Saturday, December 13, 2008


I don't know about you, but I've had a week of ups and downs. Kind of like the financial markets--wait, that was mostly downs, wasn't it? I've had ups, but you get my meaning: drama. Sometimes it makes life interesting. Those ups are lovely, aren't they? But sometimes I'd prefer boredom.

While we catch a break this weekend I wish you serenity, time to relax and a chance to collect yourself from all those corners you've spread into. By the time Monday rolls around I expect you to be whole again and ready to celebrate Zen Monday here on the blog.

I know. I know. I'm expecting a lot. But I wouldn't ask it of you if I didn't ask it of myself.

I'm going to spend my weekend catching up on little things. Email. Errands. Housework. Lists. Maybe wrap a present or two. Stuff. If I plan it right, it will be quite, quite dull.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nice Dog Digs

I've gotta be honest here, I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at. But I think this could be the cleanest dog kennel ever.

I took this picture while exploring behind the Pasadena Humane Society in Edmondson Alley, which runs north to south paralleling Raymond Avenue.

Pasadena's Humane Society gets high marks for professionalism, cleanliness, high adoption rates and healthy, happy animals. Even knowing that I was surprised at how clean these cages looked when I peeked through a grating in the alley. What surprised me even more was how quiet it was. The cages must have been empty. Maybe they take the animals out when they clean the cages. I don't know, which is why I'm not sure what this is a picture of. If it's part of the Humane Society, wouldn't you think it would be packed? I'm under the impression they don't have a lot of extra space.

Whatever it is, it's clean. And the American flags and hanging ferns are a nice, decorative touch.

Update, 10:00pm: a couple of people mentioned they'd like to see this shot in black & white. It was nice of you to ask! Here it is below, with a little tweak to the contrast:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ways of Seeing

It's not that dogs don't witness grandeur, it's just that they find it in other things than we do. While I point my camera toward the sky, Boz and his pal Sprocket point their noses elsewhere. Inhaling grandeur, as it were.

It's all right with me. We don't have to see everything the same way. There's plenty for everyone to enjoy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blue Cottage

Surrounded by larger homes, this one might be missed. I gaze at it every time I pass it. In the three years I've been driving by I've never seen the shutters open. Maybe vampires live there, John says. Maybe someone who works nights.

The three pots on the porch speak of order. There's no clutter. The cat is well fed. Perhaps someone appreciates simplicity, privacy, and the patina of age.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zeli Coffee Bar (#6 In a Quest)

At 3:20 on a Monday afternoon, doesn't it seem like people should be at work? Well, they are. They're at coffee shops with their laptops. Or at least they're at Zeli, packed in and bustling. I thought maybe I went at the wrong time of day, but the reviews at tell me maybe not.

Zeli Coffee Bar, at 695 Colorado Blvd., is an adjunct to Vroman's Bookstore. It should be perfect - you buy your book then slink into the coffee shop and sit down for a read. Zeli has couches, tables, and a bar facing the window onto Colorado Blvd. Plenty of outdoor tables, too, but it was too cold for me to sit outside yesterday.

So I ordered a latte and found myself a chair in the corner. There was no table available so I had to prop up my laptop in my actual lap. That thing gets warm! (The laptop. Then the lap.) I was crowded, crunched and personally toasted. There was no place to put the papers I needed to read from, so I stuck them on top of my purse beside the chair on the floor and glanced down to refer to them when I needed to. When I had a chance I moved to the couch which was more comfortable, but dirty and torn.

With all that movement and all those bodies, people were working intently and being relatively quiet. Upstairs at Vroman's there's an extensive, wonderful kids' books section and several moms came in with little kids. I thought, "Oh no," but even the kids were civilized.

Music: nice, instrumental, eastern European. But I was stuck under the speaker, so too loud where I was sitting.
Service: impersonal but efficient.
Wifi: free and fast.

Coffee: bad. I mean BAYAD. I like my coffee hot, but it was still too hot to drink ten minutes after I got it. When it was finally cool enough to dare a sip, it was flavorless - flat - blah. Overcooked? I don't know. My guess is if they hadn't burned it it might have had some taste, but I'm not an expert on how to make it, that's supposed to be their bailiwick. Maybe water that hot is good for tea.

I love Vroman's. LOVE LOVE LOVE Vroman's. It's the best bookstore I've ever been in. EVER. Powell's is wonderful but overwhelming. Vroman's is just right. Zeli is beneath Vroman's standards.

Onward. The Quest continues.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Zen Monday: #26

On Zen Monday you experience the photo and tell us what you think, rather than me telling you what to experience from viewing it.
There's no right or wrong.
If the photo evokes something in you, that's all it is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Science 2

I have to show you one more book from the Beautiful Science exhibit at the Huntington.

I took other pictures. The light bulb shot didn't turn out so well (sorry, d53, I guess you'll have to go see them in person). And the red room - well, it's red. It's not orange. I know, excuses. But the book pics are fine, plus I love this one. Isn't it - what's the word - quaint?

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Dan Lewis, the Huntington's Dibner Senior Curator for the History of Science and Technology, put together this exhibit called Beautiful Science. John and I went to the curator's tour the other night. Mr. Lewis is the guy who wrote the cards perched next to the various books and items in the exhibit, so he's the guy who wrote this:

"The first illustrated medical text ever printed, this collection of treatises covers a broad spectrum of medieval European knowledge and practice. This scene shows anatomist Mondino dei Liuzzi giving a lesson while a cadaver is dissected. The legality of dissection in medieval Europe varied from time to time and place to place. When this work was written, dissection was still illegal in much of Europe, so illustrations showing anatomical structure were especially valuable to the many medical practitioners who could not study it firsthand."

I managed to cut off the top of the card so I don't know if this book is Andreas Vesalius’ treatise on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica (1543), described on the Huntington's website. But it could be, and if not, okay, well that's in the exhibit, too.