Very Pasadena: Where the Not-So-Elite Meet

My Very Pasadena Column From Pasadena Magazine’s Power Issue Where the Not-So-Elite Meet It’s easy to assume that all the power in Pasadena gathers behind the closed doors of select private clubs, socializing with Scotch and doubling down on the value of perpetuity. You know, the ones with the green awnings, chintz couches in the ladies’ room and tasteful California Plein Air paintings on the wall, where the membership eschews informal footwear and the use of cash. Pasadena is dotted with clubs as old as the city itself, basking in tradition and the promise of a beautiful reception venue for your … Read more…

Please Don’t Show Me your Open Wound and Other Medical Etiquette Thoughts

My Very Pasadena column From Pasadena Magazine Top Docs 2017: In honor of the Top Doc issue, I thought I’d weigh in on few pressing medical etiquette issues.  I’m not a doctor, but I did grow up with a mother who lived by the motto, “No elbows on the table,” indicative of a genetic predisposition to manners.  Plus, I once wrote an advice column for O, the Oprah Magazine, so that should qualify me for an advanced degree in something, like “Extreme Emotional Awareness” or “Feeling all the Feelings.”  Here goes: Should you post photos of your rash on Facebook? … 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…