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2014/02/27

In case you missed it. . .

Due to this blog spot (pun intended) not having answered any of my queries for several months when I couldn't post photos on here, I moved over to another internet address some time ago. In case you didn't see that notice on the upper right. . . yeah, right over there. . . the new place to look for the wonderfulness that is my musings--shut up--is www.loganbruin.wordpress.com . Go ahead, take a gander. . .


;o)

2013/07/22

Lyrical Origins

What an esoteric-sounding title, huh? Nope, completely literal, as in “I love it when I come across something written centuries ago that was turned into a song lyric.”

Example I came across this morning:
Oscar Wilde: We are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Rush: All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars.
All of us spend time in the gutter, dreamers turn to look at the cars.
Neil Peart actually made more out of it than the original, but it’s all there.

Other examples:
John Barth: We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost
Rush: We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost (word for word, but used with permission)

W.S. Gilbert: When every blessing thing you hold
Is made of silver or of gold
            You long for simple pewter
When you have nothing else to wear
But cloth of gold and satins rare
For cloth of gold you cease to care
Dire Straits: “When you can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold.”
I think both Gilbert and Knopfler had golddiggers in their past. . .

Any examples you guys can think of?

;o)

2013/06/06

Concert Bookends

Haven’t gone to the movies in two years, now twice in one week. . . and possibly Much Ado About Nothing on Friday. My head hurts. . .

 So, right before I left for Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro, I went Natalie Gelman’s concert at Hotel Café–can’t believe it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been there–and last night found myself at Molly Malone’s for Riddle the Sphinx.

 Here’s how it happened. . . (dramatic music sting)

A few Thursdays ago. . .
 Most people probably couldn’t tell, but I remember enough of that training to know there’s heightened security going on around Union Station. Some overt signs, with cop SUVs on the outer circle, and a couple of K9 units, but to my delight I picked out a few undercover guys trying to meld into the crowd; nice to know my brain hasn’t atrophied that much. . . yet.
 No big deal getting to Westwood, but after a cool cloudy morning it got sunny and humid in a hurry! Farmers’ Market is going on, but as usual I don’t find anything of interest. . . except the roasted corn! Mmmmm, so goooood! Ate it on the way to platelet donation, but because of the heat in my mouth and the day–sweating in my UCLA hoodie–I almost didn’t pass the thermometer test. Even worse, the music selection as I waited to be called in was. . . well past eclectic: there was one of the countless covers of Buckley’s Hallelujah, followed by heavy metal. . . and then mariachi! Couldn’t take it anymore, had to ask at the desk what kind of weird radio station this was. . . and the answer is. . . Pandora on shuffle! Ha!
 Rather than watch a movie this time, I had my Kindle, but even then I ended up falling asleep. Still, this was the second time in a row where all went well, no cramps or bathroom issues, and I even caught a quick glimpse of the perpetually sunny Kirsten while in recovery, talking to an older lady about world travels. . .
 The corn was so good I went back for another, almost getting run over by a tall blonde babe on a skateboard. That looked quite. . . funny.
 Had no choice but to take the Sunset bus this time, but I was way early, so I ended up riding all the way to Freestyle Photo, just to shoot the breeze, though I told the guy I was compiling a wish list for my birthday so it wouldn’t be suspicious when I didn’t buy anything. But then fun petered out pretty early, so I crossed the street to go back, and found myself on the first bus I’ve ever ridden that had a new car smell. . .
 Took the side alley, having to dodge some movers on the way, and quickly found myself inside Hotel Café for the 74th time–nothing much has changed, other than the waitress of course. No one will ever live up to the cuteness of Meiko, but this one had a very sweet smile; if history is any indication, I love waitresses. . .
 Brooke Annabelle was the opening act, whom I liked but didn’t love; she’s great in concert, and while I liked the songs, I couldn’t tell them apart. She had drums and bass backing her, leading to a hard-rocking enjoying half-hour or so. Also noticed the waitress kneels to not be in the way; I like good girls. Plus the fact she called me honey and patted me on the shoulder. . . the world is such a better place with me not being born with the psychology of a stalker, huh? It was even cute when she said empanadas w/ a tilde on the N; I didn’t bother to correct her.
 Okay, it’s one minute to eight and there’s no sign of Natalie, though her stuff is already on sale at the entrance. To my shock, the chicken actually smells pretty good. . . THERE she is! In a dress. . . no, a miniskirt and high heels, nothing at all like I’ve seen from her. Up on stage in the spotlight, she actually reminded me a bit of Jeri Ryan. . .
 1 Streetlamp Musician
“I don’t want to die with a melody inside.” The previous act had ended with streetlight song, so of course I had to make note of it while trying not to giggle. I would have thought this would be her closer, as emotional as she gets with it.
 2 Laugh so Hard You Cry
 See, the hard-rockin’ one shoulda been first. She even invited everyone to boogie, then proceeds to hit all the high notes, spectacular considering her normal deeper voice. Her hair is flying all over her face, like in the photos I took that windy day in Century City. . .
 3 The Lion
 She talks a little too much between songs; bet she could have fit another song in there if she’d kept it brief. As expected, this got the crowd, especially the ladies, into it.
 4 Most the While
 She complains about there being no gag reel for the video she shot for this–too much cussing. That’s exactly the kind of thing I love to find out about, considering her sweet innocent face. . .
 5 Long Stemmed Roses
 Does a long story about how she wrote the song, ending with the almost-clueless ex wondering if the song was. . . “Yes, the song is about you, fuck you!”
6 Sundance in your eyes
 She invites everyone to sing along. . . “and if you’ve had too much to drink, air sing.” classic line.
7 One more thing
 First song tonight I was unfamiliar with; hope she doesn’t scream so much and make it so big on the studio version. It occurs to me that, between her innocent face and the way she was dressed, she could be anywhere between 17 and 35. . .
8 Crazy
 Since I am so untragically unhip, I have no idea if this is actually a cover of the Gnarls Barkley tune. . . and I got nothing else here.
Somehow she–or more likely the howls from the audience—convinced the sound guy to let her do an encore, although for all I know this was supposed to be her closer and she ran out of time. Probably not, as she had to figure out which to do. She was just about to launch into Love Let Me Go when someone in the crowd changed her mind to the “Devil song.”
“Yes, the song is about me.” I think of it as a softer Lion.
She ends it with “I fuckin’ love you guys.”
Waited a long time for her, and even when she finally made it other people tried to cut in line or draw her away; guess my menacing snarl isn’t much good in the gloom at which they keep the lighting in this place. Finally got to playfully joust with her, forgot an air hug–virtual hug–this time and rushed to catch the subway, which came six minutes late anyway. At least the bus showed up in time, and I was entertained for far longer than I shoulda been while watching a young lady reading Sudoku for Dummies. . .

It occurs to me that the best $25 I ever spent was to see Daniela Ruah’s play. . . okay, it was $26.50, but that’s pretty cheap for a processing fee, dontcha think, Ticketmaster? Sad that it feels like the play was years ago. . .

Back in the Yoo Ess Ay. . . Yesterday
Why am I suddenly dreaming of Kate Beckensale as I wake up. . .?
As usual the shower ran long–no, not because of that–and I had to do a quick march to catch the bus, which I only made because of a timely red light. I really don’t like living this close to the edge. . . maybe a condo two blocks from the edge. . .
Hopped on the purple line, with all intention of getting off at Vermont as usual, especially when I saw an incredibly tall blonde there, but again, my stalker instincts at pretty nascent–or rather not born at all–so I stayed on to Western, thinking it was okay if I didn’t get a seat on the express because my destination was only two stops away. That was a mistake; the stop for the 20 has changed, so I didn’t have to cross street. . . which I only found out when the 20 zoomed by me. Had to cross back, and that cost me another 20–since when do they run so close together?–and another express. In all, I missed four buses and it made me late, and it was not helped by all the construction going on around Wilshire/La Brea.
On a brighter note, as always happens when I’ve got my player on alphabetical or shuffle, a song from tonight’s diva comes on–this time Riddle the Sphinx’s Shepherd’s Hill. I take that as a good luck sign, even though I’m not superstitious; I’m so complicated. . .
Finally there, I see plenty of people waiting for the La Brea bus. . . But by now I have to go to the restroom, and the only available place is Jack in the Box. Well, I have to admit the Oreo shake was divine, but I still missed the bus and ended up walking to 2nd Street–the cute blonde in the Trader Joe’s parking lot looking for signatures ignoring me, her loss–to finally get to Pix Cameras. So of course with all the crap that put me so late, the repair guy is out to lunch! He did come soon enough, so I left my digital camera with him and, since there was nowhere to sit and pass the time in the surprisingly small shop, I set my tired feet off to see what mischief I could find. Not much–La Brea and then Beverly were surprisingly high-toned for the neighborhood, no surprise there’s such a high turnover of these stores when they set such ridiculous prices. Found Blick’s Art Supplies, but looking through all the aisles only confirmed how overpriced everything is. . . plus Hall & Oates and Devo played on the overhead–thanks, I don’t feel old enough.
So of course by the time I went back for my camera it was far too late to catch the movie as I had programmed for the day. Luckily the La Brea bus turns east after heading north, right onto Hollywood Blvd, where I got off in front of the remodeled McDonald’s and as usual ignored Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Having crossed one street, I wait to cross the other while also ignoring the guy with the sign that read “Go Fuck Yourself!” Don’t know if he was going for humor or social satire, but considering how everyone ignored him, I don’t think he achieved his objective.
Now as I take the escalator into the Hollywood/Highland complex, the worst of all possible scenarios happens: the overhead plays “Call Me Maybe!” Arrrrrrgh! Immediately I had to go to the restroom again, but once I came out something far less annoying was on, so I retrace my steps to the Oakley store, where I instantly grab for a new pair of their Special Forces boots. Can’t believe I had my first pair for six years! No longer cost-efficient to keep repairing them, and I had a bonus from my last assignment, so yeah, plop down 200 bucks for hopefully another good six years. They didn’t have wide in the store, nor half sizes, and the laces feel horrible on the fingers, but it was still a good thirty dollars less than the previous pair, and they feel really good. The store, however, could do with some seating to try the shoes on; the pilot chairs from the ancient bomber just didn’t work. . .
Just as bad on the fingers was the straps of their bag, so I was muttering to myself a bit as I took the subway one stop to Vine station, then walked down that street to that McDonald’s–there are a lot more beggars than I remember. Tried to waste as much time as possible in the air conditioning, but soon enough I was back in the sun as I take the long way around–shoulda cut through the underground parking lot, dammit–to Arclight Hollywood, or maybe they still call it the Cinerama Dome. Just like Monday–last blog–I get there just in time for a long list of previews, though none of these were sci-fi like those others. Just as I’m realizing “Holy crap this is a giant screen!” on comes a preview for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing! Oh lordy, it’s not enough seeing Nathan Fillion as that buffoon Dogberry, but Amy Acker is playing Beatrice! Couldn’t tell who’s playing Hero, but this might subconsciously explain why I was dreaming of Kate Beckinsale earlier. . .
And just as yummy was the licorice. . .
This time I’m watching Before Midnight, the third part of the “Before” series that will hopefully be more than trilogy. I had absolutely no idea this was being made or had been made until I saw a commercial a couple of days ago, but if they targeted me, good job advertisers! For those who don’t know, almost 20 years ago there was a movie called “Before Sunrise,” with Ethan Hawke and the always luminous Julie Delpy wandering around Vienna for one magical night. Nine years after that was “Before Sunset,” where they basically did the same thing through Paris. This time they’re in Greece, on vacation with his son from the previous marriage–mentioned often in the previous movie–as well as the most adorable little curly blonde bilingual twins you’ve ever seen.
The first scene is his son saying goodbye to catch his flight back to the US, but the second, in which our two main characters are in a car with the twins sleeping in the back, brings us right back to the two previous movies, with its ten-minute takes; I always wonder how they can memorize so much dialogue at once, then I remember live theater goes on a lot longer. . . duh.
A few highlights for me. I didn’t hear any reaction from the crowd, and no one in the reviews has mentioned it, but the main musical theme–shows up right away–is the guitar piece from the previous movie that Julie Delpy herself composed, the waltz Celine wrote for him. She’s an amazing dramatic actress, but at the long dinner scene she does such an amazing comedic turn, doing a bimbo blonde act that’s simply hilarious. A similar scene is when they’re in a thousand-year-old church and she’s talking about blowjobs; she does the sign of the cross or whatever those hand gestures are, then puts her hands together and licks the edges like. . . well, you know. Damn, that woman is so sexy. . . and then she’s actually nude! The other movies got R ratings for a few F-bombs–stupid puritanical censors–but this one earned it, showing her off as a classic French MILF. . .
Wow, that was a fast two hours! It takes another of these movies to remind me how amazing and luminous Julie Delpy is . . .
Having been seated for most of the last three hours didn’t seem to help much, as I’m still tired as I struggle back to Hollywood Blvd, where I just miss the Fairfax bus. Two expresses pass by in the other direction as I wait in front of a strip club and tobacco shop, but if that was an omen it wasn’t a good one, having to stand there with my back quickly hurting for half an hour, having to listen to the oddly comical doormen–1 black, 1 Latino–hustling guys to go inside while trying to be charming to any ladies. At one point the Latino went right up to a tall blonde–fake, plus heels–and put on some amazingly corny moves, to which he later pontificated, “You can tell a lot about a woman by how she shakes hands.”
Finally the bus came, though as always there’s a ton of traffic at Hollywood/Highland. The guy with the “Go fuck yourself!” sign is still there, but it’s interesting taking in the human zoo from an elevated perspective. For instance, walking through the crowd I got glimpses of the people dressed up as characters, scrounging for money by posing for photos. From the bus I saw them all, and definitely remember a brunette Supergirl, or just about the opposite of what the character calls for. And then there’s the guy from Reno 911 with the short shorts. . . ugh, brain scrubber, please.
Got off a block before Wilshire–traffic getting by CBS TV City and Farmers’ Market/Grove, of course–and right into Molly Malone’s sight of tonight’s show. Right at the bar I see the mom and sister of tonight’s diva buying drinks, so no loneliness in the dark for me this time.
But even once we got inside we had to wait through the opener, a very attractive brunette named Christy Lynn Arvin  who at first reminded me of Meiko, then Danica McKellar. . . lookswise, I mean, she certainly didn’t have the vocal personality of Meiko as she started with covers. Don’t know if any of them were original, but her “American Idol contestant” voice didn’t keep me interested for long. Guess I heard it all before, far too many times. The only fun part was when she mentioned, “Something smells good” and I instantly murmured, “It’s not me.” Luckily she didn’t hear me.
Sprite and leftover licorice do not go well together. . .
On to the Riddler of the half pharaoh half-lion!
1 Keep On Walkin’
I think the only people here to see her are at our table; not sure there’s anyone else in the joint. Never seen her sister rock out so much; it’s both funny and endearing.
2 Judgment Day
Her sister’s fave, which is even funnier. Christo the drummer is breaking off pieces of drumstick, he’s smacking the skins so hard! But mostly he’s back to using his hands, at one point missing a cymbal; you can see it in his face. Then he uses only his thumb when he wanted a soft cymbal. . .
3 Never Marry an Old Man
Totally hate this song, but it’s great when she forgets a line and cackles wildly. She’s reminding me of Delpy. . .
4 Hey You
Brings it all the way down. . . then all the way up again; never seen that from her. And I still call her scat as the closest she’ll ever come to rapping. . .
5 My Bonnie (something)
Her hair is flying in every direction, again as wild as I’ve ever seen her.
6 Funhouse
Mr. Kilt requested on stage, so of course Sean runs up there; luckily the kilt isn’t loose. He drops his rattle in the middle of the song just like the kid he is.
7 What’s Under the Scotsman’s Kilt?
Self-explan.
8 Lullaby
Usually the closer, but “we’re calling an audible.” Chris using football terminology is so weird. . . Christo hits a cymbal on the upswing!
9 (no idea)
Clap along–actually Christo starts this–don’t know it, no idea, not a fun way to end it, but end it did.
So, it looks like having a long day as soon as you’re back from another continent, then another two days later, totally works for curing jet lag. . . at least until I got to the bus stop and couldn’t stop yawning. Damn. . .

;o)

2013/06/03

Silly Monday

So. . .
On my first day back in El Lay, I. . .


Had a fun time at the bank

Bought sinus medicine and reading glasses. . . (I can't believe I just admitted that, but my double vision is getting worse)

DIDN'T buy a small digital camera at Radio Shack (cuz they didn't have the one I wanted)

Walked to the mall (Who says nobody walks in El Lay?)

Ran through the perfume counters of the big store that shall not be mentioned. (allergic)

Arrived way earlier than I expected, so had to go into shops I usually don't.

Ate some French fries.

Flirted with a couple of sales ladies in sporting goods stores, but did not buy the boots I wanted. . . because they didn't have them.
Bought some Pez.

Bought a Brave backpack for a friend's daughter's birthday (though since it's a redhead on the backpack, I may keep it)

Saw the new Star Trek movie (and finished off the way overpriced popcorn before the previews were over!)

Walked out of the mall just as the bus was arriving.

Turned on a computer for the first time in two weeks (and this is the result--big whoop)


;o)

2013/05/15

Proof Daniela Ruah is Awesome

Already scorching hot in the morning as I walk the two blocks to the bus, again just catching it as it arrives two minutes early; I so love living on the edge. . .
Just like Friday, or what you would call “last blog,” I was a bit hungry but not enough to get lunch at Union Station, so this time I passed up Wetzel’s and went straight to McArthur Park, where I spotted a McD’s right next to the subway entrance and grabbed a large fries to go. There have been times in Europe when I bought two of those and didn’t get hungry till next morning, so I knew this would be more than enough to tide me over till I was done with what I came to see. Haven’t been in this neighborhood since the time I took the photo of the violinist dancing to the drummer in one of the previous blogs; I know it was on my birthday but can’t remember what year. I do know it wasn’t anywhere near as hot that day as I walk past hundreds of families and a pee-wee soccer game before finding a bench that didn’t burn my tushie too much. Took me a lot less time to polish off the fries than I’d hoped, so soon enough I found myself on my feet again, and from the edge of the park I could see the marquee of the Hayworth Theater a block and a half away; so much for going early to make sure I found it, but then I’m a firm believer in Shakespeare’s quote “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
Walked to it anyway to see if anyone was there who could tell me when the doors would open—usually an hour earlier, of course, but for the few times it’s different, it’s well worthwhile to ask. Everything is still locked up, but with the thought that there might be a back door with people going in and out, I move over to the side of the theater, instead finding a big parking lot where indeed there are some humans offloading things from their cars. Having no idea they were heading this way, I shouted my question, and when they got closer the older man of the group said I could wait inside with them—I think having the cane all day today helped to make me look a lot more innocent and safe than I usually do, and the fact it was already near 100 degrees no doubt added sympathy.
It took me about three seconds to realize the young quiet lady smiling behind them while lugging a carton of water bottles and a flower pot was indeed the diva I came to watch,
Daniela Ruah, star of NCIS: Los Angeles—Chris who? LL who?—and frequent entry in my Top 15 actresses blogs. This may indeed be the happiest moment of my life. . . not so much that I got to meet her, but that I managed to do so without making a complete foolish drooling ass of myself! Let’s hear it for self-control!
Still, it did occur to me how amazing it felt being so close to her. . . and instantly I realized how nice and. . . normal she is. I like to use the word diva as a joke, but if anything, she’s the anti-diva. I even got to tease her about how I was going to tweet all this, and luckily she laughed along. After a small discussion on Portugal she went off to do what she needed to do to get ready for her performance, leaving me with Aliah Whitmore, director-actress-person in charge of
Whitmore Eclectic, with whom I had some fun moments but mostly uncomfortable silence. . . though it beats standing in the 101 degree sun. Still, I wish she would have given me something to do, like empty the bags of brownie bites. . . good thing I already ate. . .
Her brother Jake, the set designer and sound guy, also came by and offered me something to drink; gotta say everyone in this family that I met, including the older man who turned out to be none other than
James Whitmore Jr., were incredibly nice and not diva-like at all. Just before they started letting other people in for the show, Daniela comes back out to run lines with Aliah, which was interesting because—knowing nothing about the play—it was strange hearing her doing a monotone, curt emotionless—almost robotic—delivery. Found out later it was only this scene, thankfully, and I did my best not to be noticed, just in case. . .
Finally let inside the theater, picking the left aisle seat of the fourth row, while I take a good look at the set in front of me: a ramshackle house with a porch in front of it, a couple of wooden deck chairs, and off in the corner the weirdest tree I think I’ve ever seen, but then I don’t watch horror movies. It was actually kinda inspiring, made me think set design might be cool thing to do. . .
These are the strangest seats I’ve ever parked my tuckus on: they seem to roll back and forth with your body weight, although it does leave a lot of foot room under the seat in front.
Aliah comes out to say hello and tell us how long our bladders have to wait till intermission. . . not in those words, of course. Then all goes dark, but it only takes a few seconds for light to come back up, and there’s Daniela. . . I mean, Katherine, in discussion with her father, who has brought her champagne for her birthday. . . except it’s not really champagne, as it is made in Wisconsin, and she rightly calls it the worst she’s ever tasted. This gives me hope there will be humorous moments throughout the play alongside what promises to be heavy stuff. Daniela is wearing furry boots and a braid that make her look incredibly cute, along with plaid pants/pajamas and a U of Chicago sweatshirt. At one point she’s at the middle front of the stage and does a squat, making herself so tiny it’s really rather amazing.
Okay, from here on it’s gonna be more of a stream of consciousness as to what tickled my interest during the play; a lot of it is going to be out of context, as I’m not going to explain the plot or anything like that. For instance, at one point she uses the word “bughouse,” which had me thinking of the movie Starship Troopers for a few seconds before I could rally from the silliness.
As much as I know it’s something every actor loves to do, I seriously cannot stand to watch crying, especially someone I admire, like Daniela. I know it’s acting, part of the script, so I guess it’s a bit of a complement that she’s making me feel this way, but I don’t like being made to feel uncomfortable. . . especially when I’m paying for the privilege! {This is no doubt why I prefer seeing stuff like Avenue Q and Spamalot and Book of Mormon!}
Along comes a new character, Hal, played by Dustin, who according to the program is Aliah’s fiancée; knowing this fact would prove interesting for me later. He’s playing a math nerd, and like most of that ilk is trying to pretend he’s not; I kept thinking he should simply own his nerdiness and move on. . . but on the other hand, the fact that he’s a drummer in a band made me laugh really hard, so maybe not. . .
While not nearly as bad for me as crying, it’s still a bit difficult watching Daniela playing severe confusion, but it has to be said, she rocked this scene. At the beginning I got the sense I wasn’t going to care for this character, but wow, she’s really making me feel sorry for her. Adding to that are cackling sound effects which are so severely fucked up, meant to mimic what’s in her brain; job accomplished, very creepy. . .
With cop sirens blaring we go to black, and that’s barely the end of the first scene! Wow, this is gonna be quite a ride. . .
Now comes the scene they were rehearsing in the lobby, with Aliah, who with just a few subtle changes of wardrobe has gone from free spirit to career woman, completely different from when I was speaking to her. . . that’s why they call it acting, duh. Daniela has changed into a shirt and black tights, barefoot with her hair up. Considering how little time there was between scenes, I’m gonna guess that was what she was wearing underneath, but it was the first of many times I noticed how much I love the clothing changes, both in how it changes the mood of the scene as well as how seamless and easy they made it look. In this scene Daniela is showing so much nervous energy, incredibly skittish, along with that curt emotionless tone. It was at this point that I had what was probably my most important thought of the afternoon: with any other actress I would have found the performance amazing as well, but having gotten so used to her as Kensi, to see her play something so totally opposite made her performance all the better, at least in my eyes. It also made me realize that the show hasn’t been using her character to full potential; it’s supposed to be all about undercover work, at least in the beginning, but there hasn’t been a lot of that lately. There could surely be some scenes where Kensi’s playing something other than a bimbo or Deeks’ wife. . . something to show her range like this play did.
But enough of the editorial; I’ll just repeat that this was an excellent job of acting. At this point in the play Claire—Aliah’s character—wants to take Katherine away to Noo Yawk, trying to sell her on all the fine points, including a garlic press, which leads Daniela to utter a very heartfelt “What the fuck are you talking about?” Probably the biggest laugh of the show. The incredulousness Claire shows at Katherine talking about a math geek in a rock band—before he shows up in the scene—was also good for a big laugh, and when he does appear, or rather after he’s gone, she says, “He’s cute.” Of course he is, Aliah, he’s your fiancée! {Told ya the thing from the program would boomerang back!}
We have another change and blackout, and this time Daniela—I really should remember to write “Katherine” instead—is all in black, sitting on the rocking chair. I thought it was rather strange that she went to her father’s funeral in the black tights; it wasn’t until she stood up that I saw she was wearing a dress. There’s another scene with Hal, whom she appears to be a lot more into now. . . until he makes the classic blooper of saying, while talking about the late-night party, “Mathematicians are insane!” Oops!
From there it’s Geek Courting, as Katherine tries to show her brain credentials by talking about Sophie Germain, whom oddly enough I have heard of, not being any kind of math lover at all; Every once in a while you hear in the news that the largest prime number to date has been discovered, and they’re talking about the Sophie Germain prime.
Finding this kind of thing works for him, he kissed her, and Daniela makes it quite obvious that, while surprised, she likes it. Still, she’s playing it shy, until suddenly she blurts, “What do you do for sex?” Yup, she did; it was so out of the blue it took me a moment to laugh. At first I wondered if she was asking him if he was gay, but obviously that couldn’t be it, considering he’d already kissed her. Luckily I didn’t have to think any more about it as she kisses him back and the set goes black; this time, because they’re at the front of the stage and have further to go, you can hear them scurry off.
When we come back Daniela has taken off the dress and put the sweatshirt back on, sitting at the front of the porch on what’s no doubt the morning after. Hal comes out and it’s lovey-dovey for a while, but more in the manner of a one-night-stand–which it is, at least so far–where they still don’t know each other very well, than a real relationship. At one point they’re talking about how great the sex was, and he mentions being embarrassed, to which she replies, “It’s only embarrassing if I don’t agree.” There’s a pause as he looked very uncomfortable—and the audience laughs—before she quickly adds, “So don’t be embarrassed!”
He leaves, and after a few seconds of her looking contented, the best moment of the play occurs: Daniela, still sitting there at the front of the porch, throws her arms in the air like she’s at a rock concert; she’s even got the face for it. Then she lies down and does a fair impression of a squirming puppy getting its belly rubbed as she has a gigglefest, celebrating either having a boyfriend or just getting laid. I imagine a lot of women do this, but like her wait till he’s gone so he doesn’t get a swelled. . . head or something. Maybe it has to be seen, but it was so awesome!
And then Claire comes out, clearly hung over. Katherine is still happy, bouncing on the front of the porch to make it squeak—so incredibly cute, and nice work by Jake to design that into the set. Her happiness doesn’t last of course, as first Claire and then Hal bring her down. We get to the gist of the story—too late to mention spoiler alerts, of course. Hal had been at her place to look through her dad’s math journals, and she leads him to something completely new and possibly earth-shattering. . . and then she says it’s not dad’s work, but hers.
Dum-dum-dum! And intermission. . .
Other than a non-stop toilet and a grumpy old man waiting in line, nothing much happened during the break. Watching the stage, I see a young lady hanging laundry on the left side, so I imagine Chekhov’s gun is in effect and it’s about to be used. A few minutes later Daniela does come back out with a basket to gather said clothes—couldn’t possibly be dry already, but anyway—looking even cuter than before in jeans, grey tank, sweater, and sneakers, as well as a fluffy ponytail that makes her look all of twelve. It takes a few minutes to realize this is another flashback, to the time when the lovers first met, which is mentioned earlier. They’re sitting together in a relatively small chair as Dad has a long soliloquy—you can tell Mr. Whitmore is loving this!—and the fact that we now know how much they like each other makes it an even more interesting scene, smiling uncomfortably as they pretend to listen to the long-winded speech.
After another scene switch, with a creepy Mr. Roboto mask floating in the window, we’re back to where we left off before intermission, where she claims to have written the proof. Claire wants her to explain it, to which Katherine retorts, “It’s not a muffin recipe!” which got a big laugh. It’s crazy how well she does crazy. . . lest Daniela reads this and takes it the wrong way, I mean she obviously did a lot of research to get the small touches right, because this scene was furiously intense! Wow. . . she really brought it, all three of them did; I have to imagine this is the kind of stuff actors live for. And it’s a lot more interesting seeing Aliah and Dustin doing this scene, knowing they’re a couple—makes me wonder how deliberate it was to put that info in the program.
During the next change we see Katherine in the window, looking at dad, who’s out in the snow doing his thinking; she charges out of the house and to the front of the stage, at which point we find Mr. Whitmore coming up the aisle from the back of the theater; nice touch. This may have been the most difficult scene of all to watch, as he ignores everything she says, deep in his mental condition, until at the end he breaks down and collapses in her arms. Very painful to watch, and difficult to appreciate just how amazing the acting is, but somehow I managed.
Another change—Mr. Roboto’s in the window again—as she’s in a white shirt now, hair down; changes her look completely. Aliah does love boots–she’s in some knee-high brown ones here, and considering they’re about to catch a flight. . . didn’t think about airport security, didja? It’s another confrontation scene, with Daniela at first emotionless again, then changing to barely-controlled anger. When Claire mentions her boyfriend has a lot of connections in Noo Yawk, Katherine snarks, “Does he know anyone in the phone sex industry?” which most likely got the biggest laugh of the day. Aliah throws the airline ticket, which hits Daniela’s empty coffee cup and knocks it over; you can see Daniela standing it up again as she grabs the ticket. It made me smile, though I’m sure no one else in the audience had my attention to humorous detail.
Hal comes in for another confrontation, where he tells her he believes her about the proof now, but she basically tells him he blew it for not believing her when it mattered. “You got laid AND you got the proof. You’re a genius!” She’s crying again, looks like such a forlorn little kid. . . it really is heartbreaking. . .
After a while they calm down and he asks her to read the proof to him, and as she does she gets spotlighted, at which point he leaves while she’s still talking. . .
Crazy sounds. . . and fade. . .

Phew! I don’t know about the actors, but I’m sure sweating! Was not expecting that much intensity, for so long. It took me all of the break—about ten minutes while they scouted for chairs—to get my brain back in gear, and I can only imagine what it’s like for the actors, having to come back to being themselves and finish off the performance-high adrenaline. But everyone did look calm as they sat to take questions, this being the last performance of the run. First they introduced themselves: “Hi, I’m Daniela, I play Crazypants.”
Most of the questions centered around schizophrenia, which was apparently never mentioned outright in the play but was assumed to be what Dad was suffering from, given the symptoms. It was said that, when off meds, people suffering from this often become euphoric, showing extreme creative genius. . . which explains why a lot of them go off their meds, I suppose. {This is exactly the kind of thing I would usually research after such a project, but now I’m afraid to.} The auditory hallucinations that freaked me out so much were a part of that; hearing those things in my head only once would certainly inspire me to take my meds.
Aleah talked about how Daniela had started rehearsals “strong,” as in body language, and had to “break down” physically, which was interesting, made me want to see what she looked like at first {Thought I suppose watching DVDs of her pointing guns would suffice.} At this point a man in the front row from the Air Force talked about his family history of the disease and gave her a challenge coin, which most people didn’t understand, though she did. “You rendered me speechless; that doesn’t happen often.”
As this went on I had an interesting thought. . . well, interesting to ME: if you’ve read through this page you’d find that every year I list the sexiest women on TV, and so far Daniela has won every year. For the first time ever I didn’t find her “sexy.” Somehow she managed to turn that off, which I never would have imagined possible. . . but at the same time I definitely LIKE her more, if you know what I mean. If she wasn’t before, she sure is my favorite actress now. . .
When I returned to my physical location I heard Aliah saying that the play was “more about grieving than anything else.” Daddy Whitmore claimed it was “useful to be an imbecile,” and I’m sorry to leave that without context, but it sounds a lot funnier this way. Aliah was asked by someone who’d seen the play before why this ending was more definitive than the original, and this time she had an instant answer: “I had more empathy for her that way.”
The tree on extreme stage left is finally mentioned, carved with hideous faces; I think the guy who asked wanted to take it home. Daniela was asked if there was anyone who wasn’t supportive of her doing the play, to which she answered no, saying even her agents—theatrical, not NCIS—were “thrilled.” She also admitted that when she first brought it to Aliah “I didn’t have an effing clue what this play was about.” Daddy Whitmore summed up his acceptance of the role with, “My daughter said we’re doing this.” And Dustin, who apparently didn’t feel much for the Hal character at first, mentioned, “I wasn’t crazy about it, but now I fuckin’ love it.”
When asked about the difference between live theater and TV, Mr. Whitmore stated, “Theater’s like a sporting event. You have to keep going whatever happens,” while Daniela mentioned that in TV there were so many things out of an actor’s control, like editing. Then she came up with the line of the night: “When the lights come up, I can hear my heartbeat. Theater makes you alive.” I couldn’t stop smiling after that one. . .
Someone with a math background asked the cast how much they knew about the numbers game; Dustin’s easy reply was, “I just memorize the lines, buddy.” Daniela’s reply was, “I have trouble adding tips. . . but I passed it in school, for all you kids out there!” {And right now I’m watching the NCISLA episode where Kensi is a math tutor. . . HA!} Aliah flat out says she doesn’t like math, though she does explain that the scene where Katherine is yelling at Hal about wanting to see what’s in his backpack could be said to be game theory.
Once there were no more questions, and this being the final night—or day—the crowd was invited to join in the after-party, which featured a type of food I’m not familiar with, and considering the scents, it’s better for me to keep it that way. That’s okay, the fries were still doing their job. Instead I waited for the chance to talk to Daniela. . . and as I’m waiting, a Rush song comes on in the theater! Okay, it was Tom Sawyer, far from my fave, but still. . . forgot to ask who chose it. . .
Among other things, I told Daniela how I enjoyed the play so much I wanted to see it again right now, but I don’t think she understood my point. Oh well. After some Marine Corps talk–and a hug!–it was time for me to move away before I lost control and said something stupid. . .
So I went up to Mr. Whitmore and told him that, while watching him up on stage I got an epiphany: “Were you Robber on Battlestar Galactica?”
“I was! How the hell did you remember that?”
“I don’t know!”

Phew. Maybe I’ve simply been lucky. I don’t go to much theater, and even then only when it’s musical and funny, but I can’t remember a time when a production hasn’t been superb in every way: set design, lighting, sound, directing, and definitely acting. Everything about this show was brilliant.
One more thing: I’ve lived in Los Angeles practically all my life–only time I was really away was in the Marine Corps–and you can’t do that without having some run-ins with “Hollywood.” I’ve met many famous people, mostly actors and musicians, and plenty of Hollywood “types.” I think the attitude that comes with the name is a cliché that is overblown, though of course there are enough cases to make it somewhat true. For the most part, a good majority of the people I’ve met in the industry are like everyone else, nice and thoughtful and just being themselves.
Having said that, Daniela Ruah is easily the nicest, most down-to-earth TV star I have ever met. Period. . .
And you can bet
this will be staying on the internet for centuries to come!
Can’t believe I went the whole day without stopping for ice cream!


;o)

2013/05/13

Music at Melrose Place


One time I said I didn’t like Noo Yawk, and this is what I got back: “It’s awhl raght for us ta badmouth awr city, but strangers ain’t allowed, so take a flyin’ leap off the friggin’ Brooklyn Bridge, ya bastard. What, you maybe wants a little sympathy cuz yer not in yer sunny, laid-back, lotus-eatin’ land? FUHGEDDABOUTIT!” 
He couldn’t explain what a lotus was, or why anyone would eat it, so I didn’t take it too seriously, but it does give me a good laugh every time I remember it.

Caught the bus in stride, which is great. . . except for the fact I’m not leaving early enough, which means soon I won’t be catching one. . . thank you, red light. A little hungry but not too much at Union Station, certainly not enough to grab something at the Subway above the subway, or cross over to Olvera Street for a bean and cheese burrito. Instead I grabbed a Wetzel’s pretzel bites bag for the first time in ages; lasted a very long time, a couple of hours and several bus routes. . .
Saw Jewel’s playing at the Saban on Wilshire, instantly thought of Paulina Logan and let her know. I’m such a good friend. . . Anyway, I got off at La Cienega, waiting for the bus to head north, on a route I hadn’t been on for quite a while. Had forgotten how huge the Blue Whale looks from the street–you know, that big shopping place–but got off at Melrose before I could get into any trouble. The address told me the location I was seeking was literally on Melrose Place, not street or avenue or boulevard, so I cut through a parking lot to see if it was that alley. . . it wasn’t, which is good because I can’t remember ever seeing so many potholes in one road, not even in third world countries. Floating around to a smaller street I found the Place in question, then walked half a block to the place in question–if you don’t get that, check the capital letter.
Today’s concert was in a tiny space called Alfred’s, with some tables outside, some inside, and then a downstairs where the food and drink were dispensed, as well as the setup for the music. Being too hot for the coffee/tea/hot chocolate in the place, I found a bottle of Sprite–yep, a bottle–which the caffeinista called a Mexican Sprite; a check of the label shows it is indeed from south of the border, as well as featuring real sugar rather than the usual “corny” stuff. Okay, enough of that.
The diva for the day was Shannon Hurley, whom I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen in over a year, last time being at the Coffee Gallery.

1 Sunrise—-This is the first time an artist has ever asked for requests to start a show. . . although I think it was all a cunning plot on her part, knowing I would pick this song, the tune I played while shooting the dawn at Machu Picchu. Too bad I didn’t get a peek at her set list.


2 Matter of Time—-An oldie but goodie


3 Mexico—–That’s more as expected; she said later she was using the place to try out new stuff. I kept glancing at the bottle, though the song wasn’t about the Sprite. . .



4 Stay—–Heard it before, but not often enough to have it in my head.



5 Angelyne——The famous billboard bottle blonde–who someone mentioned married a guy who owned billboards, thereby ensuring said fame–gets immortalized in a more permanent way. . . especially since that story about the husband cannot be confirmed.



6 Silence—-Didn’t know it from the title, but once she played it. .



7 Overboard——My second fave, though she didn’t mention that this time



8 You Make It Better—–New one. . .



9 Blue Skies—–Everyone’s talking about making up a new song with mad lyrics, the funky new alternative to madlibs. I contributed “You are the sunflower of my heart” and left it at that



10 Nightingale——About an old friend who sings in the dark, but all I could think of was having Zoë–from UCLA Volleyball, last name Nightingale–hear it. . .



11 I’ll Turn It On——Shannon mentioned playing at the Getty and writing a song for an exhibit on the Zuccaro brothers. . . at least I think that’s what she said, based on research. {Yes, I’m bored}

Ran out of shots, so here's an old one

12 The Light—–Another new one, and you know how I feel about that. At the nearby table a gent in his fifties–I’m guessing–has been sitting with his computer since before Shannon got there, making comments as people are prone to do, generally liking her stuff. But now he’s about to leave, so he packs up his computer and picks up his. . . skateboard! Ha!



13 How Long?—–New one



14 Garden Path—–VERY old one!
She had to go move her car to avoid a ticket, and I was tapped out for the day–so to speak–so I waited for her at the door for a while. . . but after two or three whiles I gave up and headed for the bus stop, where I found I could wait on the same corner for either the 105 on La Cienega back down to Wilshire or the 10 down Melrose; did not take the 105 north to Sunset, cuz the Strip is notoriously glacial during rush hour. As might be expected, both buses came at exactly the same time, so I hopped on the 10 for fun, having not been along that route in years, but nothing interesting presented itself. Did recognize the two Argentinean grills as well as the Groundlings, but couldn’t remember the name of the music venue that usta be there. Spotted a place called Franco’s on Melrose, which doesn’t sound like my kinda place but has to be checked out if only for the name; knew I shoulda trademarked it. Can’t remember the last time I passed by the gates of Paramount Instead of getting off at Vermont and walking to the subway, I stayed on all the way downtown, over an hour. . . good thing I didn’t have to piss. . .

;o)

2013/05/08

UCLA Archaeology Open House 2013.0

Two weekends in a row of archaeology at UCLA—that’s gotta be a record. . .
So the first crucible of the day: celebrations at Olvera Street for Cinco de Mayo are starting on Saturday the Fourth, so Union Station is making sure everyone knows about it by having strolling mariachis throughout the cavernous building. . . all day long. There aren’t that many things in the world I hate, but mariachi music is definitely one of them. Coming out of the bus and crossing the loading circle, I enter the building and get on the escalator, wary for the bedazzled-suited ones. . . and almost as though they were waiting for me, they start up at the foot of the escalator! Yeow! I could even hear them in the restroom over the flushing! Fuck, what god did insult now? And don’t say the god of music, there’s no way a deity could stand this stuff either. . .
Then coming out of the subway, a Wilshire Express flashes by, empty. Unfortunately I’m going to Subway {sandwich shop this time} first, and as I wait in line another empty zooms by; looks like that kind of day. By the time I’m ready to move along I have to wait 20 minutes for the next one, and even then it’s scrunching in next to big people in the back. . . better than standing, but not by much.
The walk from Wilshire to campus was nice, though, and pretty empty, though not as much as last week. Quick detour to the newsstand to get my usual mother’s day gift–word searches–and then straight on to Jamba; I may be in a rut with Subway and Jamba, but it’s a delicious rut, so. . .
Again just like last week, I’m way early. A quick glance down at the little plaza shows no one has set up yet, so I take a stroll over to the powwow, which was pretty much the same as previous years, although I think there were less vendors. Still way too early, I go back to Ackerman, having to pass what looked like a kendo exhibition on Bruin Walk; wonder who scheduled that and Cinco de Mayo at the same time as Archaeology open house.
Mmmmmm, Jamba. . .
Finding a seat in the bookstore, I grab what I’m sure is the same copy of Clockwork Angels I’ve been reading piecemeal for the last few months. Wasn’t sure where I’d left off, but found it quickly enough; Owen was off the airship and was about to go hunting for the seven cities of Cibola. Read through that part, then stopped, though I’m anxious to get to the section described in The Wreckers song.
Good enough. Time to head back to Cotsen, this time for good. As always my first stop is Rock Art, and yes there’s Deidre, remembering me and showing me the book is finally out. And Rachel is there, remembering me! Or at least the shirt. . . {you should probably read about last year’s event to get why all this is important; go over to the side and click on Dr. Kara Cooney.}
Some students entered the room and Dr. Von Tillburg was happy to talk to them, mentioning how African, Oceanic and Native American art got lumped together when they had nothing in common. I mentioned they were the leftovers, which she didn’t take well, but she then said there probably wasn’t enough room for all of them to be individual, which was exactly what I meant. Then I told Deidre, “I got out of that one smoothly,” which made her giggle.
Soon after a quick trip to Egyptology, where I spent a few giggly minutes with Dr. Bernard, I found the Kinneys in the childrens’ area, of course, making masks. Took Sean on a quick tour of what would likely be the most kid-friendly labs, and he and Deidre hit it off really well; luckily he didn’t embarrass me the way he likes to with babes.
So the kids were happy in conservation, especially with Vanessa doing the UV–she was really into it too, more so than I have ever seen her. After that came a lot of fun in Egypt, with some great time with Rachel, who I found even more interesting this time. I love how all the Egyptologists know their glyphs, which comes in handy when writing them for kids. . . and Christiane, who of course needed her name in hieroglyphs too; I guess when you have a band called Riddle the Sphinx you’re allowed such a moment. After one last moment with Rachel, where I told her about a Facebook conversation I’d had with Dr. Cooney about Moby Dick in glyphs–there’s no sign for “whale” in Egyptian, and when I said “fat crocodile” she really hooted–we ushered the kids out, where Ireland instantly had a tantrum outside of Southwest. Zaiden didn’t want to go into Rock Art either, so Sean took him out to flint knapping and I went into the lecture, and that was that.
Having had such fantastic speakers in the past few years, from Drs. Cooney to Stanish to Vranich to Cooney again, how could I expect any less from such an enormous figure as Lord Renfrew, famed archaeologist and member of the House of Lords? His speech was titled Before Religion and had to do with his excavation in the Cyclades. Maybe I was so pumped up for it I oversold it in my mind, but in the end I was disappointed and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Dr. Monica Smith, on the other hand, showed what an awesome speaker she is in her intro for him.
There were still plenty of highlights. I’d never seen Early Greek/Aegean sculpture, which turned out to be very angular; I could see why he said it had influenced Picasso and Braque. Some of the statuettes looked funny with the crossed arms, and there was one a little more refined that sure looked surprised, but I don’t believe I got the name right, as there was no sign of it on the internet.
Lord Renfrew spent some time comparing various cultures around the world, one being Caral, Peru, which had a small steppe pyramid I’d never seen. But soon enough we were back in Greece, where he spoke about “ritual deposition,” where sacred objects were broken on purpose, like Greek dishes or Viking cups, so no one could use it in a profane way.
Monkeys painted on walls in the Aegean? That just seems weird. . .
With the lecture starting at 2:30 and food not allowed in the auditorium, I got hungry pretty quickly, but wasn’t about to walk out on Lord Renfrew. . . not that I was afraid of being hanged or anything, but I didn’t want to be seen as disrespecting him. Didn’t stay for Q&A though. Back to some more labs, but nothing really to see, so feeling suddenly very tired I’m off to Ackerman for another Jamba, barely getting there before they closed, then to the lounge, where the TV showed the Kentucky Derby had just finished, for a very late lunch and, more importantly sitting down in a much more comfortable chair.
Even then as I walked out a half hour later I was still plenty tired. Immediately missed the Sunset bus, just like last week, and by the time I got to Wilshire I was really dragging. The Express came quickly, but there was quite a crowd, so I let it loud, about to wait for the next one when a regular 20 came around the corner, about to start its run and therefore EMPTY! Yay. Although on the run we got passed by another 20 and 3 720s, so it was pretty slow going.
I don’t remember much after that. . . which is damned scary. . .

;o)

2013/05/01

Super Sunday: Archaeology and Burlesque

The day started on a bad note as I stared at the Yogurtland and realized I forgot to clip the damn coupon. . .
On the other foot, I got from Pasadena to UCLA in two hours! You have no idea how amazing that is: 40 minutes to downtown, wait for the subway, about 10 minutes on the subway, wait for the Wilshire Express, 40 minutes on the 720 to Westwood if there’s no traffic–and there’s never traffic on the weekend, thankfully–then usually a half hour walk from Wilshire to the center of campus. . . and this time I even stopped at Subway and Jamba. Luckily neither place had a line, but on the other hand I had an hour to kill, not enough to go to the library–and do the hill–but enough for a leisurely lunch while I took in some women’s soccer, the happening place on campus because it was the emptiest I’ve ever seen UCLA. . .
Okay, on to the Egyptology! The 10th annual Wep-waut {Opener of Ways} is all about Amarna this year, specifically religious change and daily life in the city of Akhenaten.
Historian James Henry Breasted considered Akhenaten “the first individual in history,” as well as the first monotheist, romantic, and scientist. Henry Hall’s take was “the first example of the scientific mind.” Flinders Petrie, one of my fave archaeologists–visit his museum next time you’re in London–said all the way back in 1899, “If this were a new religion, invented to satisfy our modern scientific conceptions, we could not find a flaw in the correctness of this view of the energy of the solar system. How much Akhenaten understood, we cannot say, but he certainly bounded forward in his views and symbolism to a position which we cannot logically improve upon at the present day. Not a rag of superstition or of falsity can be found clinging to this new worship evolved out of the old Aton of Heliopolis, the sole Lord of the universe.”
This didn’t get off to a good start either, as the first speaker, oddly enough a communications major, communicated on way to low a level; she basically gave a lecture on the internet for junior high students. {Go ahead and hum The Internet is for Porn!} She could have easily plugged in any subject; I felt insulted. She also used “we have to ask ourselves” about a dozen times; I was counting the seconds for it to be over. . .
The next lady was much better, talking about the religious changeover; only problem was she had a huge accent. I hadn’t known that it was actually Amenhotep III that started the change in religion, rather than Amenhotep IV–the artist presently known as Akhenaten. Amun was the previous god of gods, but one theory said those priests became too powerful, so the pharaoh elevated Aten, the sun, to cut their power. {Hopefully you read yesterday’s blog, the weekly poetry entry.} Amenhotep III proclaimed himself god on earth, not just the representation of god on earth, which was a huge game changer. Akhenaten took it to another level by making the priests completely obsolete, proclaiming himself the only conduit of god on earth, a big shift from worshiping gods to worshiping the king.
I never thought about it before, but the temples of the sun had no roof. . . to let the sun in, duh. I did know the duat was the Underworld, where the sun travels throughout the night rather than a stereotypical hell–that made me feel a little better.
Next up was the guy who talked about the hymn from yesterday’s blog, so read that again or for the first time.
After him was a talk on personal religion, where it seemed the pharaoh didn’t care if commoners worshiped him or the sun; he just needed the rich and influential people to toe the line. Many of the remains in common houses were idols and such of the old gods, for the protection of women and children, for instance. One thing that surprised me was the mention of police patrols. . .
After the first question period, the screen–of a small stuffed animal in front of some ruins–went into screensaver mode, and I have to admit those bubbles look a lot funnier on a big screen. . .
The next section was on more physical things, starting with the geography and layout of the city of Amarna. Apparently there was a “royal road” that led from the north palace–which apparently had a zoo–all the way to the Maruaten in the south, supposedly the party palace, with a pool and greyhounds. After that came a lecture on the Amarna Letters, which really deserves a blog of its own, as well as the use of Akkadian as the lingua franca which was a lot more interesting than I would have expected.
Following that was a piece on faience and glass, which didn’t interest me very much until the little blonde put up a
photo of a fish vessel in the British Museum that I’ve seen many times and love, except I always thought it was ceramic. {For those in the not-know, Egyptian faience is something a lot like glass, but not quite.} Then there was a headrest that looks a lot like one in the Fowler museum, a few feet above us, which was also made of glass; I don’t know if I’d rest my head on that, considering it seems fragile. Then she said the blue parts of the Tut mask were made of glass, which really shocked me, since it looks like lapiz.
Next up was a piece on the workmen’s villages, and the first thing I noticed was the wall around the village, for protection. . . but from what? Wasn’t said. Fun was the Deir-el-Medina Great Pit: 52 meters deep and full of discarded artistry. Following that was a piece on tombs, dovetailing nicely with the cemetery analysis that went after. Some interesting forensic thinking, especially on the third section, with the mass graves and many teens.
The last speaker was all about museum ethics and politics, with the main gist being Nefertiti’s bust. This was exactly what I came to see, too bad it was the last one. That also deserves its own blog, and I might do that soon. . . {is that a threat or a. . . never mind}
Tootled off right after, but still missed the Sunset bus and had to wait for the next, which as usual was annoying–I am definitely not good at waiting, at least not. . . never mind. Once it did pick up, it took about an hour to get to El Cid, which if you know El Lay is kinda across the street from the old KCET Studios on Sunset, just before Silver Lake. Even though I still had half of my Subway bacon and egg on wheat, I went into McD’s for some fries. . . and to use the restroom, of course. From there it was a couple of blocks’ walk to the venue, which to my surprise was open early. . . well, the patio was, with people talking loudly and smoking. Took almost an hour to get the indoors stuff resolved, and like I said, I’m no good at waiting. Don’t know who the guy was trying to impress, but he bought me a drink, so I’ll give him the doubtful benefit as he and his buddy talked like their lives were soap operas, with me as a captive audience. So long and boring I deployed my Kindle, and I really don’t care if it’s considered rude. . .
Finally inside, I get placed at a large table that has me facing sideways away from the stage, so right before the show finally starts I turn my chair toward the stage, with the girl two seats in front of me staring and then laughing when she finally gets it.
First up was the comic duo of Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy, who were extremely Vaudville, with some Laurel and Hardy and a dash of Benny Hill–one joke was a direct copy. Biggest laugh was when the silent one pulled a kazoo out of his pants for his partner to play. . .
From backstage comes a voice that has haunted my dreams–in a good way–urging everyone to applaud and “throw small children in the air!” Since this month’s burlesque theme is “Around the Globes”–yes, those globes–the one and only Vixen DeVille leads out the {Doll House Betties} in a Spice Girls tribute. . . yep, their most painful song. Cat–excuse me, Vixen–was by far the hottest lady, although the redhead. . . at least from that distance. . .
After that Vixen takes the mic, pulling down her miniskirt even though it hardly mattered at that point, and went into her trademark hilarious and naughty patter:
“Blinded by the light and my own narcissism. . .”
“Harmonious thought, that’s the idea for tonight. . . and tits.”
“I’ve got tits instead of humor. . . the worse the jokes, the bigger they get.”
At one point she introduced the “stage kittens,” who were basically the clean-up crew after every act–in skimpy lingerie–while the band played the Pink Panther theme.
First and most memorable of the acts was Ruby Champagne, clad in Mexican folkloric attire, down to the hat on the floor, looking like a Latina Kat Parsons with a huge smile that never left. In addition to noticing how gorgeous she was, I also spotted some huge heels–she must really be short–as she stripped down to her pasties. I couldn’t help but notice–shut up–she also had the most beautiful body of all the acts I saw. . .
Next up was Debbie Dagger, who did a Spanish dance with a huge fan, singing a song about Carmen–the chick from the opera. I noticed the sax guy also played flute, which is generally considered a girls’ instrument, but here it just seemed cool. Debbie really beat the lyrics to a pulp, especially on the accent of “I’m everybody’s goil” and “Smart girls share their riches.” There was also one of the best rhymes I’ve heard in a while: Disappointed–double-jointed.
Vixen does not come out to do her hosting duties; instead Debbie is shoved back out and does not look happy. A few seconds later we know why, especially when she says, “Hopefully not to soon be bleeding, Vixen Deville!” So, an “unexpected” treat: Vixen doing her glass walking–and lying down–routine, though I was sitting too low to see it all. I did notice the band watching in amazement. . .
After that the Kittens came back out, and you could tell they didn’t like picking up the loose shards of glass. Debbie tries to keep on going, but the mic isn’t working, until finally it does and she croons, “Thank you, sound god!” I can imagine the guy in the booth saying something like, “You only have to call me that in bed,” but guess he wasn’t quick enough. Since Vixen is still climbing out of her glass-repellent gear, Debbie has to introduce the next act, which you know is Italian when she starts with “The lovely–” but quickly changes it to “The bella!”
After that Vixen was back to her hosting duties, in a long slinky black dress that definitely showed she was thinner than the last time I saw her. {Told her that on Facebook; apparently that line always works. . .} She introduces the next act as the “Sexual contraption of death!” but is actually a trapeze, albeit one that’s heavily padded. A redhead in an awesome and slinky red/black dress plays a marionette to start things, using imaginary scissors to cut off her strings, leaving her free to do all her stunts, which were cool but nothing I hadn’t seen before. . . or barely seen, as she was in a dark part of the restaurant.
The Spice Girls–minus Vixen–come out for an all-American beach-themed dance, and I am loving the redhead even more! At intermission Vixen claims the first half was all fluffer–I really need to ask her where she learned that term. In the restroom line I’m waiting next to a man who has to be in his 70s–at least–who claims he’s an actor and model. . . didn’t say he used to be a model, he’s still current, for those who need to hire such a brand. Back in my seat I smirk as the house music is. . . Raiders of the Lost Ark! Considering it came up earlier on my player’s shuffle, and I spent the afternoon in archaeology, it all came together quite nicely; even the guitarist wearing the fedora, and keyboard guy dressed as Short Round. I realize for the first time that the middle part, where it gets softer, sounds a lot like Star Wars. . . thanks, John Williams.
Didn’t care for the other music, so I hadn’t noticed how much this sound system sucks! Murky and deep, like it was coming through some thick filter.
Back to the show, with most likely Debbie screaming, “This bitch is on fire!” That of course tells us it’s time for Vixen to get lighted up! As you may recall from a previous blog–at least look at the main photo at the top of the page–she’s a fire-eater, but unlike the previous times I got to see her full show this time, where she runs the burning sticks along her legs, stomach, the inside of her thighs. Unlike the previous shows, Vixen has her hair ponytailed–hey, I invented another verb!–which I thought was so her hair doesn’t catch on fire, but then why didn’t she do it before? Conundrum. . .
And that was the last act I saw, as I had to dash; 15 minute walk to the subway, about 7-minute wait, 15 minutes to downtown, and then another 15 minute wait to catch the last bus of the evening. Sorry to Micah the Magician for not staying for his show. . .
Unfortunately photography was not permitted, though I’m okay since I have the previous shots of Vixen. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have minded grabbing some stills of Ruby and the Redhead. . . before they stripped, of course.


;o)

2013/04/24

UCLA Sand Volleyball Finale

"Would you like to go to the Alabama shore?"
Not even if you paid me. . .
Therefore, this is the last set of UCLA sand volleyball shots for the year. Savor them like bacon. . .




























;o)