Thursday, April 23, 2009

the homies

i have a ridiculously acute sense of smell. i owe this to my dad, who used to tell me upon entering the car to go to church on sundays exactly what scent perfume, lip gloss, lotion and hairspray i was wearing.

this is a nice trait to have for, say, smelling what my korean neighbors are cooking for dinner, or riding on the back of a motorcycle through georgia forests. not so nice for being near people with bad breath, cleaning out refrigerators or riding the train with homeless people.

earlier this week, we had 90+ degree temps. this means the percentage of bad smells on the train goes up exponentially each day. on tuesday, we were patiently standing in the subway waiting to leave union station when a large woman got on the train. i caught a major whiff of her and knew something was NOT right...and then had this thought reinforced five seconds later when she barked "CHINA." for no reason. just wanted to yell china in front of 50 strangers. then she sat down and started mumbling about how effing hot the train was. yep, cuckoo.

today it was cooler [cold, in fact -- aren't crazy temperature shifts like this supposed to cause earthquakes? or migraines?] but the crazy homies -- my pet name for the homeless, in case you're just now catching on -- were out in force. on the short walk to the train station we saw 1.) a man hitting a public bus with a two-by-four, 2.) another man chomping on air with his three teeth as he walked, and 3.) a guy playing long, loud notes on a trumpet but not playing any music.

pershing square seems to attract the homies, making it sort of a scary place. which brings me to tomorrow, the day the movie "the soloist" comes out. i read this book last year and liked it a lot -- it's about a homie from our very own pershing square, who was befriended by an l.a. times reporter. this guy is still alive and, i assume, still hanging out in pershing square and the 2nd st. tunnel, so every time i see an african-american homie in downtown i wonder if it's nathaniel ayers. tooootally excited to see the movie, and not just because i have a natural soft spot for anything filmed in downtown.

someday i'm going to have a ton of good stories to tell my kids about all the crazies in l.a.


Angela and Mike said...

I love stories about you and your "homies". I thought I had a good sense of smell...but I'm nothing compared to your dad. That's impressive! Remind me next time I see you to test your sense of smell.

LB3K said...

It must be a Payzant nose because Brandon has it too! It is quite annoying for the spouse, as everytime I spend time outside, workout, eat practically ANYTHING, I get a wrinkled nose in my direction and instructions to either shower or brush my teeth. It's great reinforcement for my self esteem! ;)

dana said...

haha. I have a pretty good sense of smell too and about 5 minutes before it Casey smells it will report, "'s another skunk in our backyard."
You DO have some great stories. I love hearing them. And I'm really an earthquake doesn't result from this weather...

Jill said...

How about the time Kenny called me on his way to work (in LA) just to tell me that he witnessed a "homie" wake up, wander out to the middle of the road, pop a squat, and do his #2 business right there.


(Ironically, or perhaps appropriately, this occured on Skid Row.)

Thanks for the stories.

dana said...

Oh, and yes, I've been wondering about The Soloist. Talk about little publicity. I saw the trailer forever ago and had no idea it was coming out now! If you see it, please let me know your review! I'm on the fence about it.

Kathryn said...

Ah, I know the trumpet man. This is the same guy who plays outside my building at 11pm after concerts at the Wiltern. I'd like to jump on his trumpet. However, part of me feels bad about wanting to destroy his source of income. I wish he had even a shred of musical talent.

Jean said...

LOL! Gotta love the homies. CHINA!!!!

schnazdoodle said...

Sorry for all the comments - I'm catching up now that I don't post here... I saw the Soloist the day it came out (partly because it has my beloved WDCH and my favorite former LA-Phil conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, in it). I loved it... I get what some of the negative attention is all about, but I still loved it.