Aug 302010

This weekend was damn busy. I hung out with friends on Friday. I had a lunch date Saturday afternoon, followed later by an evening at the Hollywood Bowl for the annual John Williams concert. Then Sunday was spent on another date at the Huntington Library which then branched out to watching the sun set in Laguna Beach then back to my house for a small dinner and movie. So yeah, post about my personal life, if you’re interested in gunpla, go ahead and skip this post, and wait for next weekend when post about the Labor Day build gathering. 😀

This weekend started off slow on Friday with just sitting around at home with nothing to do, so I kinda started back up on a Asuka figure I had primed. Earlier I had chatted with Angel to see what he and the wife were up to, but he told me she was testing at her dojo, which only prompted me to suggest we both go there and watch. Just to make her nervous and put her in a complete panic; yeah, she would have freaked shit if we did it. So with nothing there, I turn to Asuka, I’m getting to the first fix session after the initial priming, but not too long into the process, Helen comes into the workshop to see if I wanted to head over to check out Jen’s new house. So I drop everything, grab some soup that I had made earlier for dinner to feed Jen, and we headed out. We hung out there for a while as Jen finished off the soup.

Then we headed out to Hacienda Heights and meet up with Danny at the Tea Station there. Danny orders first, followed by me, which prompts Danny to ask, “you speak mandarin?” Jen orders in Mandarin, then Helen orders, but in English, and we laugh and admonish her for doing so. We hang out and throw little jabs on one another and all whilst trying to analyze the couple that appeared to be on their first date. Probably a blind date, first meeting, and/or online dating type thingy. Danny noticed them first, saying he believes that the couple is on a blind date as the body language and other things indicated that they were meeting for the very first time inside the safety of a Tea Station . We all look at the couple, but from our standpoint, we can only see the guy, the girl’s back is turned towards us. We make a few jokes about how animated the guy is while he’s getting to know this girl. Danny goes inside to use the rest room and comes back having gotten a decent look at the girl and suggests that the guy could definitely do better and uses his hands on different levels as to physical match up for the two people. We discuss why Danny came upon this conclusion for which he states that the girl look much older than the guy. Helen goes inside to use the restroom and returns saying that the girls isn’t that bad, and they’re fairly even matched as far as physical attractiveness. She brings the girl’s bad complexion into the equation. Then says that the girl looks like someone named Mary. Which only stems to remind me of one of Claire’s friends that has bad complexion and her name is Mary as well. We continue to debate the issue when Angel and Nicky arrive.

Earlier, Angel called telling me that they’re on their way to my place for which I tell them we’re at Tea Station and tell them to meet up with us there. We bring them up to speed on the blind date happening in front of us, and continue to discuss. We order for Angel and Nicky, and continue to hang out, eat, and drink tea like items. Jen gets up to use the restroom and returns confirming much of Helen’s comments and agreeing with Danny. I think. The details of all this are kinda fuzzy right now. Next up, Nicky goes in and come out and upon her return, she does nothing but exclaim how ugly the guy is, and that the woman is much of a much higher physical specimen. So next, we just plot that I’ll call out the name Mary when the couple comes out to see if we can start up a random conversation with a complete stranger that is on a blind date and possibly, completely ruin things while fully entertaining ourselves. Oh yeah, have I not mentioned that we are horrible people? We wait patiently and eventually the couple come out and I say loudly, “she looks like Mary” The girl kinda turns around towards us only to be greeted by six people just staring at them. Yeah, they were visibly uncomfortable and quickly left the area. And we all laugh loudly. We are so easily amused. If she turned and engaged us when I said Mary, more could have been done, but she kinda responded by some body language and suggests that her name could very well be Mary; but I thing turning around and just facing a group of people looking at you probably ruined any chance of that happening. There is a possibility that she recognized someone in our group too. Regardless, we were entertained.

We paid our bill then head over to Jen’s. Nicky and Angel haven’t seen her place yet so we toured it and hung out upstairs while her brother and his friends were in the main living room. Once they all left, we went down to the living room, set up her wii, and played some rockband on her fantastic new TV. We left around 1:30 to 2.

Saturday morning, I made my creamy Marsala sauce in the morning as I didn’t think I’d have time to prep it after my lunch date and before heading out to the Hollywood Bowl. After finishing the sauce, I take a picture and send it to Charlie just to taunt her as I know this is one of her favorite things that I make. Yeah, I’m kind of an ass. But all in good fun. I finish prepping a few other things then head off. I’m 15 minutes late. The lunch goes well, there’s a bit of a language barrier. Not sure if there’s anything there, so I guess I’ll just wait and see. I get a call from Su asking me to pick her ass up, which promptly ends the date.

Picking up Su, she feels bad because she thought I was at home and was just picking her up on the way TO the bowl. I was coming from Monterey Park so her house was kind of on the way back to my place. I get home and grab everything food wise and we head off to the bowl. At about 6 PM, I had just past downtown LA, and it suddenly hit me. I had forgotten my bloody tickets for the concert that night. The tickets being hard copies and not something I can just print out, I had to turn my ass around and head home to get the tickets. *sigh* I was 10 minutes away from Hollywood. I rush back, hitting horrific traffic in the Hacienda Heights area, get home an hour later, grab the tickets, and head back out. I looked at the time when I returned to the same spot that I had turned around, I effectively made an hour and 45 minute detour, home and back. *grumble*

A month earlier, while talking about this particular concert, I mentioned to Su that people bring light sabers to this event, and as soon as John Williams plays the first note to any Star Wars music, the audience lights up with light sabers everywhere. She gets all nerd wet and exclaims that she’ll need to procure one for this concert. And sure enough, when I picked her up, she had borrowed a friend’s light saber. I brought along my own light saber as well. When we finally parked, knowing that we’re fairly late and that the majority of the people are already inside the bowl, (we arrived around 7:50 PM); I casually mention that I don’t want to bring my saber and left it in the car. She doesn’t really thinking about this and we leave the car and start walking towards to Bowl. We get to the cross walk before she asks if people really bring light sabers. I smirk, and slyly say, “heh, didn’t you notice that I conveniently left my saber in my car?” And she kinda looks at me as if I’ve set up this ultra cruel joke on her. Making her much more self conscious, I point around asking her if she sees anyone else with a light saber. No one has one. We continue to walk towards the bowl, she’s now trying to hide the saber behind her bag and keeping the thing low to the ground so as to draw as little attention as possible. Her paranoia builds as we get closer and she doesn’t see ANYONE with a saber. I’m enjoying this WAY too much. We start the up hill climb towards the Bowl and she finally gets a reprieve, there are a group of people sword fighting with light sabers. The funnies thing is that she thought I’d be that mean to set up a joke a month in advance just to embarrass her. But I was mean enough to make that implication and play it up as best I could. Fun times.

We get to our seats around 8:10 and we have 20 minutes to eat our dinner and get settled in for the evening. We have raviolis with the marsala sauce and finish just as the first chair comes out and tunes the orchestra. John Williams appears shortly and the concert begins.

I didn’t take many photographs as I was saving space for videos. I brought along an extra sd card just in case I ran out of space. I’m glad I did. First is a snippet of a medley from Fiddler on the Roof.

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Followed by a solo piece from Fiddler on the Roof.

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I only recorded those bits from the first half of the show, waiting to use my memory for the second half which is all John Williams’ composed works. Starting off with Jaws:

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The next piece is from the 4th Indiana Jones movie. I did sample it, but didn’t keep the piece. He went into the Raider’s March which got interrupted when the memory card got full and I needed to swap it out, so here’s part one:

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And after fumbling around and changing the memory card, part two:

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Next piece was from the Forrest Battle scene out of Return of the Jedi, this just reminded me how much I HATE Ewoks. Fucking midget Wookies.

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Then the Finale to the Star Wars theme comes on and the audience just lights up.

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Now, I’m completely used to seeing the audience light up with sabers. Granted the number of sabers has steadily grown as the years pass. But this year, I saw something I hadn’t see in all my years of attending this concert. A few members of the bloody orchestra brought their own sabers and waved them in response to the audience. I have a clear shot of two, but the second picture, if you look carefully, you’ll see a third. There may be more, but I was in too much of a shock to get decent pictures.

The orchestra puts away their light sabers and we are on to part two of the Star Wars finale song.

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He also did Yoda’s theme which was cool.

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And last but never least, he did the Imperial March. If I could have theme music playing while I walked around publicly, I think it would have to be this song:

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His last song of the night completes the trifecta of his most celebrated works, Superman.

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For all the pictures and bigger version of the videos shown in this post go here:

Huntington Library

Sunday, I had a date with a lovely girl and we went to the Huntington Library. I made reservations Thursday night for the Tea Room. I think the last time I visited the Huntington Library, I was a senior in high school and it admission was free. So it’s been over 16 years since I was last here. A year ago or so, I saw a miniature display at South Coast Plaza for the Chinese Garden at the Library, and it was a fairly recent addition that is still in the process of building – the second phase at least. So I had been wanting to go.

I spent time snapping pictures here and there.

Select paintings:

Silk tapestries:

A fantastic stained glass piece:

Little creatures that live at the Library:

A toad sunning on a lily pad.

Various pictures of Lotus flowers:

Japanese Garden:

Chinese Garden:

Around 3, we went to the Tea Room for tea and some snacks. The scones are amazing.

The Library closes around 5 so we headed out and went back to my place to pick up the dogs and headed down to Laguna Beach to watch the sun set.

The evening ended with a simple dinner and movie back at my place. Which only got better as Helen, Jen, and Art made an appearance to pick up something from the house before heading out to see one of Jen’s clients. Jen meets my date, and Art, completely oblivious, comes into the kitchen and asks, “So how did you date go?” To which I moved to one side, and introduced the girl that was sitting on my living room floor to Art. Jen admonishes him for being a dummy, and I thank him as well for the short, yet very funny, awkward moment. They left after Art wolfed down one piece of cheesecake. We finished dinner and the movie around 10:30 or so and then I took the girl home. It was a long day, but very enjoyable. I think I’m going to use this week to recover from my weekend, and restart this crazy cycle with a build gathering on labor day weekend. At least I’ll have 2 days to recover.

The rest of the pictures from the Huntington Library are here:

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