Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday afternoon musings

We hear about the death of reading, and how the internet will kill off paper publication someday. But I am not buying it. There is simply no replacement for the joy I get at opening the mailbox, and finding an old house magazine, instead of the expected bills (or perhaps to soften the blow of the bills that got shoved INTO the magazine by the carrier). Such was my reaction today. While I am supposed to be working, this newly minted issue of Victorian Homes arrived, tempting me in its glossy glory to brew a pot of Berry Berry Tea (imported regularly to the Ward abode from Victoria BC’s Empress Tea Shop) curl up with my kitten, and start the weekend early. Alas, such a luxury is not to be had today, but I will stop to share the editor’s thoughts from inside the world of gingerbread I would prefer to cyberspace.

Here for your reading pleasure, are Victorian Homes editor Merrie Destafano’s Top 10 reasons for loving an old house.

1. Windows that stretch-catlike-floor to ceiling, that capture sunlight and pull it through the prism of rippled century-old glass.

2. Glowing hardwood floors that require you to walk barefoot, that tell ghost stories when they creak in the middle of the night.

3. Sky-high and majestic ceilings, decorated with a wallpaper mosaic, that transforms a home into a cathedral.

4. Woodwork that dresses a room like a woman attending a ball, with the diamond-bright jewelry of crown molding, deep windowsills, and bull’s eye trim.

5. Finely crafted fireplaces brought to life when winter winds blow, that crackle with blazing embers and remind us of our primal need to tame the wild beast called Fire.

6. A foyer that hints of marvelous things to come, like the prelude to a Bach fugue; that causes excitement to pulse through your veins as you anticipate what will come next.

7. A parlor that resurrects the lost art of entertaining, that hearkens us back to an age when we drew pleasure from the confidence of a true friend come to call.

8. A stairway with curved banister and landing that leads upwards to down-filled comforters and four-poster beds, to a mythic land of rest for the weary traveler.

9. A wraparound porch, the bridge between home and the outside world, where the family can visit with friends and neighbors without taking a journey.

10. An entire street lined with historic homes-a well-tended, renovated historic district-that creates portal to the past, that triggers memories and reminds us of a Paradise almost lost in the quest for everything shiny and new.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Jordan......

Reading like a Who's Who of Orange County politics, this invite looks more like a fundraiser for Governor, not a local school board. But that is exactly the kind of across the board support Jordan Brandman has earned in trying to turn around a troubled high school system. Having a kid at Loara, and being on the PTSA Board there, I have seen firsthand the changes Jordan has already pulled off, and he can have the last scrapings of my bank account any day.
The party is at the always fabulous home of Mitch and Sherry Caldwell, the historic Fiscus House, designed by noted architect Frederick Eley, on Wednesday, March 11, from 6 pm to 7:29. (I think that means Sherry throws us out at 7:30). RSVP to or 714-540-2295. Or print the invite here and mail it in.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Carpetbaggers Take Over Anaheim Politics

For some time now Matt Cunningham has been posting to his Red County blog about rumors of Harry Sidhu running for the 4th District seat when Norby leaves in 2010. Many of us have long believed that race is Tom Daly's to lose, so Harry "I will run for anything" Sidhu would be clearly out of his mind to try for it.
Matt now reports that he cornered Harry at the Muzeo event last week and Harry admitted that yes, he is running. Um.....why did we just re-elect this man to a City Council seat he clearly does not care about?
Worse, there are also rumors of Lorri Galloway considering the seat. While I would love to see Lorri take her Eva Peron act elsewhere, the District seat that currently controls serious grant money for her own shelter is not where I want her, thanks anyway. Lorri's reported interest in the Supe's seat explains why she has been working so hard (aided by newly minted compadre Lucille Kring) to expand her feifdom. Veddy interestink...
I have not seen a formal announcement from either party, and we need to keep in mind that neither Galloway nor Sidhu actually live in the District they wish to represent. Both would have to relocate to the flatlands....and how likely is it that they will leave the hills for a home where they have to actually live with the consequences of their failed Council policies? What are the odds that they are willing to move shopping carts out of their driveways to go to work in the morning? Only time will tell. In any event, Tom Daly will mop the floor with either of them, it is a moot point, but I would prefer it if they had to leave their Council seats to run....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Urbanism comes to Anaheim

On March 13, Mayor Curt Pringle and the BIA are hosting a conference on Land Use and Planning, titled, "Restoring Community"

I have been a New Urbanism junkie for years, so I will be in attendance, already having promised Richard I will not have Andres Duany sign a body part, but it will take all of my control to do so. If ever Anaheim needed CNU, it is NOW! Land use, planning, zoning, it all goes hand in hand to create cohesive neighborhoods, districts, and communities, something our City Council, and often City staff, just do not get. While "freedom friendly" has its place, this planning-parcel-by-parcel-depending-on-who-gave-the-last-campaign-donation is going to destroy Anaheim. Thank you Mayor Pringle for bringing this to Anaheim, now can we tie up the rest of the City Council and force them to listen to Randy Jackson? Will Galloway even attend? It will be a different experience for her to enter the Resort without a bullhorn and an army of union rabble to rile up, but here's hoping she attends, and maybe even learns a thing or two about what makes a comunity great. Hint: It's not subsidies.

For more info on this subject, check out or check some of the following books at Amazon: