Christmas, 2004

Once again, here we are at the end of the year. But this time, we have computer tools to help us remember all the things that that we did this year. And there's a lot of it.

First off, Lucinda started school this year. She is going to Don Benito, which is a public magnet school here in Pasadena. Admission is by lottery, but we got lucky. She likes her school, so we're all happy about that. Cathy also volunteers as the art docent for the kindergarten rooms. Lucinda also has her first loose tooth now, and she's quite excited about that, too. Other milestones included learning to do the monkey bars at the park and learning to ride her bike without training wheels. Lucinda also won a prize in an art contest sponsored by the 99 Ranch Market. This is an Asian grocery store chain here in L.A., so the whole awards ceremony was in Chinese. It was an amusing experience, and Lucinda got a nice trophy.

As always, we went to lots of museum exhibits this year. We saw “The Secret Life of Sets” at the Motion Picture Academy. Also, “Girl Culture” at the Skirball, Dinosaurs at the L.A. Zoo, and a Smithsonian traveling exhibit of artifacts from September 11th.

Our art adventures included several trips to the Museum of Neon Art, as well as “My Blue Sky”, which was a very strange audio exhibit at a small gallery downtown. We also saw the “Alas Vegas” and “Stacked” shows at DiRT Gallery in West Hollywood. We liked some of the art we saw there so much that we bought a couple small pieces to bring home. We also went to the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown to see “The Chocolate Room”, which is an installation piece that is exactly what its name suggests. We couldn't miss that. And we even did some local art, attending a couple of opening night parties at The Underground Arts Society right here in Altadena.

Our one live theater outing was to see a return engagement of Varla Jean Merman, the ostensible drag queen love-child of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, in her new show, “Under a Big Top”.

Food adventures included ice cream at Dr. Bob's in Upland. Dr. Bob is a professor at Cal Poly who felt that the normal super-premium ice creams are just not good enough. He decided he could do better. It was good. Not so good was our trip to Renaissance in Hollywood. This is the restaurant at the Scientology Celebrity Center. It was a somewhat creepy but still interesting experience. Sadly, though, the food wasn't very good. Other culinary highlights included visits to Off Vine in Hollywood, and Traxx downtown for our 16th anniversary.

We saw a number of movies this year. As usual, we saw some obscure documentaries, including “The Hunting of the President”, “Control Room”, “Mayor of the Sunset Strip”, and “The Fog of War”. Less obscure were “Super Size Me” and “Fahrenheit 9/11”. We also took Lucinda to see “The Polar Express” and “The Incredibles”, which she liked.

In other news, Stan started cycling again on the weekends, riding with a local bicycle club. He also bought a new bicycle this year, although that was only after his 27-year-old bike broke from metal fatigue. Cathy is still doing the stay-at-home Mom thing, and enjoying it.

We also moved our home web site, since the traffic on it was getting to be too much for our little DSL connection. Our new web page is at, where you can see our photo albums, as well as read about our other adventures.

Stan and Cathy