Amoeblog

Sherman Oaks

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 16, 2010 05:13pm | Post a Comment
Sherman Oaks Panorama
Sherman Oaks from Mulholland

This blog is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sherman Oaks. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods (as many as you'd like) to be the subject of future entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities (again, as many as you'd like), vote here. Should you also like to see blog entries about Orange County communities, click here.

Sherman Oaks Map of Sherman Oaks
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of the San Fernando Valley and Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks is a neighborhood located in the southern portion of the San Fernando Valley, surrounded by Van Nuys and Valley Glen to the north, Valley Village to the northeast, Studio City to the east, West Hollywood to the southeast, Beverly Crest and Bel-Air to the south, Brentwood to the southwest, Encino to the west, and the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve to the northwest. For this episode I was joined by frequent traveling companion, Shimbles. It was a hot day, yet, for unknown reasons, he kept rolling up the windows so that he could listen to and sing along with the hits of Sugar Ray, Smashmouth and Collective Soul videos on his iPhone.

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The Signs Are Everywhere, the Return, Part 3…1 day left

Posted by Whitmore, November 3, 2008 08:39am | Post a Comment

“There comes a time in the affairs of man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.” -W.C. Fields.
 
I once took a bottle of Rye up there to W.C. Fields’ grave site in Forest Lawn, right down the road from here in Glendale, to mark the 60th anniversary of his death. (And contrary to popular legend his grave stone doesn’t read “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia,” it simply reads W. C. Fields 1880 -1946.) It was Christmas day and I thought somebody should have a snoot full with ol’ William Claude. But drinking in a cemetery, I discovered, is kind of frowned upon. I thought the Rye was a friendly gesture, but not according to the security guard, who seemed even more disheartened by my choice of liquor. I should have known, never argue with a man in a uniform. I was wrong. The guard was right, Rye is kind of nasty. So I promised the Security guard, I think his name was Donald, the next time I fill my flask I’ll pour in something with a bit more respect. Donald suggested an Islay variety single malt Scotch. The smoky and peaty overtones are a perfect compliment to a cold wintry day. After he returned my Rye, and put away his nightstick, we discussed the weather, W. C. Fields and oddly enough, politics. Over the course of our conversation I discovered we agreed on several fronts such as, Fields' best movie was The Bank Dick and that the last eight years have been like a long icy winter and you’re trapped in a snow cave, with only shoe leather to eat, while your soul dies from hypothermia. And we both agreed the last eight years was probably very good for the whiskey trade.

Lately though, L.A. has been hotter then hell. This October we had some ten days of ninety plus temperatures, registering the hottest October on record since the 1870’s. I’m not sure, but maybe that’s a good sign politically. Though, now that it’s November, genuine weather has made a return … clouds, rain, thunder, wind. I don’t know if that’s a bad sign or just weather in November. And I might be yanking at straws here again, but another possibly good sign -- at least for me and my life in a vacuum -- is that our next President is almost certainly guaranteed to be the candidate whose Halloween mask sold the most. For the last three decades this very unscientific, but incredibly accurate prognosticator seems to always predict the winner. This year’s top selling mask, in a landslide, was Barack Obama, out-selling John McCain masks by a 2 to 1 margin. But Republicans, don’t fret -- set your eyes to the horizon, un-furrow your brow, look north, look to the future, mark your calendars, thank god and bottle up those anxieties because you will be happy to know that the Sarah Palin mask came in second with strong mavericky sales.
 
Personally I’m just searching for political deliverance anywhere, everywhere. And I find signs in the oddest places. I’m reading newspapers and blogs and astrological charts and traffic patterns and weather reports and football scores and topographical maps and grocery receipts and paycheck stubs and my son’s first grade homework and I see signs! The signs are everywhere, but what the hell do they mean … if anything!? Now the Philadelphia Phillies winning the 2008 World Series seems significant -- I swear there’s something there! Especially since the Phillies also hold the distinction of being the team with the most losses in the history of Major League Baseball. And Philadelphia is where The United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. Philadelphia is home to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Philly is home to the Liberty Bell. The City of Brotherly Love is the birthplace of the cheese steak sandwich, Betsy Ross, Grace Kelly, Margaret Mead, Robert Crumb, John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, Wilt Chamberlain, The Stylistics, The Dead Milkmen, The Delfonics, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Bob Saget, Jeremiah Wright, and W.C Fields. And last but not least, over 75% of the million plus voters registered in Philly are Democrats. Is that a Sign? All I can do is hope.

The signs are everywhere; the return part two … 6 days left

Posted by Whitmore, October 29, 2008 07:04pm | Post a Comment

I am first and foremost a simpleton. No news flash there. On occasion a “reasonably intelligent” accusation is hurled in my direction, but I’m probably more at home dancing along the edge of idiocy. But contrary to the proof you might read here, I’m not quite the Nijinsky of Idiocy. That takes fortitude, and though the phrase has a nice ring to it (I honestly wouldn’t mind such a caption adorning my tombstone), I believe the Nijinsky of Idiocy should, at least for the next few days or so, go to Ashley Todd in Pittsburg, who is this year's gift to Halloween. She’s the woman who fabricated being assaulted at an ATM and claimed to have had a “B” carved into her face because she was a McCain supporter. Maybe idiocy isn’t the problem here. I like to think true idiocy often tandems with clever, and with a sprinkling of clever, an actual idiot can invent fanciful, imaginary situations to play with in the house of the bored. Add a few well placed twisted characters to the story line, a bit of grit, and genius may blossom (well, that’s my personal and optimistic idiotic hope). Actually, Ashley Todd’s misadventure isn’t idiotic, nothing's about to flower. It falls short. It’s asinine. It's hateful. It's dildoic. There's no panache, no élan, just a stiff half-cocked punch line without a set up. So as my fraction of an idea on three hours of sleep swerves past this week’s car wreck, here is a quote I think Ashley Todd, perhaps unknowingly, took to heart on her trip down the aisle of American paranoia -- from W. C. Fields, “If you can't razzle them with dazzle, baffle them with bullshit.” Though, this quote also fits: “The human race has gone backward, not forward, since the days we were apes swinging through the trees.”

The signs are everywhere, a return … 7 days left

Posted by Whitmore, October 28, 2008 06:40pm | Post a Comment

“Anyone who isn't confused doesn't really understand the situation.” - Edward R. Murrow

A quick, and possibly incomplete thought. I’m really curious where all this politicking is going and when this all gasses out. The 2008 fear mongering model takes me back to the bedtime stories my grandfather used to terrify me with as a kid. Tales of the 1950’s with boogeymen everywhere, and wealthy, fat, comfortable and despicable men at attention behind their podiums and pulpits schooling Joe Average American about the greater wickedness set to pounce from every shadow in every godless Gotham, where clusters of un-American denizens like communists or socialists or blacks or Jews or Catholics or immigrants or musicians or artists or poets or newspaper editors are seeking flesh, preying on the weak of mind, weak of spirit. I thought Joseph McCarthy was dead. Now, decades later, my grandfather’s peculiar bedtime stories and his stranger than truth, boogeyman capers seem to be making a comeback. But hey, don’t call it a comeback! Call it a taxi, somebody’s been on a bender, just get these friggin’ idiots outta here … sleep it off man, or at least stick your finger down your throat and get that shit out of your gut! We can all use a little less contemptibility in our innards. W.C. Fields, the great philosopher, said it best, “Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.”