Monday, June 30, 2008

Movie Dates

The last movie Bob and I saw together was Enchanted in December.

We don't get out much.

That changed yesterday when Bob had a rare Sunday off. We headed straight to the Long Beach Towne Center after church to catch Prince Caspian while it was still on the big screen.

The theater was nearly empty and the audience members who were there were respectfully silent. We kicked back in our stadium seats and enjoyed the time together.

Today we ran over to Downtown Disney to see Wall-E. The AMC theaters there are lovely and not usually crowded. After all, most people are more interested in visiting Disneyland than taking in a movie.

Once again we enjoyed stadium seating in a large theater with very few people in it. Once again everyone kept their mouths shut and enjoyed the movie.

We slipped into Disneyland for a quick go at Buzz Light Year (Bob beat me by 100,000 points) and a meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We hopped on Pirates of the Caribbean, then grabbed mint juleps which we enjoyed in one of the more quiet spots in the park. We exited before Fantasmic began and stopped at the grocery store before reaching home.

Tomorrow we'll be back in the parks of Long Beach for Week 2 of the the 99th season of the Long Beach Municipal Band.

Today we were just two love birds on a date.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barbara The Great

Concert goers were shoe-horned into every available patch of grass at Marine Stadium this evening.

My patient husband Bob and stage manager Greg were surrounded by a sea of humanity, all of whom were having a simply wonderful time taking in the Long Beach Municipal Band concert.

We've been blessed all week by the magnificent Barbara Morrison's delicious jazz set.

You could go see her at Vibrato for $$$$ or you could join us FOR FREE in El Dorado Park tomorrow night.

What's it going to be?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Muni Band Birthday

The secret was out at Los Cerritos Park.

Today is Muni Band conductor Larry Curtis's birthday.

We had a surprise up our collective sleeves.

We go through a thorough sound check before the concert.

First each individual player plays, then each section, and finally the whole band plays while Larry stands with Bob back by the sound board.

Then Larry comes up to the podium to conduct a final check.

This evening he came up to the podium and started to conduct what he thought was the sound check music.

Instead, he got an official Muni Band rendition of Happy Birthday.

He was flabbergasted.

Be sure to stop by and see what other tricks we have up our sleeves.

The concerts are free and start at 6:30 Tuesdays through Fridays until August 15.

Tomorrow: Marine Stadium

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Muni Band Debut 2008

The long awaited first concert of the Long Beach Municipal Band's 99th took place this evening in Whaley Park.

Check out the flute section, differently attired than when last we met:

Bob along with monitor board David and conductor Larry get ready for the sound check:

A professional photog tried to blend in with the rest of the band and crew:

We're off and running.

Tomorrow: Los Cerritos Park

Flutist Brides

For those of you wondering what I did instead of blogging this weekend, this one's for you:

It's June; time for June brides and Muni Band. We had a rare convergence of the two this weekend when long time friend and Muni Band flutist Patti married oboist and sometime Muni Band sub Jonathan on Saturday.

You remember Saturday. It was really HOT.

Fortunately it was somewhat cooler inside the Church of the Transfiguration in Arcadia.

The reception was at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, a place that Patti, Jonathan, and Patti's son Aaron love to frequent.

Muni Band drummer Gordon put together a blazing jazz trio for the event (they were blazing hot from the sun in this picture!):

The tables were elegantly set:

Patti was radiant, and not just with the heat:

Jonathan and Patti:

Husband and wife:

The entire Muni Band flute section assembled for the occasion:

Sunday found fellow flutist Amy and me at the tree shaded Padua Hills Theatre in Claremont playing flute duets for the wedding of former flute student Janell and my financial advisor Josh.

Their parents, pastors all, performed the ceremony together.

Presenting the new Mr. and Mrs.!

May God bless their new life together!

That's what I did instead of blog this weekend.



Come join the new bride in the parks of Long Beach.

Tonight: Whaley Park


Monday, June 23, 2008

Muni Band Shirt 2008

Here at, your source for all things Muni, we've got a preview of the official Long Beach Municipal Band shirt for our 99th season:

Here's a closer shot:

Unlike last year's shirt, which came in convenient women's sizes, this year's shirt is back to gynormous men's proportions. I am completely engulfed by the "small" size.

Come to the parks of Long Beach. The concerts will be great.

Our first appearance is at Whaley Park tomorrow at 6:30.

Look for me in the front row.

I'll be the one swimming in my new shirt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Muni Band Load In 2008

The 99th Season of the Long Beach Municipal Band park concerts doesn't officially begin until next week.

The 99th season of the 7 man Muni Band Crew began today with the load in activities. Over the course of the next 9 weeks these mighty men will work together as a team to set up and tear down 31 concerts at 6 different venues.

College graduates all (2 are currently working on their Masters degrees), they none the less speak with great economy. Here then , in crew speak, is a description of this morning's load in:



More stuff:

Stuff must go into trucks:

The new front of house sound board makes its first ride up the lift (oh wait; that was Flute talk):

Sound equipment:

More sound equipment:

Even more sound equipment:


Warehouse almost empty:


So when you're kicking back at the concerts, libation in hand, take a moment to think about the hours of labor put in by the excellent sound crew (Bob, David, Adam, and Justin) and manly riser crew (Greg, Justin, and Mike). They'll be in the park tearing down the concert set up long after you've left.

And they'll LIKE it.

Tomorrow: Mock Set Up

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sonic Booms and Why They Happen

Bob and I were wondering about the mechanics of sonic booms so we went to, what else, YouTube for the answer:

Is this not cool???

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Checking Account Compromised

I was sitting in the cell phone waiting lot at Long Beach Airport minding my own business and waiting (what else) for my brother to get off work so we could carpool up to a family dinner at our parents' house when, appropriately, my cell phone rang.

I didn't recognized the number, but answered none the less. It could be a work call after all!

Rather than work, it was a teller from the Westchester Washington Mutual Bank asking me if I had written a check from my account in the amount of $4,200.00.

I wish.

Some gentleman (you know, like the ones that frequent those "Gentlemans Clubs") had come in and presented a check allegedly signed by me made out to him for $4200.00.
The first clue that it might be fraudulent was that I did not have $4,200.00 in my account.

I said, "Arrest him!". The teller said that he had exited the branch when they started inspecting the check. She then advised me to go immediately to the nearest branch and close all my accounts. I didn't argue with her. Instead, I picked up my brother, explained the small detour, and off we went to a WaMu branch directly on our route to the freeway.

It took about 30 minutes to complete all the necessary steps involved in closing the old accounts, opening new accounts, and dealing with the automatic withdrawal and deposit issues.
In the process it was revealed that said "gentleman" had been writing checks that he had had printed up himself against my account all day. Fortunately none of them had cleared.

And, thanks to an alert WaMu employee, none of them will!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Toy Story Mania Sneak Peak

As I mentioned previously, Bob and I were fortunate winners of Toy Story Mania Sneak Peek passes.

Today was our lucky day:

But first, I had an appointment to keep with former student Amy:

Amy graduated from APU with her Masters in Flute Performance last month.
To celebrate, we got our favorite menu item:
Tostada Salads!

Then we were off to California Adventure for surprises galore:

Bob and I waited patiently in the very hot queue.

I dubbed it "the hot room".

After being delivered from the frying pan we grabbed our 3-D glasses and headed for the ride vehicles:

I got a yellow cannon:

It rocked!

Bob had a better result than me:

Amy was also able to experience the Mania:

This time I was green:

Toy Story Mania is a frantically fun ride.

It opens to the public on June 17 and is worth the price of admission.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Therapeutic Paper

Why does blogging friend Jack come to mind after seeing this:

Could it be the "Fish and Flush" he posted about last year?

Anyway, this made me laugh and I really needed to laugh.

I'm battling survivor's guilt after working on "Anne Frank" this week.

Our last show is tomorrow afternoon.

It is very intense...

Antonov Adventure Pictures

I've posted more pictures from our Antonov adventure on my flickr photostream.

Click here to be transported to them at once.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Antonov AN-124-100 Up Close

My brother Ken is the Long Beach Airport Secretary, a job he enjoys very much.

Bob and I had been looking forward to a tour of the airport for some time.

Little did we know what a rare and spectacular treat was in store for us.

Until today, this was the closest Bob and I had been to an Antonov AN-124-100. I snapped this picture as we cruised out of San Diego:

Thanks to Ken, we got a lot closer today.

The Antonov AN-124-100 made a quick stop at the airport yesterday and was due to depart this morning.

We were privileged to get an up close look at this massive transport plane shortly before take off.

According to the Voga-Dnepr Group website, "The Antonov AN-124-100 Ruslan aircraft form the backbone of Volga-Dnepr's fleet. Owing to its unique technical performance, the AN-124-100 is the unrivaled leader of the outsize and 'super heavy' air cargo transportation sector."

"The overall size and volume of the aircraft's cargo compartment, its cargo capacity and flight range, enables the AN-124 to provide the perfect solution for Volga-Dnepr's customers' transportation challenges and allows the airline to carry up to 120 tonnes as a single unit."

"The 24-wheel undercarriage of the Ruslan enables the nose section of the aircraft to “kneel down” as required to facilitate loading and off-loading operations. It also allows the aircraft to operate to a wider variety of airports and airfields with different types of runway surfaces."

The CSULB Pyramid is visible just below the tail in this picture.

We all took advantage of this amazing photo op:

Bob snaps away:

Check us out!

This is so cool!

We changed our position to the other side of the runway for the take off:

We're moving into our new position:

This was a fantastic view point:

Hearing protection was advisable:

The big plane makes its move:

Check out the dust cloud those powerful jet engines kicked up:

Ready for take off!

There she goes:

What an amazing opportunity.

It pays to know people in high places!