Monday, April 18, 2005

Weekend Report, pt. 1

This was gonna be a little longer, but I'm dividing it up. My thoughts on Sin City will be forthcoming.

Brandie has been taking a Saturday class at Otis college, on the other side of town, and driving her to and from takes up a hell of a lot of time, so we've been taking advantage of it by spending a few hours doing stuff on the west side. A few weeks ago, we ate at Flossie's Soul Food in Torrance, then visited Watts Towers. The next week, Baby Blues BBQ followed by The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Last week, Bobbie had a hair appointment, so I was going to find something to do by myself, but then Brandie came down sick and didn't go to class, so instead I went to Pasadena and hit the comic store, buying the first four installments of Grant Morrison's 7 Soldiers saga, and the new Flaming Carrot that came out last December, and got a peanut butter and banana shake at Connall's. This week, Bobbie was getting her headshots done, so I did get a day of solo westside exploration.

Bobbie has an ipod shuffle that she listens to while exercising, and I loaded all the Beastie Boys albums on it, except for License to Ill, because I only have that on vinyl. So I looked through the L.A. Library website to see if they had any CD copies around. There were a few listed, but it wouldn't let me reserve any, but one was at the Torrance branch, so I decided to swing by. I had a little difficulty finding the place--it's in a shopping center. Tiny place, with a few small shelves of CD's, and all the hip hop on the bottom shelf. License to Ill was not there (most likely lost), but what they did have was a treasure trove of turn-of-the-millennium underground hip hop: Quasimodo, Lootpack, The Roots, The People Under The Stairs, and several others that escape me at the moment. So I took the Lootpack, Quasimodo and PUTS discs and continued on. Hopefully I'll be able to return these to the local library and not have to drive clear out to Torrance again.

Next, lunch at Phillips' BBQ in Inglewood. This is pretty much the legendary L.A. BBQ joint. I knew I wanted beef ribs, but was a little unsure what to order. The dinner seemed like a lot of money for a quick lunch, but the only other way to get it was as a "sandwich." I went with the sandwich, ordered it hot, and got a coke and cole slaw. The sandwich turns out to be 3 whole ribs, with two pieces of white bread on the side. There's no place to eat, so I had to sit in my car eating these messy ribs and drinking a coke out of a bottle in a paper bag. Possibly the most purely Angelino experience I've ever had. I guess it would have been more complete if I'd gone in the market next door and got a 40 oz to drink, but that would probably have been too desperate.

I didn't like the ketchup-y sauce on the ribs, but the meat itself was amazing. Really substantial stuff that was as tough as meat can be without being "too tough," if you follow me. Slaw was no good. This later prompted yet another discussion with Bobbie over the philosophy of BBQ: whether quality of sides is even an issue in assessing BBQ. I say there's really only 3 factors that need to be balanced: quality of meat, skill of preparation (mostly to do with the flavor it gets from smoke, dry rub or other spices), and the sauce. Anything else is an afterthought, maybe worth docking half-a-point if it's bad or adding half-a-point if it's exceptional. Bobbie felt the sides are intrinsic to the overall BBQ experience.

From there, I hit Record Surplus, hoping to pick up some punk vinyl, or possibly score a used disc of License to Ill. No dice, but I got a cheesy exotica record (Arthur Lyman's Taboo) for $4. Final stop was to be Primo's Donuts on Sawtelle, allegedly one of the best donuts in town, but I arrived a few minutes after their 3 o'clock closing time. No big deal: I've tasted 2 of the 3 donuts that are held as the best in L.A., and they all just taste like donuts. Great donuts, but the difference between a great donut and a mediocre donut is not much, ya know?

Mostly I spent this weekend going through the Comedy Class Reunion show which I had filmed last week, and learning how to use Windows Movie Maker and edit this stuff down. The show itself was a real learning experience, in regard to working the camera, changing the tape, dealing with the battery, etc. I think I've got it down now. Still need to load Nero 6.6 Ultra or whatever it's called onto the computer so I can burn DVD's. That should be lotsa fun. So busy, busy, busy, which is nice, because when I finally did sit down for an hour Sunday evening to drink a rum and coke, smoke a bowl, and watch Cartoons That Time Forgot Vol. 2 (there's a post on this coming up, for sure) with a hiphop soundtrack, it felt earned. Satisfyin'.

So Arrested development is over for the year, if not forever. Pathetic how Fox is treating this show, but with none of my shows on HBO right now, this leaves my Sunday nights open (unless I happen to be able to catch King of the Hill, which is on at, what, 8 in the morning now?). My TV is now pretty much confined to two nights: the Tuesday night Buffy Methodone double-header of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, and Lost on Wednesday. Oh, and Bill Maher. Damn, it just occurred to me that I missed Bill Maher this week.

I have a great urge to skip, or at least skim, the penultimate chapter of Ulysses. It's really rather annoying, but I want to be able to claim the whole book as read, so I have to bite my lip and read these last 16 pages. I should be able to begin the final chapter by the weekend.


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