Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thirty-Four

I have officially completed my first 10 days as a Los Angeleser, which is what we like to call ourselves. So far, so good.

I should clear one thing up before we get started on Phase II of the Duncan Peabloggy Project. As you know I’m from the Northeast. So are a lot of you. We northeasternists have a pretty ugly view of Los Angeles. Plastic people and Latino gangs mostly. But I come from the most stereotyped state in the country. We New Jerseyites are not all blowouts and fake tans you know. Goerge f’ing Washington left Delaware in a rowboat to come to New Jersey because he heard it was so sweet. So I’m optimistic about living in LA and seeing what it’s really like. That said I will probably continue to make fun of LA just as I make fun of New Jersey, using every stereotype I can think of. Because a lot of them are warranted. And the other ones are funny.

I live in Echo Park. It’s pretty close to downtown LA (aka DTLA). Its main attraction is Echo Park, a nice park with a man-made lake in the middle. Except the park is under construction so the lake is drained and the park is closed and it’s just a big mud-pit right now. Very unattractive. And to make matters worse they are not even making proper use of the mud pit. That pit could comfortably house 200 adult pigs tied to sticks pounded in the ground. And guess how many they have there? Zero! I’m going to bring in a mud-pit efficiency consultant from my community in the DR.

Everybody in Echo Park and the rest of Los Angeles has a hipster bike. A hipster bike is basically a road bike that has been “pimped out” with fun colors and strange looking components. I bought a hipster bike…. Don’t judge me. It was affordable and nice looking and I needed transport. LA is big. And now I’m very attached to the bike. The other day I stopped in to a convenience store after work to buy a Gatorade. The refrigerator and cashier were right next to the doorway so I left my bike in the doorway unlocked. That was dumb. So I was looking in the refrigerator realizing there was no Gatorade when I saw a guy run up to my bike and jump on it. And he wasn’t just taking it for a test spin. So I darted out of the store and chased him a half a block and tackled him into a wall. He jumped up off the ground and yelled in my face “What are you doing man?! Are you crazy!?” I’m not sure if he was yelling at himself like I do when I screw up a point in tennis, because it was pretty obvious what I was doing. Anyway I took my bike back. The handlebars were a little bent to the side but they can be fixed. He walked away from me yelling, “Ima kill you bro! You’re gonna get killed comin’ around here!” (latino gangster stereotype!) I’m not sure if he was really going to kill me or not but I thought it best not to wait around to find out. Now you might say it was stupid of me to tackle him. In fact some people have already told me it was REALLY stupid. But you’re missing the bigger point of the story. I was about to settle for a Snapple even though I wanted a Gatorade. But the Universe said “No! Go get your bike from that guy and go to 711 and get two Gatorades for $2!” And I did. And it was refreshing.

I got a part-part-time job with a company that does installation of Greywater reuse systems. Basically they reroute the water from your laundry, sink, bathtub, etc. so that it goes to irrigating your landscape rather than to the sewer. (http://greywatercorps.com/about01.html) It saves water. Lots of water in a place as dry as Los Angeles. The company is called Greywater Corps. It’s kind of like the Peace Corps. Well it’s not. But it is a Corps. And I like working for Corps’s. They sound like they have a real mission. There was an organization that was called the Greywater Guerillas that installed illegal greywater reuse systems in people’s homes, because it is prohibited by building codes in many states. I’ll admit that guerilla sounds way cooler than Corps. And I am a big proponent of illegal altruism. But they’ve since tried to legitimize themselves by changing their name to Greywater Action. Action? That was the name of a church retreat I went to in high school. Where’s the militaristic zeal? A company without a paramilitary reference in its name is just not a company that I want to work for. Plus they never offered me a job.

Well that’s all that’s happened so far I guess. Tune in next time for another exciting episode of The Real Duncan of LA.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thirty-Three

Done. Termindao. Finito. My two years of Peace Corps have come to an end. I am currently chasing the sun towards Los Angeles in a large aircraft. I have a feeling the sun will win. It’s been doing this race for billions of years and still seems to have way more energy than a Boeing 757. But there are plenty of other stars in Los Angeles. I’m sure I could beat some of them in a race. I’d beat Oprah in a foot race, hands down. But mostly I’m going to Los Angeles to see about a girl. If I happen to get “discovered” and become the next big thing in Hollywood then so be it. I don’t think any of us will be very surprised.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog for the past two years. This is the first thing I’ve ever really written except for some coma-inducing college essays. I probably wouldn’t have continued it for two years if it weren't for all the nice comments and encouragement from everybody who has been reading. So thank you for helping me to discover this new hobby. I think I’ll keep going with it for a while if you don’t mind. I mean the title is just Duncan Peabloggy. Nothing about the Peace Corps. I just happened to be there when I was writing it. So now I’m going to Los Angeles and I’ll blog about what’s going on there. It isn’t the third world but it definitely is bizarre.

They’re playing Captain America on the plane, no doubt under strict orders from the United States government to re-indoctrinate me with a healthy dose of war and spandex-clad superheroes. What the government didn’t take into consideration was the fact that two years in the Peace Corps has turned me into too much of a cheapskate to buy those crappy $3 headphones.

Welp, here it goes!