It’s Been Ruff: Year of the Dog 2018

From Pasadena Magazine December 2018 According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is the Year of The Dog and I’m no thought leader in this area, so I can’t tell you exactly what that means and how it impacts your good fortune, but predictions for 2018 called for a period of great kindness and acceptance. (How’s that going, America?) It’s believed in Asian Astrology that you take on the character traits of the animal governing your birth year. Some of you –those born in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946 and 1934— are lucky Dogs: loyal, loving, positive and eager for … Read more…

Fab New Old Stuff: Our Tour of Imperial & Renaissance Rome plus Pompeii

My son Colin and I are back from our European Odyssey  —  a 10-day trip to Rome and Paris. Colin was brimming with confidence and knowledge after a term studying abroad in Greece and Florence. And I was happy to be back in these beautiful cities after 25 years. Traveling with a college kid is different (Early morning start times are not too popular; Pizza in Rome counts as a gourmet meal.) but we found a rhythm and shared interests for a fantastic five days in Rome. We focused our sightseeing on Imperial and Renaissance Rome with a day trip to Pompeii. … Read more…

The Rome List: What I’m Packing, Watching, Reading & Planning for my Trip

I’m off to Rome! (And Paris, but let’s tackle Rome first…) I haven’t been to Rome in almost 30 years, when I was post-college and pre-real job. I had a few things going for me at the time– a pretty good handle on conversational Italian, a previous visit a few years earlier, a degree in Classics and a Blue Guide and fantastic cardio conditioning after a year of skiing and waitresses. But pretty much no money, no game plan and a suitcase full of all the wrong clothes.  This time, I’ll be traveling with my 20 year old son Colin … Read more…

Famous in Four Zip Codes

  From the Pasadena Magazine 2017 Issue: Power Players  When I moved to Pasadena 24 years ago, a new bride, I knew no one but my husband. I wasn’t a Power Player. I wasn’t even Power Play Adjacent. I toiled away in our back bedroom as a freelance writer with zero co-workers. I referred to the women in my aerobics class as “my friends” even though I knew none of their last names. I got a dog so it wouldn’t be so obvious I was talking to myself most of the day. To learn about the true Hoi Polloi of … Read more…

My Wish List for 2017

Resolutions aren’t my thing, but a girl can wish, can’t she? In honor of the new year and a renewed spirit of faith and hope in personal and community endeavors, I offer up this Wish List for 2017: I wish kale tasted better and ice cream tasted worst. I wish I was taller and my to do list was shorter.    I wish it would rain for the entire month of February. I wish it would snow in Pasadena just once. I wish Goo Be Gone worked on bunions. I wish the Secretary of Customer Service was a cabinet position. I wish … Read more…

Post-Election To Do List: Act Locally, Nationally, Globally, Personally

I was not happy with the outcome of the election. Demoralized would be the best word to describe my state of mind last week. Truly demoralized. I ranted. I raged. I binged watched 10 episodes of The Crown straight through because you can really get a lot of TV in when you barely sleep for 48 hours and give up TV news because the visuals may put you over the edge. And please don’t tell me to get over it. Remember when the Equal Rights Amendment didn’t get ratified in 1982? Me, too. I was 17 and I’m still not … Read more…

The Good, Scary, Safe Halloween

  I live in a Destination Trick-or-Treat Zone, the kind of neighborhood where ghouls, tiny Elsas and teens with bloody masks and plastic bags come by the hundreds. They come by church bus, by caravans of cars or by foot, like the good old days. My neighborhood In Pasadena, California has sidewalks, streetlights, and a tree canopy that gives off perfect shadows. The houses are just far enough away from each other that the candy don’t come easy. It’s Halloween the way it should be– spooky and safe.   For the most part, our neighborhood steps up to the challenges, with … Read more…

Lessons Learned in the Empty Nest

We dropped our youngest son off at college this week and our nest is officially empty. I’m proud to say that I wasn’t a blubbering mess at good-bye time. Misty-eyed, yes, but able to croak out the words I’d been advised to say by the wise women of the Satellite Sisterhood: You got this. I love you. Have fun.  Then my husband and I got in our rental car and we started what– A Second Honeymoon? The Next Phase? The Third Third? Okay, definitely not The Third Third because that’s kind of a downer, like a slow grind to the afterlife. And writer Ann … Read more…