’06 November

Thanksgivings!, Guelaguetza, David, Kaitlin’s shoes, Napa-Novato-Hearst Castle, California Heritage Museum, Disney Hall, and More.

…I hadn’t seen a…

…I hadn’t seen a picture of the Sugimotos for maybe 20 years! Of course Hiro asked after Cynthia and I sent them a couple shots from back-then and this picture. Here is what Hiro said:

And thank you for the old pictures, those days were still fresh in my memory. But I can not relate baby Cynthia with the lady Cynthia in the picture. To me and Kumi, Kaitlin looks like Cynthia. So, it’s almost like Cynthia holds Cynthia.

Kaitlin is such a…

November 29

Kaitlin is such a snorgy little snuggle bear. Here she is giving her Mommy a snuggly kisskiss. Then she’s off!

This is a gift…

This is a gift to you, my friends. A recipe for boiling eggs after which, I can attest, the shells Will Come Off, courtesy of Julia Child and the internet:

“For 1-4 Eggs, 2 quarts water
For 12 Eggs, 3 1/2 quarts water
For 24 Eggs, 6 quarts water

High (not wide) Saucepan with cover and bowl w/ice cubes & water (large enough to completely cover eggs). *note: water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan, and limit cooking to 2 dozen eggs at a time.

1. Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan, and let sit exactly 17 minutes.

2. When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)

3. Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds – this expands the shell from the egg. Remove eggs, and place back into the ice water.

Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from forming, and if time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, as well.

The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.”

Saturday After that crazy…

November 25 and 26

Saturday After that crazy Wed-Thu-Fri, Saturday and Sunday have flown by. Marsha organized a movie outing at the Northridge Mall with Kelly and Marija. Then we had to eat our traditional lunch at Golden Hunan.

You get this mountain of darn good food for $5.50. We always go to Golden Hunan. Then we play Fotune Cookie Lotto.

Bob and Desda are…

Bob and Desda are in town to spend Thanksgiving with Bob’s mother. They invited me and all these folks to meet at a fantastic Oaxacan restaurant in the very heart of Korea Town. OLE!

Bonnie, Bob, Lynn, Carl, David, Shira, Desda, Emilia, Richard, Ben.

There are two or…

There are two or three of these restaurants, named Guelaguetza. I think the main location must be this one on Olympic since it was too grand to think there are others more grand.

The band was just a total knock out. Got’ta Dance!

It was a big…

It was a big family place, as well as date night and groups of single young men, with long tables facing the band. There is also a section on a platform a bit quieter, but still too loud to even consider talking, and then a huge side area where we situated ourselves.

Look at that sweet little girl in the lower corner. Everyone was having such a good time it was infectious.

The kitchen guys….

The kitchen guys.

It felt like I was traveling in a foreign country. Like I was being welcomed as a surprising and entertaining guest unexpectedly turning up. There was no problem being an English speaker (like everywhere else in the big world…) but we might very well have been the only group of English speakers there that night. I’ll happily go again!

Sunday…

Sunday

I just Had to get that Thanksgiving food out of my house so we decided to have a left-over Thanksgiving lunch today.

It all went well and Mom even liked the food. When I told her some of my plans for the menu she wrinkled up her nose but when she tasted it she made big eyes and said ‘why, this is very delicious’, for which I am glad because when she doesn’t like her food no one gets to be happy.

Jeff, Windy, Joe, Hartley, Lona, me, Mom, and Flor.

In the afternoon I…

In the afternoon I went to a Mexican restaurant around the corner from Roger and Sandy’s place. Can you even believe all this stuff? Tchotchke Heaven! Nancy A called around and here we all are.

Nancy D, Sharon, Nancy A, Sandy, Roger.

Wednesday My Thanksgiving season…

November 22, 23, 24

Wednesday My Thanksgiving season began most happily on Wednesday when I spent the afternoon and evening with Darryl, Angela, and Kaitlin. I got to be sous-chef while Darryl prepared vegetarian/vegan food for their Thanksgiving dinner with Cynthia down in Laguna. It was great fun.

Thursday Since my sisters…

Thursday Since my sisters and I have of recent years been organizing a Friday Thanksgiving, on Thursday Ken and I joined the Roberts family for as classic a family Thanksgiving as you can imagine from lady’s magazines and heartwarming television specials. We ate, played games, told stories, and generally had a perfectly wonderful time.

(Bill, I’ll get the rest of the pictures soon…)

Friday Earlier in the…

Friday Earlier in the week leukemia took well-loved, joyful, and indomitable Carol, and the memorial service was Friday morning. During the service I learned from another dear friend that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Stop!

…And then when I…

…And then when I got home, my sisters were in the process of taking our mother to the emergency room. What?!? She’s ok. We cancelled the dinner and will reschedule for another time.

All this was in strong reinforcement: to be thankful every single day for all my blessings and to take every opportunity to express appreciation and love of my family and friends.

I drove up to…

November 21

I drove up to Ventura to visit David. We ate lunch in a cute little place in the totally sweet and entirely gentrified historic downtown, a few blocks walk from David’s ocean side apartment. Ah, retirement.

…Kaitlin gets a pair…

…Kaitlin gets a pair of cutie-pie-big-girl shoes! At first, when the shoes were toys, she was cool with those shoes.

…she was having None…

…she was having None Of It. All in good time. It’s something to imagine though, what it would be like to all of a sudden find your feet in shoes. Pretty shocking I’d guess. What was it like for Darryl and Cynthia? No remembering for me without a picture!

Dale is done, finito,…

November 17

Dale is done, finito, sayonara, Retiring! Many thanks to Barbara for inviting me to the farewell party with all the girls from way back when. Mazel Tov Dale! If you enjoy yourself 1/3 as much as I have been you’re gon’na be one happy camper.

Hearst Castle! Depending…

November 16

Hearst Castle! Depending on traffic and your style of driving, but for me, it was 5 hours from SF to San Simeon, and 5 hours from San Simeon to LA, SF-San Simeon being the more scenic leg. So I’m thinking it’s not a one-nighter round-trip from either SF or LA. I could have used another night, to mess around in Cambria, enjoy the beach, and stop more along the way. Another night and you’d be havin’ some fun.

So, you follow the sign off HWY 1 to Hearst Castle and arrive at a big parking lot where there is a relatively new ticket center (new to me yet already under refurbishment) where you get the bus to go up for your tour. You do have to buy a tour. They have food there, a big gift shop, and the movie theater.

You’ve seen Citizen Kane…

You’ve seen Citizen Kane and you know the basic concept although throughout the tour you ‘learn’ about the differences and enough gossip to fill a 3 inch fan mag.

By this time all…

By this time all the members of our tour group had cozied up real nice, the guide contributing significantly to the genial feelings. I was setting up this shot in one of the tower bedrooms and one of my new best friends hopped in. Cuter!

The best part of…

The best part of the not at all very good movie, that you can see in the Visitor’s Center, was the nice collection of old home movies. You could see notorious celebrities in ‘real life’ actually using these fabulous rooms.

Mr Hearst, gazing to…

Mr Hearst, gazing to the horizon, from the film at the Visitor’s Center.

It is fun when you get a good guide because the stories just go on and on. The film has none of the juicy parts. Go for the tours and you will be entertained.

I decided to take…

I decided to take a detour on the way home, like about another 8 hours in the car, to go down HWY 1 and stop in San Simeon.

I’m always telling people to go to Hearst Castle, about how much fun it is, and yet not having been there in a generation I thought to check it out.

…and it was stop…

…and it was stop stop stop as there are fabulous turnouts every mile or so. HWY 1 is indeed a fabulous thing and I shouldn’t let so much time go by between visits.

Then I got to enjoy 2 hours of switch-backs and hairpin turns. In total darkness. At least I wasn’t obsessed with driving off a cliff since it was all about hugging the center divider line with the glow-y reflectors.

Looking out Bob and…

November 14

Looking out Bob and Desda’s front door. Imagine this great old house in the middle of a generous plot of land extending in all directions from the house with a design sensibility as warm and genuine as this view. Very cool.

Desda and I spent…

Desda and I spent the day traveling up and down the Napa Valley in search of a perfect place to hold a group event and we think we’ve got just the ticket. There is one little wrinkle with the timing which only brings into focus the perfection of all the rest of it.

Heading out in the…

November 13

Heading out in the morning this is leaving the San Fernando Valley and it looks pretty promising out there. I’m taking 99 and plan to stop regularly along the way but…

…and then there is…

…and then there is This. No chance to stop for the windmill farm or any other viewing opportunity. The radio says it should clear up tomorrow and I’m reeeealy hoping that’s true!

I’m off to Napa…

November 12

I’m off to Napa tomorrow. Oh boy Oh boy.

Thanks for the party tonight Nancy! Everyone had a great time what with all the chatting, and the eating and drinking and making merry. How swell to see Ellen and Bill again and how swell for them that you brought all their old acquaintances together. Hurray Nancy.

Brigitte and I are…

November 11

Brigitte and I are in town at the same time and Knut is traveling so it’s time to get together quick! This is their lovely living room, and I was fooling around with steadying the camera on the counter for a picture.

I got to particularly enjoy Brigitte’s photos from her recent vacation including Rome, where I have never been and neeed to see, and The Pyramids(!) where I have also never been but first I neeed to see Rome.

Then we joined Sharon…

Then we joined Sharon and Nancy for dinner on the Promenade.

Here is another goofy promotional bit like last weekend when all the Star Wars crowd was out. This gang was trying to get you to buy a Nissan Sentra but mostly they had this wild screen thing that I have no explanation for but all the kids, and we, were enjoying the heck out of it.

We had some fun…

November 9

We had some fun today! That’s Hana, Sharon, and Satomi at the World Cafe where we enjoyed a lovely lunch on the patio.

For my ‘Thursday Afternoon with Hana in Japanese’ we all went out and Sharon was kind and generous to let me practice some of my gaijin Japanese and then wait patiently for a translation. I had Lots of fun!

After lunch we went…

After lunch we went to the California Heritage Museum on Main Street in Santa Monica. The Museum is setup in an original and historic house from the early days of Santa Monica. It’s a very small-scale operation but still big fun.

First they take you on a quick little tour of the downstairs (living room, dining room, kitchen) where at this time there is a nice collection of tiles from the 20s and 30s.

And then they take…

And then they take you upstairs where they are showing a quilt display from current local artists.

Aww, kitty kitty. The quilts are mostly quite big and these two pictures are just clips from a small section of each.

I liked this one…

I liked this one because she has my hair.

Most of the quilts were representational, without any of the classic patchwork quilt designs. It’s fun to see and virtually free – 3 bucks for seniors and don’t forget, we all look old to them.

Kaitlin! Light! …

November 8

Kaitlin! Light! She just loooves to mess with the lights and can you think of a child who didn’t?

Sweet baby girl has an ear infection, she’s blowing snot bubbles, and she’s cutting a tooth. But a nice light switch is always distracting.

This is where I…

November 5

This is where I live. There was a big Star Wars promotion on the Promenade today. The sky was blue, with puffy white clouds. The sea was blue, with white-sailed boats skimming the horizon. May the force be with you.

Where are all the good movies?! It supposed to be good movie season and yet it’s hard to find something out now to want to see once you’ve seen Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen.

There’s this place on…

There’s this place on 2nd Street off Wilshire where you can go and get 40 minutes on one of these massage beds and I’m here to tell you it is Faaabulous. True, I’ve only been once but get this – it’s Free. They do ramble on a bit about the benefits and yes it is for sale, but wow, what a treat.

You can click here for the Ceragem website to see if there is a place near you. You’ll thank me.

This is a little…

November 3

This is a little scary…the inside of the Disney Hall. That sea-creature-y looking thing is the organ and the orchestra sits in front of those seats. It’s a theater-in-the-round. Please don’t let this discourage you.

Hi Robert! Robert…

November 2

Hi Robert! Robert took me out to lunch at Phillipe’s and on a tour of his office downtown right next door to Union Station. I’m so happy for Robert. He’s got a wonderful job in a perfect location running Systems and Operations for L.A.U.P., his house that he built himself is finished and perfect, his wife and the kids (all Three of them) are healthy and doing well – you go Robert!

Check him out at Robert’s Pagina. Too cool. Robert took all of my Retirement Party photos and here’s a photo of Robert and his family. Aren’t they wonderful?!

The Disney Hall at…

The Disney Hall at night. Go There! I had not been to a concert yet but then Nancy’s friend Muriel got half price tickets off the internet and we all went.

The sound inside that place is as a-ma-zing as they all say. Wow. Our seats were up in the sky and it was still great. Then at half-time I led the parade (‘com’on, no problem, let’s just look’) down to the Really amazing seats and for the violin concerto we sat nine rows up in direct sightline of the soloist and the conductor. They and the entire orchestra surrounded Me and they were playing just for Me. It was a knock-out.

Then Nancy, the designated driver, bought us drinks at Patina and we chatted enthusiastically about this wonderful experience. Like grown-ups. Out past 10pm.

It’s Wednesday! Every…

November 1

It’s Wednesday! Every night after Kaitlin’s bath she runs around the house with her push-toy and xo follows in hot pursuit licking her face at every turn sending Kaitlin into peals of hysterical laughter. It is so funny!

This is from Halloween…

This is from Halloween when Louise my ex-nextdoor-neighbor still living in Northridge invites some other ex-neighbors over for hors d’oeuvres and champagne, trick-or-treaters, candy, and gossip. It’s fun!

Ljubica, Sheryl, Marija, Judy, Louise

Wow! Here’s a…

Wow! Here’s a Story! I know it’s an old story, about when Cynthia was a baby, every work-day I took her to the home of one of my colleagues, Hiro. Hiro’s wife Kumi took care of Cynthia and their own daughter Sachiko. It seems Kumi really really wanted to teach Cynthia her first word and make a nice surprise for me.

So one evening when I came to get Cynthia, there she was standing up against the coffee table (she was not yet one) and she threw both arms straight up high into the air and called out ‘Banzai!’ Sooo cute! (So smart! So advanced for her age!)

Hiro and Kumi are living in Japan now. In the photo Sachi (the name she goes by) is standing to Hiro’s right. She is living in New Haven and will marry Rich, the man at her right, in December. To Kumi’s left is their son Go and his girlfriend Vivian who are living in UK.

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