Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pie 'N Burger

I was strolling down South Lake Avenue the other day when woops! That umbrella I'd left in the car was looking like a brilliant idea I'd forgotten to write down: shoulda coulda woulda.

You could say rain is just water. Or you could say it's a good excuse to go to Pie 'N Burger.

I think most people go there for the pies and the burgers. (Makes sense.) Me, I go for the GAC 'n BAC. That's what we used to call a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich when I waited tables a hundred some-odd years ago.

Tasty. I'd even go there when the sun's shining.

Bonus pic: an accidental shot of the very clean counter at Pie 'N Burger on a rainy day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

At Least I Don't Have Twelve Toes

I'm willing to spend a little on shoes because if I don't, my feet put up a fuss. (I'll cut corners in just about any area but this one.) But I'm about to give up. I've been looking and walking and shopping and walking and walking and my dogs are sore! (and I don't mean Boz).

Help! I need shoes. Not just any shoes. My feet are very particular.

I want fashionable shoes I can wear for hours. You know, walking shoes. Running shoes won't cut it. Any suggestions? We're in the LA metropolitan area. It's the 21st century. How hard can this be?

Today I found the perfect store: Kenneth Cole at the corner of Colorado Blvd. and De Lacey Avenue in Old Town. After visiting a virtually empty department store the other day (which shall remain nameless) where several clerks in the shoe department couldn't find time to help me, this shop was a relief. Well-made shoes, decent prices and friendly, attentive service.

The only problem was the size seven and a half was too small and the eight was too big. Apparently I wear a size seven and three quarters shoe. Which doesn't exist. My feet are more particular than I thought.

Of course I was disappointed. But at last I have a clue to my foot problems.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greening the Earth

Can you believe it's been forty years since the first Earth Day?

I suppose if you were born after about 1965, you can.

I like the way Pasadena celebrates. With love in our hearts we hail April 22nd as Earth Day, then when Saturday rolls around we celebrate Greening the Earth Day when everyone can come to the party no matter what year they were born.

This Saturday the free festivities at Memorial Park include something new: a "Free Market" swap meet.

Here's the gist: "As a community we have many more resources than we do as individuals. If we share our resources we won't need to buy as many new ones...The basic concept of our Free Market is this, bring items you don’t need or services you want to share, and leave with items you do need and maybe a service provided at no cost. No currency is exchanged, everything is free. Bringing items is not mandatory. If you see something you could use, feel free to take it and enjoy! There is always plenty for everyone."

(Even fresh produce is welcome.)

If you think it sounds like it's going to be hard to get in there and get what you want, keep in mind that set-up volunteers have first dibs on all pre-donated items during the preview hour from 10am-11am. And good stuff has already been donated. Read the Free Market link to get all the info.

When I read that press release I almost didn't make it past the swap meet. But other wonderful stuff will be available Saturday at Memorial Park: information about how you can be a "greener" citizen, artwork and workshops (across the street) at the Armory Center for the Arts, live music and dance--even a guided bicycle tour of green projects in Pasadena, organized by C.I.C.L.E., begins at 11am. There's so much I can't fit it all here. Contests! Prizes! Read the links!

I don't think they had all this stuff at the first Earth Day back in 1970. But frankly, I don't remember. I was way more concerned about summer's imminence and three months off to play outside in green forests, fresh air and sunshine. Just trying to keep it that way, is all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Denim Day

Annual Denim Day in LA celebrates it's 11th year today.

Denim Day was inspired when in Italy in 1992 the Italian Supreme Court overturned a guilty verdict in a rape case. One judge stated that the middle-aged man in the case couldn't have raped the young girl “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Quoting further from the website:
"Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same..."

On this day I make a point of wearing jeans to show solidarity with men and women around the world who agree that rape is a crime of violence. There's no excuse, and never an invitation to rape.

Writing a post like this sounds so serious--it is, after all, a serious subject. There are no funny rape jokes. Show me someone who thinks rape is funny and I'll show you someone who's never known or loved or been a rape victim, or learned anything to do with the crime. But if Denim Day can turn that last bit around by teaching, I'll be glad I posted about it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Skyline News

A chance of rain tonight, they say. Lovely, lovely rain.

That rain comes with a "cold upper level low pressure system." For two days. Snow in the grapevine,* maybe. In April. In southern California. You know, where we live in this here hot, desert climate.

Bundle up.

*"The Grapevine" is local vernacular for the highest altitude point of Interstate 5, the main north-south route in California. It's fewer than 80 miles north of Pasadena. It's usually impassable when it snows.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Zen Monday: #92

In a few weeks we'll celebrate 100 Zen Mondays. What do you think? Shall we have a contest of some sort? A prize? I welcome your suggestions as well as your comments about today's Zen Monday photo.

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about. There's no right or wrong. It means what you think it means, or what you want it to mean.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. Unless I absolutely must say something I stay out of the comments box to avoid influencing the discussion (because when I get in there everything goes down hill).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not That Kind of Passion

When I need a break I go for a hike in the hills. But some situations call for drastic measures. When it gets that bad you need a complete departure from civilization.

I remember going on church retreats when I was a pre-teen. They were fun, like going to camp. On one retreat I had a crush on Brian. He put his arm around me during the educational film strip, then broke my heart when he put his arm around Darleen at the campfire. It was a stressful weekend.

I believe they're offering an entirely different experience at the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in the hills above Sierra Madre.

Their lovely website makes a retreat look so inviting I'm almost tempted to leave my iPhone behind for a weekend. On the site there's advice about how to make the most of the experience, with ideas ranging from the ethereal (how best to use your spiritual time) to the earth-bound (wear comfortable shoes for strolling the grounds). And the price is very reasonable.

The virtual tour is a bit...busy. (You'll just have to imagine that the grounds are peaceful.) But from Bailey Canyon, where I hiked high above the Center on my own mini-retreat the other day, a big retreat at Mater Dolorosa looked like heaven.

Do you think one weekend would be enough time for me to get over the whole Brian-Darleen thing?