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Month: March 2013

The rumors are true

The rumors are true

After 8 years and one month I have switched employers.

The transition from old to new was filled with more than a few surprises, but that isn’t anything that should be announced on a blog.

What can be announced is that I’ll be part of the Direct Marketing team at Kaiser Permanente in Burbank starting April 1, 2013.

Sara / Wyatt Wedding weekend

Sara / Wyatt Wedding weekend

On Friday Sam and I made the long journey to LAX from Hollywood and took a tiny Delta plane to Phoenix.  We finally arrived to our destination at almost midnight.  We had been invited to the wedding of on of Sam’s coworker a few months ago and my old college racquetball opponent, Rufus, invited us to stay at his house while in Phoenix.  Rufus bought at the right time and now has a gigantic house with many bedrooms and bathrooms, so our stay was very comfortable.  I enjoyed catching up with my friend that I hadn’t seen in nearly ten years.  Coincidentally he was invited to a different wedding on the same Saturday, so our schedules worked out perfectly.

Sam’s coworker, Sara, got married at a nice golf club east of Phoenix in Gold Canyon.  Behind the golf course is a mountain called Superstition Mountain.  The wedding ceremony was held on a grassy area beside the club, overlooking a man-made lake, the course and the mountain.  It was a quick and fun ceremony.  As it wasn’t religious based they could play with the format a little and it was a more accurate representation of them as a couple (at least based on my limited previous interaction with them).  It was refreshing to just see two people declaring their love for each other in their unique (and familiar to their guests) way instead of bringing a bunch of bronze age hogwash to the table to bore everyone to death.  It was about them, as every wedding should be, but rarely is.

Because the bride works with Sam at Belldini there were many other Belldini employees in attendance.

After staying behind to take pictures we eventually went to the reception in the clubhouse.

After the cake ceremony there was about 90 minutes of “dance party” time.  While Sam danced with her friends I excused myself to take photos of the club and then eventually the dancers.

The next day we went to two different mountain hikes on the south side of Phoenix.  I don’t remember the name of the first one, but we didn’t hike for long because there was an archery station by the parking lot.  We only got to shoot once because more people (and lots of children) showed up after our first try.  Unlike in Thailand where they gave us the equipment and basically said “have at it,” here we had to learn a bunch of whistle commands and abide by 15,000 laws and regulations, etc.  It was so tedious that each group of six people took as much as 30 minutes to cycle through.  We eventually decided to give up on waiting for a second round.

Our next hike was much better, although we didn’t last long because we’d already been in the sun for too long waiting to shoot the arrows.  The second trail was the “Mormon” trail.  A trail up a slight grade over small rocks and boulders.  This trail is very similar to the trails north of Chatsworth around Stoney Point.  Unlike in Chatsworth, you must yield to Mormons.

From the top of the hill you get a good view of Phoenix.   (see my Flickr account for larger versions of all photos in this post)

weekly hiking

weekly hiking

On Wednesday nights I’ve been hiking with a group of Korean guys (one is a friend I’ve known for a long time in Los Angeles).  I always forget my camera, and there is almost always some incredible sunset or view from the top.  This past Wednesday neither the sunset nor the view were incredible, but I finally had my camera with me…  The first photo is looking back at the valley with the Hollywood sign in front.

The second photo is looking south straight at downtown.

current events

current events

On Sunday the 10th we had another couple we met in grad school over to our condo.  We’d seen them last maybe a year and a half ago, when they were expecting.  Now they brought their 1 year old daughter over for lunch.  She was enamored for a short while with our “pet” squirrel. Sam made brownies and this squirrel (like most mammals) has a hankering for chocolate.

A new dish that Sam made for the lunch was this steak strip with blue cheese dressing.

The next day on my way home from work a kid driving his parents car (this is my assumption based on his insurance card, type of car and his age) turned into the back of my car as I was trying to get on the 118.  I used to go super nuts and make a big fuss (on this blog anyway) whenever anything happened to my car.  Now that the car is nearly ten years old and falling apart, things like this are just another annoyance I have to deal with.

On Tuesday I had to pee in a cup for the first time (that I remember) in my life.  That is due to a momentous life-changing event that happened on Monday (before the accident).  No I didn’t get arrested and no I am not pregnant, guess again. As soon as everything is finalized I can announce what that is; something eight years in the making is finally coming to fruition.

On Saturday (the 16th) Cindy and JC came over for dinner.  Sam made broiled Salmon (not pictured), broiled shrimp, salad and Parmesan corn-on-the-cob.

For desert we were going to serve chocolate covered strawberries, but Cindy and JC had stopped by Porto’s on their way to our place and got a “rich” chocolate cake that was essentially a giant chocolate bar.  It was so thick we had a lot of trouble cutting it, but no trouble eating it.

The following day Sam and I hiked Fryman Canyon with M & A.

We went farther on the trail than I’d ever gone before.  We took the Dearing Trail all the way to Barker Fire Road before turning around.

Afterwards we headed to Palms Thai for a giant lunch, but before that we stopped at the hollywood bowl overlook  (yes, dad, you HAVE been there before) and snapped the below photo of our condo.  (our condo is in the building on the right)  (that’s the hollywood sign on the hill to the left)

Across the street from the overlook is a massive home being built by some rich person.  We’ve been watching them build it from our house across the 101 for the past year.  The tour bus operators kept talking about Ron Howard’s house, so perhaps it Ron’s new place?

There were a lot of tour buses and a lot of tourists taking pictures of the sign, and we realized that every day our place is in the foreground of tons of photos taken of the hollywood sign.  Kind of an interesting feeling.