Monday, February 27, 2006

spiderman midget

Downtown was crazy this weekend. Jim took more pictures of the Spiderman 3 setup on Friday morning before he left for Vegas. I didn't go to SF after all, so on Friday night Skip (my site representative for the House, MD shoot) and I went to Banquette for dinner and to check out the action. It felt like all downtown residents were out and about in the Old Bank District, I kept running into people on the streets.

This is what we saw on our way to dinner:

Spiderman 3 filming, 4th and Main

Spiderman 3 filming, 4th and Main, taxis

Spiderman 3 filming, north facing view on Main

Skip really likes the vibe downtown and is now looking for a place. So after dinner, I took Skip to Cole's to introduce him around. I See Hawks In L.A. was playing that night, so it was full of regulars and fans. It was so nice to see Ali, Kristin, Allan and the rest of the gang. But I was beat, Skip had to be up at 7am to let the House production staff into the penthouse, and I had to meet bigshot producer again, so we called it an early night.

We walked back towards the Spiderman 3 filming, just to check in before going to bed. This is the view facing North on Main at 5th Street.
Spiderman 3 filming, 5th and Main

Nothing new, but we passed by Bar 107 on the way home. There was a midget dressed in a Spiderman outfit outside, climbing up a light pole. He didn't want to pose for pictures until I slipped him some much-deserved cash. Then he climbed into action:

Spiderman Midget scales downtown wall outside Bar 107.
Spiderman Midget scales Bar 107 wall

Skip asked Spiderman Midget if he could climb up on top of his back. He refused and said, "No, I have something better for you. But you have to trust me." Then he dropped down in-between Skip's legs, then boosted him up on his shoulders. Here he is getting a piggyback ride from the Spiderman Midget. You can't tell from this picture, but Skip's feet are only about a foot off the ground.
Skip and the Spiderman 3 Midget

I was laughing so hard I couldn't hold the camera still as the Spiderman Midget climbed up a light pole.
Spiderman Midget climbs light pole

Every downtown film shoot should have its own midget.

Friday, February 24, 2006

two celebrity sightings

Last weekend Jim and I stayed at the Surf & Sand in Laguna Beach for the long weekend. It was so beautiful and Jim snapped a few pictures. They had some sort of reception with an open bar and lots of appetizers, so we thought we'd check it out before going to dinner at my favorite Southern California restaurant, French 75, which is just across the street from the Surf & Sand. We walked into the bar and it was packed with people staking out a nice spot to watch the sunset. As we walked in I noticed a guy standing in the doorway waiting for a table. He looked familiar but I couldn't place him. I asked Jim if he knew who that guy was, but he didn't recognize him. We walked outside to enjoy our beverages on the patio when a woman comes tearing out of the bar, yelling into her cell phone, "Oh my god! I'm, like, twenty feet away from Freddy Krueger!" Thank Buddha because I never would've figured that out and it would've driven me nuts trying. Jeez, he must get that all the time. Then we went on to French 75 and one of the most deliciously luxurious meals ever, complete with kir royales and a dazzling chocolate souffle - but no celebrities.

The next day we headed to Disneyland. We headed over the the Enchanted Tiki Room just before sunset. Jim had his camera out, taking a ton of pictures. He was taking this one when I noticed a Disney staffer looking over nervously. She relaxed when she realized that Jim wasn't taking pictures of Hugh Jackman, who she was escorting through the park along with his family, but of the lantern above him. I whispered to Jim, "Dude, that's Hugh Jackman." I don't think he cared, he just said something like, "That's nice," and kept on taking pictures of everything but Hugh Jackman and his family.

I'm glad he's so not Hollywood. Only one starfucker per household, right?

spiderman 3 filming downtown

Spiderman 3 filming, Old BAnk District
Jim took this picture of the Farmer's and Merchant Bank Building from his window, they're using it to shoot some scenes for Spiderman 3. The production wanted to use Jim's pad to set up some lights, but he's in Vegas and I'm in SF. He snapped a few pics the other day and he said he'd try again this morning before leaving town. When I drove by on my way to work this morning, Jim was on the sidewalk by Pete's Cafe with his camera, so I hope he was able to take more good pictures.

Here's some general info excerpted from the filming notification sheet:
Exterior of Farmer's and Merchant Bank Building
Exterior of Pete's Cafe and Bar

Friday, 2/24 thru Saturday, 2/25 between the hours of 7am & 10am Saturday.
Saturday, 2/25 and Monday 2/27 thru Friday, March 3 between the hours of 7am & 10pm

Building access for the San Fernando, Hellman and Continental will remain unimpeded.

Pete's Cafe and Bar will be closed on Friday and will open on Saturday at 11am. Banquette Cafe, OBDVD, Lost Souls, Old Bank Market & Deli will be open as usual.

The scene is an aftermath of an explosion and bank robbery.
There will be no gunfire or explosions.
There will be no precision driving.
Two cranes in the NE corner of 4th and Main Streets.
A condor & generator will be placed on the south side of 4th just east of and another condor on the north side of 4th Street west of Main.
Lighting condor & generator in the Winston and Main parking lot.
Generator located on the South side of the Winston parking lot (Joe's Lot 433).
Generator at the south end of Harlem Place Alley away from residential windows.
Stunts, SFX smoke, extensive lighting, crans, condors, and 150 extras.

The Old Bank District and most of my neighborhood has been very busy with filming lately. In addition to Spiderman 3, they're prepping to shoot the Fox procedural medical drama, House, M.D. at my pad. They started last Friday and they're there for 9 or 10 days, starting at 7am every morning. There are about so many other film crews that I walk past every morning that it's almost like being on a lot, sometimes I think I'm at work.

I wish I could be around this weekend to take some pictures, but I'll be shopping in the Bay Area, courtesy of Shopper Shuttle. If anyone from the 'hood is going to be around, please take some pics and email me!

this is the droid you were looking for

R2 Potatoo with Princess Tater
One of the best presents I received this past Christmas was a Darth Tater Mr. Potatohead from my brother. Now I can look forward to my very own R2 Potatoo, complete with a little Princess Tater "hologram" figure. Adorable! Jim and I spent some time at the Mr. Potatohead Bar in some toy store at California Adventure. They had all these cute Disney Mr. Potatohead accessories, as well as the Darth Tater. I think R2 isn't available until June.

Spud Trooper
But Spud Troopers are available in April. I love that the Spud Troopers carry "laser" potato mashers.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

afro ninja

Check out this hilarious video of this guy auditioning for an action film. Please make sure you don't have any food or beverages in your mouth - you will do a spit-take.

up-and-coming neighborhood

I was reading Hexodus' post on re the Family Watchdog website. Basically, you enter your address, then you get a map pinpointing all the sexual offenders in your neighborhood, complete with crime details and a photograph. Hexodus said that after you type in your address, you get your results "after an excrutiating minute or two". I figured it would take a while, since I probably have more offenders than your average visitor. Seven minutes later, I received my scary results.

In January of last year I used Megan's Law Database to find out how many sex offenders lived in my zip code, and also found out how many Starbucks were within a 5-mile radius of my home (they were two different databases). Around this time last year, there were 168 registered sex offenders in my zip code, 16 of them living in my building. According to Family Watchdog, there are 2296 sex offenders in my neighborhood.

What was that about downtown Los Angeles being the next "it" neighborhood again?

paralyzed by indecision

I'm looking to get into a new cellular phone, my old one is a little too temperamental. I think I may have dropped it one time too many, or maybe I shouldnt've answered it in the shower those times. So it's time for a new one.

I have a Palm Treo with Sprint service for work. I like the Treo, but I don't like using it as a phone. It's large and unwieldy and doesn't fit in my cell phone holder. And when I say cell phone holder, I mean my bra. My other cell phone, my personal cell phone, the temperamental one, is cute little LG clamshell that tucks into my holder nicely. That's the one we're replacing. So here are the contenders:

Nokia 6102
Nokia 6102
I've always liked Nokia phones. I didn't know they came out with a clamshell phone until a guy at work showed off his new 6102. It does fit nicely in the holder. I asked that guy at work if I could check out his phone, so I tucked it into the holder to see if it would fit and not ruin the line of my top or if it was too big and would fall out the side if I moved, and he acted like I shoved it in my pants. It was a little warm when I handed it back to him, but it wasn't moist or anything like that. Should I not have done that?
Black Razr V3
Black Razr V3
You have to admit, this is one hot looking phone. I was concerned that the flat but wide dimensions of the phone wouldn't fit into the holder. I first tested it out in the holder on that last film I worked on a few months ago. The producer who kept asking me out on the set handed his Black Razr to me so I could make a phone call and when I was done I tucked it into my holder absentmindedly. I moved around a little bit to see if it would fall to the side or forward. It slid a bit, but held okay. I handed it back to him and, I kid you not, he smelled the phone and said, "Aaaahhh, it smells like Celia." Uh, how the hell does he know it smells like me? My smell could bitchslap him and he couldn't recognize it. But that's another story and has nothing to do with my phone selection.

Silver Razr V3

Silver Razr V3
Another guy at the office got a new phone, this silver one. He likes it just fine, but he has different criteria than I. He didn't mind when I tested his phone in the holder.
Hello Kitty Nokia 6102 phone
Nokia 6010 Hello Kitty Phone
Isn't it pretty? It's so pretty.

I need to make a decision by midnight tonight. Which one do you think I should get?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

space cadets

Jim and I went to Disneyland and California Adventure over the holiday weekend and tried out some new rides.

Jim and Celia-AstroBlaster2006

Could I look any more like a space cadet? It was probably the ears. As you can see by my score, I had given up on hitting the targets on the AstroBlaster. There's a joke there somewhere. Jim, who ignored me for the entire game/ride, scored more than twice as much as I did. There's a joke somewhere there, too.

This is me and Jim on California Screamin' at California Adventure. We were in the front row and even if you have to wait an extra half-hour to ride in front, I heartily recommend it.

Jim and Celia-AstroBlaster 2006

I don't know why it looks like I have a mouth full of spinach, but I didn't. That's Jim hopped up on two buckets of caramel corn and a cinnamon roll. It was a good day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

the continental

Pardonnez-moi, voulez-vous couchez avec moi... ce soir?

Craig Havens on disco

Friday, February 17, 2006

i lack restraint

I couldn't resist. I was out running errands after work last night when I saw it, a pink Hello Kitty hard-case suitcase. It was calling my name. So I bought it.

celia's Hello Kitty hard-case suitcase

Admit it, it's calling to you too, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

hasselhoff! manila!

I took a meeting this past Saturday with a very successful independent producer. He was showing me around his palatial home, nestled high up on a hill. Altough impressive, the house had that cluttered, yet neat and cozy look, filled with tons of books, wine, and art. We met for brunch, but the meeting went so well he invited me back to the house to meet his wife and to pick up a script that he wanted me to read.

I'm not that familiar with his work, I've seen only one of the films he has produced. But I walked into his office and saw a poster on the wall for a David Hasselhoff film he produced that shot in the Philippines. I resisted telling him that I make regular visits to the Hoffice. In any case, I need to work with this man.

can't always get what you want...

No, I'm not referring to Valentine's Day presents. hexodus posted something on his blog about PR companies and how every so often they contact him, asking "if I would not mind posting about some thing that is of interest to them, and of course, should be of interest to me."

I get a lot of email and promotional items from companies directly as well as from their PR companies, too. I don't mind if it's something I already use or would likely use, but it's almost never anything useful. I can never bring myself to throw away items like my "This Is Spinal Tap" colander (colander, calendar - get it?), "Tommy" calculator (in the shape of a pinball machine), and my full set of Hanna-Barbera characters juice glasses.

A while back, Trojan sent me 12 gross of their finest to use and/or distribute as I saw fit, and a big cheesey red velvet pillow with a pocket in the middle that could hold about three condoms. Inside the box, on the satin lining, in gold lettering was, "For her pleasure." I sold the pillow at a garage sale for about $5 bucks, which I now regret. Whether I was able to use up all 1,728 condoms before the expiration date, well, those stories I'm saving for the novel.

i baked a cake

Not just any cake and nothing out of a box. Last night we made sweet potato cake with toasted macadamia nuts and white chocolate frosting. And tonight we're having the best lasagna ever for dinner. Yes, I made it. Normally I make everything from scratch, but because I got another writing assignment this weekend, I didn't have time for that and used lasagna noodles that someone else lovingly prepared. I used about eight different cheeses and Jim is lactose-intolerant, so tonight could be very interesting. If that doesn't make him sick, the movie might do him in. I think he Netflixed The Notebook.

happy valentine's day

i heart

Monday, February 13, 2006

blame jim

The other night, I asked Jim if he was going to start all of his posts with, “Celia and I…” Then he made fun of my “weekly” blog posts, as if he weren’t the reason I blog so infrequently these days. Okay, maybe he’s just one of the reasons.

But if you’re looking for a reason why I haven’t been blogging about these recent happenings:
• going to Sonic Scenery at the Natural History Museum to give my new video iPod a test-spin;
• the Chinese New Year Parade;
• going to Disneyland on Super Bowl Sunday;
• Jim meeting my parents (I haven’t brought anyone home to meet my parents in over ten years), my brother, some close friends and my dealer;
• what happened when Cole’s didn’t have turkey one night and Allan broke his record of eating the same meal for 5 ½ years;
• running around a commercial set in Adam’s penthouse with only a towel on and why Jim, Adam, and two other people were doing the same (there is photographic evidence, though I haven’t seen it);
• why Jim looks around for women with large breasts every time I sniffle;
• flanked by Adam and Kathy, my new BFF, I caught a screening of Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and stayed for the Q&A afterwards with creator/co-director Nick Park and co-director Steve Box;
• location scouts were in my living room and structural engineers were on my roof this morning, testing whether it can hold a crane with tons of lights for a film they want to shoot at my pad;
• paid a visit to Mack Reed at his beautiful, modern house in Silverlake and now my eyes are green with house envy;
Jim spoke at some geek conference this weekend and we wondered whether or not this is true;
• taking Shopper Shuttle’s posh new shuttle to Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for Barney’s Warehouse Sale on opening day.

Who should you blame? Jim.

For those interested in the Spiderman 3 pics, I reminded my loftmate again this weekend that people were waiting anxiously. “I’ll get right on that,” he promised. Then Jim got a letter from the management of his building – Spiderman 3 will be filming outside his building in a few weeks. I guess they’ve got a lot of night shoots scheduled with tons of noise and bright lights so they offered to put residents of his building up at the Biltmore, so as not to disturb them. So all you patient people from the Superhero Forum should probably email Jim and ask him all sorts of detailed questions about the upcoming Spiderman 3 filming.

Monday, February 06, 2006

jim and the ambassador hotel wake

We met at my sister Laura’s blood drive last year. I knew within five minutes I wanted to be with him. He said that he waited for what he thought was the correct span of time before he asked me out, but I think he just got tired of reading about my bad dates and wacky people hitting on me on this blog. We haven’t been dating for very long, but we’ve been together almost every day since our second date. He swept me off my feet and my toes haven’t touched ground since. We wanted to be sure this wasn’t just a passing thing before we blogged about it, but some people figured it out and started asking questions of me. Probably because Jim dropped a few hints here and there.

Last week Jim and I attended the Ambassador Hotel Wake with Kathy, my New Best Friend Forever. Mike of Franklin Avenue asked on his blog if we started dating recently. I guess that's a fair question, we were making out in a corner and Mike doesn't know that I don't make out with just anybody. But yes, the rumors are true - Jim and I are dating.

I was glad that I was able to meet so many bloggers – the aforementioned Mike of Franklin Avenue, Will Campbell and the new chick (forgot your name, sorry!) from, and one of the Joshes from Curbed LA. I was glad to spend some time with Kevin Roderick from LA Observed. Although we’ve traded emails, I don’t think I’ve seen Kevin since he interviewed me four or five years ago for his article on downtown living. He was there signing books with his co-author Eric Lynxwiler (who is so sweet he drips sugar), so I knew Shannon from sha in la couldn’t be too far away. She showed up with one of my frequent sidekicks, photographer extraordinaire Craig Havens. Josh from Curbed LA asked if I could point out Carolyn from LAist and as if by magic, she stopped by our table. I wish he had asked for a cocktail waitress first, I was parched. It was also nice to see Joseph Mailander from Martini Republic and to meet his wife Lynn. I’m bummed that I missed seeing Mack Reed of LA Voice, losanjealous’ Ryan and whoever else was there that I didn’t see.

Anyway, it was a nice gathering but even though there were some nice speeches and genuine sentiment I wasn’t feeling it. We were gathering ourselves, getting our group together and coordinating the logistics involved in moving drunks from a bar in Koreatown to my new favorite super-secret-late-night-hangout when I stepped away from the crowd to take a phone call. After I hung up, there was this older gentlemen sitting on a stool a few feet away from me. He was alone and he seemed so very sad as he looked at the crowd of revelers. So I went up to him and asked him how he was doing and if he was enjoying the party. Turns out he was a musician in many bands that played the Cocoanut Grove. He was sad because he had hoped that a few of his contemporaries would show up and they could reminisce about the great times they had back in the day, but no one else showed. I think I was the most receptive audience this guy had all night, which is a shame because he had some great stories. One story rolled into the next and I wanted him to go on and on. Jim joined me a few minutes later and we just sat there listening to his stories of musicians and bandleaders he played with, the celebrities they played for, and all the wackiness that ensues when people are out for a night on the town. We talked about the significance it had for a girl to go to the Cocoanut Grove on a date, he said, “If a guy takes a girl to the Cocoanut Grove, then she knows – she’s in for a really good time. The Ambassador, that’s the biggest thing you could do on a Saturday night.” He was really sweet and I was very sad that we had to go. In parting, he told Jim that he was a really lucky guy and he hoped that we would have many happy years together. We hugged and I wished him all the best, but I don’t think he knew just how much I really wanted my wish (and his) to come true.

Afterwards, we waited at the curb for the valet to bring my car around and I felt a twinge of sadness. So many memories connected to the Ambassador and this guy’s stories were just a drop in the bucket. Years from now, I wonder what we’ll wax nostalgic over.