Thursday, September 30, 2010


...I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder...

--Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


What does 113 degrees feel like? Imagine if habanero peppers had their own town and decided to build a bonfire. No, that's not quite it. Okay, lets say you're blow drying your hair and suddenly you realize there is a button on the bottom of the hairdryer, a button you never noticed before that says "thermonuclear," and you decide to try it out.

Still not quite it.

Maybe all the menopausal scientists of the world decided to put their heads together and come up with an all-powerful secret weapon: the hot flash ray. Maybe hell is so crowded it decided to outsource to Southern California. Maybe the sun lost its glasses and is scooting closer to focus on things.

It's hot.

It's crazy hot.

The record-breaking heatwave is expected to continue today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tick Tock

It's time for school. Time for work. Time to check the schedule. Time to lose 10 pounds, to gain perspective, to slow down, to rush. Time for cleaning floors and patching leaks, for going through that pile of mail. Time for a haircut. Time for a change.

Time to call home.

Time to say sorry.

Time to make time for all the things there is no time for.

(What time is it for you?)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Staying Cool

Ah, Southern California autumn. While other parts of the country find sweaters just in time for apple bobbing, we slather on SPF 30 to face a blast furnace. Or we just stay inside and drink lemonade. (Better yet, we drink margaritas.)

Highs are expected to reach 102 today and 105 on Monday. Winter will be here before we know it!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Right on Cue...

I was admiring the multicolored bricks of the school administration building. Often, after Kaldi or the library, I'll take a moment and look at the arches. This day I lingered. Hmmmmm, I thought to myself, too bad there isn't something interesting in that bright doorway.

And then there was.

(This is the second time a cyclist has made the shot.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pit Stop

I know it doesn't have the coolness factor of Kaldi or Busters. I know the boho-chic interior is cookiecutter and chosen by a bunch of guys in suits. I know some coffee snob bloggers have said the arabica beans are not as well roasted as Peets. But still ... the Starbucks on Fair Oaks across from OSH is a great place to grab some good java, chill out to whatever mellow music is playing and utilize the WiFi. Plus, the light is so pretty there in the afternoons, I just can't help but reach for my camera. (It's nice outside, too.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Now You're Cooking

Forget Epicurious, the Food Network and Rachael Ray's new iPhone app. My vintage Wedgewood stove is a sure-fire cooking reference with about 70-odd years experience. No need to laminate this kitchen guide -- it's right there on the inside of the oven door. It's a little faded and blurry but you can still read it, even after decades of Thanksgiving dinners and birthday cakes. Hey, where else can you get the definitive answer for how long to cook well-larded veal? (Answer: 35 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. Take that, Jamie Oliver!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Beloved

TO friends at home, the lone, the admired, the lost

The gracious old, the lovely young, to May

The fair, December the beloved,

These from my blue horizon and green isles,

These from this pinnacle of distances I,

The unforgetful, dedicate.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Intentions...

I was looking through my books for something to inspire a thoughtful and interesting post...

Instead, I got sucked into a biography of Raymond Chandler. Right now, in the book, he's trying to stay away from the bottle, struggling with a screenplay that will become The Blue Dahlia and caring for his ailing wife Cissy. He's convinced he can't finish the project sober and Paramount is afraid he won't deliver a final script. He decides the best way to complete it is to go on a two week bender. The studio is to provide round-the-clock limousines to fetch doctors, collect script pages and drive the housekeeper to the liquor store for more gin.

I've just got to find out what happens.

So, what are you guys reading?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cruz'n For Roses

Love old cars like I do? Speed on over to Mission Avenue between 10:00AM and 3:00PM today for the annual Cruz'n For Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show. Over 400 dream machines are on display so that classic car junkies like me can daydream and drool. It's for a great cause, too. Funds raised from the event contribute to South Pasadena's very own Tournament of Roses Float -- the oldest self-built float in the parade.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Other City Dwellers

I followed a black and yellow butterfly down here the other day. It disappeared, but I saw a raccoon next who scampered across the path and into the brush, disrupting four or five wild parrots who flew away squawking. By the time I grabbed the camera, all still and quiet except for the sound of a dove who who-ing nearby.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Puzzle Piece

When you take the same walk every day, you start to notice things. I noticed this.

Is it a hieroglyph? A cartoon donut? A carving of the rune uruz, symbolizing health, strength and new beginnings? The letter E in a circle?

Someone went to the trouble of carving this in wet cement. Did the cement dry before they finished it?

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rodent Rules

Hats off to eagle-eyed reader Kaz for spotting this whimsical sign and emailing me about it. (Months ago. I finally found it!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Walk in the Park

The long days of late summer are perfect for after-dinner walks. (And the long shadows of sunset are perfect for on-the-spot snapshots...)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Caption this photo (#41)

Is it too soon for another Caption This Photo post? I hope not, because I love this shot but have absolutely nothing to say about it...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paradise (Unpaved)

You never know what you'll discover when you stroll around South Pas ... like this mysterious pathway with a canopy of tree branches. It's weird to experience such a pedestrian lifestyle smack dab in Los Angeles County. In the middle of a sprawling car jungle is our very own oasis, perfect for slowing down, stretching legs and seeing things in a softer kind of light -- a light that, I swear, never reaches the freeway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Overheard (Part 2)

"It's really a great view up there," he said. "We should climb over the fence."

He was young. High school, definitely. She looked older than he did, like most high school girls.

"How would you know?" She said. "Who have you been up here with?"

"Nobody. I mean, with some people. You know."

She knew.

And then they both knew I was listening.

(So I took this picture.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old Setting Meets New Gadget

I realize I'm stepping into Kat's territory with this one. I didn't have my camera yesterday evening when I ran over to Rite Aid for saline solution. But the light was so wonderful, I just had to take a picture! So, I snapped one picture with my iPhone, shooting through a high contrast monochrome app that leaves red tones. This is the unedited shot straight from my phone.

I remember the days when photographs like this meant hours in a darkroom with chemical burns and expensive stacks of over and underexposed prints. Say what you will about the digital age, but I say these are the good old days.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just Restless

They're just restless. Like you. They have to get the car out and go somewhere.

--Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mood Lighting

I found this one when going through photos I shot last winter. It's just an ordinary street in a sleepy neighborhood. But that moon! That moon! I can't resist.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

End of the Season

The Little League boys of summer have gone back to school, leaving behind a lonely field of long shadows at Arroyo Park. There is something so melancholy about abandoned bull pens and empty batting cages. I think former baseball commissioner Giamatti summed it up well:

"I think It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Ultimate Open Air Market

Today is the first of the month, and that means Theme Day for participating City Daily Photo bloggers. This month's theme is Open Air Markets.

The South Pasadena Farmers Market is much more than a place to buy locally grown produce. It's more like the world's best block party, and it happens every week. Sure, you'll find enough certified organic fruits, veggies and fresh squeezed pomegranate juice to make Dr. Andrew Weil's head spin. But you'll also find flowers, essential oils, beeswax candles, organic soaps and other handmade goodies. Add live music and a tempting array of delicious prepared foods by local eateries and what do you get? A party atmosphere that makes it feel like the weekend even though it's only Thursday.

Check out more about the Farmers Market here. Or better yet, just go. (Don't forget to save room for the roasted corn. It's life changing!)

Make sure to take a look at photos of other open air markets around the world. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants