Tuesday, July 31, 2007

M.I.A. - Paper Planes (Kala Album)

Recorded in India, Trinidad, Australia, London, New York and Baltimore, M.I.A. has crafted an international sound that is as excitingly undefinable as it is infectious.

The first single from the "Kala" album, "Boyz" was just listed at #1 on Rolling Stone's Hot List, and the #1 song of the month in Blender magazine.

"Electrifying" - The New York Times

The "Kala" album is due out August 20th, 2007.

Listen to the track called "Paper Planes". (This is a fan-made Youtube video that was just posted yesterday.) Nic Harcourt played it this morning on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic". It's such a good song.

Where are they now? - Lou Diamond Phillips

“This September, CAMELOT rises once again for a brief shining moment, high on the hill, at UCLA’s magnificent Royce Hall. If you find yourself longing for CAMELOT these days, make plans to relive one of Broadways’s most beloved musicals in a glorious new production starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Arthur the legendary king. Tony-nominated for his Broadway performance in The King and I, Phillips will wear the Crown in one of history’s greatest love stories.”

At first when I saw this e-mail announcement today, I thought it was a joke (i.e., photoshop). But then I realized it's legit coming from Broadway/LA. (I'm on their mailing list.) I had no idea that Lou Diamond Phillips has been doing musicals lately on Broadway. I knew he could sing, from La Bamba, but I never pictured him in musical theater. The last movie I saw him in was "The First Power" a horror movie, back in 1991. According to imdb.com, he's also currently shooting "Aquaman" the TV series, playing the role of Aquaman's father.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Graffiti in Los Angeles: Art, Vandalism or Both?

Today "Which Way, LA?" on KCRW (89.9 FM) featured a story about LA's graffiti.This hit home for me as I remember seeing the beautiful murals along the freeway in Downtown LA as a kid, but now they're so badly defaced that they're sad to look at. I also feel sorry for the local mom and pop shops in my neighborhood that have to constantly paint their walls to cover over the graffiti. (Sometimes it's good when it rains in LA - it keeps the taggers away.)

Dan Freeman, (the Maintenance Deputy for California Department of Transportation’s District 7) acknowledged that the California Department of Transportation has spent almost $2 Million dollars in the past two years restoring murals defaced by graffiti, and they can't keep up. He said that most of the murals in LA were done around the 1984 Olympics and they were painted low enough to the ground where they're easy access for taggers. He said they haven't figured out a way to remove the graffiti without removing the art, so they just leave the graffiti.

They also interviewed Steve Grody: Author of 'Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art'

Book Description

"Long before graffiti was adopted as the visual expression of hip-hop culture in the 1980s, Chicano gang members in East Los Angeles had been developing stylized calligraphy and writing on walls. Cholo (gangster) scripts became the first distinctive letter forms to evolve in the modern vernacular tradition of graffiti writing. Today Los Angeles writers of diverse backgrounds draw from a unique confluence of cultures that has led to regionally distinctive styles.

Graffiti L.A. provides a comprehensive and visual history of graffiti in Los Angeles, as well as an in-depth examination of the myriad styles and techniques used by writers today. Complementing the main text, interviews with L.A.’s most prolific and infamous writers provide insight into the lives of these fugitive artists. Essential to the understanding of the development of the graffiti movement, this book will be an invaluable source to graffiti fans around the world."

Graffiti Lingo

  • Taggers have a signature and call themselves "writers" (not "artists").
  • "Throw-Ups" - blow up letters thrown up onto a wall.
  • "Piece" short for masterpiece - more elaborate art done by a graffiti artist.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Take Advantage of the "Santa Barbara Car Free" Discounts

While researching logistics for a wine tasting trip to Santa Barbara, I came across the "Santa Barbara Car Free" program which offers discounts on train tickets to SB as well as many other discounts.

The SB Car Free Project's Mission
"To encourage car free, carefree transportation to and around Santa Barbara for cleaner air."

I signed up online and the packet with the promotional code came in the mail. The packet also included a couple maps of SB. So if you don't need a map, but just want to get the discount asap - Merry Christmas!

Use the promotional code H636 and save 20% on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to and from all Santa Barbara train stations. (Three day advance purchase is required, and the offer is valid through December 13, 2007.) Participating SB hotels, restaurants, and tour companies also offer discounts and incentives (i.e., discounts of 10% to 25%, free dessert).

See official terms and conditions at http://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/

Note: Amtrak's online ticketing system wasn't registering the promotional code - I kept getting an error message - so I called their toll free number - 1-800-USA-RAIL and the friendly agent had no problems finding it their system. I purchased the tickets over the phone and she sent me an e-mail confirmation.

A round trip ticket from LA to Santa Barbara is just $40 (with the discount). It's a great deal. A full tank of gas costs more than that; plus you can enjoy a relaxing 2.5 hour train ride to Santa Barbara with no hassles or traffic, with one less polluting car on the road. Take advantage!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Movie - "Knocked Up"

"Knocked Up" is quite possibly the best date movie for couples. The movie is sweet, witty, and laugh out loud funny.
Written and directed by Judd Apatow ("The 40 Year Old Virgin", "Anchorman"), the movie stars Katherine Heigl (from Grey's Anatomy) and Seth Rogen. It also has a lot of actors from the cult television series, "Freaks and Geeks".Harold Ramis has a cameo where he plays the dad of Seth Rogen's character. The scene where father and son have a heart to heart is pure genius comedy writing.

Here's the trailer on YouTube.

It's a true "he said/she said" movie.

He Said
My husband found the running joke with the "bet" to be hilarious.

Ben Stone: "Your face looks like Robin Williams' knuckles."

She Said
I found the scene where the older sister mixes up the pregnancy tests and erroneously thinks she's pregnant - again! - and freaks out for a minute - to be so honest and real that it tickled my funny bone.

We Said
We both found the pink-eye scene to be so funny that you're not allowed to drink and watch that scene at the same time without risking it shooting out your nose.

Urban Legend?
Which reminds me...I still have to research if pink eye can really be transmitted like that. (Don't want to spoil the punch line if you haven't seen it yet.)

Damages - a new FX series starring Glenn Close

I finally watched the season premiere of "Damages" that I've been hearing so much about. (I recorded it on Tuesday.) Let me just say - this was the most suspenseful TV I've seen in a LONG time. I was on the edge of my seat - I mean couch - and was impressed with the creative writing with it's twists and turns. For a show that starts at 10 PM, it's worth staying up for. Even my husband who usually falls asleep midway through shows after an exhausting day at the office stayed awake. It's not predictable, formula TV - I had no idea what would happen next which kept me on my TV viewing toes.

Cadillac sponsored the premiere episode so the entire 1st episode was shown commercial free. Pretty cool. They had Glen Close standing with a Cadillac at the end talking about her sponsor, but it wasn't overkill.

At 60, Glenn Close is really hitting her stride with this performance. She plays this role with a lot of depth like a movie actress, not a TV actress and her character is multifaceted and intriguing.

Here's the promo on YouTube.

Other Reviews
Los Angeles Times describes Glenn Close as playing "the most beautifully vicious and complicated woman on any screen since Bette Davis stopped making movies."

Advertising Age's review titled, "FX Lets Glenn Close Loose in 'Damages'" describes the show as promising to be "a pretty heady ride -- from the opening scene of a bloody, terrified Ellen Parsons running in the street to the sound of 'White Stripes' very appropriate song "I Think I Smell A Rat" at the end. "

FX Channel - Tuesdays at 10 p.m. for 13 weeks.

Description Of The Show
A legal thriller.
"The Devil Meets Prada" with a legal twist.

Makes Me Think Of
The "Firm".

Will I Tune In Next Week?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Order - Age of Consent (1984)

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and I was transported back to a summer eons ago when I took a road trip down to Mexico with "The Best of New Order" CD playing the entire day. Ahhh...the beautiful beaches, fresh delicious lobster, warm tortillas, and huge margaritas.

The boyfriend I took the trip with is a distant memory, (and so is Mexico for that matter), but it's summer again and it's great to get a flash from the past when the memory associated with it is a good one. I haven't thought about that trip in years.

As I'm typing up this post my 2 year old daughter is laughing at me as I'm bobbing my head to this timeless, slightly offbeat song that reminds me of a beautiful day in my 20's. As the song ends my daughter is clapping and demanding, "Again! Again!" A chip off the old block.

So excuse me but we'll be busy listening to this song over and over again for another half a dozen times. Ya know to make the kid happy and all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


(This photo and the ones below are by mralenlin.)

(Neighborhood: Highland Park)
5137 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Marty's is a new bar in Highland Park located on York Blvd. The owner also owns Mia Sushi on Eagle Rock Blvd. The bar is named after his son Marty. The restaurant is named after his daughter Mia.

As we were walking down York, a lady stopped at a signal light poked her head out of her car window and asked us if we knew where Marty's was. Funny you should ask, we're going there too, we said. Later we saw her at the bar and she thanked us for pointing her in the right direction.

The exterior is pretty nondescript, (you'll know the place by the sign and the big bouncer standing out front), but the inside is gorgeous. It looks and feels like a posh west side bar. Definitely a nice addition to Highland Park.
The interior is decorated in the same style as Mia Sushi with an Asian zen like decor and soft diffused lighting. Its gives the place great ambiance.This is a photo of the lounge area when you first walk in. Leather couches and tables, with a large built in skylight used as a lighting fixture above. It makes you forget that you're on York Blvd. It's so nice to have a bar like this locally and not have to drive all the way out to the west side for a bar with ambiance.

We've been to Marty's twice so far. The first time the service was so so, but the second time we had a bartender that was on it and the service was great.

We had dinner there as well.

What We Ordered
Caprese Salad - $8 (for my husband)
Caesar Salad - $7 (for me)
Sweet Potato Fries - $5 (we shared a side of fries)

Food was cheap! Caprese salad was good. Caesar salad was lacking something and the dressing was watery. I wouldn't get it again. The sweet potato fries were yummy! Those are a definite must order when we go back again. And yes, we will be back.


(Neighborhood: Highland Park)
5006 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

On a Friday night back in June (6/29/07 to be exact), we ventured out to Highland Park to check out two new bars within walking distance on York Blvd - Johnny's, and Marty's.

First we went to Johnny's, since it's on the corner. Parking on the street was not a problem. However, since you will be walking the streets at night, be forewarned - the neighborhood is a bit rough. I didn't feel unsafe (probably because I was with my husband), but I did feel like I stood out in my designer jeans and heels as we walked past auto repair shops and Cholos in white tank tops smoking on the sidewalk. The neighborhood reminds of me of what Silverlake was 15 years ago - up and coming with new hip bars and shops popping up, but still a rundown neighborhood on the fringe of the ghetto.

The best way to describe Johnny's is a dive bar with a mixed hipster clientele. It's got a long bar, and leather bench/couch seating with small tables on the side. In the back there's a jukebox and a pool table.

There were two bartenders manning the bar. I read reviews about how the double bar tending thing isn't working there - as one would take an order and give it to the other one, and never check back to make sure you actually got your order. We had the same experience. First the one bartender thought the other one had taken our order (she hadn't). Then when we ordered another round and it didn't come - when she caught our eye - she told us that she had given our order to the other bartender. It's a small bar, but we had to flag down a bartender if we needed anything and it was a long wait for everything - which was annoying. We never got our water we asked for either. From a small, neighborhood bar you expect better service.

It was also really cold inside. Outside it was a warm night and you didn't need a jacket. But inside it felt like a meat locker, and we had to wear our jackets the entire time. The place has cement floors and just a really cold, dank vibe, (think basement) so it's weird that they'd crank up the air conditioning like that.

It can also get quite loud at Johnny's. There was a guy at the end of the bar who was shouting and the entire place echoed his conversation.

We left to check out Marty's down the street (also on York), on the opposite side of the street. (I'll write about Marty's in a separate post.) If you're in the area, forget Johnny's and head over to Marty's. There's no comparison.

My 1st Post on Yelp - (Review of Larkin's)

(Photo by Rick P.)

1496 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
(323) 254-0934

Below is my review of Larkin's (a new soul food restaurant in Eagle Rock, CA), that I posted on yelp.com.

1 star rating
My husband and I went to Larkin's on 6/29/07 for dinner. It was the WORST restaurant experience we've ever had. Hence the one star.

We were both really looking forward to having dinner here, as we're locals and it's the highly anticipated new Eagle Rock restaurant, so I made reservations ahead of time.

We walked in and no one greeted us. It was like walking into someones house uninvited. We waited and waited, and finally when one employee walked towards us I thought "ok this must be it", but nope...she kept on walking right past us without saying a word. After more waiting we were approached by a second employee who took my name but never came back. Still more waiting.

After all this waiting, one of the owners (Josh) approached us only to tell us, "I'm sorry guys but we're not serving anymore tables."

What? Even though we have a reservation?

The guy gave us major attitude and made us feel awful by falsely accusing us of being over 15 minutes late.

Josh: "Oh you're Rose? Well, it'll probably be around 40 minutes until a table becomes available. We didn't think you were coming and gave your table away. Typically we only hold your table for 15 minutes. That's our policy. Just wait outside and we'll call you when a table opens up."

We looked at or watches and saw that it was only 9:14 and our reservation was for 9:00. It was at least 10 minutes of waiting. Who gives tables away after 4 minutes? Obviously they had overbooked. And furthermore what restaurant waitstaff (or owner) blames their customers? So unprofessional and rude!

Instead of being apologetic, the owner said that he didn't see us. Well maybe that's because NO ONE is manning the entrance so customers are left waiting there. He kept calling my husband "buddy" and told him to "go outside and chill".

Then he told us, "You guys have to understand this is our first weekend that we've been open. We're not ready for this. We're still figuring stuff out. No hard feelings."

We get that, but why not say that in the first place? Why makes us feel like we were to blame, when the restaurant messed up? And what's with the attitude? Then he went back inside to leave us waiting some more on the front porch. No chairs to sit on - so we had to stand. No complimentary drinks. No reassurances. Nada.

Come on guys - I took the time to make a reservation ahead of time. I didn't just show up as a last minute thought. And I got terrible treatment. Not a good first impression - especially for a restaurant where service (that generates good experiences) is of the utmost importance.

We waited for a bit but when no one came back outside after another 10 minutes we decided to go somewhere else for dinner and went to Mia's Sushi instead.

I really hope that Larkin's gets their act together. It could be a really nice restaurant - there's a lot of outdoor space that could be used for extra tables - that isn't being used.

After our horrible experience I refuse to go back for dinner - and I've stayed away on purpose choosing other restaurants along Colorado Blvd. every weekend. I still haven't even tried the food, so I may go back for breakfast if other reviewers say that the service has improved. Until then - Larkin's isn't even on my radar.

Colorado Wine Company on Indie 103.1 FM

I happened to hear this on the radio while driving in my car - it's Jen & John from the Colorado Wine Company featured on Indie 103.7 FM on Wino Wednesday (05/02/07). They're talking about Mexican wines, since Cinco de Mayo was coming up.

I wasn't able to listen to it until the very end, so watching the video now I can see Jael from America's Next Top Model was also there. She's seems to be everywhere. I even saw her at Coachella this year.

The Wolftrap (South African Wine)

Last month I mentioned that I picked up a bottle of this red wine from South Africa, "The Wolftrap" that I couldn't wait to try. (The original post can be found here.)

Reviewers said they either loved it or hated it. Well, I tried it and I'm happy to report back that I'm a lover. This wine is so SMOOTH. The very next Friday when we were back at Colorado Wine Company (for their wine tasting) U. and I picked up another 3 bottles.

Origin of the Wolftrap Label Name
It's name comes from the fact that when the Dutch moved into the area back during their colonial phase, they brought a fair amount of wolf traps in order to protect themselves. There was only one problem with this: There are no wolves in South Africa. So you have a wine so named because it pokes fun at the Dutch.

Tasting Notes
Dark red-black color with spice, bacon and wood on the nose. Smooth, smokey bacon and spice flavors overshadow subdued, mellow cherry and blackberry fruit. Dry, light mouthfeel with good structure and a black currant finish.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A message from Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono is doing a wonderful job at keeping John Lennon's memory and message alive.


Instant Karma: The Campaign To Save Darfur is Amnesty International's new "Make Some Noise" campaign. In the spirit of peace high profile artists came together in one tribute album covering songs by John Lennon. Proceeds from this album go to aid Amnesty International in the fight to Save Darfur, Sudan.

For more info on the album and the cause go to www.instantkarma.org


I saw a recent interview with Yoko on Larry King Live, "The Beatles Reunion"- also with Paul, Ringo, and George Harrison's widow Olivia - to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles "Love" show. (It's on Youtube.) She talked a little bit about protecting John.

Larry King asked Yoko about John Lennon's death and if it gets any easier and how she feels seeing John (photos, video, etc.)- and she responded that even after all this time, when she saw the "Love" stage she thought of John and got choked up. Larry King being the horrible interviewer he is, just kept going down his list of questions, (looking down at his notepad) and never bothered to say anything in response or have a follow up question. He didn't even acknowledge Yoko's response. Just awful! (Btw: Larry King also flubbed his interview when he asked Ringo a question and referred to him as George. Paul wouldn't let him forget his mistake.)

Research shows men are happiest if they marry smart women

(Photo by Black Candi Photography)

A new Australian study shows that men are happiest with educated wives.

"Every extra year of education a wife has under her belt significantly increases the chances her husband will report being highly satisfied with life."

U. sent me this article on Friday with this note: "Now I know why I'm so happy....:)"

Awww shucks. Maybe I should go back and get my PhD.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Real Love" for my Love

Regina Spektor performs a cover of John Lennon's "Real Love".

You can find the recorded version on John Lennon tribute album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.


Still thinking about our conversation last night...what a lovely thought - we'll never be alone because a part of us will always be together.

It brings tears to my eyes...listening to this beautiful song and thinking of you.


All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dream
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

All the little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for love

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don't need to be afraid
No need to be afraid

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

Thought I'd been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
Yes it's real, yes it's real love
It's real, yes it's real love...

Gong Show Juggler (Hillary Carlip)

A comedy juggling performance. And by the way - she won!

Gong Show Classics

The Unknown Comic

Gene Gene the Dancing Machine

On the last network broadcast of the Gong Show, Chuck Barris sings a little ode to NBC and gets gonged.

Cute Apple Pie Shirt

T-shirt for sale at Lucky Threadz.

aka Home Depot

T-shirt for sale at Lucky Threadz.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Britney Spears - Pepsi Commercial

Anyone remember this commercial? It features Britney Spears drinking Pepsi from the 1950's through 2000.

I'm guessing the 2007 reality version - bald with extensions, chain smoking, post rehab, out of shape, soon to be divorcee', with 2 kids (who is being investigated by childrens protective services) wouldn't sell as many soft drinks. Ya think?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Van Halen Reunion Tour

Last last year there was talk about a Van Halen reunion tour with their original front man David Lee Roth (who left the band back in 1985). It was supposed to have happened this summer, but in March 2007 Eddie Van Halen check into rehab. But now it seems to be on again, planned for this Fall.

(And for the record - yes I bought this album when it first came out - making me one of the coolest kids on the block - and I still know most of the songs by heart. If the tour ever does get off the ground - I may just go.)

According to E News: "Bassist Michael Anthony will be replaced with Eddie Van Halen's 15-year-old son, Wolfgang. Anthony had a falling out with Eddie and his drummer brother, Alex Van Halen, following the band's 2004 tour with Roth's successor, Sammy Hagar, and was not invited back."

Read more here.

Above is the "Jump" music video.

It'll be interesting to see if David Lee Roth can still jump and do his round house kicks like he used to.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Downward Dog is my friend

(Photo by You Can Call Me...)

So after a 5 year hiatus, I'm starting to do Yoga again.

Q: Who/What was the catalyst for this change?
A: Sting.

Seriously - I wrote about how great Sting looks here, in my post about the Police concert at Dodger Stadium last month. If Yoga can do wonders for Sting at age 55, then what am I waiting for?

U. and I planned on attending the relaxation Yoga class this morning (thinking we'd be doing some stretching and chanting and meditation to get us back in the groove), but it got canceled, so we ended up in the much more advanced Yoga class.

U. worked out beforehand at the gym. He ran for 45 minutes on the treadmill. When I say ran, I mean full on running. He's a former marathon runner and is really fast and has great stamina. He's amazing to watch on that treadmill. I wish I could run with him (believe me I've tried) but I'm just not a runner. It just ain't my thing. So we're doing Yoga, which is something we can both do together. (And in this case I have a bit of an edge because I'm more flexible.)

So anyway - my point to all this is - he worked out before thinking that the relaxation Yoga class wouldn't be a real workout. I remember asking him the night before if that was a good idea. He laughed and said something to the effect of this Yoga class would be a piece of cake. Oh how wrong he was. I looked over a few times and saw him sweating like crazy and struggling with the difficult positions.

A few times I had to laugh out loud seeing us both with our bodies twisted like pretzels in these awkward positions. Just when I thought I couldn't hold a position any longer, the instructor would tell us to go down into the downward dog position. The downward dog - oh how I love thee.

The stretching, balancing, and strengthening did my muscles and posture a lot of good. I carry all my stress in my back, between my shoulder blades, and after the extreme back stretching, I felt tension free (like a noodle). It felt even better than the massage I got last month! Now in the evening I'm sore, but it's a good sore.

U. pointed out there were some serious Yogis in that class. He got a great workout and wants to go back, as do I.

I only wish the Y had a mommy and me Yoga class. That should be a hoot with the baby.

The Oinkster

(Photo by Tales of an LA Addict)

For dinner last night we headed over to The Oinkster (near Colorado Wine Company) in Eagle Rock.

The Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA

(Photo by By Ollylain)

They have a nice outdoor patio area, with trees and surrounded by Asian reeds. There's nothing to the inside (it looks like a generic diner with booth seats), but the outdoor patio really makes the place. And they have beer on tap (which closed the deal for U.).

I heard about this place some time ago from friends, but never wanted to go there because I thought it was a greasy spoon hamburger joint. I don't eat beef, and I try to eat pretty healthy so I didn't think there would be anything there that I would want to eat. But then I read on yelp.com that they have rotisserie chicken, so I decided to give it a try. (A plus is that it's located just down and across the street from Colorado Wine Company - which is perfect to grab a bite to eat after our wine tasting.)

What we ordered: ½ Chicken with garlic aioli, crispy Belgian fries and red cabbage slaw
Price: $7.50 each

Praise: The food was cheap, I liked the outdoor patio area, it's local and convenient, they have beer on tap, service was good and quick, and they have a diet black cherry cola (yummy!)

Criticism: They served the chicken on Styrofoam plates (bad for the environment as well as a waste, plus it makes a gross sound when you're cutting into your chicken with plastic utensils), the fries had too much salt on them (next time I'll request little or no salt), and the chicken was on the greasy side (surprising for a rotisserie chicken).

Overall: It was okay. It has a relaxed, casual atmosphere (full of hipsters) and you can't beat the price. Because of the grease we won't be frequent diners, but on occasion we'll probably be back just because it's located so close to Colorado Wine Company.

Long Live George

So last night U. and I were at Colorado Wine Company for their Friday night wine tasting. In my last post here, I mentioned that the bartender always seems to have amnesia when he sees us, acting like it's the very first time (and not EVERY Friday that he sees us), and we wanted to see if he would finally remember us after U.'s tip last week.

So with much anticipation we waited in line at the bar with our 2 cards for the wine tasting and when we got up to counter this is how it went down:

Bartender: Hi. Are you here for the wine tasting?
U.: Yes. (as always)
Bartender: For just the 2 of you?
U.: Yes (again, as always!)

Both of us sighed - looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Then U. shooed me off to get some cheese and crackers. The guy obviously didn't remember us. Again! How is that possible?

We cheered up when we got a table with 2 chairs (score!).

Afterwards, when U. went back to the bar for our 2nd wine, he saw a sign saying that the bartender is leaving. U. asked the new guy (George) if he was the new bartender in training. He is! After George and U. shook hands and made introductions; U. tipped him. Let's hope he has a better memory than the old bartender - and we finally get a bartender who remembers us!

A toast was in order - "Long live George!"

Good news - new bartender George, Jen the owner is pregnant, we found seats

Bad news - we didn't like any of the 5 wines & we went home without buying a single bottle of wine - that's a first! - and it was super LOUD in the store tonight. You had to shout to be heard. We might have to switch it up and go on another night - like Sundays when they have higher end wines and maybe aren't so busy. We'll just have to see how it is next Friday.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

Tonight is date night. I'm going with my better half to our beloved Colorado Wine Company for their Friday wine tasting: "Friday The 13th Part X: Jason Sips Without Swirling."

Let's see if we get a warmer welcome from the bartender this week. Week after week (seriously - we're there every Friday), the same bartender serves us, but he always acts like it's the first time he's ever seen us.

Cowineco does everything right, except for this. We're regulars (& locals) and we always leave with 5 or so bottles of wine - (I joke that we can't leave that store without trekking a case of wine out to the car) - even the owners John & Jen know us. I've even chatted with the guy, so it feels weird that there's no trace of recognition whatsoever on his end.

So last week U. tipped him to see if that would make any difference. It seemed to in that U. got more wine in his pour, but the ultimate test will be tonight. When we walk up to the bar will we be met a warm "Hi guys, nice to see you again" or the usual aloof "How can I help you?"

Well it is Friday the 13th, so if we do get more of the usual - the downright spookiness of it all will go with tonight's theme.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Could it be - a Ghostbusters III?

Talk about one of the most highly anticipated movies - with the original dating back to 1984. Was it really 23 years ago when I sat in the movie theater and cheered to "I ain't fraid of no ghosts"?

Above is the original Ray Parker, Jr. Ghostbusters video from 1984.

Yeah I'm dating myself. But if you too grew up in the 80's and know the punch line to "Who ya gonna call?" (remember it was the running joke of the summer?) and understand the "He slimed me!" reference, and if it's been years since you heard the name "Gozer the Gozerian" (and it brings a smile to your face), then you too have been looking forward to the third installation of this franchise. It's been too long!

"We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!"

A few years ago Dan Aykroyd wrote a screenplay for Ghostbusters 3, and the message boards lit up. Harold Ramis was on board and when the screenplay was picked up by Sony Pictures, I kept expecting to see a "Coming To Save The World This Summer" trailer...but the project got nixed when Bill Murray wouldn't sign on.

Now the project seems to be back on track:

Dan Aykroyd did a radio interview on Feb. 2, 2007 where he confirmed that Ghostbusters 3 is in the works - however they're now planning on making the movie in CGI (animation - yes a cartoon - like Toy Story). With the CGI version, Bill Murray has agreed to do the voice.

To listen to the interview click here.

Also, the official Ghostbusters website has the following Q & A for Ivan Reitman, director of Ghostbusters I and II:

Q. Is there going to be a GHOSTBUSTERS 3? If so, what have you heard about it and what role shall you take on the project? Do you also know of a release date or shooting dates for the film?

A. We have talked about doing "Ghostbusters 3", but nothing is set. If we were to go ahead with the project, I would probably produce the film, not direct it.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Will he make U.S. Major League Soccer more popular?

A recent photo shoot of David and Posh Beckham (aka Posh & Becks) in W Magazine.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Downtown Art Wark

Next Art Walk: Thursday, July 12, 2007
The Downtown Art Walk is a self-guided tour that showcases the many art exhibition venues in Downtown Los Angeles — commercial art galleries, museums, and non-profit arts venues.

When: The Second Thursday of Every Month

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

Time: 12 noon to 9 PM

Cost: Free Admission (Although some venues have limited hours for free admission - check the website for details.)

  1. MOCA (Geffen Contemporary)

  2. L.A. Artcore Center

  3. M.J. Higgins

  4. 2nd Street Cigars & Gallery

  5. Art Slave

  6. Morono Kiang Gallery

  7. bank

  8. Continental

  9. Crewest

  10. Regent Gallery

  11. Pharmaka

  12. L.A. Center for Digital Art

  13. El Nopal Press

  14. Bert Green Fine Art

  15. INMO Gallery

  16. Red Dot Gallery

  17. Niche LA Video Art

  18. Art Murmur Gallery

  19. 626 Art Gallery

  20. groundfloor@santeecourt

  21. Infusion Gallery

  22. G727

  23. The Hive Gallery

  24. City Center Gallery

  25. Gary Leonard

  26. Grey Goose

  27. MOCA (Grand Avenue)

  28. Downtown Art Gallery

For more information, go to http://downtownartwalk.com/.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Don't ever get old Rose

"Patient is experiencing deficiencies in cognitive abilities." That's the clinical terminology reported on the medical records.

Memory loss is another way of describing it. Although memories from the distant past are clearer than ever. It's just the new memories that have a way of slipping away. Like what you had for lunch today, if you took your medication today, or who you last spoke to on the phone.

In my dad's words, "I'm losing my mind. Don't ever get old Rose."

In an attempt to reconnect with my dad and spend quality time with him - as well as making sure my daughter has a relationship with her Grandpa - my daughter and I drive to my parents' place once a week and we spend the entire day with my dad.

Yesterday while driving home, my mind was wandering and thinking about the doctor's visit earlier that day that I had accompanied my dad to, and buying him a pill box and measuring out his daily medication for the week (into the 4 boxes for each day - morning, noon, evening, bedtime) so that he wouldn't forget and take too much or too little, and reassuring him that I would see him next Monday ("We visit you every Monday Dad, remember?") knowing that he'd surely forget and when we showed up next Monday it would be a surprise.

I got choked up. He's my dad. The man who taught me how to play ball. The man who ruled the house with an iron fist. The man who made an effort to tell me he loved me as a kid because he wanted to make sure I knew (his own father didn't tell him he loved him until he was successful and in his 40's). The man who always asked, "Do you feel better" after he had fed me (because being hungry was the worst feeling in the world). The man who was sure I would get accepted to Stanford. (I didn't, but my dad believed in me.) The man who I got my love of traveling from, being able to chat with anyone I come into contact with, and my ability to draw. Also the man who would have cut me off financially as soon as I graduated from High School if it weren't for my mom. But also the man who gave me $700 to get a set of couches for my first apartment (after my mom refused and told me I didn't need them; I could sit on the floor). This is my dad.

It feels like the clock is ticking.

My dad and I have heartfelt conversations when the baby is napping. He tells me about his wishes for after he's gone. He shares stories with me about his past and childhood. Things I never knew. Stories I've never heard before, that he's never talked about. The baby doesn't nap that often.

When the baby is awake we watch her play in the baby pool, play with the dog, go out to eat together, go to the hospital together. He enjoys the baby and I can't help but feel when I get my camera out, these will be the only memories of my father that my daughter will have. (She's only 2 years old.) My dad asks, "Did you get it?" - meaning a good photo of him with his granddaughter. I tell him, "Yes". He tell me that he hopes he lives long enough for her to remember him. I hope so too.

So as I'm driving home and my daughter is sleeping in her car seat - I have all these thoughts running through my head - I get choked up. I don't want to miss my father forever.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Moon Looked Huge Last Night

(Photo by Fotomom in Glendale)
Last night, driving home from a party in Marina Del Rey, I had a great view of the moon from the freeway. The moon looked huge in the sky. Not just a plain ole full moon, but almost distorted in shape because it looked so big, and it was low on the horizon, glowing yellow/orange in color. "Whoa!" I said out loud. I remembered that on Friday I caught the headline "Saturday's Full Moon Offers Strange Illusion" on Yahoo's homepage, which I briefly scanned. Below is an excerpt from the article which explains why the moon looked so huge last night.
Saturday's Full Moon Offers Strange Illusion
Senior Science Writer
Fri Jun 29, 2:00 PM ET

This weekend's full moon hangs lower in the sky than any other full moon of 2007, according to NASA, and it's a good time to be fooled.

When low on the horizon, the Moon can appear to be larger than when it's higher in the sky. It's all an illusion, scientists say, and it does not involve any enlarging effects of the atmosphere. Rather, it's all in your mind.

Here's how it works:
Our brains think things on the horizon are farther away than stuff overhead, because we're used to seeing overhead clouds that are close compared to those on the horizon. In the mind's eye, the sky is a flattened dome.

With this dome as a reference, we expect something on the horizon (such as the moon) to be father, and because it is actually no farther than when overhead, our brains goof and imagine that it is larger.