Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jingle Bell Sing

I was not sure whether or not to blog about this before or after it took place, but I guess I am a little more comfortable with it now, so here goes. I wanted to do something different this Christmas season and I got this email from the Music Center back in early November for poeple to join the Jingle Bell Sing Choir.
I went ahead and attended the first meeting and before I knew it, I became one of 12 men in a 200+ choir that will be "spreading good cheer" throughout downtown Los Angeles the whole month of December.
They asked for amateurs, but many of these people in the group are far from being amateurs. One big clue was that many of them pulled pitch pipes out of their pockets at the first note of the first rehearsal. Then after the first song, a question was asked, "At the first stanza did you want that phrase legato?" My head was doing the "windshield wiper" thing looking for the nearest exit and that voice in my head screaming, "What the hell have you gotten us into?!!!" Yes I have one or two of those voices in my head and yes they only talk to me.
It has been a whole month of rehearsals and I am still nervous as I am still way out of my element, but I've found a few of the real amateurs in the group and we've banded together in our insecurities and formed a support group.
Jingle Bell Sing
Click on the picture for the larger size.
Anyway, we will be performing at the Music Center Plaza, Friday, December 22. We will be there from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. It is free because that's the only way people might show up (ba bum bum) and they will be giving hot chocolate to the first 200 people who show up. You know what that means right?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This Thanksgiving was at Celia and Jim's this year. Some cousins weren't able to make it his year due to the "out-laws" and other obligations, but I think there were more than enough people.
Here are Jim and Celia setting up.
Thanksgiving (1)
Pre-dinner snack
Thanksgiving (2)
Thanksgiving (3)
Jim and Celia has an awesome view of downtown Los Angeles from their place...
Do you remember the Ghostbuster's firehouse?
Thanksgiving (5)
the view to the west...
Thanksgiving (10)
the view to the north (it's a big panorama so click on the picture)
Thanksgiving (42)
Thanksgiving (43)
Now back to the food...
the main food table
Thanksgiving (17)
desserts... notice one tray is completely empty already...
Thanksgiving (13)
Still couldn't squeeze everybody in...
Thanksgiving (21)
Thanksgiving (23)
Thanksgiving (22)
Thanksgiving (20)
After dinner
On the roof with Jasmine...
Thanksgiving (30)
Then the karaoke machine got turned on...
Thanksgiving (27)
Thanksgiving (28)
Thanksgiving (32)
Thanksgiving (34)
Twinkle, twinkle, little star...
Thanksgiving (38)
with a dance...
Thanksgiving (40)
and of course the bow at the end...
Thanksgiving (41)
Then the turkey working its magic...
Thanksgiving (29)
It was a great Thanksgiving. In case people are wondering James was there, but he was at the food table everytime I took a picture of people eating. Hahahaha! Sorry James, threw you off the bus again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nothing to do day...

There are just some days where there is absolutely nothing going on and it drives me crazy! No matter how hard I try to find something to do, I just can't. There are things that depend on a certain time schedule, so you can't do them. Other things that are "farmed out" are put on hold waiting for them to be done. Household things got done the day or days before... blah, blah, blah.

Then there are those days that are just brimming with stuff to do and places to go that if one thing is delayed or goes over the time you allot for them your schedule is "shot out of the water!" hmmm, never really got the meaning of that expression.

Last Saturday was one of those days.
I've been helping out a fellow Patriot Guard Rider, Ed Finch, help out repair Gunny's house. The house is in Yucca Valley, which is a 3 hour drive...
5 o'clock in the morning...
Gunny House continued (1)
and even at o'dark thirty, the 60 freeway was already backed up!
Gunny House continued (2)
By 7:15 am, there were a few familiar sights.
Gunny House continued (3)
Gunny House continued (4)
and finally...
Gunny House continued (5)
A lot of work still needed to be done but it is getting there.
Gunny House continued (9)
Gunny House continued (10)
Gunny House continued (11)
can you see the waterline? (Click on the picture to get a larger image.)
Gunny House continued (12)
My friend "Kirby" and I taped up one of the back bedrooms so it will be ready for primer and paint. But we had to clean (scour really) the walls, window sill and the area around the sliding door. We also had to remove all the face plates for the wall sockets and light switches. Others were tackling the same jobs in other rooms along with more clean up throughout the rest of the house. Ed was busy trying to tackle the rest of the plumbing problems.

Then I had to leave. I had to get back to Los Angeles by 3 pm. I had a group going to the Griffith Observatory that night and I still had to shower and pick up a few folks. Since I had the tickets, I definitely had to go.

The Griffith Observatory was nice. Lots of new displays, a whole new wing actually. Elevators everywhere! Ok, not everywhere but now you can take an elevator to the roof. Speaking of the roof...
Griffith Observatory (1)
Griffith Observatory (3)
Griffith Observatory (4)
Griffith Observatory (6)
I've always loved this pendulum.
Griffith Observatory (7)
Griffith Observatory (8)
Griffith Observatory (12)
From the front.
Griffith Observatory (18)

After coming back down from the observatory, we all roamed around the Hollywood and Highland Complex a little.
The corner of Hollywood and Highland.
Hollywood and Highland
Across the street.
Disney Soda Fountain, Hollywood
Then there were the wannabees.
It was a pretty long day, though technically since I had only gotten 3 hour of sleep the night before (if that), I think it was more of a long two days with a nap.

Can I get back to those "nothing to do" days?