Monday, March 31, 2008

52 Weeks of Music: Week 13

The Tunnel by Disco Biscuits

The Tunnel by Disco Biscuits

"Found myself in the tunnel of light,
and I didn't have the urge to fight."

In fact, I went quietly and willingly... hahaha

Monday, March 24, 2008

52 Weeks of Music: Week 12

Get Up and Boogie by Silver Convention
Get Up & Boogie by Silver Convention

"That's Right!
Get up and boogie, get up and boogie"

In the afternoon, the sun will hit the disco ball in Jim and Celia's place and lights up the walls. They call it "Disco Time".

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter in Lake Forest

Spent Easter down in Lake Forest this year. It was combined with Emma's birthday celebration since her birthday was on the 21st. Joel's friends the Javiers, hosted this year's get-together.
Julia with "grandpa Del".
Julia with grandpa Del

Then an impromptu bubble contest started. Mark just couldn't get a proper bubble going... The first one popped right off.

The second was better... sort of.

Third time's a charm.
there we go!

Then Johana shows him up on her first try.
runner up

Then when Kim came up with this one, no one else wanted to try.
The winner

Honorable mention... Best Bubblehead
bubble competition

Egg hiding
Hiding the eggs

Julia's very first Easter Egg Hunt.
First Easter Egg Hunt for Julia

Emma's birthday cake.
Birthday girl

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yes on the Water but no Pillow Fight

World Water Day
As soon as James arrived, we took off for Santa Monica Beach Pier. I didn't know what to expect so I wanted to get there 30 minutes early to check things out and take some pictures but we made such great time we actually got there an hour early.
They already had the booths and stage set up. Starbucks was one of the events sponsors, they handled all the booths and had coffee, tea and Ethos water for everyone.
It was still a bit early but people were steadily showing up and registering.
Still early

There were a few activites that promoted awareness to what people in other countries have to go through in order to get clean water to their homes.
Awareness lesson

Starbucks also had a recruitment drive. This guy was their youngest barrista.
Youngest Barrista

There was an African dance group performing for the participants.

Just before 9 o'clock the pier started to fill up.
More arriving

There were a few announcements and some speakers.
Announcements and speeches

Melissa Fitzgerald from the TV show West Wing was there as well, promoting awareness.
Melissa Fitzgerald

Then shortly after the announcements and speakers (only took 15-20 minutes) we all started.
The front of the walk

Starting their walk.

Starting their walk

Starting out

Over a 1000 people

Still going

The walk was a total of 4.5 mile roundtrip but they had shorter ones depending on when you turned back. We knew we were getting close to the turnaraound when we started seeing other people coming the other way.

It was just before the turnaround when I bumped into an old friend. Brent and his friends from UCLA were on the return trip when he spotted me.
Bumping into an old friend

The way back went by quickly and before we knew it, we were headed up th ramp back to the pier. The Starbucks event staff was there to greet, congratulate and pass out water bottles to commemorate the event.
Finish line greeters

It was a lot of fun. The event organizers, staff and participants had a lot of energy (more than likely from all the coffee flowing). There were staffers along the route encouraging people. There were school groups and other organizations participating that added to the excitement with their enthusiasm. Some of them even carried buckets of water through the whole walk!
I must admit, I kept a pretty good pace and by the 3-mile mark I was starting to feel sluggish. I had thought that it was a 2.5 mile walk (I didn't read the fine print one way-hahaha).

Walk route
I forgot to include this link. It is the route highlighted and measured by Google Pedometer.

Bruddah's and Crashing
After getting our water bottles and taking a few more pictures, James and I headed for the car at the Third Street Promenade Mall parking. We ended up playing the "so, where do you want to eat?" game. I think we spend more effort in trying to figure out where to eat than anything. We ended up in Gardena at Bruddah's for comfort Hawaiian food. Bruddah's is just great Hawaiian comfort food. The stuff you get at the L&Ls, Ono, Loft, etc but "homey-er". Where can you order your hotdogs with chili on rice with the hotdog "skin" burnt?
After lunch we headed up to Jim and Celia's to hang out until the Pillow Fight at Pershing Square. When we got to Jim and Celia's, that's when it hit us. We were BEAT! As we got closer to 3pm, we were thinking of excuses not to go to the pillow fight. So we didn't go. Did anyone go?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Resolutions update

Ok, some people have been asking (read: nagging) me about how my resolutions are holding up, especially the one about losing weight. Well, I am still working on all my resolutions, so far I've not broken any of them.

My main resolution, losing weight, has been the hardest. I told myself that I will lose 50 tons. Yes, I said tons, I figure that the more horrible I make it sound the more motivated I will be to succeed. I had a headstart by taking sodas and juices out of the equation last Thanksgiving. I've stuck to the exercise schedule I gave myself and even stepped it up a little when I started gaining some stamina. I've found and used every excuse to incorporate exercise into my "fun things to do", like photography.
The other resolution is to develop my interest in photography with "photo a week music project". I found that it motivates me to "go out" and take some pictures.
The only pitfall I've experienced is that the results are not quick enough (for me). I know, I know... I didn't gain all this tonnage over night so I shouldn't expect to get rid of it overnight.
For those who have been "asking" I'm at -12 tons to date, only 38 tons to go. I've added funwalks with photography in my exercising. I hope to build up to "funhikes" soon but for now nothing over 5 miles in a day. I know I have to work up to the higher numbers.
So, I am always looking for some place fun to walk and take pictures. If you know of any places let me know.
Here is a walk and an activity that sounded good.

World Water Day
I received an email about World Water Day from Starbucks (yes, I still drink coffee but not the gallons I used to put away) and signed up. It is only a 3 mile walk but it is a good cause and I might meet some fun people. It is this Saturday and starts at the Santa Monica Pier at 9:00 am.

Los Angeles Pillow Fight Day
If this doesn't sound like a cardio workout, I don't know what is! It also sounds like a lot of fun. I am actually torn between participating or photographing the event. It is also on Saturday but it takes place in downtown Los Angeles at Pershing Square at 3:00 pm. I am trying to decide which pillow to bring...

Well, if anyone wants to join me, there's always room for more.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Amanda's Birthday Eve Disney and Week 11

Amanda's Birthday Eve
Amanda's birthday is tomorrow but my Tuesdays are tied up these days so....
Birthday Beignet

After breakfast, we decided to go to California Adventure first. We usually don't spend a lot of time over there.
Jebediah Jones

High School Musical 2

High School Musical 2

After the High School Musical 2 parade(?), we took a right turn where we usually make a left and saw something to entertain us for a while.
River Run Falls

This was near the end of the ride but there is one more chance for the riders to get wet.
Last splash

Real wet!
River Run

Almost "submerged" wet!
Grizzly River Run

What is it with this character? Is she known for sticking out their tongue out at people?

This one was taken back in December!
Disneyland December II (13)

I'm not sure if she is a teacup or a saucer.

We met and got to know a few more people this time. One of the things I enjoy about Disneyland is that it isn't very hard to make new friends. While we were waiting for Fantasmic to start, a cast member was directing traffic due to the ropes that was put up around the people sitting on the ground waiting for the show. She just kept repeating over and over, "Stay to the right!" I thought she was doing such a great job and I wanted to tell her just that. I also asked her if she wouldn't mind taking a picture with me. It was also the day of Amanda's.
Another new friend

We also met a family from Hawaii. They were looking for a place to watch Fantasmic and Amanda and I offered to share our table. I had a great time getting to know them. Wendell, Joanne, Jeff and Jessica - I hope you all had a great flight back home!
New friends

Before Amanda and I left I took advantage of the California letters section being empty.

It was a great day! I did not know that Disneyland was on Spring Break schedule. I found out on the way there and I was worried that my Park ju-ju (which is at 100%) Streak was going to end. That today was going to be so crowded that the visit would suck! But it was just right. None of the rides we went on were over 20 minutes. So our Park ju-ju is still batting a 1000!
Who wants to go?!!!

Week 11 of 52

The Spirit of the Radio by Rush

The Spirit of the Radio by Rush

"Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free
All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Driving Mulholland

Mulholland Drive
I've only been through parts of Mulholland Drive but never through the whole length of it. So I gaveit a try today.
From the 101 Freeway at Universal City, the first stop was the Hollywood Bowl Lookout (1.1 miles).
Hollywood Bowl

From there you get a different view of the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood sign and dontown Los Angeles.
Griffith Observatory

Hollywood Sign

Downtown Los Angeles

Then there was the Universal City lookout.
Universal Studios

Overlooking Burbank.
Landing at Burbank Airport

The Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook was nice.
Panorama of Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook

In Encino, Mulholland Drive becomes Mulholland Dirt. It becomes a dirt fire road and taking a gamble driving through because it is prone to closures. There is a reservoir there and a raised lookout tower.

Lookout tower at the end of Mulholland "dirt"

By this time it was starting to get dark due to clouds threatening to rain and since the road ending up being closed...
End of the line

I didn't think taking the time to go up the tower would be smart, especially since my ankle was still a little tender from the MASH site attempt. I will have to go back to check out that tower.

So, I went into Encino and went around to catch Mulholland Drive at Topanga Canyon Boulevard. It started raining for a bit and there was even hail for a few minutes but as soon as we got back on Mulholland it cleared up and got sunny again...
This was at the Alisa Belinkoff Katz Vista.
Parked at the Alisa Belinkoff Katz Vista

Alisa Belinkoff Katz Vista

It was great for a while but it was already 5:00 and we were only at mile 35.5 of a 55+ mile trip and it was getting dark so we stopped at Las Virgenes Road and headed down to Pacific Coast Highway to start getting back. It was a good drive and now that I know what to expect, the next attempt should be a successful one.


Pacfic Coast Highway