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Author Archive for Michael Ray

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Musings on the Coast: Thoughts On A Seminal Year

Musings on the Coast: Thoughts On A Seminal Year

It is a brand new year, but before we plunge into it, let me share some thoughts for the past year, 2012, may it pass blissfully into our shared consciousness. 1. The political pundits told us the presidential election would be too-close-to call.   The polls had them neck-n-neck, then on Election Day, it was over […]

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Musings on the Coast: The Christmas Present

Musings on the Coast: The Christmas Present

When I was a kid, my family lived in old Corona del Mar and opened presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning.  It was a tradition from Kansas, where my folks came of age in the Great Depression.  We never got elaborate presents. They were small and inexpensive.  Anything else would have been deemed […]

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Musings on the Coast: The New Prohibitionists

Musings on the Coast: The New Prohibitionists

Jason, my teenage friend, I know you are dead and cannot read this letter, but I had to write it anyway. You just wanted to go drinking with your friends. Then you foolishly got behind the wheel and got yourself killed, and killed two innocents in the process. I am dreadfully sorry.  But it did […]

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Musings on the Coast: Our Quality Of Life

Musings on the Coast: Our Quality Of Life

I urge Laguna Beach citizens to vote “yes” on Measure CC because our very quality of life is the issue.  It is about creating open space within Laguna Beach forever. Some background.  In 1990, our city cut a deal with the Irvine Company to buy some 2,000 acres comprising the open space in Laguna Canyon.   […]

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Musings on the Coast: Feminists Behind the Veil

Musings on the Coast: Feminists Behind the Veil

Seven of us dined recently at Hotel Laguna on the outside terrace, overlooking the waves. The two women in our group, aged 24, wanted it that way.  They are from Afghanistan and had never seen the ocean. A surfer required a definition. Their clothing enveloped them and partially hid their faces. They had been in […]

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Musings on the Coast: Brits Fall for Paradise

Musings on the Coast: Brits Fall for Paradise

My girlfriend Kim Bowen was born in London and went to St. Martins College of Art and Design, the Harvard of England’s artistic community.   From there, she became a writer/critic for London’s fashion press and a regular at The Blitz, which was like NYC’s Club 54 where the young and cool thought they were reinventing […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

Encountering Nature’s Force My kids and I are off on a weeklong rafting trip through the Grand Canyon on the mighty Colorado River.  I have done it a half dozen times and love it. I take the “luxury” experience (yeah, right) on a big, sturdy raft that holds up to 15 people and has two […]

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Musings on the Coast: Who Got Worked?

Musings on the Coast: Who Got Worked?

The thing about conservative Republicans is they are great haters.  They are great at standing up to the foe, declaring war, wagging it with savagery and then stomping all over their slain opponent. Democrats parse it to death. Is he really such a bad guy? Doesn’t some of what he says make sense? Is it […]

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Musings on the Coast: Homeostasis

Musings on the Coast: Homeostasis

  Homeostasis  “…is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition…”  The planet Earth is a classic homeostatic system. It tends toward stability, which in scientific terms is called “stasis.”  It also is a host, which by definition means it tolerates, is a home to […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

The Next Generation’s Woodstock Two of my three kids attended the Coachella Music Festival this year, and the third would have too, but she was in college in London.   In one earlier year, she got away with pretending to need to be in So Cal during the time of the festival, and then—oops—as long as […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

The Ranters   When I first thought about this column, I wanted it to be a rant about my seemingly endless Facebook friends who have gone off their rockers in rants of their own or send me endless email rants.  And all with the particularly vicious purity of true believers. But I cannot work myself […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

Revisiting Seaward Road  It is funny what you remember about growing up.   For me, it was all about Seaward Road, which is in Corona Highlands in southern Corona del Mar.   Specifically, it was the flat part about two-thirds of the way to the top.  My family had a house there. The house was split-level, with […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

The Reawakening   Laguna Beach used to be a gay Mecca.   We had our own goodly district of gay bars, restaurants and clubs.  Then time and local demographics changed that and now the Mecca has moved.  It went mostly to Palm Springs.   Palm Spring’s reached its height of pre-gay notoriety between 1950-70, when actors […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

Tour of Duty: Personal and Political   Last Sunday at Newport Harbor yacht club, about 25 of us gathered to board the Soluna, my brother’s 52” motorboat and spread ashes at sea. They were of my former wife’s father, Les.  Like my own father, Les had suffered the torments of a long, lingering diabetes death. […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

The Risks of Ignorance It happened early last summer.  An overweight tourist almost drowned.  He had been ocean kayaking near Seal Rock off Crescent Bay in north Laguna and flipped.  He was with a similar guy in rented kayaks.  They had removed their lifejackets.   I was in my own kayak about 100 yards away […]