Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

James and I went down to Santa Monica to get in some end of the year pictures. We thought we would check out the pier and Third Street Promenade.

We parked in the mall parking lot and walked down to the pier. Every time that I have gone to the pier, I would park at the parking lot north of the pier at the beach. I've only seen this in movies or on TV.
NYEve (1)

Then I remembered why I always parked down at the beach. I've always said that though I enjoy the view from the heights, I don't like being in the heights. About right here, I am fighting off a mild case of vertigo.
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I slowly stepped off the sidewalk and onto the street (further from the edge) and forced myself to take this picture. Oh, the things I do for a picture. Come to think of it, wouldn't that be cool epithat on my tombstone?
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On the north side of the pier, right on the sand was a bunch of red and white crosses and a few "stars of David" all lined up. It was the Arlington West Iraq War Memorial. Every Sunday from sunrise to sunset the memorial is put up by Veterans for Peace. I saw this note on one of the crosses.
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I spoke with one of the veterans there and he explained that they were able to leave the memorial overnight that's why it was still here today. I left a little donation to keep this memorial going, found a friend's friend on the list.
Rest in Peace Andres Contreras
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Up on the pier there were people out enjoying the 75+ degrees on New Year's Eve. There were three of these guys (different booths) sculpting mini busts for $20 a pop. It took about 20 - 30 minutes and they were pretty good. I was thinking about it but thought "what the heck would I do with it?"
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As a kid I used to get a kick out of these things. I don't remember this message on the side of them. Has this message always been on them?
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Camera Fans
This is a quality telescope and is equal to a 1750 mm telephoto

Focus telescope to your eye, place camera to
eyepiece and take picture.
Needless to say I tried it just to see if it worked... lost that quarter.

There weren't a lot of people riding the ferris wheel or the roller coaster but it was still early.
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So braving the ramp once again, we went to see what was going on at the promenade. There were a number of street performers but this guy was pretty good. I didn't see what his name was but he had a small crowd gathering to listen.
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Otherwise there were the usual pedestrians and sightsee'rs. Wayne called and asked if we wanted to meet up at Versailles for lunch. He's been jonesing their lemon garlic chicken for quite a while now so we took off to meet him. Good call.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve everyone! See you all next year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

End of the year beach walk

This past year I've been trying to lose a ton of weight. I thought that if I did not make it a resolution, I would succeed because there would be no anxety from the "pressure" I would put on myself... what a load!
Well, a little too late (for this year)! So, I've been gearing up for the coming year and getting myself to make time to add some form of exercise in my "not so routine" routine. I've taken to taking more walks. I've been bringing my camera along as an added "fun" factor.
This morning, Bradley and I went down to Shoreline Village in Long Beach. We started at the Marina Green Park and went down to Belmont Shores. Unfortunately, the sun decided to take the day off and it was overcast the entire time we were down there.

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There were a handful of people on the beach.
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There are a lot of things that you can't do on the beach but apparently driving a truck isn't one of them.
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Even though, I did not see anyone in the water (the freezing water!), these guys were still working... you never know!
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There were a couple of boats out.
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and a barge or two.
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There was one guy campaigning for Ron Paul. The guy had a dolley and he was writing Ron Paul's name up on the sand facing the apartments and the condos.
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Coin Purgatory

There was this to look at the whole time we were down there...
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Family Christmas

I love it when the family all gets together, moreso for Christmas. This year, Joel and Kim's family couldn't join us, so we had to make up for the lowered "Kids quotient". As usual there was a ton of food.
New to join us this year is Rolly's and Johana's new daughter, Julia. She was here at Thanksgiving and she was just as if not more cheery today. Of course, there was the "It's my turn to hold her" shuffle. I remember Julia's older sister, Jasmine being just as cheery when she was a baby. However they do it, Rolly and Johana raise very happy babies.
Andrew, Aurora and Julia
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Can you find the person whose name isn't James in the picture?
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Baby Julia
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Aurora, mom and Julia
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Johana, Julia and dad
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Celia is handing out the presents while Aurora and Julia watch.
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Jim dressed as a present.
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This year's Christmas even though it was pretty low-keyed, was extremely enjoyable.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas party in Monterey Park

Berda invited me to her sister's Christmas party tonight in Monterey Park. Ada and Ed has been throwing this party every year now for quite some time. I was told it was a "Family style Chinese banquet Christmas party". Now I really had no clue as to what that meant but it sounded like fun... ok and lots of food.
It was held at one of Ocean Star Restaurant's banquet rooms. Hank, Berda and the kids were already there. It wasn't a big party as parties go, there were 8 tables, a small stage, a pinata and Ming-Na Wen? Ada had asked me if I would take pictures and I was more than happy to oblige. The dinner consisted of a minimum of 8 courses. The food was good and plentiful. There was a Santa that handed out gifts to the kids (big and small), lots of games with prizes and a pinata for all the kids. I met a number of nice people tonight. Ed and Ada's circle of friends and family are very nice and friendly. I had a lot of fun.

The SooHoo Family
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Ed and Scotty
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All but one of the siblings, there is a brother missing tonight.
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Ming-Na Wen
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Elen, Jason, Steve, Derek and Warren (I hope I got their names right).
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Hot potato!
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Ed, Ada and some of their friends.
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