Let’s see. Let’s give both Pharrell and me some money today. I first became aware of Pharrell’s work through the movie Despicable Me. The commercials made it look like a boring Spy vs. Spy knockoff with Gru and Vector as the “spies.” But then I read a blurb that explained the whole plot with the girls and I thought I’d give it a try. I loved it. And I loved the music. And I bought the CD of the soundtrack (link to follow in a future post). And I saw the second movie and I loved that one, too (again, link to follow someday).

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12:00 Pharrell walks through the same back room and out into the dining room of a restaurant. And the table linens are white, so maybe there’s no hotel after all. The dining room is a very nice shade of dark green. As I tell people when we talk about the color scheme of my house, I’m not afraid of color, but maybe color should be afraid of me* (when I go back to renting an apartment once Alex is done with college, I’m going to invest in removable stick-on wallpaper for the apartment). Pharrell is at a table, sitting across from a woman in a short bob haircut and Beattie is circling the table in a way that is making me kind of dizzy. I may have to stop here for the night.

12:00 (continued) Pharrell and the woman are going to leave the restaurant and we’ll see where they are. No such luck. They are just lip-syncing and dancing around in the restaurant. The woman is probably someone famous, but she kind of reminds me of Sandra Bullock. The light is getting whiter, so they’re getting closer to the door. There’s the inspection grade. They’re out the door and now the song is over.

12:04 We’re outside now. Are we still in the same place? I see a bit of painted wood that looks to be the same color as the doorjamb that Pharrell and the woman passed, so I certainly hope so. And now, just before I go to work and will have to finish this later, I get the impression that this next dancer actually kind of looks like my friend Jim. It’d be funny if it was, but I’ll have to wait until 10:00 tonight to find out.

It’s 10:44 pm and I’m just getting back to this. On the other hand, I’ve earned $1.81 for my foreign language project and I’m now a day ahead on my pedometer steps. Okay, so I can see a liquor store and there’s, like, the third or fourth loading zone sign that I’ve seen in this project. Someone must’ve been selling those things door-to-door. Alex agrees that this guy looks kind of like Jim.

It looks like maybe a hospital across the street there? We turn right and pass a multi-level parking garage. There are high-rise buildings in the distance but I can’t identify any of them.

12:08 A black lady with a white mohawk is up next and there are agaves near the parking garage. The agaves look very nice, but they don’t help me figure out where we are. Palm trees, bougainvillea. Ah-ha! Something I can read! “Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Office Building.” I can work with that. Hopefully.

So, looks like the restaurant is “Pacific Dining Car” and we start out at 6th and Witmer. The agaves are gone now and there’s a small palm tree in their place. The palm trees and bougainvillea are gone, too. At Witmer & Shatto, we cross Shatto and continue down to Wilshire and then make a left onto Wilshire.

My computer is so slow right now. I’m going to close everything and reboot so that hopefully things will be less frustrating tomorrow morning.

Never mind. I missed a turn. We start at 6th and Witmer, then make a right turn at Witmer & Shatto and go down to Shatto & Valencia. Then we make a left, cross Shatto and go down to Valencia & Wilshire.

So the agaves are still gone but the palm trees are not. The jury’s still out on whether the bougainvillea are there or not. I can’t see their flowers on the Google Street View.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but the 12:12 dancer got almost to the end of the block and then turned around and headed back the way he came. Well, Wilshire was nice while it lasted, I guess.

12:16 We’re still on Wilshire and this time we cross Valencia and keep going. How far down are the La Brea Tar Pits anyhow?

5.6 miles. I don’t think we’re going to get that far out on Wilshire. It’s the right direction, though, so that’s something.

We cross Union Avenue and Google Street View’s version of Wilshire heads off into a parking lot. It’s very strange. In the process of reporting this to Google and trying to remember exactly where the street goes off the proverbial rails, I realize how close we are to MacArthur Park (which may or may not be melting in the dark). Will we make it that far? Will we see the homeless camps that are there now? Were the homeless camps there in 2013? I almost can’t wait to find out. It will, however, have to wait for Donna Summer to finish singing.

12:24 Okay, maybe we won’t get to MacArthur Park. I . . . don’t know where we are. I suppose it’s too much to hope that we’re just seeing the same place from a different angle. I think we’re back in Hollywood. I can see that the street they’re crossing is Sunset Boulevard. And no Norma Desmond in sight. I think that’s a school behind them. Is that Hollywood High School, again? Yes, yes it is. The good news is that we seem to be going south on Highland, so we’ll be venturing into new-to-us territory. We definitely are going south. I’m recognizing the buildings. These guys made good time. They’re probably at DeLongpre? Yes, definitely DeLongpre. I can see the Firestone store behind the 12:28 dancer. Who is definitely a dancer. I’ve never seen such a small child do such a high kick before. I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw that.

I really hope that this little girl wants to be dancing like this. If in the 20-year “24 Hours of Happy: Where Are They Now?” retrospective, she says that she didn’t want to dance at all and her mom (or her dad) forced her, I’ll be very disappointed. Particularly since I wanted to dance like that when I was that age.**

We cross Fountain Avenue (is this the same Fountain that the bikers passed 12 hours/a week or so ago?) Actually it kind of is. It’s interrupted by Joseph LeConte Middle School, but the two ends definitely do line up). Hey! This dancer isn’t doing The Pony. Is that a cha-cha-cha, maybe? Dunno.

12:36-ish. There’s The Pony.

12:40 We aren’t moving. I think we’re waiting for the light to change. Yep.

There’s a big building of some sort coming up according to Google Street View. I wonder if we’re going to actually visit it. We pass it around 12:43 but there’s no indication what it is. So I guess I’m going to have to do some Googling.

The building in question is the Hollywood Storage Building, which makes it sound like it’s for storing one’s Hollywoods. According to one article on Curbed.com, it was also a speakeasy during prohibition. We end in that block, in between Santa Monica and Romaine Street.

12:44 This looks kind of familiar. Is it somewhere I’ve been physically, somewhere we’ve seen in this project, or is it just one of those things?

Wait. Never mind. We’re on Romaine Street. Our new dancer starts out apparently inside Anawalt Lumber Company and then comes outside and makes an almost immediate right onto Romaine. Have we seen Romaine Street yet?

I’m wondering if this is one of those times when they had to reroute because of construction or something. Maybe something was going on on Wilshire that made it difficult to film there on these days?

Now we’re jaywalking across Romaine. I wonder where we’re going? Most of these buildings are gone now, so I wonder where we are.

Ah. We evidently want to stop before we get all the way down to La Brea, so we’re going to cross the street and turn around here.

I hate it when I look down and miss a turn. Turns out that at the corner of Romaine and Orange we make a right, so everything from there on is on Orange. I usually catch the turns I’ve missed because the buildings and background don’t match, but there’s a big construction site on Romaine and Orange that goes all the way to Romaine and Sycamore and I figured that they’d razed a lot of buildings to create that.

While looking for where I got lost, I found an interesting building, though, at 7000 Romaine. I figured that it’d turn out to be another glorified storage shed, but instead it turns out to be the building that had, at one time, been the headquarters of Howard Hughes’s empire.

We turn around just short of Santa Monica and head back up watching a guy who is working very hard at learning how to do tricks on his skateboard, but hasn’t quite gotten it yet. Then we turn right back onto Romaine and now we’re going past the building that’s no longer there. We turn right once again onto Sycamore as the song ends and we go to our opening location for the 12:56 to 1:55:59 hour.

12:56 We’re outdoors with a good-looking possibly-Latino guy (I say “possibly” because I get stopped all the time by people who think I’m a Latina based on my coloration and there’s basically no way for me to be anything but European, unless some random person from Asia or Africa wandered into Czechia, Germany, Lithuania/Latvia (depending on the generation), or Scotland at some point in history)***. He’s in good shape and dances really well, though probably the judges would knock off a few points for a few instances of the White Man’s Overbite.

Before I can get any kind of handle on where we are, we go into a gym. I pretty much give it up for lost, but then I see the sign saying “LA Sands Boxing Club.” Yelp and Google Maps both say that the gym is closed, but the website is still going. Looking at the building on Google Street View, it definitely looks closed now. But since we’re talking about 2013 here, let’s see if we can find where we actually are.

After digging around (and checking their previous location at 1515 Compton), it looks like we start in the mid to high 300s on Crocker Street. The dancer dances around the gym and then we watch him exercise for a while. I wonder I they went into the gym and asked for volunteers, because this guy definitely seems comfortable around the equipment.

*My bedroom is Valspar Peach Frenzy and the closest I can find to the color of my entryway is Better Homes and Gardens Stiffkey Blue (and I can’t find any image of that color that isn’t on Pinterest).

**When I did my last couple of years of college, turns out I needed just a couple more hours of physical education so I finally got to take ballet for the first time ever. I was the only ballet virgin (?) in the class, IIRC, and the teacher had us do the first exercise and then went around the room asking pretty much everyone else how much ballet they’d had. She then explained that she graded on improvement, so those who’d had ballet before would be held to a pretty high standard. I got an A in that class because it was really, really obvious that I’d never taken ballet and by the end of the semester I could do everything she’d taught us to do. Not well, necessarily, but competently. I’ve completely lost my turnout in the intervening (oh, dear God, has it really been that long?) 28 years.

***Since I wrote this, I’ve done the 23 and Me DNA thing which says that I’m 100% European, though the rumor is that my dad’s mom had some Rom heritage, if that’s true it must be far enough back that it didn’t show up in my DNA.

Okay, so you turn off of Grissom Road into the little parking lot at Cathedral Rock and see a little play area and a little picnic pavilion.

Cathedral Rock Playground, 2018

The playground at Cathedral Rock taken from a creative angle again because I didn’t want to risk getting any of the kids playing nearby in the picture

You walk a little farther and find this:

Cathedral Rock Park path

A path at Cathedral Rock Park.

And then a little farther on you find this:

Cathedral Rock Park Map

A map of Cathedral Rock Park

And you realize that there’s quite a lot of park to explore here. I focused on the corner of the map for the picture above because Cathedral Rock Park is also a trailhead for the Leon Creek Greenway and the Greenway takes up most of the map.

I took a lot of pictures here and don’t know how many I’ll use. I think there are actually more paths at Cathedral Rock than are pictured on that map, because I was following the map on Pokémon Go rather than using that map and almost all of the paths that they had on the game were there in the park (the only exception I can think of is I think it might be that loop there in the upper-left-hand corner looks like it comes straight back from the lower-left part and rejoins the main path in kind of a reverse D-shape rather than that lasso kind of shape it has on this map).

Most of the paths have the San Antonio trail levels assigned to them, where Level 1 and 2 are usable by people in wheelchairs and Level 3 is usable by really incredibly fit people in wheelchairs and Level 4 is probably not usable by people in wheelchairs. Some of the signs showing which level applies to which paths were in pretty bad shape when I was there and could use some replacement signs.

Finally, why Cathedral Rock? Beats me. The park itself is mostly level with the occasional scattered bits of limestone. Once you get to the greenway, though, you find this:

Cathedral Rock?

Is this “Cathedral Rock”?

Which is way more impressive than it looks in the photo. Maybe if the deer had stood there while I took my picture rather than freaking out and running away it’d look less uninspiring.

Now I guess it’s time for a gratuitous Amazon link. I looked at books about limestone, since the rocks of what I assume is Cathedral Rock are limestone, but, eh. So I went back to the same link as I used before and dug up Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Washington: Section Hiking from the Columbia River to Manning Park by Tami Asars. I’m not planning on going on the Pacific Crest Trail anytime soon, but the picture on the front sure is pretty and it has 4.9 stars (out of 5) so why not?

I completely forgot our “Let’s Give Pharrell Williams Some Money” links in the last couple of posts. I’m going to link to a Colombian artist by the name of J Balvin this time. I’ve mentined the song Safari which was produced by (and features the singing voice of) Pharrell. I also like the song Ginza from that album and Sigo Extrañandote is a great song, but the video is really heartbreaking. So here’s the album: Energía.

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11:00 There’s something big there in the background. At first I thought it was a giant statue of maybe an owl? But maybe it’s just a tree. Pharrell lies down on the trunk of a car and I hope that we know whose car that is. People are gathering to watch the filming and he high-fives someone through a chain-link fence. Some guy is filming this on his phone. If he would upload it and it had a location tag that would make my life so much easier. There’s a fence with some plants behind it that for some reason reminds me of the museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.

11:04 Now we’re back out on the street where we started out. We make a left at a help wanted sign. We pass something that looks like a fabric store. We’ve passed one thing that might be a tailor shop and one thing that probably is a fabric store. Where is the fashion district for Los Angeles? There’s a Maple Street in the fashion district. “Maple” is short and starts with an “M.” I see the words “City Discount.” What do you want to bet that it’s a chain with stores on every corner in the city?

There’s just the one. And it’s a block off Maple. It’s not quite in the fashion district, though. We’re now at the corner of 6th and Los Angeles. Before that we came down Los Angeles and before that we were on 7th. So now I’ve tracked us back to the beginning and the street isn’t Maple; it’s Main. We start on Main and 7th, head down 7th to Los Angeles, and take Los Angeles to 6th.

11:12 We aren’t where we left off. I think we’re back, oh, at 7th and Los Angeles, maybe? Okay, so this is funny. I was going to check to make sure that I’m right about where we are and rather than opening a new window, I reused an already-open one. It just so happened that it’s the page where I searched for GEANCO based on the Facebook ad for a campaign where they’re sending someone to tea and a movie premiere with Benedict Cumberbatch. I sort of figured that the campaign was going to send someone to maybe London or something and so after I clicked on it, I thought that this was going to screw me up completely. Turns out that GEANCO (and the prize in the contest) are for Los Angeles, and that GEANCO’s headquarters is at 4th and Olive, which isn’t that far from where I actually wanted to be. Someday, after I’ve finished this project and can reboot my computer, I’ll plot a route and find out how far exactly. I’m betting it’s less than a mile. And I’m right. We are at 7th and Los Angeles (btw, according to the map I just pulled up, the video for U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name was shot at 7th and Main, a block northwest from where the dancer is at this point in the video).*

11:16. Great. The image is mirrored again for some reason. I’ve got “Vitamins.” I’ve got “Hotel” I’ve got “One Way.” I’ve got “ATM Perfume.” Ooh! I know where we are. When we were on Los Angeles before, there was a big white building with a red fire escape in the background. That’s the hotel. At least, I think it is. Never mind. It’s a different building. Dammit. I’ve got “Jewelry Watches Buckles.” I’ve got parts of phone numbers the words “oil burner.”

11:20 Kid with wild hair and it looks like we’re dancing back the way we came and things are no longer reversed. Yep “Oil Burner” is now on the other side of the street. And now we have “Ray Ban” and “le Center.” “Wholesale Center”?

11:24 Things are reversed again. I looked up “Wholesale Center” and the first result, which is listed under ‘”HK Wholesale Center” but the building says “Hong Kong Wholesale Center” looks like a distinct possibility.

So here goes. At 11:16, we’re at the corner of 5th and Los Angeles. We go northeast to the corner of Los Angeles and Winston. We cross Winston and head Southeast. At 11:20, we are just a smidge farther southeast on Winston and head northwest. We make a right onto Los Angeles. At Los Angeles and 4th, we head southeast on 4th. At the corner of 4th and Wall, we’re still flipped. We cross Wall and make a . . . left? No, a right. No, I was right the first time. It’s a left. So now we’re going northeast on Wall. We cross Boyd and make a right so that we’re going southeast on Boyd.

And then I lost the polygon. I got an error saying to reload the page and when I did, poof. So, I’ll see if I can possibly find a way to recreate it and save it. Maybe with directions? 7th and the LA River to the corner of San Fernando and Glendale almost up to the Colorado Street exit of the 5 or something like that? I’ll have to play around with it.

Anyway, we take Boyd to San Pedro (the street, not the suburb) and make a left then take San Pedro to 3rd and make another right. This dancer kind of reminds me of Michele Greene, who played Abby on LA Law.

11:36 We’re somewhere else now. Will Olivia be able to figure out where we are? Let’s watch.

11:40 No. No she cannot. We look to still be in the same place, so let’s give me another four minutes to figure this out.

11:44 Wow. This location is tough. I only have 12 more minutes to figure this out. There’s a big building that looks like a church or a museum in the background. That should help me figure it right out. Now we’ve gotten to a place where there are more people and another church or something w-a-a-y back there. I’ve seen the word “Hollywood” twice, so that’s a pretty good clue there. One of the “Hollywood”s is followed by the word “Refresh”? So let’s see what Google gives us. Wait. No, it’s “Hollywood Refreshed.” I just noticed the stars. So we’re back on Hollywood Boulevard, probably.

Okay, so let’s try this on for size. Starting on Hawthorne just behind Hollywood High School then down to Sycamore and Sycamore to Hollywood Boulevard and make a right. Looks good to me.

11:48 We start about a block away from where we left off, across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe, with Jimmy Kimmel. We go up the stairs and into the building where his show is filmed, apparently. And in an interesting choice, Kimmel decides not to sing along with Pharrell, but to sing along with the backing vocals. We follow Kimmel though the theater to his set and he really looks happy. So many celebrities aren’t, you know. I really believe the studies that happiness levels off at around $75,000 of income and that beyond that you keep trying to achieve more happiness with more money and it never works.

Kimmel comes out the back door of the studio and we start following a woman going the other way. She hugs the security guard and heads into a fenced-in area (this turns out to be the parking lot for the theater). Is this Mrs. Kimmel or something? I cheated and looked at a list of dancers that I found online and it doesn’t say. She’s probably underweight in real life. I was once standing by some people talking to an actress who’s rather well-known for being big and I totally didn’t recognize her because face-to-face she looks about as heavy as my mom did and my mom was only carrying about ten to fifteen extra pounds. Ever since then, I’ve realized that it really is true, the camera does add pounds. And as such, I think that this woman must be very, very thin in real life.

11:56 We’re watching a young woman working behind the scenes somewhere. A hotel, maybe? A restaurant? My money’s on hotel because we first watch her in a room full of folded-up white fabric. Maybe the restaurant has white tablecloths and napkins, but it’s more likely that these are sheets and towels. Or maybe it is a restaurant. Or a science-fiction movie. There’s an object hanging on the wall behind her at 11:58:22 that at first I took to be an immersion blender, but then it occurred to me that I may have seen whatever it is as the weapon in an old Doctor Who episode. The Keys of Marinus, maybe? Or maybe it is an immersion blender. There looks to be something like a slicing mandoline hanging nearby.

*You can tell that I wasn’t really paying attention. We start the hour at 7th and Main, which is where the video was filmed. There’ll be more on the video later.

On my master list of parks, I say that not all of the parks in the San Antonio area are actually owned and operated by the City of San Antonio. This is one of those other parks, which is owned and operated by Bexar County. And it’s quite a bit larger than I expected it to be. The entrance to the park is on the access road for Loop 410 so I figured I could cover it in 15 minutes. I stayed for almost 45. I was also there late in the day, so many of my pictures are slightly overexposed.

One of the playscapes at McArthur Park.

McArthur Park has several picnic pavilions and a bit of walking path, but the main feature of the park seems to be playgrounds. The park has three of those playscapes where all of the equipment is connected into one big sort of piece of park furniture and there are additional pieces of playground equipment including swings and a small monkey bar thing that looks like a flying saucer. I found that last one particularly interesting, but couldn’t take pictures of it because there were someone’s kids on it and taking pictures of other people’s children is considered to be kind of creepy. Maybe I’ll return someday and get a picture of that.

Have you played the “You are Jeff Bezos” game? The point of the game is to demonstrate just exactly how much $156 billion is. You wake up as Jeff Bezos and you decide that maybe if you spend all of his money you can get back to your own life. I’m not 100% about the things that the game designers think are priorities. For example one of the options is to revive Mythbusters. I’ve seen like two episodes of Mythbusters and have heard of a bunch more and I’m just not a fan. I’ve just never believed that the five-second rule really means that it takes five seconds for germs to attach to an item dropped on the floor. It’s more a winking “if you fix it fast enough it never happened” thing, I think. So watching two guys drop things on the floor and measure the germs on it just doesn’t seem like gripping television to me.

sad turtle, mcarthur park, san antonio

Concrete turtle in need of repairs, 2018

What I would like to spend a bunch of Jeff Bezos’s $156 billion on is fixing up parks. And McArthur had a bit of stuff that I’d like to fix. For example there are several pieces of concrete art that need a bunch of TLC. The paint is peeling (or has peeled) off and in several cases there are actual chunks of concrete missing. I really do wonder how much it would cost to paint and repair those poor things, if Bexar County would take a donation for that purpose, and if I could write it off of my income taxes.

Now I need an Amazon link. Does Amazon have some kind of “pick a random book” feature? I guess I’ll try to come up with my own. So, searching for “Parks” and sorting by customer reviews, the first result is Urban Trails: San Francisco: Coastal Bluffs/ The Presidio/ Hilltop Parks & Stairways by Alexandra Kenin. I guess that’ll hold me for this post, particularly since seeing the San Francisco area is years away at this point unless this blog thing really takes off or I win the lottery.

So they’ve announced that this coming weekend (November 30 through December 2) is going to be the December 2018 Community Day and the focus Pokémon is going to be all of the Pokémon featured all year. That’s (in no particular order) Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Eevee, Dratini, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Beldum, Larvitar, (Oh, dear God, I’m missing someone. But who? I’m actually looking at a picture. Oh! Duh!) and Chikorita (Chikorita is the only one I’ve got enough candies to make another Meganium with Frenzy Plant as soon as the weekend starts).

Community Day is traditionally a three-hour period when, one Pokémon is the focus. If you evolve a the focus Pokémon to its final form (sort of — maybe I’ll talk about Pikachu and Eevee here, maybe not) you get a specific moveset. Like February’s Community Day was Dratini and if you evolved a Dratini or Dragonair into a Dragonite during that time, the resulting Dragonite would have the move Draco Meteor.

Community day is going to be all weekend, day and night, so I’m starting to strategize. I basically missed January through May (I missed January through March entirely and didn’t bother doing the research into what, exactly, we were trying to do for, like, April and May, so I might as well not have bothered). And then in June, Community Day came on the day that Thomas and his apparently-soon-to-be-second-ex-wife (I guess I’m saved from having to give her a pseudonym, though I guess I’m now free to give her an unflattering one if I want to) were having a graduation party for Alex. Thomas invited me, so I showed up but was kind of uncomfortable (that’s putting it mildly!) so I took off after a couple of hours. I stopped at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in San Marcos (writeup to follow someday) to catch some Larvitar. I was at Thomas’s house for so long that I just missed the deadline to get the target move and ended up with a different one. The stars aligned for July through November, though, so those are a low priority.

My first priority is fixing my June mistake and getting a Tyranitar with the correct moveset. So, since I only have 19 Larvitar candy (I need 125) I’m walking a Larvitar right now (Well, not *right* now, since I’m writing this post *right* now). I’m off tomorrow (November 28) so I’m going to try to earn some more Larvitar candy and maybe I’ll tackle one of my missing parks. Maybe I’ll hit Macarthur Park, because it’s pretty conveniently located (along Loop 410) and looks pretty small and easy to tackle on my way to or from one of my more regular haunts, like the River Walk near the Pearl.

Not a whole lot of Community Day Pokémon are spawning right now, so stocking up on candies is a bit more of a challenge. I did catch a Mareep in a raid the other day, though. And I caught another Chikorita on my doorstep tonight, Maybe I’ll luck out and I can get some of the candies I need. Like right now I’m only 7 Mareep candies short and only 25 Dratini candy short. Those would be pretty easy to make up if I’m lucky.

And if I tackle a new park, I have something new to blog about as well.

And, finally, I am going to have to really apply myself to monetizing this thing. I’m having a hard time coming up with travel money anymore. I have Amazon open right now looking for just the perfect thing. Maybe I’ll have to blog about Pokémon stuff later and make a list of things that seem pretty likely to put in as ads in those posts. Anyhow, it’s after midnight now and I’ve got my final Shedinja (Yay! I dug up a pretty relevant (I think?) Amazon link for this post) for November waiting for me.

By the time you finished reading that post header, you probably fell asleep. And I don’t mean for a nap. I mean for the night. My Foreign Language Project needs a punchier name than “My Foreign Language Project.”

Well, while I mull that over in a new window, I guess I should finish this post. Yep, I’ve been working on my foreign language project for two years now and so far I’ve put aside about $1,200. I’m averaging about $1.70 a day, which is still short of my goal. If I want to reach my goal by the time I’m the age my mom was when she died, I’ll need to average $2 per day. And if I can get up to an average of $2.50, I’d have time to actually get the degree by the time I’m that age. Today I put aside $2.66 so maybe I’ll hit $2.50. We’ll see.

So right now I’m focusing largely on listening to Spanish-language music and paying myself $0.015 per minute. I’ve been listening to a *lot* of Spanish-language music. I currently have Robarte un Beso (YouTube link) going in yet another window (I love multitasking computers). It’s a great song and the video is mostly very sweet. When the other girls push Juliana towards Mateo (the middle-school storyline) it bothers me. Juliana should have . . . oh, dear God, what’s the term? I always have trouble with this one. Sexual autonomy! That’s it! Juliana should be able to choose whether to be flattered or creeped out or find it kind of threatmantic or whatever on her own without others pressuring her into it.

I’ve been focusing on my Spanish to the exclusion of other languages for a while now, though, so I’ve swapped out Spanish for English-speakers on Duolingo for Spanish for Chinese-speakers (because, of course, there’s no Chinese for Spanish-speakers — that would be too easy). I will hit the proverbial wall at some point, because my Spanish is, like, immeasurably better than my Chinese.

I also applied for another Rosetta Stone language through my employer. I wanted to firm up my Italian or German, but neither were available. So I opted for another new-ish language — Russian. I don’t know how much use it’ll be, but I’ve always wanted to learn Russian (ever since I discovered that it was one of my great-grandmother’s languages). I said that I didn’t want to start until December, though, and I haven’t heard anything after I filled out the “why do you want to learn this language” form. I’ve got a little while until December. And if it doesn’t work out, well, it’s not the end of the world.

Speaking of Rosetta Stone, I planned to, in 2018, buy about six months’ worth to study either German or Italian, then let it lapse, then resubscribe for about six months to do the other. I ended up doing neither. Maybe in 2019?

And speaking of things I didn’t accomplish in 2018, I intended to return to foreign language tutoring but I never did so. I was the foreign language tutor for my junior college back in the late 1980s. I tutored both Spanish and German. I’m just glad none of the French students needed tutoring. So that’s another goal for 2019, I guess.

Now I’m off to research god and goddesses of knowledge in hopes of finding a good name for this project. Or maybe not. It’s after midnight, so I guess I’m going to bed now.

9:00 We’re still in the parking garage. We emerge into the sunlight at 9:09. Now where are we? I see the letters GB in neon and the number 225. Not enough to go on. Yet. I see the words “General Thaddeus Kosciuszko,” which is the name of a street. So we’re on Olive Street right now heading southwest-ish. This couple can really dance, but I sincerely hope that those are some version of cheerleader “spankies” under her skirt. We make a left onto 4th Street. We go a block and then everything starts to look different from how it looks in Google Street View, but the view behind the dancer matches, so we’ll assume that we’re still on 4th. We cross Broadway and then make a right. I panicked for a moment when we could see a sign that said “4th Street” behind the 9:24 again, but then we passed what was a Walgreens in January of 2017 and a sign that said “5th Street” and I knew that everything was all right.

9:28 Our dancer is a woman in a motorized wheelchair or scooter of some sort. As we reach the intersection, Beattie heads a little to the south and I thought that we were going to turn. Nope. He was walking down the curb cut so that she could use it as well. That made me smile.

9:32 We are now filming a guy carrying a pizza. Is he a delivery guy? Is it his pizza? Is he doing a favor for a friend? We don’t know yet. He does make a left onto 7th, though. And he starts dancing with the pizza. I hope he’s not a delivery guy because that pizza is definitely not held level throughout. He holds the pizza out to some people he passes. Maybe he’s selling the pizza? At any rate, he puts it down and then makes a left onto Spring Street. I hope one of the crew (from what I’ve read, there are like 15 people involved at any moment) is watching the pizza. Boy, Downtown LA has big blocks.

9:36 We’re somewhere else now. Let’s find out where. We’re still on Spring Street between 6th and 7th, still going the same direction, even. But we’re on the other side of the street. We then turn right onto 7th and head northwest.

9:44 We’re just all over the place today. We have the word “Tower” and a sign that says “8th Street,” so it looks like we’re at 8th and Broadway headed northeast on Broadway. If you ever get invited to dance in a video, you can’t go wrong with The Pony. If I had more intestinal fortitude than I currently possess, I would go back and figure out exactly how many dancers are doing The Pony in this thing.

9:50 This kid is a good dancer. Also, there’s another police car.

9:52 Another small kid with better moves than I’ve ever had. Don’t know where we are yet, though. She passes a Famima!! (yes, the exclamation points are part of the name) store. I think I see the Los Angeles theater in the background, which means that we’re still on Broadway. Yeah. I think we’re between 5th and 6th on Broadway.

9:56 Let’s find out where we’re going to spend the hour between 9:56 and 10:56. I can see a sign that says Cesar E. Chavez Drive. Another sign says “Mozaic.” That ought to be enough to go on. We’re now near Union Station on Union Station Driveway, near as I can tell. And then we dance our way right into the station. Let me guess that this is where Pharrell will turn up next. I love train stations. I guess I know one place we’ll be going the next time we’re in California.

Believe it or not, Union Station is just within the boundaries of our polygon. So now our polygon is 21.64 square miles.

Also, this is when I realized that Pharrell has to be between the Alexandra Hotel and the next building over in his 1:00 am appearance. You can see the arched windows of the building at 5th and Broadway behind him.

10:00 I guess that 10:00 will have to go with 9:00. All hour, the dancers have stayed in or near Union Station. They occasionally have walked outside of Union Station, but no one has actually left the property.

10:56 Let’s see where we go next. I wish I could read the name of the street in the background there. It’s a short name and the first letter looks like maybe an “M”? There’s something that looks like a convenience store there on the right. We head down an alley and I still haven’t been able to identify anything. I can see the word “shop” one of the windows. Maybe it’s a barber shop, maybe it’s a tailor shop. I guess we’ll find out.

So I’ve decided that rather than futzing around with a map (and my spellchecker liked “futzing.” Who knew?) I’d just copy the list from the city website. And messing with the list makes me think that maybe futzing with a map would be easier. Dear God.

Ultimately, once I remove all of the formatting and the extraneous stuff like addresses and photos, I’ll maybe bold the ones I’ve been to and change the colors of the ones I’ve written up? Or maybe pretend I’m using a highlighter and turn the ones I’ve been to blue and the ones I’ve written up green or purple? Or maybe use pink and orange, so that it looks less like links. I think I like that.

So ultimately,

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Will turn into

Friedrich Wilderness Park

once I’ve visited it and

Friedrich Wilderness Park

once I’ve written it up?

Should I pick a different shade of orange?

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Yeah. I like that darker orange better.

Now, once I’ve cleaned up the list what should I do with it? For reasons I don’t understand, school playgrounds are on the list now — this makes me a bit nervous since, well, school property. I think I’ll remove them from the list as I go.

Should I put them on my “about” page? Add a new “about”-type page for this list? Make it a blog post with a special tag?

I think that probably the new “about”-type page would be best so that *I* can find the list pretty easily. I don’t want to lose it and then have to recreate it again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go remove photos from the “L”s.

P.S. It just hit me. Once I’ve finished this list and all of them are orange, I’ll have to go back through the official city list because I’m pretty sure that they’ll’ve added new parks in the however-long it takes me to go through the whole list.

This is what’s known as job security. Or would be, if I were making any money from this yet.

I’m finally getting back to posting these and I owe it all to J. Balvin. I heard his song “Safari” (that is a YouTube link; this is the Amazon link) on the radio and the voice of the man singing “Vente conmigo. Solo conmigo” sounded so damn familiar. And it turned out to be Pharrell Williams, which reminded me why Pharrell’s voice sounds so familiar. This project.

Lots of people dancing up the river for the first hour but not many landmarks, so we’re getting two hours for the price of one here.

Next up, the rest of 6:56, followed immediately by 7:00.

7:00 We’re on the Los Angeles River now and likely to stay here for a long time. Looks like after 7:04 we start walking north along the river. At around 7:19, we pass a sign that says “Equestrians prohibited” which makes some kind of sense, since the horse chestnuts would probably be difficult for bikers to avoid. But then we pass a “horse crossing” sign and now I’m totally confused. I also don’t buy that this is 7:00 am because (a) the direction of the shadows makes me think that the sun is to the west, and not the east, and (b) cars are actually able to drive on the 5. If I recall correctly, by 7 am traffic is at a standstill on the freeways.

7:56 We move to the actual river itself, rather than the bank. It looks like the place where they filmed the race scene in Grease. And it doesn’t just look like it. This is the same place. The bridge in the background is the 7th Street Bridge in Grease, and today there’s a kind of low-lying building with lots of windows up on the bank. You can see the same building (or a substantially similar one) on Google Street View. Stretching that corner of the polygon out that far brings us to 21.58 square miles. So now we have 163 Hours of Happy.

8:00 We’re still in the LA River. This part of the river has a current. I was not expecting that. Pharrell walks down the dry edge of the river, up the berm under the next bridge, and around what looks to be some homeless person’s shopping cart. Hey, loving a city requires you to accept some of the less pleasant aspects (even if you aspire to change them). We end up in some kind of tunnel.

8:04 So this is fun. We dance through that tunnel and out onto the street. You can see that we’re near a bridge, but fuck if I can tell what bridge we’re near. Finally, after 8:08, we dance past a sign saying “590santefestudios.com” so I use that as my signpost to find our location. The closest bridge to that sign is the 4th Street bridge, but that wasn’t right. So I did some digging and found that the 6th Street bridge wasn’t demolished until 2016. So it was still there when the video was made. So I hit Google Street View, and there, in November 2015, is the bridge. And there, from under the bridge, is the building that our 8:08 dancer is passing. Then I took a step forward and the bridge and building are both gone. I couldn’t find the exact spot again, but I found one close to it and went back and forth “Now they’re here” “Now there gone” for a while. That’s always fun to do on Google Street View.

We make a left onto Willow (the building she dances past is still there in October of 2017). She covers a lot of territory in her four minutes. I didn’t expect her to get nearly as far as she did on Willow. We make a right onto Mateo and then another right onto Palmetto and a left onto Santa Fe.

8:20 We’re at a bridge again. What bridge? Dunno. Wait. We’re at the 4th Street bridge. How do I know that? Because with the disappearance of the 6th Street bridge, I was looking around the 4th Street bridge back at 8:04 and I recognize that building behind the dancer. We then follow Santa Fe Street northwards-ish to Mateo, make a right onto Mateo and then a left onto 4th Place, I think?

8:24 We skip ahead a bit to Molina Street and make a left and then a right onto Palmetto and then another right onto what I think is probably Colyton. “Colyton”? That looks like a typo, but it’s really the street name.

8:36 We return to Hollywood for the appearance of some kind of fighter or other (Youtube comments say that it’s Urijah Faber?) and a young woman who is apparently his sister. We start on Argyle Street just north of the W hotel and make a right onto Hollywood Boulevard.

8:40 I don’t know. Probably back where we were before on Colyton, I guess? No, we’re definitely somewhere else. I see the number “500” and the word “Enterprises” but unfortunately they’re on different buildings. This is no help. Oh, good. “Enterprises” is apparently 439. Wait. We are still on Colyton, only at the other end of the street. And, yep. There’s “Enterprises” on Google Street View. The other side of the sign reads “Lidderdale.” We make a left back onto Palmetto.

8:48 Now where are we? Okay. Now we’re going down Hewitt, which we skipped before for some reason. I wonder if the road was blocked off before. Huh. There’s a police car back there. I wonder if he (or she; can’t tell at this distance) has noticed our little guerrilla music video. I used to have long hair and it never swung like that. It always kind of moved in a big chunk. Does the 8:48 dancer use any kind of product to get that or is she just lucky? I go back and forth between watching her hair and watching that police car, which pulls to a stop right behind her as the song ends. I wonder if we find out what happened next? Well, I guess the police officer was just parking. We get to the intersection of Hewitt and 4th and then turn back around and head back up Hewitt. At 8:55, the 8:52 dancer goes right past that police car and we can see that it’s a sheriff’s car. For what that’s worth.

8:56 We’re somewhere else now. I see a sign that looks like it says “Music Center” with an arrow pointing left. And upon looking it up, it seems that “Music Center” is something that a sign in Los Angles might say, so we’ll go with that. Another sign that says “Grand” and Grand is a street near the Music Center, so we’re making progress. We’re shooting looking up at this dancer for some reason. I just accidentally found our location. We’re in an underground parking garage at 4th Street and Grand Avenue. I wish I could figure out why Google Street View will suddenly send me underground or beneath streets when I don’t mean it to, even if it worked out in my favor this time.

I have a three-day weekend coming up November 9 through 11. It seems a shame to waste it hanging around in San Antonio* but I have an 17.5-year-old cat who I just boarded for the weekend of October 19 through 21 and so it’s too soon to board him overnight again.

So I really should stay pretty close to home. Like less than a three-hour drive. A map with a circle with a radius of 180 miles lets me go up Interstate to West (and thus includes Austin, Waco, and San Marcos), out east on Interstate 10 to the outskirts of Houston, includes quite a bit of the coast, including Corpus Christi, out west on Interstate 10 to Ozona, and south on Interstate 35 almost to Ozona. I can also go into Mexico as far as Anahuac (?).

I wonder what’s worth seeing in Zaragoza, Mexico. Um . . . There’s a waterfall.

I could stretch it a bit, I guess, and go to Houston Or maybe San Angelo? There’s got to be more to do in San Angelo than there is in Zaragoza.

While typing this, I’ve been playing a YouTube playlist I’m building based on the Latino radio station that I listen to and it’s on shuffle. It keeps replaying the same songs, so it’s probably bedtime pretty soon. But I need to at least send out my Pokémon Go gifts before I can go to bed.

There’s a state park in San Angelo (with the creative name of “San Angelo State Park,” believe it or not). That might be worth a trip. I may have to bring Alex in on this one. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know where, if anywhere, we decide to go.

*Speaking of hanging around in San Antonio, I need to get back to writing up the parks but I’ve forgotten where I left off. I’m considering buying a big map and posting it on the wall and highlighting all of the parks I’ve written about. But where would I post it, I ask myself. I guess I’ll let you know what I decide about that, too.