JJ Saw His First Waterfall… and There’s Video!

January 27, 2019

I took JJ on a great hike to Switzer Falls.

And here’s the little YouTube video of JJ splashing around in the pool, fetching sticks! Spoiler alert: It’s adorable. Read the rest of this entry »

We Went to a Great Hiking Trail… and Did a Lot More Than Just Hike!

October 24, 2017

A few days ago, a couple friends and I went to Veterans Memorial Park in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sylmar. It’s at the edge of the Angeles National Forest, and after just a little while, you’re surrounded by nature and quickly forget you’re next to the second-largest city in the country. But we came to do more than just hike. We came to conquer this hill:

Photographs don’t do this hill justice. It’s steep. For about a tenth of a mile, it shoots up at Read the rest of this entry »

My Latest Epic and Historical Hike: To An Abandoned Gold Mine Near Los Angeles!

May 31, 2017

There’s gold in them thar hills! Well, there used to be. And miners used this tunnel to dig it out of the San Gabriel Mountains.

My long Memorial Day weekend began with a fantastic hike to this gold mine, known as the Dawn Mine, in the mountains north of Altadena, California. I went with two friends, Mark and Brian, and it ended up being a half-day adventure! Read the rest of this entry »

An Epic Hike To The Highest Point in Los Angeles

December 30, 2015

Here’s something I don’t do every day: Climb a ladder up a cell tower, rising from the top of a mountain!


Don’t worry, mom, I only climbed 15 feet or so. The tower wasn’t fenced off. I couldn’t resist!

The climb happened at the summit of Mt. Lukens, a place I’ve wanted to go for quite some time. The top of Mt. Lukens is 5,066 above sea level, and it’s technically (and barely) within the Read the rest of this entry »

My Halloween Weekend… In Pictures

November 2, 2015

I’ve got lots of photos, so I’ll try to keep my words brief. (Good luck to me – brevity isn’t my strong suit!) First, the biggest headline: I didn’t dress up for Halloween. I actually haven’t dressed up since 2011, when I went to a party as Jared Fogel (the Subway guy). Now, just thinking of him makes me shiver in repulsion and disgust, so… man oh man, do I know how to pick a costume!

The most seasonally festive thing I did this weekend was go to…


a CORN MAZE! You all know how much I love mazes – I even sell my hand-drawn themed mazes on Etsy – so navigating my way through Read the rest of this entry »

PHOTOS! Part Two

March 25, 2011

Hey!  Do you notice anything new about my website?  I have a new header!  The photo on the left is from 2007.  The photo on the right was taken earlier this month by Mike Rozman.  What do you think?

Earlier this week, I posted some new, awesome photos of myself, taken by the brilliant Mike Rozman (check out his website – he’s in the process of overhauling it, but the photo gallery is up, and it’s amazing).

Here are the rest.

The third one is my favorite of all of them, I think.  For now.  I notice new things about them all the time, so the one that’s my favorite rotates a lot.

Read about what the photo shoot was like here.


Keep it up, David!

PHOTOS! Part One

March 22, 2011

I’m so flippin’ excited to publish this post I could scream!

A couple weeks ago, my friend Mike Rozman and I hiked out to a burned-out bridge in the Angeles National Forest for a photo shoot.  You can read all about that day here. Mike is an mind-bogglingly talented photographer (which you’ll soon see for yourself, but you should also definitely check out his website), and here are a few of the photos that Mike took of me that day.  I’ll post the other ones later this week.

I can’t adequately describe the feeling that came over me when I first opened the file Mike sent that contained these images.  I was overcome.  I was stunned.  I’m glad I was sitting, because I would’ve been knocked off my feet.  I thought for a split second there had been some mistake – is that really me? Yep, it’s me all right!  I saw myself in a new way, and the pride that washed over me… well, it made me cry.  I’m man enough to admit that.

So I’ll stop rambling now, and let the photos speak for themselves:

Oh man, I’m tearing up again.

Keep it up, David!

Photo Shoot

March 5, 2011

It’s been raining intermittently in Los Angeles for the past few weeks.  Luckily, though, on Friday, the skies cleared up and it was a beautiful, warm day.  I say luckily, because I had an outdoor photo shoot!

My friend Mike is an amazing photographer (Check out his website here), in addition to being a really sweet, funny, good guy (sorry, ladies and gents, he’s married).  I’ve been thinking a lot in recent months about how much I’ve changed, physically and in other ways, during the past year, and how wonderful it would be to have a few kick-ass photographs that illustrate that.  So when I saw Mike a few months ago, I asked if he’d be willing to snap a few pictures, and he said he would!

Last night, I picked out a few outfits and steamed them, and today, I went and met Mike.  We brainstormed a few ideas on where to go, since we wanted to be outdoors, and we settled on a part of the Angeles National Forest.  It’s only about 20 minutes away, and I had gone there on a hike with my friend Tavi in November (you can read about it here) and loved it.  There’s a burned-out bridge (thank you, Station Fire, the largest forest fire in Los Angeles County recorded history), some other ruins that are much older, a creek, and it’s really beautiful.

Here are some pics.  These are from the hike in November – they’re NOT Mike’s photos from today.  He’s gonna send those to me soon, and I’ll definitely post them.

This is the trail you take to head into the forest.  Because of all the rain in the past few months, it was a lot greener today:

The burned-out bridge:

Every so often there’s remnants of stone walls and foundations – making me extremely curious about what these structures were, and when they were built:

There’s also lots of dead trees that didn’t survive the fire:

It took me and Mike about 30 minutes to hike down to the burned-out bridge, and then it was time to shoot some photos.  I’ll be quite honest and say that I was kinda nervous – some people are naturally very photogenic, and I’m not saying I’m not, I’m just saying it doesn’t come easy for me.  Mike was very helpful and very patient and tried a few different tactics to try to get me to relax.  We tried a bunch of different set-ups – on the bridge, under the bridge, sitting, standing, leaning, and it took me a little while, but I think I loosened up.  What really helped was focusing on a piece of music, and letting it get stuck in my head, because then I was thinking about that, and not what I should be doing and tensing up and getting self-conscious.

The song I let get stuck in my head is one of favorites, and it’s called “Lay Your Head Down” by Keren Ann.  When it’s stuck in my head, it’s stuck at a much slower tempo than its actual tempo.  You can hear it, and watch the music video, here.

After the bridge, we stopped at one of the stone wall ruins, and took a bunch of photos where I’m leaning against or sitting on top of a dead-ivy-covered wall.  Then we pulled out the ladder and I leaned against the top step – oh no wait, I’m thinking of my brother’s high school senior photo from the early ’90s.

Mike showed me a few of the photos on the little screen on his camera, and HOLY SHIT, I can’t wait to see the full-sized versions.  I really had very little to say – they almost struck me speechless.  You’ll definitely want to check back in with the blog in the coming days/weeks, because I’ll be posting them here!

As I type this, it’s now about 1:30am on Saturday, March 5th, which means 2 things:

  • 1) It’s technically my birthday.  I’m 32 years old now.
  • 2) The deadline has passed to enter my Birthday Giveaway Contest.  It looks like I have close to 50 entries, although I haven’t cross-referenced them yet to see if everyone followed the rules – I’m serious about disqualifying the slackers!  I’m gonna take the remaining 22.5 hours off from blogging, so no new posts until Sunday, when I’ll reveal the winner.  Maybe it’s you!?

Oh, and I ended up having a bonus workout today!  I worked out when I woke up, doing 15 minutes of free weights, 45 minutes on a recumbent bike, and 15 minutes ofabs/push-ups, and then Mike and I ended up hiking to get to our photo shoot location!  It was about 30 minutes to get to and from the bridge – so another hour of exercise, all up- and downhill…

…Keep it up, David!

My Weekend Workouts

November 7, 2010

I had two fantastic workouts this weekend – and neither was in a gym.

Saturday: Yesterday I planned on heading to the gym, but as I was walking to the car, I realized what a beautiful day it was.  It wasn’t too hot (like it had been all week), and there was a nice breeze – a rare occurrence in the valley.  So I decided to forgo the gym, and headed out on a run.  I didn’t really think about a route or destination – I just walked a few blocks to warm up, and then started running.  I felt great, and seemed to keep up a swift pace.  I had great music, and used it to push myself – telling myself I wouldn’t check the clock until after the next song was over, and when that song ended, I pushed myself to go yet another song before checking the clock.

I made it close to 40 minutes before glancing at the clock for the first time, about 10 minutes longer than I thought.  After 50 minutes, I still felt pretty good, and decided to see if I could go an hour without stopping.  And I did!  60 minutes on the nose, without stopping – not at stoplights, not to catch my breath, never!  When I made back to my condo after cooling down, I immediately plugged my route into Google Maps:

The total distance was 5.1 miles!  My impromptu jog ended up being my most successful run ever in terms of distance and time.  Here’s how it compares:

  • 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 41 minutes.  MPH: 4.53
  • 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 4.4
  • 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles.  Time: 40 minutes.  MPH: 4.8
  • 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 36 minutes.  MPH: 5.16
  • 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.1

Sunday: I woke up pretty sore from the run, but I stretched and went with my friend Tavi for a hike.  I had read online about a waterfall you could hike to, called Switzer Falls, so we headed towards La Canada to the trailhead.  We didn’t get far.  The road leading into the Angeles National Forest, where the trail was, was closed, and bad been for months – thanks to last year’s Station Fire, a wildfire that raged in the forest for almost 2 months, scorching 250 square miles.  So we improvised a Plan B, parked in a neighborhood, and hiked a different trail that skirted the border the Angeles National Forest.

At first, I wasn’t hopeful about this alternate route being a very exciting hike, mainly because at the beginning, it wasn’t very scenic:

But after we had wandered away from civilization, it turned out to be quite magnificent.  There was lots of new growth that had popped in the year since the fire, and tons of dead, burned trees and logs, plus rocks and mountains and a rambling stream.  Some more photos:

Here’s me on a rock:

It’s so cool to think that we were walking through this beautiful landscape and still only, like, 20 minutes from home in the heart of the city.  That’s southern California for ya!

There was a wooden bridge over a creek that had burned in the fire, leaving behind just the steel supports.  Here’s me going across one of the beams:

We had to cross the creek a couple times, and I got a shot of Tavi mid-leap:

And next is a shot of Tavi where you can see his face:

This was right around the spot, where, on the way back, we came across an old man who had just taken all his clothes off to go swimming in the river.  We saw him stripping as we approached on the trail, and decided to start talking loudly, hoping he was hear us approaching and cover up or something.  I kept my eyes on the trail in front of me.

In all, our hike lasted a little over 2 hours, and between it and the hour-long run on Saturday, I got more than my fill of Vitamin D!

Keep it up, David!