January 15th, 2012

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I have an admission to make: I didn't prepare for my wife's birthday as well as I should have, and so there was some friction at the beginning of the day, and it's all my fault.

However, the remainder of the day went very well; we had some lovely experiences.

I did bake her cupcakes, which she had to remind me she preferred with German chocolate frosting. I've never baked cupcakes before, so that was stressful, but worth doing for her.

We drove into Pasadena to the Pacific Asia Museum, where they were having the Chinese New Year celebration. While we were there, we toured the exhibits, and there are some lovely pieces on display.

From there, we tried to drive into Santa Monica to catch the sunset, but we were just a little too late. Still, the sunlight striking the clouds as it set in the distance made for a beautiful view.

We wandered a bit before our reservations, and ended up at a furniture place called Environment, which uses reclaimed wood to make some really spectacular furniture pieces. I was intrigued, and I'm thinking about how to make us a dining room table in that fashion. I think I know how they did it...

Then, we went on to Lawry's The Prime Rib. I've not been to its present venue before; when last I went, I might have been in college. I do recall going to the one in Chicago; in fact, I took forestcats, but I was on call that night, and it was before the days of cell phones, and I was up to use the pay phone 14 times during the meal. Ruined the experience, I'm afraid.

This time, the beeper got left at home.

It started out there, a bit badly, in that the staff member didn't log in that we were in for our reservation, but once I spoke again to the staff, they quickly seated us, and comped us our desserts, which I admit mollified us rather well.

The food was as close to perfect as a prime rib could be. I loved most of our side dishes (except, maybe, the Yorkshire pudding), and the desserts were very good. Classic food, done well. Classic cocktails. Classic desserts. The ambiance of this venue was very European, and there were some surprising pieces of art on the walls. They place was packed; this is a restaurant that's doing well. Wonderful. I don't think it'll be thirty years until our next visit there, though it's never going to be the sort of place that we'll visit spur-of-the-moment.

En route to our next stop, we were pulled over by the police for an expired registration. The pisser is that we've paid, but it hasn't been acknowledged by the state, which is cool for them, so they can fine us for not complying. The office acknowledged that his database confirmed that we'd smogged the car, but the State of California still lists us as expired, so they must be using that money for some other nefarious purpose. Guess we'll have to spend several hours of our time at the DMV to clear it up. Apparently, this is a fix-it ticket, so we won't be hit so hard, though we'll have to pay a service fee to clear it up. Ack.

Finally, we stopped at The Downtown Comedy Club just a little late for the show, and caught several funny folks doing their acts. The headliner was Matt Iseman, and he was very good. The club is owned and run by Garret Morris, who I recall fondly from SNL in my youth, and when the show was over, he stopped by us to greet us, and he shook our hands. Nice way to put a cap on the day.

Ups and downs, yesterday, but I think that the ups were very up, and the downs not quite so down. All-in-all, it was a memorable day.
Dead Dog Cat

#10, 11, 12

Over the last few days, I've finished reading a few ebooks.

First was Osprey Fortress #88: The Mannerheim Line 1920 - 39 which talks about the fortifications that helped hold the Russians somewhat at bay during the Winter War. Somewhat interesting.

Second was The Dark Side of Disney which is about various naughtiness that the author has done in and around Disney World. Nothing is condoned, but much is described, such as ways to limit your spending at the parks. Having been to some of the places described, I found it amusing, but not all that helpful, at least to me.

Finally, there was Osprey New Vanguard # 29: German Armoured Cars and Reconnaissance Half-Tracks 1939 - 45 which I didn't find as interesting as I'd hoped. The photography was not the best, and the plates weren't as good as some other Osprey books have been.