Saturday, May 31, 2008

six things

Tagged by Miss Janey, whose blog I very much enjoy, it is my duty to report the six things. Read 'em and weep...

What Was I Doing Ten Years Ago – 1998:

Ten years ago this spring I had just begun an ardent pursuit of a handsome young Texan named Chris. At first he was resistant, then I finally had my way with him and we stayed together until 2002. And you don't want to hear about THAT.

5 Things On My To Do List For Today:

1) Take fierce photos for tomorrow's Sunday Drive

2) Replenish famished stock of decent Vodka

3) Take a walk over to Helens Cycles to see if my economic stimulus check can be converted into a new bike

4) Get tickets for tonight's screening of Star! at my beloved Aero Theatre

5) Sit down and write for this blog thingy I post on the internets

Snacks I enjoy:

I must admit that this section looks entirely different than six weeks (and four belt notches) ago. But here is the current list:

Low fat yogurt, Carrots (I get excited and announce to my staff that "It's Carrot time!"), room temperature water (mmmmmmmmmm........), a handful of Macadamias- decadent, but so worth it.

Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire:

Buy underwear for Paris Hilton, restore cool retro diners across the USA, give a zillion dollars to no-kill animal shelters, hire three trainers, attract a husband (okay, so a guy can dream).

Places I Have Lived:

Flint, MI; Grand Blanc, MI; Flint again; Milwaukee, WI; Shorewood WI; Chicago, IL; Burbank, CA; Studio City, CA; Lake Balboa, CA; Northridge, CA; Santa Monica, CA.

Blogs I enjoy:

Citizen Jane, Doralong, Janine, Tank, David, Willy

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you please, consider yourselves tagged.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Accoring to, a total of four thousand and eighty two American service men and women have been killed in the six years of the Iraqi occupation. Best to add tens of thousands of debilitating injuries to account for the lives that have been forever altered.

You can view the statistics here

Please remember them all today and do everything in your power to elect candidates in November that will get us out of this quagmire before thousands of other young lives are snuffed out or shattered.

Supporting the troops means bringing them home.

linked from JoeMyGod

Sunday, May 25, 2008

sunday drive: casa de cadillac

An architectural treasure, on the road to Bel Air, in the San Fernando Valley

Iconic Casa de Cadillac opened in the spring of 1949. Designed by Randall Duell, a USC trained architect who also designed motion picture sets, the two story polished glass box showroom with attached lanai courtyard looked like it came out of a movie.

A spectacular late example of streamline moderne with an iconic monument sign and eighty two feet of white neon spelling out "Casa de Cadillac" in exactly the same font as the fender script of a 1949 Cadillac nameplate. Irreplaceable.

Still in use today, and in very reasonable condition. Preserved by neglect to a degree, but thankfully only minimal alteration since construction. Presented in period photos from construction, 1956, 1960, and 1966. I especially love the Holiday photos.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Casa de Cadillac:

And just for fun, a Cadillac advertisement from 1958:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

june gloom

Well, the June gloom is here in Santa Monica. A thick marine layer means cool temperatures and overcast mornings which linger until mid day. I like the cool mornings but the gray can put one in a funk. Add in my creeping weariness from my current six day a week schedule, and I havent felt much like writing this week.

To snap out of it, here is a double treat - two fabulous recordings by the Misty Miss June Christy. "I'll Take Romance" and "It Could Happen to You" are both off her delightful 1960 album "Something Cool". Audio only, but well worth your time. Grab something cool and have a listen. I feel better already.

Monday, May 19, 2008

please stand by

Due to technical difficulties, ie, failed camera battery, we will not be able to bring you the World O Jeff Sunday Drive this week. Sunday Drive will return next week to its usual time slot.

If this had been an actual emergency, you would be instructed to tune to the Civil Defense station for official information.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

chapel of love

Ellen De Generes announced yesterday, that in light of the recent Supreme Court decision reversing the ban of gay marriage, she will be getting married. Portia de Rossi sat in the audience, beaming. I anticipate a lot of June weddings in the golden state.

For Ellen and Portia, and for all of you, here's a tribute by the Dixie Cups. Because nothing upholds the sanctity of marriage quite like lipsynching teenage girls:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

supreme court

"We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples,"

The amazing words of Chief Justice Ronald George, for the majority.

A day of out and out celebration for all Californians. Today, for the first time in my life, I am equal in my state.

Now, if I could only get a date.

three notches

Got an email the other day asking how the low carb thing was going and realized that its time for an update- four weeks yesterday of no sugar, no wheat, and no flour and the results are: three notches on my belt.

People are starting to comment, even straight guys whom I would not expect to notice. That part I like. For the most part, all is going smoothly. Once off the sugar roller coaster, my energy levels are much more even without the crashes at the end of the day. I even seem to sleep better and wake up more rested. Biggest hassle so far is the way overcrowded Trader Joe's in Santa Monica- it's like a blue light special in purgatory.

How many pounds? Don't know- haven't weighed and don't plan to for another four weeks. Because it's not high school, I'm not cramming for a test and then instantly discarding the information. It's not about a number, its about a healthy sustainable eating plan.

Now off for the morning oatmeal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

its a match

Homage to the Match Game, one of my all time favorites. Brilliant execution by SNL. Can you name all the panelists who are being spoofed? Courtesy of Citizen Jane.

Monday, May 12, 2008

twelfth night

Okay, I must admit, I'm somewhat smitten with the whole twelve on twelve thing. So here's my version, with a bit of a theme for you to guess. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

sunday drive: pacific park carousel

It's my first Mother's Day since she passed, and I am keenly aware of the loss. My good friend Dora suggested that I do something that she would do. I briefly considered outrunning the law or engaging in a drunken stupor, but decided on something a bit more discreet.

Mother loved carousels. She rode them, photographed them, and collected their iconography. Her kitchen was full of miniature carousel horses, her living room contained the 1939 Allen Herschell carousel horse that I inherited. She loved the light and the color, the show that was carousel.

The Pacific Park Carousel building dates from 1916, and the carousel itself from 1947. Both were rescued from severe neglect by the City of Santa Monica who assumed ownership in 1977 and undertook a sensitive restoration completed in 1982.

For Patsy, and all of you, presenting the Pacific Park Carousel.

More Pictures Here

Friday, May 9, 2008

kate and patsy

They were much more like sisters than mother and daughter. For starters, they were only twenty one years apart. Also, they didn't act like mother and daughter per se- they were lifelong best friends, and all but inseparable. And neither of them exactly acted like a grown up all that often.

In over a year of writing, I can't believe I haven't written about Kate. My brave and pragmatic Missouri born Grandmother. The one who married too hastily, and focused her energy on the children she loved. She played the hand she was dealt with laughter and courage. She all but lived with us during my childhood, while always maintaining an apartment to ensure her independence.

They both loved to surprise the other. Like the time in 1979 when we moved to a new house and Patsy didn't tell Kate. She knew we were planning to move, of course, and was rather dreading the whole thing. So when we had the opportunity to move up the actual date, we conveniently forgot to mention it. I picked her at her apartment and drove her to our house, stopping off at the new house to check on something. And there we were, all moved in and set up. She just about fainted. Score one for Patsy and I.

Then there was Kate's birthday that year. Mom had taken her for her birthday weekend to the brand new Hyatt Regency hotel in Flint. They had a formal dinner on Friday night, and were enjoying a casual luncheon in the atrium on Saturday when the Gorilla appeared with the birthday balloon bouquet. Fortunately, there just happened to be a photographer there to record the presentation for history. Score one more for Patsy, with another assist to yours truly. I still have the picture.

And that led to the Big Party. Of course, Kate wanted to return the favor. She and I talked the family into a big surprise birthday party for Patsy. We had made plans that bordered on military precision involving refreshments, decorations, and even staging the guests down the block at a rendezvous point to preserve the element of surprise. Kind of a challenge doing a surprise party for Mother in her own home, you see.

We sneaked supplies and decorations into the house for weeks. All went well until the afternoon of the party, when Mom was unexpectedly home. I fidgeted, looking out the window at my poor Volkswagen so full of booze that it hunkered down on its axles.

"Not to worry", said Kate. She put all the butter down the garbage disposal, then began making chocolate chip cookies. "Patsy, we're out of butter" she called out in angst. Mom couldn't believe that the butter she had just purchased was already gone, but somewhat reluctantly agreed to go get some more. That have us the crucial time we needed to unload the car and set up the basement decorations.

Three hours later, I went out for a walk and met approximately 40 guests at the cul de sac. We all walked to the front door, lit the candles on the cake that happened to be in my hands, and rang the bell. Mom answered the door in absolute shock. The party proceeded downstairs where everything had been prepared in secret- food, a punch bowl, a fully set up bar- in short, a gigantic party, totally under the radar. We got her good that time. A big one for Kate and myself as raconteurs. It was a fabulous time.

This is my first Mother's Day without either of them. The only thing that makes it bearable is the thought they are together. And wherever they are, there's laughter and mischief. That's what happens with pranskters like those two around.

Happy Mother's Day Kate and Patsy, my darling girls. I'm so grateful for all the crazy and wonderful times we had together. I love you both so much.

Monday, May 5, 2008

sunday drive: montana avenue

Montana avenue runs a relatively short distance, approximately thirty blocks from Ocean Avenue at the water's edge to Stanford Avenue in the college streets where it then turns north into Brentwood. Despite the short span, it goes through distinct phases. For the first six blocks it is high density residential, apartments and condos until Seventh Street.

At that point, Montana becomes trendy retail space- boutiques, shops, restaurants, and approximately four coffee shops per block. Throw in a few bars, a couple of liquor stores, my beloved Aero Theater, one Pinkberry (to keep Paris Hilton happy), a very out-of-place looking barber shop and a Chinese laundry and you have Santa Monica's most happening retail street, but only for ten blocks. After passing the awesome mid century Library at 17Th Street, it once again becomes a quiet residential street, albeit a pricey one.

The retailing dates back to the 1930's, with lots of 1940's and 1950's detailing as well. For your enjoyment, Art Deco, Hollywood Regency, Mid Century, and my usual eye for signage. Careful readers will notice that this sunday's drive took place on monday. I hate it when work interferes with architecture. Enjoy:

More Photos Here