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Home Colors

By Matt Katz, Editor

 

ike a bat on a bright day, I watch the shifting colors of September. I am not blind to the colors, but I am colorblind. Every other male on my mother’s side of the family is. Which means that if I have a grandson and he takes after me he’ll park in the red zone for 24 minutes thinking it’s green and he’ll load and unload passengers in the green zone thinking it’s white. Off-white. Ivory, perhaps. I really don’t know. In elementary school, he’ll paint the Indian Ocean purple—if he’s like me—and his art teacher will praise his “creativity” while classmates snicker and he squints to no avail.

As a colorblind person, I find the work of Cathleen Smith (p. 45) incomprehensible. I do not mean that as a hyberbole; in fact, I cannot comprehend the subtleties of what she does. The distinctions between Forest Green and Grass Green, Sky Blue and Maya Blue whiz over my head in a blaze of primary colors. If you’ve ever searched bewilderedly through a fan deck at the local paint store you’ll sympathize. Gone are the Crayola days of “green” and “blue.” Colors now have titles. Even white is divided into a thousand shades of gray.

Our goal to keep you a safe distance from the quicksand of mundane editorial content has been a recurring theme in these Notes of mine. We’re always looking for stories with a bit of pop—an unexpected edge, a tight focus. The Stephanie Rubin article on page 21 is a good example. An eco-minded landscape architect based in Ventura, she’d make a nice sunny profile for a magazine like Ventana. A number of locally-based eco-minded landscape architects would. But Stephanie (with the help of her artist husband, Chris Isner) has created a unique niche: building eco-sensitive doghouses with green roofs. Frivolous? Depends on what shade of rose-colored glasses you wear. Dig a little, though, and you’ll find a serious lesson at the heart of her company Sustainable Pet Design. Next time you’re Googling around, check out SustainablePet.com. Sit… Stay… There’s a lot to learn.

One thing I’ve learned recently is that home is the most relaxing place I have. My wife and I were discussing this earlier today as we drove back to Ventura from a family “vacation.” Dictionary.com defines vacation as “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel.” We rented a beach house on the Central Coast, so I suppose travel is somewhat applicable. But when family includes kids ages 9 weeks to 7 years old, a family vacation provides little rest. Recreation was mostly bottled, fermented, and corked. And between my iPhone and laptop, there was sadly little suspension of work.

Home is a good place to be. At least for me it is. The issue of Ventana you’re holding goes to print in a couple of hours. Here, at home, I can think and write and chase that deadline. I can relax, even if I don’t know what color the curb is.

09-01-2008

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