This is a pumpkin I carved a year or so ago.


I’m a “Harry Potter” nut, I cannot deny. Love the books. Love the movies. What’s not to love? And yes, I could have carved any of the beloved characters from “Harry Potter,” but I chose the scariest: Voldemort. He turned out pretty good!


This pumpkin reminds me of when Mister and I had just moved into the old house – eons ago – and we were invited to a backyard party by neighbors. While there, we met two other neighbors and during the course of polite conversation, they asked what we’d been doing for fun since the work of moving had ceased. We told them how – that very afternoon – we’d just seen the very first “Harry Potter” movie. We then asked if their kids had read the first book. They looked at us with more judgment than I can convey, and told us that they were Christians and that their kids would not be allowed to read the books or see the film versions.


I should have gotten it and I should have just excused myself and found someone else to talk to. But I couldn’t let it go. I asked if they themselves had read the book or if they were just making assumptions. They had not read the book. That just opened the door for me to go too far, friends. I told them that was too bad, because they were judging a book about a little boy who just wanted to be loved. I implored them to read the book before judging it. It was like I was on the Rowling payroll, the way I kept pushing that book at them! Anyhoo, I guess I pushed too far because they quickly decided to excuse themselves and they found someone else to talk to.


That exchange set the tone for our non-relationship. I stayed away from my judgmental neighbors and they stayed away from me. But why am I telling you this? What does this have to do with Halloween? Not a darned thing.


Still, Happy Halloween. I send that sentiment to all. Ghosts. Goblins.  Even judgmental neighbors.

Good Clean Wisdom



I spotted this sign at a dry cleaner while driving home yesterday. For some reason – a variety of reasons, really – it resonated.


Lord knows, I wish most things in life functioned on the “instant gratification” plane. But that just isn’t how it all goes. I’m re-learning that right now.


So I appreciated this sign, and its good, clean wisdom. I hope I can process the meaning and actually practice the message. I hope.


But like I said, I’m re-learning as I go. Again and again and again…

Beer Klug



Last night was Beer Club, and you know what that means: I didn’t get jack-squat accomplished.


That happens, yo. But hey – I had a great time and enjoyed the heck out of “Josh-toberfest.” (Trust me – you had to be there.)


I endeavor to make this day productive. And non-alcoholic, while I’m at it.


No guarantees, though. After all, I didn’t just meet me.

Art in Public Places – Hollyweird



One night I walked out of a club and was talking with folks on the street when I noticed this little guy on the side of a building. I say “little” but he was close to my height. And I don’t know if you can tell from the above photo, but his umbrella was 3-dimensional…



Now, as I recall, this art was on the side of a building occupied by a massage parlor. And for being late at night, that joint was jumping! Ahem. But I digress… I couldn’t see that this little guy had anything at all to do with the massage parlor, but I liked him just the same.


I don’t know – maybe he was there to remind those late night patrons to use some gal-danged protection???

A Woman’s Definition (and “Gift” isn’t a part of it)



I do my best to avoid politics here, as I prefer to keep those thoughts and beliefs separate from this place of expression. So please believe me when I say this post isn’t political.


When I was much younger and living in St. Louis, I knew a gal who had been raped by a complete stranger. I won’t go into the details, as that’s her story and not mine. When I hear talk and sheer insanity from supposedly grown men defining rape, well, my heart aches and my whole body just feels heavy. God bless her, I cannot imagine what that St. Louis gal – or any other victim of such a heinous crime – must feel when confronted by this public ignorance.


Folks, it doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you call your base,  rape is rape. It’s more horror than I hope you or I ever experience. No matter what your beliefs may be, absolutely no part of that hell is a “gift.” And for the love of all that’s holy, for the love of humanity, I beg these misguided men – who insist on voicing their so-called brilliance – to simply shut their freakin’ pie-holes.


Here’s an idea: instead of mouthing off, maybe they should just thank God they haven’t had to deal with this in their own families.


No, rape isn’t political. It’s simply immoral. Evil. Saying anything else is completely unacceptable. And if you disagree with me, you can kindly go f*%# yourself.

Finally, I’m Falling…



After a long, hot summer, after sweating out of my eyeballs, after feeling like Los Angeles had been somehow transported to the equator, Fall has fallen.


The weather is just plain gorgeous and I haven’t turned the A/C on for days. I can’t tell you how much I love this time of year. And how happy I am to be experiencing it. Finally.


Please don’t let me be jinxing the weather by writing this. Please don’t let me be jinxing the weather. Please don’t let me be jinxing the weather…

To Read or Not To Read




Have you ever been reading a book at exactly the wrong time in your life? Like, you’re just as up as you can be and you’re in the middle of reading some heart-wrenching tale of loss and more loss, piled on top of loss? That is not what just happened to me, thank-you-very-much.


I just finished a book called A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel. It is, as the book jacket implies, a memoir of a happy childhood. And it was just as darling as it could be.


Honestly, I’m so grateful it wasn’t a downer. And it’s nice to remember there are folks out there with good, honest lives.


Three cheers for happy childhoods!

Bar Talk



I’m no bar fly. I don’t spend inordinate amounts of time in bars, to the detriment of the rest of my life. I don’t drink on a regular basis.


But I do drink. And I enjoy it. I often forget to drink – for weeks on end – only to remember I’m of legal age and able to purchase alcohol. Then I wonder why I ever forgot to drink in the first place.


And I won’t lie here: I wish I was a better drinker. The idea of Scotch is quite appealing to me, but I can’t handle the truth. I’ve never even tried Irish Whiskey (wha?). And Tequila, sadly, is not my friend.


But sometimes, friends, a gal just needs to find a bar and order her grown-up-self a drank. When that happens, best not to fight it. Just get thee to a dispensary and offer payment for nectar received.


That’s what happened to me the other day. And I walked (I didn’t drive – I’m responsible, yo) to a local and had a lovely Italian red beer. I looked like trash, I cannot deny. No make-up. Unkempt hair. Ratty clothes. I clean up well, but I dirty down more than I care to admit.


But do you think it mattered to those at the bar? Nope. In fact, a rather dapper Englishman was sitting a few stools away and he struck up a conversation to beat the band. And here’s the weird thing: no subject was off the table. We talked politics. We talked religion. We also talked the racetrack and the French, but hey, we couldn’t help ourselves.


In the end, that well-dressed gent was rather pleasant company. And you know what? He wasn’t hitting on me. He was just talking. To me. At a bar. And it was nice to talk to a stranger about the world at large, with no judgment or expectations. It was mature and civil. And it happened at a bar.


Maybe I should take walks to bars more often. But knowing me, I’ll probably forget to do that for weeks on end. Go figure.

Autumn Wedding




A while back, I wrote about a friend’s love story. I referenced her tale and its effect on me. I called the post “True Love” because there was no better title.


This past weekend, I was blessed to attend her wedding in Santa Barbara, California. And it could not have been more lovely.


As we all sat in the Sunken Gardens of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, a string quartet began to play. And that’s when I saw the groom for the first time. After the attendants made their way to their appointed places, the bride walked out onto the grass.


I couldn’t see her over the other guests, as I’m not a giant. But the groom saw her, and I saw him. And friends, he began to cry as soon as he laid eyes on her. Then Mister saw her and quietly said, “No way!” I stood on tippy-toe and finally caught sight of my friend – the bride – for the first time that day.



I cannot tell you how utterly beautiful she was. Regal. Elegant. She was such a lady and she actually took my breath away. I totally got the groom’s tears. And as she looked at him, the bride cried as well.


The ceremony was so sophisticated and touching. And when the vows were complete and the two were married, we all walked a few short blocks to the reception location. We dined and we laughed. We danced and we cried. The occasion was centered on love and I honestly believe those feelings emanated from the bride and groom. Their love for one another is so deeply rooted and so gracious, we all couldn’t help but share in it. I am still amazed to have been a part of it all, if only as a witness.



Since the wedding, I’ve been thinking a lot about True Love. Does it come with guarantees? No. Does it insure happiness? No. But friends, True Love is about the mightiest tool we can have in our kits as we make our way in this world. No, True Love does not provide immunity from life’s valleys. But knowing just how grand the peaks can be in the light of True Love, we are far better-equipped in handling life’s lows.


I, for one, am grateful for having seen it in person. And I am even more blessed to look across the room and see it in my own life. I wish nothing less for my friend in her marriage, in her life.


I wish nothing less for us all. Amen.




I’m recovering from an awesome weekend getaway.


There was food. There was booze. There was dancing. There was romancing.


I’m tired, yo. But I’ll be back tomorrow. With bells on.