Saturday, April 9, 2011

Work Perk

I almost posted more muted grays and I thought, "enough already!" It's time we had some color around this here blog! So here it is, apropos of nothing.

If you work at PCN, the Pasadena Community Network, with studios at Hen's Teeth Square, you have regular access to these jawbreakers. If you don't work there, maybe you need to come up with some programming.

Or you could check out their weekly meetings about citizen journalism. Citizen journalists chew gum. I prefer Smarties but I'm not a journalist.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Well I Love That Dirty Water

photo by John Sandel

Here's another local construction project: the Casting Pond is getting a facelift. I love John's iPhone shot; we're looking south, viewing the pond along its western flank.

Boz was disappointed to see the empty pond in the Lower Arroyo yesterday, partly because there's no more stinky water and especially because no one was casting. He enjoys fly casting, for those fleeting moments of his canine attention span. (I think cats would really enjoy this sport.)

Funding is provided by 1992 Proposition A Los Angeles County Park Bond funds "and a generous donation from the Pasadena Casting Club," according to this 2008 document from the Pasadena Department of Public Works. The project is a little behind schedule, but other than that it appears they're sticking to the plan. They've put a new seal on the surface and are replacing outdated materials with more progressive, environmentally friendly ones. The water will never be stinky again.

Neither Boz nor the Standells approve.

The Pasadena Casting Club is open to the community. If you want to learn how to cast for fish, the pond should be ready in a few weeks and the club will welcome you. In the meantime, check out the website or give a call. There's probably someone there who'll invite you to come by and learn how to tie a fly, or just talk fishing. I suggest you leave your pets at home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Noise

The theater for A Noise Within, the classical theater company soon to be moving to Pasadena from faraway Glendale, is rising atop the Stuart Pharmaceuticals Building like a new layer on a concrete cake. A rendering of what the interior will look like accompanies William Goldstein's article on Hometown Pasadena. In fact, HtP's been covering the move particularly well.

The 1928 Masonic Temple Building ANW leaves behind in Glendale is a lovely old has-been. My guess is she was tough to heat on cold days, impossibly hot in the summer and they probably had to incorporate her plumbing noises into their sound design. But she's an old beauty all the same. I don't know what's in the building's future, but keep an eye on Cinema Treasures. They usually have good info and the best pictures of these faded dames.

Goldstein's article is about ANW's final show in their old space. Right now the nights are neither cold nor impossibly hot. A good time to see a play.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I don't know what I initially meant to photograph here--the flowers, probably.

Boz, who often accompanies me when I'm shooting, is never coy about his feelings. He's patient, but he lets me know when he thinks I have enough shots and it's time to move on. He's usually right.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cut Your Grass

Apparently I'm not the only one in Pasadena who wants to kill my grass. The big room at the Pasadena Convention Center was packed last Saturday for Pasadena Water and Power's "Cut Your Grass" workshop. The morning was led by the energetic Tim Wheeler, horticulturalist extraordinaire, who I remembered from an irrigation workshop I attended a couple of years ago.

Well, damn. Two years. It's been that long and I still have the most terrifying back yard on the block.

Tim can keep a crowd interested for three full hours. He's knowledgeable, dynamic and fun. He can answer almost any (relevant) question you put to him. It was a fascinating workshop and they're going to have another one August 20th (keep your eyes on Pasadena In Focus). And watch PWP's website August first for information about financial incentives for killing your grass.

But I'll never make it by August first. I'm beginning to think I won't make it at all. Yes, I want to kill my grass--which is not grass, but weeds--but once I do that I have to remove the dead stuff, and once I do that I can't just leave the dirt, I have to plant something, or put in a hardscape or a pergola or something, and it's a big yard, and all that takes planning and effort and labor and moneymoneymoney and I'm just overwhelmed. I have no idea where to start.

I want someone else to do it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Zen Monday: #140

It's Zen Monday, the day you experience the photo and share in the comments what you've learned.

Your first Zen Monday? Tell us what comes to mind--what the photo makes you think of or how it makes you feel. There's no right or wrong, no secret, no prize. Just have fun.

Mondays are your turn. I enjoy Mondays very much.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Yesterday, my friend of 23 years took me out for a belated birthday lunch at the Castaway in Burbank. This is a place where you go for the views.

The view here is to the southwest overlooking Burbank, Forest Lawn and Griffith Park (the hills in the distance). At night it's all lit up (not the hills) and if you look more west than south you can pick out Disney, Warner Brothers and Universal studios. The 101 freeway is easy to spot, flowing like red and white water.

But you'll have to imagine all that. Our two-day heat wave is over and yesterday was cool and misty. The hills were like description in a story--not central to the action but complimentary, a setting or a mood. If it's true, as the Irish author Anne Enright says, that "all description is an opinion about the world," then yesterday those hills looked like they hadn't changed in 23 years, except after all this time they're even more green.