Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bon Voyage

I didn't take French but my online dictionary did, and according to her bon voyage, literally translated, means "good journey". Which is perfect because that is exactly what I wish for my buddy Josh as he gets set to move to San Francisco this Wednesday. Even though it means he is moving away from his family and many of his friend, you can't help but hear the excitement in his voice when he talks about the move...and I share it with him. 

San Francisco is an awesome town with great history, a fun vibe and tons of cool places to check out. The only thing it doesn't have is a Filippis Pizza Grotto, which is why we ate there last night. That was both a great decision and a terrible one. Great because the food is tasty, the atmosphere is casual and it's the only place in Little Italy with a parking lot, terrible because I ate my weight in pizza and had crazy "cheese dreams" last night.

If you don't know what "cheese dreams" are, look it up...it's a real thing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thanks for the Gift

My beautiful wife celebrated her birthday today, the last of the January birthday crew, and what a day it was.

Homemade pancakes and mimosas in the morning, Phil's BBQ this evening...we even got rear-ended on the freeway today (everyone's OK), but the most memorable part of the day was the actually day itself. Gorgeous!

Lucky for us in between carb-intensive meals and phone calls to the insurance adjuster, we got to enjoy the day San Diego style. Outside and near the water. There is a reason we all pay so damn much to live here and it's days like today. If you don't make the most of them, then you're wasting your money...and I don't have a job so that's not an option.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oscar Buzz

For the second weekend in a row the Gossard's and the Weisbarth's had a hot Saturday on the town. Last week it was Disneyland, this week it was Mexican food and movies.

The comida came from El Zarape on Adams Ave and the cinema came from France...it turns out both were excellent. I had the carna asada torta and we went to see "The Artist", starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. Having been born in the mid-seventies I just missed the golden age of silent films, and in fact had never seen one until Saturday...more then that I had zero desire to see a silent film. I mean just because people used to travel by covered wagon doesn't mean I want to trade in my car for a new pony.

Things of the past are just that...and usually for a reason.  That said, "The Artist" was very good and in my opinion deserves the 10 Oscar nominations that it received. It's funny, it's moving, and it's a great love story...all without any dialogue.

Do I recommend it, yes. Do I recommend Hollywood revisits the silent film era, no thank you.

Air Drum

Everybody plays the air guitar, it's safe...even cliche. But it takes a certain caliber of person to rock the air drums...a complete spazz. Don't get me wrong a good air drummer (and you're looking at two of them in this picture) is way more impressive and dynamic to watch then a good air guitarist.

The problem is the margin for error is much slimmer on the air drum kit. You get off beat even a little or miss a couple of symbol crashes and it just looks like you're swatting at imaginary bees. The other problem is that the air drums don't translate well to still photography.

Lesson learned.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

It's been 26 days since I stood in front of a camera and talked at it, so it was nice to get back in the saddle today. Sadly I wasn't shooting a new series for the Discovery Channel but I still had fun, and it was my first time shooting with a RED Camera. I realize it's kind of dorky to be all giddy over the type of camera you're shooting (and no, RED does not refer to it's color), but I can't help it. I thought it was cool

As far as what we were shooting, that's a little less sexy, but then corporate videos usually are. This one however supports a great organization,  Rady Children's Hospital. I bet you didn't know that they offer all kinds of home safety items at wholesale prices, right? That's good info if you've got kids or Grandparents living with you.

Of course that's the whole point of the video so maybe forget about it until we're done shooting.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Power Reunion

There is something exciting about reuniting groups from the past in the present day. Bands do this all the time...The Eagles, Van Halen, even the New Kids on the Block recognize the power of a reunion tour. I guess as a species we're just nostalgic.

So I can only assume how exciting/impressive it must be for all of you to see the 1994 Boy and Girl Most Popular from Coronado High School back together again!!! Nicole and I have been talking about doing something like this for years now and the pieces finally fell into place. If you missed our first public appearance in years, not to worry, we'll be doing it again soon.

Be sure to check PerezHilton.com for times and places.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

I know what you're thinking, "Wow John, another January birthday. How novel." I get it...but what can I do? I can't control when people were born and it's not like I've been filling my days free climbing and bungee jumping. This is what you get in a "Picture of the Day" blog from me in January.

Besides, this was a special day for birthdays today. Not only was it my Mom's birthday, it was my brother in-law Mike's birthday as well. While I'm sure Mike was in bed early tonight ready to get a jump on the day tomorrow, the Weisbarth's were living it up at Peohe's. It was a nice night at dinner, even if the service left something to be desired, and we had plenty to talk about.

Growing up we always had dinner together as a family and now, obviously, we almost never do. It doesn't make me sad that we don't do it as often...everyone's busy, but it does make me happy when we do get together.

More importantly I know my Mom loves it, and today, that is what was most important.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Out to Dinner

There's not really a whole lot of story to this picture. Just me and a couple of dudes bellied up to the bar waiting for something to eat.

Jack had the kids burger but only ate the bun, Wren ordered the chicken tenders but ended up mostly eating Jack's french fries and I ate everything.

Pretty standard actually.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Birthday Month

I've mentioned in this blog before that January is a very popular birthday month for my group of friends. A few years ago that made for a very busy January on the social calendar. Now-a-days though with so many of my friends busy with things that don't qualify for the "social" calendar, we try to consolidate a bit more. Like tonight for instance.

Tonight a bunch of the January birthday crew went over to our friend (and January b-day girl) Erin Dial's house for an all inclusive birthday dinner. It was perfect. Good food, good friends and a really good football game on TV. My plan for the picture today was to get all the birthday girls together in one photo with me...but I forgot. Worse yet, my photoshop software isn't working right now so I couldn't even fake it.

So instead you get me, Erin and a birthday lemon to represent all the other January b-day's. Hey when life hands you a lemon, take a picture, right?

The Happiest Place on Earth

I'm no scientist, but by my estimation we are in the midst of one of the most mild winters Southern California has seen in years. The sun seems to always be out, the temperature has barely dipped below  68 degrees since football season started and it has only rained once in 2012. Lucky for me that one day of rain came on Saturday...or as I like to call it, "the day I took Megan to Disneyland to meet our dear friends the Gossards who we haven't seen in months".


I haven't been to Disneyland in more then 20 years, this was my big surprise Christmas present to my wife this year...and this is the day it rains?! As they say, timing is everything. Of course despite being completely flabbergasted on the car ride up, we still knew we were going to have fun and that no matter what we would make the best of a bad situation.

But here's the thing, when we got there it stopped raining. The clouds parted, the sun came out and all of a sudden we had Disneyland all to ourselves...mostly. It was awesome! Small lines, manageable crowds, and plenty of Churros.

I don't know how Mickey pulled it off but he managed to save Christmas in January. I guess it really is the Magical Kingdom.

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere

When you don't have to get up and go to work everyday it's easy to become a regular on the happy hour circuit. Couple that with the fact that my previous job kept me unavailable for happy hour the past 5 years and you've got the makings of an All-Pro Happy Hour QB.

That's what I was afraid of.

So in order to keep from sliding down what could be a slippery slope, one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to not drink any alcohol at all during the week. On the weekends...that's another story. Which raises an interesting question, when exactly does the weekend start?

I contest that most people would say the weekend starts when you get off of work on Friday and lasts until you go to bed on Sunday. If you had to put a number on it I would say 5pm Friday until 11pm Sunday night. That sounds fair, right?

All that said, when my former co-worker Jenny Cavnar and I got together for a late lunch this Friday we may have ventured into The Alibi on University for quick after lunch libation. The problem is it was only 3pm, so in the interest of sticking to my resolution, we just imagined ourselves in a neighborhood bar somewhere in Chicago.

Problem solved. Thanks time Central Standard time zone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Take a Load Off

Getting your car worked on is the worst. Whether it's waiting for an oil change or a new clutch, sitting around in some dingy mechanic's waiting room is brutal. I appreciate the work that's being done and I'm thankful for a place to sit but I don't really want to drink 3 day old coffee while perusing last April's Popular Mechanics.

That's why I get my tires done at Costco.

Knock out a couple laps through the food stations, look at an 80" TV and then settle down with my iPad in a nice comfy sectional. It's literally better then being at home.

Now if you could only renew your driver's license there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Resilient

When you have most of your days free like I currently do, you find yourself setting a lot of lunch dates. The problem is, that can get expensive if you're doing it everyday, so you need to be smart about. That usually means finding a place with some solid deals, which is a great strategy...for suckers.

If you really want to be resilient and continue to live the high life then you have to go to lunch with people who get paid to eat for a living...and can pay for your meal as well.

Enter Troy Johnson, food editor at San Diego Magazine.

Troy and I have known each other for a few years now and were even colleagues at Channel 4 back in the day. That ended when the show he was hosting, "Outta Left Field" got cancelled abruptly a few weeks before it's 2nd season was about to start. That cancellation came on the heels of his multi-Emmy Award winning show "Fox Rocks" getting cancelled as well. In the span of a few weeks Troy's professional world got turned on it's head.

So what did Troy do? He reinvented himself as a food writer and eventually parlayed that into hosting a national show on The Food Network. Pretty resilient if you ask me. That's why I asked him to lunch today, I wanted to hear his story and be reminded that often times what we think are endings, are actually great beginnings.

I still made him pay for lunch though.

Ain't Technology Grand?

I did something today I haven't done all year...work. But don't worry I didn't work too hard, just an hour or so and I didn't even leave my house. That last part is the cool part, not that I couldn't stand to get outside a little bit, but it's the technology that allowed me to stay at home that I think is so cool.

Little back story for you, in November I shot a pilot for a show called "UnScrewed" that is being developed for the History Channel. Whether it actually gets picked up our not is a question that won't be answered for another 2 to 9 months...if it does I'll tell you all about it then. For now you just need to know that tonight I had to voice some "pick-ups" for the pilot episode.

That's the part with the cool technology. You see as recently as 2 years ago there is no way I could have recorded broadcast quality voice over's while sitting in my office at home...not without spending a gazillion dollars that is. Now for only about $250 I own the Yeti Pro, a really good microphone that plugs directly into my computer.

That, a couple of pillows, a spoon full of honey and I'm ready to conquer the world. That's how to work.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Didn't See That Coming

I got a text from my buddy Andre today. It basically said that a few of the Dads were getting together at his place tonight with the kids because the ladies were going out and he wanted to know if I would like to stop by. We had been talking about getting together to watch "Swingers" lately so I said sure.

Here's how I honestly thought the night was going to go. Show up at 6:30, have a bite to eat, put the kids to bed then kick back and enjoy the movie while commenting on how skinny Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn were.

Boy am I an idiot.

Here's what parents understand that people like me who don't have kids fail to grasp...when you have kids there is no such thing as "plans". Instead you're reduced to a rough outline, or maybe a thumbnail sketch of an idea. I mean we did all get together and there was food there and the movie was playing on the TV, but the night really didn't go down how I envisioned it. Sure we hit all the bullet points on the outline, it's just the details that were a little off.

We still had a great time and shared plenty of laughs, it just had less to do with the movie we were watching and more to do with the craziness of the night.

Lesson learned.

Tickle Me Elmo...Ya Heard

Kids love Elmo...like a lot.

Burt and Ernie, Big Bird, the Cookie Monster, all good characters...but they don't even hold a candle to Elmo. He's like the Justin Beber of Muppets...he even plays the drums.

So it came as absolutely no surprise that my buddy Guido's 2 year old nephew Jack was having an Elmo themed birthday party tonight. The part that was surprising was just how committed Jack's parents were to executing the theme. Elmo cupcakes, Elmo party hats, Elmo figurines, pin the noise on Elmo, Elmo T-Shirts and every kind of Elmo doll ever created. Pretty easy to understand how that could be a little overwhelming, right?


It was awesome! It turns out it's not just kids who love Elmo...everybody loves that furry little bastard. And what's not to love? He's super humble, he always makes people feel at ease and he's just so damn cute. Of course that last part is not much of a problem when you're 2, but when you're 35...it's different. That's why Guido and I decided to update his look a bit...make him a little edgier.

Mission accomplished. Good thing too, otherwise it would be kind of weird for two grown men to pose with a doll.

Lions on the Prowl

I know what you're thinking...is that the cast of "Ocean's Eleven" or was there a male modeling convention in town this weekend? Don't worry we get that all the time, but the truth of the matter is this was just a long over due boys night out.

I've talked about this before but I really believe the secret to a great romantic relationship is being able to spend time with your friends every once in awhile...without your significant other. On the surface I can see how that sounds counter intuitive, maybe even mean, but it's not. Recognizing the value of maintaining your same sex friendships has nothing to do with choosing "the guys" over your wife or vice versa, and everything to do with being the best possible person you can be. Deep, long lasting friendships like the ones I share with the guys in this picture only help me to be a more well rounded and all around better man. That includes being a better husband.

Lucky for me I have partner in my wife Megan who understands that. Actually it's more then that, she encourages it...and I encourage the same with her.  The end result, in my opinion, is a strong, healthy relationship that will stand the test of time.

Kind of like my friendships with my male modeling buddies.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Things You Do

I don't know if it was because it was Friday the 13th, or because I've got plenty of free time these days, but I found myself in a unique situation this Friday morning. I was at Poway Fun Bowl with Mark Grant and some new friends filming a "movie." I put the word movie in quotes because this wasn't exactly Mission Impossible 4...hell it wasn't even The Treasure. What we were doing was closer to a high school AV Club production...freshman year.

That said it was a pretty fun situation to find myself in. Granted, I didn't have any lines and my only contribution to the film was to show off my "sweet" dance moves (notice the quotes), but it was a good group of people and I guess, a nice resume builder.

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed I don't end up on the cutting room floor.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Burger Renaissance

I know Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie have always gotten credit for being distinctly American, but I contest that Burgers are more popular then at least 2 of those 3...and maybe even all of them. Sorry Mom.

Of course just because something is popular doesn't necessarily means it's beloved, and burgers definitely fell into that category in the 90's and early 2000's. Somewhere between the back yard BBQ and Ronald MacDonald serving more then a billion of them, burgers got a bad wrap. But now all of that is behind us thanks to the emergence of the craft burger.

These days you can't swing a dead cat (again, sorry Mom) without hitting a new specialty burger restaurant. Grass feed beef and sweet potato fries have made the burger cool again. More then that...they've practically made it healthy!

But even with all the really great burgers out there today, my hands down favorite is still the Kilauea Burger from Islands. That's what was for lunch today...and might even be tomorrow. Now if I could just get Islands to take the calorie count off the menu I wouldn't hate myself so much.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Love Parks

About 2.5 million years ago the species Homo (as in Homo Sapiens) appeared, and about 2.3 million years after that humans as we know them (at least anatomically) came into existence...if you believe that kind of thing. But whether you believe that or something else we do know that for a vast majority of that time humans have lived in and around nature. It is only quite recently that most of us have moved into cities.

Now that we're here, we've got parks.

Of course not all parks are created equal. Some are big, some have trees, some just have grass, some don't have any grass at all, but they all have at least one thing in common...they attract people. Maybe we're drawn to them instinctively or maybe people just got tired of playing football in the street, either way people love parks.

Today I put my love of parks on display by having lunch with my buddy Teevan at Rotary Park in Coronado. Except for the table, and the bench, and the fountain, and the traffic driving by, and the "wi-fi hotspot" sign, I'm sure it was exactly the same type of thing that has been going on for the last 2.5 million years.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Debby Date Night

There are a lot of good things about not working...and one very bad thing. This post is about one of the good things...last minute dinner plans with my sister.

After a long day of doing inventory at work Debra needed a night out and I was there to answer the call...happily. You see I was in the middle of cleaning out my closet. Deciding which close were headed for Goodwill and which ones were going back on the hanger. Riveting stuff I assure you.

So we hit up Hip-Hop Sushi and then went to a movie...and it was a blast. We saw the new Mission Impossible flick, which was entertaining, and the sushi is always good at Hip-Hop Sushi, but the thing that was so nice was hanging with my sister. We are 8 years apart so at times growing up, we didn't have all that much in common. My freshmen year of college she was in 5th grade...I wasn't into Purple Dinosaurs and she didn't know what a keg stand was.

Now that she's 27 and I'm 35 though, the world is our oyster. Not only do we have tons in common now and everything to talk about, it turns out she's a pretty cool chick. Obviously I have known that for quite awhile now, but sitting with her tonight I couldn't help but think how proud I was to be her brother.

I love you Debby.

Supercuts...Not Just a Catchy Name

I don't consider myself cheap, or even frugal for that matter, but I will never understand how a haircut can cost more then a $100. Screw that, I don't see how it could cost more then $50.

And just so we are all on the same page here I'm not talking about girl haircuts where you get your hair dyed and get it cut in layers and you get a scalp massage...actually that shouldn't cost more then $50. Maybe I am talking about girl haircuts.

Mainly though, I'm talking about my haircut. A wash, a cut, a scalp massage and maybe even a hot towel on your face. At a salon that would probably cost me $60 to $80, maybe more. At Supercuts it was $26...$32 after the tip.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I did appear in a series of commercials for Supercuts this summer, but they're not paying me to write this and besides that I've been going to the same shop for over a decade. So believe me when I say that I love Supercuts, it is heart-felt.

I've never received a bad haircut, I've never had to make an appointment, the stylists are all experienced, friendly and good at their jobs, and I've never had to spend more then $50.

It really is a super place to get a hair cut

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Growing up the tradition at our house was that the Christmas stuff goes up on the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it comes down on New Years Day. It's a good tradition as far as I'm concerned, in fact it's one I believe in strongly. You have plenty of time with the tree but it's not up obnoxiously early and you get to start the New Year off with a clean slated and an uncluttered house.

Of course that was when my Dad took care of all that stuff. Now that it's up to me and Megan, we've gotten a little lazy. This year the tree went up on Dec 7th and didn't come down until today, Jan 8th.


There's nothing worse then being the last house on the block with all the Christmas lights up. Maybe now I'll finally be able to look my neighbors in the eyes.

Little Willie

Let's just get all the awkwardness out of the way right up front...this looks like a picture of me and my life partner and our new adopted baby. And yes, we look pretty good together, I know.

Now that that is out of the way we can move forward.

What this actually is, is a picture of me and William A. Wolters IV and William A. Wolters V. I'll let you figure out which is which. This weekend was Little Willie's first birthday, and let me tell you he can throw a party. Beer, margaritas, and plenty of cake...but the star of the show was the taco guy.

I love me some tacos! Especially the kind that get cooked up right in front of you street taco style. Normally in a situation like that, I'm good for about 12 tacos. Unfortunately on Saturday I cut myself off at 6.

Stupid New Years Resolutions.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Swell of the Year

I know the year is only 6 days old so calling the swell that is hitting Southern California right now, "The Swell of the Year" is not exactly going out on a limb. But by definition you can't argue with my statement...for now.

How long this monicker remains true is anybodies guess, but I have a feeling it's got some staying power. The beach was packed today with people just watching the surf and anytime the Tourmaline parking lot is full even after the sun has set...that's a good sign.

So I say it's the swell of the year.

Whether you agree or not, I'm not going to loose sleep over it either way. I am however going to loose sleep over the fact that nobody told me I hadn't rubbed in my sunscreen all the way. Awesome, way to have my back surf brothers and sisters.

The Heavy Guilt

Having worked nights for the past 5 years, I've spent the last 5 evenings enjoying things like happy hour, primetime TV, and dinner with friends. As it turns out people do a lot of fun things between 5pm and whenever they go to bed...including the Farley's.

Tonight, the Weisbarth's and Farley's got together to break bread at Leroy's in Coronado. Great food with great friends is always a nice combination, but the cherry on top tonight was "The Heavy Guilt"...which is now officially my new favorite local band. Admittedly we only stayed for about 3 songs, but I liked the 3 that we heard. So did Katherine, so much so in fact that she is now on the bands mailing list and will probably get first crack at tickets for their stadium tour is they ever hit it big.

I guess that is what I have been missing all these nights...a chance to gush over some obscure band with old friends. I could get used to that.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Does This Button Do?

I was at Channel 4 today to collect my things, and more importantly, to pull my "save tapes" off the Channel 4 server. In order to accomplish that I had to go into the super secret server room (the SSSR to you and me) and plug my hard drive directly into the system. Other then feeling completely lost and a little out of place amongst all those fiber optics and patch cords, I had two other distinct feelings.

First I felt a little like James Bond breaking into some evil overlord's lair to hack into his super computer and discover his plans for holding the world hostage.

Second I felt a bit like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz looking behind the curtain. While all the sparkle and theatrics happens out on the set at Ch4, the real work is going on in the SSSR. It's not sexy work...just 1's and 0's buzzing around everywhere...but it is precise work. Which makes it even more surprising to me that they let a hack like myself in there at all.

Good thing I wasn't drinking a martini...which unfortunately makes me Dorthy I guess.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Honey-Do List

One of the things you hear a lot from people who are new to unemployment is that they start to get bored pretty quickly, but not me. It's not like I have been sitting around worried about finding things to do in my downtime, you know? I figure I'm a pretty creative guy, I can fill a few hours during the day no problem.

To be fair though, being home in the middle of the day during the week is not like being home in the middle of the day on the weekend. For one thing there is nothing on TV and a man can only handle so much Facebook. There is also no one else around to waist time with. I can see how the isolation could start to get to people after awhile.

Lucky for me I have a wife that loves me and is concerned about my well being. I'm sure that is why she left me with a solid Honey-Do List today. What can I say...I got one of the goods ones.

Eat your heart out fellas.

Beach Day

Remember how I said this blog wasn't going to be all about me losing my job? It's not I promise, but I do have to mention it one more time.

The reason I bring it up again is because when people know you're losing your job they always ask the same question. What's next? I like to think it's because they are genuinely concerned and really do want to know if you have a plan. It's just not that easy of a question to answer usually. Most of the time you really don't have any idea what's in store for you next.

That's certainly the case for me, so for the past few months leading up to my unemployment anytime someone asked me the question, I gave them my stock answer, "I'm going to the beach on Jan. 2nd".

Guess what, I did...twice.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Here We Go Again

So after taking 2011 off, I decided to bring back the "Picture a Day" blog here in 2012 (pause for thunderous applause).

Why you might ask? Why not...I've got the time. You see for the first time in my adult life I am officially unemployed...but don't worry that's not what this blog is going to be about. In fact, I actually think when historians look back at the year 2012 they'll all agree that this was, "The Year of the Weisbarth".

So what does all that have to do with a bunch of grown men "owling"in a break room in San Jose...you're guess is as good as mine. At least we weren't Tebowing