Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Day, UCLA and the Getty Museum

Friday, January 2, 2009
Happy 35th Birthday
Andrew Contreras!!!

New Year's Day in America means only one thing in our house...

8:00 a.m.: The Outback Bowl from Tampa, Florida where 7-5 South Carolina takes on 8-4 Iowa.  I picked South Carolina for two reasons.

First they are from the all powerful Southeastern Conference (SEC) while the Iowa Hawkeyes hails from the Big-10 which is no longer held in very high esteem.

Secondly, how can you not be rooting for a school whose nickname is the Gamecocks?

Final Score: Iowa 31 - South Carolina 10

10:00 a.m.: The Capital One Bowl from Orlando, Florida. It's the #19 Michigan State Spartans, 9-3 out of the Big-10 vs. #16 Georgia Bulldogs also 9-3 from the SEC.

I go with Georgia due to my same conference bias as in the Outback Bowl pick.

The Bulldogs do not disappoint me this time.

Final Score: Georgia 24 - Michigan State 12

10:00 a.m.: The Gator Bowl from Jacksonville, Florida.  Having to constantly switch channels since this bowl game is in direct conflict with the Capital One Bowl could have wreaked havoc but we kept it under control!

In this one, the traditional powerhouse Nebraska Cornhuskers, 8-4 from the powerful Big-12 played the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) Clemson Tigers who entered the contest at 7-5.

I picked Clemson because I like their uniforms better than Nebraska.  Not really but it would be just as solid a reason to pick them as any I could come up with.

Final Score: Nebraska 26 - Clemson 21

2:00 p.m.: The Rose Bowl, "The Grand Daddy of Them All", at Pasadena, California.  The heavily favored and #5 ranked, PAC-10 Champion Southern California Trojans at 12-1 vs. the Big-10 Champion and #6 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions also checking in at 12-1.

In what should have been a great match-up, nobody really gave PSU much of a chance and even I picked USC without much fear.  The Trojans did not disappoint in cruising to a 31-7 half time lead.

Final Score: Southern California 38 - Penn State 24

It really was not that close but give PSU credit for not rolling over and playing much tougher in the second half.

Laurie gave me this T-shirt, she wanted it to read "blog" for the last word instead of "novel" but she could not find one.  I wore this one with pride for all five bowl games.

Five? Did he just say five bowl games?

Yes indeed!  One more game to go at...

5:00 p.m.: The Orange Bowl played in Miami, Florida.  Here, the #21 Virginia Tech Hokies, the 9-4 Champions of the ACC played the #12 Cinncinati Bearcats, 11-2 and Champions of the Big East Conference.

I went with Va Tech due to their long standing status atop the college football scene. 

Final Score: Virginia Tech 20 - Cinncinati 7

In conclusion, it was a fun day watching all these games with Laurie, Mike and Vanessa.  My only disappointment was that the BCS system has really diluted New Year's Day as only two Top Ten teams played (Rose) and two of the bowls (Outback and Gator) featured games with all unranked teams!

Friday I took a drive on a dreary day to Westwood.  The first stop was UCLA to practice some of the photographic techiques that Jason Johnson taught me.

I earned my Masters Degree from UCLA in 1971, have always loved returning there and have continued taking several Extension course there over the years

Through the trees, Kerckhoff Hall
or am I in England?

In the second story they have a SWEET Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop.  I just HAD to have a scoop of Jamoca Almond Fudge in a sugar cone for old times sake!

Influenced by Italian Architecture
UCLA's Royce Hall

UCLA's Powell Library

The old Men's Gym where I took many classes is now the
Student Activity Center

Home of the UCLA Bruins!

UCLA's American Football Practice Field

A Slightly Different View of
Spaulding Field

From UCLA it was a short drive to the J. Paul Getty Center Museum.  This museum houses some of the best art collections featuring western art from the Middle Ages to the present in five two-story pavilions.

The Getty's Central Plaza

Baroque Painting in Bologna, 1575-1725

The main reason for my visit was this traveling exhibit of Baroque Art that featured several pieces on loan to the Getty from Germany's Dresden Museum.

It featured works from the Bologna school of Baroque Art.  I really fell in love with city of Bologna last spring for several reasons. First Rick Steves does NOT mention Bologna in his Italian Travel books, this equals very few tourists like me.  Second, friend of the blog, David Lassen, highly recommended Bologna as a destination.  Finally, one of the blog's biggest Italian fans is a Bologna resident,  Stefano Mengoli.  The city is very beautiful and the food and gelato were top notch!  I had to go see this exhibit and support!

Photos were not allowed and, for once, I followed the law!  It was very worthwhile and if you are in the Los Angeles area try to see the entire Getty Museum, you'll enjoy it!

The architecture at UCLA and the Baroque Art Exhibit at the Getty Museum are really getting me in the mood to return to Sicily... only 19 days to go!


Vanessa said...

You can see me in your t-shirt shot!!! =)

George said...

Oh good, I thought it was a poltergeist!

Andrew said...

Thanks for the visit! Also this will serve as a formal request for a new posting focusing on the storied history of the Chinese Bandits.


George said...

Ah, the Bandits! Will do!