Here in Malibu
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June 30, 2010

Welcome to Santa Monica!

It's always a treat to visit Santa Monica, where...oops, you can't park here:Welcome to Santa Monica

Or here:

no parking

Unless you're in the market for a lovely parting gift.gonna getcha

June 29, 2010


birds 004

Can't help thinking this egret's neck looks like a Möbius curve, which can be explained with equations:

x(u,v) = (4+v*(cos(u/2)))*cos(u)
y(u,v) = (4+v*(cos(u/2)))*sin(u)
z(u,v) = v*sin(u/2)

...or with words like "endless" and "bendy".

June 28, 2010

Two views in downtown LA

One of my favorite things in all the world -- Angels Flight. Here's the view going up:Angel's Flight

And the view on the way down. Is that a choir I hear?Angel's Flight

June 27, 2010

Another kayak bites the dust sand


Eventually, sun and sand and surf and entropy in general get the best of things, like this kayak, which looks like it was chewed in half by a giant land shark.

June 26, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Media, old-school

So I'm at the Malibu Newsstand, where employees often have fun with the signs, and I want to shoot this one, as it's funny, perfect fodder for a Saturday:pets and signs 008

But some guys and their dogs are in the way, joking and jostling and flirting with a girl, so I wait patiently for a while before asking politely if they could, for just a second, move. They do.

That's when I realize it's Kevin Dillon, one of my faves from "Entourage":Kevin Dillon and pals

And just like the time I didn't recognize Pam Anderson as I asked her to please wait while I got a shot of the sunset, I've once again startled a celeb by asking him to get out of the picture.

"You're hilarious," I tell Kevin Dillon.

"So are you," he says, and laughs and laughs.

June 25, 2010

Here in Wisconsin

And so we return to tales of the Midwest, where this intrepid blogger, who managed not to blog a trip to Chicago, also found a way to avoid blogging a trip to Wisconsin. Until now.

First, it was green, dizzyingly, intoxicatingly, effortlessly green as my friend and I drove to the farm we once lived on outside of Madison. See? Green.That was then

Then we walked next door to where I used to buy fresh milk from the dairy farmer, only to learn the farm was abandoned, but still so pretty. (And green.) (And it's for sale.)abandoned farm in WI

The former mailbox kind of broke my heart.the end

And then, because all that green was just so compelling, we drove some more, to

the spot where the mighty Mississippi meets the Wisconsin River.yeah, nothing

And by then it was raining like mad, which is the price you pay for all that verdure, and this is what we saw. (Squint and you can kinda see a bridge and imagine it spans a big river.)yeah, nothing

In the other direction, trees and moss and grass and generally, green.misty wisconsin

And then it was back to the plane and back in the air and back into the clouds: up in the air.

And back home. For now.first light

June 24, 2010

Moonrise over Malibu

moon risingWe were at the top of the canyon just now, drinking in the silence, when I realized I forgot to blog.

So here's a shot of the moonrise, and it really did look like this, all blue and moody, with the bats beginning to fly and the hummingbirds simmering down and bunnies hopping everywhere and no sign of a coyote anywhere, and as the sky went from dusk to dark, this cool column of air rolled through, and the dogs drew near and a porch light winked on and just like that, it was time to head for home.

June 23, 2010

A few more pix from the midwest

So I was in Chicago last week for Printer's Row, the annual (and wonderful) book festival held in -- you guessed it -- Printer's Row, a neighborhood south of downtown once home to the city's publishing industry.

Though the logic now escapes me, I left my laptop at home and shot pix only with my iPhome. I mean, iPhoke. Damnit, it's iPhone. I can't make peace with that silly keyboard.

Anyway, the visual delights began on the shuttle, where fellow passengers had a much more adventurous sense of style than yours truly:toes

I've already posted pix from the aerial portion of the voyage (scroll) and the view from the cool hotel.

On Friday night in Chicago, at a fancy old-school club with a strict dress code, there was a fancy dinner:dinner

And the next day the festival got into gear: fest

That night, everyone gathered for a party with food and drink and music and, apparently, fascinating!

As regular visitors to this blog already know, I'm a failure as a paparazzo so though I interviewed Justin Cronin, literary man of the moment, and I did get him to sign the galley of his wonderful book, "The Passage", I couldn't bring myself to get a photo.

I did, however, shoot a few pix of my trip to Wisconsin the next day, and that's where we'll reconvene tomorrow. America's Dairyland. Oh yum.

June 22, 2010

The coldest summer on record


And by "on record" I mean I'm just making stuff up. But 24 hours into the Summer of '10 here's how it looks on our beach, and may I just say, brrrr.

June 21, 2010

Summer solstice 2010


This is it, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The sun rose today at 5:42 a.m., which in real life, when you dump that whole daylight savings time sleight-of-hand, was actually 4:42 a.m. Imagine.

June 20, 2010

Morning paper


Someone, somewhere, knows what to make of this, can tell a story about the hows and whys and wherefores of this little bird dance in the sand.

June 19, 2010

Signs of Saturday: No turns


Here's a sign on a runway at LAX, the reason, I'm assuming, we always get to take a spin over the Pacific, no matter where the plane is headed.

June 18, 2010

Here and there and back again

So that was pretty weird, not blogging for a week, the longest I've gone in the four years since this little site was launched. To ease back into the groove, here's the sunrise.

Well, not the sunrise, exactly, but the lightening of the sky that takes place each day as the sun rises behind the wall of mist and fog that we here refer to simply as "June".misty maibu

A week ago, from the window seat of a Southwest Airlines flight headed for Chicago, it looked like this:cali coast

And here's what the marine layer looks like from above:the marine layer

June 12, 2010

Here in Chicago

Love the view from the Hotel Blake where copper gargoyles, green and mossy (oh my god -- humidity!) keep watch over my window.

June 10, 2010

Spring fling


Turns out I'm not the only one enamored of this bit of lawn in one of the canyons.

Meanwhile, I'm headed out of town for a week, maybe blogging, maybe not. Will be in Chicago for Printer's Row, the annual book festival there, where I get to interview Justin Cronin, whose mammoth third novel"The Passage", a post-apocalyptic vampire saga, got a multi-million dollar advance and is now racking up mighty fine reviews.

That's on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday morning, I get to moderate a panel of talented novelists. And then it's a teensy road trip before a return to the Cove.

So wish me luck. Oh -- and happy birthday to you, Melissa Lion! (Her hilarious blog is here.)

June 9, 2010

True Blood

So a friend (and gifted author and journalist and all-around LA lover) asked me to join her last night at HBO's screening and shindig for the third season of "True Blood". True Blood premiere

Of course I bring my camera. But even though I love the show, love Alan Ball and Anna Paquin (Ahh, Sookie) and Stephen Moyer (Vampire Bill!) and Chris Bauer (oh how I miss "The Wire"), I skip the photog mosh pit.

Yet it turns out there's a shot I want after all.True Blood premiere

And really? I adore Nelsan Ellis, admire the way he's turned Lafeyette into one of the most intriguing characters on TV, but what I really, really want is a shot of Nelsan Ellis' date's sparkly golden shoes. True Blood premiere

I mean, seriously.

June 8, 2010

Random fact

Cranes. (The other kind.)

One of the fun facts I learned while writing this book was that George Lucas' inspiration for the At-at Walkers, those metal "Star Wars" monsters, came from cargo cranes at the Port of Oakland. Except that turns out not to be true. (And these particular cranes are at the Port of Long Beach.)

June 7, 2010

A moment of Maisie

Little dog, big shadow.Little dog, big shadow. (And even bigger heart. Lord we love the Teacup Lab®.)

June 6, 2010

Garden gate


It's just leaves and grass and a creaky, crooked fence, but this is one of my favorite spots in Malibu.

June 5, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Shopping lesson


Ran across this sign at that cook's paradise, Surfas, where your impulse purchase of gold sprinkles (23 karat, $111) or balsamic vinegar (100 years old, $285) is, apparently, something you'll have to live with.

June 4, 2010

Malibu weather

rainy day

Spring is tricky here, sunny one moment and the next, not. Sometimes, when you're walking up a road in the hills, the fog rounds the corner and comes right at you.

June 3, 2010

Welcome wagon


No one makes a move up at the barn without the care and attention of Maisie the Teacup Lab®, who takes her job as hostess very, very seriously.

June 2, 2010

Still life with tractor

up at the barn

One of these days, the tractor's going to get new paint or new tires or some appearance-altering improvement which, while necessary, will change the old-timey look of it and, most likely, drive me a little nuts. So until then, I photograph it. A lot.

June 1, 2010

Sailboat in the Cove

sailboatThis boat was anchored by the Malibu Pier for a few days, the masts so tall you could see it from all parts of town.

It appeared here in the Cove over the weekend, and in case the size of the thing isn't quite clear, here it is again, with a nearby (good-sized) boat for comparison.

What a life. BIG sailboat

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