Don’t Cry for Me, OC

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

In my many years of travel, one characteristic has always dominated, setting a tone which translates into a lasting good or bad impression. This singular characteristic is people. For it is the very people I meet who come to define the places where I have traveled. My recent visit to New Orleans – where the locals like to share their heritage in music and food and southern hospitality with everybody they meet – created a positive imprint. One I don’t want put to bed just yet. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it is another rude day in paradise co-existing with the stressed-out OC mindset. I refresh my home page to reconnect my spirit with New Orleans. Starting with my exchanges with the good people of substance I met at Collision’s Tech conference there. Roll playback.  Let’s get metaphysical, toute suite, shall we?

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Collision – At the Intersection of All Things Delicious in Technology

photographed and written by Robyn Wyman-dill

It’s May. Hard to believe my writing career began 5.5 years ago this month but it did when I got a job that came with the title of ‘Food Correspondent.’ Now if landing a dream job right out of the gates isn’t surreal enough stuff already, I had no experience writing restaurant reviews. Or, read a food review before. (Not even the internet crowd-sourced sites – like Zagat, Yelp, Chowhound and Urban Spoon.) I had seen those really bad photos people post of the meals they love – which curbed my appetite for dining out tremendously. But I was given a task and stepped up to the occasion. Because when someone believes in me, I do not let them down. This learning curve I decided to climb would change my world view of food forever. Shifting it to a view from the perspective of flavors. Flavors that excite and entice our imaginations to travel to exotic places from our kitchen table. Flavors that refine history and define culture and eras. Flavors that taste and smell and look good. Like Aunt Jemima syrup on an Aunt Jemima ready-made pancake stack. Or, smoked ribs served out of a barbecue truck parked on a French colonial-style street near my hotel in New Orleans. A city where I spent a fruitful week – feasting on a new generation of ideas at Collision Conference Orleans 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Space Music

written by Robyn Wyman-dill

It’s April when the earth gives birth to Spring, the birds sing and everywhere smells like roses. Last week was a sweet week for my hometown, LA, when Kobe Bryant gave us everything he’s got, making history in his final game at the Staples Center. With the ease and grace of a champion. There were approximately 19,000 fans in the Staples Center house and over 8 million others watching remotely as the basketball legend proved how worthy he is of our love. (The Lakers trailed behind the Utah Jazz, a team that delivered some of the best team basketball that evening.) Scoring 60 points to finish with a 101-96 Lakers victory. Sealing his 20 year career with a most spectacular finale. While 55 years earlier, humans got their first taste of space when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first person to leave the atmosphere and return. Blazing a trail for generations eager to know the galaxy. Opening the door for more space westerns.

To boldly go where no one has gone before

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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.

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A Week in the Key of Life

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

What a week it has been in sports!  With Novak Djokovic taking the title in a command performance at Wimbledon, while the Tour de France winds its way down 122 miles (197 km) of country lanes through Sheffield and York.  On average at a speed of 25 miles an hour.  And then, there is soccer.

Since we became global, the US has been building strength in this world sport.  Winning the hearts of multinational spectators in the process. The team would really embody the champion spirit in their game against Belgium and not let up – even after their defeat was sealed in the final moments. Between sporting events, I finish reading, Carrie White’s book, Upper Cut, with its silver cover and ‘silver lining’ ending. (See blog  Read the rest of this entry »

I Turn to Page One and Read…

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill


June slides into view, bringing a suitcase of troubles – like crazy tornadoes, 800 baby skeletons found in a septic tank and a rise in student shootings. I hit a nail with my head, requiring six stitches.  While the moon in June beams brightly. Just like it’s done so many times before.

Like a domino effect, the pain spreads.  From the top of my head on down. Headaches, tooth aches and a sore shoulder muscle don’t make good bedfellows. So my muses beeline it. Bound for Antonio Banderas.  Right in the middle of our great creative stretch. Days are getting longer.

I sleep a lot. Waking, more rested.

But, I am entirely void of curious thought. Suspended in a state of lackluster.  I crack open the cover of Carrie White’s autobiography, Upper Cut.                                                                                                                                    


It’s been sitting on my shelf for almost a year.   Read the rest of this entry »