Halloween

Riding NYC subway must be extra fun today. Everywhere there are people with wigs, ears, tails … full Halloween regalia.
Little kids walk around in cute costumes that make you want to automatically give them apples.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that everybody is dressed…the majority is not but those who are give the city the schizophrenic feeling of Halloween.

Happy Halloween

STEAMPUNK HAUNTED HOUSE

I am scared already. This year theme is Alice going through the looking glass. Does this mean I will come face to face with Red Queen?
I read that the production is top notch with Burton like artistic approach. Steampunk also means “a subgenre of speculative science fiction set in an anachronistic 19th century society“.

Gee, I am learning so much…On a sober note, it seems that people seek a world of fantasy as if to escape our grime economic times. And why not?

PS I did come face to face with Red Queen. She demanded from me to address her as Her Majesty. And then ordered me to open my mouth wide when I speak…I guess her way of saying not to mumble.
So now I can say that I did get a voice lesson from Red Queen. This was symbolically monumental…he, he. Overall, walking through dark and narrow labyrinths encountering characters from Through a Looking Glass who shoved you and told you to follow and do strange tasks and being haunted by little look-alike girls in white Victorian “off to bed” gowns, who giggled maniacally and danced like little fairies, gave me impression of being in mental asylum. Oh, the sets, costumes and props were top notch. Great production.

STEAMPUNK HAUNTED HOUSE:
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

 Check other NY Halloween attractions. 

Evening in Brooklyn

Yesterday, I saw Tiger Lillies with Jason Vivian Bond. What
an amazing evening. Jason opened the show with his drag performance. Picture this.
The elegant lady walks in on stage in brilliant blue sequined dress, sparkling like little stars and starts to sing.
I expect a female voice but what comes out is deep unmistakably male tone and it
is all super delicious. Jason is a transgender performer with super acts, great
theatrics and a lot of wit. I will definitely see him again.

As for Tiger Lillies they rocked. The evening was a true cabaret
act with darker undertones. Just in time for Halloween.

The show took place in St Ann Warehouse in Brooklyn. It is apparently NYC institution
for avant-garde art which suits me just fine. Will be back to see more.

Song to the Open Road

For a person who sticks to travels on a domestic soil, I sure got around in the past year intercontinentally speaking. But my first love is for road trips in the Wild West. Things I
have seen, places I have been made me who I am today.
Walt Whitman put it well in his Song of the Open Road:

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

These word describe perfectly the essence of American West road trip.

Blue Oaks in California

There is a definite presence in Californian landscape, an oak tree. There are so many variety of oaks and if I were given a choice of one word to describe them, I would use majestic.

Blue Oaks – Adaptation to California Climate

Blue oaks have evolved to withstand disappointing years of little rain and high
temperatures. According to the Oaks of California by Bruce Pavlic, Pamela Muick,
Sharon Johnson and Marjorie Popper and published by the California Oak Foundation,
while other oaks are resistant to drought, few of them combine all the mechanisms of
conservation, tolerance and resiliency that are present in the blue oak. The following
information on the variety of characteristics of blue oaks that prepare them for long
seasons of no rain is derived from the Oaks of California.
The leaves of blue oak are moisture conserving by their nature. They are covered on
their upper surface by a waxy coating that gives the tree its characteristic bluish cast.
Also the canopy of leaves remains proportionately smaller in blue oaks than in other less
drought-tolerant species.
When water from the soil becomes very scarce, the blue oak exhibits a remarkable array
of drought-coping behaviors. Leaves become reinforced with cellulose and lignin (the
chemical component of wood) to withstand stresses imposed by the progressive
dehydration. Photosynthetic cells adjust their internal salt content so that wilting is
prevented even if their leaves lose up to 30% of their water to the bone-dry atmosphere.
This ability surpasses that of some desert trees, such as the mesquite and ironwood.
The dry summer sky steadily drains water from the soil through evaporation from the
leaves. Vessels that conduct water in stems and roots much be able to withstand great
internal tensions, just as a drinking straw must withstand the vacuum created by sucking
a thick drink. As summer drought progresses, newly formed oak vessels become
progressively thicker, harder and more compact, decreasing the likelihood of collapse as
roots withdraw the last droplets of soil-bound moisture.
If water finally becomes too scarce, blue oaks simply drop their leaves, a condition
known as drought deciduous. Drought-deciduous leaves are a common feature of
chaparral and desert shrubs, but rare among oaks and trees in general. Yet in extremely
hot and dry years, blue oaks resort to such dormancy. They may look skeletal, but they
are merely dormant, and they continue to fill their acorns with previously stored food.
Most of the trees do not resume growth with arrival of fall rains, but wait until spring to
produce a new crop of leaves. This ability to endure allows blue oaks to dominate nearly
half of all oak-covered lands in California. Aren’t we lucky to have them grace our
hillsides?”  –Blue Oaks Adapt to Dry Summer


written by

The California Oak Foundation’s