Thursday, October 28, 2010

eggleston at LACMA - opening reception

headed to tonight's opening night reception at LACMA for william eggleston, recognized by many as a master of color photography.

i've seen the documentary short entitled "william eggleston: photographer," which gives a neat overview of his process and method in capturing images. he seemingly has a haphazard, almost arbitrary style of taking photos, and his rule of taking only one of each subject is quite remarkable.

** update **

last night's event was definitely a highlight, as not only was it my first time visiting LACMA, but i also got to meet eggleston himself - looking dapper in a cream colored suit w/black bow tie. i was also introduced to a few of the museum heads who are arranging next weekend's panel focusing on his photography...

plus, it afforded me the change to ride in the coolest elevator i've ever been in - a clear, exposed artistic jewelcase the size of one's living room:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

on to the world series!

saturday night's game 6 against the phillies had me in the throes of a coronary, but i held it together long enough to see brian wilson's called third strike on phillies' slugger ryan howard. i've never been more proud of a group of guys coming together in my life - congrats boys and go get em on wednesday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

mount san jacinto - another peak?

snapped this after taking the tram to the mountain station at 8,516 ft. was tempted to make a quick jaunt to the san jacinto peak (at 10,834 ft., the 2nd highest in socal), but alas, we were there on vacation and i deserved a break after my assault on mount whitney the week prior...

eats - norma's (parker palm springs)

made reservations for sunday brunch at norma's which sounded like a must-do in palm springs. the outdoor patio alone got me from jump, and since temps were already in the low 80s at 11:15am, it provided the perfect backdrop. it's a beautiful space with striking whites and bold yellows and oranges, yet strategically covered up top to prevent the heat from permeating.

the menu - at least for breakfast - is basically fine dining diner food, if there is such a thing. they start us off with complimentary shots of their fresh pineapple smoothie (top right above), which is refreshingly cold and delicious.

we decide to order one breakfast item and one lunch item, so it's the papaya brown butter cinnamon crepes and the rock lobster salad & mango w/citrus vinaigrette:

norma's at the parker palm springs
4200 e. palm canyon dr.
palm springs, CA 92264

stay - desert star hotel

drove to palm springs on saturday to celebrate heidi's birthday, and came away utterly impressed with our stay at the boutique desert star hotel.

first off, a lot of hotels in the desert are sold out on the weekends, and most have a 2-night minimum stay on top of that, so there weren't a bevy of options that i was faced with. but davy (the manager) was extremely accommodating via e-mail earlier in the week and made an exception to allow just the one night (saturday). he offered an additional $20 off the room charge, so i was sold.

there are just 6 bungalows at this charming retreat, but each suite is distinctive it its own right. the style is mid-century - it opened in 1954 - but updated with modern touches. ours was bungalow #3, a 572 square foot oasis of soothing relaxation. the bedroom opens to a private patio thru 12-foot glass sliding doors, and it can be separated from the living room by an accordion wall.

outside near the heated salt water pool were about 40 DVDs to borrow, so after dinner we selected 'sideways' and 'notting hill' and called it a night. the question isn't if i'm coming back, it's how soon...

desert star hotel
1611 calle palo fierro
palm springs, CA 92264

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

on to the NLCS!

SF giants vs. philadelphia phillies
game 1: saturday, october 16
tim lincecum (16-10) vs. roy halladay (21-10)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

summiting mount whitney - part 2

the alarm clock blaring at 3:10am, i bounce out of bed and almost get annihilated by the tommy gun spray of the best western shower. a lot of hemming and hawing about what to bring ensues, but i decide to pack my camelbak with: 5 liters of water, 3 packs of electrolyte chews, 3 clif bars, a pack of protein bites, a freshly made PB&J sandwich, a banana, a thermal vest, an outer shell, a flashlight, sunglasses, sunblock, an extra pair of socks, the wag bag and an empty water container.

on monday, october 4, we started our journey on the mount whitney trail in complete darkness at 4:20am w/temps in the high 40s. a neat visual that early is that one can only see other hikers, identified by the bright LED ray of their headlamps. within minutes, it got increasingly colder, so we whipped out our layers in no time. of course, i was the only einstein wearing shorts but i figured warmth up top was most important since we would always be moving.

the bottom pics above showcase trailside meadow, a gorgeous mustard-hued area at the lower bowl of bighorn park at 11,395 ft. and approximately 5.3 miles from our start at whitney portal. below we press onwards and upwards.

we finally approach trail camp (12,039 ft.), which is the last opportunity to procure water. i was told that normally there are a slew of tents here, but i saw maybe 4 total when we passed thru at 8am, primarily because it was FUCKING FREEZING. luckily for us, pam brought along a filtration system, where we draw water from the source, pump it thru the filter and voila - we have instant drinking water. this is obviously important, because on a 22-mile hike one cannot carry enough water in your bag to last the whole day; plus, keeping hydrated is crucial to combat the effects of altitude sickness.

bottom right (above), is the start of the grueling 97 switchbacks just past trail camp. if you look closely enough, right around the middle of the photo there are a number of hikers making their way up. it's comedy to see them from afar, since we know we're going to be suffering in just a few minutes as well. i try to count the number of switchbacks - just to take my mind off the punishing trajectory - but lose count somewhere around 50-something. we find ourselves taking more breaks to catch our breath, but just when we think it's hopeless, we finally come upon these cables.

temps are now in the high 30s and my shorts are no longer doing the trick. thankfully, pam has an extra pair of tights and vim an extra beanie, so i gear up for additional warmth thru the snow. we arrive at trail crest (13,600 ft) a little after 10am, where majestic views of hitchcock lakes (below left) and guitar lake (below right) are there for the taking.

at this point, the mountain is covered in snow as we soldier on for the last 2.5 miles to the summit. a gang of black clouds moves rapidly past us, so we don't have much time before some type of storm hits. a seemingly interminable amount of time passes before we finally get visual confirmation of our destination - in the form of a summit hut.

after many hugs and high fives, we quickly sign the register at 1:10pm and pose for pics at the plaque. the way up took us 8 hours and 50 minutes - about 2 hours longer than we anticipated because of the conditions, so we agree to get outta there ASAP. we maybe spend a total of 5 minutes atop the summit - enough time for me to pop an excedrin to combat the first signs of a headache - since snow begins falling at a steady clip.

right on cue, the weather takes a dramatic turn for the worse:

the way down is a quiet yet focused one - the three of us have exhausted most topics to talk about, plus we have a mental clock ticking with the onset of sundown. we did come across a fellow hiker who looked to be in bad shape, as he ran out of water around trail crest and confessed that he was delirious. fortunately i had an extra container of water in addition to what i had in my camelbak bladder, so i happily donated the container and pam offered up some diamox in an effort to revive him. we ran into him at trail camp filling up his water supply, so we breathed a sigh of relief that he was OK.

we finally returned to whitney portal at 8pm - our journey from start to finish totaled a scant 15 hours and 40 minutes, but we friggin did it! my very average burger at mount whitney restaurant in lone pine never tasted better...