Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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11/22/2006

Trying times…

Filed under: — stan @ 1:15 pm

For a few months, we’ve been thinking about replacing our water heater. It’s been on its last legs for some time, and we were planning on dealing with it after the holidays. But no…

Last night when Lucinda was having her bath, I heard a weird noise outside from the water heater closet. So I went out to look. Water was pouring out of the bottom of the closet and under the house. So the Time Had Come.

I called our neighbor Larry, who is half of Bubbles Plumbing and Electrical. He called Richard, the plumber, and we were on for today.

Richard and his helpers showed up first thing this morning and took out the old water heater. They fixed up the closet a bit to repair some water damage. Then they put in the new heater. They did a good job, and they were very prompt and efficient. And all this for the day before a big holiday. We’re really pleased with them.

So now I can get back to cooking for tomorrow.

10/30/2006

Our Eighteenth Anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 1:21 pm

Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. So in honor of the occasion, we went out to dinner at Shogun here in Pasadena. This is one of those teppanyaki restaurants. So I didn’t have to cook, Cathy didn’t have to clean up, and Lucinda got to have a drink with maraschino cherries and watch the show. So it was a fun time for all of us.

Of course, the fundamental problem with all of this is that neither of us can believe that we’re old enough to have an 18th anniversary.

10/28/2006

Skin

Filed under: — stan @ 5:58 pm

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Needled about Andrew Krasnow who is an artist who works with human skin. And he was having an exhibit at a gallery right here in Hollywood. Needless to say, this sounded interesting, somewhat disturbing, and certainly something not to be missed.

So today was went over to Hollywood to the ADM Project gallery on Santa Monica Blvd. Appropriately enough, it was right across the street from Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It was a fairly small exhibit, but it was certainly unique.

Because of laws about human body parts, none of the art was for sale. But they were selling a poster of one of his flags, and also a fine-art photo print of “The Hollow Muscle”, which was a heart made out of skin. Also, the art is available for extended display. Sort of like a ‘lease’.

We’ve never seen anything else quite like it. And it was disturbing, in the way that good art should be. So we enjoyed it a lot.

The exhibit runs through December 14.

10/8/2006

Standing on the edge of the continent

Filed under: — stan @ 9:54 pm


Today we went down to San Diego to visit with Grandpa. We took the train, which is generally fairly pleasant. When we got there, we went to brunch at a restaurant right on the beach. So Lucinda got to play in the waves a bit. We also saw some seals swimming by.

We had a nice time visiting. Then, when it was time to come home, the screwup began. When we got to Grandpa’s car in the bowels of the parking garage, he thought I had the key, and I thought he had the key. But no, the key was up in his apartment. So we had to climb the stairs back to the lobby and then get the security guy to let us in to the apartment to get the keys. So we left late for the train station. On the way there, we consoled ourselve by noting that the northbound train is always late. And when we got to the station, we found out that it was in fact 9 minutes late. The problem was, we were 10 minutes late. And we got there just in time to see the red tail light on the train leaving the station.

So we went and got a little takeout dinner and waited for the next train. Naturally, it too was late. But in the end, we got home fine, and just a little worse for wear.

10/1/2006

Our movie weekend

Filed under: — stan @ 6:16 pm

Saturday night, we got an evening out. The place where Lucinda used to take gymnastics offers a “Parents’ Night Out” every once in a while. They open up the gym for the kids to play in, and we get a few hours out.

So, being documentary geeks, we went to see “Jesus Camp“. This was very entertaining and kind of disturbing at the same time. While Pastor Becky Fischer seems like a very nice person, her idea that Christians should arm themselves and be prepared to die for their beliefs just because Muslims do it sounds more like a prescription for endless war than anything else.

A lot of the movie was actually really funny, although not necessarily because the people in it were intending to be funny. But the audience seemed to find some parts hilarious. And there were a few Christian families there. I wonder how they felt to have the audience laughing at them.

Today, we had another afternoon out, so we went over to West L.A. and the Nuart Theater to see “American Hardcore“, which told the story of punk rock from about 1980 to 1986. It was also very amusing. There were lots of old punks in the audience. The people who were involved in that scene are mostly about 40 now, and it’s interesting to see how everyone grew up.

It seems in many ways that the kids in “American Hardcore” and “Jesus Camp” were all just trying to deal with adolescent angst in their own ways. I had fantasies of somehow plugging the two groups together. That would be a larf.

9/23/2006

That’s Italian?

Filed under: — stan @ 7:47 pm

We went to the Feast of San Gennaro in Hollywood today. This was a little street fair and carnival with an Italian theme.

When we got there, we had to go into the petting zoo so Lucinda could pet some animals. Then we had promised her she could ride one of the carnival rides. It looked like she had fun.

Next, we got lunch. I got a sausage and peppers sandwich, which was quite good. Just like the ones I used to get at Brothers Pizza in New Jersey. But the weird part was that when we sat down for lunch, they were having a Mass on the main stage. The stage with “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on it. That was a bit strange, and the combination of the two sort of made my brain hurt a bit.

After lunch, we wandered around some more. Then we went to see the balloon animal guy. This was the first time I’d ever seen a balloon octopus. Of course, I immediately thought of P.Z. Myers and his love of cephalopods.

I’m not exactly sure what all of this had to do with Italian culture. It was a kind of strange, but still fun day.

9/17/2006

Inkslingers’ Ball

Filed under: — stan @ 2:40 pm

This weekend is the 15th Annual Inkslingers’ Ball. We go to this every year, and it’s always a fun time. Sadly, this might be the last time that they have it at the Hollywood Palladium. I’d read recently that the building was sold, and the way things go here in Los Angeles, it might not even exist any more by next year.

I went over in the afternoon on Saturday, arriving about 3:00. It was kind of quiet compared to previous years, but there was still a pretty good crowd.

I found Big Rick there, doing photos in the corner. We talked for a bit, then I continued wandering around. I had brought along a big stack of photos that I’d taken at past shows, and whenever I see someone I’ve photographed, I give them a copy. I gave away a fair number of photos. And, of course, I took a bunch more.

At one point, I was approached by a very cute girl wearing nearly nothing. She was selling raffle tickets. What was I to do? I’m not made of stone. Needless to say, I didn’t win. But she was very cute anyway.

One person I saw was a girl we’ve seen at a number of recent shows. Being bad with names, I can’t remember hers. But she’s the one who’s always wearing wild outfits. But this time she wasn’t working. She was dressed normally. And she wasn’t wearing huge platform shoes, so it turns out she’s really not tall. That was kind of strange. I didn’t recognize her at first, what with being eight inches shorter and all.

Dinner break was down the street at Fabiolus Cafe, which is something of a tradition by now. Then it was back into the Palladium for more fun and frolic. It was about this time that Cathy came over. We saw Shannon and her posse there. Shannon told us about her experience on CSI. Apparently, the season opener episode story line involves a tattoo shop, so they hired her to play the tattoo artist. She said that the show will be airing next week.

We saw Anna from Anagram Fine Art. She always has a booth there, and Cathy likes talking to her. They get to trade mom-stories and compare notes, since they’re both moms who sometimes feel like they don’t quite fit in with the regular PTA crowd.

While they were talking, I noticed that Kylie Ireland was there. We had met her briefly on Thursday night at the “O” party, so I went over to say hi. I got a picture of her and her tattoos. She said that she’d have more tattoos, but that porn producers don’t like them.

Overall, it was a very fun evening.

9/15/2006

O What a Night!

Filed under: — stan @ 6:00 pm

We have a friend who is a pornographer. He’s also one of the smartest and funniest people we know. And he’s married to Nina Hartley, who most people know from the AVN Hall of Fame. She’s also quite charming. Thursday night they invited us to a party for his new movie, “O – The Power of Submission“, which is his hard-core ‘re-imagining’ of the erotic classic, The Story of O. Needless to say, we thought this sounded like great fun. Followed immediately by the question, “what are we going to wear?”

The party was at Boardner’s in Hollywood. We paid to park close by, since we didn’t want to have to walk far to get there, what with Cathy in six-inch stripper shoes. When we got there, we went in the door and saw a roomful of normal-looking people. That was odd. But then the bartender told us that the party was around the back, and to go down the alley next to the building. When we went there, we saw girls in latex spanking dresses and we knew we were in the right place.

The party was in the back room and patio area. This was a bit of a problem, since the floor there was very rough. This is bad for women in tall stiletto heels. And there were lots of women in tall heels there. There was also a door connecting the patio to the front room, where all the normal people were. When people from the front came down there, they looked through the door, and their eyes got big. It was pretty funny.

We expected to see a lot of people we know there, but as it turned out, there weren’t all that many. But that was all right. We met several of the cast members of the movie. Carmen Luvana was nice. She seemed very together, and everyone said that she was the consummate professional, always on time and pleasant to work with. But our favorite was Adrianna Nicole. She was smart and funny and we liked her a lot.

Overall, it was a very fun evening, and certainly something a bit outside our normal routine.

Of course, we have no pictures. There were a few officially designated photographers there, but otherwise it was one of those ‘cameras not allowed’ kind of events.

Have I mentioned lately that I love Los Angeles?

9/8/2006

Idiocracy

Filed under: — stan @ 8:28 pm

Last Monday, I saw a movie review in the L.A. Times. They usually don’t have movie reviews on a Monday. But this was “Idiocracy“, the new movie by Mike Judge. Geeks everywhere know him for “Office Space“. The review was pretty good, and they were kind of puzzled by the fact that the studio had basically dumped the movie into limited release with no advance screenings and no publicity. Like they wanted it to fail. And apparently, they are not the only ones who got this impression.

We were intrigued. So yesterday, we went to see it. It was tremendously funny. The story line reminded me a lot of the classic science fiction story, “The Marching Morons“. And Luke Wilson was great as Joe Bowers, the hapless average man who ends up as the smartest guy on Earth in the moronic future. We enjoyed this movie a lot, even though a lot of it seemed uncomfortably close to reality.

9/1/2006

Our last day of vacation

Filed under: — stan @ 8:38 pm

Friday was our last day at Lake Tahoe. We spent the day just doing nothing in particular, which was nice. Lucinda got to spend some more quality time with the cable TV, which she enjoyed. Cathy and I did some house maintenance. She oiled the wooden cabinet doors. I put up two new smoke detectors with 10-year lithium batteries. We also got a new pulley for one of the blinds. That was hard to find, but Mary’s Draperies had it.

After lunch, we rented bikes one more time. This time, Lucinda wanted to try riding the little trailer-bike that hooked on to my bike. This seemed like a good idea, but in practice it was horrible. The trailer is hooked on to the main bike with a universal joint, and the joint has some play in it. This made it very hard to maintain balance, and it made the ride very unpleasant. I usually take pictures during bike rides, but this instability made sure I could never take one hand off the bars to take a picture. So the only pictures I took are from when we stopped at Pope Beach.

Before dinner, we went to the pool one more time. Then we had dinner at Evans. We always go there on our last night, and as always, the food was excellent.

And thus ended our vacation. The pictures from the day are in our photo album.

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