#30MuseumsIn90Days

April 15, 2019

From January to April this spring, Jake and I did a #30MuseumsIn90Days challenge. (It’s not a pre-existing challenge that I know of; it just seemed like a good number for a fun series.) We live in the South Bay and I don’t love driving, so most of our outings were nearby, but some were farther away, when we could recruit Peter to drive. We also got three museums in during a spring break trip to Santa Barbara. We skipped LACMA, the Huntington, the main Getty, the Tar Pits, etc., because we wanted to focus on lesser-known (and usually free) places whenever possible.
Here’s the list:
1.  Torrance Art Museum (Torrance)
2. Western Museum of Flight (Torrance)
3. Redondo Beach Historical Museum (Redondo Beach)
4. Flight Path Museum (LAX)
5. Torrance Historical Society Museum (Torrance)
6. El Camino College Art Gallery (Torrance)
7. California Science Center (Los Angeles)
8. California African American Museum (Los Angeles)
9. Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach)
10. Pasadena Museum of History (Pasadena)
11.Hawthorne Historical Museum (Hawthorne)
12. Manhattan Beach Art Center (Manhattan Beach)
13. El Segundo Museum of Art (El Segundo)
14. Palos Verdes Art Center (Rancho Palos Verdes)
15. Getty Villa (Malibu)
16. Drum Barracks Civil War Museum (Wilmington)
17. Banning House Visitors Center (Wilmington)*
18. Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis (Westchester)
19. Museum of Ventura County (Ventura)
20. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Santa Barbara)
21. Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara)
22. Laband Art Gallery at LMU (Westchester)
23. Automobile Driving Museum (El Segundo)
24. Madrona Marsh Nature Center (Torrance)
25. Fort MacArthur (San Pedro)
26. Korean Bell of Friendship (San Pedro)
27. Manhattan Beach Cottage Museum (Manhattan Beach)
28. Wende Museum (Culver City)
29. Petersen Automotive Museum (Los Angeles)
30. Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles)

*The Banning House itself is not wheelchair accessible. So we only visited the Visitors’ Center, which had a small exhibit on antique fans.

We took pictures everywhere, of course, and they’re all on instagram if you’re curious. Here’s one of my favorites, though, at the gorgeous Getty Villa:
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What I read in 2018

January 1, 2019
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Reading with ramen in 2018.

Past editions of this list: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a good year for reading here! Twenty-eight books finished. I’m a slow reader who likes long books; and this year my time for leisure reading continued to be limited by  carework responsibilities. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  20/28 authors are female or non-binary this year; there was a long stretch over the summer when I didn’t want to read any more books by white guys, and I’m still not that interested, to be honest. The only even vaguely non-fiction books here are Lawson’s memoir and Satrapi’s graphic novel. I probably started a lot of others; just strongly preferring fiction right now.

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things
2. Naomi Alderman, The Power
3. Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy
4. Jac Jemc, The Grip of It
5. Haruki Murakami, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
6. Richard Kadrey, The Everything Box
7. Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent BG
8. Patricia Park, Re Jane
9. Emily Fridlund, The History of Wolves BG
10. John Scalzi, Head On
11. Sylvain Neuvel, Waking Gods
12. Jennifer McMahan, Winter People
13. Marjane Satrapi, Embroideries
14. Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
15. Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose BG
16. Yxta Maya Murray, The Conquest
17. Charlie Jane Anders, All The Birds in the Sky
18.Idra Novey, Ways to Disappear
19. Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts
20. Ben H. Winters, The Last Policeman
21. Andrew Sean Greer, Less BG
22. Warren Ellis, Normal
23. Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing BG
24. Connie Willis, Belwether
25. Lauren Beukes, Zoo City
26. Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
27. Chloe Benjamin, The Anatomy of Dreams
28. Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea BG

Our Alphabetical Tour of South Bay Cafes

November 9, 2018

This autumn, Jake and I took an alphabetical tour of places to eat in the South Bay. We only ate at accessible places (yes, in 2018 there are still quite a few restaurants that are not wheelchair accessible), open when we were ready to eat (which can be a little random for us), with something on the menu for Jake (usually dessert or breakfast items), and that were friendly (we didn’t feel uncomfortable staying to have a quick bite). At each place, we took a photograph of Jake with the restaurant’s name or logo, and a photograph of the food he enjoyed there.

We used Yelp to find places for each letter, and checked out parking and entrances on Google Streetview to avoid any confusion. We tried to prefer places we hadn’t visited before, and if we had a choice, we preferred Torrance, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, Lawndale, over Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach. Today was out last stop! Photos below. We visited a lot of interesting places, met a lot of hardworking people, had some delicious food, and generally enjoyed ourselves enormously. I will never drive past a strip mall without taking a second look at the hidden possibilities. I will definitely return to many of the new-to-me gems for another meal.

 

A is for Amandine Patisserie Cafe (Gardena)
B is for La Bella Napoli (Torrance)
C is for Corner Joint (Lawndale)
D is for Desserts by Patrick (Redondo Beach)
E is for Eat at Rudy’s (Torrance)
F is for Four Brothers Burger Grill (Redondo Beach)
G is for Green Temple (Redondo Beach)
H is for Happy Veggie (Redondo Beach)
I is for It’s Boba Time (Gardena)
J is for Jon’s Doughnuts (Torrance)
K is for Klatch Coffee (Redondo Beach)
L is for Leo’s Mexican Food (Lawndale)
M is for Manila Wok (Lawndale)
N is for Nagomi Cake House (Gardena)
O is for Oh My Burger (Gardena)
P is for Pie Pie Pie (Redondo Beach)
Q is for Queen Bee’s Catering (Gardena)
R is for Roman Aroma (Redondo Beach)
S is for Sacks in the City (Redondo Beach)
T is for Torrance Bakery (Gardena)
U is for Upper Deck (Redondo Beach)
V is for Village Pizza (Redondo Beach)
W is for Wanna Chill? (Redondo Beach)
X is for exEat (well, kinda) (Gardena)

And our last stops:
Y is for Yorgos Burgers (Gardena)
Z is for Zacatecas Mexican Restaurant (Hawthorne) CA8B088E-0562-42AA-A048-3802FB2DCF97

Our 2018 costumes

October 29, 2018

It’s that time of year again. Once again I crocheted my costume, and built Jake’s costume from cardboard. I’m a giant squid; he’s a vintage convertible.
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What I read in 2017

January 15, 2018
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A small Marge Piercy paperback and a grande coffee, wrapped in a crocheted cozy.

Past editions of this list: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a good year for reading here! Twenty-five books finished. I’m a slow reader who likes long books; and this year my time for leisure reading changed with more carework responsibilities. I’m still working on how to fit more reading into the new routine. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. REV=Reviewed for an academic journal. Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  Female author/male author ratio: 17/8 (counting Angel Catbird for Atwood); Fiction/nonfiction ratio: 19/6 (counting Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age! as fiction, though a lot of it isn’t).

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed
2. Josh Malerman, Bird Box
3. Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
4. Marjorie Harper, ed., Migration and Mental Health, Past and Present REV
5. Claire Vaye Watkins, Gold Fame Citrus
6. Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August BG
7. Matt Haig, The Humans BG
8. Margaret Atwood/Johnnie Christmas/Tamra Bonvillain, Angel Catbird #1
9. Angela Carter, Wise Children
10. Dawn French, Oh Dear Sylvia
11. Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened BG
12. Reyna Grande, The Distance Between Us BG
13. Jeff Vandermeer, Borne
14. Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
15. Lauren Slater, Welcome to my Country BG
16. Sarah Waters, Fingersmith BG
17. Penelope Lively, How It All Began BG
18. Michael Berube, Life as Jamie Knows It BG
19. Kenzaburo Oe, Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age! BG
20. Tana French, The Trespasser BG
21. Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
22. Maria Semple, Today Will Be Different BG
23. Ben H. Winters, Underground Airlines
24. Kamran Nazeer, Send in the Idiots BG
25. Ann Patchett, Commonwealth BG

Chalking Belmont Shore 2017

December 29, 2017

October is a busy image-making month, with Halloween and the Belmont Shore chalk art contest. This was my piece for this year’s Belmont Shore event. I based it on an Alphonse Mucha soap ad* from 1898, loosely. Then in the second half the day, I asked anyone who stopped to talk, “What’s your grandmother’s name?” That was the source of all the names written into the image. It was fun to hear their stories! People seemed very excited to see their dear one’s name included. I didn’t win a thing (never do!), but it was a fun day as always.
*Original was very similar to this one:
Alphonse Mucha - Zodiac

Our 2017 costumes

December 29, 2017

I crocheted myself an award-winning solar system costume this year, with beaded asteroid belt. The headpiece doubled as a solar eclipse costume in August (photo by Darlyn Susan Yee, taken at CAFAM). And I yarnbombed my son’s wheelchair for Opulent Mobility 2017.

Building the Daniel Tree

April 6, 2017

A crocheted wall hanging I made for a friend experiencing loss. I just wanted to post the pictures of it as it developed, all in one place. (The fourth picture turned up on Instagram, somebody caught me working on it at the Autry Museum, next to my Sequoia piece in the California Yarnscape show.)

What I read in 2016

January 1, 2017

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At left, photo of The Windup Girl, a book set in Thailand, next to fried rice at a Thai restaurant (Bamboo); because every once in a while my reading matches my eating.

Past editions of this list: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a good year for reading here! Thirty-three books finished, including books read at the Grand Canyon and in London on family trips, and at least one I read in the hospital (kidney stones). I’m a slow reader who likes long books, so anything over 30 books finished is a pretty good year for me. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that.  Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  Female author/male author ratio: 19/14; Fiction/nonfiction ratio: 28:5.

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You

2. Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

3. Rachel Adams, Raising Henry BG

4. Barry Unsworth, Morality Play

5. Kimberly Elkins, What is Visible BG

6. Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins

7. Magnus Flyte, City of Dark Magic

8. M. R. Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts

9. Scarlett Thomas, Our Tragic Universe

10. Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project BG

11. Angela Carter, Heroes and Villains

12. Laline Paull, The Bees

13. Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette BG

14. Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members

15. Lisa See, China Dolls

16. David Finch, Journal of Best Practices BG

17. Laila Lalami, The Moor’s Account

18. Hannah Kent, Burial Rites BG

19. Gregory Sherl, The Future for Curious People

20. Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Liebowitz

21. Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle

22. Kate Atkinson, Started Early, Took my Dog

23. Sam Kean, Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons BG

24. Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves BG

25. Carol Rivka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

26. Paolo Bacigalupi, Windup Girl

27. Yangsze Choo, The Ghost Bride BG

28. Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

29. Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up BG

30. Kit Reed, Where

31. Ashok Rajamani, The Day My Brain Exploded BG

32. Mark Salzman, The Soloist

33. Sylvain Neuvel, Sleeping Giants BG

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Stuff I finished recently

November 20, 2016

Big catchall post.

I recently finished #100wikidays, a personal challenge in which you commit to write a new Wikipedia article every day for 100 consecutive days. I did all biographies, mostly women, as usual; looking over the list, there were only two that I’d even heard of before the day I wrote their article. (This is how I usually work; if I don’t previously know anything about the subject, then I can’t say anything about them without a source. It still helps to know something about their historical context, of course.)

There were at least a dozen African women (because I was also doing the Africa destubathon for part of the time); a couple of Cornishmen (because of the West Country Challenge–sensing a theme?); two blind organist/composers from Philadelphia; one mother-son pair of artists; a lot of North Carolinians (partly because the NCPedia is online, unlike a lot of state historical encyclopedias); a few Guggenheim fellows, and a bunch of US women active in the peace movement. I even wrote two of the articles in a hospital bed when I needed an emergency surgery for a kidney stone. Here’s my whole list of 100 new articles. It was fun and I’d recommend it.

I also, recently (as in today), finished my contributions for the Yarn Bombing Los Angeles installation “California Yarnscape”, which will happen at the Autry Museum in spring 2017. Here’s my crocheted “Sequoias”, inspired somewhat by 1930s WPA posters for the national parks:
sequoias

Also, somehow, I made two Halloween costumes this year; my son’s was the more ambitious, a rolling tarantula of funfur and pantyhose and wire and so much duct tape…
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Mine was four pretty easy pieces (but I love the elaborate hat); an alien priestess costume, based loosely on the Sisterhood of Karn in old Doctor Who.
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Finally, look for Jake and me in this flashmob video made at Venice Beach last Sunday. You’ll need to look closely; I’m in a black hat and red dress; Jake’s in his blue Convaid chair. This was also a lot of fun to do.