Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Death of the Food Network:

It used to be about Bobby Flay, Mario Battali and Nigella Lawson.  Now it's Guy Fieri getting people to actually compete to put a menu item on something called "TGI Fridays"

I know I am inveterate snob but my aspirations include never eating anyplace that has a sneeze-guard.

What's next?  "design the next cat-food burger"  No doubt with Fieddi and his Camaro.  Oy Vey.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Tyranny of the Dog People

(props to my friend Sue for the title)

Okay, I get it.  You love your furry friends.  They are your children, your companions, the lights of your life.  I don't want to suggest that you do away with them, but is it too much to ask that at 10:30 on a week night that you're at least HOME WITH THEM?  So they might not be howling for you?  Because you aren't paying my rent, and a cat would revenge itself by quietly pissing on your drycleaning.

Which would not keep me awake.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oooooh look, it's my next car!

Don't count Detroit out yet folks.  They might be reeling but the clearly aren't out of ideas.  On Sunday, Cadillac introduced the Converj Concept, which took styling cues from previous concepts like the Sixteen and the Cien and added them to the Voltec powertrain system from the Chevrolet Volt.  For those of you who haven't heard, the plug in hybrid Voltec system goes beyond merely being a hybrid like the Prius where the engine kicks in to power the wheels above 10 mph or so.  The engine in the Voltec system only kicks in after 40 miles or so when the battery is losing it's charge, and then only to recharge that battery as a safety net.  Someone like me who has a 20 mile roundtrip commute would simply come home at night and plug it in.  The brilliance of the Converj is that all this eco-greenitude is wrapped in sheet metal that's so red-carpet sexy and an interior so throw-down luxe Fiddy could write a song about it.

Lexus HS250H, consider this sand kicked in your face.

Mr. Lutz, build this right now.

Photos: GM

Saturday, January 03, 2009 Sensurround

The American Cinematheque is a great local group devoted to the preservation of American films.  They operate out of the restored Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.  The theater is a gem of early 20's wackiness; there was quite a vogue for all things Egyptian earlier in the last century started by the search and discovery of King Tut's tomb.  Hollywood's decline was far harder on the Egyptian than it was on the more famous of Sid Graumann's theaters, the Chinese, a few blocks West.  The Egyptian's courtyard was covered by a cheap looking and poorly maintained metal facade.  The building itself was badly damaged in the '94 Northridge Earthquake, and the Cinematheque was allowed to buy the property for the sum of $1 with the proviso that it be restored.  As you can see, restore it they did.

Starting this week, they've been showing a series called "The Masters of Disaster", which are showing such big-screen blowouts as "The Hindenberg", "Black Sunday", "The Towering Inferno" and "Earthquake".

"Earthquake" was the one that I went to see tonight. Not that I hadn't seen it before, or for that matter, lived it.  More than once.  But I hadn't seen it in Hollywood, and I'd never seen it in Sensurround.  Sensurround was basically big-ass speakers that emitted low frequency sound that literally rumbled the theater during the big scenes.  It didn't really work in the nascent world of the multiplex, where the shimmying and shaking that thrilled audiences of "Earthquake" in theater 3 really annoyed the people trying to watch "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" in theater 2 and "Murder on the Orient Express" in theater 4.  At it's premiere at the Chinese, a nervous management strung nets between the ceiling and the patrons when the system cracked the decorative plaster in the ceiling and in Chicago, the Building and Safety department wanted it turned off.

The movie?  Better than I remember it.  Genevieve Bujold was there and made a charming speech.  Audience members applauded at the appearance of the actors, chuckled fondly at some of the loonier moments (like, what's the point of having a medical triage center in the depths of the underground garage of a clearly damaged skyscraper?) and generally enjoyed the heck out of the whole experience.  Sensurround came through, rocking the house enough to make the experience slightly uncomfortable, what with watching special effects knock down the Capitol Records, Security Pacific and First National Bank buildings blocks outside the theater, and the collapse of the Mulholland Dam right up the street.

"The Towering Inferno" is on Friday.  Who wants to go?

Egyptian Theater Photo Credit: American Cinematheque
Earthquake Photo Credit:

Friday, January 02, 2009

Welcome to 2009!

The New Year opened in Los Angeles with temps in the low 50's and fog- which I kind of love..

I can't believe another year has gone by. seemingly in a blink.  Its been a fairly crazy year, with wild highs and abysmal lows, and that was just the price of gas (bah-dum-pum, he's here all year folks!).

I hope that all my six readers have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

Photo credit: my iPhone