Stan’s Obligatory Blog

6/14/2009

40 years later…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:50 pm

This afternoon’s adventure was a trip to the Gay Pride Parade and Festival in West Hollywood. This summer marks 40 years since the Stonewall riots, which are regarded as having started the modern gay rights movement. One of my friends did the web site for Christopher Street West, so she had VIP passes for us, along with about a dozen others in her business partner’s entourage.

I was a perfect day for a parade. I got there a bit late, but still saw quite a bit of it. There was a bus with older gay people touting “Gray Pride”. There were also cheerleaders doing stunts. A fire engine was the float for Mickey’s, which recently reopened after a fire. Hence the “flaming gay bar” banner. There was also a big contingent from the Tom of Finland Foundation.

After the parade, we stopped in to Millions of Milkshakes before going in to the festival. There was the pervasive thump of dance music everywhere, and it was very crowded. We walked around the festival for a bit, and I even ran into a few people I know there. Then I had to leave early to get home to pick up Lucinda.

It was a very fun afternoon adventure.

6/7/2009

Check out the view…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:42 pm

On Sunday evening, I had dinner with a friend in Marina Del Rey. We were up on the roof, where they have barbecues and tables. I’d never been on the roof of one of the high-rises there, and the view was pretty impressive. And dinner was good, too.

5/25/2009

Echo Mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 10:53 pm

Today I took Lucinda and her friend Alisha hiking. We went up Echo Mountain above Altadena. This is a very nice local hike, about 2.7 miles each way, with nice views and some interesting ruins at the top. We’d last done this hike two years ago.

We started out from the top of Lake Ave and headed on up the trail. After a while, the girls started to complain about being tired, but I convinced them to soldier on. We stopped for lunch at the two-mile marker. When we got close to the top, Lucinda started running. And when we reached the top, they were both very happy to have made it.

We poked around the ruins of the Echo Mountain House, and the girls tried out the Echo Phone. They were very entertained by the echoes coming back across the canyon.

It was a fun afternoon adventure.

5/16/2009

Saturday Night Weird

Filed under: — stan @ 11:58 pm

On Saturday night, Shari and I went over to Hollywood. The occasion was a party and book signing at Antebellum Gallery for my friend Elayne’s new book, The Piercing Bible. I’ve known Elayne for more than 20 years now, and seeing her is always a treat.

The art on display at the gallery was an odd mix of old Bettie Page bondage pictures, clown paintings, and photos of amputees. And the crowd that turned out was equally entertaining. I saw a number of people who I hadn’t seen in many years. I also got to introduce Shari to my friends Nina Hartley and Ernest Greene. That was some fun.

It was a very fun evening. And as a piece of trivia: I’ve known Elayne since 1987, but she’s never actually stuck a needle through me. The one time I had an appointment to get pierced by her, she called in sick and so Jim Ward did it instead.

5/3/2009

More nerd fun

Filed under: — stan @ 11:45 pm

on mars
On Sunday afternoon, I went over to JPL to meet up with my friends Carol and Lee, and their friend Sarah. We wandered around and looked at the various displays. And we went to Mars for the obligatory 3-D picture. It was good nerd fun.

4/26/2009

A ‘fun’ ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:36 pm

Today I did something different. It was the City of Angels Fun Ride. We’d seen this ride go by last year. The idea of riding with a rolling road closure was appealing, since it meant that we wouldn’t have to stop at all. So I thought I’d try it. I guess I was expecting a well-disciplined group that could ride smoothly together, which can be a lot of fun. When I got there, I saw Ben from the Sunday Morning ride group, so we rode together.

As it turned out, this was a sort of different usage of the word ‘fun’ with which I was previously unfamiliar. Because of the rolling road closure, they required that we ride in one large group. This was a lot like riding in a large racing peleton, but with mostly riders who do not know how to ride in a peleton. So the end result could more accurately be described as ‘harrowing’. We toured around the city, but really couldn’t do any sightseeing, since I didn’t dare look away for even a second. During the first part of the ride, I only saw one rider crash. This was pretty remarkable, considering all the bumping and bonehead moves that I saw going on in the group.

They had a rest and snack stop at the Ford Theater in Hollywood. I grabbed an orange and a few cookies. Then, when it was time to go, several more riders fell while pulling out of the parking lot. They hadn’t realized that the street was uphill, and they were in the wrong gears. Turkeys.

For some inexplicable reason, the police escort we had forced us to go really slowly into Griffith Park. We rode through the park, and then made one lap around it. At the end of the lap, we were about to leave the park and ride back to the finish. But they made us all stop. They said we had to wait 10 minutes for some reason that they really didn’t make clear at all. At this point, I’d had enough. I wasn’t enjoying it. So I unpinned my number from my jersey, pulled out of the line, and rode home.

The ride home was very nice and relaxing. Even having to deal with cars and traffic signals was much mellower than my experience riding in that group. So overall, it was not an especially nice ride.

77 miles.
cycling

4/25/2009

Nice dinner at Drago

Filed under: — stan @ 11:50 pm

For several years I’ve known Silvio from the Sunday morning bicycle club rides. About a year ago he mentioned that he manages Drago in Santa Monica, and he said I should come out some time for dinner. So tonight was the night.

We made an afternoon of is. Shari and I did some costume and jewelry shopping across Hollywood on the way out there. And when we got there, a table was ready and waiting for us. After looking at the menu, we decided to go for the prix fixe menu. Silvio said he would pick the wine for us. He selected and comped us a very nice bottle of Sicilian red wine that was very good, and went well with the filet mignon and lamb chops we had picked.

At the end, he brought us a special dessert sampler, which was all very good. Overall, it was a very fun little evening.

4/12/2009

Sunday afternoon, with leather

Filed under: — stan @ 11:22 pm

On Sunday afternoon, I went over to Santa Fe Dam to join some of my friends at the Renaissance Faire. They’d decided to meet there en masse today. Little did we know that Easter Sunday is the busiest day of the year at the park there.

The trip out there was easy, until we got to the corner of Irwindale and Arrow Highway. This is nowhere near the actual entrance, but the line of cars waiting to get in was all the way back there. We sat in line for about 45 minutes to get to the front. Then the police closed the entrance and put up a sign saying it was full. So we drove down to where the bike path goes over the dam. I was thinking we might be able to park there and bushwhack over the dam to the fair. But there was no place to park there. So as a last-ditch attempt we went and parked on one of the streets by the chemical plants behind the Miller brewery. I knew that there was a back entrance to the park there. I figured we could walk in from there. There was plenty of parking there, but the walk in turned out to be something like 1.5 miles. But it was a nice day, so it wasn’t too bad.

When we got there, we got our tickets and went in. The plan had been to meet at noon, and it was 1:45. But it turned out that everyone else had had a similarly epic journey to get there. So we were able to meet up with the group at a picnic table in the shade. It made for a very pleasant setting to watch the cavalcade of weirdness passing by.

At the end of the afternoon, we hitched a ride out with a couple from the group who had gotten there early and had their car into the parking lot. But even that was a epic journey. It took us something like 45 minutes to cover the 1.5 miles back to my car.

When we got to my car, I started it up and started to back out of the parking space. Then I heard it make a weird SNAP noise. And it would not go into reverse. I ended up having to push it out, which was difficult, since the front wheels were in the gutter at the side of the road. Fortunately, I was able to rock it back and forth enough to get out. Then I used my bicycle-riding-up-hills-in-stupid-high-gears muscles to push the car out far enough to be able to get out going forward. It was a very weird ending to a weird afternoon. So to celebrate the weirdness, we went to Kabuki in Pasadena for sushi. Yum.

It was both a very weird and very fun afternoon.

4/10/2009

Friday night on Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 10:55 pm

Tonight I went with the hiking group on yet another hike up Mt Hollywood. On the way up, I realized that I’d done this same Friday night hike this weekend last year. And that weekend turned out to be quite fun and memorable.

We took a rather steep route up, which was actually great fun. When we got to the top, we all pulled out wine and food, and we had a little party.

On the way down, I chatted with a woman in the group, and I told her my story about living in Texas, and how I decided that I don’t hate Texas any more.

It was a nice way to end the week..


3/14/2009

Under the Sea and up on the rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 9:24 pm


This afternoon, Susan and I took Lucinda and her friend to the California Science Center IMAX theater to see “Under the Sea 3-D”. We’ve been fans of the 3-D IMAX movies since going to see “Sea Monsters” last year.

When we got there, Lucinda had to try lifting the truck at the lever demonstration exhibit in the parking lot. Today was the first time that she was big enough to be able to lift it.

The movie was good, although it was a bit odd, since it was narrated by Jim Carrey. I guess he’s trying to stretch his dramatic range a bit.

After the movie, we went into the museum. Lucinda and her friend wanted to try the rock climbing wall. Apparently, it’s harder than it looks, since they only made it about halfway up. We looked around the museum a bit more before they closed. Then we headed home, after the obligatory stop in the gift shop.

It was a nice afternoon, and marks the first time that Susan and I have taken Lucinda somewhere together.

Pictures are in her photo album.

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