The quiet before the fireworks

We’re girding for the Fourth of July. On Independence Day, the town gets hemmed in by so many tourists that it’s hard to see the forest for the people.Fireworkds

This weekend gives us our last chance to be small for a while. I took the camera out today to give you a glimpse at my everyday California. The scene of many movies and TV shows, it never plays itself, so you may have seen it without realizing it. Its credits include “The Parent Trap” with Lindsay Lohan, in which a camp played a camp, and “Next” with Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore, in which a restaurant played a motel.

Today, sad to say, two teens selling lemonade for 50 cents were disassembling their stand as I passed, taking apart their photo opp. Something has become of the thermometer that for several months has tallied donations to the Fourth of July fireworks fund – the more money donated, the longer the fireworks show over the lake. Last year, the fireworks committee collected enough More

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How many Andrés Cantores does the World Cup need?

Oh, Dios mío, I thought, I had better call 911. A neighbor across the main road was hollering in distress. I couldn’t quite make out what he was hollering, until he

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

yelled a prolonged “GOOOOOOOOOOL! GOOOOOOOOOOL! GOOOOOOOOOOL!”

Oh, my God, I thought, I’m glad I didn’t call 911. Obviously, the only emergency was that the United States was ahead in its World Cup match, and I happened to be living only the length of five fútbol fields away from an  Andrés Cantor impersonator.

Even if you don’t know the name Andrés Cantor, you know the sound. He’s the Argentina-born, California-raised soccer announcer on Telemundo (formerly on Univision) who goes basically batshit crazy over goals. English-language TV stations run video of his famous “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” for comic relief; in fact, he appeared on “The Simpsons.” He’s not really an old yeller; he’s a much-beloved fixture of televised soccer games – much so that GEICO and Volkswagen used him and his “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” More

Where there’s smoke …

Slurry bomber for blog

Firefighting plane drops retardant on Panorama fire/Waterman Canyon, Calif.; 2012. (c. Holly Ocasio Rizzo)

At 4 a.m., someone fired up a barbecue. Or at least it smelled like one – minus the aroma of grilled chicken or hot dogs.

The wind had shifted during the night, carrying smoke from a wildfire more than 10 miles away as the buzzard flies.

Lights snapped on in the neighborhood. Nobody sleeps when there’s smoke. They worry.

We still see the scars of the massive 2003 arson-caused wildfire that scorched a path to our road and took out seven houses a couple of roads away – more than 1,000 houses in all. People still talk about the two-week evacuation, More

You know you’re a grown-up when …

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© Марина Панюкова

I ran across some pearls of wisdom while cleaning out the “Documents” file on my computer. Heaven knows how old they are, what precipitated them or when I started collecting them, but they are mine.

Today I offer them to you for whatever value you may take from them.

  • Child-rearing techniques, such as correcting others’ behavior, rarely succeed with adults. (Here’s an example: When I passed through Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on the way to my dad’s funeral, a little girl plowed right into my legs as I entered a ladies’ room. “I’m sorry,” the girl said. In my brain-fog, I just looked at her, silent. The mother snapped, “She said she’s sorry!” I replied, “My dad just died, and I’m sorry, too.” Obviously, I didn’t give the correct reply; she gave me a dirty look and stalked off.)
  • Whining makes adults seem childish. The better grown-up alternative is finding solutions to problems and applying them.
  • People are far more likely to overlook or to be unaware of your needs than to mistreat you intentionally.
  • Quit applying your personal expectations to others. Instead, actively create the opportunity for them to give you what you need. If they don’t bite, at least you tried.
  • There are times to complain publicly and times to complain privately.
  • Others’ behavior usually is not about you.
  • Work on outgrowing the need to seek validation for every little thing you consider to be a success; we sought our parents’ validation as children, but as adults we know, expect and accept our own capabilities.
  • Assumptions are the worst thing you can do to yourself.
  • Before passing judgment, consider that you truly have no idea where the other person is on life’s path.

Let’s trade: What pearls of wisdom guide you in your life? (To comment, please click on “Leave a comment” under the date next to the headline.)

 

 

 

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