Downtown Las Vegas looked like downtown Los Angeles was a decade ago, a city center on the cusp of gentrification. There’s an art district, some hip bars and buildings that might house lofts. Still, there’s a seedy vibe that gets stronger as we veered closer to the Marriage Bureau. At 8 p.m. on a weeknight, the neighborhood was nearly desolate. There were a few stragglers here and there. They looked familiar, as though I had seen them on Cops.
Inside the Marriage Bureau, the line was short. At most, five couples stood in front of us. They were mostly touchy-feely, but not enthused. There’s a distant look in their eyes. Whether that’s the result of jadedness or the glare of casino lights remains unknown. They were wearing flip-flops.
The previous afternoon, we decided to go to Vegas and get hitched. We had just enough time to get a ring and some new outfits, score a deal on a room at Paris and squeeze in haircuts before we gassed up the car and headed out to the desert. It took about five hours to get to Las Vegas, another hour to settle into the hotel room and change into our wedding clothes and about a half-hour to find the Marriage Bureau. Now we were filling out applications in pencil. Sober. I later learned that this is not how you get married in Vegas. Continue reading →
I get “Rich Bitch”– the Die Antwoord song– stuck in my head a lot. Sometimes the earworm hits at awkward moments, like when I’m drooling over a Chanel watch that costs just under six grand at Costco. It’s hard to fight the urge to not roll into a chant of “rrrrrreeech beetch.” Sometimes, it’s irresistible. I’ve shouted it out through the window of my unimpressive car, dressed in my unimpressive clothes a few times. “I’m a rrrrrreeech beetch.”
I had the song stuck in my head once again as I drove to Meltdown Comics on Tuesday night. The Nerdist crew kindly invited me to stop by for the big event, a Die Antwoord music video marathon with Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er in the theater talking about said videos. Boing Boing was hosting the event. Even though I just returned from a mountain excursion and am in the middle of moving, I couldn’t miss it. Continue reading →
Dr. Strangelove is my favorite movie. It’s one of those classics that my dad made me watch when I was in junior high. It was before he got a universal remote, so he walked into the den and commanded me to change the channel.
“But, Dad, I’m watching something.”
“Liz, this is one of the greatest movies ever. Watch it.”
He was right. I was probably no more than 13 at the time, but this movie became an instant favorite. It’s one of very few movies that had a profound affect on my sense of humor, if not my whole worldview. I delved into Kubrick films, studying them one by one, not to memorize dialog or minutia– I never did that– but to try and figure out how he built greater themes over a period of time. I’m nowhere near the first person to gush about Kubrick, so I won’t. Really, I’m just trying to explain why I said yes to a last minute assignment.
The gig: Cover LACMA’s Muse Costume Ball for L.A. Weekly.
The reason I took it: The theme was Kubrick’s films. The event was also a preview for the Stanley Kubrick exhibition.
This was the first week of my second year as a full-time freelancer, so I dove head first into pitching new stories, as well as starting work on a non-fiction book proposal and a screenplay, and documenting as much of it as I could on Twitter and Facebook. It was an interesting experiment, and a successful one. I finished the week with five new story assignments, which might be a record for me. That said, by Thursday night, I was more than ready to do something just for fun. Continue reading →
I didn’t think I would be able to catch The Dark Knight Rises for another few weeks. In fact, I had to decline a couple invites from friends to see the movie this weekend because I thought I would be working. Fortunately, I ended up without a weekend assignment (and, after Comic-Con, I really needed that break), so Carlos and I decided to drive out to Montclair to see the movie at the Mission Tiki Drive-In.
Montclair is in San Bernardino County, just on the other side of the county line from Pomona. It seems like it’s really far, but, in reality, it took us less than an hour to drive there from Los Angeles. Considering how often it takes more than an hour to travel fewer than 10 miles in this city, I think we made good time. Plus, we got to see the latest Batman flick at a tiki-themed drive-in theater. That’s always a win. Continue reading →
The show flyer for Go Ask Alice at Cinefamily. (Photo: Liz O.)
If you’re anti-spoiler and haven’t read the book or seen the movie, proceed with caution.
I don’t know how I went my entire life without seeing the made-for-TV movie based on Go Ask Alice, but we remedied that situation tonight at Cinefamily. As a boob tube aficionado, I really ought to attend their TV Tuesday events more often. It’s a shame that I missed the 21 Jump Street event a couple months ago. You can bet, though, that I won’t skip next month’s G.L.O.W. documentary.
But, back to Go Ask Alice. I humbly consider this book by Anonymous to be a work of genius. Don’t give me that lecture about how it’s probably not really a teenager’s diary. Even as a 12-year-old who only knew about drugs from the fried egg commercials, I understood it as fiction. That’s probably because I bought it in the same section of B. Dalton’s where I picked up my monthly editions of Sweet Valley High. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. It was frightening in the same way that Christopher Pike books were. It was as terrifying as that Sweet Valley High where Elizabeth Wakefield volunteers at the hospital and gets kidnapped. I think it’s called Kidnapped. In other words, it plays on the fears of kids who are too young to know how boring high school really is. Continue reading →
Ben Jones makes the sun shine. (Instagram: Liz O.)
There’s a Mercedes in the middle of the “Transmission: L.A.” exhibition at Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. I didn’t take a photo, but it’s there, and if you have stopped by the event, then you likely saw it too.
Consider the car product placement. “Transmission: L.A.” is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Avant/Garde Diaries project, essentially, a series of cool events and artist spotlights funded by a car company.
In my younger days, I would have scoffed at this with typical indie snob superiority. It took a while for me to understand one of the greatest truths of the world. No good idea will get off the ground without money. If corporations want to put up the money for people doing awesome, creative things, then it’s good for artists and it’s good for us. Continue reading →