Monday, August 25, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, III

In my previous post about the Los Angeles City Archives, I described an "organized room" and a "disorganized room." But that's not accurate. The organized room looks meticulous and tidy, yet it holds vast mysteries. And the disorganized room you see here, the vault, is very much in order in many ways. Yet there's work to be done.

Archivist Michael Holland cannot shelve, check and itemize every day. There are documents to be delivered, boxes to be retrieved, city officials to be informed. The job is immense.

I'd love to give Michael a staff to go through it all. But there's something beautiful about these old books as they are. In a way, I hope there will always be mysteries in the archives.

Then again, organization has its beauties, too.


You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, II

In my previous post I showed you an impressive room at the Los Angeles Archives. I think of that room as "The Organized Room." It's awesome in the true sense of the word.
Perhaps even more awesome is "The Disorganized Room." This one's a vault. Many of the files are ancient by California standards, some are of more recent memory. Some are in need of repair, some just need to be organized. There are photos, paintings, memorabilia and documents. Michael Holland, the Los Angeles Archivist who gave me a tour, has a big job on his hands. So did the Archivist before him. So will the Archivist to come after. There is so much here it will never be finished. "I'm in danger of learning something new every day that I come to work," said Michael.

Before 1877, all court documents were written in Spanish, by hand. This document is from 1850.

After 1877, legal documents began to be written in, or translated into, English.

I offered to take this old library shelving cart off the City's hands if it was taking up too much space. My offer was not accepted.

See that red tank behind the cart? It contains halon gas, a fire retardant used in spaces where a sprinkler system would do too much damage. If there should be a fire, the halon gas comes down from above and suppresses the oxygen in the room to keep the documents from catching fire. If that ever happens, the tanks would not be refilled with halon in the future because halon is now outlawed. LA still has it because it's never been deployed.

If you're working in the depths of the vault, you have 30 seconds to get out before there's no oxygen left. I couldn't forget that the whole time I was there.

More to come. I have a few more pictures to show you from the vault.


You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, I

In another life, a dream life, I was an archivist. I worked among the dusty files, cataloged and notated maps, learned to preserve the oldest books. I researched the answers to obscure questions. I found letters that had been lost and forgotten, and brought them back to life. I was a curator of the arcane.

This is the life of Los Angeles Archivist Michael Holland, who gave me a tour of the City Archives the other day. First, he showed me this room:


Neither words nor photographs can do justice to this space. I gasped quite a bit before pulling myself together to photograph Michael in the presence of 290,000 boxes of files. The shelves on the left securely hold box after box, from floor to ceiling. The shelves on the right are a vestige of those that were used before the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. To say the least, the quake showed the necessity for change.

The contents of boxes are known by the department that generated them, and not necessarily by Michael and his staff. Each box can be located by a bar code.

I love looking down this dark hallway of shelves. A mystery could happen there. An electric current runs through the line on the floor to guide the fork lifts. And a fork lift can raise a person to the highest shelves.

Michael told me many stories. My favorite: through a complicated bureaucratic process, some files become obsolete and are eventually slated for destruction. It's a cycle. Since the Northridge quake, some of those that were set to be destroyed remain undiscovered. They're still in the archives, possibly mis-marked or not marked at all. An intern is working to find them. A quarter of a million boxes is, after all, a lot to go through, and our Archivist does what he can with a small budget. Other things are of more immediate concern.

This is the original deed to Griffith Park. The original.

You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me. There's another room and I took a lot of pictures so there'll be more in a few days.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reactive Rover

photo by Jamie Rosier

Wilma had not been with us long before we knew she'd need help adjusting. She's lovely in the house; obedient, eager to learn, knows her sit and stay, never poos or pees indoors and only barfs if she gets too excited. (We try to keep things calm.) One of my friends even called her a "perfect hostess," and it's true. Wilma will love you as long as you're not a squirrel.

Outside, Wilma she still likes people but as far as John and I can tell, she was never socialized with dogs. She's afraid. Her fear sometimes looks like whining, pulling on the leash or prancing from side to side. Or it can look like growling and some nasty barking of the "I will kill you if you come over here" variety.

The Pasadena Humane Society has all kinds of classes. We got Wilma into their Reactive Rover class as soon as we could. There the head of training, Roberta MacPherson, and her associate, Jamie Rosier, taught our family the essentials of daily walks, avoiding stress and fights, and how to make it all fun for Wilma. (Hint: it has a lot to do with hot dog bits.)

Last Thursday, to the stirring strains of Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Wilma graduated. As we all know, graduation doesn't mean you've learned everything. It means you're stepping out into the world, equipped with the tools you need to continue learning.

If you know of a big, wide, fenced in space where we can let Wilma run free a few times a week, we'd love to hear about it. Girlfriend needs to use up some energy.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Have you noticed? My blog is now my website—my Online HQ. I've been working on it to the detriment of my other responsibilities. Except Wilma. Wilma keeps me to a standard.

You can now type,, or into the url field. They'll all bring you here.

Then there are the nifty tabs. See, up top, beneath the title and subtitle? Click a tab, any tab. Let me know what you think.

The process has taught me a lot about patience. And Googling. But Blogger is pretty easy. So far I'm pleased with the results but I'm not finished tweaking.

This is all in preparation for the release of Act As If, my new book, coming out this month. My next task is to get the book online and ready to go. Then I can give the dust bunnies all the attention they deserve.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Pledge of Independents

photo by John Sandel

Lately there's been a good deal of backlash against The company's been called a "bully" for holding a hard line against giant publishing companies to keep ebook prices low. Probably for other things, too, I don't know. Let's face it. Amazon is BIG.

But this is a Goliath vs. Goliath fight. New York publishing companies are monumental and impenetrable, unless you're Janet Evanovich or Stephen King or another household name.

The publishing industry is pretty scared of Amazon, and you hear a lot of "if we let 'em get away with it, they'll own the industry" kind of stuff. I don't know if that's true, but so far Amazon hasn't "gotten away with" anything illegal. In fact, it was the publishing companies who got their hands slapped by a judge for price fixing and collusion.

Now, thanks to the Abbey Bookshop in Paris, there's a Pledge of Independents, to "recruit readers, writers and bookshops worldwide in the defense of diversity and fair practices in the book trade." 

"As a bookseller wanting to take the Pledge, you promise to not buy or sell any books through Amazon or its affiliates. Moreover, you are expected to give costumers (sic) that have taken the Pledge a 5 % discount..."

As a customer, "You can take the pledge if you believe in supporting independent bookshops and if you agree that most of your books should come from independent bookshops - and that no business that is dominating the market should get your support." 

This disturbs me.

I don't defend Amazon, they can take care of themselves. I defend the independent author/publisher like myself, and small publishers who publish only a few titles per year. Local independent bookstores don't always carry our books. My locals have been supportive, and I appreciate it. But most readers are not aware that it costs me actual money to shelve my book in many stores, and more actual money to get a reading/signing.

There's good reason for this. Everybody and his brother can publish a book right now. This, by the way, is thanks to Amazon's CreateSpace and other reputable self-publishing sites like Lulu and Blurb, as well as hybrid publishers like SheWrites Press and Lucky Bat Books.

But small publishers are not on the same playing field as the big New York guys.

In the old days (like, 5 years ago), if you didn't have famous parents or if some junior gatekeeper in publishing didn't think your book would sell, you didn't have a chance of getting published. (This explains conventionally published, grammar-free semi-porn, as well as the "literary fiction" that's really just tales told in a dull voice and a bad mood.)

Today, if you're willing to work hard to write, publish and sell your book, you can. If you're online. If you're on Amazon.

But you can't get your book into most stores, independent or not. It doesn't matter how well-reviewed your book is. I can't walk into stores around the world and pay them to stock my titles. I can't afford the travel and stocking fees. Even if I could, most stores would refuse because they don't have the space to stock everything.

If I can't sell my book online, I can't sell it.

I suggest you support your local store when you can. If you are in the Pasadena area, you can buy Camelot & Vine at Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Hoopla! in Altadena, and the Pasadena Museum of History gift shop (it'll be back at Vroman's soon).

If you don't live in Pasadena, please buy my book from the bully.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guest Author: Bonnie Schroeder

Bonnie Schroeder and I became friends when we were in the same writers group. This wasn't the kind of group that read and critiqued each others' work. We met to share our progress and our process. Here's Bonnie, to share what happens next:


When my novel, Mending Dreams, was published, I realized I would be expected to go out into the world and talk about the book.

Oh, the horror!

I once read that people fear public speaking more than death. We'd rather die than give a speech in public.

One of the first things I did, and the smartest, was to join a Toastmasters club that focuses on writers. What a find! These people can make public speaking fun. Seriously.

My first chance to put those new skills to work came when Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse offered to host my book launch. I joined their Brown Bag Book Club years ago, but I never anticipated that my book would be on their radar!

So, how do you do a book launch, especially when you don't have the resources of a big publishing house? You do it with a lot of help, a lot of luck, and a visit to Costco.

My cousin Marilyn is a former event planner, and she jumped into this project and recruited her daughter-in-law Morgan to help. They advised me on the refreshment menu (simple things that guests could easily manage: cheese, crackers, white wine—so spills don't show up on the carpet—and of course plenty of water). The night of the launch, they set up the refreshment table and served up the food so I could be free to mingle and enjoy.

My pal Jayne is an accomplished photographer, and she signed on to photo-document the launch. The end result: a treasure trove of photos to savor—and to post on social media.

I promoted the launch shamelessly, handing out flyers everywhere. I posted it on my website, Facebook and Goodreads. I invited everyone I know: friends and family, members of my Tai Chi class and my dog club, my neighbors. I sent press releases to local newspapers, emphasizing the "local author" angle.

Then I drove myself nuts practicing my "speech," and finding just the right piece of the novel to read, then timing it all. I started to stress out, until this thought occurred: the people coming would be friends, even if I didn't know them. They'd be folks who like to read and would know or want to know about me and my book.

The launch itself was a crazy collision of all my different worlds, and I had the best time ever! I put my inner control freak on hold and looked out at all my friends in the audience. Then I took a deep breath and started talking about why I wrote the book, the challenges I overcame, my writing process.

I heard laughter and applause at the right places, and you know what? It was so much fun that I'm working like crazy to get another book published so I can do it all over again.

Bonnie signs my copy of Mending Dreams.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest Author: Désirée Zamorano

Désirée Zamorano has been a guest author here before. Her new novel is just out, and it may be something you haven't read before. Here's Des:

 Bringing The Amado Women to Life

When I cast about to commit at least two years of my life to my next uncertain project, there were a few of things I was sure about. I wanted to explore the lives of women, because our lives are multifaceted and filled with conflicting demands. I wanted to write about the women I knew, admired and loved: loyal, intelligent, funny. Married or single, mothers or not, loving and spiteful, petty and generous. Women as human beings in all our complexity.

The Pasadena/LA setting was automatic. Southern California is filled with ethnic and income diversity, conflict, beautiful settings and fascinating characters. Some of us hide behind gated communities, some of us go exploring. It happens to be where I live and what I enjoy knowing.

I also knew the complexion of my cast.

That’s where things get dicey, because as I looked around to pitch my completed novel, to potential agents, to potential publishers, there were plenty of marvelous family dramas by women, by gifted authors like Elizabeth Berg, Jodi Picoult, Ann Patchett or Ann Tyler, but none by Latinas, and none featuring a cast of aspirational or middle-class Mexican-Americans. I had done what Karen Joy Fowler had done with The Jane Austen Book Club, which was written a novel the author wanted to read. But would I be its only audience?

With each rejection I got more nervous. Even though Mexican Americans are California’s largest demographic, and the fastest growing across the nation, even though many of us have been here since before statehood, the lock on our portrayals in the media is fierce and limiting. I’ve seen so many hot mamacitas and inarticulate maids that when one shows up I change the channel or shut the book. The Amado Women could not be squeezed into either of these depictions.

I held my breath, crossed my fingers and made a phone call pitch to Cinco Puntos Press in El Paso. They wanted to see it. They ultimately published it. Hallelujah!

Now, many years since its inception, The Amado Women is out in public for total strangers to read. Like all authors, I’ve had my share of glowing reviews and not so glowing. What I did not anticipate was how many men would be moved by this novel. One of them wrote to me and said, “You’re the only person I’m going to tell, but I wanted to let you know that I burst into tears.” Never would this writer’s imagination have expected that. You see, I, too, have some preconceptions of who people are.

You can meet Désirée at one of her upcoming events

Wednesday, July 30 • 7 pm
Launch Party
Vroman’s Bookstore

Pasadena, CA

​Sunday, August 10 • 2pm
The Bluebird Reading Series​​
Avenue 50 Studio
131 N. Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA

Thursday, August 14 • 7 pm
Books Inc Opera Plaza
San Francisco, CA

Or find out more about her here. You can also follow here on Twitter @LaDeziree 

To read my review of The Amado Women, click on the cover icon to the right of this post.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wilma Acts As If

Act As If: Stumbling Though Hollywood With Headshot in Hand is my book of essays about the life of a journeyman actor in Hollywood, a life I lived for twenty years. It's not easy work, but it's hilarious if you bring your attitude.

The book comes out in August. In celebration, Wilma shows us how to Act As If

Here's Wilma with John, acting as if she's dangerous.

Here's Wilma with her bunny, acting as if she's a big time squirrel hunter. (I'm sorry, Bunny.)

Here's Wilma, acting like she owns everything in the house. She doesn't.
(Photo by John Sandel. Raised bowls thanks to Bellis.)

Here's Wilma with John again, acting like—actually, she's not acting here. She's being herself.

I discuss these techniques and more in Act As If, and I give each topic all the gravitas or hilarity (or both) it deserves. Wilma is a very good actor.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


There will be several more tomatoes and a few more onions. Maybe garlic, maybe not. Maybe lettuce, maybe not. This is the extent of the potato harvest, and let me tell you, it was a joy to dig this stuff out of the dirt.

I've found out this summer that deep down in my soil soul, I'm not a gardener. I had hoped I was. I love the idea of free food, and to just walk out to the back yard and grab a salad is all the excitement I need. But the weeding, the watering, and the planning ahead all defeated me this time around.

In case you're not from southern California, it's hot and dry here. For your own safety, and to make your water go as far as possible, you need to avoid the day's heat. Some people get out and pull weeds before going to work. They water the garden when they get home. People are dedicated to their gardens. I admire that, and I love the sharing when people plant more than they can eat.

(Hint to my neighbors: I've been watering the clementine tree. Remember that when you're wondering what to do with that extra tomato!)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Digital Book Day

(Update 7/13/14: Camelot & Vine is currently #1 on the Kindle free Women's Historical fiction list!)

Digital Book Day is a response to failure. No. Wait. It's a phoenix, rising from the ashes. Either way, I get to participate in what's sure to be a success.

For the last three years, World Book Night has given millions of free books to readers all over the world. Volunteers hand out donated books everywhere. These are not cast-offs that the second-hand stores can't sell. These are new books by best-selling authors, donated by authors and publishers.

Or I should say they were, because World Book Night is not going to happen this year due to lack of funding.

Enter bestselling thriller author C.J. Lyons to save the day! Digital Book Day, that is. Lyons is organizing it, and Camelot & Vine is a part! On Monday, July 14th just go to the Digital Book Day link and search for Camelot & Vine, or your favorite author (how could that not be me?), or just browse. Then download your free copy of anything listed there.

Oh--and, you lucky dawg, you get a bonus because you read my blog. Nobody knows this but you: Camelot & Vine is already free through July 14th at Smashwords, where you can download it free in any electronic format including Kindle. So you can have C&V now, and any book on the Digital Book Day site on July 14th (Bastille Day! Alléluia!)

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Well, hello there. I haven't seen you in a while.

I have excuses reasons. I'm working on the final production for Act As If: Stumbling through Hollywood with Headshot in Hand, my new book of essays about my experiences in Hollywood. I'm writing another novel. I'm making website changes. John and I are training Wilma, who is willing but has the attention span of a dog.

And I'm seeing differently.

When I started taking pictures, I began to see like a photographer. I saw the shape of the photo in my mind, with levels and shades, thirds and quadrants. I learned to frame the picture in the camera instead of in software. It became almost automatic. And every day, I couldn't wait to share my photos with you here.

Now I rarely see a photo like I once did. I wonder if this is the photographer's equivalent of writer's block, yet I don't believe in writer's block. When I feel a block, I keep writing. It's the same as grocery store worker's block. When you feel it, you still go to work.

I haven't been taking as many photos lately, and if I would just get out there with the camera I'd begin to see photos again. But right now, I'm doing other things and I can't wait to share them with you when they're finished.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

500 Empty Bowls

bowl by Kenneth Chung

The best charity event I've ever been to was Saturday's 500 Empty Bowls, where one-of-a-kind, handmade ceramic bowls were going for $10 bucks each, with the money donated to feeding people in need. The metaphor serves the reality, which is nice, but that's not why I enjoyed it so much.

I planned to spend $10 but that was impossible because I had $20 in my pocket and it had to go. Every single bowl was beautiful, and they were all worth more than $10. (Don't need bowls? A handmade, one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl makes a great gift.) I bought two I loved, then ran into Pasadena Adjacent, who had alerted me to the event. She was practically forcing a bowl onto our mutual friend: "Take this one, this is a special glaze, it's really hard to do, this guy's so talented," etc.

bowl by ? Let me know if you know

Damn. I had already spent my $20. I wanted to keep the bowls I had and buy the special bowl. I told our friend I wanted the special bowl and I'd have to pay her later. No dice. She claimed it. Plus I didn't win the raffle. You'd think these setbacks would have ruined my fun, but I was in a souq of ceramics, ice cream, and people, with not a single pearl-bedraggled, evening-gowned matron in sight, and it was a blast.

Next year I'm going to bring a lot more money.

You can take classes in ceramics and other things at the Monrovia Community Adult School. Well worth a look.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wilma: Home at Last

I'm not goin' nowhere, she sez. Sez she's stayin' right here. Don't even ast me to budge. Don't even.


(After two shelters and two other homes, this sweet, receptive, trained and trainable Boxer mutt deserves to stay. She settled in quickly and is willing to keep us. We're introducing her to our lives little by little, and she takes everything in stride. We're saving the trauma of bathing for tomorrow, but that's the limit. Think she'll like it? I don't either. She's spent a long time getting her girly-dog stink on, and she won't like losing it. But honey girl, it's got to go.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lemonade for Eliza

Two girls in my neighborhood read about Eliza O'Neill, a little girl suffering from a big disease. They decided to go proactive and sell lemonade to raise funds for Eliza.

They enlisted their friends. They made flyers and walked up and down the block with their mother to distribute them. 

Today, Sunday, I can hear the children outside as I type. John and I went out to get our lemonade and found the kids chanting, flagging down cars and passers-by, and enjoying every gleeful moment of their altruism. Their parents didn't tell them to do this, although there's a lot of parental support of this event. You can bet the kids learned charity at home.

You can go to Eliza's gofundme website and help. Or help someone else. If not for their sake, then for your own.

Being nice is good for everyone. Plus, it's fun.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Falling in Love Again

Long-time readers will remember Boz, the internationally famous, boxer/pit bull mix who stole my heart and -- wait. That's a cliché. He never stole a thing, not even treats. Maybe the occasional tidbit on the kitchen floor, but that's not stealing.

I willingly gave Boz my love, and he grew old and died, and that's the way it goes. I grieved hard. I'll never get over him but I'm finally ready to move on and find another dog to shower with love.

(More cliché. In my experience, dogs don't like the shower. So I'll just love him or her, and give her the occasional bath.)

Those who followed the Facebook saga know that John and I adopted Selkie a couple of weeks ago. We fell in love with her at the Pasadena Humane Society (another cliché, but we did fall, it's impossible not to). We didn't consider some things: her youth, mostly. We consulted a pro, and after less than a week we decided we had to take her back to the shelter. Her needs were beyond our power and expertise. After five days together, all three of us were emotional wrecks.

That wasn't Selkie's fault. We made the wrong decision and she suffered for it.

This, too, is cause for grief, though it could have been worse for everyone if we'd waited longer. (If you visit the shelter and want to meet her, ask for Kaylee. I think that's what they call her. She is a beautiful, loving dog.)

We took a few days off to recharge, and we're ready to look again. We're taking it slowly, watching for the dog we can share our lives with. Some of you have sent suggestions. They're all great. We're being careful, meeting with the dogs who seem like possibilities. There are thousands within driving distance who all need a home.

We know we're not going to find another Boz. But dogs are individuals and we might find an adult, short-haired mutt who is low key, laid back, even repressed (that's a plus!), who just needs love, security, and a bit of happiness in order to come into his or her own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Zen Wednesday #3

It's been a while since we had some Zen around here. And Zen Wednesdays are as rare as a rooster in an LA City Animal Shelter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Just Plain Strange

We got away for a couple of days. John took this picture of me at the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura, CA. The Mission is a lovely place with a strange and sad history. Then again, much of history is strange and sad. But I enjoyed visiting.

 John was overwhelmed.

Friday, April 25, 2014

You Haven't Got Mail

My name is Petrea and I am an email addict.

23 years ago I had the help of Nicotine Anonymous to quit smoking. I consider myself an addict still because I know if I smoked just one cigarette I'd be a regular smoker again.

When you're addicted to a substance, even one as seemingly benign as cigarettes, you hide. You separate yourself from the world. There's shame involved. You want to quit but quitting is physically and emotionally excruciating. You are a slave to that substance and you must do what is required in order to get it. If you're a smoker, you have to go outside at parties, no matter the weather. Your mind departs every conversation as soon as the nicotine cracks its whip. Worst, non-smokers won't date you.

I sat in those Nicotine Anonymous meetings and listened to heroin addicts talk about how nicotine was the hardest thing to quit. That helped me, because I knew they'd been through so much.

I wonder if they can help me now.

Now my drug of choice is email, and I haven't been able to log on for days. It doesn't matter how it happened, or why. I am a slave to it and in order to get it back I must go to Apple's Genius Bar. While I wait for my appointment I am adrift, aimlessly surfing the web, a junkie on a shiny silver raft. It's excruciating to be unable to get my fix.

When I quit smoking, for months I abused sugar-free candy and gum. I ate a lot of actual food, too, and gained enough weight to go up a size. I discovered fine coffee. I used all these substances like I had used nicotine.

What is there for me now? Books? I mainline books. The great outdoors? Bah! I dose on that junk every day.

Facebook is boring. Twitter is chirpy. What will I do to feed my habit until everything works again?

Must I make phone calls? Oh, the horror!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sunday Gardener

My neighbor Dale and I are planting food in my back yard. This is going to be a potato. I don't mind sharing the leaves with a hungry bug as long as it leaves the potatoes for me.

We had three tomatoes growing as of yesterday. Probably more today. They are determined, and in the spot Dale chose for them it's apparently not too hard.

We have garlic, cucumbers, eggplant, and onions. More to be planted on Sunday.

I tossed this purple onion into the compost because it had mold on it. The onion took advantage of the opportunity and sprouted. So I followed the onion's opportunist example and stuck it in the ground. We shall see. Maybe it'll turn out to be food, maybe not.

But as Dale says, "They're plants. They know what to do."