Saturday, May 19, 2012

Now Begin

From a sidewalk cafe at the Paseo Colorado on Thursday, I observed a crowd on the other side of Green Street. They were hard to miss with those banners. It was obvious what they were doing at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, but it wasn't obvious who they were. We have a lot of schools around here.

Because of the date and time, I figure these particular commencement exercises were for Western University of Health Sciences. I don't know much about Western University, but I think it's interesting that they had Temple Grandin as their commencement speaker. And they certainly chose a beautiful place for their ceremony.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pacific Means Peaceful

Once in a while when I tell you something I'm afraid I'll regret it, because there's such a thing as best kept secret.

Every Thursday, from 12:30-1:30, I take a yoga class at the Pacific Asia Museum, a place with a fascinating history. I like the class for many reasons, not least of which is the walk through the serene courtyard, with its Koi pond and stone lions. At the far end of the courtyard I ascend the stairs and enter a treetop room with huge windows and a high ceiling, where for one hour I practice gentle yoga with a small, quiet group.

At the Pacific Asia, which is a museum of culture and not a yoga studio, instructor Jill Zepezauer teaches a gentle, accessible form of Hatha yoga. Her style is perfect for beginners and older people (I'll acquiesce to being an older person when I'm ninety), and for folks like me making a comeback from an injury. If you're looking for power yoga, well no, not here. Jill's instructions are detailed and soft-spoken but don't be lulled; you don't want to miss the little jokes she tosses in now and then. "Okay, raise your arm," she sing-songs. "It doesn't matter which one. No, not that one."
The price is amazing. I won't even tell you, just look at the first link above. The only place you can get a cheaper yoga class around here is the South Pasadena Senior Center. And that's a decent class. It's just crowded.

I hope the Pacific Asia class will never be crowded. But best kept secrets can only be kept for so long.

Update: I found a free yoga class in Pasadena. It's every Sunday morning at Lululemon. They suggest you arrive early. I haven't tried it but it sounds like fun.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Commute, 4

I don't know what my commute looks like to you. I suppose it depends on whether or not you're used to city life. I love driving along Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles between Silverlake and Hollywood. It's colorful and busy. People are always out.

Beverly is not exemplary of the entire commute. I have freeway driving (no photos until I get a chauffeur) and some hills. I drive alongside the Silverlake reservoir. I pass beautiful old architecture, pretty parks and graffiti-covered bridges.

Traffic doesn't always stop at those places so I might never get a picture of them, at least not while commuting. And if traffic moves like it did yesterday, I won't be getting a lot of photos of Beverly Blvd. either.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Generic Tissues, Pocket Size

Am I the only one having sneezing fits?

Around here the mowing, trimming and planting continue all year 'round. We've got the weather for it. But it looks like there won't be any more rain for a few months. As mud turns to dust and we kick it up, my nose reacts with snorty violence.

In spite of the nasal wars, I choose to live here. Wish I had a secret weapon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You Can Call It JPL

I haven't taken you to Hahamongna Watershed Park in a while. I suppose I've mentioned this before: nobody I know actually calls it that. We call it "JPL." For some reason we don't confuse the park with the aerospace research center. When someone asks if I want to walk dogs together at JPL I am not confused. I know they don't expect to wander among research labs and allow the dogs to pee on the telescopes. They mean Hahamongna Watershed Park.

Can you blame us? JPL is so much easier to say.

The reason for the nickname is obvious if you look at a map. The real JPL (NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab) sits perched sideways atop Hahamongna rather like a jaunty beret. And calling the park JPL isn't wrong; some of the earliest rocket experiments were launched there and even later ones have been tried on its sandy acres.

This view is closer to the Devil's Gate Dam than to NASA's JPL. The dam is close to the bottom of your map view, near the 210 freeway. (You can see it if you use the zoom in satellite view.) You can't see where I took this photo; it's off to the right, under cover of trees. But the Google shot of the dam looks relatively recent.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Zen Monday: #196

Here's how I choose the Zen Monday photo: if I have no idea what to say about it, it works.

Zen Monday is the day you tell us what the photo's about, rather than me telling you. Please do leave us your thoughts in the Comments.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Litfest 2012

Happy crowds.
Dedicated volunteers.
Diverse authors, publishers and booksellers.
Entertaining speakers and panels.
Good food.
Expanding horizons.

Reading. This is what it's all about.

Yesterday's Litfest Pasadena was a smashing success. Can't wait for next year!