I’m not sure if Christmas as I used to anticipate/celebrate it is a thing of the past. This is the second year Susan and I collectively shrugged when the topic of a tree came up at the beginning of the month. And when it came time to mount the lights to the house, I was notably bah-humbuggy in doing so and then didn’t add the decorative reindeer and light trees to the yard.

1934191_211594125839635_3439375567731108525_nAs for gifts, there just weren’t any big ticket items on my list… though I suppose I could’ve used a new clutch for my truck. But how do you wrap that much less put it under the tree we didn’t get? The one thing I told Susan I needed was a new watch, as the date function on the cheapo one I bought at Big5 a few months earlier had crapped out, and she fulfilled that and then some with a solar-fueled Casio. She also surprised me with a cool tripod for my iPhone and a magnification stand thingamajig that’ll probably be more practical as a conversation piece than an actual tool.

Susan gave me no ideas what she might want. So I got her the new Adele album and a hardcopy of the sequel to “To Kill A Mockingbird,” plus a few other stocking stuffers that she enjoyed. I also picked out a new area rug on the fly to replace the one Bonnie the pitbull had peed on to death. Ever the romantic, I know.

10270284_210791665919881_2697434772938340703_nSpeaking of Bonnie, the news that she was adopted last weekend was probably the best gift Susan and I could’ve gotten.

It disturbs me a little, my holiday harumph. I do love the season. There’s not a decorated house I pass be it ultra-elaborate or strung up with just a single sloppy strand that I do not sigh with joy at.

In the end our Christmas, while not one charting high on the memory meter, was still one filled with cheer and good will. And egg nog.

Last night/this morning showcased the first Christmas Day full moon since the year Nineteen Hunnert and Seventy Seven so of course having gotten up early, I snapped it from our porch pre-dawn as seen below. Murry Christmas!

moon3 moon1 moon2


We opted not to do the tree thang this Christmas. Thought it better to keep the $80-plus and the roughly five hours total spent finding/decorating/undecorating/hauling-to-the-recycling-station.

So here’s last year’s. While it now exists only as mulch somewhere, my wishes for everyone to have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year are as fresh as ever.


Halloween 2013

For the number of trick-or-treaters we get some might argue that the spooky yard we create is not worth the several initial hours of extraction from the basement and set-up and wiring for light and spooky sounds, followed by several more hours over the days leading up to Halloween night spent tinkering and fine-tuning (and in the case of this year filing a police report for a theft of one of the ornaments). Lastly there are the hours on the Big Day spent getting all the electronics ready, carving the pumpkins, and also in the case of this year, subbing in 10 pounds of dry ice for the way-pat-its-prime fog machine that finally crapped out.

The trick is: I don’t do all that for the 70 or so kids who come tromping up the front steps seeking candy. I do it for the inner child in me and my love of my favorite night of the year.

But because I’m a firm believer in Halloween being over when it’s over, come the morning of November 1, I waste little time dismantling the entire thing back into the basement and returning our yard to normalcy as if nothing had happened… leaving only the above photograph (click it for the bigger picture) as proof, and these that I uploaded to Flickr.


Winter always freaks me out when it comes to our Russian tortoise, Buster. Why? Hibernation. She doesn’t eat at all during that season and instead literally hunkers down and “sleeps” through the short days and cold weather. Even though I know it’s what tortoise are awesome at doing for the 250 million years they’ve been around, I still worry about her on a daily basis — especially when those days turn into months.

Well, the worry’s over as of this Friday morning. The warmer-than-normal temps we’re having in Los Angeles got Buster stirring and today I set out some food and the cam to timelapse what I hoped would be her first meal since at least December. And I got it. As you can see it wasn’t an extended stay at the buffet, but it was enough to have me breath a sigh of relief and let out a silent cheer that spring is almost here.

photo(2)On Christmas Eve morning Susan and I set out in the light rain for a Silver Lake walkabout that turned into an almost-six-mile loop around our wonderful neighborhood. We discovered new stuff, like this colorfully reborn parking meter we dropped a couple coins into where it stands just south of Rowena on West Silver Lake Drive. This one’s set up to raise money to keep lighted the lovely “Chandelier Tree” the property owner created, and represents a variation of a movement afoot in various cities across the country to re-adapt and reuse the defunct machines as donation stations for various causes.

And we stopped into a variety of shops catering to last-minute holiday shoppers including Yolk, Brightwell, Broome St. General Store, Casita del Campo (for a mid-route libation), The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, Pull My Daisy, Reform School, the 99-Cent store, Daisy’s Antiques and Danish Modern LA.

Before we left I loaded into my backpack a couple books because the one place I wanted to visit in order to give rather than receive was St. George Street branch of the Little Free Library that’s been set up for well over a year (and actual it’s stationed on Rowena between St. George and Hyperion).

Mission accomplished:


One of these years I’m going to add my own satellite branch to the extensive nationwide system.

Merry Christmas!

PS> For a few more snaps of some of the things we saw along the way, check out this Flickr set.

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