Tag Archives: family

Mother’s Day + more

Today, we went over to Mom’s and had a great dinner with Stacie, which she fixed up.   Drinking of wine commenced along with a couple of games of Jenga and Rack-o, and all was well in the world.   We had a lot of fun, snacking on food and laughing about memories past – it’s also Harv’s birthday, so it was fun to remember the fun (and drinks) we had on his 80th birthday.   Anyway, I think today was a lot of fun, and here are pictures I took:

Sunday, May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day in Duarte

That’s the main picture-worthy stuff from the past week, to be honest.  It’s been kind of hellacious the last week or two or three at work for me, much like last May.  This is the end of the engagement I’m on and there’s a lot of having to get us across that finish line in ways that both sides agree on.  Cross your fingers that this week is it, okay?

The rest of this post will be videos I’ve been loving this last week or so; you’re welcome.

Childish Gambino’s “This is America”:

We saw Donald Glover host SNL last week and he performed, as Childish Gambino, this song as well as one that hasn’t been released yet.   The performances were amazing, but the real show was to come in the release of this music video the next day.  It’s fantastic and powerful and intense and requires multiple viewings.

Then I saw this mashup with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me, Maybe” and now I can’t help but think there was intentional synchronization going on:

I had previously raved about the first few singles that Janelle Monáe had released in advance of her new album, Dirty Computer, being released – well, that album has been released and it’s amazing.   She also released an entire long-form video containing many of the songs within as well as an interesting tale to stitch these videos all together.   If you have 45-50 minutes or so, it’s well worth a watch:

Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer Emotion Picture:

Random videos time now –

First up, this latest season of Survivor, “Ghost Island”, has been okay, but it’s had in its cast one of the hottest men to be cast on this show, ever:  Michael.  Good lord, he’s fine.  So fine.  But alas, he got voted out recently and so now he’s on the jury and having to kill time.   Lately, CBS has been getting cute and indulging the cast to do fun stuff, so with Michael, they filmed a fake cologne commercial in the vein of Calvin Klein….and they’re pretty damn good with the vibe they create because hot damn this mofo can sell me anything.

Lego videos, especially those around Star Wars stuff, are awesome.   Here’s one I previously raved about with regards to the Death Star kit, but this new video is one that isn’t a kit and is made by those folks who collect thousands and thousands of Lego bricks to make any and everything.  This guy made the Star Destroyer wreckage as seen in The Force Awakens when we first meet up with Rey….and wow is all I can say.  It’s incredible!

Finally, there have been these small animated cartoons being released in the Star Wars world that are canon and cover areas of the lore that may not necessitate a movie on their own but it’s cool to see nonetheless.  These videos are called Forces of Destiny and there are more than that I’m showing here – but this one is about Porgs and I love porgs and you must too:

I love it so much.

Alright, that’s enough from me for now.   I hope all is well with you out in the world.

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.

A Hell of a Weekend

We partied like we were 25, and damn, it was fun, but utterly exhausting.  I highly recommend doing this maybe once or twice a year.  Then go back to normal regular weekends.  🙂

Up first, we were invited to longtime friend Ken Basin’s wedding up at Saddlerock Ranch in the Malibu mountains.  Many of my good friends were also attending as obviously Mila is going to be at her brother’s wedding, as well as many others that I love.  We knew it would be a boozy affair, so we Uber’d there (and let’s just say, Uber drivers can be very good or very bad….), got promptly lost (Uber driver not so great today) as we got dropped off at the wrong location within the complex, and started walking around based on vague directions from staff who have no idea where weddings are held on the premises.  The pictures here are of that random walk, which happily ended when a car driven by some other guests had the unlucky happenstance of going where we were – but lucky for us.  We all found our way to the right place and we managed to get to seats just shortly before the ceremony began.  D’oh!

The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful.  The weather couldn’t have been better, what with it being mid-October.  But it’s of course been a ridiculously hot week for us with temps in the 100s this week, so our trend of having very late LA summers continues on.  Anyway, that wasn’t quite the case on Saturday, so it was great.

Highly recommend, if you can afford to, a wedding here.  Beautiful vistas, gorgeous lighting in the trees, good food, and just a spectacular venue.  It being a Jewish wedding, there was of course the hora to dance to, and of course, I did.  I also managed to roll my ankle at the very end of the dance as it was a packed dance floor with 300 guests, a hardwood dance floor that I managed to find the end of with my right foot and landed poorly.  Happily, it’s just rolled/sprained and not worse, because as of today, it’s mostly back to normal.

Lots to drink, lots of dancing with close friends and loved ones, some good food (not enough to keep me from getting hammered), and a great party all led to us not getting home until 1 in the morning.  LOOK OUT YOUNG FOLK!

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 – Ken & Lisa’s Wedding @ Saddlerock Ranch

We were primed to be hurting on Sunday, and while it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been (I’ve been WAY HUNGOVER before, believe me – this past Sunday was nothing like that), it was certainly one of those days that could have been spent sleeping in a lot more and then do something lazy.  But we had more plans today, as we were going to celebrate Mom’s birthday with a lunch and then follow that up with a birthday celebration for Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake.

We got ourselves ready to go and off we went to Arcadia’s Westfield shopping center, which looks so freakin’ different than the Santa Anita Fashion Show mall I grew up with and had my first B Dalton Booksellers job at. Unrecognizable.  Anyway, there’s a Cheesecake Factory there now so we met up with Mom, Stacie, and Trent for a good lunch.  As much as I can sometimes look down on Cheesecake Factory for being ‘just a’ chain restaurant, they are always packed for a reason:  the food is pretty damn good and it’s not a bad price.  It was a nice lunch though catching up with everyone and slowly but surely feeling like a human again.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 – Birthday Lunch w/ Mom

Larry & I then had to figure out just what we were up for in terms of the Silver Lake birthday fun.  We were both exhausted and the idea of wine at the time didn’t sound appealing, nor did the follow-up oysters restaurant.  But there wasn’t an option of not going, so we stopped at home first to take a sanity break, and then it was time to call an Uber to take us to Silver Lake.  God bless Uber – it makes going places where the parking is horrible not so awful.  The flip side is that the hesitancy to drink evaporates as there’s no reason to be cautious.  So while we didn’t just decide to get blitzed, we certainly did have rose while having a freakin’ blast at Silver Lake Wines.  It’s a fun place as while it is a wine store, you can also have them open the wines and serve it to you while hanging out.  And so yeah, we did that.  A few hours later, we all then went over to L&E Oyster Bar for some follow-up food.  I passed on oysters as ew, gross, but they did have cheese plates and bread and that was delicious.  It wasn’t enough for dinner though, and by around 7pm, I was starting to need more.  So with Nicki, Rekha, and Megan, we left the group and headed just a bit further south to Silver Lake Ramen, which OMG is so good.  We had to wait for about an hour though, and happily a bar is next door, The Thirsty Crow, so yeah, more alcohol.  Dude, we were rockstars this weekend.  No idea how we made it through it, although Monday admittedly was a rough day to wake up to!

Birthday Wine with Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake

And that was our weekend.  I’ve been remiss in showing the many pictures from our exciting other weekends…so I will endeavor to do that as well.  Let’s see if I’m more successful this time than every other time I say that!

A Pictures-palooza From the Last Month – Pt 1

Normally, I’d insist on showing absolutely every picture I took….but I realize that will take a lot of time and effort.  So we’ll have to do a bit of editing, although I’m pretty sure it’ll still look as if I posted every picture I took.  What can you do?

It has been a busy month or so, since last I posted, whether it was work or vacation.  Work was especially intense and I can actually see a finish line for this engagement, if that can be believed. Probably shouldn’t jinx myself though, so I’ll leave it at that.

Sat, May 27, 2017: Starting Memorial Day Weekend with La La Land @ the Bowl

During Memorial Day weekend, Larry & I were heading out to New Jersey & NYC to spend the week with friends and family and to be able to attend our niece’s baby naming ceremony.  But before we headed back, I had bought us tickets to the La La Land in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl….and it was great and a wonderful way to kick off the Hollywood Bowl season.  The kicker in this concert was that the orchestra would play the entire soundtrack while the movie played, and for this, they also included a jazz band, and there was a fantastic piano player who quite deftly played all the Sebastian music.  Pretty great experience, and aided by fireworks that kicked in at various moments in the movie.  Gotta love fireworks!

Sun, May 28:  Flying to Newark

Happily, flying out of LAX in the middle of a long holiday weekend isn’t a complete shitshow, and even while you can’t ever escape traffic at the terminal, we were still able to get in and to the gate pretty easily.  Pro-Tip:  Get yourself Pre-Check.  Everything is easier once that’s accomplished.

I liked these pictures I took right after take-off, looking back at Los Angeles and the area around Rancho Palos Verdes.

That first night, we got picked up by Fran & Joel and hung out at their place, eating some delicious New Jersey pizza.  Then it was time to pass out and hope we could get some sleep.

Mon, May 29:  A Day with Jon, Alyssa, Stacey & Rachel

Our first full day back was going to be spent with the Rausches as we never get to see them.  Plus, the baby naming ceremony for Rachel was the following weekend and that was going to be a hectic, stressful day for them.  So here, we could just relax and have a nice day.    Which we totally did, as we hung out at their house for a while, chatting, having a few drinks, eating lunch, and getting to play with Stacey & Rachel.  We then went to the local zoo!  It may have been kind of dreary and rainy, but it was still fun.  It was back to the house for some more Lego Batman movie watching and games directed by Stacey before we then went to a wonderful dinner with just Jon & Alyssa as Fran & Joel picked up babysitting duties.  In other words, it was a really fun day.

Tues, May 30 – Larry’s Birthday!

So this day was a day with Fran in NYC as well as us starting a temporary hotel stay in the city for a few days to be tourists and enjoy the old neighborhoods a bit.  First on the agenda was heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the UES, as hello, it’s awesome there.  After Fran fearlessly navigated her way there – btw, the city seems to be a whole lot more crowded as lots of streets are under refurbishment? – we walked the few blocks to the Met and took in a few exhibits before heading to the roof.  It’s got a spectacular view of Midtown framed by a tree-top view of Central Park.  See for yourself!

We then had lunch at the Atlantic Grill, which was the restaurant that Larry literally lived right above when he used to live on 76th St.  When you’d walk up to his place, you’d walk right by the windows of the restaurant that faced his building’s little courtyard.  So we were back!  It’s a great seafood restaurant and was a very nice way to celebrate his birthday.

At this point, Fran dropped us off over on the UWS as she headed back to New Jersey, and we then grabbed an Uber to take us to our hotel in Chelsea, the Hyatt House.  It was a fairly new building with just a few rooms per floor as the building is quite narrow, and it didn’t seem very crowded.  Also, it’s in a great location as you’re near Midtown but not quite in it, while also handy to a few subway lines.  Anyway, after checking in and getting settled, we had a show to catch, as Fran had gotten us tickets to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.  It’s a fun show about a British shoe company that is down on its luck until it realizes there’s a market for drag queen shoes.  It’s an enjoyable, fun musical with some standout performances, notably by the main queen, Lola, as well as the young owner of the shoe factory, played here by the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco.  A lot of catchy numbers made for a very fun show – definitely recommended.

Afterwards, we walked over to Hell’s Kitchen to grab a meal at one of our favorite places, Five Napkin Burger…so goood.