The Villaj Idiut: Getting a massage proves to be a deep, pressing (t)issue

I got a massage the other day.

I had to immediately order another one just to deal with the mental stress of ordering the first one.

A Piece of My Mind: Housing and the history of diversity in Los Altos

Last month I wrote about attending a discussion on how to remedy the shortage of affordable housing in Los Altos before the state steps in with mandates. One of the proposals was “form-based zoning” to make multiplex housing blend in with existing neighborhoods.

I said “that train has already left the station” because so many of the new multimillion-dollar homes being built in Los Altos have abandoned the once-ubiquitous California ranch-style home in favor of Craftsman, French Chateau, Mission and Modern two-story models. What is one to blend with?

The Villaj Idiut: Bliss – You have to experience it to appreciate it

Have you ever experienced pure bliss?

I did recently. I’m going to try to explain it – though I’m not sure I fully can.

No Shoes, Please: Spring cleaning

Last month, I read that because they couldn’t handle the volume of donations, charitable organizations were forced to set limits on the amount of goods people were bringing in.

This unusual surge in American household spring cleaning was attributed to organizing guru Marie Kondo, who wrote the 2014 best-seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and hosts her own Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

A Piece of My Mind: Housing issues hit home

I attended a discussion in January focused on the shortage of affordable housing in Los Altos. The presenters were excellent. Both had been active in development of affordable housing projects in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City. They were well informed, personable and had good visual materials to illustrate their ideas. I can’t imagine how it could have been done better. Unfortunately, I came away thinking that they had been talking all along about another city.

One of the ideas put forward in the presentations was “form-based zoning.” The gist of this idea is that zoning laws based on strict setbacks, height limitations and occupancy restrictions lead to the building of large, boxy structures that press up against every setback requirement and clash with existing residences. The occupancy restrictions prevent affordable options such as home-sharing between unrelated people, or the building of second dwellings on larger properties.

I'll have what she's having

Slipping into my newest outfit from Lululemon and my matching neon green hiking shoes, hair and makeup ready to go, I prepared for my 6-mile walk from my daughter’s apartment to the Golden Gate Bridge and back again. As I made my way through Fort Mason, then onto Crissy Field, I soaked in the beauty of the magnificent orange bridge ahead. Feeling energetic and alive, I was clipping along at a quick pace when, all of a sudden, a long drink of water flew by me, her gray, shoulder-length hair blowing in the wind from under her baseball cap.

I guessed she was in her early 40s and had decided to create a fashion statement all her own by not dyeing her prematurely silver mane. And sure, at 66 years old, I would fully expect this young babe to be faster. Then she stopped to tie her shoe, and the truth was exposed. This was no spring chicken, but a wrinkled-faced woman well advanced in years.

No Shoes, Please: History lessons

Everyone knows that blackface under any circumstances is unacceptable. No, you can’t do it for Halloween. No, you can’t do as an homage to your favorite African-American entertainer. And no, you definitely can’t do it because you’re just having fun and don’t mean anything by it.

Except, I guess, in Virginia, where two of the top three lawmakers in the state have engaged in this overtly racist behavior. Maybe it’s because we’re talking about the South, but one would think that given its history and the makeup of its population, Southerners would be better informed on matters pertaining to race than anyone else in the country.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at [email protected] Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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