Sunday, May 31, 2015


I have too many stitches and I can't figure out how it happened. Maybe because I was knitting last night in low light and without my glasses. Because I'm smart like that.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

totally random

Seen yesterday on our drive through West Hollywood. There are a lot of Scientology buildings here, and while we felt a mysterious force pulling at us, we were strong and kept on driving.

And it's a good thing because plans for today included going to the BEACH!!! The BEACH!!! My favorite place on earth.  

In case you didn't see the previous post of the gorgeous beach and ocean, it's right below this one.

However, across the street from the ocean are these views:

Do you see the debris tumbling down the ravine in the first photo? It's stuff that used to be on the road above, and across the road are very expensive homes and condos. The second photo is of the support structures holding the road above up. But the soil is washing away and I'm glad I don't own any of the homes up there. What an amazing view they have until the land all falls away.  

On the way back to my daughter's apartment, we go by this ...shrine? home? art installation?

I don't know, but there is a man who lives under a tarpaulin and sits out sometimes in a battered upholstered armchair of indeterminate color.  

I've seen him sitting in his chair and I've seen him tending his installations. My daughter says that friends have stopped to offer him bottled water and sunscreen. He yelled and threw rocks at them. My daughter has asked him how he was doing and he has responded: Oh, you know. Just working on my script. Alrighty then.

I would love to interview him, but this whole thing, his home I guess, is situated on a sliver of land between two roads. There is no place to stop or park without going a block or so away and then walking over to see him. Getting rocks thrown at me is not an inducement to put in the effort, so I'll just say hi as I wait at the light.  

At the end of the area, where the turn is, and where I was today when the light turned green, is a trash can with Coin Toss hand lettered on it. It would take really good aim to get anything in it, but as my daughter said, he is very likely to go pick up what misses. Next time I'm there and have a red light, I'll give it a try.

We are having perfect weather, and I hear that Georgia is hot, rainy and humid. I think I'll have to stay a few more days.  

Where I Am

Santa Monica Pier is in the distance.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Michael Jackson, BBB and Parallel Parking

What do these three things have in common?  Normally, nothing, but today I PARALLEL PARKED, almost perfectly, all by myself. (Not entirely. My daughter was in the car shouting instructions, but I ignored her.)

We wanted to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, and the one closest to her is in HOLLYWOOD, y'all! On Vine, as in Hollywood and Vine. So off we went and we found a spot right outside of BBB. When I got out of the car to admire my parking skill (who parallel parks anymore?), I noticed the star we were next to.

Good old Michael's.

I was surprised that there weren't lots of tourists/fans standing around sobbing and taking photos and that there weren't flowers on it. Daughter says that there usually are flowers.

We walked around the block looking at the stars, and I had no idea who a surprising number of the stars thereby honored were. I suppose that today's youths, like my daughter and younger, don't know either. 

Fame is fleeting. One minute you are a big deal, the next moment you are dead and forgotten, and in Michael's case, you end up memorialized next to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Laundromat

Here I am, at an LA laundromat. I haven't done laundry in a laundromat in a million or two years but the only machine at my daughter's apartment is broken. I've always thought that the next great American novel would be written about what goes on at a place like this, but it won't happen today. The only thing happening is that an old man (that means my age) is singing along to American Pie on the radio.

That and my apparent inability to count to seven. I must have only put six quarters in the machine and when it wouldn't start, I went to the worker to get help. Needed one more quarter.

If I'm not smart enough to count to seven all by myself, I am probably not smart enough to write the next great American novel.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Acoustic Neuroma Awareness Week

May 10-May 16th is now Acoustic Neuroma Awareness Week.  You may wonder why I even know this.  

Here's how.  I am in LA helping my younger daughter recover from her surgery to remove an Acoustic Neuroma, which is a benign, slow-growing tumor of the hearing and balance nerves, from behind her left ear. It was discovered purely by chance when she had an MRI to make certain that nothing dangerous was causing her migraines. The MRI showed nothing that would cause the migraines, but it did discover the tumor. Even though she had absolutely no symptoms of the neuroma (vertigo, deafness, vision problems), she decided, after meeting with a neurologist, a neurosurgeon and an ENT, to have the tumor taken out before it grew and caused problems.

So on May 12th she had it removed and today, the 15th of May, she has returned home. Pretty damn amazing, I think! For now she needs a walker to move around, just in case she has balance problems, and she is now partially deaf in her left ear. She will have hearing tests next week and they will help to determine if the hearing loss is permanent or if there is a chance full hearing could come back. Her vision problems caused by the surgery are clearing up already and she can now read.  

The surgeons explained to us that the brain has to work hard to establish new connections to make up for any nerves that were damaged or cut during surgery, so she will be tired after reading, talking, or even sitting upright for awhile. It takes energy for the brain to work, the same sort of energy it takes to walk around, run, play games, exercise; I would never have thought of that.

She is very fortunate that she lives near the Keck Medical Center at USC where there are two surgeons, Dr. Rick Friedman and Dr. Steven Giannotta, who specialize in this surgery. One has done about 700 of them; the other has done about 1,000. They worked together on our daughter, and she is doing really well just three days after six hours of surgery. It was BRAIN SURGERY, y'all!!!

Now she is home and doing well, and her tumor, which she had named Ned, is dead and gone.  Whew.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Oh what a tangled web we weave

When first we practice to deceive.  (Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808) 

This is a tangled web, but it's not deception. It's murder.

Murder of those horrible, nasty, HUNGRY moths that ruin knit projects.

The photo is of an unknown number (I don't want to know how many I have knit) of wool, alpaca and silk scarves, wraps and I don't know what-all, sitting in my car, which is sitting in the sun. This is the south. It's hot out, y'all, so this should work, so they say.

They say that if the car temperature reaches 130 degrees for a couple of hours, all of the moths and baby moths and larvae will be DEAD. DEAD. I found a hole of unknown origin in one of my beloved scarves, so this is step one (murder) before step two when I put everything in a space bag for the summer.

Who are they you ask and why do I trust them?  Because they are sources on the interwebs, and so their information must be true. Every one of these items was hand-knit by yours truly, and I would cry and sob if anything happened to them because of those sneaky moths.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Baxter's Big Adventure

I may have mentioned in the past that Baxter wants nothing more than to go outside. He will do anything to get off of the deck, which does now seem to be escape proof. (fingers crossed)

I bought him a harness and leash a few months ago and tried to take him for a walk. It seems, though, that cats, or at least some cats, don't quite get the concept of going for a walk. On a cat-related forum online I read that I should try to just put the harness and leash on him, take him outside, and let him go. So today I did:

At first he acted as if the leash weighed hundreds of pounds, hunkered down and did not move.  But then he was distracted by everything and started wandering. I did not hold the leash; the idea is that if the cat starts to go where he shouldn't, I just step on the leash and stop him. He ended up being so intent on capturing the lizard that was evading him in a small rock wall that he didn't even wander. He had a nice half hour or so of excitement and now he is showing his appreciation by falling asleep on my foot.

As for me, I was rewarded by what will be my first peony of the season!

Peonies are my favorite flowers! Except for roses! And lacecap hydrangeas!

I might have many favorites.

And now, for something completely different: last Wednesday night I had occasion to go to the top of the Queen building in Sandy Springs.

If you live in the Atlanta area, you are familiar with the King and Queen buildings; you can see them from 400 and from I 285.

But have you seen them from the top?

The very top of the Queen
The King seen from atop the Queen
It was fun to see a 360 degree view of Atlanta, but the building tops wouldn't make great tourist attractions. I noticed a sort of unpleasant, sewer-type of odor. I was correct:  all of the exhaust pipes from the entire 31 floors of offices and, ahem, rest rooms, lead to the roof.

Go and smell the roses instead.