From The I-Don’t-Get-It Files: Eight is more than enough

Last week, a Southern California woman gave birth to octuplets. Early news reports focused on the medical accomplishment – all of the babies were delivered healthy and seemed to be thriving, including the “surprise” eighth one (the doctors were prepared for seven) – and didn’t divulge too much personal information about the family. But people are curious, and before long details began to leak out. At this point, there’s still a fair amount of rumor […]

What’s that sound on my radio?

If you’ve seen any of my iPod Random Ten posts, you know that my musical preferences are a bit hard to classify, and I like it that way – which is one reason I tend to find radio so frustrating. I’m old enough to remember when radio stations weren’t locked into as specific formats as they are now. Granted, the “Top 40” stations frequently did play the same songs every few hours, but there were […]

Weekend Assignment #234: It’s a good thing

This week, Karen poses a pretty simple question – perhaps deceptively simple: Weekend Assignment #234: Tell me one good thing about the area where you live (city, town, or whatever). It doesn’t have to be the best thing, just something that’s in the plus column for you. Extra Credit: How could that good thing be even better? It’s easiest to tell people I live in “Southern California” or “the LA area” without being overly specific. […]

Traffic complaint of the week

Traffic complaint of the week

I had the day off from work on Monday for President’s Day – and if I had any sense, I would have asked for the next week and a half off too. Unfortunately, we have auditors coming in next week so the request would have been denied. In any case, I thought I’d share what’s going on in my office’s neighborhood for the next several days, just so you might give me a little sympathy. […]

What’s great about the Golden State

Busy Mom lost a wager with Matthew at Child’s Play x2 (which I’m adding to my “dad blogs” subscriptions) over the Tennessee Titans/San Diego Chargers playoff game last week, and her payment was a post in praise of California. I think she did pretty well at hitting the high points for someone who claims to have spent less than 48 hours of her entire life in the state, so here’s her list, with comments added […]

Not much love for Los Angeles

Not much love for Los Angeles

This is the city: Los Angeles, California. Its environs are home to a couple million people, and more arrive every year. It creates its own mythology and image, and, as the capital of film and television production – often featuring stories based on or in the city – spreads that image to the world. (Although that’s on hold for the moment, and was already a topic for another post.) But, as reported in the LAist […]

Nobody walks in LA – everyone drives (each other crazy)

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you may have noticed that traffic and commuting are among my favorite ranting topics. This is an interesting finding on that subject, via the On the Job blog – when given the choice between relocating and “extreme commuting,” a new study from Korn/Ferry International indicates that 70% of executives would prefer the latter alternative. “Extreme commuting” is defined as “traveling by plane to work and […]


I work in Hollywood, but not as part of “Hollywood” – my closest connection to “the industry” is my brother-in-law, who manages several local production studios for a cable-TV company. But the writers’ strike is the talk of our town right now, and if it lasts too long – the last time one happened, in 1988, it lasted 22 weeks – it will probably be the talk of your town too, since there won’t be […]

Don’t play with fire!

Don’t play with fire!

Most of last week’s fires will soon be history, thank goodness, but another Santa Ana winds “event” is forecast for the end of this week, so we’re getting braced and hoping it won’t be as harsh as the last one. But the last round is still in the local news, and the Wednesday morning papers relayed the information that one of the larger outbreaks, the Buckweed fire in northern LA County (one of the ones […]

My fiery diary: 10/21-10/24

As we were online reading updates about the Ranch Fire on October 21 – of the dozen active wildfires that started in Southern California this past weekend, that’s the one closest to us – Tall Paul said, “When we retire, let’s move somewhere that doesn’t have fires.” My husband was born and raised in So-Cal, and he’s lived with fire season, flood season – which usually follows fire season, unless it’s a drought year – […]

Another postcard – (not) with chimpanzees…

(…but with apologies to the band Barenaked Ladies. No apologies for liking the band Barenaked Ladies, however. And just in case you didn’t know, Barenaked Ladies are men (and a band). But I digress…) Back to my topic of the week: Chimpanzees. Maybe they’re the ones behind the wheel, causing all this trouble on the road. I just like knowing I’m not the only one with traffic issues – sharing the suffering with Madame Meow […]

Postcard from the road – drive time

72 hours a year. Three entire days, or almost a full two-week vacation (based on 8-hour workdays). But this is nothing close to a vacation – according to a new study, this is the approximate amount of time that Los Angeles-area drivers spend stuck in rush-hour traffic. But according to the L.A. Times, a regional-planning group disputes this finding, based on the study’s methodology; they say it’s even worse (closer to 100 hours a year) […]

A breath of fresh air

For the first time in over a week, it was cooler outside than it was in the house this morning! You never saw anyone so glad to be able to open windows. It looks like the heat wave is winding down – our high is forecast for the mid-80’s today, which is a nice change from 100+. We were more fortunate than our friends in the San Fernando Valley, who had no air-conditioning for the […]

Weather report

This southern girl felt right at home when she stepped outside at 5:45 this morning to walk the dog. It was already 73 degrees, and the humidity was thick. When we got downstairs to the open sidewalk, we discovered it was actually drizzling – rain has been rare this year anyway, but in the summer it’s especially unusual. Unfortunately, this is one of the three things I miss least about the South. Southern Cal is […]

That’s rock and roll

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Chatsworth, CA awakened residents of the area just before 1 AM on Thursday, August 9. (Chatsworth is a major center for the adult-entertainment industry, and is used to a different type of moving and shaking.) People who aren’t from California probably think this happens all the time. And maybe it does, but sometimes the quakes are so far below the surface of the earth they’re barely noticeable. I’ve […]