Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 1 - Coachella

Recap of yesterday (Day 1 of Coachella)

We took an alternate back route to avoid the traffic and it was a life saver getting in and out of Coachella quickly. (Read other accounts that it took 2 hours due to all the mad congestion.) We got there at about 5:30 PM. They did a much better job this year of identifying the tents by posting marques outside each tent listing all the artists and show times. But for some reason this year they didn't use the numbered balloons to identify parking. We were in Lot 4 and luckily there were signs with arrows posted on fences, marking the way, and by using landmarks (and a water bottle on top of our car), we were able to locate our car.

Since we got there late, we didn't have to deal with the heat for that long, as it started cooling down an hour or so after we got there. Although that meant we also missed the two first bands on my pick list. But we did surprisingly well seeing many of the artists on my list (5) , walking by and seeing two others, and a couple extra that I hadn't planned on seeing.

Artists bolded below are the ones we saw

· Black Kids
· Architecture in Helsinki
· Vampire Weekend
· Tegan and Sara
· Goldfrapp
· The Verve
· Jack Johnson (walked by)
· Fatboy Slim
· Black Lips* (walked by)

The other 2 acts we saw that weren't on my list
· Santogold
· Aphex Twins

2 bands I enjoyed the most

· Teagan and Sara (ditzy but talented twin sisters. I could do without their silly banter that seemed to go on and on and on - but they've got great songs and a distinctive sound that holds up well in an outdoor concert setting.)
· The Verve (It felt like a real mega concert with a polished, seasoned band - and it was great to see the band reunited.)

Everyone was prepared for the heat (or I should say almost everyone), but after the sun went down it got progressively colder, and we saw a lot people who were not prepared for the desert cold. Being a "seasoned Coachella veteran" as U. calls me (although this year I forgot my ID which is required for the beer garden) I came prepared for the heat and cold. It always amazes me how drastic the temperature change is in the desert - going from sweltering hot during the day to freezing cold at night. This year, even with my fleece jacket it was chilly. I felt for those people freezing in their bathing suits.

When we first got there, U. made a comment about people thinking we were old folks with our hats and sunscreen. I replied that I'd rather be old and prepared than young and stupid. Just then I looked up and saw a young guy with a tank top and an awful 3rd degree burn. Even though he was no longer wearing his tank top, with his burn you could see the outline of it on my chest and shoulders. Just nuts. That's cancer time.

By evening's wrap up, we decided to go see Fat Boy Slim. He came on 30 minutes late, which is pretty unusual by Coachella standards. If I had known he was going to be so late, I would have gone and seen a couple other acts playing at the same time. But the tent was packed and it would have been hard to exit and then come back in and find our group of friends again. When Fat Boy Slim finally took the stage, he had a lot of energy and the crowd went crazy so it was a lot of fun.
I'm going to go for a swim now and head out to Coachella this afternoon for Day 2. Going to try and get there a bit earlier today so we can catch Devotchka at 3:35. More updates coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

C-ya @ Coachella 2008!

It's that time of year again - the Coachella Music and Arts Festival at the Indio Polo fields in Coachella. I drove up last night and here I am this morning sitting on a couch in a beautiful home in Palm Springs with wifi, sipping my Chai latte, thinking about all the bands/artists I want to see at Coachella (and the cool art installations)...without any stress. The rat race seems miles away. Yeeessss!

This year we're doing it the right way
House in nearby Palm Springs with a pool for 4 days - check
Babysitter for 3 days (while the baby frolics in the pool we'll be having our own fun) - check
Friends sharing the house and excitement - check

Not only am I super stoked about this year's lineup, but it also feels like a real vacation even though it's only a 2.5 hours from home.

I'm also prepared with my handy dandy spreadsheet - of all the bands/artists I want to see sorted by times and locations. I'm an organized geek fer shizzle.

Dunno how many we will actually see, but here are my picks for Coachella 2008.


  • Black Kids
  • Architecture in Helsinki
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Goldfrapp
  • The Verve
  • Jack Johnson
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Black Lips*


  • Devotchka*
  • MGMT
  • Cold War Kids
  • Kate Nash
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • MIA
  • Portishead
  • Prince

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Being a minority isn't always a bad thing

If you've ever been in the minority you've experienced that feeling of "one of these things doesn't belong with the others". I know first hand what it feels like. I've been the token Asian on many occasions and there are only two places in the world where I've felt my Asian/European heritage is completely accepted and understood (Hawaii and San Francisco).

Tonight I was a minority but it felt completely different. U. and I went to The Flying Leap Cafe in Silverlake for dinner, and when I looked around the restaurant I realized we were only one of two heterosexual couples in the entire restaurant. In fact, I only saw 2 other women - the waitress and another patron. There were older men, middle aged men, men in their 30's - you get the picture. ALL men.

When I mentioned it to U. afterwards; he hadn't even noticed. (He thought the two older men seated next to us were just old friends.) I noticed it because I'm usually in the minority for completely different reasons. I have no qualms about being in the company of gay men. In fact I love LA and living in a city with great diversity. I think it's good for all people to feel what it feels like to be a minority. We'd have less racism and more tolerance.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Marilyn Monroe had a sex tape?

This is what happens when you're up at 3 AM with insomnia folks.

A secret sex tape of Marilyn Monroe recently sold for $1.5 million, according to a report in the New York Post.

A copy of the 15 minute, 16 mm film was purchased by a New York businessman who plans to lock it up, memorabilia collector Keya Morgan told the paper. The original film is reportedly held by the FBI and still remains classified.

The flick, reportedly shot in the 1950s, shows the blonde bombshell engaging in oral sex with an unidentified male. Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly had his agents spend weeks trying to ascertain whether the man was either John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy, the paper said.

The silent black-and-white flick shows Monroe on her knees, clothed, in front of a man whose face is just out of the shot.He never moves into the shot, indicating that he knew the camera was there, but Monroe never looks at the lens, said Morgan, who saw the footage.The collector said he found the film while doing research for a Monroe documentary.

One of Monroe's ex-husbands, the late baseball great Joe DiMaggio, once tried to buy it from the collector for $25,000 but "he would not part with it," according to FBI files on Monroe that are available on the FBI Web site.

Morgan is a well-known collector who owns memorabilia from the estates of Monroe and DiMaggio and said he was friends with Monroe's other two husbands, Jim Dougherty and Arthur Miller.

He said he learned of the existence of the film while working on a documentary about Monroe, who died in August 1962 at age 36. A former FBI agent told him about it, and Morgan said he confirmed it by tracking down the son of the FBI informant, who had provided a copy to the FBI.

"I thought the FBI agent was embellishing it for my documentary. I never believed it once until I pulled up the FBI document (referring to the film)," Morgan said.

The late informant's son had the original while the copy remains classified in the FBI files, said Morgan, whose deal was first reported by the New York Post on Monday.

"The FBI agent that I interviewed said J. Edgar Hoover was completely obsessed. A team of nine individuals were analyzing the tape inside a lab. J. Edgar Hoover brought in a few prostitutes who allegedly had been with President Kennedy and they tried to ... see if that was really President Kennedy."

Heavily redacted, declassified FBI documents from the 1960s talk about a "French-type" film starring the late actress, who died in 1962 from an overdose of prescription drugs.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Computer Woes

I am still alive, but posting has been at an all time low since my laptop has been out of commission.

My 1 year old laptop wouldn't turn on - so after having spent 5 hours on hold with Toshiba customer service (Note to self: NEVER buy from Toshiba again.), I was referred to a computer repair shop in Burbank to get the power adapter repaired.

When I finally got my laptop home I was thrilled that it turned on, but soon realized that anytime I typed, I'd get a pop up. I took it to a hacker friend of mine (who now does corporate anti-piracy work as an Executive) and he told me I had a virus. He recommended backing up the docs that I needed (making sure the virus wasn't hiding out in each one), and then reinstalling everything. Ouch. And also to let Toshiba know that the repair shop had infected my computer with a virus.

U. questioned whether Toshiba's customer service was as bad as I had described (I cannot count the number of times they "transferred" me only to have no one pick up on the other end), so he tried calling himself and spent 2 hours being transferred over and over again. A "See I told you" was justifiably doled out. Rather than helping like a good customer service should do, they basically told him that he would need to reinstall everything himself. Thanks for wasting 2 hours of my time. Oh wait, 7 hours if you count the first time I called. Yes, I'm bitter. I have never experienced such bad customer service from a computer company. (When I had a laptop by Gateway, their customer service was excellent. They shipped out a box to my house for my computer and paid for the shipping, which was so convenient for me. When it was fixed it was delivered to my house. I spoke to 1 person and didn't have to drive anywhere.)

So now we're in the process of transferring the docs I need to a hard drive, and wiping out all the programs and reinstalling. It's taking awhile, so I have limited computer access when I'm at home.

Fort Knox

At my previous job we had security galore. A security badge was required to get into the building and/or sign in at the lobby desk. Security badge required for the elevators, and then again at each floor to be granted entrance. Even to this day vendors who I talk to say it's very difficult to get to my previous employer's offices, as they have to go to reception on the 6th floor, let the receptionist know who they are there to see, and then someone would come down from the 7th floor to meet them.

So now I work for a firm with much less ado about security. You need a security badge to get into the building, but that's about it. You'd think this would be better right?


I went to the office this morning (Sunday) to try and get some work done and the place was inaccessible. My security card did not do the trick. I guess I have to let someone know when I plan to come in on the weekends so I can get pre-authorized access. That was never an issue with my previous firm. They had a number of check points but with my badge I could whiz on through. Now I only have 1 checkpoint and the place was locked down like Fort Knox. Oh the irony.