From the category archives:


Remembering Lila

by admin on May 7, 2010

A rare photo of Lila and all 3 of her kids

I was standing in the garden department at OSH marveling at all the flowery, strangely fulgent hanging baskets that had suddenly appeared just in time for Mother’s Day when my cell phone rang.  It was Rita Katsotis, an old work friend of my mother’s calling to say she’d just heard that Lila had passed away.  They’d lost touch after Lila went kicking and screaming into retirement and so Rita didn’t know Lila died in 2007.

     “Your mother was a real character,” Rita said. And I had to agree. [click to continue…]

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Hiking Through Fire and Flood

by admin on February 14, 2010

The view from our corner. Click to enlarge

Last September, the Station Fire took its sweet time devouring just about every ounce of fuel in the Angeles National Forest.

The lazy, inexorable creep of smoke and flame lasted for more than 3 weeks and came within a few blocks of my house in La Crescenta, California. [click to continue…]


Lady of the Lake Family Camp

Lady of the Lake Family Camp Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Ever since Sophie was 5 (she’s 16 now), we’ve been traveling to Lake Coeur d’Alene in the panhandle of Idaho for a magical week of folk-y fun at Lady of the Lake Family Camp. If you don’t know about Lady of the Lake, please visit their website. In the past, I’ve been a camper, a staff member, a caller, a mom, an all-around merrymaker and starting a few years ago at the urging of Penn Fix I began telling a story or 2 during the evening family gatherings. Now, for this year’s camp, I’ve been hired to be the full-time Lady of the Lake storyteller and I am TOTALLY PSYCHED! [click to continue…]


Brother Al Michaels: Never met a Vegetable he could call a Friend

I’m thinking about my brother today; peerless NBC Sports play-by-play announcer, Al Michaels.

I’m using his hockey tickets tonight since he’s still wrapping up after the last NFL Game of 2009; the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins on NBC Sunday Night Football and I’m thinking that he’s a pretty great sports announcer, a pretty great brother, and a pretty picky eater.
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Happy Birthday, Gene Hubert

by admin on December 27, 2009

Gene HubertAfter writing more than 100 episodes of the TV show “Sightings,” I’ve gotten pretty cynical about mystical, metaphysical and “paranormal” phenomena.  But this morning I had a visitation from the spirit realm.  It started with a phone call at about 8:45 am.  As the phone rang, the computerized voice of my Caller ID intoned …

… Hubert Gene Hubert Gene Hubert Gene

Strange, I thought.   Gene Hubert died almost 4 years ago.

[click to continue…]


Best Underground Date Night in Los Angeles

by admin on December 8, 2009

dec20flyerHoliday Fun, Old-Time Music, Tribal Belly Dance, Performance art and more…

Sunday, December 20, 2009   7pm  at HM157,  3110 North Broadway Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031.

Bring your honey, potential honey, kids, friends and neighbors for a great night of alternative holiday cheer.

I’ll be telling a somewhat inappropriate Christmas story featuring Las Vegas, reindeer, beaded cocktail dresses and mother-daughter vandalism. Food and drinks too!

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Reindeer Pranks (1968 – 2008)

by admin on January 10, 2009

40 Years of Reindeer Pranks

“This is my mother’s recipe for Rhubarb Dream,” Gloria said to me.  She’d just cut a great armload of rhubarb out of her garden for me and we were back in her kitchen on her farm in central Wisconsin.  I copied out the recipe from a well-used and shortening-stained card handwritten by someone – presumably her mother — who had grown up in a time when penmanship mattered.  “I use a little more rhubarb and a lot less sugar,” Gloria said, “but other than that it’s the same recipe I remember from when I was a kid.” [click to continue…]