Monday, April 30, 2007

the bitch is back

My second favorite dive bar, Shinsho Tei, is in Honolulu, at the intersection of Nuuanu and School. And every time I go there, it's Tranny Night. Now that I think about it, Cole's, which was my favorite dive bar, has been sold and is currently closed for renovation, so I guess Shinsho Tei is now my favorite dive bar.

Cousin Angel and I remembered that the last time we were there, my sister Laura was with us. The regulars at the bar were hard to win over, but we did, and we closed down the place doing it. That night's tranny was a masculine 6'1 with broad shoulders and barrel-chested, wearing a pink mini-dress and a red hibiscus tucked into his long dark hair.

As soon as my cousin G, Lisa and Teegan showed up, we all toasted Laura, then did shots and flipped through the books to see what we'd sing that night. I guess I can forget singing the Pussycat Dolls' hit, Don't Cha - the tranny in the booth next to us is already singing it, and putting a new spin to it, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me... don't cha,", and in case you missed his/her viewpoint, it came complete with illuminating dance moves.

Cousin Angel is in rare form, jeez, he's on fire. I don't remember what his first few numbers were, but our group and the regulars are loving it. Thanks to him, we won over the tough crowd early. I think I sang Carole King's I Feel The Earth Move, but then it was Cousin Angel's turn again and he sang The Bitch Is Back. He tore the place apart. One of the trannies in the house got up and started dancing and singing with him, "I'm the bitch, I'm the bitch!"Angel uploaded the video, the most hilarious being us singing along on certain parts and laughing our asses off.

After his triumphant performance, Cousin Angel started talking to everyone, people at the bar and from other tables and booths, but mostly to the tranny and company in the booth next to us. Then the moment happened - they asked for our names. Cousin Angel and I forgot to have that conversation in the car beforehand - after all, what happens in Honolulu stays in Honolulu, right? We couldn't tell them our real names, but we didn't come up with our aliases beforehand. So Cousin Angel did his best, telling them, "I'm Angel FuckMeInTheButt and this is my cousin, Celia EatMyAssOut." Did I mention that he still had the mic in his hand?

Shinsho Tei
1613 Nuuanu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 528-1007

it's not dolores, but it rhymes with another female body part

I recently read on Ed's blog that Pastagina will be opening up in the retail space at the Hikari Apartments in Little Tokyo. Are you kidding me? Pastagina? Mama mia, that's hilarious. Yeah, that just puts me in the mood to eat pasta. How's the putanesca? I hear the marinara is so good, you want to be ears deep in it. Jeez, that's even better than going to Angelique and ordering an Orangina (especially since they switched to Arranciata), or eating at the Pink Taco.

I know, I'm a child.

Pastagina opens in Little Tokyo in May 2007, with both their Third & Grand and Hope and 9th stores opening Summer 2007.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

rolling through downtown

Check out this trailer for 1st and Hope, a film about an afternoon spent skateboarding through downtown Los Angeles, from 1st and Hope to the Staples Center. Yes, I'm procrastinating. Okay, I'll go back to rewriting my screenplay now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

downtown dog owners beware!

I read the craziest thing over at newdowntown - first there was this:

"Dear New Downtowners,

Please keep an eye on your dog when walking him/her in the downtown area. Apparently, there are a couple guys who are making accusations towards dog owners saying they "stole" their dog and are demanding that the dog be returned to them. They say their dog jumped out of the window of their car and then say you are taking the dog. They even go so far as to call the police. Please be very careful when leaving your dog - even for a minute - while you pop into a store or run in for a

Kind regards,
Nancy-Jean Carlson, Owner
Pet Project,
Downtown's Exclusive Pet Food Home Delivery Service

Then, from Joe (you know Joe, he's always walking his beautiful dog Ruby around 4th and Main) comes this horrifying story:

"Thank you for posting the warning, Nancy-Jean.

Unfortunately, I was a victim of the two Hispanic guys yesterday (4-25). I was returning home from a dog walk around 4:30 pm with my bull terrier Ruby when they confronted me on the street at 6th and Main and tried to take Ruby away from me.

A police car stopped and the men told the police I took Ruby from their car. The police believed the men! One cop asked me how old Ruby is. I told him 9 years old. He told me that Ruby is two years old. "That is not your dog," one cop told me. "You have to return their dog."

I was pushed against the parking lot fence and handcuffed. Then I was placed in a police car while Ruby remained with the two men.

The officers were abusive. They asked me if I was under the influence of medication and if I wanted a white dog just like one I had when I was little.

I finally convinced them (after much begging) to take me to the San Fernando Building to establish the fact that Ruby is mine. Another cop car arrived and stayed with the men and my dog. One cop said "coo coo" the whole two block trip home. They also referred to the cardboard box they thought I lived in.

Things changed when I reached home. The building security guard, neighbors, the management crew, business owners (including Nancy-Jean) and Tom Gilmore and Trish Keefer all vouched for me and Ruby. The other cops brought the two men and Ruby to the building and everyone identified her. A third cop car later arrived. The handcuffs were finally removed and Ruby was returned to me.

Despite all of that, though, I still had to take the two cops to my unit to show them proof that I live with a dog. Then later they returned to take pictures of Ruby and me together.

I have filed a complaint against the two cops and I am going to meet with them and the head of Central Division on Monday afternoon. I was abused by those two cops and I will do my best to make them accountable for their bad behavior.

...and the two men? They were turned loose and could still possibly be around the area. Other dog walkers should wisely take Nancy-Jean's warning to heart."


As a former dog owner (Flagg passed away in 2004 after 13+ wonderful years) and fan of Ruby (we ran into them often when Jim lived at the San Fernando), I was sick when I read of Joe's encounter with the police and wish him the best of luck on Monday when he meets with the head of Central Division. I shudder to think that the two men were left free to prey on other dog-owners. Be careful out there!

downtown filming, downtown blogs

I read Ed and Eric's posts re new rules for downtown filming available on the FilmLA website. I love that I can get my essential info on downtown living from downtown blogs rather than the Downtown News or any other traditional media source. But there is still a lot of helpful information that I don't see covered and I know I'm guilty of not posting the most useful stuff or the most hilarious gossip anymore. I promise, more good stuff to come and less of my Hello Kitty obsession. Jeez, I did it again. Where was I? Oh yeah, back to filming downtown. Damn, that simulated gunfire from the film crew down the street is loud.

Eric states on blogdowntown (and I heartily agree), "Aside from the PDF making it sound like Film LA is making these changes of their own free will, the rules are a good start toward making filming a better neighbor. "

It is a very good start and I'm so appreciative of DLANC's Residential Committee for all they've done to make this happen and for their continued efforts. Special thanks to Benjamin Pezzillo, Bert Green and Ginny Marie Case.

But I have to laugh at Ed's theory, "I think it has something to do with Downtown being the '3rd "bloggiest' neighborhood." Hey, weren't we just talking about that after that residential meeting? Ed suggested that we have a picnic or barbecue for all downtown bloggers. I think we should have a meet-up at Lost Souls for all downtown bloggers and the people who read them. Anybody interested in going to that?

Here's an interesting viewpoint- I read this blog post re the ACLU, the cleaning up of Skid Row and downtown development. This woman's take on things is titled, " How the Supreme Court killed downtown Los Angeles". Why can't the Downtown News run articles like this instead of the same old rah-rah real estate stories?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

then christ spoke to us

The plan was to drive around Oahu, stopping at all the yummy places to eat and maybe burn off some calories at a few of the beaches along the way. We had already gorged ourselves on malasadas from Leonard's the day before - original sugar as well as the pineapple custard-filled, haupia-filled, chocolate-filled, and sugar and cinnamon malasadas. I don't remember what we did after that.

Jim's first malasada
Jim's first malasada

Jim and I waited outside the Waikiki Banyan for my brother Angel and Cousin Angel. I was surprised to see my mom sitting in the minivan as it pulled up. She wanted to go on the culinary tour of the island as well. I guess we had to watch our language and couldn't get too raunchy. Then Cousin Angel pointed out "The Semen Tree" where he lost his virginity, a bush where he made out with a cute Portuguese guy and other familiar-looking flora. I looked back at my mom - no reaction. She might be used to tuning us out by now.

It was a little cloudy when we left Waikiki and headed for Hawaii Kai for our first stop - Zippy's, "Hawaii's favorite foods". By the time we pulled into the parking lot, it was raining steadily. No worries, this is Hawaii after all - it rains, but it will soon pass.

I felt a little twinge when I ordered the same thing I always get - Loco Moco. It was really good, but I was eyeing Angel's Chili Moco - Zippy's has good chili and rice, what was I thinking? The skies cleared and I posited, "Every time we stop to eat, the rain stops. We should stop more." I pledged to get something new at the next culinary stop to make up for my early mistake. We drove up Kamehameha Highway towards Hanauma Bay.

We noticed the traffic cones blocking the entrance before we saw the sign, "Hanauma Bay closed on Tuesdays." Oh well, on to Sandy Beach. It was raining pretty steadily now. It didn't look like we'd be burning off any calories today. We drove past Sea Life Park and up the windward coast.

"Hey, didn't Cousin Minnie work at Sea Life Park when she was in college?"

"Yeah, she was a dolphin trainer."

"Didn't she quit because a dolphin went crazy and attacked her?"

"I thought it tried to have sex with her."

Then Angel, Cousin Angel, and I tried to outdo each other for the next few miles of amazing scenery with gross jokes about "Flipper del Banco", our cousin's half-dolphin love-child. I snuck a look at my mom sitting behind us in the mini-van. Still no reaction.

We passed by the Polynesian Cultural Center and had exhausted all dolphin jokes and tired of dolphin impressions. The beaches were rained out and we were almost to our next culinary stop, the shrimp trucks on the northwest side of the island. I could almost taste the garlic butter shrimp. We would have forged ahead, but my mom finally spoke up, "I need the restroom." Cousin Angel spotted the Mormon Temple on the opposite side of the road and suggested we turn around, use their facilities, and check out their Visitor's Center. I felt Angel resisting. He had to turn the van around on this two-lane stretch of Kamehameha Highway to go back. To the Mormon Temple. I should've heeded his instincts.

We got out of the mini-van and walked around the fountains, towering fan palms and lush gardens surrounding the Temple.

I looked around, then behind me at Cousin Angel, Jim and my mom. Someone was missing. "Where's Angel?"

Jim volunteered, "He's still back at the car."

"He said he didn't need to use the restrooms," added Cousin Angel.

"I need the restroom," my mom reminded me.

We made our way to the Visitor's Center. It was bright outside and I couldn't see inside. Cousin Angel opened the door for me and I led everyone inside. It took a split-second for me to realize, but I froze in my tracks the second I saw the ginormous statue of Jesus in the lobby. I tried to back up, but everyone else piled in behind me. Too late, we were sighted. A cute/creepy Asian girl in a blue muumuu approached us, "Aloha. Welcome to the Visitor's Center. Would you like to watch a short presentation on Jesus Christ? I love him so much."

I stammered and looked to my mom for help. The tour guide saw our hesitation, "It's very short, just a few minutes." Then my mom spoke up again, "I need the restroom."

Hallelujah! "I need to go too," I added and we all broke for the restrooms. Except for Angel, who was still at the car. There was no one in the ladies' room except for me and my mom, but we still didn't dare to speak freely. I wanted to ask her how we could get the hell out of there, but then another tour guide in a blue muumuu followed us into the restroom. We made it out to the Jesus statue and saw that Jim was on his feet, ready to bolt, but Cousin Angel was holding literature and sitting with creepy Asian chick. She got up, motioned for us to sit, and hit a button behind the Jesus statue. The lights dimmed slightly and Jesus spoke, "Hello, I am Jesus... "

Have you ever been to the Hall of Presidents on Main Street at Disneyland? The one where an animatronic Abraham Lincoln sits and talks with the audience? It was kind of like that except creepier and Jesus didn't move and he was something like 20 feet tall. Mercifully, the creepy Asian chick didn't lie about the length of time. As soon as Jesus stopped talking, we lept to our feet. Creepy Asian chick asked if we wanted to take the rest of the tour. Cousin Angel, quick thinker that he is, offered, "We have to hurry up and catch up with the rest of our group."

Just then, Angel walks into the Visitor's Center. I almost laughed out loud when I saw he had the same reaction I did, that recognizable "Oh shit," look and a small backward step towards the door to escape. I hoped he didn't need to use the restroom and added, "Oh there's our driver. Sorry, we have to go."

We all walked out rather quickly and I waited until what I thought was a safe distance before I asked Cousin Angel, "How creepy was that?" Cousin Angel stiffened and whispered, "She's right behind us."

I turned to see the creepy Asian chick had followed us out and was walking with us across the grounds to our car. I stopped and she thrust a piece of paper and pen in my hand, asking for my contact information. I shook my head, "No, thank you," and walked away. She stood there, waving goodbye to us as I we piled into the car. If Angel had been in there with us, I suspect the mini-van would've pealed out of the parking lot.

We tried to laugh the creepiness off of us, so we made all sorts of bad religion jokes as we sped away. It was raining slightly, but we saw it in the distance, the first shrimp truck. We weren't that hungry, but we figured we'd split a few plates and Angel could use the facilities. Warily, he asked, "Do I have to listen to Jesus to use this restroom?"

I joked, "No, it's a Buddhist bathroom."

Two garlic butter shrimp plates later, the rain subsided and we were on our way to the North shore and shave ice at Matsumoto's. Or was it Ted's Pies? I forget which came first, just that we were on an insane sugar high. We ended things with a late visit to the Dole Plantation on the way back. We planned on hitting that Chinese-style shave ice place in Aeia, but we were late for dinner at my aunt's house.

On our way back to Waikiki, we noticed a sign at all the bus stops along Kuhio, "Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays." The signs were there all along, we just had to notice them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

left behind

I had a great time in Hawaii, but I am so glad to be back home in Los Angeles. Jim and I arrived yesterday morning and I've already had a conversation with the manager of the resort we stayed at in Poipu, Kauai. First, I identified myself. Then I quickly got to the point of my call.

"...I was a guest last weekend and I inadvertently left some items in our room."

The friendly woman in the other end cheerily replied, "I can check with housekeeping. Which room were you in?"

"Room 2303."

I heard her tapping on a keyboard. "Okay, what did you leave behind?"

"I left a Hawaiian-print dress on top of the hamper in the bedroom facing the ocean."

"What color?"

"It had a black background, with ivory and red hibiscus flowers."

More tapping.

"Okay. What else?"

I hesitated.

"Pink and black Hello Kitty panties. I left both the dress and the panties on top of the hamper in the closet."

She was quiet on the other end, no tapping on the keyboard.

Carefully, she asked, "Hello Kitty panties?"

"Yes," I laughed, "Pink and black, Hello Kitty."

I heard her laugh, then tap something out. "Okay, I'll check with housekeeping and call you right back."

Minutes later, she calls me back.

"I talked to housekeeping. They found the dress and sent it out to be dry-cleaned. I can mail it out to you as soon as it comes back from the cleaners."

"Great!" I exclaimed.

"Unfortunately, they didn't find your Hello Kitty panties."

jim and celia poipu sunset - photo by angel
Picture of the missing dress. I'm wearing the missing panties in this picture. Photo taken by Angel

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ten Illegal Things I Found on Jim's Computer

OK, I cannot tell a lie. I didn't find anything illegal. But not for lack of trying!

Then again, I'm not 100 percent sure this is Jim's and not Celia's computer I'm on. All I know is that I'm a bit of an interloper here, not having asked permission to use this Mac before our dynamic duo fled the nest.

Guys? Do ya mind?

Anyway -- The week has wizzed by and we have already eased on down to Saturday. Wish I had a camera to capture Poppy, crashed out under this spectacular city view. Hate to tear her away from it, but alas, our sojourn in this urban paradise is winding to a close. Tomorrow, this trio will be making its way to the Jewel of Hollywood.

Jim, Celia, do you know how good you have it here?

I think you do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

watch me hula

Hello from Hawaii! Jim and I are having a great time, wish you were here. No, really, we do. Especially if you've got something that will help me recover from our drunken karaoke experience last night.

Anyway, there's a live web cam trained on the Duke Kahanamoku statue on Waikiki Beach. I was thinking of posting a time when I would go there and wave hello to whoever reads this blog, maybe even play the ukelele or do the hula. But then I realized, I can't play the ukelele and I don't know how to hula. Ah screw it, I'll just send out postcards like normal people do.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ten Illegal Items I Found in Celia's Medicine Cabinet

OK -- so I wrote that subject line just to scare her a little bit, in case she's checking in from Paradise.

Truth is, I haven't found anything illicit so far, but people seem to think I will. Take my friend Soo. I told her about Celia & Jim's hospitable invitation, and the conversation went a little like this:

Soo: So, what's the place like?

Me: [Description this, description that, huge, cavernous space, deck size of a football field, spectacular city view, etc., etc.]

Soo: Yeah, but are there, like, a bunch of Hello Kitty vibrators hanging from the ceiling? I'd imagine there would be.

Ahhhhh! I thought they were cigar holders.

So ... well ... maybe the vice is there -- I'm just not hip to it.

Anyway, I'll check in again when I've managed to sneak some snaps with Jim's camera. Then YOU can tell ME what's what among the Jimelia apothecary.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hello Kitty

I was thinking that there's enough Hello Kitty stuff in this loft to choke a horse, but I was wrong because GOD DAMMIT THE HORSE WON'T DIE.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Hello! Guest Blogger Jim Pascoe here.

I'm not new to blogging, but most of the time on my site,, I'm either promoting my writing or declaring that I'm the prime minister of Iraq ... sadly, a post I have vacated. I'll try to capture the Celianess of this site.

I know! I'll use code names!

So Gab and I are moving our stuff from the Flophouse (first code name) to the Loft, carrying suitcases and boxes of baby clothes from the car down Los Angeles Street. When who comes a' walkin' down the sidewalk?

Not Keanu Reeves (not a code name). No, it was Melvin (code name).

Melvin is a zombie. As in un-fucking-dead.

No. I'm serious. This guy -- I mean Melvin -- was slowly making his way down the pavement, but everything about him: his bandaged calf, his awkward gait, his cloudy eyes, his open mouth ... dude, this was a for-real, 100%, just-like-they-used-to-make-them-in-the-movies ZOMBIE.

It was actually Gabrielle who first pointed out his true zombie nature. She was like, "that guy, Melvin, is a zombie."


It was just like the zombie apocolypse but with hundreds less zombies and no cool quarentine signs wildposted everywhere.

I thought about shooting Melvin in the head. Then I thought, Melvin, I don't know you. And you're a freakin' zombie. Let's make a deal. You don't eat my brains, and I won't splatter you head open in the middle of the street. Just keep stumbling away from me, and you'll be okay in my book.

Tonight, there was no sign of Melvin. Was I hallucinating last night? Or is he still out there somewhere, a couple broken steps farther into oblivion?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

pinch hitters

Jim and I are leaving for Hawaii in a few hours and I still haven't finished packing. I have plenty to do, but I wanted to let you know that I've been thinking of you. Yes, you. I don't want you to do without blog posts while we're in a tropical paradise. So I've asked my good friends, the very cool, always fun, and incredibly talented husband and wife team of Jim and Gabrielle to fill in for me while we're gone.

Jim and Gabrielle are filling in for me in more ways than one - they're also housesitting our loft while their house is being renovated or something. It'll be interesting to see how they negotiate downtown Los Angeles and interact with our friendly neighbors and film crews. You might recognize Jim, he was the officiant at our wedding, and you might remember Gabrielle as the person responsible for Single Shot. Be nice to them while I'm gone, they've got a lot going on and if you ask nicely, maybe they'll tell post a list of the "10 illegal things found in Celia's bathroom", or any one of the potentially embarrassing things they unearth while loftsitting.

Personally, I think you should ask Jim about his story in the soon-to-be-released book, LOS ANGELES NOIR. You've read about it, haven't you? No? Sure you have.


It was the day before my birthday and I still didn't know what was in those packages that Jim hid from me. Those were my birthday presents and I was determined to find out what they were - before my birthday.

I had a pretty good idea of where they were hidden. Most likely, he'd hide my presents up high, where he thinks I can't reach. But we have chairs and ladders, I just needed to get him out of the loft so I could search in peace.

"Don't brownies sound good right now? Don't they have brownies at JJ Sandwich Shop, across from Cole's?" I whined to Jim.

He shrugged and continued to stare at his computer screen.

Undaunted, I figured I should describe a brownie. After all, he's the one with the sweet tooth. He'll want a brownie, run down the street to get some for the both of us and while he's out, I would ransack the storage closet and the bedroom closet.

"I hope they have those double fudge brownies, or ones with chocolate chips in them. Or how about those brownies with the chocolate icing. Doesn't that sound good? I wonder if they have any left."

Jim continued to ignore me, so I went back to my computer and tried to figure out another way to get him out of the loft. He printed something out and when I looked up again, he was gone. I looked around, but heard him in the kitchen, moving pots and pans around.

Things looked good. I could see what he was doing in there, estimate how long he'd be in there, and figure out how to get the ladder out of the kitchen and into the bedroom without him noticing.

"What are you doing?" I asked nonchalantly.

"Making brownies."

"From scratch?" I asked, incredulous. I mean, who does that? Brownies from scratch?

Jim handed me a printout. He had downloaded a recipe off the Internet. "Yeah. We've got all the ingredients and you said you wanted brownies."

Damn. Forty minutes later, homemade brownies. And he still hadn't left the loft.

"Those look great! You know what would be perfect with those? Ice cream. You could go and get some from Ray at the Old Bank Deli. Wouldn't this be so much better with Dulce de Leche ice cream?"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

eye of the tiger

Jim and I leave for Hawaii on Thursday, but tomorrow I'm meeting with Bigshot Producer. I'm trying hard not to faint again.

I wrote the majority of my screenplay last year at Jim's old pad, six floors above Pete's Cafe. I was on the sofa, already stressing out about getting my first draft out to Bigshot Producer. Jim was in the kitchen, making rice krispy treats with pink marshmallows so that they would look like mealworms. No, it wasn't for Halloween and yes, I did worry. But back to me, me, me.

Development Exec called, "Not to put more pressure on you, but (media giant whose name I cannot divulge but she's black, has a talk show, magazine, empire, etc.) wants to read your screenplay as soon as possible."

My bullshit-meter didn't make a peep. Bigshot Producer is very tight with her attorney. "Yeah, okay. I'll send you pages when I'm done." I hung up, took a deep breath and started to freak out a little. I got off the sofa to tell Jim, who had his back to me in the kitchen.

"Guess who wants to read my screenplay," I said. Then, my knees buckled, the room spun and I fainted. Jim said he heard what sounded like a body hitting concrete. I'm guessing he spun around and saw me lying on the floor, down for the count.

When I came to, Jim was on the floor next to me, with a scared look on his face. Situation reversed, I guess I would be scared too. I started to laugh once I realized what happened. I am so ridiculous sometimes, I mean, who the hell faints from work-related stress? Jim got me back onto the sofa and I think he offered me mealworms/rice krispy treats.

I wasn't that worried because that wasn't the first time I've fainted from work-related stress. Once, I took off to get away from everyone and everything. I checked myself into The Phoenician for some ultra-relaxing spa treatments. On my second day, I was in the gift shop purchasing a book to read. The cashier asked where I was from.

"Los Angeles," I replied.

"What do you do there in Los Angeles?"

At the time I was in the music industry, so I said, "I'm in the music industry." Then I started thinking about work. My knees buckled, the room started to spin and I fainted. The manager of the resort and the cashier were standing over me when I came to. The doctor was on his way, he was stuck treating members of Steely Dan for food poisoning. So they put me on a golf cart and drove me to my room.

To make sure I didn't faint for the remainder of my stay, every morning the manager sent a basket of fresh fruit to my room and every night, a hot fudge banana split brownie sundae - gratis. Did you read that Jim? No mealworms.

I haven't fainted since that last time, thankfully. I think this is the home stretch. Eye of the tiger.

slow-moving traffic

Last night Jim and I attended another DLANC Residents' Issues Meeting. As we left the Little Tokyo Library, we stopped to chat with Dave and Ed from View From A Loft. We were talking about downtown filming, blogging, and organizing a downtown bloggers barbecue or picnic when a funny thing happened. A motorcycle cop with his lights flashing escorted a crane as it slowly trawled down Los Angeles Street on its way to some film crew's base camp. We all scrambled for our cameras, but I had pulled mine out of my purse before leaving the loft. Damn.

Ed managed to snap a picture, I hope he posts it soon. I'm guessing it was for the MONK shoot scheduled for today on Spring Street. They're using the parking lot behind us and another lot at 6th and Main, but we received plenty of notification and they've been pretty cool so far. Let's see what happens at 10pm tonight when they're supposed to be gone, but I have a feeling it'll be a non-issue.

I thought it was cute that instead of "MONK" on the cast/crew directional signs, it read "O.C.D."

wild about wings

I spent this morning looking at butterflies. The Pavilion of Wings at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum opens for its ninth popular season on April 15, but I had a chance to preview the pavilion and get my questions answered by the Museums's resident "Bug Guy", entomologist Brent Karner.

Pavilion of Wings

After a dismal, overcast week, it was nice to see the sun. And good timing, too. Butterflies need the sun to aid in their digestion, so they tend to come out when it's sunny, hide when it's not.

unidentified black/white lace butterfly
unidentified black/orange butterfly
unidentified black/white striped butterfly

There were a few kids in the pavilion, listening to the Bug Guy talk about the 30 different species of butterflies, their lifecycles, defense mechanisms, environments, etc. Mostly, they let the butterflies land on their heads, shoulders, and fingers. It was pretty cool, being in the middle of all these live, free-flying butterflies. If I had a drink in my hand, I could've watched it for hours.

butterfly on boy's finger

Giant Swallowtail (?) on little girl's finger

I really only had one question for the Bug Guy. It makes perfect sense that you're supposed to wear bright clothing to attract butterflies, and that wearing a light floral scent also helps. But I heard that butterflies are attracted to smoke and wanted to know why. He gave me the short answer at first and after looking at my scrunched-up face (I was concentrating), he gave me the long answer. It made perfect sense. Trouble is, I have a hard time retaining information and I forgot his explanation. Guess I'll have to go back. But that's okay. They had these really cute bug and butterfly collecting kits in the gift shop, some venus flytraps, and all sorts of butterfly-themed things. I think I'll be a hero and take my cousin's kids here. I just have to pack a flask and smoke something beforehand.

Pavilion of Wings (on the South Lawn)
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles
April 15 - September 3, 2007, 10am - 5pm
Special ticketed admission: Adults $3; Students & Seniors $2, Museum members and children under 5 are FREE.
Member Preview Days: April 13th (9:30am-5pm) and April 14th (10am-5pm)

Friday, April 06, 2007

more downtown filming

car commercial night shoot

Yet another shoot downtown. We didn't get any notifications that this would be shooting in the parking lot next door or that their lights would be bleeding into our loft.

CU - car commercial night shoot

Those lights are really bright.

We didn't get any notifications about this shoot either.

THEM base camp move-in 002

THEM base camp move-in 003

This was a production titled THEM and many of my neighbors had problems with this shoot for the past week. They started moving their trucks after 10pm and started blasting air horns around 1am. Nice. I don't think anyone puts up with this, or is expected to, in any other neighborhood.

san francisco treats

Jim, my brother, and I are going to be in San Francisco this weekend to see our friend Jessica, who was our restaurant guide when we were in Vancouver last year. I have my favorites in the Bay area, but I want to try something new. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"i am an F... B... I... agent!"

This is absolutely brilliant - the Milagro Theater in New York is extending the run of their stage adaption of the 1991 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze extreme-sports blockbuster movie, Point Break. As if that weren't hilarious enough:
"...the starring role of Keanu will be selected at random from the audience each night, and will read their entire script off of cue-cards. This method manages to capture the rawness of a Keanu Reeves performance even from those who generally think themselves incapable of acting."

The show has already had sold-out extended runs in Minneapolis, Seattle and Brooklyn. Why, oh why, can't this be staged in Los Angeles?

honeymoon tales: the toast of hong kong

One Saturday night in Hong Kong, Jim and I visited Jumbo, the world's largest floating restaurant. It's so big, we went there twice. The restaurant is three stories tall and holds 2,600 diners comfortably.

The first time, Jim and I didn't actually go inside and it wasn't Saturday night. We were taking a daytime sampan ride in Aberdeen Harbour and the captain of our sampan, Thomas, wanted to stop for pictures.

posing with the sampan captain, thomas

After fifty HK dollars and much pleading, he was persuaded to step aside to take a picture of me and Jim.

Our second visit to Jumbo was on Saturday night, for a nine-course meal with our "Splendid Night of Delights" tour group. Earlier, we picked up part of our group at Queen's Pier, fresh from a booze cruise, and then proceeded to the Temple Street Night Market. After loading up on Hello Kitty items at 7-11 as well as from a street vendor, we returned to Jumbo.

We sat in the middle of this huge dining room, sharing a table with a British guy in HK on business, a Venezuelan textiles guy currently living in Austria also there on business, two older British women on holiday, and a couple and their teenage daughter from Australia. I was surprised to hear that the Brits at our table had never tried Chinese food before this trip, and, at a restaurant renowned for seafood, the teenage daughter was a strict vegetarian. Earlier the Venezuelan guy claimed to have eaten an eagle the night before. I told him that he probably ate chicken, but they told him it was an eagle. That got a big laugh.

As was my custom on this trip, I informed our tour guide and one of the British ladies sitting next to me (I think her name was Madge) that Jim and I were on our honeymoon. Soon there were toasts all around, people were buying us drinks from other tables, it was nuts! People from across the room were coming over, taking our picture, buying us more drinks, sending over special dishes to try, etc. It was getting embarrassing, but we didn't know how to make it stop.

As if that weren't enough, the management of the restaurant came over and asked us if we would grace them with a picture, taken at the massive throne situated at the end of the room. And would we please change into more formal attire, please?

jim and celia at jumbo, head to toe

So there we were, drunk and dressed up like Chinese royalty, the entire room toasting and clapping.

(Just kidding - we paid something like HK$150 for them to dress us up as the Emperor and Empress of China and take some Polaroids. The whole room turned around and laughed and cheered once they realized the new Emperor was a tall white guy from Minnesota.)

don's new girlfriend is a cow

Last night Jim and I attended the DLANC Residents Committee's ad-hoc downtown filming issues meeting. During the 5-minute mid-meeting break, I admitted to Jim that it would probably be apropos for me to wear a t-shirt that reads, "Angry is my baseline", you know, to warn people. I wonder if he's ordered one for me yet.

After the meeting, Jim and I decided to walk to Blossom for dinner. Jim went to the restroom while I perused the menu. I don't know why I bothered, I always order the shaking beef (I'm a creature of habit). I looked up and Los Angeles' very own Town Crier and fellow downtown blogger, Don Garza, was sitting across from me. Don sat next to me during the meeting and questioned me about my anger issues, but thankfully he was done talking about me and was now talking about him, his new girlfriend, and his efforts at vlogging. BTW, I'm not being cruel by referring to her as a cow, those were his exact words. Just watch the video on Don's blog - he poses with his girlfriend at 1:16 on the video and she gives him some cheese at 1:30. She really is a cow.