Here in Malibu
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February 28, 2010

High surf here today

big swell at ZumaYesterday'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.

Here's the surf at Zuma, always a restless beach but today, crazy. High tide waves rode right over the sand and into the parking lot, swamped early-morning walkers.zuma

February 27, 2010

Cheep cheap


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.

February 26, 2010

Who thinks this is a good idea?

Remember this?Knoll before construction

Well now it's this:the end of the knoll

February 25, 2010

The beach between the storms

pelicans 120

Like a palate cleanser, but for the brain.

February 24, 2010

Zuma Video closing in Malibu

So sad -- Zuma Video is closingThree 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.So sad -- Zuma Video is closing

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.

February 23, 2010

Bernadette, bathing beauty

bathing beauty

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.

February 22, 2010

Pelicans, briefly

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.)pelicans 027

big flock of pelicans

There was a tiny swell and the sea surged and rolled and so did the flock, ever in flux, tracking fish, dodging waves.pelicans 036


And then, at a signal none of us standing on shore could see, the pelicans took flight, headed north, left the low-rider cormorants behind.pelicans 202

February 21, 2010

Again with the view

sunday morning

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!

February 20, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Shaggy dog story

lost...and found

Here's one kind of drama that always reads best with a happy ending.

February 19, 2010

The view from here this morning

gray today

Clouds to the south of us.

Clouds to the north us.gray today

February 17, 2010

Playing catch-up with the sunrise


OK, so this is a sunrise from last weekend. But it's so sulky and mysterious, I had to share.

February 16, 2010

More signs of spring

lavenderLavender and...



Winter in Malibu. (With spring on the way.)

February 15, 2010

A burst of spring in SoCal


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.

And lest you think we here in the Cove were exempt, we had congestion problems of our own.traffic

February 14, 2010

Happy and Merry (And Mavericks!)

spider web at the barn

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.

February 13, 2010

Signs of Saturday: The love bug

book store window

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.

book store window

February 12, 2010

The geographic center of California

Geographic center of California

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.

February 11, 2010

The cat food concierge

vet catSo 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.

February 10, 2010

Old faithful

downtownThe rains rush in, the winds rush through, and on the horizon, downtown.

February 9, 2010

Shades of gray

Sometimes, it's all a metaphor, whether you like it or not.silver sky at dawn today

silver sky at dawn today

February 8, 2010

New views

new landscape

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.

February 7, 2010

What the rains left behind

We had a few rainbows here in Malibu as winds shredded clouds and sun seeped through:rainbow!

On the beach below one of our local mega-mansions, a rock slide rumbled down as the bluff continues to slowly (and now, not so slowly) give way:rock slide

And in the back seat of the car sat a very small, very damp Labrador. Lean closer for the unmistakable whiff of wet dog.rainy wet dog

February 6, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Correction!

NY Times correction

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.

February 5, 2010

Identified flying object


We here in Malibu are used to the fly-over, whether by the blimp, the guy with the propeller strapped to his back, or the vintage bi-plane, cruising the coast on a sunny afternoon.

flying maisie

And have I mentioned the flying dogs?

February 4, 2010

Free parking

prime parking

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.

February 3, 2010

A tough room

bored now

Mere moments after our morning walk, the Lido Deck is restless.

February 2, 2010

Micro Mini in Malibu


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.

Tough times to be an indy film maker. And sleeping in his car to save cash? Not an option.micro-Mini

February 1, 2010

Fresh start

virgin sand

Virgin sand, not a mark on it. How I love the tides.

Feb 1 birthday

Fingers crossed.

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