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Today I had a lot of reminders that there are people out there who love and care for me a great deal. My wife, parents, and children. My brothers, cousins, and family. Friends old and new. I am thankful for all of them. I am thankful for the things I have, inside and out. I am thankful for the places God has brought me to in the past year.

I met a man on the street named Emery Lambus who asked me for a couple of bucks to buy lunch. I think he mentioned something about sausages, oddly enough. We were outside the Cheesecake Factory. Emery is a homeless artist. He was in a wheelchair, surrounded by about four or five of his paintings. I bought this one from him. It’s a self portrait. I liked it because it looked so much like him. It’s hard to really capture the essence of someone’s face in a painting. But he did it. I can’t tell exactly what it’s painted on, but it looks like some sort of metal bucket lid whose sides have been flattened outwards to look like the petals of a large flower. He even signed it for me.

Like a lot of homeless people it seems he’s a pretty troubled guy. But he struggles every day to keep things together, doing what he can to support himself and get by. I don’t know about all of that. All I know is that he seemed like a decent guy who was happy to talk and show off his stuff. He was very proud that he’d recently been given the honor of addressing the graduates of the SoCal Art Institute. They presented him with a special award. He took himself seriously, and I appreciated that.

When this gig is finally over, I’ll have Emery’s friendly, smiling face as a keepsake from Pasadena.

Happy birthday to me.

🎂

→ Cajun Treats

This video is something of a personal achievement, having been now just under two years in the making, and passing, as it does, yet another milestone in the revitalization of this little blog. Yeah, I know, that’s sort of a grandiose way to introduce a video where I discuss the merits of quail eggs and potato chips with friends and family, but there we are. It means something to me — hard to quantify — to be active on the site again. Time slips away from us so fast.

Maybe it’s just that time of year, but I find myself in a contemplative mood tonight.

Part of the reason I took up this little adventure in the first place was that I saw the value in capturing these moments. I know they’ll be important for later.

You tune in for the straight dope on Texas versus Louisiana quail eggs. (Who has the better take?)

You tune in for the verdict on Zapp’s Voodoo Heat potato chips. (Are they kicked up to notches unknown? Or all too known?)

You tune in for the word on Swamp Pop’s strawberry soda, Pop Rouge. (I think I used to live down the street from that guy.)

I tune in for a glimpse of my son at 16 years old. An old friend too long away. A summer day gone by. That’s the essence of real nostalgia, right? It’s always personal.

Enjoy.

It’s adorable the way these Californians go on about their avocado toast. I have heard “avocado toast” dropped about five times in the last couple of days. Reminds me of the way Texans love… tacos?

I think I’m gonna have to eat some avocado toast before I get out of here. I’ll let you guys know.

🥑

Pasadena in Bloom

The streets of Old Town Pasadena are lined this April in pink and purple blooms. A little natural spring beauty. Something of a birthday treat from God.

Roof Access

I get irrationally excited when I see ROOF ACCESS. But it’s never actually accessible.