Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gridlock on the Strip

Gridlock on the Strip, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Vegas Waters

Vegas Waters, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My childhood lunch

My childhood lunch, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Growing up in Jamaica, this would be my typical lunch, a meat patty and coco bread with a drink from the local little stores cum bakeries. In Jamaica, the stores were usually owned by chinese folk. Another favorite lunch were fruit buns and cheddar cheese but then we had the idea to have patties in the buns. Mmm, sweet and salty.

So, yeah - comfort food.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sin City Roller Girls and Fan

Sin City Roller Girls and Fan, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Carnegie Deli in the Mirage

The Problem with Vegas Buffet

One of the things I was looking forward to in Vegas, were the legendary all you can eat buffets.

I now have a Buffet Belly (tm) to show I have indeed checked some out. And theyre as advertised - a lotta food for not a lotta money (most of them). However, its not all blintzes and creme.

- There are no longer 24 hour buffets in Las Vegas.

One security guard said "Every day someone comes up asking for a 24 hour buffet. There hasnt been one in Vegas for 10 years."

Sonuvabitch. There are times when I want a deep buffet at 2am.

Not that all is lost - there are ways to get good cheap eats after hours, but you kinda have to know where to go.

- Limited hours on the buffet.

Similar, but a sort of different complaint. Most buffet hours end at 10pm, which means you want to arrive at 9pm the latest to be able to be served and eat without hurrying. And you have to wait till 7 or 8am for the buffet to open. And THEN the buffet hours change depending on if Lunch, Dinner or breakfast is being served, so only Dinner is expansive. And naturally, it tends to be the most expensive, as the prices change depending on the meal period .

So, you have to arrive on time for Breakfast or Lunch and not too late for dinner.

- The selection can suck.

Here is the thing about cheap buffets... It is All you can eat, but the cheaper it is, the less the selection.

Granted, there is only just so much food one can consume at a sitting, but jeez.

- The quality varies wildly.

The food ranges from sublime to adequate, to average to inedible, tending to the adequate. A lot depends on the chef running the show, but when shovelling out mass quantities of food, the first thing to go is quality. Some do a great job making sure there is always fresh food out there, but at least you can shove the inedible food away without consequences.

I hear the better buffets do a good job of quality, but they tend to be on the expensive side.

That said, the buffets are a great way to eat cheaply, and well, in this town. And I have a lot more exploring to do.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sunning on the strip

Sunning on the strip, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Copenhagen Girls @ the Rodeo

Copenhagen Girls @ the Rodeo, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


walkway, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vegas Cruiser

Vegas Cruiser, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life Lessons

1. To thine own self be true.
2. All leaders are passionate about their beliefs, even the ones you don’t like.
3. Trust your gut after you have listened, studied and learned from those with a diverse range of opinions.
4. You never know who is watching, so work as hard as you can regardless of the assignment.
5. Don’t stay in your comfort zone too long.
6. As my grandmother would say: put yourself in the path of lightning.
7. Be flexible because opportunities rarely knock at the most opportune moments.
8. Take time to be kind to everyone.
9. Focus on your priorities.
10. In order to lead, someone must follow.
11. Effective leadership depends on your ability to connect and motivate people, not on your title, position or power.
12. Set high standards for yourself and your team (lead by example).
13. Take the time to develop personal relationships all along the way, and really cultivate those upon whom you depend. In order for them to help you, they must know you. And you must know what will motivate them. Nurture them so they can help you lead. They must believe in not just your ideas, but you.
14. Good will matters.
15. Women are particularly good at listening and studying their audience.
16. Have the courage to make tough decisions.
17. When you lead, not everyone will follow, and that’s okay.
18. You will fail. Don’t take your failures or your success too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself. Trust me. It helps.
19. Affiliate yourself with worthy institutions, lead by good people who share your core values.
20. You can have it all, just not at the same time, and in the proportions you may want.
21. To those who much is given, much is expected.

from Valerie Jarrett's Life Lesson list

Dawn over the Vegas Strip

Dawn over the Vegas Strip, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

New York Steak, Vegas Style

New York Steak, Vegas Style, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Vegas Graveyard Special. 4 bux at the California Hotel, downtown Las Vegas.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Las Vegas Metro Police

Las Vegas Metro Police, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Everyody deserves a second chance

Today's horrorscope sed:

The mistakes you've made in the past are all in the past! So to spend time regretting them today is a monumental waste of your time, especially if you are trying to set goals for your future. Because when you're thinking about what to do next in your life, you have to put what you've already done in your life out of your mind. Be careful starting new projects when you're in a reflective frame of mind, because you won't be able to be objective. You'll shy away from things you shouldn't fear.

Im putting old relationships behind. Old limitations. Old feelings.

I really do feel like a new man here in Las Vegas. Well, refurbished.

As Bugsy Seigel would say "Everybody deserves a second chance".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seafood salad @ the Flamingo

Seafood salad @ the Flamingo, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Eating @ Bugsy's Place.

Jpennant: Im liking Vegas
glinessa: you said that before
Jpennant: feels like Im in a recovery ward
Jpennant: recovering from not just LA, but SF too
glinessa: lol
Jpennant: I feel like a refurbished man
Jpennant: :)
glinessa: refurbished? lol
Jpennant: Im too old to be new :)

Yeah, Im feeling a peace of mind I havent felt in a long long time.

The emotional attachments and feeling of trying to survive in a high expense environment (NY, Berkeley, SF, LA) is slipping away. Hell, Im feeling so good..

Jpennant: Im even slowly getting back into writing again
glinessa: good for you!

Yeah, Im feeling good.

As long as I dont gamble my life away here in Vegas. :)
Today's horrorscope sez:

Today is a great day to formulate your plans and organize a list of things you need to do in order to prepare for a new work project or opportunity. You need to start putting more effort into growing your career and pushing yourself to reach for goals that are a little bit higher than you are comfortable with -- you need to stretch! Remember that your boss is a human being, and sometimes a simple casual conversation can lay the foundation for your future.
Yep, thats congruent with how Im feeling.

I am feeling like all that juvenile baggage Ive carried around for decades can go now, and I am dreaming too small. Now is the time to push them through.

Yep, feeling irie.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vegas Deals

Vegas Deals, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Things are slow in Vegas right now, they want you there. Heckuva deals.

Living Las Vegas

Since Ive arrived in Las Vegas, Ive learned a few things....

Vegas Sunset- Las Vegas is a beautiful place.

Sitting in a spacious valley surrounded by colorful, age old rocks and clear skies, it is an amazingly beautiful place. The sunsets and sunrises can be spectacular.

- Las Vegas is weirdly normal.

Yes, it is Sin City and there are slot and video poker machines in every supermarket and 7-11 but it doesnt feel like the 24 hour freak show that LA or San Francisco can be.

- Las Vegas is part of the Southern California metroplex.

The California border is only a few miles west of Las Vegas, Vegas being at the foothills of the Sierra mountains. It is only a few hours to LA or San Diego and not that much farther from San Francisco.

- I could live here

Living expenses arent outrageous, fees are cheaper than california, there are hourly flights to literally EVERYWHERE in the US and for the first time in probably ever - Id buy a house here, violating my philosohy that owning a house is a serious liability. It is a short driving and flying distance to LA and SF, with direct flights to New York, so it is within range for business and pleasure. The people are congenial, the casinos feed you cheaper than you buying your food and the weather is desert, but bearable.

I never felt at ease in California. Here, I dont mind.

My plans are only to be here through the Winter, but...

Hey, Im surprised too.

Thai BBQ chicken with sweet garlic sauce

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dragon @ SEMA

Dragon @ SEMA, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

My archetype.

The Dragon personality

The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast - the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority. Therefore, those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected.

The key to the Dragon personality is that Dragons are the free spirits of the Zodiac. Conformation is a Dragon's curse. Rules and regulations are made for other people. Restrictions blow out the creative spark that is ready to flame into life. Dragons must be free and uninhibited. The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale - big ideas, ornate gestures, extreme ambitions. However, this behavior is natural and isn't meant for show. Because they are confident, fearless in the face of challenge, they are almost inevitably successful. Dragons usually make it to the top. However, Dragon people be aware of their natures. Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled. Even though they are willing to aid when necessary, their pride can often impede them from accepting the same kind of help from others. Dragons' generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon's self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.

Funny thing, it wasnt until I got past my 20's did I appreciate that aspect of my personality.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It was when I rolled into Las Vegas that it struck me - It all felt very familiar.

Not in the sense of just having seen pictures of Las Vegas before (pictures never give a true sense of what a place is like anyway). No, like Ive lived here a long time, as familiar as Chicago or New York feels to me.

I have NEVER been to Vegas before, let me emphasize.

If that wasnt weird enough, the other night I was talking to a couple while riding one of Las Vegas's double decker buses, then it dawned on me, the conversation I was having, the surroundings felt awfully familar, like a movie Id seen before.

Then it happened.

A young woman came on the bus with a stroller. As I watched she came over and put the baby carrier next to me, and I saw the towel covering the baby. I recognized the colors and pattern of the towel.

This towel had a picture SpongeBob Squarepants, but I recognized the writing - "Bob Esponja Pantalones". And thats when I realized I was havign a deja vu moment. A weird one.

I couldnt make this up.

Does this mean I will be in Vegas for awhile?

Let use see.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yes, I went there

Yes, I went there, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Best dinner buffet deal on the Strip

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Water Show

Water Show, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Landing Path

Landing Path, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Only @ Fry's

Only @ Fry's, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

I swear, until I found a New York Post @ the California Casino, I could not find one paper with news of the historic Obama win anywhere in Las Vegas, except for this one @ Fry's Electronics. Someone said the local paper had to print more copies to feed the demand.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Crawdads @ the Orleans

Crawdads @ the Orleans, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

The Buffet in the Orleans Casino.

Monday, November 03, 2008

On the road to Vegas

On the road to Vegas, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Barstow, CA

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the grass was madd sublime

the grass was madd sublime, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flower from my mom's casket

Flower from my mom's casket, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Bus Stand

Bus Stand, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

I keep thinking of this ad when I think "Las Vegas" :)

tea pour

tea pour, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Arm of the Law

Arm of the Law, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

@ the Little Tokyo starbux.

The joint is always full of LAPD and LA County Sherriff officers. This is essentially the coffee and donuts joint nearest to LAPD headquarters, even though most of the officers tend to scones instead of donuts.

People I held in my palm as newborns.

My niece and little brother.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Public Toilet

Public Toilet, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Glide Path

Glide Path, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Descending into LAX.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strawberry Fields

I learned a new slang term here in LA... "Strawberry" aka a woman who sells sex and blow jobs for crack or to get money for crack or LSD.

In talking about getting sex, my room mate spoke of the recovering addicts in downtown LA as "Rebuilt Strawberries". Heh.

Los Angeles, in my opinion is a feminine city, not a masculine city like New York. And the term "Rebuilt Strawberry" applies SO well to the city.

I finished reading "The memoirs of a Hollywood SuperMadam", where Jody "BabyDol" Gibson recounts her days running escort services for LA's rich and mighty, naming names. What shocked me was that she never had to recruit women in LA - they came to HER, and the list of actresses, models and the like that worked for her would boggle the mind. The rotating cast of women on "Two and a Half Men" should give one an idea of the type of women she employed as contractors.

But it clarified a lot of the things I saw and people I met in LA. "Rebuilt Strawberry" fits.

Friday, October 24, 2008

MacArthur Park sunset

MacArthur Park sunset, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Boots in Little Tokyo

Boots in Little Tokyo, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

They were attracting a LOT of attention.

Near and Far

I had a dream that had someone Ive never met, but known online for a few years was in it.

Weird. And I think this same person was in a dream of mine before. Very weird. Particularly since she isnt even in the country.

This got me to thinking about the different people Ive had the privilege to meet, and not met after having known them online.

I am, by nature, on the reclusive side, so I add people to my life grudgingly and rarely bother with the socializing. However, if Ive known someone for over a year say, I tend to consider them a friend with rights and loyalty accorded. To a certain extent, I do that with people Ive met over the Internet, but Im more wary about them. I've learned they are essentially strangers who just happen to know more about me than the average person. Until you have that eye to eye, see them, smell thenm and eyeball their quirks, you can never really truly get to know people.

Over the years, I have met several of these folk in the flesh. Most are who they seem to be, but with the additional subtext of interacting in the flesh. I can think of one who has become a good friend "in real life", but thats about it. There are some Ive never met, and may not ever meet, but I consider them trusted friends, but it is unlikely we will ever meet in person, primarily because of distance.

That said, if it werent for the folk Ive met online - I wouldve never gotten onto this crazy ride Im on... :)

Hanging with the Yams

Hanging with the Yams, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Why a Mental Health Day in LA counts as a medical emergency

While living in Berkeley years ago, a friend from LA looked at me as if I were crazy when I told him I planned on going to LA.

"People there are ASS-holes."

Turned out he knew a little of what he was talking about.

Spoke to him on chat today, giving him a summarization of my experiences here.

Me: LA isnt all bad, but its most definitely a different state of mind. Your words kept resonating in my head.

Steve: I tried to warn you. Don't get me wrong there are some good people there but it is so much about appearances and materialism and who you can say who you know in show Biz


Ive been in LA for six months now, and Im taking a break from the place.It is amazing to go to a place that is so brutal mentally that people crack under the pressure.

I havent cracked, but Ive taken too many blows to the head here. So much so - I need a break.

Heh, so Im going to Vegas for a mental break.

Doc's orders. :)

It is so bad here that the welfare people here will exempt you from their requirements if they feel you cant mentally take the pressure. Seriously.

Of course, many in LA will scoff and say it is no different than elsewhere. I beg to differ.

Still, what doesnt kill you, can make you stronger.

But I now understand why Las Vegas exists. It is LA's decompression capsule.

Nissei Festival

Nissei Festival, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Sunset Strip

Sunset Strip, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The view from my apartment, Bayonne 2001

This was the view from my apartment in Bayonne. Normally, the skies normally would be filled with planes circling to land at any of four of the NY airports. This shows an almost empty sky.

The plane contrail in the middle of the sky is that of a patrolling F-16, as for months after 9/11, no planes were allowed in the New York airspace, and those that were had to fly proscribed routes (still do) or risk getting shot out of the air.

signage @ American Eagle

signage @ American Eagle, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Today's horrorscope sed

It won't be long before you are back to your best and looking for ways to make your mark on the world. In the meantime, conserve your energy - you are going to need it.

Over the next few days you will get the opportunity to look into the future and see how the work side of your life is likely to evolve. If you don't like what you see there is still time to change it. Your future is not written in stone - yet.

Bagel Cart, 2001

Bagel Cart, 2001, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Dear lord, I miss this, cold weak coffee and all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brooklyn 2001

Brooklyn 2001, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

The subway stop for my mom's house in Brooklyn.

Except for Allan's and Hammond's Bakeries, I have little reason to get off there now. :(

Friday, October 17, 2008

Movie setTo a degree that has surprised me, being in LA has made me understand better how movies are made.

For example, the movie Mr & Mrs Smith, although set in New York, was filmed mostly in LA, as are the majority of feature fims and TV shows for logistics reasons, primarily. I recently rewatched that movie and could pick out where in Downtown LA.

For instance the scene where the Smiths have their confrontation on a construction site, was supposedly set at a skyscraper, but was actually filmed at the construction of LA's CalTrans "Death Star" located across the street from LA's City Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles. The building is not even a skyscraper, they put in a cut shot (heh, "cut shot") of the Bloomberg Building in New York to give the impression of it being a 70 story skyscraper.

To the unsurprise of many Los Angelenos, Downtown Los Angeles substitutes for many different urban locales so that unless you know what you are looking at, so to my surprise, the iconic shot of Angelina Jolie jumping from the penthouse suite of a building in Manhattan and upon reaching the sidewalk, she blithely stepped into a cab.

With new eyes, I recognize the building as a one set in the heart of Downtown LA at 6th and Hill Streets, a location where I take the bus all the time. And when I look at the NY cab, I now recognize it as a prop cab, repainted yellow from white, as the interior of the cab's door is white - which would never happen in Manhattan, because the cabs are painted yellow INSIDE and OUT.

Small details, but ones I make now that Ive been in LA long enough to be able to connect the dots.
Even more astounding, watching the Pixar movie "The Incredibles" for the umpteenth time with the directors and animators commentaries running, I am able to understand the process of film-making with new eyes. Until, I had admired the movie because of the story but now see how much more involved the making of this movie is, and enjoying it more frankly.

Even though the movie was made largely on computers, "sets" still had to be "made" and "dressed", "actors" had to be hired and the movie still had to be directed. In fact, it was made clear that animated films are tougher to make than livefilms, taking longer to put together than a regular movie.

I dont really watch movies any more, but I am seeing them with new eyes since coming to LA.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunset over MacArthur Park

Sunset over MacArthur Park, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

The fires in the canyons added a reddish tinge to the sunset today.

5:10 am Downtown LA

5:10 am


For the first time since Ive been in LA, I heard gunshots this morning, the characteristic loud-hammer-on-plywood sound of 9mm gunfire. The first 4 in quick succession, and then another.

There were no sirens afterward, and no mention of it on the news, so who knows what happened.
Living in San Francisco and other cities, I heard far more gunfire than I have here in Los Angeles in the few months Ive been here. Of course, Im not in the right part of LA, but even so - it seems the gunplay I am so used to in other cities doesnt occur as often as potrayed in the media.

Based on what Ive seen so far, either theyve got a decent handle on crime or things may be overblown.

Heh, watch some idjit prove me wrong.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

USC fan appreciation

USC fan appreciation, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

@ USC vs Oregon game

Shooter's gallery

Shooter's gallery, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

LA's Mayor

LA's Mayor, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Mayor Antonio Villagairosa @ Phillipe's Centennial celebration

An original Mini Clubman

An original Mini Clubman, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

In Westwood.

I might have ridden in one of these once or a hundred times in my childhood.

TWISI #112

TWISI #112, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

There was another craving

There was another craving, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

This time at the UCLA In N Out. I needed to try another location other than the one in Hollywood.

Theyve raised the price to $1.73 for a hamburger now! When I tried for the first time, it was $1.45.

Bush has a lot ot answer for.

Fat Free Water

Fat Free Water, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

I get the irony, but.. dude.

New York, signify

New York, signify, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Unless theyre actually from New York, wearing New York themed gear among some Anglenos is popular.

My take is that they feel that by wearing New York floss, they attain some of the tough, streetwise aura of New Yorkers.

In truth, most native Californians arent eager to go to New York and flee back home at the first opportunity.