There’s More Than One Way to Skin a…Oh, Never Mind

skindude.jpgPals of mine went to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the California Science Center and were so engrossed/grossed out, they made a point of telling me to go, go, go. Sadly, my plans to do so last week were thwarted, so I’m going to spend one weeknight this week (to avoid the crowds, silly) taking in all the educational horrors.

See, Body Worlds is the brainchild (heh) of Gunther von Hagens, the curiously fedora-ed German anatomist who in 1977 perfected a technique called “plastination” which preserves human corpses for study and display. Plastination is exactly what it sounds like: It “replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive polymers, such as silicone rubber, epoxy resins, or polyester.” So, you know, ew. But cool.blooddude.gif

Body Worlds is on a world tour, and its appearance at the Science Center is its only stop on the west coast. Yay for us!

I personally can’t wait to see the corpse on a corpse horse, but if they have that guy holding his own freakin’ skin (above), or blood vessel head guy (right), it’s gonna be the Best Field Trip Ever!

Do You Love Bees? How about Alternate Reality Games?

The Halo 2-related ARG that’s been running for the past few weeks is hitting a crucial point tomorrow, with players instructed to go to over 160 separate locations across the country to await…something. What could it be? Who knows? You’ll have to show up to find out.

There are 9 location and time combinations here in Los Angeles. They are:

9:32 @ 2604 Main St, Santa Monica
10:08 @ 282 N Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills
11:11 @ 2nd & Colorado, Santa Monica
13:47 @ 2604 Main St, Santa Monica
16:03 @ 551 N San Fernando Blvd, Burbank
16:11 @ 6302 W 3rd St (The Grove)
16:15 @ 403 Hilgard Ave, Westwood
17:15 @ 741 N 1st St, Burbank
17:39 @ 6927 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood

Get caught up here, here or here, as this looks like it’s just the beginning of a wild ride.

**UPDATE** Tech TV will be covering the 11:11am event in Santa Monica. Go check it out if you can. Also, here’s a great recap of the sotry so far, from the lead in-game character.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

The 'Lion King' firework finale.  Photo courtesy jozjozjoz.Thanks to the concert we attended last night at the Hollywood Bowl, I have that famous Mary Poppins song embedded in my head today.

One of my favorite things about living in L.A. is being able to enjoy summer nights at the Bowl. A few months ago, I won a pair of tickets in an office lottery and I elected to go to Friday night’s concert featuring the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Great American Concert with Fireworks – Walt Disney: 75 Years of Music. It was a good mix of Disney musical repertoire, sometimes accompanied with interesting Disney animation, but the highlight of the show was the incredible roster of guest artists. They included a special appearance of Dick Van Dyke singing selections from Mary Poppins, Mary Costa (the original voice of Sleeping Beauty, who narrated a special arrangement of “Bambi”), Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel), Judy Kuhn (voice of Pocahontas), Paige OíHara (voice of Belle), and Alan Menken (composer who performed a medley of his music for Disney). But that Dick Van Dyke… what a living treasure. And the fireworks were fun, too. The audience seemed to want more even after three encores.

John Mauceri gave his annual State of the Union Address from the point of view of the Mauceri Family, tying in amusing anecdotes about his family’s visits to the Magic Kingdom. My favorite line was when he described the best road sign he’d seen all year from his home state of New York. It was a sign at a highway offramp which said: “This exit is closed. Please use previous exit.” (That is almost as good as the roadsign Teebubble saw in Montreal.)

Even *I* am willing to put up with the annoying audiences (people who can’t carry a tune… or know the words… who insist on trying to sing along), the not-so-perfect performances, and of course, the lines at a sold-out event such as this one… just to enjoy a fun evening at the Bowl.

This was also the first time that I’ve been to the Bowl since the recent completion of the Hollywood Bowl Shell Project. I must admit the orchestra looks less crowded on stage, but I miss the spheres that used to hang inside the shell… and the “sonotubes” will take a bit of getting used to… but I can’t wait to go back again soon.

Keep that noise down you crazy kids! I’m ironing my skirt up here!

Tomorrow begins the Sunset Junction Festival, taking place literally at my doorstep. I hear that it’s a rollickin’ good time, with three – count ’em THREE whole stages full of rowdy good-time musics. Ashford and Simpson, X, IMA Robot, Camper Van Beethoven (!) and the previously-blogged Sweet and Tender Hooligans are just some of the acts that you can hear from my apartment over the weekend.

One thing I’m looking forward to is checking out the Utilikilts booth. I plan to proudly wear my utilikilt (Mocker, Olive) on Sunday and bring manly greetings to the other members of the Utiliclan. Boys, get down there and try ’em on – you won’t be sorry you did. And girls, make your boys go down and get one. You REALLY won’t be sorry.

Ceci n’est pas une Coop.

coop.jpgAside from watching people frag one another, I spent quite a bit of Saturday night running around town checking out art stuff. One of those happenings was sixspace’s show of new work by Coop, Parts with Appeal, and I think it could be quite a surprise for anybody familiar with his body of work.

To cut to the chase, Coop is unquestionably working to evolve as an artist and I think this show proves it. Sure, the source material is cut from the same cloth, but it’s the implementation that’s really worth contemplating here. You may be used to seeing his trademark voluptuous women and auto motifs as offset poster prints, but wait until you see them in acrylic (on canvas, no less), dramatically cropped and layered, blown up 6-feet high and heavy with texture. To be specific, he’s created one continuous acrylic painting measuring 78 feet that is comprised of four separate panels each made up of 6×6 foot paintings. I think there are a lot of people that aren’t Coop fans that will love this. I also wonder if there are a number of people who are Coop fans who won’t like it at all.

Also on display are a collection of more traditional inked drawings that apparently served as the source for the larger piece. As a fan of pen and ink, I love this stuff, but it’s definitely not anything new. If you know his work, you know whether or not you like this. I tend to think that the technical drawings are the more interesting of what’s on display, but all of it serves as an interesting reference to see what’s involved in the transition from black and white to color.

Parts with Appeal runs from August 14 to September 18, 2004.

Aliens in L.A.

One of the contributors to my blog, Sharky the Kid, recently made the following post and Koga said I should post it here, too. So here you go.

Has anyone else seen this vehicle? In motion?

I never found out what the URL spraypainted on the driver’s side is, though…

Photos and text by Sharky the Kid:
There’s a spaceship in front of my house….

When I went downstairs to go out of my gate to my car this morning this was sitting in front of my house.

Please note the incredible realistic image on the driver’s head rest:

Somewhere the aliens are roaming free in Los Angeles… call 911 if you see them!

Get your crappy art together.

gyst.jpgAspiring, struggling, or starving artists of of the L.A. area listen up. Starting September 29, CalArts prof Karen Atkinson begins her yearly Get Your Sh*t Together workshop series at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.

Get Your Sh*t Together (GYST) will show you a lot of the stuff you should have learned in art school… but didn’t. GYST isn’t concerned with producing slick, commercialized artists, nor is it some new age, touchy-feely ìfind your inner artistî crap. GYST gives you information and resources to help you make things happen for yourself without waiting around for some arbiter of culture to validate your work. GYST is a program for artists, by artists. It’ll show you bare-knuckled, practical strategies for negotiating the often-baffling terrain of the contemporary art world.

In short, it’s about teaching you how to make a living as an artist, and from what I understand it’s packed full of useful info. The 600+ page class reader (“chock-full of information, forms, resources, grant info and templates”) is supposed to be worth the cost all by itself. As extra icing on the cake, one of this year’s guest speakers is David Wilson, artist, curator, MacArthur Genius grant recipient, and most importantly, Founder & Director of The Museum of Jurassic Technology. If you’re interested, though, you’d better get a move on. There’s only 40 seats and I know for sure that at least four of them are already gone.

This is a Recording

Ah, The City. Who doesn’t love dealing with The City?

This week’s episode revolves around the Housing Department’s Systematic Code Enforcement Program and Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

Because our house has a legal studio apartment in the basement, we have to pay $52 a year to the city and be inspected from time to time. Well, unless we file for an exemption because we occupy our own house and our unit. Except they ALWAYS IGNORE MY EXEMPTION REQUEST! For six years I’ve been filing this stupid exemption request and for six years I get delinquent notices. Sometimes I ignore them and sometimes I refile and sometimes I just give up and pay the damn thing (with the late fees).

NO MORE!
Continue reading This is a Recording

Espresso Banana Heaven

Silverlake Coffee on Glendale and Silverlake Blvd has these Espresso + Banana smoothies (I get mine with soy milk) that might just be the best thing ever to come out of a blender. I’ve been dreaming about them since I first ordered one last week and now can’t drive by without stopping to get one. I highly recommend that if in the neighborhood you stop by and try one. And by “in the neighborhood” I mean within a 2 hour radius.

It’s not Superman but…

we might get the chance to see the fabulous Bruce Campbell on screen soon as talks get underway for the next Freddy vs. Jason (vs. Ash?).

Via the Hollywood Reporter:

In the proposed sequel, Freddy (the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films) and Jason (the “Friday the 13th” pics) would go up against Ash, the cynical anti-hero survivor of Raimi’s “Evil Dead” trilogy, which also includes “Army of Darkness.”

I can just imagine the witty bantor between Ash and Freddy now.

Farewell and Adieu to You Fair Spainish Ladies…

amosheading22.jpg

Did you know that there has never been a fatal shark attack filed in Los Angeles County? This according to Malibu Longboards. I looked this up after reading a story in the LA Times (no eye rolling, this one is readable) about a man in San Francisco who apparently died of a shark attack while diving:

Randall Fry, 50, disappeared Sunday afternoon while diving for abalone with a friend. Fry’s friend told authorities that Fry disappeared after what he called a “big fish” appeared between them.

In related news: this post is indeed much scarier than Open Water.
In more related news: I now have a dog named Quint after the snarly fisherman in Jaws – dog does not anticipate being eaten.

Pass the controller-s to the right hand side.


In a moment of synchronicity with Sean’s weekend trip to the gun club, I spent a good chunk of Saturday night at Acme Game Store’s Halo tournament watching people pretend to shoot each other. Global Gaming League was running the show and, while they seemed a bit disorganized, all the players I talked to were having a great time. The vibe was much more like a cool art opening than the ComiCon-esque atmosphere that a lot of people would expect. Everyone I tried to talk into going with us made the obvious jokes about overweight middle-aged men and pimply teenagers, but little did they know that the crowd would turn out to be a nice spectrum of cool people and, hold on to your seat, hot chicks. A live DJ was spinning music (maybe a bit too loudly) and there was even a Suicide Girl manning the Virgin Cola-sponsored open bar. Let me repeat that part: …Suicide Girls …free booze. It made for a chill and fun party, whether or not you were into gaming.

For those of us who are gamers, there was the added bonus of lots and lots of Halo playing out on giant plasma screens all over the store. The tournament structure was interesting. Players paid $5 per eight-man game, with a single winner collecting the $40 pot after two rounds of elimination. The first place finisher also collected a grab bag of cool stuff, including a rather nice Xbox hoodie, some sort of Xbox Live speaker box and a copy of Battlefield: Vietnam. It didn’t have the drama or big pot of a larger, longer, traditional tournament setup, but it did allow players several chances to score some loot.

Hot chicks, free booze and Halo aplenty. I told you before this was a new generation of gaming store. I highly recommend you head on over and sign up for their maling list before you miss the next party.

Jive On The Sunset Strip

sstrip.jpg In a candy-assed matchup of civic petulance and catty inanity with some greedy imminent domain thrown in, that wacky incorporated municipality known as West Hollywood has proudly hijacked the Sunset Strip, claiming it’s their property and name to pimp out as they see fit and there’s nothing big bad Los Angeles can do about. In an interview to confirm the young city’s right to grab the name, WeHo Convention and Visitors Bureau Chief Brad “Burly” Burlingame simply added, “So there. Pfffffffff!”

Burlingame is quoted in the L.A. Times today as being frustrated to near tears whenever his beloved city is misidentified, saying that he cringed last month when a New York Times story about Sunset’s landmark Argyle Hotel was datelined Hollywood. “If they said Rodeo Drive was in Los Angeles, people in Beverly Hills would have a fit,” he added.

But the trouble with Burly’s weak-kneed argument is that Rodeo Drive begins and ends inside B.H. boundaries, whereas I would not be alone in arguing that the historic Sunset Strip continues a couple blocks outside of WeHo’s eastern border. Not only that, but the Sunset Strip was there long before WeHo was incorporated in 1984. Self-proclaimed “Mayor of the Sunset Strip” Rodney Bingenheimer called the young municipality a “punk-assed, snot-nosed, 20-year-old city that shouldn’t be allowed to get away with that shit.”

In related news, North Hollywood has commenced taking over Burbank Boulevard from the city of Burbank, Santa Monica has filed against West Hollywood seeking full custody of Santa Monica Boulevard, and Sherman Oaks has put its stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard up for auction on eBay.