Food

A Queen, A Prince and His Beautiful Pharaoh

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

With the calendar now inching deeper into fall season, I would like to bid adieu to my favorite month of the year in the western hemisphere – September.  Which I remember ended on a good note.  Thank you. Read the rest of this entry »

Taco Talk

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Some weeks seem to shine the light on our world mess better than others. Not because the special interests, religions and ideologies in the world are any more hell bent on multiplying their ranks – by dividing and conquering – than usual.  It’s more a feeling I get that intelligent signs of life have exited the building. Leaving behind no forwarding address. Which makes me hunger for the biggest common denominator and ultimate peacemaker – comfort food. According to psychological studies -this may be consumed for the purpose of positively piquing emotions. Replacing negative vibes with positive feelings. Read the rest of this entry »

Hot to Trot Week

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Another hotter than ever week trickles in, bringing humidity to southern California.  Much to everyone’s discomfort and surprise. Yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, heat waves coupled with high humidity have been on the rise(in terms of frequency and intensity) for more than 20 years here. It’s just taken this long for everyone to notice.

Let’s talk about the weather. Heat waves come in varieties. Southern California has two.  A daytime heat that tends to be dry and a nighttime heat that holds onto the high humidity throughout the day.  It’s the nighttime heat that gets you every time.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to affect the festive spirits here.  Because, during all this oppressive heat, there are happy feet dancing ‘moderne’ at the Laguna Dance Festival, models strutting their stuff on the catwalk at Style Week OC and the finest horses jumping fences to win the ASPCA Regionals at Blenheim Equisports Park. I coined it, ‘a hot to trot week’ for obvious reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

September

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

September is my favorite month of the year in the western hemisphere. This season, the changing tides seem to be headed for the better with California on the verge of becoming the first state in the nation to enact the one-use plastic bag ban!  The California Senate has voted 22-15 in favor of just such a bill which is expected to be approved by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown this September. Coming to supermarkets soon, the measure – – will ban grocery stores from handing out single-use grocery bags with purchases and provide money to local plastic bag companies to help them retool their wares to make heavier, multiple-use bags that customers can buy.

Now considering more than 10 billion plastic bags are used in California each year(According to an estimate by Californians Against Waste, an advocacy group supporting the bill.), this is exciting news. For more in-depth chatter about plastic see http://rjwdcreative.com/blog/2014/08/15/the-plastic-wrap/.  Meanwhile some 3,000 miles – that’s about 1350 kilometers – away, two albino lobsters made a rare appearance off the coast of Maine.

Little did I know lobsters come in colors. Like calico, blue, yellow, red, albino and split-colored. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

One and Sixty-Eight Years of Data

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

While I am working on a blue cheese grilled sandwich(Watch Chef  so you can observe the masters construct a grilled cheese perfectly. I highly recommend the movie.) I take computer breaks to delete a staggering number of emails in my inbox.  And, I’m at fault – due to the fact – that I can’t seem to unsubscribe from sites successfully.  No matter how many times I try.

I keep dumping a lot of cyber waste in my computer trash. Trash that if it builds up can affect me and my computer.  Just like the trash that builds up in real life can affect me and computer and my environment. Then I’d be data-dead in the waters.  Without a paddle or an iPad to bail me out.  So I ask myself, where is the Source…the Deep Well…. for all this data?

I start at the information highway.  The Associated Press.  To take a look at what’s behind the fancy AP label.  Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Enchiladas

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-dill

Ay, Caramba! A Mexican restaurant just opened in Laguna Beach. Upping the count to twenty.  in a resort community of less than 25,000 residents.  The only highway into success here is to bring something better than anyone else – to the table. And Tortilla Republic does just that, starting with their enchiladas. Read the rest of this entry »