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The Bunker skatepark in North Las Vegas was pretty much the best park of the trip. It had a tight pool-like feel that was kinked with fun. The locals were killing it and I pushed it until I bled. Then, I skated more. Yeah. The next spot, Desert Breeze, was the worst park. It was amazingly stupid. Caleb learned a new trick there, though. It is done by dropping in, eating it, then fling over the spine into the next bowl. Lunch was had at Sonic, a burger joint with a rollerskating waitress that brought the food right to the car!. Doc Romeo was right across the street, so we drove by to be reminded how stupid it was. Caleb's sharp eye spotted a pool-like thing we hadn't ridden yet, so we went down to it. It sucked, but it was cool because it was shaped like a giant penis. You don't see that every day!

- Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 20:42:49 (EST)
Vegas was so rad for the kids, that we hung around for some kicks. To kill time, we hit up the Doc Romeo skatepark. Typically of these city parks, it was packed with groms and bike fags. Caleb was intimidated by the crash potential, but I got my groove on in the massive combi-bowl there. Durango Hills was a bit more skatable, but it was Saphira's turn to be intimidated, this time by the punky locals and soch girls. Come nightfall, we hit the strip. First off, we checked out the Excalibur buffet (kinda lame) and casino. I bet $2 and lost them both. A couple hours of mazes, escalators and connecting tunnels later, we were at the Luxor. Tix to see Criss Angel were $159 EACH, so we got t-shirts instead and goofed off on the inclinator.

- Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 14:48:14 (EST)
We moved down the strip to Motel 6 so we'd have a place to ditch the dog while we visit the hottest corner in Vegas, Tropicana Avenue! But, before that, some skatin'!

- Monday, December 29, 2008 at 16:25:08 (EST)
On the way out of Barstow yesterday, where I ran the laptop over in the parking lot, we had breakfast at the Calico Ghost Town (does anyone hear a chicken?). It was more developed than Bodie with shops and a mine tour with artifacts. All in, it was a worthy stop. The road to Vegas seemed long, but the lit-up strip was exciting at the end. Extra-worthy were Luxor, New York, MGM Grand and Excalibur. Gonna stay an extra night to check those. Dinner and rides up the Stratosphere was a bust. Good thing we had Bob and changed over to a motel cuz that place was a dump.

- Monday, December 29, 2008 at 14:04:34 (EST)
We headed up the 15 to Corona to hit the Harada and Huber skateparks. Both were crowded with poseurs on bikes, but Harada had some pretty killer terrain. Huber, on the other hand was barely skateable. I got the trop's first roadrash just walking into the place! The 215 junction was jammed, so when it went Ontario on my ass we laid over at the Ono Hawaiian BBQ. After that, it was smooth sailing to Barstow and this WI-FI connection at the Economy Inn.

- Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 23:22:29 (EST)
Christmas was postponed due to my dad's Quadruple Bypass Surgery, so we went to see Bedtime Stories and The Spirit. I've never NOT had Christmas, or gone to the movies on that day, so it was amazing to see how crowded it was! I've forgotten how the holidays can suck! Not that's a break-through. The only restaurant open was a Jack in the Box, so we're going to Anthony's La Mesa tonight for a belated Christmas Dinner. Other than that, I just finished packing the car and mapping tomorrow's road trip to Corona, Barstow, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, Brawley, Julian and everyplace in between.

- Friday, December 26, 2008 at 18:22:24 (EST)
Just saw a sign that said no driving text messages after 1/2009 (from car phone)

- Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 16:48:07 (EST)
During the weekend, we headed down to SubText for the Pitiful Fools opening of works by Jasper Wong. It was a very cool show, so we couldn't resist picking up Geez Louise by this very talented illustrator. We missed the Infinity Squared show at Distinction that Kelly Vivanco curated (sigh) but we were able to pick up another Haubs anyway. While I was at it, I ordered one of these just because I could. Happy happy!

- Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 16:28:20 (EST)
Caleb and I went to see Rancid during the weekend. It was his first big punk show, other than Warped Tour. He was pretty stoked to hang out with all the lurking characters in the parking lot and shuffle aimlessly about like a zombie. To be honest, it was fun for me too. I dusted off the leather and creepers and easily slipped into the old attitude. SOMA is a big ol' hall and it was a sell-out crowd, so the energy level was certainly high. Plus, we got to see Buck-O-Nine open up, which was pretty darn cool.

- Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 19:18:16 (EST)
Today was Saphira's Bat Mitzvah and it was cute seeing her give a speech. She was all dolled up in new clothes and proud of herself with her friends and family all around her. Caleb got to put on a tallis and open the aron for Ani Zemiros, which got him pretty psyched. All in all, it was a good (expensive) time!

- Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 20:02:12 (EST)
We went down to Subtext to check out the Miao show and it was freakin' awesome! The custom toy shows are the best! It was a tough call, but we settled on Never Too Old in a funny way. Saphira and I were debating (like usual) and she said rather loudly that she liked the NC Winters piece the most. He was standing right next to her and said "You don't have to say that just because I'm standing here." Talk about a blush!

- Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 12:54:52 (EST)
It was Saphira's birthday weekend and she made out like a bandit on her new LG Lotus phone. It has every possible cellular feature and she has really put it to work keeping in touch with all her Generation Y pals. Their basic tech offering of wireless internet, gigabite storage, and smokin' mobile CPU's is a modern marvel that they totally take for granted. An example is to type "rock band chix" into You Tube and you'll see this video uploaded during her birthday party. How cool is that?

- Monday, November 10, 2008 at 14:25:48 (EST)
I haven't blogged in a long time, but not from a lack of activity. We made it through the "High Holidays" of Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shimini Atzeret intact. It was a rough schedule of mid-week days this year. The kids didn't stay home, but they didn't miss much but me standing around with my Tallis over my head beating on my chest during Vidui.

- Monday, November 03, 2008 at 13:16:29 (EST)
We have really been looking forward to seeing Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and finally got our chance this weekend. It was freakin' awesome! Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are a couple of our favorites and they were hilarious. You'll surely cringe during the gum scene! It was first-rate double feature when combined with Kirsten Dunst's new film, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. This was another highly anticipated movie that didn't disappoint. When it comes to the "girl with the alternate plan," nobody does it better than she. Simon Pegg did a great job as the lovable idiot and Megan Fox is just plain hot. We had some time to kill at the mall, so Saphira added another pair of earring holes. I offered Caleb the chance to go for a pirate look with double hoops, but he wasn't buying it. The main event came later at Rock Band Live, a concert tour themed on the monster video game. It made marketing sense because who in the audience wouldn't want to rock out at home? We have three guitars, drums and vocals ourselves. Our latest score is the Aerosmith game. Oh yeah! Anyway, The Cab opened up and were surprisingly good. Next was the kid's favorite, Plain White T's. We had good seats and could see really well, considering it was a big arena show (the kid's first). Dashboard Confessional was horrible. By the time Panic at the Disco came on, we were fried. So, it was hard to endure, even though they played some of their best tunes. Plus, they just didn't sound very good live. We left early, which was a bit disappointing to me. But, it was a school night.

- Monday, October 06, 2008 at 12:17:10 (EDT)
We went to see one our favorite bands, Flogging Molly, last night out at Viejas and had a real good time. While looking for a parking spot, we drove past the venue (which is in the middle of a shopping mall) and heard Beat Union at an incredible volume and sounding like crap. We all moaned remembering how our last show (Rilo Kiley!)there was a form of audible torture. This time we did it in much better style by ducking into Nori Sushi to dodge and nosh. We took a look at The Loved Ones after dinner and immediately escaped to chill in the mall. Thus, we saved our ears for the headline band. Where was a spot for our blanket and pillows right in front and we all had an awesome view while they played a bunch of the songs we know like Float, The Likes of You Again, If I Ever Leave this World Alive, Drunken Lullabies, and What's Left of the Flag. It was damn cool, but a school night, so we left during the encore so the kids could pass out on the way home.

- Monday, September 29, 2008 at 13:50:14 (EDT)
We drove all the way to Escondido to get a free t-shirt from the grand opening of the Apple Store there. The line snaked around the mall and enthusiasm was high. We almost got a new Nano just because it was SO cool, until I realized that we didn't need it at all. (we have 4 iPods and a Zune) After that, we saw Ghost Town and it turned out to be a really good movie. (T?a Leoni!) I used it as an excuse to get the kids into the theater so I could finally see Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I adore Scarlett Johansson. She has never been in a bad movie and delivered the right stuff in this one. When I found out it was a Woody Allen movie it created a sense of urgency since he is one of my favorite filmmakers. Plus, Rebecca Hall and Pen?lope Cruz are hot! Nuff said!

- Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 16:56:17 (EDT)
Last night was a killer event at MCASD La Jolla celebrating the opening of Weighing and Wanting, a show featuring works collected over the past two decades from the gallery's archive of over 4,100 works. Some of our favorites like Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnell, and Robert Irwin were represented, along with many more. One of my absolute heroes, John Baldessari sat to reminisce with Dr. Hugh M. Davies (MCASD's Director) about the origins of Southern California's contemporary art scene. The kids were bored. but I found it fascinating. There was also an hour of free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The best was the chicken and sun-dried tomato turnover things, with serious runner-up yumminess from the tuna sushi, mini hamburgers, salmon rolls, and caviar. Membership has its privileges!

- Friday, September 19, 2008 at 14:28:04 (EDT)
I finally (after over two years!) added a WEP 128 password onto our AirPort wireless network, which probably cut off service to half the neighborhood who gaked onto our open stream. It took some major tinkering to reconnect our PC machines to the iMac host, but now all is good.

- Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 14:36:13 (EDT)
Way back when the kids were at Hardy School, I won a couple trail rides from the Julian Stables and just got around to redeeming them this weekend. It was the kids first time on horseback and they had a lot of fun with it. We had a guide that took us on a meandering trail that criss-crossed the ranch and provided some pretty views. The kids vetoed the Rongbranch, so we lunched at the Miner?s Diner. The attraction of an old fashioned soda fountain pulled us in for a Green River and Vanilla soda. Caleb's Chocolate soda got flushed (yuch!) and was replaced with Root Beer. My temptation for a Buffalo Burger was overcome in favor of a standard veggie burger. Saphira had some tasty smoked turkey. Caleb had meat, rounding out our "three tier" dining style. It was too hot for Culp Valley, so we just went home after loitering around in town for a while. Saphira has been raving about the Twilight series of vampire books, so I read a few pages before it put me to sleep. Come evening, I thought it best to wake up so I could sleep. It took no persuasion to get Saphira to watch Gossip Girl. You know you love me...

- Monday, September 15, 2008 at 14:42:53 (EDT)
Saphira had another BD Party sleepover thing this weekend, so Caleb and I grabbed our skates and hit the road. After a mandatory stop at one of our favorites, San Clemente, to do the "bunny rabbit" thing (multiple roll-in and roll-outs) we headed into the suburbs where most of the new terrain was hidden. Behind a remote soccer field we found the Rancho Santa Margarita park. At first glance, it seemed barely skatable with it's really weird bank area and ditch thing. Turns out it had the best pool ever with a totally killer shallow end and pocket with coping all around. Even the street course became fun as we worked out the kinks. Between parks, we visited many OC boardshops seeking some Blue Doh Doh Bushings to soften up the boy's ride. Then, off to Laguna Nigel were we ended up skating for 5 hours. It was pretty sweet. There was a solid snakey flow to the banks and a righteous island that Caleb must have hit 50 times. Confident, he rolled over a giant hip in the big area. There was also a very ridable combibowl that I tore up until thigh cramps made me sit down. After the lights went out, Caleb passed out as we headed home spent and oh so satisfied.

- Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 12:29:12 (EDT)
We're not as active on the art scene as we were, partially because the kids are bored but mostly because I'm broke. Still, when I saw the work of Aaron Thomas I just couldn't resist! The work was so cool and the scene so lively that I had to do the patron thing. We got to meet the artist, who was super friendly, and boast that we now owned "Remote Devil." I'm totally stoked on it, but the kids are worried that we'll be living under a bridge from me blowing all our dough on cool stuff. I assured them that if it happened, at least our hovel would be properly decorated.

- Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 11:59:12 (EDT)
My 30-year high school reunion was last weekend and it was pretty darn fun. Some of my favorite people showed up from all over the place. Julie Bloom, Darryn Berner, Gaye Cooper, Mary Salerno, Anne Crabb, Margaret Albarran, Franchesca Dalfio, Kelley Donnelly, Liz Weaver, Janet Nugent, Barbara Moore, Kim Mattson, and Wendy McDonald were some of the old flames that made things fun (Kelley was the most). Todd Reilly, Randy Bernstein, Greg Frank, Chris Corvo, Kevin Wiggins, Paul Aiello, and Mark Bray are some of the guys I laughed with. I went all out and got a room at the Omni to allow for a party without a drive. Glad I did, because I drained my flask twice and stayed up until 4:30 am. Wow!

- Monday, September 08, 2008 at 12:35:56 (EDT)
Saphira went to Maddie's for an end-of-summer sleepover, so Caleb and I went to skate at Robb Field. It's a good park and quite fun. Still, we had time to burn, so a trip up to San Clemente seemed in order. It was actually much better than I remembered it, probably because I skated the roll-ins with my son rather than the bigger bowls. Since we were on the road, it was a logical choise to blast up to Lake Forest to the SoCal grandaddy of parks, Etnies. That place is mondo huge and pads weren't enforced, So I was blasting 11 feet of vert with no armor. Thinking back, that was pretty dumb. After bleeding there from a fouled drop-in from the pool coping, we cut cross-town (tollroads?) to the Volcom park in Costa Mesa. I was too beat to skate without killing myself, so we ducked into Best Western for a jacuzzi and movie. Come morning, it was back to Volcom. The trips best flow (and the most blood) was found in a little bowl there, plus I had to drop into the scary combibowl just because. I had high hopes for the kidney pool at Anaheim, but it was rough and kinked. Bummer. Caleb thought it was the worst park, but I felt the pool was the trip's best feature. Laguna Hills was on the way home and was surprisingly good. We were pretty stoked, but had to get home to Saphira. Being possessed to skate, I got a new Zero deck to downsize my burly skate since the Alva was a bit squirly on the big stuff. On the last day of vacation, we tried it out at Coronado and it skated pretty stable, even with the softest bushing installed. It was too big for the park, however, and I hung up and slam dived right onto the flat. Final tally from the weekend: a twisted shoulder, tweaked wrists, a bruised elbow, two scabbed knees, a kinked neck. a hipper and sore feet. Needless to say, I limped into the office this morning.

- Tuesday, September 02, 2008 at 12:42:14 (EDT)
I passed my Series 6 securities exam today with a score of 82%. It was a huge relief because if I failed I would have had to leave my job. I've had years to do it and put it off until the final week. Typical. Last night was the last of many staying up late studying. Finally, I said "screw it" and watched Gossip Girl and Weeds instead.

- Friday, August 29, 2008 at 17:58:25 (EDT)
We traveled over 1,350 miles last week on our vacation. It began with a V.I.P. tour of Warner Brothers Studios (thanks Sara!) where we saw the sets for many films, including Star's Hollow. The first day ended off the 14 in Red Rock Canyon, which was a pretty amazing spot to sleep under the stars with a full moon. A long haul the next day got us to Whitney Portal to see the tallest point in CA and play by the waterfall for a bit. That water was a dud compared to the rope swing in Bishop, however. Caleb even jumped off the cliff a few times! That night we bedded down in Tuff Campground near Tom's Place. It was our last night outside since the elevation gain cooled the evenings and added some bear scariness. Come morning, we searched out The Tub in Owens Valley. Choice! Many dirt roads and miles later we found Little Hot Creek, but that place was way too remote to camp at and feel safe. So, we went to Mammoth Skatepark instead. Man, that place was made for giants! My old stomping grounds at Deadman's Summit had a crowd, (one couple) so we visited the Bachar Boulders instead and got totally shut down. It got worse when the car got stuck on a rock backing into our spot at Silver Lake. It was totally old-school to jack up the wheel and stuff some firewood under it to drive off. After a cold and cramped night, we went to thaw at the Navy Beach hot spring and it was closed. After breakfast across the street from the Mono County Courthouse in Bridgeport, we finally got wet at the awesome Travertine Hot Springs. A side trip to Bodie resulted in the famous line "I drove 26 miles out of our way to see this place, so you are going to see everything and enjoy it!" The main event began when we ascended the Tioga Pass into Tuolumne Meadows. Day was ending, so we skipped bouldering at The Knobs and shivered a bit checking out the Great White Book route above Tenaya Lake that I took their mom up years ago. We got our new tent set up in Porcupine Flat before nightfall, before reading that no pets were allowed. While driving to find a pet friendly site a warning light appeared on the dash, which changed our trip's direction. Finally, we rolled into Yosemite Valley and the kids were pretty underwhelmed by the huge rocks. Of course, it was memory lane for me to visit my favorite place on earth. We even scored a campsite! I couldn't stay off the rock and made the kids trudge around the Curry Village Boulders. Man that felt good! One look back from the Wawona Tunnel and we were off to Fresno to get the car looked at. Turns out the light went out and that town was a sh*thole, so we pushed into the night to reach Morro Bay. After a fun boardshop spree, we headed down the beach to a quaint downtown motel in Santa Barbara, Thai food, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. On the way out the next day, we hit Skater's Point on the beach for a session. Farther down the road in Chatsworth, Saphira found some shade while Caleb and I powered out at Stoney Point. The traffic soon got bad, so we diverted to Santa Monica for some pizza before creeping through L.A. for hours on the home stretch.

- Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 16:16:21 (EDT)
We started our vacation at the Warped Tour and a good punk time it was! I'm gonna go to that show every year until I die! The theme of the day was girl bands and it started badly with Me Talk Pretty. Soon thereafter was The Action Design who turned out the best show of the day. Emily Whitehurst, the singer, was so friendly and cute that we just had to hang out at her booth like groupies! After that was the act we went to see, Charlotte Sometimes, and she was awesome! Her snake-girl style was just plain wow! We tore ourselves away to the biggest disappointment of the day, Katy Perry. Rather than being right in front of the stage like every other band, we were in a mob of dumbness. We hate her now because she made us miss Charlotte in her booth. The other big stage show we watched was GBH. Old school! Speaking of which, there was a stage dedicated to 80's LA punk. (oh yeah!) Big Drill Car was first and sooo good that I had to buy this. D.I. was cool, but MIA was better. (bought that one too) Caleb went in the pit during TSOL because he was stoked to hear his favorite tunes. I never liked Fear, but The Germs kicked ass!

- Monday, August 25, 2008 at 19:08:22 (EDT)
I haven't been blogging much lately. Not because there's nothing going on, however. There was Comic-Con (awesome), a couple shows at Subtext, and The Dark Knight on IMAX (wow!). Saphira was gone for a week, so Caleb and I skated every day. We tried out Kroc, but that place is totally lame. Mostly we loc'ed out at Kennedy. We did hit up Robb Field and had a champion session (no pads!). It's our favorite park now. Saphira came home during the weekend, so we hit up the circus. Sadly, it will be our last one. Like the rodeo, we are having animal rights concerns with the event. Oh well, it was kinda boring anyway.

- Monday, August 11, 2008 at 12:41:55 (EDT)
It was a blast having Mikey show us around Hollywood and proving an insider perspective. The first marvel was their loft. Wow! It was a technology palace in a great neighborhood. We goofed off there for a bit, then hit the town for Thai food and a movie. Both of those events were awesome and of L.A. proportions (meaning chic). It was midnight before we got back to the crib, but I was still to jacked to sleep. After a few chapters of Voidoid nonsense, I crashed. After an bittorent tutorial the next morning, we cruised Melrose checking out cool shops (Kidrobot!) before heading down to look for celebrities at The Ivy. We lunched across the street at another trendy spot and the kids had to run outside when an escorted limo pulled up to the Ivy. We stood around gawking at nobody for a while, then hit up Rodeo Drive. (Chanel! Ferragamo! Dolce & Gabanna! Miu Miu! Versace!) It got excessive when we actually bought tourist maps and looked for star homes in the Hollywood Hills. Of all the huge names, the kids were most stoked by the house Shannen Doherty supposedly lived in. It was hard to leave such fun, but we had to get home.

- Monday, July 07, 2008 at 13:46:56 (EDT)
We got to Knott's Berry Farm right when it opened and did the whole park in about an hour! Silver Bullet was first since there was no line and it was right at the entrance. My reasoning was that it would get fear out of the way and make the rest of the day easier. After that was back-to-back rides on the Jaguar, Montezooma's Revenge and the Boomarang. We had to sit a while and let the barf settle before riding the Excellerator. It provided the scariest moment of the day. The log ride had a line, but it was worth it to have a mellow ride. The heat was rising and the lines lengthening, so we bailed to the hotel pool for the rest of the day before heading up to visit Mike & Sara in Hollywood.

- Sunday, July 06, 2008 at 11:44:28 (EDT)
We just saw a pretty awesome fireworks show from the balcony of our hotel. From the 8th floor, our panoramic view revealed hundreds of fireworks all across the city. I have never seen so many at once. There was so much smoke that the moon was actually blotted out! We also had a birds-eye view of the park... It's gonna be scary tomorrow when we get there!

- Saturday, July 05, 2008 at 00:53:44 (EDT)
We are in the Knott's Berry Farm hotel using the laptop and in-room wireless internet. How cool is that? Gotta go though... It's time for room service. (Talk about spoiled!)

- Friday, July 04, 2008 at 21:33:04 (EDT)
We started the weekend at Quint for the Showdown group show and left after five minutes. It's not that it sucked. The art collected was actually really cool with pieces by Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel, Ryan McGinness and more. It's just not our scene, so we split for SubText (which is very much our scene) for the opening of an amazing photography show by Marc Tule. He used high-speed exposure and laser triggers to caplure the "Latency" of fluid colliding with solid surfaces. It was pretty amazing stuff. The next day was Reuvie's Bar Mitzvah, which turned out to be an all-star event. Plenty of folk from all over came, including my first frum Rabbi. I was sad to leave early because Saphira had a pool party at the folks. Caleb and I just sweated it out (hot!) until it was over. We hoped to beat the heat at the drive-in watching Get Smart, but it was sticky all night. We finally cooled off at the beach Sunday, but slept hot again last night.

- Monday, June 23, 2008 at 12:53:13 (EDT)
I don't really blog movies like I used to, probably because it's been a long time since I saw one that really moved me. That is until last night when I watched Meet Joe Black. I've been on a Claire Forlani (Brandi Mallrat!) thing lately, which is how it was discovered. She did a lovely job, but the real emotions were brought by Brad Pitt's interactions as Joe Black (the Angel of Death) with the upstanding gentleman, William Parrish, played by Anthony Hopkins. It really struck a chord in me because I have begun to fear my own death and its effect on my children. I've actually calculated the minimum number of years needed until they could live without me. As they slept, I was awake pondering what is important in my life and how to enjoy it fully and maintain it as long as possible. Pretty heady stuff. When it was time for Parrish to go, he asked if he should be afraid. Black said "A man like you?" I'd like to think that is my fate as well.

- Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 14:08:50 (EDT)
We started the weekend at Carillo's Auto Body because I smashed into a car stopped at a red light while fiddling with my iPod. My dad had a car for us to borrow, so we were able to get around. Family Day at Lux was pretty fun. We didn't bring home any of our watercolor paintings, but did enjoy checking out the underwater landscapes of Daniel Wheeler. We even took a few of our own! After a session at the Carlsbad Skatepark, we headed over to Ruby's Diner for a Sterns family Father's Day lunch. The main event was I Killed Qupid by Isaac Pierro, a series of illustrations and paintings on display at Distinction. Like usual, the kids had me rush away from the free beer to do nothing at all. They did save me from spending $20 on Russel. Ironically, I bought this one anyway.

- Monday, June 16, 2008 at 13:20:52 (EDT)
Yea! It's Father's Day! So far I have swept the floor, took out the garbage, separated the recycling, did the laundry, washed the dishes, cleaned the hair out of the shower drain and vacuumed the carpets. Now that's the spirit!

- Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 12:33:41 (EDT)
We hit up the Switchfoot Bro-Am on Saturday, an event that benefited Stand Up For Kids and To Write Love On Her Arms. These organizations help kids in crisis and provide much needed resources that I could have used at that age. Some bands played as well. Switchfoot themselves sucked, but A Fine Frenzy was pretty cool. The next day was the SDMA Family Festival and it was fun to mural paint and do pastels on the asphalt. Also good was a foo-foo lunch in the Waters Caf? there. We've been wanting to try that place out. The rest of the day was lazy, but we did do some Skatin' before making Kiddush for Shavuot.

- Monday, June 09, 2008 at 14:23:39 (EDT)
Caleb gave a rockstar performance at his school talent show by playing his saxaphone solo. It was pretty dang cool! Saphira went for sleepovers on both weekend nights, so it was boy's night. He fell asleep watching Quentin Tarantino movies (how is that even possible?) so I just messed around syncing and loading my new Touch phone. The kids were jealous, so they got new phones too. Caleb got a UpStage and Saphira got a Katana LX. (spoiled!) It's funny. He was all about features and she wanted it to look slick. After she went to Helena's BD party, we watched Serial Mom, a wonderfully twisted John Waters movie with Kathleen Turner exacting revenge in a psycho-sweet manner. Fun! Typically boring was our visit to the new Georgia O?Keeffe and the Women of the Stieglitz Circle show at the Balboa Park museum. Yes, I renewed our stupid membership. Duh. Pickin throught the punk rock vinyl and checking out the skates at Route 44 was way more fun. Saphira hated it (girl) and didn't perk up until we got to Iciban. Also, we sold all the damn kittens, so the house doesn't stink anymore.

- Monday, June 02, 2008 at 13:37:39 (EDT)
We did some pretty cool stuff over the long weekend, starting with the member's reception for Bruce Nauman at MCASD. Afterwards, we dropped a party at the home of Eric Wixon. The kids were shy to barge like we did, but chilled out after seeing his studio and playing some foosball. Turns out that Eric skates and one of his friends at the party works at Route 44 skateshop. He made the place sound like it is worth a visit since Caleb needs a new ride (Zero or Element?) and I'm always looking for elusive punk vinyl. The next day we hit up Vertical Hold to pull down on some plastic. Both kids liked getting upside down, but I'm too fat for that. My thing was sit starts to tall (juggy) problems. The traditional feast at Crazy Buffet followed. Monday was a holiday and the weather was too dodgey to camp as I wanted, so we (and half the city it seems) went to the mall. We needed to get the iWork (easy documents and presentations) and iLife (Garage Band!) software for our iMac, so a stop at the beloved Apple store was in order. Caleb was on the hunt for skinny jeans and didn't find any until we got to Nordstrom Rack. Saphira got pretty sun dresses and I got stogey work clothes. The entire weekend was devoted to selling our kittens, but nobody took one (though many called). I had plenty of time to read a killer book by Jim Bridwell, one of my heroes, and watch a dopey movie and a killer movie.

- Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 13:36:01 (EDT)
We started the weekend at the "Jam Music Workshop" sponsored by the Mission Valley Apple Store and learned about creating our own music tracks with the fantastic Garage Band software. It's packed with loops and beats that can be arranged at will. Plus, real instruments and voices can be imported into the mix. Fun! Then, we rushed to the DMV to pick up our custom Yosemite plates. They say "511C V4" and should puzzle folks not familiar with rockclimbing grades. Those are my hardest on-sight climbs. Come evening, we hit the new San Diego Art Prize venue to see Pamela Jaeger. She was as sweet as ever and had some fanciful new stuff to ponder. The next day was spent beating the heat by ducking into the theatre to see the new The Chronicles of Narnia movie about Prince Caspian. It was a good show with the "Kings & Queens of Adam" being as lovable as ever. The second feature blew it away. Robert Downey Jr. played Tony Stark, a brilliant arms designer with a conscious and an unspoken love for Pepper Potts, his lovely assistant played by Gwyneth Paltrow. (hot!) It was action galore, but the best part was when he said "The truth is, I am Iron Man" Cool.

- Monday, May 19, 2008 at 16:43:15 (EDT)
After Caleb's school band concert and open house, we blazed out to Viejas for the Rilo Kiley show I have been looking forward to so much. (two nights in a row!) Turns out that they were one of the best bands ever! Some musicians have that extra something that sets them apart. Jenny Lewis had an amazing voice and a true rockstar presence. Plus, we have been listening to them on the pod and knew most of the songs, which is always cool. Poor Saphira bonked on the grass wrapped in a blanket, saying later that her head "exploded" from the massive sound system. It was pretty darn loud, requiring ear plugs during the opening band, Sea Wolf. I wanted to hear it all during the headline act, however. They were just awesome!

- Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:42:52 (EDT)
We went up to Hollywood last night to catch the last show of Kate Nash's American tour. She was a bit louder than we expected. At her wildest, I was surprised to be reminded of a young Patti Smith. She played keyboards and guitars quite well, but was best with the mic in her hand dancing around. The opening band, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, was ridiculous, but lovable. The venue was promoted as being swank, but ended up being a run-down dump and about a hundred degrees inside. We were early enough to hit the Hollywood & Highland mall for dinner at Koji's Sushi. We had Shabu Shabu, which was fun. The whole night was fun, but we got home hella late and we were all pretty spun out this morning.

- Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 13:40:20 (EDT)
We got to the movie theater at 10 am excited to see Speed Racer and were certainly not disappointed! It was super-exciting with crazy futuristic racing with a ninja plot-twist. Christina Ricci, my favorite, was sweet as ever! The 2nd feature was also one we were looking forward to, What Happens In Vegas. It was a lot of fun, if not predictable. Speaking of which, Prom Night (3rd feature) was almost entirely formulaic. Still, it was good for a jump and squeal from time to time. When evening came, we went to the Escondido Art Association opening for free snacks en route to Distinction for the opening of the "Mode" show featuring Jenn Porreca, Jeni Yang and Alex Willan. It was pretty cool until we heard about the Sandra Equihua show opening at SubText. We rushed there to mingle with our familiar crowd. An added bonus was that we picked up stuff from the last show at both galleries. Fun!

- Monday, May 12, 2008 at 18:59:59 (EDT)
We started the weekend at a brunch for the SD Art Academy, partly because of the free food but mostly because I want to get Saphira into art school. She has a genuine interest and talent. Plus, this a a real school in a cool downtown location that will really help her blossom. We'll see... She has a sleepover for Johanna's BD, so Caleb and I did boy things. We hit up Memorial Skatepark again to ride something challenging and had a good session. At home we watched the pool skating pirate movie Chlorine and Getting Nowhere Faster by the militant skategirl tribe Villa Villa Cola. Fun! We had all day Sunday to skate, so we drove 100 miles to skate the kidney pool in the new Pala Skatepark. Burly! I practiced with scary big drop-ins to get ready to crack the heavy local scene in the bowl, but it wasn't much help to handle the steep shallow end start. I was sketchy at best and way scared, but I hit the tile frontside and backside at about 12' but no grinds this time. The park was full of gnarly terrain and well worth revisiting. Plus, Caleb was killing it with roll-ins and kickturns. It was pretty leisurely waiting for Saphira to get home so I was able to finally finish Inside, Outside by Herman Wouk. As always, this book confirms that he is the greatest American novelist alive.

- Monday, May 05, 2008 at 13:09:58 (EDT)
Avril cancelled her show in San Diego last night! Dang! We got tickets, like, three months ago after four years of wishing. Oh well...

- Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 11:35:15 (EDT)
We started out the weekend at an Apple Youth Workshop on building presentations with the Keynote application. Like most Apple products, it's a slick piece of software and fun to use. Then, off to Artwalk. First stop from the trolley was SubText (isn't it always?) to see their show. I loved the work of Julie West, but we had a lot to see before buying more art from that shop! We did get prints from Michael Phillips (Durden?) and Marna Schindler. A giclee print of Amsterdam by Grant Pecoff was a step up, but the big acquisition of the day was the long-coveted Night Watch by one of our favorite art people, Amy Paul. Speaking of favorites, we found the Distinction booth, but kept the wallet in the pocket since we already owe them money. It was too hot on Sunday, so we ducked into the theater for Baby Mama and Forbidden Kingdom. It was an awesome double feature, but you couldn't have found two more different movies. Saphira liked Tina Fey. I liked Amy Poule. Caleb liked Jet Li (of course). All-in-all, it was a great weekend!

- Monday, April 28, 2008 at 14:12:48 (EDT)
It's Pesach all week and it's going pretty good. I had to learn about Morid Ha'tal and Tefillin on Chol Hamoed to do things right. We had the first Seder at home, which was really cool. On the second night we went to a dumb shul that skipped the traditional stuff to make time for their own "innovations." We still had fun because that's the way we are. We went to Sunset Cliffs to kill time on the first day and explored around for a while until we were fully bored. Then, a Sunday drive in the hybrid. On the way, we stopped to skate at Robb Field, but the park was closed. I fell hard on a six-inch bank in the parking lot and bruised my ribs, again. Now, I'm all racked up with road rash.

- Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 19:13:08 (EDT)
We started out the weekend at the Nils Jawa opening at SubText and had a great time. The artist was super-cool and talked a lot with the kids, so we were very happy with our acquisitions. Saphira picked this one and at the register I couldn't resist these. We went out for Sushi, then back to the show for more free beer. Plus, we got a new toy.

- Monday, April 21, 2008 at 13:45:52 (EDT)
Saphira was at Legoland for the weekend for Maddie's birthday, leaving just the boys. It was too dang hot to skate, so we did the art circuit again. We started out at the weak Rock/Paper/Scissors show at the Escondido Arts Partnership. The ale was strong and cold, plus snacks, so it was a good warm up for the Aaron Jasinski opening at Distinction. Most of the stuff (awesome!) was out of our reach, but we did get a little piece called I Wish I Could Eat Ice Cream. Caleb was in a hurry to get home and play his new Grand Theft Auto PS2 game, but gladly turned it off to watch vampires and random violence in Robert Rodriguez's masterpiece, From Dusk Till Dawn. It was pretty incredible! The Thread show on Sunday was a bust, but we had some fun checking out the Aerospace Museum where it was hosted, then if was off to the Family Happening at MCASD to make CD mobiles, check out The Modlins, and do some DJ scratchin'. Now, we have some new hardware demands.

- Monday, April 14, 2008 at 13:22:50 (EDT)
Just for fun, we went to the Swap Meet during the weekend and had fun rummaging through people's stuff. We got lots of DVD's and knick-knacks (sunglasses, cellphone purse, sharpies, airsoft pistol, mexican wrestler toys...) but the score of the day was a Dogtown T-Shirt for Caleb. We found a treasure trove of Tredair U.K. and Emily shoes, but had spent all our money by then :( There was a bird stand also, which caught Saphira's fancy enough to cause a visit to the bird store, but it was all way over budget. We did get Bat Chicken and Cluck Wonder at the Kelly Hutchinson opening later in the day. After the show, we walked across the street to Jyoti Bihanga for some hard-core vegetatian food. Caleb just about choked whn his grilled tofu wrap came, but Saphira was stoked on her nutty Neatloaf. I had a Rueben sandwich with organic saurkraut. The best thing was the Tiramisu and the vegan chocolate mousse cake. Yum! The next day we saw Nim's Island and it was adorable. A fun trivia is that Jodie Foster was making movies at Abigail Breslin's age. They had a cool thing going on together in this movie. It was also pretty neat the way Gerard Butler had a double role as the dad and Alex Rover. Always looking to super-size the adventure, we also saw Shutter for a good kid creep-out. It worked! I had someone pressed into me from both sides jumping ans squealing and squirming. Fun!

- Monday, April 07, 2008 at 12:05:15 (EDT)
Last night was Saphira's middle school open house and it was pretty cool seeing all the stuff she has going on. I couldn't be more proud of my big girl!

- Friday, April 04, 2008 at 20:06:03 (EDT)
Saphira got a "matrix" hairdo from Alonzo and loves it! It was her first salon experience and we got all kinds of product to make it stick. This morning I got to play hairdresser and ironed it flat as a board before school. Fun!

- Thursday, April 03, 2008 at 19:51:38 (EDT)
The Balboa Park Art museum usually has stupid shows, but scored a good on with Inside the Wave, a contemporary installation of "social art" by six San Diego/Tijuana artists. Some of the stuff was heady intellectual (Adriene Jenik?s ?speculative social cinema?) and immersibly interactive (the particle group?s sensor-equipped sniffing multi-lingual nanotechnology columns). We also had fun being Tijuanian Anonymous members in Bulbo's installation. Coincidentally, we got a free exhibition catalog at both SDMA and SDMCA about border art that day, the later for becoming Patron Level members. Yippee! While there, we saw the items from the Benefit Art Auction. Dang! That stuff made our art collection seem kinda wimpy!

- Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 15:51:49 (EDT)
It was member appreciation weekend at the Balboa Park art museum so we went down to pick up some free catalogs from past shows they were giving away. They were mildly interesting, much like the venue itself. They sit by the toilet, which should provide some insight into their value. After that was the highly anticipated Easter egg hunt and BBQ at my folks. Saphira got the $20 jackpot egg! I got a stomach ache from too much meat and pie. After a short nap on the couch, it was home to Guitar Hero, Gilmore Girls re-runs and ZZZZZZZ.

- Monday, March 24, 2008 at 19:53:24 (EDT)
We spent the day in the movie theater (again) this weekend, starting out with Drillbit Taylor. Owen Wilson was hired to protect some wimpy kids from the school bully and in the process they, and Drillbit himself, learn about their capabilities. It was lots of fun to see Leslie Mann (Ursulla, you lost your scrunchie!) as the sweet loser-magnet gal. Next up was the kid's main event, Horton Hears A Who. There was so much vocal talent in this film and it's always a kick to figure out who is who. I cheated by using the pocket PC in the theatre. Finally, I dragged the kids into the movie I wanted to see, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and the ended up really enjoying it. Amy Adams was adorable, as was expected. The real star was Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew. Every time I see her the film is great! We ended the day at Jenny Yoshida's Master Graphic Design show in the Flor y Canto Gallery. The art was a little weak, but the food was great (Newcastle!).

- Sunday, March 23, 2008 at 11:37:35 (EDT)
I just got back from seeing Tristan Prettyman at the Belly Up. I figured that someone with such a voice would have to be beautiful. But, OMG, she was 10x awesome! After a couple songs she kicked off her heels saying that everyone knows a girl that surfs can't wear shoes and gave me that old-time La Paloma feeling. Her songwriting was so lovely and she finger-picked her guitar like I wish I could. Dang. That was a good show.

- Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 02:28:50 (EDT)
The kids had Spring break, so I took a few days off for a killer roadtrip to Fossil Falls, The Alabama Hills, Whitney Portal (closed due to winter conditions), Mammoth Mountain (snow storm at Twin Lakes!), The Buttermilks (the Happy Boulders were closed due to fire), and Keough Creek. Fun! We had camping gear with us but never used it because the town experience was pretty cool. Our motels had names like Timberline (Lone Pine) and Relax Inn (Kramer Junction). Our arrival at home was a bit early, so we spent the day checking out each others account on Gaia.

- Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 12:24:57 (EDT)
We caught a good double feature while at the mall to get a PS II memory stick. Penelope was the main event because I adore Christina Ricci and the kids love Reese Witherspoon. Both did an awesome in this modern fairy tale. We also saw Be Kind Rewind which turned out to be a much better movie that we expected. At the food court, I gave the kids $ and we split up to get some grinds. I got tofu garlic noodles with veggies. Saphira had a fish sandwich. Caleb ordered a veggie dog and fries. Satiated, we went home and played Guitar Hero for hours. Looks like we'll be doing that a lot.

- Monday, March 10, 2008 at 12:22:27 (EDT)
We were early for Kid's day at the Lux Art Institute, so we went to Cardiff-by-the-Sea for a surfside breakfast and chill. The small-town feel was pretty relaxed and we had fun wandering around. We ended up in the Patagonia Store and found all sorts of eco-friendly stuff and memorabilia from the golden age. I needed a new coat, but couldn't justify the big $ for their innovative products. Back at the art venue, it turned out to be a happening! The kids each painted a small canvas as I read to them from the brochure. Turns out it was a cool place. Astrid Preston is the current artist in residence and was real nice to talk with as we checked out her work. I liked the "Maximum Minimalism" stuff and its photorealistic detail. Saphira went in more for the landscapes. We still had time to kill, so we hit up the Carlsbad Skatepark. Caleb was charging the roll-ins and beefed pretty hard once right into the opposite bank. Finally, we headed to Ruby's Diner for his BD party. We were still early, so we walked the mall and fond that coat I needed at The Gap. Back to the party, Caleb's dream came true with Playstation II, wireless guitar, and Guitar Hero. Still on the road, we hit Distinction for the Joshua Clay show and some Lightning Brewery Ale. Whew, what a day!

- Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 11:55:06 (EDT)
The weekend started with Saphira's band concert at Lewis. Schools from all over the district were participating and her's went first to kick things off and they sounded really good! I was so proud of my big girl, plus the judges gave them a score of excellent! After veggie burgers in the school cafeteria, we went to MCASD for the premiere of Walking LA/(Sur)face City, a performance art piece by Sara Wookey that examined the city from the perspective of one who walks and sees the details that speed by when driving. It was pretty weird, but cool.

- Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 19:29:25 (EDT)
My PC motherboard fried and I have spent all week getting it to work. Swapping components with a machine my dad and getting XP SP2 loaded was pretty easy, as was installing drivers for the wireless network, audio, and video cards. The new 500gb drive wouldn't run windows, so it's configured as a slave to a smaller boot drive. Now comes the frustration... It won't accept files copied from my old external drive, so I am moving my 260gb music collection through the network from my iMac. After 4 days, that task is 30% done. Syncing my Windows Mobile Pocket PC, the main reason for having a PC at all, has been a drag. I just about blew the thing up when I accidentally erased my entire Outlook calendar. Thinking it would restore it, I synced with my Google calendar and erased it too! The last straw was the sync with the device erased the last remaining copy. For years I have used the calendars as a diary and there is no way to get it back. Bummer.

- Friday, March 07, 2008 at 16:47:21 (EST)
Saphira went to Maddy's for an overnight. So, the boys went skating! Saturday was Kennedy and it was cool increasing the flow and confidence there. Caleb was working his tail drops and kick turns. I was the only dad with a board, which made him pretty special. Memorial on Sunday was a psycheout. That place was pretty huge and I couldn't get my groove on. Caleb dropped into the clover bowl until he beefed, which slowed him down. The locals were killing it, which didn't help my confidence working the tail end of their snake run. I did take a couple hairy runs in the giant pool, much to Caleb's amazement. At night, we took advantage of no girls to watch Planet Terror. There was lots of blood, especially when Rose McGowan strapped on her leg machine gun. Oh yeah...

- Monday, March 03, 2008 at 12:48:39 (EST)
Our weekend started out pretty funky with a visit to Heavy Press for the Radioactive Future Country Fest and art show. There was a cool Scott Saw print we have been wanting, but nobody to take our money. Turns out it was a private party that Bill Pierce flakilly promoted as his own. The kegs were cool, as was the scene, but it was slow starting. After taking the early-birds home, the kids and I returned hoping to see some bands. By 11, we were done waiting and went to Denny's. It is of note that it was their latest (or earliest) breakfast yet with eggs, pancakes and what-not.

- Sunday, March 02, 2008 at 10:05:31 (EST)
It was a rainy day yesterday, so we spent it at the movies. First was Jumper and it was surprisingly good. The idea was that Hayden Christensen's character could "jump" to anyplace on earth at will. After a few bank vaults, he moved on to travel and romance. All was good until Samuel L. Jackson got on his tail, then things got hot! Speaking of hot, Rachel Bilson played Millie. Sizzle! Next up was the main event, Definitely, Maybe. It was the most anticipated film of the three and was not a disappointment. Ryan Reynolds tells Abigail Breslin, his daughter, about how he met her mom. It's really funny and sweet. Breslin is a fine little actress we have grown to love and she was charming as Maya Hayes. Isla Fisher was the "true love" character and was absolutely adorable. We finished up with Fool's Gold and it kept the adorable going with Alexis Dziena as a ditzy daughter of millionaire Donald Sutherland. What a crack up! They teamed up with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson on an exciting treasure hunt in the South Pacific. They had a fun dynamic as the divorced couple too connected by love and ambition to part. It was a good ending to a long day.

- Monday, February 25, 2008 at 18:02:50 (EST)
I just received the following email:

Dear Mr. Goode,

I saw what you wrote in your blog about voting for me on February 5th in the presidential primary. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Stanley Hetz

Now, how many of you got a thank you letter from your candidate?


- Friday, February 22, 2008 at 12:32:16 (EST)
We headed out to Anza-Borrego again to overnight at the incredible Culp Valley boulder field. That place rocks, pun fully intended. The problems are fantastic and the scope is gigantic. Our camp had a HUGE collection of onsight climbs until my body had a meltdown. The next morning, we cleaned up on the ones from yesterday. One classic after another. Most of them shut me down, despite their clean and obvious lines. After packing up the camp, we visited yet another clump dominated with a gigantic highball slab that I scarily backed down off of. Its backside provided the trip's best tick and a leap off the top to the downclimb rock. Plenty to return to, including a splitter finger crack on top of the hill that we haven't checked out up close yet. On the way out, we tested the hybrid on the upper Jasper Train 4x4 road and it performed like a champ. All-in-all, it was an awesome President's Day outing!

- Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 13:42:19 (EST)
After another blistering session at the El Cajon Skatepark, we headed over to Parkway Plaza since they were the only place in town to see Juno. The movie was awesome, timely and fun (we loved it!) but the mall was totally white trash ghetto. What a dump! I hate to be elitist, but the people and shops were way below our standards. Maybe I was just grumpy because we couldn't see a second movie (another stupid El Cajon thing), but we swore off that place forever.

- Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 19:58:14 (EST)
Our weekend began at the new Children's Museum space on West Island Downtown. The impressive venue of concrete and exposed infrastructure was host to the Adapta Project and their "Army of Icons" show. Many local artists put together some interesting stuff that pushed the boundaries of how we see the world symbolically. The first piece seen was in the foyer and it was the most relevant to me. The Chain by Mely Barragan showed the disintegration of the core family dramatically and in a way I could readily relate to. William Feeney displayed some of his fabrications that tweaked perception as they were manipulated. His mechanical creations make him one of the up-and-coming artists and one of our favorites. Another friend of ours, Don Hollis, had a cool wall of boxes pasted with logo-style icons (the house specialty at SubText). Richard Gleaves kept our attention with his ingenious tape and paper textile sculptures. The best showed George Bush is retro drag. Classic! Christopher Gay's graffiti art and Perry Vasquez's paintings with recycled motor oil were cool, but best of show went to the Something Greater Than Thou video by David Mishoulam & Jordar Guzzardo. Funny!

- Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 12:30:51 (EST)
Our weekend got off to a rad start with a visit to the El Cajon Skatepark. Caleb got mad at me because I was pusing him pretty hard, but he finally pulled off some kickturns and got his flow going. That park is the best for me and I hit some killer 50's in the snake run. That night was the Josh Taylor show at Distinction and it was a real good time. I've been wanting one of his pieces since first seeing them and agonized over it before choosing Lost In The Woods. It showed his style with lots of detailed line work and just the right amount of creepiness. Sunday was the last chance to use our Sea World passes before they expired (Thanks Mom!) so we spent the day getting wet and drying off again. That's a pretty cool place and we had a good time doing rides and shows. After The Wedding Date (cute!) we turned in tuckered out from all the fun.

- Monday, February 11, 2008 at 11:52:25 (EST)
The sheer stupidity of the presidential candidates and their supporters forced me out of apathy and to the polls last night to vote the party line and cast my ballot for Stanley Hetz. Most people would think it foolish to "throw away" their vote for someone who has no chance of winning, but his platform mirrored my own beliefs. Some excerpts: "I think that civil liberties and worker rights should both be expanded." "Laws interfering with Americans? right to free speech should be repealed." "Workers should be compensated with extra pay for working on weekends and in excess of an eight hour workday." "A democratic referendum should be presented to the Iraqi people asking if our troops should stay or withdraw." "I would like to see an amendment to the United States Constitution passed that would outlaw the draft."

- Wednesday, February 06, 2008 at 12:04:17 (EST)
I donated our old VW van to the San Diego Animal Support Foundation and watched it get towed away this morning. It was a melancholy moment. We had many good times with that vehicle camping, cruising, chilling... Life goes on. My dad used to tell us that the only constant in life is change. So true. It's fitting that last night I got the first statement about the hybrid's car payment. ($679!) I am totally anxious about our pending house refinancing because it's the only way to afford that new expense!

- Tuesday, February 05, 2008 at 11:41:43 (EST)
We started the weekend at SubText for the DC Kicks Show. There were lots of very cool custom-painted DC skate shoes on display, but I could not find a way to justify getting some because they were way expensive and too peculiar to collect as art. So, I drank free beer instead. Afterwards, we headed to Caf? Zucchero for some awesome Ravioli Alfredo and Pizza. The next day, Caleb got his chops at the Poway Skatepark and really got into it. I skate like an old fart now, but the kids got a kick out of seeing me charge the tall wall. That night was the San Diego Art Prize show for Roman de Salvo and Lael Corbin at the L Street Gallery. Like always, it was a good party with lots of fabulous people. I thought the art a bit weak this time, probably since that high-brow stuff isn't quite my style. I tried to go get the Haubs piece The Long Goodbye at Distinction when we dropped Jen off after her Birthday Brunch, but the gallery was closed. Oh well.

- Monday, January 28, 2008 at 12:19:47 (EST)
We had a bonus holiday weekend beginning with the Monster Jam on Saturday night. Those trucks are so loud! We all were rooting for different ones to win. Saphira liked Taz. Caleb's favorite was Gravedigger (of course). I favored Monster Mutt. the only female piloted rig. Bounty Hunter won the race. Gravedigger edged out Taz in the very last freestyle run of the night. The next day we headed out to Culp Valley for some bouldering. Turns out it was the best spot ever! The camping was choice. The climbing was awesome and all of it close to home. It's my favorite spot, hands down. We got rained out on our second day, so breakfast in Julian was our consolation prize. The weekend ended with the cute movie 27 Dresses. Katherine Heigl was great as the gal who is "always a bride's maid and never a bride." Extra fun was provided by Judy Greer (Tom-Tom!) as her best friend and James Marsden as her worst friend. We really enjoyed the show and thought it one of the year's best.

- Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 14:56:06 (EST)
We went to the opening of the new shop in North Park for Kate Ross and Amy Paul and it was pretty durn cool and a total scene. The bar shook out custom martinis (dirty!) and tasty nouveau snacks were circulating. Although the shoes were too fancy and pricey for my taste, Saphira was in bliss. There was also lots of cool home stuff. While I remain a solid fan of Amy's painting style of lacquered wood with burning and acrylic, her personality and warmth have made one of her pieces a must. She had some awesome prints for sale, but I'm holding out for one of her gorgeous originals. It got to be way crowded in the shop, so we ducked out. On the way back to the car we found a cool shop and picked up a new hat for the girl and some shades for the boy. Like usual, I got nothing. Then again, my home and office are like an art gallery. So, I guess I'm not suffering much.

- Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:01:35 (EST)
Sunday was the last day for the Animated Painting show at the San Diego Museum of Art and it was typically underwhelming. Even something so cutting edge ended up just being boring. We toured the other dull exhibits while we were there (Everett Gee Jackson, Image Makers and Rule Breakers) before cutting out to the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages for some tasty snacks. On the way home we used up the last of our gift cards to see The Bucket List. It was an incredibly moving film that was hilarious and sad in the same moment. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman were phenomenal as two terminal cancer patients who try to capture life's lost opportunities before they die. I had many strong feelings about my own life and cried a few times (predictably) as I related to the characters. The kids ran down to the front after the show to make silhouettes on the screen and watching them was as beautiful as anything in the movie. I am indescribably thankful they came into what was an empty and meaningless life. Maybe now I'll have somebody to grow old with and won't die alone.

- Monday, January 14, 2008 at 12:48:48 (EST)
Yesterday we took the Hybrid on some pretty rough roads into the climbing area at Crest and it performed like a champ. It's been 10 years since I've been in there and there was some wicked stuff, which trilled the kids. The climbing area was closed, however. A local actually asked us to leave, but provided beta to the other side of the mountain. The road was too scary to complete, but we found a sweet boulder and some solitude. I just felt like driving, so we cruised Harbison Canyon until we hit Alpine, then cut over to Lakeside via Lake Jennings. Our in-dash new navigation DVD listed some restaurants and provided directions, which was pretty sweet. Our lunch in a little diner was good. Saphira is gonzo vegetarian and had an eggplant burger. Hardcore! That night, I had high hopes for the Endeavor show at the Art Produce Gallery but it turned out to be pretty weak. Around the corner was Ray At Night, so we hit it up for the first time in a while and ended up buying an Eric Wixon painting called You're Not So Tough for the office.

- Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 20:23:26 (EST)
We've been on a Resident Evil kick lately. I grabbed them in the first place because I think Milla Jovovich (Fifth Element!) is hot and Caleb the game-buff was excited about it. Turns out they were pretty creepy and Saphira complained a bit while watching the whole thing. Last night was Apocalypse which introduced another action hottie, Sienna Guillory, as Jill Valentine. She wasn't even close to being as badass as Jovovich's Alice, but just as nice to look at. The kids got mad at me because I was converting music videos for Caleb's PSP during the show. It took five apps and just as many nights figuring out the process, so once I got the hang of it I went crazy doing Avril, Bowling for Soup, New York Dolls, Girlschool (with Motorhead!), The Donnas, Social Distortion and more. Tonight is Resident Evil: Extinction and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully it will provide the same quality of fear and nightmares as the others did!

- Wednesday, January 09, 2008 at 15:44:08 (EST)
Well, we got the hybrid during the weekend and it is incredibly tricked out with every possible feature. It's like a touch screen computer with wheels. Good thing I insured it for the full value because the dashboard has many crash inducing widgits to mess with. We really worked the deal and felt some urgency because it was the only available Ford 4x4 hybrid in Southern California. It took 2.5 hours to negotiate the terms and I was pretty impressed with my skills. I guess I've become a man after all, which is good at age 47! The payment is ridiculously high and the whole deal assumed that I would pull out a chunk of our equity and put it down on the car. It would have been better to do the refinance first, but I had to move since the old car blew up. The bottom line is, I'm WAY overextended at the moment. Oh well.

- Monday, January 07, 2008 at 12:31:53 (EST)
I'm back at work and all is well, except that my car is about to blow up. The good news is that a Ford Escape Hybrid 4x4 appears to be in my budget. Cool!

- Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 12:34:42 (EST)
It was the last day of my vacation and we we pretty anti-motivated to do anything, so it ended up being a megamovie day beginning with 10 Things I Hate About You (Julia Stiles!). The kids have been hounding me to watch The Messengers (Creepy!) so we finally did and enjoyed it very much. We have seen pretty much every Kristen Stewart movie and it was cool to see her grow into an excellent leading lady. We also like John Corbett. The kids laughed at me when I said he is just like Aidan. By movie's end I found out why! The kids hated Waiting... and watched it to the end. Finally, we watched Stardust in bed and it turned out to be the best one of all. It was incredibly cast with Kate Magowan (Princess Una) Sienna Miller (Victoria) Peter O'Toole (King) Robert De Niro (Captain Shakespeare) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Lamia). Claire Danes (Yvaine) and Charlie Cox (Tristan) stole the show with their unlikely love story. Man. I loved that movie!

- Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 12:31:27 (EST)
Happy New Year! I hope you have a good one! The last one was fantastic for us, maybe the best of my life. May the trend continue in 2008!

- Tuesday, January 01, 2008 at 14:17:09 (EST)
We went to see P.S. I Love You yesterday and it was so sweet that I cried. What a sap! After, we went to King?s Fish House for dinner. The whole day was sponsored with giftcards. So, a special thanks to my folks!

- Tuesday, January 01, 2008 at 14:15:55 (EST)
The whole point of staying in North Phoenix was to visit the Beardsley Boulder Pile. So, after a motel continental breakfast and jacuzzi, we sought them out. Access was blocked at every angle and the brush choked hill was a total joke after Oak Flats. We didn't even get out of the car, which seems like a mistake after a little research. It was a long haul to escape Arizona. Before crossing the border, we did the tourist thing at the Yuma Territorial Prison, which was actually pretty cool. Night fell as we entered El Centro for Taco Bell and fuel. Then, the home stretch. I was worried that the car would blow up climbing the Anza Borrego grade, but it waited until we were nearly home. After over 900 miles, we limped home. It had a problem with the valve lifters which cleared up by breaking. Now it runs so rough it barely stays running. Oh well... Better at home than on the road!

- Monday, December 31, 2008 at 13:46:33 (EST)

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