Saturday, November 17, 2012

Parrot Droppings

I've never gotten a good shot of a Pasadena parrot. I've tried, but they don't fly low enough and I don't fly high enough.

Even though parrots regularly flap above our neighborhoods, we don't often find their feathers on the ground. I wonder why that is.

We decided not to touch it. Mom always said birds are dirty animals, and I suppose she was right, even when they're bright and beautiful and very, very loud.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Head Trip

The blue tile caught my eye when I took this photo some months ago.

(I haven't been out much lately.)

This is the exterior of the Head Trip Salon and Boutique at 16 E. Bellevue Drive. I'm not sure what they sell in the boutique, but it looks like cute clothes. We're south of the Old Town Pasadena shopping area, in the antiques district. There's still plenty of shopping, of course. Here we're generally looking for Craftsman furniture, Chinese vases, antique jewels.

The strolling is more leisurely along these streets, less crowded. And there are plenty of gems. This one: lapis lazuli.

Do you remember when "head trip" meant something else?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Fish Building

This is one of those photos I took ages ago, then lost, then found. Then I didn't post it because I didn't have a picture of the building, then I didn't get to Old Town Pasadena to take a picture, then I did get to Old Town but forgot to take a picture. Then I came across this post about the building, and decided that I. MUST. GET. INSIDE.

Just read the first three paragraphs. Doesn't it sound marvelous? Pasadena is packed with these treasures, many of which are not available to just wander around in. Mmm. Secrets. History. Seamed nylon stockings and fedoras.

26 East Colorado Blvd. is east of Fair Oaks, on the south side of the street. Lots of lovely architecture around there. It makes you wonder what's inside all those buildings, upstairs, in the back rooms?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Author Jason Silva

I met guest author Jason O. Silva at this year's Duarte Festival of Authors. What stopped me at his booth were his beautiful book covers. What kept me there was his warmth.  
The first book in his "Edgar Trunk" series for children was a Gold winner at the 2011 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. 
The second book is a brand new release. Please welcome guest author, Jason O. Silva.

For me, writing a guest blog entry is a little like dining at La Luna Negra. The decor, the atmosphere, the culture (just like this blog) are so colorful. The Flamenco show starts; you're enjoying it as a spectator. How do those dancers achieve such intensity? The experience is full. You are transported. The evening is a splendid, joyous memory in the making.

But then there is the moment. It happens every single time at La Luna Negra on a weekend night. The dancers disperse from the stage and enter the restaurant seeking an unsuspecting partner to fumble clumsily through a few moves with them as patrons jeer and applaud.

There are those who live for the spontaneous spotlight. They are a flame seeking a wick, ready to burn even brighter. I on the other hand abhor public showiness. I wear a t-shirt in the pool. I sit in corners. I keep my cell phone volume down on the lowest setting. So when a beautiful Flamenco dancer swishes through the tables to draw one of us out of the crowd, I pray on my life that she will not pick me. Because if she does, I will sit there like a slug and grunt, "No." I will refuse, even as she tugs my arm. I will act like that arm is asleep, like the limb isn't even mine. Pull all you want.

Afterward, the latent misgiving surfaces. I'm left wondering if I just spoiled the party. Did I knowingly walk into a charming and wonderful scene and then wreck it like an unruly child in a porcelain shop? These are the situations I avoid. Really, my hesitation stems from the fear that my performance cannot do the honor justice. I prefer to be a fan, to watch and enjoy, like with the Pasadena Daily Photo, to peruse, participate in a passive and carefree way, with none of the pressure of having to live up to the expectation of craft, sensibility, and wit contained within the wonderful posts.

But what are we without our foibles? Without our quirks and insecurities? These become for us the fodder for great characters, great moments, and that ring of authenticity that makes stories REAL. The truth is, if you never get out of the chair, you're never going to dance (in life, in writing, at La Luna Negra). There comes a time when we must face our fears, so here you go. Look out, Flamenco Lady!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WMM's Pitch

Pasadena is part of the LA film business. John and I have neighbors who work in television, film, animation, and commercial audio, and that's just our block.

Like the music business, which lost its old model with the advent of music downloads, and like the publishing industry, which is experiencing a similar upheaval, the film business is changing. But film is a different animal because it's a group effort, a collective work.

I've told you before about my husband's film collective, We Make Movies. Right now, Blue Collar Interactive is holding a campaign to award $100,000 in agency services to the emerging company that demonstrates the greatest need by delivering the best pitch, and We Make Movies is one of five finalists.

I'd love it if you'd go to the link and vote for We Make Movies by 12PM PST on Friday, November 16, 2012.
Why? I'll quote John's Facebook post: "Because Hollywood has lost interest in taking risks. The studios are manacled to their shareholders. Individual voices in film have to strike out on our own.

"We Make Movies was founded by filmmakers to develop, finance & distribute movies to our audiences directly. We've produced 3 feature films and dozens of shorts. Our membership has exploded in the past 24 months. We've just opened our first satellite chapter, in Toronto.

"We believe that if we remove the layer of middle-men between artist & audience, the artist will be free to create pieces that are not only true to their vision but also more entertaining & satisfying to the audience."

The picture at the top of the post is of the party on the roof after a WMM showing: filmmakers, actors and audience share the experience. What a concept!

Late Update: Past PDP guest author, We Make Movies founder and board member Tara Samuel won Best Actress this past weekend for her performance in Ruby Booby, a feature developed through WMM, at the International Film Festival Manhattan!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Zen Monday: #220

On Zen Monday, you write the caption instead of me. Please have at it in the comments.

On the Camelot Where You Are front, a decisive victory to report:
Lisa is the winner, with #28 from Thursday, Lancelot's Love Bulletin. Congratulations, Lisa! You win a free copy of my new novel, Camelot & Vine, as soon as it comes out. (Before Christmas, I hope! Fingers crossed.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Maryland Hotel

Wikipedia says "The Maryland Hotel existed from the early 1900s and was demolished in 1934. (Note: On April 27, 1935, Mary Stubbs Warner sailed from NY to SanFran and listed her home as The Maryland Hotel in Pasadena, California. This demolition date should be verified.)"

Mary Warner's address is possible. Most of the hotel burned down in 1914, but not this part.

I couldn't find the name of the architect, although Myron Hunt designed the pergola. But that's long gone.

I jotted a note that this photo was taken in 1910, but now I can't find my note.

The bulk of the hotel (and I do mean bulk) burned down in 1914. A few online sources state the location as Colorado Blvd., where this picture might have been taken. It's noted that the photo was taken at Colorado and Los Robles, which I at first thought was a mistake. The building in my photo, the only remaining vestige of the hotel, is on the northeast corner of Union and Euclid. That's more than a city block of building burned down.

The fire started during "the usual Saturday night dance." No one was hurt, and most everyone's luggage was saved. This April, 1914 New York Times article (click "view full article") says the "hotel probably will be rebuilt."

You can see the Maryland from City Hall, and there's a commemorative plate, although I don't know where you can get one. I guess there's a lot I don't know about the Maryland.

Update: See additional information from Sid Gally in the comments.