Posted in Around Town, Writing

I’m Going to be a Producer!

Oh, ye denizens of Pasadena who subscribe to cable (sorry, Altadena). If I can hold it together to go to four classes, four weeks in a row (at no cost) and do 20 hours of volunteer work, then my buddy Linden and I are going to produce a show on KPAS 56. Continue reading “I’m Going to be a Producer!”

Posted in Around Town

3:00 am

WCGB:  Can you hear the rain?

TS: Yes, I’m trying to decide if it sounds like ‘pitter-patter.’  I don’t think it does.

WCGB: What does it sound like?

TS: I’m thinking about it.  (vocalizes) TSSTHSSSTHSSTHSSST

WCGB: Spell it.

TS: I’m having a religious experience.  (Pause)  T-E-I-U-T-S-U-T-U-T-U-T

-*-*-*-

Listen up.  It’s time to Get Nutty.

Nutty Jazz at The Echo on Feb. 17, 2009.  9:00 pm

nutty

1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Will you be there?  Vecinos, carpool mit moi?

-*-*-*-

I’m quite enjoying Fine Just the Way It Is by Annie Proulx.  Bare minimum, stop by your local book store and read ‘I’ve Always Loved This Place.’  Sample line from that story: “I think we’ll make the Khoisan language of the Bushmen the official language of Hell,” he said in a fluent stipple of dental, palatal, alveolar, lateral and bilabial clicks.”  NYT review of the book here (though fearing possible spoilers, I skim-skipped it).

What are you reading?

Posted in Around Town, Current Events

Doo Dah Parade 2009

doo-dah-09-green-goddess

Welcome to Doo Dah 2009.

doo-dah-2009-china-banner

I marched with Thorny Rose Ann Lau and the Great Firewall of China Marching Brigade.

doo-dah-09-thorny-r-by-kchristieh1

Photo by KchristieH.

doo-dah-09-firewall

I was a computer with a monitor head and keyboard hands, unfettered by Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.

doo-dah-2009-china-banner-2

I marched because Shi Tao can’t march. Shi Tao is in prison.

doo-dah-2009-chinese-journalist

doo-dah-j-delorey-1

Photo by Jon Delorey.

Was it silly to protest the pro-Olympics float in the 2008 Rose Parade? Well, did you see the NY Times article about Ji Sizun, now in prison for “forging official seals and documents”? Or did he just try to apply for a permit to protest?

Call me Debbie Downer, but this gets my dander up. I’m getting old, folks, so prepare for a life-time of built-up dander to come snowing down in ’09.

doo-dah-09-j-delorey-3-ht

Photo by Jon Delorey

More here. Clearly, I’m going for “Doo Dah 2009: Most Issue-Laden Blog Post.”

Let’s not forget Mutts for Marrow!

doo-dah-09-susan-c-by-kchristieh

Photo of Mutt-in-Chief Susan Carrier by KchristieH, who took many wonderful photos of the parade.

It may be true that like Eli Cross in The Stunt Man, a blogger-poet-painter-filmmaker will go to great lengths to ‘get that shot.’

doo-dah-09-get-that-shot-2

doodah09-mg0001

Or is Miss Havisham doing what she does best—pursuing the past with a vengeance? Ah, we must do what we must do.

I must take photos of men and babies and beer…

doo-dah-09-men-babies

…at Lucky Baldwin’s after the parade.

Say bye-bye!

doo-dah-09-men-babies-buh-bye

PS – A lovely sign of hope ( <— Oh, do watch it!) at the parade, again courtesy of KchristieH:

doo-dah-09-red-balloon-kchristieh3

Posted in Around Town

Scofflaws of the Rose Parade

You may have heard that this was the first year that you couldn’t smoke along the Rose Parade route.

rp09-cigar-guy

rp09-scofflaw-1

Let’s face it…How is the ordinary nicotine-consuming mortal to endure a 2-hour parade without regular infusion of that calming influence? Especially if you’ve brought your squirmy youngsters out for some Quality Family Time.

There are a host of other Rose Parade rules, like no tents, sofas or ladders and no bonfires. There’s always a sofa or two left behind after the parade (though it seems not as many as there used to be). Of course people bring ladders and watch the parade from them. I gathered some pretty decent, gently used firewood after the parade (I’m now in the market for kindling to go with it).

Forget smoking—the real scofflaws of the Rose Parade are the kids (some even adult-aged) with the Silly String.

rp09-scofflaws-3

The photo below is cropped to protect the identity of the parent who was aiding and abetting this Silly String abomination:

rp09-scofflaws-4

Note disgusting Silly String all over the street. Each can is 75% propellant.

I don’t like when the emPHAsis gets put on the wrong syLAble. I say let the smokers smoke, but crack down on the Silly String. Better yet, take it away from the kiddies and tell them that it is needed for the war effort.

– * ^ _ * * _ ^ * –

I’ve got an out-of-town house guest fast approaching, so I need to work on the house. (Read: I’d rather blog, but even the Baby Jesus’ manger was more orderly than my abode.)

But I couldn’t leave you hanging without a laugh. No Luck for Levi Johnston will make you smile, no matter what your political persuasion. If I’ve learned anything in the ’08 election season, it’s that political humor is funnier if you’re on the ‘winning’ side.

No wonder so many of us haven’t smiled in 8 years.

Posted in Around Town

Rose Parade 2009: The Prep Edition

Old, cynical Pasadenan that I am, every year I think to myself, “Oh, the parade. Ho hum.” Then it gets to be the 28th or 29th of December, and I feel the anticipation in the air.

I find myself on south Raymond Avenue, where a parking spot has miraculously opened up. In true Harriet the Spy fashion, within seconds I’m up close and personal observing parade floats under construction.

May I present to you a special Rose Parade…
rb-09-prep-sneak

Continue reading “Rose Parade 2009: The Prep Edition”

Posted in Around Town, England, Green & Pleasant Land, Pasadena

In Which I Struggle With the Season

There are so many reasons to hate Christmas as it is celebrated in these United States. The buying-ness of it all gets to me. I don’t want buying to make me happy. I don’t want things to make me happy. I hate it that our whole economy is based on consumption.

But who am I kidding? Some things make me happy. Opening a wrapped gift makes me happy. Watching someone else open one makes me happy too. Afterwards, burning the wrapping paper in the fireplace satisfies my inner pyro.

I’m as guilty as the next guy—I buy at this time of year. I do nostalgic buying, as in: “Well, I have to get something from Canterbury Records because I always get something from Canterbury Records, and Lord knows I don’t want Canterbury Records to go out of business.”

canterbury-records

Photo credit: The Sky is Big in Pasadena

Canterbury Records offers up some wonderful things. My favorites for this time of year are:

bellsofdublin

The Chieftains: Bells of Dublin

Are you about to tear your hair out of your head because you can’t stand another scintilla of tired old holiday music? The Chieftains will save you, along with musical guests Jackson Browne (The Rebel Jesus) and Elvis Costello (The St. Stephen’s Day Murders). Sample lyrics from the latter (referring to “Uncle”):

While the lights from the Christmas tree blow up the telly,
His face closes in like an old cold pork chop

See? That bit irreverence truth makes you feel better, doesn’t it?

vince-guaraldi

Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love the melancholy Christmas Time is Here. I love Linus and Lucy, and I dance just like the kid in the orange shirt.

By the way, The Carol of the Bells is PURE TORTURE, wouldn’t you agree? Chaney approved it for use at Guantanamo, I’m sure.

* * * * *

I always miss England at Christmas. I would like to take the train to London and look at Selfridge’s windows.

hangingsanta1

Photo credit: Laura Porter

I would like to hop on a Number 15 bus starting at Marble Arch and travel through London and see the lights.

debenhams

Photo credit: Laura Porter

A few years ago, The Scout worked in London on a Marriott commercial. He had a birthday while we were there, and I bought him a flask at this very Debenhams. He likes to fill it with Patron Silver and take it to the movies. And the golf course. And the…oh, never mind.

hamleys

Photo credit: Laura Porter

Here we have the Hamley’s where I bought AP’s Tardis Piggy Bank.

* * * * *

Sigh. This post was actually therapeutic for me. The photos of London helped. If you’re of the Christmas persuasion, I wish you a Happy Christmas.

UPDATE:  My friend Adela is selling her muy sabroso tamales.  If you’re in the Pasadena/Altadena/So. Pas/Highland Park area, she’ll deliver them to your house!  You can reach her at 323-691-0073.

Posted in Around Town

Let Me Set the Battlements on Fire

I read in the Pasadena Star News a while back that the Pasadena Police Department came up with a set of recommendations for John Muir High School. One of the recommendations (article here) was to install higher fences.

This is the fence at Hollywood High School. Call me pie-in-the-sky, but wouldn’t it be nice if school campuses didn’t need fences?

The place I grew up, RAF Lakenheath, has a big fence around it.  If I tried to get in there today, I couldn’t.  I don’t have the proper documentation (i.e., I’m not active military).

Same goes for walls. The world has a history of building walls to keep in or keep out. You know what they are: The Great Wall of China – with a history so long it defies summarization. Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in Britain to keep the northerners (the Picts) out. The Berlin Wall – it’s gone now but I hear that Berlin feels like a city without a true center (haven’t been there myself). Then we’ve got the newcomers – the Israeli West Bank barrier. That big ole thing between the U.S. and Mexico.

I’m not here to talk about the political pros and cons of these walls. My Subaru-driving liberal self just wanted to have a wistful moment, imagining a world without walls.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one

Sting – Fortress Around Your Heart – Because the personal is political.