Posts Tagged ‘Photos’

Happy Passover

Seder Plate

Wednesday and Thursday, I went to two very different, but fun Passover Seders. The first one was at my aunt and uncle’s house. There were about 50 people there, and they always use a custom-made haggadah written by a friend, which has lots of funny asides. There were lots of young kids there, who did most of the reading, though I did take my turn, too.

Mom and Dad showing off their Carpas (greens/parsley)

Mom and Dad showing off their Carpas (greens/parsley)

Suzie and Danny were in town, and Michelle got back the next day, in time for the Thursday-night seder at my parents’ house. It was a much smaller affair, of just 8 people, but that’s still more than enough to have a successful seder. We had some new family friends over with their two young children, who were absolutely adorable, and they sang songs for us and had a blast running back and forth from the door, opening it for Elijah and checking out his cup to see the wine level was any lower.

My mom made her fantastic matzo ball soup, haroset and matzo farfel along with asparagus, latkes and other passover dishes. She also baked two cakes, and our friends brought over matzo candy — a delicious combo of matzo, chocolate, caramel and almonds. Yum!

Playing with Silly Putty (btw, this picture was taken by a 4-year-old!)

Playing with Silly Putty (btw, this picture was taken by a 4-year-old!)

We also played with Silly Putty, which was one of the Afikomen prizes for the kids. It was much more fun than just giving out cash and worked well since we were a small group. We took a bunch of funny photos, and I managed to get orange Silly Putty all over my iPhone case. That stuff sure sticks! I think I’ve finally scraped it all off.

Thanks, Mom, and everyone else who had a part in cooking all that food, setting all those tables and bringing everyone together.

Check out some more of my Passover photos on Facebook.

Hello New France To Go!

I’ve been meaning to work on my blog’s design for a long time and just kept putting it off. But when Evan purchased a theme for his new knowledge base site from Woo Themes, they were (and still are) having a buy one get one free deal, so I found one I liked, called Thick, and started playing around.

It’s quite different from the barely modified WordPress default theme I had for nearly a year and a half, and I’m excited about the new possibilities for showcasing more content, more photos and more updates from my social sites.

The old France to Go

The old France to Go

I am sad to see my old header go — I did love that canoe photo Evan took of me in Big Bear. You can still find it on my About Me page.

Next up will be a redesign of my portfolio site, which is much needed since I’m doing so much more work than just magazine/website writing.

Let me know what you think of the changes and if there’s anything you feel is missing. I’m not qute sure about the background yet, but I did have a lot of fun going through all those photos from my travels over the past couple of years. Look closely — there are 64 different travel shots in there.

Here’s a non-faded, larger view of the background, including me sticking my head in an alligator’s mouth, tulips in Hyde Park, listening to sounds at Haus der Musik, Communist-era statues in Budapest, the London Eye, horseback riding in Spain, the Rose Bowl (in an Orange Bowl sweatshirt), Maui’s bamboo forest, the floating gate at Miyajima, the Osaka Sky Buildling, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Temple of the Dawn in Bangkok, and me stalking an albino peacock.

Photo Collage

Let me know what you think of the new look — and what your favorite photo is in the collage.

Cutest Donut Ever?

Last week, we had our friend Ceres over for dinner and she was dog-sitting for another friend’s dog, Donut, who also came over. Evan took some nice shots of the 8-year-old rescue beagle our friends just adopted, and it was wonderful to have a dog around, even if just for a little while.

Dinner was also quite a success — not as involved as the veggie burgers, but a delicious eggplant and olive salad, and a butternut squash and spinach pasta. Both were quite quick and easy and very tasty. And Ceres brought some cupcakes from Dots for dessert. Yum!

All the photos were of donut, not the food, but if you’d like recipes without the pretty pictures, let me know.

East Hollywood ArtCycle

Yesterday, Evan and I headed over the East Hollywood ArtCycle to check out the scene and see some art. While it wasn’t quite as large an event as we’d imagined, it was still quite nice. There were bands and other groups performing — our favorite that we saw was a band called Confessions of a Corn Silo.

There was plenty of food, from bake sale type stands with delicious looking vegan cupcakes, cookies and brownies (I’m pretty sure there were some non-vegan varieties as well), to local cafes and gelato shops. We had some really delicious Guinness Chocolate gelato, and were intrigued by the other very inventive flavors.

There were also, of course, various artists showing off their work, and there were bike tours that would take you around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, neither Evan nor I have a bicycle at the moment, so we couldn’t partake in the cycling fun. A lot of people did bike over to the event, and there was a great hipster-cyclist vibe, with people on double-decker and other tricked-out bikes.

Local galleries were also open, so we could look at some more art. We didn’t get to too many galleries, but we really enjoyed the Fake Gallery, which had a rather funny exhibition by “fake” artists, complete with placards giving great personal bios of artists like Roy G. Biv, the color-blind paint tester. The centerpiece of the fair was a large, undulating wooden sculpture (a small portion of which is photographed with Evan, above.

Another neat part of the fair was that they had the guys from Grinding Gears custom screen printing making t-shirts on the fly. I actually brought my own shirt to be printed on, and was able to choose from about 5 designs. I chose a design that had lyrics from Tom Waits’ song, “Broken Bicycles.”

I also got a very cute necklace from Kiki Designs. It was hard to choose just one from the creative and beautiful array of jewelry. I bought the necklace directly from Kiki herself, who was really nice, and it came in a takeout box!

Check out more photos from the event in my Flickr gallery.

Another Weekend in Mammoth: Skiing in the Storm

You’ve seen some of the pictures from the rather treacherous drive, but now to talk about the actual weekend.

Friday night we got set up in the condo and cooked. I made garlic bread, rancher’s pasta and salad, then we settled in to play a game of Trival Pursuit against Caroline and Paul.

Saturday, we didn’t try hard enough to get to the mountain early ad got there in time for long lines at the ticket booth and even longer lines at the lifts. I’d never seen so many people trying to get on at Canyon before.

We decided to head over to a quieter part of the mountain, so we ended up over at Chair 25, enjoying the nice, long, powdery runs, and trying to stay somewhat sheltered from the wind. It was sunny, but it was cold and blustery and there were quite a few chairs out of commission because of the weather.

That night, our friend Ian came, and we had a dinner of my veggie stew, guacamole and salsa, then played music trivia game Riff (which my parents apparently found at the 99 cent store).

Sunday we woke up to even more snow. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy, and it wasn’t much colder than the day before, so we headed out to the mountain. The lines were a little shorter and some more of the lifts were open, including Cloud 9 Express, which goes to some beautiful runs on the far side of the mountain.

We played in the deep powder and challenging runs on Cloud 9, then headed to the opposite side of the mountain, to chairs 12 and 13, where it was very quiet and peaceful. By the end of the day, the sun had even started to peek out a bit, and we were exhausted from our day.

We went out for a nice dinner at Skadi, where apparently the chef is crazy (it says so on the menu!) but the food is very good. Then we went home to make brownies and compete at movie trivia in Scene It? (Go team popcorn!).

By Monday morning the snow was coming down pretty hard, so we just packed up and headed home — little did we know how long it would be snowing.

You can check out more photos from the weekend in my Facebook album.


Driving Through Dramatic Weather: Road Trip Photos

This past weekend’s trip to Mammoth was incredible. The snow was powdery, we ate lots of good food, and we got to spend some time with friends. The drives up and back, however, were rather trying. On the way up, we had heavy rain and even some snow in Mojave before the clouds parted to reveal some sunny skies. On the way back, it snowed for about three hours of the drive — until we got well below 3,000 feet, then was a mix of wind, rain, a bit of hail, and even an extra dollop of snow in the mountains just outside LA.

Here are a few photos I snapped on my iPhone…


On the way up, after a few hours of rain, the clouds started to blow over. The strange part was that it happened very quickly, and at this point, the sky was half sun, half seriously ominous clouds.


On the way back, it snowed for hours, then rained so hard it felt like we were driving through a car wash. When the clouds finally broke for a bit, the sunshine on the wet road and windshield was very dramatic.


I tried to snap some photos of Joshua trees in the snow, since I’d never seem them covered in powder before, but this one turned out to be my favorite.


I just had to take a photo of the snow on highway 14, just outside of LA and by Escondido Canyon Road. Thankfully it wasn’t coming down at that point.

Hanging Out with Iron Man: The Legacy Effects Open House

A few weeks ago, Evan and I went to the Legacy Effects open house to check out the new location and see Evan’s former Stan Winston co-workers (Legacy Effects is the new name for Stan Winston Studio, the visual effects company that did things like the Jurassic Park dinosaurs and the Terminator).

The studio was full of fun things to see, from Terminator models to Edward Scissorhands, to Iron Man. We also got to see where they make the molds — and touch some of the materials they make their creatures out of — and there was footage up of a lot of the testing and filming with the models. There was even a shot of Evan in a pig-lizard suit for Galaxy Quest from his early days at SWS. Apparently he fainted in the parking lot shortly after getting out of the suit since it was so hot and cramped in there.

They also had themed drinks, based on the movies they’d done effects for, like the Alien. And there were some characters from commercials, like the Aflac Duck and Death (he was in a Super Bowl commercial this year for something… Pizza Hut? I don’t remember).

We weren’t allowed to take pictures ourselves, but they had some photographers walking around, which is where these shots came from.