Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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12/31/2008

Martinis, steaks, and chocolate cake

Filed under: — stan @ 10:14 pm

New Year’s Eve 2008. As I said in my Christmas letter, this has been a trying year. But it certainly ended on an up note. Susan and I went out for steaks and martinis at Smitty’s Grill in Pasadena. We made reservations online, which was very easy and pleasant. When we got there, they had a table ready and waiting for us. But we started off with a martini at the bar. We talked about the past year and how it’s been for both of us. We shared most, but not all of it. And it’s been quite an experience. We had lots of great adventures, and we’re looking forward to more.

After the martini, we went to our table and had dinner. It was very good. Afterward, they tried to interest us in the dessert menu, but I had Deep Dark Chocolate Cake at home. Susan had brought a bottle of champagne, so we headed home for cake and champagne to watch the ball drop in Times Square at 9:00. We’re both originally from the New York area, so we figured that was good enough.

It was a fun evening, and a very good way to end the year.

12/21/2008

Neon lights for the holidays

Filed under: — stan @ 11:54 pm

Tonight, Susan and I went on the Museum of Neon Art’s Holiday Lights tour. Being that it’s December, and the tour was after dark, it was cold by L.A. standards. We dressed warmly and brought along a couple of blankets, since the whole tour is conducted from the upper deck of a double-decker sightseeing bus.

It was a tremendously entertaining tour, but sadly, it didn’t transfer into photographs well. To take good photos at night, the camera has to be on a rock-solid platform to hold it steady enough. And the upper deck of the bus just wasn’t a steady enough platform. So if you want to see the lights, you’ll just have to take the tour. But it was certainly Great Fun.

12/13/2008

A little city adventure

Filed under: — stan @ 11:12 pm

This evening, Susan and I were supposed to go out to her friend’s boat in Marina del Rey to watch the light show there, but she decided against it, since it was going to be cold and possibly raining when we got there. So instead, we had a little adventure in the city.

We went to the IMAX theater in Exposition Park to see “Wild Ocean 3D: Africa Meets the Sea”. We saw the “Sea Monsters – 3D” movie last spring, and it was great fun, so this new one was on our list. As always, the photography was impressive and sometimes vertigo-inducing. There were lots of good 3D effects of fish and dolphins and such swimming out of the screen. Good fun.

On the way home, we stopped off in Chinatown for dinner. We had a 1/2 Peking Duck, along with some Chinese broccoli and some soup. That was nice. We also walked around Chinatown for a bit to see the neon signs. We will probably be seeing them again next week on the Museum on Neon Art’s Neon Cruise.

Afterward, we went home, opened a bottle of wine, and watched Julia Sweeney’s “Letting Go of God“. It was a nice evening.

11/30/2008

All hail William Mulholland and the Department of Water and Power

Filed under: — stan @ 3:57 pm

Last night, I went to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Griffith Park Light Festival. I went with Juju, since we’d had originally planned on going on the Museum of Neon Art Neon Cruise, but it was canceled due to not having enough people sign up to rent the bus.

The first week of the festival is car-free, which is nice. We parked at the zoo, and just walked down and back and looked at the lights. The lights were almost all LED-based now, which is part of the DWP trying to ‘go green’ by reducing power consumption.

After that, we headed back to Silverlake and had dinner at Gingergrass, which was quite nice.

It was a nice evening out. And yes, it was a fun time.

11/22/2008

The Museum of Death and more

Filed under: — stan @ 11:54 pm

Today I had a little adventure in the city. It was actually three somewhat-unrelated adventures, but each was fun in its own way.

In the afternoon, I met my friend Sherri at the Museum of Death. We had done the Dearly Departed Tour last spring, so this outing was just another foray into the world of death. We saw a collection of odd advertising objects for funeral homes, beds from the Heaven’s Gate house, Jayne Mansfield’s stuffed chihuahua, art by John Wayne Gacy, and other odd things. The owner also showed us a living conjoined turtle, complete with two heads, four front legs, and two back legs. It was a delightfully weird afternoon.

After my brush with Death, I headed down to Silverlake to meet up with an old online friend for dinner. We’ve known each other online for years, but never actually met in meatspace before. So, since we both had time, we decided to finally remedy that situation. We had a nice dinner at Lamill, followed by some wine at Silverlake Wine.

Finally, I headed up to North Hollywood to Yup, it’s that damn redacted text again party.

Overall, it was a fun day.

11/15/2008

A big ol’ porn party

Filed under: — stan @ 5:52 pm

On Friday night I went to Hollywood for the premiere party for “The Surrender of O”. This is the sequel to the 2006 feature “O: The Power of Submission”. I’d gone to the party for that one, too. This is because both were made by my pornographer friends, Ernest Greene and Nina Hartley. They were having the party at Boardner’s in Hollywood, and they invited me to come over for it. Apparently, Boardner’s is where they do Bar Sinister on Saturday nights, so I guess it’s an appropriate venue for this sort of thing.

It was a pretty amusing evening. Lots of familiar porn stars were there, along with lots more that I didn’t recognize. And of course I saw lots of my friends from the leather-and-chains scene here in L.A. So overall, it was a pretty fun evening. I kept thinking that I wish they’d had stuff like this back in 1983. I’d have been there every night if they did.

Earlier in the evening, I’d also stopped off at the Dresden Room on Vermont to join the Center for Inquiry crowd for their monthly Drinking Skeptically event. They were amused because I came dressed for the party, so I sort of stuck out. But I made a point of demonstrating the use of the vampire gloves I’d brought along, which was quite amusing.

But alas, the party was a ‘no cameras allowed’ event, so I don’t have any pictures. But there were a lot of photographers from the porn industry press, so if you’re curious, there are probably pictures out there on the net.

10/18/2008

No Spitting, No Kidding

Filed under: — stan @ 9:46 pm

On Saturday afternoon, Susan and I went out to Santa Monica to Bergamot Station. The occasion was to visit Track 16 Gallery for the “No Spitting, No Kidding” exhibit. This is a retrospective of Robbie Conal’s work. He was the midnight guerilla artist in Los Angeles during the ’80s and ’90s. He did satirical paintings of prominent political figures and then his crew would plaster the entire city with posters of them in big overnight raids. I always enjoyed seeing his work around the city, so it was a nice treat to see the original paintings, as well as a lot of other works that never were made into posters. The photo is one of his posters that was on a wall down the street from my old house in Hollywood back in 1990.

Afterward, we strolled around and looked in a lot of the other galleries at Bergamot Station, since there are a lot of different ones there. We particularly enjoyed the Gallery of Functional Art.

On the way home, we stopped off to visit my friend Kathleen in Westwood. I’d been telling Kathleen about Susan for some time, so she wanted to meet her. That was a fun time.

10/5/2008

Another day at the races

Filed under: — stan @ 8:10 pm

Today, I took Lucinda down to the ADT Center velodrome in Carson to see the last day of the USA Cycling national championships. We went to see this last year, as well as the year before, and we’ve always had fun.

When we got there, they were doing the finals of the team sprint. After that was the women’s points race, which was a lot of fun to watch. The winner was part of a breakaway that lapped the pack. They each got 20 bonus points for doing that, and that was enough to clinch the victory.

The highlight and last race of the day was the Madison final. There’s a lot of action with the big group of riders doing their exchanges. It’s hard to photograph, since the light inside the building is not so good, but it’s still lots of fun to watch.

Lucinda and her friend also got to meet Sarah Hammer there, since she was at a table promoting the OUCH Pro Cycling Team.

It was a fun afternoon.

9/20/2008

The Portal of the Folded Wings

Filed under: — stan @ 6:57 pm

Today’s club bike ride was over Turnbull Canyon, which is always a fun time. But due to scheduling difficulties, there was no way I could make it to the start in time. So Susan, Steve, and I went on another ride. We went over to North Hollywood to see the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation at Valhalla Cemetery.

We rode out across Eagle Rock, Glendale and Burbank to get to Burbank Blvd, which took us across the 5 freeway to Victory Blvd. Then we rode west to get to the cemetery.

The cemetery is just off the end of the runway at Burbank Airport, which is a fitting place for a monument to aviation. There were planes taking off over our heads the whole time we were there. A lot of major figures of early aviation are buried there. And befitting the tribute to flight, there was a very large bird’s nest built near the top of the building, too.

Coming back, we headed south to Toluca Lake and then down the L.A. River bike path. Along the way, we saw the Motion Picture Costume Cleaners, which seemed appropriate, since there is a lot of movie business going on in that part of town.

We finished by coming across Highland Park and South Pasadena, and then back home to Pasadena. It was a fun little ride.

44 miles.
cycling

9/14/2008

Yes, we have a county fair in Los Angeles…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:29 pm

On Sunday afternoon, Susan and I went out to Pomona to the Los Angeles County Fair. Neither of us had been to it in years, so we thought it might be a fun thing to do.

We saw lots of animals, which is perhaps a bit surprising, since there is very little agriculture going on in Los Angeles County. On the other hand, ‘very little’ is not ‘none’, so there are farmers here, and they have crops and animals and such. So that was fun and interesting.

On the other hand, they did have a booth selling body jewelry, which is fitting for L.A.

We went to see the crafts and food, too. After looking at the baked goods, I’m totally going to enter my perfect blueberry muffins next year.

We had some pretty good barbecue for dinner, and then we got ice cream from Dr. Bob’s. It was a fun afternoon.

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