This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Well well. The freezing rain of this morning has now shifted to snow! So, it's snowing!

Will it stay? Will we have a white Christmas? Time will tell.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ah, back home in Zagreb. And it's Christmas time! Double happy yay!

Just went for a bit of a stroll. The neighborhood is packed with shoppers. Presumably, people stocking up on food, shopping for gifts and whatnot.

Konzum, our local mega chain supermarket, just opened a gigantic store nearby and I decided to walk over there for a look. Thought I might buy a few things. But, no way. Forget that. It was PACKED. People were lined up to pay in lines that would obviously take a half hour or more to get to the front of and I was not in the mood for that. So, I just wandered around and took a look. It's nice to have in the area because they really have a lot of stuff. Electronics, TVs, kitchenware, notebooks and papers, all sorts of food and a HUGE wine section. But, I will still go to the little local shops for most stuff. I wouldn't want this mega store to drive the little fish shop and wine shop and others out of business. I like talking to those folks and having a connection to the shop keepers.

I tried also to find a Christmas tree stand with no luck. It's not that they don't have stands here, but they're different. They're just an iron stand to hold the tree up. Nothing to hold water to extend the tree's life. I asked around at a few places and nobody even knew what I was talking about. They'd just point me to that iron stand. So, I guess iron stand it it. We're going to get our tree tomorrow.

I think we'll also do our food shopping. I proposed to Nara that we do some cooking on Christmas day. Maybe we'll make some soup or something. Don't know yet. We'll see what the market has. I'd like some squash soup, but don't know if they're still available. Sunday, we're going to our landlord's house with some wine. We'll pay the rent, but also hang out. I brought back a very nice Zinfandel to share and also bought a Dingač to bring, which is an excellent wine. One of the parent grapes of Plavac Mali, the grape that makes Dingač, is in fact Zinfandel. Zinfandel is originally from Croatia, as proven by DNA testing in the late 90s. If you think it's originally from Italy and is Primitivo, you're partially correct. It IS Primitivo, but Primitivo is ALSO originally from Croatia. In Croatia, it is called Crljenak Kaštelanski, which sadly seems to not be used to make wine anymore and is exceedingly rare. I've never seen wine made with it. Plavac Mali, on the other hand is used to make a lot of wine. It'll be interesting to compare the two.

Monday, Christmas Eve, we'll exchange some of our gifts, then go to a party at Smart Caffe, one of our local haunts. That should be a rager. Christmas day, we'll probably just have lazy times. Maybe we'll watch some movies, cook, sleep a lot and take it easy. Should be nice.

Na hrvatskom: Sretan Božić. Na engleskom: Merry Christmas to everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So, I've been in Los Angeles for two weeks now. I sit here at LAX using a hotspot to connect and kill time while I wait for my flight home to Zagreb.

It's been a bittersweet visit.

It's been great to see my friends and family. My hosts Dave and Dominika were especially great and Dave and I had many a drinking night.

My basic routine was to awaken quit early, seek out breakfast, then get to it. I spent most of my time sorting through my possessions, throwing stuff away, donating stuff, selling some stuff and packing up the belongings I decided to take with me to Zagreb. It was a lot of work. My hands look and feel like the hands of a laborer; tough, sore and blistered a bit. This from endless opening of boxes, lots of lifting and all manner of nonsense. I also spent a huge amount of time driving around LA, which meant I also spent a large amount of time stuck in traffic. Yesterday was the worst.

I spent three and a half hours stuck in traffic. My printout from the sea freight company said to deliver my stuff between 8AM and 6PM, to Compton. My storage unit was in Van Nuys. I had the van all packed and ready to go, but I had to wait for the Salvation Army, who picked up lots of donated furniture and whatnot. By the time they finished up, it was 3PM. I left for Compton around 3:15, heading north on the 101.

Naturally, it being LA and all, the 101 was fucked. Bumper to bumper sometime after passing Sunset. Like really horrible. We weren't moving at all. I got off the freeway and drove surface streets to the 110, South. Again, heavy traffic. All told, it took 2 hours to get to Compton. I arrived around 5:15PM. And, the freight place was closed. This despite my printout telling me to come between 8 and 6. Motherfuckers! So, the aggravation of being stuck in traffic was all for nothing. The drive back to Dave and Dominika's apartment in West Hollywood took an hour and a half.

So, let me just take this opportunity to say again that I fucking hate LA. With a passion. The land itself can be nice in areas. But the people here are largely fucked. It draws the worst people here from all over the world. Sure, I have friends here. And they're obviously the exception. But I couldn't live here again. No way in hell. The list of what's wrong with LA is massively long and the list of what's good about it is very short. At least by my estimation.

I enjoyed some nice food here at least. But I've come to realize that being in LA makes me angry. The city itself makes me angry. And it's like this fairly persistent anger the whole time I'm here. I hate it.

So, I am glad to be going home to Zagreb. Sure, I can't get some of the things I can here in LA. But I'd take it over LA any day. I miss my friends in Zagreb. I miss being relaxed. I miss my cats. Most of all I miss my girlfriend. She rocks. Home soon enough.