Friday, July 27, 2012


A few weeks ago, Phil asked me if we should try to get tickets to go see Conan.  I said, "Why not?"  He had tried a few other times and nothing ever came of it.  I had made other plans for the date he selected because we had never gotten called for tickets before.  That must have done the trick because last week, we got the call that we had tickets to see Conan!  I was really surprised.  
Monday was the day.  The kids spent the day with my parents and Phil and I left for L.A.  We got to the Warner Brothers Lot really early and waited for our tickets.  

 When they passed out group numbers, we were number 7!  It's my favorite number so I was happy.  I also knew it meant we would be seated close to the front.
 The show was also taping an hour early.  We had made plans with one of Phil's friends to eat lunch together on the lot.  Since his friend works at the lot, we were able to get passes to walk around.  The show being taped early meant we had a lot less time to check out the studio.

We met Tim and Rachel for lunch.  Afterwards, Tim was gracious enough to show us around.

Tim showed us Brownstone row and pointed out the Brownstone where Audrey Hepburn's Wait Until Dark was filmed.  We went inside to check it out.  The buildings are so authentic and real looking from the outside, but inside is just an empty warehouse with lots of plugs for lighting.

Here is the exterior of the Brownstones.

Tim also pointed out where the new Batman movie was screened.  Phil had to have a picture in front of it.

Here is a "New York" street.  We also saw an area that could look like Central Park.  It was where the Phoebe/Rachel jogging Friends was filmed.  I should have gotten a picture of that.

Tim knew what a fan Phil is of the West Wing and Aaron Sorkin so he took us to see these landmarks. Phil was thrilled.

 I think if Aaron Sorkin had actually been in his office and Phil would have had a chance to meet him, he might just have been speechless.  That's how much Phil admires Sorkin.

After we looked around, we went back to Gate 8 to wait for the taping of Conan.  We were told that if we were late, our tickets would be forfeited and that would be that.  We made it in time.  We were escorted back through the studio lot where we had already been looking around.  We waited in line, Disneyland style and it was hot, just like Disneyland in the summer.  I don't have any pictures of any of this because we were told phones must be turned off and cameras were not allowed.  Period.
Finally the taping began.  It was great.  Our seats were right next to Andy's podium.  The thing that struck me was how Conan and Andy turned it on for the cameras and as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, their schtick stopped too.  After our show was filmed, Conan came out and asked the audience if it would be alright if he filmed some of Thursday's show.  We were psyched!  He let us know that he would be changing into his Thursday tie, then we would start filming.  To our great surprise, the filming he was referring to was Ben Stiller!  Ben Stiller's interview was great and flowed so naturally.
At then end of the taping, Conan sang to the audience, then said hi to a few audience members, and then that was that.

On the way out, Phil "oops" took a picture of the studio.  On our way out, we stopped by the security guard booth and Tim had renewed our passes so we didn't have to leave.  We went back on the lot so I could get a picture of where Friends was filmed.  On our walk back, Phil snuck a picture of superhero Lego Conan.

I got my picture at the Friends stage.

We also toured an area that is referred to as the "Jungle"  It was really cool and looked like a backwoods/ jungle area.  It was hard to feel like we were in Burbank anymore.   On the way out, we passed the costume shop.  I stopped and peered through the windows and probably drooled on them.  Phil said I should just walk in and look around.  I was sure that we would get kicked out immediately since our passes were cleared for meeting with Phil's friend.  I chickened out and snapped a picture through the window.

We left during 5 o'clock traffic and were starving.  I went on Yelp to see what was in the area.  I discovered a place called the Red Door that had great reviews.  We decided to check it out.  We had read that it was hard to find and it really was.  It is in an alley and there are no signs.  It's just a red door.  It had the feel of an old timey speakeasy.  We were greeted by the owner and the bartender.  They brought us a drink and some food that the owner had just prepared; ribs, chicken, and smashed Yukon gold potatoes.  Amazing!  I wish we could have stayed longer because they were having live music later that evening.  Alas, we had to drive home.  Maybe on another visit.

The day was great and filled with a lot of great memories.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shenanigans and Adventures in Motherhood

My boys were in rare form on Friday. We had a busy morning of cleaning house. When we finished, I went to get ready to run some errands and take the car to get the oil changed before our weekend away in Fresno. While I was getting ready, Ryan took it upon himself to make sure he and Jack were looking good. As soon as I was out of the shower, Ryan started yelling for me to hurry and see what he and Jack looked like. He excitedly added, "I even gave us haircuts!" As soon as I saw Ryan, I knew I was in trouble. I saw all the freshly cut hair all over the newly cleaned bathroom floor. I yelled for Jack. He came in smiling with his hair wet and slicked down. It didn't look short so I thought it might be okay... until I saw the back.

I yelled at Ryan for using scissors without permission and showed him his hair in the mirror. What had made him proud of himself only moments before was now making him sob and feel embarrassed. He didn't want to leave the house to get an oil change (or eat a donut in the waiting area). I told him to put on a hat and we'd fix his hair later. After I'd calmed down, I asked him for a picture of his hair, explaining that every kid cuts his hair and every kid has an awful picture of what that haircut looked like. He wouldn't go for it or take off the hat. After we had been at the oil change place for a while, I tried again, this time bribing him with a dollar. No dice. He wanted $20. I said no. I suggested a toy car in exchange for a picture. He said sure, as long as it was Lewis, Miguel Camino, or The Queen from Cars 2. Most Cars 2 Cars cost between $3 and $5. I said I'd do it and snapped my picture. He gave me a huge grin and showed off the horseshoe shape he had cut into his hair.

Once I went online to see about the cars, I saw that Ryan had fleeced me. I found The Queen on eBay for $12.95 and that was the best deal. The other cars were no better. A promise is a promise.

After I got my car back, we headed to Jack's Barber Shop where my dad likes to take the boys for haircuts. I showed the boys to Jim the barber and he laughed, the got to work fixing up the boys' hair. While the boys were getting their haircuts, some firemen popped in who were checking out the buildings on the block. They gave the boys stickers and we got to see the ladder truck.

Their shenanigans turned out to be a fun little adventure at the end of the day.

(This was Jack's last shenanigan at the end of the day. He was standing in the sink happily applying band aids to himself.)