These days channel surfing leads us to “reality shows” of all varieties, especially the reality of people with big problems. Can these people change? Maybe on TV. But reality seems too overwhelming in real life. And then, there is the story of my mother...
Here’s a personal (and mostly steady) walk down New Year’s Memory Lane---as well as a party game everyone can play Friday night. Ask people to relive some of their most-memorable New Year's Eves. Consider it a kick start, something to do before Kathy Griffin gets bleeped or, worse yet, poor Dick Clark is wheeled out.
I was his Girl Friday. I zipped him into a Sam the Eagle costume for the 1984 Olympic party, scooped ice cream at his side for a staff treat, helped with his Halloween costumes, made dozens of paper antlers for the traditional newsroom Christmas party. I answered to his nickname, “Wheezie.” Still do.
While I try to give the slip to the Cat License Gestapo---buying cat food and litter at a store in another county, avoiding neighbors with allergies who might put the clues together---I have visions of Kitty at the computer furtively searching out countries without cat extradition laws … Cat-mandoo, Purrsia, Cat-alina.
The years pass. I'm working at a children's agency. From across the hall, the director sometimes reminds me, “We don’t say damn, Louise.” I’ve adopted an alternative set of curses, though “shazbot” doesn’t really feel as satisfying.
Every year thousands of people assault the summit of Signal Hill, seeking the best place in all the land to see Independence Day fireworks. If you intend to be among them this year, here are a few tips---from a Signal Hillian to all you flatlanders.
This is for everyone whose father wasn’t Robert Young—you know, the 1950s TV dad on “Father Knows Best,” the dad everyone wished they had. Instead, we got … well, I got an alcoholic mess of a smart, well-read, first-to-wear-Bermuda shorts (with black socks and shoes) in 1959 dad, who died young. I got lucky. He [...]
Up on Signal Hill, the wind is whipping the trees around like Tina Turner’s hair, and making sound effects from a very scary movie—wooooing as it swirls through my front porch, setting the windows to creaking. The flatlanders of Long Beach don’t know this thrill. Fourteen years ago, when I spotted this condo in a [...]
“Man walks into a bar with an octopus…” And so began the long tradition of Tim Grobaty telling me a joke—line-by-line, one trip past my desk at a time. That could take awhile, even though he walked past my desk a lot. It was situated at the entry to the newsroom of the Press-Telegram, where [...]