Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bawdy Litfest

dining room at Castle Green (on a not-so-bawdy day)

More for your calendar!

Thursday evening, October 20th, head out to the Castle Green and support Litfest Pasadena. The evening is called Singing the Bawdy Electric (in reference to Walt Whitman's poem). As Timothy Rutt said on Altadenablog, "every bawdy is invited."

There will be readings by Jonathan Gold, Larry Wilson, Ron Koertge and others. Plus music, food and bawdy surprises to light up even the darkest corners of Castle Green. It's $75 per person or $100 for two (so bring a friend!). Email or leave a message on the Litfest Pasadena Facebook page.

Funds raised on October 20th will go towards creating a literary fringe festival that aims to be to the LA Times Book Festival what the Doo Dah Parade is to the Tournament of Roses--more light-hearted, less corporate, a little sillier--according to writer/historian Michele Zack, one of the planners. That fringe-y event is scheduled to take place in Pasadena's Central Park March 17, 2012. But as light-hearted as it may sound it's got literary clout behind it including Michelle Huneven, Jervey Tervalon, Lian Dolan, the director of Pasadena Public Library Jan Sanders and too many more to list here.

By the way, the 20th is also the day of the Great California Shakeout. If you want to know if and how that relates to the Bawdy Electric, you'll have to come to Castle Green Thursday night.

Update: Today, 4pm at Webster's in Altadena: Poetry and Wine!

Friday, October 14, 2011

More Weekend Calendar

You thought I was finished yesterday. Nope! There's more. Here are some good things to do this weekend for those who like to get their hands (and hiking boots) dirty. If you know of an event, please feel free to add it to the comments.

The Theodore Payne Foundation's Native Plant Sale and Fall Festival offers discounts to all today and tomorrow, 8:30-4:30. If you're a member your discount is larger, so it's a good time to join.

The Arroyo Seco Foundation offers a Mount Lowe Railway hike on Saturday. Sunday, there's a volunteer opportunity: a Central Arroyo Clean-up with super-naturalist and native plant expert Tim Martinez.

It's going to be gorgeous this weekend, if a tad toasty. Bring a water bottle, wear a wide-brimmed hat and enjoy autumn's glory in southern California.

Update: The comments are always part of the post and today isn't the first time they make it better. Here's what Bellis had to say this morning: "I hope lots of people will go on one of the guided hikes in Rubio Canyon, where the Mount Lowe railway tracks are still visible in places. The privately-owned part of the canyon was recently purchased from a generous landowner by the Arroyo and Foothills Conservancy with donations from many local residents and others. Thank you to all those who saved this lovely canyon so we can hike in it forever.
We have the women of Pasadena and Teddy Roosevelt to thank for saving the Lower Arroyo Seco park pictured in your photo - but that's another story."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Your Weekend Calendar

How will you do it all this weekend?


the culmination of the AxS (Arts and Science) Festival, running through October 16th (most events are free, some suggest reservations);

13th annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica Saturday the 15th (free);

the 20th annual Craftsman Weekend put on by Pasadena Heritage, 14th-16th (not free but a Pasadena classic);


Pasadena's Arts Weekend, all weekend, all free.

I'm so torn I may have to leave town. I wish they'd check with each other (or with me!), but perhaps they're all vying for the most beautiful weekend with the best weather. In that case, everyone wins.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Likely Pairing

Journey House is one of those grand, old Pasadena homes with gorgeous woodwork and Craftsman touches. It's a comfortable giant, with old growth trees and a big yard. But those things aren't what make it special.

What's special is its mission " assist emancipated foster youth over eighteen years of age to meet their initial independent living needs, to access adequate and appropriate housing, education, and employment, and to build their self-esteem through personalized attention and positive outreach services."

When kids in the foster system reach age 18, they're no longer eligible for care. Once they're emancipated (which is supposed to mean "freed from bondage," a poor choice of words for an 18-year-old who's expected to suddenly be a grown-up), nearly 25% of them will "experience homelessness" within 6 months. Journey House walks with them through the steps to higher education, jobs, adulthood--helps them learn to be on their own instead of tossing them out and hoping for the best.

On the Journey House website you can read about these young adults and the phenomenal hurdles they've had to overcome. You'll be moved and inspired. 

The Women's City Club will hold an Evening of Food and Wine to benefit Journey House this Friday, October 14th, with a special appearance and book signing by one of our previous guest authors, Cherie Twohy!

For tickets or to make a donation, call Donna Chaney at 626-768-0080 or Kathryn Fitzgerald at 626-449-8433. Or you can email

The Women's City Club often aids worthy Pasadena organizations. Journey House is a fine choice on which for them to lavish their attentions.


Boy, that sentence sounds wrong. I'm sincere, I mean it and it may even be correct. But it seems like I have too many prepositions or they're in the wrong order or something. Unfortunately, the Women's City Club doesn't offer grammar classes and I'm not eligible for Journey House assistance. But that's okay. The important thing is for attention (and donations) to be lavished upon Journey House, thereof which upon receipt good use will be made therein.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Horn Tooting

I know what you're going to say: there are no horns in this picture.

I've decided I'm allowed to toot my own horn every once in a while. I love old phrases like that, don't you? It's easy to figure out how that one arose, but where do you suppose "they had me over a barrel" comes from?

I digress.

Please visit my new website,, which officially launched yesterday. Sign up to be on my mailing list if you'd like to receive the occasional (and I do mean occasional) update. Bookmark it. Read my stuff. Say hello.

Then head over to the mausoleum. You meet the nicest people there. In the picture above are (L-R) Shannon, Kirk, Tracy, a puffball whose name I didn't catch, Ann and Sofia. Sofia was there for her Halloween costume fashion shoot and the others were enjoying Mountain View Mausoleum. It's a gorgeous place, one of the Dena's most beautiful buildings, and you're welcome to visit respectfully weekdays and Saturdays 10-4 and Sundays 11-3.

I was there to interview company members of Wicked Lit about their new show for a piece in Altadena Patch. The show opens at the mausoleum and in the cemetery October 21st. Mosey on over and read my article, if you please. No strings attached.

Update 10/13: By the way, there's currently an art exhibit upstairs at the mausoleum of Halloween-themed art. Shannon Shea, pictured at left, has a painting in the exhibit. Good news: it sold!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Zen Monday: #166

Welcome to Zen Monday! Is this your first? Here's what we do on Mondays:

Because the Zen pupil learns from experience rather than from lectures or books, 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.

That's it. Have at it.

Oops! Almost forgot to tell you I have a new piece on Altadena Patch.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Duarte Festival of Authors

I'm sorry if you missed it. Hell, I'm sorry I missed it for the last eight years. It was the 9th annual Duarte Festival of Authors, aptly named because it was indeed festive and there were indeed authors--lots and lots of authors.

I wasn't able to stay all day but I was able to enjoy a lovely park, beautiful weather and table after table after table lined with books and authors galore. Galore, I tell you! I even knew some of the authors, which was exciting, because they're all celebrities to me. And I met some local writers who I hope will join us in the future as guest authors here on the old blog.

The festival, put on by the Friends of the Duarte Library, included local and nationally-known authors. I already checked the website for information about the 10th annual because I want to mark my calendar now. Nothing's posted yet but I'll be sure to let you know.