Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weather Patterns

The heat wave has finally reached southern California. It was still above 90 degrees at 6pm yesterday, so Boz and I had to wait until the sun went down to take our walk. He did not appreciate the wait.

But once we got out it was pleasant to stroll. People were about, moving slowly, just appreciating the air. When you stay inside all day, even in air conditioning, you get stir crazy.

This isn't like the heat wave that's been plaguing the rest of the country. Mid-nineties is normal for August around here. It's just that every year I forget that until right about now.

Friday, August 10, 2012


photo by John Sandel

My apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley


I met a neighbor from a nearby street
Who said: "One torn and faded doggy bed
Lies on a front porch... On it, in the sun, 
Eyes closed, a sleepy visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and snore of old command, 
Tell that his owner well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on this listless dog, 
The hand that fed him and the heart that loved; 
So I told my neighbor all about my dog: 
His name is Bozymandias, Dog of Dogs, 
Look on his works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that beloved wreck, boundless and bare 
The long and level street stretch's far away.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Commute, 12

I am soothed when traffic slows at this spot on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles. I see this on the way to work. On the way back, I rarely notice it. You'd think I wouldn't miss it either way. Maybe it's all about what the sun is doing, or, more likely, what the traffic is doing.

I left the little corner of my car window in the photo because I like it.

I should mention that I take photos from the car only when traffic is stopped. I mean stopped.

Say, I wonder why there's no graffiti on the plain part of the wall? Someone must be taking care of the place.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Dena is My Village

Yesterday morning I went to South Pasadena to meet with writer, blogger and successful entrepreneur Margaret Finnegan. Her luscious new book, The Goddess Lounge, is selling very well. I had a long list of questions to ask her about publishing as I move forward with my plans for Camelot & Vine.

Pictured is the old Meridian Iron Works building, which houses the South Pasadena Historical Museum. It's right by the Mission Metro Rail Station. South Pas is the closest thing to Mayberry around here. You can ride your bike to the station and take the train to downtown Los Angeles; it takes about 15 minutes. The big white square is for movies on the lawn.

Some may argue that Altadena is our closest thing to Mayberry, but Altadena is more like the Dena's version of Berkeley. In about 1976. Or Idlewild in the off-season.

South Pasadena is Margaret's turf. It's also Laurie's turf. Thank you, Laurie, for allowing me the border-crossing. Laurie would say it's my turf, too. We are sooo not territorial around here.

Margaret and I sat upstairs at Buster's (cash only), just across the street from the Iron Works. The heat has finally arrived on the west coast so we drank iced drinks. I had too much caffeine. Margaret generously answered every question on my typed list, and waited patiently while I jotted notes. (We are sooo not territorial around here.)

My biggest question was, now that I've done all this research, what's my next step?

There are about five first steps.

Hello ground, I have hit you running. Thank you, Margaret.

And thank you, Buster's, for the caffeine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Pasadena Olympic Team

It was a lot of fun watching the JPL team Sunday night as they anticipated the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. They maintained outward calm as Curiosity approached the planet's surface, but one could watch their cheekbones get tighter and breaths grow more shallow as the anticipation built.

When the cheering broke out I took pictures of the computer screen, but those didn't turn out so well. So I thought I'd show you a picture of where it all happened. No, this is not Mars, this is NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, scooched up between the feet of the foothills at the north end of Hahamongna Watershed Park, where it takes up space in La Canada Flintridge with a Pasadena address. Go figure.

It's amazing what these scientists have done. They've landed a craft on Mars, with precision, and they've done it basically with tin cans, rubber-bands and string. Imagine what they could do with an actual budget--a budget, say, half the size of the Pentagon's. Or even a quarter of that. We'd have had resort hotels and spaceports on Pluto by now and Pluto is only a plutoid.

The people who landed the rover Sunday night are not the only folks who work at JPL. The geniuses and support staff working there, some of whom I'm privileged to call friends and neighbors, study everything from the earth's oceans and atmosphere to the planets in our solar system to background radiation in deep space. Every time we walk at Hahamongna I think of them. What a privilege. What a team.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Zen Monday: #208

Happy Zen Monday!

I'm tempted to tell you my response to this photo. But I'll leave it to you, because Zen Monday is the day you write the copy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Looks like somebody got too big for this small, sweet house in Northwest Pasadena.

I haven't outgrown anything lately, although I may have to give up a favorite pair of shorts if I'm not careful. You get to a point, eventually, where you stabilize. If you are careful, that is.

It is to be hoped we are referring only to our physical size here, not the size of our willingness--to listen, for example, or to learn, or to just be open to what's next.