Tag Archives: happy new year

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:

It’s 2015, Big Eyes!

Larry & I made it through a nice and relaxing and stress-free NYE last night, watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN’s NYE broadcast from Times Square.  They were of course endlessly entertaining and made us laugh throughout the night, while we kept warm at home and enjoyed a quite delicious bottle of Saddlebrook Champagne from the local Malibu Wines.  After the previous 2 years, it’s good to have had a simple and harmless event.  And despite usually having a terrible hangover from champagne, this was good stuff and we were pretty good this morning!

One of the first things I ended up doing was putting together my gift from Alyssa & Jon:  a LEGO set of the United Nations!  As has been readily apparent, I am all about these LEGO Architecture sets.  They’re so much fun to put together and I’ve been loving the sets of places that I’ve actually been to, as I also have a Rockefeller Center set and then the one that Larry got me for my birthday, the Trevi Fountain.  The white pieces and the clear blue pieces are beautiful – I can’t imagine taking these sets apart, but if I did, they’d be fun elements to build something with.

So first, here are my pics of the LEGO set:

And since I seemed to have not posted these on my site even back in 2010, here’s the pics I took back from December 2010 when I went and visited the United Nations.  It had been on my list of places I wanted to visit and I wasn’t leaving NYC without doing so.  It was very awesome to get a chance to go there, and I even got some pics in the General Assembly!  I can’t remember why Larry didn’t go with me though, but afterwards I met up with my friend and former co-worker Pravi in Midtown for lunch and goodbyes.  Feels like forever ago!

December 23, 2010 – Visiting the United Nations

23-Dec-2010 09:42, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
 
23-Dec-2010 10:29, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 8.0, 6.2mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 8.0, 6.2mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
 
23-Dec-2010 10:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
 
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 10:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
23-Dec-2010 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 200
 
23-Dec-2010 11:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 11:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 200
23-Dec-2010 11:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, 2.8, 6.2mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 200
 

Finally, time to the title and featured image of the post!  We went out and saw the movie Big Eyes this afternoon, and then grabbed some dinner at the Mexican restaurant there at the Americana called Frida.  Good food, and a great movie!

Big-Eyes-movie-posterBig Eyes (2014)

Saw this on January 1, 2015 at Pacific Theaters at Americana

This Tim Burton movie (!) tells the real-life story of Margaret and Walter Keane, who were married and responsible for the artwork known primarily because of the subjects’ giant eyes.  Here’s the trailer:

As it shows, Margaret was the actual artist of these drawings and paintings, while her husband Walter took the credit for it and was the one who promoted and sold the hell out of them.  She would be toiling on the paintings in secret back at home while the world thought Walter Keane was the talent.  It was the late 1950s and early 1960s so the social mindsets seemed to lean towards skepticism of female artists, so Walter took it upon himself to be the front man.  Watching this all go down from 2015, it is really hard to watch.  Amy Adams as Margaret is amazing but you want to just scream at her character that she deserves so much better!   Alas, she goes along with this arrangement for a long while, until of course she doesn’t.

Both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are great in the roles – she is especially good in the role, even though it requires her to rein in a lot and play someone who is bound by her domineering husband and fear of what would happen if she were to say something.  Waltz is on full smarm mode but that is what the role calls for, and you just want to punch him in the face.  But that’s him doing a great job as Walter Keane!  I think what is surprising is how little this feels like a Tim Burton movie, as he’s the same director of such movies as Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, to name just a few.  There’s a moment where you get some of his signature weirdness in the movie, but besides that, it’s a very traditional-style movie.  Larry pointed out that still there is a lot of composition of shots that Burton pulls off that help frame the movie much like a 1960s postcard which does require some directorial flair.  Regardless, it’s a very good movie and left me wondering how the Keane artwork is formally recognized now?

Twenty Fourteen is Here

It’s crazy to believe that it’s already 2014.  I wish I could say 2013 flew by or something, but it really didn’t.    The first half of the year was pretty good what with the second cruise we took and overall things going great, but then there was the having-to-move stuff (which ended up working out pretty well as this Silver Lake place rules), Harv’s death and its associated repercussions, work things, and all in all, I’m glad 2013 is over.

I hope that the statement that how you celebrate New Year’s is an indicator of what your year will be like is bullshit (which I know it is, don’t worry), as I’m not certain how I’d interpret last night’s attempt to celebrate NYE.  Started out great and was a whole lot of fun, but one action taken certainly wiped the party out pretty good about an hour ahead of midnight.  So yeah, lesson learned the hard way.  Ugh.  I’ll just say that 2014 will be the year of paying attention to the common sense wisdom accumulated in the years before.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll say.

I am happy to still find myself extremely fortunate in most areas of life and I know that what I have is extraordinarily lucky.  It is so easy to take it for granted but I think that I have learned to make sure that I don’t count entirely just on luck.  Meaning?  Recognize that what I have could disappear pretty quickly if I don’t pay attention and work to keep it.  So maybe 2014 is also a year for continuing to remember to work, bitch!

OKAY, enough, right?  I’m excited to post this entire year.  I know I can do it, even if it’s just a photo post or some quick aside. I’m inspired by other blogs out there that just knock out posts day after day.  Practice makes perfect, right?  It’s the only way to keep your skills honed.   That reminds me, I really want to get back into music lessons, particularly guitar lessons.  I hate that I let that slide when moving to Los Angeles from New York.

Happy New Year!

Greatest Hits 2007-style

I did this last year and it’s kind of fun to reminisce and really think about what happened in my life this past year. ESPECIALLY this year.

I guess before I begin – and this may be a long post, so you have been warned, I’ll post my holiday pictures up from my trip back home to Los Angeles for Christmas. It was really wonderful to see the whole famn damily after 3 years of being a no-show at the typical Christmas festivities. It was definitely a brief trip and accordingly exhausting as I left here on Saturday night and got to LA about 2 in the morning on Sunday. We had Stacie and her family over that evening so there was really no rest for the wicked to be had. It’s always a blast to catch up with stister Stacie and it’s like things are always the same between us. Then the next day was Christmas Eve with the Sperskes, which has been a tradition as long as I’ve been alive or at least as long as i remember. Again, seeing the whole family with all the young generation around is crazy. I used to be the Baby of these gatherings – but I guess when the baby is now 31, that title has to be passed on eventually! I am really glad I went home, if even for a short time. Just hanging out at home with Mom and Harv was so nice. But this was a short trip and after spending Christmas day pretty lowkey with going over to the Jensens (my first time partaking in EB’s fantastic Christmas Prime Rib – awesome!), I headed back to New Jersey the day after Christmas. And so this week at work was a whopping two days but they were fairly busy for me as I’m trying to teach myself Oracle Reports based on other completed results and while that is a very good place to start (cue ‘Do Re Mi’…), it doesn’t quite get me up to the speed I need to be at. So my work laptop has been brought home to continue the working/learning. Anyways, that’s a brief recap of this week. You are free to leave at this point if you want as the rest is basically pics of family that probably only family will enjoy and then a long recap of this year that I’m sure will leave some asleep at the keyboard and others going WTF? and some going, “well, did he Really need to say that there?” And to all of that, I say, ‘this is my page and I can write pretty much whatever the hell I want!’ (For you Arielle fans, I’ve got nothing more for you either!)

 23 & 24 Dec 2007 – Christmas in Los Angeles

23-Dec-2007 13:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
23-Dec-2007 13:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 12.523mm, 0.004 sec
Mom and Harv are nuts. Here's next year's Christmas card photo....
Mom and Harv are nuts. Here's next year's Christmas card photo....23-Dec-2007 13:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 12.523mm, 0.005 sec
 
Stacie and her son, Trent
Stacie and her son, Trent23-Dec-2007 16:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.02 sec
23-Dec-2007 16:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
Me and my stister Stacie!
Me and my stister Stacie!23-Dec-2007 16:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 
23-Dec-2007 16:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
23-Dec-2007 19:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
23-Dec-2007 19:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 
Stacie, Charlie's Angel
Stacie, Charlie's Angel23-Dec-2007 19:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
23-Dec-2007 19:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
24-Dec-2007 17:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
24-Dec-2007 17:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Uncle Steve and Auntie Helen
Uncle Steve and Auntie Helen24-Dec-2007 17:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Mom and Uncle JC
Mom and Uncle JC24-Dec-2007 17:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
 

Well, I guess there’s no time like the present to begin my 2007 recap!

  • Okay, well, hmmm….I have things that I want to write about but where do I start off? 2007 felt like a very LONG year. I guess at the beginning of 2007, I was hopeful. I knew that 2007 would be the year I finally got free from the Air Force, but I’d have to put in 8 more months of it before I earned that freedom. So I put on my Determined Face and was ready to be the Flight Commander of SCB for what I figured would be at least till the summer when Melissa would take over for me once she put on the rank of Captain. Alas, that little daydream didn’t pan out as expected. Around sometime in mid-January, the squadron leadership tells me that they’re excited about the fact that I’ll be stepping up to take over as deputy sq cc for a month or so and that Melissa will take over in February…. WTF? I was so pissed. Especially when that house of cards fell apart and I basically got left with nothing to do. For the remaining 6 months. A new phrase was coined during that time: Bitch Don’t Care. You can interpret that in many ways, and you’d be right in EVERY interpretation with regards to that situation. But it was hilarious that I muttered that under my breath and Melissa called me out on it – don’t misinterpret that as I was not directing it at Melissa at all but she heard it and now the phrase took on a life of its own. It was awesome.
  • Here’s a sort of awkward one to write about, but it certainly was a big part of my life the first half or so of this year. I finally had a true best friend again: Jeremy. It was an awesome time for a while. And then of course life, being life, says things must change. And Jeremy went off to find happiness and work satisfaction, but that wasn’t in Colorado Springs. And I lost my best friend. I hope this doesn’t make any of my other friends think that I don’t care about them, but I’ve had very few true best friends. Before Jeremy, it was Jason back at Lajes. In Las Vegas I never really truly had a best friend but a few great ones. In Colorado Springs there is/was a great group of us that I consider awesome great lifelong friends but Jeremy was the one who fit the mold I guess of being in the Best category. So when he left, it was pretty sucky. And to be honest, it was one of the prime motivators for me to leave Colorado Springs. I’m sure I could have searched harder to stay in CS, but I didn’t. I decided it was time for me to get where I needed to go…wherever that was. And I’m sure that was/is flawed thinking because even if Jeremy had stayed, it would have been foolish to have aimed at staying there as while Jeremy and I were good buds, it’s not exactly likely a great guy like him is going to stay single for long and at that point, I become the ‘extra’ around, which is how I basically felt my status was near the end of my time in CS anyways as everybody had basically coupled up. And since we all know now which way I am, that kind of left me on the outside looking in.
  • I guess the screamingly obvious one for this year would have to be coming out. After the awkward way things happened in October of 2006 when Jeff and Susan found out (don’t get any bad or weird thoughts – I wasn’t caught in the act or something – but it certainly was not exactly the way I had imagined things to have gone that’s for sure) I really had no clear idea of what was going to happen next. Turns out that Oct 06 while stressful was exactly what needed to happen for me. In April when my Mom and Harv came out, I told them. That was one of the scariest things I ever had to do. I can vividly remember that entire day and I’m sure I will for the rest of my life. They of course were awesome about it and that alone helped so much. I don’t know what I would have done if they had rejected me. But looking back at that time as well as basically the past few years, everyone who knows admits they weren’t really surprised and kinda figured. Usually those words exactly. It’s probably my awesome ability to dress myself which gave me away…. I’m so glad that it’s done with, but now it’s just a whole new set of things I have to learn and adjust to. I’ve never dated as an adult and so a lot of this stuff is so new I feel like a damned retard.
  • Finding a new job. Yeah, leaving the Air Force was great but I knew that I had to have my act together to make sure the transition period had as minimal unemployment time as possible as I know that I’d go crazy not having somebody pay me to be there. So this summer was definitely an exciting time of traveling the country (Chicago, San Diego, New York City) looking for jobs. Through the recruiters and agencies I used I learned a HELL of a lot on how to effectively interview and do resumes etc. I guess something worked. But I have to say that sending that one email to Rob Hemker saying I wasn’t interested in going to Houston for another hiring conference was the single-most important email I may have ever sent so far in my life. I had just come back from San Diego (which was a week or so after Chicago) and I realized that those two conferences had been major wastes of time for me (ultimately). The experience I gained from interviewing was certainly good, but the actual positions I was interviewing for were not at all anything I was interested in. So the idea of going to Houston was not appealing. I had just flown back in to CS that morning and I was at my laptop trying to be productive in my job search as I realized then and there that I had to change my hunting strategies somehow. First and foremost was being direct and honest with these recruiters who were constantly calling me with more conference invites. First up: Rob from JROfficer.com. I sent him a polite email expressing my thoughts and literally 10 minutes later I get a call from him. And the rest is history as one of the first jobs offered for my pursuit was the NBC one and well, I guess we see how that went.
  • Leaving Colorado Springs. You may think that from that paragraph a few back that I couldn’t wait to leave once Jeremy left. You’d be wrong. Jeff, Susan (my Grace!), KD, Eric, Melissa, Erin…. these are all great friends that made life in Colorado Springs awesome. A true circle of friends that I feel honestly blessed to have had as it hadn’t been since Lajes that something like that had existed for me. Once I actually got an offer from NBC and after a day or so of pondering the offer and accepting it, the realization came over me that I was WILLINGLY starting over, once again. And I wouldn’t have any friends out there nor a built-in network of military to depend on. That’s one thing that is great about the military community – you can almost always find a few in your built-in rank circle that are awesome to hang out with. And since everyone in the military always moves around, they understand where you’re coming from when you’re the new guy and don’t have established friends there. It’s up to you how good of friends you want to get with these new friends, but it’s nice to have that option there (unless you go to Vegas and your ‘peergroup’ deems you unworthy of association…. thank God for fraternization!!!!). So basically saying, okay, not only am I going to leave Colorado Springs, I’m going to go where I know basically no one. Great. It sucked to leave. Those last few days spent with my friends were really painful and sad for me. But once I got on the road, I knew I had to just look forward and not dwell too much on what I was leaving behind. I’ll always keep in touch with those guys but it certainly isn’t the same not having them around to drink with, eat with, go see movies with, etc.
  • Leaving my HOUSE!!!! I still look at pictures of my house every now and then and get bummed. I tried to sell it because I’d rather have a clean break, but with the real estate market as it is, that didn’t happen. Fortunately my property management company found a renter a few days after I left and they’ve signed a two-year lease, which is awesome. But still, my house!!! I miss having my TV room. I miss the porch out back. I miss my garage. I miss my awesome kitchen/bar area. I miss my dining room. I miss my redone bathroom. It sucks just writing this. That house was totally mine and it was pretty much just how I wanted it. But now it’s gone, all my furniture is pretty much sold and gone except that which I took with me. Now I wanna drink. <sigh>
  • Summer with my Dad and Pat. It was weird – I didn’t know what to think of my Dad and Pat coming out to Colorado Springs for the summer. I was excited but it had been so long since I’d lived within any reasonable proximity to parents. Las Vegas was close to LA, but that’s still 2.5 hours away from LA. So having actual parents around to go have an impromptu dinner with was nice. I loved having them around, and having them over for dinner on the weekends was nice, as it felt great to have company that was actual family there. And then dropping by in the mornings down at the KOA camp before ‘work’ (which at this point was merely a place that I had to make an appearance at – although I probably could have skipped that too in all reality) and have breakfast. They left about a few weeks before I did and that just added to the sadness of leaving CS. I’m glad that I got this opportunity as honestly, that was the first time spent with my Dad on that regular of a basis in… well, I have no idea. It was just nice.
  • Becoming a New Yorker/Jersey Boy. I have to pay taxes to both of them so why not claim both as heritage???? New York has definitely been an incredible experience. Working at NBC and Rockefeller Center with a great group of people. Lucking out into an incredible living situation with a wonderful roommate. Doing the tourist thing in the biggest city in the world. Dating. It’s crazy. I’m still working on trying to create a new circle of friends to hang out with here, but it’s not easy going in that regards. Dating has slowed down to non-movement so it’s been kind of a lonely month except for going home. It’s my fault I guess, but frankly I don’t know how much energy I have. And this month in New York is ridiculous with tourists, so I’m really not spending much time in the city as it’s just too aggravating. I’m looking forward to relatively calm January and February to resume my exploration of the city as otherwise I’m gonna commit murder. You should have seen the ridiculousness of this past Friday as I was going home. 49th St was literally CLOGGED with tourists – they were literally walking in the middle of 49th and blocking traffic. I have NEVER seen it this crowded yet. I knew then and there that waiting for the Ferry bus would be pointless as the bus itself wouldn’t be able to move. So I walked it from 49th St/5th Ave to 39th St/12 Ave. It was actually a great night for it as it wasn’t too cold but navigating through the area around Rockefeller Center and Times Square was ludicrous. Once I got to the 9th Ave/Hells Kitchen area, it was a lot calmer and I walked by a quite a few of the places I’ve been, remembering the good times I’ve had there. So yeah, New York has been fun and while it’s a lull right now, I fully anticipate January to resume what Oct and Nov were like.

Okay, that’s probably not exactly all the Greatest Hits but it is a fairly accurate recap of the biggest things that happened to me this year. I just finished rewatching Season 3 of LOST on DVD and when Charlie writes down his 5 ‘Greatest Hits’ in his life before he is about to die, it got me thinking that I don’t even know what would be my 5. But that led me to think smaller and at least think of what happened in 2007. So there you go. If I don’t write again until 2008, I hope everyone has had a fantastic 2007 and has a safe New Years Eve. I will NOT be in Times Square this year as I just don’t have the motivation to go by myself there and suffer needlessly. I’ll be safe and warm at home with easy access to a bathroom which is what those thousands of people will NOT be able to say. And my booze is a lot cheaper to drink then out there!

Happy New Year and see you in 2008.