A Tale of an Electronie Toy Junkie.

I don't know about you but I am glad this Monday is over!! Mondays for me are the hardest day in my work week, and today was no exception. Some time I will share with you what a day in my work life is like, but for today, lets just say when the day was over, my butt was dragging about two feet behind me!! But now that Monday is over, bring on the rest of the week!!

Some of you know that over the last couple of weeks I have been having problems with my cell phone. Now at one time I swore I would never have a cell phone, I just did not see the need to have one, no one needed to get ahold of me that bad, if they did they could either call me at home or in the case of an emergency,call me at work. But then I met Patrick, and things changed. After we had been seeing each other for a few weeks, he totally surprised me with....a cell phone. I remember it was about as big as the phone here in the house and it was blue (I like blue!). It was connected to his phone on his calling plan and we could talk to each other and it did not cost us anything. It was good think he did that, with him living in LA and me in Palms Springs. I remember seeing his phone bill one month and we had talked over 3000 minutes that month, imagine how much our phone bills would have been. Ma Bell would have really loved us!!!

So a couple of weeks ago my phone started having problems charging. I found out it was the internal connection on the phone that was broken and I had to wiggle the end of the charging cord around to get it to charge and then one day it just wouldn't charge anymore, and I was without a phone. That was ok for a couple of days and then
I started going through a sort of cell phone withdrawal. I am sure they have to have a group like AA for former cell phone users!! So finally Patrick went with me to Verizon to have my phone check out and yes, it was dead and could not be repaired.
Of course they would be happy to sell me a new phone but it would be January 2010 before I could upgrade to a new phone and get a deal. So I decided I just could not spend the money right now so I had them switch my phone plan back to my old Razor phone I still had, that would work just fine until January. Have you ever had to go back to driving an old car with a standard transmission once you have driven a new
fully loaded Jaguar??? Trust me there is ALOT of difference!! But you know, you have to do what you have to do now a days and the Razor would just have to do till January.

On Thursday Patrick called me at work around noon and told he was going to surprise me with something but he found out he had to tell me....he had bought me a new phone and it was going to be activated that afternoon and he had to tell me because my
Razor would not work anymore. Can you say EXCITED!! Well to say I was excited is an understatement. But I would have go wait until he go home to see what it was.

Well, let me tell you what my Hunny got me, it is the Verizon EnVtouch. It is really beautiful and I can not even begin to tell you here all the features it has. It is like he bought me a new computer with alot of bells and whistles. It is amazing.
I even makes phone calls!!! It is going to take me awhile to learn this one but it is going to be fun learning it!

That was Thursday. So Friday morning I get up and started my daily routine. A part of my daily routine is to plug my iPod into my computer so it can update my daily podcasts I listen to. Well the screen came up to update and then something happened, it said "there are songs you bought on the iPod that is not in the iTunes
on your computer, do you want to add them to iTunes?" Now I thought this was strange but I had seen this once before when I had bought some music from iTunes and did not like it and deleted it from my iPod, so I click yes.....and then the unthinkable happened. it cleared ALL the music off my iPod and when it was finished (I had walked away once it started and did no notice it then) all that was on it was about 480 songs... I had over 5000 on it to begin with. I wish I could fine the words to express to you ALL the emotions I felt right then, but I just can't. When I went back to check it before I left for work, I just sat there, with eyes as big as plates and my mouth totally wide open, and I remember I was breathing pretty heavy.
I wanted to scream but it just wouldn't happen.I looked over at Patrick and said,
"It cleared my iPod"....it was a sad, sad scene.

There was nothing I could do right then as I was leaving for work. I kept thinking about it all day. I had been collecting music for the last several years from different places and I knew alot of it I would probably never come across again.
But what can you do? So when I got home I started looking over to Apple.com and tried to find some answers as to what to do but found nothing. So I went to my Music folder on my Computer and started looking around, for what I am not sure but I had to be doing something till Patrick got home. And then, right there in my Music folder, was a fold that had ALL the music that had previously been on my iPod. But for some reaond it was not in the folder that currently held the music that was on my iPod now. This really confused me (which is not a hard thing to do when it comes to computer stuff). So when Patrick got home,instead of finding me in a stupor like he and left me that morning, I was sitting there with my confused face on. So when he came into our office, I calmly told him what I had found,and he looked at it and said," you just have to make it read the list from that folder", and walked over and sat down at his desk. Why sure!! I know how to do that, NOT!!! So he came back over, and clicked a couple of buttons and BAMM, it started downloading all my old music from the folder I found,back on to my iPod!! It was just that simple, for him.
Well it actually took about 2 hours for ever thing to reload to my iPod. After it was finished I had lost all my play lists and the counters at the end of each song was blank, so I lost all my numbers of how many times I had listen to each song and when.
But at least I had all my music back!! I was very thankful

It was later the next day that I was thinking about all the gadgets are on my new phone and how thankful I was that I got my music back on my iPod and it was then that I realized without a doubt......I am an electronic toy junkie!! How did I ever
live a fulfilling life before I got a cell phone and an iPod???? Some answers to life's questions you will just never know!!



Hiking in the Lower Arroyo Seco Nature Park

This past Sunday was such a beautiful day I just could not stay inside!! Right now I have 3 hikes I would really like to do, one involves the bridges over the LA River, one involves the Historic District in downtown LA and the third one is hiking in the Arroyo Seco outside of Pasadena. Since it was a perfect day to be outside, and the fact that I have been wanting to be out in the "woods", hiking in the Arroyo Seco won out!

Now for those of you who have not idea what the Arroyo Seco is, it is a water way that flows from the San Gabriel Mountains down through the commnunites of Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Montecito Heights and Lincoln Heights and joins the LA River close to downtown LA. The Tongva people (native people of this region) called this tributary Hahamongna, which translates "place of flowing waters and fruitful valley". But the early Spanish expeditions looked at the area in a totally different light and named it the Arroyo Seco which means "dry creek". If you have ever driven over the Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena, you have passed over the Arroyo Seco.

Now I have driven over the Colorado Street bridge many times since I have lived here and I have always wanted to be down there in the Seco hiking but I really did not
know how to get down there. One of my blog buddies, Jonah, (Pacific Blue Sky Diamonds Blog) talks about running in the Seco and how beautiful it is and I have always wanted to experience it for myself. So recently I came across a great book of hikes along the L A River, "Down by the Los Angeles River" by Joe Linton, and in it it has hikes ......in the Arroyo Seco!!!! I was excited. So this past Sunday
I took my camera, my bottle of water, and my red cap and headed down to the Arroyo Seco!!

Now the part I decided to hike is known as the Lower Arroyo Seco and my hike started at the Lower Arroyo Seco Nature Park. I like this area because it had a parking lot to leave my car and....it has restrooms!!

The area is really beautiful, even in the dryness of summer. The trail is well marked and there are all kinds of wild life from birds to butterflies and squirrels to hot guys running shirtless along the trail(my personal favorite wild life!),
After walking a short distance, you come to a stream that has flowing water and tall grass. Even though you are slap dab in the middle of a metropolitan area, you would think you are miles from no where. It is so quiet and peaceful that you can hear the water running along the stream. I have so many different kinds of butterflies it was amazing. I can't wait until Spring when all the wild flowers bloom!

The trail itself is on level ground, there is not elevation so it is an easy hike.
As you go further East, you come closer to the Colorado Street bridge, except this time you are under it!! I could see it in the distance and all though you can hear the cars on the bridge, you can not see them. The closer you get to the bridges the more amazing they are. As you drive over them you really do not pay attention to how huge they are, but as you stand and look up to the under belly of the bridges, it is simply breath taking how huge they are. As you stand there and look up you can't help but be amazed at how they could build something so huge and yet so beautiful.

The trail goes well beyond the bridges and I walked to the end where the trail ends at Arroyo Blvd, so I turned around and hiked back along the trail until I got back to the parking lot. It was a beautiful hike in such a peaceful place. I encountered several other people out waking,many with their dogs. I had a really fun time.

This next weekend I hope to be back in the Arroyo for a different hike. With the weather here in LA being so wonderful right how, how could anyone stay indoors!!



Mike the Poet

Mike the Poet was my tour guide in July when I attended the Downtown LA Artwalk. Here is a video of our tour,and yes I am in it,see if you can find me!!

Los Angeles Downtown Art Walk..a must do!

Want to tell you about a monthly event here in good old Los Angeles that I think everyone, yes everyone!,should do at least once, the Downtown Art Walk that takes place the second Thursday night of each month. Now for most you, thinking about being in downtown Los Angeles at night will probably send shivers down your spine, images of dark streets that look like Skid Row immediately come to mind, but rest assured, it is anything but something like that!! I know this for a fact because just last month, I attended it myself!!

Now I will be the first to tell you that driving in downtown LA really scares the hell out of me!!...all those one way streets and very fast traffic is a terror for me, that is why I usually just take the train downtown whenever I go to something there, but I had reserved a place on a tour that night and I was really afraid I would not have time to drive where I normally catch the Metro and make it back downtown in time after work, so I took a deep breathe and headed downtown after I got off work that night. True to form when I got downtown the traffic was nutts (for me)and even thought I had a pretty good idea where I needed to go, I could not find it.
Well after circling streets for what seemed hours (only about 10 minutes I realized later) I found a cheap parking lot ($5) and just pulled in, not even sure how far away I was from where I needed to be, but actually I was just a couple of blocks away from where my tour started.

Now the Art Walk starts at 6pm and as I found my way to where I needed to be (the Lost Souls Cafe), you could tell the foot traffic was changing from working people going home to people coming out for the Art Walk. Since I had never been to this before I really had no idea what to expect. Yes there are several Art Galleries that you get to tour for free but also there are Artists of all kinds showing their Art in building open only for that night, building that were once downtown businesses but are now closed and have been for quiet a while. And everywhere you go there is music of all kinds, live music!! It creates such an awesome atmosphere, something you truly have to experience to understand.

So I made my way to the alley where the Lost Souls Cafe is located. Sitting there in the alley in front of the cafe was the table where you check in for the tours. Now the tours are lead my different people who volunteers to take a group of people through the streets and show then the different aspects of the Art Walk. Now when you do go, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up and take one of these tours. I would have missed so much had I not done this. And I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you sign up for Mike the Poet's tour, he is simply amazing. He is a 3rd generation Los Angeles native and very proud of it. He takes you on an amazing tour and stops and at different places and preforms his original poetry for you, which all had to do with Los Angeles.

I was really captivated by the whole tour, first he took us into the Museum of Neon Art that had move to downtown and from there we took a back hallway into what use to be a very busy bank in the old days. Everywhere Artists were showing their different kinds of Art and people were laughing and talking, while listening to a live band.
From there we went down some side streets, Mike telling us about the history of the area we were in and stopping along the way to view differenet places. We even stopped in this old movie house, the Regent, that had not been used in MANY years. In the lobby there were different Artists and when you make your way into the main movie theater, all the seats are long gone but they are showing some kind of Art movie on the original screen, which I might say is very small according to today's standards!! lol.

Mike took us to an open air street fair where there was just about anything you might want to buy! It was amazing. I guess at one time these vendors were at different places along the street during the Art Walk but the powers that be decided they could not do that anymore so the opened up this parking lot where they all show their stuff, and again there was a live band playing some great music.

We made our way on down a little more and went to what became one of my favorite places on the tour. We went up to the pent house of this old empty building ( at one time it had been an office building when Downtown LA was really busy). There in the penthouse was several Artists showing their stuff and we were allowed to go out on to the roof and see the awesome view of Downtown LA at night. It was breathtaking.

The old Million Dollar Hotel sign has been renovated and that night they turned it on, just beautiful. It was here that I took my leave after telling Mike goodbye(and thank you for a great time and I just happened to buy a CD of his work, which I love) and made my way back to my car. By now it was around 9:30 and the streets of downtown LA were FULL!! I heard the next day there was an estimated crown of 6000 people that night..it was so much fun!! I realized as I made my way back to my car that actually we had only gone about 3 blocks on the entire tour, and saw and experience so much!

The next Downtown Art Walk is going to be this coming Thursday, August 13. If you can, I would go and just hang out and see some great Art and listen to some great music. There are all kinds of places to eat there too and there are a few food vendors along the way. Hey also have these brightly painted buses that go up and down the streets and you can wave one down and get on,they are free!!
And I just happen to know that Mike the Poet is going to be leading another tour this Thursday, and you might just want to congratulate on him for being a new Pappa!
He and his wife recently had their first baby, just about a week after the last Art Walk!!

You can find all the information you need to have a great time at http://downtownartwalk.com. Unfortunately I will not be able to go this month, I will be attending a lecture at the Annenberg Space for Photography, but GO, HAVE A GOOD TIME!! and let me know what you you think!!


p.s. On top of all the fun I had, I also got to meet this year's Doo Da Parade, reigning Queen!!!! She's a sweetie.