Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fun With Flowers

We rarely get driving rain in the Los Angeles basin--the kind that pelts buckets and makes you pull off the road because you can't see. We do get rain, however. (We'd almost forgotten it.) This past week we had several days of constant, gentle showers. The drought-dry soil just drank it up and all the plants are dazzled.

These miniature roses are delovely the way they are. Then again, they begged to be messed with in post.

What do you think? Anniversary card "to the one I love?" Get well card?
Maybe a sympathy card.

The black and white doesn't quite work, I suppose because the color values of the leaves and flowers are too much the same. I kind of like it, though. Now there's your sympathy card.

This could go on, but you get the idea. How will you be wasting away your weekend?

Friday, October 22, 2010

PDP/PPM Books Contest, week 1

Honestly, I don't know what this is. It isn't a grave stone, but I took the photo at a cemetery.

We don't have cemeteries in Pasadena, did you know that? Not a single one. That may be disappointing for anyone who loves Pasadena so much they'd like to remain here for eternity. However, there are several lovely cemeteries nearby.

What's the closest cemetery to Pasadena's northern border?

That's where I took this photo, and it's the contest question for today. I've given you all the information you need to Google the answer, so even if you're not a local you should be able to figure it out.

Here are the contest rules:

1. Email the answer to me. There's a link to my email in my profile at the upper left. You have until midnight tonight, Pasadena (Pacific) time. Answers in the comments section will be rudely ignored.

2. That's all you have to do.

3. This weekend I'll toss all the correct answers into a hat and ask my cutest, most innocent neighbor child to draw one name. (The job of cutest/most innocent neighbor child will revolve throughout the duration of the contest.) I'll announce the winner in Monday's post.

4. PRIZES! This week, the prize will be a brand new copy of Hometown Pasadena 2009-2010, thanks to Colleen Dunn Bates and Prospect Park Media. I have five of these to give away (maybe more, hint hint), so the contest will go on each Friday for five weeks--plus an additional week (that would be SIX weeks, Petrea), when Colleen and I will give away a copy of At Home Pasadena, the lovely, hardcover coffee table book about beautiful living in our beautiful town.

I'm very excited because at some point during the contest one lucky winner will receive a copy of the brand new novel, Helen of Pasadena, by Pasadenyite Lian Dolan. This book is so new it isn't available until November 1st. But you can whet your Helen appetite by reading chapter one here.

Many thanks to Colleen, Lian and all the Prospect Park Media writers for making this contest possible!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Locals Only

The skies should be clear for Locals Only Thursday in Old Town. Today's the day to get your shopping done.

Locals Only Thursdays rewards people who live and/or work in Pasadena for spending their money here. And why not? You might as well put money into the economy where it can do you and your city some good. Just show your driver's license or business card at participating businesses on Thursdays during October to receive specials, discounts and/or premiums.

I recommend you check out the link. Some offerings are better than others.

Most clothing stores on the list offer good discounts and perks. There are several decent restaurant bargains, too, although if you ask me, "two free English muffins" isn't nearly as enticing as "$3 martinis, mixed drinks, appetizers and beer." (Is that just me?)

Not all Old Town businesses are participating, so check the link and plan accordingly. There are only so many hours in one shopping day, and you still need to get over to Burke Williams and get 15% off that mani-pedi.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I took this photo last year at about this time, then forgot about it. I ran across it last night, messed with the color and contrast, and came up with this.

I'm not sure what to say about it except I like it.

Yes, I took it in Pasadena. It's not an aerial shot. I was gazing out over the Devil's Gate Dam, looking north. This area is all overgrown now, but a year ago after the Station Fire and before the winter rains, the land was bare and a little stream trickled through it. We had ceased to take the dogs down there because of the color of the water. It was orange, though not this bright, from the fire retardant run-off from the Station Fire, according to Bellis. Dogs just don't care. They'll splash about in liquid plutonium if it looks like fun.

I detect footprints in this photo. They could belong to me, and to a certain canid I know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Real Thing

This moss-covered bust of Shakespeare stands (where else?) in the Shakespeare garden at the Huntington Library and Gardens. He looks like a friendly, handsome guy, doesn't he? Maybe, maybe not.

The Huntington owns many fine portraits. I especially admire those by the great Sir Joshua Reynolds, who knew how to make a likeness look like it was painted from life. But none of the portraits in their collection are of Shakespeare. Only two likenesses of Shakespeare have been proven to be definitive. Both are posthumous. One is the funerary monument that looks over his grave inside Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-on-Avon, England. The other is an engraving by Martin Droeshout, printed in the First Folio of Shakespeare in 1623 (Shakespeare died in 1616). Many have claimed to own a portrait of Shakespeare, but only these two are proven to be the real thing.

It's thought that about 1,000 Shakespeare First Folios were printed back in 1623. Of the 228 still extant, one is housed at the Huntington Library. It's one of the most valuable books in the world and it's often on display for viewing by the likes of you and me.

I had long been using the Folio in my research when I had the good fortune to study Shakespeare in England one summer. My teachers included members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I got to walk the ground Shakespeare walked. I went to Stratford-on-Avon and visited Shakespeare's grave. I returned to the States with a reverence for the bona fide genius of the man.

My First Folio is a 20th century facsimile copy of the original. Every once in a while I like to make a pilgrimage to the Huntington to see the real thing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Zen Monday: #117

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.

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 until the end of the day to avoid influencing the discussion.
You know, because it's so deep and meaningful.

There's no right or wrong. We're here to have fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good Souls

This is Boz. We're not sure of his history but after having lived with him for 7 1/2 years I can tell you it was probably something like this: he was loved and well treated. One day, someone left a gate open or a door unlatched. Boz got out and wandered. Dogs are like that. They're innocent creatures. They don't know it's dangerous out there. They just want a little adventure.

Boz (or whatever his name was then) didn't have a nametag and he didn't have a chip. He got lost. He got scared. Luckily, a good soul found him. Luckily, he ended up in a no-kill shelter. Lucky for him and lucky for us. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but we're madly in love with him.

A good soul put up signs in my neighborhood today:
I don't know this little guy's name. If you do, that's lucky for both of you. Please call the Humane Society at 626-792-7151 and claim him. Then get him chipped. Put a collar on him with your phone number on it. Then give him a kiss and be happy you're both so lucky.

Which brings me to Keera.
I wish I'd thought to post about Keera before, but the other dog's poster is what made me think of her. Keera's signs have been up in the hood for a few weeks. The part of the story I know is that her owner's home was broken into, and in the melee she ran out the door and disappeared. Rumor has it she was last seen in Altadena, but rumor is a part of the story I don't know. Have you seen her? I keep hoping someone found her and took her in.

Maybe Keera wasn't meant to get out. The point is, you never know. A collar with your phone number (a few bucks at the pet store) and a microchip (about $10-$15), are for your dog's safety.

Dogs are such good souls. I hope you know these two and have a chance to be a good soul for them.