Friday, June 30, 2006

4th of july weekend plans

As always, there are a ton of things to do over the holiday weekend. I don't think I have the energy (I wilt in the heat) or the time to do it all and there is an awful lot of good programming on the telly and radio this weekend, but it's good to have goals.

I mentioned in an earlier post that Firecracker is kicking off the weekend with a summer block party tonight. I'm feeling really lazy though, so maybe just a movie? There's a 21+ screening for The Devil Wears Prada at the Arclight. Jim and I were supposed to go to a screening on the Fox lot earlier this week for The Devil and I was bummed that we missed it, but I wonder if I'll have the energy to leave the block (or Jim's sofa) and do anything tonight.

Saturday morning, if I wake up early enough and it's not too hot, I might check out the free, once-a month drum circle at the Music Center Plaza, Drum Downtown. But it always seems like the kind of thing that I'd be interested in for about five minutes, then I'm bored and wondering why I even left an air-conditioned room. Chances are, we'll just head over to Pho Siam Thai Spa for yet another wonderful Thai massage. Jim and I started working out again this week and we promised ourselves if we were good and worked out every day for a week, we'd reward ourselves with a massage. I started going to Pho Siam when they were in Hollywood, but now that they've moved downtown, I think they'll be seeing more of me and Jim. Then if I'm not too exhausted from the heat of the day, we might check out Bootie, LA's monthly mashup bootleg party at The Echo (it's their one-year anniversary!).

Sunday night means it's the 4th of July edition of the loftmates and friends dinner at the penthouse. Tim is back from Virginia this Saturday and he's grilling up a storm. I'm making sangria (red and white) and haven't decided what to do about dessert yet. I don't think I'm going to make it to the gym on Monday morning.

Monday night, we'll be at a picnic, then checking out the concert and fireworks display at the Hollywood Bowl. I love the fireworks show at the Bowl, I've never been disappointed. The show is sold out and I just found out that the special guest for the evening is Kenny Loggins. Yeah, whatever. I think my favorite show was the year Charles Nelson Reilly was the special guest, now he was crazy.

Then for the big event (4th of July), we're headed over to a friend's house for some down-home pyrotechnical displays. I think they live in a city that allows fireworks, so we might stop by a stand and get a box of sparklers.

Whew, I'm exhausted just contemplating the possibilities this weekend. One of my readers, Dan Dupill (who heads up the Rare Books Dept at the Central Library), was nice enough to send me a link with info on taking pictures of fireworks. Thanks Dan, I need all the help I can get. Jim must think that as well, he sent me this link. I'm going to practice taking pictures of fireworks so that when Jim and I go back to Vancouver for the Celebration of Light, I'll be ready. Have a safe and happy 4th of July everybody!

unidentified flying kitty

I was driving south on the 5 freeway, and when I say driving I mean parked, when I saw an object hovering in the sky. Unlike most kooks who spot a UFO, I was lucky to have my camera in the car.

What does it all mean?

bits and pieces of the past week

Jim and I attended Grand Performances screening of An Inconvenient Truth last weekend. Jim thought leaving his place at 5:40pm for an 8pm screening was a little much. But we had a couple stops to make before trekking up 4th Street to California Plaza and I knew the place would be packed and that people would get there early (I was right). We stopped at the Old Bank Deli to pick up our sandwiches, then to Lost Souls for a yummy ube shake with coconut for me, otherwise known as the 5th and Spring shake, and a Nutta Budda with soymilk for Jim, otherwise known as the trainedmonkey shake. Actually, nobody but me calls an ube shake with coconut a 5th and Spring shake (same with the trainedmonkey shake), but I figured I'd plant that seed somewhere. I digress.

Highlights of the evening - Richie Sambora (introduced by Mayor Villaraigosa as "Richie, uh, Santora") and Jon Bon Jovi sang "Livin' On A Prayer", some new song I'm unfamiliar with, a chill cover of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding", and "Wanted Dead or Alive". Oh yeah, and Al Gore introduced the documentary. Good times.

We hit the Chinese Food Festival in Chinatown on Sunday. That was a big mistake. It was something like 300 degrees, which tends to cut down on my cravings for Chinese food. Thankfully, they were screening documentaries at the Grand Star, so we had a cold one in air-conditioned comfort when it got to be too much outside. It was obvious after watching the film for a few minutes that everyone else was in there for the same reason. BTW, if you're looking for something to do this weekend, Firecracker kicks off the 4th of July tonight at the Grand Star.

I was on my way to the gym earlier this week when I spotted several squad cars on Spring. About half of the officers were wearing vests that said "Parole" and they were handcuffing and arresting about six guys right outside of Charlie O's, the bar on the corner. I remembered that my phone takes lousy pictures, so I whipped it out and snapped this:

Then one of the officers whipped out his camera and took a picture of me taking pictures of them.

Then about four or five of the officers whipped out their cameras and started snapping away at me. Whatever. So I walked over, laughing, and one of the officers, Officer Cooper, told me that they were sweeping up a bunch of parole violators and that I would now be a lot safer in my neighborhood. I still don't understand why they whipped out their cameras to shoot me shooting them. Lame.

I met with bigshot producer and his crew on Tuesday, at their swanky offices in Beverly Hills. After a little pre-meeting banter, they said liked the script. What a relief, I was preparing for some harsh notes and lots of changes. Bigshot producer had a few questions and more notes, but basically they thought the script was 90% done. One producer said we're probably about two rewrites away from locking it down, but I'm hoping I can nail it on this next round. So my respite from this insane writing assignment was short-lived and I'm back to the grind. I am, however, taking time out this weekend to get a massage and eat a lot of barbecue. But not at the same venue. Wouldn't that be something though? To get a massage while you eat barbecue?

UPDATE: The Downtown News has a story on the Skid Row busts that targeted parole violators. The end of the article has a funny story about an incident at Pete's Cafe. How come nothing like that ever happens when I'm there?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

search terms that brought you here

In no particular order and in no way complete:

voodoo curses
bobby short charlie
downtown Los Angeles
ye olde taco house
David Hasselhoff video
technology challenged
tomkat theater blog
hooked on a feeling video
millionaire Filipino restaurants in states
pictures of Spiderman
you say ozo
Natalie Mains
Ben Stiller
midget on a wall
pet casting calls
Spiderman 3 shoot
February bank robbery California 2002
roller derby clothing
college party fifth
Julius Shulman
open container on JetBlue
Hollywood Sexcapades
homemade 4th of July centerpiece
Ozomatli, si se fue
neighborhood clothing

and my personal favorite, "fuck my girlfriend"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

vancouver through my lens

We made a run for the Canadian border.

And this is the closest I got to a real Canadian Mountie.

This is the view from Stanley Park.

And another view, through the trees.

I really enjoyed Stanley Park, I wish we had one like it in Los Angeles (and don't talk to me about Griffiths Park). It was so pretty, very well maintained, huge, and with tons of activities. I didn't take many Patel shots, just stuff like this:

As Jim mentioned on his blog, we enjoyed it so much we're considering going back in six weeks or so for an international fireworks festival, the Celebration of Light. Hopefully by then I will have figured out how to take pictures of fireworks displays that aren't crappy.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"zee money, yew have eet for mee"

Our second night in Vancouver, Jessica and Amy took us to dinner in Yaletown, which is a former industrial area in downtown transformed into one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. I couldn't help but feel that in about ten years, downtown Los Angeles is going to feel a lot like Yaletown. I can hardly wait, because I had a blast.

We had dinner at Capone's, this Italian restaurant with great live jazz. It was at the end of a row of restaurants, clubs and bars, on top of which were some great-looking lofts. The people, food, music, ambience - everything was wonderful, a really memorable experience. At one point Jim whispered to me, "I can't wait until they open a Capone's in our neighborhood." I'm crossing all my appendages.

Right after this picture was taken, we walked out, trying to figure out whether to stay in Yaletown or hit a club in Gastown. When all of a sudden, this panhandler comes up and talks to us with a really heavy French accent, I mean Clouseau-heavy. Hell, let's blogname his Clouseau. Anyway, Clouseau approached us and I didn't understand most of his rap because of the accent. He was pushing a fairly expensive bicycle and asking for money, that much I caught. But I guess he got tired of repeating himself because he was more than a little cranky, he was now just DEMANDING money.

He was going on about something and I'm not even going to try to write it out phonetically. So for maybe the fourth time I ask, "What? I don't understand a thing you're saying." He then said, "My Eeenglish, ees bad." To which Jim replied, "No your English is great, it's your panhandling skills that suck." Not to him, mind you, just me. And I'm a little tipsy. So of course I laugh, as I often do at all his jokes regardless of how funny they really are, and Clouseau LOSES IT. In French. Although he's absolutely livid, all I can think of is the Pink Panther and Clouseau saying, "Yew have for me, ze massage?" or, "Assbucket?" So I'm laughing and Jessica comes over with her leftovers and asks me, "Does he want food? Here, give it to him." So I hand him the leftovers and he pulls back his lips to show us his gums, and with his fingers in his mouth, screams, "I haf no teef... I het yew!" (Translation: I have no teeth... I hate you!)

I should've just offered him all the cash in my pocket if he would hoist Jim up on his shoulders like the Spiderman Midget did for Skip. Now that would've been a great vacation picture.

5th and spring, seattle

Last weekend, Jim and I spent some time in Seattle. Along with my brother Angel, we were on our way to meet other family members in Vancouver. We opted to fly into Seattle to see my cousin Lupe, and then drive to Vancouver.

(I forgot to take a picture of the Seattle Central Library here at 5th and Spring, designed by Rem Koolhaas. I suck.)

Lupe and her boyfriend Ciaran live a few blocks away from Seattle's 5th and Spring. I was afraid when she moved to Seattle that they would wind up in some soulless apartment mega-complex, but thankfully they live in a great, funky, historic, downtown neighborhood - plenty of restaurants and cafes to walk to, dangerously close to great shops and galleries, and her building is filled with artsy types, just like her and Ciaran. Look at Angel's pictures here. This is the view outside her windows.

And down the street.

We didn't have as much time to spend in Seattle since we were on our way to Vancouver. We managed to get in a few touristy things, though.

The town has a nice vibe, I liked it more than I thought I would. We'll be back.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

relieved times infinity

It's done. I finished the screenplay this morning, sent it off, talked to the development exec right before she left for lunch, and she's "very excited". Me? I don't possess the vocabulary to explain just how I feel. Relieved is a huge understatement. Sure, there will be re-writes (bigshot producer told me to expect six, tops), but nothing as major as six weeks to write an original screenplay. BTW, I never want to hear or read another word about the South during Reconstruction. Screw socially-conscious period dramas, I need to write my "Asian Pie" screenplay and laugh all the way to the bank.

So what does this mean? It means I am back among the living again. Last night Jim and I caught a screening of Chinatown, one of my all-time fave films, at the Orpheum, part of the LA Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats. We missed A Star Is Born because Jim didn't think I'd want to go, so he didn't get tickets. When I found out that was the film we missed, I fainted. Just kidding. I did faint, but that was for a different reason and, trust me, that story deserves its own blog entry.

Tonight, I'm going to blow off some steam at my favorite downtown supersecretlatenighthangout. Couldn't make it last week as I was in Seattle and Vancouver. But that's also for another blog entry. So we roll tonight, to the guitar bite... and for those of you who know of it and where it is, come on out and blow off steam with me! I'll probably head over around 10:30pm or so.

Last night, walking home from the Orpheum, we ran into my loftmate Lucas. He was occupying the corner table on the patio of Pete's - the table usually occupied by Kristin. BTW, has anyone seen Kristin lately? That's three nights that I didn't see her at her usual table. Anyway, I digress. A few tables away was a dear friend who we'll blogname Charo. Charo is a Higginite (resident of the Higgins building) and one of those cute, fun, unpretentious downtown chicks I love hanging out with. She was having drinks on the patio with these guys, and she asked where I'd been hiding. Then she dropped the line I'd been dreading, "You get engaged and now we never see you." Aaargh. Don't blame Jim, it's me, all me and that whole writing career thing. Hey, did you see that Super Lotto is up to $82 million?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

overheard in downtown los angeles

Almost invariably it happens - Jim and I walk home down 4th Street late at night and someone from the bridge and tunnel crowd drives down the street cautiously. They spot us, a window rolls down just enough for someone to yell out the window, "Hey, where's Bar 107?" We're both tempted to give them wrong directions even though they're about 25 feet away from the door, a guy standing at the door checking ID, a big backlit sign, and a crowd of smokers taking a ciggie break.

Because my parents raised me to be polite (for the most part), I give directions, "Yeah, just go down this street about 24, maybe 25 feet and it's on your left side, right above that sign." BTW, no on has ever said "thank you".

Actually, I'll them whatever they want to know as long as they don't complain that 1) it's dirty and smelly, 2) that the homeless always hit them up for change, and 3) that there's no parking (even though there's plenty of street parking and a huge lot a half block away). I mean, for chrissake, you're in downtown Los Angeles, not the freakin' Promenade.

The other night around 11:30pm, Jim and I were walking home down 4th Street, as we always do, when a group of scenesters walk towards us. Just as they passed by, one guy says to his group, "Let's just go back to the westside."

Yes, please do go back. Because the westside is magical. Maybe you and your Expedition or Escalade can find TV parking or you'll cough up $20 for valet. And you'll only get hit up for change by stranded couple who "just ran out of gas and need to get home to the Valley" rather than a crackhead, and everyone's farts smell like oranges.

losanjealous recently reviewed Bar 107 and I couldn't help but tell them what I thought of the place.

Monday, June 12, 2006

eh, take off... you hoser

Jim and I are going to be in Seattle and Vancouver for a few days (a family thing). Except for the strip clubs and coffehouses in Vancouver, we don't know what to do or where to go. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 09, 2006

the bad girls club

I don't know any bad girls, at least not anymore. Not even when I look in the mirror.

Casting Call: Oxygen will introduce a new original series The Bad Girls Club this December. The show is a docu-soap that follows a group of "bad girls" who all live together in L.A. and in order to be in the club they must pledge to help each other change their devilish ways. If you are a bad girl and would like to be in the club, the producers Bunim-Murray Productions are holding open casting calls in June across the country. Submit a brief description to or call 1-800-683-8832. More information is available at:

Thursday, June 08, 2006

busy week

Despite my deadlines, I've managed to get out and actually see and do things. Unfortunately, I haven't been very good about blogging about any of it.

This past Saturday Jim and I were on the LA Observed Night on The MONA Neon Cruise, the first one of the season. It was a first time for MONA and the cruise for both me and Jim, but I loved both and know I'll be back. There was a reception beforehand to help celebrate LA Observed's third anniversary. It was so nice to see Kevin and chat again. Eric Lynxwiler, who conducts the Neon Cruise, gave us a little museum tour. Eric said he was a little rusty, since he hadn't given a tour since last year, but he had no need for worry. I had such a good time on the tour and highly recommend it to Angelenos and tourists alike. I have to warn you though, Eric plays a little blue. At one point (I think it was when we were going past the TomKat Theatre in WeHo), Eric was reeling off a list of recent porn titles. Good times. I think my favorite part of the evening was when Eric was mid-spiel, and someone yelled out, "Trees!" Eric ducked, the trees brushed the tops of the open-air double-decker bus we were on, Eric popped back up and kept on talking without skipping a beat. Jim blogged about it and took a bunch of pictures, which I hope he puts up soon. I haven't had a chance to download mine from my camera, but soon, I promise. But make plans to take the tour this summer - they're every Saturday night and our tour was sold out.

Sunday was another loftmates and friends dinner at the penthouse. Unfortunately, I didn't hear my phone ringing during dinner and a crowd of guests were stranded below, unable to access the penthouse. I checked my phone after dinner, around 10pm and was horrified to hear Catherine's voicemail saying that everyone was downstairs wondering how to get up. Yikes. I called them back, apologizing profusely. Andy answered and was really cool about it all. They invited us over, they were screening Brokeback Mountain at Adam's penthouse at 11pm. Unfortunately, I was beat. The heat was really getting to me and I had a screenplay to rewrite, so we didn't make it.

Tuesday night, Jim and I were listening to Dr. Ross speak about "What's Wrong With Philanthropy in LA?" at the Central Library. At the reception afterwards, I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a long time, Marie Condron, one of the co-founders of NewDowntown. Marie and her then-boyfriend-now-husband Ian moved downtown into the Santa Fe Building after attending one of the infamous penthouse loft parties from back in the day (scroll down to the last three paragraphs) and we've fallen out of touch in the last few years. We caught up a little over free food and beer at the reception. It was a beautiful election night, so after the reception, Jim and I walked over to the Bonaventure Hotel to check out the action. We only got as far as two trays of beer samples at the Bonaventure Brewing Co. But it was a nice night and I like walking home late at night, you really feel like a part of the city.

Yesterday, I returned an overdue book and we picked up some produce from the farmer's market. Then last night, we returned to the Central Library for yet another lecture series, this one was Don Lutz reading from his book, Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America. I was thisclose to punking out and not attending, mainly because I wanted to go with my loftmate Lucas to the Greek (his assignment was to take pictures of Ashlee Simpson's new nose), but even that sounded like it would take too much effort. I did manage to get in a lot of work on the screenplay, so despite my slackerdom and because of my fear of it, we attended Don Lutz's reading and I'm so glad for it. See, I don't just party my way through downtown.

So I guess I'm not that much of a slacker. We walked home again and ran into Kitty and Jeremy getting their drunk on at Pete's Cafe. Jeremy was part of the group that didn't make it up to the penthouse for dinner on Sunday night, so I apologized profusely again. I gave Kitty a hard time about not finishing her novel, she said something about me pretending to be cultured, going to lectures at the library and shit, then we called each other whores, air-kissed and made up, then made plans to call each other to make plans for the weekend.

Today, I'm missing another Downtown Artwalk. I look outside the window and see all sorts of people gallery-hopping and I did want to check out the newly re-opened bank. But my cousins are in town from Hawaii, my godfather and aunt are in town from Guam, and we're all having dinner at my parent's house tonight. So tonight I also get to miss the Cross Cultural Film Festival at my favorite Filipino-owned and operated downtown cafe, Lost Souls, the wine tasting at my favorite Italian wine and coffee bar, Banquette, as well as the competing mini-grand opening at 626 Reserve (even though they actually opened a month ago.

Tomorrow, I knuckle down and really dig into this rewrite. Or I go to Disneyland with my cousins and Jim. I don't know yet. I'm on the fence.

Saturday, we're hitting the Franklin Avenue 100th Rate a Restaurant shindig at Cole's, maybe the annual Schmucklerfest, and hopefully MOCA's Night Vision so I can see Teka do her spoken word thing. If you haven't ever seen Teka, I urge you to do so (she's on at 9:30pm), she's very talented and entertaining. I met her a few years ago at a Poetry Soup in Carlye's house and I've been a fan ever since. Jim and I ran into her on the downtown artwalk last month, I was really surprised that she remembered me, but then again, she was surprised I remembered her.

I better get going if I'm going to be only a little bit late for dinner.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

just breathe in and look up

Jim's family usually stays at the Bonaventure when they're in town. This shot is right after our "meet the in-laws" brunch, the morning of our engagement party.

Friday, June 02, 2006

go dutch tonight

Looking for something to do tonight? Get over to the Natural History Museum for their First Fridays Series, specifically Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City, a collaboratie exhibit between a group of Los Angeles artists and the Naturalis Museum in The Netherlands.

I have to admit, at first it sounded a little ambitious for the end of a difficult week. But this is the final First Friday of the season and the last chance to explore Sonic Scenery or the Mysterious Bog People after hours. I guess I could sit around and listen to what Ed Moses, Michael C. McMillen, and John Outterbridge (some of the artists participating) have to say about it all. That won't take too much out of me. Afterwards, Jon Hassel will perform his sonic sculpture, Solid State. I have no idea what a sonic sculpture is, but I have a feeling it goes really well with alcohol.

I haven't seen the Bog People exhibit yet. Jim and I checked out Sonic Scenery: Music for Collections when it first opened. I got a video iPod for Christmas (thanks again, Angel!) and had only been using it for going to the gym, but it came in handy for the music accompanying the exhibit. Nice tunes. I better make sure it's full of juice before we go.

June 2, 2006, 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Nature and the City
· Admission $15, Museum members and students (w/ ID) $12.
· Tickets at or by phone at (866) 468-3399.
· Located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Get directions.
· Public parking lot available on Menlo Avenue across from the Museum.
· Please enter the Museum from the South entrance closest to parking.
· For more information e-mail performances(at) or call (213) 763–DINO.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

hope for firefighters

Jim and I will be eating our way through Hope Street today, thanks to Hope for Firefighters 2006 - the largest annual firefighter's appreciation event in the country. Benefitting the Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association Widows & Orphans Fund, teams from local businesses will compete in various firefighter games, and most importantly - present a variety of food booths featuring a taste of the firehouse prepared and served by the firefighters themselves. Oh yeah, we are going to chow down.

I went last year and I don't remember much, just that I woke up with barbecue sauce on my chin.