Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Joanne

Joanne had a birthday last week. She reports that though she has crossed into her 23rd year the joints haven't stiffened, her walk hasn't slowed and except for forgetting her car keys the mind is as sharp as ever.
For the rest of us Joanne's birthday means only one thing - PARTY!

We do love a good birthday at work. It allows us to disregard business for a couple hours, convert a conference room to a buffet and eat far more than we should.

A few pictures from the blessed event:

Oh, and we also like the cupcakes. God bless the cupcakes!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Niki's Big 5-0

One of my peeps (as I like to call them) turned 50 last month while she was away on vacation. Her husband decided to throw her a later birthday party last weekend.

Here's the happy couple - Niki and Bruce.

Niki is smiling because Bruce gave her a Lexus for her birthday. Bruce is smiling because as purchasing manager that he is the price was negotiated well below sticker.

I have included this next picture of Rafael (we know him better as R1) because I take a perverse pleasure in posting images of people eating.

Continuing in this theme of catching people in their natural states I offer up Simon watching the Olympics. Each time I snapped a photo of him actually looking at me the thing turned out too blurry to recognize - I'm not sure what this says about Simon.

Finally, though there is an entire series of these photos, I chose the first one because it really tells you what all the rest of them are about. In this image Joanne is lecturing me on the finer points of self-photography - something about pointing in the correct direction, remembering to smile and then wondering aloud whether the camera was working. It was. I could make a flip book out of them.

It was a pretty good party. Like many of my LA party experiences I found that I was a stranger in a strange land. Usually this means I'm surrounded by a group of Latinos. This gathering, however, had a more Asian / Pacific Islander feel to it. It was a nice change.

The food was good and included all the normal party foods followed by teriyaki chicken, Kahlua pig, California rolls and some sort of bamboo. There was also a surprising broccoli dish - I say surprising because I liked it and I usually find anything green to be too healthy for human consumption.

And finally, if you happen to appreciate organization you would have died and gone to heaven. The coolers were labeled with their contents. The trash and recycling receptacles were also neatly labeled. A towel was placed on each cooler to wipe the water from the can of whatever one chose to drink.

Oh, and they had the best toothpicks - little tissue paper watermelons on top. How fun is that!?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

He's One Lucky Guy!

My LA family - Joanne, me and Camille.

A vicious and unsubstantiated rumor had been spread the other day in the upstairs offices that I had acquired two new girl friends down in the lab. The rumor continued that their pictures were on my blog. (Actually, this all came about from an overheard phone call where I was discussing my friends list on Facebook.)

Not to be outdone by the lab girls and to prove that in reality Camille and Joanne owned me a picture session was hastily arranged and the results posted on my blog.

And here I thought women would never fight over me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

White Trash

I am 25% White Trash.
Not Too White Trashy
The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.

And here I thought this would be so much higher.

Monday, August 4, 2008

An Evening with Dolly Parton

I only became aware of Dolly Parton's appeal as a gay icon last summer. She's in that elite pantheon of women with what I'll call crossover appeal - Cher, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler amongst them. Gay men love Dolly Parton - who knew? I don't know if I wasn't paying attention or whether it just never occured for me to make the connection between prolific drag show impersonations and gay icon status, but whatever the reason my ignorance was lifted.

Had I not learned about Dolly last summer, I would have learned last night. I may have been the only single, straight man in the audience. I went to the concert because I have an unnatural predilection for country music, especially the classics - Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Kenny, etc. but something tells me that most of the audience would not have bothered to consider that possibility. Only in LA, I thought, could I find an audience of real cowboys, wannabe cowboys and gay cowboys (and not a fist fight the whole night).

Other than the usual traffic getting to the Greek Theatre, it was one of the best concert experiences I've had. First, I won the stacked parking lottery. Somehow they placed me in the coveted front row. When I left that night I didn't have to wait for another soul. I just started up, dropped gently over the curb and out into the street. Second, I had a great seat. Not only was it relatively close, but I was on an aisle and no one ever filled the seat next to me. I couldn't have been happier unless I was sitting on my own couch. Third, while milling in line to get out of the theatre, I saw a familiar face standing next to me and after she spoke I realized I was walking along side Deana Carter. I know, I know, you don't know who she is, but I do and that's what's important. Finally, it was a great concert. Dolly knows how to put on a show (she also knows how to play fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, guitar, piano, harmonica and some sort of Celtic flute). She told stories, chatted with members of the audience including a 4 year old girl down in the pit and she told jokes (good and bad and many involving boobs - I can't imagine why).

So ends my summer concert series - a shame really, I was just starting to have fun.