Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Some that we have lost in 2014

There were so many 'big ones' lost this year...Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joan Rivers to name a few. 

They made their mark, enriched our world and now cherished as only memories.

We can be thankful that they left so much behind and for that I am grateful.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sunrise in Santa Monica

So quietly begins the morning....sunrise edges upwards.

How can you not marvel at such a propitious moment?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sometimes when the decorations come out around Halloween for the holidays, it doesn't really get you in the mood for Christmas.

Here and there I have been seeing cheery reminders of Christmas around Santa Monica....

And then there are the creepier versions of cheer, like this....

But sometimes when people get dressed in Santa Hat's and you might see a good version of a tree, well it is the spirit that counts.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Moon rise over Los Angeles

All the smoke from a massive fire this morning can be seen tonight...

in the moonlight - la di di da..

Sunday, December 7, 2014

International Gem and Jewelry Show

Had never seen so many jewels piled up, gleaming and ready for purchase!

So many dazzling strands of glass, semi-precious gems artfully strung and awaiting perusal.
You almost feel it is landing yourself at the jewelry truckstop, and munching on colors, deals and wonderment....

Take a moment and ponder these....

So many delights - and better have someone else hold onto your wallet to protect you from yourself!

Because your gonna want everything....

Monday, December 1, 2014

Koi polloi

After a long, stressful weekend, got to take a walk down by the water and visit the koi pond...


They were waiting patiently under a bridge and hoping for a morsel of food...

I had none....and decided to just keep moving away form them to see if in fact, I was the one they were focused on....and yes, they did follow me in hopes of getting some food.

At one point, I saw a Hershey bar wrapper and thought...well, not something I'd choose for the koi.

These rather large, and probably perpetually hungry carp are a dazzling display of color, movement and expressions.  Come down to Fisherman's Village and see 'em. They are worth the trip!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yellow umbrellas

Seems like you can't just not stop when you see something like this!

This is in front of a cafe in Santa Monica...and I love the colors.

Hope you do too!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

St. Sophia Orthodox Greek church

St. Sophia is a Greek Orthodox cathedral (above and interior below) 

 Though judging from the name "Saint Sophia" it would seem the cathedral is named for a female saint of the Orthodox Christian tradition, the cathedral is actually dedicated to the "Holy Wisdom of God." ("Agia Sophia" in Greek). 

There is a lot to know about the history of the church and specifics of it's religion - which you can check out below.

St. Sophia History and tour

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A little Cray Cray

Sometimes you just don't know why it's so difficult and you feel like this....

Trying to make sense of all the nonsense...."somebody up there...help me please?"

And sometimes, there's the cluster of madness (more cray cray than needed)....but this scenario

happens more in city driving, subways or inside airports....you and the masses. Again, cray cray in the making.

If you are feeling red hot cray....
you are not allowed to be with others....Right, you guessed it. You are a menace to yourself and society.

Let's keep it real...not everyday is full of optimism and humor.
But you are lucky if you can find a better outlook - Just look to the animal kingdom to set your 'cray cray' mind straight!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Glorious end to Veterans Day....

Beautiful day in Santa Monica, and especially spectacular with some cloud coverage.....making for a brilliant sunset.

Coming down the hill down around the end of the day, was exhilarating. Not only does the sky change dramatically before 5p, but each minute it seems to change.

This is the iconic Santa Monica pier sign which must see visitors in hundreds of thousands perhaps and all year long.

And then fading colors, down to the violet-type blue...

Yup, spectacular...what a day!

"The Theory of Everything" screening

Saw the amazing movie "The Theory of Everything" portraying the life of Stephen Hawking with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

 Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and Sharon Waxman (The Wrap) interview at the Landmark Theatre screening - Nov 10, 2014

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1963 while at Cambridge University and told he'd have two years to live. He had met Jane (Hawking) early and their romance lead to an early marriage, producing three children. Jane wrote the book "Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hawking,"  who was married to him for 26 years.

It  is a fascinating story and the film takes great care to tell an emotionally wrenching story about their marriage and life.

She says...
Interview with Jane Hawking

'Stephen, I hope, had belief in me that I could make everything possible for him, but he did not share my religious - or spiritual - faith.' The story of Stephen Hawking's survival in those years, and his triumphant inquiry into the origins of the universe, was, in many ways, as she recalls it, the result of a spectacular fission of their opposed philosophies. 'Stephen's belief was that if you were free to do your absolute best work you would be rewarded. My belief was that if you gave all of yourself, to what you believed was right, then that would be enough

Hollywood's Take on "The Theory of Everything"

Where does "The Theory of Everything" title come from?
The true story behind The Theory of Everything reveals that the movie's title refers to Hawking's tireless search to find a single universal equation for all existence. More specifically, it is a theory in physics that unites the four fundamental forces of nature: the strong force, the weak force, gravity and the electromagnetic force.

Physicist Sir Roger Penrose came up with the theory that when a star collapses under the force of its own gravity, it would collapse to a singular point of infinite density where time itself would come to a stop. Penrose called it a singularity, the heart of a black hole. "I worked relentlessly to see if I could apply the notion of a singularity to the entire universe," says Stephen. Then Hawking realized that by rewinding time, he could take the universe back to a singularity as well. "Here, time stops. You've reached the true beginning of everything. There is no previous time in which the universe could have had a cause. It spontaneously created itself in the Big Bang."

"I had controversially shown the laws of nature suggest there is no need for a creator or God. The universe just came into existence all by itself." -Hawking Documentary

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Amazing moonrise

Hovering over the city of Los Angeles, the moon made a dramatic entrance tonight.

Amazing isn't it?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

W. LA Animal Shelter - dedication of the highest order

I have a good friend Sandi who devotes a lot of her time working with the dogs at the W. LA Animal shelter. Her aim is to get all the dogs  a home and create an amazing picture of said critter....with a smile and upload it to the website listed below.  No easy task....as you can well imagine.

I asked if I could help in any way today and came in for over an hour. Sandi comes ready with treats - some gourmet, some with peanut butter and a full set of flowery headdresses for the lady dogs and ties for the males.

The dogs are brought down to an open area, to the right and then they are let loose inside to get their bearings, pee and generally sniff every corner of the area.

After a few minutes, Sandi approaches them with a bit more sincerity and coaxes them with said treats and gives 'em a good scratch all over. It is now when the magic might begin....getting them to sit still and get their close-up.

"Can we get you to smile please?!"

More names are checked over....and other dogs are being checked to go in....the bigger ones require other volunteers help...and its an orchestration requiring a lot of hands on deck!

Some of the dogs remain there longer than others...and some with behavioral issues are hopefully going to find the right match. It is always a race against time, and the issue is to get new owners in there to take on the pups.

Undoubtedly, these animals are surrounded by true animal lovers - people with enormous hearts and wisdom about their predicaments. The volunteers come in regularly and devote a great deal of time, and energy to keep  these pups happy and healthy and ready for a new home!

My hat goes off to Sandi and the rest of the staff, volunteers at this wonderful animal shelter.

LA Animal Services - Finding a companion

Monday, October 27, 2014

All Good Dogs go to Halloween Parades

I am a dog lover, but I don't have one of my own....I miss having a sweet furry bundle of joy underfoot, hanging by my side, and no question they are as loving a creature as can be found. Yet as a city dweller, I could never see myself running after all that a sweet dog requires and waiting for pick-up duty. That to me is a horrifying responsibility - 'nuf said.

I can enjoy other people's dogs....and know the joy first hand when they come up to me and lean in for a pat on the head. Heaven only knows that there are obsessive dog owners who will parade their animals as children, feed and coddle them, but guess what, in Long Beach they created a dress-up Haute Dog parade to celebrate Halloween and exhibit said love-bugs.

What follows is an over-the-top tribute to all things furry, their owners and all things ridiculously fun. And yes, only in certain dog-loving circles is this possible. Welcome dog lovers to California!

Everywhere  you looked.....the dogs just got cuter. And each one was smiling away...amped up by all the attention they were getting and happy owners!

Again, as far as the eye could see...there was this landscape of hilarity....bear with me as I took pictures of quite a few of them....

And no dog EVER suffered due to extra body detailing...clothes, make-up or hats...If the dogs were bothered by it....they'd walk out of their costumes if that became an issue. In fact we did see one do just that in the parade line...and the owner quickly just removed the excess and continued on!

And if ever there was to celebrate the happiness of both owner and pets, this was the time to do it...I got a chuckle over quite a few of them....but this disco-ball-bearing dance-ready family made me laugh!

Heaven on earth, folks....yes, that's what it is.