Friday, November 18, 2016

Culture, L.A. Style

We enjoyed the Pacific Opera Project adaptation of a Mozart opera to a Star Trek theme so much (so much that we saw it twice!) that we decided to try another one: "The Barber of Seville"

The only thing we knew about the opera is what we had seen as kids when Bugs Bunny performed part of it in the classic "Rabbit of Seville".  Ah, culture!

What we knew of this POP effort is that the show is updated to modern Los Angeles with young stars in love, a hairdresser to the celebrities (Figaro),  the controlling agent, the coked out aging rock star, the LAPD, and more!  

The show was done in a hundred year old ladies club building so the setting would be called 'intimate'.  The cast came and went through the audience giving us a chance to briefly interact with Figaro at one point!

Young Son was more than skeptical about the event but indulged us and came along.  After the first of two intermissions he was smiling broadly and agreeing that the show wasn't too bad after all!

The songs were in Italian but very loose translations were projected above the stage, and I seriously doubt that many of the Italian lyrics matched what was frequently projected in English!

The cast was great: great singers, great actors with great comic timing!  The sole musical accompaniment was from a four handed piano and those two guys were fantastic and tireless.

As always the depth of talent in people amazes me.  Not just the ability to sing opera but to be funny while doing it and looking good too!

Another unique L.A. event that we will miss when we move on eventually.  Thanks Pacific Opera Project!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Easy Rider 2016

Young Daughter dropped by Grouch Estate for an afternoon visit today.  She arrived on her latest motorcycle, a 2014 HD Low Rider that she saw and fell in love with when she was at an AF school in Texas recently.   The small creature on her back is her miniature poodle Kipling or 'Kip'.

Lookin' good!

Cool goggles

Off they go to home!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veteran's day!

Happy Veteran's day to family and friends who served the nation.  The Grouch family on both sides have served from the Civil war (we were on the winning side) to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle.

I carry a backpack to work that has a velcro patch to attach a name tape so I have one of my GI name tapes on it so I know the bag belongs to me.  As I was waiting at the train door to exit as we approached the station a young man standing behind me asked if I was a veteran.  I confirmed that I was indeed and he proceeded to thank me and give me a hearty handshake.  It was a nice gesture sincerely given and I appreciated it much.  It was a long way from my days in Army ROTC in the 70s and getting abuse from fellow students when I wore my uniform on campus.  Some things have changed for the worse in this country over  the decades but the treatment of its service members and veterans has improved considerably and for that I thank one and all.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Breaking up is so very hard to do...

In about three years or so, Mr and Mrs Grouch will be leaving Los Angeles, aka L.A. aka La-La land for North Carolina.

We came to L.A. some 28 years ago for the same reasons that so many others traveled here: a new opportunity, the excitement of Hollywood, the wonderful weather.  We found all of that and more.

We found new friends and stunning scenery.  We found fun and excitement in the many performance venues and movie studios.  We found the desert and Big Bear mountain, Che-Che's ranch and the Ventura beach.  We found hiking in the nearby hills and Hart mansion.  Magic Mountain, Disneyland, and Knott's Berry Farm.  The Saugus marching band, jazz nights at Vincenzo's and the pumpkin patch at Lombardi's farm.  AYSO soccer on Saturday and Roscoe's agility trials.  Molly winning Nuts for Mutts by jumping for a fly swatter!  The quilting guild and quilt shows, weekend off roading and 'the trip from hell' that terrified the Missus.

Young son was born here and our granddaughter was born here too.  Family members and  friends passed away while we lived here.  Car crashes were survived here and the much loved black Aztek was totaled on the freeway but saved my life here.

Two Grouch children left for the military from here and one of them went off to war and returned to here.

So much Grouch history revolves around L.A.

But our time here is like a passionate relationship that ultimately cools.  The excitement and the thrill of being here has been overwhelmed by the dark side of Los Angeles:  the horrible traffic that steals weeks from our lives; the absurd financial expense of living here; the nanny state government that insinuates into every facet of our lives; the crowds of 'special people' who don't have to follow the rules because they are after all 'special people'... I could go on but I won't.

But even with all of that, I still love L.A. and always will.   I saw the trailer for the  upcoming movie "La-La Land" and it brought tears to my eyes, not because it was bad but because it showed so many of the places that we have been and loved and that I know I will miss.  The movie looks to be great fun and the male star looks a lot like Older Son!

(Click the link below for the movie trailer - sorry about the mandatory commercial but the Adobe one is amusing)

I imagine leaving L.A. will be like leaving a relationship with someone you once loved; you remember the fun and good times and leave the bad times behind.