Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Return to the tattoo circus

Filed under: — stan @ 10:10 pm

Kat with Lucinda and Alisha
Today’s plan was that Lucinda and I were going to go see the final stage of the Tour of California over at the Rose Bowl. But it was raining today. The race was still on, but standing outside in the rain all afternoon just didn’t seem like it would be all that much fun. So I talked to Lucinda, and we decided to go to Musink. We brought along her friend Alisha, since she’s also an “L.A. Ink” fan. I took them to visit the High Voltage Tattoo shop in Hollywood last month.

We got down there at about 1:30, and it was already hopping. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen on a Sunday afternoon at a tattoo convention. We stashed our jackets under the table at my friend’s booth and set off to wander around. They had a sign up at the High Voltage booth that said that Kat, Kim, and Hannah were going to be greeting fans at 5:00. We talked to the people in the booth and asked them what time we should plan on getting in line, and they said 4:00.

We wandered over to the vendors’ building, and Lucinda and Alisha both got little glitter temporary tattoos. I also stopped off at the Burning Angel booth just to show Lucinda’s second-grade school ID to Joanna Angel. In her picture, Lucinda had a bright red streak in her hair, just like Joanna has now. She thought that that was very cute.

Back in the tattoo building, we saw Kim at one of the booths, so we stopped to talk to her and get a picture with her and the girls.

By this time, it was about 3:30, and a line was already forming to meet Kat. So we got in line. The sign had said she would be out at 5:00, but she came out earlier, since the line was so long. We all got our pictures with her, and she also signed Lucinda’s shirt that we’d bought last month when we visited the shop.

After all that excitement, we went back to the vendors’ building and Lucinda bought a set of makeup brushes, and I got a print from Matt Kotch, who is an artist who does paintings of weird sea creatures.

By the time we left, it was time for dinner, so we stopped off and ate before heading home.

It was a fun time.


A tattoo circus

Filed under: — stan @ 11:31 pm

I met Kat Von D
Lucinda and I have become fans of “L.A. Ink”, so when they said that they were going to put on a tattoo and music show, we put it on our calendar. As it turned out, Lucinda decided that she didn’t want to go in the end. She was intimidated by the prospect of crowds and noise. But, since tattoo shows are one of my most favorite things, I went by myself.

I went on Friday afternoon. Getting down to the O.C. in Friday traffic was a bit of an epic journey, but I got there all right. And parking was free, which was a nice treat. That sort of made up for the steep $28 ticket price.

When I got inside, I saw that it was going to be a good show. There were notices on all the doors warning us that “each person in attendance irrevocably consents to being filmed or videotaped and releases the producers and users of such film or videotape from any liability…throughout the world in perpetuity.” Well, that about covers it, don’t you think? It was only 3:30, and there was a good crowd there already. And the camera crews gave it a circus-like quality that most tattoo shows don’t have. I wandered around and found some of my friends and talked for a bit. Then someone said that Kat Von D was at the High Voltage booth and greeting fans. I figured I had to get a picture with her to bring home for Lucinda, so I went and stood in the very long line for my turn. I don’t normally get star-struck, but Kat seemed very nice, and she was hot. But then again, I have a known weakness for pretty girls with lots of tattoos.

Wandering around some more, I went into the music room to see one of the tattoo contests. The stage was good, but the lighting wasn’t. So it was hard to actually see the tattoos. then I wandered over the the vendors’ building. I walked in and saw that Burning Angel had a booth, and Joanna Angel herself was there. (Remember what I said about pretty girls with tattoos.) So I had to stop in and talk to her a bit. She was also very nice, and I got a good souvenir photo with her.

Back in the tattoo building, Hannah’s new tattoo was finished. But before she got up off the table, the camera crew had to come down and film the crowd around her and also go in to the booth and film her. Then she got up and went to get some food.

My final encounter with the stars of the show was when I got to meet Corey. He was standing in the aisle with a tray of french fries. So I got a picture with him to show Lucinda.

The rest of my time there was spent just wandering around and schmoozing. It was a very fun afternoon and evening.

Photos are in my tattoo conventions photo gallery.


An unusual Sunday

Filed under: — stan @ 9:02 pm

Today was an unusual Sunday for me. I wanted to go to the Center for Inquiry in Hollywood to hear Carol Tavris talk about her new book, Mistakes Were Made (but not by me). I’d bought the book on Thursday, and I’ve read about half of it so far. It’s quite good.

So I cut my usual bike ride short in order to get home by 10:00 so I could make it over to Hollywood by 11:00. The talk was very good. Entertaining and informative. I got to talk with the speaker beforehand, and I told her about how after reading just the first few chapters of the book, I could see how we all do this. And in particular, how this normal human tendency can lead to the most bitter arguments.

After the talk, she signed books. Then we all walked down the street for lunch at a local Thai restaurant.

It was a fun time.


Hiking to Inspiration Point

Filed under: — stan @ 8:45 pm

Since Gene’s accident last November, I’ve been thinking about possibly doing some more weight-bearing exercise. I hate running, and I don’t like lifting weights. But I like hiking. So I looked up a local hiking group on to find a group for hiking in the local mountains.

So today they had a hike up Echo Mountain and then on to Inspiration Point. This is an extended version of the hike I took Lucinda on last year. And the trailhead is right at the top of Lake Ave in Pasadena, so it was very convenient.

The group met at the trailhead, and it turned out to be a pretty big group. Something like 35 people in all. And it was perfect day. The sun was warm, and the air was cool.

The group quickly split up into smaller groups, each traveling at its own pace. I didn’t try to stay with the fastest group, since I like to sightsee a bit on the trail. We stopped briefly at the top of Echo Mountain to look at the ruins of White City. Then we continued on up the Castle Canyon Trail. I’d never been on this trail before, and it was quite nice. It got steep near the end, but the scenery was very nice.

The trail came out on the top of the ridge at Inspiration Point. We sat down there and took in the view for a bit before heading back down. According to the trail signs, we did about 9 1/2 miles round trip. I think I’m going to be sore from this, but it was a fun time.


Some actual nature at Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 8:18 pm

There was an egret perched by one of the little ponds at Disneyland. Everything there is artificial, so it’s kind of a shock to see an actual wild animal there. But I guess there’s good eatin’ in the pond.

So this is my latest Canon commercial.


Larchmont and Doo Dah

Filed under: — stan @ 8:34 pm

Today’s bike ride was our Larchmont Village route. The idea was to see the headless Statue of Liberty that I’d heard Paramount had near their front gate on Melrose Ave. This was supposed to be promoting their new movie, “Cloverfield“.

It was chilly when we set out. We rode down through Eagle Rock and across the L.A. River. Then on down Silver Lake Blvd. There was no sign of the work to drain the reservoir that we’ve been hearing about lately.

When we got to Larchmont, we stopped at Noah’s Bagels. There was a little promotion for “Cloverfield” written in chalk on the sidewalk there. I guess that’s what you get when a mega-corporation attempts viral marketing. I thought it was funny that there was some person who was paid to go around writing stuff on the sidewalks in chalk.

Leaving Larchmont, we rode down Melrose past Paramount. But there was no sign of Lady Liberty. So either they’d taken it down, or it was in some place that was less than obvious.

When we got back to Pasadena, I remembered that today was the Doo Dah Parade. So several of us stopped off to have a look. We saw lots of people handing out campaign materials for Dennis Kucinich. It would be interesting to study why he so appeals to people with the anarchist spirit of the Doo Dah Parade. We also saw the Angel City Derby Girls and the Midnight Ridazz. I developed an immediate crush on all the Derby Girls. They’re just so darn cute. And one of the Midnite Ridazz was also my favorite. I love heavily tattooed girls with nose rings. As a final treat, we saw that the Grand Marshal for the Parade was Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping.

Pictures of the parade are here:

38 miles


A trip to Hollywood with the girls

Filed under: — stan @ 9:15 pm

This afternoon, I took Lucinda and her friend for a little adventure in Hollywood.

First, we went to West Hollywood, where we went to M+B to see the Alison Jackson: Confidential photo show. This was a fairly small exhibit, but it was very amusing. I bought the book so we can see the rest of her photos.

After that, we went to the park in West Hollywood. The girls played there for a bit before we headed back to Hollywood to visit High Voltage Tattoo. This is the shop in “L.A. Ink“, which Lucinda and I have been enjoying recently. When we were first watching it, there was a scene of a person walking out he front door, and I recognized the JONS market across the street. And I realized that the shop was right around the corner from our old condo in Hollywood. So I’d promised Lucinda that I’d take her there to visit. We gawked for a bit and I bought Lucinda a shirt. And then we went home. It was a fun little afternoon adventure.


Hollywood signtseeing by bike

Filed under: — stan @ 8:26 pm

Today’s ride was an informal sightseeing trip to Hollywood. Five of us went, and we had a nice list of sights to see.

We met in South Pasadena and headed on over to Hollywood. When we got there, the first stop was at Hollywood Forever. I’d been there a while back to visit Don Adams’ grave, and I wanted to see if he’d gotten a stone yet. As it turned out, he had. I took a couple of pictures, and then we took a short tour around the cemetery. We saw Cecil B. DeMille’s grave. Also Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, and Mel Blanc. Pictures are all in the Graves Gallery.

Leaving the cemetery, we took some side streets across Hollywood, passing by my old house there, as well as Mickey’s Greenhouse. Then we stopped for a photo-op on La Brea at Kat Von D’s tattoo shop that is features in “L.A. Ink“. Then we went up to Franklin Ave to see the Highland Gardens motel, where Janis Joplin died back in 1970.

Heading west, we stopped at the site of the motel where Divine died. The building was recently torn down, so it was just a vacant lot. Then we headed over into West Hollywood, passing by Jack Cassidy’s old apartment, as well as the alley where Sal Mineo was murdered.

We took a small detour down to Dicks St just for a chuckle. Then we went back up to Sunset and headed back east, passing The Viper Room, where River Phoenix died back in 1993. Then we turned left up Sunset Plaza and headed up the hill. Along the way, I spotted another hot-rod mailbox, so I added it to my collection.

Going over the top, we headed down into Laurel Canyon, passing by the site of Houdini’s old house. Then we turned and rode up Willow Glen, which is a very steep hill. It’s also always wet, which makes for tricky riding. At the top, we went down into Nicholls Canyon, turning left on Nicholls Canyon Road for the climb up to Mulholland.

We rode part-way down Mulholland before realizing that we’d gone the wrong way. We wanted to visit the site of Errol Flynn’s house, so we had to backtrack a bit to find it. Then we went back down Mulholland, turning on Woodrow Wilson to go down to the freeway in Cahuenga Pass.

Coming down the hill into Burbank, we stopped at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake for bagels and orange juice. Then we headed home by the most direct and flattest route possible.

Overall, it was a very nice ride.

about 60 miles (my bike computer was on the fritz)


My day is complete…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

Today is New Year’s Day, which means the Rose Parade here in Pasadena.

And my two most favorite things to see at the parade are:

  • The look on the face of the kid who just marched 5 miles carrying a Sousaphone;
  • Seeing a broken-down float getting towed away.

And what’s up with that ‘chin strap across the nose’ thing?

Anyway, my day was complete very early on. After that, we headed back home to see the horses. Along the way, we saw the band kids all sitting and chowing down on In-N-Out burgers. For some reason, I find that amusing, too.

We went to the parking lot where they had most of the horse trailers. Lucinda and her friend got to pet and feed carrots to the horses. While they were doing that, I watched a guy practice rope tricks, and I also got to see Miss California Rodeo.

When we went back home, we were treated to the always-surreal sight of horses grazing on suburban lawns, and people riding past our house.

It was a fun day.


How we live today…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:53 pm

Saw this on Christmas day:

A big recliner chair, and six remote controls. Yikes.

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