Thursday, July 21, 2016

Southern Nights

The Hollywood Bowl in 1929

Southern nights

have you ever felt a southern night?
Free as a breeze
not to mention the trees
Whistling tunes that you know and love so.

-Allen Toussaint

We had our own little Southern Night at the Hollywood Bowl yesterday. The weather was humid and warm. We could smell the fragrant elderberry and fuchsia bushes in bloom. This was a celebration and tribute to the late, great Allen Toussaint. Toussaint wrote so many famous songs, including, Southern Nights, Java, Mother-in-Law, I Like it Like That, Fortune Teller, Working in a Coal Mine, Ruler of My Heart, Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky, Yes We Can Can, Right Place Wrong Time and MORE!

Many of those songs were performed expertly by the band, Galactic, special guests Cyril Neville, Irma Thomas, the Allen Toussaint Band with singer Erica Falls, along with Dr. John and his Night Trippers.

Cyril Neville

The Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas

Dr. John
We ran into a few friends, had yummy Shrimp Po' Boy sandwiches for dinner and generally had an excellent evening under the stars in Daisy Dell in the hills of Hollywood. I only wish Allen Toussaint, himself had been present to play and sing his own wonderful tunes.
"Muse of Music, Dance, Drama," WPA funded sculpture by George Stanley, 1938-1940

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Yesterday, Larry and I took a day trip to Ventura.  We've driven through this town hundreds of times, but never really stopped to explore.  It's a great little town! 
First stop was Anacapa Fine Yarns, located in a business park east of the ocean. A VERY nice shop with a great selection of yarn. I managed to spend a little cash here!
Seen at Grady's Record Refuge

Next on our agenda was Grady's Record Refuge. Larry managed to spend a bit of cash here. 
We stopped at Anacapa Ukuleles on our way downtown. This is a small, but adorable little shop. They ONLY sell ukuleles and uke accessories.  We both played this wonderful Ojai-made uke. It has a thinner body than a usual uke and is a slightly different shape, kind of like a dreadknot. I liked it a lot. It was EXPENSIVE.
We had lunch at a great fish taco place called Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company. It was crowded and the tacos were great.
We finally made our way to downtown Ventura. So many of the ancient buildings have been refurbished and now house coffee houses, boutiques, restaurants, antique shops and thrift stores. We had fun browsing in the many shops, including Jockamo Records. We spent a bit of time hanging out with Heidi at Jockamo. Her husband, R.J. Mischo, is a well-known harmonica player. We had a long conversation about our mutual, departed friend, Juke Logan and blues music in California. 
More antique shops and more walking around downtown. Of course, I managed to find a lovely deviled egg dish to add to my collection!
On our way out of town we stopped at Super Buzzy, a very adorable fabric and yarn shop. 
It was a lovely and exhausting day! Thanks for driving, Mr. Larry!

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Monday, July 18, 2016

TOO Busy!

Culver City

It was a jam-packed weekend! I'm on vacation this week and I think I tried to do too much the first few days!

Friday night Larry took me to the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City to see "Recorded in Hollywood," the musical about John Dolphin and his remarkable record store on Central Avenue, Los Angeles during the late '40s, '50s and beyond. It was excellent. The music and dancing were so entertaining! Thank you, Mr. Larry!

Saturday morning I met up with Natalie and Mary Jo at Boulevard Music in Culver City for our weekly ukulele workshop. We had a grand time, but I had to skeedaddle outta there to the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Double-Ended Tunisian Crochet Workshop! I made it in a nick of time to scarf down my sandwich and participate in the workshop. 

We finished earlier than we thought we would, so instead of going home and resting like I should have, Lisa, Ana and I met our Santa Monica Yarnies at the Coffee Bean in SM for more afternoon crocheting.
I found Larry back at home and we zoomed over to the latest rage in Mid-City, Gus's Fried Chicken on Crenshaw and Pico. We were there relatively early on a Saturday, 6pm and the place was already packed! We had a delicious, quick dinner!

I had never been to one of Cali Rose's Kanikapila's (which is really a hootenanny / jam) at Boulevard Music. I thought I should experience this event. I zoomed BACK to Culver City for the second time on Saturday and communed with a few of my fellow-uke classmates. 

Cali provided many songs for us to play and sing. Toward the end of the evening about 6 or 7 people went on stage to perform their own songs. It was a fun evening.
Cali Rose

I'm not finished yet. There's more!
Sunday morning we had breakfast with Mom at The Nosh in Beverly Hills. I always look for Jon Voight when I'm there, because we've seen him numerous times over the years. Voight was picking up bagels when we arrived. He was on the phone though, so I didn't bother him. He's one of my fave actors.
Jon Voight, outside The Nosh, Beverly Hills

In the hot afternoon we drove out to the Northridge / Chatsworth area to see Lauren's, Eric's and Luke's new house and studio. I'm so happy for this sweet little family! They moved into a really nice house with a very professional recording studio for Eric's business, attached to the home. It was a plus to be able to hang out with Lauren's parents, Barb and Phil.
Lauren, Luke and Kelly


Phil and Barb

Grandma Barb made some yummy cookies!

THEN, last night I met Joan W. for dinner at Billingsley's! This was a pre-birthday celebration. Joan and I have been celebrating our birthdays together for decades. Dinner was delicious! Thank you, Joan.
Billingsley's famous Green Goddess dressing

OK, now I'm officially tired.

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Friday, July 15, 2016


Starting at 3:00 pm today, I am officially on vacation for one week. I've been working at HBO for 18 years and I've accumulated TONS of vacation time that I absolutely HAVE to use. We don't have any trips planned for this summer, so I'll be spending my time in the tourist destination of Los Angeles this next week. However, we are planning a trip to Seattle and Port Townsend toward the end of September that I'm looking forward to.
I have many things planned for next week. Tonight Larry is taking me to the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City to see "Recorded in Hollywood." It's the story of John Dolphin, his record labels and legendary record shop on Central Avenue in L.A. called Dolphin's of Hollywood.  
Herald Examiner Collection, 1976.  LAPL  Photo Archives. Riverside, CA

I'll be attending a Tunisian crochet workshop, participating in the Kanikapila at Boulevard Music, seeing friends for lunches and dinners, going to the Hollywood Bowl and going to the movies. I hope to sneak in a few museum visits and maybe a short road trip up to Ventura for the day.
After my one week stay-cation, I will need a few more days to rest!
Have a wonderful weekend! Maybe I'll see you around town next week.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

#tbt Throw Back Thursday - 1992

Phil and Larry, Mid-City L.A., 1992

I snapped many photos in 1992. This was the year that Larry and I were married. We tied the knot at the L.A. Courthouse in March. In April, my parents had a mini-reception for their friends and some family at Del Rey Yacht Club. In early August we had a big reception for our friends in our backyard. It was a grand event with a Louisiana-style dinner and the music/dance stylings of The Zydeco Party Band. I painted three large portraits of Larry and I and attached them to the set. A few weeks after our reception we decided to hold an informal get-together with a few friends that could not attend the reception. This photo is from that evening.
The set of KTLA's  "The Late Mr. Pete Show" was the back-drop for our party. I worked on the show and the back-drop was going to be trashed until we saved it! It lived in our backyard for years until it finally disintegrated! I just LOVED that set. It made our backyard so colorful and fanciful for a long time. We used it as the background for many parties. The photo above is our friend, Phil with Larry, posing in front of the "swimming pool."
August, 1992, Mid-City L.A. Photo by Nic Monat
We might have one tiny remnant of the set in our garage. I'll have to dig it out one of these days!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar

Today, my co-worker and friend, Aileen and I had lunch at Kula Sushi on Sawtelle. It's got this revolving conveyor belt that weaves it's way around the entire restaurant! Aileen says it's just like a Tokyo restaurant. 
The cold sushi is served this way. If you want to order a hot dish like gyoza or noodles, you press a button on this automated menu and a waitress brings you the dish. 
When you're done eating a dish, you throw the empty plate down this little chute at your table. 
Dirty Plate Chute

At the end of the meal the computerized screen tells you how many dishes you had and charges you accordingly. It's so automated and wonderful. When we were done, this little cartoon came up on the screen. CUTE! The food was yummy too!

An added plus, Kula is right next door to Beard Papa cream puffs! Perfect for dessert!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Chinatown, My Chinatown

Chung King Road, Chinatown

Every time we venture to DTLA and visit Chinatown, this old song comes to mind! We missed the opening on Saturday night, but we wanted to see the paintings of Mark Gash and hear Johanna Went's art talk about the gallery show that she curated at Coagula in CHINATOWN! On a very hot Sunday afternoon, we traipsed down to Chung King Road and saw the remnants of the big party the previous night.
Johanna Went and Mat Gleason at Coagula Gallery

We ran into Bob Moss and he told us it was like a high school reunion. Everyone from the punk club scene in Los Angeles came to Chung King Road on Saturday, including a performance by the L.A. band, The Fibonaccis.
Bob Moss
On Sunday, Johanna gave us a quick synopsis of artist, Mark Gash's life and about his artwork that is displayed at Coagula. This show focuses on Mark's paintings of women punk rockers, singers, songwriters, models, actresses, artists and hardcore female fans. There are also a number of Mark's cartoons displayed in the gallery's windows. This is an excellent show and a must-see! Here are a few images:
Cartoon by Mark Gash
Fibonaccis Lead Singer, Maggie Song, painting by Mark Gash
Coagula Gallery
We also wanted to see the show at the Escalante Gallery, Jorge Gutierez, "Border Bang." This is a group of colorful poster-like paintings.  From the website: Border Bang is a passionate love letter to the Tijuana and US border, documenting the bootleg artifacts sold to locals and tourists alike. Reappropriating the bombardment of pop culture images is the border’s reaction to global issues and events, telling viewers and consumers not to glorify these situations but rather to acknowledge them through their subversive presentation. 
WOW! These paintings pack a punch! They are fun, irreverant and shocking, all at the same time. 
The re-imagining of Bart Simpson, border style
This is Frida Kahlo. The artist's statement: "Her image is everywhere as you cross the border. I'm sure she would think it's hilarious. I first became obsessed with her tragic and triumphant story in junior high. Our very own beloved martyr goddess art super star. We are all Frida and Frida is all of us."
Even though the weather was hot and muggy and we were sproiling, a trip to Chinatown is always enlightening!

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Hiren's BootCD
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