Christmas, 2012

I know that writing a Christmas letter is a bit of an anachronism. But that’s all right. I like anachronisms.

It’s been a good year, with a lot of good adventures.

Once again, the thing that ate my year was competitive stair climbing. I’m still having fun with it. I ran in three races here in Los Angeles, two in San Diego, the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, and went to Chicago again so I could run up the Sears Willis Tower. One of the races in San Diego was a two-hour race to see how many times we could climb a 25-story building. I did it 17 times, which adds up to almost a mile straight up. Overall, I’m still getting faster at this insane little sport, so I guess I’ll keep doing it for a while longer. And between races and practice climbing, I’ve climbed more than 6,000 floors’ worth of stairs this year. That works out to more than 15 vertical miles up stairs.

Kathleen and I had some theater adventures this year, starting with “Pulp Shakespeare”, which took “Pulp Fiction” and re-imagined it as a Shakespeare play. That was hilarious enough that we went to see it twice. In February, we saw “Red Hot Patriot" with Kathleen Turner as the late Molly Ivins. In the fall we saw the traveling production of “The Book of Mormon”, and “Silence - The Musical”, based on “The Silence of the Lambs”. It sounds strange, but it was hilarious. We also saw “A John Waters Christmas", and even got to see Eddie Izzard at the tiny Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

I’m still leading the Sunday morning bicycle club ride, and we had some good sightseeing excursions this year. We saw the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, the Watts Towers, art about the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, and we also got to see the space shuttle Endeavour being hauled across Los Angeles. We also went on several celebrity grave tours, including Bela Lugosi, Don Knotts, and even Rodney King.  All that totaled over 5,000 miles on the bike.

We went to several concerts this year. We saw the B-52s, DEVO, Blondie and Aimee Mann. We also went to one fake concert with Atticus Fetch, who is a fictitious rock star from the TV show “Californication”. They were filming an episode at the Greek Theater and needed an audience. Since we’re fans of the show, we thought that made for a fun evening.

I won a blue ribbon at the Los Angeles County Fair this year. I spent most of the summer developing my chocolate chocolate-chip cookie recipe, and it won 1st place. My regular chocolate chip cookies won 4th in their division.  This is my first blue ribbon, and I have it in a frame in my kitchen, along with the 2nd-place ribbon I won in 2010.

We had a lot of other adventures this year, such as going to see the L.A. Derby Dolls roller derby, going to the downtown Art Walk, taking the L.A. Conservancy’s downtown walking tour, and the Disney Archives exhibit at the Reagan Library.  The Dearly Departed tour of Hollywood showed us the locations where the stars died, and the Neon Cruise toured neon signs around the city. We also went to see an exhibit of Weegee photos at MOCA, some WWII bombers at Burbank Airport, and even the Bunny Museum. We also went to Disneyland a total of six times this year. It still sounds odd to me, but it was fun.

This year marked 35 years since I graduated high school, and we took a trip back east to go to the reunion. That was a fun trip, and we also got to play tourist in New York, as well as visit with my friends who live around there. Our other big trip of the year was to Chicago for the stair climb. While we were there, we took an architecture tour on the river and went to the Art Institute, as well as visiting the grave of Daniel Burnham, the chief architect of the 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair.

It was a fun year. As always, it’s all on my web site: