A couple waits at a light at Vermont avenue and Santa Monica boulevard.

JIMBO TIMES is more than 2,100 Days Old Today

(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 62)

JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller completed 2,100 days around the sun yesterday. The blog’s first column was posted on the evening of August 19th, 2014. According to Google, that was exactly 2,100 days ago, with today being the 2,101st day on record. During that time, I’ve published just a little over 700 columns on the site, or just short of one writing a day for two consecutive years’ worth of reading.

When I first started the blog, it was simply an ode to mom and the rest of the community that raised me through the streets of Los Angeles. I thought I had seen much of those streets by then, which I could showcase through the blog, but I had no idea just how much more was ahead.

I didn’t know, for example, that I would write about the deaths of young Latinos through the intersections of East Hollywood.

Likewise, I didn’t know that I would write about working as a barista and server behind Los Angeles’s registers.

I also didn’t know that I would get to review what would become my favorite book ever about Los Angeles, Mike Davis’s City of Quartz.

And even if I believed I could show up to classrooms all over Los Angeles to motivate young people towards their education some day, as well as juvenile detention centers for the same purpose, none of it was guaranteed. I strove to see all of it through.

Even so, if someone had told me then that all of that work would one day lead me to feature student voices on the blog, I would have believed it, but guardedly, under a quiet skepticism.

The only thing I knew for a long time was that even if these cuentos might not have seemed like extraordinary things to much of the rest of the world around me, they still mattered to me.

Today, our blog is 62 consecutive blogs into Pandemic in Los Angeles. I know that many readers haven’t had a chance to keep up with each column, but that’s the beauty of the site: like a good book, it’s not going anywhere.

Take your time to see if you can catch up, Los Angeles


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One Year with Jimbo Times

In just over two weeks, JIMBO TIMES will complete its first year around the world!

A year with J.T. also marks a year since I got off the graduation bus to make my way into adult-land; like the page views for my website, adult-land has been a steady mixture of rising and falling through a world that goes with or without the contributions we make to its winds.

Adult-land has also been like a fresh plate of debts and demands to dig into, served to yours truly with a slight sense of freedom: the freedom to either reject or embrace the cold plate in front of me.

Ultimately, I’ve made the choice to embrace the plate, as I embraced the city of L.A. when I returned to traffic under its palm trees from the easy-going bike lanes of Davis, but make no mistake about it: it’s not been an easy thing to do.

One moment, being an adult seems like its the greatest stream of consciousness I’ve ever known, where its offerings make me feel like I can climb mountains or hop on a plane to leave America without a worry in the world. The next moment, I take a look at my bank account, and I freeze: consciousness turns into a whirlpool, and I’m pulled into a cold world of uncertainty over what the future holds.

Then in just as much of a flash, the whirlpool unwinds and it turns out my concerns are just pebbles skipping through a lonely pond. Adult-land is a sequence of variable environments to wade through like this, each containing myriads of different characteristics to adapt to, but all — like the debts and demands — asking only one thing of me: to make peace with how much I can control, and let go of what I can’t, or not.

Or as Mr. Moltez, my ole middle school principal, once put it, to “make it a great day or not, [because] the choice is [mine].”

With JIMBO TIMES, I’ve chosen not only to make it a great day in adult-land, but to make it an ambitious one as well — which more than anything — has led me to participate in the world with other ambitious minds. First with The Plus Me Project, then with the Beautiful Gate, later with VONA, and now with the InsideOUT Writers.

All of the people at these organizations have opened up their hearts to J.T., and in doing so, they’ve helped yours truly to beat back the debts and demands of adult-land with a true cast of allies, teammates, and supporters alongside me.

They’ve also led me to meet a wealth of other new people in my life, through which I’ve learned and relearned how regardless of where we hail from, we’re all fighting our own battles in a world that’s never short of them. I’m thankful for this gift, and hopeful that J.T. has only so much more growing to do with its contents in the days ahead.

Of course, I’d be a jerk to recognize my supporters without counting my friends and ‘fans’ from the days before The L.A. Storyteller, and those friends from the days in between all the different ‘work’ with the organizations named above. Then again, these people never read my stuff, or if they do, they never comment on it, so forget them! J.T.’s good without them.

But really, I couldn’t do it without each and every single subscriber, so to those three friends reading this: please don’t unsubscribe! It’s taken a year to reach over 600 people with my posts, and I’m not going to start moving backwards now! However, if you do unsubscribe, well, don’t bother resubscribing! I’ll know who you are, and I’ll name posts after you! Ahem.

Anyway, it’s been fun reflecting, but now I have to prepare to meet with another ambitious mind in The City. I’ll be back with more on Quartz soon, but in the meantime:

Make it a great day everyone! Or not.

The choice is yours.