Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pictures of the Week

These pictures are from a book I am working on called "Rock Monkey Tours Europe".

When I toured Europe with the Angry Samoans. The support act was this really cool sock monkey. Here he is on stage at the Holidays In The Sun Festival in England.

The audiences didn't know what to make of Rock Monkey.

Here he is at a hostel in Barcelona - catching some shuteye with Metal Mike of the Angry Samoans .

Madrid was a personal favorite.

We took a guided tour of Berlin. Seeing the Wall up close was somethin' else.

Hopefully we can get Rock Monkey to come play some shows at Mr. T's Bowl!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Saturday was a long day. The Clippers game was just the appetizer for Saturday night's Kings game at Staples Center. I actually played a gig later Saturday night, and under normal circumstances, would have gotten rid of my hockey tickets. But on this night, The Kings were retiring the jersey of one of my all-time favorite players - Luc Robitaille.

During the hour and fifteen minute pre-game ceremony, we were constantly reminded that Luc was picked a dismal 171st when he was drafted. He was slow, and couldn't skate. Yet somehow, he went on to be the top scoring Left Winger in the history of the NHL!

Between a few video montages, the Kings introduced a dozen or so of the greatest players in Kings and NHL history. They walked onto center ice on a red carpet flanked by season ticket holders, and randomly chosen fans in Robitaille jerseys.

I'll never forget Robitaille's rookie season. 1986. At the Fabulous Forum (it wasn't the Great Western Forum yet) tickets were $5 if you had a student ID. The stands were nearly almost always empty, so you could pretty much move to any seat you wanted. The people who did show up were die-hards. I swear, before Gretzky came to LA a few years later, you never saw a woman at a game.

The Kings had three exciting rookies. Besides Robitaille, there was Steve Duchesne and Jimmy Carson, who at the age of 18, became the youngest US born player to score 50 goals in a season. I still have a puck that Carson shot into the stands in one of those early games. I keep it in my freezer, where I keep all my pucks, which makes Gina really happy. I went to as many games as I could that year, and rooted as hard as I could that Robitaille would be named Rookie of the Year. (Flyers Goalie Ron Hextall looked like a shoo-in, but thankfully the NHL voted the right guy in.)
Luc always looked like he was having fun. He was an excellent ambassador for the sport, and seems like a classy, genuinely likable guy. In an era where players seem to join a new team every other week, Luc spent something like 15 of his 20 years in Los Angeles.

The game started so late, I only got to watch one period before I had to leave for my gig. Just as well. The Kings managed to lose in an atrocious way that only they seem capable of. I swear they suck so bad this year. I am so glad I got rid of my season tickets. There is very little to root for, espicailly now that Luc Robitaille is retired.

Monday, January 22, 2007


If you've ever been to a Clippers game you've undoubtedly seen and heard what has to be the Clippers biggest fan. He's that guy in the red and blue suit screaming at the top of his lungs, "Way to go Clippers, way to go!" He's the unofficial team mascot, the Clippers mayor, so to speak. He excites the fans and gets the energy flowing. There's so many questions I have for him. For instance, how does he get his voice to travel from across the Staples Center? Does he go to every single game? And who the hell made him that red and blue suit? His wife must really love him.

To make a long story short, our friends Ianthe and Eric had a pair of extra tickets to Saturday's game. Who do I see as we enter the Staples Center? The Clippers Biggest Fan! Let me tell you, I was his biggest fan at that moment. I just had to get a photo.

I still have questions. Maybe next time I'll ask him about that suit...

By the way, Clippers creamed the Grizzlies.

Oh, and out of curiosity, any idea why you'd wear an Elvis costume to a basketball game?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

getting my groove on

About a year ago I went to a silent auction benefiting a women's shelter and had the wild idea to bid for 10 belly dancing sessions. Frankly, I don't know what I was thinking. I have zero coordination and let's just say my belly has no business being exposed in a dance class.

Needless to say, I won the bid.

Cut to last week. As I was updating my list of "50 goals by 2010" (more on that later), I had another wild idea. What if I actually take that belly dancing class? Like I said, it's been about a year since the auction. I wondered if the gift certificate was even valid. I decided to give Princess Farhana of Hollywood a call and lucky for me, it is!

So me and my lily white, roly-poly tummy will be there next week to get my groove on...belly dancing style!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When in Rome...

The life of an insect is short lived at the Santa Monica Airport. Specifically at Typhoon, a pan-Asian restaurant overlooking Runway 21.
Last night I had the good fortune to dine there, not knowing that they cater to an array of exotic cricket, worm, scorpion and ant dishes. My dining buddy (who actually picked up the tab- thanks, Kallissa!) has tried all that grossness before. I must confess, ever since I saw Selma Hayek on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" make herself a cricket burrito and bite into it like it was an In-N-Out Double Double, I've been curious myself.

So there I was. All I had to do was say those three magic words to our waiter, "Fried Crickets, please." Should I? What's the worst that could happen? Would I gag? Throw up? Get crazy gas or the runs? Hmmmmm, so much to think about... I decided what the hell, you only live once and I eat pigs ears, for god's sake. I can certainly try some fried crickets!

The waiter brought the dish to our table a few minutes after ordering. It looked better than I thought it would. Heck, these are just some crispy hash browns with little fried critters! No problem! Not to mention these are the very critters that always seem to annoy the hell out of you in the middle of the night when you're trying to sleep. For that reason and that reason alone, I piled a bunch of those hash brown thingys and about three or four of the crispy crickets on my fork and put it in my mouth.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Swallow. Take a drink of water (quickly!). Wait.

No gagging, no throwing up, no gas (that came later!). Not Bad. And as long as I keep telling myself they taste just like burnt french fries, it's all good. I bet that's what Selma was thinking.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Photos of the Week

the 24-hour vacation

So , at some point on Tuesday, I realize that I don't have to work Wednesday or Thursday. On cue, I get an email from Las Rocas Resort and Spa near Rosarito saying it's "Customer Appreciation Week", and that everything is half price. Everything - rooms, spa treatments, food, and, maybe most importantly, drink. We've stayed at Las Rocas five or six times in the last few years, and during that time it went from "undiscovered relaxation hideaway" to "over-crowded party destination with horrible service and an abundance of Rosarito frat-boy spillover". In fact, the last time we stayed there, we vowed to never stay there again. (It's a long story that involves being falsely accused of smuggling two beers to the pool area, security escorting us to management, and a narrowly-avoided altercation with a sixty year old busboy.) This week, however, the offer was just too good to pass up.

We tossed a couple bags in the car and made the two and a half hour trek into Mexico. After a quick stop in Rosarito for some chips and salsa, carne asada tacos and burritos, and some Dos Equis, we checked into the hotel. (which is easier than ever to find thanks to the fifty-foot Fat Jesus recently erected on the hillside directly across the highway)

Las Rocas is clearly deserted. The entire time we're there, we see maybe ten other vacationers. It feels like we have the entire place to ourselves. It's chilly, but that's all right. The hotel is set on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and it really is beautiful. I could stand on our balcony and get lost in the sea for hours.

After a quick stop at the bar (2 shots "top shelf" Don Julio anejo and 2 Dos Equis - $8!), we head to the spa for $25 massages.

One of my favorite things about going to Mexico is going to Puerto Nuevo (aka Lobster Village) for some of the best food on Earth. Again, we have the entire village to ourselves. Our favorite restaurant - Puerto Nuevo #1 - is closed, so we go to Chelas. We're the only customers, save two incredibly drunk locals who ask if they can run a tab that they promise to pay the following week. The meal is ridiculously great. Lobster, dripping in butter and garlic, is fresh and flavorful. The spicy tortilla soup is especially gratifying. And, of course, there's hot, fresh chips and homemade salsas - a firey red salsa and a dense pico de gallo, rice and beans, and giant, hot from the oven flour totillas. As we are eating, I'm convinced that this is the best meal I've ever had in my life.
We finish off the great evening in front of the fireplace inside Bar Ole at Las Rocas, sipping beers, and playing cards. (I won. In your face, Gina.) Because of us, they are now out of Don Julio, and for the last shot of the night, we have to "settle" for Tres Generaciones. I'm not sure of the math, but somehow, two shots and two beers costs us $5.
The next morning, we take a jacuzzi, and check out of the hotel. All told, the room, two massages, spa products, a meal, and a bar tab comes to about $150!!!

Before we head home, we have to stop in Puerto Nuevo for one more meal. The town is still deserted, but this time, Puerto Nuevo #1 is open. Usually, there is a line around the corner, and at least a half hour wait to sit down. Today, we walk right in and have our choice of seats. As I make myself lobster tacos, I'm convinced that this is the best meal I've ever had in my life.

It's hard to believe that start-to-finish, our huge vacation was only about 24 hours! One of the great things about living in LA is the multitude and wide varitey of getaways at our fingertips. And look, Gina got a Fat Jesus hat!