Saturday, October 31, 2009


Hey. It's the day. I wanted something truly weird.

Here's a good article about Halloween. Paragraph two tells you how to correctly pronounce "Samhain" and impress your friends.

You might enjoy this delightfully sinister animated short film called The Sandman, directed by Paul Berry. (You might not.)

Have fun out there tonight! Be safe! Be spooky! Eat candy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Day, October 2009

October 23, 5:18pm

The idea of the project I started last month is to take a picture from the same spot and post it periodically, then watch as the spot changes throughout the year. I plan to post on the last day of each month, but since tomorrow's Halloween, this time I'm a day early.

The view looks across Johnson Field at Hahamongna Watershed Park. The logs in the foreground were put there by a team of bicycle riders who use them for practice. The nearest foothills were spared in the Station Fire, but the mountains in the background are as yet bare of vegetation and will probably be that way for a while.

We had a couple of days of steady rain last month. Makes a difference, doesn't it?

You stay at this blogging thing long enough, and you can just link to yourself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn Lore

Maybe I like the weather here because the only thing I have to compare it to is that of northern Illinois. Chicago nights get below fifty degrees this time of year and it's only going to get colder. Some people love that. I am not some people. Santa Ana winds (as opposed to sleet coming off Lake Michigan) are all the bluster I need. My idea of the perfect white Christmas is here.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The winds are just picking up. It's still autumn. Halloween birthdays are a-happening. (My sister Gina B's, is today - hbd!) Goblins peer out from the deepening dark. An old year ends. As it has since people first rose up on two feet, a new year dawns out of night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Die Hard

At 3pm, wisps were blowing up from the mountaintops. By 4pm, if you were in the car you were driving with your headlights on. If you were walking you might have had a mouth full of grit.

It's what's left on the ground in the mountains from the Station Fire, now known to be "the largest fire in the recorded history of the Angeles National Forest." There's no vegetation to hold down the thick layer of ash when the Santa Ana winds pick up. The winds were expected to get up to 70mph in the mountains last night.

For some people this is a plus. If you don't mind a bit of eye sting you can have a golf course to yourself. For our part, we enjoyed a lawn furniture ballet as dinner entertainment, and our back yard has been nicely landscaped where it wasn't before.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today might be a good day to head over to One Colorado and see what we have in common with Paris.

It's A Rainbow in the Sky, an installation by the legendary artist Daniel Buren. When I say legendary, I'm talking about the Colonnes de Buren, those black and white columns you may know about if you've seen photos of the Palais-Royal. You might love them. You might hate them. Either way, if you know Paris you know them. But what's not to love about rainbows?

Built in 1629, the Palais-Royal was originally the palace of Cardinal Richilieu, who bequeathed it to French royalty upon his death. Some amazing people have lived there over the centuries. Louis XIV, for one, lived there as a child. Several members of the house of Orleans inhabited the place at one time or another. In more recent times, Jean Cocteau and Colette each had apartments there in the 20th Century. And the Palais houses two historic theatres.

One Colorado isn't quite 400 years old, but much of it is Pasadena's version of ancient architecture. The square above is surrounded by some of our oldest existing buildings. Old Town is full of lovely turn-of-the-20th-Century architecture and a decent dose of public art. It's well worth a tour. Do it soon, though. Unlike Buren's Palais-Royal columns, the installation at One Colorado is as temporary as a rainbow. It's here, thanks to the Armory Center for the Arts, until November 15th.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Zen Monday: #69

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about. I look for something worth thinking about or, failing that, at least something odd or silly.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary--if I know what it is.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pie Night '09

I don't know who this cherub is, but last night she had a table full of rivals for the title of Sweetest Thing at Pie Night.

An annual Schwartz family tradition, my previous Pie Night post got so many fun comments that last night John and I were greeted as "the publicity department."

Pie night is sugar overload. The hosts make pies from the pumpkins they grow and everyone else brings a pie, too. (If we're lucky, a couple of savory pies appear on the table at some point.) There are always delicious people to meet, as well. Last year I met Dave Knight, and not only did he become the Pie Night photo for 2008, he took me on a real estate "caravan" in the spring.

It's just not Pie Night without Dave Knight in Bad Light.
Wait a minute. Who's that sneaking up behind Dave with a camera?