Category Archives: blog

BAD AMC, BAD

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Sorry for my absence, it has been a busy couple of weeks. So, let me give you a brief run down on what I’ve been up to.

Movies; time traveling sci-fy with Bruce Willis in Loopers. How would you react if you were faced with the task of executing your future self? Creative and entertaining. I don’t know why this film got negative reviews. I can only assume that those who didn’t like it, don’t enjoy science-fiction. Probably out of theaters at this point, look for the DVD release for home viewing.

Skyfall with Daniel Craig as bad boy, 007. A salute to 50 years of Bond. I thought this was an awesome flick despite the extremely uncomfortable distraction of a freezing theater. I mean, really frickin’ cold. I had a sweater on and 20 minutes into the movie I had to slip into my coat and was still freezing. And, no need to worry about the baby seated next to me, once the movie started his own mother wouldn’t have been able to hear him cry due to the excessively loud volume that seems to be the norm for this set of theaters. Seriously, I’ve been to rock concerts that were quieter. AMC 16 in Burbank, California, SHAME ON YOU for such poor customer consideration. Despite the convenience of your location, I’ve decided to seek another venue to re-visit this movie and view future flicks. One that is not an AMC Theater.

Make it a Misfits marathon. Which is what I did this last weekend thanks to the Hulu Plus streaming through my son’s Playstation. The British comedy, horror, drama, sci-fy didn’t impress me with Season 1 until I viewed the last few episodes which baited me into watching Season 2. Then I was hooked. This series is for mature audiences only and always ends up with at least one gruesome death per episode. Some of the characters are a little difficult to understand and there are quite often cheeky references that are lost on me. But, despite that, I find most of the story lines engaging. Misfits is dark, twisted, clever and sometimes surprisingly shocking for this puritanical American. Just started watching Season 3. Can’t wait to see what’s in-store for my favorite characters.

Food; The SmokeHouse Restaurant located across the street from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. 4420 W. Lakeside Drive. This old school steak house still fits the bill when I’m craving a nice piece of red meat, just don’t order the twice baked potatoes… terrible.  Here’s a little history on this establishment taken directly from its web page.

Established in 1946, The SmokeHouse was built at the end of WWII and is one of the few L.A. restaurants still in existence from that era.

The original restaurant was located at the corner of Pass and Riverside avenue and seated 46 people and was enjoyed by local luminaries like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Jim Stockton was the promoter and front man for the restaurant with Jack Monroe as the head cook. The Smokehouse was so successful and packed with customers that they soon began looking for a new building. In 1949 the Smokehouse moved to its current location. Built beside the world famous Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, the SmokeHouse is a favorite hang out for actors, producers, and anyone else in the industry. In the 60’s it was common to come in for lunch and find the place filled with costumed cowboy and indian extras having lunch.

Let me not forget Thanksgiving!  What kind of a holiday gathering be it without someone going off like Mt. Vesuvius, hum?

Once again it was a veritable feast of comfort foods with the family gather for a late dinner at sister, Cindy’s house. My turkey looked a “work-of-art” and everything was moving along perfectly until I burned the buttered almonds for my Green Bean Almondine. Then it spiraled down from there as exhaustion and an aggravated shoulder injury had me teetering on my last nerve. It only took a few of the men folk to question a simple request, to set me off. I exploded, uncontrollably, in what can only be described as a “South Park” moment, the top of my head blowing-off  like an erupting volcano, spewing forth sarcastic remarks and obscenities.

 

Thank goodness, sister Cindy saved the day by having us immediately perform “The Thanksgiving Feast Song”  http://youtu.be/2BZcSDY70IA

I have provided a link to the video for your amusement. You may have to copy and paste. Enjoy!

 

My Webber BBQ roasted/smoked turkey

Whew!!!! What a ride!

Until next week, buy  “Made in USA”

~ K.L. Parry, author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom.

 

Listen up!

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It’s two days, post-election here in the states and already the name calling has me sick. Point the finger here and there. Complain, complain.

 

Listen up, my fellow Americans! Put your parties aside and take some personal responsibility for the state of the union.

 

You, me, we are all to blame for our country’s woes. We have, and many still do, live beyond their actual means. We spend more than we’ve earned. Yet, we cry out about the national debt and over spending by Congress when the average American household holds almost $16,000.00 in credit card debt alone.

 

We’ve bought homes we couldn’t afford just because someone said they’d give us a loan to do so. And, many of us lived off the equity, refinancing our homes every time the property values went up, to the point of owing more than what the properties were worth. Then when the equity was exhausted and the property values fell, (as they do because it is a continues cycle), we walked away, leaving the lenders and their investors with our debt.

 

We have driven industry away because we don’t want to pay the higher cost of goods manufactured by U.S. companies that adhere to our mandated fair wage and safe work place practices. Let’s not forget the taxes we seem happy to levy on any U.S. business that has managed to turn a profit. And, because we have driven industry away, so too have we eliminated the jobs that industry once provided.

 

We won’t take advantage of our own natural resources, preferring dependence on foreign sources. Thus, allowing them to influence not only our economy but also our policies.

 

We scream “No Socialism” when talk of healthcare reform comes up!  Yet we support the Unions that demand the same for every employee regardless of individual job performance. What are Unions but socialistic entities.

 

Yet, many Americans do seem to feel entitled to things they didn’t earn. They’ve filed frivolous lawsuits in hope of pay offs and often times, have gotten it, driving up the cost of Insurance across the board. While others see no problem with maxing out credit cards to live a large lifestyle, only to file for bankruptcy when they’ve reached their credit limits. Then, they start the game over with little, to no actual repercussion.

 

Open up your eyes, citizens. It’s past time we should have seen where decades of  a “ME” mentality would land us. Well, it’s here.

 

If you must point the finger, point it at yourself, then ask what you, as an individual can do to turn this country around. You can start by simply reading the manufacturer’s label before you have the cashier charge your credit card. Make sure it reads, “Made in the USA”.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to express my views. It was something I really needed to get off my chest and am feeling much better for it. That having been said, you can look forward to something much lighter in next week’s post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ K. L. Parry ~ Author of  The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom. A High Seas Adventure

 

 

 

 

West Hollywood Halloween Extravaganza

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Boo! Just as a warning, I am on my second glass of wine…muhaaaaaa!

Guess where I spent my All Hallows Eve?

 

Ah, forget the guessing. I’ll tell you. On the streets of West Hollywood at the craziest, rockin’est Halloween Party ever!

Here is where I was going to give you a little history on the carnival.

Not! Couldn’t find any. But what I can say is that this party is one of the largest, if not the “most attended on one single evening” festivals of its kind. Seriously, I thought we had arrived at the festival until my friend Jamie and I actually arrived at the festival.

On a personal note. Thank you Jamie for allowing me to talk you into this craziness and indulging me on this adventure.

From babies in backpacks to geriatric in wheel chairs, every nationality, gay, straight and in-between could be found in attendance of this annual event hosted by the City of West Hollywood. I thought all the hype was more urban legend than fact but it was more than I had ever imagined. And, it was awesome. The electric energy created by so many gathered in one place for the sole purpose of expressing their alter egos was mind-blowing. I felt ALIVE! A phrase I actually yelled out from the crowd that had gathered in front of the main stage. We were all bouncing to some unrecognized Techno tune spinning out from one of the featured DJ’s. For a moment I was transported back to my youth and the memory of an outdoor concert at some forgotten location. I was pressed in amongst hundreds, our bodies vibrating from the base, moving to the music.

Let me regress. It was kind of a last-minute decision to attend this carnival. I really can’t say what made me think of it but I got it in my head that I wanted to go. And, my first choice to accompany me was the only person I thought I’d be able to talk into it, my very dear friend Jamie. But when I made that phone call he sounded a little hesitant. Still, I was persistent, promising him an adventure and, Oh boy!, did I deliver on that! Yea, and I wanted to dress up too because I had this great costume, but I got the Kibosh on that, it was a no go.

I did have to work that day so I didn’t get home until 8:00 pm. The festival started at 6:00 but it went until 11:00 so I figured we’d still have plenty of time there.  I navigated us through Hollywood via the side streets I’d remembered traveling during my clubbing days in the late seventies. That worked well enough until I had Jamie turn onto Santa Monica Boulevard. YIKES! There we sat in gridlock while his classic, air cooled, Porsche  911 heated up. A half hour later we’d made it to the first intersection, one quarter of a block. We turned off and headed back up, to Sunset strip. The Pink Taco was our first official stop as we let “Baby” cool down and re-thought our plans on where we would find parking. By the way, good ceviche, Pink Taco.

Back on the road, Crescent Heights and Melrose. Behind Fred Siegel‘s. $20.00 got us a parking spot. Without even asking, the attendant points towards Santa Monica Blvd. “15 minute walk”.

Right! A 15 minute walk if you have the speed and the size of a small 12 year old and can dodge between the solid mass of people clogging the same sidewalk you’re on.

But, just the walk itself was so interesting. I hated that we were all passing each other so quickly that I couldn’t get a good look at the costumes. At time I was seriously feeling over stimulated. It was just ridicules trying to take it all in…, visually.

So, this is where I stop and the pictures begin.

Yea, and once again a disclaimer. I am not a photographer! And, to really bring this point home, sometimes I don’t have my camera on the right setting. (Like I knew there was more than one.)

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Not the first we met on our way to the carnival but the best in costume.

A solo Ghost Buster I stopped along the five block walk to the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hookin’ up with Charlie admits the crowd on Santa Monica.

There were warnings all over about buying from unlicensed hot dog vendors. But they sure look good!

 

Ran into Cher and Kiss as they were leaving the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Cienega Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd

 

The man of the hour and fellow adventurer, Jamie. You are über awesome! And, still walking.

Freaky! But we’ve arrived!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crowd is just unbelievable. It’s like this for blocks. Not for the claustrophobic!

After bouncing to the DJ I was off to the port-a-potties where I ran into this lovely lady.

 

Then I met up with this flamboyant pair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, what party would be complete without a visit from the original party go-ers, Adam and Eve.

 

There was entertainment at several locations, and bands, along with DJ’s and so many great costumes. There was just no way for me to photograph them all. Really, physical impossibility, there was no way! But I hope the pictures I have posted will give you some idea of just what a bitchin party it was.

 

“Next year. You take the day off, dress up and we get here before 6:00 pm.”  That’s what Jamie said.

 

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Until next week.

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

 

 

 

Becoming QUEEN

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In 1979, while attending community college, I was invited to a concert at the L.A. Forum. The band that performed that night was QUEEN.

A couple of nights ago, I was reminded of that “off the charts” concert when I sat down to watch a 2004 documentary titled, Becoming Queen.

The film begins with childhood images of band members, working its way along a time-line by way of stills and personal interviews of previous band mates along with other music professionals that were close to the band. It’s not until halfway through, that we get to see the live action of taped performances that really capture the outstanding vocal and performance quality of these four uniquely and undoubtedly supremely gifted individuals.

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a Doc. watcher but I’d love to have this one on DVD for my private collection. I highly recommend it.

You can view the documentary Becoming QUEEN on Hulu Plus and for FREE at http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/becoming_queen

I must confess this. For as much as I’ve raved about Led Zeppelin, (in a blog post that I re-blogged just last week), I’ve actually owned more QUEEN albums. And, still do…!

“A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.” Freddy Mercury

Until next week. ROCK ON !

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

Buckhorn Camp Grounds

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Hi Folks!

 

Yes, I’m back after a torturous month of self reflecting and some tooth pulling, (literally!), to tell you about my latest adventure.

 

 

 

Buckhorn Camp Grounds is located 34 miles from La Crescenta, California along the 2 Hwy in the Angeles National Forest. A little over an hour drive from my home in Burbank when traffic conditions are light. Do be wary of bicyclist, motorcyclist and canyon racers as this highway can get crowded with them, making driving along this road quite treacherous especially on the weekend.

Much of the area was devastated during the 2009 wildfire known as The Station Fire, and can be evidenced as you traverse the whindy mountain road. However, Buckhorn and some of the surrounding camp grounds were left untouched and provide a great local escape for the out-door adventurer.

 

Dry Stream That Runs Through The Camp Grounds

 

 

This camp ground is located above 6,000 ft and nestled in a canyon so be sure to bring warm clothing for the cold nights. During my stay in mid September, it got down to the 40’s, but the day time highs were very pleasant hovering between 75 and 80 degrees.

 

Amenities at this sight include picnic tables, fires rings, vault toilets, water spigots and bear boxes, though I’m told your chances of sighting a Bear are not very likely. Still, we did put our food up at the end of the evening. No sense in tempting Yogi.

 

There are several nearby hiking trails and I was told some decent rock climbing areas a little further up in the canyon. Look out for poison oak particularly along side the stream.

Dogs are welcomed but keep them on a leash. You don’t want Rover tracking through poison oak or becoming a dinner entrée for the local wildlife.

Water Spigot Site

 

Ok. Done with the official information. Now here are some personal notes.

Choose your camping partners carefully. There is nothing worse than being trapped in the wilderness with people you can’t have an intelligent, or even an unintelligent conversation with. Unless, you find yourself in the wee hours of the morning suffering excruciating pain in your head. Now, that is worse! I was subjected to both when a cracked tooth decided to give me grief the first evening out. By dawn the following morning I was making my way off the mountain in search of a dentist and thus putting an all too early end to my camping adventure.

That being said, I do hope to make another attempt at it before November if my work schedule permits. This time I’ll be traveling shy one tooth and a couple of camping partners.

 

Thanks Michael 😉

 

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of “The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom”

 

 

Campsite At Buckhorn Camp Groun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Not What I Recalled!

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Sorry, pressed for time. But I did make time to go see the latest re-make of one of my favorite Schwargneer movies, Total Recall.

 

 

If you’ve never seen the original, you’ll probably like this one. If you have, you’ll be disappointed as I was when I discovered how they’ve changed up the plot. I would have loved to have seen an updated version of this sci-fi, action adventure which is what I expected to see after watching the previews.

Don’t be looking for any mutants or alien technology cause this version doesn’t have any of these other than the three breasted woman. Plastic surgery, not mutant. Though they’ve retained the character names and some aspects of the original, the settings have changed and so too some of the main aspects of the plot.

 

Don’t be fooled. This movie has very little in common with the original and quite frankly, I feel cheated.

I just got this one message to send out to all those script writers, directors and producers. Don’t change the plot when you already have something that works! Please! I hate it when you do that! Which is why I have stopped paying money to go see re-makes in the theater. I reserve those for Netflix rentals if at all.

 

 

Really, I can’t even say whether you should go see this or not. It’s just not what I was expecting.

 

K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

 

Lunch At La Bamba’s

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Lunch At La Bamba’s

Hi Folks! Yeah, I know it’s Saturday. Evidently I lost track of what blog I was to post to this week. I blame it on a frustrating couple of days. Sorry!

This last Saturday after a morning of yard “sailing” with sister Cindy, we  went to fill our tummies at a local Burbank gem. This place is one of my town’s best kept secrets. La Bamba’s.

La Bamba’s, located at the corner of Glenoaks Blvd and Lamer, looks more like a place you’d find in one of our beach communities. This out-door seating, casual dinning establishment offers a quaint and kick-back experience. Misters hung from the perimeter, outside of a plastic curtain that is pulled to enclose the patio during cooler months, provide a refreshing spot to take lunch or enjoy a relaxing dinner.

This place just can’t go wrong, serving a superb fare that I’d classify as Caribbean cuisine.  I go there specifically for the Lobster Tacos that come with a delicious side of sweet black beans and a lovely yellow rice. And don’t forget the Sweet Potato Fries done to a perfect crispness.  (I know that they coat their fries with something to make them crisp but since I’ve not had a reaction to them I can safely assume that they are gluten free.) That particular plate without fries runs $16.95. Some might think it’s a little pricy for such a casual establishment but the portions were large enough to split. Coupled with the order of sweet potato fries, Cindy and I could hardly finish what we had. And we are not light eaters. So the next time you’re in Burbank, stop by La Bamba’s.

You can check out their menu @ http://www.labambarestaurant.us/ Not to be confused with the restaurant chain. This is a mom and pop establishment.

See ya next week! Go USA!

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom