Year: 2012

Time to change out…

November 13

Time to change out the ‘refrigerator door’. I take everything down, put it in a one quart baggie, and stack the baggies out in the garage.

From the top left: an origami crane that I always have some of around, a strip of DKA&L photos from 2011, a Levitated Potato from my Road Trip with Sharon, the charms from Istanbul-Jerusalem-Rome, crafts from Kaitlin. Top right: another of the great flying pig cards from N Donald, a hula girl from my yearly trip to the land of Aloha, bills from my trips to Africa, China, and Vietnam, a gift from my host in Rome, one of my mother’s turtles, the chair I’m lusting after, the corsage from Cynthia’s wedding, the cranes that I can’t give up (I see they’ve been there since at least 2008).

Here are some more:

I got to see…

October 24

I got to see Lilly’s pre-school today, Sand Tots. What FUN.

The kid sitting on the couch against the wall reminds me of one of my favorite questions, from Kaitlin I think, to her parents: “Are boogers vegetarian?”



Here’s what it says on a plaque on the building wall facing these sculptures:

“Jerzy Kalina ‘Przejscie 1977 – 2005’ The idea of ‘Transition’ in the form of installation has been presented in Warsaw at the crossroads of Swietokrzyska and Mazowiecka Streets. A permanent form of this piece was displayed on December 13, 2005 in Wroclaw – a City of special ‘Transitions’.”

Teatro de Mahen, the…

Teatro de Mahen, the big playhouse here. Oh goodie I thought. Romeo and Juliet. Even in Czech, no problem, I know the story, and I hoped I could go. But no. It’s not playing until the weekend and I’ll be gone.

So after consultation with…

So after consultation with the priest we sped off to the correct location, St Josef’s.

We were Thrilled. The music was spectacular, awesome, astounding.

We couldn’t see much because the choir and the orchestra sat in the loft at the back of the church while the congregation sits facing ahead. How many were up there? If felt like hundreds.

A view of the…

A view of the Parliament building, seat of the National Assembly of Hungary.

So much of it was covered in scaffolds and draping that I couldn’t get much of a view. Anyway I think the big dramatic view is from, or across from, the river so I’ll have to catch it another day and I’ll write more about it then.

The next morning we…

The next morning we fly back to Bali and proceed inland to Ubud, Bali’s cultural and artistic heart. After a stop at the delightful Alam Indah Hotel for an inspection, there’s free time to explore Ubud’s winding lanes and fascinating shops for ever-changing treasures.

Check in to the Hotel Tjampuhan, historic home of painter Walter Spies, with the evening free.

We went by in…

We went by in the afternoon with the across-the-street neighbor girls and their nanny.

There were something like 15 kids there and 5 nannies. These are all I could wrangle at the time. My overall impression was really very positive – everyone played together, everyone shared, no one hit or cried. Johanna, the nanny from across the street said that in the mornings between 11 and 1 you can often find 25 kids there.

Back at the condo…

Back at the condo getting ready for the big fireworks extravaganza. The arrow points to Gas Works Park where at 2:30 people have already cornered their spot on the grassy hill waiting for the show that will start after 10pm.

Lake Union is filling up with boats too.

Some Mother’s Day FUN…

May 13

Some Mother’s Day FUN at the Japanese Garden/Sewage Reclamation Plant in Balboa Park.

Angela, her mom Liz, and the grandgirls Kaitlin and Lilly…

On March 15th, barely…

March 23

On March 15th, barely one week ago, Gary had a complete knee replacement and just look at him now, toddling around the house taking care of himself. Gary! you go!!

Liz and Dev too, thanks for the YUMmy dinner and champagne to toast Gary’s good health.

Kaitlin made me this…

Kaitlin made me this valentine at school and it is SO adorable. Kaitlin and Angela brought me flowers too which was SO sweet.

D&A went out for a date so Kaitlin made us a schedule for the evening: 1) Calre 2) Play 3) TV 4) Dinr 5) Cards 6) Favrit Part ov the Day 7) Good Nit.

#6, Favorite Part of the Day is when, after dinner-bath-play-snack-teeth-story and just before Good Night everyone tells about their favorite part of the day. It’s a lovely way to lead into Sweet Dreams.

Our Bon Voyage Breakfast,…

January 20

Our Bon Voyage Breakfast, Nancy took this picture. There I was far in front of everyone else with my giant mutant head which I had to smallen up, and my just out of the shower hair and etc etc but oh well. Muriel and Michi look adorable!


More fun than a…

More fun than a barrel of monkeys! or as in the case of the girls’ new slippers, more fun than a herd of unicorns.

From some other day,…

November 12

From some other day, a shot with my phone out the car window, looking toward downtown from the 405.

The kids were so…

The kids were so engrossed in the story Lilly didn’t notice when we came in but at one point she glanced to her side and saw…

A new permanent exhibit…

A new permanent exhibit had just opened in a space dedicated to historical study called “Willy Brandt – Politikerleben”.

As well as the very well-done displays they had a 45 minute documentary on Willy Brandt and the story of Berlin during his lifetime. It was excellent, so moving I didn’t need to understand the sound in order to appreciate the story, and it was free too.

The Dresden Frauenkirche, the…

The Dresden Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, is the Lutheran landmark church in Dresden, Lutheranism being the vast majority religion.

You can see some of the other reconstructions here most finished (other than the grand historic structures) after 2005.

They’ve done facades where it will look like there are several different buildings on a block like there used to be but behind the facades the whole block will be taken up by a hotel or a shopping center. You can see a similar square of reconstructions at the beginning of this day, the square just outside my hotel is all new.

I’m not sure they did such a wonderful job of this but maybe that’s because huge sections were all built at the same time and it has a suburban housing tract feel, so we’ll have to wait – and time will tell.

I didn’t see any…

I didn’t see any reference to this piece in the tourist information, on the map, not anywhere.

It’s especially memorable to stumble upon something cool but I would have liked to know it was here. I would have gone out of my way.

I had a big…

September 18

I had a big day of walking ahead and started off by getting turned around and walking many blocks in the wrong direction.

But no problem, I’d meant to see City Hall anyway. Check out the sculpture/rain spout at the far end where the two buildings meet, and the close-up is inset.

Livin’ in the land…

March 22

Livin’ in the land of Show Biz. We need this work; it’s good for our town. In the parking lot behind where I’m standing there must have been 50 trucks loaded with gear, craft services, talent trailers, portable generators, and on and on.

They couldn’t have scheduled that this very morning would be foggy so I’m curious how they handled what must be a change in the plan, where now you can’t begin to see the sun or the sea. But no worries, that’s why they call it magic.

I poured directly and…

February 12

I poured directly and entirely on to the keyboard of my running computer a totally full cup of sticky steamy hot Indian tea With milk And sugar, and within three seconds I heard the sizzle and pop of the computer’s death rattle.

The fix-it guys kept the computer for 2+ weeks before stating it would cost $2000 to fix.

I’m into the fourth week of using my ancient ThinkPad x30 unearthed from the garage, still doing everything that needs to get done, but the screen is quite small with not-so-great resolution and it has dimmed over time…and it operates Ohhhh Soooo Sloooowly.

So I’m having to buy a new computer which means shopping which means I am very bad at it.

I should add that the hard drive is completely fine so recovery should be relatively straight-forward. Lucky you say the fix-it guys, the drive had its own isolated case.

(internet pix)



I arrived around sunset and headed right up to Meditation Mount. What they say: “Our Mission is to promote the building of an enlightened and compassionate world through the power of creative meditation, inspirational educational programs, and community-based events focused on the practical application of the following universal spiritual principles.”

It’s a wonderful setting and speaks to the whole sense of Ojai and perhaps what it is Beatrice Wood found so inspiring.

Oh ladies, so shy,…

January 19

Oh ladies, so shy, so demure…actually, not. Nancy and Michi came down from Santa Barbara to enjoy Bright Lights Big City. Muriel tended to their every need and I got to jump in for the fun!

Santa brought Darryl this…

Santa brought Darryl this toy and this craft, the kids got piles of goodies, and all the adults got just want they asked for.

Linda is SIXTY. …

Linda is SIXTY. She put on an entirely lovely festivity – formal wear, cocktails, dinner, demonstrations and a great opportunity for Linda and her friends to go out Dancing.

Linda is my dancing idol you know. When I first saw her look-turn-look I about melted with desire. Oh me too, I want to do that toooo, show me show me show me and endless instructions to Ken ‘I want to do it like Linda does it’. That was always good for a laugh.

From Nancy, from the…

From Nancy, from the day at the art studios open house. It was SO extra cool to have the kids there. It’s true that adage about seeing things though a child’s eyes. I just love to hear them tell about what they are seeing.

The Brandenburg Gate, originally…

The Brandenburg Gate, originally called the Gate of Peace and prominent in every movie and newsreel ever shot in Berlin.

There was a celebrity at the hotel on the left of this picture and these guys were waiting to do the motorcade. I left before the celebrity emerged.

The US Embassy is just to the left in this picture – a bland building with plenty of guards you can be sure.

What made the little…

October 2

What made the little bitty room at the Ibis Hotel so interesting: you could clean that baby with a hose. The toilet is mounted on the wall and all the floors are easy-clean laminates.

Just as an example the shower door doesn’t have a handle to get dirty and then need cleaning. The reading lights are mounted flush into the wall.

Capuchin Monastery and Vault…

Capuchin Monastery and Vault (Klaster kapucinu) where they have a crypt with mummies, not the Egyptian kind but the kind that just dry out.

You’ll see cafes often in these pictures. Along with the churches they are the most prominent feature of the historic center of Brno.

And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of smoking going on here but not at the frantic, passionate, insatiable rate of the Viennese smokers.

Here are a few…

Here are a few of the participants.

Like the Rose Parade I think all the decorations have to be real. But mostly the theme of the Harvest Festival seems to be drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

I picked up one…

I picked up one of these babies (so I could use their toilet). YUM! They all looked majorly tasty. I got the one with whipped cheese and Hungarian paprika.

We had lunch in…

We had lunch in The Restaurant at the Getty, the restaurant with the table cloths and the reservations.

Muriel, JoAnn, Nancy, me, David.

Marija had the Monday…

June 18 part 3 of 3

Marija had the Monday Night Potluck at her place and I got there early enough to play with BEN. F.U.N!

On the way back…

On the way back to the condo we stopped off to be amazed at Ho’okipa Beach Park “perhaps the most renowned windsurfing site in the world.”

It was Awesome.

I got to hold…

I got to hold baby goats too.

The woman behind me is Rachel, wife of Ryan, and in charge of all the prepared items they make with the farm goods, and also she does the farmers markets.


Oh NOOoooo.There is a…

March 21

Oh NOOoooo.

There is a 25% chance that if I leave my house Mon-Fri any time between 4pm and 7pm it will take me an hour or More to get onto the 405, some less to pass by, 2 1/2 miles away…like what happened TODAY. There is another 25% chance that it will take 45 minutes, and half the time I can make the journey in a half hour.

It’s madness I tell you. Every east-bound street is in gridlock with cars nose to tail and drivers on the verge. There is still construction at the on-ramps so I’m just hope hope hoping that we’ll be feeling some relief soon.

(internet pic)

Click here for more…

February 11

Click here for more Santa Barbara pictures from this trip and with a few pictures from many previous visits.

On the way from Santa Ynez back to Santa Barbara I swung through Solvang, the same as ever, Shop ‘Till You Drop.

What’s been going on…

January 17

What’s been going on around here since last Tuesday. They are moving along at a nice clip and should be finished by Friday.

The front looks a little stark with the wisteria down but both sides have got good trunks and old roots so I’m hopeful that it’ll be back, but I wonder if I’ll miss a season of blooms since every year we get the flowers for one month – March.

From Sharon, where she…

December 23

From Sharon, where she is for the holidays. In the snow. This is the place in Steamboat Springs we visited in the summer when it looked quite different.

It seems they’ve got so much snow even the heated driveway can’t keep a clear path!


Nancy rode the airport…

November 11

Nancy rode the airport bus from Santa Barbara down to LAX where I picked her up and we spent a totally delightful day eating, not drinking, and making merry enjoying the open house at the art studios in Muriel’s building.

Nancy ran into many old friends including Lori who lives in Santa Monica.

I had a nice…

October 23

I had a nice welcome home catch-up visit today with my little sister.

And I had a nice welcome home catch-up visit with Cynthia! These are some of their pictures from the summer’s fun in the sun.


I made my way…

I made my way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Centennial Hall, previously known as People’s Hall.

Built in 1911-1913 from Max Berg’s design, it earned its UNESCO designation “as an early landmark of reinforced concrete architecture”.

It’s definitely not ‘grand’, and I couldn’t get inside, but…

Coming home, this is…

Coming home, this is my corner bakery shop. Nearly every block has at least two bakeries and sometimes more. They all have breads and sweets and savories and all the offerings I’ve tasted are wonderful.

These shops as well as pizza places and shawarma shops and sandwich slices work just right for street food. You can pick up a handful of deliciousness and continue on your way. Right up my alley!

Cheryl got back from…

Cheryl got back from her month in Zambia with Mindy and I got to visit with the fam, see all the pictures, hear the stories. Cheryl had one amazing adventure, squatty toilets and all!

At the Mammoth Hot…

At the Mammoth Hot Springs Visitors Center.

The Visitors Center at National Parks are a must first stop which we did as one must, to get maps and plan the day and then we came again in the late afternoon to tour the displays.

Fireworks As Seen From…

Fireworks As Seen From the Jewel Box in the Sky.

I hauled my tripod in my carryon bag all the way up from LA. I’m hoping it was the crazy wind on our 27th floor balcony that made those lights that should have been still look otherwise and not that I didn’t do the whole mirror up/cable release thing because then it would be my fault and we don’t want that.

And in last night’s test, when it wasn’t so windy, this didn’t happen. But maybe it was the amount of telephoto, or the other things, or something else. Next year if the universe is kind I’ll have a new camera and have to figure it out all over again.

It was perfectly great fun with displays popping up everywhere we looked around the city, across the bay, up the ridge lines – it was totally cool.

The cousins Sharon and…

June 18 part 2 of 3

The cousins Sharon and Nancy treated me to Tea At The Huntington meaning that you can drink all the lovely tea and eat all the tasty tea sandwiches and all the sweet treats and all the fruit and cheese that you can manage. And I can manage A Lot.

A collection of Photos from The Huntington over the years.

The garden here is…

The garden here is a great field trip – you are strolling, enjoying, admiring, and then you think, hmmm, I wonder, what’s that smell? So you can easily walk just over the bridge to be amazed at the ‘reclamation’ facility which generates all this water and more.

To the right of…

To the right of the scene above was another set of breaks used by board surfers, here finding their way along the shore to the kick-off point.

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