Joys of Adulthood - Part 1

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!)


Why act like a poor college student if you don't have to?

In my book (and YouTube movie), throwing away nasty socks and stinky sponges is an affordable and gratifying luxury.

Please feel free to nominate others in the comments section below. Or excoriate me for forgetting the lessons of The Great Depression.

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Point of Personal Privilege

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Huzzah for the birth of a dog!

She's Cara the Irish Terrier, aka Danu's Bright Eyed Cara Colleen, for her mother, Danu, and my grandfather Karl's dog, Shelia's Colleen.

Today we celebrate her fifth birthday.

Thanks to Linda and Alain for giving her to us, bringing us an amount of joy I used to think was overkill, in my jaded pre-dog days.

(Here she is at about 2.5 years, in Eaton Canyon.)

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Moveable Music Feast Friday Night in LA

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As we sit and chat over pie and coffee at House of Pies, let me tell you about Friday night...

We started with the Ahmad Jamal concert at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in the Washington Boulevard District. Holden was there, still raising hell. Angela Basset was there, still raising men’s testosterone levels.

And Jamal was there in great form, with drummer Kenny Washington, who is good even if he doesn’t seem to have the same chemistry with Jamal that Idris Muhammad seems to; rock solid bassist James Cammack, now with Jamal for 26 years; and percussionist Manolo Badrena, who uses bird calls, whirling noisemakers, tiny Chinese chimes, and a light touch on the tambourine to create an exotic soundscape that adds to the whole kind of the same way the bass does. If you close your eyes, you might not hear everything Badrena does, but if he stopped, there’d be something vital missing.

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Hidden Treasure - LA Public Library photo archive

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Just now, I asked my colleague Michael Roe to give me a random word. "Superpower," he replied, and that's how we got the picture above, an electrical experiment at the Cal Tech's High-Potential Laboratory in 1925.

It comes to you through one of LA's treasures, the huge searchable photo archive of the LA Public Library. Go to that site, click on "browse the photo collection," and you can travel back in time. Whether you're a tourist or looking for something specific, you'll always come across something you've never seen before, something that illuminates LA's long-ago past or even the near past.

The photos are gathered from all over. They include much of Gary Leonard's vast library, shots by now-City Councilman Tom LaBonge, and documentary and newspaper photographers back to the turn of the (other) century, and the extensive Herald-Examiner newspaper collection. We've used photos from the LAPL collection to make the Off-Ramp website shine since we started the show in 2006.

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Rabe Announces SECOND "Red Book" of Carl Jung

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(Carl Jung's "Other Red Book," in its usual place, next to "Schott's Miscellany" and the NYT Almanac.)

I, for one, was not surprised at all when I read the NY Times Magazine story this weekend about the forthcoming publication of Carl Jung's "Red Book," his illustrated account of a torturous break with reality that, Jung said, formed the basis for "all my works, all my creative activity."

Not surprised, because the Rabe family has owned Jung's "Second Red Book" for almost fifty years.

"You might find this mildly amusing," Jung told my father when he gave him this thick volume back in 1950, during one of Jung's frequent visits to my father's house in Detroit. The two would talk long into the night about the subconscious, Freud, and professional hockey, which was one of Jung's secret fascinations. ("Disaster will fall on America if the league expands," was one of his stock pronouncements.)

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