Christmas, 1998:

It's been another big year.

We had our tenth anniversary this year. This was a major milestone for us, as we never thought we'd actually be old enough to have been married ten years.

Another marriage-related event was when Cathy's brother Larry got married this year. The wedding was held at a hotel in Newport Beach at the end of June.

Stan's work is still fun, even though the low level of seismicity in Southern California has meant that we haven't had a lot of earthquakes to get excited about. Still, it's only a matter of time before something interesting will happen. And it's still the most fun he's ever had at work. For more information, and to see Stan's web page, visit the USGS Pasadena Office at

Stan continued his amateur astronomy hobby, getting a chance to see an actual supernova in a distant galaxy. It didn't look like much, but it was still fun in a nerdy sort of way.

On the home front, we did some more work on the house, finishing up some painting and remodeling one of the bathrooms. Now we have almost finished all the projects that we started back in 1995 when we moved in. We also refinanced and lowered our payment, which will help out our financial situation in the future.

Aside from this, we had some other adventures this year. We got to hobnob with the movie stars at the premiere party for ``Deep Impact'' at Paramount Studios. This was a very entertaining evening, and was a Hollywood experience quite different from when we actually lived in Hollywood. We also went to an airshow in Burbank and saw some restored World War II bombers fly. Our once-a-year rock concert featured My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult at the Hollywood Athletic Club in September. We even went to ``Family Fun Days at the Richard Nixon Library.'' This was a must-see, as ``Nixon'' and ``Fun'' are words that don't normally appear in the same sentence. We also attended our quota of live theater this year, seeing performances of Sandra Tsing Loh's ``Bad Sex with Bud Kemp'', and Josh Kornbluth's ``The Mathematics of Change.'' There were also some photo exhibits, including ``Atomic LA'' at the Central Library downtown, which recounted the Cold War in LA, including a Russian nuclear targeting map of the city. Also, ``Chance Encounters'' showed a somewhat quirky view of Los Angeles, with the photographer traveling to randomly selected squares on the map and then documenting his adventures in each. ``The Architecture of Reassurance'' took a look behind the scenes of the design of the Disney theme parks and how they manipulate our emotions. Somewhat chilling, but really quite interesting. We also attended some of the talks given at Caltech by the Skeptics Society, including one on Millenial Cults, another about False Memory Syndrome, and one that was a demonstration of ESP and how a skilled magician can fool people into thinking that he has psychic powers. It was all very entertaining.

Finally, Cathy suggested that we enter the L.A. Weekly Pecker Photo Contest. This contest was part of the promotion for John Waters' new movie, ``Pecker.'' Amazingly enough, we won second prize. Our prize-winning photograph is a graffito on the wall at the back of the parking lot next to the Palace in Hollywood. The contest was judged by Mr. Waters himself, so we felt that our photo would do well.

We hope that your year was as much fun as ours.

Stan and Cathy