Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ridiculously expensive "Max" suit from Where the Wild Things Are

I recently posted on the upcoming film based on the amazing children's book, Where the Wild Things Are. In that post I spoke about how I would love to own a wolf suit like the main character "Max" wore in the book.

Well now you can get one for yourself! Got an extra $610 lying around? I

Well, if you too can own a Max suit. Opening Ceremony is selling them along with other Where the Wild Things Are themed items.

Ridiculous isn't it? I don't want a suit that badly! I'd like to know who would make such a large purchase and how often they'd wear the suit.

I think I'll settle for my copy of the book..

Or the movie that's coming out this fall!

Can't wait!

Where the Wild Things Are Trailer

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Polyphonic Spree

Well, I figured it's about damn time that I post about one of my favorite bands, The Polyphonic Spree.

The Polyphonic Spree: Light & Day at Summer Sonic in Japan

How can you not feel uplifted after hearing this music?!

The Dallas, Texas band has described themselves as "choral symphonic rock." They consist of a 10 person choir, two keyboardists, a percussionist, drummer, basist, flautist, guitarist, trumpeter, violinist, trombonist, harpist, French horn player, thermin player, pedal steel player, and electronic effects person. The lead vocalist is Tim Delaughter formerly of Tripping Daisy.

I first saw the Spree prior to their 2002 debut release of "The beginning stages of...." I was able to witness the magic in a very small hollywood venue called The Derby. A very intimate setting indeed and I feel so fortunate that I was able to be a part of it.

In 2004 the group released "Together We're Heavy", "Wait" ep in 2006 and "The Fragile Army" in 2007.

According the their website there is a new album in process. Can't wait!

The Polyphonic Spree: "It's the sun" live at Cochella 2009

And yes I'm posting quite a few pictures of these peeps, but they are just so damn photogenic!

I am often impressed with their costumes, their sense of camaraderie and their positivity
. It's not often that we hear such enlightening themes in music today.

The Polyphonic Spree - "Hanging Around" into "2,000 Places" - Live from Austin Texas

I remember prior, to my first experience of the Spree I read an article in the LA Weekly about them. The article mentioned that they are not a cult. I thought that was humorous but I wasn't compeletely sure what they meant. When I saw the Spree for the first time I knew. They are so damn happy and after you hear them once live, you want to join!

These guys and gals certainly help me out when I'm having a bad day. I highly recommend this group. If you're feeling down put on some Bob Marley or The Polyphonic Spree!

For more info...

Myspace page

Official website


Facebook page

New high school to be built near nostalgic stomping grounds

I live in the small port town of San Pedro in southern California. According to San Pedro News The Los Angeles school district held a public meeting on September 24th to give an update on construction of the new public high school at Angels Gate Community Cultural Center. My mother is a recent retired teacher and she informed me a while back, that there were plans to build a high school at Angels Gate. Angels Gate is a center where school education programs and community classes and projects take place.

To be quite honest I am not happy about the news of a new high school in this area. In very close proximity are two nostalgic landmarks; The Korean Bell of Friendship and Sunken City. If a high school is built in that area there will be a great amount of auto and foot traffic and the quiet, calm area will be overpopulated.

From what I've heard through the grapevine, there are many other folks who are not happy about this either.

Here are some photos of the Korean Bell of Friendship or as us folks from Pedro call it, "The Korean Bell."

It is bronze bell that resides in a stone pavilion in Angel's Gate Park. The section of the park is alternatively called the "Korean-American Peace Park."

The bell was presented by the Republic of Korea to the American people to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States of America. It is meant to honor American veterans of the Korean War and to symbolize friendship between the two nations. The effort was coordinated by a Korean American actor named Philip Ahn. The bell was declared a Los Angeles historic cultural monument in 1978.




The bell weighs 17 tons and is 12 feet high. The bell is made of copper, tin, gold, nickel, lead and phosphorous. The bell, funded by the Korean people cost $500,000.

Engraved on the bell are four Korean spirits. One spirit holds a Korean flag, another holds a branch of the rose of Sharon which is Korea's national flower, another holds a laurel branch which is a symbol of victory and the last holds a dove of peace.

The bell is housed in a structure that took ten months to build and cost $569, 680.

Here's some interesting trivia..well, I think it is.
The Korean Bell of Friendship was featured in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects.

The Usual Suspects features
Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro and Stephen Baldwin.

In fact many films and tv shows film in San Pedro (Ghost World, Crash, Part of Five, 24, The Big Lebowski and more).


....Now on to Sunken City...

Sunken City is definitely old stomping grounds for me.

First some history...

In 1929 a sizeable section of land in the southern tip of San Pedro began to unexplainably slip into the sea. The 600 block of Paseo Del Mar began moving towards the sea and continued until the mid 1930s. Movement was measured as high as 11 inches a day. Due to quick action, all but two of the houses on the seaward side of the street were moved before toppling into the sea. The eastern section of Point Fermin Park was lost and the entire area is very unstable although it is no longer moving. Geologists have termed this phenomenon as a "slump" and this area has been featured in many geological studies and books. This geological mystery also occurs about 4 or 5 miles up the coast from this spot at Portuguese Bend in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Portuguese Bend Slide Area is still moving and slipping into the sea. Palos Verdes Drive South, the main road through the area, has to be refurbished continuously and frequently as it is constantly being displaced by the movement. This area is closed by chain link fencing, but may still be viewed at the south end of Pacific Avenue or the east end of Pt. Fermin Park at Paso Del Mar and Gaffey Street.





In high school Sunken City was a favorite spot. Although I don't venture there as often now it is still very special and nostalgic for me. I often trekked out there at night with friends so that cops wouldn't spot us. People of all ages were known to sit out there drinking and doing who knows what else.

Even though the spot was gated off it was quite easy to get to it. But now officials have made it a bit harder.

The chain linked fence is now made of bars and cannot be climbed over. As shown in the photo above the bars have extended farther out which makes it more difficult and dangerous to maneuver around.


Tresspassing signs have increased warning curious on lookers. Even so many will make their way over to the area.

The reason the area has been blocked off is because it is potentially very dangerous. The cliffs are high up and steep and it is possible to fall over onto jagged rocks and into the ocean.

Many individuals have committed suicide over those cliffs. In fact when I was in high school some were renaming the school "suicide high".

The losses were tragic and since my years in high school I have not forgotten those who have died. Even now at the age of 29 I read in the local papers of individuals who choose to jump off the cliffs.

I understand why officials want to block off the area. But for those of us who love Sunken City and want to play it safe in that area it is tough to see it blocked off.

I have taken photos of Sunken City myself, and have fond memories of sitting on slabs of rock, overlooking the ocean and moon and chatting with dear friends.


Another great sight that can be seen from Point Fermin Park which is right next to Sunken City, is the "Angels Gate light" or the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse. The lighthouse is in San Pedro yet it welcomes ships into the harbor of Los Angeles.



Lastly, I must say that I hope that when the new high school arrives at Angel's Gate that they won't paint over the Three Eyed Fish.


The Three Eyed fish has been a part of San Pedro since 1991 and was placed there by former cartoonist Dave Butkus. The fish has been repainted whenever it is damaged and I hope it never leaves.

So, although this new high school appears to be on it's way, I can only hope that it will not heavily inflict upon the peaceful atmosphere that the area encompasses!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The best version of "Eye of the Tiger" I've ever heard

Next to I Love Lucy I think that The Cosby Show is the best tv show on earth. Tonight I've been treating myself to The Cosby Show dvd box sets and tea.

It's been a stressful day and nothing makes me feel better than The Cosby Show.

I found this clip featuring a little handsome man in an awesome bow tie and Mr. Rogers sweater.

The Cosby Show: Eye of the Tiger

CMG & the We Are the Night

Here I am again, attempting to post and promote more local music. Self-described as a "Los Angeles port" band....

What can I tell you about CMG & the We Are the Night?

Let's see...

CMG & the We Are the Night: "Do you ever rock and roll anymore" at the Haystack

Members consist of CMG, David J., The BZA, Brunacattack, Big Motown, PK Ripper, Cassie the Superdog.

David J (who plays the banjo in the above video) has his own one man band Novi Split (which I've posted on before).

CMG & the We Are the Night: Sweet Shoes live at the Trunkspace in Phoenix, Arizona 6/13/09

To find more info head on over to their myspace page, their facebook page or blog site.


In 2006 I some how stumbled across Headdress. Don't ask me how. I don't remember anything about it, but all I know is that I landed on their myspace page and I fell in love.

Headdress at the Mowhawk: 2007 tour

Headdress is a collaboration between guitarist Caleb Coy and organist Ethan Cook. The two describe themselves as "A dazzling combination of sloe-eyed country ballads, heavy psychedelic staring contest, and shamanistic chants".

When I heard samples of their work on Myspace I immediately purchased their debut album Turquoise. While the band was mainly selling vinyl I was able to snag a reissued limited CD-R.

The Texas band formed in 2006 and didn't stop at "Turquoise". I just purchased their second album "Lunes". The album was written in the desert and recorded in New York City.

To purchase this cd or vinyl go to No Quarter

To find more info on Headdress go to their facebook page, their myspace page or their record label's page.

Photo by Briana Purser Photography

The droning sounds of headdress feel quite mystical. When I listen to them I get a sense of travel, bon fires, folk tales, and nature. I'm not sure if this is their intent but their seemingly Native American-esque music certainly captures me in this way.

Headdress in a church in Marfa ,Texas

Hello Kitty bento

I love hello kitty and I am discovering bento. I think it is quite an art. I'm thinking of learning now to make bento. I doubt I could make anything as creative as the meals below. Take a look and enjoy the yumminess.

By Bento Anarchy

By Bento Corner

By Adventures In Bento Making

By Bentocorner

By My Bento Lunch

By CajunLady

By CajunLady

By CajunLady

By Sakurako Kitsa

By Sakurako Kitsa

By CajunLady

Identity Politics








When I attended the 2008 "All School Day" at USC as part of my clinical social work program, I was able to witness a wonderful panel of activists speak out about their experiences as a gay or transgender individual.

I believe it was Reverend Neil Thomas, senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles that made the comment that the acronym that often represents the gay community has become so long that you can't even fit it on a t-shirt anymore.

When I was in college I was most famliar with "GLBT" which stands for Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender.

Later I heard people using LGBT. Perhaps this was an attempt to move away from the sexism of more often placing a male ahead of females.

In grad school I noticed a "Q" was tacked on the end to represent the word "Queer". This made sense to me as many individuals feel more comfortable with the term queer as it is more fluid and not so specific and boxed in.

Even later in grad school I learned of an "I" that some also tacked on to the acronym which included intersex individuals.

And then when listening to the keynote speech of West Hollywood mayor at the USC "All School Day" event, I was introduced to "Q2" or Q squared which represented individuals who do not necessary feel that they are gay or straight but are questioning their sexuality.

And lastly I was introduced by a classmate to the letter "A" which stood for "Androgynous".

I feel comfortable using the acronym "LGBTQI". I feel that "Queer" encompases androynous and questioning individuals.

I am no expert on the subject as a straight individual but I don't think a gay individual would necessarily be considered an expert either.

I think that each person must decide what their sexuality means to themselves and figure out what they are comfortable with.


I think that the many acronyms are attempts to be inclusive of all individuals and to fight against discrimination. While I think this effort is rooted in good, I also think that people become hung up on political correctness to the point where real issues are ignored. The focus is equality right? So, let us be accepting of all, regardless of whether one appreciates one acronym over the other.

West Hollywood mayor speaks to USC social workers (in 2008)

From 2006 to 2008 I participated in a graduate program for clinical social work at USC (University of Southern California).

Each year USC puts on an "All School Day" where all three USC campuses come together at the Radison Hotel across from the Los Angeles USC campus. L.A., Orange County and Skir Ball all unite to listen to different panels speak about something that applies to social work.

All School Day began in 1992 after racial tensions from the Los Angeles riots. Each year since, the School of Social Work has brought all campuses together to discuss and exchange ideas about diversity.

In 2008 the panel consisted of four people.

Sharon Franklin Brown is a transgender activist who works at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. She told her story of growing up in a southern African-American community, feeling trapped as a girl in a boy's body. After telling her parents she was going to make the physical changes to complete her transition from a man to a woman, they disowned her for 18 years.

Reverend Neil Thomas, senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles is a gay man who provided a perspective homosexuality existing withi religion.

Miguel Martinez manages the risk reduction program at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles that provides HIV care and prevention education to youth. He is an advocate for gay rights and encourages student youth to fight against stigma.

The keynote speaker was the mayor of West Hollywood, John Duran.

I found his speech on USC's social work Youtube channel and I will allow their nicely wrapped summery to introduce Mr. Duran.

"Mayor John Duran was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 6, 2001. Throughout his legal career he has worked to defend human rights, including the prominent legal case Kolcum v. L.A. County, where he successfully sued Los Angeles County for denying medication to inmates with HIV/AIDS. Mayor Duran was identified as one of the 20 most influential members of the gay community by "In Los Angeles Magazine." Besides leading the effort for marriage equality in California, he also serves as a role model for HIV positive people as one of four HIV-positive elected officials in the United States. Mayor Duran has been a gay activist since 1985 and is currently writing a history of the gay rights movement in Southern California.

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran speaks about LGBTQI community to USC social workers

I was told that 2008 was the first time this topic was addressed. I'm surprised it took USC so long to do this. I am glad that I was able to be a part of it. I loved listening to all of the speakers of the panel and the mayor's speech in particular was very moving.

I remember wishing that everyone I know was in that room witnessing what I was witnessing. I was hearing the personal stories of brave individuals. Their stories are not just beneficial to social workers but I believe would be beneficial for everyone.

Discrimination comes in many many forms and I think it is not just the job of social workers but of all individuals to fight against it for ourselves and others.

Nooow Bill Clinton supports gay marriage...

Bill Clinton says that he now feels that he supports gay marriage. In this clip he does not state why he has changed his mind. However, I can't help but wonder if he has always been open to gay marriage.

President Obama says that he is opposed to gay marriage but not opposed to civil unions. I am curious as to whether he is truly opposed to gay marriage or whether he feels the scrutiny he'd receive if he were to support it.

I can't wait until the day that we have a president who is brave enough to support gay marriage openly and proudly.

Glenn Beck refuses to define white culture

Glenn Beck is the hose of radio show The Glenn Beck Program and is a Fox news television personality, political commentator and author. He is also someone who's political opinions I largely disagree with.

In an interview for an installment of @katiecouric, the new Web show hosted by Katie Couric, Katie Couric interviewed Glen Beck.

Katie brought up a statement that Beck had made in July of this year. Beck had called President Barrack Obama a "racist" and said that "he has a deep seated hatred for white people or white culture."

According to Media Matters For America, because of this statement, more than 60 advertisers have boycotted Beck by dropping their ads from his news program. Good!

In a recent interview Katie Couric questioned what Beck meant when he said "white culture."

Glenn Beck refuses to define white culture

Transcript From the Interview:

COURIC: A twitter question is, adrianinflorida: what do you mean by white culture?

BECK: Um, I, I don’t…

COURIC: You said he had a deep-seated hatred for the white culture, what is that? What is the white culture?

BECK: I guess it’s…gosh. I’m so tempted to make news here today.

COURIC: No no, I’m just curious, this was actually adrianinflorida.

BECK: What to do? What to do? Adrian, Go to Listen to it. You can hear all of it.

COURIC: No, but you didn’t really address white culture, I think, in your explanation about President Obama, I haven’t seen the whole show, but can you? Just for our purposes?

BECK: Just for your purposes? So this will be a little secret between us?

COURIC: No, for this show, can you explain what you mean by the white culture? Because some people say that sounds kind of racist.

BECK: Really? It’s amazing to me that, for the first time, I think in history somebody can ask a question and say, “Don’t you think that maybe we have several pieces here?” We have several pieces; George Bush says my grandmother was a typical African-American that had, that had her views bred into her. You don’t think maybe we would ask questions about that comment? How is it that the first time I think in history, you should check on it, somebody says, “Hey. There’s some red flags here maybe we should look at?” … How am I? How am I the target for asking questions?

COURIC: People just want to know. What is white culture?

BECK: I’m going to see if I can play your game. People just want to know.

COURIC: You know, well, Adrian wants to know.

BECK: That’s good for Adrian.

COURIC: No but I mean it’s fine if you make a statement though, shouldn’t you be able to defend exactly what you mean by it. I’m not –

BECK: Katie, how many times have you said, how many times have you said something where you’re like, “I didn’t think. What’s white culture? I don’t know. What’s the white culture?”

What? What is the white culture? I don’t know how to answer that that’s not a trap.


BECK: You know what I mean?

COURIC: Yeah I’m not, I’m just, I’m not trying to trap you, I’m just, I think people wanted to know what that meant exactly.

BECK: Well we know Adrian does.

COURIC: Yeah, and you’re not going to answer her?

BECK: I’m not going to get into your sound bite gotcha game which we already are. We already are.

COURIC: No we’re actually, this is completely unedited so if you felt like you wanted to explain it, you have all the time in the world.

BECK: Mhmm.

COURIC: No? Don’t want to go there?

BECK: Nope.

COURIC: But basically, you stand behind your assertion that in your view, President Obama is a racist.

BECK: I believe that Americans should ask themselves tough questions. Americans should turn over all the rocks and make their own decisions.

Beck later said that he was "sorry" for the way he “phrased” his statement, but still considers Obama to be a racist.

I think that there is indeed a white culture however it may be difficult for some to explain what it is. For others it may be quite easy. "White" seems to be the norm, which is evident by our racist society.

Macon D from Stuffthatwhitepeople do said it well on his blog...

Most Americans do have some idea of what "black culture" is, and could probably put together a definition of some sort pretty easily. But then, how accurate would that be? Is there really just one black American culture? So again, is there one white culture? Or, in both cases, and in the cases as well of other American subcultures, are there several, perhaps overlapping cultures within a larger subculture?

What is white? We never really use the term European American do we? If you were to travel to Italy, Ireland, Sweden etc. you would find a culture that is different from the U.S. However, like Macon D stated, there is not just one white, black, asian, european etc. culture.

So, perhaps culture cannot be defined so specifically. I think that is okay. However, Beck became quite stumped and was unable to back up his own words. I think at times this can happen to the best of us. However, I think that anyone who has viewed this interview may now be asking themselves what white culture is to them. I see this as a good opportunity for individuals of any background to explore what culture in general means to them.

Beck didn't say flat out "I don't know" however he did shrug several times which tells us that he admits passively that he indeed doesn't know. Instead of admiting this verbally he attempted to put it on Katie Couric. Bad form Beck!

Former Charles Manson Follower Susan Atkins dies

Susan Denise Atkins died at the age of 61 one at 11:46 p.m. PT Thursday, at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.

Atkins is recorded as California's longest serving female inmate as she entered prison in 1971. Atkins had been suffering terminal brain cancer.

In 1969 when as the 21-year old Atkins and other Manson family members participated in seven murders over a two day period.

Atkins admits she stabbed eight month pregnant actress Sharon Tate sixteen times. Afterward she wrote the word "pig" in blood on the door of the home Tate shared with her husband, director Roman Polanski.

In March 2008 Atkins was diagnosed with brain cancer. Doctors predicted she would live less than six months.

It was just this past September (September 2nd) that the Board of Parole Hearings denied Atkins' suitability for parole in her 13th hearing. Atkins' hospital bed was wheeled into the hearing room where the hearing lasted approximately 6 hours. For her statement, her husband helped her deliver the 23rd Psalm.

Sharon Tate's sister, Debra Tate asked the board not to free Atkins.

"There has never been any hate in my heart for these people," she said. "I am incapable of hating. I commend them -- always have commended them -- for their good deeds that they have managed to accomplish within the walls of confinement. However, I do believe that the death of my sister, my nephew -- which would be turning 40 years old right now, this week -- is not an irrelevant cause."

During her time in prison Atkins (like many of the other former Manson followers) have denounced Charles Manson.

"He is a liar, a con artist, a physical abuser of women and children, a psychological and emotional abuser of human beings, a thief, a dope pusher, a kidnaper, a child stealer, a pimp, a rapist and a child molester," Atkins once wrote on her Web site.

During her time in prison she became a born again Christian and worked steadily to help at-risk youth, victims of violent crimes and homeless children.

You can see Sharon Tate's sister Debra speaking at Atkins' last parole hearing here.

I have written about my feelings on this story.

I think that Atkins should have been freed. I believe that rehabilitation is possible. I know that Debra Tate feels that even if Atkins has rehabilitated her crime outweighs any positive change. I can understand that viewpoint. Even if Atkins had changed completely, her sister and her unborn child still lost their lives.

So, that is the question. Does murder outweigh rehabilitation? Perhaps it is easy for me to say no as I have not lost a loved one to murder. However, I would like to think that life can offer us many chances. That even if we carry out evil, we can heal and grow.

Debra Tate reports that she has never received an apology from Sharon Tate. I do not know if this is true. If this is indeed true it is quite disappointing and I have no idea why Atkins would not want to apologize to Debra Tate.

Even so, I think the greater issue is....can a person who commits such a terrible crime, actually rehabilitate. I do not think that Atkins was a threat to society. I certainly do not think that she was a threat after she began to suffer from brain cancer.

Debra Tate speaks to Larry King Live on 9/4/09

In this interview Debra Tate tells Larry King that she was not convinced that Debra Tate was terminal as she had lived long after the period of time the doctors suspected she would live. This seems quite strange to me. Even if Atkins was not terminal she certainly was not doing well. I do not see how she would improve enough to harm anyone around her.

I do not know if I believe that Debra Tate has compassion for Atkins. While I disagree with her opinion that all former Manson followers should remain in prison I certainly have compassion for her and I understand why she wants them kept away.

I am glad that Atkins was able to live the best life she could in prison and I am glad that she was able to strive for peace and humility before she died.

Yummy Tattoos

Yesterday I discovered a new blog site that I am loving! Yummy Tattoos collects photos of food themed tattoos. Those of you who know me, know that I love food themed art, jewelery, tattoos and so much more. To me, food is so random and often more aesthetically pleasing than the way it actually tastes.

To find more information and more photos go to the Yummy Tattoos website.

Pomegranite Tattoo
Owned by Gnomesrockmywrld
I am so in love with the vibrance of this tattoo. So colorful and lifelike.

Eggplant Tribute Tattoo
Originally uploaded by DaddyMC
I have always hated eggplant but have always found it to be one of the most beautiful vegetables

True Dill Death tattoo
Originally uploaded by Lizzka
One of my all time favorite foods!

Pie in old fashioned stove tattoo
Owner of photo is Maakuruii

Carrot/Karat tattoo
Owner is multimeedchen

Carmel Apple tattoo
Owner of photo is Decator
Tattoo by Passage

S'more tattoo
Originally uploaded by Dr. Huxtable

"There's No Cryin' In Pastry" tattoo
By Aloha Monkey

Sugar and Spice crossbone tattoos
by Conor Blue Eyes

Cupcake Straightedge tattoo
Originally uploaded by B21717
Now this is hardcore! Which perhaps is the point. Even though I suppose I'm technically could be considered straightedge myself I do not use the label and have always felt straightedge clothing and tattoos to be trivial. Nevertheless I'm impressed with this tattoo.

Cup of tea for mum tattoo
Originally uploaded by Kapten Hanna

Candyland tattoo
by Cleen Rock One

Cake, pie and candy tattoo
Originally uploaded by Jesscooke
All I can say is wow...

Toast & Jelly with sprinkles tattoo
Originally uploaded by Sarah Goldstone
I love this one! I love toast. Not only because it's yummy but because it's so random and hilarious!

Sushi tattoo
by Gunnar