Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Seafood Feast and a Sunday Cephalopod

Filed under: — stan @ 9:45 pm

This evening we went down to meet my Chinese family for dinner. Uncle Hsin always knows where the best Chinese restaurants are, and it’s always a fun time to have dinner with them.

This time we went to New Capital Seafood in Rowland Heights. It’s the usual Chinese seafood restaurant, with big tanks by the door with fish, crabs, shrimp, lobsters and various other captured marine life awaiting their fate. I remember always being fascinated by the live fish when I was kid, and Lucinda is interested in looking at them, too. She doesn’t like actually eating them just yet, but she still finds them interesting.

One of the dishes we got was squid, which was the Sunday Cephalopod. It was fried with lots of garlic. It was tasty and all, and I made a lame attempt at assembling an entire squid on my plate for a photo opportunity.

My always favorite thing since I was a kid is when we get Peking Duck. Sadly, Lucinda has not developed a taste for this. But she likes the rice chips that it comes served on, so it’s not a total waste for her. We also had a lobster and a steamed fish, which she didn’t like either. I can’t remember how old I was before I developed a taste for fish. I think I was about 10, so there’s time. And she’s learning to use chopsticks now.

Overall, it was a fun time.


August birthdays

Filed under: — stan @ 9:03 pm

Today we all went down to Orange County to Uncle Larry’s house. Cathy, Larry, and Larry’s wife Francesca all have birthdays within a week of each other, so we did a big birthday dinner for all three there.

They went to the 99 Ranch Market and got some enormous lobsters for the occasion. They were something like three or four pounds each.

Lucinda is the only kid in the family, so we brought along a friend so she would have someone to play with. They had fun in the jacuzzi, and after that they played on the stairs, sliding down on pillowcases. This was a novelty, since we don’t have stairs in our house. Later in the afternoon, Grandpa took them to the pool. They also got to play in the elaborate landscaping in Larry’s back yard.

The dinner was nice, and Cathy was very pleased with the Micro-Dermabrasion kit that she got. She is very much into beauty treatments. She is going to be 44 next week, so I guess it’s working.

At the end of the day, we headed back home up the freeway, into the sunset.

It was a nice day.


An adventure in Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 10:50 pm

Today we went over to Hollywood to The Knitting Factory to go to “Baby Loves Disco”, which is an afternoon disco party for kids. We had read about this in the L.A. Times this week. It sounded like fun, but as it turned out, it was mostly kids much younger than Lucinda. Most of the kids there were babies and toddlers. So Lucinda was older than most of them. She still had some fun, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been if there were more kids in the 6-9 range.

After that, we walked down Hollywood Blvd for a bit. Lucinda wants to get a fairy backpack for school, and we thought we might be able to find one there. We immediately got caught in a crush of people in front of the Chinese Theater. Apparently there was some sort of event there and they said that Julia Roberts was supposed to be there. So we had to push our way through throngs of people in monsoon heat to get past. We didn’t end up finding a fairy backpack, but we did find a nice zebra-pattern bag for Lucinda to use for when she goes to swimming lessons, so it wasn’t a waste. And Lucinda was very amused by the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum at Hollywood and Highland. She wants to go back there some time.


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.


“I’m George Page for Nature…”

Filed under: — stan @ 7:17 am

I was reading the L.A. Times obituary page today, and I saw that George Page has died.

Back in 1986, when Cathy and I started dating, we pretty quickly evolved a routine where we spent every weekend together. Cathy worked at a bank at the time, so she came over to my apartment after work on Friday. She usually didn’t get there until 8:30 or so. I would have dinner ready when she got there. Then, we would spend the weekend together doing whatever, but always ending on Sunday evening with a pot of tea, a spice cake, and watching “Nature” on PBS. George Page was the creator and narrator of the show, and the introduction to every episode began with, “Hi, I’m George Page for Nature…”

It’s the end of an era.


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.


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.


More on why Cathy’s the best

Filed under: — stan @ 6:58 am

This evening we all went to the park. Lucinda played on the playground there, and Cathy did some climbing too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another mom there who climbs with her kid. A few years ago she took a pole dancing class, and every once in a while she practices her ‘acrobatics’ on the pole at the playground. I even got a quick video of her doing the pole. (3.5 MB avi)

Like I said, she’s the best.

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