Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Saving Hahamongna - Last Ditch Efforts

The plans the City of Pasadena has in store for Hahamongna canoodle under an umbrella called the Multi-Benefit-Multi-Use Project.

It's a project name that’s semi-manipulative-semi-clever.

It hints that Hahamongna, in its current configuration as a watershed, nature preserve, and wildlife habitat, is of singular and quite possibly exclusionary interest. Something for the connoisseur; a private club that squats on unexploited resources. How much better it would be, the project name implies, to transform Hahamongna Natural Watershed Park into something for everyone.

If the members of the Pasadena City Council, advisory committees and their paid consultants really believe in transparency – and believe it’s in the best interests of current and future generations to rip out acres of the watershed park and replace them with athletic fields, cars, and porta-potties -- then they should call this battle between the city and the citizens of Pasadena, Altadena, and La Canada by its true name: Soccer Fields-Parking lots versus Open Space.

But no, they’re all cagey and coy. Hence, “Multi-Benefit – Multi-Use.” Like they’re selling us something; a shampoo that both “cleans and conditions,” or a deoderant that’s “strong enough for a man and gentle enough for a woman.”

For years, the City of Pasadena has tried to make Hahamongna something other than what it is today. And in the face of public protests, the City has backed down, or appeared to, until it could sneak something in, one acre at a time. Then before you could say multi-benefit-multi-use (and yes, that can take awhile), the City (More On Patch).

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's been a terrible week

Nothing but work. And when I thought I could pass off a few pictures from the stables -- as placeholders -- all the animals acted as though they were in the witness protection program.

The only agreeable subject I could find was an ass.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cheshire Cats of Pasadena

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blind Justice

Choosing a good melon requires due diligence. You have to inspect the candidates; thump, sniff and weigh them, examine the rinds. Check for bruises and leaks to ensure the fruit hasn't been compromised or corrupted in any way.

But what would happen if you couldn't get up close and personal with the melons?

Well, then you'd have to make your choice based on circumstantial evidence. You could start by checking the labels, which of course were designed and written by those trying to sell you a particular melon in the first place. You could, I suppose, ask the opinion of some self-described melon experts or others with a background in the melon industry. But could they be trusted -- particularly if they showed some deep and vital interest in your melon selection? Might they not have a hidden melon agenda?

It would be helpful if the melon could say a word or two on its own behalf, unfortunately, that's counter to what we all believe is a very basic law.

So, where would that leave you? Playing the melon lottery.

A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but no knowledge at all is even worse. Without some rudimentary facts, figures, information, how can you choose anything -- dog, car, melon, superior court judge. More on Patch

Friday, May 18, 2012

Art Walk

Even a photo safari of two is exciting. It's a chance to show each other what it is you find

aesthetically appealing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Home Work

Well, I could hardly write about anything else this week, could I? Patch

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Working, Part 3: Now You're Talking

Yeah, their work space is messy. Like a good kitchen. From the chaos comes something al dente - clean to the teeth.

Can you match some of these writers/artists/bloggers to their sites? Hints follow photos. Winner gets my unread copy of Deepak Chopra's "Organize Your Life."

They are not in this order, I assure you:

Sonia, Brazilian journalist, who was tardy with her photo. Admits that desk seldom looks so tidy.

Teacher/writer/gardener Christina Wenger

Lawyer/blogger Mr Earl

Photographer/blogger Chieftess

Actress/writer Petrea Burchard, who recently finished her book, Camelot and Vine.

Librarian, historian, and essayist Arizona Brenda.

Artist, Jean Spitzer (I have an original, by the by)

Businesswoman/blogger Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet

Artist, critic, PJ.

Mary! and Mary.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Working, Part 2: That's More Like It

Some folks scoffed at yesterday’s workspace photos. They didn’t believe creativity could flourish in a pristine environment where an untouched tablet of paper waits -- patiently, eternally -- at a 45 degree angle next to a freshly sharpened #2 pencil.

I, however, I believe. Anything is possible in this world. So possible that I even married this guy once (I think it was only once, but I've missplaced the paperwork) who had his jeans dry cleaned, starched, and pressed, weekly.

(Though I found John irritating in oh, so many ways, our windows sparkled and you could hold a dinner party on the bathroom floor.)

As Shakespeare once said, "There are more things in blah blah blah, Horatio, than are blah blah …" I’d continue this, but I can’t find the post-it.

So, here are the winners of today's work space category, titled: That's More Like It. I understand how these folks get things done. There is evidence of work in their space, though they'll never be members of my sorority. I'm featuring my club on Sunday.

Artist Shell Sheree. I have some Shell originals in my office. She would have made yesterday's cut, except the pen isn't at the proper angle.

Writer, editor, photographer Kelly Russell. Another potential for yesterday's post, except the coffee cup. It's leaving rings, you know it is.

Soilman -- British writer, journalist, gardener; ranter extraordinaire. A candidate for "Are You Shitting Me?" Are you shitting me?

Writer and college prof Margaret Finnegan. For those who know Margaret, she's our personal goddess, and has a book coming out this year.

And John. (No, not that John). This is John Sandel of We Make Movies. Now, he thought he could fool us with all the attention paid to the tidiness in the middle and on the right. But I think all the junk cleverly disguised in the shadows to the left tells us everything we need to know.

Finally, this is the Chief. My favorite Chief of Police in all California. He also outted his wife's workspace, so Kathy, you'll be joining us on Sunday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Working: Private Parts

How do people do what they do, and where is that sweet spot when they're doing it.

My office is chaos; I'll admit that right off the bat. On my desk, there's hand lotion, an RSI wristband, two dog collars, and dental floss. Incidentally, there's a computer, and a stack of loose notes.

Not a view I brag about.

So let's look at the landscape of other writers, photographers, bloggers. This is a three part series.

The first is titled: You've Got To Be Shitting Me. The second is called That's More Like It, and the third -- Now You're Talking

Kevin McCollister our favorite LA photographer. Get the book.

Karen Klein, journalist and columnist for Bloomberg and BusinessWeek.

Virginia Jones, photographer and instructor, known most particularly for her images of Birmingham, Alabama, and Paris (yeah, that Paris).

And Wayne. Wayne is a talented photographer and our token Canadian. I have another Canadian, but she's off buying a house so I didn't bother her. But how many of you think Wayne swept the mess from the desk and hid it in the closet?

Ok, maybe these folks are sincere. Maybe their desks do really look, at all times, like they're poised for a photo op at the Ibsen Museum in Bergen. So then I wonder, how did I ever get to be friends with these people -- what could we possibly have in common? Ice cream? Or maybe we like the same cheese.

I honestly have no idea how they get anything done in all that neatness.

Part 2, tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Beautiful Mind: If you show me yours, I'll show you mine

Actually, that’s a lie, because I had every intention of showing you mine anyway. And it doesn't look like this:

But this:

Yup, it's all there. Important dates, jobs, assignments, addresses, critical reminders, appointments, story ideas -- everything. It disturbs even me, when I stop to think about it. On the other hand, it's got a certain style, in a Jackson Pollock kind of way.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Great Albert

"I wouldn’t ask too much of her," I ventured. "You can’t repeat the past."
"Can’t repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
"I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before," he said, nodding determinedly. "She’ll see."

-- The Great Gatsby