Saturday, March 31, 2007
You never know who you're going to run across at Dodger Stadium.
I went tonight to watch the second exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Angels (the Dodgers won 13 to 9).
Before the game I stopped off at the Stadium Club for dinner. I was excited to see Dodger Owner Frank McCourt (suit/no tie). I relished the opportunity to personally express my opinion about the Dodgers' horrendous new parking policies.
Imagine my surprise upon seeing that McCourt and his wife, Jaime, dine in a private nook that has only one table in a corner of the Stadium Club with guards protecting the entrance.
All that was missing was a velvet rope.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Today is one of Renee Rose's least favorite days. I regularly hear from her that my blog bores her when I write about "sports."
The Dodgers made their way back from their Spring Training Camp in Vero Beach, Florida and played an exhibition game tonight against the Angels.
It's always interesting to go to the stadium for the first time each season and see what Frank McCourt has done to ruin it even more.
Despite the Dodgers' claim they want to return to a family friendly environment they ripped out a souvenir stand on the Field Level and turned it into a giant walk-up bar. That should be interesting.
But tonight, at least, I could of used a drink after witnessing first-hand the awful new parking rules in place. Guests are now forced to park in certain lots -- whether they want to or not -- regardless of where they are seated. I was forced into a lot I've spent the last 16 years avoiding.
Obviously the "parking consultant" didn't consider that Dodger fans, especially those who go to several games a year, may have developed a strong preference to park in a particular area of the parking lot.
I admit that I'm a creature of habit, but I hate the idea that each time I go to Dodger Stadium I'm going to be forced to park in very different locations based on where they send me.
Seems like one logical solution is to go to less games. So maybe the news for Renee ain't so bad after all.
Dodgers fans were more interested in watching the fight on an upper level than the game in progress once the Angels took (and held) a 6 to 1 lead.
The Angels embarassed the Dodgers by turning a rare triple play in the 7th inning. Ready or not, the regular season begins for the Dodgers Monday.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Went to Farmers Market tonight to see an outstanding movie called "The Namesake." It's about the immigrant experience in America and how immigrant families assimilate via their children.
"The Namesake" follows a young Indian couple from Calcutta who move to New York City and have two children who grow up to be very American indeed.
The oldest son, Gogol Ganguli, isn't happy about getting stuck with a name that sounds odd to American ears. That is until he matures enough to understand where the name comes from.
Since I was just in New Dehli a little over a month ago I was excited to see the scenes filmed in Calcutta. They looked very real to me. And I never mind seeing New York City either.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I'm always thinking about where I want to go next. So tonight I stopped by the Travel Expo at the Bel Age Hotel in West Hollywood.
This woman suggested I attend the "Fabulous Follies Show" in Palm Springs. It's famous because all the showgirls are at least 50 years old.
It's been on my To Do List for years. Now that I've seen the feathers up close I want to go even more.
Rip Taylor, on the other hand, was full of questions when I spotted him on the way into the Travel Expo and asked if I could take his photo.
"What's it for?"
"I'll post it on my blog."
"And then what?"
"I'll write that I saw you at the Travel Expo."
"And then what?"
"People will read it on the internet."
"And then what?"
"They'll enjoy it."
"And then what?"
Fortunately he accepted my "and then that's it" and quickly struck a pose.
And you, Dear Reader, are probably thinking, "Ted went to the Travel Expo and then what?"
I'm glad you asked -- but you can't get away with repeating it unless you made a career out of flinging bags of confetti into audiences.
I went and saw "Zodiac," the movie about the serial killer who terrorized the Bay Area in the 70s.
The movie was alright but I really enjoyed how they presented San Francisco in the 70s. I especially like the scene filmed in Original Joe's on Taylor Street -- and since the restaurant looks today exactly like it did in the 70s I don't think they had to do a thing to it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Tonight I decided to see for myself what all the fuss over "300" is about. This has to be the oddest "ancient war" movie ever made and I have no explanation for how wells it's done at the box office.
The movie looks like it was a joint project by Dolce & Gabbana, Bruce Weber and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Apparently the Spartans were better than the Persians because they had bigger chests and legs and believed in manscaping.
These mighty warriors went to war dressed in only Gucci leather shorts, red capes and sandals.
The whole thing just seemed like a theme party at Alan Carr's house.
Lacking any manscaping on my part, I had dinner before the movie at Dupar's at the Farmer's Market -- which has now gone 24 hours. I wasn't as enamored with my dinner tonight (chicken pot pie) as I was with my last visit (turkey dinner) -- surprising since the pot pies used to be a featured item at the "old" Dupar's.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sid Krofft, best known as the co-creator of "H.R. PuffnStuff" with his brother Marty, opened a new "see and be scene" restaurant & nightclub in West Hollywood last month called "Eleven."
It's a dramatically beautiful space in a building built in the 30s as a bank and later converted to a recording studio (where Prince recorded "Purple Rain," for instance).
Now if the kitchen could get its act together then the place would really be something special.
GeezBob and I went there early Saturday evening for dinner before going to a show. We ordered the bone-in rib eye for two and then waited and waited and waited.
After about a 25 minute wait I let our waiter know we were under a little time pressure because we were going to a show that began at 8 p.m.
After a 40 minute wait the chef finally came out for the dramatic "tableside carving" of the steak. Unfortunately, I lost my appetite after two bites when the steak kept squirming. The steak we had ordered "medium well" (and waited 40 minutes for) was blood red.
Under normal circumstance I would have simply sent the meat back to be cooked some more but by this point we were 20 minutes from the curtain and the theater was a couple of miles away.
So I got mine wrapped to go and asked for the check. No one from the restaurant checked to see if there was a problem and the chef certainly should have see the steak he cooked wasn't anywhere near as we had ordered it.
(In all fairness it must be noted that GeezBob really liked the steak and even reported that my leftovers -- which I gave him after being traumatized by the mooing -- cooked up real good for breakfast Sunday morning.)
We dashed off to the theater and GeezBob ran in to demand they hold the curtain while I parked the car. I slipped into the 99th seat in the theater with 98 sets of eyeballs looking at me just as the show began.
The evening, however, was redeemed by the Celebration Theater and they're lovely production of "Beautiful Thing," a touching story of two 16 year olds who fall in love in a London housing project.
It's that time of year again. We had our Dodger Ticket Selection this afternoon.
The process of distributing 332 tickets went smoothly once we figured out the problem with the schedule the Dodgers mailed to all Season Ticket holders. They listed 3 games as home games that will actually be played in San Diego. That threw our numbers off, but once we figured it out we were back on track. Hope it's not a precursor for the upcoming season.
Sunday night I went to see a very funny (in a dirty, wacky sort of way) play called "Space Therapy" by Justin Tanner.
It stars French Stewart, best known from "Third Rock from the Sun" and Julie Brown (aka Downtown Julie Brown).
It about three couples in the future (2 straight and 1 gay) who travel into space for marriage counseling.
It's really just a premise for some witty, but dark, dialogue that only Justin Tanner can write.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
El Coyote used to have a painting of Lucille Ball wearing clown make-up and crying. I went in search of it last night to take a picture. Apparently it has been removed from the restaurant's "art" collection.
Seeing how sad this made me, a waitress offered to pose for my picture.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tonight I drove down to Long Beach to meet the newest member of our Dodgers Season Ticket Group. It's hard to believe this will be our 17th season as Season Ticket Holders.
Afterwards I had the excellent corned beef and cabbage (one of their Thursday night dinner specials) at the Park Pantry on Broadway.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Made my way down to San Diego today for a meeting tomorrow.
In keeping with my switch in loyalty from Hilton to Starwood Hotels I'm spending the night at the W Hotel in San Diego -- my first time staying at a W.
It certainly is something to look at. Every inch is designed to be noticed. But the good news is it seems to function well as a hotel. And in a few minutes I'm about to find out just how comfortable the bed is....
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Went to a Sneak Preview Screening of the new Guy Pearce movie "First Snow" tonight. It opens on Friday.
It's a pretty good thriller about a cocky salesman-type who happens on a Fortune Teller who predicts his imminent death. First he laughs it off, but soon his guilty conscience over someone he done wrong takes over and leads to major paranoia.
The free screening was offered to members of the Laemmle Theatres Movie Club. Every seat in the theater was taken by an extra cheesy crowd of people willing to suffer inconvenience in order to save 10 bucks on a movie. Of course, I don't place myself in that category.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Saw a couple of stage shows this weekend. Neither was very good. Nor was either very bad. Both just so-so.
First up was "Cuttin' Up" Saturday night at the Pasadena Playhouse. It's a collection of characters and tales from African-American urban barbershops, which often act as the center of the communities they serve.
There were some funny lines and the 8 actors did an admirable job of portraying more than 20 characters.
But ultimately it was theatrical cotton candy.
Second up was "A Picasso" at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, which I saw Sunday afternoon.
Written by Jeffrey Hatcher, this play imagines an interrogation between Pablo Picasso and a Nazi Cultural Officer in Paris (where Picasso lived while the Germans occupied France).
The Picasso character was very interesting -- but the Nazi officer was a muddled mess. She supposedly grew up in a house filled with Picasso's art but now was under orders from Berlin to publicly burn one of his works of art.
Her threats didn't seem very menacing nor was her adoration convincing.
It just didn't come together for me.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Went to Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica tonight to see the annual Talent Show.
One of the performers was Lily Fanali, daughter of my friends, Rochelle Lewis and Nino Fanali.
The show was the most charming 90 minutes I've spent in a long time.