Posted tagged ‘entertainment’

Beyond Van Gogh

October 22, 2021

For the approximately 50 years we lived in Southern California, we would attend an event call the Pageant of the Masters in beautiful Laguna Beach.  Now, if I describe this event to you, you’ll probably say, What?  Let’s find out.   Pageant of the Masters creates living version of artist’s masterpieces, creating huge painted background and posing real people in costume and makeup on the backgrounds. What?  When I first heard of it, that’s what I said, but everyone said it was wonderful … and it sold out every year … so we went.  And it was wonderful.  The lighting made the paintings look like 2-dimentional faithful reproductions and each was accompanied by music from a live orchestra and a narrator talking about the painting.  It didn’t hurt that it was held outdoors in the Irvine Bowl on a balmy Socal evening.


Throwback Thursday – Driving Music

December 9, 2016

In an attempt to get back to blogging on a regular basis, I am designating Thursdays as Throwback Thursdays. That will assure I post once a week by posting old favorites from the almost 2000 posts that have appeared here. This one is from November of 2009 and, appropriately, its about music. Yes, it’s a dated playlist. But, hey, I’m 72 … I’m dated, too.

alfa1Speeding along a winding Connecticut back road in a 1965 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce with the top down in the autumn, red and gold leaves dancing in the draft. Cruising along Ocean Drive in Newport, RI in a bright red Fiat Spyder convertible as the surf crashes against the seawall, filling the air with salty mist. Driving across the great plains in a gray Volvo 144 toward a new home in California. Racing the eighteen wheelers across the desert in a green Toyota Camry on the way to visit our grandchildren. The vehicle may not be as exciting as we get older but one thing remains constant … I can’ t do the long drive without Driving Music. No, I’m not talking about the old guy poking along in the fast lane with Henry Mancini playing softly in the background. (more…)

Leaving Arizona

May 14, 2016

azThe refrigerator is empty.  So are the closets.  The cable and internet will turn off Sunday.   Our personal items and a few decorator items we’ll keep are boxed and waiting to be loaded into the car.  Our realtor, Kay, stopped by yesterday to tell us that based on the inspection report, the buyer has accepted the house as is … and the closing has been moved up to may 31.  Without the personal items and with our grandkids in Utah, the house doesn’t really feel like the place we called our Little House in the Desert.  Tomorrow, we will be Leaving Arizona. (more…)

The Wrong Girl

March 31, 2016

savyPerhaps the high point of our visit to Utah last week was getting to see our granddaughter, Savannah … aka Savy … perform with her cheer squad, the Elite Academy Heat.  The competition was held in the massive Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake on a huge, multimedia stage in a room as large as an airplane hangar.  The official word was that no video taping was allowed but can anyone really prevent parents from video recording their kids in an age when nearly every device can record videos?   Before each performance, a group of parents from the team performing would make its way to the front of the stage to take pictures and videos.  I decided to do the same for Savy’s. I’d brought my Panasonic Lumix camera, which takes very good videos and offers the choice of a viewfinder or the view screen as a means of seeing what I’m recording.  As Savy’s team was announced, I moved to the edge of the stage and decided to use the viewfinder because that usually allows me to hold the camera more steady (at the expense of a tiny-tiny image). (more…)


March 19, 2016

cheerIt is interesting to me how things I said to my children as a father with Younger Eyes comes back around to Older Eyes via his grandchildren.  Recently, my grandaughter, Savannah, joined a competitive cheerleading team, The Elite Academy Heat.  Originally, my daughter enrolled her in dance but Savy wanted to cheer.  This week, we are here in Utah visiting and we got to see Savy’s team compete.   As we were waiting, Savy asked her Mom, Why didn’t you do cheer, Mommy?   My daughter told her a fact I hardly remembered … Papa said I couldn’t.  Hmmm.  She then leaned over to me: Don’t you remember?  You said you thought girls should do something more than stand on the sidelines cheering for boys while they play sports.   Oh, yeah, I remember that guy … in fact, I’m still him.   But Savy loves cheer (as cheerleading is called these days), and her team isn’t cheering for anyone … they are competing against other teams.  I guess Older Eyes can live with that.   My daughter couldn’t resist adding one more bit of information.  You know the high school cheer team did this kind of comptetition in the off season.  I guess Younger Eyes was wrong.  Nothing new.

The Price of Happiness

February 27, 2016

dollarThis week, my wife, Muri, and I spent the day at the Disneyland Resort with our grandkids … and their parents.  You can’t call it Disneyland anymore because there are now two separate parks, Disneyland and California Adventure, strategically positioned adjacent to each other so that you can hop from one to another. Provided, of course, that you are willing to pay a premium of about $40 above the $100 it costs for a single park ticket to make it a Park Hopper.  We did.  My daughter, son-in-law and grandkids did two days but Muri and I were fairly certain our old legs couldn’t handle that.   Let me say this before I start being a curmudgeon … we (and they) had a great time.  Even when a sore back keeping me off some of the better rides, I enjoyed watching the kids enjoy themselves.  Now, the curmudgeonly part.   The two days at Disneyland for them, a day for us, plus parking, food and souvenirs set us back something north of $1500. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 8/10/2015

August 10, 2015

20150607microsoftsigninstallnokiaocampo488_750xx4256-2394-0-356Last night, Muri and I took the one hour drive to L.A. Live, the event and restaurant venue right in the middle of Los Angeles, next to the Staples Center, home of the L.A. Lakers and that other team.  The O’Jays and Gladys Knight were performing at the Microsoft Theater, one of the largest indoor theaters in the country and home to such events as the Country Music Awards, the Grammies, the BET Awards and, yes, the finals of American Idol.  Some years ago, we saw the Empress of Soul in Orange County and she was amazing.  When I saw tickets available last week on Goldstar, “we” purchased them as a gift for me for our anniversary, which is tomorrow. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 3/9/2015

March 9, 2015

plannerMy wife, Muri, is a planner. I am not. She keeps a calendar of all her activities for the week. I keep a calendar of activities that I absolutely cannot afford to miss, like business appointments. The rest, I wing it. Muri writes down menus for the days she cooks and from those menus, makes shopping lists. On the days, I cook, I stop at the market and pick out whatever looks good for dinner. Muri is disciplined. I am spontaneous. However, there is one time our styles converge … on Saturday night, also known around here as Date Night. We both like to have plans ahead of time and I am usually the social director, searching the internet for events or seeing what movies are playing where. And making dinner reservations on the smartphone app, Open Table. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 3/2/2015

March 2, 2015

russian boardMy wife, Muri, and I attend a lot of theatrical events ranging from drama and comedy to musicals.  We attend concerts of classical music, jazz or rock and roll.  We occasionally attend more diverse fare, like dance or magic shows or acrobats, courtesy of Goldstar Events, the half-price ticket outlet that sends a list of available events by email every week.  We’ve seen the Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil at sea.  Consequently, a show rarely strikes us as completely unique.  This weekend, Goldstar was offering tickets to Sequence 8, a show by Les 7 Doigts de la Main (Seven Fingers of the Hand), billed on the Goldstar site as a Canadian cirque troupe.   The show was a combination of performance art, comedy, interesting music, acrobatic choreography and cirque acts that left the audience gasping. (more…)


March 1, 2015

spockAs I was reading the news on my Android tablet this Friday morning, a banner drifted across the top of the screen in red:  Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83.  Like many others, I’m sure, my first thought was that Spock is dead. And I wanted to write this post … with this title.  But I wondered: Is it dismissive to say goodbye to an actor in the name of his best known character rather than his real name? Perhaps,  but perhaps not. Nimoy himself was ambivalent about his identification with the half Vulcan, half human member of the crew of the Enterprise.   In 1977, Nimoy authored I Am Not Spock, in which he wrote about the rest of his life and seemed to distance himself from his alter ego.  After publishing his second autobiography, I Am Spock, he expressed regret that he wrote the first.  At any rate, I only knew Nimoy as Spock, so this is the only personal farewell I can write.  If you are interested in more about the man himself, I’d recommend the article in Variety.