Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hello, Dali

Had a chance to catch Terry Gilliam's new movie, "Brothers Grimm" at the Grove tonight.

I like his movies a lot. His ability to bring his visual imagination to life is amazing. And I love the overdone, elaborate look of his pictures. It's something between the surrealism of Salvador Dali and Rococo architecture. (A tour guide in Prague once explained to me that Rococo is simply overdone Baroque. Thankyouverymuch.)

This movie's story was OK, but the look didn't disappoint.

The Grove was jumping tonight because Tony Orlando and Dawn were performing a free concert. Who knew they were still together? Sadly, they were on while I was in the theater.

Thanks to everyone who read my blog in August. I had my best month ever, with over 400 hits. You can check it out for yourself my clicking on the Sitemeter button to the left and then clicking on the Views/Year button.

Tomorrow it's off to Honolulu for USC's first football game of the season on Saturday against the University of Hawaii at the Aloha Bowl.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Splash Zone

Had a lovely dinner tonight at Mark's Restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard with GeezBob, Cliff Smith -- visiting from New York City and Dan Conran -- visiting from San Francisco.

Great food and good service at a tiny table for four. All was going well until the waiter brought GeezBob's appetizer on an enormous plate and knocked over my drink while setting it down.

Fortunately, my reaction time remains quick and I jumped up and out of the way in time. Otherwise I would have had a lap full of Tanqueray and Tonic.

The staff quickly cleaned up the mess with little fuss and the evening resumed. No harm, no foul -- as they say.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Meanwhile, Back at the Bijou

Finally had a chance to see America's No. 1 Movie for the last two weekends -- "The 40 Year-Old Virgin."

It certainly earns every bit of it's "R" rating -- but I thought it was very, very funny. The title pretty much explains the plot.

My only problem was I kept waiting to see the lead actor, Steve Carrell, break into his Uncle Arthur imitation from "Bewitched." He got close a couple of times, but I guess it would have really messed up the plot.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Looking Back

Today the Dodgers celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series Championship -- when they finally beat the Yankees and brought victory to Flatbush.

13 members of the team are still alive and most were at Dodger Stadium today for the event. Family members represented team members who have passed away.

Noticeably absent today was anyone representing Mr. Walter O'Malley, who owned the team at the time, and moved them in 1958 to Los Angeles. The O'Malley family is fondly remembered (outside of Brooklyn) for their stewardship of the team. My guess is the new McCourt operation wasn't even thoughtful enough to invite the O'Malley family to participate.

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Navy skydivers delivered the game ball, American flag and 1955 World Championship banner (photo above). Posted by Picasa

It was great to see Sandy Koufax back at Dodger Stadium. He had a falling out with the Dodgers during Fox' ownership. Now that they're no longer involved he's come home. Posted by Picasa

Johnny Podres threw out the first pitch. He was a rookie pitcher in 1955 who threw a complete Game 7 to shut out the Yankees (2 to 0) and give the Brooklyn Dodgers their only World Series Championship. Posted by Picasa

Carl Erskine played the National Anthem on his harmonica while wearing his World Series ring on his pinkie. Posted by Picasa

I see this guy at Dodger Stadium all the time. He looks so much like my late Grandfather, Harold Fliegner, it's uncanny. Although, Pop Pop was never that "big." Posted by Picasa

Hail Caesar

Enjoyed tonight's Hollywood Bowl program, "La Dolce Vita: Italian Cool on a Hot Summer Night." The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performed Italian themed music like Cinema Paradiso and the theme from The Godfather.

The show finished with The Pines of Rome performed with fireworks (photo above).

SPQR stands for "Senatus Populusque Romanus" which translates to "The Senate and the People of Rome." This was the motto of the Ancient Roman Republic and was applied to state monuments in Rome.

Between this concert and all the hype I guess now I'm going to start watching the new miniseries "Rome" on HBO starting Sunday night.
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After the egg salad/tuna salad mix-up two weeks ago and Suzan Hopper's report of a bread screw-up last weekend I implemented a new Inspection Policy at Greenblatt's tonight. After I placed my order I told the counterman I wanted to look at the sandwiches before he wrapped them up. He raised his eyebrows but didn't argue. When he showed me the sandwiches he seemed determined to show me he got the order right. Mission accomplished. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

Just Shoot Somebody

The National League Western Division pennant race is one of the most miserable I've ever experienced. Tonight all four contending teams lost AGAIN. The Dodgers still trail the Padres by six and a half games.

The Dodgers are like a pigeon with a broken wing on the sidewalk -- no one thinks they're going to make it but no one wants to put them out of their misery.

Tonight the Dodgers faced one of the best pitchers in baseball -- Andy Pettitte of the Houston Astros (above). He held them to one run and the Astros won 2 to 1.

Do you think this Father and Son go to the same barber? Posted by Picasa

About 35 Baptists from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles took off their shirts to spell "Go Dodgers." I guess this is the 21st Century. Posted by Picasa

Now that's a camera! I bet she has a good blog. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

People at the Ballpark

This couple came back from getting food at the start of tonight's Dodgers game and got all upset because their seat cushions were missing. The woman was nearly in tears because she'd been putting her seat cushion down and leaving it to wander the ballpark for years with no problem.

I know the crowd at Dodger Stadium is getting rougher -- but I don't think anyone is really stealing seat cushions. My guess is they put their cushions down somewhere else and then came back to different seats. But she was insistent!
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Look what happens if you don't have a ticket for the expensive, new blue seats. Posted by Picasa

This Devil Child couldn't sit still the entire game. This is just as her head begins spinning. Posted by Picasa

Shoes McGee likes to wedge her feet up into the seats in front of her. That's bad news for anyone who tries to sit there. Posted by Picasa

Here she is hassling a guy for having the audacity to sit in front of her. Posted by Picasa

Dancing Grandma especially liked the Tequilla Song. Posted by Picasa

Screaming Lady liked to TALK REAL LOUD on her cellphone. Posted by Picasa

Who knew Uncle Fester was a Dodger fan? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Did They Listen?

Last night I recommended the Dodgers maintain their luck by making every night Chinese American Night.

Instead tonight was Japanese American Night at Dodger Stadium. And the Dodgers lost to the Rockies 2 to 1. They trail the Padres by 6 games with only 36 games left on the schedule.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow night is.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wave to the People

In honor of Chinese American Night at Dodger Stadium, my friend, fellow Trojan and the Mayor of Redondo Beach, Mike Gin was part of the First Pitch Ceremony.

He was the "Manager" for the First Pitch.

The pregame ceremonies must have brought good luck because the Dodgers broke their two-game losing streak and beat the Colorado Rockies 8 to 3. Maybe every night should be Chinese American Night.....

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The Chinese Lion Dancing was good, but it didn't exactly put butts in the seats. But I liked it when they jumped from one pedestal to the other. Posted by Picasa

The Chinese Hip Hop dancing was really bizarre. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

Explain Yourself

Saw an offbeat movie tonight titled "Junebug."

It's about a guy living in Chicago who brings his new wife home to North Carolina to meet his eccentric family. The acting is amazing as is the cinematography.

But there's something lacking in the script. This family is just too dysfunctional to understand. At one point the younger brother, who never left home, throws a wrench at the face of his brother who had come home. Intense stuff -- but never explained. The best the mother could come up with to describe her son's bride is "she has pretty hands." Again, we're left to wonder why she is so hostile to her new daughter-in-law.

Too much of an enigma wrapped in a drawl to understand here.

Had lunch today at "Mason Jar," a relatively new "organic Bar-B-Que" restaurant in West Hollywood. I was drawn by the Bar-B-Que and leary of the organic. I prefer a little pesticide to keep the critters out of my food.

Sadly, my beef brisket sandwich was delivered room temperature and when I asked them to warm it up it came back as Mush Pie.

Celebrity Sighting: The horrid Bobby Trendy came in for lunch at Mason Jar while I was there. He's as affected in person as he was on the train-wreck of a reality show, "The Anna Nicole Show."

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Prices Ain't Minnie

Stopped by the new Disney's Soda Fountain on Hollywood Boulevard, next to the El Capitan Theater, this afternoon.

It's a cute place, but the prices shocked me. $7.50 for a chili cheesedog ought to be against the law.

The good news is they use ice cream from Dewar's in Bakersfield. That's one of the all time great ice cream places -- and it makes the journey over the pinnacle just fine.

R.I.P. Six Feet Under -- I thought the final episode this evening was really beautiful. I won't give anything away for those who haven't seen it yet -- but I thought it was a very satisfying conclusion.
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Saw "Radio Golf" tonight at the Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles tonight.

It marks the final show in a 10-play cycle by August Wilson about the African-American experience in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

Wilson has written a play set in each decade of the 20th Century, with this one set in the 1990s.

Wilson's writing is always rich -- both poetic and realistic dialogue at the same time.

His plays brilliantly bring to life the changes in the Hill District over the course of 100 years -- while illustrating the challenges (both changing and constant) facing the African American community.

In the 1900s the Hill District was populated with people who could remember slavery in their lifetime. In "Radio Golf," Wilson's characters have found a love for golf (equating Martin Luther King with Tiger Woods) and are seeking to redevelop property (including Aunt Ester's house which shows up in a number of the plays). At one point the lead characters actually celebrate when land in the Hill District is designated as "blighted" because it clears the way for them to make a profit.

Of course, nothing ever turns out to be as simple as first imagined.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Went back to The Met Theater in Hollywood tonight to see "The People vs. Friar Laurence -- The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet."

Fortunately there were more people in the audience then the last time and they had the performance.

My colleague, Jim Kieffer, stars in the show as "Lord Capulet."

It's a satirical musical comedy that looks at what would happen if the priest who married Romeo and Juliet, and provided them with the secret sleeping potion, was blamed for their deaths.

The show includes funny homages to everything from "Our Town" to Don Knots on "The Andy Griffith Show."

A very talented cast carries it all off with aplomb.

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