Not a “Brand New Invention”

Now that Pumpkin Spice Season is back, I finally remembered to post this photo from last winter of — of all places — Wienerschnitzel, best known for its focus on hot dogs — plugging its pumpkin spice offerings.

Or rather, “Pumpkin spice, spice, baby.” 🙄

A Wienerschnitzel hot dog restaurant with a banner advertising Pumpkin Spice, Spice, Baby

Oddly enough, what I find most weird about the picture right now is the bright blue sky. I can’t wait for the end of wildfire season. (Oh wait, it’s year-round now. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next gap between fires.)

Smoky Orange Sun

A deep orange sun against a brownish gray sky, palm fronds and power lines in the foreground.

We’ve had some ash fall over the past week, but for the most part, the air quality at ground level has only been awful, not unbearable. Especially since the heat wave subsided.

But the light has just been wrong. Normal clouds in the morning breaking up to reveal a layer of smoke behind them, letting through yellow-orange, almost but not quite late afternoon light at midday. I went out for a walk after work, once it had cooled down and saw this.

We Dance Outside

A sign on a window for a dance class studio that says We Dance Outside with a picture of an awning set up in the parking lot.

When Covid-19 hit the area, a lot of arts lessons halted or went online. But it’s a bit tricky to do things like a dance class over Zoom. Back in June when I went hiking at the botanical gardens, I was there on the day that a local kids’ dance studio had set up a stage for their year-end recital. Outside. With minimal audience. And all the dancers at least six feet apart.

This one’s set up a semi-permanent tent in their parking lot (which you can see in the picture on the sign) so they can conduct lessons outdoors, where ventilation helps cut down on coronavirus transmission, with shade — because virus or not, it’s freaking California in summer. (Not that you can tell from the pall of smoke in this shot, because wildfire season is year-round now.)

It’s been really interesting to see how places have adapted (when they can, anyway) from squeezing as many people into an indoor space as possible, to trying to spread out safely and outdoors. Like the gym I’ve seen that set up their exercise equipment in the parking lot. Or all the restaurants that have fenced off parts of their lots to make temporary patios.

Though I still haven’t done even outdoor patio dining since this all started. You can dance with a mask on. You can shop with one. You can hang out and talk with one. But you can’t eat with one. Takeout is fine for now.

Be Like Spark

ead and shoulders of a cardboard cutout of Spark (Pokemon Go) with a pennant covering his mouth and nose like a bandana.

I walked by the kid’s room during this morning’s online school session and found that he’d set up the Spark standup (the Team Instinct leader) that he and Katie made for Pokémon Go Fest to block the doorway as if standing guard.

Fortunately, Spark is considerate enough to wear a face mask per pandemic recommendations.

Be like Spark. Not like Jessie and James. ‘Cause you know they’re only going to wear masks for disguise purposes.