Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dodger Stadium with Dad

Before he left for home, Dad's oldest brother Uncle Don gave us his Dodger tickets for Friday Night Fireworks. Traffic wasn't bad, we had a full supply of food and assorted other snacks, and the Dodgers won the second of their four-game series against the Cubs.

It was fascinating to watch the stream of fans pour onto the field, as the Dodgers allow all fans to watch the fireworks from the outfield grass. The best display, however, was from one of the first fans to get onto the field, as he plopped down on the grass and proceeded to make a "snow angel" motion with his arms and legs. And given that the quality of the grass at Dodger Stadium rivals that of most golf course greens (and is often smoother and softer than most home carpets) it was a fitting gesture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breakin' the Wall

The internet has made us more detached and isolated than ever before. Don't want to go to a store? Amazon will deliver right to your door. So when Joy the Baker announced that she was having a rooftop picnic to bring her readers together in person, I was amazed. Not that she would be so generous as to cater a complete picnic, complete with her homemade cupcakes, for people she'd never met, but that so many people would actually come.

It's a testament to the power of food, and more importantly, people that love food, that made Sunday's picnic such a success. I not only got to meet Joy the Baker, who was as charming and funny in person as she is on-line, but also people like the lovely couple behind Savour-Fare. Their little girl knew exactly what to do with her cupcake, and enjoyed every bite.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lunch With Dad

I don't get a chance to see my parents very often, perhaps twice a year at most. So when Dad came out to help both my sister and me move into our respective new homes, I wanted to find some way to spend quality time with him. "Uncle" Dave, one of Dad's most longtime friends, suggested the new Chalet Edelweiss restaurant near us on Sepulveda, and the three of us took a break from packing and moving boxes for lunch.

Dad isn't what you would call the most adventurous of eaters, so for him, the Swiss mac and cheese with beef and applesauce on the side fit him perfectly. Uncle Dave got a traditional German schnitzel with red cabbage and potatoes, and I had a biergarten favorite, wurstsalat. While a little pricey (and a little noisy from the street and airport), the pitcher of Bitburger smoothed things over, and the food was generally good.

But the best part was being able to treat Dad and Uncle Dave and spend time with them, and as the older we all get, that's what I'll remember.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Though I'm not a parent or spouse and don't play one on TV, Wired magazine's on-line feature Geek Dad ("Raising Geek Generation 2.0) consistently has great reading. Most notably, this feature that ran last month: Top Ten Endearing Habits of a Geeky Spouse.

Some samples . . .

8. Finding the best deals in grocery stores. Not everyone will notice that, even though the 12-pack of Coke cans is on sale for $3, it’s still not as good a deal per unit as the 2-liter bottle at its regular price of $1.29. But a geek will — we knew math skills would come in handy one day, even if nobody else thought so!

7. Watching, quoting and generally loving the Muppets. Even if the person we’re courting isn’t a huge Muppets fan, there’s no decent person who doesn’t like them at least a bit, right? I can speak from personal experience here: My wife freely admits that one of the things that she found particularly attractive about me was when, on our first date, I knew the punch line to “Good grief, the comedian’s a bear!” (The circumstances under which this fact was revealed are less interesting than you may imagine.)

1. Cooking. I’m sure there are lots of geeks who don’t like to cook, or don’t think they do, but if you’re one such, I humbly suggest you give it another few tries. Cooking has so much geek potential it’s a wonder it’s not considered a “typical” geek activity: you’ve got lots of different ingredients to pick from, measuring implements, heat, chemical reactions, gadgets galore and a great deal of nuance. Plus, it’s like doing scientific experiments where you get to eat the results! And there are few things more endearing to potential life partners than being able to cook well (and not just on a grill).