Friday, April 29, 2016

Up Above the World So High

The view from the City Club
The City Club Los Angeles is located in the City National Building at 555 S. Flower Street, in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.  It's on the 51st floor, so there is a brief, stomach-dropping ride in an elevator up to the lobby, and a spectacular view once you arrive.

The Club is sleek and modern, but welcoming in its design
The Club, according to the website I looked at, is "the place where diverse community and business leaders come to connect, network, and do business".

My co-workers, Barbara and Carmen
In my case, it was the place where the administrative staff of our company was taken for breakfast on Administrative Professionals Day, April 27th.

My boss, Joel, and Juan, the Company CFO
My company has historically done fun and generous things on Administrative Professionals Day, and this year was no exception.  We had a lovely time up on the 51st floor!

The view, even on a smoggy day, was sensational!
I'm lucky to work with nice, kind people I truly enjoy spending time with.  When we go places together, the conversation is lively.  I consider myself blessed in that regard.

The menu was varied.

The City Club Breakfast menu
Nikita ordered the omelet with veggies in it.  That looked very good.

3-egg Omelet with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms

I went more basic, and ordered scrambled eggs with applewood smoked bacon, hashbrowns and toast.

Scrambled eggs and hash browns
Others went for the blueberry pancakes.  The pancakes were very popular.

The blueberry pancakes are a specialty
It was a pleasant meal in very nice circumstances.

Veronica from Accounting, and Suria, our Corporate Marketing Director
I kept snapping photos on the sly.  Some turned out better than others.

Jimmy, our company President, and Nikita, from Corporate Marketing
The club is actually the penthouse of the City National building and there are windows in all directions.  We had to wander around and tour the Club after breakfast.

Looking straight down was scary
I'm not sure how a cigarette ended up lodged on the outdoor ledge.  You can see the plaza below reflected in the building next door.  My former boss once took us to another restaurant in nearby Pershing Square. I'm not all that familiar with downtown Los Angeles, actually, even after 30 years of living in this area.  I tend to avoid it because of the crazy traffic and one-way streets.

Many helicopter pads were visible across the skyline below us
The air looked dirty that day.  Only a few days earlier, high winds had made the sky a clear, pristine blue.

There always comes a moment, for me, when up in a tall building like this here in California, where I start thinking, 'Man, I sure hope there isn't a strong earthquake while I'm up here!'

That would not be fun.

Coincidentally, I watched all of this being destroyed fairly recently, watching an old John Cusack disaster movie called "2012".  These buildings crashed and fell apart very dramatically in that film. Nice CGI, but not fun in real life.  I'll pass.

A bird's eye view of downtown
The place had a photo booth in it!  Suria and Nikita got silly and took some photos.

Nikita's shoes are visible as she and Suria take silly photos

Photo booths seem to bring out peoples' inner child.  There was a lot of giggling involved.

We spent a great deal of time just marveling at the view.

Joel, Jimmy, Juan and Barbara enjoying the view
Across the way, we could see orange-vested workers installing windows on the Korean Air skyscraper currently being built.  They are tiny specks of orange just above the window line straight across and a couple of floors up from where we were standing.

This is also the building (below) where a worker recently jumped off and committed suicide.  That was a grim thought as we stood there watching the building progress.  I don't think there is enough money in the world to get me to work on a building like that!  We could see the workmen were tethered with safety harnesses - even so, it looked very scary.  I guess I'm a bit afraid of heights!

If you squint you can see workers in orange vests next door 
As we toured, we saw the grand ballroom, and the Tom Bradley room (below) where ladies were decorating with cheerful pink flowers, as well as some small cacti, for a luncheon later that morning. They and their flower trolley are just out of camera range to the left.

The Tom Bradley Room
What a fun time we had up there on the 51st floor!  It was a lot of fun to see.  And all things considered, I'm sure happy to work in a building much closer to the ground, thank you very much.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 1, 2016

It's that time again!

The Conference Center in Salt Lake

It's spring!  It's April!  It's time for LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City!  It's that special weekend that comes every six months where I can wear my jammies to church... so to speak!

Yes, all General Conference sessions are broadcast via BYU-TV, or on the internet at, so they can be watched in the privacy of your own home.

Spring has brought us such a nice surprise...
Sessions are broadcast live - in California they will be from 9a-11a and 1p-3p PST on both Saturday and Sunday.

This is a great time to check out a Mormon church service without actually having to attend church in person.

Or, consider it a treat to hear a prophet speak and give direction to us for the next 6 months.

The Salt Lake Temple grounds are in full bloom for April Conference
 Very often it snows for Conference.  This year, however, I hear they are expecting delightful temperatures.
The iconic Salt Lake Temple
I look forward to Conference every six months.  It's a break from my usual church going, sure, but it's also a time to hear from some very wonderful people who are inspired in the messages they provide us for our time.

My friend Don on the Temple Grounds
My friend Don sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  They are a pretty awesome choir.  They will be performing throughout the services this weekend.  It's really a treat to tune in just to hear them sing.

You can also play "Where's Don?" with me.  (Hint: He's usually on the right in the front row of the choir.)

Among other speakers, some, or most, of these wonderful men will also be speaking (below). Behold the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.  They are regarded as prophets, seers and revelators by the church membership.  I have a great love for these selfless guys.  Particular favorites of mine are Jeffrey R. Holland and Russell M. Nelson.

But oh-my-heck (to use an old Utah expression), I love them all.

Here is the General Relief Society Presidency (below).  Some of these terrific ladies will also be addressing us.

And, of course, there will be words of encouragement and comfort from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.  He is now 88 years old.  I don't think he's been doing very well physically since his beloved wife passed away.

He is by no means the oldest of the general authorities, though!  President Nelson is 92!

Tune in and hear for yourself.  I promise you, you will feel uplifted and edified.

Whatever you do,