Friday, February 25, 2011

Glendale/Burbank Hike: Brand Park, take 2

We took another trail on this hike and found an amazing opening at the top of the hill with benches and a panoramic view! These are just crappy cell phone pictures, but worth sharing!

This is one of my favorites (below). It was supposed to rain that day but was bright and sunny in the morning. By the time we got to the top, the clouds were rolling in, but we didn't get any rain for a few more hours...

Justin, Sam, Bo, and Rita... crammed in the back of the mini cooper.

Vivian Maier

I have been really inspired this week by the work of street photographer/nanny, Vivian Maier.
She lived in the mid 1900's, but never showed anyone her work. It was discovered by this guy who bought a box of her undeveloped film. Watch the story:

Watch the full episode. See more Chicago Tonight.

It is breath-taking and fascinating to see a story in each photograph. I think this is one thing that can really make someone a great photographer. It's also fascinating that the film was undeveloped. She must have been very talented in the technical side of photography, especially with film, knowing what settings to get the amazing shots she was able to get. It has been very inspirational to me and I hope to play around with some street photography in the near future.

Photo of the Week #55

This has been a full week! Over the 3-day weekend, we got a hike in, more housework in, and a relaxing sunset walk with the dogs by the Eagle Rock, pictured below:
I had some friends over Monday evening to play Dr. Mario. More victims subject to my mild addiction. Mwaa ha ha ha haa!

On Wednesday, our block lost power for about 6-7 hours. It is amazing how useful electricity is! Well, in the midst of this, our neighbor, Roland, called the police. I'm assuming it was in order to notify them about the outage, but I think he somehow ended up talking about his inactive WWII memorial grenade. This turned into firemen and policemen swarming outside of my house at around 7pm (during the power outage) and investigating. They decided to evacuate everyone within a few houses while the bomb squad safely removed the inactive grenade. I was really stressed out because I was evacuated so quickly that I only had my keys and phone. No time to get the dogs, my wallet, or even lock the door. We didn't know how long we would be standing outside in the cold (we found out later that it ended up being about 2 hours), so I left with Sam to go to his show that night. I felt so uncomfortable leaving everything in that state, but when we got back at 1am, the lights were back on, the dogs were fine, and everything was in its proper place. Still it was a crazy night.

Today, I got to do yoga on the lunch hour! Our wonderful new HR director, Melissa, decided it would be good for us desk-sitting folk to have a complimentary 8-week yoga course. It felt wonderful and peaceful to stretch and breathe and balance. I loved it! I then had a scoop of my very favorite ice cream, Baskin Robbin's February flavor: Love Potion #31... And also started the calorie counter app again this week (just to make sure I'm not eating more calories than I'm burning throughout the day). Later on today, after work, a group of previous and current coworkers are getting together to reunite because our friend Dallas, from Kansas, is visiting for GDC (Game Developer's Conference). So it's turning out to be a wonderful day indeed!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. May your sense of humor thrive and tension level diminish! Take care. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo of the Week #54

I shot a dance for my music video this weekend. It'll be months til I have the video done, but here's a glance of what some of it will look like. :D

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 53rd Annual Grammy's update

Sam and I were both chosen as seat-fillers for the Grammy's yesterday! They chose about 500 people out of 17,000 that applied, so we were excited that we both got to go.

We had a great time, even though it was sort of a strange experience. We stood in different lines for 3 hours, then had to wait for about an hour in a blocked-view section. During this time, the performance I got to see that was impressive was Muse's "Resistance." I missed the Bieber/Usher performance and the tribute to Aretha Franklin at the beginning.

After about an hour and some difficulties, we finally made it past security down to the floor section. So for the last 1-2 hours of the show, we were sitting within the first 15 rows, sort of moving around to different seats during commercial breaks. I was up-close for lots of great performances: Cee Lo Green, Eminem and Rihanna, Katie Perry, Lady Antebellum, Barbara Streisand, and I was especially excited to see Arcade Fire, who won best album of the year.

Surprises of the night:
-Justin Bieber didn't win best new artist, which I was happy about since I'm not a fan of his music. BUT I had never heard of Esperanza Spalding, who won this category. Here is a video of her performing at the White House:

-For a while, I was sitting near Nicki Minaj, who at first I had thought was Lady Gaga because of her outfit (yes, that is her real hair):

-Lady Antebellum won 3 or 4 Grammy's for this song: Need You Now They performed this song, and I had recognized it, but hadn't heard of Lady Antebellum and didn't really understand why this song was worth so many Grammy's. Regardless, it was a good performance.

-I think the best performance was "The song otherwise known as Forget You" by Cee Lo Green, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow (who can sing!...with 5" heels standing on a piano no less)... and a ton of muppets! It was quite creative and entertaining. Here's a video I found of the performance: Check it out!

-And last surprise of the night: here is Eminem's happy face:
(To smile: Raise facial muscles from lower cheek to corner of mouth, and from upper cheek to bottom eyelid.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Beach

Photo of the Week #53

This is Adrieanna, a good friend of mine who (I found out this weekend due to her "Baby On Board" shirt) is pregnant with her 3rd child and just ran her first half-marathon. I went to cheer her on. This was the Surf's Up race in Huntington Beach.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

This hike says it's about 3 miles round trip but it feels much longer. It might be because you are rock-hopping/creek-crossing, especially towards the end, but it's still feels like you should get to the waterfall much quicker considering the map says it's 1.5 miles to get there. Anyways, it's still a nice hike, very easy til you get to the "bridge" at the 1-mile mark, and after that point still not too difficult, you just might end up getting your feet wet.

I didn't bring my camera along, but here are some cell phone pictures:

I went with a group of about 12 adults and 10 kids for my friend's birthday.
The bridge is the 1-mile mark.
Very cool canyon!
Beautiful waterfall
Time for lunch!
To get here, go north on Altadena from the 210 fwy. After New York Dr., take your first right. There is a parking lot and a trail at the north end of the lot. This hike was very busy, so I'd suggest going on a weekday if you don't like a crowd.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

House Update February 2011

This weekend has been a serious Santa-Ana-wind-causing-allergy-attack weekend. But despite going through rolls of toilet paper and getting very little sleep, I still managed to go to a rooftop concert overlooking the downtown LA buildings, celebrate 2 birthdays, go on a hike, cheer on my friend running a half-marathon, and work on the house a bit. Here is an update on the house:

A hello from Rita and Bo:

The hallway isn't finished, but we finally installed the laundry, and Sam made this awesome chalkboard!
The office area is still under construction:
The back bedroom is basically finished (closet is all that's left):
Sam refinished the hardwood floors himself by watching youtube videos. They look great!
We put up a clock in the dining room:
And made a seat cushion for the bay window:
We are currently putting up new siding. This is the old siding:
And the new in progress:
Hooray for owning a home! Loads of fun. :)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday's Photo of the Week #52

Alright folks, a year's worth of Photos-of-the-Week. I made it!!
Yesterday was wild. I woke up early and got to see the most beautiful sunrise sky. It made me wish I were more of a morning person. After working a 12-hour day, I got a ticket on the way home for not stopping completely at a stop sign. I will probably try to fight it, but it was still super depressing.
Then, since I didn't want to "wallow in misery," I decided to stay up longer and go to Sam's show with The Hopelessly Devoted in Long Beach. The venue was pretty lame, but the show was enjoyable and I got some decent pictures, including my photo of the week, Eitaro (pronounced Ay-tar-o) an incredible solo guitarist:
I will post some updates on the house soon! We've been working on the outside siding and it's looking pretty rad. :) Hope you are doing well. Take care, and have a splendid weekend.