Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Page 40 of 49« First...102030«3839404142»...Last »


Tattoos at the Fairplex

Filed under: — stan @ 10:51 pm

Today was the summer edition of the big Body Art Expo at the L.A. County Fairgrounds. A lot of the tattoo purists don’t like this show, because it’s not put on tattoo people. But at the same time, they promote it well, and it draws a big crowd. So it’s something that’s accessible to the masses.

It was hot out there in Pomona today. I got there about 3:00 and just about roasted while waiting in line for my ticket. And even when I got inside, it was still hot. But that’s all right. High temperatures tend to encourage people to take off their clothes, which is a good thing at a tattoo convention.

I saw my friend Rick down at the end of the hall. He was posing various girls on a motorcycle there and taking photos of them. The bike’s owner was threatening to put the seat up for sale on EBay after Rick was done. And one of the girls was Trisha, who we saw at the Erotica L.A. show a few weeks ago. She had her hair down today, and as always, she looked great.

Shannon had a booth at the show this time. I stopped by a couple of times and she was busy all the time, so I think the show was good to her.

I also saw Anna from Anagram Fine Art there. We chatted a bit and I also pawed through her kids-size shirts to see if she had one in Lucinda’s size.

I saw a half-leg tribute to Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, as well as some permanent makeup and a very nicely done octopus tattoo. I saw my friend Tina there, too. She was in a wheelchair, since she had had surgery on her leg and was ordered not to walk for two months. So I volunteered to push for a while and we went around and visited with some of her other friends.

It was a fun time, and the pictures are in my tattoo convention photo gallery.


Go-Go’s 25th Anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 11:49 pm

We recently saw that the Go-Go’s were going to be playing a show at the Greek Theater in honor of the 25th anniversary of “Beauty and the Beat”. Cathy and I both saw them back in the early ’80s when we were young and single, and we also went to their reunion show in 1989 when we were married. So we thought it might be fun to go and take our daughter along. She knows all the songs, and she thought this sounded like great fun.

We had an early dinner and headed over. We got parked in solid there and walked into the amphitheater. It was dusk when we got there. The opening band was Morningwood, and they were very good. Lucinda didn’t ask what their name meant, which was probably just as well.

The Go-Go’s took the stage at about 9:00 and their first set was all the songs from “Beauty and the Beat”, which was a nice trip down memory lane. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years, and their songs obviously appeal to the younger crowd. There were lots of people in our age bracket there with their kids, and the kids were all singing along and looking like they were having a great time.

The first time I saw them was in 1981 at a tiny little club in Houston. My friend Mike got free tickets, and we spent the entire show pressed up against the stage, practically looking up Charlotte Caffey’s skirt. But it was Jane Weidlin that we all fell in love with. She had the best stage presence and personality, and we all left there that night with a huge crush on her. And tonight she showed that she still has it. She bounced around the stage, and my crush was renewed again. But then again, I’ve always had a thing for cute girls with short black hair, even if they are in their 40s.

We got lucky in that their was a mom and her young daughter sitting next to us, so Lucinda and the other little girl enjoyed watching the show together. They danced in the aisle and sang along. It was very cute.

Towards the end, Lucinda started to get tired, but the show ended at 10:30, which wasn’t too late. The Greek has a curfew due to the houses nearby, so the shows there never go late. When it was over, we headed home. It was a fun little adventure.


XXX marks the spot

Filed under: — stan @ 10:37 pm

Today we got a rare day out, so we went down to the Erotica LA porn show at the L.A. Convention Center. Despite the fancy name, this is basically a porn show for the masses, which means hordes of men with digital cameras. But hey, that describes me, too.

We got there and paid our $30 to get in. It seems a bit much, but the average porn consumer is used to being exploited by the people and companies that produce it. And so are we.

Inside we, wandered around. At the Babeland booth, they were giving away VHS tapes. Apparently, everyone wants everything on DVD now, so they brought all the old VHS stuff to the show as a teaser to lure people into the booth. And it worked. We snagged a copy of “The Fashionistas“, as well as about six other tapes.

We saw the ‘Monkey Rocker’ and also the ‘Pussy Shaver’, complete with a live demo of sorts. It was at least as much of a demo as they could have at an event where actual nudity was not allowed.

At one booth, Cathy was checking out a kegel-exercise-aid when I saw the Stupidiotic booth next door. I decided that I had to have a pair of the ‘Black Bar Privacy Specs‘ so I too can be anonymous.

We attended a seminar about female orgasm given by two women from The Pleasure Chest, which was interesting. We learned a couple of new things, and it was fun.

For some unfathomable reason, the room was chilled like a meat locker, so we had to go outside to warm up. On the way out, we saw the stretch-Corvette limousine, which is just wrong on many levels. Once we got outside, we saw the obligatory religious protester holding up a big sign and verbally abusing people as they walked in. I talked to the security guards and they went and told him to stop yelling at people and insulting them.

When we went back inside, we ran into Trisha, who we have met before at Inkslingers. This time she was working at a booth for an alt-porn web site.

Making our way across the giant room, we were wondering if we’d see Insanity Pictures, where we had met Michelle the last time we were there. But just before the end of the booths, we saw them. We got to chat with Michelle, and we also bought a copy of her new movie. Michelle is quite bubbly and animated, so we enjoyed talking with her. We also got a couple of pictures with her before we left.

They had a pole-dancing show on the stage at the end of the hall, which was very impressive. We also saw a break-dancing show that was very entertaining, too.

Then we browsed around just a bit more and then packed up all our loot and headed home. It was a fun afternoon.

Tattoos on the Queen Mary

Filed under: — stan @ 7:26 pm

On Saturday I went to the Queen Mary for the big tattoo show. As last year, there we had to park on the Pike in Long Beach and ride a bus to the ship, which is about two miles away. There was a long line for the bus, and then when we got there there was a long line for tickets. It was kind of annoying. Lots of people in the lines were saying we’d taken a wrong turn and ended up at the waiting-in-line convention.

Once I got inside, all that was forgiven. Almost. But it was still a fun time. I saw a lot of my crowd of friends that I only see at these events. I even saw Debra from Hawaii there. She used to live in L.A. and she moved to Maui in 1997. Since she went there, every time I see her, she’s smiling, so I think it agrees with her. She’s at Skin Deep Tattoo, so if you’re ever there, she’s the one to go to.

They were doing a body-painting show in the boiler room, but for some reason, that didn’t do much for me.

On the other hand, I did see an photograph several impressive back pieces. And later on, my old friend Barbara showed up, and we got to hang around for a bit. And we got to spend some quality time with another very drunk girl. That was fun.

So overall, it was a fun time, although I’m not completely sure it was enough fun to offset the aggravation of getting there.

But anyway, there are pictures in my tattoo conventions photo album.


Earthquake Geek Stuff

Filed under: — stan @ 11:11 pm

Working in the earthquake business is great fun. Yesterday I got to take a tour of Pasadena City Hall, which is being renovated for earthquake safety. This tour was arranged through the Earthquake Programs Office at Caltech.

We met in the park across the street from City Hall. After signing the release, we walked across and went into the construction site. They are removing the entire original foundation of the building the putting friction pendulum isolators underneath it. The isolators are intended to allow the ground to move something like 24 inches in any direction underneath the building while allowing the building to remain relatively motionless.

They had some of the isolators stacked up in front of the building, so we got a good look at them. Being earthquake geeks, we all had our cameras out to take pictures. After that, we went down into the basement.

In the basement we got a look at the main supporting columns of the building. They are cutting each one off and building a new reinforced concrete mat underneath them. The mat sits on top of the isolators. They also dug a moat around the building, so that when we have an earthquake, the building can rock on the isolators within the moat.

City Hall is a U-shaped building, so they had to dig a big trench so that they could build the moat in a square. That way the two wings of the building will be tied together so that the entire building will move as a unit in an earthquake.

It’s not all that often that I see practical use of the stuff I do at work, so it was an interesting thing to see.


Cold War Memories

Filed under: — stan @ 1:08 pm

The other day, Paul Roberts stopped by my office to visit. Paul worked at the Seismo Lab for many years before he retired to pursue a new career as a teacher. Over the years, he has found lots of great Cold War memoriabilia. And this time he brought me a small stack of civil defense booklets from about 1960. So they have joined our collection.

I scanned in two items so far. The first is a collection of newspaper articles from the late ’50s that were reprinted in a 1960 booklet titled “Can We Survive an Atomic War?”. It provides an optimistic view that the United States could survive a nuclear war with only about 160 million deaths, tops. Given that the total population of the U.S. was only 179 million in 1960, this doesn’t sound all that optimistic. They also note:

Of course, even if you lived safely through the H-bomb attack…your troubles would just be beginning.

Yup. Got that.

The second item is a cheery little pamphlet from 1958 called “Facts about Fallout Protection”. It tells the basics about what fallout is, and what sort of shelter is necessary for protection. It doesn’t talk too much about the specifics how how to make a shelter, but it does mention that “Your family’s favorite canned foods can be a morale lifter” when you’re hunkered down in there.

So enjoy the fond memories. I’ll post more when I get around to scanning the other booklets.


Gay Pride

Filed under: — stan @ 10:20 pm

Today we went out to West Hollywood for the Los Angeles Gay Pride Festival. Cathy and I believe that it’s important to expose our child to all kinds of culture, and also that it’s good for the soul for us to be in the minority from time to time. And besides, it’s just a lot of fun.

It was a perfect day, sunny, with a cool breeze. There were seagulls splashing in the fountains at the Pacific Design Center. When we got there, the parade had just ended, and there was a big crowd already. The outdoor dance floors were packed, and the thumping disco beat was all-pervasive.

They had lots and lots of food and drink booths. A few people were a little blotto, and we saw one man heaving in the gutter late in the afternoon, but overall it was a well-behaved crowd. There were booths selling real estate and gay-themed vacations. There was even a booth for a sperm bank marketing its services to lesbians who want children. It was all very cute in a weird sort of way.

We wandered around and took in the sights. Lucinda got a couple of beach balls, some balloons, and some other little trinkets. As always, it’s good to be a cute kid. She also enjoyed seeing all the costumes there. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there and dressed in their usual outrageous costumes. Lucinda was wondering where they get their shoes, so we told her about the stores that cater to the drag queens. She also got to see boy-couples and girl-couples walking hand-in-hand and kissing under the trees, so it was truly something we don’t usually see in Pasadena.

And yes, there is perhaps no sadder and lonelier sight than the Gay Republicans’ booth. They are there every year, and every year they get ignored.


An island adventure

Filed under: — stan @ 7:51 pm

Today we went out to San Dimas Canyon Nature Center Ho’olaule’a. The reason we were there was because Aunt Maggi’s church group was going to be doing a hula performance there. Hula for Jebus. It was an interesting thing. Hula as a vehicle for proselytization was just not something I’d ever thought of before, but apparently they are having fun doing it.

After the hula show, we went for lunch. On the way there, I saw the display of T-shirts about Spam, and I remembered that Hawaiians eat a lot of Spam. So I decided to get something made with Spam. But when we got to the food booths, the one place that had the Spam musubi was sold out. But they said that they had sent someone to get more Spam, and they would have it soon.

So we got a barbecued chicken and pork plate and shared it, while I watched for the Spam to arrive. When I saw them hoist the menu, I went over, and they were already selling them. It was basically like a large sushi made with Spam. The block of rice was about the size of a bar of soap with a slab of grilled Spam on top, and it was wrapped in seaweed. I got two. Yum.

On the way back, I stopped by and bought one of the “I (heart) Spam” shirts. I needed to have it. Another booth had a whole line of shirts that said “I Don’t Speak Spanish. I’m Hawaiian/Tongan/Samoan/etc”. This was something I could relate to. I’ve been mistaken for Mexican many times, and I even managed to pass as Mexican when I went to Mazatlan in 1984. But they didn’t have a shirt that said “I Don’t Speak Spanish. I’m half-Chinese and grew up in New Jersey”.

After lunch, Lucinda, Cathy, and Aunt Maggi went shopping at the booths there. I found a shady spot and sat down. They bought some necklaces and flower hair clips. All very cute. It was a fun time.


A visit to the Petersen Museum

Filed under: — stan @ 5:25 pm

Read the sign

Today we went over to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. This was an amusing little bit of history, since Los Angeles is a city that grew up and was largely formed by the automobile.

The first thing we saw there was Art Arfons’s “Green Monster” out in the parking garage. Years ago I saw a documentary about him on PBS, and it was very interesting. Art is something of the hard-luck story of the land-speed record circuit. He set the record three times, only to have each record broken just a short time later.

On the second floor of the museum they had three special exhibits. One was about Hot Wheels, including full-sized Hot Wheels cars that were built for the exhibit. To an eight-year-old boy in 1968, Hot Wheels were the stuff of dreams. And it’s tremedously funny that someone took the time and effort to actually build real cars out of them. The second exhibit was “Cars and Guitars” with lots of rock stars’ cars. That was amusing. They had a couple of Elvis’s old cars, including one that he shot in frustration when it broke down.

The third exhibit was about the future and alternate power sources. That was mostly amusing because they talked about hybrid cars and had a 1917 Woods hybrid. Apparently it was an idea ahead of its time. They said that at the time it was the worst of both electric and gasoline, and it didn’t catch on. They also had a mockup of a proposed nuclear-powered car, but I think I’m glad that that never got serious consideration.

The last part of the museum we visited was the children’s area on the third floor. Cathy and Lucinda took turns climbing into the Indy car there, and they also posed in the Model T.

And of course no visit to a museum with a kid is complete without the gift shop. Lucinda got some little trinkets and Cathy got a “Built for Speed” pinup girl shirt.


Bring on the dancing horses…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:58 pm

Cathy saw an item in the paper this week about the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse. It was at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. I’ve been by there hundreds of times on my bike, but I’d never been inside. So we decided that this might be something interesting.

We don’t really know anything about horses, but it was interesting to see them close-up and see the riding demonstrations. Apparently, a big part of their training is teaching them the distinctive gait. It looks a bit funny at first, but we got used to it. And in the show, they did it a lot, along with other moves that made the horses look like they were dancing. So overall, it was an interesting thing.

Page 40 of 49« First...102030«3839404142»...Last »

Powered by WordPress