Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emmys 2010

Like last year, tonight's Emmy awards were presented at the Nokia theater, only a few feet from where Tim works. So, like we did last year, we decamped in the 2d floor conference room and oohed and aahed as celebrities strolled the red carpet at our feet. We went berserk taking photos (with our new camera!). Here are just a few of my favorites (click on them to enlarge). Enjoy!

Nominee Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) and wife Ami Brabson

Nominees Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men)

Nominee Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and husband Geoffrey Arend

Winner Claire Danes (Temple Grandin)

Nominee Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation) and husband Will Arnett and Mr. & Mrs. Conan O'Brien

Nominees Toni Collette (United States of Tara) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of New Christine)

Show host Jimmy Fallon and wife

The British are coming: Mr. & Mrs. Ricky Gervais and nomiee Sir Patrick Stewart (Hamlet) and date

Nominee Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and date

Winner Jane Lynch (Glee)

Nathan Fillion (Castle) and date and nominee Susan Sarandon (You Don't Know Jack) and daughter

Nominee Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and wife Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter); winner Neil Patrick Harris (Glee) and partner David Burtka; and Anna Paquin (True Blood)

Winner Al Pacino (You Don't Know Jack) and date

Cast from the Emmy-winning mini-series The Pacific

Nominee John Slattery (Mad Men) and wife Talia Balsam

Newlyweds Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer from nominated series True Blood

The real-life Temple Grandin, her mother, winning director Mick Jackson, and producer of the Emmy-winning movie Temple Grandin

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


We celebrated our wedding anniversary last night in style. We've been married 24 years, so Tim had the brilliant idea of eating dinner at WP24, Wolfgang Puck’s newest restaurant, located on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown L.A. There were no tables after 6PM, so he made reservations for 5:30PM, when the restaurant opens.

We were, of course, early, allowing us time to lounge around the bar and admire the view. At 5:30, a thin woman in a brown spandex dress led us into the dining room. We caught our breaths.

“This is the L.A. equivalent of the Rainbow Room!” I exclaimed, recalling the world-famous NYC restaurant where, almost 20 years ago, we had the most expensive dinner we’d ever eaten. The wait staff laughed.

“Well, yes, but there’s no dance floor,” Tim retorted. “And we can’t see the Empire State Building from here.”

Still, since we were the first ones seated, we slipped out the camera and took photos like a couple of dorky tourists.

Dinner at WP24 is prix fixe, depending on how many courses you order. We opted for three courses: starters, entree and dessert. There’s also a daily “tasting menu,” if you want to venture off the regular list, plus “side dishes for the table” that cost extra. The servers also periodically brought out appetizers the chef had cooked-up special for the evening. Ours were fish-related, which I don’t eat, so Tim got his fill of prawn biscuits and seafood turnovers.

For “starters” I had chili dan dan dumplings, while Tim noshed on lobster spring rolls. My main course was crispy skin Szechuan baby chicken with snow peas, leeks, mushrooms, and asparagus. Tim got steamed wild Alaskan king salmon with bok choy, ginger and spring onions—a dish he found a bit bland. But that was OK because he ended up eating some of my entree, which we both agreed was fabulous.

Between courses we had plenty of time to observe what everyone else was eating. A party of eight ordered a whole roasted Peking-style duckling, which the server paraded around the table before carving it nearby.

“I bet their bill is going to top $1000,” Tim whispered as we watched dish after dish being served.

We were enjoying our entrees when Tim again whispered, “There’s the vice president of AEG,” the corporation that owns L.A. Live, where Tim works and the Ritz-Carlton is located. The VP and two colleagues sat at the table next to ours. Not surprisingly, an unending assortment of appetizers appeared for them to sample.

Finally, our server produced the dessert menu, pointing out the most popular item, Marjolasian: layers of dark chocolate, white espresso mouse, cashew nougatine, and milk chocolate glace. Tim couldn’t resist. I, on the other hand, ordered the cornmeal brown butter cake with blueberries and pandan ice cream. Both desserts were out of this world.

The check arrived almost two hours after we were seated. With tip, we tied the Rainbow Room for most expensive dinner ever and there was still no dance floor or Empire State Building. But we didn’t care. It was a wonderful way to spend our anniversary.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Disney Studio

We continued our summer fascination—some might say obsession!—with all things Disney by touring the studio today along with other D23 fanclub members. We had a wonderful time learning about the studio's history, cruising the halls of the old animation building, seeing what remains of the backlot, and visiting the company archives. But since Disney is so visual, I'm going to let our photos tell the story. Enjoy!

Our tour started at "Pluto Corner" at the intersection of Dopey Dr. and Mickey Ave.

Our first stop: the building where all the best films of my childhood were created. The hallway was covered in artwork (e.g., sketches, cels, etc.) from Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland and more. Absolutely breathtaking!

The Seven Dwarves hold up the roof of the Eisner building.

Jiminy Cricket oversees recycling while the sorcerer's hat (formerly Roy E. Disney's office) lurks in the background. The space between the two was once the site of the old Zorro TV series set.

Next stop: the Disney archives, where we got to fondle one of Walt's many Oscars!

The Mouse is everywhere: on buildings, on signs and on the floor of office hallways!

Our last stop (before the studio store!) was the "legends plaza," where the most famous Disney personalities are honored annually. Tim's favorite: Kevin "Moochy" Corcoran.