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.


Tutus and hairy chests

Filed under: — stan @ 12:37 am

This evening, I took Lucinda to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. My cousin Irene bought us tickets so that Lucinda and I could have a night out together. We saw them two years ago at Caltech, and it was a fun time.

The show was a lot of fun. As always, the ‘dying swan’ was hilarious. I still think we’d enjoy it even more if we knew more about ’serious ballet’, but it’s still fun.


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.


Now you see it…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:16 pm

Saw this today in the L.A. Times:

Alison Jackson: Confidential An exhibition of photographs toying with the notion of celebrity. M+B, 612 N. Almont Drive, L.A.

This is an exhibit of photos of celebrity look-alikes, staging the pictures we’d like to see. The photos cover a full range:

This looks like a hoot. Have a look at the gallery on their web site:



Filed under: — stan @ 9:21 pm

This afternoon, we all went over to West Hollywood to see “What Would Jesus Buy?” at the Sunset 5. I think that this may be the first time we’ve taken Lucinda to see and art-house movie, and it turned out to be quite a little adventure.

The film follows Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping when he and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir go on a nationwide tour to try to stop the commercialization of Christmas and to raise awareness of the costs of our consumer culture. They visited the Mall of America, Disneyland, and lots of places in between, preaching the gospel of anti-consumerism. It was hilarious.

For a special treat, the director was there to answer questions after the film. The film was produced by Morgan Spurlock, who did “Supersize Me”, and this film is done in a similar style, with Reverend Billy and the choir doing guerilla ‘interventions’ at big-box stores and malls. He uses his bullhorn to preach of the coming ‘Shopocalypse’. They also performed exorcisms of credit cards to drive out the demons of debt. Overall, it was a fun time, even though Lucinda was the only child in the audience.


Visiting San Diego

Filed under: — stan @ 9:38 pm

For the day after Thanksgiving, we headed down to see Grandpa in San Diego. The plan was to go visit, take him to lunch at Prado, and then go see the Midway aircraft carrier museum.

The lunch at Prado was nice. We also got to see our friend Laura there. She manages the place, and it appears that she never leaves there. I guess that’s just how it is to manage a big restaurant. But the food was good, and the presentation was first-rate.

The Midway was interesting. Its active days spanned from the end of World War II through the Vietnam War. They had a lot of the older airplanes on display on the hangar deck. They also had several flight simulators on the hangar deck, and they were selling rides in them. Maybe next time we’ll have to try them.

Up on the flight deck they had newer airplanes on display. The A4 reminded me of the time when I was working in San Diego and one of them crashed down the street from my office. We heard it go by and could tell by the sound that something was wrong. We all ran to the windows in time to see the plume of smoke and the pilot drifting down on his parachute. It still amazes me that he was able to aim the plane for the parking lot between two office buildings before he ejected.

There were also exhibits about taking off and landing on the carrier. They had retired pilots giving talks to explain how the process worked. It was pretty interesting, and it’s really amazing that they are able to make it look (relatively) easy.

Overall, it was a fun day.

I also got a new sign for the Animal Crossings Gallery.



Filed under: — stan @ 11:16 pm

Our afternoon art adventure was a trip out to Culver City to Bandini Art to see the “Cone Migration” show. This show is all art made from traffic cones. Lana Shuttleworth placed cones all over Los Angeles and let them get beat up by traffic. Then she collected them and made art out of them. It’s an interesting idea, and the art she made was very nice.

It’s also an interactive art in a way. They had a pile of cones in front of the gallery, and visitors are encouraged to take one and ‘release it’ somewhere. So of course, we had to do this. I thought it would make for an interesting piece of performance art to take the cone along on a bike ride and place it somewhere. When we were leaving, we picked out a cone to take along.

Since we were out on the West Side, I wanted to go see the Museum of Jurassic Technology. This is sort of an art project museum on Venice Blvd. It’s kind of like entering the world of “Eraserhead“, which I thought was amusing, but Cathy found somewhat disturbing. It’s filled with lots of strange things, including an entire room devoted to memorializing the dogs of the Soviet Space program. They had large oil portraits of the dogs, including a special shrine for Laika with a little candle and a quote from Tsiolkovsky.

We all enjoyed the cone exhibit. And I liked the Jurassic Technology. It was all very deeply weird, but I like stuff like that.

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