Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 119 - Spring

It's windy in L.A. today; the air quality is much better than normal. It's also very clear, which means good visibility throughout the city.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 118 - Spring

I think these red Japanese maples were the size of pencils when Mom planted them.

Day 117 - Spring

The entire front and back yards are bathed in the fragrance from these lilacs.

Day 116 - Spring

In addition to a myriad of trees, Mom's planted these bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) around her garden.

Day 115 - Spring

A redbud (Cercis canadensis), one of the many trees in my parents' backyard.

Day 114 - Spring

It's purely unintentional, but Mom loves planting Laker colors in her front yard.

Day 113 - Spring

Mom and Dad planted this tree in their backyard about 15 years ago; Dad dug it up as a sapling from someone who didn't want it anymore. When he was digging the roots up, he was worried he didn't get all of the taproot and the tree wouldn't live.

Safe to say, as it's approaching 50 feet tall, the tree lived.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nationals Park

I suppose the first drawback of going to Nationals Park was doing it on a night where the Capitals also had a home playoff game at the Verizon Center; the two venues share a Metro stop in downtown. It took Dad and me two-and-a-half hours to get back to the car after the game simply because we had to wait for an empty subway train to come by.

And while the Nats new stadium has all the attractions and amenities of every new stadium built in the last 20 years, with its extra-wide concourses, plenty of local food concessionaires and restrooms, a huge HD video board with more information than MSNBC, family and kiddie attractions in the outfield pavilions, a local-themed BBQ stand, and the ubiquitous downtown view beyond the stadium walls.

But the more of these new ballparks that are built, the more they all start to look alike, which is defeating the purpose of them being built in the first place. Nationals Park looks an awful lot like Comerica Park in Detroit, new Busch Stadium in St. Louis, or Citizens Bank Park in Philly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's no sense of individual identity.

While I'm a fan of baseball stadiums, both past and present, I'm a fan more of baseball in general. I love the pace of the game, the strategy, the ability to have a long conversation with my dad and still not miss any action.

Oh, and hot dogs. I love hot dogs too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 112 - Nationals Park

Until I have access to Photoshop to stitch together my stadium panoramas from last night's Nationals/Dodgers game, this aftermath shot of the second of my two half-smokes from Ben's Chili Bowl (mustard, onions, and spicy chili) will have to do. It's my first ballpark food post of the season, and given the great Diamond Club seats Dad and I had (thanks, Pat!), it was a wonderful night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 111 - Nevermore

Since I was flying into Baltimore today, and the Charm City's favorite son is Edgar Allen Poe, his famous line from The Raven best sums up my flying experience on AirTran. Holy crap, was it bad.
I'm not a large person, at least not in the professional athlete category. Granted, I'm a little taller than the average bear, but not abnormally so. But is it too much to ask for an airplane seat where I'm not wedged in to the point where my knees are firmly ensconsed into the seat back in front of me? And let's not even get into the VERY heavy COS (that's Customer of Size, a nice airline term for "fat") in front of me who insisted on reclining his seat even further into my knees for the duration of the flight. Add to that a woefully inadequate ventilation system, and you've got one unhappy customer. And you wanted me to pay extra to check a bag? Oh, and it's only an extra $130 dollars to upgrade to a "premium"seat. Next time, I'll just fly Southwest or JetBlue. See ya, AirTran, wouldn't wanna be ya.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 110 - MGM

. . . and Brian too. This was his idea of an "action shot." Oooooh, scary.

Day 109 - MGM

Shelley wanted to remember Liz . . .

Day 108 - People I Dig

Shelley heads the MGM Media department here, meaning she and her team handle all the media buys for MGM film releases. But like so many in recent months, she's leaving the agency, which is good for her, but sad for us.

Day 107 - Reflections

Another suburban building . . .

Day 106 - Suburbia

It's pretty amazing that in most cities, this would be THE city. But in Los Angeles, it's just another part of the suburbs . . .

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the Lamb @ Surfas

It's no secret I'm a fan of the L.A.-based blogger Joy the Baker, including her catering triumvirate On the Lamb. A couple of weekends ago, the three of them held a strawberry-themed cooking demonstration at the "holy crap, this place is dangerous" kitchen and restaurant supply store Surfas in Culver City.

Between the video monitor and the overhead mirror, it was easy to see the prep work as the strawberry & balsamic basil soda, the strawberry & arugula salad with strawberry black pepper biscuits, and the strawberry banana cream pie (or mini-tarts for demonstration purposes) were assembled for the audience to sample.

And for what it's worth, it was refreshing to see actual food preparation, like whisking custard and slicing bananas, rather than the televised demonstrations where all the ingredients are pre-measured and pre-diced (are you listening Food Network?) and you have no idea how long it actually takes to make a recipe.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 105 - Strawberry Tease #4

. . . with a full report coming tomorrow.

Day 104 - Strawberry Tease #3

. . . and different ways to use them as an ingredient . . .

Day 103 - Strawberry Tease #2

. . . that involved a certain fruit . . .

Day 102 - Strawberry Tease #1

I recently did something fun . . .

Day 101 - Rainbows

Leaving the Eagle Castle Winery in Paso Robles this weekend, a rainbow the likes of which I've never seen appeared over the grounds. I half expected to see leprechauns scurrying about to protect their gold.

Day 100 - Laughter

H-Mac had three of her photos displayed at a recent exhibition in Westwood - Randi came to the opening to support her.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 99 - My Sister

My sister is one of those rare individuals who is so smart, so successful, and so unbelievably good at what she does, she should be famous. But being her parents' daughter, she's perfectly content to leave the spotlight to others, deftly dancing around the edges, gently pushing the bigger egos into place, and never wanting any attention for herself.

Happy birthday, sis, and no matter what I may have said when we were growing up, yes, you ARE that damn good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 98 - Production

The last step in production before editorial is color matching. Bob Festa (in the blue shirt) is one of the best in the business.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 97 - Production

To create mobile light sources when shooting cars at night, there were trucks equipped with banks of fluorescent tubes on them.

Day 96 - Production

There are five people squeezed into this camera car . . . good thing the LAPD Film Unit has traffic stopped.

Day 95 - Production

It's amazing just how complex a production is, even a small one like this one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 94 - Dad

Dear Dad --

Happy birthday! I know having me as your kid wasn't always easy, but you were always there for me, and you still are. You're not perfect, but then again, none of us are. For better or worse, most of what I am is because of you - there's some of Mom in me too, but we'll deal with that on her birthday. I love you.


Day 93 - Strawberries

There are few things better than a big bowl of fresh strawberries . . . discuss.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 92 - Signs of Spring

With its mild climate and year-round warm temperatures, Los Angeles doesn't always display the traditional signs of spring . . . but sometimes it surprises you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 91 - People I Dig

Kristen got a transfer to another department within our agency, which is a great move for her. But since she started only six months after I did, we've worked together on almost every single one of her projects, which is why I'm going to miss her so much.