Category Archives: social culture

So It’s Actually Going to Happen!

I got the call this morning….I’m going to be on Jeopardy! Well, okay, I will be on the show, but it’s not a definite thing yet as to when.  I get to be an “alternate” for an upcoming taping, which means I have a 50/50 shot of getting on the show.  They need locals who can step in I guess in case someone who is supposed to go on ends up bailing or for some reason just not going on.  That’s me!

Jeopardy! – The Second Round

I hadn’t expected to hear any word so soon, but they were very nice to say that they did indeed really like me.  I haven’t asked, but I really think it was my Showgirls move that pushed me over the edge.  It’s kind of nuts to think this is all actually going to happen!

So with being an alternate this first session, it sounds like I’m scheduled to be an alternate for the last show of the day that’ll be taped.  During that day, I’ll have to be there the entire time anyway, which will be cool as I’ll get to watch all 5 shows.  I can also bring guests, so even if I don’t go on, it’ll be fun to just get to watch.  If it ends up that I don’t get to go on that day, they let me know that I’m fairly certain to get on in the next month or so after that.  So here’s hoping all goes well!  I just can’t wait to see the studio for myself, possibly meet Alex Trebek and take some pictures, and maybe, just maybe, get some victories under my belt!  🙂

Stay tuned for more details, but I really won’t know much for another month or so!

Hollywood Bowl Double Header: West Side Story + Diana Ross

Concert #1 – West Side Story @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 14, 2016

Larry & I were super-ambitious with our Hollywood Bowl ticket selections this year.  We had once sworn off weeknight Bowl concerts as they can be kind of exhausting to go to after a day of work.  But we went for it anyway, picking a Thursday night concert performance of West Side Story, which my mom also came with us to see.  Everything honestly worked out great for the most part, except damn, Thursday night traffic was ludicrously bad.  Like, the worst I’ve seen it.  It honestly took us almost an hour on the bus to go from the LA Zoo parking lot over to the Bowl, and that’s INSANE.  Look at the distance on the map and you’ll realize why that’s insane.

As for the show, none of us were quite sure what to expect.  Our experiences with movies at the Bowl have been different, with the Hitchcock experience being various scenes from his film accompanied by their even more-famous scores, E.T. being a straight-up watching of the movie while listening to the orchestra play the soundtrack, to of course John Williams’ music being highlights from the various movies he’s scored.  It ended up that West Side Story was that night going to be a performance of the songs, Broadway-style.  Although we learned later that only the rights to perform the songs had been acquired, but NOT the choreography, so no dancing.

In the end, it was a fantastic performance, with wildly talented performers in the main roles.  Jeremy Jordan, of both SMASH and Supergirl, was Tony, and he was awesome.  So were the people who played Maria, Anita, and Riff – and hearing “Dance at the Gym” performed live is always a thrill.  Just wish there had been dancing!

Concert #2 – Diana Ross @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 15, 2016

The very next day, we were heading BACK to the Bowl for another concert.  Diana Ross isn’t someone I would necessarily have said I’d have wanted to see in concert, as I wasn’t even sure she still did tour.  This season’s pickings at the bowl were a little sparse, so we ended up just taking a chance on seeing if a true legend still had it.  Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much.  She’s 72, and I don’t expect people to still bring it like they would have in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s!  So how about I shut my damn whore mouth as Miss Diva fucking brought it.  She tore that house down, let me tell you, and I am so happy we made it to her show.

Diana Ross performed songs from her various eras, starting us off with some Supremes action, then proceeding into her disco fun, a small journey to Lady Sings the Blues, and then ending with some pure bliss.  Does she dance all across the stage?  Nope, but does she own every inch of it anyway?  YES.  Or as Ilana would say, Yas, Queen!  It was such a blast, she owned the crowd, and if you get the chance to catch her in concert, just do it and go.  It’s worth it.

Diana Ross @ the Hollywood Bowl Set List

Oh, btw, I created a setlist.fm account and created the setlist myself on that site this time as no one had done so yet.  So all props to ME.

  1. I’m Coming Out
  2. More Today Than Yesterday
  3. My World is Empty Without You
  4. Baby Love
  5. Stop! In the Name of Love
  6. Come See About Me
  7. You Can’t Hurry Love
  8. Touch Me in the Morning
  9. Love Child
  10. The Boss
  11. Upside Down
  12. Love Hangover
  13. Take Me Higher
  14. Ease on Down the Road
  15. Don’t Explain
  16. Good Morning Heartache
  17. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  18. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
  19. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  20. Encore: I Will Survive
  21. Encore 2: Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)
  22. I Will Survive (Reprise)

Our Activity-Filled July 4 Weekend

It’s been one hell of a 4-day weekend – a much needed one, to be sure.  Today, the actual holiday of July 4, is probably going to be the most relaxing day of it all, and that’s absolutely perfect for us.  Stay a while, look at some pictures, as we’ve had some fun activities this weekend!

Friday, July 1

PwC gave us this day off, and after the one-two punch of Wednesday and Thursday, it was a nice luxury.  I made myself exercise in the morning, then I took care of some of the chores that had been backing up, including the sad one of sending off my MacBook Pro for reabsorption back in the Apple ecosystem.  I ended up trading it in for credit as I just do NOT use it anymore.  Well, it did have one lust hurrah for us as it served as the photo montage delivery system during our wedding reception, so thank you MBP!   But alas, your time finally came.

1-DSCN3877

I didn’t do too much exciting stuff though beyond just getting some other shit done at home, as Larry had to work.  But we had activities galore planned for the weekend, so Friday didn’t need to be nuts.  We did get some Din Tai Fung though, so it was a nice capper to the day.

Saturday, July 2

Mom was going to be coming over in the afternoon today as we had tickets to see Beautiful at the Pantages that night, but in the afternoon, Larry and I had tickets to the Rain Room.  So off we went for some culture at LACMA.  We ended up going this day as that was when I could get tickets at a decent time – the Rain Room is quite a hot ticket to get, much like the Infinite Stars thing at the Broad.   One day we’ll hope to be back there and see that.  Anyway, we headed to LACMA and had some fun at our museum stomping grounds, first taking in the Metropolis II exhibit.  It’s always fun to see it and we got there right when it started up.

2016 07 02 – Revisiting Metropolis II at the LACMA

It was a beautiful day for the LACMA, that’s for sure.  This weekend was happily not one of those insane 100-degree onslaughts!

So, off to the Rain Room, which is a relatively new installation that has you walk into a room with rain falling, with the key twist being that as you walk, the rain clears so you don’t get wet.  In theory.  You are instructed to walk quite slowly, but even moving slowly, you’re gonna get dripped on.  It is a pretty neat thing to do though.  I took some pictures and videos, which you can see here. Continue reading Our Activity-Filled July 4 Weekend

Visited by Fran and Other Photo Stories

Fran made a Los Angeles visit at precisely the right time, as she was able to be out here while the pretty intense snowstorm / blizzard went on back east.  That storm didn’t end up dumping a ton of snow on NYC and New Jersey but it definitely hit Boston and New England pretty hard.  She was originally due to go home on Monday but because of the storm, she was delayed until today.  I’m glad that she had the chance to stay longer as I really thought she was going to anyway?   I’m posting the pics from the visit that I took below – the last few days we didn’t really take many pics, but what can you do?  Below these Fran pics, I am also posting some random photos that apparently I’ve neglected to post from things like going to the Pantages with mom to see Wicked and the Broad City Season 2 Premiere Party we hosted two weeks ago.  So lazy of me!

22 Jan 2015 – Fran’s Arrival / Dinner at the Dresden

Larry picked Fran up at the airport and took her to a few places before I got home from work, so I don’t have pics from their endeavors going to a bagel place and walking around Sunset Junction.  But I did get the photos going once I got home and then when we went to the Dresden for a fantastic dinner.  It’s still surprising how good the food is while also being very decently priced.

22-Jan-2015 17:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
22-Jan-2015 20:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
22-Jan-2015 20:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
 

23 Jan 2015 – At the Grove

I was working this day so I entrusted my camera to Larry so he would take pictures.  He actually did good!  They visited Fran’s cousin Kathy over at the Grove in West LA and by all accounts had a memorable time.  When they got back, and when I was at home, we walked over to Esperanza, the restaurant right up Hyperion from here.

23-Jan-2015 12:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
23-Jan-2015 12:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 400
23-Jan-2015 12:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
23-Jan-2015 12:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
23-Jan-2015 13:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.699mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
23-Jan-2015 13:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.699mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
23-Jan-2015 13:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.699mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
23-Jan-2015 14:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 6.699mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
23-Jan-2015 18:23, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
 
23-Jan-2015 18:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000
23-Jan-2015 18:25, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
23-Jan-2015 18:25, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
 

24 Jan 2015 – Universal Studios day!

Fran hadn’t been to Universal Studios since the 1970s (or so she claimed!) and was excited to get a chance to go again and see how different it looks now.  It was a perfect day to do this as the weather was spectacular.   We made it to pretty much all the attractions, with Fran being a true sport and getting on everything.  We didn’t make it to the Simpsons Ride, but that’s fine.  We got on the Studio Tour which was entertaining as hell and slightly different than other times I’ve been on it – it seems that’s the case for every time you go on it that it will be slightly different.  Also went on Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4D, ate at Mel’s Diner for lunch, then down to the Lower Lot for Jurassic Park (Fran loved that ride), then The Mummy (she wasn’t such a fan of that, understandably), and Transformers The Ride, which had been closed all day but suddenly reopened while we were killing time in the museum.  We also watched the Waterworld Stunt Show and that was pretty damn cool!  After that it was a good time to go home, and after resting a bit, we went out for some delicious dumplings at Dim Tai Fung at Americana.  Very full day.

24-Jan-2015 09:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 160
24-Jan-2015 09:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 5.35mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
24-Jan-2015 09:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
24-Jan-2015 09:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 160
24-Jan-2015 09:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 160
24-Jan-2015 09:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 
24-Jan-2015 09:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
24-Jan-2015 09:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
24-Jan-2015 09:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 18.691mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
24-Jan-2015 09:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.549mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
24-Jan-2015 09:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
24-Jan-2015 09:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
 
24-Jan-2015 09:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
24-Jan-2015 09:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.325mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
24-Jan-2015 09:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
 

25 Jan 2015 – Day of Open Houses

We had a nice Sunday Brunch at Edendale before spending the following 3 hours going all over Glassell Park, Mt Washington, Highland Park, Burbank, North Hollywood and then Los Feliz/Silver Lake to look at Open Houses I’d found on Trulia.  There were some very great houses that are actually kind of within our price range, including the following (you can click on the images below and the Trulia page for the listing will pop up in a new window):

3651RoderickI think I liked this one the absolute most.  It wasn’t especially huge, but it’s been gorgeously finished and the price is much more right than others I’ve lusted for previously.  It’s actually very much in the price range I’m looking at.  The views are stunning and the location is pretty awesome.  If this sticks around on the market until February or so, I may have to think seriously about this one.  Also other things have to line up too, but I’m counting on things working out for the best.

There was another house we saw amongst the 7 that I also loved.  This one was in Burbank and is just stunning.  Not as affordable as the one above, and the bathroom situation is a little janky (the master bedroom’s bathroom is a 1/2 bathroom, while the guest bathroom is the only full one), but still….everything else about this is just amazing.  The neighborhood in Burbank is also pretty great.

1320WOakThe others we saw were okay but nothing to really freak out about and post screenshots of!  It’s exhausting driving around town though – at the end we were trying to find this condo development in Silver Lake and the address was COMPLETELY wrong on Trulia, as it sent us on to Edendale Dr.  I think Edendale Dr may be the most steep fucking street I’ve ever been on.  It was frightening.   Anyway, we weren’t too adventurous about dinner that night so we went up to Barbarella.  They’re going to be converting their Lago Pizzeria section into a BBQ joint in a week or two.  Larry & I are really looking forward to seeing how good the food is.

25-Jan-2015 11:11, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 2.65mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 32
25-Jan-2015 11:11, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
25-Jan-2015 11:11, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
 
25-Jan-2015 11:12, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
25-Jan-2015 11:13, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
25-Jan-2015 19:00, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
25-Jan-2015 19:05, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
25-Jan-2015 19:06, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
 

The last two nights (Monday & Tuesday), we’ve kind of kept things pretty simple.  Monday was a rainy day and we went to Target during the day (exciting!) and for dinner, we made it back to the Morrison.  Also got Larry to see Fiddler on the Roof and he loved it, as he should.  Such a good movie!   Yesterday I went to work but when I got back in the afternoon, we had dinner at Cafe Beaujolais where we went for my birthday.  REALLY good French food.  Le sigh.

Fran left this morning to go back home.  It was a wonderful visit and it was nice for her to be here during this kind of stressful time, and I know Larry loved getting to see his mom.  Hopefully we’ll be back east sooner than later to see the whole extended family.

In Other News!

I realize that I’ve been derelict in my duties concerning posting pictures from other festivities.  In all honesty, it’s been a fairly hectic January in that every weekend, we’ve had something planned to do.  That’s a nice thing but it’s also an exhausting thing.  It also means I get a little backed up in posting pictures!

10 Jan 2015 – Wicked at the Pantages

First up is that Larry and I took my mom to go see Wicked at the Pantages the day before we went off on our Disneyland 2-day trip.  I had only seen Wicked on my birthday back in 2007 when I first moved to New Jersey.  That time, I went with my roommate Shelly and it was a lot of fun.  I can’t say the musical blew me away and I won’t say much different about it now, but it really is an entertaining show.  The big numbers like “Popular”, “Defying Gravity”, and “Something Good” knock you out and are worthy of all the praise.  It’s just that the rest of the songs are fairly meh, at least to me.  The actual plot of the musical is fantastic though and that’s what keeps you interested.  It’s fun to see how the threads of the movie start popping up in the show.  It was also cool that Madame Morrible was played by Kim Zimmer, who my mom and I both know from her days as playing Reva Shayne in Guiding Light, the now-cancelled yet extremely long-running daytime soap that was on CBS.  She was wonderful in the role.  The woman playing Galinda was absolutely killing it too – her comedic timing was pitch-perfect.  “Defying Gravity’ is still stunning as the Act I ending.  I’m glad to have gotten a chance to see it again.  One day soon I’ll re-evaluate my rankings of Broadway shows to consider this as well as all the new shows seen since my last iteration.

10-Jan-2015 13:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.272mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 160
10-Jan-2015 13:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.07mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
10-Jan-2015 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
10-Jan-2015 13:24, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
10-Jan-2015 13:24, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
10-Jan-2015 13:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 
10-Jan-2015 13:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5mm
10-Jan-2015 13:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Jan-2015 13:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Jan-2015 13:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Jan-2015 13:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
10-Jan-2015 13:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 15.939mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
10-Jan-2015 13:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.96mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 

14 Jan 2015 – Broad City Season 2 Premiere Party!

The return of Broad City is always a reason to celebrate, so we did!  We had a special guest in the form of Rekha, who had been out here to do some project turnover with Nicki while also visiting family.  Additionally, everyone came over and it was wonderful.   Best thing was that Broad City came back very strong and was ridiculously good and funny.  Here’s hoping to a continued strong sophomore season.

14-Jan-2015 19:04, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
14-Jan-2015 19:04, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
14-Jan-2015 19:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
14-Jan-2015 19:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 800
14-Jan-2015 19:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 640
14-Jan-2015 19:34, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 250
 
14-Jan-2015 19:43, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 250
14-Jan-2015 19:43, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
14-Jan-2015 19:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
14-Jan-2015 19:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
14-Jan-2015 19:51, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
14-Jan-2015 19:51, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
14-Jan-2015 20:39, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
14-Jan-2015 20:39, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 250
14-Jan-2015 20:39, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 

Alright, I think that’s everything.  Like I said, January has been nuts and I’m hoping that things calm down and resolve themselves soon in February.  That would be great.  Also great?  If we can find a new place to call home, especially one that is something we buy.  I’d love the hell out of that.  Anyway, first things first.  Crossing fingers for a fabulous February.

Dammmmmnnnn!

Last night’s State of the Union from President Obama was a really good recap of all the things that have been accomplished while also laying out hopes for what can be accomplished in the near future, including trying to get past the massive amounts of gridlock and over-politicking (not a word, I know), but dammmmmnnnn, the moment that just made anyone’s jaw drop who was watching was this moment below:

I just loved that first Obama smirked when he got the predictable cheers at  his statement about no more campaigns to run, and then makes that split-second decision to not let it go.  LOVED IT.  I loved the cheers and standing ovation it got.  It was awesome and cathartic.

Gawker’s post about it cracked me the fuck up too, as not only is the article funny (and has a much more direct clip too) but the commenters there have some fucking hilarious GIFs and JPGs.  So good.

2015-01-21_0921