Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coming Together On This Day

Santa Monica PierImage by szeke via Flickr


It seems this is the magical date for the year - last year it was the start of the Summer Olympic Games (in which opening ceremonies began on 08/08/08 at 8 seconds, 8 minutes past 8 PM local time in Beijing). Nine is no slouch, though, in Chinese culture:

The number 9 (九, Pinyin: jiŭ, jyutping: gau2), being the greatest of single-digit numbers, was historically associated with the Emperor of China; the Emperor's robes often had nine dragons, and Chinese mythology held that the dragon has nine children.

Moreover, the number 9 is a homophone of the word for "longlasting" (久), and as such is often used in weddings.

For us, now, this date includes the re-release of The Beatles remastered library on CD. And yes, I am very much looking forward to this (being a long time Beatle fan - since childhood).

However, that's not it for this day. The other Apple (computer) is doing a related music event this morning, too. That ties together nicely with the boys from Liverpool. Besides all of that, today is also a special one for us that live here in L.A. It is the 100th anniversary of the famed Santa Monica Pier. It remains, after all these years, one of the most loved places among those that live or visit here. Its history is a fascinating trip down memory lane. I was taken there a few times as a child, only to keep going back many times during each decade since (along with my kids - especially over the summer during their camps). Before I married, when I actually lived in Santa Monica, I'd get up at o-dark-thirty to make the Pier's sunrise fireworks display on the 4th of July. Unfortunately, the city of Santa Monica ceased that practice after I married - likely in mourning to the fact I was no longer single [wife: "Dream on."].

Anyway... Happy Birthday to The Pier.

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  1. Doesn't Connelly have a new book coming out that's called Nine Dragons - or am I misremembering once again?

    The SM pier is a place I've always wanted to see. I really like that aerial shot.

  2. You are remembering correctly. MC has Nine Dragons coming in October (which the publishers seemed to have missed the numerical connection and natural tie-in by being a month late). When you finally get out here, it is definitely a place you should take in (and the aerial is a great shot of the pier). Thanks, Corey.

  3. I have been loving the Beatles music on the radio whenever I can today. Oh, such happy memories! Great music! Funny, you forget how much they were apart of your (my) life and then a day like today comes along. Bliss!

  4. Same here, Moondancer. The radio and the web have had a lot of their great tunes this week (and especially today). I so agree. Thanks for your comment.

  5. I see your post here about the pier caught their eyes over at The Rap Sheet blog. Way to go!

  6. Thanks for the heads up, Corey. That's an interesting blog, too. I've added to my blogroll.

  7. I just realized you have Whirlwind in your reading list for this year. What did you think of it?

  8. I really enjoyed the few works of the late Joseph R. Garber. Vertical Run was the first book of his I ever read, and I got into an Andromeda Strain-like spasm to finish it. It's another fun, techno-thriller of the 90's. Same for his last, Whirlwind.

    For that one, I took it in via audiobook. And I really enjoyed Guerin Barry's narration. He's got good range in his vocal characterizations, and a good ability with the enunciation of curse words ;-). Unfortunately, the earlier Vertical Run, performed by the excellent Stephen Lang, is only in the abridged form.

    Your take?

  9. I was crushed when I found out Garber had died. I read Vertical Run a long time ago, like you I kind of spasmed, and I was so happy to find Whirlwind -- in audio! I really enjoyed it. It took some critical bashing over on amazon, but I thought it was a fun, fun read/listen.

  10. Same here, Corey. I kept looking for his stuff and thought he was a writer who just took his time. I think he was a wonderful storyteller and had a knack of using and explaining technology that made it approachable for the reader. Also, I love that Whirlwind begins with this immortal Mark Twain quote:

    A man who tries to carry a cat home by its tail will learn a lesson that can be learned in no other way.

    Thanks, Corey.

  11. I LOVE the pier and these are gorgeous photos. Every time I have out-of-town guests, I take them here and it's fun for all ages. I didn't know there used to be 4th of July fireworks; too bad they don't do that anymore.

  12. PCN: it's a great place to go (whether you're in- or out-of town). And the few years they did the fireworks at sunrise on the 4th were great. Of all of the fireworks shows I've attended over the years, those there at dawn were the best. Thanks for your comment, Elyse.