Friday, September 19, 2014


A home, anyway, for where, really, is home?  Here, where I grew up, I find the garden flowers waiting for me, guarded over by my second soft toy, Cat (why will that surprise no one?) and a Sheepy from a couple of decades later (my first toy, Charlie Lamb, was indeed a Lamb - I think he's in a cupboard in the kitchen here, wrapped in polythene against the potential ravages of moth.  Cat, I see, has pretty much lost all his fur - and what fur remains has turned a mossy green - and he has a loose ear and a split in his tail: it's very strange to look at him now and think that he's pretty much a historical artefact.

The Mapache (for September 18th)

Sometimes, someone shows a slide in a lecture of an animal one would just love to get to know ... As Wikipedia would have it, this South American beauty's name "proviene del n├íhuatl mapactli, "que tiene manos", debido a la ya descrita capacidad prensil de sus garras delanteras" - though one can't quite see this capable, useful hands for human heads.  It's like a small raccoon, or a coati (I adore coati ever since I met them at the Iguacu Falls - though come to think of it, I haven't exactly run into a lot recently).  Such lovely burglar-stripes around his eyes ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

against the sun

Do I actually like our living room curtains?  No, not much.  They came with the house, and although I can understand the aesthetic reasoning - semi-baroque curly bits to match all the late 1920s Spanish iron work, they are not only fussier than I'd like, but a strange shade of buff yellow, as though they've been dyed in coffee (which is to say - I've dyed paper in coffee, for printing on, and it's come out exactly this color.  Maybe I should wash them with bleach???).  However, they are, when drawn, most definitely useful in keeping out another day of witheringly hot sun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

fallen blossom

I don't even know what the yellow-blossomed trees are outside my office, although I suspect they don't like this heat any more than the rest of us do.  They are certainly molting.  But this means that the sidewalks are very pretty, though at 102 in the shade, who's going to linger on them?

Monday, September 15, 2014


It's hardly surprising that this stall on S. Hoover isn't full of blooms - unless they've all already been snatched up by eager frat boys: it's Monday night, when by tradition these guys go round to sororities and deliver votive offerings.  I did indeed see one nattily dressed young man in suit and tie with a bunch of cellophaned roses, riding his skateboard off on an errand of chivalric courtship.  This in a temperature of 100 degrees, I might add, although it had dropped to 97 by the time I got home.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


"Heat" is, of course, a metaphor for today's temperatures in Los Angeles, as well as a descriptor for the products of the window box chile farm.  However much I might extoll the climate here, I always forget about the horribleness of September.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

viewless listening

I came, eventually, to the decision that it was time to buy a new TV - the last time I did so was eleven years ago, and that was in Santa Fe.  They seem to have got flatter since then.  OK - I'll stop playing faux naive - I bought a tiny flat screen tv for my apartment when I was at the National Humanities Center, and this house came with a number of them already in it.   But still, there's something of a novelty in owning a handsome beast that allows us to watch Netflix at the twitch of a remote, and - wonder of wonders - that has streamed radio from anywhere in the world that one can imagine.  So I tried out some French rock music, and some Italian talk radio, and came back to roost with Radio 4.  Yes, I know that my computer can get all these things, I guess, but not with such nonchalance, such organization, and not attached to a phenomenally classy sound bar.  So I'm reveling in up to the minute (indeed, tomorrow's) technology ...