September 25, 2012 |
Visionaries. Blake had a special name for them: "Mental Travellers. " Their bodies might be enslaved, but not their minds, which roamed and saw things "cold earth wanderers never knew. " If you consider yourself one of these travelers, you're in good company. Think of the Buddha, Blake himself or Jean-Dominique Bauby ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") - mental travelers all. Nostradamus too. Seated on an uncomfortable chair in the upper room of his home in Salon-de-Provence, seeing shapes from the far-off future, the 16th century Frenchman was a mental traveler par excellence.
January 8, 2012 |
Question: When I moved into my apartment, I knew the refrigerator was old. One weekend I filled it with food for a family barbecue and it broke down. I was at work all day and didn't realize this until a number of hours later. I called my property manager but it was the weekend and a new unit wasn't installed for two more days. By then, the food was ruined. I have asked the manager to pay the cost of the lost food, but she has refused. I was thinking about deducting the cost from next month's rent, but I don't want to get into trouble.
July 17, 2011 |
In his twilight years, Zhang Shan has simplified his daily schedule to the bare essentials: Wake up, eat breakfast, walk to Shuangxing Bathhouse and undress. The bathhouse, on the southern outskirts of the Chinese capital, is a remnant of a time long past when homes here lacked plumbing and all bathing was communal. The bathhouse was also a social gathering point where men flocked to sweat, talk politics and relax. But now, local authorities with an eye toward redevelopment appear intent on demolishing what is believed to be the last traditional public bathhouse in Beijing and the social culture that emanates from it. Zhang, 67, used to commute more than an hour by public bus to fulfill his daily ritual, but two years ago he moved within walking distance.
January 19, 2011 |
When it comes to the crime-based fiction that long has played such an important role in the literary life of Los Angeles, we're living through what amounts to a golden age. The dark ecstasies of James Ellroy, Michael Connelly's artful probing of the inner monologue, Joe Wambaugh's explorations of black comedy as morality play, Walter Mosley's blend of empathy and formal ambition and T. Jefferson Parker's propulsive but pitch-perfect works of...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2010 |
Angry homeowners in rural Calabasas persuaded city leaders early Thursday to delay approval of a strict new building code after charging that neither citizens nor the City Council itself had been given time to read the 134 pages of changes. Residents of Old Topanga Canyon and other mountainous neighborhoods on the southern edge of the upscale town southwest of the San Fernando Valley are already at war with the city after a crackdown on reputedly leaky septic tanks triggered a flurry of citations for alleged zoning violations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2010 |
Two Los Angeles city workers accused of defrauding the Department of Water and Power pocketed thousands of dollars by marking up the cost of furniture and other materials delivered to the offices used by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's five-member DWP commission, officials said Friday. Over the past two years, the utility obtained new office furniture for the utility's executives, even though there was no money in its budget for such expenditures, said Joe Ramallo, a spokesman for the utility.