Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sepia Man

A guy finds a shady spot on a sunny day so he can set a spell. He leans his back against the cool cement and closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens them, he might whittle a little something if he finds a good stick. He might play a sweet tune on his harmonica.

Or he might check his email on his smartphone.

Friday, August 6, 2010

As Lucky As Lucky Can Be

They look like they're sailing a ship upon the high seas, don't they? Or harpooning Moby Dick at the very least.

I doubt anything much larger than a dead bird's gotten stuck in that chimney but even so, when you need one, a chimney sweep is a hero equal to any leviathan of literature. It's not like I have a tool long enough to grab whatever's gotten itself lodged in there, do I? And even if I did, I wouldn't want to climb onto the roof to reach for it. And even if I did, what if I failed?

It's like flying a plane, performing surgery or coding html. Some situations require a professional.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Theatre at Boston Court

Patrons outside the Theatre at Boston Court before showtime.

With the Pasadena Playhouse struggling and the Pasadena opening of A Noise Within a year away, did you think you'd have to wait to see professional theater in Pasadena?

You don't. You can go to the Theatre at Boston Court right now. Okay, maybe not right now, I don't know what time you're reading this. But between now and August 29th, you can see The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder, a world premiere by Moby Pomerance, directed by John Langs.

The play tells the story of James Murray who, in the 1880s, pretty much drove himself crazy trying to put together the Oxford English Dictionary on a meager budget with very little staff. Murray, his daughter Jane and their coworker Smythic (whom they mostly ignore, to his comic chagrin) work in a drafty garden shed. Brian Sidney Bembridge is credited with scenic and lighting design, both of which are gorgeous.

I'm no reviewer but I do have a 30-year acting career under my belt so I can tell you these roles require the kind of vocal and emotional dexterity you will see only in experienced, well-trained pros. The language itself would be enough to trip up any actor not at the top of his or her game.

It's hard to write about pedantry without being pedantic, but Pomerance doesn't fall into that trap. Director Langs may have done so, seeming to go for one high note for the first act. I would have liked more nuance, more variety of tone. But I would need to see more before I say for sure.

An intern at Boston Court set aside two complimentary tickets for me and asked me to blog about the play. And the full truth is I wasn't able to stay for the whole show. But as my profile says, I'm a lover of words, and The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder is packed with wordplay of the highest order. I was so intrigued by the first half that I'm just going to have to buy a ticket and see the second half.

This much I know: professional theater is thriving in Pasadena in the beautiful, comfortable, state-of-the-art space at the Boston Court.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Spice of Life

Just how many different kinds of mustard does a person need? (The answer is six.)

Perhaps you'd prefer Pomegranate Cabernet jam. And if that doesn't suit you, Mark and Stephens has seven other flavors of jam and marmalade, so it's likely there'll be one to please your palate. You could order them online, but if you're not sure which one to try, head for the Saturday Farmers' Market at Victory Park where Mark himself will give you a sample.

We bought the Sundried Tomato Pistachio Pesto. Don't taste it if you don't want to buy it because once you sample it there's no going back.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam

Here at PDP, the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church at 1164 N. Lake Avenue was a major contender for the August theme day of "bright colors." I did not use the saturation tool, no, no. This is the can't-miss color you'll see when you drive by, though the Google photo shows the church hasn't always been dressed in such a festive color.

New Salem Missionary Baptist doesn't have a website, but on an online site it does rate 5 stars out of 6.

Something about rating churches seems odd to me. But it's the 21st century so I'm going with it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Zen Monday: #106

Are you new to Zen Monday? Today's 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 competition, no right or wrong. Let your imagination dictate. We're here to have fun.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And unless I absolutely must say something I stay out of the comments box to avoid influencing the discussion. Keep it clean. Ahem.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Theme Day: Bright Colors

My two friends had just returned (tired) from a family outing to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles when they allowed me to take a photo of them in their brightly colored summer dresses. The paper flower they purchased as a souvenir provides extra oomph. And what the heck? I posed them among the neighbor's roses just to get a little more color.

The City Daily Photo blog family does a theme day the first of every month. This time it's "bright colors," which may sound easy, but these bloggers can get creative. Click here to check them out.