Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas time is here!

I knew this year was a bit different when I turned on my radio to The Kost 103.5 a week before Thanksgiving and found myself pseudo-conducting to this version of Carol of the Bells, indeed my favorite version:

Ring Christmas Bells - John Williams & Boston Pops

Don't get me wrong, everyone knows I love Christmas music. But this year has brought on that giddy joy that I haven't felt for years. Which has to be a gift from God, cause this year has been one of the most emotionally exhausting years of my life. So a little bit of refreshment in the form of sweet melodies was gladly welcomed. In fact, Thanksgiving came and went without much attention because I was already in the Christmas spirit. I did spend a delicious and delightful Thanksgiving with my in-laws. And Sam is an absolutely amazing chef! Just LOOK at this turkey:
We went to the zoo on Saturday and it was such a blast to see my niece and nephew. Audrey's almost 3 yrs old and Lukas is 7 months.

I haven't started shopping yet, but very much enjoying the delight of the Christmas spirit and wishing everyone a very merry Christmas season as well.
Also, I just learned today that Nat King Cole's version of The Christmas Song is the original version and was written by two writers in Toluca Lake on a very hot "winter" day. I'll post that, along with the lyrics below...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright,
Tiny tots with their eyes all a-glow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh,
And ev'ry mother's child is gonna spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although it's been said
Many times, Many ways
Merry Christmas to you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Miami, part 2

Miami is the art deco mecca! The city has myriads of buildings and structures, mostly art deco. I was super impressed. Below are some collages I put together. Great design ideas/reference. As always, click on any photo for a larger view:

Lovely Rita

Lovely Rita!

(photo above compliments of Courtney Brillhart)
If you have 3 seconds, vote for Rita on the cutest pet contest website:
Thanks! She has been loving the yard! She found two vertebrae this weekend... We think they might be from a dog, but I can't find where she's digging them up, so who knows.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miami, part 1

Miami, in a few pictures...

(click picture above to view in more detail)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Melody Gardot at the Troubadour, 10/26/09

Melody Gardot's "Baby I'm A Fool"
Click to watch the video. Last scene is the best part!

I saw Melody Gardot a little bit ago at the Troubadour. She has a phenomenal voice. She was disabled at the age of 19 because she was hit by a car, and became more serious about music at that time, using music therapy to recover. More about it on wikipedia, if you're interested:

Monday, November 02, 2009

More hikes and Meet Rita...


Rita is our new pup. She's about 2 months old and she's a Rottweiler mix (probably with German Shepherd?). She's super mellow for a pup and is starting to learn the potty training process. Training is tough, but hopefully we'll be good at it. We've been having a blast with her.


If you take the 101 west to Las Virgenes Rd and go north a couple miles, there's a peaceful walk with rolling hills and beautiful oak trees. I'm guessing that the loop I did with Rita was about 5 miles, but I'm not sure. We had a splendid time and she stayed right by me the whole time. She loves being outdoors off the leash!

And then there's Runyon Canyon, which we took her to on Saturday and Monday morning:

It's just a couple miles from where we live and a perfect place to socialize the pup with other people and other dogs. Above is a map with three routes. The red is the main route. The easiest way is to go up the paved route and down the side with stairs. I suggest going up the stairs (via Fuller St entrance), it feels like a better workout. The blue path is the most challenging. Such a fun hike, but definitely not one to do in extreme heat. The yellow path is a steep cliff of loose gravel where you travel about a yard in 6 steps because you're slipping so much. My brother and I did that together once. I wouldn't suggest this path to anyone. However, Runyon is a great place to go for some views of the city and a good hour-long workout.