Palm Patch

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I'm no palm lover, but a concrete patch?!

On 6th Avenue near Adams.

Strike 2


First I booted a listing, now possible clients, buyers as well.

Our initial exchange (they were a couple that came referred) went something like this:

Them: "We're not sure we're willing to live in West Adams."

Me: "That's fine, though technically at your target price range, it's unlikely you could afford West Adams proper, but I know you mean the larger South Los Angeles area."

"Nor are we willing to live East of downtown."

"And how do you view the communities along the Arroyo."

"Those are East of downtown."

"Yes, just checking. What about just West of downtown, in places like Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown?"

"Aren't there gangs there?"

"There likely are, in a lot of neighborhoods wherein young people have real or imagined problems, they form gangs."

"We can't live anywhere that has gangs."

"There are gangs across most of Los Angeles. But I understand, you need to feel comfortable, secure."


"I hope as we explore these places, we may find some pockets, some sections, in which you think you could feel secure.

"We're concerned about safety."

"Naturally. Returning briefly to geography...."

"We're thinking about Pasadena, though not North of the 134/210 freeways."

"Okay [long pause]. You also said 'you're not sure you're willing to live in West Adams', under what circumstances might you be willing to consider living in West Adams?"

"It's really just a feel thing".

"Could we start by driving around, trying to identify some qualities that are appealing."

"That'd be great, particularly since we've never been there."

Me: "Never been....where?"

Them: "West Adams."

Me: "[Long pause] On second thought, maybe we shouldn't--you know there are gangs there."

I'm leaving money behind at the table. Leaving money behind at the table. Money behind at the table.....

Christmas ornament and christmas card collage swaps


Concerning my swap post from the 13th of September I resume as following:

Interested in the self made ~christmas card collage swap~ so far are:

Fiona, Maria, Daisy, Nicole, Inibi and me.

Which makes us 6 at the moment. Two more participants would also be okay. So come on friends, you know you want to craft and swap festive and glittery postcard sized christmas collage cards with us, don't you?

Interested in the *Christmas ornament swap* so far are:

Brit, Ulla, Sandy, Daisy, Margarita, Maria, Monique and me. That makes 8 and is great!

Correct me if I'm wrong please!

I think we are enough, so each of you is sending one nice old fashioned ornament (same for the collaged postcards) to each of the participants and get's one of each participant back. So that at the end we'll all have a lovely little collection to decorate our christmassy homes.

All items should be ready to send out arround November 15th to arrive at the 1st of December ! So we still have plenty of time to collect and create. The christmas ornaments can also be purchased ones, but they have to have a nostalgic or vintage look!

I'm going to e-mail you all next week with the details, presuming I have all your e-mail addies! Oh I'm excited and I'm sure we'll have fun!

Till then, take care xox

Billboards Part 2

Sunday, September 24, 2006


La Brea Boulevard. Ever notice? West of LaBrea they get the nifty billboards: chrome and leather furniture, Swiss watches modeled by Russian Grand-slammers, Scorsese flixs.

My neighborhood gets Sangria and P.S.A.'s.; and, even then we don't get the Child Obesity posting with the pretty and sympathetic Vanessa Williams-looking nurse. Instead, we get the Latin Nurse Ratched, disapproving and pitiless.

An alcohol advisory appears along Figueroa. I'm sure Palos Verdes has problems with social drinking and learnedness, though you'd never see a billboard such as this in a place such as that.

Inner city billboards have long been dominated by alcohol. Malt liquor, the original super-size-me (40 oz.), and brands like Hennessey's cognac, mount seductive depictions of ghetto high life: cars, black velvet, mod johns, and, well, Vanessa Williams-like babes.

I wish we could eliminate billboards altogether.

For Nature Girl!


Chocolate swap news!

Just a note to let my chocolate swap partner and blogging friend ~ Nature Girl ~ know that I have her * chocolate swap parcel * ready to send it out on Monday!

I've made this ~ Chocolate Collage ~ for you dear * NG * to go in the parcel as well and will send it to you through air mail tomorrow! Promised! Have a happy Sunday! xox

Escrow & Ethics

Saturday, September 23, 2006


It seems whenever I deal with big brokerage agents, an Affiliated Business Disclosure is incorporated. What's that? A form which usually indicates the brokerage owns a piece of the escrow and/or title company.

I've never known there to be outright kickbacks, favoritism, or hanky-panky, still I don't like it. It has the appearance of impropriety. Escrow is supposed to be a neutral, third-party. Not an affiliated interest with a spoon-fed referral pipeline.

I mean what if the appraisers worked for the agents, then there'd never be a failed appraisal ever! What if the home inspectors were employed by the listing agents, likely the reports would be softened. I don't mean to suggest an inherent conflict, it's just--they're holding the money!

Fortunately, I have no office mandate. I use an escrow with experienced people, and close to my residence, so I can deliver documents, do things face-to-face, or drop-in on short notice.

I should probably think more about things like vertical integration, maybe I'd be a better American


Friday, September 22, 2006


Los Angeles once boasted the largest interurban railway system in the country. That system, the Pacific Electric Railway, largely extinct since 1961, has been revived in one small part.

The Port of Los Angeles has resurrected a portion of the original San Pedro Red Car line, 1.5 miles along its waterfront. Three cars are in operation, one restored car and two exact replicas of the 500-class design series that ran from 1903-1930.

The ride (one-day unlimited) costs a buck, transfers to shuttles, and is free for kids (moreover they receive a paper conductors cap and Red Car history coloring book.) The days of operation are Friday through Monday (10 am to 6 pm), with service every 20 minutes.

I took my son last Monday, after we first watched the documentary, This is Pacific Electric. There were so few riders that the conductor was willing to explain the controls, gauges, and whistle. A few rail buffs (there's always a few), chatted about, comparing rail museums. The best, they claimed, are in Sacramento and Perris. Perris? Hmmm, expect a report soon.

Billboards part 1


Last week the LA Times reported a settlement between the City of Los Angeles and two billboard companies, Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor, whereby 98 billboards would be removed, in addition to any erected after 1999 sans permit.

The settlement stems from a pair of laws passed by the L.A. City Council in 2002, which mandates yearly inspection fees (and a moritorium on new billboards).

The Times story cites a group called Scenic America (, whose mantra is the wonderful: Change is inevitable. Ugliness is not.

Scenic America reports extensively on the Billboard industry, as well as other aspects of scenic conservation, including tree conservation, telecommunications towers, transportation planning and design, and utility relocation ("undergrounding").

With most of their reporting and assessments, I couldn't agree more.

Mo's e-book about antique botanical prints

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I've got a lovely e-mail from Maureen Gilmer, a fellow garden and crafts lover, also known as:

She's asked me to share the news about her "new e-book", containing "antique botanical prints" available free from her website now, with my dear blogger friends and readers.

Online Botanical Illustrations: A Treasure Trove of Free Sources for Digital Crafts

Here are two examples of the free downloadable and usable prints:

Cool stuff for mixed media artists, don't you think?

Thank you Mo!

Still beautiful summer weather


We still have beautiful warm summer weather over here which will last at least for the next 6 days, maybe even longer, if you can believe the weather forecast, so I thought I post some more garden photos today.

Here is some autumn like decoration on my blue iron table:

And this is a new rose that I've bought a few weeks ago called "Elle" Rose of the Provence and it has the scent of peaches and lemon, so yummy!

My pink pelargonium is blooming again beautifully:

this is my Anemone Japonica Hybride "Honorine Jaubert" in full bloom now:

The look through the window:

and here is another picture which I took of the lovely angel *sigh*:

Chocolate swap and paper theatre

Monday, September 18, 2006


Tara! Oh my, bloggers what a treat! My chocolate swap parcel from my dear blogging friend "Nature Girl" from Canada has arrived yesterday evening! My neighbour has brought it over to me, when I came home from work and it was like Christmas in September! It was so exciting to unpack all these treasures in aqua and chocolate brown! My daughter came downstairs to ask me why I would make noises like "Ohhhh" and "Awwwwwww" and "OMG I love it" and "she is such a sweetheart" all the time, well then she had a look and she knew why, just have a look yourself now:

Doesn't it look just wonderful? Look at all these gorgeous things like yummy and pretty looking Belgian flower chocolate, brown flower stationery with golden envelopes, tasty chocolate and cinamon tea, beautiful notebooks, tiny flower buttons, embellishments for scrapbooking or collages, enchanting butterfly servicings, a ribbon for the gardener saying "How does the garden grow"?, a chocolate savor lip gloss and more:

NG I totally love every bit of the parcel and especially the gorgeous photo box it came in and the beautiful and thick brown paper it was packed in and the tiny butterfly banner that is very hard to capture in a photo but so delightful! You've spoiled me so much I'm deeply touched! Thanks a million my dear! I'm going to send you a personal email later today, am in a hurry now. Hugs xox

The chocolate swap was kindly organised by the lovley Robyn of "Driving Miss Robyn" . Thanks a bunch for organising this delightful swap dearest Robyn! What a pleasure! xox

I hope blogger works fine this time and you'll be able to click on the photos to enlarge them. Sometimes it doesn't work and I don't have a clue why.

and here is my first paper theatre finally finished. It was really fun making it, thanks for the great inspiration Ulla! I'm sure I'll make some more! I've put in 2 photos because the first is taken with flash and the second without. Can you see it's snowing?

In love with an angel


I hope you've all had a nice weekend! I certainly had and I fell in love with this rusty angel :

Isn't he cute? We went to a nice country store where I saw him. Unfortunately he was much too expensive for me *sobs* . I'll show you more pictures from that country store and garden in my next post, because right now Blogger has decided that uploading 5 photos should be enough for today grrrrrrrrrrrr

Here are also some more photos of mum's collections for you.
This as you can see is her antique coffee mill collection:

and here are some more of her dolls, one of them fell asleep during the photo shooting lol:

She also has a collection of doll straw hats:

and I've zoomed in the next picture for those of you who wanted to see a close up of the hare. The wheelbarrow is made out of wood and the hare out of papier-mâché. I was so lucky to discover it a few years ago in a stationery store and because my mum's b-day is always around Easter I bought it for her as a birthday present:

The flame of autumn

Saturday, September 16, 2006


My dear blogging friend Maria from Finland has asked us to post the flame of autumn today. You can see it by night and by day in my garden and my house.

So this was last night:

and these are from today - because the beautiful sunlight is the true flame of autumn:


Friday, September 15, 2006


It was during my class 11. One day a poster was put up on the school notice board with the letters L E M O D in large and bold. And quite a few people were gathered around it. Now, my first reaction was somebody had misspelt lemon. But immediate second thoughts said what silly thinking. So after craning my neck over the small bunch of not so small people gathered there, managed to read the writing underneath.

LEMOD stood for Living Every Moment Of Day. It was a kind of camp for exactly 24 hours from 6 in the morning to next day 6 in the morning. There were lots of activities scheduled in the 24 hours. activities both in groups and individuals. It was billed to be 24 hours of fun and enjoyment. It was a wonderful experience for the people attending the camp.

Unfortunately, I could not attend this camp. Then, why am I writing about this?
LEMOD was an exercise to make you appreciate time. People are always cmplaining that they do not have enough time. They are unable to do something as they are not able to find time to do it. If this is the case, then how do some others get the time. This given that there is equal amount of time available for everyone.

This is one of the first things I learnt after joining an IIM. There is enough time and how you manage it in an effective and efficient way is upto you. To the outside world, there is a feeling that life in a B-School specially in an IIM is very, very hectic. Students (or rather participants as we are called) hardly get time for any extra activity. Its studies, studies and studies all the time.

Not all of this is completely true. Life here is a bit hectic.The study load is also there. But inspite of all this its quite enjoyable. And I feel here that the concept of LEMOD comes into play. There are 24 hours in a day. 24 hours means 1440 minutes which comes out to be 86400 seconds. This actually is a lot of time. Enough time to get all the academic work done, connect with people, engage in various extra-curricular activities and get some sleep too. So here I am actually putting an almost forgotten learning into practice. The concept of Living Every Moment Of Day. Or simply speaking the concept of LEMOD.

Hobart Autos


In Dave Zanhiser's now-disparaged LA Weekly article (one of my readers complained, "He sounds like a bitter renter"), Dave scribed about the faces of gentrification, including ornamental grasses and gelaterias.

Sure Xeroscaping can be a tip-off, signs of a more educated, eco-conscious owner.
While Gelaterias can be a sign of....I dunno, Italians?

Walking Rocky the dog up Hobart Avenue, between Washington and Venice, handing out my folksy neighbor letter and boastful Oxford flyer, it struck me, the cars:

Honda Elements--two, Volvo's--including the wagon, Honda sub-compacts, a Mini, and a Prius! "Wow," I sounded, clarion-voiced and startling Rocky, "there's probably theme parties, communal vegetable gardens, and reading salons on this block". I continued along, mostly pulled by the dog, lacking initiative, tippling the sophisticated fusion of preservation and anti-status status.

"Must find Chevy Caprice, must find Chevy Caprice....", I droned, not knowing what I'd do if I found a Chevy Caprice. I narrowily avoided a wine and fig glace tasting. "Can't stay," I stammered, "there's a Peckingpaugh film at the Cinemateque". Such reference to violent spectacle, I thought, would lessen their interest in me.

Rocky guided me home.

As promised

Thursday, September 14, 2006


here are some more pictures of my mum's home and treasures. First the two photos blogger won't let me post the last time:

Then a few pictures of another room:

and I also have some more pictures of another corner of the first room with the pram and the cupboard:

I have more for another post, if you like.


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