Sunday, August 31, 2008

Home Again

I'm back from my week-long, second trip to California. The Radiohead shows were great, especially the one at the Hollywood Bowl.

I got home even later on Thursday than I expected since I missed my flight leaving San Diego (I missed the 30 minute deadline for checking a bag by about 4 minutes thanks to a slow rental car shuttle) on Thursday night. Luckily there was another flight leaving an hour and 15 minutes later that wasn't very full. However, it meant that I got only got 4 hours of sleep before getting up for work on Friday morning. Honestly, 5 hours and 15 minutes of sleep wouldn't have been any better, but since I'm almost out of leave at work I had to work most of Friday.

I say "most of Friday" because I did leave a couple of hours early so that I could make it to Houston on Friday night to see the Tom Petty show. You see, when I decided to go see Radiohead it meant that I couldn't see the Tom Petty concert in Dallas that I already had a ticket for since they were the same night. Hence, a trip to Houston less than a day after I got home. And yes, I know that seeing Radiohead and Tom Petty make me extremely white, but what can you do?

Everything went swimmingly, and I got home early Saturday evening. I got to sleep in and look forward to doing the same thing tomorrow since it is a holiday.

I've got tons of photos to process and post (sorry), and lots of blogs to catch up on! Smell ya later!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Goin' Back

I just got back from there. But I need more Radiohead. And I'm starting to get nervous that my frequent flyer miles will soon become worthless.

So, in the immortal words of LL...

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Thursday, August 21, 2008


OK, yesterday's post was all about birds (and an insect). Today the mammals are going to represent.

Cute enough for ya?

How about now?

No? Then what about this?


I love gorillas.

I'm really fascinated by the big cats.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things With Wings

When you go to San Diego, of course you have to go to the zoo. Actually these pictures are from the Wild Animal Park, but close enough. I have so many that I've decided to break them down into 2 categories. Tonight is "birds" (+1 insect).

Awesome bird 'stache

I'm a big pelican fan.


Look closely at the face. This thing could totally be a cartoon character.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beach Burgers

One of the cool things that I did while I was in California was have a beach cookout with my sister and BIL. I know, "big deal" you may say, but as I'm 280 miles from the nearest beach it's not something I get to do very often. Hello understatement. It was nothing fancy, I had a turkey burger, but it was good. And the grilled corn brushed with olive oil was great. Next time I'm definitely wearing long sleeves though.

I think this bird was trying to distract me while his buddies tried to steal our food. Seagulls would steal food out of a baby's mouth if given the chance.

There were some pretty big waves coming in.

And it was fun watching them smash against the cliff and spray water all over the place.

More plotting.

They damn near stole food right off of the grill!


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Teh Graduate

A week ago Friday I graduated with my Master's degree in library and information science. I had been working on it for just over 2 years. To me it feels like the end came kind of suddenly. I'm not sure that I feel like I know as much as I should about librarianship, but I do feel capable of being able to learn how to do a good job.

I really hadn't been putting a lot of effort into a job search before graduation. I felt like I had a lot of demands on my time with studying, my regular job, and my volunteer work at the library. So, I've really just started on the job search. I still haven't even updated my resume. Yeah, I know. I think part of that is that fortunately I don't have the pressure of being unemployed at the moment.

On an unrelated note, this was the sunrise on Wednesday morning. I thought it was worth capturing!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

JC Goes to Hollywood, Pt. 3

Finally, the long-awaited conclusion (yeah, right) of JC Goes to Hollywood!

I mentioned previously that there was free popcorn at the premiere. Pretty cool, no? Only one problem though – it was stale. Did that keep me from eating the entire bag? Nope. I have no pride.

After the screening of the movie, the plan was to head to the party that was scheduled to take place down the street. There were actual tickets issued for the party too. My sister and I headed down the street toward the party. The sidewalk was still blocked off by barricades, which were jammed with people hoping to see someone famous. By the time we headed for the party, the sidewalk was pretty empty, so we got the full attention of the crowd as they tried to determine whether we were worth taking photos of. Apparently we weren’t. Unfortunately they kept our tickets as we handed them over to get into the party.

We thought the party would be taking place at a club, but upon entering we found a different scene. A parking lot had been transformed into basically an open-air club. It was most impressive. Right at the entrance was a Cadillac like the one in the movie that had copious amounts of smoke coming from the inside. There was a large area in the center of the space that had been made to look like a growhouse. There were tables set up in various locations that had a wide variety of munchies. Several bars were set up as well, and one of them had an ice sculpture of a bee (it took us a while to figure out that the bee was the logo of the sponsor providing the booze). There were pineapples all over the place, and bricks of fake weed.

There was a DJ spinning tunes, and some stairs that led up to another area that had a bar, a bunch of stalls where you could play Rock Band, and a police car with flashing lights decked out to look like one from a certain scene in the movie. There was also an area where you could get your photo taken with all of these props that they had lying around. My sister and I got our photo taken, which you can view below.

I wasn’t very hungry, so I actually didn’t eat much of the food that was there. But I couldn’t turn down free booze!

Shortly after arriving I got to talk to my friend briefly. I think he had a hard time believing that all of this was for a movie that he had made. My sister and I did a quick walkaround to see what was going on, and I saw Mike D again. He looked freaked out again, so maybe that’s just how he looks.

Most of the famous people were hanging out around some reserved tables on either side of the main bar on the lower level. We spent quite a bit of time sitting at my friend’s table, which gave us a good view of a lot of people. Most of the cast was there, although we didn’t see Seth Rogen until pretty late. My friend introduced me to Danny McBride, who I think will be a big deal at some point. I think if you see the movie you will understand why. They have been friends since their college days.

James Franco arrived about an hour after we got there, and he was soon being asked for photos and autographs. I had heard that he didn’t like posing for photos, but he seemed to oblige everyone who asked. He was standing right next to the other side of the table we were sitting at, so we got to see him do his celebrity thing for about an hour and a half. He looked super-grungy in the movie, but at the party he was back to his usual teen dream self. And I know I'm a dude, but I can still admit that James Franco is a handsome man.

Speaking of teen dreams, while we were sitting next to the James Franco receiving line, someone started to squeeze past our table and I looked up to see who it was. To my surprise it was Emile Hirsch. It was really weird seeing him because I hadn’t seen him on the red carpet or at the movie (although he was there), and also because I just watched “Into The Wild” not that long ago. I really enjoyed that movie, and it was strange to see that face that I so identify with that movie in real life. I didn’t talk to him, but I kind of wish that I had. He is also a handsome man.

I decided not to be a celebri-pest for the most part. I think a lot of that had to do with how bad I would have felt if someone blew me off, so I decided not to give them the chance (hmm, sounds a lot like why I never ask any women out). So I mostly contented myself with eyeballing folks from near or far. And I eyeballed Amber Heard quite a bit (dig that dress!) since she was nearby. Despite my best gawking efforts, she seemed impervious to my charms.

This guy was in the movie and was nearby at the party. All I could think of every time I would see him was “Hey, that’s the guy who had to keep stirring the pasta sauce in Goodfellas!”

I did make one exception to the celebri-pest policy in talking to Stanley from The Office (Leslie Baker). My sister wanted me to take a photo of her with him using her camera phone, and I got the feeling that he would be cool with it. So we approached him and I got a photo of my sister with him. I wish I had had her take one of me. He was really nice. We had resolved that we were going to approach Huey Lewis while waiting in line to get our photo made, but by the time we were done he had left. Darnit.

My sister saw Edward Norton sitting at a table late in the evening, and she told me she was going to ask him if she could get a photo with him. I kinda got a vibe from him that he might say “no”, so I told her “Don’t be disappointed if he says no”. Well, he said “no”. Actually he said “No, I don’t do that. But thanks for asking”. I interpret “thanks for asking” to mean “thanks for not taking a photo without my permission”. Although it was kind of a disappointment, I gotta say that I can’t really blame the guy. I would probably do the same thing if I was in his shoes. If he let one person do it, then someone else would come over, and the whole thing would snowball. That’s pretty much what happened to James Franco (while his date sat at a table patiently waiting for him to finish). Famous people gotta chill too, ya know?

We stayed until the bitter end. The “bitter end” being that part of the evening when the bar ran out of alcohol. First they ran out of the tequila that they were using in the mixed drinks that they created for the premiere, and then they ran out of beer. When we asked what was left the bartender found some rum and made us a couple of very strong rum and Cokes, which I think we both came to regret the next day.

It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m really thankful to my friend for making it possible for us to be there.

The End!

This is me and my sister in the photo booth thing. I wanted to pose with the bong, but it conveniently disappeared before we got up there.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

JC Goes to Hollywood, Pt. 2

And Part 2 of my movie premiere post...

The lobby inside the theater was packed. My sister and I each made bathroom stops before going to sit down, and while I was waiting for her to come out I found myself standing next to this guy, who was getting his picture taken by a fan with a camera phone. I just watched a movie with DK in it (Walk Hard). I talked to him briefly and he seemed very nice. He actually initiated a handshake with me. As we were talking I spotted Mike D, which was very cool since I am a huge Beastie Boys fan. I also love that his wife directed “Billy Madison”. He looked kind of freaked-out, which was either because he heard me say “Hey, it’s Mike D!” and saw me looking at him all slack-jawed, or because that’s just how he looks (second theory may be bolstered by a secondary spotting). He had some crazy-ass hair. I gotta say I’m a bit worried about Mr. D’s caloric intake – he looked a bit too skinny and his face was kind of gaunt. Eat your veggies, Mike! After I was done scaring Mike D, we each grabbed a box of free popcorn and a soda and went in to find our seats.

Things got pretty interesting once we went inside. We were walking down the aisle to our row when who do I see standing off to the right but Daniel Craig. James Bond himself! It was weird for me to see him because I specifically referenced him in my pre-trip post with regards to how I would not be wearing a suit to the premiere (and the guy I threw out as his sartorial opposite was there too, although I didn’t personally see him). And he was wearing a suit, but went sans tie. Before we got to where Daniel Craig was, my sister spotted Edward Norton on the other side. So it was definitely weird to pass within a couple of feet of Daniel Craig and then seconds later pass within a couple feet of Edward Norton.

We found our seats and settled in to see who else we could spot. Jason Schwartzman was seated on the row behind us. There were lots of people who looked kind of familiar, but that I couldn’t quite place. One of them I later figured out was the guy who plays Lloyd on “Entourage”. I love Lloyd! Jonah Hill was seated directly in front of my sister. I was gobsmacked to see that Elizabeth Banks was seated in the row in front of us. I have a super-celebrity crush on her. She looked even more amazing in person than she does on screen. It really is true that so many of these people look even better in person. I do have to say though, that while I love EB, I'm not sure what she was thinking with her choice of footwear.

Apparently we missed some of the big names that were there. We had no idea until the next day that Kanye West, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, Jack Black, Amanda Peet, Alicia Silverstone, or Adrienne Curry and Peter Knight were there. They must have all shown up after we went inside and been sitting behind us. I didn’t do much looking toward the back of the theater after we sat down, and it was a pretty big theater too. Had I known that the movie wasn’t really going to start until 8, I would’ve stayed outside longer.

The movie got a really good reception from the audience, and I thought it was really funny. When the names of each actor would appear on screen there would be cheering and applause. I guess that tends to happen when you and your friends go to see a movie that you are in!

To be continued in Part 3...

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

JC Goes to Hollywood, Pt. 1

OK, I know blog posts should be short. But I'm mostly writing here so that I can look back someday and see what my life was like back in the day. That means that sometimes I want to capture lots of detail, which means long posts. I will break this experience up into 3 posts to help a little bit with readability, though. So here is part 1.

So how was the movie premiere? It was pretty damn cool! We saw lots of well-known faces.

We took a cab to the premiere, and let me tell you that apparently pulling up to the end of the red carpet in a taxi is apparently frowned-upon. The security people had a fit when our taxi stopped. I guess we were just supposed to teleport from the cab to the sidewalk? I’m a VIP dammit!

After procuring our tickets (great-big laminated, thick cardboard things with actual row and seat numbers on them, photo below) we crossed the street where we saw my friend’s family standing. Right before crossing the street I had my first celebrity sighting – this guy from the new Mummy flick – who I only recognized because I saw him on an LA morning show that day.

The theater sits facing out to the intersection of two streets. There was a red carpet running from the entrance out to the street corner, and then it ran down one of the streets. This side area was where the cast was doing their interviews, posing for photos, etc. The side area was backdropped by enormous banners for the movie, as was the right side of the main entrance carpet. There were barricades setup across both streets and in front of the Starbucks next to the theater, and there were tons of people against the barricades hoping to spot celebs. The barricade next to the main red carpet entrance was packed with paparazzi. It was quite a scene.

We spent the majority of our time outside in the triangular area between the main entrance and the interview area. Due to the banners/posters, we could really only see people when they were going from the side area to the main entrance, or when some of the people walked along behind the banners to get to the “secret” entrance. A few of the supporting cast from the movie, like James Remar and Nora Dunn, were hanging out in our area for a while.

Immediately after arriving in this area we saw Jon Voight head for the secret entrance. And then the kid who played McLovin in Superbad. We saw most of the cast, and my friend’s mom took a picture of him coming up the red carpet. I decided not to bring my camera because (a) I wasn’t sure how cool the theater would be with me having it, (2) I didn’t think some of the celebs would be cool with me having it, and (thirdly) I didn’t want to look any more like a tourist than I already did.

The movie was scheduled to start at 7:30, so we stayed outside until about 7:25 before going in. We wanted to stay outside as long as possible without missing any of the movie. We made the choice to walk down the red carpet instead of going to one of the side doors because how many chances will we have to walk down an honest-to-God red carpet at a movie premiere?! This is most likely my only one!

To be continued in Part 2...

Giant laminated ticket!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I haven't had time to write about my trip yet because I have one final paper that is due tomorrow night. Until then, here are some photos I took with my new lens extender before my trip!

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