All posts by la_bill

Rain and warmth

Her body was hot. Literally. You could almost see the microwave lines emit from her nude nude nude body but considering the room was cold cold cold, the warmth was an added plus – I’ll have to remember to tip her well. As I got up to leave, she asked me to stay and lie down next to her…guess she had some things on her mind. I guess this is what “they” call the GFE. The girl friend experience. I got mine, now she gets hers. The City of Industry was cracking down on massage parlors, requiring that all girls obtain their masseuse license. Most of these girls are immigrants, some illegal some not, but english is definately not their primary language. Forced to work here against their will? I doubt it, I’m pretty sure they could drive off anytime in their nice bmw or mercedes they roll around in. But that test might force some of them to find work elsewhere. Like a strip club as “Coco” had been propositioned to. She asked if she should try that line of work. Shit, I don’t know. I am neither a stripper or a girl. But I read my copy of “…girls are from venus”, Coco wasn’t really looking for an answer that men are prone to give. She just needed someone to talk to. She’ll probably try it for a few days to see how it goes. We smiled at each other and as she got up to get dressed, I thought to myself, her body is hot. Figuretively.

Get Lucky

red flyer!

A friend said to me matter of factly, “its an art party”…as oppose to an art show. Was it? Maybe. Did it matter. Not really. Friendswithyou, probably more known for their plush animals with a rough sense of humor, had their opening reception at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery last saturday night. In addition to hand-sewned plush dolls, there were paintings, wooden block sculptures and several small installations of altars with written stories as well as…errr, performance pieces (?) by artists Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval. Dressed in white furry costumes, they either walked around the gallery hugging various fans, friends or both, or stood behind a large white sheer curtain like the wizard of oz, dispensing gifts and music. Sometimes, when crazy things happen at a reception, it can take away from the art and evening. But the night worked in their favor since Borkson and Sandoval’s art had always seem to be about bringing smiles and happiness to people – Not only did their pieces do so on a small intimate scale, but it succeeded from a larger perspective as well. I mean, who doesn’t like to petted by something soft and furry? Although, the performance portion of the works will be gone, their oil paintings served as a 2D extension of furthering the emotional content of the artist themselves as well as their characters while the altars gave greater insight into their creative process. Should people go check out the show…only if you want to walk away with a smile.

Art show

not fake

Sometimes people complain about how fake the denizens in los angeles are. I can see that. I’ve felt my share of fake breasts and passed by guys with a lot of aftershave potion trying to hide their body odor or personality. A lot of them exists.

Six space was having their anniversay show and although I’m not a big fan of parties and art openings…well, like i don’t really need to see canvas or paper with a bunch of strangers and if i need to see friends in general, I kind of just call them up – this telephone things works really well for me. But with the chance of stalking staring at jason lee or wil wheaton, who have visited the gallery before, why the hell not. And than as I parked my car and saw the plethora of people spilt out into the sidewalk, and despite the possible celebrity spotting, jessica alba not withstanding, its doubtful I would have enjoyed myself. Lot of people. A chance for a lot of fake people. As I stood outside without a cigarette that I don’t smoke, artist seonna hong came over to say hi. We know more of each other than we actually know each other – we have mutual friends. And for a brief moment, we chatted about shit and everyday life. That was nice and inspiring. We said our good byes and I looked over inside the gallery.

Over three million people live in los angeles. Its a crowded city but it seems like its easy to be lonely too. Maybe we really shouldn’t care how many people who aren’t like us are out there. Maybe we really just need to talk to the one who is. They’re here. They’re really not that hard to find. Maybe jessica alba.

Voting here

A friend once asked me, “whats it like to live in chinatown?” and I said I didn’t know, I only sleep here. There’s really not too much to do here in chinatown.

Growing up, the people that I saw and surrounded by were much like my parents,immigrants and hard laborers working in a restaruant kitchen or the butcher shop. I really didn’t know them and convesely, I was just the fat little kid who ran around eating my orangesicle ice creme. Well, thats what I ate man. Of course, there are art galleries here now that have replaced the dime arcade and soda stores I use to frequent, but watching art with a bunch of scensters and suckers isn’t what I consider “living in chinatown”.

Being an early person means voting at the crack of dawn. Thats something to do. There are other people here as well doing their civi duty – Mostly old chinese men and women – dressed in their 1950’s suit jacket or 1960’s stylish sunglasses. And if they were anything like my parents, they probably got them orignally on sale back in the day. I still don’t know these people I call my neighbors, what they do all day, what they think about…but at least I know they voted. Thats something I guess.

Packers win!

BrettFavre01.jpg

Los Angeles doesn’t have a football team which I don’t think most angelenos care one way or the other. I certainly don’t since I like the Greenbay Packers and without a home team, this affords me a better opportunity to catch them on television. Yes, I know, I can always go to Hooters to see all of the cable televised games. But what is important is weather you should be a Packer fan or not…at least for today. There is an interesting trend that has occurred since the 1933. Whenever it is an election year, the outcome of the Washington Redskins game (in their last home game before the election) has also predicted…or determined the outcome of the presdidential race. If Washington wins, the incumbent stays in office. If their opponent wins, the challenger gets elected. The Washington Redskins play the Greenbay Packers this afternoon.

Final Score:
Greenbay: 28
Washington: 14

Chinatown life 12 noon

SamWoo 004.jpg

Apparently I am not doing a very good job of superheroing my neighborhood of chinatown. The police have currently yellow taped my block and helicopters are overhead looking for a criminal of some sorts. I must stay inside. My only hope is that the perpertrator is some hipster with stickers gone awry. Personally I think this is a pretty shitty way of getting me to blog.

My digicam just ran out of batteries…grrr. The police are currently two blocks up from this pic. Please avoid…unless you have roast duck to deliver to me.

After hours…

Change your name why don’t you. Everyone else does it here. Chaim witz becomes gene simmons, Jennifer annistopoulou becomes jennifer anniston, Lesane crooks was tupac shakur and the night stalker was richard ramirez. Some people want to start new lives, some want to escape old ones.

It had been several months since I spent some time with yoko. Thats not even her real name. Hell, she isn’t even japanese or 25 years old but her customers seem to like that. Me, I don’t care, we get along and “yoko” and I had already dispensed of the faux formalities long ago. Thats what happens when people look past the sex and actually spend some time talking. Oh sure, she could be making her other life up too but we spent platonic time outside the confines of this small cozy room disguised as a patients quarter’s so its’ pretty much the truth…I think.

I don’t know if “yoko” changed her name for good or evil. I guess it depends on what side of the law you’re on. Its doubtful that yoko will ever get famous or that she even wants to be. But for 45 minutes of the day, she and I pretend to be the best of friends. And sometimes we’re both close to believing it.

A is for Artiist

meow

And yet another art show in chinatown. Oh brother. Maybe it was fine fine art but I had no idea what the hell I was looking at. Just a bunch of scratches on a piece of wood. Give the retard a gallery and everyone is an artist.

blogginLA: may I ask what that is?
sandwich: yes, its my art.
bloggin LA: but why do you consider it art?
sandwich: there are a lot of artist out there that the people at the LA times overlook because they don’t follow the traditional or mainstream definition. Grafitti artists took several decades before they were considered artist of a sort. But look at neanderthal rock paintings. They were done on caves for god’s sake but academia has always called it art. Isn’t it basically the same thing. So why did it take so much time for people like twist and space invader to be considered artist? Its just hypocrisy. But i bypass all of that by framing all my pieces or showing them here at the 805 art gallery in chinatown.
blogginLA: even than, some people might not consider your pieces “art”.
sandwich: you ever see that movie “spring summer fall winter…spring”. Some people considered that film a piece of art. But was it? So it was filmed with saturated colors but c’mon, what really was the story. Some guy who did caligraphy with his cat’s taill. Like that would really happen. That was just plain ridiculous. but if the director thinks its art, it must be.
blogginLA: are the scratches on the wood a metaphor?
sandwich: no
blogginLA: so why?
sandwich: if you notice, I do not have opposable thumbs. Thus the ability to actually paint something eludes me.
blogginLA: why do you call yourself sandwich?
sandwich: thats not even my real name. thats what you (the media) call me. But what does it matter anyway. Call me what you want, I answer when I want to.
blogginLA: do you think your arrogant attitude will hurt sales of your art?
sandwich: I don’t care. I’m just hungry right now. When the hell are you going to feed me?
blogginLA: I only feed you at 7 am and 6 pm. Its neither right now.
sandwich: thats just bullshit. and why is it always dry food. this interview is over.

Dang, are all artists cats this temperamental?

01:24 am

dude's dude

A friend from new york once said to me that los angeles didn’t have neighborhoods and she didn’t feel connected to the people.

As I was driving down the 10 freeway towards santa monica, I thought to myself, “do I really need to be driving some where this late at night. I could decrease the traffic by one and thats always worth something”. But my friend was waiting for me at the park across from his house. Greg was watching some random softball game. Greg is the guy who will jump in if you get into a fight with 4 large ornery men. Greg is the guy who will pay for drinks even though he only has a few dollars in his pocket. Greg is also the guy who will chuckle and say with sincerity “its cool” when you tell him you listen to avril lavign. He smoked a cigarette, I talked to him about things that guys talk to with other guys – about relationships and ego and shit. We eventually made our way to the batting cages in sherman oaks and than ate ate cheap tacos in lovely van nuys. More driving and more driving. It was cool. Good times don’t cost a dime.

Los Angeles is a pretty big place. Lot of neighborhoods. But community isn’t about how far everyone is…its about how close you feel to them. Over mexican food. Over night in l.a.

My chinatown

30

Chinatown during the day is filled with immigrants carrying umbrellas protecting themselves from the hot sun while old men play chess at the park. At night, its a different story with a good dozen art openings that happen about once every couple months, drawing in art fans and scensters. I hate the crowds but since the art galleries in the 90012 area code don’t seem to be open during the week, its the only time you can catch a lot bad art with a few good ones littered in between.

James Franklin – Plants and animals
Acuna – Hansen Gallery
This was probably the best show of the night. Acrylic canvas that showcased either….well, plants or animals. The trees were his strongest imagery – they had a graphic design feel unlike his people that seem to be influenced by margaret kilgallen or clare rojas. You know that look?

Joseph Puhy – photographs
Futhermore Gallery
Lot of blue tinted and b&w photos with an x-file feel to it. Hey, theres a photo of a sofa in the middle of nowhere. Where’s mulder and scully? I think people stuck around this gallery cuz it had a/c on a hot hot night.

Plastic Fucker
Munky King
Hardly anyone came to this toy store slash art gallery. Why? Because doug murphy has had his shit up here forever. Not really necessary to see pop icon paintings done in the style of lego men over and over. And the toys at this place is expensive too!

Kaoru Mansour – Plants and faces
Man Gallery
Photo’s of cherry blossom branches and older generation japanese (americans?) people on sepia tone canvas. This show is niiiice for asian american parents who want to get their art on.

Japan group show – nonchalant
4-F
The best piece was makoto aida’s large 10′ x 10′ marker drawing of a girl with a sushi head taking a poop. Whaaat? Hey, the show’s called nonchalant. There were also poloroids of semi naked girls taken by yasumasa yonehara who help start Smart Girl magazine in japan. Maybe it was the presentation, but the photos seem to lose any kind of impact or urgency against the big white wall it was placed upon. Or maybe I already had my fill of porn for the day.

Eventually leaving chung king road where most of the galleries reside, I passed by the park where kids swung on swings, ballers were balling on the court and parents rested under the tree for some gossip and rest. Unlike the galleries, the park is open 7 days a week from 7 am to 10 pm.

My kind of people…or not

During my normal course of shopping, I find myself at one of those oRiental stores hoping to get myself the brother hookup. I never ask for it and more times than not, I don’t get it. Rude chinese waiters and loud korean waitresses notwithstanding, I do however wish for some kind of decent service. Here’s three stores that suck and three stores that are cool – I include the good ones in the pursuit of balance journalism*.

X-girl (retail store in silverlake): Apparently, the two girls working at this store are trying to break the stereotype of the polite and service oriented japanese salesperson. They don’t say “hi” and asking for help is always met with a nonchalant grudge. You think for a store who’s merchandise is overprice, they would be fucking friendly to the few people who walk in. I guess they were too cool for japan so they brought their special brand of help to los angeles. Hooray for us.

Blue Marlin (japanese restaurant in west la): It must have been a requirement at one time for the waitresses their to all rock tattoo’s and be skinny like they were strung out on heroin. But thats ok, its a look. Is their service bad. Well not if constantly telling them to refill the drinks or waiting 15 minutes for your bill is ok. But its not entirely their fault. I just assume that management is a cheapass and never hire enough waitresses to service the crowd.

Room Coffeshop (westwood): My friend and I just wanted to chill over a glass of tea or coffee but maybe this is really our fault for the mistake in ambience. We did not realize that the outside patio is sometimes used for pick up karate practice between tall asian male model (he had a book entitled “model”!) and short plumpy white dad. I guess the second rate art shows they use to have wasn’t cutting it so they’re trying to appeal to another crowd – the integrated and obnoxious.

Non-factory (skate shop in little tokyo): Apparently there was some sort of skateboard politics between the previous owners and workers (who subquently opened their own store, also in little tokyo. As if). But aya and her husband took over the shop anyway and are nice to anyone that comes in, weather its the neighborhood skaterats who stop by to watch skate videos or 30 something ex-skaters who still need a tee shirt or two. Tired of the attitude and hard looks of other skate shops, come here instead.

Wong’s Wok (chinese fast food in silverlake): Friendly service doesn’t have to be that good at these kind of restarants – if thats what you call them. You walk by with a tray and point to the two entrees you want plus the choice of fried rice or chow mein. What makes this place great? The amount of food they give you (like it was your last meal. Alot! And their orange chicken. Better than Panda Express anytime. Why, because they use msg like real chinese people do. Chinese food without msg is like the statue of liberty without the torch.

Cathie’s Bakery (chinese…errr bakery in arcadia): Their maketing toward english speakers is probably not that great. For a long time, they neglected to have english signage and than they finally printed business cards that said “Cathy’s Bakery”. But now the lit sign on the outside also says “Ellies Bakery”. But what they lack in their toefl skills, they make up with great pastries (previously reviewed by greg han) and service with a smile. Well, they hooked me up with a free red bean bow so that automatically earns them a good mark. The mochi is the bomb incidentally.

*Oh shit, I guess technically, we’re not journalist. Oh well.

Boobwatch

peew peew

Pamela anderson will be having a book signing in century city tomorrow evening. She writes? Who knew. But she does talk. Heres a good quote about her book. “My life is been filled with so many wild and wonderful things that people might have trouble believing it…some of the stories will be made up” That doesn’t make any sense at all. Well, I guess it kinda does. The book is fiction.

But bless our pam, she also reads. According to her website, these books are in her library or is currently reading.

Einstein. Seriously now, did she really read “einstein”. Is this suppose to be irony or something. Props to her webmaster.
Jung and the problem of evil: Well, jung was pretty big into dream interpretation and like most people, pam probably sleeps alot too.
Power of the praying woman: Probably trying to ask God where her career went. Oh, my bad, she’s been spending her time writing her book.

But hell, maybe she really does read, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist and my own reading list currently consist of streetfighter, the comic book and the pottery barn catalogue.

Besides, I’ll be there standing in line. Hey, I was a fan of barbwire. What can I say.

Finding pauline…

xxx

My friend Shari comes down every summer to do an ongoing internship at giant robot magazine. We share the same sensibility of shoe style although we cant trade since she’s a smaller size than me. She’s a cool chick, no angelina jolie (i mean, who really is?) but she is an 1337 h4x0r….well, she did back door into the head of the meteorology dept and down load the tests so I guess that makes her an acidburn which happens to be miss jolies greatest role. So maybe shari is jon voight’s daughter.

So shari dials me into this place called the barcade. Super secret she says. Don’t tell anyone. Ok, I won’t “tell” anyOne. Outside of koreatown, off western, is this non descript door, where a flight of old stairs lead up to a small room with 12 video games ranging from joust to paper boy. And two pinball machines for the casual player. A 3 foot bar to the right serving alcohol to anyone without an id, a dj blasting 80’s song, and not the one hit wonder ones either, while people are smoking packs inside this humid sweatshop of a room. At midnight, it gets uncontrollably crowded which is good cuz I don’t like people dancing while I’m trying to defeat my donkey kong. We leave before our clothes gets drenched with sweat and nicotine. As we exit the now people lined stairs, its too late, we smell like stink.

I, myself am not “cool” or even “korean”. But thats ok. As long as I got friends that are cool to me, I’ll have a good time anywhere. Particularly with miss jolie.

Sun…set

Extreme!!!

The sun hadn’t come over top yet, having driven to”that” side of sunset, in hollywood, where maybe beautiful people reside, there seemed to be a lot of ambient crowd noise from tourists and innocent bystanders – Skater tony hawk gave a press conference right outside the chinese theatre, with model rachel hunter nearby signing autograpsh. Overhead, moto cross bikers flew through the air doing tricks and crazy aerials. Stopping by the griddle, the restaurant is crowded with hungry hip people. The pretty girl at the booth smiled at me. What do you know, its skater tara lapinsky (it would have been easier to recognize her if she wore a whispy skirt) . Across from us is director kevin smith. I don’t know what he’s eating, probably an omelette of some sort.

Later that night, the moment was melancholy. My softball team had lost, the score, 2 to 18. Maybe that wasn’t the exact score but it was close enough. As one spectator said, the game was, “god awful”, while another remarked, it was the worst game of softball they had ever seen. It was difficult to deny. We were not happy.

Down toward the other side of town, where sunset changes to ceasar chavez blvd, is a little food truck – roach coaches is what we called them, as kids not knowing if that was pc or not, that served taco’s and burritos. There’s two little men inside, speaking in spanish-english. I order a couple of tacos, it was close to midnight, they were about to close. I don’t know if they would have stayed open for me if I got there any later since I’m not a celebrity or anything. But it didn’t matter anyway, I was almost home.

kai kai ki ki

peew peew

Avoiding the expected crowd of a compact tokyo subway car during rush hour, but which we l.a. call an art opening, I drove over to blum + poe yesterday afternoon to see the takashi murakami show – you know, he who louis vitton made famous to the beverly hills old money wives club.

B+P have a new gallery that opened earlier this year. Broken down into three different rooms, murakami took advantage of the distinct space to showcase his good, bad and ugly.

Room 1: With a sculpture that stood magnimousily in the middle of the room atop a l.v. suitcase, this was a reminder of murakami’s successful attempt to sell his art to the general mass…or at least to a richer general mass. To the right of the piece was a flatscreen with an anime depicting a miyazaki overtoned story of a girl who gets eaten up by the creature/sculpture to enter an alice in wonderland world of colorful l.v. bubbles throbbing larger and smaller. Louis vitton should buy this installation and have set up in their lobby…or maybe thats whats going to happen. Which than I would find it kinda cool to be able to enjoy a piece that I wouldn’t normally get to see – not like I’m planning to drop by the LV corp hq or anything like that unless to take a crap. But if its just art, than I wouldn’t pay the god awful amount of government cheese to advertise some product in my living room.

Room 2: Inochi is murakami’s newest endeavor. An alien boy sculture that stands about 5 feet, accompanied by photos of him in various japanese classroom and garden settings with philosophical musings. And a video vignette of inochi going to school and meeting a girl. I guess its innocence. Apparently, there are only 3 inochis in existence and are specifically for america. Even the toy figures you can buy of inochi are only produced for the us. Eight dollars per piece, eighty for the whole set. Lucky us.

Room 3: This is vintage murakami stuff but with color variations on black background of his round icons that look like colorful badges. Or variants of the lv bags for those rich beverly hills wives who might be reading this site. There were also 3 sculptures of children which were more akin to the style of his old.

Although I have personal misgivings about murakami as an individual and direction he is taking as an artist, the show was pretty insightful to see his progression as an artist to businessman?