...and Happy Holidays too. Hope you got everything you wanted (or deserve).
At dinner last weekend with my college buds, we mused on what fave TV shows we'd like to see released as DVD sets.
Vice is a no-brainer--as one poster on Amazon said, "...it was the Sex and the City of the 80s--for guys".
The Equalizer was a harder sell. Its undertone of political intrigue made it a more intellectual show than the usual spy/shoot-em-up genre. I loved the intros where he'd pick up his phone messages and there'd be someone looking for help with a stereo installation--kind of like the inside jokes Bart has to write 1000 times on the blackboard.
Remember those awkward school photos, where the cheap setups the visiting photographers used always made you look really geeky?
Well, if you ever get invited to co-author a Wrox book, you can finally put that photo to good use. Example:
I recently saw an article in one of those home decorating magazines, where the photographer-owner displayed "sand from every beach the family has visited" in vintage spice bottles--in their living room. The starkness of the room's furnishings, coupled with the small multiples of the spice bottles, gave an almost museum exhibit quality to the room.
What a fantastic idea, I thought. Sand is free, and beaches are usually associated with happy times (unless you're thinking D-Day on Omaha Beach).
Made me regret not picking up sand from the more exotic locales I've been fortunate to walk on, like Heron Island, or Monterosso, or Milford Sound.
Then I Google "sand collecting", and it turns out there's a whole subculture around collecting sand--not just as souvenirs of beach vacations, but really to admire the sand itself.
If I try copying this idea, the one place I'd like to get a sand sample from is Wild Blue Yokohama, the indoor beach. Sure, as everything's man-made in there, including the waves, that sand is the same as in those bags at Home Depot, but it would have that fun cyberpunky pop culture kind of bent.
I just learned of the NYC art exhibit by one Mark Lombardi, the artist who charted the myriad links between political figures, criminals, and the worlds' most wanted man, in a series of elegant, intricate diagrams:
Lombardi, it is said, created these diagrams using just the news media as an information source. Yet they were detailed enough for the FBI to get interested, dropping by the Whitney a few weeks after 9/11.
I guess this is another reason why NYC kicks our butt in terms of artistic vision. They have guys like Lombardi. Our talent is spent designing a better hat for Mike Meyer's Cat.
Then again, Lombardi killed himself in 2000. Would he have had a different outlook living in the land of sun, sand, and Baywatch?
So at dinner in Gardena last week (at the excellent Happa on Redondo Beach Blvd), I spy at the next table, none other than His Scowlness himself, Gerald Okamura.
Image from here.
You know this guy from movies and TV. He's the bald w/goatee Asian dude with the permanent scowl, kicking Kurt Russell's butt in Big Trouble in Little China or David Hassellhoff's in Baywatch (or for the wayback crowd, Knight Rider).
I was too chicken to go over and introduce myself. I was eating with my in-laws--he also looked like he was having a nice family dinner. I didn't want Sensei Okamura to whip out one of those wicked-looking "Okamura Hook Swords" and disembowel me in front of my relations.
My brother-in-law tells me he sees Mr. Okamura around all the time. Then again, this is the bro-in-law who's trained at Royce Gracie's Torrance studio. Jaded.