not the real me. I’m just a big, over-sensitive softie. Inside, where it counts. All that barking and menacing? It’s just a front… a defense… a performance persona… to keep the hostile world at bay. It’s been that way ever since… well, forever. Or at least ever since…

Pigs, Pestilence & Rats

I’ve gotten 4 traffic tickets in the last 2 weeks. The first was for speeding on the 2 Freeway in Glendale, where the cop was in hiding under an overpass. An obvious speed trap! He said I was going 80. I said I was going no faster than anyone else in the left lane. Let’s see who’s right. I’ve called the Ticket Clinic. The 2nd was just a $73 parking ticket right here at Echo Park Lake. I was showing a new friend around the neighborhood. I was probably just in too expansive a mood, was unaware of the No…

“Dog Wars” in LA’s Elysian Park

“Road Rage”. We all know what that is, right? That explosive and provocative malady driven by frustration and self righteousness, overtaking ordinarily peace-loving auto drivers, at unpredictable (or perhaps very predictable) moments of pique anxiety and stress “on the road”. Especially in LA. Perhaps you have a touch of it. I know I do. Sitting in traffic, late for work, I sometimes “tap” on my horn to just “wake up” all the absent-minded, dull and distracted drivers in front of me. To get them to just “step on the gas” a bit, or perhaps… torun that yellow light, just a fraction after it’s turned to…

A Love Letter/Wake Up Call to LA Theater and Actors’ Equity

Here we go again. Just like the rabble-rousing “Waiver Wars” of the mid 80s — union meetings, passionate and heated rhetoric, mano-a-mano infighting — all about the well-being, membership, management, and dare I say, survival, of Los Angeles’s vital 99 seat theater scene. Check it out. As of this writing, there are 5834 members of a closed Facebook group called “Pro99”, created by 24th Street Theatre’s Jay McAdams and stating: “Pro99 is a community group who supports preserving 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles.” (www.facebook.com/groups/348992575287472/). It’s a big deal in this town, run primarily by the film and television entertainment industry,…

Hubris and the LA Sports Gods

I’m a native New Yorker. A sports junkie. I grew up worshipping the New York Yankees of the 50s and 60s. The Bronx Bombers. Mickey Mantle. Whitey Ford. World Series champs year after year. We took their winning for granted. Came to expect it. When the Yankees didn’t win, it was an aberration. Sure, ok, we were spoiled and conceited, and we knew the rest of the country hated us and our team, but we just… didn’t care. By the time Derek Jeter starting winning championships, I was already a fading fan. And now, with “The Cap”‘s 2014 retirement, I…

ripples in the pond

may 17, 2013 beware. this is a story of curmudgeonliness turning into beatitude. let’s start with the first. it’s the merry month of may. time for college graduations. i never go. never went to my own, never will. you know the routine: 1969… the me generation, protest, stick it to the man. my parents made me go to the college i never wanted to go to, just to save the dough. i certainly wasn’t gonna go to make them happy. i was socially inept, volcanic, and generally, i had a hard time making it out of adolescence. i didn’t need…

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby tree tops of tom mix hill (of legendary silent film cowboy lore), and lo and behold… the iconic hollywood sign itself.

the slow fade of the perfect easter lily

i go out and sit on the plump, stuffed designer chair on the narrow, red-tiled front porch, in a little corner i like to call “mi rincon de memoria” (my corner of memory), amongst the low hanging creeping charlies and the wood-carved mexican religious figurines, and i notice a single white easter lily growing through the green ground vegetation towards the black wrought-iron fence. it is singularly beautiful and very alone. i know that it is way too late in the season for a white easter lily to be growing in the garden. but there it is. i look a little closer to admire it, and i see that its white graceful edges are now fading to brown. in a few days, it will be gone. it stands there entirely alone, so fragile, in its slow, elegant decline. inevitably, it will crash like a springtime flower into the cold of september.

confessions of an ageing rage-aholic, part 2: the mad prof

and… i aim my RAV 4 directly at mike. he sees me coming and his eyes start bugging out of his head. captain of industry, huh, mike? mike tries to maneuver out of my way, practically falling off his tan beach cruiser. i hit the brakes to a full stop… about 2 inches from mike’s front wheel. mike looks terrified. he should be.

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