Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Center Square Memories



I was a big fan of Hollywood Squares. Center square Paul Lynde was my favorite, followed by Wally Cox. Oops, my age is showing.

These questions and answers are from the days when "Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist
camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a
goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your
elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you
should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

You can read more Square quotes here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Gewgaw, Weiner Dog Thing



I don't know what this is, which begs the question why trade two perfectly good dollars for this, but one look, and I knew it had to be mine.

It has the body of a dog, but the face of a human, with slits in its nose, tail and feet - like some weird tinkertoy chimera. Maybe I can stick a photo in its nose slit or tail and eke some function out of it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vampire Fruit



We've been enjoying our blood oranges. This is the first year we've had a goodly crop since we planted the tree five years ago. They're tart and sweet and very yummy - much more flavorful than the typical store bought valencia.

Blood oranges are common in Italy, but I think the name turns off people here. I've heard them referred to as 'raspberry oranges' but I like the shock value of the word 'blood', and when ripe, the flesh is deep, dark red. The photo above is actually quite a bit pinker than the actual fruit. I cut up one of our tangerines for comparison.

I think I've averted a bad cold this season due to eating this fruit regularly - lucky for all of us, citrus is in season.

The vay I like to eat them is to slice them in quarters and suck the blood, er, juice out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Megan's Law Creepfest

Every so often I feel compelled to check out the Megan's Law website to see if Chester the Molester has moved into the neighborhood.

Each offender's location is marked with a little blue box on the site's map. After I ogled the unsavory photos and made mental notes of their offenses (lewd acts with person under 14, rape, etc.) and distinguishing marks, I noticed a larger blue box on the site map, on Western Ave, just south of Artesia, on the Gardena/Torrance border.

It appears, from my knowledge of the area, to be hotel. It's also home-sweet-home to eleven offenders.

The rational side of me knows these guys (mostly guys) have to live somewhere. This place is probably as good as it gets - it's flanked by a gas station, a trailer park, stores, fast fooderies, and a storage facility. There aren't any grade schools around (that is, not too close), and the nearest public park is in Torrance, several blocks away.

The other hysterical side of me wants them rounded up and shipped off to an underground bunker in Siberia with their private parts permanently sealed into a block of concrete. Or worse.

Frankly, it's going to give me the creeps to go to the Marukai and the Albertsons across the street where my parents do their shopping. And I don't think I'll be dropping into the Wendy's ever again - well, not that I ever did.

Ignorance was bliss.

Additional mental note: do NOT under any circumstances leave kids unattended in the vehicle...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Taste of Torrance, Madrona Marsh



As much as I like the modern museum dedicated to this vernal marsh, I headed directly to the wetland across the street.




Ahoy! the first signs of wildlife were a group of harlequin beetles socializing on some native plantings.




Wildflowers made a modest appearance throughout the marsh.










First sign of water - unfortunately, it ran across the path.




A not-so-subtle reminder...



...the ducks didn't want handouts, and made a hasty retreat...



...a hawk circled, looking for lunch...




...a hummingbird the size of a cotton ball was probably too tiny to be bothered...




...however, this pooping kitty might make a suitable entree...




...and the chickens were not on the menu.




The barren trees managed to provide some lovely images.






An interesting counterpoint to the day's nature walk was this enthusiastically decorated van parked nearby:



Escape the 'urban noise', and drop by the Madrona Marsh.

The Madrona Marsh Preserve
3201 Plaza del Amo
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 782-3989

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fog

It was very foggy this morning. I recollect that this is only the second or third foggy morning in at least a year.

As a child, fog arrived more frequently. I liked the mystery of it - everything looked a bit creepy and unfamiliar.

It's great, as long as you don't have to drive in it.

The last time I had to drive through a fog bank was near San Simeon on Highway 1. It was like navigating through a giant cotton ball. That 15 minute serpentine crawl was the longest of my life.

I've read that our drop in pollution may be one reason for this, and for that we should happy about the loss of this weather condition. As I look out my window, the last remnants of pea soup are disappearing, and it looks like it will be a lovely day.

I hope it's back tomorrow.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Post Holiday Blues, sort of

I always pack up the holidays by New Years.

My neighbors are probably rejoicing that the circa 1970's giant plastic illuminated candles that flanked the garage are gone.

There are some left over presents - these are repeatedly poked at by my son who thinks he's entitled to any leftovers. They'll eventually get to their intended giftee.

I've washed the decorative christmas rugs, tea towels and santa apron and stuck them in the linen closet.

The tree is packed away, the decorations are safely in boxes - except for one I noticed hanging from a shrub. Dammit, there's always that orphan ornament that doesn't make it back into storage. I may get sick of looking at it - if I don't it may hang there 'til next Christmas.

Ziplock bags house the last remnants of Christmas cookies - my husband pulls out a few every night to nibble on with his coffee.

What remains of the holidays is the five extra pounds we've all gained, but the house is pretty much back to normal. When school starts tomorrow, I can say the holidays are officially over. I've allowed my son's best friend to sleep over tonight, so at least they go back to the salt mines together.

It's a little sad. The glitz is gone, and the parties are over. But honestly, I'm looking forward to an empty house.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Gewgaw, Monkey Bookend



One is the loneliest number, especially when you're a bookend. However, in this household, we're always able to find a spot for seemingly useless items. This orphan bookend has found a nook in my son's room, where he spends his days leaning up against some paperbacks, longing for the day he will be reunited with his lost twin.