My little point-and-shoot gets confused when faced with too many focal points. Not sure what it finally decided to present in complete clarity in this shot, but it sure wasn't the hawk. And because these raptors are so shy, the hawk stayed for a mere click or two of the shutter, then soared away.
First, the view from the bluff this morning:
And from the beach:
The dogs spotted another coyote on the fire road:
For a minute, the sky looked like this:
And right now, on the cusp of an afternoon of baking, the kitchen counter looks like this:
This sign, which promises green building practices?
It sits next to this diesel generator which has been running all day and all night, all the time, spewing fumes 24/7 for the last few months, whether or not there's any building going on.
This is green?
Nothing too fancy, just the visible spectrum shattered into discrete parts, the low end reflected on morning clouds.
Sometimes you walk out the door and right into the pages of a travel brochure.
Does that mean there's room service?
I know this looks Photoshopped but what's really going on is the Santa Anas, sweeping clean enormous swathes of beach, not a footprint for miles.
See the bit of fluff beneath the point of the arrow? Coyote on the beach trail this morning, hunting.
Maybe you can't see him, but Jake sure could.
Across the street from one of the dim sum palaces of Chinatown -- the Studio for Southern California History. It's privately run, filled with books and films and ephemera about the history of our part of the state. (I'm a fan of this link to other history-related sites and sights.)
It's also a wee bit quirky. For example, an LA freeways pinball machine.
Located at 977 N. Hill Street in our fair city. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm, and by appointment.
Bring some quarters for pinball. Beat my score.
Point and shoot and zoom and crop, lose a bunch of digital information and what do you get? Waves that look like watercolors.
Once upon a time, before men with blueprints and dreams of empire drained it, the entire area around the Civic Center was a wetland. It's mostly dry land now, save in this one spot where, after a hard rain, a cienega forms.
There's something here in Malibu I want to show you, but today I only got crummy photos of it so it has to wait. Tomorrow, maybe. We'll see.
Meanwhile, I had the camera with me this morning and because the sky was a bit pink, I took a shot, and because the universe has a sense of humor, a gull flew through and before you know it, voila! A beachy cliche!
True confessions: I miss the rain. It's not just the cozy dark and the windy drama, not the excellent excuse for a second pot of tea, it's the crazy sunrise colors that I miss.
What do we have now? Our annual false spring (which local newscasters never seem to remember, allowing them to bray with gleeful alarm about freakish heat waves) a bit ahead of its traditional February visit.
So on the horizon today, a perfectly acceptable sunrise. We here in Malibu accept delivery.
Vintage photo of dancers at Castle Rock near Malibu.
In the background, can you hear it? "I whip my hair back and forth..."
We never did see a desert tortoise during our recent Joshua Tree rambles. After reading all about it in this somewhat heart-breaking sign, I take that as a good thing. No need to make a life-and-death decision for an amazing creature, doing its best to survive.
Meanwhile, thank you to everyone for the sweet and kind and funny and loving notes regarding the changes here that I've been writing about. It's weird to live out loud like this, but after sharing my love of Malibu with you for more than four years now, even weirder to pretend it's not happening.
And now -- a digression.
Every time I type the words desert or dessert, I hear my sainted high school English teacher (hello -- teaching teenagers) say you have to get to the deSert before you can have deSSert,
I'm pretty sure that factoid is taking up the space in my brain that's supposed to know the answer to 7x8.
ANOTHER PHOTO OF THE DARNED PETS!
AND I'M SHOUTING!
But because I lost my job and Sam Zell and his minions did their best to off the LA Times and newspapers are not a growth industry, my house is for sale; which means we're de-cluttering, which means we're putting stuff away, lots of stuff, including stuff we actually still need, like the card reader for the digital cameras and OH MY GOD I think it's in the storage shed.
So today a friend and I staged the house and it looks so so good I want to complain about almost everything in the first sentence but once again, I can't because it's so beautiful here and really, so many people have it so very much worse, so instead I've posted a photo of the dogs and cat with their respective pillows during nap time recently just because.
Another happy ending!
Yeah, not my favorite subject. Today we're clearing out most of the books because, apparently, too many books make house hunters nervous.
HOWEVER. Instead of dwelling or ranting or bemoaning anything to do with the preceding sentence, here's a photo of something pure and wonderful.
It's the Big Dog chasing -- and catching! -- a tennis ball on a warm and sunny afternoon in Bluffs Park, all 110 pounds of him triumphant and (I think, anyway) filled with joy.
Yay! Happy ending!
I sold my sweet 1949 Plymouth on Saturday.
And then I cried.
Is anyone surprised that the level of invective in political discourse has led to slaughter? Even if Karl Rove and Glenn Beck and, lord knows, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin didn't actually pull the trigger in Arizona, their eager and heedless pursuit of the lowest common denominator of rage, a cynical tactic to divide Americans for political gain, has set the stage for this tragedy.
It doesn't matter that the man who finally made good on the thousands of threats received in the last year by American politicians is mentally ill. What matters is that the talking heads, the shameless men and women of all political persuasions, who scream and shout and distort the truth in order to raise and sway a mob, show such utter disdain for our nation.
We are not "America", but the United States of America. That single word changes everything. And the truth is, cliche or not, united we stand, divided we fall.
It's happening now, right now, and if we don't speak up, you and I, we are complicit.
The rains started so early, it's completely, insanely, unnaturally and maybe even a bit disturbingly green here.
How to get into our local indie book store, Diesel? For the past month, the answer has differed from day to day and, at times, hour to hour.
Construction at the Cross Creek shopping center, which is renovating the place to look East-coast chic, has the front entrances of a handful of stores more barricaded than a Sarah Palin fundraiser.
And yet, on a recent weekday, Diesel was humming, filled with browsers and buyers, people who still read books, not in pixels but in print.
So, Joshua Tree.
And famous filmmakers creating classics like "127 Seconds":
Even the roads through Joshua Tree National Park are beautiful.
cold not warm!
You are hereby warned: some friends and I spent the New Year in Joshua Tree, and of course it was beautiful, and of course I brought my camera, so you're going to see a post or three about the place. Of course.
Because remember that girl next to you in third grade, the one who always had way too much to say during show-and-tell? Dude, you're reading her blog.
Once upon a time, Hollywood was a real estate scheme, an over-sized resolution. How that all turned out depends on your point of view.
Here's a more modest wish: Happy New Year!