Saturday, August 27, 2011

Haunting the Library

If my mother were alive, today would be her 90th birthday. She and my father taught me and my siblings to love books. It worked: I'm a writer, like Mother was. One of my sisters is a librarian. My brother is a book seller. My one sister who isn't in the book business has a Ph.D, like my dad did. We all seem to be partial to book learnin'.

I went to the library yesterday to research a new book. It was about 100 degrees out. On hot days people come in, find a book and a comfy chair and snooze in the air conditioning. Added to that, "the collection is being rearranged," or words to that effect, adding to the busy feeling at the library. I don't know if the new fourth floor teen center (pictured here in its larval phase) is a cause or an effect of the rearrangement. I found a quiet bench on the fourth floor near the construction area and read for a while.

After I checked out my books I stopped at the Friends of the Library book store to see if I could snag a bargain. A woman there was buying almost all of the children's books. She reminded me of someone who would be very old today if she were still here. But she'd have no trouble finding her way around a busy library.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Long Shadows

Whatever we put here, whatever we build or tear down, is irrelevant to shadows. They will crawl across road and lawn and seething Sahara as long as the planet rolls around the sun.

Knowing shadows have existed always, or at least as long as we conceive always to be, feels to me like a connection with those who came before. From Neanderthals to the bog people to Muhammad to Louis XIV to me, we all know shadows, we all know late day, we all know summer days that get shorter and light that's made of gold.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursdays in Old Town

One week from today it'll be September. It will also be Thursday. These are two good things because Old Pasadena Locals Only Thursdays are back.

The program must have been a success last year because it's been extended to two months this year. On Thursdays during September and October, Old Pasadena merchants will offer discounts to people who live and work in Pasadena. Click on the link above to get details of which stores, what they're offering, and how to prove you work or live here.

The list of participants is heavy on restaurants, which is fine. But this has been a long recession and Petrea needs some new clothes! There are not enough clothing stores on the list! Come on, merchants!

Oh well, it's a start. Some Thursday within the next couple of months, I'll be shopping at the participating clothing stores that offer a discount worthy of the trouble of parking (there's at least one that's not), and I'm sure I'll spend some of my poor, dilapidated dollars.

For those of you who can't justify a trip to Pasadena to shop even on a weekend, I'm sorry. You really are missing out. Yes, Old Town has a few chain stores, but what makes it worthy of your leisure time and legal tender are the many singular boutiques and specialty restaurants you can't find anywhere else. Some of them are even on the Locals Only Thursdays list. Next year I hope there will be more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It Ain't Over 'til it's Over

I hear people say summer's coming to an end. I suppose that's true if you have kids or you're in school. Otherwise it's all conditioning, and I don't mean the artificial cooling of indoor air.

It feels like summer's over because it's supposed to end in August. It used to end in August. (Oh, nostalgia.) The shadows are long, the light is golden. When I was a kid I returned to school after Labor Day and pretty soon autumn arrived.

But I live in southern California now and this year as we approach September, temperatures are rising. I have to wait until 7pm to walk the dog and even then I have to carry extra water lest we both expire. All summer long the rest of the country's been suffering from record heat. Well, my east-of-the-Rockies friends, we are finally getting it.

Oh, I just love it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've Got Your Pasadena Weekend

I know it's only Tuesday but calendars fill up. Listen, don't worry about it. I have your weekend planned for you.

Friday the 26th: Wine tasting and silent auction benefiting the Be The Match Foundation, the national bone marrow registry. They'll be tasting wines from some of California's top vineyards. There will also be a "pole dance" the likes of which I'm told Pasadena's never seen before, and that's all I'm saying about it.

Saturday the 27th: hike the Lower Arroyo with Tim Martinez, who knows everything about the native flora here except the Latin names. Tim's talk about plant uses was one of the highlights of last spring's Hahamongna Walkabout. Join him and you'll learn fun stuff like "the best" plant in southern California or what to mix with tequila as a topical for aching muscles.

Sunday the 28th: treat yourself to an ice cream social sponsored by the League of Women Voters, celebrating the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. It's only $5, you need reservations and there's still plenty of time to make them. It's being held at Hillmont House, one of Pasadena's most beautiful Victorian homes.

Then I'll see you back here on Zen Monday and you can tell me how much fun you had.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zen Monday: #159

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and tells us what you've learned, rather than me lecturing you about it. In Zen, one learns through experience rather than books or lectures.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good book. It's just that Monday is the day you write it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Steps

We've been having cool, cloudy mornings and warm afternoons. If you're one of those people who complains about hot weather, all you have to do these days is get up early. And not like 6am. You can get up at 10:00 and still get in a good hike before it heats up. I wonder how long it'll last.

Probably 'til I post this.

Have a beautiful Sunday, wherever you roam.