Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's that time again!




It's never too early to start yard haunt prep.

I'm mainly posting this to provide the link to The Gate, which is Dale's haunt page. He's been in the "paper and pencil" planning stage for a few weeks now. Last weekend we got some grapevines and spiderwebs. No successful haunt can be without spiderwebs!

This is Dale's baby, he has all the ideas and does all the work. I'll carve a few pumpkins, make a scarecrow, and provide a ride to the ER as needed.

Whooooooohoooooooo

Monday, August 27, 2007

When-a the moon-a hits your eye, like-a bigg-a pizza pie-a



We were driving home from an errand tonight and WOW! the moon was friggin' HUGE!
Since time was of the essence, we weren't able to drive somewhere more picturesque..we just drove down past the dirtbagger apartments and took the shot there, crap billboard and all.

I think there is supposed to be some sort of lunar eclipse tonight too...in the wee wee hours when I'm sleeping.




This is my first installment in the "Sunday's Supper" project. Red Lentil and Vegetable Curry with Roasted Cauliflower. I'm too lazy to html the link.....it's from Epicurious. The dish was very tasty and pretty easy to make. Not food porn quality, just a record.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh My God! It's Raining!



What a pleasant surprise!

It has been a little humid and overcast the last day or two--the after effects of Hurricane Dean that passed across the mid-section of Mexico last week. I heard there might be storms in the mountains. The desert in SanBernardino and places like that do get summer monsoon weather this time of year.

I was outside trying to rescue my succulent garden, Dale was surveying the yard as he begins planning this year's haunt (more on that tomorrow!) We both were joking that the skies were looking rather ominous....."grab the radio and get in the basement, Ma" sort of jokes.

First, a few low rumbles of thunder, then about a half hour of a drizzly rain. We moved to the patio to enjoy the experience...Dale got his laptop and I got my latest New Yorker (i am soooooo far behind on that it isn't funny). Even HellCat was enjoying himself.



Last year about this time, we were having lunch at a local restaurant that has a somewhat "open air patio" with a louvered roof. It had been overcast and humid when we entered...but about 15 minutes after we sat down, huge booms of thunder and then the skies just opened up! It was like a good ol' Wisconsin thunderstorm. People were just scrambling and freaking out, the waitstaff was trying to get the louvers closed....it was pretty hilarious. And we are like.....COOL!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Polka Party with Brave Combo!


At last....Brave Combo! I've been waiting a long time for this show and last night was the night. I last saw the band in Dallas in May 2005. They don't get to SoCal that often, so I was pretty excited when I saw they were coming. Initially, they were just booked for a free show at MacArthur Park in downtown LosAngeles, but this show was added at Safari Sam's in Hollywood.

First up was DJ Bonebrake's band Orchestra Superstring. He's switched from drums to vibes. The music was jazzy, beatnik sounding. I felt I needed to have a beret and black turtleneck. I enjoyed it.

I was so excited to hear the band and was periodically dancing so I did not make a set list or write anything down, I'm just going to go from memory here.
The biggest thing was that Bubba the bassist, isn't in the band any longer. He left to do some different music and in his place is AnnMarie.
They played a couple rocking polkas right off to get everyone moving. Everyone got out to "twist" to a mashup of "Ein Prosit" and "Hava Nagila". That was pretty wacky. They do a lot of these medleys. Another was a blend of "Peter Gunn", "Pink Panther", "Get Smart" and "Batman".
The band also just released a new album "Polka's Revenge", so they did a few songs from that which sounded great. I purchased the CD, so I'll give a review once I've had a chance to digest it.
Other songs included some Nortena songs, Hosa Dyna, Bumble Bee polka, At the Friendly Tavern, Behind Closed Doors, to name a few.

The venue was pretty nice, I think it is a rather new enterprise and the staff was friendly. There might have been a max of 150 people in there. We were all a little worried at first, since they had long tables set up for dining on what would be the dance floor. Thankfully they were removed before Brave Combo started. Some of the audience were pretty good dancers. There was even some old codger out there shaking a leg.

I brought my new camera in hopes I could get some good shots, but between the low battery and my inexperience with the camera...none really turned out. Oh well.

The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of Thai Town and Little Armenia, so we went to Jitlada Thai Restaurant that is located across the street. Yummy food!

We had a great time. Even though I was tired all day today, it was totally worth it. I hope I don't have to wait another two years to see them again.



Check out the Brave Combo website!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My First Food Porn


Nothing like some Caprese Salad on a warm day.
I'm really impressed with the images I'm getting from the new camera.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Shutterbuggery


I finally got a camera. A nice, little Canon PowerShot A570. My blogs will never be boring again.

I haven't taken many photos yet--that darn working for a living thing is taking up all my free time! But here is a nice shot of one of my lil cacti.

I'm going to ba taking some photo classes just so I can figure out all these bells and whistles.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rock Show At The Hollywood Bowl

Saturday evening was another fine night at the Hollywood Bowl. The program was "Sgt. Pepper at 40", celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the release of The Beatles' groundbreaking album.
Headlining in collaboration with the orchestra was Cheap Trick. In their early years, they were heavily influenced by The Beatles, so this was a special honor for them to be a part of this event.
Other performers in addition to Cheap Trick, were Aimee Mann, Joan Osborne, two male singer/songwriters that I forgot their names, and very weirdly, Al Jourgensen from Ministry.
The show started with Cheap Trick and the other artists singing Beatles songs. Then the Sgt. Pepper album was played "cover-to-cover", with the various artists singing and the band playing with the orchestra as well.

Cheap Trick has come quite far from playing penny beer night at the Stone Toad in Milwaukee and at the Waukesha Bowl back in the day. I had no idea that Sir George Martin produced one of their albums back then.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football?


What a suprise! I was vegetating earlier...flipping thru the channels (these 11 hr/6 day weeks are getting old)...and what to my wondering eyes should appear.........a Packer game! OK OK, it is technically a "scrimmage", but what the hay...its got Packers, don't it?!!?

You gotta love it though.....50,000+ (sell out) attendees for a frikkin scrimmage! Football....good.

I got the bill for the DirectTV Sunday Ticket......my cost per game is really getting high this season. I think there might be four broadcast TV/ESPN games plus I will be in Wisconsin for two additional games (not AT the game, just in the motherland). Oh well, its better than sitting in the bar at 9am Sunday morning!

Oh yeah, and Brett threw an interception.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

How Could I Resist?



I spotted this bottle of wine at Trader Joe's and just had to pick it up. It was something like 5 bucks. Taste-wise...not too bad, but then again, I only drink cheap wine anyway.
If you have young children at home, its probably not a great idea to bring this wine home. Unless you take a Sharpie and make the smiley face into a Mr. Yuck face.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I Love American Music

Last night was a rare Thursday evening excursion to the Hollywood Bowl. Aside from the insane 1.5 hour bus ride (Sell out at Dodger Stadium) sitting next to a crazy lady, I had a wonderful time.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic performed with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. The theme was "American Music" and we heard from Bernstein, Copland, and Gershwn.
First was "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story". Next up was Copland. Instead of the classical pieces he's usually noted for, we heard instead some folk tunes sung by an amazing baritone, Thomas Hampson. One was a lullaby, one a minstrel song..there were six in all.
Next was Copland's "Lincoln Portrait", which was accompanied with some spoken word stuff by none other than Gore Vidal.
Last was one of my favorites: "an American in Paris" by George Gershwin. It was so nice to hear the whole piece, not just the little bit that is in the movie.
A great evening.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Simpson Movie Un-Review

What a treat! I totally enjoyed The Simpsons Movie. I'm not a movie critic, so I'm not going to give an analysis of the film--I liked it and that is enough observation for me. Lots of funny stuff, in-your-face-Disney stuff and a few "gotcha" moments.
The best thing is Matt's success. From doodling dysfunctional rabbits at Licorice Pizza to a number one movie....who would have thought?!?