Category Archives: fun

West Hollywood Halloween Extravaganza

Image

 

 

 

 

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

Standard

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related articles

There’s Still Nothing Better

Standard

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

Standard

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!

Standard

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

Monsterpalozza

Standard

Last Friday, the 13th as it happened to be, I was perusing facebook when I came across a post for a monster convention. Monsterpalozza. I was immediately intrigued particularily because it was being held at a hotel a mile down the road from me.

Creature from the Monster Museum

“But what?” you say. “You didn’t think I liked horror.”

You’re right! I don’t like horror movies with blood and gore and little dolls that chase after me with small knives. I especially don’t watch anything that has possessed people climbing the walls, spinning their heads or pulling others into their televisions. But I can admire the art in the crafting of these creatures from conception to form.

Unfortunately for me and you, my readers, I was unable to draft a companion into accompanying me. Most of my friends require a signed invitation, several pleading phone calls and a two week notice…, lol. Thus, my solo attendance meant that I had no one to suggest that I might want to make notes on the pictures I was taking. See how I conviently place the blame on a nonexistant person to avoid accepting responsibility?  So, my deepest apologies go out to those of the craft for any mislabeled photos. Of which their undoubtly will be many if not most.

I’d also like to add that I am NOT a professional photographer. So no comments about my lousy camera work. Ha!

 

Crown Brush - vendor for theatrical cosmetics and applicators

Vendor, special effect

Artist, Allen Williams - Ijustdraw.blogspot.com

Killer Clown

Some Steam Punk from Jesse Gee Arts - Vendors Booth

Didn't I see this in the movie "Hugo" ?

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth

Avatar - Special Effects

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth, sculpture. This one still creeps me out!

An American Werwolf in London by master sculptor, Mike Hill.

Scary Clown Booth

Vendor's Booth

Another museum creature and a Terminator hand, I think?

Yet, another creature in the museum. It was dark, sorry!

Master Sculptor Mike Hill recreates life-size Jack Pierce, a legendary genius in horror makeup and the artist for Boris Karloff's makeup as the mummy.

Close up of wax sculpture of Boris Karloff as the Mummy,by Mike Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep it real if you can’t make it with wax.

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

Lady Luck

Standard

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”