Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Singular Line

I love little touches like this mailbox. It's handmade, there's no other mailbox like it. I don't know if postal workers like them but I should think they would, if only as a change of pace.

It's hard to be singular. The playwright Lorraine Hansberry said, "The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely." I don't know if that's true. I think you can be exceptional and still be happy among other people. 

I also think there's a line. Call it the singular line. Some people have the choice to either cross or not cross it. They can choose to be so exceptional, so unusual it makes them lonely, or they can choose to be part of a group. Perhaps that requires compromising one's gifts. I don't know if that's the case, and I don't know which is better. That's where the choice comes in.

Tomorrow's theme day is "Cobblestones." Because City Daily Photo's website was hacked and is not yet ready for theme day, Julie of Sydney Eye put up a special site for checking in to the theme. The Australian blogs have already posted and I'm posting a tad early to make my post work on the temporary site. 

Many thanks, Julie!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Change is Work

The work must be done. Changes must be made. Things were falling to ruin and it's time to reverse the entropy. Get rid of what doesn't work and replace it with something that does. Chop-chop. The deadline looms.

Even so, there's room for beauty if you make it.


CDP bloggers: if you're concerned about theme day because the portal's not working, check out Julie's link


More emails coming in today from people unable to comment on Blogger. Thank you all, and wish me luck! This weekend I attempt the move to Wordpress so we can get back to normal around here. I'm not a software genius so there are no guarantees, and I will need that luck.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Network

This shot of the main reading area at the Central branch of the Glendale Public Library is misleading. It looks dark but in reality, the tall windows let in the perfect amount of natural light. It's a good space for a good read.

My book group has been getting book kits from Glendale. We can check them out with our Pasadena library cards because it's all part of the same system. I so appreciate that. A book kit is a nice canvas bag with 15 copies of the same book in it, along with a notebook full of information about the book and its author. Sending one person to the library to pick up the kit beats sending 15 people running around to book stores and library branches all over the San Gabriel Valley, trying to find copies of the book we're reading this month. You do have to reserve them ahead of time because there are a LOT of book groups in the SGV.

Pasadena has book kits too, at the Linda Vista Branch. And quite a few book discussion groups meet at the Central library. I doubt if they get to have wine and cheese, though, and certainly not homemade coffee cake.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beating the Traffic

The one thing you need to know about this photo is that this man is skateboarding across a freeway overpass. Beneath him, it's rush hour.

I'm not sure I need to say anything else.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hahamongna Walkabout

Hello, my name is Boz, and I'll be your guide. Today on the Hahamongna Smellabout we're going to rub our butts on low hanging branches and pee on every single--


Don't you want to pee? Don't you like to rub your butt?

I do not understand you people.

Fine. Go Walkabout then. See if I care.

I saw a lizard.

In related news, tonight's 6pm meeting of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee will be held at Pasadena City Yards, 233 W. Mountain Street, 2nd floor training room, Pasadena, 91103. The agenda is available here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zen Monday: #189

Here on Pasadena Daily Photo, Monday is the day you tell me about the photo rather than me telling you. Because sometimes I'm baffled by what my camera sees.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'll Have My Bourbon With Richard Burchard

It might not surprise you to hear me brag about a family member. "Everybody does that," you'll say, and go on about your business. But this time I'll keep bugging you because my bragging rights have their basis in reality, even if my claim to my relative is a bit tenuous.

My cousin Richard Burchard is, if I may say, a brilliant composer. Of this I have proof, even if I'm not sure we're related. Yesterday morning I heard the 2012 California All-State High School choir rehearse Richard's new a cappella choral piece, "Ubi Caritas," at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. So many beautiful voices united to sing such gorgeous music made my eyes water, for some odd reason. (Full disclosure: I heard them sing "Ubi Caritas" in a basement choir room, but the sanctuary makes a more impressive photo.)

Richard is Associate Professor of Music and Department Chair at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He teaches a study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria and recently taught one in South Africa. He and I did not meet at a family reunion. We met online several years ago when Richard was--I'm not sure what he was doing--Googling Burchards, I guess. Yesterday was our third in-person meeting, but we hit it off from the beginning. I've even got pictures of him on my Facebook. We felt like family immediately and we're pretty sure, somewhere back in our history, there's a connection. If there isn't, we don't want to know.

During the rehearsal, Richard had a chance to take questions from the kids in the choir. What an opportunity for everyone, when you think about it. It was great for Richard because he got to tell them about his process, let them know why he wrote what he wrote. They got to ask why he chose a particular chord progression or why he didn't use super low bass tones (so choirs without super-low bass singers could perform it). One young man asked which classical composer Richard would most like to have a beer with. ("I'm from Kentucky, can it be bourbon?") If I remember correctly, he chose Handel. You don't get to have a conversation like that with Bach or Mendelssohn. I'll bet they'd have loved to have taken the microphone to talk to those talented kids but they wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

Richard heads back to Louisville today. "I can always be at a premiere," he says. Considering his works have premiered in places like Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, I don't blame him for wanting to make the trip. But I'm hoping for more premieres around here, too. That way he'll be back soon.