’07 July

Some photo-shopping, July 4th fireworks and more, Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach, other beach-y things.

I picked up Marsha…

July 27

I picked up Marsha at work, at the AAA on the legendary intersection of Adams and Figueroa. AAA built this classic structure in 1921 (‘…in the style (and scale) of an 18th Century Spanish cathedral’) and preserved this tree from the 1800s.

We went to Nancy’s…

We went to Nancy’s building to enjoy the view and then we had lunch. That’s our wonderful Los Angeles Central Library down there. Nice!

Facing towards Pasadena on…

Facing towards Pasadena on full telephoto – we wonder, what is that gold domed building in the center of the picture?

I walked a little…

I walked a little this evening and turning my head to check for oncoming traffic was smacked upside the head by this. And it did look just like this.

Wow, I’ve been on a real roll with good movies. Last week in the theater I saw The Lives of Others (eXcellent) and on dvd 13 Conversations About One Thing, Little Children, and a re-run-for-me All That Jazz. Fabulous.

The most surprising bit was how good Little Children is. I had avoided it when it was out – a kissy-face love story with a child-molester prominently featured? Here’s from the Hollywood Reporter: ‘…Providing richness of detail and metaphor, elegantly blueprinted themes and impressive mastery of a constantly shifting tone, Little Children does just that. It is a deeply satisfying film.’

Hana and Tai have…

Hana and Tai have been waiting and patiently tapping their toes and sighing quietly about when oh When will one of those three handsome grown-up married sons have a grandbaby come along…and Here She IS!

Welcome to the world sweet baby girl! This son and his family live in Chicago and all those moms are Japanese speakers living nearby. How wonderful for everyone that they have each other with family so far away.

(photos email from Chicago)

One of the 7-11s…

July 24

One of the 7-11s turned into a Kwik-E-Mart in anticipation of The Simpsons movie release. The place was Packed. Maybe there’s a big lottery coming up?

And speaking of movies. I just saw The Lives of Others. Here’s a clip from the USA Today review ‘A thoroughly compelling political thriller, at once intellectually challenging and profoundly emotional.’ It’s wonderful. If you’re going to see it I’d recommend catching it at the theater though, since if you watch it on dvd you’ll be far too tempted by Fast Forward.

It’s Becky’s Birthday! …

July 23

It’s Becky’s Birthday! Happy Birthday Becky! In honor of our Becky everyone brought vegetarian dishes without tofu (Becky being a vegetarian who doesn’t eat tofu) and it was all delicious and we piled our plates high. Yum.

From the top: me, Ann, Becky, Marsha, Marija, Alicia, Lourdes, Maxine, Ljubica, Maryanne, everyone except Ruth who is off cruising in Alaska.

Kaitlin really really likes…

July 19

Kaitlin really really likes her new rocking chair. It’s not really new though. Angela’s grandfather made it for Angela when she was one!

This is the ceiling…

This is the ceiling of Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the pier where we met and ate a modest yet very tasty dinner because…

…we were saving-up to…

…we were saving-up to blow a bundle at the Casa del Mar down the boardwalk a few blocks where we sat in their perfect lobby bar watching the sunset over the blue Pacific, enjoying a Kaluha and cream, and eating freshly made cookies, crunchy and chewy just how I like them (and I’m sure I had a double share!)…and eating the thick-cut homemade chips that just keep comin’ until I realized, hmmm, I should never eat again.

From my new (humiliating)…

July 16

From my new (humiliating) not-so-secret pleasure: icanhascheezburger.com. There are many-many of these blog-style sites around now collecting animal photos for awwwws and oooows (just look at the MoreMoreMore link list on cuteoverload.com for examples) but I like icanhascheezburger best. Yes, it is humiliating, but there we are.

(S: Salsa! M: B-lunch M-dinner. Yummy.)

What we have here…

July 14

What we have here is a Salsa class recovering from Heat Stroke. It was a two-day four hour/day program in a smallish room, upstairs, downtown, 90 degrees outside, with a few fans running and 20-25 people sweating themselves stupid.

Yesterday I walked with…

Yesterday I walked with Sharon for three hours and today I did exercise for three hours (my body temperature being at boil for the fourth hour) after which I thought, today I’m using one of my birthday gift certificates For Sure.

Right there on Venice Circle between the tattoo shop and the kick boxing studio is the Chinese Massage place Windy found and we both adore. What a Treat!

Venice Beach – not…

July 13

Venice Beach – not full-on Venice Beach because it was very early on a weekday morning.

These guys were playing…

These guys were playing right opposite where we were eating breakfast and they were so good I contributed a major tip, and as you might know, it takes some major entertainment value for me to fork out the dough.

We went to Storyopolis…

July 11

We went to Storyopolis today, a store on Ventura Blvd. full of cool children’s books and toys and where they do a 30 minute Story Time several days a week. The woman in the chair read some books and we did songs too. Now we’re doing The Itsy Bitsy Spider where ‘out comes the sun.’ It was very fun.

This picture represents about 1/2 of the attendees.

Picked up a shot…

July 10

Picked up a shot out in the yard, so I’d have something to put here. I should have spit on it for a little glisten…

(swimming at B, Drago, w-book)

Universal Studios CityWalk. …

July 8

Universal Studios CityWalk. I was so grateful, so lucky, so pleased because it wasn’t hot out here today! Hurray!

And there’s more! The roving gangs of menacing youth were gone and it was pretty clean. It’s still a totally Disneyfied place and has nothing whatever to do with a City or a Walk even, but for what it is, it’s back to its intention. If that makes sense.

I came to meet…

I came to meet up for one of Fay’s last days in LA before she returns to UK. That’s our waiter in the middle. He had a real shtick going and entertained us well.

Kelly, Fey, Sean, Marsha, Rosie.

At the Harley-Davidson souvenir…

At the Harley-Davidson souvenir shop. I must remember. All kitchy items of Hollywood-ana are available here. Stores and stores and stores of the stuff.

They also have chosen,…

They also have chosen, for your shopping pleasure, various entertainments. There are also dozens of big, well known restaurants and plenty of night life. Maybe it gets wilder then but during the day it’s very family friendly – assuming your family likes to go shopping!

Unfortunately I missed a…

July 7

Unfortunately I missed a photo of the full flowering of our lady dinos. And it looks like she’s been scratching some nasty rash on her neck. The men’s ivy is a little hole-y too… I worry about them when they are not in good health!

Sharon and I saw…

Sharon and I saw Knocked Up which was a little sweet but not that great really.

We agreed that we would see Hairspray the day it comes out. This one’ll be good too I hope I hope.

In the evening Ben…

In the evening Ben and Bonnie made dinner and then we went for a stroll to pick up dessert.

Here we are at the Endless-For-Forever Never-A-Break Every-Hour-Of-The-Day-Or-Night line to get a dog at Pinks. I haven’t had the patience to stand in that line for years but no problem really since I can still taste the last one I ate!

I went to the…

July 6

I went to the dentist today, to have my teeth cleaned and get a foot massage. That’s right. At my dentist you get a foot massage while they’re digging around in your mouth. It is too fantastic and why we call him Saint Marc.

Then, since I was halfway there anyway, I continued on to ‘First Friday Is Freee!’ at the Pasadena Museum of California Art to see the Maynard Dixon retrospective (1875-1946).

First, parking garage art. The inset is the picture from the brochure and represents Dixon’s most well-know genre, Western Landscape. He liked cowboys and Indians too.

Once the depression and…

Once the depression and wwII hit his romantic leanings took him to representing The Little Guy. I liked this one whose title is ‘Destination Nowhere’.

From photos he looks like Will Rogers doing rodeo shows. He was married to Dorthea Lange from 1920 to 1935 and they had two children together. You can learn a lot from the internet, but it’s good to just GO.

Big well-curated retrospectives are like a gift, or an intimate dinner party, a great chance to get to know an artist better. Cool. This show closes on August 12. The Ron Flavin retrospective at LACMA closes on August 12 too. Pleeeze don’t miss that one!

I did a Japanese…

July 5

I did a Japanese lesson today and experienced my normal frantic pace of manic-depressive cycles, maybe 18 in 2 hours? ‘OH WOW I Remembered how to say something! AW NOOOo I’ll Never remember how to say ANYTHING.’ Like that.

Then chores for Lona, then shopping, then FUN!

I went to Nancy’s and met her boyfriend. That was fun. And we saw a movie which I thought was utterly obscure but no, here is Roger Ebert’s review of What Time Is It There.

He writes better reviews than I do (ya think?) and I think we agree – although I’m not exactly sure. I thought it was an entirely admirable work of cinema – a.r.t., gorgeous, purposeful (‘Everything is funny. Everything is sad.’), just not particularly enjoyable.

But I’m glad I saw it and can recommend it for the images alone. But then again, I’m easy.

Marsha came with me…

Marsha came with me to the ‘Studio City Night of Peace, Love, Music, and Fireworks!’

It was set inside the CBS Studios lot and as well as 3-4 stages of music (ooow, loooud…), there were booths of activities, vendors of services, and a kids play area full of a dozen of those huge jumping-sliding blown-up things.

Darryl and Angela invited…

Darryl and Angela invited us. Jed, Katie, and Nora came too. Another one of the play-group families saved us a place to watch the fireworks and more of the play-group families were there. It’s life in the ‘hood.

The best fun was…

The best fun was when we just wandered around the streets in the lot – it was relatively quite and the weather cooled with a lovely breeze. Jed had worked here for years and led the way.

One of the big…

One of the big stages had been turned over to model airplane aficionados who entertained us all with their toys.

Then we waited for…

Then we waited for the fireworks.

One of the booths passed out kaleidoscope glasses that created a real visual riot when flashed with bright lights. These kids were going around to all the people with cameras getting them to flash a picture. Fun!

And then…KaBoom! A…

And then…KaBoom! A guard told us that previously they had shot the fireworks off from the ground but this year they were doing it from the top of the parking garage and the views would be much better.

Fireworks are Awesome. …

Fireworks are Awesome. Big Bang, The Universe and all that. I much prefer such an image to the whole ‘bombs bursting in air’ business.

Angela took this one…

Angela took this one – Daddies and their Daughters – as the crowd disperses for the 30 minute wait in the parking garage.

Zoe and her dad Mitch
Nora and her dad Jed
Kaitlin and her dad Darryl(!)

ak.

Dinner and a show…

July 3

Dinner and a show with Ken – cool. We saw the new Die Hard and if you enjoy Action then you’ll like this one. Near the end there’s a collapsing-freeway chase scene with Bruce Willis driving an extra-gigantic semi-truck pursued by what looked like one of those harrier jump-jets. You almost couldn’t believe it…

(ps A couple days ago I saw La Vie En Rose, the Edith Piaf movie, with Sandy and Nancy. We all thought it was wonderful and the music transporting. The movie did however make her out to be an entirely unpleasant person. There’s a line in the movie where she is again behaving very very badly and one character says ‘you can’t do that’ and she says ‘of course I can. Otherwise what’s the use of being Edith Piaf?’)

Happy Birthday Ann! …

July 2

Happy Birthday Ann! Everyone’s here except Ruth. And everyone looks too cute. We got this shot in one take.

(These ladies are not ‘ok we’ll try it again’ kind’a gals except for one who perceive that she herself looks bad – not just because someone else looks bad, or the shape of the photo could use improvement, or because EYE want to do it again… Idea! Let’s go to JC Penney’s or something for a studio shot?! Then it won’t take so long with all the me running into the picture and then me running back to check. Good idea!)

front: Ljubica, Ann, Maryanne
back: Marija, Lourdes, Maxine, Becky, Alicia, Marsha, me

Inconceivably, half the year…

July 1

Inconceivably, half the year is over and it’s July. Brigitte gets to sail through July in her new car! Hot car Brigitte, and way cool color!

We had breakfast at my place (a frittata with those 0 cholesterol ‘eggs’ that really are made from eggs and taste pretty darn good.) Then we walked to the beach, got a ceregem massage (yummy on that one too), and walked back. What a lovely good-and-good-for-you morning!

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