Travel Thursday: After Arlington Garden

After the visit to Arlington Garden that I blogged about last week I decided to go further north to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, and for the first time go behind Huntington Hospital rather than the usual Fair Oaks route. I was amazed that in the span of three blocks there was so much gawking to be had.

The famous fork in the road. Read about it, seen photos. Life complete.

Considering my preferences for what is commonly known as weak tea, I’d better not go in there.

How libraries start out.

;o)

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Travel Thursday: Arlington Garden

Shots of a small garden in a residential part of Pasadena. . . California, not Texas or Florida or any others. Just the thing to walk off a huge cortisone shot in the left hip; smart of my pain management doctor to set up his office so close.

;o)

Travel Thursday: A Quick Recap of the Weekend

I always thought the best definition of serendipity was one used on the Max Headroom TV series: “Digging for worms and striking oil.”
But here’s an even better one: “Serendipity means looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s daughter.”
Oh yes, please. . .

Okay, Saturday found me in Pasadena’s imposing main library. Thankfully all I had to do was walk two blocks to catch the bus that left me right in front of the library, which was good because as usual it was late and I got there just before Marina V went on stage, barely enough time to get my camera out and hope the new faster lens could deal with the strange lighting behind her. . . though obviously it did well enough, as you saw from the photos two blogs ago. . . yeah, go to the bottom of this one, skip the poem, and there they are.
Set list:
1 Ghost Wandering This Earth
2 I’ll Be All Right
3 You Make Me Beautiful
4 Run
5 Neil Diamond in Russian
6 Say Hello
7 Stand
8 Light Up the Dark
9 Speak

1 Ghost Wandering This Earth
Haven’t heard this one in years, seemed longer than usual. Marina teased Nick about being a blonde with a master’s degree. “You don’t see that often.” To which he promptly replied, “You didn’t say what it was in!”
2 I’ll Be All Right
I don’t remember now why she mentioned it, but she did say she was wearing sports shorts under her relatively short blue dress. No further comment necessary.
3 You Make Me Beautiful
This usta be my fave, before the next one came along.
4 Run
Yay for little cameras with video capabilities and relatively steady hands!

5 Neil Diamond in Russian
Not a fan of his in any language. Nuff said.
6 Say Hello
This one took a while to start, as they were confused as to location of the tambourine, which was supposed to be in the bag. . . except Nick had already taken it out and put it under the piano. And conveniently forgotten. Marina also mentioned how cushy the seats were, “like grandma’s couch.”
7 Stand
For being overly dramatic I still like this one.
8 Light Up the Dark
Pretty sure this is my first time hearing this one live.
9 Speak
I think this has become her official closer.
Didn’t stay long, still having stamina troubles after the nose surgery.

Sunday
Just like the last time I attended a performance at A Noise Within, the bus came late and I actually arrived at the back door after it was scheduled to start. On the other hand, going to previews, which are a lot more relaxed as far as time is concerned, mitigate that a little, so I had time to go to the front and pick up my ticket and even go to the restroom. . .
Today was Julius Caesar day. . . as in the play I was going to see, not the Ides of March. Despite being a Shakespeare fan, I don’t think I’ve seen this since we performed it in English class my junior year of high school; I still remember how a friend had written “Assinated” instead of “assassinated” in his notes. Good times. . .
The opening music was so overly dramatic I instantly hated it. Here it was a little justified as people walked around the stage handing each other cardboard signs, which at a predetermined point where placed before chests, bearing the names of the characters. This description was hardly worth how amazingly cool that moment was, but on the other hand the music did not get better. The industrial design, with plenty of scaffolding, didn’t do much for me either, though as the play went on I saw how ingeniously they used it and decided it was okay. The costuming left me mystified, though; those long fur coats weren’t enough for me to know exactly what time period this was supposed to be set in. . . and as usual I’m gonna keep on going to keep that participle from dangling off the cliff, since it’s afraid of heights.
Took a while for me to get into it; hesitate to admit it, but I might have nodded off for a few moments there. But at the assassination scene things picked up, and I didn’t lose interest from them on. As much as I had against the design and music, the lighting was incredibly effective, especially the handheld lamps. Another effective part was their use of the open area atop the seats, as well as the ramps between sections; this is the fifth work I’ve seen here, and all have featured actors walking or running through the audience, but this time it worked even better.
As expected, but even more so here with the acting, Mark Antony’s speech was the highlight. Later in the Q&A a lady mentioned she was a Brutus fan, but this performance put her squarely in Marcus’s camp. {The actor did seem to appreciate it.}
One thing I noticed all the more here than in other performances: the actors help move the scenery. No divas here; even in high school productions you don’t usually see that. I think it’s a nice touch for a company I have rapidly grown fond of, for much more than just the quality acting.
This being the first preview there was an after-show discussion, from which I remember these tidbits:
Iambic pentameter allows you to memorize easier, like when you listen to a song over and over and suddenly realize you know the words, or as I like to call it, osmosis.
This play brings out the absurdity of politics, even more relevant now. And this production’s based on Mean Girls, according to the chiefs’ daughter.
The best way to memorize lines, according to one of the actors, is to whisper them, so you don’t get any inflection on them when you haven’t yet decided how you’re going to play it. But the most important acting point is you have to love your character. . .
All topped off by a very late lunch/early dinner at Hook Burger. Yummy!

;o)

Marina V Pasadena Library photos

For the third time I can remember my musical buddy Marina V played the Pasadena Library. While the lighting wasn’t nearly the same as the outdoor show last year, she did mention how the seats are cushy–“like your grandmother’s couch” which beat the coffeeshop’s chairs by a few country miles.

Hmmm, she looks suspicious. . .

Hmmm, she looks suspicious. . .

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Yay!

Yay!

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Oh oh, she spotted me.

Oh oh, she spotted me.

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Pretending the tam is a cell phone

Pretending the tam is a cell phone

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Like you just don't care

Like you just don’t care

!IMG_2760-1 !IMG_2790

{BTW–400th blog. I feel old. . .}

;o)

Four Festivals

Saturday the temperature in the City of Angels fell to the comfortable low 90s. . . yippee.
After a quick trip to the Central library and the bank–where a cute teller recognized me; that never happens–it was off to Union Station for Train Day and the building’s 75th anniversary. A victim of its own success, the festival was jam-packed to the point where I spent more time wading through the crowds than looking at the exhibits. The line to board the trains on exhibit, as well as to take the 20 minute trip up to Glendale, were over an hour long, and since I didn’t think they were that big a deal the time I actually got to see them a couple of years ago, I moved on to Pasadena, which was having an Earth Day festival.
More walking around booths collecting brochures I’ll only read once, though I did win a raffle from the Pasadena Film Festival; don’t have the prize yet, though. Got a free tote bag, which takes care of Mother’s Day gifting, and also an orange from the Pasadena Chapter of the United Nations. There was a cool robot from Cal-Tech, but other than the Aztec dancers it was kinda meh.
Not much to say, or photograph, about the California Bookstore Day, so let’s move on to the South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival. . . or try, because the heat and all the walking got to me to the point where I only got to say Hi to my musician friend Natalie Gelman but couldn’t stick around to see her play.
But possibly the highlight of the day was wandering around looking for a place to eat and seeing an upscale burger joint. . . that turned out to be a place that served beef patties half made of bacon! Plus more bacon, and there was bacon in the pretzel bun. . . and they were showing UCLA softball. As you might remember, I have a bacon wallet, which was a big hit with the waitresses, as you might expect. . .
Still, despite all that, not many photos. . .

just read the background

just read the background

Union Station chandelier

Union Station chandelier

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IMG_0753

cardboard robot

cardboard robot

 

;o)