The Spa Day

Look at this photo. My 2-year-old granddaughter appears to be using cucumber slices to repair her tired skin and remove wrinkles from around her aging eyes.

Apparently, she and her father are having “a spa day.” It’s not the cucumber so much as the body language, the carefree way her arms splay out over her head.

Make this madness stop.

The other day, her Aunt Rapunzel, renowned for her ginger tresses, sent an early Christmas list to the family, insisting she didn’t really need anything after such a generous summer wedding.

But just in case…

–Chunky loafers or mules, size 6.5

–Lululemon Align leggings 7/8 length, size 2-4 in jade-colored prints.

–A private jet.

Can you imagine me in a Lululemon store asking, “Excuse me, excuse me, do you have this in a jade-colored print?”

Probably not.

I mean, who raised my kids? Obviously no one. They seem to have raised themselves…bunch of big-eyed orphans with crunchy cereal-bowl souls.

It’s like “Lord of the Flies,” except they’re all stranded at The Grove, trying to snag an Uber. Or at the Third Street Promenade – what’s left of it, anyway. Haven’t the ruffians sort of massacred that place? I prefer Main Street anyway, with the smelly bars and the high-end candle shop called “Blow Me.”

Jeeeesh, this town.

Obviously, all is not well with California. The Dodgers collapsed like a cellophane tent (again).

In the Bay Area, baby spiders are reportedly falling randomly from the sky, like fuzzy raindrops.

And in Hollywood, film lovers are grappling with Martin Scorsese’s latest indulgence, which lasts something like four weeks.

In any case, lots of bathroom breaks. Lots of flushes.

Into this swirly spiritual void — into this pop culture bouncy house — we give you Catty Cakes Finn, whose sole infraction so far is the cucumber slices on her aching eyes.

Also, she’s been spending long hours watching the owl out front of her home, through binoculars made with toilet paper spools.

Woot. Woot. Halloween is coming, Papa!

Woot. Woot. Woot.

Me, I’m still recovering from our recent swing through the Eastern Sierra after our book tour. So many handshakes. So many smiles.

The takeaway: Book tours exhaust me.

After one appearance, the Bear Whisperer and I ended up in the famed Fairfax dump, El Coyote. The waiters kept trying to close the place, and Steve wouldn’t let them. Money changed hands. Rules were broken. Hairline cracks emerged in L.A.’s social fabric.


But we had good time, we did.

Here’s a thought: Suppose a noted Bear Whisperer came to L.A. to promote a book and decided to stay forever, using his techniques on the troubled locals? Would they make him mayor? Would Netflix call? That’s the way this silly town works, you know. Stardom is so capricious.

In other bar-related news, I tricked a young ingenue (Suzanne) into darting into the Tiger Bar up in June Lake to use the restroom, then ended up staying to chat up the locals.

“The trout pretty hungry, are they?”

I give a little. Suzanne gives a lot. That’s how relationships survive.

It was Suzanne’s first time staying at the vaunted Double Eagle Lodge in June Lake, and we were so buzzed by the place, so seduced by the leafy Eastern Sierra – gleaming, like doubloons — that we discussed herding all our kids up here for a massive family retreat.

That will never happen. They have busy, busy lives.

They also have no confidence in what aging parents might tout as “fun,” though I think if we could get Cakes to come, and Suzanne’s dear mama, we might bait the rest into tagging along.

We could hike and fish and ski and slumber by the fireplace with a book and a half bottle of Bailey’s.

We could dig out board games and flavor the cabin with a big pot of chicken chili.

No, you’re right, who’d ever want to do all that?

But wait till they see the Tiger Bar. And the candlelight in these trees. Or hear “the music of the autumnal wind.” (Wordsworth)

Meanwhile, the bear book is a bit of a hit. Book stores keep running out. Hard enough to write a book, even harder to sell one. Currently, demand exceeds supply. Like copper pipe or Teslas.

As I told Dr. Steve, my physician/drinking pal, most writers are paid about the same as the organ player at the local church. I’d probably make more money selling my thin, Pinot-laced blood to local hospitals.

Woot. Woot.

Such crazy times.

I’m sure they won’t last.

Coming soon: The coolest pumpkin patch in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, we’re trying to clear out some merchandise. Below is a list of what’s left in the warehouse. Everything but the gin glasses has been discounted 25%. Makes for some rockin’ Christmas gifts, perhaps? And it’s a cool way to support this free site.

And please don’t forget about “What the Bears Know,” the memoir of Bear Whisperer Steve Searles.

To order the book, please click here.

For t-shirts and such, please click here.



Gin Glass Sets – 18

Caps – 45

Men’s “Boomer U” T-shirts


S – 1

2XL – 2

Women’s “Boomer U” T-shirts

S – 2

M – 4

L – 3

XL – 2

2XL – 1

“Boomer U” Long Sleeve T-shirts

S – 1

L – 2

Men’s Gray T-shirt

S – 4

M – 5

2XL – 6

Women’s Light Blue T-shirts

S – 2

M – 3

L – 2

XL – 2

2XL – 3

3XL – 2

Men’s Green T-shirts (Happy Hour Hiking)

S – 1

Women’s Berry T-shirts (Happy Hour Hiking)

S – 2

M – 2

2XL – 3

14 thoughts on “The Spa Day

  1. My husband and I have been going to El Coyote for 36 years. If it’s a dump, it’s our dump and we love it!

  2. My dad used to take the family to the Tiger Bar when we went on back-country camping trips (Frontier Pack Train!) out of June Lake in the 70s. I went back last summer. Looked exactly the same. June/Gull/Silver Lake is a magical place.

  3. Dear Chris, Diane & I have returned to our South Bay nest after a week in Malta, two weeks in Sicily, and a week in Naples, Amalfi, Puglia. Travel is so broadening. While viewing the rather well preserved ruins of a Roman villa, we learned the –perhaps–origin of the word spa. Supposedly abbreviates the Latin phrase[s] salus per aquam or sanitas per aquam, meaning “health through water”.
    There’s a town located in now Belgium also called Spa that had hot springs that the Roman Centurions bathed in to soothe their tired muscles. So there you have it. And yes, we had a fantastic time. Ever heard the Italian phrase “far niente?” Apparently it translates as “doing nothing.” An art that many Italians–especially the waiters–seem to have mastered. Italy is better for it!

  4. Enjoying the bear book immensely! Your imaginative metaphors work so well as Steve’s voice. One of my faves: “Mammoth Lakes is a giant thrift store of pain and pleasure.” I only hope Catty Cakes has inherited a bit of your quirky talent with words. She’s already learning to live the “spa life,” so she’s going to need a successful trade to pay for all those cucumbers.

  5. Owls are more than a hoot; or a pfhoot, as it were. They are a metaphor for the fierce beauty of both flight and existence, and an angel of their brevity. Seen binocularly, the gravity and dignity of their image inspires in the unformed mind formative composite thoughts of the depth of their art, and its meaning. In this way can beauty begin to be conformed in the mind of a child. These are peak experiences, as well I know, and are not forgotten. The images of the viewing Catherine and the owl are to be treasured. By the way, the cucumbers in the other pictures are really owl’s eyes, as any mesmerized recipient of their intense reflected light, or a child, can plainly see.
    Pfhooot., as it were.

  6. The Night Has A Thousand Owls

    I have always loved the solemn owl
    Since I first saw a family
    Of them sitting in a long row
    On a tree limb high above me
    At night, their eyes glowing like coals
    Reflecting light from my flashlight—
    Or was that light coming from some
    Internal inferno? A child
    I was, and the fire in my mind
    Flickered, flared, flamed, and made it so;

    They arc and soar, ceaselessly prowl
    The night skies with fierce honesty;
    Silent and direct, the billow
    And whir of their intensity
    As they descend like mind control—
    Its hypnotic beauty like night
    Itself, a black mystery come
    Down from the heavens with some wild
    Aim—death, if time is so inclined—
    Something only the stars could know;

    They are a symbol of wisdom—
    That unknown their long life confers;
    Perhaps they seem so like quiet
    Nights do, watching and absorbing
    Everything dark and beautiful
    Far below, the night’s vast kingdom
    Asleep, yet steep with kinetic stirs
    Of movement, falls of motion’s riot
    To slip effortlessly down, the wings
    With a mind of their own—lush and full
    With destiny, in timeless mournful fold;
    For wisdom may not come from being old
    But rather, from silence, the cold
    Staring eyes seeing death in surprise
    And also life, both fire in the eyes
    For what is light but something wise
    That only an owl could surmise…

    The night knows this, so its demise
    At dawn—like owl’s eyes, radiates
    Its soul, which then evaporates
    Like us all, like the owl, left to our fates.
    But only the owl waits, and waits, and waits…

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