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Yesterday we went to Encinitas for the Switchfoot Bro-Am, an annual social activist networking gathering, because Tristan Prettyman was playing. Woo Hoo! She is so beautiful and loving when she plays that is is just mesmerizing. There were lots of really cool orginazations there like To Write Love On Her Arms, The Tony Hawk Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, 100% Natural High, Keep A Breast, Nika Water, Stand Up For Kids, Life Rolls On and more. Good stuff. I spent the rest of the day after the show installing and configuring our new 802.11n AirPort Extreme to extend our network to my new garage workstation (talk about full circle). My "office" is also a workshop for our major home projects. The kitchen is turning into an evil task dealing with 30 years of paint and rusting hinges. It's gonna look great if we have to sell. My desktop is choking on Activesync (again) as I do this. I hate Windows Mobile, even though it does most of what I need to do. It just does it shittily.

- Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 13:32:09 (EDT)
I haven't been blogging much since becomming my own boss. Probably because my time is now my own. There was nothing better than visiting my sites while siting at my shit-job desk, but now there is TONS to do. Priority one is getting the house ready to sell by clearing out the crap and painting. Our garage sale was a bust, but it created a traffic jam when the ad was changed to "free stuff." It's cool to have summer off with the kids. Saphira is having a pool party right now with her middle school friends and Caleb is in the mix just like I was. Lucky guy. Just got a call that my "Connectivy Coach" cards and flyers are done. It would rock if that works and I never have to go to work again.

- Friday, June 26, 2009 at 17:40:29 (EDT)
Since I got fired, I've really been looking at my life and wondering how I want the spend the few years remaining to me. What I like most is twizzling on a computer and showing others the tricks & tips I've learned over the years. So, what if I could make a job of that? I've got a couple months of launch time (if those damn pension funds ever arrive) to make it fly, so I've been designing my identity (Jack Roman!) and creating an infrastructure (credit card merchant account, brokerage account, Health & Human Services, child support, laptop drive replaced with "office" software and synced with mobile device and yet another v.5 site design (check out v.1 for kicks). All exciting stuff. Anyway, I remembered that this idea came to me in a dream a year or so ago and I woke up inspired, but let it pass. My life's unmotivated & basicly bored story. But, now that I have to do something...

- Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 14:54:01 (EDT)
I was a little spooked when I got fired at LPL, but I got over it quick. I was a square peg there and had so much grief over the years. It will be so good to work my own projects for a while. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have socked some money away in my 401k to make things less desperate. Conversely, I have capital and lots of solid ideas. A no-brainer is fixing up the house for sale. $100 of supplies will raise the value $30,000. Oh yeah. Plus, I have three businesses to pitch and skills to hawk. Most notably, by creative projects have been supressed so long. Maybe this is the kick I need. I've spent the last couple days spreadsheeting and developing a business plan. It's a pretty exciting moment. Today, I launched a new site on my server that points to our cancer information site for serving ads and selling transcripts.

- Tuesday, June 09, 2009 at 21:44:26 (EDT)
I had a day off last week for Shavuot and rather than being a holy moment it became kind of a runaround. After a lazy morning (Saphira came in to ask the day off, allowing me to close my eyes again) we went to get my long-awaited eye exam. Turns out I need glasses for short and long ganges both. Then, we got Johanna (who is awesome) at school and zoomed out 94 to the sticks for art class. After dinner, it was home to watch Foxfire (girl power!) for the rest of the night. Next day, we went to the library (like we don't have enough books already) where I scored the remaining weekend's pastime, A Woman's Place by Arlene Blum. Later, I fell asleep watching Doubt. The weekend finished late into the night with jPod episodes. Dang, I love that show!

- Thursday, June 04, 2009 at 11:49:00 (EDT)
We took the 4x4 back into Jacoby Canyon to Big Bear's best climbing area, The Pinnacles. Of course we got lost and had to backtrack some pretty rough stuff. Still, there were roads that shut us down that the hardsore drivers would navigate with their crew. Our camp was choice and after our Vons Feast, we watched Tropic Thunder on the laptop and replied to emails.After scouting the classic Coyote Crags and Tombstone areas with the kids the next day, I led Wilber's Tombstone with Caleb on belay for the first time! Scary stuff! In the video, you'll see the elaborate anchor I rigged to keep him on the ground if I pitched. Town was way crayon-filled, so we ditched out to the Log Cabin for some Kartoffelpfannekuchen before closing the weekend loop with a Soak at Marcy's after 345 mi. Plus, we finally got to skate Fontana and it was pool paradise!

- Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 12:56:13 (EDT)
After two days using last.fm my lifelong music collecting philosophy shifted. Already fried on hearing new stuff through the process of researching, finding, getting, tagging, syncing, playing, and hating a new band, it became apparent that storage in the cloud has become better. Last month was our last with with Sirius because I hate having crappy content imposed on me. Enter my "library" on last.fm and their clever relevance algorithm for suggesting new bands with a sound I like. When combined with radio streaming, it provides more targeted (meaning damn good) music than ever. Now take that infinite playlist and put it in your iPod with the implication that syncing will be reduced by 90% and you will have the killer app that finally sold me on the iPhone. Here's another thing... They have began filtering, monitoring and blocking traffic on the network here at work and I think the scrobbing app will provide access to my music library and stations without the site activity being monitored. Oh yeah... I'm trying to take whole my online presence off the radar. I facebook and email on my phone rather than on the network. Kray works, but Demonoid, Pirate Bay, Mininova, and Torrentz are all blocked. My device handles most of it and syncs with a kluged outlook/google PC hassle. My iPhone will be mac all the way and I imagine a bluetooth sync of contacts, calendar, music, video, to-do lists and documents. Last month I paid $312 to Sprint. AT&T will be yet another technology expense, but I am device reliant and the Apple's mobile platform is too awesome to not adopt. We haven't even discussed GPS centric social networks yet. Are you doing any of that?

- Friday, May 22, 2009 at 11:04:32 (EDT)
I'm in an evil mood today. It's the culmination of a weekend that began with a guard posted at Rancho Penisquitos. How dare they keep us from using the hole in the closed park's fence? Forced to Poway instead, it was "supervised" skating time, meaning that the session involved dodging butt-boarders. Fortunately, the crap skating got us home in time for a three hour Prison Break finale. The next day we skated some stupid spots between Hot-Topic locations. (Caleb wanted these) Even a session at Carmel Valley wasn't fun. Saphira pulled out $41 of the $50 she owed and funded a couple lunches, which is cool. Having the kids withdraw savings to keep me from spending backfired twice. I had to go out of pocket for Caleb's jeans and Saphira's book, although I did get a graphic novel of "The Trial" by Franz Kafka. This morning, I awoke to the "piss & shit" phase of kittenhood, and balanced my checkbood. Three days after payday I have $19. At least that's a positive number. The dog ran out while Caleb and I argued over the practicality of bringing a box of comics to school (huh?), then ran off a second time when we brought him home from driving around. I used the time to sweep the floor and throw away the broken bricks on the sidewalk where Caleb was skating. 20 minutes late to school, I realized I hadn't cleaned up, so my hair is sticking up. No shave or toothbrush this morning. Too late for Starbucks, I settled for 7-11 coffee. Shook the last of my meds from the pillbox and forced myself to work. This is the kind of day that I've been fired on before, so I better watch out.

- Monday, May 18, 2009 at 11:55:58 (EDT)
Caleb had a campout at his school this weekend and it turned out to be pretty fun. There was a western BBQ at night and pancakes in the morning. For entertainment, the movie Bolt was projected on a wall and it too was surprisingly good. The best thing was that the kids got to run wild with their friends. The next day, we went to the San Diego Children's Book Festival and checked out the publisher's booths and met some authors. We can have fun anywhere, apparently, because it was a royal dud. On Sunday, we went down to Horton Plaza because we really wanted to see Sunshine Cleaning and it was only showing in three theaters. (Huh?) It was a great film filled with are sorts of tragedy/comedy. It was strange to laugh and cry at the same time. Amy Adams was sweet as ever and was the perfect big sister to Emily Blunt. Alan Alda as the dad was an added bonus. Another cool thing was finally finishing Big Rock Candy Mountain. It took a couple months to work my way through it. Wallace Stegner is a pretty amazing author and this was his best work that I've read.

- Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:26:54 (EDT)
When I was just a young man is high school, my friend Kevin had two big brothers in college who were way cool and turned me on to the "New York Scene" where revolutionary music was being created by the likes of Richard Hell, Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith, Television, Lou Reed and the Ramones. A personal favorite was the New York Dolls because they were completely out of control and on the road to ruin. After a couple of brilliant records, and a failed management attempt by Malcolm McClaren, they dissapeared and started dying off. I was sceptical of their reunion, thinking they could not even come close without Johnny Thunders. Man, was I wrong! Their show at HOB was blistering. "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This" was album of the year in 2006. Well, today I listened to their new one, Cause I Sez So, during the commute and they remain a favorite after over 30 years. Dang!

- Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 12:24:19 (EDT)
I'm feeling pretty guilty about selling one of the Hermes ties my sister gave me. Sure, times are tough and I'm up to my ears with expenses and debt. Sure, the office has changed to business casual every day and I don't wear ties anymore. Sure, I appreciate the gift in the first place. I just wanted to do an eBay auction and see what would happen if I set a high reserve and let it run. Well, now it's all packaged up to sell and I'm sad about it. Isn't that how life is? The irony is that it probably won't be worn by the next person either because all the bids were from dealers that buy and sell these products as commodities.

- Monday, May 04, 2009 at 14:03:38 (EDT)
There is a complete punk rock revival thing going on with my Facebook friends, which is awsomely cool. Because of it, I became motivated to find this cassette by the Injections that has been in a basement box for years. The computer imputs didn't work for ripping it, but we did figure out how to hook up the player to the stereo. It cracked me up to see Caleb fast-forwarding the tapes to find the bands scribbled on the weird custom labels of the tape boxes. That technology is so ancient that "Injections" was spray painted on the wall of the Skeleton Club, and you all know how long ago that was.

- Monday, May 04, 2009 at 13:56:56 (EDT)
I'm sitting in the shade while Saphira plays with Maddie's Celebration guests and just read in the WM6 Reader version of Cory Doctorow's rad book about the information economy, Content, "If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that an information economy will increase the technological literacy of its participants." It's ironic that this post's quote was pasted from my phone's ebook reader, in a version I converted to my device with a downloaded plugin, to its browser for posting. Doctorow's big into p2p, so grab a copy from his many fascinating books.

- Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 15:57:50 (EDT)
We finally were able to see The Soloist during the weekend and it was damn good. Jamie Fox and Robert Downey should get an Oscar for this one. Plus, Catherine Keener (surprise!) was in it and my readers know by now that I *LOVE* her. We snuck into Observe & Report since Seth Rogan is a family favorite. It was helladumb and a bit much for the kids to see in the theater. At home, they see sex, swearing, drugs, nudity, gore, torture, etc. but they get embarrassed in public. I've never cared what people think of me... That's why we were provided a middle finger during evolution. Another media tidbit: Last night we watched Chuck on TV (What? TV on a TV?) then watched the Gossip Girl episode recorded on our new DVR. We have another 160GB in the house. Yippee!

- Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 15:20:51 (EDT)
We upgraded to digital cable to take advantage of interactive and recording opportunities and found the process relatively painless. One thing that had me on edge was something that seemed easy enough - programming the "Universal" Remote. I've heard of this urban myth before, but never attempted it. The right way, inputting codes from the manual (long lost) or searching online (12 different Sharp TV codes) failed. Turns out the new remote had its own search function that allowed it to emulate the other two and integrate. I thought it was cool to master a new technology, but the kids yawned at the effort.

- Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 19:41:38 (EDT)
I've really been crunching on Saphira's new site and as a result have found a lot of cool software. Some scripts were pretty tough to make run right, but it's always good practice to code. Along the way, I got WordPress installed properly (SQL Server!) and found it to be a killer app. In fact, it's so good that it is my new blog. Cool!

- Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 16:23:16 (EDT)
We trollied down to MCASD to see Primary Forms before it closed and found it pretty underwhelming. It's a bummer that stuff we once enjoyed has become dull. This is the last time the kids will be "forced" to go anywhere with me. So many times I don't do things I want because they aren't interested. They are old enough to sit around at home alone. Plus, I can't be bothered with dumb stuff like backtracking 5 stops like we just did because Saphira lost her phone again.

- Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 18:01:47 (EDT)
I got out tickets for Comic-Con yesterday, even though the event is not until July. Whole days were already sold out! Fortunately, we always go on Sunday (Family Day) and tix were available. Saphira qualified for a "Junior" ticket this year, so she will get her own badge rather than being a paid adult's child. A related story about being "qualified" is that I changed Saphira's contact info at school away from my parents so I could take a more active role in her parenting. The downside is that she is not in the district for her current school and she is slated to go to Horace Mann next year if our Enrollment Options Application isn't approved. That's a pretty harsh reality that I have to deal with.

- Friday, April 17, 2009 at 15:06:12 (EDT)
The kids had their first, and probably last as well, babysitter last night when I slipped away to see Jenny Lewis at the Belly Up. We got there late because Kenny had to work, so she was on when we finally parked and got in. Still, it was a long show and I ended up with a good seat anyway. Somehow, she has become my favorite singer right now. So, I was enraptured most of the night and downright inspired at times. Favorites like Carpetbaggers, Acid Tongue and Rabbit Fur Coat gave me shivers to hear live. Plus, I couldn't help but notice that her jeans fit just right. Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

- Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 13:07:19 (EDT)
Here's what I found out about the closed park in Rancho Penisquitos: "In addition, the mayor proposes turning the city's three supervised skate parks, including one in Rancho Penasquitos, into unsupervised facilities. Diehl said doing so will actually cost the city money since skateboarders - through daily or monthly passes - paid $74,000 to use Rancho Penasquitos' Skate Park. That money, Diehl said, goes to the city's General Fund, not the Park and Recreation budget. He also said having supervision is essential to making sure no one group of skateboarders monopolize the park or terrorize others using the facility, plus there are safety factors to consider."

- Monday, April 13, 2009 at 12:21:53 (EDT)
Saphira went to see Criss Angel, so Caleb and I guyed out three days in a row in SoCal skateparks. Day one found us up the 15 in Chino Hills and Chino. Both were real good and the later had a killer tight amoeba pool. Eager to hit more parks, we bailed to Montclair, Upland, Fontana II, and Fontana, all to be shut down by rain. Bogus! We finally skated at one Riverside park, but didn't even get out of the car at the other. The trip was saved on the way home with Caleb's first barge at Rancho Penesquitos. More on that place later. We hit it again on day two on the way north. First stop, MLK for our first fearless runs at their coping. Our confidence was up at Melba Bishop also and we nailed some transitions there. Day three we got the nerve (finally) to skate Washington St. and all I can say is "wow."

- Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 15:39:07 (EDT)
I just had a couple days off for Pesach and we did our share to keep the tradition alive for another year. The kids were pretty balky during Bidikat Chametz and were perturbed when we got to shul, but they lightened up after I gave Eve a ration. You had to be there. Anyhoo, I wore my black hat and easily slipped into the frum world again. I swore it would be our last shul seder, but looking back I really enjoyed it, even though it felt like a gathering of orphans. The next night, we did it right with a home seder. I even dug out the ol' Kittel, joking with Caleb that it's one thing he won't inherit. My kids are the epitome of the new genre of kids born into the network, (I did that) but they toned it down and got into our collection of Haggadahs and the old story.

- Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 12:31:54 (EDT)
So, we went to see Adventureland (Kristin Stewart is Smokin') and they kept playing "Pale Blue Eyes" by Lou Reed. It wasn't on the iPod, so some research uncovered that it is actually a Velvet Underground tune. A few songs into my commute today, VU rose a notch in my book with the artsy story song/poem "The Gift." Did you know that they were part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene? What a time that would have been...

- Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 16:49:47 (EDT)
It's funny how much my life is like John Cusack's in High Fidelity. I spend so much time geeking over lists and libraries everywhere I go. I recently did a massive iTunes sync project when the family pod needed a restore. All my best genres (NY Scene, Vinyl Punk, UK Punk, DC Punk, SF Punk, LA Punk, SD Local, High School Rock, Just Plain Good...) have already moved to the brick, so the "pop" genres (Pop, Too Pop, Not So Pop, Punk, Poseurs, Chick Rock...) were loaded up. There is some seriously damaged bands on there now. I also geek out on web programming. Saphira had me buy apocalypticsunrise.com and I'm kinda psyched on building a kid portal. Here is the first module, an E-Blah.

- Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 16:09:12 (EDT)
My daughter asked if I was going to the banquet when dropped off this morning. What? A visit to the office and a call to work and wa-la! Here I am paying attention closely to the video. This event is county wide. Each middle school has Model U.N. delegates that will have a unified conference. It's a big deal and I'm the kind of dad who lends his support.

- Friday, April 03, 2009 at 12:19:43 (EDT)
Monday night is primo TV. It sucks that Chuck is at the same time as Gossip Girl, but our special arrangements (bittorent) let us see both last night. Oh Yeah. Prison Break was on Mondays too, but on April 17th it moves to Friday. Tough call there... That puts it in direct competition with Dollhouse.

- Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 13:33:42 (EDT)
After laying around all day utterly depressed (I quit smoking, again) we just had to get out, so we hit up Fashion Valley to see The Haunting in Connecticut. It was as good as a PG-13 horror movie can get, but I find the whole genre kinda boring. We stayed for Monsters vs. Aliens and I felt gipped that it was animated. It was a fun story, but I left the theater in much the same condition as I arrived there. The next day, I needed drastic measures, so we headed up to Oceanside to skate four parks. The first, Melba Bishop, was a good one. I immediately collected some roadrash by hitting a tiny piece of wood, but got back up and jumped on it. The next two, Libby Lake & John Landes were crap and we didn't even get out of the car. It was our second time at MLK and I snaked the locals for a couple runs in the big bowl. It's got an awesome flow, but is always mega crowded. Feeling a bit frustrated, we backtracked to Carmel Valley and had the session of the day. I finally skated the giant pool and found it wasn't so terrifying. At home, we watched Grudge 3 and I got bored quick. So, I watched Say Anything instead on the iMac. Now that was my kind of film! Finally, I finished watching Mouth to Mouth (Ellen Page!) and found it disturbing, but in a happy way.

- Monday, March 30, 2009 at 12:24:09 (EDT)
During the weekend, we all headed down to see Alonzo at Tops Salon to get haircuts and the kids had a great time. Saphira went above the shoulders with a classic layered approach. Caleb was more styled in a Paranoid Park manner that is pretty trendy with the skate crowd. I didn't have the patience to endure the crowd at SDSU's animalkind show in the main gallery, so I geeked out instead on a new "underground comics that became movies" genre inspired by the Watchmen release. I started looking at other Alan Moore movies and added Frank Miller to the mix. After downloading a few to file away, I sat back to watch From Hell and wasn't too impressed with it. For the most part, comics make crappy movies. The rest of the weekend was birthday party related, since all of Sunday was devoted to preparing, hosting and cleaning after Caleb's fun day.

- Monday, March 23, 2009 at 16:23:12 (EDT)
Caleb got a Palm Centro for his birthday today. That boy is hella spoiled. (as he should be) We're having a party this weekend! Weee...

- Friday, March 20, 2009 at 13:45:01 (EDT)
All this voodoo economics crap is really getting me down! Having a home worth less than its value and having expenses that exceed my income are one thing, but last night my people got my taxes down so that I received a $340 return. The problem is that I had to pay $389 in fees. So really, I netted -$49, which is actually pretty good because I took a big distribution from my IRA (more fees!) and expected to owe much more. It was a mistake to liquidate it, but I just couldn't stand to see my assets evaporate the way they are.

- Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 12:25:27 (EDT)
We met with our realtor last night and the basic message was that we needed to invest $5,000 into the house to push its value equal to what we owe. The grim part, other than the fact that I don't have any renovation funds, is that we won't have a place to live if it sells until we buy a new place. Since I am preapproved at about 78% of what I owe, the new home will be a step down in value. Granted, the market is down and the realtor feels we may be able to get a condo with the 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms we need. My problem of getting the ex off the title will be solved. Saphira just wants something new and Caleb wants to skate to school. So, it's do-able, if I had the money to fix it up. The feeling is that without the renovations, we'll fall about $30,000 short. Ouch.

- Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 13:09:22 (EDT)
Missed some good art shows this weekend due to a general feeling of discontent. It's always a little scary when that feeling returns. Currently, my hopelessness centers around selling the house for less than it's worth to move into one worth even less. This backwards motion is driven by the need to separate assets from the ex, a lame motivation if there ever was one. This, we escaped to the movies to see Coraline in 3D. I actually loved it. Everything Tim Burton touches comes up gold. The second feature, Race to Witch Mountain was a surprise hit. The kids tried to believe its PGness was beneath their dignity, but they were as riveted as I was. After the food court, we headed over to the Karolides Clan to pick up our long-lost blue rope and to help upload her site. We used homework as an excuse to bail, but laid around watching Tru Calling and Friends on the computer instead. Saphira stressed over the missed assignment in the car on the way to school, ironically.

- Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:18:47 (EDT)
Yesterday, I went to the 70's reunion luncheon for the G&S skateboard team. The guest list read like a who's who of Southern California pros (Steve Cathey, Ellen O'Neal, Dave Dash, Dave Mc Intyre , Paul Newkirk, Henry Hester, Layne Oaks, Doug Saladino, Doug Marker, Stacy Peralta, Bill Ruff, Jim Gray, Masami Countryman, Ron Fletcher, Chris Yandall, Paul Hoffman, Martinez Dennis, Bob Skoldberg, James Cassimus, Dave Hackett, Dennis Shufeldt, Joe Roper, Peter Towand, Rodney Barnes, Tony Jetton, Danny Trailer, Bobby Boyden, Frank Blood, Paul Constantineau, Chuck Webb, Bob Shea, Ron Hudgins, Bucky, Bobby Garcia, Larry Wilson, Steve Sherman, Jim Strom, Mike Lieras and more.) and it was awesome to see some of the old faces again. Of the bunch who showed up, I was about the only guy who still skated pools. Either that makes me cool or dumb, I'm not sure which.

- Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 15:32:20 (EDT)
Man, times are bleak. A lender just told me that I pre-qualify for a home loan amount that is less than my current mortgage. Additionally, the mortgage we have now is actually higher than the home's value. So, to get the kids into a new house where they each have their own room and I have an office is going to be a real trick!

- Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 15:49:15 (EDT)
Back in the 80's when I was collecting and reading the Watchmen comics, I felt that they were one of the most relevant and important things ever created. It was another "voice of the generation" thing. The writer, Alan Moore, (V for Vendetta, The Killing Joke, From Hell, Constantine, Brought to Light, Big Numbers...) perfectly captured the hopelessness of Generation X in the face of nuclear extinction and I got that feeling that it was something I could relate to and latch onto. Yesterday, we saw the movie (IMAX!) and Saphira commented that the crowd was all old guys. I laughed at that and, afterwards, those same old guys were still in their seats after the credits totally blown away. Sure, they did a great job of creating the Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, Rorschach, The Comedian and Nite Owl for the screen, but it was still the deep philosophical underpinnings that hit home. All this for some comic book? Well, your find meaning in life where you can.

- Sunday, March 08, 2009 at 12:58:06 (EDT)
After the kids went to sleep last night, I watched a freakin' weird movie called Trouble Every Day. For the most part, it had no dialogue and what it had was primarily in French. The imagery was the movie, and much of it was disturbing and evocative. I grabbed it as a fan of Vincent Gallo and he was typically unhinged in his character. He has a way of making things uncomfortable just by looking at the camera, which is his draw (I suppose).

- Friday, March 06, 2009 at 15:00:08 (EST)
There's some big changes in the wind. The kids are getting big and need their own rooms, so I contacted a realtor to begin the process of getting into a new place. It's a hard time to sell, but a great time to buy. Not looking forward to the effort, but it will be good to move on and away from the hassles I have now. Sometimes, it seem like my current role is to preserve assets for others. The ex wants equity from the property I've funded for 90% of our ownership. After 10 years of non-participation, her brother wants to sell the canceranswers.com name that earns about 20% of my income. Still, change is good. Speaking of discord, I watched Milk last night and found it incredibly moving. Sean Penn won best actor for his portrayal and it was well deserved. It was one of those lay awake and ponder situations...

- Wednesday, March 04, 2009 at 11:54:47 (EST)
The weekend was one of irony. I got to lay around and read for most of it, which is cool, but then I got bored because all that was going on was laying around reading. So, we did what we always do and hit the mall. The double feature was action packed, starting with the spy movie Taken. It was surprisingly good, but a bit disturbing for the kids since they haven't really heard about trafficking women for prostitution. The next flick, Echelon Conspiracy, was way better because it was a techy network run wild kinda thing. I like the whole "Big Brother" scenario almost as much as post-apocalyptic. Caleb and I watched SLC Punk for the gazillionth time and pretty much decided it's the best movie ever. Anyway, I've got work to to so bye.

- Monday, March 02, 2009 at 12:59:00 (EST)
Man, my sites really need an overhaul! There is a ton of dorky content on my main homepage that's like 16 years old. In this business, that's ancient! Still, it was an upgrade at the time with its fancy JavaScript nav and what-not. Ironically, the old Version 1.0 site got me a lot more work. In 1993, it was cutting edge and I used to carry it on a floppy disc and show up at interviews empty handed. It was amazing when that would actually work!

- Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 17:43:22 (EST)
We haven't made kiddush at home in a while, so we picked up some Popeyes Chicken and did the family thing. Afterwards, I was able to chill on the couch and watch a highly anticipated movie, Rachel Getting Married. I knew it would be good for Anne Hathaway to have a breakout role, and it was actually a pretty incredible film for someone with my experience. We tackled a big project the next day by heading downtown for a thriftstore bookcase. Once installed, it allowed the snake to be moved and a larger turtle tank put in its place. It took a load of supplies to move them in (gravel, island, decorations, filter elements, sun lamp) and everyone was happier once they were. Come evening, we had the inside scoop at the member's opening of Rising Tide downtown. Even better was the Jolby show at SubText. It was packed with scenesters and the art was top-notch. The weekend ended with a humiliating session at the Oceanside Skatepark. I skate like a sissy. Things got worse this morning when I went to change Saphira's contact information at school. Every cuss word available is reserved for the official in the office. It was a painful flashback to hate having to even hear her annoying voice.

- Monday, February 23, 2009 at 13:37:09 (EST)
As the kids get older, they start having their own stuff to do and less time for mine. Thus, this month we missed both Culture & Cocktails and TNT. I love both those events, but the kids just weren't into it. We did visit the Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption show up at Distinction and pick up our new Haubs. Pretty stoked about that. Caught a cool double feature during the rainy weekend of Confessions of a Shopaholic and He's Just Not That Into You. They were my favorite sort of movies (chick flicks!) and I absolutely adore Isla Fisher! Another hottie is Eliza Dushku and we have been enjoying her new show, Dollhouse, as well as the awesome Tru Calling. Now if only Fairuza Balk would come out with something...

- Friday, February 20, 2009 at 19:36:35 (EST)
I'm beat (in a good way!) from a trip to Joshua Tree with the Karolides clan. During breakfast we found an awesome arete behind camp and took a few laps. Beautiful! We took a park tour after that to check out the other camps and ended up at Belle at the end of the day. I did my first lead in years on a typical two bolt horror and relished the fear. We left one route undone that looked pretty darn good, so I say another trip is in order. Plus, by leaving the park at the east gate, a stop at Ed Chada's in 29 Palms was possible.

- Monday, February 02, 2009 at 12:55:49 (EST)
We had some time to burn this weekend, so it was off to the mall to see The Unborn. I had low expectations for this one. How many different ways can a PG scary movie be scary? Halfway through, I was glad to have my phone to text and read email because the head rotating 360 degrees and growling demon voices just don't do it for me. Second feature prospects were equally bleak, except for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which the kids won't see. Thus, we ended up seeing Twilight again. It's actually a pretty good movie, but I'm sick of the teenage girl mania surrounding it. Come nighttime, the kids went to stay with a friend and I had the chance to watch a REAL movie by one of my favorite filmmakers, Hal Hartley. His movies are so thoughtful and quirky that it takes a certain type of viewer (me!) to get it. The Girl from Monday was a sci-fi thing about a world where consumerism and buying potential have become the governing rules of a society infiltrated by aliens. Sounds hokey, but it was awesome. I also had time to watch Larry's Dead, a punk movie by Tim Armstrong featuring Lars Frederiksen as the broken one. Cool.

- Monday, January 26, 2009 at 17:34:51 (EST)
Last night, The Casbah had the greatest gray hair density ever in support of hometown favorites The Penetrators. We were all 30 years older, but having teenage fun just the same. The energy and nostalgia went off with grins all around. It was the friendliness of the fans and players alike that made us all feel lucky to have been a part of the San Diego Scene all these years.

- Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 15:12:05 (EST)
There has been a lot going on lately. Too much, actually. We visited Subtext for their opening night at the new space and found it filled with the art crowd. It was quite a contrast to the next night's Patron Level preview of the new Jasper Johns show at MCASD. The exhibit was kinda weak, but the snacks and free booze made membership have its privileges. Caleb and I skated the new Carmel Valley park during the weekend and found it to be one of the best. Certainly, the free pool is totally worthy. We also went climbing with the Karolides clan. The trail kicked my butt, the sun went down and we got locked in on the road (good fun!) Plus, we got to have a tribal dinner which is always a fun time. Last night, Saphira tried out for the county-wide honor band. Hope she makes it! In our rush, we ran over her phone in the parking lot. Bummer.

- Friday, January 23, 2009 at 14:54:41 (EST)
This month marks the 20th anniversary of The Casbah, an iconic music venue that has kept the San Diego Scene alive. For the occasion, many great bands are reuniting to play there. Thus, I made the effort to go see Lucy's Fur Coat and had such a great time that I went the very next night to see The Dragons. What a blast! They killed it, bit I actually liked Wild Weekend a bit more. (Girl Band!) Deadbolt played too and were what I expected during the 30 seconds I watched them. With all the hipsters there, I definitely had better things to do!

- Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 14:59:27 (EST)
It's been work as usual since our vacation and, to tell the truth, I'm glad to have a job in these times. As it is, the company has announced all sorts of budget cuts for the new year - no raises, no year mid-year bonus, no 401k matching... even a 10% staff reduction. Scary. One thing we still have is a free Gym membership. This year, I have to start using it, and quit smoking, because of all the worries of middle age, dying is the worst. With the kids getting older, soon I can gain regain my lost youth and get a life. In this vein, tonight is the Lucy's Fur Coat show and I'm pretty psyched about it.

- Friday, January 09, 2009 at 11:39:53 (EST)
We compressed three days into one long one and powered our way across two big deserts, crossing the Colorado River numerous times. When we got to Blythe, we stopped over at the Bigfoot Skatepark and had a grand ol' time dissing it. Dispite its weakness, we had some good fun chasing the local kids with Bob. Further down the road, we were astounded by the quality of the park in Brawley. It was a scary town and we got pretty lost. Even when we got there, it was intimidating. Turns out the locals were cool and the skating was RAD! Easily one of the best of the trip. Of particular note was the gnarly pool with coping and an awesome shallow end flow. Truly one of the best park pools around. It was a long haul into Borrego Springs and we got lucky to score a room at the Stanlunds Resort Inn. Heated pool and continental breakfast... Doesn't get much better than that! Plus, we are in striking distance of the Borrego Badlands, the most anticipated skatepark ever. More on that tomorrow after our session. Happy New Year!

- Thursday, January 01, 2009 at 22:27:30 (EST)
We left Vegas with a mix of "sick of it" and regret to hit the road south. As it was, we spent an extra couple of days there and cancelled the eastern segment of our plans to visit Flagstaff and Sedona. We found a gem in the Needles Skatepark. The kids must have been stoked when the Tony Hawk Foundation chipped in to build it because there wasn't much else to do there but drink the hundredth energy drink of the trip. We made it to Lake Havasu City and checked out their sole attraction from the bottom and top before seeking out the Rotary Skatepark. That place was so bad that we laughed during every run. Bored, we found a room at the Island Inn and had a well-deserved jacuzzi soak. The restaurant there closed early for a locals party, forcing us to town. Turns out the Barley Brothers Brewery had a cool view of the London Bridge and some fine ale. Fun! Back in the room, we brought in the New Year like millions of others by watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. I passed out after that, but the kids must have stayed up because they are still asleep and it's almost 11am.

- Thursday, January 01, 2009 at 12:45:24 (EST)
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)
We just had a great couple days at Oak Flats outside Superior AZ. It took a long time to get there (400 miles!) so we checked into the only motel in town rather than set up camp at night. After Chile Rellenos at Casa Denogean, we slept good. Friday found us in Euro-Dog Valley (the Mine Area was closed) and it was very cool showing the kids around one of my favorite places on Earth. They spent more time shoe-skating on the frozen creek than bouldering, but I enjoyed the stone. After the most punishing camp ever, water bottles froze solid, we went back for another full day in the canyon. I am so sore that even a jacuzzi and soft Phoenix bed doesn't help. Still, it's all worth it so climb hard again!

- Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 01:58:37 (EST)
We started our roadtrip, but didn't get far. The kids haven't been to the Jacumba Spa before, so it seemed like a good idea. After soaking and the sauna, we hit up the restaurant for pasta (two kinds!) and a veggie burger. There were three TV channels and two didn't work, so it was early to bed. Caleb woke me up clunking around with power plugs for is PSP, so I guess I'll go cook some coffee.

- Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:33:14 (EST)
We got our X-Mas Shopping done and packaged during the weekend. That's always a goode-sized task. With that out of the way, we had a whole weekend to enjoy. First off was the Soundwaves exhibit at the MCASD La Jolla. It's closing this week and it was worth a final look because of it's innovative views on sound and how it affects art. Speaking of, we were finally able to pick up our Kokoshi Dolls at Subtext and install them at home. Purty! Come evening, we hit up the drive-in for National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It was exciting enough. Being in the car adds something special to the event and makes it fun. Enchanted was the 2nd feature and it was as fun as the first time we saw it. Amy Adams is adorable! Sunday morning was suspenseful because they were waiting for the delivery of presents from their mom. Caleb pouted that he couldn't open them up immediately, but Saphira grasped the concept. Being a nice (winter) day, we spent most of it at Sunset Cliffs. It was a mega-low tide and many unaccessible coves could be reached and explored. Plus, the sand was washed out, exposing some gnarly and brittle climbing. We had sushi at the Hanalei to validate our parking pass to the jacuzzis. That's a fine example of my fuzzy economics!

- Monday, December 24, 2007 at 11:48:15 (EST)
We have a roadtrip planned (Bishop? Arizona? Carmel? Laguna Hansen?) for next week. Google Maps pretty much documented multiple destinations. What an awesome program. I just spent the whole morning researching Parque Nacional de Constitucion de 1857 in Baja Norte. It will be a grand adventure without driving 1000 miles like the other trips. The kids have never been to Mexico, so this will be a tame introduction. All the beach cities (Rosarito & Ensenada) will be mega-americanized, undoubtedly. Dad took us there years ago and all I remember is big rock domes rising from a dry lake. That's enough for me! I'm gunning for El Gran Trono Blanco and the Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs. To get ready, I took the van in for a check-up and it came out running worse. They disabled the "throttle switch" this morning, and now it works fine. One thing that will make the road smoother is that LPL gave me a bonus this morning. It didn't go far toward paying off my credit cards, but it'll work.

- Friday, December 21, 2007 at 16:29:59 (EST)
We caught a couple cool movies at the theater last night starting with Enchanted. Amy Adams was lovely as a fairytale damsel banished to Manhattan. When she got the Central Park crowd to join in her song about true love, it created the sweetest movie scene ever! Adorable! The Golden Compass was playing too, so we got some free refills on our large popcorn & soda (AMC movie tip)and really enjoyed it. There was some cool sci-fi and retro going on with armored bears and external soul demons. Dakota Blue Richards played the young girl that was the secret to the world's salvation and Nicole Kidman was the villain trying to take it away. Pretty standard stuff, kinda like blending Zathura with Narnia, but a good show nonetheless.

- Monday, December 17, 2007 at 13:16:43 (EST)
We started out the weekend right at the Subtext holiday party. It's always cool to chum around there and be part of the scene. Plus, we all got a new toy. The next day, the kids went to Laura & Rebecca's for the night so I had some time to kill. Ward wanted me to come by and help him use his computer. He learned right click and shift click, which pretty much changed his project flow. I had been wanting to watch Planet Terror but thought it would gore the kids out, and I was right. It was mostly zombies getting their brains blown out and eating guts. Awesome! I was still up at midnight, so I made it a double feature with I Know Who Killed Me. It was surprisingly cool and edgy. Lindsey Lohan was a stripper. Oh yeah.

- Monday, December 17, 2007 at 12:09:20 (EST)
We made a weekend out of visiting the SUB 1K show at the Distinction Gallery this weekend. It's a really fun thing for us to stay at the Palm Tree Lodge Motel and goof off around town. We visited the nearby malls, but it was pretty slim pickings for highbrow Saphira and punkrock Caleb. We did marvel over the world's tallest liquor store sign on the corner, however. The art show was fantastic and included works by some of my favorites including Josh Taylor, Caia Koopman, Patrick Fatica and Jenna Colby. Best of show was a tie between two new artists. The Devil Is In The Details, by Alex Willan was beautiful, but The Long Goodbye by Haubs packed the biggest emotional wallop with a subtle double meaning. Unfortunately, my budget didn't allow any of these because I was gunning for a new Kelly Vivanco. It was an agonizing choice (buying art always is for me) but now Beachgirl is hanging right next to my office monitor so it's lovliness can be enjoyed all day long!

- Monday, December 10, 2007 at 12:20:52 (EST)
It's been Chanukah for a few days, so it means candles, latkes and presents! They kids have been getting the coveted U.B. Funkeys and Scary Girls on most nights, supplemented by other useful stuff. Caleb's 5.10 Prima climbing shoes were so tight he cried, so they got sent back. He was psyched about his Ricky Bobby die-cast car, and for good reason because it's pretty durned cool. Saphira has been non-stop on her Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi gameboy doo-dad. That is, when she can tear away from Monkey Business, her new Sarah Mlynowski book. I'm reading Fishbowl myself and it's lots of fun. Still, I wonder why I like chick stuff so much?

- Friday, December 07, 2007 at 12:28:40 (EST)
Last night we hit up SubText for the opening and sale of Daniel Monahan's eagerly awaited first art toy, Sancho. I couldn't justify spending $125 for the extremely limited Marigold edition (only 50 pieces worldwide), so we sprung for the Turquoise model instead (run of 250). The artist was way cool and rapped with us quite a bit explaining the process of making vinyl toys, outsourcing to China, and signing our box for us. Especially cool is how the toy has many parts, including Sancho, his hat, serape & mandolin along with Ostrich, and Toro. We can't wait to see the top-secret Corpse Flower edition!

- Sunday, December 02, 2007 at 13:19:52 (EST)
I finally got around to watching The Last Samurai last night to kill time while waiting for the kids to come home. Turns out it was incredibly captivating and they got mad at me for ignoring them because I was soooo in the zone. It was the story of a disaffected civil war hero (Tom Cruise) sent to Japan to train imperial troops. The way of the Samurai strike a chord in his heart, however, and he is forever changed. The battle scenes were way wicked, like 300 in Japanese. The real push was honor. In this way, it totally reminded me of a Usagi Yojimbo comic and I love those stories.

- Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 11:55:43 (EST)
Thanksgiving at my sister's was pretty mellow. Being the youngest at 47, we are all getting a little old for drama, which is a good thing. The kids had fun with their cousins and I had a chance to dig into my new read, "A Hole In Texas" by Herman Wouk. On Friday, the kids came to the office (ghost town) with me for a few hours so I could get caught up, then we lunched at a cool place nearby, Crazy Buffet. The weekend proper began with Saphira going to Maddies and Caleb an I hit up Santee Boulders. Many classic lines were ticked and just as many failed. Caleb fried the last of his strength on the famous mercilously thin crack. That night found us at Quint Contemporary Art for "Once Again, Differently and Other New Painted Sculptures," the new show from Jay Johnson. It was pretty interesting stuff and we saw some of our favorite art people there. Our regular dinner spot, Aloha Sushi, was delicious as ever. It's fun to be highbrow from time-to-time! I spent most of Sunday helping Saphira with a technical paper house building school project, then we got vibed out of our first visit to the Hardy dog park because Bob kicked all the pussy dogs asses. It proves that pets are like their owners! The vacation ended by watching the hilarious Talladega Nights. Will Ferrell was awesome as Ricky Bobby and it was fun seeing him and Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly)"Shake & Bake" the Nascar circuit. The supporting cast was excellent, with major kudos to Amy Adams as the "true love" and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat!) as the nemesis racer Jean Girard. Family favorite Molly Shannon was cool as was Lucius Washington as the team manager. We still had some time, so we topped it all off with some Sex and the City reruns. Carrie totally blew it with Aidan by boffing Big. Pretty dumb move for someone so smart.

- Monday, November 26, 2007 at 11:56:40 (EST)
Our trip to Joshua Tree was an incredible success. It turns out that the days before Thanksgiving are way better for visiting the park. We had Indian Cove pretty much to ourselves and just tore it up! Caleb became a climber on this trip and bouldered like a champ while Saphira holed up with her latest Sarah Mlynowski book, Fishbowl. One problem scared him, so we came back with some gear and he placed a nut on lead and topped out on "I Did It With One Nut." Our camp (41) was in a new area, the Campfire Crag, and it was a wonderland of unexplored stone. Right above us was one of the first cracks I ever led (nuts & hexes!) way back when, years before the kids were born. At a stout 5.6, "Picnic" was a trip-long project for the kids and after many tries, they both sent it on the morning we were to leave. I couldn't have been more proud! At night, we were excited to watch our first iPod movie, but Chalk was so stupid that we turned it off and looked at the stars from our bed instead. Of course, there was an assortment of grilled campfire goodies and shenanigans galore. I felt bad that I couldn't afford to get the kids designer stuff at Cabazon Outlets on the way home and it was quiet for a while in the car. They eventually started up with their regular screaming, however, and all was well.

- Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 12:35:40 (EST)
We started out the weekend with a visit to the GRRRRRL Power show "It's Good to be a Girl." This San Diego female artist collective known for their eclectic art shows in unconventional spaces, partnered with the newly refurbished Women's History Museum and Educational Center in Golden Hill for an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed-media and other mediums. It wasn't so great, but it was still fun to be in the scene for a little while. Things got worse the next day because it was spent in Traffic School, which was pretty painful. In the olden days, it took the place of paying the fine. My fine was $160 for crossing a solid white line. After paying the administration fee, the court will get $188 on top of the $40 for this all-day class. That's a lot of money! Turns out people with much higher fines still paid $188, so I guess I got jipped. Needing some giggles, we hit another double feature starting with August Rush. It was an awesome love story between Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers concerning their son, played incredibly by Freddie Highmore and the circumstances that brought them all together. Saphira wanted a more literal ending, but I thought it was beautiful. Next was Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and it was equally sweet. Dustin Hoffman did a great job as the quirky Magorium, but Natalie Portman stole the show as a gal who found herself under more than strange conditions. It was bittersweet and captivating and wonderful.

- Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 12:26:01 (EST)
I'm in traffic school now and it's pretty painful. In the olden days, this class took the place of paying the fine. That's no longer the case. My fine was $160 for crossing a solid white line. After paying the administraton fee, the court will get $188 on top of the $40 for this all-day class. That's a lot of money!

- Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 12:11:36 (EST)
Last night we had the pleasure of watching a truly wonderful movie (love it when that happens!) called The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. It was a period piece from the days when I was a baby and portrayed the family dynamics of a struggling father and an ambitious mother with a large blood of kids. Tagged as "The true story of how a mother raised ten kids on twenty-five words or less", it showed how Evelyn Ryan, charmingly played by the adorable Julianne Moore, supported her family by winning contests. She won a freezer, then filled it by winning a shopping spree. In this way, she offset her husband's (Woody Harrelson) alcoholic behavior and shortcomings. The whole thing was beautiful and authentic. It's said that some of the dresses worn by Julianne Moore in the film actually belonged to Evelyn Ryan. Her children had saved them and offered the use of them for the film. Credibility was reinforced by the cars, furnishings, milkman and attitudes. There was even a brand new Radio Flyer bicycle (another prize). Released in 2007, this didn't get much theater play, but it should have because it is one of the year's best films and receives my highest recommendation.

- Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 12:20:12 (EST)
We went to the opening of the master's thesis show for SDSU artist Haibo Li and were pretty impressed with her efforts. It was all digital multimedia, which I love, projected at all angles on the walls of the Flor y Canto Gallery. The kids played shadow games with the works, which the artist thought was pretty cool. At one point, they were asked to keep it down (first time that ever happened... NOT!) because it was annoying. Still, it's a good thing that they are comfortable in the scene. The works were hand painted on a tablet, then compiled in Premiere. It's an awesome process that I need to explore on my own. We have the hardware capability for the whole video thing, but just haven't done it yet. It was entirely inspiring to see the video blog by quarterlife. I need one of those!

- Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 11:40:35 (EST)
I got a cool tool yesterday that syncs my Google and Outlook calendars so that I can have them both on my phone.

- Monday, November 12, 2007 at 13:00:58 (EST)
Saphira had some birthday parties during the weekend. The first was at IHOP in Escondido, an odd venue chosen so her mom could come. On the way, we stopped to get party favors and Caleb picked out a couple U.B. Funkeys with his own money. They are cool vinyl dolls (gotta love that!) with embedded electronics. Turns out they needed a base station to connect with a PC. Luckily, Saphira got a Target card from one of her friends, so we were able to score that piece for free. Turns out it was an awesome choice and lots of fun. Saphira also got a Gap Kids card, but everything in that store was too small, being how she's all grown up and stuff. The big-girl store had a classic gray dress in her size, however, that's gonna look pretty hot. She got lots of other presents at her house party, including a huge bag of art supplies from her daddy. The kids were wild, which is to be expected. My girl had a fun day, which pretty much means everything to me.

- Monday, November 12, 2007 at 12:58:30 (EST)
We hit up Culture & Cocktails again last night and it was cool as ever. Typically "fabulous" people were grooving to DJ Sergio and his latin beats. He gave me a hot tip about California Sound & Lighting because I need a serious turntablist upgrade. I've had the same one since junior high school! Alex Julian (Judo Girl)was doing portraits in the rotunda, so we just had to sit in for one. Classic! He's an awesome illustrator. Saphira was doing her book report on Gilgamesh while I shmoozed and boozed. The research continued at Ichiban, then it was typed, edited and printed at home. Not your typical homework experience. But, then again, she's MY daughter so that kind of thing is to be expected.

- Friday, November 09, 2007 at 19:37:12 (EST)
I asked Caia what the keyhole hand meant in her painting and she said "The key hole is meaningful to me as a symbol of our human intellect, the thing that separates us from all other life on this planet and if used in a positive way can reconnect us with everything for a symbiotic existence and if used in a negative way will cause mass extinctions and ultimately destroy the earth, but that's just me, please feel free to make up your own meaning." Wow.

- Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 16:40:31 (EST)
I was finally able to score a Caia Koopman painting after months of trying. (yeah!) We passed up the piece at the SubText Witching Hour show because it was a bit pricey and was amazed to see it didn't sell when the show ended. Dylan got her to knock a chunk off the price, which made it a steal at 40% of the value of her current works. So, Sibilation is now hanging right next to me in my cubicle lookin' all killer an' stuff...

- Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 12:11:03 (EST)
We caught another double feature picture show during the weekend. I really wanted to see Dan in Real Life because I thought it was an Emily Blunt (hot!) movie. Turns out her part as Ruthie "pig-nose" Draper was pretty small, but it was no disappointment to see Juliette Binoche in the lead as Marie, a wonderfully exotic and smart gal caught in a snarl between Steve Carell (great job, again) and Dane Cook. It was a super movie and it had it's moments, but it wasn't even in the same league as Martian Child. John Cusack was a widower that wanted to adopt a troubled kid named Dennis, brilliantly played by Bobby Coleman. On one hand, his sister (Joan Cusack) tried to talk him out of it saying "a boy who spends his whole day in a cardboard box is a big red flag". On the other hand, his dead wife's best friend, (Amanda Peet) supported him and his "little Andy Warhol". It was great to see how thing developed and it's always nice when everybody gets what they deserve.

- Monday, November 05, 2007 at 12:35:09 (EST)
We started the art weekend with an opening at Subtext of Kokeshi dolls. The hand-painted wooden works are a traditional art form in Japan and, for this show, dozens of artist worldwide were invited to participate. I had no intention of buying any, but it was pretty cool seeing them all displayed and critiquing them with Saphira. (Caleb was outside playing with his new Blow-Up dolls) There were many awesome designs, but the ones we bought were the best of all. Turns out that their creator, June Kim, is a well-known illustrator from Brooklyn. I also picked up an awesome Gary Baseman purse-thing to keep stuff from rattling around in my bag. The next day we trollied down to MCASD for family day. Saphira got bent out of shape (again) over the craft project (mobiles) but livened up at the museum store. We got some pill shaped canisters, a Happy Hippo Pencil Sharpener and a feedthegreedyorgan.com t-shirt. We just had to stop at Subtext again on the way back. Caleb got some cool new So What toys and Saphira got another Finders Keepers. Since I had a 10% off coupon for being a supporter, the charter copy of Illo Magazine made it into our sack as well.

- Monday, November 05, 2007 at 12:08:47 (EST)
The kids had their Halloween party this weekend and it was a whole lot of fun! We got loads of party favors and games to make it extra-festive. The spider ring toss was pretty exciting, especially when the winners got to dig around in the prize grab-bag. Also, musical tombstones made for some rowdy craziness. We never got around to pin the face on the mummy because we turned on The Blair Thumb. It wasn't scary enough, so we switched to Interview with the Vampire. That did the trick!

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 17:10:29 (EDT)
We barged the Apple store Friday for the release of the new Jaguar operating system and got some t-shirts out of the deal. The OS was o.k. The coverflow view on documents was pretty slick, but it didn't justify the hassle and expense. Saphira and I spent most of our time messing with the iPhone. I needed to see how it handled Google Docs (viewing, but not editing) and Saphira tried to add to her blog. Neither thing worked, but we were able to send this picture via email. Caleb was in gaming heaven on the speedy machines with huge monitors. We got him True Crime: The Streets of L.A. and he played it for six hours straight. I spent the same amount of time installing a new video card and reformatting the PC hardrive to accept SP2 for an installation of Zune. We found one on the trolley, which is good because I would never buy one of those pieces of crap. Their software far exceeded my expectations for stupidity by being totally useless.

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 15:12:05 (EDT)
I haven't blogged any movies lately, but I just have to mention some love stories of note. A super-sweet one was The Truth About Cats & Dogs with Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman. It was a classic relationship triangle with a twist. Janeane was smart and Uma was beautiful, so together they were the "perfect" woman, except only one of them could have him. The kids fell asleep during Mumford, but I loved it! Jason Lee was the draw as a skateboarding billionaire who pretty much owns the town. Personally, I'm in love with Zooey Deschanel who played another zany role. There were so many great characters in the story and all of them had a happy ending. Gotta love it! Love and Other Disasters was a cute teen flick with Brittany Murphy. Turns out we have lots of her movies and they are all fun. In this one, she has a gay roommate (Matthew Rhys) who she tries to set up with a guy at work (Santiago Cabrera) who turns out to be straight and in love with her. You could see it coming for miles, but it all worked out in the end for everyone. Plus, the line of the week, came from it: That's the problem with life... It's nothing like the movies.Some others seen this week included Wild Hogs, (kinda cool) Ghost Rider, (pretty cool) and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. (damn cool) I'd love the soundtrack to this punk classic!

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 14:18:16 (EDT)
W had the day off yesterday due to the fires and while delivering invitations to the kids upcoming halloween party we stopped by a local comic shop to see what they had. Turns out I found some Dead World back issues I had been looking for for 20 years! Some other treasures were a couple of Concrete stories I didn't have and a Tank Girl book. Major scores! We will certainly be back because there was an overflowing $.25 bin the kids went nuts over. Plus, there were some whole Sin City series that I didn't have. Dang!

- Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 14:27:55 (EDT)
Well, San Diego is on fire again. A lot of stuff would have to burn down before our house gets toasted. I kinda wish it would, in some ways. I'm sick of the city and I hate the seediness of our neighborhood. Loosing our art and other collections would be a drag, but our house is a dump. Expensive, but a hovel nonetheless. If they don't get it under control, Saphira might miss sixth grade camp next week. Now, that would be a bummer!

- Monday, October 22, 2007 at 17:53:30 (EDT)
On Sunday we were invited to the studio of one of our favorite painters, Kelly Hutchinson. It was pretty amazing and inspiring. Plus, he gave us the bonus deal on The Propaganda Machine since we are pretty solid supporters of his projects. He had paintings everywhere, which pretty much blew my spacing out the pieces philosophy away. Saphira never really bought it anyway. So now, we are stacking them up in our gallery home. Also, we started the conversion of our basement into a studio. Saphira was the first to use it and made a stencil and spraypaint piece with some materials I dug up. That stuff is hidden in boxes and it will be cool to get it all in one place. My next project will be a sticker series with my Fear of Life stencils. Finally, we headed down to the Animated Painting show at MASD. I fully expected it to suck and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't. The first thing we saw were some kick-ass graphics by Julian Opie (Suzanne Walking & Ruth Smoking) displayed in wall-mounted monitors. I loved watching the processes from within and outside the Motion Barn, but the kids got more kicks from Pink Dot by Takeshi Murata. We all agreed that Bellona, by Ann Lislegaard was the show-stopper with its wonderous renderings of "walls on pivots controlled by subterranean machines."

- Monday, October 22, 2007 at 12:38:39 (EDT)
First thing Saturday, we found this year's Spirit Halloween store in El Cajon so the kids get get ready for the annual carnival at Hardy. Caleb got an Unknown Phantom costume. It was poor substitute for the zombie punk he wanted, but it was hella expensive. Saphira just got vampire makeup and a black wig, but the effect was awesome. Her pasty face and blood was just too much. It was cool that her other middle-school chums showed up as well and we all had a ghoulishly good time. My bolt through the head was a big hit. In the afternoon we trollied down to MCASD for the opening of a huge installation by Robert Irwin that commanded the entire gallery. There was much that was incredible. The Primaries and Secondaries paintings were beautiful minimalist statements and were installed in a massive manner. As a leader of the West Coast Light and Space movement in the late 1960s, he truly commanded the venue. Our favorite was a room full of screens that revealed different levels of opacity and transparency while exploring within it. Plus, we met him and he was an awfully nice guy.

- Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 12:08:17 (EDT)
We started the weekend in a hurry to get to the Quint Gallery for the opening of a new show by our our friend Kim MacConnel. The fact that we can call him a friend is pretty amazing, considering how he is a renowned world-class painter and a foremost member of the Pattern and Decoration movement, which flourished in the 1970s and 1980s. His Woman with a Mirror series on exhibit is a wonderful blast of color with tribal cubist influences. We couldn't stay long because we had tickets to the Anthology supper club, a hightoned concert venue in Little Italy. Usually they host lame jazz acts, but Lee Rocker was playing and I just couldn't resist, especially since it was an all ages show. The kids were styling and the club was swank. We set a new pricey menu record with a $19 hamburger! We also got Lee to autograph a copy of his new Black Cat Bone album, which is pretty damn good.

- Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 11:47:46 (EDT)
During the weekend, we made a roadtrip out of visiting the Distinction Gallery for their If Opened Alarm Will Sound show. It featured the work of Ekundayo, Shay and Paul Torres. We didn't find their work captivating. In other words, there was no "buy me" reflex. Still, there was tons of other stuff and artist studios in the two-story complex. We hung out playing Rubick's Cube with Peter in Kelly Vivanco's space, which was pretty dang cool. Saphira really wanted a print from her, but with so much "urban art" to choose from, I wanted an original and fell in love with the work of Anna Cangialosi. I just couldn't resist buying her MTV 9 piece. The story is she painted the series for MTV and it hung in their corporate office for years. Distinction got them and I got one. Awesome. We love to support the arts, especially when the result hangs in our gallery! There were lots of Escondido Hotels to choose from, but I hate big stupid chain venues. Finally, we found the Palm Tree Lounge with it's bungalows and gardens. Ahhh. Plus, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant was in the parking lot, which gave our weekend a fitting "country" conclusion over breakfast.

- Monday, October 15, 2007 at 12:39:15 (EDT)
Caleb had his first skatepark experience this weekend at Tierrasanta. It was the first place I went when I started rolling again, so it seemed a good fit. He was hooked from the start and went from gameboy to skaterboy. It was cool to see him charge and it was an infectious energy. I hadn't skated in a while and beefed pretty harsh on the wallride tranny. It feels like my ribs are broken and I'm sporting a solid roadrash. It didn't keep us from visiting the El Cajon park the next day, however. I like it much better because it has a lot more flow, but my boy was way intimidated by the bigger and steeper terrain. It was fun being a dad and cheering him on as he learned to carve and kickturn. We practiced all weekend on streets, driveways and banks. He even got kicked out of his first spot when the guard at Fashion Valley came along. He was pretty proud of it.

- Monday, October 08, 2007 at 12:23:52 (EDT)
We started out another art weekend at the opening of the Witching Hour show at SubText. It is a very cool show full of interesting art. We just love that place. Caleb got a bunch of new Dunnys. We even got some Finders Keepers dolls there for Saphira's birthday present to Becca! Speaking of which, they went to Disneyland for the weekend, so it was boytime all weekend. We visited an awesome poster show at SDSU on the way to picking up my Gentleman Loafers by Dark Vomit! Cool! That night we went to a stupid show full of common art and pretentious idiots. I have nothing but loathing for both. We actually walked away from free food and wine to dodge those old farts! Our next stop, Voz Alta, was much more to our liking. We sat on haybales eating guacamole and checked out Puno de Tierra, an exhibit consisting entirely of paintings of chickens by Anselmo. Funky, but comfortable.

- Monday, October 08, 2007 at 12:08:58 (EDT)
Last night we rushed down to subtext for their VIP preview of the new Witching Hour show because I was hot to get something by Caia Koopman. After much deliberation, negotiation, and even tears, we settled on a Grey Cerebration print. I became peeved dwelling on how it wasn't the one I went to get and it was my thing and even my thing is their thing... I got over it, however, after cappuchino, panini, bruscheta and gelate. Then, one trolley stop to SDMCA for the Music and Technology Fashion Show. Most of the designs were kinda freaky, but there were some good ones by Acamonchi, Tania Candiani, Grammatique and more. The hair (salonTONIC) was fabulous, however, and some of the models were scorchingly hot. The electronic sound-art theme wore thin after a while. Besides, I was in a hurry to get to Chabad for Simcha Torah anyway. We didn't dance in the street this year, but it was still chill to be with our people for a while.

- Friday, October 05, 2007 at 12:30:42 (EDT)
We drove the coast road home from Encinitas and made a stop to shop a little in Del Mar. It was fun, but a little pricey. Saphira found a pair of sunglasses that were marked down to "only" $79. I was amazed to see that some of my stuff (watch, writing tools) had appreciated to incredible amounts. We went in some other stores and got bored with the pretentiousness of it all. Things got good, however, when we ate at the Veg-N-Out vegan restaurant in North Park. I've been wanting to check it out because our kosher/vegetarian diet limits our choices. For the first time in years I ordered a bacon cheeseburger. Caleb was fully slobbed-out by his chili cheeseburger. Saphira had a meatball sandwich with a cucumber salad. What a feast! It is, hands down, the best restaurant in town!

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:54:34 (EDT)
We ran into Jean Lowe in both La Jolla and Downtown (she's at ALL the cool shows) and the kids finally put together the long discussed but never completed visit to her studio. It turns out that her husband, Kim MacConnel, is an accomplished painter in his own right, so it was a bonus visit! I can't even begin to describe how awesome it was to visit the home of these world-class master artists. That they would extend themselves toward my kids and I says much of their wonderful kindness. They lived at the edge of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, so their custom cinder-block house was bordered by wilderness. They live among fish ponds, fruit trees (mulberries!) and garden plots of all types. Their studios were the thing, however. Jean has a giant barn full of materials and completed works both sculptural and painted. For her huge canvasses, she needs the space. I was amazed to see all the unsold paintings rolled up on shelves. Particularly fascinating was a bookcase 20 feet high filled with her fanciful faux books. I'm nowhere near the collector that can afford her work and I was hoping she'd cut us a deal. Oh well. Even Saphira couldn't charm her into it. Kim had his own studio full of art as well. It was truly amazing. The true marvel of the day was the apricot pie she baked for us. How cool is that?

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:39:02 (EDT)
On Saturday, Caleb had Jon's birthday party down at the bay. Saphira and I hung out for a while, but split for something a little more exciting. We ended up at Flashback's in Hillcrest, which is pretty much our favorite store. My job was to search the racks and hand stuff into and out of the dressing room. There isn't anything more fun than dressing up my daughter! She must have tried 30 dresses before settling on a sleek shoulderless deal. Such a big girl! Plus we got a matching choker and earring set that matched perfectly. Why such a get-up? Because come nightfall it was downtown to the L Street Gallery downtown for the first installation of this year's SD Art Prize featuring the work of Marcos Ramirez Erre and emerging artist Allison Wiese. As usual, it was an awesome event with all sorts of gourmet snacks and drinks. The art, however, was kinda hard to get. Both artists created signage that had deeper meanings hidden within a common context. The problem was, we couldn't quite find the depth. Oops! The jalapeno sausages, BBQ chicken squewers and free drinks made a nice consolation. Plus, we are starting to have lots of friends in the art world, which is very very cool. We snuck into the Omni across the street for a late-night hot tub session, then home to bed.

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:10:50 (EDT)
We started off an awesome art weekend with a visit to the La Jolla MCASD site for Soundwaves: The Art Of Sampling. It was an incredible show (free beer! hor de'overes!) based on how sound can be artistically rendered. The artists applied radical methodologies such as matching musical notes and colors, then creating a composition based on that palette. Others created works that generated sound. One artist made wild videos showing "spiritual technology." Also, the drawings of our friend Iana Quesnell were featured in the Cerca exhibition. Way to go Iana on having such a high-profile show! It was all good stuff, plus the kids were styling. Caleb got a new suit and Saphira walked into the Georgiou boutique before the show in one outfit and walked out in another. Fun! Because we were early, we got gelates and cappuchino before the show. So highbrow! After the show we feasted on Thai food at a wonderful spot called Kitima. The service and food was so excellent that I gave my first 20% tip. I was feeling flush because we won a 30gb Video iPod. My tipsy logic told me I was a couple hundred buck ahead. It doesn't help me much today, however, after all that spending!

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 14:21:01 (EDT)
Last night we slept and ate in our Succah. It was really very cool. It's always a full "harvest moon" on Succot, so it was bright as morning most of the night. At one point, the coyotes were singing, which was pretty exotic. We were able to say the Laishaiv Basuccah blessing over this "full body" mitzvah. It's pretty much the only one, except for Mikveh. It's a supreme dud that I'm at work on the Chag, but we had a series of "business development" meetings for my whole department and I have to act interested. It's a trade-off of my favorite holiday that I love for something I care very little about in the grand scale of things. Oh well... At least I was able to arise early to wave the Arba Minim during Hallel and make Kiddush with the kids before rushing into my mundane life.

- Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 11:53:35 (EDT)
Saturday was Yom Kippur and we didn't go to shul (gasp!). I still did my prayers all the way through Neilah. It was weird. I had a violent sneezing fit (bloody nose!) right at the end and I was sweating bullets under my tallis during Viduy. Plus, the kids kept coming in and interrupting. It will be a miracle if we have G'mar Chatimah Tovah. On a more secular note, we sold all our kittens but one during the weekend. It was sad to see them go, but I don't really need 10 cats! Plus, we made $150. Dang!

- Monday, September 24, 2007 at 12:31:07 (EDT)
After the Supergirl Jam, we hit up Galactic Comics so Saphira could check out the Ugly Dolls. Love 'em! She scored on Gato Deluxe after much deliberation. Her Scary Girl choice was not as easy since they come "blind" in unmarked boxes. School Girl (cute!) was available unboxed, but it lacked the essential essence of mystery she needed. So, she shook all the boxes and used her scientific method until ending up with "The Boss". Not as cool, but still VERY cool. Caleb moped when I tried to talk him out of Spawn figures because he had his heart set. Lenore (the Cute Little Dead Girl) and Hellboy and the machinegun leg girl from Grindhouse didn't do it for him, so Spawn it was. Man, I love toys.

- Monday, September 17, 2007 at 15:11:07 (EDT)
Sunday was the long-awaited Supergirl Jam in Mission Beach and it was a shred-fest! Cara Beth Burnside and Gretchen Bleiler (wow!) pretty much dominated the huge halfpipe, but my favorite was Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins because she was totally aggro and pushed it way hard. Holly Lyons put in a solid effort and certainly sk8ted for the best causes. Vanessa Torres and Amy Caron tore up the street course with their smooth girl-power, but kids took the top prizes. Lacey Baker (15) was Saphira's favorite and won. Leticia Bufoni (14) was second and cutely said "Sorry, I don't speak English" when the kids got their autographs. I almost broke my leg catching a t-shirt in the bleachers. Speaking of t-shirts, there was a Fashion Show. How cool is that! Finally, The Donnas took the stage. Dang! The guitarist, Allison Robertson, was a total rockstar and after seeing her I don't love Avril quite so much. I liked the singer, Brett Anderson, the most because she reminded me of one of the moms at school. It was an awesome day!

- Monday, September 17, 2007 at 14:10:20 (EDT)
Saturday was a sleepover at Maddie's for Saphira, so Caleb and I had lots of time to goof off. We wanted to get the Lara Croft action figure in Mission Valley, but the store was closed down. Tragedy! So, we went to Galactic Comics instead. Lara wasn't there, but (like usual) there was so much cool stuff that we had to postpone our buying until sister was with us. On the way home we hit up the Gentleman's Loafer show on Adams Avenue and ordered some Dark Vomit slippers. I've been wanting Caleb to see Johnny Mnemonic and he was so creeped out (cool) when it was over that he wanted to see something nicer. The Weather Man totally fit the bill. I could relate to it because Nicolas Cage's character was such a loser. Nobody has thrown food at me though, which is only because I'm invisible. He fell asleep during The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, which is understandable since it was like 2am.

- Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 12:53:43 (EDT)
We watched It's a Boy Girl Thing for some good ol' teen fun and weren't disappointed. It was a Freaky Friday kinda thing with a romantic twist. Samaire Armstrong was super cute as Nell Bedworth. When she hooked up with Woody (Kevin Zegers) all kinds of mischief happened! High school politics were a big part of it, similar to Mean Girls. This movie was sooo clich?d, but in a good way. A brilliant cameo was Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon as Woody's mom. I was wondering where I saw Robert Joy (Nell's dad). Turns out he was the boyfriend in Desperately Seeking Susan. It's a keeper!

- Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 14:40:44 (EDT)
Man, my life has become a commuter hell. It took me over an hour and a half to get to the office this morning! First Saphira gets dropped at her school in Allied Gardens, then back to our neighborhood to drop off Caleb. The worst happens when I get on the freeway with the other thousands of people driving alone to distant destinations that are probable as meaningless and trivial as my own. I hate sucking resources and wasting my life the way I do. Much of my days are spent longing for a more simple way of living. My whole adult life I have wanted to unplug myself from the grid and I swore I would never live the way I do. The kids are all for it, but I'm a damn coward. Always have been afraid to change and do what I want. I don't know how I became such a wuss. What ever happened to writing books and making art? I gave the kids some important advice on the trolley this weekend. I said "don't get used to taking the easy way out." Now all I have to do is follow my own advice...

- Monday, September 10, 2007 at 12:51:32 (EDT)
We stopped in at the ASR Tradeshow on the way to Artwalk on the Bay and the former took all the fun out of the later. After being underwhelmed by the uninspiring art, we winged it back to the convention center to see Juliette and the Licks tear it up in the crazy action hall. Between her wild antics onstage and the mad-dog skateboarders running amok, it was quite the scene. We spent much time watching the muralists at the Glue Network's "Love Requires Action" booth. I'm stoked to report that I finally scored the "Bridge" posters. Plus, we got custom silkscreen shirts by Kelli Murray! Saphira's big score came later when we hit "Girls Night Out" at SubText. It was a show true to her heart... handbags! She scored the Fogg Jr. by Holly Aiken and, needless to say, she is quite stoked on it. After many free beers, we trollied back to town for the High Octane show. Kelly Vivanco had some stuff there which was incredibly beautiful. The one I was after, however, was Pamela Jaeger. I love her work and, after meeting the artist last night, I kinda love her too. Cute! We'll have one of her paintings soon, you just wait and see.

- Sunday, September 09, 2007 at 12:15:02 (EDT)
It appears that my ISP has begun to participate in Traffic Shaping which was making it impossible to seed my torrents. Well, I discovered Message Stream Encryption and enabled it in in my client. Now everything is working again.

- Sunday, September 09, 2007 at 11:34:35 (EDT)
We were all pretty stoked last night at the Reel Rock Tour. It was mega-cool to see Josh Lowell's latest movie, King Lines, on La Paloma's big screen. It was like the surf movies seen there in years gone by. During the rad scenes, the crowd would hoot and holler! There was tons of stuff tossed out into the crowd before the show, but we didn't get any :( The kids did get a couple gift certificates for a pair of new Evolve climbing shoes. I just ordered 'em online, which is awesome since my old pairs are all pretty much blown. The DVD we bought (autographed!) had a free subscription to Urban Climbing magazine. Plus, we won 10 passes for Vertical Hold climbing gym. Swag central! The kids met Chris, Josh and the crew, took pics and got signed posters & bookmarks. They were so excited that they talked climbing all the way home from Encinitas!

- Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 12:36:02 (EDT)
We were up at the crack of dawn to get Saphira ready for her first day of middle school. I'm really quite proud and scared for her at the same time. I got seriously messed up when transferred to Horace Mann from Jackson Elementary. I became a racist that year, and a punk. To this day I'm trying to outlive some of the decisions made that year. At least her school isn't in the ghetto like mine was. Plus, she's a smart girl whose dad has had lots of talks with. She knows what she's getting into. My big girl was styling with her Red Tango bag full of school stuff we compiled. It should be fun! Caleb and I had some time to kill before his school started, so we chilled over some powdered doughnut holes and goofed off a bit. Now I'm in the office, but still goofing off. Once a kid, always a kid!

- Tuesday, September 04, 2007 at 12:13:26 (EDT)
We trollied down to Family Day at MCASD and did some crafts based on Richard Wright's window painting created using gold leaf. The kids tried to get too fancy with it and got frustrated. Bailing that, we went upstairs to make stained glass windows with crayon bits melted between wax paper. They did better with that one, but we didn't grasp the see-through concept until it was too late. I kinda snapped from Saphira's perfectionism until we got to SubText. Everyone is so cool there and the store has so much fun stuff that I just couldn't stay mean. Plus, we were able to pick up our painting by Kelly Vivanco. It hangs in the bedroom now and fills me with scary pride because we love it so much but I could in no way afford it. Whoever said the best things in life are free didn't collect art!

- Monday, September 03, 2007 at 11:50:39 (EDT)
It was so dang hot yesterday that we just had to beat it down to Dog Beach for a cool off. The tide was neutral, so it was good snorkeling in the channel. Crazy Bob could have drowned swimming across to be with us. If anything, that dog is loyal. It's a bit annoying how he has to ferociously defend us against all comers, but we love him. The current changed in the afternoon, creating a cool oceanward riptide that we could ride out to sea to an island sandbar that developed in the low tide. Bob once again swam out to be with us and play frisbee. It was over 90 degrees in the house when we got home, so I just laid around grumpy and finished As Seen on T.V. by Sarah Mlynowski. It was a very fun book with that kind of romantic happy ending I love so much. If you don't know her work, she has my highest recommendation.

- Sunday, September 02, 2007 at 11:35:17 (EDT)
I saw in the paper that Scarlett Johansson's new movie was out, so we hustled down to the theatre to see it. We got there early, so we ducked into Underdog first. We have actually been looking forward to it because Jason Lee does the dog's voice, and we love Jason Lee. It was a funny movie that deserved more than to be filler before the main event, but that's what it was. Then, we saw The Nanny Diaries. It was truly wonderful. Many times I was moved to tears. I even saw Saphira wiping some away. Scarlett remains on her throne where she has sat since Ghost World so long ago. Her list of great movies is perhaps the longest and this blog is full of them. What made it so good? Perhaps it was the fear of growing up or the strong ties of love. Maybe the witty social satire. It was a lot of things that all came together to bring us the year's best movie, hands down.

- Saturday, September 01, 2007 at 11:40:46 (EDT)
I pretty much joined the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park because of the Culture & Cocktails events. The one last night was a major blow-out full of beautiful people and a posh vibe. DJ Sergio was spinning his awesome blend of incredible unknown tunes. Where does he find that stuff? I had about a gazillion Coctails by Jenn which were fantastic, exotic and FREE! The Impressionist Giverny show was typically tame stuff. The museum is so entirely mainstream that it is almost boring. Because of that, I probably won't renew our membership. It's cool to have a place to duck into at the park, however.

- Friday, August 31, 2007 at 13:13:29 (EDT)
We're in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center Library right now goofin' off. We came to see the For The Birds art opening and eat some free snacks. Caleb found this computer and of course I had to start hacking on it. One cool thing I did was install Gspace on this computer and found it was Firefox compatible. Pretty cool. Caleb fell in the water outside, so I had to spank him (just kidding). Saphira made a fort by rearranging the furniture. Now the library is trashed and we're leaving. Bye!

- Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 18:29:48 (EDT)
We went to the Warped Tour yesterday and the kids were pretty much in shock. For one thing, it was WAY noisy with multi stages playing at once. Also, most of the bands as we walked around were growling hardcore (yuch). The first good band we saw was Flogging Molly and we all found them to be awesome. The kids took turns on my shoulders to see the unique violin and banjo punk. Yeah. It's amazing that I haven't seen Bad Religion before, being old-school punk and all. I got the kids close to the stage before they started so they could experience a "pit". Dang, I used to love moshing! We had to bail the intensity, which was good because we were able to catch Civet on the skate stage. Now those girls could rock! Theirs was the only CD we bought all day. Pennywise finished the day and, by then, we were thoroughly punked out! We finished off by wandering the wasteland scrounging groundscores, then dosed up on energy drinks for the drive home. It was a crazy day and well worth the huge bank dropped to make it happen.

- Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 12:52:32 (EDT)
We headed up to La Jolla last night for alt.pictureshows at MCASD and had a good ol' time. After a quick tour, the kids went outside to play on the cannon see-saw and allowed me the chance to view some films. The first was The Oates' Valor by Tim Thaddeus Cahill. It was interesting and a good warm up for the night's champion, BITCH by Lilah Vandenburgh. Soooo funny! Notable mentions must be made for Press or Say 2 (Mye Hoang) Horror Makeup (Jillian McDonald) and Death to the Tinman (Ray Tintori). Saphira loves Surrealism, but confronted with Luis Bu?uel and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou she was beyond bored. In fact, the whole show made both kids tired. Their highlight was getting more Voodoo String Dolls in the store. I was able to ditch them after that for a while to see some music videos on the back patio under Nancy Rubins' awesome Pleasure Point installation. The best one was by Orrin Anderson for Kristin Hersh?s song In Shock. Another good one was by Cam Archer for Djuna Bel?s song Mighty. It was a fun time for all, then we headed out to Alfonso's of La Jolla for dinner. I've always wanted to go there...

- Friday, August 24, 2007 at 12:28:26 (EDT)
By the time we got to Round Valley, we were all cussing with exhaustion. It was a 2.1 mile hike on the map, but it didn't mention how half of it was up the friggin' mountain. The kids were troopers and we all felt accomplished when we finally arrived at the Buckthorn Camp and got all set up. The tent, inflatable mattress, and new down sleeping bag made for some deluxe digs. The hot drinks made lugging a stove along worth it too. The crash pad made it all the up the mountain, but we were too pooped-out to do any climbing. The place was a boulder wonderland, but it will be like pulling teeth to get the kids up there again. Now, camping in the sandy cave we found at the Trailside Kingdom shouldn't be too hard to talk them into...

- Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 14:37:31 (EDT)
I'm typing this from the business center of our hotel in Palm Springs. Gotta love the internet! It's like a gazillion degrees here. We're taking the tram up into the mountains for a backpacking night and some bouldering. I hope it's cooler up there! I just finished Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck and it was one of the best books ever. He was truly the voice of his generation and the greatest american writer ever. I thought I had read all his books, so this one was a surprise, and a pleasant one at that! Well, I better get out to the pool and get the kids!

- Monday, August 20, 2007 at 13:48:07 (EDT)
I have been looking forward to the opening of the new paintings by Kelly Vivanco for a long time. The show, which we visited last night, was entitled Dispatch From The Peppermint Forest and was packed full of her incredible work. She's about my favorite artist and I broke the budget wide open to buy One To Be Planted. It was my first major oil acquisition, but it hangs in the show until 9/2 before it can come home. It is so exciting! The kids got toys too. Saphira scored some Scary Girls and Caleb got some Dunnys. I was having so much fun talking with the Subtext Guys and drinking free Widmer Hefeweizen that we almost missed the Bowling For Soup concert that was the evening's actual main event. They were downgraded from the big stage, so we didn't recognize their acoustic lounge act until they did "1984" and "High School Never Ends." Eventually, the show declined into You Can't Even Fuck With Us in which members from the opening bands joined them to play songs by bands whose names were yelled by the crowd. Now, that was fun!

- Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 12:26:15 (EDT)
Being a dad helps me get away with things like going to the Hilary Duff concert last night. I wanted to be aloof because I'm too cool to like such a pretty little popstar, but the kids were in bliss (Lizzie McGuire!) and it was a bit infectious. Explaining that moving up to better seats was the concert-going way didn't sway them at first, but when she sang Fly we moved down to the lower section for a better look. She had these go-go dancers that were fun to watch. Plus, she kept changing her clothes and shoes, which Saphira thought was pretty cool. Caleb was zombified by her proximity. We rushed the stage for her encore and were in the second row for Someone's Watching Me and even I was choked up for that one. After the show, she gave a darling speech and her gratitude and pretty/shy smiles were quite genuine. We appreciated her honesty, although it was like revealing an enigma to see her in real life and up close. Surprisingly, it wasn't sold out. Then again, at $62 a seat, I can see why some parents wouldn't do it. I'm glad I did. It was fun!

- Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 12:23:43 (EDT)
No friends, no fun, no future... That pretty much sums up my current job. In yesterday's staff meeting, I had more senority than just about everyone in the room, but my position is about the lowest. Three times I was passed up for promotion and nobody asks me jack. Being hired by a web development client and re-entering the life insurance wholesaling business turned out to be one of my worst decisions ever. Now my skills have slipped for the only field I ever felt passionate about. I've probably sent out 100 resumes trying to get back to where I was. The most recent batch focus on sales, project management and customer service. I figger that I'm doing that now, so it might as well be in a cool field instead of this incredibly lame one.

- Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 12:56:26 (EDT)
The kids got back Saturday afternoon in time to hit Ray at Night. It's getting kinda boring. We had a way better time Sunday at my company picnic. The first thing we did was a paddle-boat ride. I cut that short due to my weak cardio condition. The kids then went out on paddle-bike cruise while I sat and drank beer and wondered about how they would be rescued. By the time they got back exausted, they confessed that they too were wondering how they would get rescued. Then it was a free lunch (burgers, chicken, pasta & potato salads, more beer) and off to the circus. That was surely the weekend's highlight! There's a reason why it's called the greatest show on earth! Caleb liked the tigers. Saphira liked the dog show. I liked the acrobat pyramids. Cool.

- Monday, August 13, 2007 at 19:30:28 (EDT)
The kids were at Uncle Daniel's a couple nights ago, so I ripped a stack of vinyl singles into my iPod. It began as a whim and ended up being a major all-night project because I kept adding more and more to the pile. By the time I passed out Afrika Bambaataa, Alternative TV, Chumbawamba, Cockney Rejects, The Cure, Daily Planet, The Dickheads, Elvis Costello, Iconoclast, Klark Kent, Middle Class, Patti Smith, Penetration, Suburban Lawns, Wendy O. with Lemmy, and 45 Grave were done. It was an epic punkrock binge!

- Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 13:14:26 (EDT)
I did one of my favorite things this weekend, a comic book binge! I dug into the pile for everything by Ted McKeever that I hadn't already read. Industrial Gothic came first and was the regular apocalyptic machine-man stuff. Toxic Gumbo, a Lydia Lunch story, took it a step further by adding pollution mutation to the mix. Enginehead, written by Joe Kelly, was a weak story but the art was brilliant. I love Ted McKeever! Eddy Current, Transit, Plastic Forks, Metropol, The Extremist, Faith... All top-shelf stuff in my collection!

- Monday, August 06, 2007 at 12:36:03 (EDT)
We had a cool art weekend, begining with the Radioactive Future show at the Zedism gallery. Pamela Jaeger had a beautiful painting of a stylized "nature girl" that contrasted sharply with the comic-style geometrics of Mary Fleener that hung beside it. Scott Saw and Tonya Van Parys both had cool stuff, (and many others... Good Show!) but the show-stoppers were the scary erotic assemblage things by some artist who's name I didn't catch. Saphira said they made her "uncomfortable." In other words, they were cool. For a small gallery, they had the best spread. Veggie food from Jyoti-Bihanga and bottles of Hangar One vodka. I had my fill of that tasty stuff straight up! The next day we trollied down to MCASD for family day, a regular good time thing for us. On the way home, we stopped at a cool gelato spot in Little Italy for lunch (yum!) and ended up at subtext spending money I didn't have on ultra-cool toys. It's now our favorite store in town, hands down!

- Monday, August 06, 2007 at 12:18:35 (EDT)
We fed our snake for the first time yesterday and marveled over how she opened her jaws to consume a baby mouse. We weren't paying attention as it courted it's prey, but looked back in time to see just the tail sticking out of it's mouth. Cool.

- Friday, August 03, 2007 at 14:33:07 (EDT)
We went to TNT last night and had a grand ol' time (like usual). We love being members of MCASD. That place is so hip and happening! The craft exercise was to create your own flying moustache-on-a-stick object that is all at once a puppet and a mask, a bird and a moustache (in the spirit of Robert Therrien's sculptural whimsy). Well, we ditched the stick and glue-dotted the felt cutouts right on our faces! Our moustaches, sideburns and beards were downright freaky on the trolley ride home! Another fun thing was playing musical chairs with live melodies by the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra. I was knocked out second and won a great TNT t-shirt. Saphira won (!) and got, ta da, a great TNT t-shirt. There were some fantastic new exhibits by Jean Lowe & Peter Simensky. More on that later, or in the forum.

- Friday, August 03, 2007 at 12:48:45 (EDT)
I took the day off to be with the kids during their vacation and went to have a check-up at the doctor. I've been pretty hypochondriatic lately with huge fears of dying young and leaving my kids orphans. My list for the exam included: a weird throat feeling, skin bumps, psoriasis, failing eyes, sore feet... Guess I'm getting old. My blood work results should be back in a couple days. He said I need to exercise, diet, lose weight (239 lbs!) and quit smoking. Pretty basic stuff, but oh so hard for someone with no self-discipline like me!

- Thursday, August 02, 2007 at 08:57:38 (EDT)
Our lives would be a lot easier if we lived downtown. We were there Friday night for the "Love/Hate" opening at subtext. It was a true hipster scene with very cool art on auction and a keg of beer. Of course, the kids ran me out before I had enough of that! We went across the street to Mimmo's Italian Village for an awesome dinner of bruschetta, pizza, eggplant, lasagne and Pironi. Speaking of hipster scenes, the next night we hit up the Artist's Lofts downtown for the Glue Network benefit art and fashion show for the Invisible Children. I bid on a rad backside coping grind photograph and am still waiting to hear if we won. The big event of the weekend (downtown again!) was Comic Con. If you've been there, nothing need be said. If not, than get your butt there next year! I spent every $ in the bank and 21 more on books by Stan Sakai (custom drawing inside just for us!), Gilbert Hernandez (signed in person!), Paul Chadwick (Concrete!), Chester Brown (Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography!), Batton Lash (Supernatural Law!), and more! (Emily The Strange, Too Much Coffee Man). Now I'm dead broke.

- Monday, July 30, 2007 at 13:01:11 (EDT)
We put our new pool together last night and had a swim. Ahhhhh. It has been hella hot lately. Guess that global warming is kicking in! While the kids swam, I formatted my iPod to our iMac and re-loaded with with 60gb of music. It took a while, but it will be so much easier since that is my main piracy workstation. I grabbing some Tom Verlaine LPs right now. I used to move files to the PC with a pen drive or through the wireless network. Lately, that piece of crap won't even start up most of the time and I'm sick of it. Now it's sole purpose is to sync with my PDA, which is basically useless now that iGoogle is my calendar, to-do list, notes and spreadsheet application. Do you have a Google homepage yet? Mine is totally buffed out.

- Friday, July 27, 2007 at 14:44:54 (EDT)
I'm sitting in the classroom waiting for the second day of my Series Six Securities license class to begin. We are starting to market Variable products at work, so the accreditation is needed. It will be a miracle if I pass the test. actually. The content is bewildering! I may have to study... I hate it when that happens!

- Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 11:23:24 (EDT)
Last night, my iPod once again had a "sad icon" on the startup screen. Nothing would work to get the thing started. In desperation, I turned to google to find a fix and got a novel solution. Whack it against something hard. It seemed counter-intuitive since I have always been careful NOT to do that very thing. Still, it was dead anyway, so I punched that sad icon in the nose and it started right up! I got a chuckle out of thinking that's what the support people would have done when I took it in for repair.

- Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 18:19:49 (EDT)
We had a garage sale last weekend as a fundraiser for the kids to buy a snake with. Well, the sale was a bust. We made $3.50. Being the dad I am, we got "Cora" anyway ($170 with tank and supplies) and found it to be a pretty cool pet. It's a Sinaloan Milksnake and super beautiful. It's like a foot long, but should grow to about three feet. We're all pretty psyched about it. Me, because it's easy to take care of (a small mouse per week) and the kids because it's all squirmy and cold with a darting tongue. It's the best pet ever, except for maybe Bob and Mama Cat. Speaking of mama cats, both our black cats had kittens, so the kids are in bliss. Obviously, I'm a pretty pet-tolerant parent.

- Monday, July 16, 2007 at 17:10:47 (EDT)
We went to see the Adam Belt show last night at Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla and were incredibly underwhelmed. His thing was little drawings of dams on giant while canvasses. Granted there were off-while textures indicating the landscape, but mostly it was pretty weak. Check out his works and you'll see what I mean. Fortunately, the back room had some stuff from their collection of Mel Boucher and Ryan McGuiness works that were excellent. Plus, there was a phenomenal digital media thing that blended time-lapse live video with imagery coded into the software. It was pretty awesome. Plus, there was free wine. Gotta love free wine.

- Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 20:58:58 (EDT)
The kids just about broke the bank last weekend doing chores. I had them doing some nasty yardwork and cleaning, but they didn't mind as long as they got paid. I'll tell ya, inflation has really raised the allowance rate! I would have had to work a month to make what they did in a weekend. They even had a lemonade stand. I asked them later what the motivation is. They want to get a snake. Great. Just what I need is another pet. At least it won't make much noise.

- Monday, July 09, 2007 at 19:24:10 (EDT)
We went to TNT last night for "Graphic Identity." It was pretty cool to see the collaborative collage built with some inspiration from the awesome Ryan McGinness mural on display in the gallery. We linger over it every time to pick out the datailed logos and graphic iconography he lays down in a graffiti style. Also on display were graphic designs from the fellas at Subtext. Finally, we posed as Pantone color chips and were projected onto the wall above the stage where The Brisbanes were popping. A fun night for all, but we got home on th trolley entirely too late, again. I guess I'm not much of a stickler for bedtime on school nights!

- Friday, July 06, 2007 at 19:02:22 (EDT)
We went to Sea World on the 4th of July (what was I thinking) and stood in line all day. The very first thing we did was ride the Shipwreck Rapids and get soaked. For the rest of the day I had wet feet and shorts. When we got to the Journey To Atlantis rollercoaster there was a two hour line. Bail that! We got to see R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse, the Cirque de la Mer show (which was pretty cool) and Pet's Rule. That's it for the shows because they were full when we got there a few times. The rest of the time was spent messing with the California Tide Pool, Forbidden Reef and climbing the excellent rock wall problems at the Shark Encounter. We struck out on my plan to watch fireworks from bayside. Saphira finally found us a spot where we could see the awesome grand finale. The crux of the day was leaving the parking lot after the fireworks. Cars were standing still for HOURS. We actually quit trying to GET OUT OF OUR SPOT (that's right, we didn't move) and went to sleep in the van. At midnight, I was able to finally drive home and there was still traffic on the roads. I got to bed at 2am!

- Thursday, July 05, 2007 at 18:01:08 (EDT)
I got off early for 4th, so we headed to the theatre for a movie marathon. First off was Evan Almighty. It was a highly anticipated event because we have loved every Steve Oedekerk movie. Steve Carell did a great job as the "Noah of New York" and it was cool seeing Morgan Freeman play God again. Especially fine was Lauren Graham as the mom. I really have a thing for hot moms lately. Speaking of hot, Megan Fox truly was one in Transformers. It was a crazy cool movie so action packed that we were in awe. The kids were gripping onto me. Plus, we were in the second row because the theatre was full when we snuck in. After that, we saw a third movie, Ratatouille, that was a whole lot of fun. It was like 11:30 when we left the theatre and everyone had a different choice as to which one was their favorite. Guess who like which one the most.

- Wednesday, July 04, 2007 at 10:47:28 (EDT)
We had a cool art weekend, beginning with the final exhibition of the San Diego Art Prize with works by Raul Guerrero, Yvonne Venegas, Jean Lowe, Iana Quesnell, Ernest Silva, and May-Ling Martinez. It was a great party, like always, and we had a great time. Interestingly, we trollied it this time and had a late-night adventure on the way back. It was full to capacity with folks standing in the aisles. Plus, we found a Zune in our seat. The next day, we were back on the trolley for MCASD Family Day. The first station had us making self-portrait collages out of magazine cut-outs. Then, it was upstairs to paint a Campbell's soup can masterpiece in Andy Warhol style. Plus, there was the art. Robert Therrien had two sets of giant (we walked under them!) tables with chairs in a new installation. It was pretty spectacular!

- Monday, July 02, 2007 at 11:34:00 (EDT)
The kids and I both are hella sunburned after our snorkle adventure in the dog beach channel yesterday. It was a worm day and the water temperature was perfect. After the first swim I thought the place was a dud and laid around like a beached whale. The kids didn't let me get away with that for long before they pulled me back in. We swam across the channel to the jetty and found lots of life in the rocks. I tried to show Saphira a giant starfish and octopus-looking thing I found, but she had washed away with the current and had to be rescued! I got her back to the spot and held her so she could see it. Caleb too. I almost drowned myself in the process when my snorkle filled with water. Pretty exciting!

- Monday, June 25, 2007 at 16:24:05 (EDT)
Madison has a sleepover last night and Caleb wouldn't let me nap, so we grabbed our skateboards and headed down to Hillcrest. We parked on the end by Park Boulevard and skated all the way to Fourth Avenue checking out shops and people all along the way. After scarfing chili fries and a root beer float at The Corvette we dragged our tired selves back across town to the car and got home late. The boy wanted to watch a "guys" movie, but passed out during The Bourne Identity. I don't know how that is even possible, since it was mega-exciting. Oh well... he's just a kid!

- Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 12:21:03 (EDT)
We went to Simayspace on Friday to see the San Diego Art Prize show for the "New Contemporaries." Turns out the damn Padres had a game that night and, since the gallery is located in the Art Academy on G Street, there were thousands trolling for the parking space we were seeking. Since I hate looking for a parking space, we bailed to the Athenaeum to see Alida Cervantes instead. Turns out it was a great show of messy oils by a pretty Tijuana-based artist. It was fun, if not hoity-toity. It's always cool to slum it in La Jolla. While munching at Wahoo's Fish Taco we got the idea of a night swim. The kids were freaking because they had never done it, but the night was calm and the shore deserted. Turned out to be an awesome experience for all.

- Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 22:47:38 (EDT)
I had my long anticipated salary review at work today and received all sorts of glowing praise and complements, which is unusual because I've been fired from every other job I've had. My raise will be (ta da!) $62.50 per paycheck! I guess I won't be getting that new car after all, but it looks like I'll still have a job. And, with kids and a mortgage, that's a good thing.

- Monday, June 18, 2007 at 19:24:23 (EDT)
We went snorkeling in the ocean for the first time yesterday. The surf was pretty high so we couldn't see a thing. It was wild. The place we went (dog cove in OB) had big rocks and strong currents. At times the kids were scared to tears and I had to do a couple rescues. Caleb was sucked out in a riptide and Saphira washed up on the rocks. Some nosy guy said it was unsafe, but the kids wouldn't have it any other way! They loved being thrashed about. If anything, they are thrillseekers. Caleb found some dead fish and was carrying them around to feed the crabs with when I got the bright idea to cut them into small pieces with some scissors I had. It was so gross the way the guts got all squishy! Yuch! The crabs would fight over the bits of gore. It was pretty cool.

- Monday, June 18, 2007 at 13:07:46 (EDT)
We've been going to the movies right when they come out because there have been a lot of good ones lately. Yesterday, we rushed to the early morning showing of the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer movie and just loved it! They did an awesome job of rendering the intergalactic space rider and made him do all sorts of cool stuff like glomming right through buildings and stuff. Jessica Alba was hot, but in a whole different way than Emma Roberts was in Nancy Drew. It would be kind of creepy to think of a 16-year-old girl as sexy, but she was awfully cute. Plus, it was fun watching her sleuth. We couldn't decide which movie was better later in the food court. It was the a couple weeks ago when we saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Spider-Man 3. The black demon entity was pretty awesome, but nobody is more quirky that Captain Jack Sparrow. Also, there is no telling who is cuter between Keira Knightley and Kirsten Dunst. Sometimes you just can't choose a winner.

- Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 11:43:09 (EDT)
On Saturday the kids were in a show at the Del Mar Fair for their Heartlight Aerobics class at school. It was pretty fun for them to get up in front of a big crowd and do their thing. Plus, Saphira and Caleb both announced their group at the microphone! We got into the fair for free, but I still dropped a bundle on rides and food. Just by luck, Third World and Steel Pulse were playing a concert there so we listened for a while. Everywhere we went, the crowd was using Reggae music as an excuse to smoke ganga. There is nothing more pathetic than a white Rasta. It was a good chance to talk to the kids about drug use, considering how the people right next to us had a big ol' glass bong. We cut out of the fair early to make it to Ray At Night. It was the same overpriced crap and lame bands as usual, but my old mate Ken Nielson from art school had a show. It was cool seeing him and his fine art. A highlight was finding the keg at Planet Rooth, my favorite Ray Street gallery. SSI was churning digital mixes there on their Mac and let the kids do some mixing and filtering. That was pretty cool.

- Monday, June 11, 2007 at 19:12:10 (EDT)
When we stepped off the trolly at MCASD last night, it was right into the member's reception for the Modern American Masters exhibit featuring major modernist works by Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, and Ellsworth Kelly. We had seen the art already, but it didn't keep us from feasting on mini-burgers and chicken quesadillas. Plus, all the free Absolut Lemon cocktails you could drink was a perk. When the bar packed up, we went across the street to TNT for the Surprise Party based on the witty and often humorous work of Cerca Series artist William Feeney that explores the surprising and unexpected hidden in the everyday. The activity was creating "flip books" that displayed image progression, like little movies. A very cool thing was the Secret Box where we wrote one down. It was then photographed and displayed with all the others on a big screen. It was fun reading them...

- Friday, June 08, 2007 at 15:15:00 (EDT)
We had a super art weekend! Friday night we visited the Voice 1156 Gallery for a crazy-scary show called Cryptozoology: A Monster's Manual with paintings by Skinner, Matt Furie, and John Stuart Berger. The extreme, intricate and colorful installation was very cool, and disturbing. The kids have grown to expect this sort of thing there and took it in stride. The idea behind Cryptozoology is the search for animals hypothesized to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. In other words, paintings of gruesome monsters. The Vik Muniz: Reflex show at the MCASD La Jolla was a whole different story. The artist utilizes an astonishing variety of materials including dirt, sugar, wire, string, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, ketchup, color chips, plastic toys, junk, and diamonds, to reproduce famous paintings and protographs in freaky ways. The discussion of whether the pile of junk or the photo of it was the art never really ended. The junk pile is long gone and all that's left is the photo. It all boiled down to process. The kids were bored out of their mind during his talk at the opening, but I was facinated by how he created "drawings" out of stuff. Sunday was MCASD Family Day on which we met Cerca Series artist William Feeney and did a wierd project involving stuffed animals and tape. The idea was to transform and ordinary, everyday object into art that changes the way you see things. Mostly, it just made the kids cry with frustration, but happy in the end.

- Monday, June 04, 2007 at 13:32:36 (EDT)
On Friday night, the kid's school had their annual "Spring Fling" and silent auction. It's always lots of fun to bid on the stuff. Each class builds a basket with contributions from the students. Caleb put some cookie molds in his "Kitchen Kit" and Saphira contributed a tire puncture repair thing to her "Road Emergency" collection. I got outbid on a new skateboard for Caleb, but we did win some horseback riding vouchers for the Julian Stables. We ended up paying more than it costs (the regular auction thing, actually) but Saphira had a point that we probably wouldn't do it if we didn't have tickets. So, keep posted to find out about our mountain adventure!

- Sunday, June 03, 2007 at 18:10:07 (EDT)
Last night I took the kids into the storm drains like I used to when I was a kid. We went under 54th Street first. The entry was totally covered by iceplant. When I parted it and went through, they gasped with glee. Since the end was visible from the beginning, it was pretty wuss. That wasn't the case when we cut under Collwood Avenue. That tunnel took a few turns and had total blackness. They were remarkably brave with this. It helped to have our yap-dog Bob in the lead to sniff out any threats. It was way longer than I remembered it. Turns out it was lengthened when a new housing complex was added. The end was new too, a drop-off into a manky pool. I sure wasn't going in, so we had to turn around. There was a ladder, so I led the way upward and pushed up the cover to emerge in a condo parking lot all covered with spiderwebs. Cool.

- Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 14:24:39 (EDT)
It was a long weekend, so we packed it up and headed out to Joshua Tree. We got a late start and it was kinda late by the time we got to 29 Palms, so we checked into Motel 6 rather than mess around with setting up camp. The next day, we swam in the pool first thing before heading out to Indian Cove. It was hella hot and our spot didn't have any shade, so the first thing I did was rig up a tarp and crawl under it. Saphira found a breezey spot for us and we spent the rest of the day laying around reading. As the evening came, we emerged and explored around a bit. The campfire made us sweat as we cooked our sausage sandwiches over it. Being lazy, I proposed "sleeping under the stars" because I was in no mood to wrestle with the tent. Turns out the kids found it a cool adventure to sleep out, after I talked them out of their fear of coyotes and snakes. The desert moon was so bright that we had to cover our faces to shut it out. At sunup it was immediately hot, so we packed up and split without doing even one climb.

- Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 13:59:42 (EDT)
It's a funny thing about art openings. My main motivation, I suppose, is to be part of the scene and drink free booze. Such was the case at Culture & Cocktails. It was our first opening at the San Diego Museum of Art since becoming members and was a highly anticipated event. There were tons of beautiful people there. The Pre-Raphaelite show sounded interesting since Raphael was an important artist with prominent works. When we finally got around to looking at the exhibit, I was disgusted. Turns out a group of London artists in the mid 1800's didn't like "modern" art and turned back the clock to create weak imitations of an already boring style while rejecting the exciting impressionist and expressionist styles. What a bunch dopes! What was very cool was seeing DJ Sergio on the turntables again. Plus, all the free Absolut Peach I could drink was bonus. Also, we picked up the Andy Warhol Martini Set we've been wanting.

- Friday, May 25, 2007 at 12:55:30 (EDT)
On Friday night we went downtown to the The Love Movement Benefit at the Voice 1156 Gallery, my favorite boutique in town. They always have killer art, and this show was no exception. It was a tough sell getting the kids to agree on which piece to buy until we saw Do The Right Thing in the front window. Now it's ours! There was a band, which was cool, but the damn kids still ran me out like they always do. We went uptown and wandered around a bit, but it was too late for shopping. Saturday was birthday party day. Caleb had one at the Ultrazone and had a blast playing laser tag. Saphira was at a sleepover at Helena's, so Caleb and I went to see Spider-Man 3. Awesome! We also saw Shrek The Third while we were there. Yesterday we trollied downtown to see the new installations at MCASD, but never made it because of our unusual adventure at Ikea San Diego on the way. I'll have to tell you about that one later...

- Monday, May 21, 2007 at 12:04:17 (EDT)
I spent the morning yesterday installing art in the house, one of my favorite things to do. We've got so much now that things have to be moved around to make space. The kids finally said enough's enough and pushed me out the door to do anything but move pictures around! My bank has a free museum month program, so we headed to the Museum of Man. The parking was heinous and we ended up on the other side of the park. Thus, stops at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Botanical Building and the San Diego Museum of Art came first. It's funny... We had seen the art a zillion times already, but since we were members it was possible to go in just to use the restroom. Ha! We went into the gift shop and it was a narrow escape from buying an Andy Warhol soup can print and martini shaker set. We finally got home and I spent the rest of the day playing Tomb Raider.

- Monday, May 14, 2007 at 17:59:03 (EDT)
We went to this cool event called Art in the Garden at the City Farmers Nursery on Home Avenue. It was truly an oasis stuck right in the heart of the old city. I remember skateboarding past the place every day in my teens. Now, there is all sorts of plants and garden doo-dads collected there. Plus, there were artists tucked into various places hawking wares. I just had to buy a bracelet made by Saphira's boyfriend, Ben. Also, we picked up some watercolor flowers at another table. We dropped in on Ray at Night as we always do on the second Saturday of each month and we finally got a painting from Franklin Bolster that we have been coveting for quite some time. I was especially pleased by my new piece called Get Me Off This Island by Jeff Claassen. I wanted everything he had. He was that kind of artist.

- Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 15:27:58 (EDT)
I had the chance to see Factory Girl and thought it was a great but disturbing film. The performances of Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick and Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol were top notch. It really captures these pop icons in a believable and captivating way. The "poor little rich girl" was pretty pathetic in the end and it was sad to see a person so down on their luck. For some reason I thought Mary-Kate Olsen was producer or something, which made this a somewhat anticipated event (even though my daughter thought she was disloyal to her fans by being involved in an R movie). Turns out she was just an uncredited art gallery patron in some scene. I'll have to look for her next time cuz she's kinda cute.

- Friday, May 11, 2007 at 13:59:48 (EDT)
It took weeks, but I finally finished Herman Wouk's Youngblood Hawke last night. All his books are great, and this one was the best. It was one of those "lay there for 20 minutes hugging the cover and pondering while drying your tears" type of novel. I found it compelling because it was about an author and I have always wanted to be one. Youngblood Hawke was a Kentucky mountain boy who makes it big in New York and wins the Pulitzer Prize. His lifestyle eventually does him in, along with his bad romantic choices. Sounds like someone I know... His tombstone said "Death is only a sadness. Tragedy lies in waste." Well said. That's a concept I deal with daily.

- Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 15:08:58 (EDT)
We trollied down to Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art yesterday and the kids had a blast recording sound loops with instruments they made and having them mixed into compositions by techies from the Trummerflora Collective who were on site. It opened my eyes to a whole new media which I have the hardware to mess around with, Phonography. This involves recording environmental sounds which are sucked into software to generate tracks. Pretty cool stuff. We recorded a bunch of sounds on the way home and it's gonna be fun figuring out how to use Garageband to record our own multitrack creations.

- Monday, May 07, 2007 at 18:00:32 (EDT)
We went out to the Campo-Lake Morena Round-Up yesterday to see the Gunfight Competition, Bull Riding and Gymkhana (fancy horse tricks) and it turned into quite a roadtrip. We've been thinking about moving to a small town, so I showed the kids Alpine. It was still small, but there was way too much new building to suit my taste. Pine Valley was very cool when we stopped into Frosty Burgers for lunch. The kids liked it, but there was some boredom concern, which is understandable since we are city-folk. Plus, there was a hella commute from there, which means I'd have to find a new country job. We visited Crest on the way home and it seemed to fit our needs. People had horses there and big views, plus it's a reasonable drive to my job. One house we liked was over $800,000 (ouch) and a mobile home we didn't like was $89,000 (I could buy that with cash after selling my house). Interesting...

- Sunday, May 06, 2007 at 22:29:52 (EDT)
We trollied to TNT at MCASD last night and had fun checking out music, art, and dance from the Trummerflora Collective. Their stuff was pretty avant-garde. For music they had household items repurposed into instruments. The dance was more like performance art. They interacted with Ernesto Neto's hanging blob things and again with the Richard Serra's steel cubes in the foyer. Then, it was upstairs for origami. We had pizza on the way home and finally got to bed around midnight. What a night!

- Friday, May 04, 2007 at 20:22:26 (EDT)
We went to the Lakeside Rodeo during the weekend and just loved it. Getting decked out in cowboy clothes gets the mood started. The show always starts with a synchronized horseback flag ceremony, which is cool. This rodeo's first event was bareback bronc busting and from then on it is one exciting thing after another. Calf roping and wrestling, team roping and bull riding... Our favorite is the "pretty girls on fast horses" during the barrel racing. Whooo! This year, the rodeo clown was The Wild Child who combined jokes and pranks with awesome motocross riding. I even got his autograph!

- Tuesday, May 01, 2007 at 11:40:26 (EDT)
On the way back from Artwalk the trolley stopped, switched tracks, and returned to Old Town. (A car barreled into two electrical poles, cutting power to the Orange Line track between 62nd Street and Massachusetts Avenue in San Diego, according to SignOnSanDiego.) So, we jumped off and went exploring. Saphira is quite the authority on Old Town since she spent a week there in school. The Whaley House cost money and I was broke after buying lotsa art, so we had to settle for the El Campo Cemetery instead. You can't visit Old Town without having Mexican food. Being poor, I found a ghetto spot called Rancho La Le?a and split some Fajitas with the kids. More goofing around, then back to the trolley. Some psycho serenaded Saphira, which was creepy. Finally, we got home and passed out watching My Name Is Earl re-runs.

- Monday, April 30, 2007 at 13:26:53 (EDT)
We trollied to Little Italy yesterday for Artwalk and had an awesome time. What made it extra cool is I got a check form Google Adsense (ka ching!)and was able to buy some stuff! Saphira was wild over the floral photographs on canvas that Gregory Ballerino had. He got my $ because I greatly appreciated his digital to Photoshop method. Plus, he was a great guy. So was Rob Padilla from La Bufadora B.C. His wild colors sucked me right into his booth. Breathtaking! On the money round, he was first on the list and we came away with the Rhino. Man, I'd kill for one of his big canvasses. Another guy I wanted bad was Ed Burgess, but he was way out of my range since all his paintings were original oils. Still, his cartoony stuff was right up my alley. I found a cool print, however, so we didn't leave there empty-handed. We scored some Nelson De La Nuez prints that the kids picked for themselves. Saphira screamed with glee when she found "Shoe Paradise" and Caleb picked the "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" which brings back some fun memories for me. Robb Rael was way over on the end and was another great artist who's work was out of range. We walked in to see his painted skate decks since Caleb needs a new one. Turns out they were $600 + so we left with just a print.

- Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 12:42:41 (EDT)
I took a couple days off to make a bonus four-day weekend at the end of the kids spring vacation. We did lots of fun stuff, but the coup de grace was the Dolphin Interaction at Sea World. The kids both got into a wetsuit and played with dolphins using tricks a trainer helped with. They loved it! After that, we drove across the street to the Paradise Point Resort and checked in. We have been wanting to stay there after sneaking into the pool a few times. It was real posh and fun. We watched Catch and Release while munching on room service. Now that's the life! I dropped a bundle over the weekend, but it was worth it to see my kids happy. It gives me some perspective on what my folks did for me...

- Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 12:49:29 (EDT)
We started off the weekend with a fun visit to the drive-in to see Blades of Glory. What a crack up! Will Ferrell and Jon Heder both are super funny men, but there was a whole host of quirky characters in this must-see movie. On Saturday Saphira had a sleepover for Maddie's birthday, so Caleb and I had a boy's night out. First off, we caught Lee Puffer's "Oblivion" opening at SDSU's Flor y Canto Gallery. That's the best place for art shows, except for L Street, because there is always free beer and lots of food. Lee's art was FREAKY with dismembered bodies and inverted heads all built in large-scale ceramics. On the way back, we stopped in for some bowling at Aztec Center. Sunday was Mia's birthday party at Boomers. The kids are still too small to drive go-carts (bummer) but we still had fun on other rides and miniature golf. The especially liked laser tag. I had the chance to read and re-read a splendid article on Jim Bridwell, one of my super-duper heroes of all time, while the kids goofed off. The article made me wax nostalgic on the whole Yosemite climbing thing. For decades it has been my passion and it will be cool to get the kids up on a wall someday...

- Monday, April 16, 2007 at 14:43:55 (EDT)
We visited the San Diego Museum of Art last night for the member preview of the annual Art Alive exhibit. Over 100 floral designers created beautiful arrangements inspired by works in the Museum's collection. It was way crowded, but worth it because some of the pieces were incredible. There were some new installations as well. The one I liked was called "Backs" and featured paintings displayed so both sides of the canvas were visible. There was some interesting things on the back of those old masterpieces! Another cool thing was the "Young Art 2007: Exploring Color" show with school-kid paintings and drawings. We expected food, since it was a member's only night, but there wasn't any. We bailed to eat Sushi instead.

- Friday, April 13, 2007 at 18:37:36 (EDT)
We went to see the Ryan McGinness opening at the Quint Gallery in La Jolla on Saturday and we were all fairly blown away. It was an adventure to even find the place, since it was tucked away in an alley. The venue and art both were like deep underground and well worth the exploration. It says much that all the art was sold before the opening. Some of the canvasses were $85,000! And for good reason. He did this totally unique layered silkscreen thing that was totally amazing. After drinking all the free beer I could, we split to grab some sushi. The alley was packed on the way back checking out the band Grand Ole Party. The gal on drums sang while the guitar spit out off-kilter jams. Overall, it was a class act at the Quint.

- Monday, April 09, 2007 at 12:48:00 (EDT)
It's Passover now and we have been having a good time of it. On the first night we had our Seder at home, which is the very best way to do it. I like leading them and we all took turns reading and discussing. Jen did a good job preparing and we ate like royalty. The cutest thing was seeing the kids read Hebrew. Saphira is pretty enthusiastic about it, but Caleb was frustrated with the whole concept. On the second night we went to the big shul in Hillcrest. I don't really like community Seders because they always do group discussion crap and I don't really like people much. It ended up being fun. The kids liked it, which is the most important. Also, Mom Marsh was cute and it's important to keep her happy. Plus, the Gifelte fish was awesome!

- Wednesday, April 04, 2007 at 11:55:27 (EDT)
At bedtime last night we watched Bridge to Terabithia. The kids had seen it already and tried not to spoil it for me when something was going to happen. It really caught my interest! Good movie! Josh Hutcherson is a favorite from Zathura, RV and Little Manhattan. The star for me, however, was AnnaSophia Robb. She is definitely a hottie in the making! We recognized her from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and her role as Violet Beauregarde. She is so cute and her part in Terabithia was fantastic and tragic. Especially cool were the fantastical creatures conjured up by "keeping their minds wide open." We'll be watching that film again for sure!

- Monday, April 02, 2007 at 16:31:41 (EDT)
Saphira and I made our monthly visit to the MCASD Family Day on Sunday. The art project was to check out Morris Louis' huge paintings, then create our own works on the plaza with super-cool spray watercolors. I finally had the chance to watch Eija-Liisa Ahtila The Hour of Prayer video installation in its entirety. We sniffed our way through Ernesto Neto's fabric room installtion and added a twist by actually tasting the spice blobs. Yuch! We trollied it down there and were pleased to see the finally installed our poster on the wall outside! It was between a huge poster of Nancy Rubins' Pleasure Point (a giant hanging accumulation of rowboats, canoes, jet skis, and surfboards) and one of Andy Warhol. They told us yesterday that we are on the brochure and website as well. Guess that makes us like rockstars!

- Monday, April 02, 2007 at 12:27:00 (EDT)
Saturday was a Sea World day. Of course we rode the Atlantis rollercoaster, but most of the day was devoted to shows. We finally got to see the complete Pet's Rule show (it was rained out last time) and really got a kid out of the trained animals. It's pretty amazing the things they get them to do. My wonderment continued at the Dolphin Discovery show where they did things like jump into the air flapping their tail and barking. How do they train them to do multiple behaviors? Clyde and Seamore's Risky Rescue was fun (again). We think the mime is a funny, funny man. It was a surprize that he had a speaking part in the Sea Lions Tonight show, a spoof of the other attractions at the park and a total crack-up. First time we saw that one. We also saw Shamu Rocks for the first time and it is was a fitting ending to the day. Those killer whales are iconic and for good reason. Wow.

- Sunday, April 01, 2007 at 01:16:48 (EDT)
We went to see Lily Allen at the House of Blues last night and it was truly the social event of all time for my kids. She is our favorite pop star right now and in concert she was more adorable than ever! Her potty-mouth attitude is what made me like her in the first place and I kinda blushed as she turned on the bad-girl charm in the show. The kids were stunned. Still, as she pranced about slagging all things cultural they went wild screaming and jumping. To tell the truth, so did I (even though I was like twice as old as everyone around me). I didn't go to a big concert until I was 19 or so. I guess that makes me a cool dad.

- Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 14:04:53 (EDT)
Embarrasing as it is, I've got to admit that Julia Stiles is just about my favorite actress right now. She has an adorable little toss to her head that I just adore! We watched The Prince & Me last night and it was really fun. It never would have even been on the tube at all if I wasn't a daddy. Now, I have all these new Julia Stiles movies to watch. Pretty funny.

- Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 12:30:06 (EDT)
The kids and I love Jason Lee. Not only have we seen every Kevin Smith movie (questionable parenting style there) ever made, but also all the episodes of "My Name Is Earl" as well. So, when we saw A Guy Thing in the used DVD rack at the videogame store, we just had to have it. What a great, funny movie it was! Lee was engaged to marry Selma Blair, who was cute in her regular uptight way. When he met Julia Stiles, however, things began to get wierd. Because Stiles was in the movie I thought it might be teeny-bopper, but in this movie it became evident that she has grown from a hot chick to a woman. Good stuff!

- Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 11:56:05 (EDT)
For Caleb's birthday yesterday (he's 9!) we went to GameStop, which is like his favorite place in the whole world. He picked X-Men for his GameBoy while Saphira and I combed the DVD rack. We found a Jason Lee movie (more on that later) that looked pretty good. The one we watched when we got home was Superstar. Oh yeah! Molly Shannon played a twisted catholic girl who had the hots for Will Ferrell, until she kissed him. Yuck! Elaine Hendrix is a favorite of ours and she was fun as the girl named after bottled water. "Go drink a bottle of yourself!" At bedtime everyone noticed my new Kelli Murray Painting hanging in the bedroom and had a fit. It sucks. I saved up for something I really wanted and got shot down. My whole life is for others, I guess. The happy ending is it hangs right next to my monitor at work so I can look at it all day long.

- Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 13:00:31 (EDT)
We watched The Royal Tennenbaums last night and really enjoyed it. It ran like a play with narration and very cool characters. The cast was totally star-studded. Gene Hackman was Royal Tenenbaum, a lovable asshole of a father who disconnected from his family and forced his wife Etheline Tenenbaum (Anjelica Huston) to raise their three kids. My favorite was Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum. She had this sexy dreary way like Edie Sedgwick that was entirely hot. Her brother/lover Richie Tenenbaum was played masterfully by Luke Wilson, one of our favorites. Another Wilson we love is Owen, who played the eccentric cowboy drug-addict Eli Cash. The last kid was Ben Stiller's uptight yuppie character Chas Tenenbaum who just couldn't forgive and forget. It was an awesome movie that should strike a resonant note with anyone who grew up in a disfunctional family (who didn't?). Well worth checking out.

- Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 12:07:24 (EDT)
I took the kids to the art museum in Balboa Park to see the Harmonia Baroque Players perform the Old Masters of Music and Art presentation. It was doubtful that they would like it, but it turns out they did. Even punkrock Caleb had his groove on. What's not to like? They had freaky-old instruments like the archlute, harpsichord and viola da gamba. Plus, they were all real cool and answered our questions about how they worked. Then, the music! They played selections from Bach, Barsanti, Quantz and Telemann with an encore by Vivaldi. The soaring and deep music created the perfect setting for browsing the surrounding art from the same time period. It was like stepping into the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring.

- Monday, March 19, 2007 at 15:07:24 (EDT)
Caleb had a sleepover birthday party last night and it was pretty crazy for a while there. Saphira had friends over as well, which made it doubly wild. Mom put a scavenger hunt together in the back yard where the kids looked for hidden stuff. After that, the kids came into the house to play a board game I got Caleb called "Deal or No Deal" based on the TV show. About then, the pizza came. Then presents. Then cake. Basic stuff. Caleb spent the rest of the weekend messing with his new laser alarm things that buzzed when the beam was broken by someone walking by. Some kids went home, leaving Jon, Madison and Jazelle to spend the night. Since the boys were in the living room and the girls were in my room, I was kinda exiled to the big green chair for a fitfull sleep in the early morning. After morning pancakes, everyone went home. The end.

- Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 17:55:04 (EDT)
Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today and, for once, I totally agree. Most of the inductees are stupid and that makes the whole thing too lame for her to even be involved in. To me, she is one of the most important artists of our generation. Her response was "One of the things that makes life worth living is being inspired by others, so I would hope that, in giving me this honor, they're saying that I did good work and they have faith that I'll keep doing good work. And that's what I'll do." You can bet that I'll get every cd she ever makes to go with all of her others that I alreeady have.

- Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 14:35:02 (EDT)
Both people I mentioned An Inconvenient Truth to yesterday denied global warning, citing natural cycles, faulty science, and what-not. The irony is that yesterday San Diego's official weather station recorded a record-setting temperature of 86 degrees, surpassing the previous high of 84 degrees in 1947. 86 degrees in the winter? It is interesting that the loudest voices against the problem come from folks who haven't been exposed to the data. Those who have are almost always concerned. There is a long way to go if we want to save the planet...

- Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 12:11:12 (EDT)
While in Balboa Park, we snuck into the San Diego Natural History Museum to check out fossils and other science-type stuff. On a whim, we ducked into the theatre there to see An Inconvenient Truth. It was the story of Al Gore's (hero guy!) fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. We were deeply affected and kinda stunned. It was downright scary, actually. I have never really cared if I lived or died, until the kids came. But to see that they, and everyone else, could die in their lifetime from humanity's lifestyle was just too much. Stuff like the amount of flooding (Manhattan underwater) that would happen when the icecaps melt and the raging storms and the record heatwaves were shocking. This important movie was much different from the weekend's other film, Little Miss Sunshine. It was nothing but fun, adorable and cute. We loved it!

- Monday, March 12, 2007 at 12:47:26 (EDT)
On Sunday we hit up the Museum of Art in Balboa Park to see Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life. It's a major traveling show with hundreds of images by the famed photographer. The kids ran around looking for people they recognized (a favorite was Johnny Depp sleeping atop a naked Kate Moss) while my thing was more about her awesome technique. The compositions were just stunning. In another room was Mel Bochner: Drawing from Four Decades. His facination with numbers and technical drawing was apparent. Also of note were his visual puns and word-play. As we walked the exhibit, the art grew on us until, at the end, we were actually impressed. In the next room was Jasper Johns' Green Angel: The Making of a Print. The etched copper printing plates used to make the art were on display and I explained to the kids how it worked. As an aid, there were examples hanging that showed how each impression added to the piece, leading up to the complete original art. The print itself was kinda wierd, but the process was interesting. Other cool stuff was the ancient art (kids listened to the recorded presentation in Spanish and giggled), portraiture (Caleb opened the emergency exit and set off the alarm, which brought guards running), and media library (Saphira found some way to exit the program, allowing us to explore the computer's harddrive) exhibits.

- Monday, March 12, 2007 at 12:27:06 (EDT)
We visited the Pulp Vomit show Saturday because an email said there were free t-shirts for the first 100 visitors. Well, I read it wrong. We got silk screened vomit bags instead. We cut across University to Ray at Night (2nd Saturday of the month) and had a grand ol' time. Joanna Royal was singing with her band and was soooo wonderful! Definately a talent to check out. We were also dazzled by the lacquered artwork of Amy Paul. We ran out of the show when we saw somebody shooting fire out of their mouth in the street. It was Murrugun the Mystic. He continued to wow us with all sorts of demented sword swollowing, piercing, and pain stuff (bed of nails). Caleb actually used a staple gun to attach two bucks to his stomach. Ouch! Another interesting thing was the Clothesline Project. Women who were victims of violence wrote about it on a shirt which was hung on a clothesline for viewers to read.

- Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 09:10:23 (EDT)
We had a blast at the Domestic Deviation show at the L Street Gallery Saturday night The works of Ernest Silva and May-Ling Martinez, recipients of the San Diego Art Prize, were shown. The gallery is part of the Omni Hotel, so the food was top-notch and the beer was free. (Horray!) The kids got to meet the artists and ask questions. They even got interviewed for TV! The art was an interesting modernization of post-war family images. Kinda like Leave It To Beaver meets The Road Warrior. As a bonus, we snuck into the Omni and goofed around. Fun! The next day, Saphira and I rode the trolly downtown to the MCASD Family Day and used Hector Zamora's work as inspiration to create our own reflective collages from photos they took of us. Another cool thing was the barriers were removed from Ernesto Neto's "fabric room" installation and we were able to smell all the different spices for the first time.

- Monday, March 05, 2007 at 13:54:06 (EST)
On a bummer note, my PC wouldn't start up this morning. The screen would come up, then go blank while loading. I tried restoring and repairing the OS, but to no avail. An error message came up though that described a bad video card. It's wierd, it would run in safe mode but not in full. CompUSA has a cheapo card for $50 that I could slap in there to see if it fixes it. But, I don't have $50. Also, I wonder if a video card can be returned? Wadda hassle...

- Friday, March 02, 2007 at 13:02:43 (EST)
Last night we went to our first members opening downtown at the Museum of Contemporary Art to see Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited. It was incredible! Our family membership was motivated greatly by the desire to have free food and drink (Ha!) and we weren't dissapointed. Servers were walking around with foo-foo trays and wine. Plus, there were buffet stations. We gorged on steak sanwiches until we could eat no more! Then, the art... Wow! His painterly technique was a wonder to behold and we spent much time discussing and examining the huge canvasses. Also opening was H?ctor Zamora: Specular Reflexions. It was so modern. We walked into the room and it was empty. What? It turns out that the artist applied reflective film to the windows to "alter the viewer's relationship to the space and brings attention to the process of seeing." Whatever.

- Friday, March 02, 2007 at 12:41:04 (EST)
Sunday was an easy day. Maddie came by for a while for a pizza party. Then, we watched the Academy Awards. Their results are similar to my feelings about pop music (the higher the rating, the worse it is). I hated some of the films that won (Dream Girls, The Queen) and disliked most (Pan's Labyrinth, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Last King of Scotland). I was pleased that Martin Scorsese won for The Departed. It wasn't the best movie I saw all year, but was the best of the choices (except for maybe Little Miss Sunshine). I was very pleased that Marie Antoinette won for Best Achievement in Costume Design. That was actually one of my favorites of the year. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest deserved the Best Achievement in Visual Effects award too, even though I fell asleep in the theatre watching it. It was also cool that An Inconvenient Truth was the best Best Feature Documentary. I actually voted (for once) when Al Gore won the presidency, but that is another story...

- Monday, February 26, 2007 at 14:43:32 (EST)
We spent most of the day Saturday at the hospital watching Be Cool and Bounce while waiting for Saphira's doctor to release her. She needed to get off the IV pain meds first, but mostly it was allowing the staff to just get around to it. Good thing I have insurance because that place charges by the minute, it seems! I'm guessing the bill will be int the five-digit $ range. Still, it was a good experience overall and I felt a bit nostalgic leaving, which was kinda wierd. When we got home we had to take it easy, so we watched 14 episodes of My Name Is Earl back-to-back!

- Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 11:21:21 (EST)
Saphira had an Appendectomy yesterday. Poor little thing! She was so brave about it when we spent the night in the hospital before the procedure. Afterwards was a different story! She didn't know it would hurt so much to get cut up inside. It cheered her up a bit that I got tickets to see Lily Allen at the House of Blues next month!

- Friday, February 23, 2007 at 14:01:12 (EST)
Saphira was sick as a dog on Monday. I had big plans for my day off with the kids (President's Day?) but it was rainy and cold. Not Sea World weather at all. So, I read Douglas Coupland and messed around with my computer.

- Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 12:18:43 (EST)
The unlikely song of the weekend was Hugh Grant's Pop Goes My Heart, an incredibly silly and wonderful pop tune from the movie Music And Lyrics. We saw it at the drive-in and just adored it! The movie was about writing a song and it was so fun watching him and Drew Barrymore (cute!) try to get it done. The resulting song, A Way Back Into Love, is just beautiful. This morning it was turned up loud in the parking lot as I arrived at work and I was a little embarrased that someone would hear it. The other movie, Because I Said So, was also very fun. I love Diane Keaton and have for years. Lauren Graham too. The kids like Mandy Moore and enjoyed watching her, and her mother, grow up in this light-hearted film. It would have been a great double-feature, if Saphira didn't get the stomach flu while we sat there. By the end, she had her head hanging out the door laying on the floor. Poor thing!

- Monday, February 19, 2007 at 10:16:28 (EST)
We were really impressed with The Athenaeum when we went there Friday to an opening of drawings, prints and book illustrations by Georg Eisler, a Realist artist with Expressionist origins. The work was interesting enough. Certainly right up the alley of all the stuffed-shirts there to see it. Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that all it took to be an artist was to have a body of work and that I needed to get busy, rather than waste my life. Finding a book about Frank Lloyd Wright in the extensive art library (wow!) was the drove the point home. His work and life pretty much sums it up for me. His old-age portrait showed that it is never too late. We will become members to gain access to that library, that's for sure. A true suprize was finding the work of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) on display at the Fingerhut Gallery on Prospect. We have been searching for a piece of art to buy with my tax return. It looks like the search has ended. Now I just have to get my hands on that money...

- Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 14:44:29 (EST)
I was reading Jane Magazine online yesterday and came upon their music review archive. Since Jane is a publication I like, I checked out some of the bands that sounded interesting by searching for them on MySpace Music. They were all there and very pop. The Cardigans were interesting enough to check out cuz they had a chick singing. I like that. On the way to work their Emmerdale album was playing and sounded pretty good! On the way home, their First Band On The Moon album was on and I started getting a little tired of them. The swith to Incubus was a bust. After skipping through a couple horrible songs I cued up The Lemonheads instead. I actually turned it up because there was some good songwriting there, even if the tunes were a bit too accessible. The pop foray was interesting, but didn't find me any favorite new band. Oh well.

- Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 11:58:01 (EST)
I took the day off yesterday to be with the kids (Lincoln Day) and ended up just lying around reading Douglas Coupland. I finished Hey Nostrodomos and, after hugging the book, I turned to Saphira and said "after I am dead and you find my Douglas Coupland books in some box you will hug them too when you read them." Understandably, she gave me a wierd look. I started jPod, yet another techie cubicle tale (gotta love it!) and spent, like, five hours with my nose in it. The kids did drag me off the bed (a new one, thanks to my folks buying furniture) long enough to visit Dog Beach and Sea World, but mostly I just lazed around. What a Slacker.

- Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 13:42:26 (EST)
Somehow I got a free subscription to Spin Magazine and it serves as a good indicator of what bands NOT to bother with. Top 40 lists, for me, work in a converse manner. The higher a band is, the more they suck. For instance, The Shins were at the top and had a feature article pimping their Wincing the Night Away album. It wasn't so horrible that I couldn't listen to it (like Back To Basics, the new one from Christina Aguilera. I didn't even listen to a complete song on that one!) but it is expelled from podland forever. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood from Neko Case would be there too if she wasn't so dang beautiful! The suprize hit was Alright, Still from Lily Allen. We must have listed to that album five times this weekend. The irony was that she had a tiny review on like page 80 of Spin.

- Monday, February 12, 2007 at 11:42:39 (EST)
We went to the John Q. Public & Citizen Jane show at The SDSU Gallery and had a really cool time. Being junior techies, both kids jumped on the multimedia stuff when they saw a pedestal with a mouse on it. Hasan Elahi's Tracking Transience was quite a grand-scaled piece that I would have liked to explore more. The other interactive piece, Luther Thie & Eyal Fried's Acclair Brain Fingerprinting Session was kinda wierd, though. Caleb liked Raven's big photographs and video that comprised Endurance. Saphira liked Martha Rosler's ironic photocollages. I liked Pamela Vander Zwan's Braille flash cards that helped decipher the message "The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have." Cool stuff. We saw some interesting art at the Crossing Tracks Gallery at their Love Handles opening (free beer!) and stopped off at the Wierdo show at the Fish Out Of Water gallery on the way to Ray At Night. Everyone was shocked that I wanted to buy somethind at the Wierdo (scary!), but that art is just way more exciting than the overpriced crap on Ray Street.

- Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 13:17:00 (EST)
My daughter and I had an awesome heart-to-heart Sunday as we trollied downtown about happiness and how I can achieve it. She said I set my standards way too high, so it is no wonder that I am miserable. She said to do something possible that would provide passion. She said to write my book. So, today I built an interface that would allow me to write from any computer and add to my book like I do this blog. Maybe the book will be a blog. It's been in me for years, so I'm actually pretty excited.

- Tuesday, February 06, 2007 at 19:25:17 (EST)
The family pretty much pushed me out the door of the Life Is Hard But... So Am I show at the Voice 1156 Gallery Friday night. The art was too scary and the music too loud. In other words, It was AWESOME! I love that place! The next day was more tame as we saw a cool dance concert called Forces Of Nature at the Casa Del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park. Saphira liked the costumes. I liked the choreography. Caleb liked the teenage girls! We also explored the San Diego Natural History Museum while we were there, then hit up Ichiban for fantastic Japanese food. Yum! The next day we went to Gary's BD Party so Caleb could run wild with his school friends. Saphira and I filled up on pizza and eggrolls, then hit the MCASD Family Day on the trolly. We explored Ernesto Neto's forest of spices, then used his work as an inspiration to create our own work of art. Finally, we crowned the weekend with the season one DVD of My Name Is Earl. It is now our favorite show.

- Monday, February 05, 2007 at 14:36:24 (EST)
Last night was the Best of TNT at the new Jacobs and Copley Buildings of the MCASD downtown. The event restages the most acclaimed elements of TNT since its inception, including live grafitti artists, breakdancers, bands, the "Exquisite Corpse" art project, and more. A highlight was finally getting to see the "American Masters" exhibit with works from Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly. It was a major scene with a huge crowd. You would never thing there were so many modern art folk in town! We got home about 11 pm totally pooped out.

- Friday, February 02, 2007 at 11:53:03 (EST)
I have been having so much fun creating a custom Google homepage. I linked to my blog input screen from my custom bookmarks thingie there. Too bad you can't login as me to see it. Totally trick!

- Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 12:49:06 (EST)
I've got a secret for you. It's kind of embarrasing, but I have been listening to the new album by Pink for a couple days now. I got it for the kids (they love her!) and it totally slipped past my anti-pop filter. I could be her badgirl stance and potty mouth that does it for me, but the fact is that "I'm Not Dead" has a bunch of beautiful songs on it. Good music is good music, no matter who does it. Hearing it puts a smile on my face. I was grinning ear-to-ear last night watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I read the book years ago and remember being blown away by his insightful, somewhat prophetic, layman's cosmology. The 13-part series (bittorent. yeah!) is every bit as awesome. Even the kids liked it, even though it went WAY over their heads. His simple yet deep manner is truly wonderous.

- Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:56:27 (EST)
It was Jen's birthday last weekend, so we got a room on the 7th floor of The Hanalei. Saphira organized a family party for her and we brought her there blindfolded. She acted suprised, but she had to know from all the hints we dropped. Still, it was fun. After the hot tub, we dressed for dinner. It was a major dissapointment to find that the Islands Restaurant was closed for remodeling since it was one of the reasons for choosing that hotel. We had a diner-style dinner at the Peacock Room, then settled in to watch Open Season in our room. After our room service breakfast, I was flat broke. In fact, I had to borrow from Saphira just to get to work today. You know... It's all worth it to see my family enjoy their lives. That's why I exist, really.

- Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:56:17 (EST)
Last night we made the effort to catch Jenny Holzer's "projection" onto the Museum of Art at Balboa Park. It was pretty cool. She would use thought-provoking bits of literature and scroll them onto the fascade with a giant projector. The kids got bored after a while reading the wall, but perked up when I took them "into" the art itself by climbing up onto a window sill and having the words scroll over their bodies. We also walked in front of the projector, which felt like a tresspass but wasn't since it is public space. Here's an example of the text: "Someone will come, and then only where and who and how many shapes and intensions. Maybe he won't be the enemy and will let them live some sort of life."

- Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 13:30:01 (EST)
We took the trolley downtown to attend the opening of the new Museum of Contemporary Art in the Santa Fe Train Station building on Kettner. It is a wonderful space and was full of all sorts of crazy modern art. It was a real happening and hundreds of people showed up. The line was too long to see the Modern Masters show (Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, and Ellsworth Kelly.) but we scored some guest passes to come back at a less hectic time. Another fun thing was watching Who's That Girl?, the classic 80's love story with Madonna.

- Monday, January 22, 2007 at 12:43:45 (EST)
It's been a lot of work, but it looks like everything has migrated to the new servers. My savings are significant and I have a whole new suite of online support and admin tools. There is a spam filter that cut my mailbox down to ONE message! I don't know how much time it saves, since I have to review the excluded messages anyway. But, it's still slick. The subdomain tool was used to set up r-house.dgoode.com and hosting.dgoode.com, a couple old sites. Our commerce site at canceranswers.com is up, but no new orders have come in to make sure paypal is working. Enough for now... see ya!

- Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 14:24:20 (EST)
Looks like the blog is working now...

- Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 17:36:37 (EST)
I asked for the dns to transfer to the new linux servers yesterday and now I have a world of grief. Email doesn't work. The subdomain canceranswers.com is not updating to the new site. Probably losing $ there. And, worst of all, the blog is not writing to the new site. Uggg.

- Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 12:23:41 (EST)
I took Friday off since it was the last day of the kid's school vacation. We went to Coronado to take pictures of an "island" for a photo contest Saphira wants to enter. We started under the bridge and worked our way around to the Hotel Del. It was fun, but I got grumpy when our camera quit working. Fortunately, it fixed itself after uploading the pix to our iMac and charging the battery. Saturday was COLD, so we just laid around watching Camelot. A visit to Marcy's hot tub warmed us up, then it was off to an opening at the creepy Fish Out of Water Art Gallery. It was totally disturbing. A flyer there directed us to another opeing at the Rubber Rose Gallery and we stumbled onto "Ray @ Night" and it was a total art happening! Fun! Sunday was Sea World (no comment need to say how cool that was). Monday we bouldered at Mt. Woodson. All in all, a great weekend to end the kid's vacation!

- Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 14:53:16 (EST)
This is a test of my new Linus server. I had to hardcode the ip address into the cgi-bin until the dns is transferred. I hope it works cuz I love this blog!

- Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 18:14:12 (EST)
The kids stayed over at Marcy's last night with their mom, so I took the opportunity to watch a creepy, non-kid movie. The first one I tried was 8MM (Catherine Keener!) but it was in french. So, I popped in Derailed. Wow! I got it when I was on a Jennifer Aniston thing and was pleased by the performance of Clive Owen as well. The breakout performance, however, was by Vincent Cassel in the role of LaRoche. Can't tell you much because there was a major plot twist that totally caught me off-guard. Pretty intense stuff.

- Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 12:52:02 (EST)
We bought Alex & Emma because Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson were in it and didn't really know what to expect. Well... It was great! My favorite kind of movie, it was packed full of romance and happy endings. Turns out it is a Rob Reiner movie and he's one of the funny men of our generation. Most people might write this movie as sentimental and silly. Guess that's why I like it so much!

- Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 12:28:09 (EST)
Some more media news, from the daddy perspective, was a score from Kraytracker of the phenomenal Jewish Punk (what?) band Yidcore. We listened to their album "Fiddlin' On Ya Roof" and it was mind-blowing! Totally hardcore renditions of the Broadway classic! The kids know the songs by heart and were bangin' along. At night, I laid around and watched Dosage Volume 1 on the bedroom iMac. Again, mind-blowing! This time it was hardcore rockclimbing with Chris Sharma working his projects "Realization" (the first 5.15) and "Mandala". Lisa Rands ticked some killer "girl problems" and Dave Graham slew "Buttermilker" and "The Spectre" at the Buttermilks in Bishop. Dang! I have Friday off in honor of the upcoming 3-day weekend (MLK) so I say... Roadtrip! I'm dying to visit the Happy Boulders and Deadman's Summit!

- Monday, January 08, 2007 at 12:52:07 (EST)
We had a shopping spree at Target this weekend, thanks to my parent's and sister Jan's X-Mas gift cards. Caleb was mad that I made him get replacements for his punky ripped-up jeans rather than video games. Saphira has lots of clothes, so she got something "shiny" instead. It is so precious how she likes pretty stuff... such a girl. We had some cards for Mervyn's as well and had a nice surprise when we got to the register. We thought we spent it all. Turns out the prices aren't the prices, so we spent less than half! The kids grabbed stuff they set aside before and we still had $ left. We finally absorbed it all with Polly dolls. I ended up spending $.19 at both stores for piles of stuff. One thing we couldn't afford was The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but thanks to bittorent we watched it Sunday. It was super cute and fun. The "double Hilary" singing scene was awesome! After that we spent a beautiful afternoon at the beach before hitting the Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. The activity was a scavenger hunt through the Latin America exhibit and other drawing and writing assignments. Fun! Then, it was Wahoo's Fish Tacos, grocery shopping, and home to watch Raising Helen (again). Whew!

- Monday, January 08, 2007 at 12:16:44 (EST)
The Thursday Night Thing at the Museum of Contemporary Art wasn't going on last night, so we shifted gears and went to Hillcrest. Our parking spot was right in front of Flashback, so we just had to look at all the retro fashion! Saphira went nuts on shoes and Caleb got all gangstered up. For some reason, I spent most of the time looking at women's pants (go figure) since there were some that were SO cool. Being kinda broke these days, everyone had to put their stuff back. At The Corvette Diner we all split some chili fries and a coke, then drove home in the rain.

- Friday, January 05, 2007 at 12:56:45 (EST)
We watched a fun "family" movie last night, Secondhand Lions. Kyra Sedgwick plays an irresponsible mother who dumps her son on two rich uncles played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. All sorts of goofy and moving things happen to the boy. Along the way, the men learn about love and responsibility. Not a great film, but very good.

- Thursday, January 04, 2007 at 18:49:42 (EST)
We had an awesome New Year's trip to Indian Cove at Joshua Tree National Park. The weather was gorgeous... Blue skies every day and mild for winter. It was cold at night, but we were geared up for it with down comforters and sleeping bags. We bought a new twin size air mattress to lay next to the queen we had and ended up with a giant soft bed for the whole family. Our "desert hotel" had the table and cooler chest in the tent with us. Luxurious! The best thing was the climbing. From the kid's "fort" behind the camp I spied a tall climb that looked do-able for the kids. They both got scared, but made it 80' or so to the top! I led it, which was a first for a long time since I had no belayer for a few years. Now she's back and it was a good thing. We were walking the dog and watched a guy leading a crack I have wanted to do for years. I yelled "good job" and they invited me to clean the pitch. Well, it was WAY steep and hard. I was surely at my limit, but made it without any falls. Pretty cool stuff. We dragged the crash pad all over the desert and wore poor Jen out showing her all our favorite problems. A trip to Desert Hot Springs Spa soothed our fried muscles for the long drive home. Saphira pitched in for dinner at Edchata's, which was a good thing. I put my last $10 in the gas tank, which leaves me with $2.79 in my bank account. Sure, I'm poor, but rich with experiences!

- Tuesday, January 02, 2007 at 16:15:36 (EST)
The Knitters put on a great show last night at The Belly Up Tavern. They are for sure one of my favorite bands, which is no wonder since their members are pure legend. John Doe and Exene fronted the important L.A. punk band X and their vocal harmonies are a wonder to behold both then and now. X drummer D.J. Bonebrake is still in the band and joined by Dave Alvin of The Blasters. That's a big chunk of history relating to bands my parents hated as I played them too loud in my high-school bedroom. It's always great to see your heroes are still alive!

- Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 12:39:07 (EST)
We started out the weekend by going to the drive-in to see Night at the Museum and had a great time. What a funny movie! We are still saying "Do it mon" to each other and "I oughta punch you in the nose, hopscotch." Having kids makes silly stuff fun. The next day we visited Chucky Cheese and the kids won over a thousand tickets playing games! For the first time, they got one of the real high-end prizes. It's funny, a $12 toy cost me around $40 in tokens! Still, the fun is in the playing. When we got home we watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and it was "most bodacious!" I saw it in the 80's and forgot how cool it was. We just got out of Momarsh's hot-tub. We came here to fix her cable internet connection, again. This is actually a test. Hope it works! Tonight is Christmas Eve. So, good holidays to all!

- Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 18:34:28 (EST)
It was so cold and rainy this weekend that we went to Mom Marsh's hot tub just to get warm. It became a trap because it was too cold to get out! When we became wrinkled and bored we rushed to the bathroom and bundled up. The bowling alley was closed, so we hung out at Starbucks a while. When the rain started, we ran to the car. At home we watched the hysterical movie Evolution. I loved it because I think Julianne Moore is incredibly hot. David Duchovny & Orlando Jones did a great job as geeky scientists who save the world from an alien invasion. We were wondering where we saw Seann William Scott before. Turns out he was Bo Duke on the The Dukes of Hazzard. On Sunday, we took Bob to the dog park, then crusided the House of Hospitality suites. Another fun thing we did was the Parade of Lights at Shelter Island. We pitched a blanket and picniced on Sportsman Seafood to go. Drank wine right from the bottle. Turns of the fireworks were kinda far away and the boat lights were mostly lame, but it was still a good time.

- Monday, December 18, 2006 at 14:45:22 (EST)
Keeping with the theme of Jen being home, we watched the classic 28 Days last night. What a laugh fest! Remember the part where Gerhardt is talking about all the different forks? I was laughing so hard and the kids were, like, "what's so funny?" Sandra Bullock was great. We love her. We were all wondering where we saw Dominic West before. Turns out he's been in a lot of stuff. Steve Buscemi put in another good performance as well. All around a real fun movie, and timely for the kids to understand some things. It got stupid when we went to bed, however, and I turned on Jackass Number Two. Caleb and I cringed many times at the gruesome stunts. He fell asleep. I got bored. That was the end of the day.

- Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 13:52:05 (EST)
We went to Disneyland last weekend, which was a total blast. It was just about an hour in line for every ride, but we did the "fastpass" thing and took some cuts and got to do lots of rides anyway including Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinnochio, Pirates of the Carribean, Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure and the Jungle Cruise. Some stuff, like It's A Small World and Roger Rabbit, had lines too long and other stuff (Matterhorn, Toontown Rollercoaster) was closed. The Main Street fireworks were awesome as ever! Maybe the biggest adventure of the day came while hiking to the parking lot behind the lot behind the main lot (we got there late) and it started to pour rain. When we finally got to the car we were wet like we showered in our clothes!

- Monday, December 11, 2006 at 18:14:48 (EST)
We went with Jennifer (!) last night to the "Thursday Night Thing" at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown. It was a big deal in their beautiful new space. There were all sorts of artsy folks there, meaning, we fit right in. The art was truly wierd (ie "contemporary") and wonderful. Amy Adler had charcoal drawings of photographs which were alright. Glenn Kaino's sculptures were much more fun. In fact, we got a little ninja pirate thing in the gift shop that was from this giant hammer thing that spoke of strength in numbers or some odd art concept. It's always funny to hear full-of-themselves art people talk. It's like, "What?"

- Friday, December 08, 2006 at 15:18:58 (EST)
It was a big weekend for the kids. On Saturday they both got new camera phones! It started when Caleb left his phone in his pocket and it got fried in the wash. I found him a replacement on CraigList (the cheapest one in the store was $200!). The seller had two and I figured correctly that Saphira would get upset if he had a better phone than she (kids!), so I bought them both. After going to the Sprint store to get them turned on, we spend some time configuring then it was playtime! That evening we went to the opening of the 740 Home Show at Voz Alta which had works by Luis Stand, Augusto Sandroni, Mario Lopez & James Watts. It was a good show, but they were selling their beer. That cut the visit short! We went to Hillcrest to walk around and was amazed that they hadn't been to the Corvette Diner. So, we had to check it out. On Sunday, the kids got kittens. Who can resist that? We have so darn many pets that a couple more ain't no thing!

- Monday, December 04, 2006 at 13:15:23 (EST)
After the kids went to bed last night I watched A Scanner Darkly, an animated movie by Richard Linklater. He's one of my favorite directors and this film was WAY excellent. The story was all futuristic and fantastic, dealing with heavy issues like drug addiction and corruption. The best thing was that the actors faces and bodies were used, as well as their voices. Keanu Reeves had the lead role with incredible support from Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder. The website is awesome as well. All-around a great adventure in the tradition of Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix.

- Friday, December 01, 2006 at 15:37:33 (EST)
We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My sister Cindy has had the family over for years and it's always a good thing when we all get together. I've become much more comfortable with gatherings lately, probably because I have my kids to serve as a social lubricant. For nearly 20 years it has been a tradition to go to Joshua Tree for the holiday weekend and this year was no different. We had a fantastic campsite in Indian Cove and the kids were able to explore about on their own. I found us some excellent bouldering as well and they pulled down HARD! I wasn't as strong as in the past, but I guess that's to be expected. Still, it felt really good to get out on the rock again. Plus, it was Bob's first trip to JT and once he figured out that dogs can climb too, he hung pretty tough with the scrambling.

- Monday, November 27, 2006 at 13:08:58 (EST)
We went to a couple art shows this weekend, the first as awesome as the last was lame. On Saturday night we zoomed downtown to the L Street Gallery, an incredible space that is part of the Omni Hotel. Sure, the wonderful catering and free Heinekin was a draw, but we came to see Iana Quesnell, one of the most friendly and talented artists EVER. Iana?s current work is about temporary living situations and very thought-provoking. Plus, she hugged us all when we saw her again. Her first show at Voz Alta was super fun. This second show was even more so. She is certainly worthy of winning the San Diego Art Prize as she did. I couldn't say anything too good about her. Sunday night we visited the "Dimensions" juried exhibition of local artists (meaning, grandmas) at the Village Gallery in La Jolla. It was so weak that even the free wine didn't justify it's existance. The fact that there was a huge crowd confirmed my long-standing opinion that people are stupid.

- Monday, November 20, 2006 at 15:43:20 (EST)
We had a fun day at the beach. It was beautiful! I had the chance to finish Miss Wyoming, yet another Douglas Copeland book. I have two more unread at home, which is better than money in the bank in my opinion. The tide was low and the sand washed away revealing a KILLER climbing wall steep and pocketed. It was SO good, until I broke off a hold (again) and decked. Seems like I would learn my lesson about beach sandstone!

- Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 17:02:37 (EST)
The kids were out late last night at Rabbi Fradkin's engagement party for his son, so I took the opportunity to watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Now, that was an action packed movie! There was a scene where they shot it out with the whole world. BAM!

- Thursday, November 16, 2006 at 17:02:37 (EST)
I had an interesting thing happen last night while watching Souvenir of Canada, which is narrated by Douglas Coupland. The funny thing is, even though he has been my favorite writer for years and is THE definitive voice of my generation, he turned out to be kind of a geek. He is a balding, kinda fat guy exactly my age with a similar, twisted worldview. It made me feel better to know that one of my heroes was, in real life, in the same boat as me. Speaking of boats, he had this adorable Canadian way of saying the word "about" so it ended up sounding like "aboout." There was some other great stuff in the movie. The kids thought it was absoutely boring, but I loved it.

- Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 12:38:31 (EST)
I took the day off on Friday since the kids were out of school and spent Saphira's birthday with her. She was really happy with the violin I gave her as a present (gotta love eBay!) even though we had some trouble getting the rosin to work. We went to our new "private" cove at the beach to let the dog run wild and found some excellent rock climbs. I finished Streets of Laredo and got that sad end of the book that you wished never ended feeling. Saphira's BD party on Saturday was fun and she had a good turnout that ran late into the night watching movies and playing with her spinning paint thing she got as a present. After we went to the dog park on Sunday, We watched My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Super fun! I got it for Uma Thurman (ohh la la!) and was pleased with the performance of Luke Wilson as well. We like all his movies. A special treat was Anna Faris, another hottie we learned to love from the Scary Movie series.

- Monday, November 13, 2006 at 12:35:24 (EST)
Last night Addams Family Values was on TV and I'm glad the kids had me watch it. Christina Ricci was like 12 years old and already full of attitude. She's great in every movie. Joan Cusack is another favorite and she did a great job as the "Black Widow." Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia stole the show, however, as the mom and dad of the freakish clan. Here's a typical quote: Young Girl: ...and then Mommy kissed Daddy, and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven, and put the diamond in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby! Pugsley: Our parents are having a baby too. Wednesday: They had sex.

- Thursday, November 09, 2006 at 18:01:50 (EST)
After watching The Family Stone yet another time, we decided that we love Sarah Jessica Parker and sought out her movies. The first was Life Without Dick and it was so, so funny! The classic line was "I'm a very dangerous woman." We say that all the time now. You'll have to see it to understand. Dudley Do-Right came in the mail a couple days ago and was also very funny. Stupid, but funny. Finally, we have watched Failure To Launch a couple times as well. That's about it for her starring roles, but there's more on the way. We'll keep you posted!

- Wednesday, November 08, 2006 at 17:51:34 (EST)
We went to a bunch of art opening this weekend (our new family activity). The first was kind of a "grandma" show at the San Diego Watercolor Society. There was some cool art there, but the crowd was mostly retirees and was pretty tame (free wine, however). Sapira and my artistic taste differences became apparent as we critiqued the works. At the Love Requires Action show downtown it became a void. She likes pictures of things and I like pictures of paint. Plus, I like scary art and she likes it pretty. I thought the downtown show was totally rad and bleeding edge. For once, I wished for $ to buy a piece by Kelli Murray called "Can You Forgive Me." I'm still hoping to save up for it. Maybe I'll get a bonus or something. Finally, we were all bored looking at the Rock 'n' Roll photographs of Lynn Goldsmith. There wasn't even any snacks. Don't they know that's why we go to art openings?

- Monday, November 06, 2006 at 12:10:55 (EST)
Also last weekend I finished Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby. I love his books so much that when I saw the end coming, I sat up and ordered the last three I didn't have in the Amazon Marketplace. They haven't come yet, but I did get Daniel Clowes' Eightball Comic #22 today, which is just as good.

- Monday, October 30, 2006 at 19:57:57 (EST)
I've been putting off painting Saphira's room for months and finally finished it last weekend. Then, since the rollers and brushes were wet, I painted my room too. It looks real cool, but one of the colors was super-dark blue and took multiple coats, which put me in a kind of pissy mood! At one point, the dog rubbed against the wall and got smeared with paint. The theme is "under the sea" and each wall is three colors starting with dark at the bottom and light at the top. The wavy line between layers was the biggest trick. Next come spraypainting stencils of creatures. It will be good to have it done. Have you got your Holloween costumes together? We're good to go. I'm a king, Saphira's a princess (of course) and Caleb's (ta da) The Sith. Between stuff we have been watching Hal Hartley movies. They are pretty freaky, especially the artsy short films. Another cool thing was the Holloween Parade on El Cajon Blvd. last weekend. The marching bands rocked, but the best thing was the cheerleaders.

- Monday, October 30, 2006 at 19:39:18 (EST)
I got Marcie's Cox Cable Modem to work over Ethernet running Mac OS 9. Dang! My techie skill even impresses me sometimes!

- Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 23:14:57 (EDT)
The holidays ended with a kick when we dance with the Torah in the street in front of Chabad. Nobody throws a party like Chabad! We started out at Young Israel (I had to pickup my festival tallis) and it was the regular crew. Chabad had a keg and bottles galore, as I knew they would. We waled to Beth Jacob as well. It's cool that I had true friends everywhere! I ended up sleeping in my clothes. I'm in insurance school now.

- Monday, October 16, 2006 at 11:13:23 (EDT)
Fun movie last night! We grabbed You, Me and Dupree for Kate Hudson, but it didn't hurt that Matt Dillon and Owen Wilson were in it too. It was a laugh-a-minute hit!

- Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 17:20:18 (EDT)
It was Sukkot last weekend and we really had fun with it! Mom Marsh brought over steaks and we made kiddush in the sukkah. It was cool to say "lasheiv b'sukkah" and "al natilat lulav." Plus, the kids and I slept in the sukkah both nights. The "harvest moon" was full, as it always is on sukkot, and it was incredibly beautiful. The dog and cats slept on us too. Speaking of pets, we visited Our Feathered Friends on Saturday to play with parrots. Saphira wants one, but they are like $1,500! She settled for on that was "only" $400 and my explanation of having property taxes due got me only a blank expression that asked what that has to do with anything. On Sunday we went to the dog park, then to Harbor and Laurel to feel the planes coming in. That was pretty rad. For dinner I thought Little Italy would be cool and it turned out there was a street fair. We also watched The Skeleton Key (Kate Hudson is our new darling) Without a Paddle (Saphira likes Seth Green but I like Matthew Lillard since he was in SLC Punk) and The Devil Wears Prada. All in all, it was a good weekend.

- Monday, October 09, 2006 at 15:03:31 (EDT)
I had the day off for Yom Kippur today and spent much of it in kittel and tallis bent over my machzor. I couldn't bring myself to go to shul because the day is painfully long there and over the years I still haven't built up to that kind of stamina. So I prayed at home and finished a couple books. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter caused me to sit up and write this because that familiar meloncholy has set in and I find some sort of solace in blogging. I don't know why I read sad books and watch sad movies. I guess because I have been sad my whole life with no real reason for it. I also finished Douglas Coupland's Polaroids From The Dead today and it didn't help matters much. He is the contempory voice as much as Carson McCullers is historical. I find these kindred spirits somehow and they help me retain the feeling I have always had. The fact that it is Yom Kippur makes it all the more terrible. Maybe that is the greatest terror of all, that I have brought the God of the Jews' wrath upon myself. I'm as miserable as can be and still have the lengthy Niela prayers ahead of me. There's no telling how it will turn out for the year ahead. All I can do is do what I must and hope for the best, I guess.

- Monday, October 02, 2006 at 20:55:31 (EDT)
We finally got our iMac back from the shop. It took two weeks for them to swap out a defective DVD drive. The first burn was Art School Confidential. What a fantastic movie! Dan Clowes (Eightball Comics Rock!) is my favorite writer right now and this is his second movie after Ghost World. It's the story of a art student who finds his success in a very interesting and unusual way. The whole art student thing brought back some fond memories from my own college days. Max Minghella and Sophia Myles (oh yeah) put in great performances, and favorites John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston and Steve Buscemi were a joy to watch. This is definately the movie of the year, according to my wierd taste.

- Friday, September 29, 2006 at 13:14:41 (EDT)
I had a bit of an identity crisis last weekend since my son had some birthday parties on Rosh Hashannah. I figured it would be ok to ditch shul so he could be with his friends. Well, it became a big problem. Since RH is the day that a Jew's parnassa is decided for the upcoming year, I began to get pretty worried as I sat in Boomers amusement park with Saphira. It is said that it is a life or death situation. At least a consideration of being rich or poor. Plus, I felt empty being away from "my people" on such a holy day. Thankfully, God in his wisdom created two days of Rosh Hashannah so people like me can get it together and do it right! We still didn't go to shul on Sunday, choosing instead to spend the day with our dog at the beach swimming and exploring tidepools. But this time, I did all my prayers and had my head on straight all day. All in all, I'm feeling good about it now. Plus, the 10 days between RH and Yom Kippur give me plenty of time for repentance and resolution. Pretty heavy stuff!

- Monday, September 25, 2006 at 13:27:37 (EDT)
I grabbed Adaptation because it has Catherine Keener and Maggie Gyllenhaal in it and found that their roles were pretty minimal. Tilda Swinton also provided a fun cameo appearance. Nicolas Cage had a double role as twin brothers and there was plenty of drama there, right to the end. The real star was Meryl Streep in her role as a journalist who wrote a book about orchid hunters. It was amazing how interesting a movie was made about flowers. In fact, the movie was about making a movie about flowers interesting. This circular plot was quite unusual and plenty entertaining.

- Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 18:18:51 (EDT)
We really got lucky when we went bowling and pool playing at SDSU last weekend. It was early when we finished, so I offered a tour of my old alta matter to the kids. When we got to the Art Department, there was a raging party going on for the opening of Production: SDSU Graduate Review Exhibition 2006 at the Flor Y Canto Gallery. It brought back some excellent memories of my Gonzo Journalism days in college. The food and booze were much better there than at the Adventures in a Temperate Climate exhibit downstairs. The paintings by Martin Mull were awesome though. Saphira and I spent a good deal or time discussing them and eating Brie. The weekend highlight was surely the Drake Bell concert at the House Of Blues. It was their first big show and they LOVED it. I dropped a mint taking them to a high-end venue for dinner and a show, but it was an awesome experience for them. We even got an autographed CD!

- Monday, September 18, 2006 at 14:29:48 (EDT)
We were clothes shopping at Target and I threw Living in Oblivion in the cart because Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener were in it. We watched it last night and it was very interesting. It was a movie about making a movie and had some really funny moments. Particularly amusing was the character played by Dermot Mulroney, an anarchist tough-guy camaraman. Keener was wonderful as ever in her role as the actress and I did that thing I do when I whispered "I love you" while watching her. Buscemi was the director and was excellent. He is becoming a favorite for the quirky roles he takes on. There was plenty of great stuff going on in this movie and I can't recommend it more!

- Friday, September 15, 2006 at 16:48:30 (EDT)
The kids weren't too keen on it when I was watching The Gathering as they were dropped off last night. Seconds later, they were hooked. Caleb said it was the scariest movie he had ever seen, but that didn't stop him from being glued to the screen. I got it for Christina Ricci, and she was hot as ever, but it ended up being a really interesting story. We also watched Ghost World again, which kept us up late. Once it started, we just couldn't turn it off.

- Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 16:47:08 (EDT)
The kids have been jonesing to see Man In The Moon since we all love Reese Witherspoon so much. So, when we saw it while grocery shopping, it was an instant score and rush home to watch it situation. It was mega-cute seeing her so young. She looked like she was about 12, but she had "the attitude" down pat already. It was also one of the saddest movies ever, but ended on a tear-jerking high note. I'd have to give it my highest recommendation. Another super-fun film we saw this weekend was Raising Helen. A gal can't get much cuter than Kate Hudson and she did a great job as a young professional on a career fast-track who juggles raising three kids and grows to love it. Equally perfect was Joan Cusack who played her "supermom" sister. Lots of fun and, again, highly recommended.

- Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 12:38:10 (EDT)
We've had a very long weekend centering around the kid's sleepover party celebrating their last weekend before school. Friday we did a massive clean-up of scrubbing, sweeping, and shopping. The kids came the next day for pizza and games. It was pretty wild and we were up very late. It was a blast to watch Steve Oedekerk's Thumb movies. What a crack-up! The next day the kids went to their friends again so just laid aroud sweating (global warming?). I watched a couple cool movies. The first was Ultraviolet, a sci-fi kung fu and weapons thriller with the delicious Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) taking on a complete government in the name of justice. Johnny Depp's The Brave was kinda freaky. Set in a dump, he tried to make things better for his family and may have made things worse. Now it's Labor Day, so I have to think of something fun to do.

- Monday, September 04, 2006 at 13:12:59 (EDT)
Last night I saw The Derailers from Austin Texas at the Casbah. They were absolutely fantastic honky-tonking fun! It wasn't very crowded, so I was able to talk with the band after the show. They were super friendly. Overall, it was a great experience, even though I didn't get home until about 2:30 am. Today, I am just plain wiped out and nodding off at my desk. Still, it was well worth it to make the effort to see one of my favorite bands.

- Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 14:21:24 (EDT)
It was a roadtrip weekend! We went up to visit Jen in Norco, "The Horse Capital of the USA." In other words, a barren desert full of hicks. It was about a billion degrees and as dismal as can be. It got worse when the gate was locked at Mt. Roubidoux and we couldn't boulder. It was a total fluke when we found The Mission Inn, without a doubt the best hotel we have ever seen. It was way ancient and had all kinds of hidden staircases and rooms. Some highlights were the Spanish Gallery, Rotunda, Chapel, and the room service burger. Plus, we got to see Stick It. Very fun!

- Monday, August 28, 2006 at 12:08:57 (EDT)
We had an action-packed weekend. My work had a company picnic with lots of kids games, food and music. From there we headed to the beach for some seaside rockclimbing (sand landings!) and bodysurfing. Turned out to be a hazardous trip. First, I broke a hold off and landed flat on my back from about 15 feet. My neck, back and belly are still sore. Then, my son jabbed his neck with a piece of wood he was using as a belly-board. That was scary. After that we bailed to our kiddie pool at home where it was safe! The next day was pretty easy. The highlight was when the kids made me dinner (they even cleaned up!) and coctails while I watched Friends With Money on DVD. I've been dying to see it since I just love Catherine Keener, Jennifer Anniston and Joan Cusak. They were 30-something friends who we followed around through life. Not much action happened, but lots of crafty conversation. I like those kind of movies...

- Monday, August 21, 2006 at 14:08:00 (EDT)
We were watching The Waterboy the other night and an actress looked familiar. When I looked it up, she was Fairuza Balk. Turns out I had another of her movies, The Craft, and was pretty impressed with it (or at least with how punky and cute Fairuza was) because there was lots of cool magic and effects. I think the kids could watch it since it is basicly a teen movie with an edge. She was also lookin' pretty hot in Deuces Wild, a modern West Side Story. She's also in American History X and Almost Famous, so I guess I'll have to check those out again. They both have been in the short stack for a while...

- Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 19:37:05 (EDT)
I've been wanting to watch Mona Lisa Smile for a long time. I bought it when I was deep into Kirsten Dunst, and was later suprized to see that Maggie Gyllenhaal was in it too. The real star, however, was Julia Roberts who played a progressive professor at Wellesley College in the '50s. What was so cool was that she taught art history, my minor in college. I had an art history teacher that changed my whole worldview, much as Roberts did for her students. It was like To Sir With Love and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (great movies) because in a world that told them how to think, she showed them how to live.

- Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 16:43:16 (EDT)
We went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this weekend. It was kind of a dud compared to previous years. Lots of "circus standard" stuff (Flying Trapeze, Human Cannonball, The Big Double Wheel Thing) was missing. Plus, cotton candy was $10 and popcorn was $6! Needless to say, I dropped a mint and for not much fun. We laughed more watching Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. It's the second Steve Oedekerk movie we've seen after High Strung. He's a real funny guy. Turns out he wrote Bruce Almighty, another of our favorites.

- Monday, August 14, 2006 at 20:43:57 (EDT)
Last night I finished another one of those movies that spoke to my soul, The Ballad of Jack and Rose. I got it because Catherine Keener is in it. (and you know I love her!) Turns out her role was kinda minor compaired to Camilla Belle who plays a daughter growing up into a young woman. What really got me, however, was the role played by Daniel Day-Lewis of the father. There was so much love and passion in their relationship and it's a beautiful thing to see those kind of relations on the screen. There were some real twists that made this one of the best movies yet.

- Tuesday, August 08, 2006 at 16:19:26 (EDT)
My kids came home from a week-long vacation and I was SO happy to see them. My life is a complete dud without them. I mean, laying around watching movies is fun, but not as a lifestyle.

- Thursday, August 03, 2006 at 14:40:44 (EDT)
Sometimes a person can be lucky enough to see a movie that speaks straight to their soul and touches them deeply in very personal ways. That's the most beautiful kind of movie, the kind I saw last night while watching Prozac Nation, a film about the "United States of Depression". Christina Ricci plays a young woman trying her best to cope with life while having a loose nut in her head. She doesn't fit in or have fun. Basic life needs are neglected out of apathy. She wonders why her life can't be more like the movies and is basicly an unhappy wreck until her therapist (Anne Heche) suggests medication. What was very cool was the detail shown of her adapting to the medication and learning to function and love again. Her relationship with her mom (Jessica Lange) improves and they begin to talk. The mom said something that I have thought many times, that kids brought her back from the dead and became her everything. The whole thing was so close to my heart that when Christina began to find her way, it became my own little victory. Great stuff.

- Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at 14:18:20 (EDT)
The kids were stiil on vacation, so I watched movies all weekend (what else?). It was an '80s flashback at first with Valley Girl, which was pretty (yawn) stupid. I would have liked it back in the days when I liked Molly Ringwald, but I'm over that. Grosse Pointe Blank was better. John Cusak is just about always great. In this one he was a nice-guy hitman who goes home for his 10-year high school reunion where all kinds of fun stuff happened. All that silliness drove me to the top shelf for Secretary. James Spader is pretty cool, but I fell in love with Maggie Gyllenhaal. I definately will be seeing more of her. In this movie she played a lovely submissive mental patient secretary. Pretty twisted stuff! Clerks II was a trip down memory lane and a little tired. I think I fell asleep watching it, even though Kevin Smith is just about my favorite movie-maker. Things to Do Before You're 30 was a suprize hit and the only one to bring tears to my eyes this weekend. It dealt with growing up and accepting responsibility, something I have been learning about. Robert De Niro was awesome in Ronin, a crime suspense piece with Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone. Pretty cool stuff. Reminded me of Jackie Brown. I ended the weekend late with the best show of them all, Levity. Billy Bob Thornton gets out of prision and finds his redemption through the characters of Morgan Freeman and Holly Hunter. It was a fascinating study of guilt and remorse, with some love thrown in for good measure. Heart-throb Kirsten Dunst played the beautiful bad girl again who makes good. I love it when that happens! I forgot to mention Full Frontal, another coming-of-age movie, this time with 40 somethings seeking the meaning of life. Catherine Keener was awesome. I love her so much!

- Monday, July 31, 2006 at 11:39:05 (EDT)
I've been in the Vincent Gallo zone for a few days. He's really an interesting actor that plays some pretty edgy parts full of personality. The first movie was L.A. Without a Map. It started out as a sickeningly sweet love story, but had some twists. Gallo plays a stupid criminal. Same with Palookaville... What a bunch of dopes! I really wanted to like The Brown Bunny because it was written, directed, and produced by (ta da!) Vincent Gallo. He's kind of an indi-film guy and his movie was over-the-top artsy. It really required something of me to stay engaged with it, but I stuck it out and found some very touching moments. It's funny. Vincent always gets the girl, but then is too neurotic to do anything with them.

- Friday, July 28, 2006 at 13:34:44 (EDT)
The top shelf (no kids) yielded another indi-treasure last night, Buffalo '66. I don't remember seeing Vincent Gallo before, but his portrayal of an affected Gen-X ex-con was so on target that it must have been his real personality. His unlikely love story with Christina Ricci was as odd as could be and earned her a permanent space in the "great actors movies the kids shouldn't see" section right between S.F.W. and The Man Who Cried (guess the actors). Cameos by Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette, and Anjelica Huston push this movie into classic status. It's not for everyone. Indeed, it's the kind of movie only wierdos and misfits will relate to. In it's genre, it's one of the best and gets my highest reccomendation.

- Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 12:32:08 (EDT)
The kids left on a week-long vacation to the Sierras with my folks, so I reached to the top shelf (new movies the kids shouldn't see) for Cecil B. Demented, a John Waters film. I have never seen one of his I don't like. They are so anti! I could go on and on about how great he is. After the movie I took a nap, then read Lonesome Dove until it was late.

- Monday, July 24, 2006 at 12:20:38 (EDT)
Saphira had a sleep-over at Sheridan's house (we got her a pre-paid cellphone for her birthday) so Caleb and I followed tradition and watched a creepy movie, Van Helsing. It wasn't scary enough, so we switched over to S.F.W. with Reese Witherspoon. We love her in the distressed roles! In this one she was a good girl in a bad situation, rather than a bad girl in a bad situation. It ended up being a love story, which is fine by me!

- Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 15:13:18 (EDT)
My sister mentioned 11:14, so I took the time to check it out since the kids went to the Pops with my folks. Pretty cool movie, like Crash. A bunch of stories take place in the same time slot and blend together into one messed-up night. Lots of bad stuff happens and not much that's good. After that tension, I wanted a feel good movie and turned on Under The Tuscan Sun. That was more my style. A pretty lady flirting around in a foreign country who has all her wishes come true in the end. Then, the kids came home for bedtime. Again, I was reminded that life can be better than any movie!

- Friday, July 21, 2006 at 20:04:43 (EDT)
When I was growing up, I used to spend hours deep in the canyons around our house groveling through deep brush, hopping fences and burrowing through tunnels and drain pipes. Everyday I would dissapear for hours into the netherworlds. Well, being a dad that wants my kids to have at least what I did, I took the kids on their first "canyoneering" adventure this weekend right from our backyard gate. We would go a ways until it seemed we could go no further, then I would bushwack a way through. In this fashion, we traveled all the way through until we climbed a drainage ditch onto the street. They thought it was cool. So did I.

- Monday, July 17, 2006 at 16:10:55 (EDT)
I've been wanting to see S1m0ne for a long time and finally pulled it off the "must see" pile last night. It exceeded my high expectations. I bought it because I really like the cyber-type movies (Hackers, Swordfish, Johnny Nmumonic, Teknolust...) where computers take over. Not knowing who was in it, I was pleasently suprized to see Winona Ryder and Catherine Keener. Al Pacino displayed his mastery of movie-craft, but the real star was Rachel Roberts as Simone. Amazingly, this is her only movie. I bet we will be seeing more of her!

- Friday, July 14, 2006 at 19:18:26 (EDT)
I finished watching Bubble last night while waiting for the kids to be dropped off. Maybe it was supposed to be boring, being a small town movie and all. It ended up with an interesting ending, but not much action. After bedtime I was antsy, so I stayed up and pre-screened a new Reese Witherspoon movie, Best Laid Plans. It made it into the pile of great movies the kids shouldn't see. There was lots of crime and murder and intrigue. The best thing was seeing Reese all tortured looking with her makeup running down her face. I love that about some of her movies (Freeway, American Psycho). I was up way too late, however, and am kind of wiped out at work. I don't know how I used to go out to see bands on weeknights until the early morning... Guess I'm getting old.

- Thursday, July 06, 2006 at 13:38:31 (EDT)
We went to the "traditional" fireworks spot overlooking Lake Murray last night and found a spot at my old "fort" from when we used to live there in the Lake Park condos. I thought it was a cool place to kick it, but the kids thought it was lame. When we heard the live band from the other side of the lake we were all reminded of the big party they have over there. It was too late to get there in time, so we all were bummed and bored. The fireworks were close and loud, which is cool, but our mood was kinda sour. Oh well... Next year we will do it right!

- Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 14:52:16 (EDT)
They let us off work early Monday, so I went home and (what else?) watched some movies. First off was Mary with Juliette Binoche. I love the actress, but the movie was dull. It was supposed to be a controversial account of Jesus's disciples, but it was tame compared to my radical theology. After that, I watched Better Off Dead. It was also pretty weak. John Cusack is one of my favorites, but in this one he was just a kid. I wasn't able to see the end of Bubble cuz I had to go get the kids. I'm barely motivated to see the end of it either. We went to the drive-in to see Click and really had fun! Finally, a movie worth seeing! Adam Sandler is always good and Christopher Walken is a family favorite. Finally, I laid around on the 4th and watched Death To Smoochy, a movie I expected to hate, but liked a lot. Catherine Keener was the draw, but Edward Norton, Danny DeVito and Robin Williams were a crack up!

- Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 14:42:02 (EDT)
It was a Nicole Holofcener weekend. I finished watching Lovely & Amazing and was so impressed that I followed it up with Walking and Talking. Both movies were just wonderful! Catherine Keener is for sure a new favorite with her somewhat Gen-X deadpan. I could totally relate to the 30-somethings in Holofcener's films... I love it when that happens! Can't wait to see Friends with Money, as it comes out soon. Jennifer Anniston AND Catherine Keener! Saphira watched Deeply and gave it 5 of 5. Yeah, I thought so too. We also watched most of the Scary Movie movies.

- Monday, July 03, 2006 at 12:24:39 (EDT)
It seems all I talk about is movies... That's just what we do! Last night it was Bring It On, yet another Kirsten Dunst movie. In this one, she was captain of a cheerleading squad. In sports I was a benchwarmer, so cheerleaders hold a special place in my heart. Togight, we finished seeing Being John Malkovich. I'm a big fan of John Cusack. In this movie, his puppet shows were exquiste. Great acting by Catherine Keener as well. Highly recommended! Now, Lust In The Dust is in, but I'm bored with it.

- Friday, June 30, 2006 at 00:55:43 (EDT)
My car was in the shop yesterday morning (new spark plug cables and distributor cap) so I had a chance to grab another Kirsten Dunst movie, Deeply, off the stack to watch. It was really good. It's funny how I watch kid movies a lot now. I guess it's a Daddy thing to pre-screen them. I also watched Miranda with Christina Ricci. It was as forgettable as the other was memorable. I was barely interested and can't even tell you what it was about. After the kids went to bed I fell asleep watching Lovely & Amazing. It was a great movie by Nicole Holofcener, a new filmaker I'm checking out. Maybe tonight I can finish that one...

- Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 15:45:49 (EDT)
Man! It was HOT last weekend! We just had to get wet. Saphira has been talking about how she can dive under waves, so I took her to Big Rock in La Jolla to tackle the shorebreak. Both kids got pounded, but I showed them how to get outside the wave zone and float around. Caleb was spooked, but Saphira could do it alone. She screamed when I swam up to her underwater and grabbed her foot. Such a Daddy thing to do... There was excellent rock climbing there too with sand landings. We will surely go there again, especially now since the water is warm. At home, we had to keep the kiddie pool full as well and dunk from time to time. While we were in the poolside shade, I read aloud from The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Pretty cool stuff! In the evening we watched The Importance of Being Earnest. (Reese Witherspoon!) What a great movie!

- Monday, June 26, 2006 at 13:58:15 (EDT)
It's been quite some time since my sister Jan gave me the soundtrack to Kissing Jessica Stein, but it wasn't until last weekend that I was able to see the movie. It was really really good. Quite clever and full of drama. Knowing the soundtrack was very cool, since the songs would kick in and enhance the moment. The Jewishness was quaint and the relationships were meaningful. Overall, it was as good as movies get. We also saw Imagine Me & You, which was another touching portrayal of love issues between females. It was an interesting movie weekend.

- Monday, June 26, 2006 at 13:00:00 (EDT)
It's been all about Kirsten Dunst lately. I bought a bunch of her movies (I LOVE HER!) and have been watching them with the kids. Last night it was Get Over It. It was a kid movie, but quite fun. Not the best, but better than the previous night's Drop Dead Gorgeous. Both were cool and the kids liked 'em. I liked 'em too because I could get an eyeful of her. I'm surely going to watch Elizabethtown again, this time with the kids. It's her best and the one that started the infatuation in the first place.

- Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 20:13:38 (EDT)
Well, it's a tough call. I've been having the leading lady shootout with the following movies: Pleasantville with Reese Witherspoon, In Good Company with Scatlett Johannson, and Wimbleton with Kirsten Dunst. I'll tell ya, the actress makes the movie! My kids wish I would just decide already... They're sick of hearing about it! The truth is, they all were the best when the movie ended. Nobody can win because they all do in the moment. I guess that settles it.

- Monday, June 12, 2006 at 23:04:10 (EDT)
Saphira has a giant project building a model of Mission San Francisco de Asis for school. We found the materials needed at Michael's, an arts and crafts superstore, for $90. Then, I spent a couple hours figuring dimensions and drawing plans. I guess it's a daddy thing to do homework! While we were at the mall, we ducked in to see Cars. Pixar stuff is always great, and this was no exeption. There weren't any seats together for the 2nd show (X-Men). No big deal, since Saphira didn't want to see it anyway. She was picky shopping too. Finally we found a pair of Converse she liked. Caleb was easy. He wanted something everywhere he looked!

- Monday, June 12, 2006 at 13:18:55 (EDT)
I was in a Jennifer Aniston mood, so I watched She's The One. It was bonus because Cameron Diaz and a hot new girl named Maxine Bahns were in it. It was a pretty complex romantic comedy with layers of love triangles all over the place. It was nowhere in the caliber of films I've been seeing lately, but fun.

- Friday, June 09, 2006 at 12:46:39 (EDT)
The kids were late getting home last night, so I had the chance to see Crazy Beautiful on TV. It was a fantastic movie and really heated up the favorite leading lady situation. I'm still totally in love with Scarlett Johannson, but Kirsten Dunst is just as hot. She was great in this movie, but her best was Elizabethtown. Scarlett was best in A Love Song For Bobby Long. It's a total tie and I have no tie-breaker movie to watch tonight. Dang! (I just got sidetracked and bought some Kirsten Dunst movies). We will have to defer this discussion, I guess. Besides, I think tonight is a Jennifer Anniston night anyway.

- Thursday, June 08, 2006 at 16:21:50 (EDT)
I just wanted to make an entry because the date is 6/6/6.

- Tuesday, June 06, 2006 at 13:14:08 (EDT)
Friday was the annual Spring Fling dinner and auction at the kids school. I got out-bid on most of the stuff, but Saphira blocked people from raising our bid on her class's "Fun In The Sun" package. Again, I paid more than it was worth, but my daughter's status rose when we bought it. The next day we played with lots of the water toys and slip-and-slides in the heat. On Sunday Grandpa took us fishing and I didn't have much fun. Rocking boats have always sucked for me, but the kids had fun.

- Monday, June 05, 2006 at 10:28:01 (EDT)
I had the chance to finish watching Match Point last night. I thought it would be funny, being a Woody Allen movie. It wasn't. Sure, it had it's moments, but overall it was disturbing and tense. The cast was stellar. Of course, I thought Scarlett Johansson was great. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Emily Mortimer were equally superb. I was definately rivited to the screen with suspense! It was a good movie worth seeing, but I won't be showing it to the kids, that's for sure.

- Thursday, June 01, 2006 at 13:06:10 (EDT)
We didn't do much on Saturday but watch The Perfect Score on TV. It was pretty cool, like the Breakfast Club mixed with Ocean's Eleven. Pretty exciting stuff, plus Scarlett Johannson! We also watched the Juliette Lewis movie The Other Sister. Sunday was more busy, since we went to SeaWorld. It was pretty crowded, but we still got to see some cool shows and rides. Staying until closing time, it was past midnight when we got home. We dragged ourselves out for a hot and dusty session at the Santee Boulders on Monday (holiday!). The kids hung tough, but it was too brutal a day for them to send much. They saw the problems though... We'll be back to climb 'em some day!

- Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 12:20:13 (EDT)
Work got out for the holiday and I couldn't wait to get home and watch another Scarlett Johannson movie. This time she was with John Travolta in A Love Song for Bobby Long. Now I don't have to tell you how great he has become, but I just have to talk about her for a minute. Every movie I love her more. If this wasn't her best movie, than I am going to die watching that one. I cried so many times. I was so moved. Travolta played an English Professor gone to seed who's wisdom and honor were so great that he was a true hero. He was one who loved books even more than me. His world was a glimpse into my own and I am forever changed. I cry as I write this. The world is a beautiful place if we only take the time to love it. I am blessed to be able to see such movies and tell you what it means to me. I don't think I'll ever see one better than this.

- Friday, May 26, 2006 at 20:04:17 (EDT)
I really wanted to like Lost In Translation last night. Sure, it had Scarlett Johannson (oh yeah) in it, which made the movie great kinda by default, but it also had Bill Murray. Bill has perfected his deadpan delivery for his recent movies (Broken Flowers) and is lots of fun. Still, Lost In Translation felt too modern for me. It was so hip and contemporary, which was cool but somewhat disconserting. The Japanese nightclubs, for instance, were just plain wierd. Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, but not as good as the period piece love stories I've been seeing lately.

- Friday, May 26, 2006 at 12:29:04 (EDT)
It just keeps getting better! Last night I had a chance to watch A Good Woman and just loved it. The best type of movie, it was a period-piece romance set in the '30s at an Italian resort for the wealthy. Scarlett Johannson is still my favorite after this movie, but Helen Hunt was also excellent. When she was called "a good woman" it brought tears to my eyes. The entire film was passionate and wonderful. When it ended, I actually hugged the DVD case! How silly is that?

- Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:05:54 (EDT)
Keeping with the Scarlett Johannson kick (she's the best!) we watched the wonderful Girl With A Pearl Earring last night. It was incredibly moving, for me at least. As an art history buff, its portrayal of an era was fascinating. Plus, Ghrit was absolutely beautiful and virtuous. This was one of the best movies EVER and I can't recommend it more!

- Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 13:26:44 (EDT)
Caleb had a Cub Scout campout during the weekend and it was almost fun. The other parents must think I'm kinda lame because I just lay around and read books most of the time. Hey! I've always been that way! At least I had Saphira to talk to while Caleb was running wild with the boys. My daughter and I talk for hours, which is a real treat for me. Bob the puppy had fun too on his first campout. He fell in black mud and was covered head-to-toe, which was pretty funny. The real highlight of the weekend was when we got home and watched The Island on TV. Ewan McGregor was good (as always) but Scarlett Johansson was AWESOME! She's the new favorite, hands down.

- Monday, May 22, 2006 at 18:34:32 (EDT)
Saphira had a sleepover last weekend for her friend's birthday, so I thought Caleb and I would watch a crazy movie. He likes that twisted stuff. Well, it turns out that Freeway was a bit much for him (we watched The Whole Nine Yards instead). Reese Witherspoon played a role like we have never seen as a potty-mouthed, murdering, piece of trailer-trash. She was just incredible! I love all her movies and this one especially! Keifer Sutherland played the "Freeway Murderer" and did a great job. Another of my favorites. I had to wait until Caleb fell asleep before I could watch the end. Dang! What a finale! You have got to see it, that's all I have to say about that! We took our puppy (nickname: pee & poop) to Dog Beach the next day and he was just overwhelmed. He jumped into the ocean and decided he didn't like that much. The big dogs were running crazy and would bowl him over. He slept like a log. So did we.

- Monday, May 15, 2006 at 11:32:04 (EDT)
I've been on a Woody Allen kick lately. The best of the bunch was Anything Else, a wonderful film with Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci. Jason is a funny guy, but Christina is just fantastic. I just love her in every movie I've seen. Definately a favorite! We watched Annie Hall a couple days ago and the kids let me get away with it. The made me turn off Hannah and her Sisters last night though to watch Envy instead. Turns out it was a good move. Ben Stiller and Jack Black were an absolute crack-up. Rachel Weisz was beautiful as ever, but the real suprize was Christopher Walken as the "J-Man". Classic!

- Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:58:19 (EDT)
We bought a Shetland Sheepdog last night... a total impulse buy. Caleb had a Cub Scout meeting at Shakey's Pizza and we were walking in the mall and saw an adorable puppy in the window. It was love at first play, so we just walked in a bought it. So sweet! It slept on our bed last night and loves to play and has a tiny little bark. It way have been rash, but it felt so good to have him with us at home. He's alone now, so I imagine there will be chewed up stuff and poop when I get home. What fun!

- Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 12:02:06 (EDT)
I love my new job! We service 7000 advisors and the phone rings all day long with stuff for me to do. It's so cool. I have tons of responsibility and chances for advancement. I'm really happy. Way more than my last job. I think I'm going to be here a long time.

- Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 17:22:45 (EDT)
I'm sitting at my new desk at the new job. It's not a tiny cubicle as I feared. Instead, I'm in a bigger area with four desks, which is pretty cool. The orientation meeting took two hours and had more forms than I have ever seen to get a job. A downer is that there will be no employer matching on my 401k plan this year and I'll have to pay for the kids insurance. A neat benefit is I get discounts for amusement parks and movies. I'm dead in the water now without network logins, so this is a phone entry. I am never off line!

- Monday, April 17, 2006 at 14:10:22 (EDT)
Our trip to Knott's Berry Farm started out as a dud. Our room was way more expensive than last time (vacation time?) and not as nice and we had seen most of the in-room movies already. We did watch The Producers and it ended up being fun. Anything with Uma Thurman is great in my book. What really peeved me is the kids began by wimping out on the rides. They redeemed themselves by doing Montezooma's Revenge a bunch of times with it's incredible high-speed flip. They wouldn't do The Boomerang, but we did the Jaguar, Thunder Mountain, Ghostrider, and Bigfoot Rapids. What made the trip a winner was returning at night to do rides. Now that was cool! They passed out watching Tristan + Isolde on TV. It was a great movie and made everthing worth it in the end. We drive home today and I start the new job tomorrow.

- Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 12:28:22 (EDT)
We had our first Passover Seder at home last night and really enjoyed it. For every year of the kid's life, they had gone to a friend, family or synagogue seder. Doing it at home was sooo special! We all took turns reading and lingered over the ancient rituals. I think it meant a lot to them. I know it did to me!

- Thursday, April 13, 2006 at 15:26:30 (EDT)
We caught a fun double-feature at the drive-in last night. The first movie was The Benchwarmers. It was the stupid and quite enjoyable story of three dorks, played by David Spade, Jon Heder and Rob Schneider, who never were the part of anything until they formed a baseball team to take on all the bullies. Especially colorful was Jon Lovitz as the nerd who grew up to make millions. The second movie was Aquamarine, the story of some teen girls who befriend a mermaid and help her to fall in love for the first time. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was pretty cool. I usually hate kid movies, but we had a great time.

- Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 11:46:19 (EDT)
Between interviews and job calls I watched some punk rock movies. First off was the excellent SLC Punk, a tribute to wild youth with a blistering soundtrack. Next up was Suburbia, an equally accurate picture of 80's rebel youth. Then it was Repo Man. Dang! Now that's a triple header! Then, for perspective, it was a heavy metal tribute called Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg. Pretty cool stuff. I might as well watch This Is Spinal Tap next, while I'm at it.

- Tuesday, April 04, 2006 at 16:48:05 (EDT)
Here's some scary stuff. I was using Microsoft Anti-Spyware and NOD32 to keep my computer safe and just installed Spyware Doctor to be sure. It found 132 infections! Granted, some of them were cookies I allow, but a bunch were malicious. Dang!

- Tuesday, April 04, 2006 at 11:42:13 (EDT)
I had such a good time watching Kevin Smith movies that I had to get some more. Mallrats was pretty cool mindless fun with a bunch of my favorites in it (Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, and of course Jay and Silent Bob). The one that took the prize, however, was Jersey Girl. What a sweet story! I didn't think Kevin Smith had it in him after all his quirky movies, but we really enjoyed it.

- Saturday, April 01, 2006 at 14:21:28 (EST)
I went to see The Libertine today before it dissapeared forever. This movie, which was showing at one time at one theatre, must be the flop of the season. How could it not be? With a subject manner so devoid of "Oscar Formula" goodness it is sure to fail. It's the tale of the Earl of Rochester, a man of wealth, talent and title that debauches it all away and dies painfully of horrible disease. As it ended, I sat in shock, deeply moved, wondering what I have in common, if anything, with this man who drank too much, smoked too much, and loved the wrong people entirely too much. It takes a certain kind of person to find a hero in such a man, but that was the feeling I was left with. Leaving the theatre, I saw all the nice people there to see nice movies and felt as at odds with them as the Earl did with those around him wondering, why is it that some of us are born to feel this way?

- Friday, March 31, 2006 at 19:40:30 (EST)
I just had an amazing Kevin Smith double header. It started when I watched Clerks again. It's a great story of a bunch of nowhere people living out their useless lives and trying to find meaning in it. Nothing deep, but lots of fun. Especially Jay and Silent Bob. I love those guys. After it was over, I figured I might as well watch another of his movies and popped in Chasing Amy and got fairly blown away. It was one of the best movies ever about love and how we ruin it with preconceptions of how it should be and disregard for how it really is. The best movies resonate with hard truths and bring up feelings that we never knew we had or had buried so deep that we thought we would never experience them again. Sometimes, when they resurface, we are made better by the experience and other times we just feel like crap. I'm having a little of both right now, and that's a good thing.

- Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 14:41:01 (EST)
I saw another Academy Award winning piece of crap yesterday, The Constant Gardener. I guess controversy was the ticket this year - race issues (Crash) sex issues (Brokeback Mountain) political issues (Constant Gardener)... I would rather not have such stuff clogging up my movie experience. Keira Knightley blew away Rachel Weisz for her supporting role in Pride & Prejudice and should have won that Oscar. It was a brilliant movie. I watched another great one after the kids went to bed, Sense and Sensibility. Now that's what a movie should be!

- Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 10:26:38 (EST)
Every time I see a Johnny Depp movie, he rises a notch in my estimation. Last night we watched Sleepy Hollow. It was freaky wierd. We all jumped when a bunch of heads came rolling out of a tree stump, among other scenes. There was witches and superstition and above all the great acting of Johnny Depp. Today I watched Donnie Brasco and it was just awesome. It was all gangster and intrigue. I felt like I was in a movie after it was over as I went through my day. Ever get that feeling?

- Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 19:46:41 (EST)
Man! I just saw an incredible movie called Teknolust. It was right up my alley! It was about these computer generated clones that develop a mind of their own and become human with feelings and desires and what-not. There was a bunch of fantastic technobabble about computer viruses that infect people through their screen and downloadable emotions and other far-out stuff. Tilda Swinton, one of my absolute favorites, plays the scientist who created the clones and also plays the clone Ruby who interfaces with the real world for her clone sisters and has a web portal where people experience her in incredibly futuristic ways. Eventually, Ruby falls in love and brings the experiment full circle. Wow!

- Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 13:18:49 (EST)
Well, we made it back from Julian and had a really good time. We ended up seeing a lot of fun movies on TNT in or room: While You Were Sleeping, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Mr. Deeds. The kids were so psyched on the movies that they made me run out for Subway sandwiches rather that eat at one of the great country restaurants. So, we had our BBQ ribs for lunch today instead. Then, we drove out through a back dirt road I know through all kinds of wilderness to the highway. We even crossed two rivers! It was pretty exciting. I have an interview with the HR folks at LPL Financial tomorrow, so I guess they will offer me a job. I need one, so it's a good thing. It was nice having a few days off, but it will also be good to work again.

- Monday, March 27, 2006 at 00:49:09 (EST)
I'm posting this from our hotel room in beautiful Julian on my phone! We came up to play in the snow and when we came to town the kids were frozen stiff so we checked into a cute little bed and breakfast inn to thaw out. This is a total hick town and I don't know what we are going to do all night. BBQ is definitely in the mix and there is cable TV. Maybe we will get lucky and catch some cool movies. Our room is very quaint and rustic. Cool!

- Saturday, March 25, 2006 at 19:41:58 (EST)
I had a great interview at LPL Financial yesterday. It took over two hours for me to meet with three people and they all seemed to like me and my experience. I guess it's going to be life insurance marketing as my career path now. It's what I'm good at and the internet graphics thing has run it's course. I have to do what's best for my little family and I feel good about it, even though it's sad to leave a fun career behind. There were four openings at LPL, so it looks pretty good for me having a job next month. Today, I'm just going to take it easy and watch Jackie Brown. I've been wanting to see it for a long time. I bet it's going to be good. Quentin Tarantino movies are always a sick good time!

- Friday, March 24, 2006 at 11:06:08 (EST)
Between posting my resume, making calls and setting up interviews, I was able to watch a couple good movies today. The first was The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. It's the story of a small-town cashier, stifled in a rudderless marriage and miserable at her boring job, who has an affair with a younger co-worker, leading to a series of confounding personal events. Good stuff! After that I watched Aeon Flux. Charlize Theron did an awesome job as Aeon Flux, an amoral rebel that was completely detached from everything and everyone. In the end, she finds love and hope. You know how I love romance, especially when there is lots of kung-fu and stuff blowing up!

- Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 23:30:24 (EST)
I saw Crash today and I wanted to hate it, seeing how it won the Academy Award for best movie. There were so many good movies like Family Stone, Elizabethtown, Pride and Prejudice, even Pink Panther, that didn't even get a mention and I thought this would be one of the phony "formula" films that win those awards. But, as the movie went on and I was drawn into the intricacies of the plot, I began to see why it would win. It really was a good movie. Not the best in my opinion, but pretty darn good.

- Friday, March 17, 2006 at 15:59:29 (EST)
I got laid off at work today. Oh well. It's not a good thing, having kids and a mortgage and what-not. I wasn't happy there anyway and had an awful commute, so I hoping something good will come of it. At least now I have a good reason to quit smoking... I won't be able to afford that filthy habit anymore!

- Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 23:04:15 (EST)
Well, there wasn't any booze at the Purim Seudah last night, so that's one mitzvah down the drain! There was lots of great Sephardic food and a magician though. We all had a great time celebrating a great holiday. On a similar Jewish note, I've been listening to this Hasidic reggae star named Matisyahu for the last couple days. He's an Orthodox Jew from Crown Heights who mixes Torah values and Hebrew niggids into his music. I was sceptical, but it's actually pretty cool stuff!

- Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:12:03 (EST)
Last night we rushed to shul to hear Megillah Esther, one of the essential mitzvot of Purim, and made it just in time. We were stalled trying to find a suitable Vashti costume for Saphira. Caleb was easy... He's got costumes galore. The chevrah gave us a wonderful Shaloch Manot bag and we had a little seudah in our van. Tonight, we return to the Beit Ha Midrash for the big Purim Seudah and to drink until we can't discern the difference between "blessed be Mordachi and cursed be Haman." Yeah, on Purim it's a mitzvah to drink. Pretty cool, eh? I knew there was a good reason why I became a Jew! ps. How do you like all those fancy words above? Clarification can be found here.

- Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 13:17:01 (EST)
We had an awesome time at La Jolla Cove yesterday. It was my daughter's suggestion and I wasn't very excited by it. But, being a daddy, I went through the motions and ended up having a wonderful day. The main attraction was the 145 step descent into Sunny Jim Cave, a man-made tunnel completed in 1903. It ended up in a seaside cave. We then hiked up to the cliff top and climbed down to the water. It was kinda scary, but my kids are used to adventure. We scrambled over the rocks and found a perfect beach that we had all to ourselves. There was excellent vertical rock walls that we tried our climbing skills on and tidepools with giant sea anemones and urchins. There were even seals! At one point it started to rain and we sat it out under the cliff overhang. We pretty much spent the whole day there and got home pretty pooped out. Goes to show that good times can be had even when the plan seems like a dud.

- Monday, March 13, 2006 at 12:20:38 (EST)
It's a Leonardo Leonardo DiCaprio weekend. After seeing Titanic, the kids wanted more of him so I got more. The first was Romeo + Juliet and it was kinda wierd. Even though the tale was modernized and featured guns instead of swords, the old english dialogue was a bit disconcerting. The kids kept saying that they didn't know what the heck they were talking about. After that we watched The Beach. That was a tale we could dig our teeth into! It had some creepy parts that earned it an R rating, but we enjoyed it quite a bit. Plus, I kind of have a thing for Tilda Swinton these days. Finally, we cracked up watching Catch Me If You Can. Now that's a great movie. Leonardo was fantastic, as was one of our other favorites, Tom Hanks. We didn't have time for Gangs of New York, so I'll have to tell you about that one later!

- Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 22:25:20 (EST)
While I was waiting for Grandma to drop off the kids last night I watched American Psycho. What a sick movie! We got it because Reese Witherspoon was in it, but her part was totally minor compared to the murdering crazy sick cannibal played by Christian Bale. He was truly a modern day Ed Gein. Dang! I put that movie away where the kids would never find it. When they came home we toned it way down and watched ?Three Amigos!, a mega-classic super comedy with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. If you haven't seen it yet, you should. We laughed our heads off watching those idiots become heroes.

- Friday, March 10, 2006 at 11:53:51 (EST)
I guess all it takes is time (and a couple hundred friend requests!) because now I have a handful of friends who take the time to write and respond to bulletins and stuff on Myspace. I wish they would add a comment to my page though... It looks kinda naked right now. I watched the movie Constantine last night... It was plenty spooky! That devil stuff always got to me (like The Exorcist. Scary!) because it seems like it COULD happen. Keanu got dissing reviews for this film, but I thought he was great. So was Rachel Weisz. I especially liked Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel. We have been fans since seeing her as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia. It goes to show that one can't always base their opinion on those of others. The kids hated Constantine, by the way. They would rather watch The Pink Panther again!

- Thursday, March 09, 2006 at 13:15:54 (EST)
I got the new Hank III CD yesterday and it is about as good as music gets. He lays off the heavy metal stuff long enough to place himself squarely onto the honky-tonk throne. It's a funny dichotomy, the way his music is so pleasing yet his lyrics are clearly rated x. Hank III isn't for everyone, but he is my absolute favorite. So there.

- Tuesday, March 07, 2006 at 11:47:34 (EST)
We had a pretty busy weekend centered around a couple family lunches for Caleb's birthday. He's going to be 8 this month. Boy, they sure grow up fast! A special event was going to see the Asylum Street Spankers in concert. They don't get to see shows much, so they were real excited for a while, then got bored and made us leave. Oh well. At least we got t-shirts and a "spank me" bumper sticker. It was a movie weekend as well, starting out with The Pink Panther and In Her Shoes, a couple great movies that the kids really enjoyed. When the kids were playing I finished Four Rooms. Very, very funny. We also watched Family Stone again and Walk The Line, probably my two favorite movies right now. The weekend ended with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a movie bought for my daughter that ended up being pretty cool.

- Monday, March 06, 2006 at 12:20:24 (EST)
I posted some Avril music at KrayTracker and recieved an amusing torrent of comments. Pretty much everyone was incredulous that I could listen to such stuff! It suprises me too. We watched Rumor Has It last night. It was pretty cool. I really like Jennifer Aniston and Mark Ruffalo. Dang, even Kevin Costner put in a good showing. Especially entertaining was Shirley MacLaine, one of the all time greats! On a final note, our neighbors across the street are selling their house for $800,000.

- Friday, March 03, 2006 at 12:19:34 (EST)
Those of you who know me are gonna think I've lost it, but I just have to say I love Avril Lavigne. She is such a crushingly adorable tomboy punk princess. I started playing her for the kids cuz I want them to grow up into good little punk rockers, but they're not ready for Black Flag and Minor Threat yet. Well, I started saying things like "that's a cool song" and "Avril Rocks!' Before I knew it I was a fan and even though I'm old enough to be her father, I still wanna marry her. We were checking out her new My World concert DVD this morning. Wow! Now that kid tears it up!

- Wednesday, March 01, 2006 at 12:54:39 (EST)
The kids were at my folks last night, so I was able to watch Kill Bill, Volume 2 on TV. When they are around I can't watch these ultra-violent movies I enjoy so much. Quentin Tarantino is one of the best filmakers these days and he has a way of creating tense and surreal scenes. For instance, there was the one last night where Uma Thurman was buried alive after being blasted at point-blank range with a double barrel of rock salt. Intense!

- Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 15:32:28 (EST)
Caleb's Cub Scout camping trip was a big success. The parents were cool and the camp was nice. The boys pretty much goofed off the whole time and got along real well. There were a few activities like BB gun shooting, archery, knot tying and hiking, but mostly it was just playtime. Scouting was important to me as a kid and being a scouting parent brings a whole new dimension to it.

- Monday, February 27, 2006 at 12:12:03 (EST)
I really wanted my kids to be involved in scouting because it was such a positive experience for me. It was easy to find Caleb a troop he liked (we're having a campout this weekend with them) but Saphira has had a hard time finding a troop. Well, last night we went to another first meeting and this one had girls she liked! Yippee! I hope they remain friends forever!

- Friday, February 24, 2006 at 12:52:36 (EST)
We went to Big 5 to get a new sleeping pad for our tent (our old one got a hole at Joshua Tree on its 2nd trip) and ended up with a new stove and coffee pot as well. Caleb got mad at me because I wouldn't buy him Heelies. He should know he'll get 'em some day. In the end, he always gets his way. Blockbuster was next door, so we ended up with a bunch of new movies including Mona Lisa Smile (Kirsten Dunst!) Here Comes Polly, Must Love Dogs, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and Around the World in 80 Days. I love buying movies, but it's kinda expensive. The worst thing is buying crappy movies, like when we got My Date With Drew. I hated that movie!

- Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at 16:45:00 (EST)
Man! My feet, ankles, and legs are so sore from all the Disneyland walking that I am practically crippled! I actually limped as I dragged the kids from bed for school. I asked them if they were sore and they said no. Ahhh... To be young again!

- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 13:05:03 (EST)
We had a blue-ribbon day at Disney's California Adventure. The kids did their first rollercoaster flip on the California Screamin' ride. It was so mega-excellent that we did it twice. We also did the very worst ride ever, this giant swinging/sliding ferris wheel. We actually asked them to stop it and let us off because it was so sickening. The Grizzly River Run was soaking fun and Soarin' Over California were top-notch, but everything else was kinda so-so. We stayed too long and got home late, but man... what a weekend! I dropped a bundle, but it was worth every penny. Dang! Good times like that make life worth living!

- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 00:46:31 (EST)
We spent 13 hours at Disneyland yesterday. We rode all the classic rides like the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's A Small World and like a zillion others. Notables were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Gadget's Go Coaster, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Alice In Wonderland, Pinnochio's Daring Adventure, Snow White's Scary Adventures and Mister Toad's Wild Ride. We finished the night, exausted, with a magical fireworks show. It was just about a perfect day!

- Monday, February 20, 2006 at 11:26:54 (EST)
It's hailing on our Disneyland day. The kids think it's cool. but as a practical parent, I think it sucks.

- Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:16:14 (EST)
Our Disneyland hotel is way below our experience, but at least it has HBO. Last night we watched The Whole Ten Yards (very funny), Elektra (classic Frank Miller tale), Welcome To Mooseport (extremely entertaining), and Cast Away (also classic). Somewhere during the movie binge we had ribs, chicken, and pizza delivered. We also took our skateboards and checked out the town. It was a dud compared to Hollywood, but what town isn't?

- Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:08:38 (EST)
I'm doing a silly thing by creating a MySpace site. I did it on a whim to get in touch with a band and ask them a question and it turned into this crazy time-killing addiction! Dang, there's a lot of people on there and I invited a whole bunch of rockstars and actresses to be my friends. I'll be virtually connected and popular. Cyberspace is a funny thing...

- Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 16:20:26 (EST)
I went to another stupid all ages show this weekend at the House of Blues. Tiger Army was the draw and they sold out two nights in a row, but I thought they were lame. I had high hopes for the opening band, The Phenomenauts, but their stupid outer space schtick was idiotic. I had way more fun the next day when the kids and I saw Hoodwinked and Nanny McPhee at the big ol' twenty-plex theatre in Mission Valley. We ate food and snuck around all the theatres and generally goofed off all afternoon. The whole world is a playground. Saphira learned how to sit on a handrail and slide down it. Now, that was the weekend's highlight!

- Monday, February 13, 2006 at 12:08:34 (EST)
I had a romance movie triple header this weekend and all the films were wonderful! First off was Shopgirl, the story of a lovely gal (Claire Danes) who has a little trouble finding true love, but gets it in the end. Next was The Notebook. Loved it! Gena Rowlands was just adorable, and you know I fall in love with all the leading ladies! The icing on the cake was Pride and Prejudice. Wow! Turn of the century stuff are my favorite kind of movies. Keira Knightley was just fantastic as the proud and beautiful daughter in a family of daughters. Equally supurb was the performance of Donald Sutherland as lord of the manor. Needless to say, I was in bliss watching these movies!

- Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 14:46:44 (EST)
Our long awaited Titanic DVD came in the mail yesterday and we watched it right away in movie rapture! Everyone agreed it was one of the best movies ever! It was happy and sad, beautiful and ugly. Saphira was overcome by the cruel ways people can show in a crisis. Caleb was amazed to see the sinking ship. I (of course!) was swept away in the beautiful and pure love shared by the characters of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Their performance was worthy of the best picture Oscar they earned. It is so cool the way we can score old movies and enjoy them so much!

- Friday, February 10, 2006 at 12:22:56 (EST)
A power line fell down in the street in front of our house and the kids thought it was pretty cool that we had a blackout in our house. We had candles burning all over and used flashlights while we goofed off in the dark. It wasn't so cool the next day when I had to wait all day for an electrician to restore our power. The neighbor's went back on fine when the line was repaired. It's just our luck that ours didn't. I was lost without the DVD player, but I did have the chance to read a bit of All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. His books are pretty cool.

- Thursday, February 09, 2006 at 22:02:38 (EST)
Caleb got an award at school today for good citizenship and academic progress. I'm so proud of him! I may not be the best example for him with all the punk rock and creepy movies and wierd ideals, but he's turning out to be a good kid. I guess that's my reward for all my efforts!

- Monday, February 06, 2006 at 13:09:58 (EST)
Boy, did we have some fun this weekend. On Saturday we rode the trolley to Santee and ended up having a spending spree at Old Navy. Saphira got some "tre cool" shirts and skirts, but Caleb got the prize with his kickin' new jacket with all the stripes and what-not. On the way home we jumped off at the Underground SDSU station to goof off on the escalators and glass elevators. We ended up at the Aztec Center Bowling Alley. It was the kids first time. They had these guard things that kept the ball out of the gutter and it would riccochet down the lane until it hit the pins. So cute! On Sunday we rode our skateboards around Hillcrest shopping. I wanted them to get some punky shoes atTredair U.K., and they did. We all did. Mine have skull and crossbones on the soles. Saphira had a hard time picking, but ended up with the Rose and Swallows TUK Sneakers. Very cool. For sure she's the only kid with those at her school. I really wanted her to get the TUK Emily Argyle Sneakers, but she wouldn't go for it. Caleb got red checkerboard Vans. Common, but they were what he wanted.

- Monday, February 06, 2006 at 13:02:55 (EST)
The kids were out late with grandma last night, so I had a chance to watch our new Vanity Fair DVD. Wow! What a great movie! I love all that turn of the century stuff! There was a time that I read nothing but Jane Austen novels. This movie was just like that, with the extra plus addition of a great portrayal of a somewhat scandalous lady by Reese Witherspoon. She is fantastic in every movie I've seen her in! We got Legally Blonde II in the mail and haven't watched it yet. Maybe that's what we will do tonight, but the competition is pretty tough because we also have Spiderman II with Kirsten Dunst to see as well. I'll keep you posted on the leading lady competition!

- Thursday, February 02, 2006 at 15:00:07 (EST)
The kids were at my parents, so I had a chance to watch a couple of movies that were decidedly not kid friendly. First off was Lost Highway, a freaky David Lynch picture. All his movies are wierd and this one was particularly so. Patricia Arquette put in a good performance that I enjoyed. The real star was Robert Blake in his portrayal of the "Mystery Man." Truly psychotic. After that, I watched Boss'n Up starring the most crippinest homey Snoop Dogg as "young pimping" Cord? Christopher, a grocery clerk turned player looking for fast riches. When master-pimp Orange Juice takes him under his wing, Cord?'s life gets kicked into overdrive. He starts wearing furs and other outlandish outfits and has all kinds of hoes calling him daddy. It was a suprisingly good movie and I always enjoy Snoop, be it movies or music.

- Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 18:46:23 (EST)
I'm feeling meloncholy after doing some depressing stuff today. First off was watching the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman starring Dustin Hoffman as a man who comes to the end of his life and realizes that it was a sham that didn't amount to squat. John Malkovich plays the part of his favorite son who Hoffman believes will achieve greatness and ends up a failure like he himself had become. Wow. Then I read Life After God by Douglas Coupland, THE spokesman for Generation X. Now I feel all useless and old like life is passing me by. Don't you just hate days like that?

- Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 15:26:27 (EST)
The kids didn't watch Elizabethtown with me tonight. Caleb was into his video games and Saphira was taking a bath and doing girley stuff. It wasn't really their kind of movie anyway. It sure was mine. Stories with happy endings always make me feel a step above the sometimes menacing details of life. I guess Kirsten Dunst is my favorite now... When it comes to actresses I'm pretty fickle! She's so young (born in 1982) that in most of her movies she's just a kid, but I look forward to seeing more of her now that she's all grown up!

- Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 00:20:15 (EST)
We watched a couple cool movies last night that were quite enjoyable, but got bad reviews. The first, Sweet Home Alabama had our current favorite Reese Witherspoon in the lead as a gal who leaves the south and attains success in New York, just to find that "you can't take the honky-tonk out of the girl." I think love stories are the best and this was a good one. The other DVD, Cheaper By The Dozen II has the old favorite, Hilary Duff, playing another cute role. Steve Martin was also great. I get kinda bored with kid movies. The kids did too and quit to play video games.

- Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 12:22:16 (EST)
The kids were busy playing the Star Wars Lego Game on the iMac, so I had a chance to watch one of our new DVDs, Little Women. It was really good, great actually. I read my Grandma Lucille's copy of the book long ago and the movie did it justice. Like usual, I got a little sentimental at the end. Jeez! What a baby!

- Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 13:42:47 (EST)
We had a wild time at the Monster Truck Jam this weekend. There was a huge and crazy crowd totally jacked up by the noise and excitement. So many cool rigs were there. Monster Mutt, Escalade, Blue Thunder, Iron Warrior... Our favorite (and the crowd's too) was Gravedigger. We even got a pink Gravedigger hat with flames for Saphira! Man, was it noisy when those giants fired up. We got pictures in the pits afterwards and the wheels towered over the kids heads. Awesome!

- Monday, January 23, 2006 at 12:16:45 (EST)
We laughed our heads off watching Wedding Crashers last night. What a crack-up! After the kids went to bed I shifted gears and saw The Family Stone. Now that was a great, great movie. The star-studded cast was just wonderful. Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson... all super. Diane Keaton stole the show in her portrayal of the clan's mother. There was so much love, respect and caring... A lot like my family is now. At the end I cried, not just the regular watery eyes that great movies give me (I know, I'm a sap) but real live bury your head in the pillow sobbing. I can't remember ever doing that for a movie!

- Friday, January 20, 2006 at 16:07:31 (EST)
After seeing Just Like Heaven we all pretty much agreed that Reese Witherspoon is our current favorite. So, we went and bought Legally Blond. What a fun movie! She is soooo cute! News is Reese won the Golden Globe Award for best actress. I guess were not the only ones who think she is fab!

- Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 12:33:37 (EST)
So here's a funny thing. We got a $50 gift card for Christmas and twice we've gone to the store to use it, first at Home Depot, then at Blockbuster. Both times we gathered up stuff we didn't really need to use up the full amount, then at the register the card was denied! Well, each time I ended up buying the stuff with cash. Fed up, I called their customer service line last night and discovered that the balance was in fact $48.50. That $1.50 difference ended up costing me $100!

- Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 11:47:54 (EST)
Here's some breaking news. I saw at some news site that the tracker I used to use for downloading music and movie torrents has been sued by the MPAA. The attached letters listed movie titles that were targeted in the lawsuit. Here's the scary part... I had downloaded two of the movies on the list! YIPES! That's just what I need, to pay huge fines and go to jail. Bittorrent was fun, and as a techie it was an irresistible challenge, but I decided that it was too risky and just plain wrong. Looks like I quit just in time!

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 16:26:03 (EST)
Speaking of movies, we watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape last night on DVD (been buying lots of those lately...) and got kinda shook up. It's really a tragic story because poor Gilbert has so many responsibilities that he had no life of his own (I can sure relate to that!). We kept saying things like "this is really sad" as we watched it. At one point, one of the kids asked me to do something for them and I replied with a comment like "I am only one person with nobody to help me" or something to that effect. It's funny how much films affect me. The happy ones make me happy and the sad ones make me sad. Last night, after watching What's Eating Gilbert Grape, I was sad. Real sad.

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 14:46:46 (EST)
One of the best things about vacation is watching movies in our room, as funny as that sounds. At Knott's Berry farm we started out with The Perfect Man. It had one of the kid's favs, Hilary Duff, and one of mine, Heather Locklear (yes, I used to watch Melrose Place!). It was fun. So was Sky High, a movie about a school for the kids of super heroes. We all enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we did Just Like Heaven. We all agreed that it was just about the best movie we have even seen. Mark Ruffalo put in a fantastic performance, but the show-stopper was Reece Witherspoon. Just fantastic! I couldn't recommend it more!

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 12:50:49 (EST)
We were pretty brave when we got to Knott's Berry Farm today and jumped right onto the awesome Ghostrider rollercoaster ride to scream our heads off. On our way to some more scary rides the kids scoffed at the Camp Snoopy kid attractions. Well, the Silver Bullet, Montezooma's Revenge and Boomerang rides ended up being way too intimidating. We rode the Jaguar a couple times and checked out the view from the Sky Tower. On the way back we ended up having a blast on the Camp Snoopy rides after all. It was a reminder that the kids are still little after all. I can't wait to go back when they get a little older and do the rides I want to do!

- Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 22:20:14 (EST)
We got a new DivX player that supports "Rated I" DVDs burned off our iMac. Last night we watched I Am Sam. The audio was out of sync with the video and the oriental subtitles couldn't be turned off, but it was an excellent experience anyway. Saphira and I cuddled closer and closer as the movie went on (it's about a father/daughter relationship) until we both cried at the end. Afterwards, she kept hugging me at odd moments and saying that I'm a great dad... I wish all movies had such a wonderful outcome!

- Friday, January 13, 2006 at 13:06:41 (EST)
It was a real bonus movie weekend, thanks to bitorrent! First off was Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, a real gem by James Jarmusch. Quite excellent and highly recommended. One of the best movies I've ever seen. Equally excellent was Chocolat. I got it for Johnny Depp, but the real star was the incredibly beautiful and sexy Juliette Binoche whos character moved into a provincial French town and ended up liberating it from its uptight roots. Classic! Rounding out the binge were some fun Star Wars movies, Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi. These were the only ones the kids watched. Chocolat was too boring (what?) and Ghost Dog too violent (of course!) so I just laid around in the bedroom, just me and our iMac. I started watching Lords of Dogtown, but we had to split and go to Momarsh's birthday party.

- Monday, January 09, 2006 at 13:00:44 (EST)
Caleb spent most of the night playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater yesterday. We bought the full version that lets you make custom skateparks and riders. His guy had a mohawk and lots of tattoos. The park he built was soooo comical! It had ramps that ended in fences and walls and all kinds of other unridable terrain. Still, he wanted to skate his creation. I was cracking up and happy he was occupied (Saphira was asleep, since she hasn't been feeling well) because I was watching our new Sin City DVD and it was totally inappropriate for kids with all its killing, torture and blood splatters. It was awesome. I read the comics years ago and believe that Frank Miller is the most awesome comic writer and illustrator EVER! Our new Dead Man DVD came too... Another mega-classic that the kids shouldn't watch (and probably will). We pre-ordered our absolute favorite, Corpse Bride. Can't wait till it comes! We have pretty much all the Johnny Depp stuff I want now except Blow and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, two more movies the kids will hate. Guess I'll go buy those right now!

- Thursday, January 05, 2006 at 14:30:31 (EST)
By the way... Happy new year everybody! I hope it is a good one for you!

- Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 14:00:54 (EST)
Man did we have an awesome weekend! We camped a couple days at Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park and just had a blast! We didn't even bother with ropes on this trip. All we did was haul around the crash pad and video camera from boulder to boulder. The kids really improved on this outing. Finishing climbs that they worked on for a while really boosted their confidence as they did harder and harder problems. By the end of the trip they were sending some real classics! Their dad did a pretty good job too! It sure felt good to strain the muscles and shread the finger tips at JT like the good ol' days!

- Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 13:05:34 (EST)
The HorrorPops opened the show last night for Reverend Horton Heat at the House of Blues and pretty much tore it up. The best part was the go-go dancers they had on stage. I spent more time watching them than the band! The Reverend also put on an awesome show. He is one superb guitar player! Still, by the end of the night I was kinda bored. There's been plenty of shows more exciting, but it was still fun to get out.

- Friday, December 30, 2005 at 12:17:26 (EST)
The kids spent the night at their cousin's last night, so I had a movie binge that kept me up way too late. First off was the new King Kong release. It was most excellent! The beast was a true hero that was easy to love and relate with. At the end, it was very sad to see such a noble spirit exploited the way he was. The second movie, Empire, was also very sad. It was the story of a drug dealer that wanted to quit the game but couldn't break from his past. Again, I ended up feeling very bad for the hero. The double feature was quite thought provoking and I laid awake for a while just thinking about things. That's what good movies do.

- Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 12:19:45 (EST)
We've really been fixing up the kids room lately. Caleb got a new bed and last weekend we went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get comforters, sheets and pillowcases for both kids. To make room, we got rid of a lot of stuff by giving it away. I put an ad in the paper for "free stuff" and people came and took most of it. It was kinda sad to see the kid stuff go. So many memories... One couple got the crib, car seats and swing for their newborn. I'm happy that it will be used (and that it is out of our house!). Life goes on and we can't hold on to everything, as much as we would like to.

- Tuesday, December 27, 2005 at 13:46:15 (EST)
Today's Christmas and the kids just opened up their iPod Nanos. Now they are off showing them around the neighborhood. It must piss off the parents that I always give my kids such cool stuff. Oh well.

- Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 13:54:41 (EST)
We took a vacation to Hollywood and had a great time! One of the highlights was trying to fit our hands in the moviestar concrete prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Saphira decided she wants a star on the walk of fame... Talk about ambitious! We spent a couple days at the Universal Studios Themepark. Highlights were the Revenge of the Mummy, Jurrasic Park and Back to the Future rides, but the Backdraft, Shreck and Terminator shows rocked as well. We all agreed that Van Helsing was scarriest! Our hotel was right in the middle of town and we roamed Hollywood Blvd. day and night with our skateboards. Great fun! As an added bonus, we saw the excellent movie Cinderella Man in our hotel room while eating pizza delivered to our room!

- Saturday, December 24, 2005 at 11:26:10 (EST)
We watched Forrest Gump last night and were all glued to the screen. It was such a beautiful and sad story. I laid awake for a while and thought about my own "Jenny" and the similarities between Forrest's life and my own. I suppose that's what the best movies do, relate on a personal level. Saphira wouldn't admit it, but I could have sworn she cried herself to sleep. I guess she was touched by the film too.

- Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 15:42:24 (EST)
We had a garage sale this weekend and it was hardly worth the effort. I was up at the crack of dawn both days to get things set up for the "morning rush." Well, it came on Saturday and we made $34 before 8 am. For the rest of the day, we sold stuff for a quarter or a dollar here and there. On Sunday, we didn't even have one customer! After paying for the classified ad and a pizza, we actually lost money on the weekend! A good thing is that I finally cleared out the basement and garage and closets to make a giant driveway pile for some charity to pick up. Clearing out some clutter feels good, but man, what an effort it took!

- Monday, December 19, 2005 at 12:35:05 (EST)
I got a cable yesterday from eBay that connected my stereo's output to my computer and ripped a few records to mp3 files. It sure takes a long time to record, split and tag the files, but it's cool to have some of those old records on my iPod. The first on was Alternative TV Live at the Rat Club (1977). After that was the Flesh Eaters Forever Came Today, and Secret Life Of Punks, an 80's OI Compilation. Finally, I ripped some great singles by local 80's punkers (Funeral, 5051 and the Penetrators). Pretty cool stuff!

- Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 14:26:36 (EST)
We saw The Chronicles of Narnia this weekend at the drive-in. Everybody agreed it was pretty darn awesome. It is such a great thing that we can even go to a drive-in at all. I bet most towns don't have one anymore. I remember when we had one right in our neighborhood. The last movie I can remember seeing there was Tron. For a couple decades now that drive-in had been a strip mall.

- Monday, December 12, 2005 at 13:42:08 (EST)
Oh boy! I am in graphic design heaven! Since my Mac G3 got ripped off I've been using PC's. Granted, XP Pro works pretty good but it's crap compaired to the new G5 iMac! The interface, the tools, the plethora of downloadable utilities... I remember now that design is fun! My old font collections were giving me problems, until I installed FontExplorer X from LinoType. What a beautiful piece of software! It's like the good 'ol days of using Adobe ATM under OS9! I got all my type libraries to work and printed a sample page from Illustrator using some of my favorite fonts like Gladys, Leucadia Beach, Addmorph, Sacred Cow, STA Portable, Tooth 13, and even my own TYpEWriTEr and Nissanage fonts! I am so happy I could do a little dance!

- Friday, December 09, 2005 at 13:42:01 (EST)
Man! Have I been in the computer setup zone lately! First it was formatting the PC for a clean XP install. Then it was setting up the wireless network. Next came getting the Pocket PC to sync. When the iMac came, it was easy to set up. Getting the Logitech Game Controller to work required a bit of research and app fiddling. Last night was devoted to getting the Hp PSC 1510 All-In-One Printer/Scanner/Copier installed right. Lots of people had problems, but it worked for me first time! Then, I stayed up until midnight trying to get Font Book to work. I did a bunch of research today and will hit it again tonight. I've got thousands of great fonts collected from all over and I'd love to use 'em again! Whew! My daughter has a new nickname for me. "Lectric Carer."

- Tuesday, December 06, 2005 at 17:41:40 (EST)
We went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this weekend at the drive-in and the kids thought it was pretty scary. That is, until we watched our new DVD of Edward Scissorhands. They thought that one was even scarier! Of course they loved it. Johnny Depp is one of our favorites and we have lots of his movies (Pirates of the Carribean, Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...) I want to get the Jim Jarmusch / Johnny Depp masterpiece "Dead Man" but I'm afraid it will be a bit much for the kids. Maybe I'm making them grow up too fast with the things we do. I can't help it... I just don't like kiddie stuff much!

- Monday, December 05, 2005 at 15:34:45 (EST)
Our new iMac is a really nifty piece of technology. After pulling it out of the box, I haven't had to open the manual once! I did surf the Apple support site a bit to figure out the X11 UNIX Porting Utility needed to run OpenOffice. I ended up loading NeoOffice instead. The thing hasn't crashed once and last night we watched a DVD (Because of Winn-Dixie) while I downloaded apps and surfed support sites and set up my mail account and goofed around with the many utilities and programs that came as a bundle. Boy, did that make the kids mad! They want to play with it as much as I do! Tonight, I'm gonna hook up my PC external drive and try to transfer many gigs of music and videos... I hope it works! The kids Christmas iPod Nanos need to be loaded up!

- Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 16:11:33 (EST)
We unpacked our new iMac tonight and the first thing we did was watch the "Rock and Roll High School" DVD on it. Then I installed the Adobe Creative Suite and OpenOffice. After this, it's off to bed.

- Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 02:14:39 (EST)
Took the kids to Joshua Tree last weekend for our annual Thanksgiving trip. We've been doing it for like 15 years! We had a great time climbing, hiking and eating. We only set up the rope once for a big ol' climb and Saphira made it to the top! Caleb had a little trouble though. What the heck... He's just a little kid! All-in-all, we had a great time and can't wait to go back again real soon!

- Monday, November 28, 2005 at 15:52:49 (EST)
We went to see Zathura this weekend. It was awesome! Easilly one of the best movies of the season (right up there with Corpse Bride and Charlie's Chocolate Factory). We went to the neighborhood movie theater for the first time and really had fun. We also went on a shopping spree at Target for winter clothes and ended up getting a new tent and air mattress as well.

- Monday, November 21, 2005 at 12:41:17 (EST)
Saphira scored a goal today at her last soccer game of the season. Yippee!

- Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 15:51:11 (EST)
Saphira got some big bucks for her birthday and decided she wanted to go to the swap meet to spend it. Caleb had some prize money from getting farther than me in Tomb Raider (he jumped across the channel into the hole in the opera house roof)so he was on a buting spree as well. It's funny, they'll spend my money without a thought, but when it came to their own they got all chinsy and selective. I ended up buying them a bunch of stuff anyway that they needed but wouldn't spring for. That's just being a daddy!

- Tuesday, November 15, 2005 at 14:26:14 (EST)
This is the first blog entry on the new handheld mobile pc (os 5). Waitin' for the iPod to update on the machine that had a clean install of Windows this morning. Setting up for the cable that gets hooked up today with a new modem and wireless router (Apple Airport). Had to plug in the TV input as well. Time to go make another playlist!

- Friday, November 11, 2005 at 16:05:37 (EST)
The Soviettes pretty much stole the show when I went to my first all-ages punk show in like a gazillion years. It was entertaining, but only for a while. I went to see Against Me! cuz I liked some of their music, but during their act I was bored out of my skull! At least I got to see Annie of the Soviettes rise up to her tip-toes as she screamed her songs out. I loved her when she did that. It was sooo feminine! Other than that, the show was pretty stupid. The teens were annoying, the pit was pathetic and the other three bands sucked. I wish I would have stayed home with the kids and lit our pumpkins.

- Monday, October 31, 2005 at 12:53:01 (EST)
Man! Did we have a wild time last night for Simcha Torah! We started out at Young Israel where all our friends are. It was fun, but tame. Seeking excitement, we headed over to Chabad on our way home. What a party! There was a keg of Newcastle Ale, which was a nice surprize. The main event was dancing with the torah in the street. It was a mob scene! My kid's agreed that it was just about the craziest party they had ever seen. With this kind of upbringing, my hope is that they will think their heritage is cool! I think it is!

- Wednesday, October 26, 2005 at 17:09:52 (EDT)
We went to buy DVDs and when I saw Rock 'n' Roll High School I snatched it up saying to the kids "you're gonna love this"! They did. We all agreed it was most excellent when the Ramones "rocked the roof off" of Vince Lombardi High with giant explosions. We all agreed that it was also very cool when Johnny was in Riff Randall's room singing "I Want You Around" to her. For the rest of the weekend they made me play the Romones on vinyl and iPod. They will make their daddy so proud if they grow up to be good little punk rockers!

- Monday, October 24, 2005 at 13:29:08 (EDT)
We had a couple dinner parties in our Succah this week. Grandma Shirly came with Momarsh. My folks came too. We slept in the Succah on the first night of Succot and had to bolt when the rain started. I was wet by the time I got them in the house and put the Succah bed in the garage to dry off. On the second night we slept in it without a hitch (except a few mosquito bites). Now that it is Chol Ha Moed, we don't have to sleep in it, but we probably will cuz it's pretty special. We've eaten all our meals in it and I've done my prayers there too.

- Thursday, October 20, 2005 at 14:23:15 (EDT)
We went to Buffalo Breath Costumes last night to get ready for the Hardy School Holloween carnival this weekend. Saphira had a heck of a time finding something that was not a lame-old itchy kids costume. She settled for the "Gothic Princess." She has no idea how cool I think that is! Caleb already got a killer "Lord Vladek" knight get-up, but decided he wanted a Kentucky Long Rifle. He didn't know it, but I got that to go with my cowboy outfit! I also got spurs for my boots! Yee-Haw!

- Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at 13:07:51 (EDT)
Saphira's team won their first soccer game yesterday and Caleb's team had their first tie! Thing are looking up for my little sports stars!

- Monday, October 17, 2005 at 12:37:32 (EDT)
We're deep in the High Holy Days right now. Rosh Hashannah was last week and the liturgy in synagogue brought tears to my eyes and a renewed desire to do my prayers each day as I used to. Since that day I have been getting up at 5:45 am to do them before getting the kids to school. On Yom Kippur I spent the whold day in shul except for a two-hour break in the afternoon. Yesterday we set up our sukkah and decorated it with drawings, fruit and vegetables. We will use it for the next week for special kiddushes and mitzvos during the week of Sukkot. Next week is Simcha Torah, which ends the High Holy Days. La Shana Tovah and Gut Yom Tov!

- Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 19:08:33 (EDT)
We had a pretty packed weekend. The kids had soccer games on Saturday (both teams lost, again) Then, we went to see Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the drive-in. It was watchable, but not even close to being as good as last week's The Corpse Bride. Still, we had fun. On Sunday we spent a whole lot of time at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It was mega-cool and the kids just loved it. There were interactive displays and the most incredible giant tanks full of environments. We actually stayed there until they closed and kicked us out! Next stop was Pet Kingdom to check out turtles for Saphira's birthday. There was one there for $7,000! The ones we wanted (baby aquatic turtles) were not for sale and the bigger ones would need a tank of some kind. Baby tortises were like $169. Leave it to my daughter to want such an exotic present!

- Monday, October 10, 2005 at 12:56:23 (EDT)
Went with the kids to see The Corpse Bride at the drive-in Saturday night. What a great movie! We loved it! I thought it would be too scary for them, but no. I kinda fell in love with her. She was so sweet and beautiful, even if she was rotting. That Tim Burton really knows how to make movies! The next day we went to Chuck E. Cheese to win a disco ball for Saphira's birthday party. By the time we won all the tickets playing games, they were sold out! So, we went and bought one at Toys-R-Us instead. It's funny. It took $30 to win 1/3 of the buying price playing games and we bought one for $10! I have to tell myself every time I go there. "It's not the value of the prizes that counts. What matters is that the kids have fun playing."

- Monday, October 03, 2005 at 17:16:29 (EDT)
Sunday was the Poway Rodeo. We had to be stylin', So on the way we stopped at Boot Barn. Caleb was easy. When shown where the kid's boots were, he picked them right away. He even got matching spurs! Pretty cool! Saphira is too sophisticated (and big) for kid's boots, so we had to look at ladies stuff. You know, grown-up boots can be $300, and those were the ones she liked, of course! We finally found some purple snakeskin boots with pretty colored stiching up the legs in her size. They were twice as much as her brother's, but she is well worth it. We all had western shirts already. I put on my boots and bought a new hat. At the rodeo we looked the picture of a frontier family. We saw buckin' broncos, calf roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and barrel racing. We sure love the rodeo!

- Monday, September 26, 2005 at 12:08:10 (EDT)
The kids complain that I get to see so many concerts and they never do. So, when I saw that Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys were playing at the Adams Avenue Street Fair this weekend, we just had to go. They put on a great show and I took turns swing dancing with the kids. Caleb was pretty bold about it, but Saphira was shy in her adorable big-girl way. The problem with street fairs is the kids want to buy everything! First, Saphira got earrings. Then Caleb said "She got something" and demanded a studded wristband (I got a studded belt!). She got a chinese umbrella, then he got a ninja sword. By the time we were done with the carnival rides and snacks, I left the fair penniless. Well, I've always said that money was to spend!

- Monday, September 26, 2005 at 11:59:42 (EDT)
My iPod is kinda like an extension of me these days. I get so much new music that I am constantly updating it. Like yesterday, I got some more Mink DeVille songs. At home, I decided to listen to them and ended up listening to every album I had! The kids were at my folks (mom wanted to fix them up for picture day) so I stayed up late laying on the couch reading with the music blaring. I guess some things never change!

- Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 17:05:46 (EDT)
I got my first root canal. Ouch!

- Monday, September 19, 2005 at 13:51:34 (EDT)
Went to see the New York Dolls last night at the San Diego House of Blues. I didn't think they could be a band without Johnny Thunders. By the time the night was up, however, I was right up in front with more hoots and hollers than I have had for any band in a long long time! It was like a greatest hits night and so much fun! Viva Los Dolls!

- Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 12:16:19 (EDT)
Man! It was really hot last weekend! I took the kids to the beach and lathered 'em up with sunscreen, then I got a sunburn instead! We walked the shops along Ocean Beach and the kids spent their own money on trinkets and doo-dads. My daughter does chores now, so I bought her a new bikini as a reward. It's very cute with hearts all over it. She didn't want to take it off and even wore it to bed! When we got home, I built the kids a go-cart from their old bike training wheels and some scrap lumber. It steers with the feet on the front axle. They rode it down our hill until they got tired of it, then on the lawn it sat. That's kids for ya!

- Monday, August 29, 2005 at 12:27:25 (EDT)
Just got back from "The Greatest Show On Earth" at the sports arena. It was so awesome that it brought tears to my eyes! There were acrobats, a score of clowns, wild animal tamers, a flying trapeze, jugglers and beautiful dancers. Every time something cool happened, my kids would wave their new light-up toys and scream. The Ringling Brothers circus "saves the day from the everyday" and was a blast!

- Saturday, August 13, 2005 at 18:38:39 (EDT)
I went to see a fun show last night at the Ken Club in my neighborhood. First on was a local band called The Atoms. They did an 80's style pogo-punk with a chick playing keyboards. Next up were The Trashies who called themselves "Northwest Trashcore." They were pretty noisy, but the crowd was into it. Finishing the night was an excellent local band called The Dissimilars. They were everything a punk band should be, and more. What a blast!

- Friday, August 12, 2005 at 12:37:13 (EDT)
The kids and I went to see Dukes Of Hazzard at the drive-in last night. The kids hated it. Actually, my daughter hated it but my son secretly liked it because Daisy Duke kept taking off her clothes. I thought it was pretty cool, however. Guess that's because I'm a grown-up!

- Sunday, August 07, 2005 at 17:50:13 (EDT)
Saw Hank Williams III last night. WOW! He started off doing his country stuff, then kicked it into hyper-drive when his band Assjack hit the stage for the second set. What a racket!

- Tuesday, August 02, 2005 at 14:30:20 (EDT)
Took the kids to the drive-in to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during the weekend. What a great show! Johnny Depp is truly wonderful and it was a real kick!

- Tuesday, August 02, 2005 at 14:25:55 (EDT)
The kids are camping with my folk this week, so I had a PUNK ROCK WEEKEND! On Friday night I went to see Life Crisis, Funeral Shock (Bay Area), and Coaccion (Tijuana) at Scolari's Office. Noisy thrash all around with growling vocals. It was my first punk show in like 20 years. The next night I went to a place in my neighborhood I've been wanting to check out, The Voodoo Lounge. I think it was all local bands: The Wastrels, Revenge Club, and Weapon of Man's Destruction. Wow! This was actually a GREAT show! I absolutely LOVED Revenge Club! They has a chick singing and thrashing her guitar. Fantastic! The crowd was very into the other bands as well, which made it a whole lot of fun!

- Monday, July 25, 2005 at 12:11:15 (EDT)
We had another great weekend full of fun stuff. We went to the drive-in to see the Fantastic Four movie. It was spectacular! Lots of action and fun! The next day was our first time at the San Diego Comic-Con. What a show! I could have spent a gazillion bucks there! As it is, I only got some Concrete comics by Paul Chadwick and the new issue of Supernatural Law from the excellent writer and artist Batton Lash (our neighbor!). We also splurged and got my daughter a Mavis t-shirt. We wanted to get my son one of the Star Wars light sabers people were carrying around, but they were $120.00! Ouch! We got lucky and found a booth giving away Star Wars action figures and went through the line over and over again. At least he didn't feel gipped! This morning, the kids said they were still sore from walking so much... I'm tellin' ya, That show was HUGE!

- Monday, July 18, 2005 at 15:18:20 (EDT)
Went to see X last night at The House of Blues. It was a class act all around. It was my first time there and I was very impressed with the club. There was art all over the place and the sound was superb. Billy Zoom played with the band and grinned the whole time. It was the all original line-up I saw in the 80's and they were better than ever! I was determined to hate Waxapples who opened the show, but the $1m sound system made even them sound good.

- Friday, July 15, 2005 at 14:15:36 (EDT)
We had a bonus-busy weekend! On Saturday we had a girl party and sleepover for my daughter. It was her first one and she was very excited. We had pizza and movies and the girls stayed up VERY late! The next day we kinda goofed around the house, then went to see "Herbie: Fully Loaded" at the drive-in. The movie was lots of fun (we love Lindsey Lohan) and the drive-in was just the place to see it. Monday we did the fair at Lake Murray for the 4th of July. We rode our bikes around the lake a couple time, snuck a quick swim, got painted tattoos and finished up with an awesome fireworks display. Now that's living!

- Tuesday, July 05, 2005 at 16:18:45 (EDT)
Well, I've been pretty big into the music downloads lately using the bittorrent technology. It works really good to get whole albums at once! I avoid the RIAA copyrighted stuff... Most of the things I get are bootlegs and independent artists. My favorite site is KrayTracker where I have uploaded a bunch of old school punk under the username "deeg". Check it out!

- Thursday, June 09, 2005 at 14:05:17 (EDT)
The kids had an auction at their school as a fundraiser. I won a pair of tickets to LegoLand for $105. Turns out they were only $85 at the park! Oh well, it was for a good cause (PTA) and it forced me to take them there when they have been asking for some time. We arrived kinda early and did rollercoaster rides over and over again. My daughter got a very cool new hat and a hair-wrap with beads. My son got a Scorpion sword and cape. We really had a great time and stayed until the park closed.

- Monday, May 16, 2005 at 17:25:29 (EDT)
We lost our ability to charge credit cards for our site at Canceranswers.com when our computer was stolen. For years now I have asked for a check when I send out orders. Alas, very few people actually pay for what I send and we have lost much money. Well, I set up our order form to use PayPal for accepting credit cards. Today, I recieved FOUR paid orders! Yahoo! I used PayPal to buy a comic book on eBay (my first auction) from a seller in England. When I paid, it came out of my PayPal balance rather than my bank. Kewl!

- Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 17:52:16 (EDT)
Got the kids a kitten last weekend. They love it! We really had to work for it... We went to a bunch of animal shelters, but all they had was full-grown cats. Finally, we got the paper and called around. The one we finally scored is a little black and grey puffball. SO CUTE!

- Monday, May 09, 2005 at 17:09:11 (EDT)
Forgot to mention that the kids and I went to the Lakeside rodeo on Saturday. It was fun. They got a little bored watching the actual rodeo, but were plenty excited about their new cowboy hats!

- Monday, April 25, 2005 at 12:36:58 (EDT)
We went to a couple of Passover Seders last weekend. The first was at an orthodox synagogue I used to go to every morning. We didn't get home until 1:15 am! On Sunday night we went to the biggest Synagogue in town, which is conservative. That one started at 5:30 pm and didn't go so late. The kids are still kinda young and couldn't quite grasp the whole concept. But, they ran around exploring and had a good time. Chag Sameach!

- Monday, April 25, 2005 at 12:33:07 (EDT)
Had a cool weekend with the kids. They are getting so big now that they need to be entertained. So, Saturday we went to Sunset Cliffs and took the "death trail" down to the secret cove and visited the caves there. When we got home, it was still early. So, we went to Chucky Cheese for a little while. On Sunday we rode the trolly to Santee. From there we rode downtown and back again. Lots of fun!

- Monday, April 18, 2005 at 12:29:03 (EDT)
Saw Elvis Costello last night at 4th & B. It's kind of a big club compared to the places I usually go, but it was small for such a major talent. The show was sold out and it was pretty packed. By the end of the night I had worked myself right up to the front of the stage and could see all the band members close up. It was pretty awesome to see one of my heroes like that. Good fun!

- Thursday, March 24, 2005 at 15:20:31 (EST)
My Daughter got a gift card for Christmas, so we went to buy some DVD's. On a whim I picked 13 Going On 30. It turned out to be a GREAT movie. It had an 80's sountrack of songs I grew up to and all kinds of witty fun stuff. The ending was so perfect that I actually cried! I know, I am a sap! We went to bed, and I couldn't stop saying how much I enjoyed it!

- Wednesday, January 05, 2005 at 15:29:55 (PST)
I bought an iPod mp3 player last night. It was wicked expensive and I balked at the cash register a few times trying to justify the expense. I feel better now that I hooked it up to my computer and loaded it with every song I have ever downloaded and all the cd's I've bought and converted to mp3. It is only half full! Tomorrow I am going to bring in some cd's and experiment with importing them into the iPod. It's lots of fun to mess with and now contains 5,286 songs. That's a lot of music to carry around with me!

- Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 12:17:12 (PST)
Had some very nice holidays with my kids and family. Went to my folks house for the annual gathering surrounded by siblings, nieces and nephews. My kids had a blast with their cousins. My job was to assemble the new toys for my son. He got a rad Hot Wheels set-up and a pirate ship that had, like, a hundred pieces. My daughter got some beautiful dolls and was lost in kid-world for most of the day. After a big family dinner, we lounged around a bit then went home. The next day we went to Chucky Cheese. Finally, we went to Game Stop where my son bought Crash Bandicoot for Playstation with his own money. Happy Holidays to all!

- Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at 15:44:14 (PST)
Saw a WILD rockabilly show this weekend. Opening up were the Royal Deuces from San Francisco. They really heated up the place! Following them up were Omar & The Stringpoppers with members from Mexico. They played with an abundance of energy like early Elvis. Omar danced like a wild man, screaming and crooning as well as I have ever seen. Great show!

- Monday, December 20, 2004 at 10:10:49 (PST)
Went to an interesting show this weekend at a redneck club in Santee. The Bandits tore it up with their blend of psycobilly country. This band is definitely up-and-coming and attracted a fun crowd of punky girls and guys. Opening for them was The Buzzbombs. This is another band of kids who just rocked. It was a great show, except for when some drunken hick tried to pick a fight with me. It was kinda scary!

- Monday, December 13, 2004 at 10:51:52 (PST)
Saw a pretty good show on Sunday night. Dexter Romweber was the first to come on. His band consisted of himself playing guitar and singing backed up by only a drummer. I have never seen a duo before and was suprised at how big a sound two guys could make. The Sadies came on next. This band rocked and were one of the most enjoyable acts I have seen in a while. After a too short set, they came back on to back up fellow Canadian Neko Case. I was prepared to not like her since the music downloads I had were all pretty mellow. On stage she really picked up the pace and ended up giving me shivers of enjoyment with her fine voice and beauty. All in all, it was an evening worth braving the cold and rain.

- Monday, December 06, 2004 at 09:50:43 (PST)
Had a really nice vacation with the kids. We went to my sister's for Thanksgiving dinner and camped out in the canyon for the night. In the morning, a bunch of the cousins went fishing. Both my kids got seasick, but it went away when we left the rolling sea and went deep into San Diego Bay. On Saturday we just hung around the house takin' it easy, then we went to the beach again on Sunday. My crazy kids were swimming while those on the shore were wearing winter coats. They are sure a couple of troopers!

- Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 09:36:28 (PST)
Had a mini-vacation last weekend with the kids at the Hanalei Resort in Mission Valley. We really lived it up! Between visits to the pool and jacuzzi we had dinner in the Islands Restaurant and breakfast at the Peacock Cafe. Our ground-floor room opened up on the garden and was just a few steps from the pool. Perfect!

- Monday, November 22, 2004 at 11:49:55 (PST)
It was an all-star guest night at the rockabilly club last night. Pat Reyford from England's swing outfit Big Six was in town on vacation and came in to jam with his guitar and energetic vocals. Local favorite Paul Diffin stood in on the upright bass. There was a fine steel guitarist who also played the accordian and trombone. Ty from Hot Rod Lincoln sat in on drums to round out the five-piece band. The night ended with Rip Carson joining the band to sing a few and strum the acoustic guitar. Good fun!

- Friday, November 12, 2004 at 09:31:15 (PST)
Threw a birthday party for my beautiful daughter Saphira last night. The grandparents and some neighborhood kids came. I gave her the Twister game to play with her friends. What a riot! The kids were tangled up in knots! It was extra special in that her best friends came to her party. Saphira said it was the best party she ever had!

- Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 09:52:39 (PST)
I got my backpack back! My neighbor found it in his backyard. It got rained on and the mp3 player fried. Other than that, the camera and PDA still work fine. The only thing missing was the phone and I already replaced that. My ID and cards were all there, including $100 cash! Needless to say, I was glad to see all my stuff again.

- Wednesday, November 03, 2004 at 13:52:36 (PST)
Had a fun Holloween with the kids. We had a carnival at school and a party up the street. Our carved pumpkins came out awesome! Then, on trick-or-treat night, the kids made out like bandits. Secretly, I have been munching on their Twix bars and Snickers. There were even orange Kit-Kats!

- Monday, November 01, 2004 at 10:28:45 (PST)
Saw a cool show last night at the rockabilly club. The opening band was the High-Strung Ramblers. They were really good in an authentic 50's rock. If it was even possible, the next band was even more energetic! They were Rockin' Ryan and the Wild Gonners. The place was junping with jive!

- Saturday, October 30, 2004 at 12:03:15 (PST)
Saw Sue Moreno last night. She came all the way from Holland to rock the house! Not only was she beautiful, but she also had a wonderful singing voice. Backed up by the C.C. Jerome Trio, it was a pure rockabilly evening. Like usual, there was hardly anyone there. I don't understand it. Maybe it is because Thursday night is a hard night for those who work. I know it is rough for me! I slept, like, four hours. I may feel tired today, but it was worth it!

- Friday, October 29, 2004 at 12:59:56 (PDT)
Saw Lil' Bit and the Customatics again last night at the rockabilly club. They played a bunch of tunes I knew since I am a fan and have both their cd's. In a typical lame San Diego scene way there was only a couple dozen people left for their set. It was over late and I had to get up at 6:30 to get the kids off to school, so I'm a bit tired today.

- Friday, October 22, 2004 at 13:03:04 (PDT)
Someone walked into my home during the weekend and stole my backpack. In it was my Pocket PC, digital camera, mp3 player, cell phone, wallet, sephardic prayer book and more. I was a slave to that pack, always afraid of it being ripped off. Well now it happened and I'm kinda relieved. Just now I disconnected all the cables from my computer. It's sad to lose all my stuff, but it's all a part of life I guess.

- Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 09:44:18 (PDT)
Even though I have seen Hot Rod Lincoln a bunch of times, I still enjoyed their show last night. The bass player I really liked has moved on and last night's drummer was different, but they still played that good ol' rockabilly. I had a breakthrough last night and decided that any band that can play Sleepwalk is pretty durn cool!

- Friday, October 15, 2004 at 10:35:16 (PDT)
Went to a dissapointing show Saturday night when I went to see Rosie Flores at the rockabilly club. She was solo (no backup band) which is ok if you're practicing in the garage. I wanted to see a honky-tonkin' band, not a folk singer. Deke Dickerson was the headline band. They did a funky hillbilly set which was just allright. The highlight of the night was when Rip Carson switched from bass to guitar and sang a song. I ended up going home early.

- Monday, October 11, 2004 at 14:03:54 (PDT)
Today is Simcha Torah, the culmination of this year's High Holy Days which began with Rosh Hashannah 23 days ago. Last night we took the Torah scrolls out in synagogue and danced with them in celebration of reading the Torah end-to-end during the preceeding year. It is one of the most festive holidays in the Jewish calendar. It is also ancient, practiced around the world for thousands of years.

- Friday, October 08, 2004 at 10:17:03 (PDT)
It was Yom Kippur on Saturday, and I spent over 7 hours in synagogue praying. Called the day of repentance, Jews confess their sins and commit to a renewed new year of living better than before. It's a pretty heavy day, the most intense one of the year. I lightened up and saw the Three Bad Jacks again at the rockabilly club Saturday night. On Sunday, my folks had a BBQ and the family got together to swim, eat, and have a "goode" time.

- Monday, September 27, 2004 at 09:48:33 (PDT)
Went to see Rip Carson last night at The Tower Bar. He is one of the best rockabilly guitarists around and has a smooth voice and stage presence. The San Diego scene kinda sucks. While he was playing I counted 21 people at the show. That's a crazy small number for such a major talent. Still, it was nice to have a seat and not be shoved around by the crowd. He is scheduled to play every Thursday... We'll see how long that lasts!

- Friday, September 24, 2004 at 10:03:30 (PDT)
Went to see another double feature at the movies last night. The first movie was Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It had awesome special effects and was like a comic book the way they mixed futuristic scenes with live action. The second feature was Vanity Fair. It was a little slow, but has lush turn-of-the-century scenes and costumes. It was pretty late by the time it was over and it turned into a feat of endurance to sit through it. All said, it was another fun night at the movies.

- Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at 09:20:45 (PDT)
Took the kids to lunch at TGI Friday's yesterday and had a big ol' burger. The kids had fun exploring about the decor and eating kid's meals. We went to the beach afterward, even though there was a chill breeze. When we got home, I was pleased to find The Titanic movie on TV. It was incredible! No wonder it won the academy award!

- Monday, September 20, 2004 at 13:45:45 (PDT)
Took a couple days off work for Rosh Hashannah last week. For Jews, It's a pretty big deal. On that day, we are blessed for the entire coming year. Needless to say, the prayers are full of repentance and hope. Now I am back at work. I had 423 emails waiting for me at the office.

- Sunday, September 19, 2004 at 10:26:43 (PDT)
Saw a cool double feature at the movies last night. The first was the kung-fu thriller Hero. It was packed with incredible effects. Fighters were flying around flipping in the air and moving with astonishing quickness. It was a little hard to follow since it was subtitled in english, but it was nothing but exciting. The second movie was Cellular. This movie was also about a hero, but one who was thouroughly modern. Some kid was contacted on his cell phone by a woman whose family was kidnapped. He then takes on crooked cops and saves the family from being murdered. It was also very exciting. All-in-all it was an excellent night at the theatre.

- Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at 09:16:53 (PDT)
Saw James Intveld last night at the rockabilly club. He put on a great show! I've seen him a bunch of times over the last 20 years. I saw him way back when his band was the Rockin' Shadows. We ate too many buffalo wings and finger burritos at the club, so I was too bloated to dance much. We did dance a bit, but mostly just kicked back in a booth and enjoyed the scene.

- Friday, September 10, 2004 at 10:00:47 (PDT)
Took the kids to a birthday party at Moonlight Beach on Sunday. It was baking hot and crowded, but we got lucky and parked close. The kids swam after doing party games with the other kids. Lotsa fun in the summer sun! It was a good way to end their school vacation. They started school again today. They are growing so fast! My son started 1st grade and my daughter is now in 3rd!

- Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 10:02:09 (PDT)
Saw Lil' Esther and her Tinstars last night. They came all the way from Holland to play at Tio Leo's. They put on a good show of honky-tonkin' rockabilly. By the end of the night the crowd had thinned out a lot. It just made for more room on the dance floor!

- Friday, September 03, 2004 at 13:22:17 (PDT)
Saw Donnie Darko last night at the movies. It was pretty freaky wierd. Darco was a disturbed teenager who had voices in his head and had discussions with a six-foot rabbit about heady subjects like time travel, alternate reality, death and fate. It really started to drag and actually got boring. In the end, the movie kinda sucked, but it has a pretty cool website.

- Tuesday, August 24, 2004 at 09:28:35 (PDT)
It was my birthday on Saturday (44) and I had a couple parties during the weekend. First, my mother-in-law had me over for dinner on Friday night. Then, my folks got the family together on Sunday for a pool party. It is nice to be recognised, even if it is for having reached middle-age!

- Monday, August 23, 2004 at 15:06:10 (PDT)
Went to see Wayne Hancock last night at a club I haven't been to in years, Brick by Brick. It was a three-piece band with no drums. Just a rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, and an upright bass. It's a deep roots approach and they did it well. They had a pretty serious honky-tonk thing going on. Did some swing dancing to the Texas beat.

- Thursday, August 19, 2004 at 09:35:27 (PDT)
I took the day off yesterday to hang out with the kids during their vacation from school. We got a room at the Mission Bay Hilton and did it up in style! While eating dinner in the hotel restaurant (and charging it to our room, which is always fun) a fireworks display went off at nearby Sea World. We went back to our beautiful garden room and stayed up late raiding the mini-bar and watching TV. I was a little stressed in the morning about getting out of the room by checkout time, but lots of good fun in the pool made that feeling go away. We finished off the day with a bike ride on the boardwalk and a walk on the bay. A classic day it was... It will never be forgotten!

- Thursday, August 19, 2004 at 09:26:09 (PDT)
Took the kids to the circus yesterday. What a blast! There are many reasons why the World Famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum Baily Circus is called "The Greatest Show On Earth." There were acrobats, clowns, high-wire walkers, flying trapeze, motorcycles whizzing around in a steel globe of death, a lion tamer... The whole deal!

- Monday, August 16, 2004 at 10:46:42 (PDT)
Saw Elvis and the Disciples of the King last night at the Rockabilly Club. It was lots of fun! The band consisted of members from Three Bad Jacks and the drummer from LA Punk Band X. They played Elvis songs all night long in a fast and furious manner. I just love that rockabilly music!

- Friday, August 13, 2004 at 09:21:20 (PDT)
Went to see Lady Dottie & The Diamonds last night in a tiny little dive-bar called The Tower. The place was so small that they had to move the pool table to make room for the band. They performed some really good rockin' blues. I had fun, even though the band didn't come on until 11pm. Needless to say, I'm a little tired today after a late night.

- Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 14:25:44 (PDT)
I spent the weekend curled around a good book, Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour. I have been on a western book kick for some time now and L'Amour is king of the genre. The kids got mad at me and called me lazy for laying around. I can't help it sometimes... I have always been a reader and this latest book is sooo good!

- Monday, August 09, 2004 at 09:49:28 (PDT)
My kids are on summer break from school now, so I took the day off yesterday to take them to Belmont Park. They did all the rides they wanted, then started looking to arcade-style games for fun. $5 for 10 darts to pop balloons with. $2 for 5 basketball hoop throws. $1 a pop for an air hockey game. We ran up quite a tab by day's end, but the kids had fun. To me, that's all that matters. I work so we can have a life. We do, and it's a good one!

- Thursday, July 29, 2004 at 10:12:49 (PDT)
Finally opened a video store membership last night and rented The Wash starring Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. It was good entertainment, although pretty stupid. What the heck, sometimes stupid is just right.

- Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 10:06:19 (PDT)
Went to Presidio Park to see 4th of July fireworks. It sits on a high hill, so we were able to see fireworks from San Diego Bay, Ocean Beach, Mission Bay and Sea World. There were a lot of people doing the same thing, so it was quite a scene. The kids had fun, and so did I!

- Thursday, July 08, 2004 at 13:46:58 (PDT)
Last night I had the pleasure of enjoying one of the finest rockabilly bands around when San Diego Local Rip Carson played. I had been wanting to see them for years and they were well worth the wait. He had one of the smoothest voices and a truly rockin' guitar. The bass player from the Silverjets provided a perfect backbeat, with the help of the acoustic guitar. Top notch show! One of the best ever!

- Friday, July 02, 2004 at 10:02:06 (PDT)
Saw Coffee & Cigarettes last night in Hillcrest. It is a new film by Jim Jarmusch. It consisted of short vignettes about people having, ta da, coffee and cigarettes. Jarmusch is very creative in creating characters that are ironic and a little bit manic. His films aren't for everyone, but I am a big fan and have been for years.

- Tuesday, June 29, 2004 at 09:25:18 (PDT)
Saw a couple cool movies Saturday Night. The first one was The Stepford Wives. It was a horror story, but so funny and entertaining. It had a great cast and the kind of story that had us talking about it after the show. Terminal was starting as we left the first movie, so we ducked in for the "double feature". We expected this one to be a dud, but were pleased to be dissapointed! It was very good! There was a paradox between the movie guy getting stuck in a airline terminal for 9 months and us on the outside running through the motions of our lives. Great movies. I recommend them both!

- Monday, June 28, 2004 at 09:44:21 (PDT)
Took the kids to the world famous San Diego Zoo yesterday. It was really fun! For a change, we rode around on the tour bus and saw all sorts of animals in fancy enclosures. We were kinda lazy about walking around, but saw all the reptiles. We also caught the seal show. My daughter sat with her mom right down front in the "Splash Zone". Not me! I didn't want to get wet! We finished up the adventure with a visit to the children's zoo petting corral. Good fun! We are lucky to have such a cool zoo in our town!

- Sunday, June 26, 2004 at 12:14:47 (PDT)
I'm getting off work early today in honor of Ronald Reagan. I remember when he was president. I was working in my dad's insurance office at the time and money was flying all over the place. It was a good time in my life. I don't know if he made it that way, but that's the way I remember it!

- Friday, June 11, 2004 at 13:08:52 (PDT)
Had an interesting time at the rockabilly club last night. I went to see Hot Rod Lincoln and was planning to leave before the second band came on. I did some internet research on Billy Watson and decided I didn't like them. Well it turned out that the band I went to see didn't show and the band I didn't like actually were pretty good. Oh well, things aren't always what they seem!

- Friday, June 11, 2004 at 10:44:47 (PDT)
Did a crazy thing last weekend for Memorial Day. I took the kids to Mission Beach for a bike ride on the boardwalk. It was a complete zoo; it was sooo crowded! Still, we had a good time on the beach. We all got a wicked sunburn, which makes me feel like a negligent parent. Next time, I'll make sure to get some sunscreen!

- Tuesday, June 01, 2004 at 15:01:01 (PDT)
Took the kids to Belmont Park yesterday. They were too small for the rollercoaster, but there were still the Vertical Plunge, Krazy Kars, Crazy Submarine, Baja Buggies, Tilt-a-whirl, Thunder Boats and The Liberty Carousel to ride. I got the unlimited ride wristbands, which turned out to be a bargain, since the kids rode over and over for 5 HOURS!

- Friday, May 28, 2004 at 10:16:29 (PDT)
Took the kids to the Ramona Rodeo last weekend. There was a kid's rodeo in the morning. My son went nuts roping all the fake calfs they had set up. He even made it onto the news. In one shot he was riding the "Barrel Bull" and on another he was lassoing some prop. My daughter saw her first rodeo queen and decided that was to be her destiny. She got them all to sign her cowboy hat. We left a little early due to the heat, but got to see calf wrestling, calf roping and the bucking broncos. I love the rodeo!

- Wednesday, May 19, 2004 at 12:07:34 (PDT)
Saw Dulcie Younger last night at the rockabilly club. She sang real purty, but her band kinda sucked. I bought her CD and it is perfection! She had top-notch studio musicians, including Deke Dickerson on the guitar. Opening were San Diego favorites, The Bandits and Hot Rod Lincoln. Good Show!

- Friday, May 14, 2004 at 10:54:08 (PDT)
I was among the millions who tuned in last night to see the final episode of Friends. This show really got under my skin like no show since Melrose Place. The characters on Friends became my friends. Reruns play everynight in my neighborhood and they really help me to get out of myself after a long day at work and wrestling with the kids. I'll miss Friends, and I'm only a little embarrased to say so.

- Friday, May 07, 2004 at 14:03:52 (PDT)
Saw James Intveld last night at the rockabilly club. I've seen him a bunch of times over the years. His show last night was as good as ever, but I left a little early to get a six dollar burger at the Carl's Jr. across the street from the club. I didn't fall asleep until around 2 am, so I'm a little tired today.

- Friday, April 30, 2004 at 15:28:54 (PDT)
Took the kids to the Lakeside Rodeo this weekend. My daughter liked the cowgirls barrel racing the most, and the clown who rode a giant ox through a ring of fire. My son liked the cowboys roping steers. There were a lot of people there and it was HOT!

- Monday, April 26, 2004 at 09:24:29 (PDT)
Saw an incredible show last night at The Casbah. The opening band was Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys. They had the dance floor swinging! For sure they were one of the best bands ever. The headline band BR5-49 was from Nashville. They had a real twanging sound utilizing a steel guitar, fiddle and mandolin. The place was packed by the time they came on, but there was still a little room on the dancefloor for my wife and I. What a night! We didn't get home till 2am, and now I am at work after 5 hours of sleep.

- Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 09:51:13 (PDT)
Saw a great canadian rockabilly band, The Farrell Brothers, last week. They were smokin' fast, like a punk band, but they used the upright bass and Gretch guitar. My dance partner and I almost had a coronary trying to keep up with them. It seems like I only write about bands in this blog, but that's what I'm into.

- Tuesday, April 20, 2004 at 10:03:25 (PDT)
Took a week off from work to celebrate Passover. It was real nice... a luxury. Went to the first seder at Young Israel of San Diego. The Rabbi was in no hurry. The seder lasted until almost midnight. The second seder was spent with friends, which was fun for the kids since they had kids too. For the rest of the week I just took it easy and read western novels and putzed around the house.

- Monday, April 19, 2004 at 11:21:19 (PDT)
My son got a new bike last weekend for his 6th birthday and we took it for a ride at the bay. He and his sister took off and were soon out of sight. That made me a bit nervous, but they rode back and it all turned out ok. We went to Rubios for lunch and had some fish tacos.

- Monday, March 22, 2004 at 10:53:22 (PST)
Took the kids to Sea World this weekend and had a good time getting into "Kid World." It takes a lot of patience to let them do what they want, like spend an hour petting starfish. It was an expensive day, but well worth it because they had a good day and, ultimately, that's all that matters to a dad like me!

- Monday, March 01, 2004 at 13:36:30 (PST)
Saw Lil' Bit and the Customatics last night at Tio Leo's Lounge. They were really good. There were two guitars, a bass and a female singer. This was the second rockabilly band I've seen that didn't use drums. The rumbling slap bass carries the beat just fine.

- Friday, February 27, 2004 at 09:36:28 (PST)
The Three Bad Jacks rocked the house last week at the rockabilly club. They played smokin' fast stuff that had the dancers sweatin'! I love that kind of music and had a great time. I sure am lucky that I have grandparents around to watch the kids so I can go out.

- Monday, February 16, 2004 at 09:56:18 (PST)
Had a pretty cool weekend with the kids. On Saturday, we went to Ocean Beach and walked the tidepools down to Sunset Cliffs. My daughter got a new pretty blue bikini which looked so cute! My son got some Scooby-Do surf trunks, so they were both stylin' in the sea. I didn't go in the water because it was just too cold for me, but they didn't seem to mind. On Sunday we rode the Trolly from Santee to Downtown, which is always fun. We do it all the time and it never stops being a "goode" way to spend the day.

- Tuesday, February 10, 2004 at 14:03:11 (PST)
Had some really nice holidays this year. I went to my sister's for Thanksgiving and all my siblings, nephews and nieces were there. We are getting to be a pretty big tribe! On Christmas it was the same crowd at my parent's house. It's funny. As we get older the holidays change. As kids we would rip open the presents first thing in the morning. This year we waited past noon until everyone got there. I didn't go out on the town this New Years, but had a nice time watching the ball drop on Time's Square on the TV. I hope you all have a good New Year!

- Friday, January 2, 2004 at 12:18:28 (PST)
Took the kids to the Animal Shelter this weekend and got a new cat. It was spooked at home and wouldn't come out from under the bed. We'll have to give it time to get used to us, I guess. It's a very pretty calico with long hair. I hope it turns out to be a nice pet... It cost $75 to adopt!

- Monday, November 17, 2003 at 10:32:42 (PST)
Had a fun weekend with the kids. They had a Holloween Carnival at their school where they ran around with their friends and won prizes. The next day we spent a few hours at Chuck E. Cheese playing games and eating pizza. On the way out of the parking lot we saw a pumpkin patch and played there on the giant slide and jumping bounce thing. We also got a big pumpkin for daddy, a medium pumpkin for sister, and a small one for son. We carved them and lit them up that night!

- Tuesday, October 28, 2003 at 10:10:45 (PST)
Had a fun weekend, begining with a fantastic rockabilly show with Cave Catt Sammy at Tio Leo's Lounge. They came all the way from San Antonio to rock the house. My daughter has a slumber party to go to the next day, so the son and I camped out in the backyard. We roasted hot dogs on the campfire and slept real cozy in the tent. Finally, we picked up the daughter and hit the beach. The shorebreak drilled my daughter, getting sand in her eyes and hair. She was a little spooked after that, so we walked the tidepools and swam on the little beaches. Good fun!

- Monday, July 21, 2003 at 12:53:27 (PDT)
Saw an excellent guitar player this weekend, Deke Dickerson. His show was a rockabilly roots gig that was well worth staying up till 2am at a bar-show. I was a little pooped out when I took the kids to LegoLand the next day, but that is just part of being a parent. Sometimes we just have to do things we don't want to do. In the end, It was well worth it, despite the long lines and chasing the kids to keep them from getting lost.

- Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 10:31:39 (PDT)
Took the kids to the Adams Avenue Roots Festival this weekend and had a good ol' time eating, listening to music and playing on the carnival rides. There was folksy guitar singers, mariachis, peruvian flutists, and many others celebrating San Diego's diverse culture. There was also tons of arts and crafts. Finally, we settled for toys. The arms and legs of the Power Rangers my son picked fall off.

- Monday, April 28, 2003 at 09:32:04 (PDT)
Had a nice time this weekend with the kids. We went to the Rolando Street Fair. Llama and carnival rides made them laugh with pleasure... something that makes my life happy and fulfilling. The afternoon was hot, so we went to Marine Street in La Jolla to finish out the weekend in comfort. Classic!

- Monday, March 31, 2003 at 13:51:01 (PST)
Had a blast last weekend at the El Cajon Skatepark with my old skatin' buddy from the days of Movin' On Skatepark (1978 or so). It is so fun to get back into it and see other old-timers doing the same thing. I'm telling ya... we all need something to make our live worth living!

- Monday, March 24, 2003 at 09:47:11 (PST)
Had a killer time at the Coronado Skatepark with a pard from back in the day. There were plenty of old school skaters there, so I felt right at home doing edgers, slides and carves. What a blast! I'm getting better each and every time I go out!

- Monday, March 10, 2003 at 09:57:13 (PST)
Had a blazing session at the Salvation Army Skatepark last night on my BRAND NEW skate! Pulled off some rad edgers, grinds and slides in the halfpipe until I beefed so hard that I almost passed out. I'm almost too old for that sort of thing!

- Tuesday, March 04, 2003 at 09:39:02 (PST)
Finished off the holiday weekend with a session at the Ocean Beach Skatepark ripping the little bowls there. I'm learning the flow and getting better everytime. After that, I stopped off at the Solid Rock Indoor climbing gym and did my first climbs in the lead cave (I built this site!) for the first time in months. Pretty cool weekend!

- Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 09:16:30 (PST)
Took the kids camping with my folks at Dixon Lake in Escondido. We climbed rocks, made shmores and took a motorboat out on the lake. It is cool to see how my parents and I are growing up together with the kids as catalyst. Life is good!

- Monday, February 17, 2003 at 15:28:53 (PST)
Had a busy weekend with the kids. For Shabbos, we visited Young Israel Synagogue. They have remodeled the shul, and it is beautiful. At night we went to the drive-in to see Shanghai Knights and Kangaroo Jack. Sunday morning I ditched the kids with my folks and went skateboarding at the O.B. Skatepark. We all finished the weekend by going back to the beach for the sunset. Whew!

- Monday, February 10, 2003 at 10:16:39 (PST)
Took the kids camping at Kumeyaay Campground this weekend. It's cool having kids because they force parents to do stuff. Like this campground. I have lived here practically all my life and never camped there before. We crossed the river hopping from stone to stone. Both kids fell in, but warmed up while we cooked dinner over the fire. CLASSIC!

- Monday, January 13, 2003 at 14:52:06 (PST)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I just took it easy and played with the kids for the few days I had off from work. We camped and cooked hotdogs over the fire. It was no party like the rest of the world celebrated, but it was good and fun.

- Friday, January 03, 2003 at 09:56:00 (PST)
When I was a kid, my parents would pack up the kids and take us to see Santa and his raindeer at Balboa Park. This year I took my own kids to do the same thing. It's a trip to be a parent and do the things my parents did. It gives me perspective into what it was like to have me. What a handful I was!

- Monday, December 30, 2002 at 12:51:59 (PST)
Took the kids to the snow up on The Sunrise Highway the day after Christmas. Numbskull city-slicker daddy didn't bring gloves, so I was kind of a wuss when it came to building the snowman. We had a killer mountain lunch at the Rongbranch Inn in Julian on the way home.

- Friday, December 27, 2002 at 09:57:44 (PST)
Had a cool Christmas with the family at my parents house. The kids scored some new stuff and played with their cousins. There was a good vibe all day that made me feel fortunate to have such opportunities in my life.

- Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 11:15:09 (PST)
Took the kids to see the Barona Reservation Cultural Museum this weekend and hiked around in the hills outside San Diego. It was a beautiful and fun day, the kind of day that makes one glad to be alive.

- Monday, December 23, 2002 at 13:56:31 (PST)
Had a fun weekend enjoying the city we live in. The kids and I rode the trolley to Seaport Village for lunch and ice cream. We fed the birds by the bay and rode the merry-go-round. It is a shame that some people don't get out and do the fun things their hometown has to offer!

- Monday, December 16, 2002 at 09:39:58 (PST)
Had a good Thanksgiving, visiting with family and having the kids play with cousins. We all marveled over a tremendous show of thunder and lightening, but missed a camping trip due to the storm. Set up the tent in the backyard instead and had a nice campfire for telling stories and playing. It wasn't Joshua Tree, but we had fun anyway. That's what life is all about!

- Monday, December 02, 2002 at 10:22:48 (PST)
Had a fun weekend with the kids just goofing off around town. The highlight was lunch at the Ocean Beach Pier Cafe and kicking it in the tidepools for awhile. Having kids is the best, but it is a lot of work being nice with them jumping all over my head. I'm always glad to drop them off at school and sit at my work desk. Whew!

- Monday, November 04, 2002 at 09:27:33 (PST)
Went to a holloween carnival at my daughter's school and played all sorts of ring toss, bean bag, treasure chest and lollipop tree games. It started to pour rain, which didn't slow them down. My son said "Look Dad, I'm taking a shower." He was standing below the roof edge and soaked to the skin. Ahhh, the joys of parenting!

- Monday, October 28, 2002 at 09:35:01 (PST)
Did a bunch of client edits to promote the new Lake Forest Climbing Gym. Solid Rock Gym has been an appreciated client for years. To celebrate, I bought a PlayStation and the Tony Hawk Skateboarding game! Weeee.


- Thursday, October 24, 2002 at 09:41:44 (PDT)
Had a bonus weekend with the kids. We went to a picnic and had face painting, a magic show and lots of BBQ food. Then we watched "Final Fantasy" at our best friend's house. Lots of kid play there too. The highlight was when we went to the Tierrasanta Skatepark. The kids thought it was pretty cool to see their old dad carving, grinding and sliding all over the bowls and banks... Life is soooo good!

- Monday, October 21, 2002 at 10:12:16 (PDT)
Danced with the scrolls during Simcha Torah at the shul. This festive holiday comes at the end of the high holy days including Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, Succot, and Shemini Atzeret. On Simcha Torah, we read the last and first portions of the Torah. This reminds us that life is a cycle gently repeating year after year...

- Tuesday, October 01, 2002 at 14:05:11 (PDT)
It's the Jewish High Holy Days right now. Last weekend was Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur is on Monday. It is an awesome time of repentance and forgivness. The synagogue services are long and complicated, but there is a real sense of communal hope that life can get better and be even more fulfilling this year than was the last.

- Friday, September 13, 2002 at 09:21:21 (PDT)
Went skateboarding at a local skatepark this weekend and had some kids make fun of my "old school" board and style. It's been 20 years since I skated a park, so it was a little shaky. Pulled off some carves, grinds and wheelers. Called it quits when I beefed doing a rock-and-roll. What fun!

- Tuesday, September 03, 2002 at 09:39:40 (PDT)
Had a birthday (42) and went to dinner with the kids, in-laws, and my parents. There was a great potential for wierdness, but it turned out fine. During the weekend the whole family had a nice pool party and sang me the tune over brownies. I was able to stay cool the whole day, which is sometimes hard for me with family stuff. All-in-all, I had a happy birthday this year!

- Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 15:09:02 (PDT)
My server has had a bunch of crashes lately and lost the latest version of my BLOG! I can't even begin to recreate it :( I lost my best hosting client too. Bummer...

- Monday, August 12, 2002 at 15:43:35 (PDT)
Our CancerAnswers.com business is cranking along. We get orders almost every day!

- Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 10:15:08 (PDT)
Took the kids camping last weekend to Dos Pico Park and took a gnarly hike to the top of the mountain to check out this "little" clump of rocks to see if they were climbable. Turns out they were HUGE with scary landings. By then my son was pooped and wouldn't let me climb anyway. We tried to nap, but it was too fun. So, we went to town and got hotdogs and marshmellows for our evening campfire. Everyone had a blast and slept well in the tent.

- Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 09:12:05 (PDT)
It's been a banner entertainment week... Saw an amazing movie called "Dogtown and Z-Boys" that was based on the skateboard culture that I was a part of in the late 70's. The Z-Boys were the pinnacle of style and I modeled my whole life on them. You may not know this, but I was a SKATEBOARD CHAMPION and won all kinds of contests! It was entirely nostalgic to see those old-school heroes on the big screen; it made me want to dust off the old skate and hit the skatepark!

- Wednesday, June 05, 2002 at 10:16:03 (PDT)
Saw Elvis Costello last night. What an awesome show it was!

- Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 18:51:23 (PDT)
Had a busy weekend, beginning with the holidy of Shavuot at my mother-in-laws. Went with the kids to shul and lunch in the community. Dinner at her house the following night and a party at my sister's the next day. Finished off the weekend at Chuck E. Cheese. Whew!

- Monday, May 20, 2002 at 10:40:45 (PDT)
Had a nice weekend with the kids. I swear, they make going to work seem easy! It sounds simple enough that I took them to see their cousin's little league game, except my kids spent more time climbing trees, spilling drinks, devising tree swings and and posing (Daddy! Look at me!) until I was spent with the effort :) Swimming? That's easy too, if you don't mind giving rides with your head. Sunday was easier cuz we went to the beach, where they kinda do their own thing. All-in-all, I'm glad to be back at work!

- Monday, May 06, 2002 at 10:15:04 (PDT)
Been plugging away at the *New Job* for a while now and it seems to be ok. There is a lot to do and I have a pretty good time doing it. New responsibilities are regularly added and the boss thinks what I do is important. A bit of drama - I have to give up my shiny new desk this week and move into my own office across the parking lot. Sounds lonely, but a grizzled webhack like me, who has spent the last decade staring at a computer screen all day, is used to that!

- Monday, April22, 2002 at 12:02:45 (PDT)
PGW offerred me a salary, benefits, a new computer and a new desk yesterday and I accepted. Looks like my latest two-year consulting run has come to an end, which makes me happy and sad at the same time.

- Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 15:34:33 (PST)
Been swamped with the PGW intranet site, which gets daily updates. They have a meeting with me next Tuesday to discuss taking me on as an employee... Wish me luck!

- Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 14:00:27 (PST)
The intranet site for PGW is booming! There are daily updates now which look like they will continue indefinately. It is good, interesting work and I am thankful to have such a client :)

- Thursday, February 07, 2002 at 11:21:22 (PST)
Built and early version of an online client notes and offers intranet for Beachwalk Financial and also a flash intro for LA Funding... It was a good and busy week!

- Sunday, February 03, 2002 at 09:45:39 (PST)
Reviewed BLOG concept with client.

- Thursday, January 31, 2002 at 13:31:50 (PST)
Made a website for my new hosting company.

- Monday, January 21, 2002 at 13:26:04 (PST)
The web design firm hired someone else because I was overqualified. In an attempt to change careers, I tried out for the lifeguard department and failed the 500m swim test by two minutes. Dang! Good thing I have a job!

- Monday, January 21, 2002 at 10:03:28 (PST)
Had a cool web design interview yesterday that seemed to go well. They will contact me monday. The suspense is compounted by the "check being in the mail" for transfering ownership of r-house.com to a New York firm for development as a real estate site.

- Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 09:44:08 (PST)
By the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope it's a good one for you and yours!

- Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 10:27:11 (PST)
Work's going good these days. I've been doing lots of Flash work, which is pretty cool. Transferred ownership of r-house.com to the new owner today, which is kind of nostalgic and sad. For six years I used it to show my work and resume, but I don't work out of my house anymore and have redesigned my resume, so it's best to let someone else make their play rather than have it just sit... Life goes on!

- Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 10:26:07 (PST)
I borrowed a mortgage payment from my dad and Western Unioned it off. Combined with the 8 already sent and the extension of 5 more payments, the house is officially out of forclosure! Now I just have to make the payments. Thus, I went to the post office and the county building looking for work. It is amazing how unqualified I am after 41 year in this world! Oh well... just got to keep on keeping on and not have no in my heart!

- Friday, December 28, 2001 at 16:45:14 (PST)
Had a nice x-mas with my family at my parents. The kids made out like bandits with dolls and firetrucks and whatnot. Took the kids to the snow a couple days and did some sledding. Froze our butts off. Had lunch in Julian too. Now I'm back to work coding and graffiking. What the heck... I've got bills to pay!

- Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 11:51:37 (PST)
The sale of r-house.com has been requested by the buyer... hope it goes through so I can fix my busted-down camper van.

- Friday, December 21, 2001 at 11:25:44 (PST)
Added a chatroom to the Cancer Answers site and reworked the Flash Intro at Beachwalk Financial.

- Wednesday, November 28, 2001 at 13:27:12 (PST)
Did lots of stuff this weekend... Thanksgiving with my family and the in-laws, a trip out to Viejas Casino, Chuckie Cheese with the kids, and Buddy Blue at Pete's Place are a few highlights. Now, it's back to work!

- Monday, November 26, 2001 at 12:46:00 (PST)
The sale of my main domain, r-house.com is moving forward. Most of my network services have shifted over to dgoode.com and new emails are created. Someday, my six-year-old email deeg@r-house.com will quit working :( oh well... it's a wierd name anyway.

- Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at 12:27:08 (PST)
Got the blog to work on the new dgoode.com site. Duh... you are reading it now. Of course it works!

- Friday, November 16, 2001 at 01:29:18 (PST)
Put the kids to bed and spent the night coding. Geee... I've never done that before :)

- Friday, November 16, 2001 at 01:25:01 (PST)
Took my daughter to Chuck E. Cheese for her FIFTH birthday this weekend. Ain't it crazy how time flies!

- Monday, November 12, 2001 at 14:24:54 (PST)
Finally working on a redesign! Got a call to buy my domain name, so I've been on a major restructuring thing this week. One good thing is that it is forcing me to do a redesign of my ancient site.

- Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 13:32:07 (PST)
Worked carrier contacts for the PGW intranet. Began the GoodeInsurance transfer to my virtual host server. That's always a thorny process... Had a Rubio's burrito.

- Monday, October 22, 2001 at 14:12:28 (PDT)
Got "groceries" at 7-11 enroute to the kids school and made pb&j sandwiches in the front seat while they split a clif bar. Now that's single parent multi-tasking in the modern age!

- Monday, October 22, 2001 at 14:06:56 (PDT)
Went to see Buddy Blue and his band again at Pete's Place. It's the best show in town and I can't believe it stays so low profile. The band rocked through two blazing sets before a well-oiled crowd. Saw Mondo and Kelly at the show. Their baby is three months old now and the talk turned to nursing. Thus, I took them our *electric* breast pump to use. One of life's little conveniences, often overlooked.

- Sunday, October 21, 2001 at 10:15:26 (PDT)
Realized that this thing is too public to *REALLY* rant in any therapeutic manner, so I made a new one and hid it on the network for my own viewing pleasure. There can be found such juicy stuff as marriage and kids and parents and addictions... all the stuff you would want to read anyway. So, if you wanna know, you will have to hack my site :)

- Friday, October 19, 2001 at 10:55:54 (PDT)
Had a killer interview at z57.com and kinda tripped when they asked what job I wanted. Well, I said, I have freelance design clients whose work I support with extensive HTML and Javascript for the implementations. I do project management and sales. All they could do was schedule me for another interview. I'll keep you posted.

- Thursday, October 18, 2001 at 17:40:58 (PDT)
Listening to the Sex Pistols and reworking my resume BACK to a graphical format from text. All that code gak made me see things like a coder, I guess. Someone at MusicMatch said I'd get a "better response if IT were more professional." In that case, I should completely redesign this site, which has only been added to since 1997. Still, I got 3 responses out of 4 on a recent media blast. Maybe one of these days I'll get a real job :)

- Thursday, October 18, 2001 at 12:24:47 (PDT)
Had a good day today, all things considered. Got a ton done at work building the potomacwest.net intranet. Designed a set of nav icons worth being proud of, which sailed right through approval :) Gotta love it! Picked up FIVE more clients as well for design, implementation and hosting! yipee! Also sent out my resume and got a 3 out of 4 response rate and an interview invitation. Talked another client out of an additional $400 a month as a retainer! Talk about a banner day! There's checks in the mail from three others too!

- Tuesday, October 16, 2001 at 23:17:39 (PDT)
Went to lunch at Rubio's and met with the principal at PotomacWest.net. Got a load of work to do... looks like i'll have a busy week! Feast or Famine is what it is in this business!

- Monday, October 15, 2001 at 15:15:23 (PDT)
It's been pretty wierd lately. I'm trying my best to do it right, but it is way hard. All I want to do is complain about the wife, about the kids, about work and the lack of it. Nag, Whine, Moan... I guess that makes me a heel :(

- Monday, October 15, 2001 ,2000 at 13:05:40 (PDT)
Thought of a new way to imput the blog. Hope it works!

- Monday, October 14, 2001 at 2:16:03 (PDT)
Oops! missed a few days there! not much going on... just Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Sincha Torah! whew!

-October, 12 ,2000 at 08:20 (PDT)
Drove the scrap metal truck to miller with 6 drums of brass and two boxes of aluminum turnings. parked on a hill so it would pop start.

-September, 26 ,2000 at 07:30 (PDT)
Rode the trolley to zainy brainy with the kids.

-September, 24 ,2000 at 11:10 (PDT)
Gave a best man speech at mike's wedding.

-September, 23 ,2000 at 05:00 (PDT)
Swing dancing at the buddy blue show

September, 22 ,2000 at 10:30 (PDT)
8th wedding anniversary. too much work for flowers :(

-September, 20 ,2000 at 14:00 (PDT)
Wake-boarding at varona. ate it on every run.

-September, 17 ,2000 at 09:20 (PDT)
Up in sac for mike's bachelor party after 12 hours on the road.

-September, 15 ,2000 at 14:55 (PDT)
Missed a few daze there... weekend and all. did some climbing at santee with the kids and went to the beach. now, however, I am at work.

-September, 14 ,2000 at 16:25 (PDT)
In a meeting now... hee hee!

-September, 8 ,2000 at 09:57 (PDT)
I spend so much on time on line that I can surely find time for this.

-September, 7 ,2000 at 09:33 (PDT)
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