If you live up one of the canyons here in Malibu and, in the bleary light of dawn, you thought you saw a freakishly small black lab slip into your bedroom and grab one of your pink and fluffy slippers, well, I don't know anything about it.
I'm watching this battle over a bailout plan and can't help wishing there had been half this much debate, even a fraction of the shoving and sifting and second guessing when our lawmakers voted to invade Iraq.
There's a kind of fog that glides in at night, slides in a thread at a time. You feel it first, a hint of moisture on a nighttime walk, sweet with the scent of the sea. It trails through the streets, refracts light, blurs edges, muffles sound, emboldens coyotes, collects at the base of the mountains and lures us high into the hills at sunrise to look down on our town, wrapped in shifting white.
As a journalist there's so much I can't write about on this blog, like, well, to even mention it would be improper, so instead of politics, here's another photo of another cat.
It's Patsy, the one who's not radioactive but who does have a real sense of style and often sits on the remains of my neighbor's rustic fence, her dark, silky fur set off nicely by the bright, spiky cactus.
Today's the autumnal equinox, not as dazzling a concept as the solstice, but still a thrill. No more need to reconcile the look of the light and the feel of the passing days with the season -- summer of '08 is over. It's fall.
Here's a shot of the field where we walked the dogs yesterday, each stalk sucked dry of any drop of moisture, the whole thing moving and rustling, whispering and rattling in a warm and restless breeze.
Evinrude is home, roaming the house with the rapidly-decaying remains of a 2.5 microcuries dose of I-131 which, in terms of radiation, puts him somewhere between a chest X-ray and a toaster oven. It's a toss-up which sounds louder right now, Rudy's purr or the Geiger counter the vet used to scan him before she sent him home.
So there he sits, crankily ensconced in a corner of the deck I barricaded with rabbit fence. He's got food and water, lots of spots to sit, a house plant, a litter box, and a window ledge from which he can watch his sworn enemy, the cat next door, give him the finger.
The vet said not to let Rudy sleep in the bed. In fact, he has to stay at least three feet away from everyone except for "brief and necessary periods of contact" until Wednesday, when the half-life of the isotope that's saving his life has run down. Then Rudy's free to roam the house and claw the couch and say mean things about me on Oprah during his book tour.
So I was at the vet picking up radioactive Evinrude -- oh yes, we'll have more on that later -- when I saw this notice taped to the front counter. Ill-behaved, bad-mannered, hump-your-leg-at-a-dinner-party dogs wanted.
Who knew that when I trained Jake and Maisie to sit and stay and pay their Visa bills on time, I was keeping them from reality TV stardom?
I keep thinking about David Foster Wallace, the brilliant writer who died this weekend -- news reports say he hung himself -- and I wind up thinking about his wife, who found him. I loved his work, especially his journalism, which was among the best I've ever read, and I want to be among the scores of writers who, moved by him, are moved to write about him. But all I can think about right now is what he did to his wife.
That's the lawn at Pepperdine, where students and workers set up close to 3,000 flags to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in NYC and DC.
Yesterday morning, dozens of people stopped to photograph, including Kelsey Grammer, below. Last night, as I drove home from work at the Times, the number had grown to hundreds. Some people stopped by the side of the road, stood on their car roofs to shoot photos. Others wandered inside the memorial, surrounded by flags unfurled in a stiff, onshore breeze.
There's a nice photo on my LAT blog, shot by a Times photog from inside the memorial, in case you'd like another view.
They told me. They told me and I didn't believe them but I went and saw and photographed and as you can tell, they were right.
The Senate chamber in the state Capitol in Sacramento, swagged in red velvet, painted in shades of pink and cream, carpeted in crimson, the Senate chamber does, indeed, look like a bordello.
Remember the shark captured off the SoCal coast late last month and moved to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's exhibit? She ate only once in her 11-days on display so, on Sunday afternoon, scientists let her go free. She's wearing a tracking tag that, even as we speak, is collecting data about where she's swimming and how deep she's going and how far. I wrote it up for my LAT blog and here's the link.
Meanwhile, I'm headed to Sacramento for a few days and, time willing, will post from there. If not, see you back here on Thursday, with even more pix of tiny labradors, foggy sunrises and, of course, more cranky rants about rampant development.
Photo: Courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium / All rights reserved
Here's how the end of summer is playing out in Paradise Cove -- low-lying, slow-moving clouds that shroud the horizon, match this sailboat color for color until only its outline seems solid and real.
Evinrude was named for his purr, outsized for his eight-pound (yes, he's tiny) frame. His facial expression soon earned him the nickname, Crabbyrude. And though he's always been a bit, well, imperious, lately he's been downright cranky. When he suddenly started eating five (no joke) cans of cat food a day and stayed ravenous, I googled the symptoms for hyperthyroidism. Bingo, Evinrude has them.
It's in the early stages so it took two blood tests to figure it out, but Evinrude's thyroid has gone bonkers. And now he's going to have a somewhat alarming treatment -- an injection of I-131, which is an isotope of iodine.
He'll be radioactive (Rudioactive?) for four days. His poop and urine will be radioactive for 12 days after that. And then, when he comes home, he'll have to help pay for this crazy treatment. A newspaper route, or maybe sell porn on his My Space page.
Summer is unofficially over. In theory, the beach-seeking, sun-loving, near-naked hordes, half of them driving as though the rules of physics have been suspended here in Malibu, have returned home. But here's what I can't get over. Remember this wonderful, kitschy sign (above) for the annual Chili Cookoff, with wavy flames and a thicket of exclamation points? It's been replaced with the somewhat bland and static one below. How is that an improvement?