Friday, March 28, 2008

Taking the Reins - Thursday 3/27/2008

Cool wall inside The Paddock.

Heaps of flowers over one of the rows of stables.

The exit drive. That's a separate covered arena at the end of the street.

Sadly, the progress I felt we made last week was pretty much knocked aside by the return of three girls who hadn't been involved in the guided mental walk that five of them took last week.

Today there were some cool comments made during our discussion of emotions, but it was so much about trying to keep them within reasonable limits of behavior...I don't enjoy that at all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ravens - Wednesday 3/26/2008

Hydra and I went for a hike yesterday afternoon and there were lots of ravens out playing in the breeze.

Got some shots of one coming in for a stick landing!

Cool Thing: Coupons for DTV converters - apply by March 31st, 2008!

You've heard that your analog TV will be obsolete as of January 17th, 2009?

Oh, you haven't?

Well, yeah, the whole television broadcast system is switching over to digital. The U.S. government is offering up to 2 coupons per household for $40 each toward a converter box (which I think I've seen at WalMart for about $47.)

You only need one if you're using your analog TV with an antennae (like the one in my office at work.) If you're hooked up to cable or satellite you don't need it.

If you're not...get on it by next Tuesday. Click on this link for the coupon site. It's quick and painless. Not even a pinch!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jimmy Helps Make the Bed - Tuesday 3/25/2008

When I return from my morning ablutions, there's Braveheart's darling, giving me the Kitty Power Glare. "You will rub my belly. You will call in late and you will stay and you will ruuuuuuub my belly."

Momentarily distracted by the usual belly-rub suppliers rustling in their sleep.

Okay. Back to me and my belly.

Oof. That was good.

Why are you still here?

And now for a little more on meeting Los Angelista yesterday. I just wanted to offer her anonymity if she wanted it. Are those of you who have been dragged into my blog with nicknames you had no control over wondering why she gets this option? Braveheart? Tomasina? Hydra? Bells?

I dunno, it just felt like the thing to do at the time.

Anyway, she wrote about it on her blog quite cleverly and I thought I'd share a little more too. On my blog. Because she deals with really important things over there. I have to say that Los Angelista has spurred me to write things in response to her posts that are more challenging and make me think about the world and myself in it more than the stuff I tend to post here. She's already been a good influence on me.

It was great. I was more worried that I wouldn't measure up than that she wouldn't. Although there was that IM conversation with Toronto in which I joked that we were meeting on a trail in the middle of Griffith Park and she said next to a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest might also be appropriate. Then she said she'd come to my funeral. Aren't my friends sweet!? I think I'd draw a nice crowd. Just watch out for the e-vile blog lurkers... ;)

I have met people from the Internet since the days of the BBS Boards when all we had were words made of green or amber light to connect us. (Got that campfire feeling yet, kiddies?)

I think the first person we met was from rec.pets.birds. She worked at Sea World and took us into the lab behind the penguin house where we met and petted penguin #154. A high-water mark in this bird-fan's life, let me tell you! That was the late 80s.

I met a woman from a Ralph Fiennes fan list a couple of times. We were the ones who told ourselves we were on the list because of the high quality of his films, rather than the high quality of his face. We talked about all kinds of movies, etc. when we met and then she transferred to England to work. Hmm, I never put that together before, but she didn't seem like the stalker type....

People from that same fan list got together to see the premiere of The Avengers in Westwood. I don't know whether it was that the film was so laughably awful or that one of the women at dinner afterward showed off a People or Us magazine article about her being Ralph Fiennes' Biggest Fan (complete with photographs of her in the middle of a room stuffed with memorabilia) but I dropped off the list shortly after. Perhaps it was the sense that this was the shape of things to come!

I've met a couple of other random folks, one of whom seemed a little odd online and turned out to be a little odd in person, but not dangerous.

Last May, a person I met on 43Things hosted Hydra, my mom and I overnight in her home in LaHavre! It was the most amazing thing for her to do for us. A terrific first night in France that will never be forgotten. Sitting up late at her kitchen table, drinking wine after dinner and talking politics with her and her husband.

I think we all have pretty good instincts about each other and that you can't hide long-term, even online, if you write about what is important to you. None of the meet-ups were with people who I'd only exchanged a few lines with.

Another good experience chalked up, thanks to Los Angelista. And an introduction to the Casbah Cafe, too!

The L.A. Experience - Monday 3/24/2008

Trust me, I wasn't endangering anyone's life by snapping this and the next couple of photos as I crawled through the 101 to 110 to 10 in downtown Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. (How does anyone from out of town keep those numbers and directions in their head when they go through here for the first time?)

There was plenty of time to sight see!

Including the (apparently) Leaning Tower of L.A.

I was going from meeting an amazing fellow blogger (who can identify herself if she's comfortable with that), who turned out to be even more interesting and beautiful in person. We've emailed privately some, and have read each other's blogs, and it was a pretty good bet that neither of us were going to cause the other harm.

We were right! We win!

Oh, and she introduced me to the amazing Casbah Cafe, where they had stacks of tomatoes on the counter, and big bowls of dates and apricots you could order along with the usual coffee house fare. Wow, I could go back again and again!

I was thrilled that Braveheart's local gang of parrots flew overhead as I parked my car in front of her house. Luckily, there were engaged enough with the yummy stuff in this tree that I could get close enough to snap a shot with my little Canon point-and-shoot.

Here's what they were eating. It does look tempting!

Inside, we critiqued and celebrated Tomasina's amazing rewrite of her current novel-in-progress, which I predict will be published soon (by publishing industry standards!) So fun to read!

Wildflowers - Sunday 3/23/2008

I've been meaning to climb up the hill behind our house and see just what all the hubbub is about. There are more poppies this year than I've seen since we moved here 7 years ago. Mostly in the burned area...interesting, huh?

Yes, I did lie down to take this shot.

Yes, I did get some stickers right through my jeans into my hip. The cacti burnt, but apparently left a few reminders behind!

From a distance, I'd assumed these were lupine. When I neared them, I thought they might be thistles, but the shape's not right and they don't seem to have spines.

Not sure what they are. I think that wildflower book is in the backseat of my car....

Don't know how well you can make this out, but there are drifts of those purple flowers in the wind-wakes of the burnt out junipers.

Just to prove that my shoe and I were there.

I am going to make this my desktop image for a while!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Casa Ortega - Saturday 3/22/2008

I've noticed this restaurant before on our drive across the desert on the 138 between Palmdale and the 15, and this morning we stopped for a little photo shoot.