TREK PAD

May 31, 2007

While I was trottin’ around YouTube.com I found this little diddy. Enjoy!


BUILD & BREED

May 29, 2007

Volkswagon.com has a now-quite-common feature that allows you to build their new re-lease, the Rabbit.  What’s cute about this feature, besides their flash animations while building the car, is that you can breed your rabbit with other rabbits at the end.  Worth the 3 minutes!


OUR Memorial Day

May 28, 2007

So last night at church we had a potluck – sort of our ‘beginning of summer, celebrate the three day wknd, let’s have fun every few months’ sort of thing. It was great fun, and several of us guys were able to totally reorganize and clean up Terry’s shed, in addition to experiencing all manner of grilled delicacies.

At some point, we learned of a rapidly hatching plot by the Siebelaners and Monroes to hit the beach first thing in the morning today (so as to avoid the inevitable LA syndrome of ‘we drove an hour and we’re still late and now there’s no where to park’ which strikes most of us at least once a month and much more often when going to the beach on summer holidays). At any rate, Gillian got excited and we decided to join in, so did a few others, and I resigned myself to the idea that I didn’t really need to work a full day today and that half a day would be good.

Memorial Day

So, the beach was great fun. Gillian demonstrated her Canadian indemnity against cold by swimming and playing in ocean water which was so cold that it literally caused me so much pain I couldn’t stand in it, not even ankle-deep. My wife is the cutest penguin ever, and I am apparently a wuss.

On the way home, we decided to stop by Peet’s to pick up some coffee and so Gillian could check on her schedule. Then we found out about a bbq being hosted by one of Gillian’s coworkers in Bel Air. In case you don’t know, that’s where all the rich people have fabulous houses with sweeping views of Los Angeles. Gillian got excited, and I got flustered: being a Fritzsche, I am a very big fan of formulating and then executing plans, with as little unforeseen change as possible. Having planned since the previous day to go to the beach and then to work for four hours, I was sure I couldn’t possibly afford the opportunity-loss in income engendered by not working and mostly just felt confused by the world. But Gillian pointed out that it’s a holiday and that I should relax, and I got over it and we went to the bbq, where we met a whole bunch of really fun and really artsy people and played cards and swam and talked about the business and ate amazing hamburgers in a fabulous house built on the side of a hill with a sweeping view of LA. The best part was that this house is owned by Gillian’s friend’s grandpa, who apparently built and decorated it while the Brady Bunch was on the air, and saw no need to update it with the latest Ikea has to offer. So, it was an amusing contrast – one of the most hoity-toity neighborhoods in America, but a house that felt more like a middle-American home than a monolithic monument to modernism (a common theme in wealthy LA houses).

We ended our day early and I’m going to bed before 11pm. Which of course, always makes me very happy. I like to think that we celebrated the freedom bought by the blood of our grandfathers in Europe and the Pacific in a way befitting the holiday, which is in and of itself an interesting study in American culture that I have not the resources or energy to explore at this time. Suffice to say, we as a culture celebrate the fact that we were not conscripted into Nazism by grilling hot dogs at the beach. I think that’s fascinating.


Memorial Day

May 28, 2007

this i post from Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, author, and blogger, Dave Barry. It made me a bit misty when i read it this morning.

Last night my family and I were at a barbecue at the home of friends. One of the other guests was a man in his 80s; one of his children mentioned that he’d been in the Battle of the Bulge. I asked him about it, and, with prodding, he talked about it, a little. Like most guys of his amazing generation, he was resolutely modest. He was a machine gunner in the heart of the bloodiest battle of World War II, and what he had to say about it was this: “I was lucky.”

Not every soldier was, of course. That’s the real reason why we have Memorial Day. We need to remember that, and tell our kids.


COFFEE GROUNDS…

May 25, 2007

…in my cereal might not seem like a good thing.  Yet, I have no trouble popping a chocolate-covered espresso bean when I want one.

So even though I accidentally dropped some espresso grounds into my cereal and didn’t notice until I sat down to eat it, I’m not going to get a new bowl.  I’m eating my coffee-grounded-cereal.  And I’m enjoying it.

P.S. This is where I work.


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THEATRE

May 25, 2007

Say what you will, Elementary School Theatre is still theatre. Last night as hundreds of parents, grandparents, cousins and friends filed into the auditorium of a school in Pasadena, the tangible “excitement before the show” electricity was in the air. I know this feeling. It’s the energy that kept me going at Pacific Theatre when I was tired, busy, or overwhelmed. I would leave the office and walk up to the front of house just as they were opening the doors and I would stand at the back of the house while everyone found their seats. Tangible excitement.

Books, papers, and dissertations have been written about why this excitement exists – why we love theatre. I don’t want to attempt to address that here. I just know that there’s a thick energy in the air before a live theatre show; one that just isn’t as viscus in the cinema (although slightly present).

Last night, that energy was present for an Elementary School production of The Beauty & The Beast. Two of our friends were in the show! One played Beauty…

Gillian, Ingrid, & Ryan

…the other was in the chorus. They are talented sisters.

Ellen, Ingrid, & Gillian

Of course it wasn’t the best production of the Disney story ever, but it was theatre. And the audience enjoyed themselves. And they were rewarded for their investment – their excitement. 180 pre-teens told a story, with costumes and music, and lights; and an audience came, and an audience laughed, and an audience nearly cried. Theatre happened. And it was good.


STOOPS

May 23, 2007

In Los Angeles, image is everything. And certainly one thing that Angelinos want looking fabulous is their homes! Just north of where Ryan and I live, is a lovely neighbourhood full of beautiful homes – Spanish, Stucco, Victorian. Most of them are quite lovely and unique. But are they inviting?

A good friend once said: “Every home should have an entryway that looks inviting.” As I’ve been walking around my neighbourhood, I’ve discovered some very inviting-looking homes. But as I walk, I find myself thinking, “That house would be much nicer if it had a stoop.” Today, as I mused about this, I considered the possibility that it’s because I’m from Newfoundland – where it rains. In Newfoundland, you need stoops.

Not all homes in Newfoundland have stoops; but most do. And it’s a more common feature in homes in Newfoundland than it is in homes in LA. But I suppose that’s because…

IN LA, IT HARDLY EVER RAINS!

Just last night (or the night before?), Ryan and I were driving east and he said, “Oh look! It’s raining!” And I looked. And I saw nothing. So I said, “What? The mist?” “Yes,” he said, “the rain.”

Ryan is from Virginia. It rains in Virginia.

But in LA, it doesn’t rain. It mists. It spits. It becomes hazy, sometimes foggy even. But it’s an unusual event if it rains. They even interrupt the coverage of the latest car chase to tell us that it’s raining! If it rains… which is hardly ever. I guess Ryan’s been here too long to remember real rain.

Anyway… when Ryan and I get a house some day, I’ll want one with a stoop on it. Because even though I’ll rarely need to shelter my wouldbe guests from rain, a home with a stoop just looks more inviting.

And in LA, where it never rains…

…image is everything.