What’s this? Things have suddenly gotten busy. Both in my off time and at work. So I’m running a little behind on my end of the year post. But tonight, I’m sitting down with some Yogurtland and finally getting it out here on the blog.
- I finished my year working as a lay minister at USC in May.
- I worked at a coffee shop (very part-time)…a first experience.
- I worked as an executive assistant for just over 2.5 months (during which my exec “left” the company)…another first experience.
- I finished the year (and am still) working as a supply chain planning analyst…again, a first experience.
- I lived in three different apartments.
- I didn’t make it back to Oregon until Christmas (making it a full year away).
- I read more books than last year (by one)
- I discovered lots of free (or inexpensive) things to do in LA.
- Like a bunch of movies screened for free, sometimes months before they opened to the general public.
- I reconnected with a few old friends.
- Married one of my friends (by performing the ceremony, not getting married myself)
All in all, it was a good year. After 1.5 years, I’ve got a small group of good friends. I even kind of like LA a little.
This coming year I’d like to:
- Read more books than last year.
- Practice yoga regularly
- Improve my diet (partially by getting rid of the fast food habit I fell into while working at USC)
- Make more friends
- Love people more
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/the-end-of-the-year-aka-sketch-52/
So I didn’t get around to writing a post last week while I was home in Oregon. So this will be a brief post, basically just bullet pointing some things I’ll post more depth in my end of the year wrap up.
- Drove home to Oregon over 2 days (stopping in Williams, CA)
- Bought chains in Corning at Les Schwab (and stopped at the Olive Pit for good measure)
- Roads were for the most part bare pavement throughout all the mountain areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
- Eugene Santa Pub Crawl 2008
- Reconnecting with old friends
- Cafe Yumm & Hawaiian Time
- Performing a wedding
- Drove back to LA in 1 day…bare pavement all the way (only a little bit of slush from Mt. Shasta City down to Shasta Lake).
- Back to work on Monday (with a flat tire just as I left my apt to greet me, and a bus ride to work instead)
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-51/
The year winds down, and so do the activities. A couple of my friends left town for the holidays over the weekend. So a few less partners in crime are around. I’ve also been trying to be frugal in my spending to compensate for the unpaid week next week (gotta love temp work).
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am in life. How many of my friends, who are younger than me, seem to be much further along in life. They’ve got good jobs that they love or graduate degrees. They’ve got homes. Are married. Heck, some are even divorced (not that it is a good thing). But even then, they’ve experience marriage and the love that drove them to it in the first place.
It all seems so far away to me.
Its hard being 32 and not really having anything figured out.
I’m leaving for Oregon Friday, right after work. It’ll be nice to be home for the week. Catch up with some friends and family. I’m taking two days to drive up, planning on stopping somewhere around Sacramento late Friday night and finishing up the drive on Saturday. Saturday night is the annual Santa Pub Crawl in Eugene. It’ll be a cold crawl this year as the temps are predicted to be below freezing, with possible snow showers. No matter how cold it is, it’ll be a nice welcome home.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-50/
Not much going on the past week. Because of the short work week at Thanksgiving, my paycheck was a little lighter last Friday. So no new food adventures. (Though one food adventure was thwarted by being a day early before they were open to the general public).
I’ve got about half of my Xmas shopping done. Just need to figure out something for a friend in Eugene, and the ‘rents. Ok, maybe that is a little more than half done.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-49/
Ahh…the holiday season is now in full force. My second Thanksgiving in LA. This time I did have a meal a little closer to my families traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I got a ham (just over 8 pounds), and made a couple recipes from my friend Nicole’s blog (Pinch My Salt). Extra Creamy Mashed Potatoes (Recipe) and one mentioned on Nicole’s site, but actually from one of her food blogging friends, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Proscutto (Recipe). The food was all good, though I did end up having a lot of extra food. One of my friends ended up being sick, so he wasn’t able to come over. So it was just me and one other friend. Oh well, I’ve turned the leftover ham into two soups so far, and have plans for a third soup for the last of the ham. The Proscutto wrapped sweet potatoes were really good, as the saltiness of the proscutto really complented the sweetness of the potatoes.
I did unfortuntely miss out on going to the LA Auto Show. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with (well except for my friend who got sick). So largely the extra long weekend was pretty lazy. Lots of watching football, including a great Civil War victory by the Ducks, which likely will keep the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl.
I found out last Wednesday, that one of my best friends from Eugene is getting married, and pretty quickly as well, the wedding is at the end of December. Monday night, he called and asked if I would perform the ceremony, so I fired up the internets and got ordained at http://themonastery.org/. So this Dec 27th, I will perform my first marriage. Wow. Crazy. It will be cool to be such an integral part of a special day in my friends life.
Tonight, I’ll be bottling my first batch of beer brewed in LA. In a little over a week it’ll be carbonated and ready to drink. I’d like to invest in a keg system sometime soon…bottling is such a pain. Someday.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-48/
The biggest thing I did this past weekend was my trip to Phoenix. Besides dinner at Pizzeria Bianco, it was a pretty low key visit. I did go to church with my friend and her family on Sunday morning. It was a non-denominational style church (though technically they have a denomination of some sort apparently). The guy giving the sermon referenced the fast spreading coffee chain “Dutch Brothers” from Oregon. He had gone there while in Oregon for a funeral. He used the enthusiasm of the employees he encountered at Dutch Brothers as a good example of how we could be a “REP” for Jesus. I found it a little amusing, because a bunch of my friends referred to the Dutch Brothers employees as “coffee tweakers” because they always seemed to be way hopped up on caffeine. Other than that, I found the service mainly fluff, with little substance. Basically, Jesus is cool and we are cool cuz we love Jesus.
Last night, a friend and I went and saw Spring Awakening at the Ahmanson Theatre here in LA. It was the big musical winner at the 2007 Tony awards. From wikipedia: “The musical is based on the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide.” I thought the musical was enjoyable, and it was nice to dress up and see a show.
I’m still not really sure what I’ll be doing for Thanksgiving. Perhaps a smallish dinner at home with a friend or two. Perhaps nothing. Who knows.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-47/
Friday was the big opening of the new Bond movie. I went with a group of about ten folks to the 8:30 showing at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight. The movie was full of action, but in the end a little disappointing. Unlike pretty much every other Bond movie, this movie was a sequel of the previous movie (Casino Royale). The movie doesn’t really stand up on its own, unless you’ve seen Casino Royale, and that is a problem in my opinion. A big let down after the promise of the direction of the franchise given by Casino Royale.
With the fires in the surrounding areas of LA, the air quality was pretty poor over the weekend. I ended up staying inside watching football all day on Saturday. The Ducks held on in their game, the Beavers rolled over Cal, and the Trojans pulled away in the second half against Stanford. So good results all around for my friends and I.
I’ve got all the ingredients to make my first batch of beer in LA, but haven’t gotten around to brewing yet. I do need to figure out where I’m going to put the carboy while it is fermenting though. I’ll prolly move some stuff out of my tiny closet as my room is generally pretty cool. I’m going to try and motivate myself to brew tonight.
I also need to figure out what, if anything, I’m doing for Thanksgiving since I am not going home.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-46/
It’s been a full week since last week’s sketch (at least its felt that way). Thursday night, I went to a screening of the movie Slumdog Millionaire (Trailer) with a friend. It is the story of a guy from the slums of Mumbai who has made it to the final question of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I thought the movie was great. Plus the screening was at the Fox Studios lot, which was kind of cool to see.
Saturday night, I went to a LA Kings game at the Staples Center. The game was fun, and I got to watch it from my companies luxury suite. It was my first time seeing an NHL game live and seeing anything at the Staples Center. Though the evening wasn’t without problems…I just didn’t know about them until Sunday. (see my post about it)
Other good notes from the weekend:
- I think the AT&T U-Verse technicians have finally fixed my connectivity issues on my TV and Internet services.
- The Ducks managed to pull off a last minute drive to beat Stanford.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-45/
It has been an interesting week. Of course the big happening of the last week was the election (if you couldn’t tell from my earlier posts today). Over the weekend, I saw two shows by Ray LaMontagne (in San Diego and Los Angeles respectively), look for more on that in a future post though. A friendship has changed (sadly).
I am hopeful this week though. I’m still in disbelief in some ways about the election. Both the fact that Obama was elected President, and that the state of California pass Prop 8, eliminating the right of marriage for same-sex partners. I am hopeful though that eventually all of the citizens of California (and the US) will be treated equally when it comes to marriage.
I’ve been in my new apartment for about a month now. I’m really happy there. My roommates are great. The only bad thing is I’m watching more TV now…but oh well. I do want to get back to some more creative pursuits however. I need to make that a goal this month.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-44/
Did I mention I voted? Have you? Less than a week to go!!!
I took a friend to a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday. It was the first show for both of us at the Disney Hall. The concert was part of the Songbook Series put on by the LA Phil. The theme of this concert was “Country” and featured Vince Gill. It was intimate affair (despite the grandiose of the hall itself), with Vince front and center with only a rhythm section trio backing him up. In between songs, Vince related stories about where the songs came from, and in the second half of the show, invited the audience to shout out requests. All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable show. I’ll leave the rest of the details to the LA Times review, if you are more curious. (The reviewer liked it as well.)
Other than that, not much happened in the last week. I’m going to San Diego for a concert on Saturday and then going to a show at The Wiltern on Sunday. More about that next week though.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-43/