July 03, 2010

The Bluebird of Crabbiness

This little Parrotlet is becoming a little less crabby, a little more happy and a little more willing to spend time on my shoulder or that of her favorite human, my son.

She's learning the routine. Out of her home, into my hand, onto a shoulder, back into her home. Safe. It appears that I learn, again, that relationships take time and time together. She's not so good at Facebook. She seems just to like to be in community once in a while. And she also likes her time alone.

I see.

July 01, 2010

The well beaten path

Last night my kiddos and I found ourselves back at Philippe's in downtown L.A. We'd been over to the west side, home and back to up to Hollywood when my son became, "Ravenous Man." For me, any trip away from home is a great opportunity to try, see, taste something new or experience a place in the local culture, so my brain was working on the many spots available when Philippe's entered his mind.
We hopped onto the 101 freeway and sat as visions of French Dipped Sandwiches danced in his head. (Neither my girlie nor I were really thinking sandwiches, so she quickly declared that she'd be dining on potato salad while I recalled a Caesar Salad I'd never tried.)
When we pulled up it felt so familiar and welcoming.
Queues were short and we found ourselves at the head of the line, then off through the sawdust to our table in no time.
While we ate and stared at the beet red pickled eggs we really noticed what a center of Los Angeles culture Philippe's really is.
From the back room, we heard a little girl singing loudly with an auditioning-for-Annie voice. We saw a couple of dressed-for-casting swing dance hipsters. There were a couple of lawyers discussing details of a case at the big common table to our right, a group of older men in their 70s kibitzing and occasionally watching the World Cup on the TV, a Chinese couple sharing their own bag of Hawaiian Style potato chips with the beef dips, young tourists chatting behind us, and literally hundreds of others coming in and out as we sat. I wondered who they all were, where they were going and most interestingly, where they'd been. My musings were interrupted when one of the men who busses tables offered to take our picture. He was dear, but my inner-Los Angeleno was highly insulted. "Wait just a doggone minute!" she cried out. "I'm from here! My dad ate here in the 50's when he worked in the copy department at the Broadway and the Times. I came when I first worked in advertising in my twenties. My husband came as a kid with his parents. And my kids have come since they were really little! In fact, we were here just a month or so ago! We're from here, sir!"
Instead, I simply offered a, "no, thank you, sir" and went back to my cup of sixty five cent coffee and sighed, with great gratitude, for the opportunity to walk and share the well beaten floors of a Los Angeles institution.

By the way, it was a tasty Caesar Salad.

June 30, 2010

The Girl of 1000 Chopsticks

We had sushi at Awesome Sushi on Saturday.
May I say, it was AWESOME.
We even started with the an awesome roll called the Awesome Roll.
Ok with the awesome already. It was really good.
Now, this was a girls' day out. Five lovely ladies with well-manicured nails at a table in this awesome place (yes).
This particular lovely lady (occasionally referred to lovingly by her mother as, "the cat" for her stealthy movements about the house and perimeter) seemed to have trouble keeping a chopstick either in her hand or on the table. The scores of chopsticks hitting the ground began to sound like (awesome) music.
We all giggled and swiftly gave her the new (oh yes, and awesome) nickname:
The Girl of a Thousand Chopsticks.
We love her in all her pensive, delicate, sweet, catlike, chopstick-dropping, ways.
She's, well, awesome.

A little post script: if you ever find yourself in this area, you might not notice or think of trying Awesome Sushi. It's in a funny setting, next to a smog certification store and a tutoring center. I didn't go, it just seemed like the wrong position (juxtaposition actually). But my lovely friend Marjorie wasn't daunted by the out of place nature of the yummiest of sushi and recommended it. Don't miss it. It's imaginative and delicious and in my top three on this coast.

June 29, 2010

160 Any Street

I believe I'd be more than happy to live at 160 Whatever Street.
Assuming the flowers speak like this against the garden gate.
And you?

June 28, 2010

Both a viewfinder and a point of view.

This is one of the many pictures from our Memorial Trip to Saralynn's graduation party. A gift that keeps on giving. My son picked up the camera and had me stop mid-turn to get the shot.

What's so cool and so wonderful, is that I did the same thing with my very first Pentax ME 30 years ago. My dad had taken me on the beautiful drive to Occidental and Freestone in Northern California because my photo trigger finger was terribly itchy and he knew just what I'd like.

At some point I'll get into the photo boxes from those days and scan and post the pix together.

Our eyes see beauty through the viewfinder. And sometimes we behold in simultaneity.

June 27, 2010

Quotable Sunday ~ Henri Nouwen

The Dignity to Give and Receive

"Nobody is so poor that he/she has nothing to give, and nobody is so rich that he/she has nothing to receive." These words by Pope John-Paul II, offer a powerful direction for all who want to work for peace. No peace is thinkable as long as the world remains divided into two groups: those who give and those who receive. Real human dignity is found in giving as well as receiving. This is true not only for individuals but for nations, cultures, and religious communities as well.

A true vision of peace sees a continuous mutuality between giving and receiving. Let's never give anything without asking ourselves what we are receiving from those to whom we give, and let's never receive anything without asking what we have to give to those from whom we receive.

-Henri Nouwen

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Original text and images sole property of BirdandSeashells. If you wish to use something, please ask or quote me.