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March 31, 2008

Google buys Malibu for SoCal campus

Search engine giant Google has shelled out $12.8 billion to purchase the entire city of Malibu in a complex and secretive deal that involved dozens of city and state agencies and requires Department of Justice approval.

Insiders say that Pepperdine University, located on county land, is not part of the deal. The company, which will take ownership of Malibu's 27 miles of coastline later this month, plans to change to city's name to Googlebu.

And really, because I've never been a big fan of this whole April Fool's thing, that's as far as I can go. April Fool, and I'm sorry.

To make up for it, some wildlflowers on the path to the beach, a warm and welcome jolt of gold that glows on a shady slope.
wildlfower in the canyon

Worse than learning there's no Santa

Here's little Maisie, the teacup lab, moments after realizing the ball, it's gone forever. Despite diving into the depths of the canyon, in spite of much yipping (and some slipping) down the hill, she failed to find the small round yellow thing she loves so much.

It somehow flew sideways out of my hand (hey, it was early. And cold. And I was wearing my bulky jacket) and that was that. So here's little Maisie, the teacup lab, sad, and I can't quite tell who she blames more - herself, or me.
What - no ball?

March 28, 2008

Mr. Cranky Pants of Malibu

We're at Malibu Kitchen, early morning and it's cold. Well, not cold cold since it's California and we are, after all, deciding whether to sit inside or out, but it's too cold to comfortably put a warm derriere on a metal chair.

So we go inside where NO ONE IS SITTING and take two of the SIX CUSHIONS from the EMPTY CHAIRS where NO ONE IS SITTING. We go outside and just as we're about to enjoy the breakfast we bought at the Malibu Kitchen (blueberry muffins as big as your head) the notoriously cranky owner comes out and demands the cushions back. Because the chairs inside, where NO ONE IS SITTING, aren't quite as comfy without cushions.

Here's what we said that didn't matter a bit: You've got six cushions, we just took two; no one is inside; we'll return the cushions if someone does come; we're paying customers and we want cushions; do you know they call you The Soup Nazi of Malibu?

Well, we didn't say the last part, but the couple sitting next to us did, and laughed and laughed as they told story after story of the abusive treatment they've had at the hands of the cranky man.

And then we stole cushions from another set of chairs but the cranky man was happily pissing off another customer so he never noticed and we had our breakfast in peace. And, because the food is so good and abuse is addictive, went back the next day, too.
malibu kitchen

March 26, 2008

Just sand, no footprints

Get up early and you're the only person on the beach. Get lucky and a slow, overnight tide has rolled in and rolled out, a million little waves that packed the sand, patted it clean.

I love the morning light here, how it goes gold against the cliffs, shines golden on the beach, pulls blue and gray and green from the water, then warms the chilly breeze that flows from the canyon.
bare sand, no footprints

March 24, 2008

Planet earth - still spinning

The sun rose right over Santa Monica today, something it's been edging toward ever since the shortest day of the year. By the time the summer solstice rolls around, we'll be watching dawn's early light as it squeezes through that sloping ridge of mountains.
monday sunrise

March 21, 2008

Sunset and seagulls

I've been all about the sunrise on this blog, understandable since all it takes is to stumble from bed and head for the bluff a few hundred feet away. But this carved and curvy bit of coast gives us perfect sunsets, too.

Here's a flight of gulls in the last rays of the last light of the last day of winter. The wind was so still you could hear the rustle of their wings, picture the give in the hooks and barbs keeping each feather sleek, keeping the birds aloft.
gulls at sunset

March 19, 2008

What the rains left behind

Green, that's what the rains left behind. Everywhere you look, something budding, something sprouting, something bursting forth.

Here's the burn at Bluffs Park, transformed into a savanna where snakes and hawks and coyotes hunt, and rabbits and quail and deer and doves go about their daily lives. The scent of a million little dramas makes the dogs unhinged. They zigzag on the path, vanish from view in the grass (though I call them back - they're not allowed to chase or disturb anyone who lives here.)

I get a bit unhinged, too, as the broad strokes of green and the infinity that is blue whisper spring-fevered sweet somethings into my willing ear.

March 18, 2008

A hut returns to the beach


The path to the water in the Cove is known (to people who have lived here for a while, anyway) as the Hut Road. Back when we first moved in, someone would haul a few boards to the beach each spring and frame up a simple room. Sometimes it stood on stilts, sometimes it sat on the sand. They'd thatch it with palms and fabric, decorate with shells and there it would sit, party central, drying, bleached by the sun, until the first big waves of winter took it away.

It's been a while since the last hut. A few years back some cranky, prissy condo dwellers took issue with the free-spirited tradition and ripped apart and dragged away a particularly lovely little room. (Then they cemented a huge "No Trespassing" sign to a rock formation, and were forced to take it down when a judge ruled it not just ugly and obnoxious, but illegal.)

So it was a nice surprise to find this little hut on the beach last night. It's just a frail and flimsy tent any wind could take down, but it's a hut nonetheless.

Spring, it seems, is nearly here.

March 17, 2008

Still dry here in Malibu

It tried to rain over the weekend, managed a few sprinkles up in the hills. But other than this promising patch of clouds during the Sunday sunrise (and a couple of mighty chilly mornings) it has stayed dry here on our little stretch of coastline.

March 14, 2008

Up on the roof - sun, a view, basketball

I've never been a fan of parking garages. Those thick gray walls and that flat, blank light give me the creeps. And if we're talking underground parking, where you drive and drive and dive deep beneath the earth (claustrophobia! fun!) I'm a goner.

So already I'm in love with the fact I can park on the roof of the structure next door to my new job downtown. Plenty of free spaces, plenty of light, such a view. And just when I think it can't get better, someone rolls out a portable net.

Suddenly, all those blue lines and big circles stenciled on the cement floor make sense. Rooftop basketball. Life is good.
rooftop basketball

March 12, 2008

Big Wednesday

OK, not that big, but big enough that we heard the swell building all night in the Cove.

This morning, some nice waves and a single surfer, riding and resting, patient as the tide rolled in and the sets kept getting bigger and better.

big surf today

March 11, 2008

Signs of spring

We went to Bluffs Park the other day, warm and sunny with a touch of spring fever in the air. Lots of people in the playground, not too many on the bluff.

Other than this rusty, crusty and somewhat toasted sign, it's all soft and green as far as the eye can see. No signs of the recent fires, no hint of the dry months to come. Just a plea to please stay on the trails. (Yes, please do.)

sign in bluffs park

March 8, 2008

He scolds, I listen

A friend scolded me today about never posting links to my work.

OK, here's a book review and here's a book review.

May I please now return to posting pretty pictures?

Thank you.

Blue in Malibu

March 6, 2008

Because PCH isn't enough of a challenge

Hoping for an easy drive on our scenic little seaside highway today? Good luck!

Thanks to a four-month-long (!) project where a really big machine is hacking away at a very steep cliff, the four lanes of PCH have dwindled to three and, as I discovered yesterday morning, occasionally none.

Books on Tape anyone?
crane on pch

March 5, 2008

High, higher, highest tide

Another high tide this morning - 5.7 feet above sea level - and here are the Cove, we're cut off.

Head south and the bluff butts out, sea swirls through a spill of big rocks. To the north, it's an obstacle course, first the creek, then a channel, then (again) the bluff.

The sand's all soft and squishy, wears out the dogs, makes a ffft-ing sound with each receding wave. Just enough surf to get that sweet ocean scent into the air, that salty tang that makes you wonder what on earth is worth leaving for.

Here's the creek that runs to the sea. Today, tide so high the sea's running into the creek.

high tide

March 4, 2008

It's a blossom, dearie

The backyard here in Malibu used to be one big, thick slab of concrete. Good for shunting rainwater into the neighbor's yard, not so good for gardening. So when a wind storm blew down not just the rotted rear fence, but five rotted trees as well (welcome to homeownership!) we took the hint.

We sledge-hammered the concrete slab and hired a very nice guy to haul it away. Then, because the Cove insisted we had to replace all five trees, I put in two California peppers, plus a peach, a fig and a nectarine. It all went well until the peppers found a source of water that turned them into hulking giants. They blocked all the sun and the fruit harvest slowly ground to a halt.

Last week, a friend helped move the peach and the nectarine trees to his house near the barn. We planted, watered and waited. And yesterday, here's what I found - a peach blossom. (Six, actually.) And some big fat buds on the nectarine. That doesn't mean the transplant was a success, but we've got our fingers crossed. (And my ice cream maker ready.)

peach blossom

March 3, 2008

This is the light. I

High tide, high skies, deep blues, big sun - add them up and you get a raging case of spring fever.

(And here's the bluff reflected in a pool of water.)
high tide

March 1, 2008

Where did the time go?

I looked at my little blog this morning and was shocked (shocked!) to see I'd only posted three times this week. What happened? Could it be that when you think about the photo you want to publish and then write the words in your head, Technorati doesn't automatically blog it? Who knew?

I've got excuses reasons, of course, like the two hours each day that get eaten up by the commute to my new blog. I mean job, blogging for the LAT. And then I lost my camera and then it rained and then Barbie joined "Survivor."

Anyway, because all of the above excuses reasons still hold true this weekend (except I found my camera) I'm leaving you with a Maisie photo you may have seen in my flickr photo stream.

Little dog, big shadow. And very, very big tongue.
little dog, big shadow

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