LLAP

 

 

Yesterday Mr. Leonard Nimoy passed from this planet.

 

There was so much more to this man than “Mr. Spock.” Though “Mr. Spock” would have been enough! As a kid, I loved Star Trek and was a junkie for the syndicated episodes. Sometimes I still watch, albeit from a different (aged) perspective. And to this day, “Mr. Spock” is still my favorite character. There was just something about his left-brain approach to everything, paired with just a tinge of humanity, for lack of a better word. His curiosity made sense to my kid-mind. Which leads me to another reason I loved Mr. Nimoy…

 

In Search Of…  I didn’t like this show. I loved, loved, loved it! Each episode promised something trippy and cool, and I couldn’t get enough. Being a poor kid in rural Georgia, I had little exposure to things such as The Bermuda Triangle, Jack the Ripper or The Dead Sea Scrolls. In Search Of… gave me an introduction to places and ideas I never could have imagined. (This was loooooonnnnng before the interwebz, y’all.) And hosting each of the episodes? Mr. Nimoy.

 

It’s funny. The day before Mr. Nimoy’s death, I was driving through Hollywood and passed a prop house. In its parking lot were 2 life-sized statues constructed to look like those on Easter Island. As I navigated traffic, my mind drifted to the first time I ever heard of the Polynesian locale – on an episode of In Search Of…

 

The world is a fabulous criss-cross, multi-dimensional, out-of-control puzzle. And to my thinking, it has been a better place because of the existence of Mr. Leonard Nimoy.

 

May we all live long and prosper.

I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please

 

 

Driving through Hollywood yesterday, I spotted a variety of mis-spelled signs. As I was busy navigating afternoon traffic, I couldn’t take any photos. (Sorry.) So instead I just thought about all that goes into such signage, or doesn’t go into such signage, and about how much I detest those sightings. I wish I could claim I love to hate such mistakes, but I cannot, for I simply despise them.

 

I remembered I had seen the above sign a few weeks ago, and had been able to snap a pic. Here’s what gets me about this one: it’s computer-generated. As in someone typed this out. You’ve just gotta know that as they typed, those red squiggly lines appeared under the first non-word, letting the typist know there was a problem. You’ve also gotta know said typist ignored those helpful hints and decided to hit “print” anyway. And because the resulting printed page was so very precious, its creator proceeded to place it in a protective plastic sleeve, lest it be damaged somehow.

 

I believe being stupid can be easy. But sometimes I marvel at the effort made for stupid actions. It’s mind-boggling, really. And ridiculous. I suppose I should just get over it and learn to laugh at idiocy. I’m afraid I’m going to fail this life class, as I just don’t find it funny.

Giving Is Its Own Reward

 

 

I am incredibly fortunate to be able to volunteer my time and energy. This occurs throughout the year, in many capacities. Today I will be making Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins for a donated dinner. The food goes to women and children in a transitional home here in Los Angeles.

 

For me, this is medicine. Giving of myself – to a cause completely outside my experience – boosts my immune system beyond belief. Always has, and I pray it always will. There have been times when I’ve volunteered and actually felt guilty for how much I’ve gotten out of it. Ain’t that crazy? And grand?

 

You may not have an organized volunteer situation in your life, but please do something nice for someone else. If, like me, you’re into food, cook a little extra and share with a friend or a neighbor. Pull a neighbor’s trash cans in for them, after pick-up. Call a friend before going to the store to see if she needs anything. Heck – call a friend. Period!

 

Giving is its own reward. I know it’s been said a jillion times, but it’s true. Give it a shot. You’ll be glad you did and I promise you – you’re worth it.

Deep Breaths

 

 

There’s a lot going on right now in my little world. First and foremost – my health issues. I’ve not fully recovered from whatever the heck it is that’s plaguing me, but I do feel the recent holistic methods are having an effect. The crazy stuff I’m doing seems to be moving the chains, so I guess I shouldn’t really complain. (As I’ve been unwell for several months now, I am well-acquainted with complaining.) Now the bills are hitting. I am grateful to have insurance, but this stuff still ain’t free. Oh, well. Bills will just have to get paid somehow.

 

And then there’s the stress of fighting city hall. As I said yesterday, I’ll share more about what’s going on with that at a later date. Right now, there’s quite a bit of work to be done on that front. So we and our neighbors have much to do. As the whole swirly mess revolves around our homes and our neighborhood, it’s personal. And emotional.

 

So how does a gal get through these things and vault over the stumbling blocks life throws at her? She deals. I deal. To the best of my ability anyway. A lot of the time I don’t fare so well. I disappoint myself (and probably those around me) in my absolute failure to rise to the occasion. My emotions get the best of me, then proceed to twist my best into unseemly behavior. Don’t believe me? Over the weekend we and our neighbors met with a representative of the very project we’re opposing. Before I knew what was going on, I had said – out loud – something about putting lipstick on a pig. After comments were made by the project rep, I may have gone on to say something about how a different shade of lipstick on said pig is still a painted pig. Oopsie. Now y’all – I did at least have the good sense to recognize I was losing it, so I forced myself to take a step back and did my best to shut my pie-hole. In that moment, it was the right choice.

 

Speaking of pie-holes – have I told you part of my healing process involves giving up sugar? I’m not a crazy-for-sweets person, so it isn’t the most difficult sacrifice I’ve ever made. Still – a little sugar now and then goes a long way.

 

Anyhoo – life continues. The layers of stress are, well, they are what they are. I’m doing my best to abide. More than once I’ve thought of the quote about knowing God won’t give one more than she can handle – and wishing God didn’t trust her so much. I don’t feel quite like that. But sometimes I do think the universe leaves me to my own devices a little more often than is wise. And speaking from my side of that experience, I would gladly accept more help. As I don’t exactly know what that help might look like, I guess I just have to keep my eyes open and pay attention. I mean – assistance could present itself in any form, any minute now.

 

Any minute now…

B-What?

 

 

This photo has nothing to do with anything. I just felt like sharing.

 

Truth is – I’m far too busy this morning to share much more. For today I and my neighbors are fighting city hall. In all likelihood, we will probably merely delay city hall. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. And try we shall.

 

In the future, I will share some of what’s going on around these here parts. But for now, know that The Brady Bunch episode where the gang fights city hall in order to save the local park did nothing to prepare me for any of this. And we don’t even have an in-house architect working for our side. Dag.

There Has To Be A Morning After…

 

 

Today is back-to-reality day. The Oscars have ended and Hollywood can get back to being Holly-weird. As it should be.

 

Though I am merely a schmo-ette and haven’t been to the big dance myself, it’s always fun to spot folks I actually know at the Oscars. Real people. Who knew?

 

So I will take care of some bid-ness today and reacquaint myself with my little world. It’s a fairly cool place. Granted – there are mere mortals populating my environs, but those folks are pretty danged awesome. The real world rules.

Get Your Oscar On!

 

 

Here in La-La-Land, we take our Oscars very seriously. We throw or attend viewing parties where the food and libations tie in to the year’s movies. We dress for the occasion. Heck – some folks even have red carpets leading up to their front doors.

 

When I spotted the above statue outside a hardware store (a hardware store, for cry-eye), I knew I had to snap a pic. I’ve seen many such statues around town. One house even has 2 – about 7 feet tall each – flanking its entry.

 

As for me, I have always, always enjoyed the Oscars. I watch every minute and I don’t skip any speeches. Even when the show is too long/stupid/poorly written/badly presented/boringly hosted – I’m still in it. And there’s always something to keep me interested. Of all the awards shows, the Academy Awards is my favorite. I love the over-the-top celebrity and pageantry of it all. And I truly love the art of cinema. There’s nothing like it.

 

This night will find me cheering on “Whiplash” for a Best Picture win. If that doesn’t happen, no worries. I have a back-up pic in mind. And no matter how it all goes down, I’m guessing I’m in for an entertaining evening. Action!

Pins and Needles

 

 

Yesterday I had acupuncture for the first time. Now – y’all could roll your eyes and think, “Holly-weird” or “California” but let me remind you that acupunture predates this fine state by about 3000 years or so. So there.

 

Anyhoo, in my quest for health, I’m at the point of trying just about anything. And yesterday was an interesting step. Overall, I’m feeling quite good about choosing to be cared for by a holistic practitioner. And quite hopeful.

 

And because I’m taking all the good vibes I can get, I also hung out with friends (above) and watched Better Off Dead. Those gals reminded me just how much better it is to be alive.

Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake Cupcakes!

 

 

Remember when I wrote about the above photo and how much I loved it?

 

Well there’s a new version in town and it’s far more manageable. Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake Cupcakes! The thing I like about the cupcake version is the sheer share-ability! Mister and I delivered these to a few neighbors and it was so much easier than slicing the gi-normous bundt cake version. Not only that, they’re easier to eat and already portioned!

 

 

For the record, I kept the recipe the same. I did decrease the cooking time to 35 minutes. And we ended up with 2 dozen cupcakes.

 

These are rich, so I won’t be making them too often. But man are they good! Bal-en-times may be over, but so what? It’s still February. I can think of no better reason to treat yo-self!

California African American Museum

 

 

Yesterday I went on a group outing to the California African American Museum. First chartered in 1977, I had never even heard of this place. So when the outing was presented, I jumped at the chance to go.

 

It isn’t gi-normous, but it is filled with amazing, thought-provoking art. The current exhibits offer not only wonderful pieces, but also incredible information. I learned a lot during my visit! And I was greatly moved by what I saw and experienced.

 

Just before leaving, I and the other folks in our group stopped to admire several photos by Spider Martin. He documented a great deal of the American Civil Rights Movement, including the march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. As we stood there looking at photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., various members of our group began sharing their personal memories of marching with Dr. King and working alongside him. It was amazing and I was humbled to be in their storied presence. Not one of those souls made a big deal out of their past experiences. They just shared, matter-of-factly. And it was beautiful.

 

If you find yourself in L.A. and want to do some tourist-ing outside the same-old same-old, do yourself a favor and head over to the CA African American Museum in Exposition Park near Downtown. (Heck – why not make a day of it and go to the CA Science Center and the Natural History Museum as well.) What a beautiful way to spend some quality time in L.A.