Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

I started out to make a top ten list represented by photographs, but realized I had way more photos with good memories. So I decided to make a "Best of" list of things in no particular order.

In January D.D. and I visited The Getty Villa on a very rainy day. I remembered it having more paintings than sculpture---not the case. We even saw a bust that looked exactly like Liev Schrieber.

We used to bet each other $1 to do stupid things all the time. This bet turned out to be a little bit embarrassing.

I bet D.D. $1 to get up on this little stage and strike this pose from the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie. I didn't think she'd really do it in front of a room full of people. She did. And earned her dollar.

Reagan is the queen of $1 bets! It was great to see her last summer. She flew to LA for Michael Jackson's memorial---lucky girl! And she had enough time to have dinner with us. Just like old times.

Steele graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Social Science in May. We had a little party at Grandma Wilde's house where we debuted a montage of Steele's life set to music. It was quite the undertaking.

D.D. and I joined Steele on his "Tour of Jamul" ride. We were the team car. We covered a variety of terrain. Saw a few outfit changes. And overall, got some really great action shots of the pelaton.

This photo is my crowning achievement. The time trial of The Tour of California in Solvang was crazy with people. We managed to get a great park, and an even better position at the finish line. If you know nothing about cycling, this is Lance Armstrong. Had we not been stuffing our faces with bagels earlier in the morning, I would have been able to take more pictures of Lance and probably talked to him too.

The next day of The Tour of California saw the stage finish with 5 circuits around the Rose Bowl. Again we lucked out with parking and a great place to take pictures from. The Tour allowed us to see not only the return of Lance Armstrong, but also some of our very favorite cyclists in person: Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer.

My favorite place in the whole wide world is La Jolla Cove. On a hot and humid night we tried to escape the heat by heading to the coast. No such luck. But I did capture this fantastic shot. The awkward wedding couple is not included.

The only baseball I witnessed this year was Dodger baseball. Sorry Padres. This was an insanely hot day, but the absolute best game of the season. Back to back home runs for Ethier and Loney. It was a slamfest.

Steele was kind enough to drive us to Salt Lake City in August. The car was stuffed to the gills! Over 80 handbags and his bicycle gear. We had a boutique and he had social appointments. He rode his bike around Utah Lake with childhood friend Austin Boaz. Ambitious. Then he spent time with cousin Broc, his wife Joanna, and children Brady and Brett.

The Moodys are always good for a laugh. Usually laughter that ends in tears. White sweat pants? Dean and his brother? The sisters entertained us with their old high school pep routine. You can't tell from this shot. Here they are trying to remember what comes next.

Our family has a Halloween reputation to uphold. We didn't disappoint. Dad still has his viking look going strong. We're just glad the sharpie he used on his teeth wasn't permanent.

October was concert season. First we saw Ben Gibbard and Jay Ferrar singing their new album One Fast Move or I'm Gone. Next we saw A Fine Frenzy. Both those concerts were at the El Rey. Both were amazing. Fantastic musicians. But the BEST CONCERT title goes to The Swell Season. It was at The Wiltern. Words can't describe. Probably the best concert I've ever been to (not that I have been to all that many).  Glen Hansard is a consummate performer and someone who clearly loves what he does. I admire all musicians and songwriters. Their talent blows me away. And this concert was so much fun. I think the encore was as long as the scripted show.  Thanks D.D. for taking me and keeping me cultured.

Okay, this wasn't my gift, but Dad's. Anyone who has ever been to Grandma Wilde's house knows about her peanut jar. Everybody loves it, eats out of it and wants it. This year, Grandma went on a quest to find replica nut jars so each family could have one. She found similar jars and wrapped them up, including the original, mixed them up and passed them out to each of her kids. Dad was the lucky one. It was a tearful moment. After he took it home he felt a little guilty. So he took it back to Grandma's. It's there on loan for everyone to enjoy.

After attending a traveling chef homemaking meeting D.D. took up candy making. She bought a candy thermometer and she was off. First she made Almond Roca. DELICIOUS! Then she tried peanut brittle with chocolate. DELECTABLE! Matt was jealous.

A few more events sans photos that made 2009 memorable: eating at El Zarape, Dancing With the Stars,  reliving Mom's Mediterranean cruise, Monte Vista Football coaching stories, Name That Artist, Liverpool Rummy, Cilantro-Lime Pesto Sauce, driving Dylan, THE Candy Bar, It Might Get Loud, Puppet-Up.

I'm sure I've left out key moments and memories. Hopefully next year I will be a better documentarian.
Happy New Year! Have a wonderful 2010!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Boutique

So for the last month all I've thought about, dreamed about and done anything about is the Holiday Boutique we participated in last weekend. We had high hopes since our last endeavor was less than stellar. I made new Bette Bags with rosettes and new Regina Messengers. I spent days sitting on the floor going through fabric scraps to make headbands and cuffs. My fingers blistered, then calloused, then bled.

We were in a prime location. The house and back yard were gorgeous! We brought everything we had and set up to do big business. It was a little chilly, but not raining. Thank goodness!

Mom and Steele drove up to help. Steele watched college football all day at our place.

D.D. had a baby shower to attend halfway through and we really thought we would be busy, so Mom's coming to help was great! Only the event was not very well attended. Not many vendors did very well. Mom ended up leaving when D.D. did. By the end of the day my toes were frozen and disappointment was high.

There was some entertainment to liven things up. This choral group was really good. You can see the fire ring in front of them---it was the most popular spot at the boutique.

The headbands and cuffs were our best sellers. So easy to wear! Thanks Dad for your help putting together this great display!

Packing up all the bags to bring back home was depressing. And I wasn't sure I would be able to fit all the displays and merchandise in my car. I have officially earned the title "Pack Master." A distinction that carries much weight in our family, and I will honor it. In the end it was a good experience and we made more money than we would have sitting home watching football.