San Diego Music; Vienna Teng, Livia Sohn

On a walk around Lago Lindo, our local lake After last weekend's benefit concerts, Vienna, Marika, Alan, and I flew down to San Diego for a music-filled few days. On Sunday night, Vienna performed at the Lamb's Players Theater in Coronado. Livia had already been down in San Diego for a series of concerts, and she, Wendy, Steve and Hiro Drogin, my parents, and I headed down from North County San Diego to see her perform.

The Lamb's Players Theater is a great venue; the acoustics were good (although I think Vienna could have come up a bit more in the mix), and there wasn't a bad seat in the house. By sheer coincidence, Wendy, Livia and I ended up sitting directly behind two family friends! Small world. Also in the house were Joe and Heidi (two divers I met in the Solomon Islands), and uberfans Paul and David.

After the show, we walked down the street to the Brigantine for some food. I like Marika. She's full of life.

Spent the next couple of days hanging out at home with family and friends. Geoff, Livia, and Vienna stayed with us, and it was sort of like being with extended family (and we all felt warm and fuzzy and stuff). Mom and Dad took us (Wendy, Vienna, Livia, Geoff, Eryn, Carey, and me) for a huge Chinese feast at a place in Rancho Bernardo. Weird that there is good Chinese food way out east. It was there that we discovered that Eryn is Geoff's idol. And so the next day, I took Geoff to see Eryn at SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment Online), where we saw a motion capture session for a basketball game in development. We also played around on two Sony PSP dev units. Games are cool.

On Tuesday, Livia played Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido (or, "Ess-COHN-DEE-doh," as Livia says) in an outreach concert for local hispanic families. I love Livia's playing. My absolute favorite part of the Mendelssohn is when the bow -- and music -- sort of... "lifts off" in the arpeggios of the cadenza. She pulled it off in a spectacular way, and both Geoff and I emitted little laughs of disbelief at how cool it was. The only problem with the show was that the presenters talked way too much. Also, no one told Livia that she was going to have to answer questions up on stage, so ... it was a little awkward. LESS TALK + B.S., MORE MUSIC.

We drove back up to the Bay Area on Wednesday, a brutal drive that Geoff took the brunt of. What made the drive better was that all of California is infused in a lush green at the moment (from all of the rain). It's amazing, and I've never seen it like this. In fact, during a drive down to Ensenada last month, we noticed that even the coast of Baja California is covered in green. The desert wildflowers must be epic/beautiful this year. Too bad I'm too busy to go check 'em out.

OH YEAH. After Livia's show, we (Livia, Geoff, Wendy, Eryn and I) had dinner down the street at 150 Grand Cafe, which was excellent. It's probably the best food I've had in San Diego. Most food in San Diego tastes like San Diego food, but 150 Grand's food tastes like metropolitan food. I think that's the best I can describe it. :)