Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Death Knocks

What a day yesterday, we lost Ingmar Bergman, Tom Snyder and Bill Walsh. I was hoping to find a youtube posting of Dan Akroyd's great Tom Snyder skits, but nothing came up on my search. I did however find this wonderful Bergman parody featuring the film debut of Madeline Kahn. De Duva.

The faux Swedish might be the inspiration for the opening credits of Holy Grail.

Update: I guess it is open season on arthouse directors. I just read that Michelangelo Antonioni passed away as well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adventures in Cambria

Or a rare bit of Welsh Skunk....

This past weekend found team Gonzo meeting in the wilds of Cambria, California. A quaint coastal town in the middle of the state. A bit busy and touristy indeed, as it is just five miles from San Simeon, home of Hearst Castle, and it is a gateway to the Paso Robles wine region, where we tasted some very fine potions indeed.

L'Aventure is producing some amazing blends in the Rhone style. A bottle of their Optimus blend accompanied me home. And Windward is doing some very nice Pinots. Fucking Merlots were not to be found, but some delicious Viogniers and Rousannes were also sampled.

While walking along the bluffs near our hotel after a tasty dinner, we saw something posing on the beach side of the path. At first glance it appeared to be a statue or totem of some kind, but when it moved we realized that it was a skunk with tail in the air. In proper Pythonian fashion, we yelled "run away" and ran in search of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (as seen in scene 21).

Sunday found us doing the touristy thing and visiting Hearst Castle. Well worth a visit. A fun tour and some interesting history. The legend has been cleaned up, as the Hearst family still owns the actual house and the State Park system's tour guides seem to leave out some of the darker parts of the Hearst saga.

The drive from San Jose along Highway 1 is one of the most spectacular roads in the world and other than a Winnebago driver that did not understand the concept of turnouts, the none more black MX-5 was a delight to drive along the twisties south of Big Sur.

Big Sur coast line.

Elephant Seals at play?

Along the bluffs near Cambria.

The view back towards the village.

Hearst's pool.


Hearst's other pool.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bialy you can be

From Wikipedia's entry on Robert Heinlein is a link to the Google satellite photo of his circular house that he and his wife Ginny built in Bonny Doon, California.

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is probably the most subversive children's books ever written, being largely about sexual awakening and atheism. Now they are coming to the big screen beginning this winter with The Golden Compass. See the spectacular trailer here.

This has been mentioned by two of my blogroll regulars recently, Escapegrace and Tony Pierce; LAist has begun a series on LA Neighborhoods beginning with Little Armenia. My old neighborhood, which could be termed little Brooklyn, around Fairfax and Beverly used to stretch to at least Pico, but much of the southern portion is now Little Ethiopia. Nice to see a series like this.

In spite of Ms. Stein's famous quote that "there is no there there", there is indeed many theres there, you just need to know where there is.

Fairfax district of Los Angeles aka Kosher Canyon according to Wikipedia, though growing up there, I never heard it called that.

And for more info on thing Jewish in LA, there's the LA Jewish Guide.

Roadtrip this weekend down the coast in the none more black MX-5, hopefully some photos to share next week.