Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturdays Are For Fun

As usual, I'm intrigued by the window display at Pink Plum Antiques and Collectibles on East Colorado Blvd. I can identify most of the items here but what are those colorful little fluff-mice thingies? It matters not. I need them.

Stop by Litfest today if you have a chance. It's free, it's at Central Park just south of Castle Green and I will be there at least until 1:00--longer, if I'm still standing. I'm a Litfest volunteer so I might even have a name tag. Say hello!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eye Care for Humans

I know. I am just that brave.

I don't usually blog about national chain businesses, but I had such a nice experience at LensCrafters yesterday--yes, the one in the Paseo Colorado--plus I took this bizarre, yet strangely attractive photo of a photo of myself, so I thought I'd post about the experience.

When I arrived, only one employee was on the premises and I was the only customer. The guy answered my questions and directed me to what I needed. When another employee showed up (returning from a quick break) she took over and waited on me hand and foot, showing me frames, answering questions, etc.

By the time I'd selected my finalists the store had filled with customers and the other employees had returned from lunch. My technician, Mary, was waiting on several people at once but I never felt neglected. Mary was efficient. And funny! We made eye jokes. I wish I could remember them. Any of them. You'll just have to trust me; eyes are hilarious.

It turns out the guy who greeted me when I first came in was the eye doctor. He was covering the store while the employees had stepped away. I am so impressed that he did that.

This is completely opposite to my recent experience at another Pasadena business. I prefer not to write negative reviews; I'd rather not give a bad businesses any coverage whatsoever. But it was such a relief to receive great customer service at LensCrafters that I left there practically euphoric.

Plus they gave me $150 off my total because I "donated" a pair of old glasses. Yeesh.
Speaking of bizarre, yet strangely attractive. Either that or oddly euphoric. Badly pixelated? Widely misunderstood? Unfortunately dressed! We can go on.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Brilliant Idea

The Dena Magazine has got something going on. These guys started small and kept going, bridging gaps, and they haven't stopped. Sometimes they write about things other Pasadena publications either gloss over or never mention at all. I think their progress is well worth watching.

On May 19th, from 10am-3pm, The Dena Magazine brings us The Dena Community Business and Arts Expo at the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly Street. I have no idea what it'll be like but my guess tells me it will be diverse and interesting, with young businesses and new faces. When we attend at the Convention Center ten years from now we can say we were at the first one.

"Einstein and Beyond," the 1998 mural on the south side of the Senior Center, is by southern California artist Gifford Myers. The mural is part of Pasadena Public Art Walking Tour #3.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Commute, 3

This view of downtown Los Angeles isn't exactly on my commute, but I like the picture so here you go.

We're looking down an alley near 2nd and Vignes. I used to drive to that area years ago because my headshot photographer had a studio there. Space was cheap and the light was good, but it was an iffy neighborhood and I always made sure to park where I could see my car from the big, bright studio windows. Now the area is artist lofts and condos.

John and I drove there (and parked safely) last weekend to see a play called The Last Day, written by Christina Joy Howard and directed by Tiger Reel. While exploring her relationship with her father, a daughter tells the story of her dad's experiences aiding the American exodus from Saigon during the last days of U.S. occupation. As with any brand new play, there are minor rough spots. But I do recommend this baby/puppy/sucker/world premiere.

I was young in 1975, but I remember those days. I attended protest marches not only with my friends but with my parents and teachers as well. Nobody I knew was happy about our occupation of Viet Nam. Now, with a more mature perspective, my emotions are more complex. Those were not good days, not proud days.

The author plays herself in the play. The night we attended, her father was in the audience. As emotional an experience as it was for me, I can only imagine what it was like for the two of them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

People of Letters

For a while now, I've been trying to pass myself off as a Woman of Letters. Finally I have proof! I am a Woman of Letter! And there's more where that came from.

This letter is by way of reminding you (because I didn't have an L) that Saturday, all day, the first annual Litfest Pasadena will be held at Central Park, south of Castle Green between Fair Oaks and Raymond.

The original date was rained out but that's not going to happen this time. You can take the train to DelMar Station (it's right across the street) and/or there are several lots nearby. It's going to be like a big fair, with food trucks, fun for the kids, and people of letters (people of several letters, in fact).

I'll be there as a volunteer in the morning, helping at one of the stages, and if that doesn't wear me out I'll be there as an attendee in the afternoon. So come on down. Everyone will be there: writers, publishers, editors, speakers and most of all, READERS, who tend to have more letters than you can count.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What Ho!

Yes, witches, warlocks, faeries, wenches, knights, lords and ladies, I visited the Renaissance Pleasure Faire yesterday and had a jolly good time. I enjoyed the jousting, the falconry, the pageantry, the meat pies and more. This party is wild.

RenFaire is very much up my alley, or rather, up my tiny, dark, piss-rank Elizabethan street. I love the costumes, the noise (well, not the noise), the bawdy jokes and the mead (I adore the mead). And here's the best part: I had a pre-paid ticket which I forgot to take with me, so I have to go again!

Which brings me to the contest we're having here on the blog today. One of the many Faire vendors gave me some discount admission coupons. I don't know why he did it but I LOVE him for it so I'll give him a plug even though he didn't ask for it. He's Jeff Price, a glass blower who makes the most beautiful things, including the Witch Balls above. (Faire vendors sell gorgeous, high-quality, hand-made items.) Thanks to Jeff, I'm sharing these discount coupons with you. The regular Faire gate price is $25 but you can get in for $15 with one of these babies. (Parking is an additional $10.) Since Faire ends on May 20th and it's only on weekends, I'm giving away all ten coupons today. That gives them time to get to you when I mail them on Monday.

So: please answer this question: In my novel, Camelot & Vine, what is the name of the character Casey Clemens plays in her TV commercials for the Gone! company?

Email the correct answer to me (the link is in my profile at top left). Please include your mailing address; that'll save us some time. I will not add you to a mailing list. (If you want to be on my mailing list I'd love to have you, just go to my website and opt in at the top right of any page under "Let's connect.") Anyone can enter. If by midnight Pacific time I receive more than ten correct answers, I'll put them all into a hat tomorrow and draw ten winners at random. If we have fewer, I'll give the extra coupons to my unsuspecting friends and neighbors.

By the way, I did touch the witch balls. So far, I'm good.