Sunday, March 25, 2007

Kickflip Sighting

I forgot to mention that Jacki, Darian, and I saw a girl at the table next to us Friday night that was talking on a Helio Kickflip. We were eating at the Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood about 2 miles from our house.

Kites On The Beach

Yesterday on my weekend bike ride I made it down to the Marina Del Rey area and saw a beautiful display of flying kites. This was the halfway point on my ride so it also made for a good excuse to take a few minutes off from my ride and to enjoy the scenery. This was at the point where the beach, coming down from Santa Monica and Venice, meets the Marina. On the water are numerous sail boats, too many to count, and at least yesterday on the beach there were a wide variety of kites being flown.

Since the pictures offer little in the way of perspective I'll try to describe them to you. The big "spinner ring" in the center of the pictures, take a look at the video, was 10 foot in diameter. The large "hang glider" kite above the spinner was 12 feet tall and had a wing span of 18 feet. Many of these kites were enormous.

On the beach three people were flying close to 15 kites. When I stopped off and talked to them they were beginning to pack it in for the day and had already taken down a couple of the kites. My favorites were the spinner, the bat (top right hand of picture that doesn't have the sun), and a set of 5 objects strung together that all you could say about them was they were "Dr. Seuss" like.

I told Jacki I may have to go check out some kites. I think the last time I flew a kite was some 25 years ago at the YMCA close to our house in Houston. I remember having numerous Gayla Bat kites back then. My Dad and I would attach little pieces of paper to the string and watch them fly up to the kite. Once the kite string broke, and I tried to chase it on my bike until it was no longer in sight. I even had a box kite when I was a kid. No telling if I'll get back into kites or not, but hanging out on the beach sure brought back some fun memories.

Click here to see video

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Weekend

Last night Jacki and I went to go see 300 a movie recommended by our favorite waiter in Santa Monica. The movie tells the story of the 300 men from Sparta who fought to maintain their freedom from Xerxes in the 300's final stand based on the Battle of Thermopylae.

We saw the movie at arguably the world's most famous movie theater, Grauman's Chinese Theater. Behind the famous doors is one of the largest movie theater rooms I've ever been in. We saw the digital projection on a gigantic screen. Although I think Jacki and I still prefer the Arclight this was the most beautifully appointed theater we had been in.

The movie itself was very violent with violence done in a way that combined elements of realism with a dark graphic novel look. As a result the movie's scenes came off a bit sci-fi with a look that you can tell was based on the original 300 comic book by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.

I enjoyed the movie however it didn't pull you in and make you feel for the characters. The emotion was entirely based on the thrill of the fight, and not for the loss of Sparta or any of the character stories they tried to develop.

Once we left we headed over to the Knitting Factory to pick up Darian and her friends from a concert. The show hadn't let out when we arrived so we talked to the door man and he graciously offered to walk us up to the balcony area so we could see the final band and wait for the show to let out. That final band was the Slim Jim Phantom Trio, featuring Jim Phantom the drummer from Stray Cats. Very rockabilly, very Elvis, and very 50s, or at least what I think the 50s may have sounded like. The band sounded great and I was surprised to see how large Slim Jim's 2 piece drum set (snare, bass drum and 2 cymbals) could sound.

On the way we had a little fun with the Beverly Hills Police at their drunk driver road block on Sunset. We hadn't had any drinks all night but we had a packed car with 4 teenage girls in the back. We were pulled over showed our ids, answered a few questions, and after they saw we hadn't had any drinks they let us go on our way. After that we dropped Darian's friends off and finally made it back home.

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