Posts Tagged ‘local’

Smoke

November 15, 2008

We woke up to blue skies, but the news showed fires inland, in the San Fernando Valley.  By noon, our air tasted wrong.   By 1:45pm, our skies changed color, and flecks of ash began appearing on parked cars.  The light outside is a strange yellow, and my throat is starting to burn.  A state of emergency has been declared, thousands have been evacuated, and hundreds of homes have burned.    We’re in no danger of flames here; just inhaling the particles that floated away.

UPDATE:  For a while this afternoon, the flames were significantly closer–still not in danger, but that might explain the sudden increase in smokiness around here.  There’s definite ashfall outside now, and the sunset was intense around 4:30–that color they call “angry red” in situations like this–might be pretty if not for the circumstances.

Report from the polls

November 4, 2008

LINES at our polling place this morning at 8:15am.  We waited about 30 minutes to vote.  We’ve never seen a line there, in twelve years of voting.  And they had extra booths set up inside, so it wasn’t for lack of preparation.  The weather:  after a dousing pre-dawn storm, we have gorgeous blue sunny skies and 70s at the beach.  It’s a very good day for turnout in Los Angeles.

Mmmmm, Diwali

October 29, 2008

It’s Diwali time, so I’ve got a ziplock of lovely Diwali sweets (laddoos) made by my friend’s husband (thanks Srini!).   They’re very sweet, crunchy, and taste of ground nuts and cardamom.  Mmmmmmmmmm….. In my ideal universe, all sweets would contain cardamom.   I can walk past the bowl of Halloween candy without a pang–“nope, nothing with cardamom”–knowing I have a stash of laddoos instead.

Smoke

October 15, 2008

The skies were clear and blue most of today, but by 1pm you could smell…and taste…and feel the smoke from the fires inland.  The wind has changed.  We go from cool ocean breezes to hot blasts full of wood ash, like that.  I’m keeping my inhaler handy.

Unique hazard of art education in Los Angeles

October 8, 2008

So, we need scrap paper, a lot of it, in the art room at Lincoln.  Friday at the docent workshop we used pages from discarded TV and movie scripts, because the supply chair’s husband had a pile of them.  Perfect, right?  Or not so perfect.  We discovered that we need be careful about that source, because at least one page had a big ole F-bomb right in the middle of it.  Guaranteed a kid would find that.  Another docent volunteered some scrap paper tonight–old movie scripts.  I told her to screen them for language, and bring them in.

Better bring some of my own scrap paper for the pile.  Old drafts of my journal articles and conference talks are guaranteed 100% f-bomb-free.  The only possible risk is that they’d bore a kid to tears.

Marimekko and IMDb

October 4, 2008

Yesterday was the first docent training workshop for this year’s Hands on Art program–the volunteer-led art education program in Redondo schools.  It was great fun–we made foam stamps and printed on canvas and talked about Finnish fabric design in the 1960s.  I’ll attach a photo of some of the docents’ works when I get the latest pics off my camera.

We’re mostly moms and grandmas (there are a very few dad volunteers).  We don’t live in a glamorous suburb of Los Angeles–no big-name sports legends at the PTA fundraisers (that’s Manhattan Beach, next door).  At the Lincoln School tables, we just have the usual Redondo mix of engineers and writers and former teachers and accountants and… movie actresses.

No, Angelina Jolie isn’t getting covered in tempera paint at Hands on Art (we could probably sell tickets to that).  People Magazine can send its paparazzi elsewhere.  But  Joanna‘s the bartender in “Dude Where’s My Car?”  Cat played a football player’s wife in “Any Given Sunday.”  When you see a movie, notice the people in those smaller roles.   Chances are, they go home and feed the cat, they have to find the kids’ backpacks and sign the teachers’ notes, and maybe, just maybe, they’re getting painty and teaching art to Kindergarteners.   Just because they’re cool like that.

(I’m just realizing the Angelina Jolie-tempera paint sentence may bring eager visitors here through the magic of Google.  Sorry to disappoint.)

Equinox Sunset with Palms

September 23, 2008

Equinox Sunset with Palms, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

This is for Lisa C. At Polka Dot Cottage, she invited friends to post photos taken on the Fall Equinox (today). Now, they were supposed to be evocative of the coming season, but that’s mighty hard to do in a place full of palm trees! So I took a photo of those, against the sky at dusk. Our part of town is laid out so that east-west streets line up with the sunset on the equinox–so a few minutes earlier, this photo would have been impossible, because the sun would have been dazzling the whole street, face-on.

Oh–and we have a lot of overhead powerlines in our neighborhood. It’s a city, eh? Nice suburbs with no powerlines are pretty and all, but I wouldn’t really like living in them, myself.

Let California Ring

September 10, 2008

Well, California’s seldom in play for the presidential race, so we don’t get too many of those ads, but they’re usually kinda boring anyway. What we get instead are ads about the statewide propositions, and they can be more interesting. We’re loving this one, against Prop 8:

Same-sex marriage is legal right now in California (yeah!), and the polling looks good for it to stay legal after November (double yeah!), because folks are more likely to vote No on propositions than Yes, all things being equal. But I’ve heard there’s a Yes on 8 yardsign campaign coming September 22, so we’re ahead of the game–our “No on Prop 8″ sign is already in the front window.

[Update 9/28:  BWAHAHAHAHHAAAHAHAHA!]

In other political news, someone at school today asked “where did you get that cute Obama t-shirt you were wearing the other day?” Uh, I made it. She looked disappointed, she was hoping to get one for her mom, so I said to bring me two old t-shirts and I’ll make one for her too. Maybe I should throw a shirt-making party? (When I was looking up that link, I found this reverse-applique Obama tote, with tutorial–cool!)

Happy Autumn

September 5, 2008

Bell Peppers!, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

The farmer’s market still has sunny vegetables like this tumble of red and gold and green bell peppers, and the equinox isn’t for a few weeks, but school’s back in and I’m going to hear the first Bach’s Lunch recital at TLC of the season today…. so it’s still happy autumn to me.

Thirteen Years

September 2, 2008

Thirteen years ago today, I boarded an airplane in North Carolina with a strange little newborn who weighed about 4.5 lbs, and we moved to California (Peter did too, but he drove the U-Haul). We thought it’d only be for a couple years. I’m glad we were wrong about that.


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