Friday, November 11, 2011

Thirty-Five

You know those programs where you can see what you would look like with a different haircut before you get one? Well the other day I stumbled across something similar that shows you what you will look like after a certain amount of time living in a particular city. So I tried it out to see what I would look like after one year living in Los Angeles. The results are frightening:


Caution: Persons in the photo are much less hipster than they appear.

I went home for my friend’s wedding last weekend. Hooray for John and Kay! Kay is a poet so that’s why I rhymed. Well the wedding was very nice. The autumn leaves were red and orange and yellow and….white. White with snow. From the snow storm. In October. And to think, Alannis Morisette thought rain on your wedding day was ironic. Well how about snow, Alannis? It was like that Guns and Roses music video for “November Rain” where all of the people at the wedding were running and knocking stuff over, except it was “October Snow” and it was all indoors and we didn’t really realize it was snowing.

The wedding wasn’t the only thing unprepared for the snow. The trees were not expecting the early snow either and they didn’t have time to take their leaves off. And wet snow on a leafy tree is heavy. So the trees fell over and knocked down every power line in the northeast. And the power went out for five days. When I first heard the power was out I just laughed. Yeah, I don’t now if you heard but I was just in the Peace Corps for two years. I don’t need electricity. Except that in the DR the lack of power is acceptable because it’s always 85 and humid. New Jersey in October after a fresh snow is slightly colder. Like 40 degrees colder. Anyway I spent the final days of my NJ visit huddled around the fireplace gaining a new respect for Peace Corps volunteers in Mongolia.

The other day I went to help build a community garden at a school in LA. It was being built by an organization started by a crazy Irishman named Thomas O’Grady. Thomas O’Grady does not agree with behavioral psychologists who believe that positive reinforcement is the superior motivation technique. Instead he yells at you and belittles you while you work. But he does it in a way that you don’t really feel like he’s being mean. For example, “You suck!” or, “What are you thinking!?” It really worked for me and I got lots of work done as part of the carpentry crew. I can’t wait to go help with the next garden build.

One difference between Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic is that instead of paying middle aged women to wash my laundry I pay machines to do it. LA is pretty futuristic. I like going to J.J.’s Laundromat near my house because everybody speaks Spanish and the two things I really miss about the Dominican Republic are Spanish and sitting around waiting for stuff.