Saturday, March 20, 2010

Griffith Observatory

We had much more fun at the Griffith Observatory than at the Universal Studios, and I am sure we will go back there in future.

The Observatory is home to a small astronomical museum, several telescopes that are open to the public, as well as really cool planetarium that has several shows every day about space surrounding us.

The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, offering breathtaking views of LA. Even if you are not interested in astronomy, it still seems to me that you would love this place as it is so beautiful and serene there. I would definitely recommend stopping there during your next visit to LA.

Griffith Observatory:

Views from the Observatory:

Universal Studios

At the beginning of March Anil and I went to LA as I needed to visit a Polish consulate in order to apply for a new passport. We decided to make a short holiday out of it and visit some of the touristy places like the Universal Studios and nearby Griffith Observatory.

As expected, neither of us was impressed with the Universal Studios. Still we do not regret visiting it, once, in our lifetimes. We did it, we know it is not our idea of entertainment, and we do not feel need to ever go back there again :)

The iconic "Universal Studios" sign:


In case Universal Studios does not provide you with enough entertainment, you can further indulge yourself in the world of movies at the nearby IMAX:

The Universal Studios recommends that you start your visit by taking a 45-min long bus tour, so this is what we did:

Some of the highlights of the tour are illustrated by the photos below. For example, I was pretty impressed how seemingly easy, within a matter of seconds, it is to create the imitation of rain and flash flood:

Or explode a car:

Or shake the ground, collapse a ceiling, "break" a few water pipes:

Or even imitate an airplane disaster:

Less interesting (to us) parts of the tour included visits at different action-less movie sets, like the visit at the famous "Wisteria Lane" from Desperate Housewives:

After the guided tour we visited several shows and went for two movie-themed rides (Revenge of The Mummy and Jurassic Park). The first attraction that we did, happened also to be the best one. It was a boat ride through the Jurassic Park: 

I thought that some of the dinosaurs were pretty cool, especially when they were spitting water at us :) :
Revenge of The Mummy is not worth mentioning, as well as House of Horrors. Both of them are supposed to be scary, but to be honest, they are simply lame.

We also went to a pyrotechnic show Backdraft  that was mildly interesting:

The last show we attended was Terminator 2: 3D, which was so kitschy that I wouldn't have mentioned it if I did not like this photo:

The best thing about Universal Studios is its location offering nice views of the city:

Kill Dr Lucky

Last Saturday I had a few friends over for an evening of games. We only managed to play one game called Kill Dr Lucky, but, by popular demand, we played it twice. I have to admit that the game is pretty good and it is fun to play it (though maybe not twice in a row...)

The idea behind the game is to kill Dr Lucky before somebody else does it. It is not an easy task, as Dr Lucky is pretty lucky :) and he moves fast. You can only kill him if no other player sees you and, moreover, all other players can spend their resources on preventing your murder attempt. Interesting thing about this game is that human psychology is an important factor deciding who will win... And thanks to the game, you can get a better insight into characters/cultural backgrounds of some of your friends. For example, when we played it last Saturday, we noticed big differences in the game strategy between Americans and Europeans. Europeans had more cooperative/socialistic attitude towards the game, whereas Americans seemed to be more calculative and egoistic...

The game takes place on Dr Lucky's mansion, which has more than 20 rooms and many corridors:

The cards determine the weapon with which Dr Lucky can be attempted to be killed, how far can you move during your turn, as well as counter-weapons for other players to allow them prevent your murder attempt:

dry cleaning

Strange times we live in.

Today I brought a dress to a formerly good and reasonably inexpensive dry cleaner, just to get shocked to find out that in meantime they became wet cleaners and tripled/quadrupled their prices... Imagine that the price that I was quoted was equal to half of the price of the dress... Admittedly, I had the dress made in Poland and it looks several times more expensive than it actually was. (The price of the cleaning: 30$, the price of the dress: 70$...)

After I pointed that out to the dry cleaner, I was informed that his price is actually a bargain, and that at other dry cleaners I would have to pay even more, around 100-150$.

I thanked the guy for the explanations, took my dress back home and cleaned it with my own bare hands for the fraction of the cost he had quoted to me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

keeping focus

Some people complain that I easily get bored and have problem keeping focus, especially during conversations. Well, I blame my father for that. I am just not sure if his contribution was genetical or environmental, but clearly the way I am is his fault. In some ways I am an improved model of him, as he has even bigger problem keeping focused than I have. Even though we do not talk often with each other, still, instead of paying full attention to what I say, he plays with his laptop's camera:

Though I do have to admit that it is pretty funky what his camera software can do... :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


My man was supposed to pack on Monday evening as he was going on a trip on Wednesday and had very busy day at work on Tuesday. But when the evening came, he was tired and did not feel like packing anymore:

- I think I am going to pack on Tuesday - he said.
- Oh, how come?
- Because if I pack today my suitcases will be lying around in the living room for 2 days, and you will not like it...
- Wow, thank you for being so considerate - I was truly touched and impressed with his thoughtfulness. But I got disillusioned pretty fast.
- It's not consideration, it's fear... I know that you like things organized and put away immediately. And mostly I listen to you. But as an act of rebellion I'm keeping a pair of trousers and a book next to TV and I am waiting for you to tell me to do something with them...

I started laughing like crazy. How could you not love somebody so cute and funny?

Later that day I told the story to my parents. My father's comment on it was pretty funny too:

- Ho, ho, ho. Who would have thought. It seems that in the end I raised you well! - he said proudly...