Saturday, February 19, 2011

Georgia McClay Friendship Center

While on my way to meet friends at Zona Rosa the other night, I passed this window at the Pasadena Playhouse. I stopped to gawk at the costumes, the masks hanging from the ceiling and the posters on the wall. The golden light made it all so attractive. I pulled out my camera.

A woman with a beautiful smile spoke as she passed. (I wonder if she's in the show.) "I think the Friendship Center's open," she said. I told her I had a meeting in a few minutes and thanked her for telling me what I was looking at.

I found a bit of info online. The Georgia McClay Friendship Center is a room next to the box office, adjacent to the patio. It's available for rent (lending itself to business events, workshops or parties, says the website).

Who is Georgia McClay? Somebody generous, most likely. If not that, at least she has good taste.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bar Celona

If Bar Celona is any indication, Pasadena's bars are a tad more upscale than the "Coldest Beer in Town!" joints I used to frequent in my days of...frequenting.

My very cool, multi-talented, recently-acquired (long story) cousin Richard Burchard was in town this week. We had one evening. We wanted food and drink. I had passed by Bar Celona a million times and never gone in. We figured, why not?

The ambiance is sophisticated without being snobby. The music is not too loud (high on my list). The restaurant looks intimate but when you start to explore you'll find more rooms, including two bars and a TV the size of a movie screen. If you don't like crowds, I recommend 7:30pm on a Wednesday.

The tapas were probably fattening--tasty and substantial. Three of us were satisfied sharing seven of them. And the beer was indeed very cold.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I Can't Grow Anything On It, Maybe I Can Hang It On The Wall

I'm trying to kill the lawn in my back yard so I can replace it with drought-tolerant stuff and a vegetable garden.

I looked online for information on how to kill the grass and weeds: chemicals.

I asked at a couple of nurseries: chemicals.

Some people suggested I smother the lawn to death with a tarp, which seems preferable. I don't have a big enough tarp so I bought cheap garbage bags and slit them down the sides. I am now in the process of placing them end to end across the yard. This is an extremely inefficient method.

Baby steps.

The rain is not helping. Grass and weeds like rain.

However, (silver lining), each little bead of water is a self-portrait. I made something!

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Update on Hahamongna: Due to this week's rain, the Walkabout originally scheduled for this coming Saturday is being rescheduled to March 5th. I'll be leading the 9am tour. Sign up and come with me!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


 It's spring. Around here, that means Primavera.

You're invited!

I'm told this pretty poster is untweetable. How's this?

Saturday, March 19th, 11am-? Farnsworth Park, Altadena
Bloggers, families, friends & groupies welcome!
bring a dish, utensils or paper goods to share
or call 626-791-5327

I imagine that's more than 140 characters. I'll let you pick what to abbreviate. We'll have plenty of characters at the picnic, no abbreviations necessary.

Please spread the word (there's a little button below). I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Horses, dogs, children, adults, toads, disc golfers, hikers, mushroomers(!), kite flyers, coyotes, mountain bikers, snakes, birds and all kinds of other people use Hahamongna Watershed Park.

I've mentioned in previous posts that HWP is under threat from a drastic plan by the LA County Department of Public Works to remove silt from behind Devil's Gate Dam. The silt needs to be removed but environmentalists (including myself) would like to see the LADPW examine gentler ways to do it. Otherwise some of the more vulnerable critters who live in the watershed might find themselves homeless.

There are several things you can do to help protect Hahamongna, our almost-wilderness in the city:

Now - Sign the petition demanding a full Environmental Impact Report.

Now - Write to Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck to find out the truth about waste dumping at Hahamongna.

Update, thanks to Pascal Jim:
February 17 - Cleveland Elementary School: the East Arroyo Residents Association hosts "questions and answers" for District One candidates.
Incumbent Jacque Robinson voted in favor of the soccer field at Hahamongna. (Miss H. says 7pm)

Update on Walkabout: Due to this week's rain, the Walkabout originally scheduled for this coming Saturday 2/19 is being rescheduled to March 5th. I'll be leading the 9am tour. Sign up and come with me!
March 5th, 9am-12noon - Join the Hahamongna Walkabout. Tour this delicate ecosystem with a fun guide (maybe me!) and find out why Hahamongna is worth protecting.

February 23rd, 6pm - Attend the Candidate debate at Cleveland Elementary School. Ask the City Council candidates about their plans to protect Hahamongna. (You can pre-send questions to event moderator Frank Girardot at

Ongoing - Don't let up.

Tim has more at Altadenablog.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zen Monday: #133

Some Mondays are more Zen than others.

Please experience the photo and tell us, in the comments, what you've learned.

(Your first Zen Monday? Tell us what the photo makes you think of. There's no right or wrong, no prizes. Just have fun.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Heart My Watch Cat

Sure, he looks sweet. Benign, even. But see the sign? Not the heart--that's a trap. I'm talking about the one that says "Protection One." That's this kitty's middle name and I don't take these things lightly.

He's a feline chameleon, and don't think he doesn't know it. He could hang out on a higher step where he'd show up against the house. But down by the gravel he blends in. Approach and your leg is a mere grab away from his claws.

The mailman won't come near our house if Boz is on the porch. Little does he know.