Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Little Tokyo in a day.

overdue post

i have put this post on hold since the assault of a vengeful right hand. it took upon itself to cut the left finger on the other hand as it had alleged it doesn't do much work as itself does. however, the revenge boomeranged. it is doing much more work now; and can't wait for the victim to heal of its wound.

so does my husband who the other day asked me, "when are your stitches going to be taken out?" my evil eyes looked at him and i gave him an evil smile and said, "why? are you tired of washing dishes?" he smiled his sweetest. hah...hah...hah. he probably appreciates now what i do in the kitchen--the same boring chore day in and day out. he helps, but i do the heavier stuff.

in any event, i will put this in publication as it is now long over due.

Little Tokyo in a rush

My friend, Jun, asked me to accompany her to the Japanese Consulate in downtown Los Angeles. Jun is of Japanese citizenship; and has been in this country for over 40 years. She, however, has not changed her citizenship despite the fact that she once was married to an American and has 3 beautiful children with him. She goes to the consulate to update her papers or status...or whatever.

click image to enlarge

We met at the parking lot of the smaller train station, about 3 miles from my house. This one has a smaller lot and it was almost full when I got there at about 9:00 in the morning. We were to catch the 9:45 train. She came a few minutes after I got there. We got our tickets; boarded the train; and we were at the Union Station 55 minutes later.

We boarded the same bus as I did with my husband, and got off right across the street of the building -- Two California Plaza on South Grand Ave. The skyscraper has 52 stories constructed of concrete, glass and steel; and of modern architecture.

Security was tight that we have to present our IDs at

the front desk and they handed us a computer printed name tags we stuck on our clothes. As one of the young men handed me my name tag he said something I didn't understand. I gave him a quizzical look. With that he asked, "You're not Japanese?"

I shook my head and said, "No."

"I'm sorry. The consulate is on the 17th floor," he said.

"I'm Japanese," Jun said. And they talked a bit in Japanese.

We took the elevator to the consulate. At the door of the consulate there is a security guard. We opened our purses for inspection. I have to leave my bottled water at the hallway, as it's not allowed. We got in; got out in about half an hour. Her business there was done pretty quick, as she had all her papers ready.

We then headed to the bus stop. Took the same bus; got off; took another bus heading towards Little Tokyo where we were to have lunch...and a little grocery shopping. We were short of time, but I managed to shoot a few photos.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
click image to enlarge

We boarded a bus across the Disney Hall...

...and got off a few yards from this tower. This tower marks where the Japanese village is. Going around in that place is like going inside a tiny village. It has walkways and trees and shops. We found a small restaurant and went in. We were not looking for a fancy restaurant, as we were famished.
I had a combo of teriyaki pork, green salad, fried potato salad, rice and...ham with scrambled eggs. The ham was too salty -- as is always with processed food. I wonder why the plate had ham and eggs. Usually it's for breakfast, but it's in their lunch menu. jun had the same combo, but instead of teriyaki she had fried breaded shrimp. The food was good for two hungry people.

After our lunch we headed to
Marukai -- a Japanese market. Marukai is in a wing of a 3-story building. Beside the building is a small plaza.
And in it is a replica of the space Orbiter Challenger...

...and a bust of the first Japanese-American astronaut--Ellison Onizuka. Astronaut Onizuka was one of the crew who perished when the Challenger exploded right after it took off.

We got inside the market and Jun grabbed the things she needed. I was checking the time. If we don't get the 3:45 train, we'll have to wait for the 6 PM one and that would be too late for us. There is one at 4:30, but it won't get to our station where we parked our cars.

Jun got most of her grocery and we got out of there in half an hour. We got to the train station just in time, and boarded right away. We stayed at the lower deck as she had a bulky rolling cart that was full of groceries. The train was packed with passengers heading home.

A few minutes before the train got to our station, a couple of sheriffs entered our car and asked each passenger to show their tickets. We showed them ours. I wonder if there ever are passengers who never buy their tickets. i hardly see anyone, a conductor perhaps, check passengers' tickets.

We pulled in at our home station in 60 minutes; and home sweet home in 5 minutes. I slept tight that night, and woke up as usual...late.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


i have spent more time blogging and surfing the internet than anything else. the summer class is over and i have completed one measly painting--pink geranium. and this painting doesn't even look any good. could i make myself better? yes, if i do more; paint more. as of now, however, i have this unshakable addiction to the internet. my day is not complete if i don't log on. i am unable to use my left hand as i have injured my finger, still i am undeterred typing with one hand.


Friday, August 14, 2009

I sliced the eggplant...and ouch!

when the knife hit my finger i prayed it would only be like a paper cut. it was not! i saw a deep cut with blood ready to ooze out. i grabbed a paper towel right away and ran to my husband and showed it to him. he dropped what he was doing and ran upstairs with me right behind him.

i snatched a clean pair of pants from the closet; pulled it on with one hand. blood was dripping on the carpet, on the bed and on my pants. my husband got some cotton and pressed them on my finger; wrapped them tight with paper-like tape. then he helped me put on my t-shirt.

we drove down to urgency care about 10 miles away.

we got there. i registered; paid my fee and waited for my call. waited and waited,,,and waited. after half an hour a nurse called me. she got my vital signs then led me to a room and made me sit. she said i'd be the doctor's first patient when he comes in. it was half past 12 noon already. the doctor must've gone to lunch.

i heard people talking in the hallway; footsteps. then silence. everyone left? they forgot me? hello? i'm dying here.

i heard footsteps again. the nurse passed my door and said, the doctor will be right with you. i thanked her. then she was gone.

a few minutes later a man garbed in white came in the room. his tag said, dr. tran, family practice. he's lightly built; about 5'-3". first thing he asked me was, what i was cutting. if i cut meat also. no, just vegetable, was my reply. can you bend your finger? i did bend it a bit.

he undressed my finger and more blood oozed. he washed it with some kind of liquid; blotted it dry a bit; and injected a topical anesthesia. he then got sutures that the nurse gave him and stitched my cut together. while he was doing that blood was still spurting from some open cut. finally, he got them all stitched up. the nurse cleaned my hand; dressed the finger and sent me off.

that was yesterday. today i am to change the dressing, i'm afraid to look at it. i'll let my nurse, my husband, do it for me.

if it's not fish bone in my throat; cut on my finger; or ear infection it's something else. it's the peril of being alive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And the awards go to ...

Lovely Blog Award From Bonnie Bonsai

Here are the rules that MUST be followed:

1. Add the logo to your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received this award
3. Nominate 7 or more blogs
4. Leave a message on their blog,letting them know they are "One Lovely Blog"!

So here are 7 ingredients, which I love to see in a blog:

1. A lovely host or in other words a good friend
2. Lovely art (candles or other crafts)
3. Lovely communities offering lovely friendship
4. Lovely memes
5. Lovely photography
6. Lovely quizzes or tips
7. Lovely quotes or inspirational thoughts


The second award.

Thanks for these awards Bonnie. They are lovely. I could use them to decorate my bedroom.

Now I pass these awards to all those beautiful posters who come and visit my blog. So, grab these they are free for the taking. YEAH!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Heading home

The bus made another turn this time to the left, and stopped right there in front of The Union Station. I nodded to my husband. He stood up and made for the door, and he helped me alight. We walked toward the station.

The fancy crosswalk at the main street in front of the station.

(Click images to enlarge)

This building was built in 1939. It is a combination of Spanish and Moorish architecture on the exterior; and the interior is of art deco style.

The information kiosk manned by friendly employees. They have maps, brochures, and schedules ready for those who come to ask for assistance, or for direction.

Behind the kiosk are a restaurant and a store, and the spacious waiting area with rows and rows of upholstered comfortable seats. All the materials are original. They have not been replaced since it was erected. The ceiling is richly designed with chandelier. On both sides of the area are doors that lead to landscaped courtyards with benches and fountains.

This was the ticket lobby that is now closed to the public, due to the decline of train ridership. It has a row of about 2 dozens ticket windows. During its heyday this was the place where every one came to travel to all parts of the country. It was then used by everyone from all walks of life -- from the rich and famous to the not rich and obscure people. There is now in its place a smaller ticket booth that is served by 2 people; and computers are used to dispense tickets. Departure and arrival of trains are posted on a board electronically by a computer

We found a secluded seat for two and waited till our train pulls in. My husband took a catnap while I looked around and observed people around me. There were 2 young people with big backpacks and duffel bags who came in and purchased tickets. I assumed they were going out of town. Some people have just arrived pulling their big luggage. They must be from out of town. They were met by some friends or relatives.

Union Station has resurrected in the early 1990's when Metrolink was introduced giving the public convenient transportation to and from the outskirts of Los Angeles County and downtown; and to neighboring counties as well. Ridership has gone up and some companies are subsidizing their employees' tickets. That saves them parking fee which costs a lot in downtown. And, also, it reduces traffic and pollution.

When it started operating, we were sent free tickets. I never had the chance to use those. Students in our area have field trips to the city to give them a chance to experience riding the train; and to encourage them to use it. It is now a popular mode of transportation. Some passengers can take their bikes on the train; and when they disembark they can use their bikes to where they are going. Lockers are provided for those who don't want to take their bikes with them.

Half an hour before our train pulls out we headed to the platform.

It was perfect timing. The train just came in and we headed to the upper level; found seats for two in the back row and waited. We chugged out of there 20 minutes later.

We passed this very old bridge. There was something I like about the arches. It's full of graffiti and grime, but I just love it. I must be nuts!

The train picked up speed and at the first station picked up some more passengers, and moved on again, stopping at other stations.

About 40 minutes later we were getting close to our home station. The traffic going north (cars in background going left) has already built up. Had we taken our car we would be one of those stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Going south towards downtown Los Angeles, traffic was light. At this time everyone was heading home after a hard day's work. In the meantime, we were taking it easy inside the air-conditioned train. My husband closed his eyes again and took a nap. I'm glad he didn't snore.

And finally, here we were back to where we boarded the train. I was so tired from all that walking. That night I slept like a log. I was glad I woke up the next morning. I'm alive!!!