Well, things are beginning to wind down now as
I prepare to return home on Thursday. My father returned home a couple of weeks
ago and before he left we visited a number of places, including Lake Elsinore
and Sunset Beach.
We also made a return visit to Santa Anita
Park where it was big race day, the Santa Anita Handicap, otherwise known as the
'Big Cap', had a purse of $1million and was previously been won by SeaBiscuit
many years ago. We also visited Los Alamitos Race Course, this is a floodlit
dirt race-track, holding mainly evening racing, with the most bizarre aspect
being some of the short-course races, just a 350-yard sprint down the home
straight. This is known as 'quarter-racing'.
We also paid a visit to the PGA of Southern
California Golf Club, a course that Andrew and I played last year. I had the
most remarkable start to a round of golf ever, getting a par on four of the
first five holes, then I had some miserable holes before finishing with a birdie
on the 18th. In the end, a score of 97 was very disappointing.
A couple of weeks ago the temperature hit a
record 97 degrees in Santa Ana, thankfully things have cooled down a bit. Almost
every day at the moment the day starts shrouded in fog, but the afternoon turns
into beautiful, warm & sunny days. Temperatures have constantly hit 80 degrees
in the afternoon every day for the last couple of weeks.
A week last Friday I went across the road to
the Orange County Performing Arts Center to see the Four Tops in concert with
the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. The concert was split into two halves, the first
with just the orchestra doing popular classics and film themes, then the second
half was the Four Tops with their band together with the orchestra. It was a
very enjoyable evening but the Four Tops were only on stage for about 75
minutes, so only a selection of their many hits were performed.
I've utilised some free evenings to catch up
on some movies recently. I've seen "Twisted"
starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia. Judd is a San Francisco
cop involved in a hunt for a serial killer who is going round killing everyone
she sleeps with!
Lives" stars Angeline Jolie, Keifer '24' Sutherland and Ethan Hawke.
Jolie plays a FBI profiler, similar to Jodie Foster in 'Silence of the Lambs',
hunting down yet another serial killer.
Last week I also saw "The
Passion of the Christ", produced by Mel Gibson. I have no doubt that the
movie has caused as much furore as it has over here, even though I know it
doesn't open in the UK until next week. Suffice to say it is a good movie BUT it
is brutal in its portrayal of the violence. The actual crucifixion wasn't too
bad as I had previously seen on tv how they did the special effects, but the
scene when Jesus is flogged in public is long, painful, and very real. I have
only ever seen one movie worse than this for it's graphic violence. Three people
walked out of the movie while I was watching it.
The latest estimates from Hollywood suggest
that Gibson, who financed the movie with his own money, will reap a personal
fortune in excess of $400 million from the film.
Last night I went to the Long Beach Terrace
Theater for a jazz concert with three headliners; Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson
and Phil Perry. Each artist did a one hour set and I was impressed that each
artist spent time after their set in the foyer of the theatre signing
autographs. That's my last concert of my current stay, meaning that I've seen 15
gigs whilst I've been here - thankfully some of them were free! Click
here for an up-to-date database of
concerts that I have attended. Click
here to see the photographs from the last two weeks.
Well that's about it. Unless anything
significant happens in the next few days this will be last update until the next
trip, wherever that may be. Thank you for reading my diary over the last 6
months and take care.