Archive for August 2014

Tito La Brea and the Velvet Underdogs

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

I have an artist friend named Ray who coined the name Tito La Brea (which means giant tar pits in English)for a series of paintings he did in the 90s. We have been good friends for 15 years.

Last weekend, we discovered a pocket of Provence at a corner restaurant called Bistro de la Gare in South Pasadena. Over our sumptuous eggs florentine, Ray shared that his synonym, Tito La Brea, had a Facebook page.  That intrigued me.  For the next hour we sat – undisturbed – on the patio, while Ray told me the story behind the masked wrestlers he painted on velvet for the iconic El Carmen restaurant – where tequila and tacos have been served for a quarter of a century or more. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Mix

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Along southern California’s coastline, toes are tapping to the beat of night music this week.  There’s summer concerts in the parks almost every night, stirring up the dust with happy feet.

Last eve, The Ritz-Carlton/Laguna Niguel rolled out the red carpet for doggie night on Dana Lawn.  Yappy Hour is a monthly event for a ‘pedigree’ crowd and their devoted companions. (With the Hotel’s 4.5 star service in attendance to pamper the guests with assorted biscuits and treats. Bacon, cheese, chicken, meat and liver flavored waters were also on tap. The proceeds are slated for the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence and Canine Companion’s Southwest Region puppy raising program.) While next door in Bluff Park,  Moonsville Collective was sending a string medley – rooted in American music –  across a silver and blue ocean.  Bound for Catalina.  As the pink sky fades to black, a feeling of carefree blows in the wind.

I decide to make a blue cheese grilled sandwich. Read the rest of this entry »

The Plastic Wrap

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

It’s been brought to my attention we have far too much plastic in our lives. Producing an estimated 32 million tons of plastic waste annually.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, only 9 per cent(or less than 3 million tons) actually gets recycled. Making all that conscientious sorting of my weekly garbage equate to 81 per cent pointless. Or, is it?  I decided now is the time to educate ourselves on plastic matter.

The marriage of man to plastics can be traced as far back as 150 BC.  To Mexico.  Read the rest of this entry »

In Times of Troubled Waters

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

It’s August and the world is stirring up a stewpot of troubles again. No need to guess who’s coming to dinner to cause us loads of displeasure. It’s that unwelcome guest named Ebola.  Ebola, who likes to be on a first name basis with everyone.  Ebola, who likes to make contact through bodily fluids and other social media.

Now if that’s not enough to scare the socks right off of ya, don’t look up.  Because looming over our heads is a universe of confusion with meteors, comets, astroids and goblins, oh my.  There’s a whole lot of  geeks in space capsules up there too. Doing stuff we don’t know about…yet.

Like tracking a six-sided hurricane brewing – since 1980. So big it can swallow four earths. Whole. Make that Holy.  On the brighter side, only one person died after eight people were ‘electrified‘ by a rare bolt of lightning near the pier at Venice Beach on my birthday.   Hmmmm.  Mark Twain came into life on Haley’s Comet and died on the day after it made another rare appearance – 74 years later.  Could a rare bolt of lightning be a special sign of mine?

I am heading down to the waters with my rubber boots – to find out.

Read the rest of this entry »