It was a dream come true for my Sainted Wife Barb and my son Eddie. Not only did they get to attend the Rose Bowl and the Rose Bowl Parade, but Barb had the good fortune to take the above photo seconds after The Ohio State University won the game. This might be my favorite photo of Eddie ever.
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect holiday season, which began with my December 22 birthday and party, continued through a wonderful Christmas, and concluded with a very cool New Year's Eve party and New Year's Day. I was with many of the people I love the best and, with one minor exception, no one I don't like.
Our New Year's Eve party was mostly my daughter Kelly and her neighborhood pals plus neighbor Greg Luppino and longtime friends Nora and Terry Fairbanks, who are also Barb's aunt and uncle. Barb and I met when we were both in their wedding party.
Our neighborhood kids are the nicest youngsters you can find anywhere, though, given that some of them are already in college or heading there in September, should more accurately be referred to as young adults. Despite my many complaints about my hometown of Medina, complaints I am refraining from writing about until Kelly has graduated from high school, I love our hood.
The only thing that marred New Year's Eve for me were all the delays Barb and Eddie were experiencing on their trip to Pasadena. Between having to switch to another airline, flight delays, a long layover in Atlanta, an understaffed car rental agency at LAX, and a problem with their hotel, they didn't get settled in until 2:30 am West Coast time. I didn't sleep at all that night as I waited for their "we got here" call and then stayed awake so I could give them their requested wake-up call. Even with grandstand seats for the parade, they had to get their early.
Barb has watched the Rose Bowl Parade on television every year we've been married and always expressed the wish she could see it live. It was great fun texting her and Eddie while we watched the parade in Medina, especially since we were seeing the floats before they reached their grandstand seats in Pasadena. When Barb talks about the parade now, she sounds like an excited 12-year-old girl. No gift I received this holiday season means more to me than that. No one deserved to have a wish come true more than Barb.
If you watched the Rose Bowl, you know what an exciting game it was. The Buckeyes came to Pasadena with something to prove and they did just that.
Barb and Eddie were joined on this trip by Jason, one of his OSU friends. Since their flight back to Ohio wouldn't be leaving until late Saturday night, Barb took the boys sightseeing. One of their stops that day was Long Beach.
Why Long Beach? Well, apart from the obvious reasons, Eddie and Jason are fans of the TV show "Dexter" and the exteriors for that show are filmed there.
Here's Eddie and Jason in front of Quinn's house:
Here's the "Miami metro police department," which is actually just a storage unit for a marina:
Finally, here's Dexter and Rita's house:
Barb found this "Dexter Quest" amusing. Last summer, while on vacation in North Carolina with our daughter Kelly and her friend Giselle, Barb had to drive them around to the exteriors used in one of their favorite shows, "One Tree Hill."
Here's the coolest part of that quest. Kelly and Giselle met some of the show's cast members, saw the studio where the series is filmed, and signed up to be extras. They received letters a couple months later asking them if they could come to North Carolina to be extras in a party scene.
It was one day (around 12 hours) of work. The party's theme was the 1980s, so the studio dressed them in appropriate costumes as well as doing their hair and makeup. I think they looked pretty cute, but I have been told in no uncertain terms that my life will be forfeit if I run their photos here.
The girls had a great experience. They were fed great meals by crafts services and earned about a hundred bucks apiece for the day. When I know the scheduled air date of the episode, I'll post it here or on my message board. I doubt we'll be able to spot them in the crowd, but who knows?
The Rose Bowl trip was Barb's second West Coast jaunt within a month. Backtracking to early December, the Sainted One traveled to Berkeley to accept an award from the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
Barb, a pharmacist and the manager of Kaiser's home infusion department in this area, was a member of the team that won the 2009 Lawrence Patient Safety Transfer Award. The award was presented to the Ohio Region for its successful implementation of the High Alert Medication Program. This program seeks to eliminate medication errors that may harm patients by embedding critical patient safety principles and practices into all applicable workflows. This is a major award, which came with much wining and dining and praise from the Kaiser brass.
Just as exciting, Barb was able to spend a couple extra days on the West Coast, sightseeing in San Francisco and taking a tour of Sonoma and Napa in California's Wine Country region. Barb has gotten interested in wines in recent years, which either reflects a new hobby or the natural consequence of being married to me for over 25 years. You decide.
2009 was a rough year in so many ways, but, between all of the cool stuff I've been writing about and the success of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, it ended pretty well. So the last thing I expected was to start 2010 with a rip-roaring bout of some kinda flu. That's why I had to skip four TOTs last week and why it'll be a few more days before I can get back to reviewing comic books and other items here. Fear not. I have some pretty neat things lined up for the rest of this week.
As always, thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
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