I don’t claim that there is any scientific validity to Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of furniture placement. However, it seems as though there are spots in the house that seem to draw in scraps of paper, pencils, junk mail, paperclips, small coins, twist ties, old magazines, and the like. As I sorted the faded grocery receipts, already paid bills, and credit card offers, into piles to discard, destroy, and utterly destroy, I discovered mementos of the summer. Movie tickets, concert tickets, and other bits of paper symbolizing permission to enter a venue. These are things that I could have blogged about at the time but was feeling too lazy, too tired, or too busy to have bothered. Or perhaps I didn’t really have enough to say about a particular event to flesh out an entire post. But at least I can gather them together and look fondly back.
Star Wars In Concert – May 28
I actually did mention this concert in a previous post. This was a traveling show that presented music (played live by an orchestra) from all six Star Wars movies, accompanied by a laser light show and scenes from the movies. I didn’t know all of the pieces they played, as a number of them were from the prequels. But of the pieces I knew, they were spot on with the film score. An enjoyable evening of entertainment.
2010 San Diego County Fair – June 26
The fair was great fun. I didn’t go on many rides. I mainly sampled some of the many outrageous treats available. I started with chocolate-covered bacon. It varied between too chocolatey and too bacony. After watching a presentation on camel’s milk and riding the aerial people-mover, it was time for another snack. This turned out to be mushrooms and artichoke hearts, skewered, battered, and deep fried. They were good, although I preferred the artichokes to the mushrooms. After browsing the water-wise landscaping examples and the gadget booths, I had a cup of coffee and mini-doughnuts fresh from the doughnut machine. Such a different experience than the plastic-wrapped convenience-store variety. After wandering the art show, my final snacks were deep fried Oreos and a deep-fried Twinkie. The Oreos tasted like warm chocolate cake, but the flavor of the Twinkie was buried under its strawberry jam topping.
Hornblower Harbor Cruise – July 5
We have a weather condition here that we call June Gloom. I don’t know the exact meteorology behind it, but what happens is that the coastal skies become overcast for most of the late spring and early summer. Now, I don’t mind it. I used to live along the far northern coast of California when I was younger and overcast skies were nothing to throw a tantrum over. But, for some reason, that weather really just gets to a lot of people down here. Especially when it falls outside its scheduled calendar month. So people were not only down over the weather, they had to figure out what to call June Gloom when it happens in July. The answer was Summer Bummer.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with the harbor cruise. Other than the fact that the sun was mercifully not beating relentlessly down upon my head as it will do when given the chance, very little.
San Diego Symphony Summer Pops: Music from Final Fantasy – July 22
Ever since I attended Video Games Live the summer before last, the San Diego Symphony has mailed me postcard after postcard describing upcoming shows. Most of these postcards I’ve politely read, though the shows haven’t quite been interesting enough for my taste. However, when I read the postcard that said Music from Final Fantasy was on the schedule, I squealed like a schoolgirl and then bought tickets immediately. Or the squealing and buying may have happened in the opposite order. Or in both orders, now that I think on it. Regardless, once the date of the show rolled around, I was there on the grass of the Embarcadero, on a cool and calm summer night. The show was a delight. The composer himself, Nobuo Oematsu, was there, and the orchestra played many well known selections, such as “Man with the Machine Gun,” “Intro and Bombing Mission”, “Chocobo,” “Jenova,” and of course “One Winged Angel.”
San Diego Comic-Con – July 21,22,24
It’s no secret that my enthusiasm for the riot of fandom that is Comic-Con has waned a bit over the many (okay, several) years that I’ve been attending. I was considering sitting this year out, but circumstances intervened and I found myself accompanying a party of adventurers through said riot. We picked up our badges on Wednesday evening, also known as preview night, since the exhbit hall opens for a few hours to allow a sneak peek at the wonders within. Since only those with four-day memberships are invited to preview night, it is a good time to do so as it is slightly less crowded. I was on my own on Thursday and at least got to attend one of the panels that I was looking forward to, and even got in a bit of shopping, before leaving for the Summer Pops concert. On Friday, I was otherwise occupied and couldn’t attend, but on Saturday, the adventurers and I assembled for a second foray. We accomplished surprisingly little that day save for another survey of the exhibit hall. Discouraged, the party disbanded, but I and the remaining hardcore trooper were able to straggle into Hall H to witness Kevin Smith’s presentation. This was due more to luck than any sort of plan, but at least it made up for the rest of the day. I decided to leave on a high note and took Sunday off. And as for next year? No, I don’t think so, although there is one Comic-Con experience I’ve yet to partake of: parading about in costume.
Golden State Excursion, San Diego Short Line – July 31
I learned of the San Diego Railroad Museum through their booth at the San Diego County Fair. But it was not until several weeks later that I would be enticed to visit. After arising exceptionally early one fine Saturday morning, I gathered up my favorite shopping companion and headed out to the Santee Swap Meet to browse through stall after stall of junk. Unfortunately, most of it was junk. Afterward, at brunch, we observed that it was still early in the day and that we could easily do something else. I mentioned the Railroad Museum, and after a bit of mobile Internet research, we learned that it was in Campo, a small town in the sparsely populated eastern side of San Diego county. Something of a drive. And there was something else: the museum maintains a small portion of the original California and Arizona railway, on which it runs regular tour excursions. Now that would be worth the drive. So we set out and arrived just in time for the ride, which was a pleasant way to pass an hour or so. Upon returning, we got to examine several antique passenger cars, a mail-sorting car, and a caboose. I only wish that we could have arrived earlier in the day, as there was an entire yard of engines and cars that we didn’t have time to see.
Legoland Parking – August 8
Legoland is an interesting theme park. Its centerpiece is LEGO models of famous buildings, surrounded with careful landscaping, numerous gift shops, and plenty of rides (some of which appears to have been creatively adapted from industrial machinery such as auto lifts and industrial robots. ) There’s also now an aquarium and water park, though these are technically separate attractions (much as the California Adventure is separate from Disneyland.) However, the most interesting thing about Legoland is that one can obtain a “Shopper’s Pass” which will admit one free of charge to the park for up to an hour. This is plenty of time to visit both the Big Store and the pick a brick shop. Yes, I suppose I am a LEGO addict.
And the summer’s not quite over– who knows what adventures are still in store?