Thursday, August 30, 2012

We had what


passes for a flash flood in Los Angeles. And a little tiny rainbow.

Some Chabrier?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I have some things I'm just itching to say

About lots of stuff, including, oddly enough, Hemingway. If you scratch behind my ears (you know the spot) it will all come spilling out. (Just one more week of work.)



My time hasn't been wasted, though. I know how to embed a vid.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Altadena, the "New" Epicure Epicenter?


Local backyard farms and ranches have existed for years in these parts. It’s just now, everyone seems to know about it.




Excuse me, while I work on this hayseed. It's stuck between a rock and molar. Anyone got a penknife? A long fingernail will do ...

Is it funny or irritating that the media from outside Altadena are so jaw-droppingly dumbfounded to find we’re actually engaged in activities that coincide with a trendy movement?

“How can it be,” they gasp, “when Altadena is miles away from Silverlake!”

Yeah, well, we may not be Silverlake, but we're not exactly Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, either. (Not to cast aspersions on Moose Jaw, for all I know they may also raise their own chickens.)

Of course, the root of the problem is that those Altadenans who have always grown their own produce and hatched their own eggs never took the time to coin a word for it. More on Patch.

And my ever so sophisticated neighbor, Restless Chef, has a few words on the matter.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thoughts while virtually away

If you ever want to feel like a really lousy writer, and face it, who wouldn't aspire to that lofty goal, try churning out three, five, seven articles a day.

Journalists can do it, but that’s because they're journalists -- they want to do it, they’re trained to do it. Besides, they've got their game face on. If you don’t have a game face and you’re a writer and enter into this line of work, even for a brief window of time, the sheer speed and volume of it all makes you cheat -- plagiarize and parody yourself, until after one very short while, you can’t stand the sound of your own voice. On paper.

But back to journalists. The daily grind journalists. They start a piece with some alarmist verbs, and then, when no one’s looking, kick off their shoes, pull up a chair, and settle back comfortably with a pipe and slippers while readers still sift through the wouldarewerewasis’s of the story.

I respect them, or envy them, or maybe both, maybe neither; does it matter?

When it comes to writers, and they are writers because they write, the daily feature fellas, online now, mostly, they’re the marathoners. No hurdles, pole vaults, high jumps from that quarter; but lord knows, they do go on and on.

Not much of a life for a sprinter, though.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Altadena

I'm off the blog grid for another week, but wanted to share something.



On my way home, I stopped for a coke and met these two cowboys. Walmart plans to set up shop in my town, across the street from here, and so far, I've been Switzerland about it all.



This scene takes place on one of the three main thoroughfares in Altadena.



Where else can you go, within 10 miles of Los Angeles, and share a parking lot with a quarter horse. Nowhere, that's where.



If we don't pay attention, just look the other way for a moment or two, this could be lost and gone forever.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal


Gore Vidal died today, and the words they used to describe him in The Times and on the radio were words I’ve never used in this life. Words like -- Bombastic, Titan, Iconoclast.

As a matter of fact, I never knew what iconoclast meant until maybe ten years ago when a neighbor characterized herself as such. Using her as an example, I assumed it meant recluse. But then I looked it up and found out otherwise.

True iconoclasts don't go around calling themselves iconoclasts, they just call themselves right.

Not sure how right Vidal was about anything. On the radio today, they played some clips, old TV interview clips, Vidal arguing with Norman Mailer, William Buckley. They called each other names -- Manson, queer, Nazi.

Mailer came off the worst, but none of them sounded very bright.

Writers tend to think best through their fingers. Not sure how that works, but it must happen sometime early in life when brilliance drains from the brain to the arms, to the hands, to the pen or keyboard. It's a pretty straight path and doesn't often take time for detours.

I liked Julian, the only novel of his, or anything of his for that matter, I ever read. Sorry he’s dead, though, admittedly, I thought he had died some time ago.