Friday, December 9, 2016


I recently received an invitation to my worst nightmare:

I had naively thought it was a really cool course of study in 10th grade humanities. My girl had spent the semester researching, conceptualizing, writing and editing a horror story. I was impressed with the films and readings they were doing as a class, including Jaws (those two notes!), the Raven, Hitchcock, etc. it was good old fashioned scary shit. I used to be a fan of scary movies when I was her age, did I ever tell you about that time I was watching Friday the 13th or Halloween or something with a friend in the den and we didn't know that Dad was in the doorway watching too, and at the end part where the monster/bad guy popped up out of the river or the grave or whatever, my dad screamed from behind us and we died of the fright? Anyway. I don't like scary movies anymore. They're scary!

So although I was impressed and enthusiastic about this 10th grade course of study, I began to experience increasing trepidation as snippets emerged about the exhibition that was being planned for this end of project celebration. I strongly suggested that she invite her dad to this special event because I was pretty sure I was going to be very, very, busy with important things.

And yet, there I was. Standing before that poster up above, and being handed a piece of chalk with which to write my deepest fears. Puke!

Then I visited 4 stations, each with its own procedures and disclaimers. The first one was a maze in a dark room. Here is the disclaimer:

In other words: worst case scenario, hulk smash your way through the walls

I had a personal escort through this first experience, whose delight in my fear increased my suspicion and anxiety right back up to level orange.


I survived the maze, then went to the next stop:

Interestingly, I was actually wearing a blindfold when they showed me the sounds

I wish I could tell you what I experienced in that room, but I'm a struct follower of rules.

Next was the invitation to try a virtual reality experience, which really was quite scary up until the incoming text flashed before my eyes: "hi it's dad, I'm in the maze." So I paused to deliver the message to the student who was in charge of scaring me.

Finally, the last stop - the scariest one of all:

No thank you. 

High school is different in 2016, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy OB Holidays

Last Saturday night was the annual Ocean Beach Christmas Parade. A fun and festive deal around these parts. I've had me many a good time on parade night over the years. In fact, an OB Christmas Parade many, many years ago was the very first time that I ever met my beloved co-blogger, Jacquie!

This parade, unlike most parades, is at night - its official start time is 5:05 pm. Folks of all ages turn out to take a look see all bundled up in their Southern California winter wear (which mostly means Uggs). Most of the grownups bring a cup. The mood is celebratory.

This year my littlest elf was in the parade. And not walking with a soccer or softball team either. She was on a float proper. And got to throw candy! (Which we didn't know was forbidden! You now have to get out and hand candy to the littles, due to safety concerns. Somehow, though, she and her partner managed to throw all 400 pieces anyway. Oops.)

Hey, here she is on the wheel well pre-parade. Telling everyone what to do, no doubt.

And up front with her new friend, who apparently thinks he's going to drive.

This trio was in the truck bed, getting ready to sing some Christmasy Christmas tunes.

Clearly they're more ready now.

And there they go.

Another one for the books.

Monday, December 5, 2016

You're Stuck With Me

I have a million photos to share; of course I do. They are all of The Field, and The Fire, and The Leaves, and The Moon and The Booze and they are all awesome and cool and stylized and Schleckasized, and you have already seen them this Fall.

So, instead, I'm going to go with my photos, to prove that *I* am an awesome photographist, too.

Okay, Mistah set this photo up, fine. But I took it. And those upside-down stuffed grape leaves? So good. New larder staple.

Side conversation:
Bill: "We need to have a lot more of cool interesting things like this in our larder."
Me: "But we always eat everything."
Bill: "You're right; it's like trying to create a wine cellar."

Christmas Cacti! From the old Hanrahan homestead in Waterford. Blooming in December, right on schedule.

Side conversation:
Me: "Is your Mumsie Christmas cacti alive? Ours is thriving.... "
Jennie: "Mine has blooms, too!! Gracie has only chewed on the leaves a little bit. What a rascal!"

Not only did I take this photo, but I started the fire. And I threw the last of those gorgeous habaneros on it.

Side Conversation:
Me: Mistah did all the growing and planting and harvesting and caretaking of the habeneros . . .
Myself: But I bought those habaneros in the first place. We wouldn't have them without me. I am important around here; I keep trying to tell everybody.

Moonie, Venus and Westy.

Side Converstaion:
Moonie: Ellie took this shot? Really?
Venus: Huh. She's not half-bad, afterall.
Westy: Plus she took me for a ride on Saturday. She is awesome, I keep telling you that.

The fire was one for the ages . . .

Side Conversation:
2015 Christmas Tree: Well, that was a good run . . . 
Future 2016 Christmas Tree: I only hope I can burn as brightly when I give up the ghost in that kind of pathetic yet emotionally important and quite adorable little back yard campfire next year at this time . . . I hope Ellie starts that fire, too . . . she's really good at it.

And what a fire it was . . .

Side Conversation:
Wine: Hello?
Wine Glass: I'm here, I'm here; I was here the whole time. I was just waiting for Ellie to get out of the way and for that guy to come back. You know -- the guy who takes the good photos?

Oh there he is.