Category Archives: food

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.

 

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

 

 

 

Dust Up! Indie-Film Fans

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Hey Folks!

Today I want to put in a plug for the Independent Film by Ward Roberts…, Dust Up.

Hang me for missing out on tickets to the World Premier Screening on Sept.28th. (What a Dork I am!  Hum…, maybe I could make San Diego?) But I was happy to see that it will be available on Hulu Plus and Netflix in October.

Yeah! for Ward, the cast and crew that has put in a gizzillion hours to bring us this kick-ass, horror-comedy-grindhouse-western.

Starring Amber Benson of Buffy-the-Vampire fame and a cast of colorful characters.

“A one-eyed vigilante with a dark past has vowed to change his ways, trading his machine gun for a yoga mat. But when he encounters a beautiful young mother (Benson) in deep trouble with a cannibalistic drug lord and his evil goons, he realizes that justice must be served. Teamed up with his smooth-talking Native American hipster sidekick, our hero rides into the badass brawl of the century.” – Stolen from Dust Up Film.com

“Want a movie that is hilarious, original, shocking, heart-felt and action-packed with crazy colorful characters, mind-blowing music, and too many memorable moments to count?

Maybe? Hmm…how about if we include an homage to the Princess Leia/gold bikini scene from Return of the Jedi featuring the one & only Amber Benson?” – Snatched from Indiegogo

Go to Dust Up Film.com for more information. Lots of cool stuff there! Become a Dust-er on Indiegogo and become a supporter of Indi-films!

DUST UP on the BIG SCREEN!

  • September 28th – LOS ANGELES, CA – DUST UP WORLD PREMIERE – SOLD OUT!
  • October 3rd, 2012 – DALLAS, TX – Tickets!
  • October 6th, 2012 – JOSHUA TREE – Tickets!
  • October 11th, 2012 – AUSTIN, TX – Tickets!
  • October 11th, 2012 – Chicago, IL – Tickets!
  • October 17th, 2012 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Twin Cities Film Festival. Tickets.
  • October 17th, 2012 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Vortex Room! Learn more here!
  • October 18th, 2012 – SAN DIEGO, CA – Tickets!
  • October 18th, 2012 – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Tickets!
  • October 26 – Nov 1, 2012 – BROOKLYN, NY – Tickets!
  • November 1st, 2012 – TAMPA, FL – Tickets!
  • COMING SOON…screenings in SAN DIEGO, LAS VEGAS, PALM SPRINGS, BOSTON & MORE!
  • REQUEST A SCREENING in YOUR neck of the woods!
    See ya next week!~ 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

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

Lady Luck

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I‘m back…muhaaaaa. Yes folks. I’ve returned from my annual jaunt to Las Vegas. As always, it was a frenzy of flashing lights, chiming slot machines and people all looking to hit it big. I’m happy to say that I out did myself from previous years hitting a total of 15 different casinos in my attempt to find the video poker machine that would throw me a Royal Flush.

Alas, my search was futile. Lady Luck was not smiling down on me in that respect but I had fun at the attempt.

On the way into Vegas, stopping at State Line, I saw the longest line of people waiting to buy California lottery tickets. (Mega Millions was up to something like 568 million.) The wait was 6 hours. Geezzzzz! Needless to say, we only drove by to get pictures of the crowd. You can’t tell by this one but that line is doubled and snakes around the front of the building and extends as far back as where I stood to take this pic.



I did breakfast at my favorite casino coffee shop located in the Golden Gate Casino which has the best buttery scrambled eggs ever!
I had the worst prime rib dinner at the Gold Strike, located on Ogden. Not to be confused with Gold Spike which lies outside of Vegas in Gene.

I hit a few pawn shops looking for treasures,(didn’t find any). Checked out an Antique mall with the hopes of locating a piece or two of my vintage china.  Still trying to replace what an ex-boyfriend broke a couple of years back. (That’s what I get for asking him to do the dishes…lol.) No luck on that one either.

Jonelle and I drove out to Red Rock to see some spectacular scenery. Unfortunately it was late in the afternoon, so we didn’t stop to do any hiking. However, we did drive the 13 mile scenic route and, by the way, they don’t tell you in the guidebooks that there is a fee of 7.00 to get into the area. Clever…huh.

But…, the most exciting part of this adventure was the drive home.

Leaving Vegas at a warm 85 degrees with moderate winds, outside Baker the temps dropped almost 35 degrees and we were hit by a sand storm. Shit, howdy! At first Jonelle thought it was some sort of tulle fog rolling in but no, it was waves of fine sand and pebbles. Dark thirty, we crawled along at 35 mph, down from the 80 I was averaging. After five or so miles of that, the sand stopped and the rain hit. It was crazy! To top it off, I nearly ran out of gas. I’d been pushing against a strong head wind all they way and hadn’t paid attention to my gas consumption. I had to stop to gas up in San Dimas, about 30 minutes from home. Wild when you realize that it took less than a tank of gas to get to Vegas.

So, the paint on my car is a little worse from the wear, dings from the pebbles and the hood looks like someone ran sand paper across it but it had needed new paint since before I bought the car. (Bad clear coat.) Oh, well, I’ll put that on my list, adding to a million other things I need to save money for…lol. What can you do but laugh.

Just for fun, here’s the list in no particular order of the casinos I visited.

What? It was over four days.

Golden Nugget (My favorite place to stay. Nicest place on Fremont Street with the best beds. Pillowtop mattresses, but no blow dryer. Bitchen water slide that takes you through a giant fish tank.)

Golden Gate (Best Homestyle Breakfast)

Four Queens

Binions

The Plaza (Bingo!)

The California

Las Vegas Club

Gold Spike (Old style machines that pay out nickels.)

Gold Strike (Worst food and you have to wait for an attendant to pay out.)

Silverton (Super cool Mermaid bar. Jelly fish tank and Mermaid tank. Bass pro-shop.)

Whiskey Pete’s (Still a dive.)

Fitzerald

Fremont

Stratosphere (Won at Roulette here.)

Main Street Station (Beautiful old style Lobby and elevators done in Victorian style woods.)

Note: I will be reducing my posts to this blog to every other week, alternating between this one and my other blog, “Following The Dream.” I’m feeling pinched for writing time between the two blogs, my manuscript for the next novel, working two part time jobs and trying to keep my apartment safe enough for human habitation. Hopefully this will make for better quality posts as I won’t be pressed to write more than one a week.

In the meantime, don’t trust too much in lady luck and you won’t be disappointed.

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

Kum-ba-ya on “The River”

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Welcome back to my blog and Yeah! I’m so excited! I’ve booked the rooms for my annual Vegas Retreat and I can’t be more excited. Three days of no responsibility, what so ever. Ok, that’s not exactly true, the responsibility part, but you know what I mean.

Now this year my sister couldn’t make the commitment to go with me, seeing that she’s got some pressing home repairs to finance, so I’ve invited another friend, Jonelle, to accompany me. I hope she won’t mind my snoring too much, and my constant bouncing from one casino to the next…,he,hee. What can I say? That’s the whole point of staying on Freemont Street, the close proximity of 13 casinos…, I said,13! 

But let me tell you about what else I did this week.

So, Monday, I took off with another very dear friend of mine and headed out to Santa Anita Race Track. I know, sounds like I got a thing for gambling and I kinda, do but always within a strict budget and I never exceed that, no matter what. Now, listen. Yea, you can enjoy the track from the cheap seats  but if your someone like me that doesn’t get to go very often, spend the extra money and pay for the Club House Admission. Then, head on up to the Front Runner Restaurant. Make a right down the narrow hall past the window tables, (act like you know where your going), then out the doors to the outside tables. This is where I love to sit. White table cloths, food and drink service with attentive waiters, your own private tv to better view the action, easy access to betting counters and restrooms and a quick exit when it’s time to leave via the Turf Club Elevator. No, I never win at the track so I keep my betting to a minimum but the experience is what I really enjoy. What a great, relaxing time and a must do when you need to decompress.

If you’ve been follow my recent posts, you’ll know that I’ve been watching ABC’s “The River”, which aires on Tuesday at 9:00pm. Somehow I have found myself now in the business of posting weekly recaps and reviews of each episode, at least until they bore me or piss me off and I decide to stop watching. But, since that hasn’t happened yet, here you have it!

 “The River”- Recap Episode 4

Ah, well, ABC’s new paranormal, thriller, adventure, “The River” redeemed itself this week with what I thought was an engrossing episode that sailed all too quickly through its 60 minute time slot. Interesting nature against man situations, a smoky spirit and the introduction of a new cast member definitely kept my interest this week.

The episode started out with our rescue party chugging happily down an Amazonian river sharing a Kum-ba-ya moment complete with guitar and accordion played by Lincoln and Lena. No doubt a tune recalled for their shared childhood. And that’s when our young, seemingly physic, mechanic’s daughter, Jahel spots a man hanging by his neck in the vines along the bank.

Now here’s where I can’t remember whether Jahel’s taro cards warn her of impending trouble before or after they’ve rescued the hanging man who happened to be, Jonas Beckett, camera man from the missing Cole expedition. But whether prior or not she seems to have the physic insight for what troubles are about to befall our rescue party.

Jahel does her best to convince the others to send Jonas back to the jungle spirit that she believes threatens them all as it seeks to re-enslave the camera man.

We have a mass bird suicide followed by an invasion of some large flying bugs.

Producer, Clark reviews old tapes left by Cole to get some kind of clue as to what might have happened with Jonas.

Jonas does his best to hide the truth from the rescue party until it’s discovered that he recorded the sacred funeral rites of an Amazonian Elder and in fact, managed to steal the Elder’s soul when he captured it on his cellphone camera which is revealed at the end of the episode when Jonas, in a desperate act to save the search party from the spirit storm that is on them, allows himself to be hung by the vines that await him on the ship’s deck.

He drops his cell phone that still displays the image of the spirit which then escapes.

Jonas is released from the spirit’s curse.

Of course I’m just hitting the highlights. And like episode 3, there was a moral of sorts which looks to be the trend for future episodes. The good thing is that this new addition to the crew will provide more insight as to where adventurer, Emmet Cole, was heading.

I, for one, predict Jonas will become a rival like/love interest and cause some tension between the Lincoln and Lena, childhood sweethearts that grew apart but are starting to like each other again, relationship. (I’d bet money on it but then I’d really have you thinking I’ve a gambling problem…,lol.)

The only thing that I thought lacking was the scare factor, I didn’t have any “edge of my seat” moments. And they rushed the ending a little bit for me. I didn’t see the Jonas character make that transition from denial to the acceptance of having done something wrong. It was just BLAM! suddenly Jonas was running towards self sacrifice for the greater good and hadn’t we just seen that in the last episode? Still, all in all, I was engaged, entertained and quite pleased with the pace and will be anxiously awaiting next week’s episode.

Until next week, when you have the choice, buy USA!

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