Category Archives: family

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.

 

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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

 

 

 

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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There’s Still Nothing Better

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Howdy and welcome back to my blog.

Today was a day of unusual weather. That is, unusual for Burbank, California. It was 87, cloudy with 100% humidity. The buzzing things were down and the birds were quiet except for a few stray parrots. And, for a long while there wasn’t even a breath of a breeze.

Had I been living in Texas I would have been thinking, Tornado weather!  But I don’t have to worry about that in Cali.

Then, it started to sprinkle. Just a few little raindrops and I was transported back to my childhood and days of playing under a gentle summer rain. There was never anything better back then.

I waited all day for that summer shower, teased by the occasional droplet. But it didn’t come until after dark, sometime around nine I think it was, when I heard it begin. I didn’t recognise the sound, so unfamiliar in Southern California. Unheard of during the summer months until my son exclaimed, “It’s raining!”

In my pajamas, hair still wet from my evening bath, I dashed out.

Yes. I dashed.

Barefoot, like a child I stood there not caring that my clothes were getting wet. It felt so good. Good to have the rain on my head, running down my back, cooling my bare feet as I stood on the sidewalk just beyond the cover of the blooming Crape Myrtles.

There’s still nothing better.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Search of Cleopatra

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Sorry for the lateness of my post. It has been a crazy, busy week. But.., “better late than never”, I always say!

Anyway…. I was thrilled this last Monday (Memorial Day) to have the opportunity to view the Cleopatra Exhibit at the California Science Center. Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me, particularly when it came to their art. So, when friend Jamie suggested we do something on this holiday monday, (that I, for once, had off), I put forth the idea of  visiting this exhibit. And, I was not disappointed.

For those of you that aren’t quite up on ancient Egypt, Cleopatra VII was the last Queen of Egypt. Her alliance, both personally and politically with two of the most powerful leaders of the ancient world, Julius Caesar and General Mark Anthony, was quite unpopular with the Roman Senate. Her influence on them, lead to the demise of both men. One at the hand of his countrymen, the other, by his own hand when false rumors circulated of Cleopatra’s death.

Cleopatra later took her own life as a last act of defiance against her Roman conquers.

The bust head pictured below was not on display at this exhibit but I wanted to post this to attest Cleopatra’s legendary beauty. After her death, Roman leaders ordered all likenesses of her destroyed and slanted their histories, portraying her as nothing more than a seductress.

California Science Museum Exhibit “The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt”

 

Bust head of Cleopatra VII

Black stone Queen

The black stone Queen on the right was excavated  from the ocean floor in the Bay of  Alexandria. Alexandria is the city it is thought Cleopatra reigned from. Sometime after her death, Alexandria was hit by earthquakes and a massive tsunami which destroyed the city. Undersea excavators have spent the last 20 years retrieving ancient treasures from this site.

Gold, possibly from a temple.

Gold Coin

Matching Sphinxes recovered from Alexandria site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what did I think of the exhibit? “Very cool!”

The beautifully designed exhibit provides you with a personal automated tour. Visual displays and audio commentaries add to this rich experience. A must see for ancient history buff and the curious. I highly recommend this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can learn more about Cleopatra and this exhibit sponsored by National Geographic by visiting http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/cleopatra/about-exhibit/ (Sorry, you may have to cut and past this one to your browser.)

Also check out California Science Museum

http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/Exhibits/SpecialExhibits/Cleopatra/Cleopatra.php (Another copy and paste)

for dates and show times.

 

Until next week at “Following the Dream”.

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

Avengers: Uber Rockin’ Awesomeness!

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There has been some controversial talk lately and I’m going to set the record straight, once and for all.

Yes, I do go to the store in my jammies. But, only occasionally and it’s usually very, very late at night.

Ha, ha!

Well, I do hope everyone did something nice for someone’s mother this week. And, though I worked on Mother’s Day my youngest son did not escape his yearly duty. That is, to reassure me that I am the best mother ever. So it was, that on Monday, the day after Mother’s Day, I was treated to a 3D viewing of “The Avengers”.

Whooo hoooooo! What a ride. 

Hey! I have finally reached an age of maturity that allows me not to care about what people might think. I took a small pillow with me. Yup. It was bright red and I carried it all the way from the car, through the parking structure, into the outdoor mall and right up to the ticket window. OMGoodness, why did it take me so long?! Such a simple thing that would have allowed me years of theater seated comfort. And you know what? I’m gonna do it again.

The story picks up where previous Marvel theme movies left off starting with Loki, (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s wayward foster brother, stealing an ancient relic of great power , the Tesseract, that was recovered from the Nazi’s by Captain America in the movie by the same name. All hell breaks loose and Nick Fury, (Samuel L. Jackson), of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international peace keeping agency, sends his agents out to enlist the help of the world’s super heros. We find Captain America, (Chris Evans), trying to adjust to life in the 21st Century, Iron Man, (Robert Downey Jr), along with Pepper, (Gwyneth Paltrow), at his side unveiling a new clean and sustainable power source and the Hulk/Bruce Banner, (Mark Ruffalo), rendering medical aid in a third world country. Black Widow, (Scarlett Johansson) is the one sent to bring in Bruce Banner who I am not-surprisingly, unfamiliar with because I didn’t see the latest take on the Hulk which is where she and Hawkeye, (Jeremy Renner), were introduced. I’m not sure who Hawkeye is either, other than he can shoot an arrow blind with uncanny accuracy.  And, might I say that Scarlett totally rocks her super spy character.  Watch out boys, this girl is a scene stealer. Thor, (Chris Hemsworth), enters the story as the concerned brother who wants Loki to  come home but he soon discovers that his brother won’t relent and joins the Avengers in their cause to stop Loki in his quest to rule the planet Earth.

I want to ask this. Who’s idea was this super-sized combo pack?

 The Avengers is awesome, and in 3D it is uber rockin’ awesomness! It blends characters and stories into one cohesive super pix filled with action, phenomenal CG works and great writing or was that just Downey ad-libbing? I don’t care! I loved it!  I want to see it again. 

Do tune in to next week’s post at “Following The Dream”. You’ll find a link to the right on this page, (providing that you’re not reading it from your phone or e-mail). I have pretty cool news to deliver on that front. In the meantime, go see The Avengers. 3D if you can!

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

Chocolate Covered Almonds and “The River”

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Don’t you just hate it when you’ve just spent two hours writing a blog post, setting up all the tags and links and then, when you go to add an image, the whole thing disappears? Really, I can’t be the only one that’s happened to?! Damn freaky, I tell you, and frustrating.

So, another Valentines Day has come on gone and frankly, I’m a bit indifferent. Maybe it’s because most of my Valentine Day experiences have been focused on ensuring that my kids had enough cards to hand out to their friends or that I had enough money to put on a proper birthday celebration two days later for my youngest son. Then it should come as no surprise that my plans this year involved nothing more than a bag of chocolate covered almonds, a bottle of wine and my TV as I settled in to watch episode 3 of “The River”.

For those of you that may have missed it, here is a recap of that episode and a brief note from yours truly, my self, on what I thought.

Recap of “The River” episode III

  After discovering photos of a cave, the group of searchers decide to seek it out in the hope of finding a clue to lost adventurer, Emmet Cole’s whereabouts. But they get more than they bargained for when they are discovered by a secretive tribe who’s act as watchers over the jungle.

When members of the search party start coming down with sudden blindness they decide it’s time to return to the ship.

Believing they have found a cure for the affliction that is quickly claiming all the party members, Lena, hired gun, Kurt and lead cameraman, Shaun head back out into the jungle to find it. In the meantime the M. tribe have boarded the ship forcing the remaining party members, Lincoln, Tess, Clark the producer, and engineer Emilio along with his daughter to hide blind in fear for their lives.

Out in the jungle, Lena and Kurt fall victim to the blindness leaving Shaun as their only hope of finding the cure but, the camera man wants nothing more than to get back to civilization. As he makes his escape, abandoning his companions, Shaun runs into the very tree that they had been sent to find. As a sick twist, he, who had escaped death in a mine collapse years earlier, now faces his greatest fear and must crawl into a shallow cave beneath the tree to retrieve the bulbs that will restore the others sight.

The cave begins to collapse on Shaun.

On board the Magus, Producer Clark, who had received a nasty knife wound when he had startled the near blind hired gun, Kurt, reveals himself as a sacrifice to the M. tribe in order to save the others.

Suddenly the natives decide to leave the ship.

Shaun is pulled from his tomb by a faction of the tribe as they retreat into the jungle.

Shaun with the cure, joins back up with Lena and Kurt.

Back aboard the Magus, the cure is administered, site is restored and Lincoln shares a personal moment with his mother.

 Personal Note:

All in all, not nearly as scary or creepy as last week’s premier. I could have watched this episode by myself, (which is ok with me). I do hope they start developing a more cohesive story line.  The whole thing about the cave, which seemed significant at the start, was dropped 15 minutes in and it was never explained why Dr. Cole would have made multiple visits to it. After all, the cave was the very reason the party left the ship and ventured out in the first place. Though there was enough material here to keep my interest through the 60 mins, I didn’t feel like I’d learned anything new about the characters or their quest other than a few insignificant tidbit that weren’t explored enough to make me care. I can only hope that some revelation is revealed in next week’s installment. They’ll need it if they want to keep my viewer ship.

~ K.L.Parry ~ author of “The Pirate’s Daughter And A King’s Ransom”