Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pretty Birds

Saw this colorful bird (and another one just like it) outside of the Hilton Garden Inn in Sacramento this morning. Actually, I heard them before I saw them -- their call sounded like two old men grunting. I'm not enough of an ornithologist to know what kinds of birds they were.

This evening I saw an interesting new movie from Spain called "Queens." It's about a bunch of young people getting married and how their dramatic, Spanish mothers come to dominate the goings on.

Carmen Maura, who I wrote about recently after seeing her in a Pedro Almodovar movie, shows up in this picture. She plays an interesting character -- the Spanish film legend Carmen Maura. And she pulls it off and looks good doing it. At one point, to prove how hip she is she says, "I've worked with Almodovar." Too funny.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lotions and Potions

Flew up to Sacramento tonight for meetings tomorrow. The flight, on a regional jet, was pretty uneventful until we hit some "wake turbulence" from a larger jet flying ahead of us. We were rocking 'n rolling pretty good for a few seconds.

With the new travel restrictions in place I have to check my luggage, even for an overnight trip. Can't do without my toiletries. So that slows me down a little bit when I land. But with folks carrying less luggage on board it's sure gotten easier to board the airplane.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Flower Power

The marketing geniuses at Dodger Stadium must be working overtime -- now they're selling small, stuffed Dodger flowers. What does that have to do with baseball?

But, hey, it must be working. Last night the Dodgers beat the Reds 6 to 5, they've won 3 in a row and lead the National League Western Division by 3 games.

Maybe this year I'll get to see some baseball in October.
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In anticipation of the fall release of the latest Pedro Almodovar movie, "Volver," in major cities across America they're screening 8 of Almodovar's greatest movies. I was a little shocked to learn that I've only seen 2 of the 8 -- so I'm going to work on catching up.

On Sunday I saw "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." It revolves around a woman having an affair with a man, that man's wife, another woman (a feminist attorney) that man is having an affair with and that man's son.

Of course it all gets a little messy -- they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, after all. Spanish screen legend Carmen Maura plays the wife who may or may not be mentally ill and is at her best on the back of a hi-jacked motorcycle with a pistol in each hand (bouffant wig blowing in the wind) while firing rounds at a chasing taxi.

As only Almodovar could pull it off. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

No Laughing Matter

Went to the Hollywood Bowl tonight to see a show they called "Comedy Tonight!" featuring Peri Gilpin (from Frazier), Julia Sweeney (from Saturday Night Live) and The Smothers Brothers.

It was the weakest program I've seen in years at the Hollywood Bowl.

It makes me worry about the post-Mauceri era at the Bowl (which starts next summer).
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The orchestra performed Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter," written in 1950. A percussionist from the orchestra "played" a real, manual typewriter (complete with a moving carriage) during the number. Posted by Picasa

I don't like it when a Conductor conducts the audience during the National Anthem. Here's Lucas Richman, Conductor for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, doing it tonight at the Hollywood Bowl. Turn around and face the musicians, buddy. We know how to sing the song. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Start to Finish

The last 48 hours have been pretty busy so I've gotten behind in blogging (again).

Thursday was a lovely day spent in YrekaPosted by Picasa

I walked up and down the main drag in the old part of Yreka -- Miner Street. The most interesting sight (third building from the left with the blue front) used to be the Yreka Bakery -- which is the samed spelled forward and backwards. It closed after decades in business and the next owner of the building called his business Yrella Gallery to keep the tradition alive. Posted by Picasa

Honoring Siskiyou County's firefighters. Posted by Picasa

Friday morning I heard Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold deliver a speech at the Bel Age Hotel in West Hollywood. It marks the first speech I've heard by a 2008 Presidential contender. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Way Back Machine

Made my way tonight to Medford, Oregon -- just north of the California-Oregon border in order to participate in some meetings tomorrow just south of the California-Oregon border.

Changing planes at SFO I stopped in for dinner at the new Buena Vista Cafe in the United Terminal. For an airport restaurant, it's excellent. No surprise since it's affiliated with the longtime San Francisco restaurant of the same name, famous for inventing Irish Coffee. And, yes, I had one.

Anywho, I spotted the guy in the photograph above. How could you not? From what I could tell by eavesdropping, he and his buddies were meeting at SFO and flying together for a fishing trip.

As each of his buddies arrived they went nuts over his 70s get-up. He proudly told them his suitcase was full of 70s fashions and he was going to wear them all weekend. (Seems like a funny idea that would get old real fast.)

I was a little hesitant about taking his photo at first, but as you can see by his reaction there was no reason to be.

I'm pretty sure the guy on the left is not wearing a costume.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Spent today running around San Diego for work. But I still found time for lunch at one of my favorite places, Perry's Breakfast House on Pacific Highway. Their turkey melt is excellent.
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Pity Party at the Dog Bowl

Made my way to San Diego tonight for a meeting tomorrow, and since the Dodgers are in town playing the Padres I decided to go to the game.

It was my first visit to Petco Park, the new stadium the Padres have been playing in for three or four seasons.

Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, the new ballpark has sparked a resurgence in a part of San Diego previously run down.

My hotel, the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter, is only 2 block from the stadium -- so it was really easy getting there.

The Dodgers lost 4 to 2 -- but I still enjoyed the evening.
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Rather than waiting in line at a Will Call window, at Petco Park you simply swipe the credit card used to order the ticket and it's instantly printed and you're on your way. Posted by Picasa

I like how they incorporated the facade of the old Western Metal Supply Co. into the ballpark. Posted by Picasa

Petco Park is surrounded by high-rise condos under construction. Posted by Picasa

I'm SO happy the Dodgers don't have a "mascot." And the San Diego Padres' Friar needs to learn how to cross his legs while sitting in a chair wearing a robe. Posted by Picasa

Enough said. Posted by Picasa

On Sunday evening I went to the 2006 Pageant of the Masters at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. This "tableaux vivant" performance recreates famous pieces of art with a human "cast" in costumes and make-up standing in.

I was most impressed by their presentation of the marble statues in the Trevi Fountain and three works by Vincent van Gogh: "Artist on the Road to Tarascon," "First Steps, after Millet" and "The Sower." Posted by Picasa

Before the show GeezBob and I had dinner at Tivoli Terrace, a restaurant on the grounds of the Festival of Arts. Our table was behind this enormous branch. You had to bend down to get to and from the table. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Agitprop Chicano Teatro

Caught "Water & Power" tonight at the Mark Taper Forum. It's a new play by the Latino theatrical group "Culture Clash."

It's a thoughtful look at two hispanic brothers in Los Angeles -- one grows up to be a cop and one becomes a State Senator.

Politics comes into play and Dakin Matthews puts in a searing performance as the ultimate, sleazy political fixer.

Lots of references to local politics made it a fun show for a local audience, but my guest visiting from Sacramento, Julie Gallaher, said she enjoyed the local references whether she got them or not.

The only one I didn't get was "having lunch in the velvet coffin in the Los Angeles Times Building." I've got to look that one up.
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It was nice seeing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in the audience taking in the show. Posted by Picasa

No Mickey Mousing Around

Despite the friendly criticism from Karen Prosser that I haven't been blogging enough lately -- this is my first set of posts since Tuesday night.

I was out of town on Wednesday and Thursday and didn't get home until late Thursday night -- and spent Friday catching up on work in my office.

But enough whining...

Went to the Great American Concert tonight at the Hollywood Bowl. For the first time anywhere, scenes from the Disney movie "Fantasia" were shown with the accompaniment of a live orchestra.

It was amazing. In addition to several great parts of "Fantasia," they showed some story boards of scenes that didn't make it into the movie.

They also showed "Destino," the animated collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. (I wrote about "Destino" a couple of weeks ago after seeing "Lobster Alice.")

I was invited by Geez Bob to be a guest in the prestigious Reed & Davidson box at the Hollywood Bowl. It's quite an experience to see (and hear) the fireworks so close up. I reacted loudly enough to one explosion that the people around me laughed.
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Great fireworks tonight at the Hollywood Bowl. What you see on the big screen is not a shot of the fireworks. It's the Nutcracker portion of "Fantasia." Posted by Picasa