Friday, November 16, 2012

End o' week musings

This morning I woke up, looked around and thought, boy, I need to do some things around the house... I haven't been home one day this week any longer than to sleep, shower and get back out the door!

Saturday I performed at Rancho de Philo winery with Ad Hoc Consort. I played percussion and danced with my swords. It was cold, so whenever my director asked if I wanted to dance, I replied with a quick "yes please." It's always a good gig, as the audience keeps changing and the winery workers are super nice-- they even give us pastries, scones and cookies with sips of sherry between sets!

In the evening I went with my friend Dean to a private video game party. The host's backyard and garage had been transformed into a video arcade and games sales floor. You could play your choice of around 50 different games for free. I played my old favorite Tempest and tried my hand at a few others, such as hockey, Frogger that you control with your feet, old Star Wars and an assortment of others.

I also entered the raffle and won a game system, a Star Wars Return of the Jedi poster, some magnets and a few other little goodies. It sounds like a lot, but there was a ton of stuff in the raffle, so I think everyone who entered won at least one or two things. It's also funny because I'm not really a gamer, yet I had a good time.

Sunday I went to see the Crown City Symphony concert in Pasadena. The orchestra is very professional, yet it is a community group. The selections included Dvorak, Bizet, Kabalevsky, Gliere and a premiere by Jim Stanley. Stanley's piece was as good as the rest-- it has a timeless quality and very interesting movements. Ophelia Nanagyulyan soloed on violin and was wonderful. The concert is being repeated:

2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Pasadena Christian Church, 789 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena
Free admission

I worked in the office until lunchtime Monday and then headed out on assignment to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for a tour of their holiday offerings. You can read my story here

To sum it up, the decorations are gorgeous, the shows, rides and parade are terrific. And if you go, you should definitely plan to spend some time exploring Cars Land - the decor is a hoot!

Slater's 50/50 is opening in Pasadena Nov. 23 and I got a chance to preview the food with my dining column co-writer Mike Davis and photographer James Carbone. The burgers, pasta, appetizers and shakes were really great, but you can read our entire review soon at

Last night was a grrrl's delight. Hello Kitty has arrived in a big way at Forever XXI. I will be blogging more  on the opening event early next week, but for now I'll share a few highlights from my adventure at the store at Americana at Brand in Glendale.

The collection - clothes, jewelry, bedding, makeup and more - has looks for tweens through adults and nothing costs more than $30! It also embraces many of the characters in the Hello Kitty family, such as Badz Mardu and Chococat.  I looked but didn't truly shop, as it was very busy. I plan to go back, take my time and pick up some things for myself and my mom. Maybe I can even get my mom to go with me.

While there, I met Hello Kitty wearing one of her latest designs. I also was treated to a manicure and now have super cool pink and white nails, some with Hello Kitty written across them and others with a bow or Kitty charm-- too cute!!  More to come next week...

I have a pretty loose weekend and week coming up, which is refreshing, as I have fabric waiting for me to sew, a house that could use a little cleaning and sleep needed.... But you know me, if I get invited to an adventure, I'll be out the door!

In rotation this week: Dethklok, Triumph, Slash and other assorted bits and pieces.

Photos we got 'em: An animal pic from the web that made me smile and shots from Disney Resorts and Hello Kitty at Forever XXI by Dean Lee.

Thought o' the week: Embrace the rain. Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood wrote "It Never Rains in Southern California" and I have to believe they meant it on an emotional level rather than weather-wise. And yes, it is raining here today and I'm happy.

When it comes to weather, rain is great because it refreshes everything and makes it green and pretty. I love listening to the rain on the roof at night and actually like walking in it. It smells good too. Emotionally, when you're in the "rain," it's awful and it can be hard to see that happiness will eventually follow. I know, I've been there.

But I also know that "rain" teaches us to appreciate the sunny times in our lives and be thankful for them. I'm also thankful for the bad times because they often offer lessons of a kind. If it's raining, you'll find me singing, whether it's to lift my spirits or for the pure joy of feeling the drops on my face. Try embracing the rain.

Keep on rockin'

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