Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ashes to Ashes

The Dodgers played their last home game of the season tonight. And of course they lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3 to 2.

Somehow, it seemed only fitting that we sat next to the most obnoxious fans of the entire season (photo above). F-Bombs galore. They used the F-Bomb as a verb, an adjective and even an adverb. (Actually, I'm not sure what an adverb is -- but I'm confident they used it that way.)

At one point GeezBob complained to an usher. So much for enforcing the Dodger Code of Conduct! Dodger Stadium staff did absolutely nothing -- even when they were dropping F-Bombs at the top of their lungs.
There are brushfires burning throughout the Southland, and it was a little creepy to see ashes in the air and to smell the smoke at Dodger Stadium.

But it also seemed like a fitting end to a disastrous season that saw the Dodgers go from being the defending Divisional Champions to ending up in fourth place.

And yet, as we were leaving the stadium they announced that the 3 million plus tickets sold this year was the second highest number of tickets sold in Dodger franchise history.

If they can field a mediocre team and lose more than half their games and still sell that many tickets what incentive is there to improve?

Tomorrow I'm off to Phoenix to attend Saturday's USC vs. Arizona State football game in Tempe.
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Sassy Sally always leaves the game at the start of the Seventh Inning Stretch. There she goes. Posted by Picasa

Do this with your baby's hair and you can get on the Jumbotron. It worked for this Dad. Posted by Picasa

The Dodger Vision Board didn't work for most of the game. (That's Choi's missing chin on the left side of the picture.) So I guess it's not just the team on the field that's falling apart. Posted by Picasa

GeezBob did his part for his fellow Dodger fans by moving this barrier out of the way so folks could get out of the parking lot after the game. Who knows why this wasn't done by Dodger staff? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Onto the Pile of Junk

Filled up my second book of scorecards for this baseball season tonight. I'm going to my last game tomorrow night, but I don't see buying another book just to score one game. The photo above is my record of the July 30 game, which the Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 9 to 4. See how I staple my ticket in the lower righthand corner. It's all admittedly anal.

Many moons ago I took a statistics class at USC and the professor offered extra credit if you turned in a baseball scorecard, so I learned how to score baseball games. (And I got the second highest grade in the class.)

Since then I've always completed a scorecard when I attend a game. It helps me focus on the game and gives my hands and brain something to do.

But what am I supposed to do with the scorecards at the end of the season? I can't just throw them out. So I throw them on the Pile of Junk I collect during the year -- cancelled checks, receipts, old bills, handwritten letters, etc.

Each Spring I pull out what I need to prepare my taxes and what's left over is a Real Pile of Junk. But I still can't bring myself to throw out my old scorecards.
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Monkey see, Monkey hairdo. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Completing the Asian Tour

Tonight was Korean Community Night at Dodger Stadium. The Korean Consulate General was introduced prior the game. And they actually sang the Korean National Anthem before the game. (Other than the Canadian National Anthem when the Expos were in town from Montreal, I've never heard another country's National Anthem performed at Dodger Stadium.)

The Dodgers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 2 to 0 -- so the whimper continues as they go out.
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That's quite a spot to show your support for the Dodgers. Actually, I think she's off by a few inches. Posted by Picasa

GeezBob and Dave belt out "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Or are they gargling? Posted by Picasa

Awkward Silence

Perhaps I was a little grumpy at Dodger Stadium tonight. After all, the Dodgers are in the midst of playing eight meaningless games since they were eliminated from the division race last Saturday night.

So when the guy directly in front of me came in during the second inning and decided it was time to loudly play the Dodger radio broadcast from a boombox at his feet I asked him, "Do you have an earplug for that?"

When he said he didn't I politely informed him that the Dodgers don't allow radios to be played without using earplugs.

"Oh, is that on the ticket?" he asked.

"No, it's part of the Code of Conduct," I explained.

"Do you have a copy of it on you?" he challenged.

I actually did carry a copy of it for a few games early in the season after the Dodgers started publicizing it -- but, alas, I stopped carrying it because I figured I'd never actually end up in a situation where I could whip it out of my pocket to make a point.

"No, but I'd be happy to get an Usher to explain the rule to you," I replied.

At this point, since he was part of a group of seven people sitting where they only had four valid tickets he backed down.

And he sat for the rest of the game with his boombox turned off under his seat.

And I spent the rest of the game writing this blog entry in my head.

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I love it when kids do funny things to try and get on camera at Dodger Stadium. (I'm referring to the glasses, not picking her nose.) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Queen of Her Castle

Flew up to San Francisco today to attend my friend and colleague Renee Rose's (second from the right) Birthday Party.

The dinner was at Julius' Castle, a great restaurant high up on Telegraph Hill.

The guests included Renee and Harvey's extended family (including several grandchildren from Northern and Southern California), longtime friends and work colleagues. It was touching to see everyone come together to salute Renee.
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Here's an exterior shot of Julius' Castle. Posted by Picasa

The view from Julius' Castle is breathtaking. Here's a photo looking out towards Alcatraz Island. Posted by Picasa

Dave Fogarty read a salute to Renee placed in the Congressional Record by Congressman George Radonovich. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

You're All Free to Go

Saw the rollicking romp of a musical, "On The Town" tonight presented by Reprise! at the Freud Playhouse on the UCLA campus.

It's a wonderful show that opened on Broadway on December 28, 1944 and ran for 462 performances. There's not much of a story -- three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City -- but there's lots of great singing and dancing.

The Music is by Leonard Bernstein and the Book and Lyrics are by the famous writing team of Adolph Green and Betty Comden (their first Broadway show). And the original choreography was by Jerome Robbins. Amazingly, when the show opened in 1944 they were all under 30 years of age.

Nancy Walker starred in the original production as the man-hunting cab driver. And Betty Comden starred as Claire de Loone, the anthropologist and Adolph Green starred as Ozzie, her sailor-boyfriend.

Reprise! stages basic productions of older musicals -- not much in the way of sets or costumes, but they always have talented casts who perform their hearts out.

In tonight's production Harriet Harris played Madame Dilly. She is amazing in this comedic role. She won a Tony as Mrs. Meers in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and currently appears as Felicia Tillman on "Desperate Housewives." Her TV credits also include the recurring role as Frasier's agent, Bebe Glazer.

Celebrity Sighting: Bumped into actor Robert Forester today in the elevator. Turns out we live in the same building. How cool is that?

Manufactured Pyrotechnics

About the only excitement tonight at Dodger Stadium was the post-game fireworks show. (And as far as I know they didn't set any cars on fire this time.)

The Dodgers snapped a 6-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4 to 3. The Padres also won tonight. That means with 9 games left in the season, the best the Dodgers can do is tie the Padres -- the Dodgers cannot overtake them. And to tie, the Dodgers would have to win all of their remaining 9 games and the Padres would have to lose all of their remaining 9 games. And that just ain't gonna happen.

So now I'm going back to the amazing coverage of Hurricane Rita on CNN.
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These girls couldn't stop playing with their parents' phones. Posted by Picasa

Dancing Grandma really kicked it up a notch tonight. Posted by Picasa

Hope he can get that monkey off his back. Posted by Picasa

It was a cool night, but folks couldn't wait to go out on the field after the game to watch the fireworks. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shine on, Harvest Moon

Really enjoyed seeing "Everything is Illuminated" tonight. It marks Liev Schreiber's debut as a movie director and stars Elijah Wood as a young man searching for the women who saved his grandfather's life during World War II.

Wood's character is quite the collector -- not of valuable items, but of items of importance only to his family (grandma's dentures, grandpa's eyeglasses, etc.). It's his touching way of never forgetting the past.

He wears these thick framed eyeglasses that magnify his already expressive eyes.

I've never been in the former U.S.S.R. This adventure in Ukraine really makes me want to go.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Get It Out of Your Mouth

Caught a new, little independent feature called "Thumbsucker" tonight. It's about a 17-year old thumbsucker.

Keanu Reeves plays an orthodontist, who also serves as a spiritual counselor. And Vince Vaughn plays a high school teacher who advises the Debate Club. When one of the students is reluctant to refute a speaker's comments, Vaughn points out it's not called "Agreement Club" for a reason.

This delightful movie perfectly captures the moment when teenagers realize their parents are not infallible superheroes, but instead are imperfect mortals. In this case it's seeing his parents through someone else's eyes that does the trick.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Thinking of Bob Denver

Normally I don't go to see horror movies. But the new slasher feature, "Hellbent," is set one block from where I live -- at West Hollywood's annual Halloween Carnival. So I checked it out tonight.

It was OK. I jumped a few times and laughed a few times. It's a pretty good concept -- with everyone dressed up for Halloween how can you tell the good freaks from the bad freak?

However, my real life experience is that at West Hollywood's Halloween Carnival about 60% of the people are un-costumed lookie-loos. I don't really have a right to complain. I haven't actually dressed up for Halloween for about 12 years since I was part of a group that went as the characters on Gilligan's Island. (Yes, I was the Skipper.) R.I.P., little buddy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Love those Frenchies

Saw the new French film, "Cote D'Azur" tonight. It's about a family on vacation at the seashore where secrets are discovered and dealt with. It's a love story with a modern day twist.

Twice the cast breaks out into full-on song and dance. Somehow, since their French, it all seems to work.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Send Me Your Message

Went to see the new show at the Brentwood Theater today, "9 Parts of Desire." It's written and performed by Iraqi-American Heather Raffo. It's a one-woman show with Raffo bringing to life her interviews with several different current-day Iraqi women.

Raffo is a good actress and does a great job of creating these different characters with only a small change in costume.

But, ultimately, the show didn't come together for me. I couldn't discern any underlying theme between the various monologues -- other than Hussein was a creep and the effects of war are bad. I was expecting more.

Slaughtered the Hogs

90,411 people packed into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tonight to watch the University of Southern California Trojans destroy the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

Let's just say it's a long ride home to Fayetteville in a jalopy.

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It was packed on campus with people partying before the game began. Posted by Picasa

Here comes the Drum Major. Posted by Picasa

The band plays on campus before heading to the Coliseum. Posted by Picasa