Mar 09

Gratuitous kid photo

I know I still need to write about the Spring ArtNight Pasadena we attended on Friday. But before I delve into that, here’s a photo of the kids at Pasadena City Hall.

Mar 09

A photowalk in Chinatown



The kids take photos in Chinatown

The kids take photos in Chinatown

On Sunday, I thought it would be nice to let the kids get some pictures of LA. The kids were so excited at the prospect, especially since I hooked them up with my old camera cases.  Alton got to used Ilia’s old camera and Ilia was given our Samsung to use.  


It was a nice day to walk around Chinatown; not too hot nor crowded.  The clouds billowing over the skyscrapers downtown caught their attention as much as the red lanterns swaying in the wind.   The moment we got out of the car I remembered that I left the xD card for my camera at home. 

The kids have always loved Chinatown, but since this was their photowalk, they were calling the shots. The things that fascinated them were just as interesting as the things they walked on by.  One shop had several small pillows in the shape of various animals or cartoon charachters.  The kids were immediate drawn to them, squishing and hugging whatever pillows were in their reach. But they did not take photos of them.  Instead, Ilia focused on the rooflines of the pagoda-like buildings or colorful scrolls hanging in a shop.  Alton, took a lot of pictured of people’s feet and the sky,which we found greatly hilarious. He’s so used to see us go down on one knee to take his photo that he thinks that’s how you take photos.  

The only downside of the day was when we got home and realized that not only did most of the 121  pictures Ilia and I took on the Samsung were corrupted, but the 13 or so did turn out find can not be accessed.  We could harp on that or we revel in the fact that 2.64 miles of walking Chinatown gave the kids a little better insight on that section of LA.


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Dec 08

Flickr Meme

Since I was thinking of doing a meme a day for a month anyway, why not kick off with this one?

“It works like this: if you use Flickr, go to the sixth page of your photostream and pick the sixth picture there, then post it to your blog.”

Murano Console

Murano Console

Jul 08

Why does Exposition Park kill my camera battery?

This is odd.

Yesterday, for the 4th time this year, we went to the Natural History Museum.  This means walking through the rose garden as Exposition Park.  As usual, I fully charged my camera’s battery the night before.  I can usually get about 300 photos on one charge.  Inside the museum, I took about 12 photos and the battery indicator read ‘full’.  Step out to the rose garden and it’s red.

This has happened to me all 4 times this year and 3 times last year.  I even take an extra camera that takes AA batteries, making sure the batteries are new.  When I whip out that camera, the batteries are dead.  My phone, which is fully charged also reads low battery.

It’s the strangest thing.  I’ll try to shoot a photo and the camera will just shut down.  Once we leave the rose garden, everything is back to reading full.  It matters not, where in the rose garden I am.  And to make it worse, it only seems to happen to me.

Mysteries of the universe…

Apr 08

Weekly Winners 04.13 – 04.19

Find more photos from participants at SarcasticMom the creator of Weekly Winners.

Run Fat Boy Run

The Pan African People’s Arkestra

Lazy Daisy

SummerSpringtime, and the living is easy”

Apr 08

Chronicle Wine Cellar

That’s the sign outside Chronicle Wine Cellar. I wouldn’t know anything about the prices though. They’re only open “when the flag is out” and I’ve only seen the flag out 3 times in the past year and all 3 times we either didn’t need wine or the kids were acting up, so the thought of going into a wine shop was far in the back of our minds. One of these days I’m going to take $40 and go there and get a bottle of wine. One of these days they’ll be open when I need to get a bottle.

The Chronicle Wine Cellar is located at 913 East California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106. We are hidden just behind the Pie N’Burger shop. Cellar hours are Monday through Friday 11:30am – 6:30pm, Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm, and Sunday 11:30am – 5:00pm.

Apr 08

Cherry Blossom Festival

We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo yesterday. It was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected. Kudos to the organizers of the event. As usual, with things like this in Los Angeles, it emcompassed all of Asia (though Indians were not represented at all), so we got to see things from all along the Pacific.

We started out our morning in the Plaza. Our original plan was to have get some coffee and pastries from Homeboy Bakeries but they were closed. So we wound up in the Japanse Plaza at the bakery there. BTW, they had surprising good coffee and the baked goodies we got were tasty. While we had our coffee, we sat outside the shop and watched this group. I guess they’re jazz singers and usually they’d be using a piano…I don’t know, I hadn’t had my coffee when they were introduced. Anyway, later on in their set, they sang Sukiyaki but the original Japanese song. I know some of the Japanese, but I know the English like everyone else. My husband asked me, “What is this song?” I was shocked. Mr. Music didn’t know this song? “It’s Sukiyaki!”. He looked at me, “How do you know that? See, I told you you know everything.” Whatever.

Something totally unexpected and random, Red Hat Society singing on stage. Yes. You read that right. I have pictures if you don’t believe me. We walked around, everyone and their brother were giving away trips to Hawaii. There was a section for kids with bouncy thingies. We watched a Hawaiian group play. Ilia liked that because she has a ukelele too. The kids made Chinese lanterns, something that took a lot longer than expected. There were quite a few tables set up for kids. They could learn origami, do a fish kites, paint a pet rock or make a lantern.

We walked around a bit, and looked for lunch. That should have been an easy task, but most of the places we usually eat at were closed. We wound up at an okay place, but $1.50 Kirin on tap. How could we not? Really? After lunch, we went to rejoin the crowds on the street. We caught the tailend of the Kabuki dancer.

Ilia loved it, but Alton did not enjoy the music. Then we went on the other side of the stage to see the Geisha dancers:

We also got a chance to watch the Japanese groups (I call them dance crews, since I’ve never seen them do anything but dance) do a dance in a circle. There were 4 “crews” and random people in a circle doing a dance who’s name is escaping me right now. It’s always fun to watch and it was even better to see more people under the age of 60 involved.

My little girl just loved all the dancing and the music. She wants a taiko, she wants a kimono, she wants to learn hula and kabuki. She wants to learn Japanese! That she wants to broaden her horizons and learn more about the world means the weekend was a success.

Apr 08

Descanso Gardens Spring Festival: World of Good Weekend

On Saturday, we went to Descanso Gardens for the World of Good Weekend. (see photos here)I had never been to Descanso Gardens before, but I heard it was more like the Arboretum than the Huntington and it was. In theory. Even though the Descanso gardens has a lot of different kinds of gardens and pathways, I prefer the Arboretum.

The one thing at Descanso that was truly impressive were not just the number of lakes and ponds on site, but the different layout of them all. It is a beautiful place that seems more like a large nursery than a place to study plants. Sadly, there is also a severe lack of customer service onsite. From the moment we got there until we left, no one who worked there knew anything about what goes on 4 feet beyond them. The guy at the ticket booth didn’t know procedure on if we give our receipt to the lady or what. The lady at the entrance had no idea if they sold sweaters or jackets in the gift shop. “You can ask”, is what we were told. The little girl had to go to the bathroom. We hiked all the way up the hill to the Boddy House couldn’t find a bathroom. I asked two people who worked there where it was and neither of them knew. I’m expected to believe that they were up at the top of the hill, working, and had no idea where the bathroom was? I could say that you get what you pay for, but the Arboretum and the Zoo both cost the same and the workers at both places are unnervingly friendly and helpful that you almost believe they’re robots…or not from LA.

One of the most wonderful parts of Descanso was the lilac garden. Yummy. It was like heaven with that scent in the air. Every time I found a lilac that was beautiful, I found another that was even better.

The camelia forests were also nice. I wasn’t too dazzled by the California garden and was very underwhelmed by the succulents and cactus there. The iris garden was amazing and most of the irises hadn’t even opened yet. I should go back to see the other hundreds of cultivars available. There were only about 10 open this weekend.

The kids loved the little train and even Daddy thought we should get one for the back yard (yeah right). Oddly enough, I loved the tulip garden. That was outstanding.

At the entrance of the park, there is an installation titled Edible Estates. As you know, I’m virulently anti-grass, especially for Southern Californians. We are slowly getting rid of most of our lawn and had considered giving it over to food. The subject came up again, as my husband tried to convince me to move my veggie garden to the front yard so we can put the pool in the backyard. The Edible Estates installation, prodded us a little closer to that goal, though I still need more sun than I get in the front yard.

The artist, Fritz Haeg, will be back at Descanso on May 17th for a book signing and artist’s reception. I believe he’ll unveil his summer theme at that time too. (Brasil Brazil is also playing that weekend, so I’ll definitely be there!)

Apr 08



Just wow.

I’ve gone to opening nights before and the act is always good.  Ernie Andrews just blew them all away.  I listen to a lot of blues.  I like the blues.  Jazz…it’s great, when it has a more blues infusion.  Otherwise, that vocal jazz or the smooth jazz crap make me want to slit my wrists.  There are times that I’m listening to blues and in my head thinking, “Gosh, this sounds the same.  Boring.”  Every once in a while, I hear a singer who makes your heart break just listening to them sing the blues.  Ernie Andrews is that man.  Even the funny lines, and there were plenty, made you want to laugh through tears.

The opening night of the Friday Night Jazz series at LACMA is never to be missed.  I’ve been going since ‘ 95 or ’96 and it has always been one of the best ongoing series in Los Angeles.  Back then, it was truly a cross section of the city.  They used to have about 3 or 4 rows of seating in the front.  Then a few tables in the middle.  People would bring picnics to eat there.  I remember these two guys would come with lawn chairs and a cooler and sit there all evening.  That was back in the days when you could show up at 5pm and start getting served a drink and stay until 11pm without the security guards harassing you.  You could smoke on the patio, until 2002 when they banned smoking cigars and then in ’04 when they banned cigarettes too.  Times have seriously changed.

It’s always strange, since I’ve seen the same group of people at LACMA, off and on, almost every Friday night for 7 months of the year for the past 12 years.  I still have never spoken to most of them.  But we smile, nod, wave hello.  When I started going there, I was single.  now I’m married with two kids!  We were joking that next year they’ll probably institute a dress code, the year after that, they’ll ban kids, then by 2012-ish, they’d have a cover charge.  Times definitely change.

Ernie Andrews plays at LACMA

We arrived pretty late, thanks to my lameass husband.  Seriously.  If I tell him, I have to be somewhere at a certain time, guaranteed, he’ll find some reason to linger.  I had planned on leaving the house at 4pm.  I told him that, repeatedly.  We didn’t leave unil 5:30pm.  When we finally got to the museum, it was almost 6:30 and he was like, “Wow!  It’s packed!”.  Ya think?  Needless to say,  we didn’t get a table.  Not that it matter anyway.  The stupid museum only set up like 4 tables.  They used to have between 12 and 15 tables set up.  I counted 4.

Oh, and as for the other bloggers…I got 12 emails from people.  Unfortunately, none of had considered doing the obvious thing of sharing phone numbers.  I didn’t even know what blogs some of them wrote for!  So, I didn’t get to meet any bloggers.  There were a few people that my husband insisted looked like blogger (?), but he was being such a tool, that I thought it better he wasn’t around people.

At any rate, if you were there, I’m sorry I missed you. If you weren’t, I’m sorry you missed a pretty awesome show.

Mar 08

Weekly Winners 03.02 – 03.08

Find more photos from participants at SarcasticMom the creator of Weekly Winners.

We went to the pier today, so the kid’s got to ride the carousel


This is a tree I shot walking on Ocean Ave.


Most of you know that I come from a military family and I’m an Army brat. I have relatives who’ve served in all 5 branches of the United States Armed Forces.


Mrs. Spider’s Sunny Patch needs to get out of my sage.


Met Kat at the Huntington Library on Thursday. Here’s the kids.


Her son and my son checking out the fish.


A cherry blossom in Glendale.