~a place in the sun~

March 10th, 2012


An afternoon picnicking at Año Nuevo beach. Dropped by Harley Farms for finger suckling by kid goats and snack of goat milk fudge, carried on to raptors showing off in front of a cyclorama of scooting clouds.







~nick’s cove~

February 4th, 2012

nicks1A splendid day North Coast day-tripping through Guerneville, Goat Rock Beach and the venerable Nick’s Cove.


~ruby slippers~

January 21st, 2012


(click to expand image) L. Frank Baum’s Silver Shoes notoriously became Technicolor Ruby Slippers, but lesser known is this pair done in an Arabian style–more fanciful but not entirely unlike W.W. Denslow’s original illustrations–and rejected, after testing. Until recently these were held by Debbie “I’ve been collecting for 45 years and I’m only 40.” Reynolds.


“Dorothy learns that water is fatal to a witch.” Above and below from the 1910 silent, Méliès-inspired, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

~new year newt~

December 31st, 2011


This Taricha granulosa (rough-skinned newt) did pee upon me–most auspicious on a New Years Eve day hike. Found a Blue Jay feather as well (long a good luck totem of mine) and Olallieberry pie at Duarte’s. Looks like 2012 will be a banner year…




~stumble over tombstone shoes~

December 30th, 2011

A club full of senior punk rockers (including those on stage), my Euro honey having heard not a prior note of my Hollywood teen soundtrack, the white-haired man to my right singing all the Exene parts–pitch-perfect, and me digging the layers of time and guitar, admittedly a tiny bit teary-eyed. X! X! X!

The next day we drove the coast and listened to Alfonso’s favorites–White Girl, Hungry Wolf, and “that one that sounds like Mooooovie Star”–Blue Spark. Here’s the live version from our show.

~a christmas miracle, too~

December 26th, 2011

Some folks do a little gloating dance, others edit video.

~a christmas miracle~

December 26th, 2011


The grill sizzled, the papel picado fluttered, the mariachi strummed and the stage was set for a Christmas miracle. In truth, today we had hoped to go to La Taqueria, but found them closed for the holidays. Perhaps it was fate that led us to Taqueria Cancún, who can say?

For back history, it is not important to know this joint is three blocks from the tiny studio where I passed my twenties. What is important is that through my thirties and beyond, my honey has had an extreme aversion to all-things-Mexican-food.

This prejudice–based upon lack of great experience, and a few bad ones–plagues most Euros I know. There is simply no point of reference for chipotle and cilantro in the land of schnitzel, spaetzle and spargel. While understandable, it is also heart-breaking for a long-time Los Angeleno and San Franciscan who prefers to snarf with company and sometimes just. must. have. tacos.

The years spent living in Brooklyn and Berlin were marked by insane longings for a proper Mexican dish. There are a few cursory burrito joints in both towns, but neither had the goods (I’m no fan of the steam table, nor kitchen sink burritos). The return to Cali was brought about by many things, not minor among them a desire for handmade corn tortillas and a dream that I might finally show my honey the taqueria light. With the help of the Virgen de Guadalupe and a modest pile of shredded pork, that dream came true today.


A first order of tacos carnitas with pico de gallo was gobbled up, and lo, there was another.


They went in double and single-handedly. They went down with–first refused and then relished–melon aqua fresca.


The corners of mouths were dabbed frequently. The Virgen smiled down upon us.


I am vindicated, yes, but more than this, I am delighted.


~sense of place~

December 25th, 2011


~first and last chance~

December 16th, 2011


A cozy, wintry evening passed in the belly of whaling ship-turned-tiny-saloon: Heinold’s First and Last Chance, opened 1883. The pot-bellied stove, gas lanterns, clock stopped at 5:12 (as in 5:12 a.m, April 18, 1906) and wildly slanting floor (also thanks to 1906 earthquake) create a very fine atmosphere in this Prohibition-shirking establishment much featured in Jack London’s John Barleycorn. Or perhaps it was the superb company and the whiskey…






~autumn light~

November 25th, 2011




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