Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
Folks in a town that was quite remote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Lusty and clear from the goatherd's throat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo...
Unfortunately, this summer's Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl was not a sing-a-long. But that did not stop us from having fun. We started the evening with a picnic at one of the many picnic areas around the Bowl.

Sound of Music at the Bowl (1)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (2)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (3)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (4)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (5)
These guys will never get that commercial contract if they can't hold the product right...

Then as if on cue, all the cameras came out. Leading the way is our number one photographer, Berda "wait, hold still" Soohoo!
Sound of Music at the Bowl (7)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (8)
You know this is going to wind up on MySpace...

Sound of Music at the Bowl (9)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (10)
Supposed to spell out "LOL"

Sound of Music at the Bowl (11)
Another MySpace picture... posers...

Sound of Music at the Bowl (12)
More pictures, more cameras...

Sound of Music at the Bowl (13)

In the Bowl...
Sound of Music at the Bowl (16)
Angela and Sammi

Sound of Music at the Bowl (17)
Berda and Hank

Sound of Music at the Bowl (18)

Sound of Music at the Bowl (21)
The Biolans...

Sound of Music at the Bowl (22)
Sound of Music at the Bowl (23)
Show's over or just beginning...

Sound of Music at the Bowl (24)
Calling home...

It was a great evening. I think I will make this a yearly thing. Hopefully, it will be a sing-a-long.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A new perspective

A few of my last entries have been about my involvement with the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR). But yesterday's "mission" was very different as I was given a glimpse into the life of the soldier we were all there to honor. Sgt. Mollie Ryan Bolds is stationed in Korea with the US Army and she went to school with Andres Contreras. She was on leave at Fort Polk in Louisiana when the arrangements for the services and burial for Andres (Jo-jo as he was known to friends) was announced. She contacted the PGR for information regarding which was the best airport to fly into among other things.
I decided that I was going to make sure that Mollie's stay was going to be as anxiety-free as possible. I got a hold of her and told her where to fly into, that arrangements at a hotel had been made and that transportation will be taken care of while she was in town. Apparently, the PGR were of like minds as a number of members got into a discussion as to how to take care of Mollie's needs while she was in town. I just beat them all to it.
In the time we had spent together, she gave me a little peek at the man who was Andres. She also gave a look at what it was like to serve in the military and being stationed overseas. It is not an easy life and I have come to a better understanding to what these men and women who serve our country overseas go through. My admiration and gratitude to these people just went up a number of notches. To top it off, I also made a new friend. It was a good couple of days...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I'm a Disney-Holic

Hello my name is Angel...

If having to admit that I have a problem is the first step to recovery, then I'm not recovering. Made it to Disneyland again, if there is anyone counting this would be the 4th time I've gone to Disneyland since I bought my premium passes and five times if this year.
I let her win... yeah...
There were climbers on Matterhorn today.
Matterhorn climbers
Bradley was hungry all day.This was just before we had dinner.
Disneyland in July (5)
This is where we had dinner.
Disneyland in July (7)
I don't think I'll ever get tired of the fireworks desplay.
Disney fireworks

Saturday, July 08, 2006

It doesn’t seem to get any easier...

I joined the Patriot Guard Riders back in May. In the last eight days, I attended 3 “missions”. I am still blown away by the amount of compassion these people have for complete strangers and their families and friends. On July 1, the beginning of the LONG 4th of July weekend over a hundred Patriot Guard Riders got together to honor a soldier who died in Iraq.
As each motorcycle pulled into the parking lot of the Stadium, the mood ran the range of surprise, excitement to pride. At least that’s how I felt. I was surprised at the number of bikes (40 as I arrived) already there, then excitement that more kept pouring in from every entrance to the parking lot and finally pride that regardless of the whether or not the “protestors” (UGs – Uninvited Guests) show up, Cpl. Christopher D. Leon was going to get a an awesome send off. There were a total of 89 motorcycles and 6 “cages” (4 wheeled vehicles) that made up the escort from the church to the cemetery. This did not include the vehicles of the family and friends.
I hate to have been stuck at an intersection waiting for our motorcade to pass. Fortunately, the UGs did not show and the family was able to say goodbye in peace.
Saturday, I attended 2 more missions, my 4th and 5th mission. Unlike the very first one I attended, where I was a bit nervous about the possibility of UGs being there, I knew what to expect and my reason for being there changed from outrage at a group of hate-filled people to honoring a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Regardless of my feelings regarding the war, the families mourning do not deserve to have anger added to the list of emotions they were already going through as they bury a family member.
Whatever their reasons for joining the Patriot Guard Riders P7070190
(and some have more of a reason than others), as a group, their mission is to make any UGs insignificant to the family and friends of the soldier being laid to rest. In fact, since I’ve joined, I have made them insignificant in my reason for being there. It doesn’t matter that of all the missions I have been on they haven’t made an appearance. If the sight of strangers with flags on the motorcycles providing escort to the cemetary, if the sight of the same strangers standing in attention with flags in hand on either side of the entrance to the church and cemetery acting as shields or if the outpouring of condolences and prayers from people across the country alleviate any of the hurt the families are already going through, then the Patriot Guard Riders have done more than their share. As if shares for alleviating hurts in this world are ever distributed evenly.
If I am able, I’ll be at the next one…

Until there is no longer a need for any of this…