Category Archives: pictures

Fran & Joel Back Out + Other Stuff

I’m just wanting to get a post out with some assorted pictures and neat stuff I’d noticed before the weekend begins in earnest, as I’m sure it’ll be fun to recount the stuff from Fran & Joel’s visit out.   But first, we had dinner with them last night:

They flew in from Phoenix yesterday after attending the same conference they went to last year, which was when we met up with them in Vegas.  It was nice to take them to one of the many neat restaurants here in Glendale, this time Bacari.

On Monday, Larry & I went out on a school night to see a show at the Largo – this was where we had previously seen “How Did This Get Made?” last year; this time the show was “Hanging with Paul Scheer” and it was hilarious and the guests were Nicole Byer – who is hilarious and who I first fell in love with from her appearance on “Gay of Thrones” below:

Bye, Bitch!!!!    ALSO, Maria Bamford and Fred Armisen were guests, so yeah, it was hilarious.  I ended up taking the bus from DTLA as I was downtown that day, and while waiting, I took some downtown pics:

The previous weekend, we finally got to hang with Rekha and belatedly celebrate birthday fun with her.  Nicki chose a cool place, Cafe Stella, down in Silver Lake on the Sunset section.  Very trendy bar and restaurant with many attractive people everywhere.  Ah, hip Los Angeles.  Larry & I bailed after the restaurant but we heard the fun certainly continued through the rest of the day/night!

And then the weekend before that, I dragged Larry to go out and see The Last Jedi ONE MORE TIME.  It was my fourth time, his third.    We went to the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood and while it was an experience, the presentation of the movie at Universal was way better.   But there was a fun organist playing tunes before the show and a cheesy laser show too!  And a cool costume display from the movie that we visited.  Anyway, the movie still rocks and I can’t wait to see it again…on Blu Ray.

We also did go and see Phantom Thread this past weekend…I’ll give the movie that it was beautiful and well-directed, but this was a movie that I was okay with until the last 10 minutes, and then I was done with it.  What a waste of time.  I hope it loses in every Oscar category it was nominated in.

In totally unrelated stuff, Rebels Season 4 comes back soon, and if you love Star Wars, this animated series is a must watch.  The final half of the last season is airing and by the looks of this preview, a whole lot of stuff is gonna happen – and the Emperor makes an appearance!!!!:

I also saw this in one of my favorite sites – These timelapses of Seattle are pretty mesmerizing especially to see how quickly the city is building up:

 

And that leaves us to where we are now.   I’ve failed on my Amazing Race updates, but I’m still watching as it’s amazing.   And the cast of Celebrity Big Brother was announced…and it’s gonna be hard for me to choose to watch with Omarosa on it.  Seriously, wtf.

It Begins – and lots of other pics too

First, the stress of yesterday’s PwC event at Magic Mountain proved to be mostly needless.  Of course I’m glad that felt compelled to be prepared, so that’s good, but it was such a welcome relief when it was time to do it and then sure enough, I was done.  Even got decent feedback after the fact.   The reward for making it through was then we got to go enjoy Six Flags!   The weather was pretty much perfect for a visit to the park, and better yet, there were like NO lines.  It’s likely the slowest time for them as most schools have started back up and it’s not really a hot time for tourism, I guess.

Friday, Jan 12 – PwC at Magic Mountain

The rundown of rides this day was basically all extreme.  And a day later, I’m still kinda feeling sore.  But we went on X-2 TWICE, which holy hell.  Riding in the last row of that ride is one of the most insane things you can do.  Then we went to Viper, then on to Tatsu.   Tatsu…is ridiculous.  It’s almost more intense than X-2 as it really feels like if your harness were to snap, you’d just get flung out to your death.  And it would be quick as you’d be a splat on the ground before you know it.  But what a ride!   We then followed that up with Gold Rusher which is great, as always, and ended the visit at Twisted Colossus.  So Twisted Colossus ended up still being my favorite of the coasters and there was an insane thing that happened:  One of my coworkers was in the seat in front of us, and as the train went inverted, the carabiner he had his keys on disengaged!  He immediately realized this but we were also on a rollercoaster that was currently barrel-rolling.  The keys managed to get lodged into the area by his feet, which was a miracle, as it was still a small gap, but the thickness of one of the keychains saved him.  The carabiner was long gone, but his keys weren’t.   He said that as they were flying away from him, they had been floating in front of them for a moment like they were in space.  Lucky lucky man.

Other Things!

Today, Larry & I took my mom over to see the model homes at the Glen LA so she could get to see for herself what the general layout of the house will look like.  It was the formal grand opening this weekend, so we of course saw most of the sales team, but we also saw plenty of potential homebuyers and actual homebuyers.  We ended up meeting a member of the family that will be living directly next door to us, and then we met a couple who will be living across the driveway from us.  All seemed very nice and it’s exciting to get the sense that this will be a fun neighborhood.  Fingers crossed.

Saturday, Jan 13 – At The Glen LA with Mom

Those are the most recent pics and I think it could be fun to try to capture periodic shots from the construction site in order to eventually capture a time-lapse of the progress.  Easier said than done, I’m imagining.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend should be nice and relaxing, hopefully.   I figure while I’ve got energy and the time, here are some picture sets from December, mostly from around Christmas stuff:

Mon, Dec 25, 2017 – Christmas at Mom’s House

It was a fun time to spend Christmas at Mom’s with Stacie and Trent.  The food was great (and happily, our overbuying for Thanksgiving helped as we just froze this ham and then used it a month later).  And wine is always a winner.

Making Cookies

I love making chocolate chip cookies as they turn out so damned good.  It’s just a lot of work.  I ended up making cookies throughout the entirety of watching Die Hard, which is a long time.  But so worth the effort.  The recipe for these cookies I’ve shared on this site previously and is slightly weird in how it does things, but the results can’t be argued with.

I think the last thing I’ll post about as I’m getting antsy and want to do something else besides type on my blog is the pictures from the Sperske Christmas Even that my cousin Erin held down in Carlsbad.   Happily, it was held in the early afternoon, so we didn’t have to stay down there overnight.   It also meant a LOT of driving for one day.  But it was worth it to see family again.  Erin & Eric’s house is perfect for these kinds of get-togethers and their recent renovations inside are fantastic.

Sat, Dec 23, 2017 – Christmas Eve in Carlsbad

And that’s that.  Time to play some video games and shoot some Nazis.

Finally, the Roadhouse, to complete my 2017 Year of Twin Peaks

2017 may have been a shitshow for a whole slew of reasons, but one giant reason in its favor is that it was so full of Twin Peaks goodness.   Not only did the revival on Showtime kick serious ass, we got 18 hours of it and it still managed to confound and excite us.  I really should have known that with it being Twin Peaks, it wouldn’t end neatly.   Then obviously I posted about it back in September, which was when Larry & I went to Seattle & Vancouver for a week and tagged one of the days as a Twin Peaks day:

Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

I said it enough in the post, but that day was seriously one of the best days ever.  I got to see nearly every Seattle-adjacent filming location that I would have wanted to have seen….except for the actual exterior location of “the Roadhouse.”  It was located in the opposite direction of where we were heading, so it had to be dropped and I figured maybe one day, we’d go back?  Well, may not need to as the Roadhouse came to Los Angeles!

Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ The Roadhouse in Los Angeles

This pop-up was incredible.  You enter and then walk through several corridors of Black Lodge goodness, passing into an outdoor area with some sycamore trees, the entrance to the Black Lodge, and Owl Cave scribblings.  Then you head into the restaurant area where you are now in the Roadhouse.   Great food and some solid, interesting drink offerings, all themed to Twin Peaks characters or motifs.   I ended up getting a fantastic Great Northern Steak & Frites while Larry got Betty Briggs Meatloaf Burger, and then I had a Laura Palmer drink followed by a surprising hot cup beverage called Cherry Pie That’ll Kill Ya.  All followed with Cherry Pie and Donuts.  Yeah, we might have eaten a lot.

At the end of our 90 minutes or so, we left and I bought two Twin Peaks t-shirts, and then we called it a day.  This excursion also served as our ‘going out for New Year’s’ event as basically there were so many unpleasant outings for a few years it is just not fun anymore.  But staying home?  Hella fun.  We ended up watching movies yesterday, starting with Diamonds Are Forever, then renting Despicable Me 3 from ITunes (it was okay – I think I liked the previous 2 more although I did like the 80s-themed villain), and following it up with Spy, which still is just so damn funny.    Larry made a wonderful chicken parmesan dinner and then we watched the Kathy-less CNN NYE for a little and drank a bottle of champagne.  And here we are now in 2018.  Let’s make it a good year – lots of exciting things coming up, notably buying and moving into a brand new house!!!

New Year’s Eve at Home, 2017 version:

Finally, Vancouver!

<–Previously, we wrapped up our fun in Seattle.

There are a couple of options available to get to Vancouver from Seattle.  You can drive, you can fly, you can even take a ferry…but a recommendation I read online was to take the train!  And that sounded wonderful, and apparently beautiful, so that’s what we did.  It made for an early morning as it does take about 4 hours for the journey, but it was a lot of fun.  To make it as comfortable as possible, I had purchased us Business Class tickets on the Amtrak, and that was nice, and we ended up seated next to a couple that was a lot of fun.  She had a bunch of stories and the 4 hours flew by as we made our way to Vancouver, BC.

Thursday, Sept 7, 2017 – Vancouver via Amtrak

We got to Vancouver’s Pacific train station around lunchtime, and so after taking a cab to the wonderful Opus Hotel in the Yaletown area of the city and leaving our luggage, we got some food at the awesome restaurant Cactus Club Cafe.

ProTip:  These restaurants are fantastic, and there are 3 or 4 of them in the city.  They’re staffed by absolutely gorgeous people and all of them are like REALLY nice.  Almost weirdly so.  I’m used to L.A. where the more attractive the waiter/waitress, usually the more they can’t be bothered by you.  It was refreshing.   Also, the food was really good.  So if you have the opportunity, go to a Cactus Club Cafe.  You’ll thank me later.

We couldn’t check in, so we consulted our handy-dandy books and wandered around the area.   Happily, Yaletown is very centrally located and right across the False Creek from Granville Island.  There are also many water taxis to schlep you around that area, so we made use of the convenience to get over to Granville by walking over to one of the local water taxi stops.

Getting Acquainted with Yaletown

Water Taxi to Granville Island

Granville Island is well-regarded as a popular tourist destination and for being an artsy area.  You can stock up on custom glass sculptures, Native American artwork, woodworking and any other number of artistic stuff.    There’s a functional concrete plant that has had the storage tanks painted like figurines, which are now called the Giants.  It’s a fun outing, but you’re in tourist town, for sure.

Granville Island

All this was exhausting to do and we finally got a notification that our hotel room was ready and so we headed back there to get settled in and relax.  After that, I was kind of intrigued to explore and see the actual Casino that is present in Vancouver, which happily meant we’d walk along the route where the Olympics and Expo were held.  But first, dinner!   Larry found us a good spot at ‘The Flying Pig’ which was hip and happening and delicious.   A note:  Vancouver definitely has a lot of fun restaurants and bars – in fact, it’s a pretty great city to live in.  Not cheap though, as it’s quite a popular place to be.  Another thing to note:  Vancouver is not really all that interesting of a city to visit.  There’s stuff to do, but it doesn’t have a distinct personality, in my opinion, in terms of ‘visiting an interest city’.  Yet, I could totally see us living there as it’s just that kind of a city.  Clean, modern, and plenty to do.

Anyway, after dinner, we went on the walk towards the Casino, passing by the big soccer stadium and through the area where the Olympics Village was.  I thought it might be fun to gamble, but when we actually made it in there…it was kind of a weird, don’t wanna be here anymore vibe.  So we left.

Evening Begins

An unexpected thing happened as we were walking home from the disappointing Casino adventure.   We were walking along the False Creek rivershore to enjoy the atmosphere, but it was also full nighttime now and it had been sporadically sprinkling rain, so we were kind of ready to get home.   But as we were passing the Cambie St Overpass, we heard lots of people talking and occasional applause.  Intrigued, we walked from the path over to it, and it turned out to be a site for an art installment!   The art was projecting this giant movie called Uninterrupted about the lifecycle of salmon onto the underpass – we got to see it from beginning to end and it was mesmerizing.  It was also very much an aural experience and just overall stunning.  Also, while waiting for the movie, there was just cool vistas of the city surroundings too.

Uninterrupted at the Cambie St Overpass

After that, on the way back to the hotel, we found a gelato shop and since vacation calories don’t count, we partook.  It was delicious!   Alas, the rain did start to come down harder and it was an omen of what was to come the next day!

A New Home Awaits Us in Summer 2018

Yet again, a few months or so without an update, and I have little in the way of an excuse except much like before, I’ve not been all that motivated to post.  Plenty of pictures have been taken and fun adventures enjoyed, but the days when I thought people read this site are over.   Yet I do enjoy having a log to look back at, and so with that in mind, a big ass life event is occurring:  Larry & I are buying a house!

Yep, we put a deposit down yesterday on a home that is getting built as we speak.  It’s in the community called TheGlenLA – you can visit their website here:   http://www.theglenla.com/.  It’s located in ‘The Valley’ which is a shock to both you and me as I’d never have guessed I’d buy a home there…but, when the price is right, you can get something new and to your liking, and you don’t have to spend a shitton of money to renovate it the way you really want it…it’s hard to sniff.  Happily, Valley Glen is right next to North Hollywood, close to Burbank, and just north of Ventura Boulevard, so there’s lots of cool things for us to do.

We’re buying the “Home Plan #2” version, which suits us really well.  It’s bigger than the #1 plan, but not as big as #3.  Normally I’d be like buy as much as you can afford, but the main variation in #3 is that there are 2 guest bedrooms and a Master on the bedroom floor rather than just one guest room.  For our needs, we really don’t need 2 guest rooms.  Anyway, here are the floor plans from the website:

Floor 1
2nd Floor
3rd Floor
Roof Deck

Here are some videos we took while walking through the model home of Plan #2 as well.  Marvel at how photogenic and magnetic we are on video!

Walking Through the 2nd Floor:

Walking Through the 3rd Floor:

Walking on the Roof Deck:

There is a lot of time between now and when we actually get to move in to the house.  Expectations are that we’ll move in around August 2018, meaning we’ll have to extend our lease at our apartment for another 6 months.  Not the worst thing, I guess.  Also will give us time to continue saving and increase our down payment.   As of now, we look to be able to hit 20% down which is a-freakin’-mazing.

Almost immediately, we will need to make some design decisions too!   That’s the cool part about this whole experience, as we can get it customized to how we want it.  Options of course cost money, but there are some things like flooring and electrical systems that make sense to get done the way we want now before having to rip apart walls later on.  The first appointment, for electrical, is this Friday!  CRAZY.

Anyway, here are some pictures we’ve taken from our various trips to the site.  Expect more pictures as we continue visiting the site and stress unnecessarily about things out of our control!