Posts Tagged: SoCal

Ranking the Months of the Year, via Scalzi

In a blog post today, a one Mr. John Scalzi ranked the months of the year and why. He then asked commenters to do the same.

Here is my comment:

Ms. Jen says:
October 1, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I live in SoCal and I don’t suffer from SADs but some opposite disorder where I get happier the darker it gets, so:

1) November : Thank all the possible deities that humanity has ever thought up, it is getting darker and the temps have dropped into the 70s.

2) December: OMG, best month of the year, we may have one actual day were a sweater is possibly needed. The horror is when all the young humans break out their UGG boots to wear with their sweater vests and short shorts.

3) February and March: The only real reason to live in SoCal/LA – Snow on Mt. Baldly with cool-ish, crisp-ish days makes the traffic somewhat bearable. Don’t get in a fender bender as you stare at the snow covered mountains while stuck on the freeway.

4) April: The return of the Santa Ana winds to bake all the lovely new spring green hills to a golden brown and the birthday type object.

5) October: On a good year this means slightly cooler temps and possible rain, on a bad year it means Fire Season.

6) January: As the trees finally lose the last of their old leaves, the new leaves are coming in along with pretty tree flowers, esp the Mume apricot/plums and the ornamental pear trees. The bad is the spate of 85-90F days that remind you that hell is coming down the road.

7) May and June: May Gray and June Gloom, if you have SADs this is when SoCal makes you want to slit your wrists, for others it just gets monotonous.

8) July: The marine layer retreats to San Francisco to join Karl the Fog and the hot, too bright days begin. Plus idiot neighbors blow things up all month long, too bad that they don’t synchronize with the 9:30pm Disneyland fireworks.

9) August: July plus 10F more heat. Blazing sun, no relief.

10) September: The most evil month of the year. The fish hurricanes off of Mexico contribute to 100+ temps and humidity, plus a good old fashion haze/smog layer. Poke eye balls out with toothpick while sitting in the A/C.

This year, September started at the end of June compliments of Super Duper El Nino.

Happy New Year!

Snow on Saddleback and The Moon Snow on Saddleback Mountain - The Tiny Planet Version

Thurs 01.01.15 – The night before last we had a brief, windy, and cold storm that whipped through SoCal and dropped more snow on the local (lower) Santa Ana Mountains than on the (higher/taller) San Gabriel Mountains. Thus, both yesterday – New Year’s Eve – and today, there was a good coverage of snow on Saddleback Mountain and some of the surrounding hills. It is / was AWESOME, in the true sense of the word.

The last time I saw so much snow, so low on Saddleback was after a freak cold snap just before Thanksgiving 2004. I was so excited about this that after going to dim sum with Erika at Elite in Monterey Park, a picked up Scruffy McDoglet who went on the lam after the gardener left the gate open, and then Scruffy & I drove out Santiago Canyon Road just a bit beyond Irvine Lake to take photos of the SNOW!!! on Saddleback Mountain.

Snow in SoCal is really the best New Year’s Eve gift that 2014/2015 could give me. So Exciting.

The First Camellia of the Season a Few Months Early

November 17, 2011 - First big Camellia blossom of the Seal Beach non-winter
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N950.

Thurs 11.17.11 – The one block of south-east and 2 blocks of south facing front line of houses in Seal Beach have an interesting little micro-climate where one home owner has roses and camellias all winter long and another can grow bananas and tomatoes around Christmas time. Go one block away from the south facing ocean front and no one can grow bananas no matter how hard they try, although my next door neighbor Earl does try to convince his stunted banana tree to grow.
The camellia bush on the south-east Anaheim Bay side always blooms in late December-early January, usually a month before the camellias at the Huntington Library and Gardens, the last two years it has bloomed in mid-December.
Today is the 17th of November and there are three big red, showy camellias’ on that bush. Hello early over-performer! Hello micro-climate!
Hello Seal Beach, the land of a flower blooming somewhere in town every day of the year.
And yes to answer your question that you are thinking right now in your head, we have no real winter to speak of here in Seal Beach, just some fog and chilly-esque 55F degree nights. As Ryan says, “It’s Seal Beach cold.” Which means, not cold enough to scare the bananas away.

‘Tis My Favorite Time of the Year

Winter Solstice, where the Northern Hemisphere has the longest night and shortest day of the year, happened today at 9:47am PST / 17:47 UTC.
Today ushers in my favorite season of the year: Winter.
I love it. I love the chill. I love being outside at night while snow is falling. I love skiing. I love walking in the winter. I love wearing more clothes. I love the lack of sun and heat. Love it.
My greatest disappointment in living in Southern California is the lack of snow.
I realize that the reason that everyone else, all the other 16-19 million folks who share this metro area with me, lives here is the utter lack of the snow. Saturday’s weather is the real reason they live here: 80F at the beach.
I can have my fantasies. Yes, I can. The last few days I have watching my European, British, and East Coast friends’ Flickrstreams for photos of snow falling in the night.
Here are a few of the truly lovely winter scenes from various locales that are not SoCal from the last 48 or so hours:

cliché snowing in england shot La neige à Limoges : acte III Big Sky Country What a ride! Blimey Snow baby!, Denmark Street, Bristol
All photos from friends on Flickr, please click on the photo for the larger version.

Farewell to NaBloPoMo for Another Year, Unless you are Doing December…

November has been both a good month and a bit of a struggle. The struggle has been family/holiday/death related, as blogged about here, and the Good has been friend/family/art/music/mobile/travel/wedding/baby related.
The three bits about November that were really delightful are as follows:
1) The weather *finally* took a turn for the better. Better in my book is colder. I am happiest when the days are 55-65 F (10-17C) and when the nights are 35-50 F (3-13C). For a lady who loves a good bout of chilly weather, I am not sure why I live in Southern California. The weather here in SoCal will be happy for me through December and then will unfortunately warm up in January. Gah.
I am still interested in working in London if anyone has an opening.
2) Milestones: Lauren and Dave’s wedding weekend in Seattle was lovely. I am very glad to see them married. It was also delightful to see Cindy & Matt that weekend as they were fresh of the married dept themselves. And even more delightful is that Seattle’s weather was in the 40s F all weekend!
3) November has been a very creative month for me, both in terms of professional web dev/coding bits and in my creative art life of mobile photography, writing, and drawing, as well as day dreaming.
It was also inspirational, funny, and heartening to read/watch my various friends and friends of friends daily blog posts or vlog posts for NaBloPoMo or the other variations on the daily creativity theme thereof.
So all of you who participated in NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo or NaVloPoMo officially or unofficially, Bravo! Good job and keep up the good creative work!

This Morning

Local Seal Beach Camellia on Seal Way facing the Alamitos Bay Local White Rose dotted with lovely dark rose pink & dew or sprinkler water.
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

Thur 11.18.09 – Now that the hot, dry SoCal summer (July – Oct) is behind us, the roses are in full busting out all over bloom. Southern California has two good growing seasons, one from February to June and the other from October to December, and if you are within a few miles of the ocean December and January are very kind to one’s plants. Go a few miles inland and there will be the occasional frost in December that will piss off the basil and flowers. Go many miles inland and Nov. 15th to Feb. 15th is frost time.
Here in Seal Beach, where we are on the Pacific Ocean, the local roses, camellias, and other spring flowers like pansies, violets, and snap dragons are having their second big bloom of the year after being seared into non-blooming compliance during the hot, dry months.
From now, mid-late November, until April are my favorite months of the year in SoCal. From late April to early November, I would rather live quite a bit north of here, like the 50-54th parallel line. ;o)