california

[049] Of Fountains And Fuckwads

pdc.fountain.2Gentle Reader… You know that I have recently begun walking to and from the pool for my daily swim. And you’ve seen the results of my snapaholic tendencies with my phone/camera sur la route. It was just getting dark as I left the pool this evening, when a flash of red light caught my eye and drew me across the street to the Pacific Design Center. There’s a great fountain in the plaza there. The pool is dark and the jets glow with a deep red illumination. Sometimes the fountain dances, but tonight it was just a steady upwelling of molten lava-water.

There is a stepped, grassy amphitheater between the street and the plaza, and halfway down I got myself in a prone position to steady the camera on the concrete edge. There was a professional photographer in another corner of the plaza shooting pix of a model in some serious couture. As I risked laying down in god-knows-what to get the shot, I felt a kinship with my fellow fotog. Click, click, dozens of clicks. Instead of changing positions (I was lazy), I just fiddled with the various filters on the camera app, I’ll spare you most of the results, but here are a few fun ones.

pdc.fountain.aqua

The “aqua” filter is a blue-tinted sepia setting. I like the way it takes down the glare of the illumination and shows more of the structure of the individual water jets.

pdc.fountain.dots

And then there is the “dots” filter. I am drawn to this pixelation effect like ants to a picnic. In fact, I think the first post I did in this series of #100happydays was a dots treatment of the full moon over another part of the PDC. If I’m repeating myself a bit, I hope it’s not boring!

pdc.fountain.negative

How about a color negative? That’ll blow some sunshine up yer skirt, eh?! Turns dark/light contrast inside-out. Gives the palms – which are all but invisible in the positive mode – a ghostly presence. And funnily enough, the water turns… blue.

As I hauled my waterlogged (but happy) carcass back up the mountain – hey! it’s a +300-foot change in elevation, which is almost just exactly sort of the same as climbing a 30-story building thankyouverymuch – I felt satisfied in sharing my fountain fotos with you as today’s entry in the #100happydays death march series.

But having checked the interweb machine when I got home, I now can close this post with a much bigger slice of happy pie. I mean, fountains are nice and all… but the defeat of hate-filled bigoted ignoramuses trumps all the other news of the day. Here’s the headline from tonight’s breaking news:

breaking-AB1266 repeal fails

(San Francisco, CA, February 24, 2014)—Today, the effort to repeal the School Success and Opportunity Act—California’s new law ensuring that all children have opportunities to do well in school—failed to qualify for the ballot.

Long story short: Last year the California Assembly passed and Governor Brown signed into law the School Success and Opportunity Act which was mostly a re-focusing of existing laws designed to protect transgender students and provide public school administrators and teachers with the tools needed to provide all kids with safety and fairness in schools. It’s the kind of law that makes me proud to call California home.

And like clockwork, they came crawling out of the woodwork like a biblical plague of insects: the professional hate mongers. Same folks who brought us Prop 8. They prey on the church folk, getting them all whipped into a frenzy noh8with lies, innuendo, distortions and fear. Everything but the truth. And most of them do it just to fill their coffers and line their own pockets. It’s not new. It’s just surprising that people fall for it, every blessed time.

They once again tried to hijack California’s referendum process with a ballot measure to repeal this law. They vilified the very kids the law is designed to protect – and for that alone, I hope they all end up in their celestial woodchipper. They needed 500,000 signatures to put the repeal measure on the ballot this November. They turned in more than 600,000 signatures and started high-fiving each other from here to eternity.

Funny thing about all those signatures though… turns out 130,000 of them are invalid. Tsk tsk. Isn’t there something in their magik books about not lying or cheating or stealing? Hmmmmm. Or maybe they just can’t read? Or maybe they have been exposed, AGAIN, as the frauds they are. If they can’t win, they cheat. And when they get caught cheating they lie. And then they scurry back into the dark crevices until they find someone else to attack.

If you’d like to learn more about this law and the issues it addresses, you can start here:

http://www.supportallstudents.org/

So, Kind Intelligent Fair-minded Reader, I give you a beautiful fountain and a bunch of defeated fuckwads for today’s ray of sunshine. Day 049 #100happydays

[043] An Unmet Sunset

Yesterday, I tormented a friend (who is soldiering through the frozen misery of winter in New England) by mentioning my plans for a late-afternoon stroll on the beach to catch the sunset. I promised photos. (Note to self: Never torment a witch.) It was sunny and bright when I left West Hollywood, only to turn grayer and darker as I cruised down Sunset Blvd toward the sea, until this:

samo clouds

I was hoping for a last-minute save by Mother Nature. It would have been awesome if the sun dropped down into the ocean and set the underside of the clouds on fire! But this was not to be. Instead, it looked like someone kicked a leg out from under the cloud cover, sending its northern edge crashing down into Malibu. Run! beach celebs! Run!

moody sky

It was at this point I decided a walk on the sand was probably not mandatory. That would have required scampering down the steps 100 feet to the beach and (the main deterrent) 100 feet back up. Plus, it was already 60 degrees and threatening to plummet into the 50s. Suddenly seemed like the perfect evening to wander the park that runs the length of these palisades along Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue. (There was a little splash of muted pinks and purples in the clouds out to sea, but that lasted about a minute. Then, fade to black…)

dusk.samo.021714.g

Funny thing. The cloud bank that lowered the curtain on the setting sun also draped the palisades in a premature darkness. I realized I’d never walked along here in the dark, and there was an interesting play of light and shadow going on in every direction. I meandered, camera in hand.

park lamp

The old-fashioned lamp posts are set far apart, letting stretches of the park stay deeper in shadow, here and there interrupted by pools of yellow light. The lamps, though, assault a camera lens like a solar flare. When I got between the lamp and the tree, the leafless ficus branches seemed more like coral than wood.

coral.ficus

Then I began to stalk my photographic prey by letting the trunk of a palm tree eclipse the glaring light. Click. The spreading white limbs of a massive ficus took on the warm glow of a bonfire – with inky black silhouettes of towering palms standing sentry high above.

lit ficus under dark palms

Tilting the camera angle slightly up and away from glowing ficus branches… the willowy palms against the night sky took on a more sinister attitude, all black and blue and collars-turned-up cool. Like a gang of bad ass Gullivers surrounding Lilliputian me. Or those nasty aliens from War of the Worlds – fitted with giant Phyllis Diller fright wigs.

dark palms.samo

For one last look out before heading home, I walked over to the fence that keeps people like me from tumbling down the cliffs to an unhappy end on Pacific Coast Highway. Ocean and sky were now swallowed up completely in the impenetrable void. Only the lights on PCH gave away the curve of the coast north from Santa Monica, then west out to Malibu.

pch to malibu

Pushing my little camera/phone’s zoom to its limits, the distant lights of Malibu reveal the border between sea and sky, but the colorful blur looks to me like DNA test results. The ones lawyers show to juries to dis/prove paternity and other kinds of guilt.

malibu lights from samo

I didn’t get the sunset I wanted yesterday. But they seem to happen almost every day, so I’m not too concerned. And I got to discover a different side of a familiar place: after the lights went out. Nice way to end Day 043 of #100happydays.

Century City from the Hollywood Hills

Photo by Steve Rosenberger using Paper Camera app

Photo by Steve Rosenberger using Paper Camera app

[028] Public Art

love your bean.sculpture

“Love Your Bean” sculptures by Cosimo Cavallaro

Last September, three giant jelly beans landed on the edge of West Hollywood Park. They are the work of artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who titled the installation Love Your Bean.

Art wears many hats. It can educate, inform, titillate, challenge (or support) the status quo. Public art installations tend to shy away from controversy. Woe to the public servant who puts something outrageous in the middle of the morning commute! West Hollywood takes its public art seriously, though. Its very active Art on the Outside program selects and commissions works by artists for placement in parks, along median strips, on billboards and murals.

The goal of much of the public art I’ve surveyed around Weho seems to be to make you smile as you walk past or drive by. That can be a tall order – getting noticed – in an urban environment that is already an insistent kaleidoscope of neon and natural light, colors, sounds, and movement. Add to that the fact that 90% of us experience 90% of everything going 40 mph in our cars listening to music, chattering and trying not to spill our lattes in our laps.

Even so, it’s hard to miss those massive black, lime and orange jelly beans that seem to have rolled to the edge of the grass along San Vicente Blvd – and then, it’s hard not to smile. In a way, the beans humorously echo the superjumbo children’s toys of the Pacific Design Center, just across the street.

PacificDesignCenter.09NOV13

Public art makes me happy.
Day 028 #100happydays

[027] WINTER – FINALLY!

If you don’t live in Southern California, you’ll never understand the agony… If you live in a place where “wind chill” is a thing, you should just skip this post because you might find it very upsetting.

A few weeks ago, I lamented the fact that I Bought A Scarf in December – but it had been too warm to wear it.

To give this whinge a little meteorological heft, I refer you to the following charts showing the Actual Temps in Los Angeles for the months of December 2013 and January 2014. I’ll meet you on the other side.

December2013.ActualTemps.LA

In December, there were 11 days in the 70s; 8 days in the 80s.

January2014.ActualTemps.LA

In January, there were 16 days in the 70s, 12 days in the 80s, and 1 day it hit 90. Taken together, 48 of the 62 days in Dec/Jan were pink bloomsin the 70s or 80s. Do you know what that means? Well, if you live in the Plant Kingdom, that means… SPRING! The calendar may have said January, but this is what some trees in my neighborhood were doing the other day:

Today is Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow to forecast six more weeks of winter in places that actually have winter. But I’m thinking that maybe good ol’ Phil has sent a little sumpin-sumpin my way, too. This is the fourth day in a row with temps in the 60s. The low 60s, even. Plus – super double bonus! – yesterday it drizzled, and today we even had a rain worthy of the windshield wipers!!

I won’t thank any gods, because they must be exhausted from listening to the prayers of fans of sport (as Mitt would say). (Theological Sidebar: Does God Hate The Broncos Because Colorado Legalized Pot? -Or- Does God Love The Seahawks Because Washington State Legalized Pot?)

Cool weather and a bit of rain is a real tonic for those of us in sun-drenched, drought-stricken, early-bloomin’ Los Angeles. Here’s the forecast for the coming week:

Weather90069.020214

More rain tomorrow! Highs struggling to hit 60 until next weekend! And overnight lows – don’t toy with me! – dipping into the UPPER 30s by Friday!?

I’m glad I have that new scarf to protect me from these arctic blasts. I am even wearing socks right now. Heavy socks. Could this be – are we trapped in a polar vortex?!! I mean, if the Washington Monument can be knocked down (OK, cracked) by an earthquake, then why can’t LA have a polar vortex? It seems only fair.

IMAG2441

Wintry weather (à la californien) makes me happy.
Day 027 #100happydays

[013] The Photo You Don’t Take

The last call of the day for lap swims on Sundays is 4:30–6:00pm, and for once I was early. It’s nice to be able to do a marathon instead of a sprint; it’s just a different kind of workout.

The West Hollywood Swimming Pool is located in the newly redone West Hollywood Park, with parking at the adjacent West Hollywood Library. (And now you know why we shorten it to Weho.) Well, there was bit of a traffic jam at the 5-story parking structure, with a car just sitting in the entrance. I walked over to see if the driver was having an issue with the “Press This Button for Ticket” dispenser. Turns out, the maximum number of cars had entered the structure, and the smarty-pants automated dispenser was waiting for a car to leave before permitting another to enter. Makes sense. I’ve just never known a parking structure in LA to fill up! A sort of vertical gridlock. We all just patiently waited another minute or two for another car or two to leave, and our god-given right to park was restored.

I guess that’s all by way of saying what a gorgeous day it was to be in the park. The sport courts were full of people playing, uh, sports. The lawns were full of sunbathers and frisbee throwers and dogs a-fetching. The playground and picnic areas were packed with kids and their parents. Have you ever watched a bunch of kids in a playground? They’ve never met before, but one or two bossypants get everyone organized and they make up games and rules and play and have fun. And someone ends up crying. Just like real life. It’s similar to a dog park, where dogs of all shapes and sizes just… get along. Adult humans seem to lose this cooperative instinct somewhere along the way. (But that’s another post.)

As I walked from the parking structure into the park, I saw more than a few people pointing their smartphone cameras upward, and my eyes tracked along that trajectory. All those photos that were sunday cloudssnapped at that moment will never do justice to the skyscape that caught everyone’s attention – but here’s one anyway. (Little did I know that this was the before shot.)

Fast-forward an hour, as I’m slicing my way through the water. (I may actually be plodding through the water, but it feels like slicing. Let’s go with slicing.) The pool lies on a north-south axis, so every odd-numbered lap (on my way to 90 today; just sayin’) gave me an eyeful of western sky. And on one of those southbound slices – Holy Vesuvius, Batman! – the sky had burst into flame! It was breathtaking, luminous, blood red. So intense that for a few long moments I considered that Something Very Bad had happened to produce this effect. Like a meteor strike… or the Hawaiian Islands had gone off like volcanic Roman candles… or maybe Google had found a way to turn the sky into a high-def screen.

Then, for another long moment, I contemplated getting out of the water and drying off sufficiently to reach into my gym bag, pull out my phone and snap a pic of these artistic atmospherics. But I just kept swimming. With every other lap, more color had drained out of the sky until it had cooled to a dark ember of a cloud. The whole passion play couldn’t have lasted more than ten minutes. But what a show!

I don’t have a snapshot to share with you. But I can close my eyes now and experience what the setting sun did to those high, white clouds. It’s more than a visual; memory can function this way as a sixth sense. Or a sense in all five dimensions. Instead of looking at a static photo, my mind is reconstructing the entire experience, including the view through my goggles… the sound of the water splashing around me… the smell of chlorine… and tagging this memory with the thought I had that, sometimes, it’s the photo we don’t take that stays with us.

The photo I didn’t take today makes me happy.
Day 013 #100happydays

[012] Hotel California

The 70s are alive and well – and living in Los Angeles. The Forum is back and The Eagles have landed!

The Forum in Los Angeles is one of the sports world’s most historic venues, having hosted the LA Lakers during their glorious Showtime years. Recently acquired by the Madison Square Garden Company, it’s undergone a $100 million facelift to turn it into a first-rate concert venue, and to celebrate the completion, it’s having its roof decorated in an unprecedented fashion.

forum.hotelcalifornia25 tons of material, 15,000 LED lights, 1 mile of aluminum framework, and over 5 acres of printed vinyl are coming together to create an enormous Hotel California vinyl record that will spin atop The Forum’s roof at 17mph. Spanning 407 feet in diameter, this is easily the largest vinyl record ever put together, and will serve as a fitting tribute to The Eagles, who’ll inaugurate the new Forum with a series of six shows starting this Wednesday. The vinyl record is sturdy, able to resist winds of up to 80mph, and imposing, with lettering as large as that of the iconic “Hollywood” sign in the hills nearby.

Such elaborate roof decorations might usually be difficult for passers-by to notice, but The Forum’s location right next to LAX airport means that its musical top hat will be visible to passengers on over 1,700 flights each day.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/13/5303268/the-forum-hotel-california-vinyl-record-roof

Hotel+California+EaglesThe only bit of unhappiness intruding here is that, sadly, I do not have tickets to this kickoff of The Eagles tour. Nonetheless, it makes me happy that everything old is new again — even as they span the distance from hip to hip replacement.

The Eagles and their music make me happy.
Day 012 #100happydays

[009] I bought a scarf

It was just last month, early December. I went for a stroll through the neighborhood one evening. Sunset Plaza was all done up in its signature holiday style, with tiny multi-color lights strung along the retail and restaurant facades. Makes for a festive, yet understated, holiday streetscape. (I also love that they tear it all down the day after xmas.)

I stopped into a shop and, though I wasn’t really looking for anything, left with a new scarf. I thought, this’ll get me through the coming LA winter, which can be wet but is never really cold. A lightweight coat and scarf is all you’ll need. For about three weeks.

2014-01-15_12-51-49Or not. The temps have been in the 70s and 80s ever since I bought that damn scarf. You didn’t really think I was writing a #100happydays post about a scarf, did you?

No. I just thought it might be hateful to lead off with the real theme of this post, which is:

Walking the beach… in January… barefoot… makes me happy.

Oh god. I know. But you’ve come this far, you might as well enjoy the ride.

I live 9 miles from the beach. Two blocks down the hill, turn right on Sunset Blvd, and nine lovely, curvy miles later I’m at the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). It’s a left to Santa Monica or a right to Malibu. Today, I samo.montana stepsheaded to Santa Monica. I wound my way back up to Ocean Ave, which runs along the top of the palisades facing the ocean, and found a parking space right by the Montana Ave steps.

There are only three pedestrian bridges across PCH in Santa Monica. Very convenient, but it does involve 100-foot change in elevation from atop the palisades to the sand. And back.

The steps by Montana Ave are the oldest, I think, as they are built entirely of wood. The two-by-fours and railroad ties are so charmingly yesteryear… notably in their utter disregard for anything approaching level. I nearly broke my ankle, several times, as I gazed out across the sea to Malibu’s Point Dume or watched the transpacific jets launching from LAX. Once I learned to look down at samo.view toward pac palisadesmy feet, it was much smoother sailing. And then, I was on the sand. Tranquility Base.

It’s a w-i-d-e beach, at least 100 yards to the surf. I’m always amazed at the people who stop and plant themselves on the hot, dry sand. For me, paydirt is the zone of flat wet sand where the surf can wash over your ankles. It’s easier walking on that wet sand – and isn’t walking what a beach is really for? And for picking up stones. That was also part of my mission today (but that’s another post).

It was a glorious afternoon on the beach in Santa Monica. And so many of you will feel such joy as I tell you it took nearly two hours in rush hour traffic to cover those nine miles home. Bumper-to-bumper. But I wasn’t in a hurry. And you know, there’s something about begin forced to a crawl along Sunset Blvd on a beautiful winter’s day. Windows down. Music up. Meandering through leafy Brentwood, along the UCLA campus in Westwood, past the gates of Bel Air and then winding through the Hills of Beverly… not so bad, after all. Sure, it screwed up my evening swim. But I did scamper back up those steps from the beach. That counts for something.

The beach in winter makes me happy.
Day 009 #100happydays

[005] Fresh Squeezed!

indianriverlabelWhen I was a kid, we had relatives in Florida who would always send a case of Indian River grapefruit and oranges as a xmas gift. It was all very exotic and oh-so tropical in the midst of a New York winter.

I didn’t acquire a taste for grapefruit – le pamplemousse as the French call it – until much later, possibly as a mixer with vodka. I can recall a brief period in the early 90s when a glass of grapefruit juice was required drinking the morning after a wild night, for medicinal purposes. (That’s another post.)

But who doesn’t love an orange?

I still have friends in Florida, all lovely people, but they don’t send me crates of citrus. That would be carrying coals to Newcastle, as I live in Southern California. No, when I need fresh fruit these days, I have only to turn to my friends in Palm Springs. (You may think that was a bit of snark. You would be wrong.)

lawrence of arabia posterWhen you picture a desert, what comes to mind? Shifting sands. Blazing sun. Unslaked thirst. Infernal heat. Shimmering mirages. Bedouins. Scorpions. Camels. Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia. Et cetera. But the California desert, known to the wider world as Palm Springs, is an oasis of palm-studded golf courses, star-studded rehab centers, and what must be the largest collection of non-farm citrus trees on earth. Every house, no matter how humble, has at least one citrus-bearing tree, or five, or twenty. We had an orange, a grapefruit and a lemon. And we added two lime trees for good measure (and for cocktails). You can’t believe how abundantly these trees produce fruit!

I can drive a mile to the supermarket and pay $1 for a couple of lemons. Or, I can drive 100 miles to the east and scoop up bushels of fruit, ripe for the picking. Or scattered on the ground like so much litter. The gardeners in our old neighborhood used to leave bags filled with fruit lined neatly along the curb, for your shop-lifting pleasure. At some point, it all starts to seem normal. So, here’s the best travel tip you’ll receive from this blog today: Visit Palm Springs (or Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, La Quinta) in the spring. If you hit it just right, toward the end of March, start of April, there’s a week or freshsqueezedso when billions of citrus flowers bloom all at once – giving the world a fragrance that can only be described as the air freshener of the gods.

We recently took the dogs out for a quick overnight to see old dear friends in Rancho Mirage. We ate. We drank. We laughed. We raided their tangerine and orange trees! The tangerines are always dependably sweet and juicy. Oranges are trickier and can be dry. Well, we hit the orange jackpot with this harvest. I kid you not: two oranges fill a glass with the sweetest nectar. It’s almost biblical. I’ve been foregoing wine this week in favor of orangetinis, which I may have perfected.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice makes me happy.
Day 005 of #100happydays

[003] Back In The Swim

West Hollywood Park swimming pool

West Hollywood Park swimming pool

My zodiac sign is Pisces. The Fishes. I don’t pay much attention to astrology, because I think it’s bullshit. Having said that, and meant it, I still must acknowledge that everything I’ve ever heard or read about Pisces is curiously on the mark with me. Lucky guess? There’s also that thing about fish. Sure, they’re tasty creatures. But as much as I’d like to think of myself as a cute and loyal golden retriever, or an aloof tabby – the truth is, I’m probably more in league with a grouper or fiddler crab. Maybe a pelican, if I can make that stretch.

Bodies of water hold sway over me. If I ever go missing, look for me on the beaches of the world. Or, if I’m only gone for an hour or so, check the nearest pool. I am happy when I’m near the water; happiest when I’m in it.

To my great good fortune, I can be in my favorite element and getting in a good workout at the same time. Healthy for my body and soul, simultaneously. I love swimming the way people love yoga. Or the way I once-upon-a-time loved to run. I’m not inclined to do yoga, because I have this deeply ingrained desire not to look foolish in public. That’s not an indictment of the downward facing dog. Maybe I’m even a little jealous that people can get into all those exotic poses. I just don’t want to be that exotic. As for running, all the endorphins in the world wouldn’t be able to put my knees back together again if I tried taking up that sport at this stage of the game.

So I swim. I grew up in a place with a beach at the end of my street, and learned to swim probably soon after I got the walking thing down. I loved being in the water and I never wanted to come out. It’s fair to say it made me sad to leave the liquid world and return to terra firma. One of my first jobs was as a lifeguard at our local beach. Getting paid to get a tan. I never really recovered from that shattered dream…

I never swam competitively or on a team of any sort. Looking back, I wish I had, as I suspect it would have altered the trajectory of my physical existence for the better. Not being able to change that now, I do appreciate the fact that my only association with water is pleasure. And that holds true, even when it comes to using the pool as my gym. I look forward to my daily dose of hydro-therapy – especially since I ditched my gym pool for the public swimming pool in West Hollywood’s park. The gym pool was full of prima donnas and rude, stupid people. I’d do my workout but leave aggravated, which really defeats the mental-health benefits of the swim.

The public pool, on the other hand, is given over to those of us who take our swimming more seriously. There are swim teams for young and old, classes for every ability, and ‘free swim’ times for the floaters and splashers. But most of the time, this pool is reserved for the lap swimmers. It’s so refreshing. Really not much different, I guess, from the treadmill-filled gyms. You swim in your lane, sometimes sharing the lane. There’s a mostly unspoken etiquette, rules of the road. You interact with your fellow swimmers in the locker room pre- and post-swim, but not so much in the pool. If you and your neighbor pause at the same end for a breather or a sip of water, maybe there’s a hello. You get used to seeing the same faces in the same time slots. There’s a rhythm to it.

I renewed my commitment to getting back in shape when I loaded up my ‘swim card’ with 50 visits in November. I tell myself I should take one day a week ‘off’ to give my muscles a rest. Quite frankly, these muscles have been on vacation for far too long as it is, so I don’t worry too much about that. In fact, there are days when I’d like to do morning and evening swims. I think that falls under the category of ‘portion control’ – but that’s another post.

Two+ months into my new aquatic routine, I’m making good progress. I aim for an hour in the pool every day, and usually get in at least 45 minutes of swim time. I’m up to at least a mile (72 laps), and if I’ve left myself enough time, there’s a nice little endorphin rush that hits at about the 60-lap mark that has been carrying me along like a wave to 90. I won’t be asked to model swimwear any time soon. But thanks to this full-body workout, I can feel things getting tighter and stronger in places I haven’t seen in some time, but have always believed were still there. I’ve got a wedding to go to in Maine this summer, and I want to be fit for those beautiful brides. Because nothing is sadder than way too much seersucker.

Getting back in the swim. Day 003 of #100happydays.

Snow on the Sand

One of the prerogatives of life in Southern California is being able to torment friends in northern climes with sunny beach photos in winter. It is especially gratifying for those of us who originally hail from those arctic latitudes. Pictorial nyah-nyah-nyah-NYAH-nyah. Call it Schadenfroid.

I just got a merry email from my friend Maria, who is spending this xmas with her sister’s family in Connecticut. She attached several pics from a wintry walk they took around the beach at Tod’s Point. It’s cold. The pale sun hangs low in the gray sky. There’s snow on the sand.

It’s 72 and sunny here in Los Angeles this Christmas. But if I were going to take a walk on the beach today, I’d choose somewhere warm and cozy… like a cold, snowy beach in Old Greenwich.

mgt.tods.xmas13.b