Day 363: A Thousand Words

Best shot I hit all year on the golf course.

Best shot I hit on the golf course in 2015.

I can’t believe I only have two more days until I’ve completed My Quest to Blog Every Day in 2015!

I’ll write more about this on the final post of the year, but for now let me say this: I wish I would’ve written more substantial posts. I didn’t realize how tough this quest would be and I have a greater appreciation for those that publish quality content on a regular basis.

What’s the old saying? A picture’s worth a thousand words? Here are a few photos I took this year. I’m not sure I could write a thousand words for each, but they are a good sample of what I did during the previous 363 days.


Roll for the Galaxy


Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Wasabi-flavored Kit Kats from Japan


Incredible kim chi fried rice from Little Meats LA

Frontier sign at the Neon Boneyard Museum

Frontier sign at the Neon Boneyard Museum


A summer night at Dodger Stadium


Celebrating the US Women’s World Cup victory at LA Live


Day 305: Street Food Cinema

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

A few years ago my wife and I experienced our first Street Food Cinema in Hollywood. It’s a terrific event of live music, food trucks, and a classic movie shown outdoors in different parts of Los Angeles. I love the picnic atmosphere; it’s family friendly with a laid-back  vibe.

For Halloween last night, my wife scored tickets to the final event of the season at Exposition Park for one of my favorite movies: Shaun of the Dead. Since we’d already dressed as zombies this year, we decided to do a DC/Marvel crossover with my wife going as Spidergirl and myself as Clark Kent-changing-into-Superman (an easy costume for me since I already have the eyeglasses).

We arrived in time for the last song of the band, found a spot near the front to lay down our picnic blanket and beach chairs, then did a quick scan of the food trucks before deciding on our dinner: shish kebabs for my wife and a shrimp po boy and chicken/sausage/corn bisque for me. The food was delicious and we cracked open a bottle of a wonderful wine for the movie.

I was surprised that more people weren’t dressed as zombies or the characters from the movie, but there were some terrific costumes. I particularly liked the McDonald’s Hamburglar I was in line with for dinner.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the film as much as I always do. Shaun of the Dead is such a smart, funny movie, brilliantly versed in its zombie cliches as it pokes fun of itself and the genre. The weather was perfect last night and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend Halloween.

Day 288: The Drought Continues

Greatest World Series moment ever.

Greatest World Series moment ever.

The Dodgers were just eliminated from the playoffs, which means we’re closing in on 30 years since the team last played in the World Series. I know I’ve been a fortunate sports fan, having seen all four of the major sports teams in Los Angeles win a championship during my lifetime, but it’s still a drag when the season ends without a parade in downtown.

Speaking of that last World Series appearance, I’m going to watch this on repeat until this end-of-the-season sadness is gone.

Day 286: Must Win

After the Dodgers went up 3-0 against the Mets, my wife and I decided to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. My wife asked if I was sure if I wanted to go and I said yes.

As we were driving there, the Mets scored a run against Clayton Kershaw and my first thought was, “here we go again.” I also thought about turning the car around, but we were starving and didn’t feel like making dinner.

Thankfully, everything turned out perfect: we shared our favorite dish, Kershaw broke his 7th-inning curse, Jensen saved the game, and the Dodgers get to play Game 5 in L.A.

And as an added bonus, we made it home in time for another hilarious episode of Fresh Off the Boat. I was as pumped up as Kershaw was tonight.

Day 282: Superman and Clark Kent

The Dodgers' Greinke and Kershaw.

The Dodgers’ Greinke and Kershaw.

The Dodgers lost the opening game of their playoff series against the Mets. Sad to say, it wasn’t as shocking as Clayton Kershaw’s meltdown against the Cardinals last year.

With how much Kershaw looks like Superman during the regular season, he has quite a few Clark Kent moments during October. It’s hard to knock the best pitcher in baseball, but the truth is with each postseason loss, opposing hitters are gaining confidence against him. They’re being patient and aren’t scared of him, knowing that he can be cracked at some point.

While I had my doubts about these Dodgers going to the World Series (hard to get too fired up about a team that was no-hit twice during the season), I was hoping Kershaw and Greinke could do their best Johnson-and-Schilling imitation and drag this team to the promised land.

Greinke is pitching tomorrow. He better be in great shape because that additional weight he’s carrying is the entire Dodgers organization.

Day 218: Bill Simmons

Now I Can Die in Peace by Bill Simmons

Now I Can Die in Peace by Bill Simmons

I scored a copy of Bill Simmons’ Now I Can Die in Peace at my local used bookstore tonight. I’ve read it before, but didn’t own a copy, so one dollar made me the proud owner of a hardcover in excellent condition.

I read the first two chapters again and it was like seeing Jordan in his prime. You know how great Simmons was back then? Even a diehard Angeleno like myself would actually read and buy a book about a fan’s love for the Red Sox (and Celtics and Bruins). Simmons’ writing was brilliant, funny, and witty. Within those first two chapters are pop culture and political references that only he could pull off.

He was at the top of his game, back before his writing went downhill, thanks to his forays into television, podcasting, and documentary films. His television work was terrible; for as great a writer as he was, he was extremely bland on air. I liked some of his podcasts, but listening to him figure out NFL lines wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as reading his weekly NFL picks column.

Without a doubt, his 30 for 30 documentary series for ESPN was the best non-writing work he did. I’ve loved so many of those films, from Michael Jodan’s minor league baseball career to  Vlade Divac making amends with Drazen Petrovic’s parents.

It was quality television, which is why HBO snatched him up. I have my doubts about a weekly talk show featuring Simmons, but if he can contribute behind the camera like he did on 30 for 30, then he’ll continue to have a successful career.

It’s just too bad that one of my favorite writers is no longer known for his writing.

Day 137: I Love (Most of) L.A.

L.A. Clippers

L.A. Clippers

My friends will tell you that I love L.A., but here’s a little secret: I don’t love all of it. Obviously, crime, traffic, and smog make my Don’t Like list. And when it comes to sports, I chose my allegiances a long time ago: the Clippers are not one of the teams I root for.

The Lakers, to me, are the quintessential Los Angeles sports team. There’s a glamour to them that only comes to professional teams that have consistently won over many years and decades, like the New York Yankees. They have a championship legacy that generations of  Southern California families (including my own) have enjoyed for decades. The last few years of bad basketball have tarnished some of the shine of the Lakers franchise, but it won’t result in any permanent damage.

When the Clippers, aka L.A.’s other NBA team, were eliminated today, it was like a continued penance that franchise is paying for all of the years they were owned by someone eventually be banned by the league. Obviously, I feel bad for the players; Chris Paul and Blake Griffin don’t deserve that type of heartbreak.

But for me, like most L.A. NBA fans, I only care about whether or not the Lakers can contend any time soon. Until then, I’ll have to make do with all of the things I do love about L.A.: the food, the people, the weather, days with no traffic, etc.