Monday, March 24, 2008

Questions and Excited Anticipation

Monday evening, at the office.

the world seems to be getting worse everyday. The situation in China is tenuous at best. The 4000th service man person was killed in Iraq. They bulldozed the homeless encampment in Ontario today. People who have no where to go and no money to get there are told they have to leave. The economy is down and it is most likely getting worse. Our parents from the great generation are welcoming home their kids from the baby boomer generation. They have lost their jobs.

It seems like the whole world is becoming one huge Skid Row in one form or fashion.
I used to ask myself how would I get out of this situation. On a wider scope, I ask myself, how are we going to get out of this situation. What is going to happen to this economy? What is going to happen in Iraq? Will this newly powerful terrorist from Pakistan catch the US with our guard down?

The one thing I know for sure is that the unemployment rate in Skid Row can not get any higher. I have my desk clerk job and I am as grateful as I can be. I am employed. I do not even view myself as underemployed. In this day and age and situation, who has that luxury?

A friend of mine responded to an email I sent him. His reply had a tone of detachment. I wondered if it was my imagination. It was not. In a subsequent email, he said times were bad for him. he did not elaborate. He put"real bad" in italics and in bright red. This is a man who saves money and who has kept a steady job in all of the thirty plus years that I have known him.

I look at the drugs on the street being consumed everyday. I wonder about the concept of denial. Are they any more in denial than the collective soul of our country? This Iraq situation? Is it really better? Is the election, as historic as it is, able to avoid the nasty temptation to exploit racism or sexism as a means to ignite emotions for whatever the political gain?

I ask myself all of these questions as I look outside the door and view a dimly lit street on Skid Row. the scarcity of lights parrallels the scarcity of lights that shine on our future.

Our kids are turning themselves into "suicide bombers" with these shootings on college campuses. A man falls out of a upper flow window on 7th and Los Angeles streets and splatters himself on the pavement.

Is Skid Row, with its problems doing worse or better than the world average in the area of progress/capita? It is hard to say. I know that I see people on Skid Row getting jobs. Every day, for the past six months, I have heard a bell ring in the Chrysalis office on Main St. Every time someone secures a job, a bell is rung. The person who secures the job speaks in front of those who are relentlessly searching for jobs on the rows of computers that are in the facility. They speak to those who are still without employment and give them words of encouragement.

Those words work. I know because they helped me continue to search for work with the belief that, one day, the hard work and tenacity would pay off.

I have the job and I started a social network. Why? To further grow on the internet. However, the more I learn the more I realize that I do not know anything.

I wanted to create a virtual community on the web a few months ago. Now I have done that. It is a way to bring stability and continuity of communication in an environment where that does not exist too often. Secondly, I can be a part of something that grows and brings people together when there seems to be so much that is ripping us apart.

These are my thoughts as I sit here at work and look outside into the dark night. It is interesting that I do see a few colorful lights in the distance. I see only one green light. I see many red ones. Is that symbolic of the times?

Someone told me to get out more. I will begin to do that. There was a time when I did not want to venture out because I did not want to face the eventuality of having to return to my environments of residence on Skid Row.

I plan to start swimming and training again. I have waited a long time to resume that part of my life. It was a key ingredient to change my life. I wonder what it will feel like to glide through the water now that I no longer indulge.
Again, it is all a matter of patience. Patience allows one to not stress out. It allows one to enjoy the process of growing and pursuing.

---I just checked my email. While I have been typing this post, two people have joined "downtown Los Angeles Friends". Ah yes. It feels good.

You know, there was a time when I wanted to own a bar or a golf course. I wanted to be the owner and manager of a place where people had fun. When I was a tennis coach and instructor, my mentor told me that I was not teaching people merely how to play tennis. I was teaching them how to enjoy themselves and have fun.

Now I have this social network. It is a little bit different than having a country club, golf course or private club in a downtown building. But the skills that it takes to make those establishments successful must be possessed by the person who creates these respective social network sites. Now I have the task of learning how to maintain interest in my site. should be fun. I found that there is a link for those that create sites to share ideas on how to make them successful.

I learn about entertaining. I learn more about the web. I learn more about marketing. Ah yes, it feels good to grow. I want to think everyone for helping joining the site so far. I will do my best to make it a very interesting place for all. My journey continues.

A lady once said that I should keep writing. Well, this is one of the things that my writing has led to. I hope she joins.

I want that website to be the "family room" of downtown Los Angeles. It would be nice if people dropped in every night to see what is happening. Maybe they will join a chat room. maybe the downtown writers group will do a reading or something. Maybe I can broadcast art walk on it. maybe metropolis books will allow me to broadcast the visit of one of their authors or speakers. It will be interesting to see how far it goes. I want whatever makes people laugh and have fun. that is the goal. I will learn alot along the way.

If I can be half as successful as the International Pillow Fight Day, I will be happy. Whatever else happens in the rest of the world, we, in Downtown Los Angeles, are going to have fun. And I intend to be a part of that fun.

Good Night world.

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