Tuesday, October 30, 2007

jim's birthday conveyor-belt sushi dinner

To celebrate my husband Jim's birthday, a few of our friends gathered for a sushi at Frying Fish at the Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo. I made reservations for 20, so we didn't take up all the available spaces at the sushi counter, but in the end we were 16 diners strong. Diners included: Albert, Neonboy and the Gentrifier, Shannon, me, Jim, Angel, Helena and Garen, Jim, Gabrielle and Poppy, Camille, and Sandra.

frying fish seafood and sushi

We had plenty to celebrate besides Jim's birthday, but I'm still waiting to hear whether I can blog about the other things yet or not. In any case, once we were in full swing, I put my camera on a plate on the otherwise sushi-laden conveyor belt and hit the record button. Here it is:

I'm such a dolt, I didn't videotape us singing "Happy Birthday" drunkenly and loudly for Jim. Oh well. The management of Frying Fish were so nice and accommodating, serving up cake and ice cream for the birthday boy. I definitely recommend Frying Fish for sushi, especially the red dragon roll, and the prices were very reasonable.

Afterwards, Matt and Reena joined us and we all went over to cefiore for some frozen yogurt. Good times. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as Jim and I did, and thanks for coming out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

so much going on tonight

I wish I could be in several places at once, there are so many things going on tonight and through the weekend. I'll be attending Creative Screenwriting's Screenwriting Expo, which kicks off tonight and wraps up Sunday evening. This event used to take place at the Convention Center, but last year they moved it to the LAX Marriott and another adjacent hotel. I think the venue sucks and would love to woo them back to downtown. Brady, can you work your magic and make this come back downtown?

Jim and I were scheduled to attend a screening tonight of THE NAMESAKE (and I was really looking forward to it), followed by a Q&A with director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair). But I have to go pick up my expo passes and attend a kick-off networking party. Yeah, that'll be a barrel of laughs, everyone in a group worryfest about the impending WGA strike. Drink, please!

Closer to home, we're missing Niche LA's screening of Hideo Nakata's RINGU tonight at 7:30pm:

"In honor of Halloween, we present the film that started the J-horror movement. An investigative reporter looks into the mysterious deaths of seemingly healthy people and hears rumors of a strange videotape with a particular curse -- anyone who watches it will die in exactly one week. Forget the Hollywood remake which took the rough (and arguably scarier) edges off the story. This is the original and still the best. You'll never look at a TV screen in the same way again."

WHAT: Free Wednesday Night Film Screening of RINGU (1998, Runtime: 96 mins)

WHEN: October 24th @ 7:30PM

WHERE: Niche.LA Video Art
Spring Arts Tower
453 S. Spring St. #443
Los Angeles, CA 90013 (corner of 5th and Spring in Downtown LA).
Space is limited, so please RSVP via email or call/text (213) 247-0002.
Click here for info on parking/directions.

View Larger Map

So what are you doing tonight?

Monday, October 22, 2007

polka like it's 1999

As promised, here's my Oktoberfest 2007 photo essay:

willkommen zum oktoberfest
This sign welcomed us to the fairgrounds.

locals and frat boys
Horses pulled wagonloads of beer to the various halls. Locals and tourists alike get their pictures taken with the horses and wagons.

jim and spatenbrau kegs

The beer tents are huge temporary structures, with each tent catering to a specific crowd. Our beer tent for two nights, the Hippodrom, gets a supposedly younger, hipper crowd.

i know this song!
These guys look neither young, nor hip. But they liked to sing along, and loudly.

horses over hippodrom
Inside the Hippodrom, lots of lederhosen, dirndl, food, singing along with oompah-pah music, and beer.

suckling pig and potato balls
I dined on suckling pig and potato balls.

steven, sarah and the bigass pretzel
Steven and Sarah split a pretzel.

Kaj hoists a cold one
Everyone (like Kaj pictured here) kept toasting, so we kept drinking.

chad and mary ellen drinking
So did Chad and Mary Ellen.

my beers
I discovered earlier, in Heidelberg, that three liters of beer is my limit.

four more beers please
I tried to order a few more beers. I never learn.

don't take my picture
I was denied.

wall of steins
Behind the scenes, more steins at the ready. But I'd had enough and there was a whole fairground outside, full of more food, beer, and roller coasters.

Before we left the tent, we hit the toiletten, where I saw this sign... for ass containers?
ass container?

mause circus
Winner for the weirdest attraction - the mause circus.

Instead, we loaded up on souvenirs.
beer steins
toys of oktoberfest
stack of oktoberfest hats

One aspect of Oktoberfest that I enjoyed but didn't get a chance to photograph was the beery-go-round. You guessed it, it was like a merry-go-round, but instead of children riding on toy horses on a carousel of sorts, there was a bar in the middle dispensing liters of beer and adults stood on the revolving platform, drinking. After exiting the Hippodrom tent the first night, we stumbled onto the beery-go-round, which also seemed to be the gathering spot for American tourists. I stood there, drinking a liter and watching the Oktoberfest and fairgrounds whizzing past me in a drunken blur. Pretty.

auf wiedersehen sign
Finally, it was time to go. At least once in your lifetime, do check out Oktoberfest in Munich. It was a blast.

Friday, October 19, 2007

my trip to germany: castle road

I've been home for a couple weeks now and I still haven't posted pics and stories from Oktoberfest or finished up on Heidelberg. Quite a few things happened while in Heidelberg that I'm still processing, so yeah, I'm slacking on my pimping but I think the wait will be worth it.

On Jim's free day in Heidelberg, his employer arranged for a visit to two castles, the Guttenberg Castle in Hassmersheim, and closer to our base of operations, Heidelberg Castle.

From our hotel on the banks of the Neckar, we rode along in one of three huge tour buses, along the Burgenstrasse (Castle Road) to Hassmersheim-Neckarmuhlbach and up to the castle. It was a beautiful ride through the Neckar Valley. It was lush and green, the hillsides were filled with vineyards and castles and Jim slept through most of it. By the time we arrived at Schloss Guttenberg (that's Castle G, in case you didn't know), we had quite a commanding view of the valley and Jim was well-rested.

Our hostess at Guttenberg Castle was the current Baroness Gemmingen, 18th descendant of the first Baron von Gemmingen, who moved there in 1449, in the afternoon. That's amazing. It would take me at least a week to get all my stuff moved in. Originally called the Guttenberg Knight's Castle, it dates back the 1200's and is one of the few castles in Europe that has been continually occupied since the beginning, and has escaped destruction, both natural and man-made.

Our main reason for visiting the castle was to check out the German Raptor Research Centre. It's a breeding and research facility committed to preserving and breeding endangered species of eagles, vultures, velociraptors and owls for resettlement. They have an atrium overlooking the valley, where they train and exhibit their birds of prey. We had a half-hour to kill before the Baroness and the birds were ready, so we went exploring.

tunnel to castle
I had no idea where I was going, but this tunnel seemed like it would lead to good things.

vultures in repose
It lead to vultures, falcons, owls, and eagles.

birds of prey

Back at the atrium, we all anxiously watch eagles, owls, falcons, and vultures swoop in low above our heads and learn a great deal of information about them. The Baroness spoke mostly in German with a sprinkling of English, but I understood a lot just through intonation and her body language (and all the German I learned watching Hogan's Hero reruns), which I'm guessing is how the birds do it, too.

spotted owl

American bald eagle
It's funny that this is the closest I've ever been to an American Bald Eagle - and we were in Germany.

After the show, two guys from Jim's company presented a donation - an oversized cheque for 4500 Euros to the Baroness Gemmingen, whom was so thrilled she had to find her husband and bring out two falcons for us to play with. Afterwards, we repaired to the Castle tavern for lunch. It was dark, rustic, everything you'd think a medieval castle tavern would be - and we had amazing views over the Valley.

After lunch, we got on the tour bus for a short ride to Neckarsteinach, where we boarded a ship for a leisurely cruise back to our hotel. I really had no idea that Germany was so beautiful until I saw this part of the Neckar Valley from the river. Three of Jim's co-workers, Zack, Kaj, and Saskia, decided to run the 20km back. They're marathon runners and were in training, so off they went. One the way, we passed five more castles and 2 locks, which slowed us up enough that the runners arrived before we did at our hotel's pier.

swans on the Neckar
Neckar River scene
Neckar River lock

Back at the hotel, we only had 30 minutes before we had to leave for Heidelberg Castle. After a (very) short nap, three tour buses took the entire conference up to Castle Heidelberg, where the large group split into smaller tour groups. Our group was led by a woman who conducted the tour as a lady in waiting from medieval times. She was amazing. I had a hard time remembering what happened the night before and she was doling out Heidelberg Castle info, over 600 years worth of history, like it just happened yesterday. After the tour, our group came together for champagne at sunset, on one of the castle's patios overlooking Heidelberg.

Upstairs in the castle's banquet hall, dinner was served. Black vodka was served by one of the founders of Jim's company, and then a really bad hippie magician got the group cheering to his own entrance. I could've done without him. I much preferred the part of the evening where Jim's co-workers from different countries delivered heart-warming (and ear-splitting) drinking songs of their nations. Good times.

One of Jim's co-workers from Sweden, Magnus, told me about one of the previous company conferences in Mexico. Like I said before, it's a hard-drinking company. They were in a bar, ordering drinks, and someone in his group ordered a virgin margarita. Magnus had never tasted a virgin margarita and didn't know what was in it, but he said, "Every experience I've had with the word 'virgin' was a good one, so I ordered one too." Luckily, someone informed Magnus that it meant no alcohol, so he promptly changed his order, and consequently didn't remember much about that conference.

I think that's part of the reason why I'm having so much trouble blogging about Heidelberg and Munich. In any case, Oktoberfest pictures are coming soon so stay tuned.

i wanted to be johnny utah

Here it is, another weekend. Big plans? If you don't have any, I strongly urge you to check out Point Break LIVE at Charlie O's in the Alexandria Hotel. I blogged about it the other week and then Jim, Shannon, and I went last Saturday night and laughed our asses off.

This past Sunday afternoon I got a call from a friend who went to see Point Break LIVE on Friday, their opening night. She wanted to get my take on things since she thought the volunteer from the audience who played the role of Johnny Utah was a plant. I was baking brownies in the kitchen, so I was a little distracted.

Phone balanced on my shoulder, I crack some eggs into a bowl and try to be helpful, "I don't think our guy on Saturday was a plant. He was this short Indian guy. Dots, not feathers."

"Okay, that doesn't sound like a plant."

"No, he was there with what looked like a bunch of his 'SC frat brothers. He was cute, though."

"They were 45 minutes late in starting on Friday. It was crazy. I got there and they were still hanging lights. Gary Leonard was pissed."

I remembered what I was thinking about while waiting for the show to start, "Did it freak you out a little to look up and see the brick ceiling, about to fall apart, and the only thing keeping us from being buried in the rubble was chicken wire? Maybe it was just my CERT training kicking in."

"But did you like it? My friend who went with me was laughing his ass off, but I didn't think it was that funny. Maybe it's this stupid diet I'm on that just makes me cranky and hate everything."

I stop licking the spatula, remnants of brownie mix ring my mouth, "What stupid diet are you on?"

"Master cleanse. So I haven't had any solid food in like, eight days."

"Jesus God, why are you doing that?"

"To detox." I hear her breathing heavily.

"Where are you right now and why are you panting?"

"Dude, I'm at the gym. I show up an hour before they close. They turn of the machines a half hour before close so I have an excuse for only working out for 30 minutes. The guy who played Gary Busey's part in the show was good."

"I don't think you're supposed to work out while you're on the master cleanse diet. The surfers were hilarious. They kept sucking up to Kathryn Bigelow."

"Kathryn Bigelow was there? The real Kathryn Bigelow?"

"Yeah, she sat in a booth behind me and Jim. She looked like she was enjoying the show. You know, for a minute, when people from the audience went up onstage to 'audition' for the role of Johnny Utah, I almost went up on stage. Because what's funnier than some short fat Asian chick playing Keanu? Nothing, that's what."

"Why didn't you?"

"I don't know."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i've got lots of reading and writing to do

This Thursday is the deadline for submitting materials to the Downtown Writers Group for review at the next meeting on November 1, 2007. I've got my finished screenplay to submit, but I'm working on the outline for my next project and I'm hoping to finish it quickly so that I can submit that for review as well.

After the last meeting, which was also our first meeting, a couple of us walked away from the DLANC center marveling at how enjoyable our discussion was. Others have mentioned to me how motivating it was to read and be read and how they were looking forward to the next meeting and the next round of reads. I hope that feeling was widespread and that it continued, because I'm still totally psyched about the group and I'm really looking forward to our next meeting.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

downtown bloggers heart 'gina

nose to the 'gina
killing two birds...

Group 'gina was a really good idea. I had a really good time, it was chill, a good amount of people attended, and we were able to actually have substantive conversations over 'gina. We even had an out-of-downtown blogger making the trek downtown, just for group 'gina. Funniest moment? For me, when they brought out the first order of pasta and offered grated parmesan cheese. I wasn't really paying attention, but then I heard this really familiar buzzing sound, like from a vibrator. I turned and saw that the server had a small, battery-operated cheese grater. A hush came over our crowd and then, bawdy laughter. It's the little things, you know, those small touches that make such a huge difference with 'gina.

It was Rico's first experience with 'gina, so I wasn't really sure he'd be able to eat enough 'gina for two, but he seemed to be enjoying it. Don said that he hadn't had 'gina in a long while, but overall he had a good 'gina experience. Jim had spaghetti and meatballs and practically licked his bowl of 'gina clean, it was that yummy. For whatever reason my 'gina was taking a long time. Everybody else already had their 'gina and mine was nowhere to be found. Turns out there was a mixup because Shannon and I had ordered similar 'gina dishes. So at first Shannon was eating my 'gina. I was about to take a big bite out of my 'gina when Shannon exclaimed, "Hey wait a minute, I think that's my 'gina." Upon closer inspection of both 'ginas, we realized they put my chicken carbonara over penne (instead of the fusilli I ordered) and her whatever she ordered on fusilli. So rather than chow down on Shannon's 'gina, we switched 'ginas and resumed eating. And the eating was good. Afterwards, the owner treated us all to a free gelato. Jim had the dulce de leche, which was yummy, and I had the white chocolate raspberry, also yummy.

Basically, it was good, cheap and filling. I'm giving this 'gina two thumbs up.

Friday, October 12, 2007

we feast on 'gina tonight

At long last and after a false alarm, we have an open 'gina in Little Tokyo*. Jim and I will join other downtown bloggers and readers/'gina lovers at the Little Tokyo Pastagina tonight and hopefully it will live up to the hype. Because there are few things worse than getting all riled and up excited for some 'gina, only to get some and realize it wasn't all that.

*I had to point out that we're getting some 'gina in Little Tokyo because there are two other 'gina's planned for the downtown area, one in South Park by the Ralph's and I think 3rd and Hope. Point is, 'ginas are opening up all over downtown.

So if you aren't sure what you're doing for dinner or are just 'gina-curious, come out to join us for some 'gina. Afterwards, some of us are going to check out Vibiana and all this Fashion Week hoopla, so maybe we'll see you around.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

get your ass and your camera over to the fashion district

You know how I can tell it's Fashion Week in Los Angeles? Scads of seriously hot women walking around the Fashion District. Seriously. I was walking down Los Angeles and when I hit the area around the Cooper Building, I was so distracted by the scenery that I had to stop and ask myself, "Wait, where am I going again?"

After I finished running my errands, I decided to walk up Los Angeles Street towards home. I approached the corner of 9th and Los Angeles. She stood there waiting for the light to change. She was tall, super-thin, wearing gold flats and a drapey, nude-colored mini-dress with spaghetti straps. The light turned green and as she stepped off the curb, any doubts I might've had about her line of work flew out the window. She sashayed across the street, the crosswalk her catwalk. All the while, the wind kept blowing the top of her dress aside, exposing her right breast with every breeze. I looked at all the cars stopped at the light, heading east on 9th. They were all staring, transfixed by a harbinger of Fashion Week - a hot model inadvertently flashing her breast on a downtown street. Thanks Brady!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"whoa, i'm surfing"

I blogged about it back in April, but that was in New York. Now the madness has spread to Los Angeles, specifically, downtown Los Angeles at 5th and Spring. I can't believe our luck, but Point Break LIVE!, the absurdist stage adaptation of the 1991 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze extreme-sports blockbuster, Point Break, will be playing every Friday and Saturday night this month at Charlie O's in the Alexandria Hotel. And I've got a pair of tickets to give away for this Saturday's performance.

I mentioned in my earlier post that... well, they said it best:

Best of all, each night the starring role of Keanu will be played by a lucky individual selected from the audience. In a method that captures the raw essence of a classic Keanu Reeves performance, the lead will read all his/her lines off of cue-cards held by a diligent PA. The play will be filmed via the "Keanu Kam," and at the end of the night, the "volunteer Keanu" will receive a VHS tape of his/her performance!

After sold-out, extended runs in Seattle, Minneapolis, Brooklyn and Manhattan, Point Break LIVE! finally returns to its roots: Los Angeles, the “bank robbery capital of the world” where “the air got dirty, and the sex got clean.”

OPENS: Friday, October 12th and runs through…?

VENUE: Charlie O's at The Alexandria Hotel
501 S. Spring Street (the corner of 5th & Spring)
Los Angeles, CA 90013

PARKING: Valet parking under the hotel is $6 (and for chrissake, tip the valet parking guys!)

PERFORMANCES: Every Friday & Saturday at 8 PM

TICKETS: $20 at TheaterMania.com

Be the first person to email me with "Johnny Utah" in the subject line and the correct answers to these two questions and you could win a pair of tickets for Point Break LIVE! this Saturday, October 13, 2007.

1. For what team did Johnny Utah play football?

2. Johnny's football career was ruined due to an injury to what body part during what game?

So Jim and I are going this Saturday, our lucky winner and their +1 will go this Saturday - any other downtown bloggers and readers want to go and make a night of it? Picture Charlie O's, filled with downtown bloggers, with the possibility of one playing Johnny Utah. You'd want to go to that, right?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

how do you reward yourself?

I've got a gift certificate for a massage at Burke Williams Spa. It was a present that was given to me a long time ago and I have yet to use it. Jim and I usually go to Pho Siam for Thai massages, but the BW massage I save for when I want to just treat myself. The gift box it came in is pretty beat up, it's been sitting on top of my desk, underneath about a foot tall pile of books, scripts, notes, business cards, pens, newspaper and magazine clippsing, invitations, and rubble. I also have bottles of champagne around, just in case something comes up that we have to celebrate immediately. There is, however, a very special bottle tucked away, reserved for really special celebrations. Then there are the cigars. Cuban, and reserved for when I want to reward myself greatly, health issues be damned.

I thought that by now, since I've sent off my screenplay to my producer, that I would've already smoked a cigar, drank some champagne, or had these knots in my back worked out and taken a steam. I will probably have to make some minor changes or a polish before the next phase in the project, but it was a major milestone for me. And yet the cigar, champagne and massage gift certificate sit untouched. Am I waiting for more notes and complete another rewrite before I feel comfortable popping the cork? Or is actually going into production the only thing that will make this all seem real enough to light up a Cohiba and then get a deep tissue massage?

I want to celebrate. Besides completing the screenplay, I'm enjoying the process of writing again. I feel like I'm in a groove, like I'm hanging out with the Muse again. We've been walking around downtown Los Angeles, picking up an avocado shake at Lost Souls, nibbling cheese and sipping wine at Banquette, staring at the downtown skyline from our patio. It's been nice. But I want to mark this victory, even if it's just a small one. So how do you guys reward yourselves? Any suggestions that don't involve Cuban cigars, champagne or a deep-tissue massage?

wonton update

Jim and Wonton lounging
Not only does Wonton now have balls, he blogs about it.

He's also on his best behavior so that Jim and I will take him to the inaugural Downtown Dog Walk at Pershing Square this Wednesday, hosted by DLANC and Wonton's friend, Dodger.

In other downtown news, The Lofty Dog launched a blog and this Thursday's Yappy Hour is also a Howl-O-Ween Fashion show. Did I mention that Wonton will be a model in the show? I think we may be reaching new heights of ridiculousness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

next meeting of the downtown writers group

The next meeting of the Downtown Writers Group is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 7:00pm, at the DLANC Outreach Center at 450 S. Main Street (between 5th and Winston Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90013, next to the Regent Theater.

I'm kind of on edge right now. I submitted an unfinished version of my screenplay to the group two weeks ago, but I've since completed it and submitted that to my producer. Tomorrow, I get feedback on something that no one else but my producer, his development execs, and Jim have read. Fresh eyes. That's one kind of anxiety. Then over the weekend, I get to meet with one of my producer's development execs to discuss the draft I submitted. I know this will sound silly, but I can't tell which one is making me more anxious.

no taste of 'gina tonight

I thought the long wait for open 'gina in Little Tokyo was almost over. But no, we won't be tasting 'gina tonight, at least not in Little Tokyo. Turns out Pastagina was open on Saturday for a private party, probably a family and friends test run, and not to the general public. Neonboy just went by to doublecheck and, in an email from Shannon titled, "no open 'gina",

"... he reports that there are electricians and blueprints and workers about and it doesn’t look like they will be open tonight. :(

No ‘gina for us."

That's too bad. Judging from the comments on Ed's original post about the 'gina opening, it was shaping up to be a downtown bloggers 'gina eat-off of sorts. In any case it seemed like a few downtown bloggers and readers would be stuffing their faces with 'gina, which isn't out of the ordinary considering the overabundance of hotness in the downtown area, but we'd all be doing it together is what makes it so special. Oh well, I guess we'll all have to get together another night.

Monday, October 01, 2007

i left my heart... in heidelberg?

I loved Heidelberg. I had no idea Germany was so beautiful. People were friendly, the weather was mild and, although public transport was both efficient and ubiquitous, the city was walkable and bicycles were the preferred mode of transport for a great deal of the local population. There were a ton of cute dogs and they seemed to be allowed everywhere, even in restaurants, but these were some of the most well-behaved dogs I'd ever seen.

Heidelberg from above

Our hotel was on the Neckar River, about a 20-minute walk along the river to Old Town. Lining the banks of the river were parks, and everywhere you looked, lots of green space. During the day, I would see people running along the river, walking their dogs, sunning themselves, playing soccer, or just hanging out. There were paddle boats for hire on one side, a marina for all manner of ship, boat or dinghy on the other.

Rowers on the Neckar
Neckar River restaurant
Old Town Bridge over Neckar
Georg Fischer on the Neckar
Several times during our stay, at sunset, we'd take a boat into Old Town, then walk along meandering cobblestone streets to a candlelit bistro for dinner, stop for a scoop of gelato somewhere on the main drag, then a last stop at a great neighborhood hangout called The Drug Store for another liter with Jim's co-workers, then a romantic walk along the river back to our hotel. It was almost enough to make me forget the smell of cigarette smoke, which was pervasive. Oh well, can't have everything.

More of Heidelberg and Munich to come...

bits and pieces

I'm back, I'm jetlagged, and I lost my cell phone somewhere in Germany. I think the reason I lost it is because it had a Hello Kitty charm attached and I tend to leave at least one Hello Kitty item behind whenever I travel. Yeah, I suck.

I'll try to get my pics up quickly but I still have a lot of work to do. I finished my rewrite while I was in Germany (yay me!), but I want to print it out and give it another once-over before I send it in to the producer. Then I'm going to light my big fat Cuban cigar and try not to think about rewriting any more until I get the notes back from my writers group and the producer.

Lots happened while we were gone and lots more about to happen, so let me just run down a few:

* I read that 'gina had a big grand opening in Little Tokyo while I was gone. Does anybody want to come with and taste some 'gina on Wednesday night with me, Jim, Shannon, Neonboy and the Gentrifier? That's Wednesday night, 7-ish, and let's call it "A Taste of 'Gina".

* My ex-loftmate and grill master extraordinaire, Tim Swiss, was nominated for an Ovation Award. Yay Tim!

* The Fashion District is launching its own Fashion District Farmer's Market at Santee Village (7th & Los Angeles Streets). Every Wednesday from 4-7pm, you can stuff your 100% hemp or canvas tote bag with organic produce and whatever else they're slinging. There will be a DJ at this week's grand opening, and you can also get a free Fashion District tote bag. Woo hoo, if it's free, it's for me!

* Next weekend is the Brewery 2007 Fall Artwalk and i-5 Gallery Show. The twice-annual Brewery Artwalk is designed to showcase Los Angeles Fine Artists selling gallery-quality fine art at studio prices and the i-5 Gallery showcases works by Brewery tenants.

* Two weeks away from our puppy, Wonton, and he's all grown up. He's got balls now.

* And finally, a draft version of the Downtown Los Angeles Filming Special Conditions is online and available for public comment.

I will have my Oktoberfest 2007 photo essay up as soon as I can stop laughing at Jim's pics of drunken me ordering more beer, and also some really nice pictures and stories about Heidelberg, my new favorite German city.