Monday, October 7, 2013

Zoo, Sutro & MACHETE

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Thursday night, Dizzy & I went to a special screening of “Machete Kills” starring Danny Trejo, Sofia Vergara, Alexa Vega, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and introducing Carlos Estevez (Charlie Sheen). For those who haven’t seen the original… or fake trailer in “Grindhouse” that started it all… basically Machete (Trejo) is a legendary Mexican federale who in the original, was thrown out of Mexico after the cartels killed his family & he stumbled into an assassination on a senator turned into a setup… and long story short, he’s now a leader of an underground revolution along the U.S.-Mexico border. In this sequel, now a mysterious group has killed the woman he loves (Alba) and he’s on a vengeful quest… while also hired by the President himself (Estevez) top go into the heart of Mexico and kill another revolutionary with a split personality… and a few nukes… but things are not what they seem… and Machete has to cut his way back to America & through a few thousand bad guys to get the truth… and exact revenge… but will it be even too much for Machete to bear? Spoiler alert: There’s a preview for the 3rd chapter in the trilogy before the movie even starts. Still, the movie is GREAT fun if you’re into those super-cheesy action movies from the 80’s, there’s a lot of eye candy, decapitation, one-liners, and just a great time. It’s basically up there with “Gravity” as my favorite movie of the year so far… but for obviously completely different reasons.
Also, after the movie, Machete himself Danny Trejo came out & had a little Q&A session with us… and I got to ask him a questions. “Given your past (check Wikipedia), how does it fell to be a leading man in Hollywood?” Technically it’s true… even though I had to explain to my coworkers who he was repeatedly when they asked me who he was & what he has been in. His response: “I’m just waiting for somebody to pinch me, it’s a dream, man!” Basically he seems like a cool dude who grew up in the gangs of LA back in the 70’s but then turned his life around in late 80’s and has been going good ever since.

Saturday night, Dizzy had homework to do, so while she was doing that we watched a few documentaries. First was “Through the Exit Door” which comes from a director named Banksy, whose a pretty infamous graffiti / street artist all over the globe. The movie starts out with an eccentric French shopkeeper in LA named Thierry Guetta, who basically videotapes everything around him… and has for many years. Well, he finds himself intrigued by street artists like Shepard Fairey & seeks them out to film them & document their art’s creation from conception to execution in the night like a kind of art ninja or international cat burglar… but leaving behind street art instead of stealing jewels. Then the world is introduced to the art of the ever-mysterious Banksy (tagged the West Bank Wall, etc) and Thierry seeks him out. Banksy admires his passion & lets him into his world… but then discovers that Thierry is… a little out there… when he makes this 90-minute flash-fest of his footage… so Banksy offers to help him out with his ROOMS OF FILM & suggests that Thierry go out & make some of his own art. What follows is… pretty f**king hilarious. The documentary in general is very interesting & I enjoyed it immensely… and watching it with an artist looking to make money in the field… and myself being a bit of a cynic of the whole art community… made it all the more enjoyable to see eccentric people doing crazy sh*t. Very intriguing movie though. I highly recommend it.
Next up was “Room 237” which is a 2012 documentary about some of the fanatics & their wide-ranging and interesting interpretations of the Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining”. Now, I’ve seen “The Shining” twice in my life… and it’s a very intriguing, unsettling horror film based on the novel by Stephen King (even though the movie is definitely Kubrick’s take on it in many ways). I enjoy it… and it’s quite iconic. The theories & ideas presented in the movie range from the interesting & philosophical… to some things that may just be some unlikely editing errors… but they’re all rooted in the basis of those interviewed seeing Stanley Kubrick as an extremely intelligent man & gifted director… and depending on the person interviewed, either they felt that Stanley was bored while making this movie & just wanted to mess with people… or he was implying that he was the director that filmed & orchestrated the moon landing in 1969. In either case, this movie is also an interesting look into the minds of various people who may or may not be eccentric, like “Exit Through the Gift Shop” but I definitely wouldn’t watch it if you haven’t already seen “The Shining” once or twice. Otherwise it’d just be pointless… but there are some interesting topic points that you can kind of judge for yourself. Again, I’m a little cynical… but I do believe that Stanley Kubrick was a genius director & a master of unsettling an audience to get them immersed into his films… and it seems to have works on these interviewees to the Nth degree.
Sunday morning, we headed out to the San Francisco Zoo to see the animals. Dizzy hadn’t been since she was a young’un & I hadn’t been in over a year since the kiddies came to visit last year… so it was going to be fun. Here are the pictures…

STOP!!! Hammer-kop...

Is it racist?

Now you know where to find them... South America...

Next stop was the abandoned Sutro Baths of Ocean Beach. The Baths were the world’s largest indoor swimming pool complex when built towards the end of the 19th century… but burned down in 1966 and was abandoned afterwards. Today, the ruins are located near the legendary Cliff House restaurant but can be examined firsthand… but be careful, there’s a lot of steep paths and… the water is pretty nasty if you were to fall in. However, since it was a beautiful sunny day, it was pretty amazing to think that 50 years ago this was a pretty prestigious water complex. Enjoy!!!

Ooooh... a cave adventure...

Back in its heyday...
After the Baths, we went to a private tour of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in the “Dog Patch” area of town. The guide Tyler gave us a wonderful quick 20-minute glimpse around the facilities… and of course, we picked his brains a little bit about the process. Their size is still fairly small, just a few thousand barrels per year… but they specialize in lagers (cold fermented) and have, in my opinion, a pretty solid “noir” look to their labels, marketing, and just the overall appeal with the Prohibition/Speakeasy theme… and most importantly, the beer is pretty darn good. We sampled a few & relaxed in their lounge area, which was fairly small, but intimate & great for the space allowed and designed appropriately. I recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

This is what blow-off looks like on a larger scale...

Dream – So, I had a little bit of a crazy dream that I though I’d share with you. I was unloading a bunch of boxes into a one-bedroom apartment, pretty standard, nothing to special about it, living area was the whole kitchen/living room all together with a small corner bathroom & a back door leading to the bedroom. I’m just about finished unloading all of the boxes& moving the furniture in… when a lady in a blazer walks up with a young couple and a sleeping baby in a stroller. They look in the door and the realtor lady says, “Excuse me, what are you doing?” “I’m… moving in…”
“This family is moving in. Did you register with the leasing office?” Of course since it was a dream & I had no memory of doing this… I immediately felt into a feeling of “Oh God, I don’t believe I did… then why the hell would I be moving all of my stuff? I hate moving… why would I do it willy nilly? Oh f**k me, I’m going to have to move again… and these guys are going to have to wait for me because it’s dark outside and… oh crap…” Anyway, the realtor lady ran off… and I was there with the young couple and the baby was just sleeping away. “Sorry for the confusion, I ugh… I’m not sure what’s going on but I thought that this was my new apartment.” I talked to the guy & got to know them a little bit while the mom took her baby into the bedroom to set her down.
Long story short, they didn’t have a whole lot of furniture, basically just the bed, the stroller & a crib… so they said it was no issue really if I had to crash there for the night. Then I noticed that there were bunk beds that I guess came with the apartment, so I asked “Hey, it may actually take a few days for me to find an apartment if everything’s out of whack… what if I helped out with rent for this month & we can share the furniture, y’all can use my pots & pans & stuff… and I’ll just crash on this bunk bed out here since I guess you three won’t be sleeping on it. I’m usually working all day anyway & when I’m not, I’ll be looking for a place. Would that be cool?” “Sure, I don’t see why not…” and that was about the time the dream ended with… my alarm going off for an early day at work.
Anyway, that should do it for today. Big day coming up this weekend with our first batch of homebrewed Irish Ale ready for tasting… as well as volunteering with Meals on Wheels & a Pokémon Tournament! Wish us luck! Have a great day everybody!!!

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