Friday night was Richard’s Descent Vampire game, held at the Hollywood Bowl. We were largely polite vampires, so we huddled off in our own little corner of section U [hey, we vampires wanted section V, but it was sold out]. And for the most part we didn’t converse during the show. The theme of the concert was a celebration of 6000 years of China culture, so naturally most of the music in the first half was composed by 20th century Europeans who had a dim grasp (if any) of Chinese musical styles.
But the second half brought on the Peking Acrobats, who were literally incredible. Pyramids, bicycles, dragons, chairs, hoops, human jumprope… they did it all. I think the most ridiculous thing I saw wasn’t even a big deal. After they had finished using a flexible guy as a jumprope, he’s lying on his back on stage. One of the others grabs his ankles and throws them up into the air. The rest of his body follows, and he curls around and lands on his feet. For all the acrobatics, they had some more authentic Chinese music, with the orchestra only occasionally helping out the traditional instruments.
After the acrobats, there’s fireworks set to the finale of Puccini’s Turandot. A really good display, with lots of fireworks that did more than just shoot up in the air and go boom. Some set off lots of teeny little rockets, some coruscated in different colors, some did this, some did that. It was a great display.
Then an encore of hoop jumping, full of more ridiculous displays of physical insanity.
As for the vampirism, at the intermission, we had time to squeeze in all the necessary business of the evening, but not much time to chit-chat. The next session will be at the Derby, so we can do some vampire swing dancing, or something.
Saturday morning, I chatted with a variety of relatives on the phone. Then off to Mom’s place, so we could celebrate our birthdays together. A few prezzies, some talk, and a nice lunch at Islands where I glutted myself on tortilla soup and a Hawaiian burger (and Islands fries, of course). Back to Mom’s where I managed to stuff a slice of cheesecake in my mouth slowly.
We made our goodbyes and came back home and took it easy… didn’t need much dinner after that lunch.
Sunday, my actual birthday, Rebecca and I went out to La Luz de Jesus to see the Shag exhibit there. He has his Twelve Stations of Ptolemy series – zodiacal themes. They were fine Shag-gy things, but I am so little interested in astrology that they didn’t do much for me. But there’s lots of other stuff at La Luz de Jesus. In the gallery, there were a couple paintings done that incorporated old 1950’s style metal toys. One, I think it was entitled “The Conquest” pictured a happy little robot who has just emerged from his spaceship and landed on another planet, claiming it with a flag. I liked that one. A lot of the other stuff was… Eh.
Then, of course, there’s all the other merchandise there. Books, toys, art, postcards… everything. Anyway, Rebecca and I hatched a small plot, based on something we found there. I think we’ll get a few more and then our plans will come to fruition in the next couple months or so. Until then, it’s a secret.
After the gallery, Rebecca bought me lunch at Pink’s. This was the first time we’d actually eaten there, and also the first time that the line didn’t practically run around the block. I had a 12” jalapeno dog with chili and onions. It was pretty darn good, but quite filling. Another day that I didn’t need much dinner (I think I had a slice of my birthday cheesecake)
While we were at La Luz de Jesus, our buyer’s agent gave us a call and had set up an appointment to look at a condo. So we went straight from Pink’s to the place. It was a probate sale, i.e. a dead person’s house. The place was huge, but not very us. It was clearly a grandma’s place, and the building was decorated in hotel modern. It would have taken a lot of work to redo the place, and it was already right at the upper edge of our price range, so we had to give it a pass.
We drove around the area for a while because we had seen some other Open House signs. We went into one house, and it had the most awesome Shag-adelic fireplace set into the middle of a wall. That house was huge – 4bedrooms. And the price tag matched its hugeness - $750,000. We’re tempted to go halvesies with Aaron and Kirsten or something. Then each couple can have a two bedroom house for $375K.
Then we went to Trader Joe’s, and on the way there we were sucked in by another Open House sign. This was too depressing for words. The place is adorable. Built in 1936, hardwood floors, cute. There’s a ‘structure’ in the back with its own bathroom. All this for only $479K – still out of reach. I’d let Norman Bates live in the structure if he gave us $79,000. Gah. If you want to look at our house, it’s on Military, just north of Venice. Actually, this is the listing, though there aren’t any pictures.