Yesterday's tsunami advisory (and let's take a moment here to note the difference between that and a warning) didn't last long. The sizable swell hitting the coast this morning, on the other hand, looks like it might last all day.
It's chicken time in Topanga, where the local feed store has baby chicks for locavores to add to their flocks. I love the eggs, the shells a subtle wash of color, all blue and green and taupe, and on the inside, yolks so bright you blink a little.
Three years ago, a new landlord bought the shopping center on Point Dume and yanked the lease of The Dume Room, a beloved dive bar known for its rockin' juke box and raunchy style. The guy then hiked the remaining rents, which drove some tenants out altogether. Others, like Zuma Video & Music, were forced to move from their desirable ground floor digs to problematic spaces on the second floor.
Now I know video stores are about as viable as newspapers these days, what with Hulu and iTunes and Netflix, and the Great Recession isn't helping. But Zuma Video had a loyal following built up over its 25 years in business, and without the crazy rent hike and the crummy new location, could have had a decent shot at survival.
Instead, everything in the store, all of it, the CDs and DVDs and t-shirts and guitar strings and even some of the art, is for sale. It closes its doors for good on Saturday.
And the space where the Dume Room stood? More than three years later, still empty.
Hanging with Bernadette the French bulldog is what I imagine being pals with a supermodel is like. You become little more than background noise as the oohs and ahhs and cooing of the crowd surround the beautiful one, who has never taken a bad picture in her life.
A friend called from down on the beach yesterday to say a huge flock of pelicans, more than a hundred, had gathered, drawn by a school of fish swimming quite close to shore. (And check out the cormorants, their slick little heads barely poking out of the water.)
So I probably sound like your crazy Aunt Edna, the one who brushes the hair off your forehead and squeezes your cheeks and gets way too close as she says "Such a face!" And still, I can't help it. Look, the beach here today. Such a face!
It happens each year, a few days in February when the sun rises in clear skies, temperatures spike and suddenly, it's springtime. Angelenos strip down to shorts and tees and gear up for a beach visit. All of them, all at once.
At least that's how it felt yesterday, when PCH was jammed and every food stand and restaurant and grocery store and even gas station in Malibu was mobbed.
For a few billion people today, it's the Lunar New Year, the start to the Year of the Tiger. (And for actual tigers, that's not necessarily good news.) For a few million others, it's Valentine's Day. For this spider at the barn, it's just another day in the canyon.
And in case you didn't hear, Mavericks, the formerly secret break near Half Moon Bay went off yesterday. Boy, did it ever. Lots of stories, harrowing pix and heart-stopping videos in the google feed here.
Tomorrow's the day that celebrates
greeting card companies' profit margins the mysterious St. Valentine. In his honor, Barnes & Noble (which, btw, has a wonderful online literary magazine, one of the only places left that pays book critics a living wage) is marking the day with window displays that ruminate on all aspects of that crazy state, love.
So some cartographers got together and gazed at maps and did things with longitude and latitude and came up with the spot that's the exact geographic center of our magnificent state. And instead of it being next to a deep fat fryer in some Wendy's in Fresno, it's here, in the heart of Gold Country, on this country road. Oh my.
So Jake's been under the weather, which means a visit to the vet. And it's not just any vet, it's the Malibu Coast Animal Hospital, where the Drs. Dean and Dana and Lisa and Victor dole out treats along with treatments and, even if you're there just to pick up some food or some flea stuff, always ask after your pets by name. My dogs treat them like rock stars. They'd hang autographed 8x10 glossies above their dog beds, if only they had thumbs.
Part of the staff is the office cat, a feline utterly without fear. And with very strong opinions about exactly which bag of food you should be buying.
You find a different beach here each time it rains, whether from waves that wash sand out and in, or from the creek that, swollen and potent, cuts straight to the sea.
I love how the NYT staffer who wrote this correction just couldn't keep an edge of exasperation out of his/her voice. Public spanking, a novel approach for the Gray Lady.
And have I mentioned the flying dogs?
Have I mentioned that golf carts are the preferred mode of transport in the Cove? (No, I don't have one. I'm a hold-out and so I walk.)
Meanwhile, the sky is gray, the seas are choppy and rain is definitely on the way.
So we've left the Malibu theater, where a grief-crazed Mel Gibson just offed a bunch of bad guys and unraveled a dark conspiracy, and we're headed for the frozen yogurt place, when a set of headlights appears in the rear view mirror. They're big enough and bright enough to belong to a car, but the chassis they're attached to looks more like a Christmas tree ball on steroids.
It's a Mini Cooper chopped down to the size of a riding lawn mower. There's a sheet of glass that's not so much a windshield as a hood ornament, front seats pulled from a John Deere tractor, and a license plate from Canada. Turns out it belongs to Jeff Gardner (Miniguy on Facebook) who says he's making a documentary about the economic downturn.