Thursday, December 09, 2004


Picking it back up again

I've been a bit lazy about the blog lately, and it's time to get back cracking on it. Mostly, it's been the weather, I suppose. It's had me down in the dumps a little. After all, who wants to spend a December day with some drizzle and temperatures in the 50s? My God . . .

But now that the thermometer is back up in the 70s where it belongs, and I'm actually having days where I can again see the ocean from my office window, it's time for some quick hits.

1) Went to the Getty Museum for the first time over Thanksgiving weekend. This is easily one of the most beautiful spots on earth - perched up on a hill on the West Side. You have to take a tram up to the top, and once you're there, you have picture perfect views of the ocean to one side, of Westwood and Century City directly below, and downtown LA far off in the distance. Even further, you can see snow capping the tops of a few of the San Gabriel Mountains off to the East. Until I moved here, I'd never before lived in a place with the ocean or mountains so close at hand. Having them both is just unbelievable.

2) Chicago actress Julie Granata was a Wieland houseguest for a couple of weeks in October and November. She and boyfriend Eric Hunicutt (aka, the fella who introduced me to my wife) are headed out to LA for good in January. They're checking out apartments in West Hollywood (WeHO?) and ultra-trendy Los Feliz (pronounced Low-s Feel-issss).

2A) While Jules was in town, my wife (Stephanie "one apple martini is never enough" Wieland) and I took part in a group outing at the Fairfax bar that invented the famous apple martini. There was much drinking. And then much not feeling well the next day.

3) The wife and I are talking about the purchase of a home ourselves, to happen in 2005. We're looking in the aforementioned Los Feliz, and also in Pasadena . . . and around. The time has come.

4) Football's been good to us out here. Not only do we continue to be spared from watching Bears games on Sundays, but my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes showed Michigan the royal beatdown, which does my heart major good. Buckeye coach Jim Tressel, despite being under fire by irresponsible reporters at ESPN, is now 3-1 against the team up north.

5) My similarly beloved Longhorns are in their first ever BCS bowl - and it's right here in the LA area. Love it! Maybe they'll get to pound the team from up north, too.

6) Saw a couple of good movies the past couple of weeks: Finding Neverland and Closer were both good, though Closer made me want to drink by myself with the lights off. Alfie was not so good. Of course, I was a total sucker for The Incredibles, but it's a movie that I would own. There's starting to be a lot of flicks to see . . . Ocean's 12, Kinsey, The Aviator, etc.

7) Re: Closer, the premiere for that bad boy was around the corner from my wife's office. Pretty cool day when you're heading over to the Coffee Bean for a quick break, and you see a bunch of celebs lining up to take in a flick.

8) Is there any greater justice in the world than what is happening to Notre Dame in their abortive coaching search? Let's review. Urban Meyer, the Utah coach who eats and breathes Notre Dame and is named after a pope? Nope, heading to Florida. Bobby Petrino, the Catholic coach of Louisville? Nope, staying put. The guy from Boise State? Happy in the land of the blue turf. A cadre of elite and semi-elite coaches - Jon Gruden, Jim Fassel, Bob Stoops, Barry Alvarez? Not interested.

Rumor has it that the Fighting Irish are down to these amazing candidates: 1) Tom Clemments, a coordinator from the Buffalo Bills. He's never been a head coach before. 2) Charlie Weis, a coordinator with the New England Patriots. He's likely not available until February. 3) Tom O'Brien, coach of Boston College, a 6-5 team that couldn't win the Big (L)East this year.

I'm also hearing the Kansas coach (not bowl eligible), Randy Walker of Northwestern (not bowl eligible), and the Connecticut coach (now in its third year of Division 1A play). This is hilarious. As a kid who went to Catholic high school who watched the Notre Dame bound seniors treated like gods among men, this is something I've been waiting a long time to see.

Notre Dame is, at long last, a punchline. Northwestern's football program is on firmer ground. Who'd have thunk it?

More later . . . hope it's warm where you are . . .

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