Tag Archives: van gogh

A Christmas Catch-Up Post & Pics!

There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas.  She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm.  These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go.   We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show.  The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act.  At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her.   It was freakin’ Deven Green!  Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?

Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole.  But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!”  Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t.  So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person.  She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with.  I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.

Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives

The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.  It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming.  I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality.  Highly recommended!

A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can.  It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.

There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.”  It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it.  I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.

Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form.  It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it.  I’m not wrong:

I’ve found Larry’s doppelganger

The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry.  I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry.  It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.

Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas.  Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.

Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures

One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time.  Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool.  You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.

On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent.  It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day.  We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it.  Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think.  I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system?  Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing.  And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions.  🙂

Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam

Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon.  We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?

Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.  

I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year.  Yep, not moving after 2 years this time.  Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.

In a New York Minute!

Okay, that has absolutely nothing to do with your Mom, but it sounded cool in my head while typing it.

Alright, bear with me – I think all chronological order will be thrown out the window as I recount the past week and a half or so of events here in ol’ NYC. First, some of the more recent things:

Springsteen.NBC.Today 190 (1)Robie Saunderson of San Antonio Chicken Divinity fame sent me a digital movie file of my TODAY show glory – click here to download it for yourself (it’s about 2 MB or so, so keep that in mind dial-up folks!). So it’s not exactly a CLOSE-UP of me, but hey, I Springsteen.NBC.Today 190 (1)was still intercut with Bruce Springsteen and when I saw it on the jumbotron screen at Rockefeller Center (NOT Times Square though…bummer), it was lifesize! Also, here are some stills that Robie thoughtfully sent as well (thanks Robbie!).

  •  While waiting for the Ferry bus (no smartaleck comments, kthx) to pick me up outside work today (I was standing outside a Kenneth Cole store and kept looking in – I definitely need to go in there and look at their shoes and jackets…and hope they’re not like $500) as I was heading home early to meet the DirecTV folks who ended up not being able to install HD because my receiver I brought with me is BROKEN…okay, I rambled there, but while waiting for the Ferry bus (heh heh) who walks by me but Conan O’Brian? That dude is tall! And what’s funny is that he wasn’t mobbed or nothin’ while walking down the street. In fact, he probably never is, but still, he’s pretty distinctive looking. And tall.
  • Speaking of Conan O’Brien, this past Friday I remembered that on the internal NBC channels in 30 Rock, you can tune to each of the studios and watch rehearsals. So during the afternoon, I was working and watching Conan work on that night’s broadcast, which was actually pretty damn cool as you see how they tweak the material to make it funnier and such. And he cusses. Awesome. Then, a few channels over, you can watch Studio 8H aka the Saturday Night Live studio and watch them prep for Saturday. If you thought some of their sketches were painful to watch just once, try listening to it REPEATEDLY over and over – and it doesn’t get funnier, folks. I can’t imagine the skit I saw was one that was hilarious to watch on Saturday evening.
  • The Rockefeller Center SKATING RINK has opened up as of yesterday. Yes, the skating rink is actually open. Yesterday the temperature was in the 80s. Go figure. But maybe they knew something we all didn’t because while Monday was sweltering and muggy, the rest of the week the temps are dropping over 20 degrees and by Friday, our highs are in the 50s! Yowza. Guess I’ll get to finally use my new umbrella and jackets.
  • Have I said recently how cool it is to work in Midtown???? If not, it’s freakin’ awesome. So much goes on right there.
  • Okay, so last I updated, the TODAY show experience had just happened, and now I’m posting the video. What’s happened since? Glad you asked.

So on Saturday, I embarked on my first sightseeing-as-a-native trip, wanting to go into Manhattan and see the Barnes & Noble flagship store as well as see more of Midtown Fifth Avenue, which is where all the fancy stores are. So I did that, traveling first to Midtown (#12 in the map to the left, which is courtesy of the NFT NYC guide, indispensable!) and taking some more pics of 30 Rock before taking the subway down to Union Square (which is in the southern part of #9), which is south of the Empire State Building and kinda close to Greenwich Village. Needless to say, the B&N there is pretty awesome. 4 stories. And like the retard I am, I couldn’t stop myself from buying not one but TWO heavy computer books that I now had to carry around the rest of my trip. I’m stupid.

NYCMapYou know, I’m looking at the map I put there and it makes me laugh – you see how close it looks like between where I live and where I work. Probably no more than 3-4 miles. But it takes at a minimum 40 minutes to get there. An hour when it’s heavily crowded or horrendous streets. Hopefully me getting to work ahead of the rush will help a bit, as I’ve signed up as a member of the 30 Rock gym and will work out in the mornings. I got to work early (meaning, 7:25 am) today and it was amazing how fast it was. The rush hour really is if you try to get to work between 9 – 9:30. That blows my mind coming from the military and getting to work by 7:30 (okay, I didn’t quite do that near the end of my time, but cut me some slack, bitches).

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in Union Square and bought a couple bricks to walk around with during the rest of my trip. I had originally anticipated just staying in Manhattan all day because the plan was to go to the movies with Shannon and some of her friends that evening around 7pm. That plan changed when the skin on my hands was raw after hauling those books around. Union Square is a really cool place though, with a huge farmers market during the weekend and lots of restaurants, shops and bars around there. I then walked up Broadway towards the Flatiron building, one of the older and more recognizable ‘skyscrapers’ in New York. Then it was a quick visit to Madison Square Park which was nice to be in. I jumped back in the subway towards Midtown though (#11, #12, and #13) and walked briefly by the Plaza Hotel, the very bottom edge of Central Park, and then finally back on Fifth Avenue, where like I said, all the very cool shops are. I bought stuff, of course. Then I hauled myself back to the Ferry terminal, went home and unloaded, changed, and then went back into Manhattan to go see “Into The Wild” with Shannon and Co. It was good to see her, but didn’t really get a chance to hang out much as the movie started soon and then afterwards, I left to go home as she had other things going on and I was still unsure of how to get home at this point! But while walking down Broadway, I couldn’t help but see Times Square so I ended up walking through that ridiculousness at night. It’s incredible though. And then I finally got back home. Quite an endeavor. Here are the pics below.

29 Sep 2007 - Midtown, Union Square, Flatiron, & Madison Sq Park

The very empty Port Imperial parking lot - Saturday isn't quite as busy a day as a weekday
The very empty Port Imperial parking lot - Saturday isn't quite as busy a day as a weekday29-Sep-2007 09:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 11.0, 15.599mm, 0.005 sec
There's my work - the very tall 30 Rock building
There's my work - the very tall 30 Rock building29-Sep-2007 10:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
And that's my balcony of fame
And that's my balcony of fame29-Sep-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Okay, now we're in the Union Square area, and I'm looking north to the Empire State Building
Okay, now we're in the Union Square area, and I'm looking north to the Empire State Building29-Sep-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.002 sec
Another pic of that
Another pic of that29-Sep-2007 12:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
That's the Met Life building right near Madison Square Park
That's the Met Life building right near Madison Square Park29-Sep-2007 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Looking up Broadway towards the ESB
Looking up Broadway towards the ESB29-Sep-2007 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 9.028mm, 0.006 sec
ESB, Broadway, and Madison Square Park
ESB, Broadway, and Madison Square Park29-Sep-2007 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 9.028mm, 0.005 sec
This is the Flatiron building. Look familiar?
This is the Flatiron building. Look familiar?29-Sep-2007 12:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
Another shot
Another shot29-Sep-2007 12:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
And one more
And one more29-Sep-2007 12:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Inside the Park
Inside the Park29-Sep-2007 12:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
Looking at what I thought was kind of a cool bridge
Looking at what I thought was kind of a cool bridge29-Sep-2007 12:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
The Met Life tower
The Met Life tower29-Sep-2007 12:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
A neat, subtle sculpture of evil fighting trees
A neat, subtle sculpture of evil fighting trees29-Sep-2007 12:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 10.487mm, 0.003 sec
 

I’m almost getting tired of all this updating, but screw it, must keep going. The next day, Sunday, was chores day and picking up stuff I needed day, until I found out that North Bergen county in Jersey basically closes on Sunday. And I didn’t feel like exploring too much as my auto insurance was still up in the air a bit. On that note, I’ve switched to GEICO and literally it is saving me about $375 every 6 months over what USAA was having me pay. No gracias, USAA!

Then it was the second week of work, and in a summary, I think I’m starting to actually make sense of things. I’m not the expert I will become, but I’m certainly making headway in to what I’ll be doing and what the systems I’m working on actually do and how they do it. Sweet. I did take some random pictures from that week though, so here are those. Also, my sightseeing excursion this past weekend was to go visit one of New York’s amazing museums. It was going to be between the Museum of Modern Art or The Metropolitan Museum of Art – I ended up choosing MoMA which was incredible. I love what can constitute art. I did get to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night though, which is a definite checkbox in my life. It had a lot of incredible works and was quite a great museum. Highly recommended!

1 Oct 2007 – Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center skating rink getting prepared for opening
The Rockefeller Center skating rink getting prepared for opening01-Oct-2007 15:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 400
01-Oct-2007 15:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 107
I can't believe I actually work here - soon the tree will be up!
I can't believe I actually work here - soon the tree will be up!01-Oct-2007 15:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 
I LOVE this pic I took of 30 Rock
I LOVE this pic I took of 30 Rock01-Oct-2007 15:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
And there it is, my workplace. Walk by this every day. Amazing. For me.
And there it is, my workplace. Walk by this every day. Amazing. For me.01-Oct-2007 15:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 127
 

3 Oct 2007 – Disappearing ESB

The Empire State Building in fog one afternoon while riding the Ferry home
The Empire State Building in fog one afternoon while riding the Ferry home03-Oct-2007 16:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 12.523mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 141
 

7 Oct 2007 – At the MoMA

The view from MoMA's sculpture garden - very eclectic
The view from MoMA's sculpture garden - very eclectic07-Oct-2007 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
The MoMA sculpture garden reflecting pool
The MoMA sculpture garden reflecting pool07-Oct-2007 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
Another pic of the view
Another pic of the view07-Oct-2007 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
Inside MoMA - I think I liked the architecture and design of the museum itself more than most of the art inside
Inside MoMA - I think I liked the architecture and design of the museum itself more than most of the art inside07-Oct-2007 09:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 141
Very big open area here
Very big open area here07-Oct-2007 09:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 141
High too
High too07-Oct-2007 09:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 141
 
And here's Van Gogh's Starry Night. Awesome.
And here's Van Gogh's Starry Night. Awesome.07-Oct-2007 10:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 141
And go figure - this past Saturday was like Polish Pride Parade day or something. Fifth Avenue was shut down for the parade
And go figure - this past Saturday was like Polish Pride Parade day or something. Fifth Avenue was shut down for the parade07-Oct-2007 11:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
07-Oct-2007 11:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 141
 
And a funny ad that I can't actually believe is up.
And a funny ad that I can't actually believe is up.07-Oct-2007 13:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.006 sec
 

So that brings me up to date with current pictures! It’s been amazing how fast time is moving while here, but i guess that’s to be expected what with all the things going on.

I hope you all are doing good! I’ll update again more frequently, I promise!