Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade

Five bronze hands.

Spelling out letters.

In sign language. 

Until they form one word. 

A noun and a verb.


Monday, 30 January 2012

Year of the Dragon

Dragons are friendly.

They symbolize strength and good luck.

That was the message yesterday at the San Diego Chinese New Year and Cultural Fair that was held downtown on Third Avenue and J Street.

The lion dancers performed on the streets and up on stage.

They were fed lettuce to bring good luck and good fortune.

And we got a quick peek under the elaborate costumes.

It was fun to mingle with them.

The crowd was equally well-dressed.

With red attire popping up frequently.

There were dancers and martial artists and musicians for entertainment.

We were introduced to students from Barnard, a Mandarin Chinese Magnet School in San Diego. Even the littlest of the group wished us a Happy New Year - in Mandarin!

Out on the streets you could find dragon t-shirts, chops (Chinese stamps) with the signs of the zodiac and steaming bowls of potstickers.

And get up close to see the details on the lion costumes.

Xin Nian Kuai Le !

Friday, 27 January 2012

Mouth of the Serpent

Guess what came in the mail today?

A CD and matching t-shirt.

In a nutshell, it represents the beauty of family.

They broaden your horizons. Expand your taste in music. Familiarize you with a genre called progressive death metal.

And in turn, give you the chance to order from their website Mouth of the Serpent which is an investment in the band's future.

Plus I will get to wear their t-shirt to Pilates and you can bet (and be 100% sure) no one else in my class will be wearing the same thing.

It is a WIN WIN situation.

Rather than attempt to describe the band's music (because I am incapable of doing so) and specifically their new CD, here is some recent press:


Congrats Andrew, I wish you big success!

Perhaps on your next CD there will be a track that I can sing along to...


Ok, I understand, no problem, I will just master the whole head-banging thing.


You're not going to invite me to your next gig unless I behave.


No problem.

...but I'll be wearing the band's t-shirt because I am an official fan.

Breaking News (as of 2/2/12):
The band got signed to a record label based in Dallas:
Swimming With Sharks Records! 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

ATM Protocol

Our local Bank of America offers walk-up service for the ATM.

There is also drive-thru ATM service.

This customer chose a combination.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


There was quite a commotion just outside of the hair salon.

Caused by a car full of small dogs.

Counted seven but think the number could have been higher.

They were dressed up and well groomed.

No doubt on their way to some event.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Care Package

Our nephew is doing research for his Ph.D.

In Freetown.

The Republic of Sierra Leone.

Which is in West Africa.

He flew there in September and will stay until the end of April.

I emailed to see if he wanted a care package from the States. Was there anything he was craving? Could he use some entertainment? What did he miss that he couldn't buy there?

He is polite and insisted that it would be too costly and that he was fine....but after a lot of back-and-forth, we were able to get a short list out of him.

Which lead me to Jimbos Organic Grocery, Whole Foods and Adventure 16 to gather supplies.

Went down aisles that I have never been to before and purchased items I have never heard of ---- such as Holy Basil Extract and Valerian Root.

Boxed it up and went to Postal Annex to see what it would take to get a 2-pound box from San Diego to Africa.

Fell over when I heard the price.



But I was assured that it does include tracking.

Chose the relatively inexpensive First Class Priority Mail with no tracking.

The nice woman that handled all the paperwork wished me a good day and then said, in all seriousness, "Please come back and let me know if the package ever makes it to its destination."

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Package arrived February 22nd. Ripped and opened a bit but it made it!

Thursday, 19 January 2012


When it comes to this particular vegetable I lean toward steaming or making a creamy soup.

Until I came across a very simple recipe.

Never thought of it.

I have roasted asparagus, potatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms.....all kinds of different vegetables.

Even red grapes for an unusual but delicious crostini topper.

But my new favorite treat is roasted cauliflower.

Break cauliflower into flowerettes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
 Place on silpat (for easy clean-up) on baking sheet in a 400 degree oven.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned (toss once so both sides are toasted).

Serve hot with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.

Monday, 16 January 2012

WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park

Celebrated Martin Luther King Day...

with music, dance, booths and food.




It was an all-day event for all ages and there was great energy in the room.

Kids jumped up on stage to wiggle and rock with the bands while the adults crowded the dance floor!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Soledad Mountain Hike

A friend suggested this route.

Described in detail on page 81 of 50 BEST SHORT HIKES - San Diego by Jerry Schad, it is a six-mile out-and-back starting at 100 feet in downtown La Jolla and reaching 811 feet at Soledad Park.

The view from the top is incredible but it was even more fun to walk through the neighborhoods, admire the houses and landscaping, while getting a peek here and there of the coastline.

And I found my all-time favorite mailbox.

Can't believe it wasn't listed in the guide!!!


Gonna save my breath, skip the exclamation points and just take you on a journey.

A little house on top of a large house.

Scripps Pier off in the distance.

Soledad Park.
Benches around the perimeter to catch your breath and eat lunch.

This belongs on the cover of best mailboxes in San Diego.

A succulent arch to greet you at the start and finish.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Big Swells

Due to distant storms, San Diego has seen some rather large waves this week.

Which was a good reason to drive down to Torrey Pines State Beach this morning, watch the parking spots fill up and admire the photography equipment that was set up to catch the drama.

Here is what we saw at 7:00 am:

It was quite a show!