’14 December

Ho Ho Ho! and getting ready to be gone for two months.

Big day today! …

December 30

Big day today! D&A are out for their mini-10th Wedding Anniversary-retreat, back on the 1st.

The girls and I spent the day having fun and then went out for a pasta dinner. For Christmas Kaitlin got a 3D puzzle from Lilly of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s too fun how now she can know…’Oh Look, the Leaning Tower of Pisa!’.

We are putting on…

We are putting on a New York New Year’s Eve party (where the New Year arrives at 9pm…) and we went out for supplies.

We must not be the only ones doing a NYNY’s Eve because we could buy huge banners of the entire Times Square scene – we have three of them and You Be’cha more pictures will be forthcoming. We have hats and everything.

Kaitlin and Lilly in their Christmas matching zebra pjs.

My cupboard. I…

December 29

My cupboard. I have to put on my list of things to do what I’d like to find in my house when I get home at the end of February. It’s nice not to have to go directly to the store even if it is a half-block away.

Carol came by in the morning – Carol without Alex and it was fun! Then Windy came by and we did some google street views around Paris. What a nice day.

(internet pic)

This was good fun…

December 28

This was good fun – dinner at Nordstom in the Thousand Oaks Mall!

Arlene, Terry Charlene, Burt, me

If you’re wondering…I do…

December 27

If you’re wondering…I do have SE Asian flights: Philippian Air, Malaysian Air, and Bangkok Air. Nothing on AirAsia though.

Leaving January 7th for a 16 1/2 hour non-stop (how can that even be?!) and a dateline change to Manila, then:

January 9-14 Manila
January 14-21 Singapore (Melaka on the way north)
January 21-25 Kuala Lumpur
Jan 25-Feb 4 Myanmar (bopping around the country)
February 4-12 Chiang Mai (and some Hill Villages)
February 12-18 Luang Prabang
February 18-24 Bangkok

We Walked Up. …

We Walked Up. It was such a busy day that the tram line filled the entire plaza. It felt so good to get a move on considering my exercise-sloth of the last several weeks/months…since Halloween actually.

I STILL love this thing: Martin Puryear’s That Profile commissioned for the site in 1999.

So welcoming….

So welcoming.

Frog Boy: by Charles Ray and called Boy with Frog.
Pilates Girl: Aristide Maillol’s Air.

Lookin’ good today guys!

From a display in…

From a display in The Restaurant, the good one, where you have to make reservations and make sure you’re up on your credit card payments.

That’s IngaLill, and can…

That’s IngaLill, and can you see the snow on the mountains in the distance (maybe Mt Baldy?)?

The sculpture is called Angel of the Citadel by Marino Marini 1948-9. There is more to him than you can see here as well as, well, more. You can ask google to tell you all about it.

Merry Christmas!That’s Huge Me…

December 25

Merry Christmas!

That’s Huge Me filling up the frame, dashing into the picture with the camera on the stairs. I couldn’t get the timer off a 4 second wait.

I like the picture anyway, and so many thanks to Angela and Darryl for another beautiful Christmas Eve sleepover and Christmas Day party.

Gary, Kaitlin, Liz, Darryl Angela, Lilly, me

This is us at…

December 23

This is us at the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden and me yelling ‘Teeeeth Girls tEEth, gimme some Teeeeth’.

Lilly, Kaitlin

This is us having…

This is us having the neighbors over for a movie (they chose The Nightmare Before Christmas and I had nothing to do with it) and me yelling ‘Look at ME everybody, right here, meeeee.’.

Kaitlin, Avery, Lilly, Kaila, Finley

Getting close…January 7th and…

Getting close…January 7th and I’m off!

January 9-14 Manila
January 14-21 Singapore (Melaka on the way north)
January 21-25 Kuala Lumpur
Jan 25-Feb 4 Myanmar (bopping around the country)
February 4-12 Chiang Mai (and some Hill Villages)
February 12-18 Luang Prabang
February 18-24 Bangkok

Kathleen across the street…

December 20

Kathleen across the street had another of her ever so lovely parties. I always get to meet the most interesting people, her friends new and old. There’s nothing like the real estate biz to bring entertainment into your life.

(phone photo)

Ann and I made…

December 19

Ann and I made our traditional holiday pilgrimage to Musashi back in the old neighborhood. But not that new one on Rinaldi, no, the real one, with Herosan, on Tampa by the shopping center.

Bill came by for…

December 18

Bill came by for dinner. We ate at Santa Monica Seafood where they have my favorite Manhattan Clam Chowder and it was delicious.

This is a professional shot of the fam when everyone was out for Thanksgiving: Cheryl, Bill, Mindy, Kim, Ross, Addie Rose.

I was doing a project with Muriel from early in the morning and she made us breakfast and then she made lunch. My penance fast is well and truly over.

I had a nice…

December 17

I had a nice day at The Grove with cousins Nancy and Sharon. We ate, saw a pretty-good not-great movie (The Theory of Everything) and completely enjoyed the festive environment.

In vivid display of…

December 16

In vivid display of their unique and precious personalities, Kaitlin and Lilly made some Christmas cookies at the neighbor’s house.

(phone photo)

The Valley Girls Monday…

December 15

The Valley Girls Monday Night Potluck EXTRAVAGANZA.

I ate myself into a total coma and am today executing a penance fast.

me, Maryanne, Maxine, Marija, Ann, Alicia, Ljubica, Lourdes, Marsha, Becky

Maxine’s annual Holiday Gala….

December 13

Maxine’s annual Holiday Gala. There were 50-60 people spread around the various rooms, some guests that I’ve met a number of times over the years.

Ahhh, the fooood. Maxine cooked up the most plentiful quantities of goodness. Just so you can get an idea: fried chicken, baked chicken, spicy sausage, black beans and rice, collard greens and ham, mac and cheese, potato salad, cole slaw, I know I’ve forgotten something…and an entire table of sweet treats.

That’s me and Marija in the mirror.

NEWS on the trip…

December 12

NEWS on the trip front. Merlyn, one of my travelling companions from Cuba is going to meet me for the 10 days in Myanmar. We have contracted for a private car and driver for the whole time which should be amazing!

Thanks Sharon for the…

Thanks Sharon for the festive holiday dinner and thank you for the delicious breakfast of leftovers.

Sharon and I saw Birdman last week and it was wonderful. Wonderful. Wow, my best movie of the year so far.

This is going to be very strange for me, me who usually sees every single Academy Award nominated movie, will have seen maybe five when the time comes as I will have been away all of January and February.

Saint Vincent was really good too if you like Bill Murray, which I do. The Grand Budapest Hotel was also good if you like Wes Anderson, which I do. It was good but not up to the standard of one of the best movies of all time – Moonrise Kingdom…with Bill Murray.

I got home from…

December 11

I got home from a very nice lunch with Susie to discover that the power to the little rented cottage was completely out and changing all the fuses didn’t fix it.

Oh NOOOoo. The clouds were ready to drop their load any second and I couldn’t leave the tenant sitting there in her dark, cold cottage!

Much rushing about ensued on both the 11th and the 12th but I got her comfortable and it’s all ok for now. I’ll have to get that fuse box replaced with a modern breaker system s$$n. Sigh!

F.o.o.d was happening today….

December 10

F.o.o.d was happening today. I had lunch at Merlyn and Hilda’s (Hilda being gone on a business trip) which included a fine and extensive menu of homemade delights.

Then I went straight to meet Nancy and Muriel for plate after plate of Yummy, first at Lukshon and then at Bucato in Culver City. No bar-hoppers we, no, restaurant grazers ‘r us.

The picture is from inside Bucato. Check out the California map made of kitchen knives.

I have…

December 9 I have more…oh so many more…but no time right now, so later…

We went outside to play around in the neighborhood lights. What fun! Kaitlin is enjoying her latest pose, ‘this is gazing into the distance Granny’.

This is here to…

December 8

This is here to remind me. No More Spilling Coffee. I need to find a different place to make the coffee since it takes 20 minutes to clean up the &*^% mess that follows me knocking over the dripping cone of soggy grinds and the hot coffee that had made it into the cup.

Also no more dropping but that’s another story.

No more falling is going pretty well (knock on SO much wood) but requires constant vigilance.

Today, well into the…

December 7

Today, well into the 11th year of my retirement, I passed on the last remaining pieces of my work clothes. There’s no turning back now!

Burt and Charlene had…

December 6

Burt and Charlene had a memorial mass today for Jenny who passed away very unexpectedly a few weeks ago.

Burt wrote the eulogy and a friend of David’s read it. It was so sweet and so perfect everyone could barely contain themselves from clapping.

I had a banh…

December 5

I had a banh mi today that was nearly as good as the ones I ate from the street carts in Vietnam, and that’s saying A Lot. I’m getting so excited for my return to SE Asia.

Sharon and I went…

December 4

Sharon and I went to a new walking spot today – Hansen Dam. It was great, a long, flat, wide, paved sweeping path and beautiful views. Nice!

There’s a very little water from the Tujunga Wash, a tributary of the LA River. (Click here for more of The LA River.)

Then very nearby in…

Then very nearby in Pacoima/Lake View Terrace we had tasty food at Ranch Side Café. Check out that décor.

I’ve been nagging Boban…

December 3

I’ve been nagging Boban for this picture for nine years now, since ten years ago when I took that inset picture at Boban’s 40th Birthday Party. And here they all are, mom and the five brothers, ten years later. (And thanks for coming out to lunch in the rain!)

Inset: Left to right, top to bottom: the 5 brothers Dragojlovic, Dushko, Peter, Boban, Roy, Goran; Mary, Dad (Djura), Shirley, Mary Jo, Mom (Vukica), Kelly

And Now! (let’s see if I’ve guessed/remembered): Goran (in the ‘medical world’), Roy (the builder), Peter (the chef), MOM, Dushko (in aerospace), Boban (my Boban)

Walking home from school…

December 2

Walking home from school In The Rain. That’s right, RAIN, our first decent rain since February. Absolutely everyone is over the moon. It’s like we were farmers or something.

ak.

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