Because I have daughters, I know about this being the release date for New Moon, the second movie in Stephanie Meyer's popular Twilight Series. I'm not staying up to catch the midnight opener, but my daughter is. The scene outside the theater tonight was a zoo. I don't even remember the Star Wars and Star Trek geeks being this geeky or geeked out over a movie.
. That red carpet was there for a group of (high school?) kids who rolled up in a white stretch limo and emerged dressed as their favorite, or most closely resembling characters. The dude on the left holding the apparent glass of wine was one of the vampires. He reminded me of a strange D&D/hacker type guy I knew back in the day.
"Don't say you want me. Don't say you need me. Don't say you love me. It's understood. Don't say you're happy out there without me, 'cause it's no good." Enjoying Depeche Mode in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It's actually not "no good." It's good. .
Isn't the song sweet? It's not often that you get a romantic song written from the viewpoint of the stalker.
The forecast was "Tropical Storm Warning" and flash flood warning, with winds over 40 mph and up to 11 inches of rain. The actual weather was clear skies, no rain, and strong onshore winds. We hit the pool. Better photos to follow some Tuesday or other. .
This is the view from A'Bay - Anaho'omau Bay, behind the Waikoloa Marriott. Sunset our first night was at 6:55 p.m. About five minutes after sunset, the first bands of rain from Tropical Storm Felicia fka Cat 4 Hurricane Felicia were supposed to start drenching us. They never came. .
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is most famous for one reason - its dolphins. They have a dolphin lagoon where guests can sign up for sessions with the dolphins. Two of the players out there are mine. I'll put out some better quality shots later with some of my Tuesday Travel Photos. .
The service on our United Airlines flight to Kona was terrible, notwithstanding the friendliness of the flight crew. They only stock 8 meals to sell to a plane of 180 souls, and by the time they get to the end, they are out of everything good. They also don't start beverage service until 2 hours into the flight. They also sold us our seats without telling us that their available seating sucked. However, it wasn't all bad. We were treated to a very nice sunset while approaching Kona. The cameraphone did an awful job capturing it. .
First stop: San Francisco. We had to fly into SFO for a connecting flight to Kona. The layover was supposed to be less than 2 hours, but it ended up being more like three hours. The attitude of the employees working the gate was piss poor, too. But I'm starting a vacation. I'm not going to let them kill my buzz. .
There's a first time for everything, right? No fights. No madhouse. There was one drunk guy who ran into the surf to avoid a cop, and about 30 cops and some lifeguards pulled him out and carted him off. That was the extent of the chaos this year. Now, hopefully, we'll see some fireworks off in the distance. .
No fireworks near the pier means the drunks will stay close to their own barbecues this afternoon. Normally, by 4 p.m., Oceanside is a zoo from Wisconsin Avenue to the Pier, and then north to Camp Pendleton, as everyone ends a day of drinking like fish by heading down to the water for an outstanding and free fireworks show. This year, for the first time in about a century, according to the locals, there will be NO 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS. Bummer. .
The third quarter was rockin' here at Staples Center. Even better than the second. The defense has been smothering, the offense has been running like a machine. Kobe's 3-point play to put the Lakers up 23 was insane. On a more frivolous note, the red car fan was seated right below us, and the red car won the race. .
That was a great second quarter for the Lakers. Kobe has been unstoppable, Bynum had solid defense on the bigs and the Laker bench is playing great. Two more great quarters like that is too much to ask for, but I'll root for it anyhow. . Go Lakers! .
I've been to some cool sporting events over the years, but there aren't any I like more than a Laker home game in the NBA Finals. I've been a Laker fan longer than I've been a fan of any other team in any sport. Longer than the Dodgers, the Angels, the Kings, even the Trojans. So being here at Staples Center, which is THE place to be in America tonight, is about as awesome as it gets.
We have decent seats, too. Now, if only the Lakers had a two point lead at the end of one, instead of a 24-22 deficit. .
It's a beautiful night to roast marshmallows on an open fire down at the beach. There is a guy on the sand arguing with himself and doing karate moves. He doesn't have a bluetooth, so either he's nuts or he's trippin' balls. I can't tell which and I'm not going to ask. .
So here I am, at Staples Center, watching Taylor Swift in concert. Now, don't get me wrong; she's a talented artist, and she puts on a great show, with more theatrics than most, and she's far more animated than some of my favorite acts, like, say, Oasis. But most of her songs don't speak to me, and the only reason I'm even here is because I had to drive my kid and her friend to the show. Rather than sit in the car, I went ahead and got a ticket, and oddly enough, a floor seat was available 20 minutes before Gloriana and Kellie Pickler were set to open. So I'm sitting here in the middle of the floor surrounded by strangers, most of whom are teenagers with curly hair. Not all, though. To the left of me is a dude who looks like Scott Foley's twin, and the dude is a weirdo. Security has had to tell him to stop doing weird stuff a couple of times. And security moved me once, too, because they either sold me the wrong seat or directed me to the wrong seat. They don't seem to know which. So all in all, it's better than sitting in the car, but not quite as good as watching a good DVD with my wife.
Here's a better photo. Swift singing "Your Body is a Wonderland" with John Mayer.
I can't figure out these street signs in Santa Ana. They say "Don't litter Logan." Who is Logan, and why is Logan being singled out? The place isn't called Logan. I don't know any Spanish word like logan. What is it? .
Our kid's school had its annual charity auction tonight. A lot of stuff had one or fewer bids. This autographed photo of one of those Nickelodeon teen heartthrob Drake or Josh dudes had no takers at $25. Maybe someone grabbed it at the last second. I got a signed USC football with Pete Carroll's signature for a hundred bucks. Long gone are the days when the rich families bid thousands of dollars for a reserved parking spot at the school parking lot.
I set out this morning to hike to the top of Santiago Peak, Orange County's highest point. It didn't work out. We got a late start, compounded by a deep muddy puddle on Trabuco Creek Road's dirt, boulder and water road and drenched the truck with a coating of liquid topsoil. But we arrived around 8:30 ish and started walking. We found that we had only made it about a third of the 7.5 miles to the top by 10:00 a.m., and my pace was definitely slowing. By the time we had gotten close to 3 miles, it was hot, late in the morning, dry and hot. Plus, it was hot. I wasn't sure whether or not I could make it, especially with my bad knee and worse ankle. In my head, I did some math and concluded that a return to the parking lot before sundown was less likely than a return in the dary. My heart was racing and my chest was thumping, but my legs were weakening and my ankle was getting sore. So we decided to turn back and go to Holy Jim Falls.
The waterfall was great. Cold, but great. Caught a couple who looked eager to commit lewd acts, We all took turns dunking out heads, then munched on some snacks, and left. After the hike, we drove out Trabuco Creek road, but it was a mess, and eventually, my truck died. It felt like running out of gas, but I had plenty. The battery died, during mid-drive. It was the carburetor. Dead. Thank God, I have AAA. Take back the thanks when we have to wait an hour and a half to get home. But eventually, we got home from our adventure with little more than a slight limp. Oh, and torn jeans. I killed the jeans, too. That story is less interesting.
The hike to Holy Jim Falls is great this time of year. It's a short easy hike with a 2.8 mile roundtrip. You can carry babies, and any toddler can walk it. You might get wet if you aren't careful. Or, of course, if you want to. For more information, go here: http://www.localhikes.com/hikes/holyjimfalls_4472.asp
It's Girl Scout cookie distribution day, which means loading the truck with a troop's worth of cookies, then taking them back to a garage, where they must be unloaded, sorted and dished out to each girl. I have several thousand bucks worth of cookies. My truck is 8 years old. These cookies are probably worth more than the truck. I like the truck better, though.
Contrary to what the picture suggests, this is not an advertisement by which the woman pictured offers to give you sex on your demand, for free or otherwise. It's just an ad to try to sell you pills if your junk doesn't work in the sack. .
I am way out of my league here at the start of the Orange County Half-Marathon. I can tell just by looking that almost everyone here is more fit than I, but they give you four hours to finish. Barring a sprain or bad muscle pull, I should be able to do that.
Update: I finished it in time, with a little bit to spare, actually. No sprains, no pulls, just a plodding pace and an eventual finish.
There were a lot of folks getting married late this afternoon at the Old County Courthouse. Right now, they have about ten minutes left, and then, if they haven't tied the knot by then, they are stuck filing as single taxpayers for 2008.
So here we were, sitting around at traffic school, wasting a Saturday. The time comes where we go around the room and people say their names and tell what they did, so that we can tally them up on the board by category. Most are boring. Then there is John, who begins by telling us that he is hated by the San Clemente police because for 20 years, he was a "major marijuana smuggler" running pot from Mexico into Orange County.
The details, which took 25 uncomfortable, but hilarious, minutes, included his offense (going the wrong way down a one way street in the dark with his lights off), his living arrangements (homeless and living in his truck), his suspicions of police, various conspiracy theories, his successful avoidance of a sting operation in which the cops enticed him with a sexy 16-year-old girl, and a confession about his current drug habits: "I still smoke marijuana."
After a drug dealing career in which he allegedly moved more than 250 kilos of weed at a time, of Afghani something-or-other, he found the Lord, and now he's a prophet. He puts a bunch of red, white and blue on his truck, and somewhere in the story there was a mention of beautiful girls in the red, white and blue, but the story was a bit disjointed, and between the laughing and the nonsequiturs, I missed a lot of it.
He did point out that his old habits made him a very good driver, allegedly because "you don't want to get caught with a ton of pot in your car." Especially when you know that the FBI is in your rear view mirror on a regular basis. Aside from that, little, if anything he said belonged in traffic school, but it was entertaining, and no one had the courage to shut him up before he was ready. In the end, the instructor marked his violation on the board under the category "Not My Fault."
This woman interrupted my conversation outside court to tell me that I am an a-hole who assaulted her in the face, took all her money and laughed about it. And assaulted her. In the face. With my left hand in her face. She's going to get me. She's pretty sure I have a piece of feces on my face, and she thinks I need to tell someone named Lori to put something or other on, because I repeatedly assaulted her in the face. She's going to report me to the cops. Either that, or she forgot to take her antipsychotic medications. Someone's ready for her 5150 maybe.
You can't tell, because my cameraphone sucks, but she's flipping us off.
This is not the same one as in Big, but apparently it's the same maker, and they tout it as "As seen in "Big"." I've seen them all over the place. They tend to prefer to be close to the water. They hate little kids, and take their money, giving them stupid little scraps of paper in return.
If you have a business close to the water, and you think you need to waste almost $9,000 on some stupid fortune teller that rips little kids off a buck at a time, you can buy one from Zoltar Machine.
The Persian restaurant near our house. I guess someone thought it was a pagan idol or something, and vandalized it by bashing in the nose. Apparently, this is a tradition dating back thousands of years, to when the nose of the Sphinx was vandalized.
This is not a mock courtroom. It's a real courtroom in a real courthouse, albeit at a converted school building. Courts are supposed to be made of good building materials, with the judge's bench sitting up high, so that everyone must look up at the judge. In this one, if you are standing, you look down at the judge. I don't like it at all. The jurors are probably so uncomfortable in those chairs, they'll make any decision just to get out of there.
Do not want. Bert is not a prize I would blow a bunch of expensive tokens chasing. How would you like to be a three-year-old kid with this thing sitting in your corner, in semidarkness at 3:00 a.m., staring at you as you wake up and take a leak before sunrise.
Yeah, that would creep me out even if I wasn't three years old.
This ad is supposed to make me want to smoke cigars, but it really makes me want to grill burgers. It looks almost like the guy on the left is sucking in his stogie, while the guy on the right asks, "Why are we chewing the ends of these smoldering stinkrolls when we could be grilling some delicious burgers and steaks like this dude behind us?"
I can't remember the last time I saw lines that wrapped around the movie theatre like this, but Twilight has brought out the young filmgoers in droves. If you are a teenage boy, and you aren't hanging out at the multiplex in a Twilight t-shirt, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to meet girls.
This is my boy, enjoying his first USC football game, a road game at Stanford.
The Trojans won 45-23. He enjoyed most of the game. Coincidentally, he was fussiest in the first half, when he was hungry and the Trojans were trailing or tied. The Stanford fans behind us thought it was funny that the baby was grumpy when the Cardinal scored. They were less amused when he was giggling and kicking and cooing in the 4th quarter. All in all, he seemed to enjoy just about everything, except the flyover, which was just too darned loud. We know he wasn't the youngest fan on the Farm last night, however, as we encounted some very nice Stanford fans with an eight-week-old.