January 25, 2016

Photoless… because I got a new Macbook Pro today, transferred all my content (it took nearly ten hours to perform the transfer), but apparently iPhoto has been replaced by something fancier and, without iPhoto, I’m not sure how to access any of my 50,000 photos. One of many things I’ll have to figure out. So, photoless blog today.

The good news is I have new reliable hardware: I’m not on the verge of losing everything like I was with my 7-year-old Mac; I should have plenty of memory and RAM and horsepower and whatever else is modern and fast; I should be able to back up efficiently and effectively again; and I have Mac’s latest operating system–Yosemite–can’t complain about that!

The bad news is Yosemite is full of mountains to climb. I’m way off trail at the moment… quite lost…and it will take a few days to get back into the groove. Once I settle in, though, things should be hunky dory and better than ever.



Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Hey it’s My Birthday! 

Got back late last night from PV and have stories to tell about a very VERY swell few days and fantastic family birthday party. In short, I was more than sufficiently feted, but will have to back-fill those missing days and details later. Today, the actual day, was a little more chill:

  • worked out;
  • went to Brian the acupuncturist for a painful set of needles and a sublime session of cupping;
  • did an in and outer at Mishka’s;
  • met online with Gil the computer consultant who relocated to NYC and who, even though he is sick–too much frolicking in winter storm Jonah–assisted in the set up of the Mac to Mac data transfer;
  • had a two hour massage … which Kelly gave me for free on account of my birthday;
  • met with Megan the cryotherapist who freezes my hip and thumb;
  • had a great birthday dinner (meatloaf and roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, an okay cab and a superb chocolate cake with bits of dark chocolate baked right in) prepared by chef Jim;
  • and futzed with the new computer!!!

Honestly, I felt like most of the day was at the hands of the service sector.

Maybe that’s just the way birthdays are supposed to be.








January 22, 2016

Let’s see…. mom and I did a little party prep today–shopping, table setting, vessel selection. We played some gin rummy (oh, oh… so fun… last night we watched The Apartment, a 1960 movie directed by Billy Wilder–staring Jack Lemmon, Shirley McClaine and Fred McMurray–that won the Oscar for Best Picture, among five awards, and in which GIN RUMMY featured prominently… and they played it exactly like we do!), and we grabbed a couple of Jambas and headed to the beach for views like this:


Not much volleyball being played today….


Cross-processed and faded the color… not sure it works, but I like the blues:



Across the street from Malaga Cove School we came upon this odd tree:


Resting up this evening (in fact Mom’s getting a massage for her cricky neck at the moment… hope it becomes a regular thing (not the cricky neck).

Tomorrow, southland family and friends ….  excited.



Bull Pen

January 21, 2016


Everyone should have one… a neighborhood-ish bar or eatery or cafe… a place to hang, where they know you, where people you know gather.

The Bull Pen is not mine, but it’s Chris’s. And to a lesser extent my mom’s. Chris is down there a lot (a very lot) and has a huge community of people he sees there regularly. They’ll know mom when she shows up and give her a good booth, but she doesn’t cut it up on the dance floor or occupy a stool at the bar quite like Chris. The place is old (opened in 1948) and may just have the same decor it had when it moved into that location–its third–in Hollywood Riviera in the mid 70s or so (now referred to as Riviera Village… the marketing people really missed a bet on that one; should have left the name alone).

Bar, lounge, postage stamp dance floor, live music (I don’t know how they manage this) and old fashioned steakhouse…. all behind a heavy, thick wooden door in the middle of a very old strip mall (a strip mall before there were any strip malls). I don’t think I’d like to see the place with the lights up.

Anyway. Great dinner: a bowl of mushrooms sauteed in garlic and butter for an ap, prime rib and baked potato, with the vegetable soup (mom); salmon, baked potato and iceberg lettuce salad w/ the beets and bleu cheese dressing (me). Grey Goose (mom), chardonnay (me). And….


We were outa there before the music started.

In a Fog

January 20, 2016

Airport commute this morning:



In other news…

Look what Southwest’s done with their overhead bins:


A beach community on an overcast, nondescript Wednesday:


To Be or Not To Be

January 19, 2016


(Up on Grande Ave.)

Respite from the rain. Not that we need respite. Nice to enjoy our normal California rainfall as it falls: wet and frequent. Had forgotten what a normal winter feels like. It rained hard all last night and into this morning–a drenching rain. Then late this afternoon, the sun came out for a while, giving everyone a beautiful sunset.

Appreciating it all.

In other important news: Peter ran a 5:52 mile this afternoon–his last timed mile ever, he believes. He seems pretty happy about getting under 6. He and Ray also finished their episode of Seinfeld this afternoon, an idea they pitched to their English teacher, who agreed they could do the episode in lieu of another assignment.  In keeping with one of the stipulations of the original assignment, they wrote the whole thing–twenty five pages worth–without using the verb to be. In any of its forms. Try it..it’s hard!

I accomplished it in the two paragraphs above (not below). Exhausting.


MRI Postscript: It was way okay. So many different noises, you could just close your eyes and imagine you were listening to mutant whale songs. I was so busy listening to instructions about holding my breath, releasing, holding still, relaxing, that I didn’t get a chance to get too freaked out. Plus, Jim had a hold of my left foot the whole time. That totally helped.

Scared Are I

January 18, 2016

It is MRI eve. I’ve eaten my last meal (though, were I so inclined, I could get up and eat in the middle of the night, as long as I’m done snacking by 3:00am… six hours before I’m to be slid into the tube–my first-ever MRI.

Wee bit apprehensive. I am mildly claustrophobic, though my claustrophobia is largely anecdotal; it’s not really been tested in any official way. The idea of being enclosed freaks me out… so I’ve avoided being enclosed. Problem solved.

Until tomorrow. Tomorrow I go into the narrow, noisy tube of terror and we shall see if I can deal.

I decided, way too late in the day, that I wanted to get myself some valium. The doctor had suggested I take a tablet before the test if I thought I might be at all uneasy about the whole thing, but I’d opted not to follow through, thinking, ah, I can handle this. Tonight I had second thoughts. Spent a fair chunk of this evening on the phone with Kaiser trying to get a prescription for a single dose, but it just wasn’t to be. Instead, I got tangled up in bureaucratic complications and while all the advise nurses understood fully my objective, and reason for same, they couldn’t scare up a doctor to prescribe a single, solitary valium. I can hardly believe this… I mean I’m going to be in a hospital crawling with doctors and full of pills. And nobody can give me a stupid little sedative?

With a bit of desperation, I tried to track down my buddy X (not her real initial) who has all manner of drugs, but she’s not responding to emails, texts or FB messages. Sure she’da had a pharma-suitable solution. (Wonder if I made that up…)

Jim says it’ll be no big. Lorilyn says think cozy, not claustrophobic.

Okay, then. Not scared-R-I.



Nothing to See Here

January 17, 2016

Below’s blog for my record. You may skip.

I didn’t blog yesterday because I was down for the count. I maintain that I don’t get migraines, but I do get a certain wicked headache every so often, yesterday’s particularly excruciating, and maybe it has some of the characteristics of a migraine, but not all, so I’m not calling it a migraine. But who cares what ya call it… it’s brutal. So spent most of the day with my head wrapped in this very handy head-vice I have (best purchase from an airline catalog ever) and a large bowl next to me in case I barfed, and tried to sleep.

No blog.

Heinous headache aside, I was in a spectacularly great mood and wished I could have enjoyed it. This is because I got the results back from a blood test I’d taken the day before… and… got confirmation that all my numbers–so-called markers–are in the super duper normal range.

What happened was: I’d had a pain in lower rib area. Ignored it, thinking bruise. After a month of continued pain, called advice nurse who said come in. Came in. Doctor, not wanting to mess around, ordered a whole bunch of tests: an eye-popping blood draw (you’re going to fill that many tubes?!), urinalysis, and a chest XRAY. Tests all came back normal with the exception of the liver markers, which were high. This causes all manner of concern on the part of doctors (for which I am grateful). Ordered more tests: a redo of the blood draw after two weeks off ibuprofen, acetaminophen, wine, and the high doses of turmeric/glucosamine/chondroitin I was taking for inflammation and joints–the results of which I got yesterday–and an ultrasound.

Well, it looks like an aggressive use of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and said mega doses of turmeric, irritate your liver and causes those liver numbers to go up. When you stop them, the numbers come down, as evidenced by all those numbers in the normal/low range. Yay! Good to know. The ultrasound results came back a week ago and revealed a teeny mass, but it’s likely a benign hemangioma, he says. Not worried. But I’m doing an MRI next week to rule anything icky out.

And that’s pretty much that. Pain in rib still there. No clue what that is, but I’m not worried.

Funnily, it seems I have most definitely entered the phase of life where: things happen, you get them checked out, tests and procedures are performed, you wait anxiously for results.  And then you’re happy it wasn’t anything scary.

And I’m not even 60.




Let There Be Piece on Earth

January 17, 2016

I found myself singing this as I searched and searched for a missing puzzle piece (the brain is a weird organ).

And never found it:


In fact, after 1359 hours of doing this painfully challenging puzzle, I got to the end and discovered there were TWO pieces missing. Brand new puzzle, too.  Somebody’s bad QC. Maybe my own. Maybe I’ll find it in a couch cushion one of these days.

But isn’t it lovely!


Both missing pieces are in the trees, and those orange trees were definitely the last section I completed. I have another bone to pick with this puzzle: it was actually possible to find a dimensionally perfect piece, fit it into place, and realize it was not the right piece for the space. That is quite annoying… which made it all the more challenging. But hey…

Done. What a relief.


There’s Always Next Year

January 15, 2016

I know, not one week ago, I said I was going to 86 the puzzle I was working on in favor of something less monochromatic for the simple and brilliant reason I was tired of that too-much-orange puzzle and wanted to move on to something a lot more fun. I was patting myself on the back because that was such a self-respecting, just-say-no thing to do. Puzzle’s not fun? Do another one. Yay me.

However… I struggled. I have never in the history of jigsaw puzzle doing ever given up on a puzzle. You. Just. Don’t. Do. That. But I was going to anyway. It’s the new year. I’m going to be 60. It’s time to make some changes.

But … I maybe I could just get the flowers in.  I mean, the pieces were already more or less color sorted… that would go quickly. (It didn’t.)

Then… the pumpkins. Then the easy part of the sky. (It wasn’t.)  Then the lighter colored earth.

And that is how it happens.

Hello. My name is Kari. I have a puzzle problem.





Now, of course, it looks simple dimple. (It isn’t.)

(But, it’s fun.)

(And it’s also why I’ve been late on my blogs.)

Next up will be a harbor full of many different colored sail boats.




Earl-lie in the Morning

January 14, 2016

Another airport run. Do enjoy those. Lots of fog this morning, most of which burned off by the return trip.


Brown and wintry.