Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Garcetti Quietly tries to turn Hollywood into Coruscant

One of the beauties of living in Hollywood has been being able to wake up every day and look at the Hollywood Sign. A few years ago my view of the Hollywood Sign was obstructed by an eyesore of a development project that doesn't even service this community. It was then that I decided I needed to take a more active role in my community and as a Jedi I have convinced a few week minded fools to allow me to establish myself in this great community. Of course it was too late for me to get my view of the Hollywood Sign back but it remains a touchy subject.

For example, the current location of the Guatelinda Night Club is currently in the works to have the whole block from Edgemont to Kenmore be developed into a 16-story Hotel and a 12 story Condo Complex with a few town homes and some retail space. This is a HUGE project that will no doubt block the spectacular view of the Hollywood Sign from Barnsdall Art Park, when the land was originally given to the City of LA, no structure East of Edgemont between the park and the street was supposed to be higher than 50 feet. Granted this project will be west of Edgemont but thats a huge size differential. The East Hollywood Neighborhood Council's Planning and Beautification Committee will be entertaining this developer at their next meeting May 5th at 7pm at the Hollywood Youth and Family Center, located at 607 N. Vermont Ave.

Another example, and this one floored me at first, was brought to my attention by the Militant Angeleno who knows my hatred of Hollywood Sign blocking development. It turns out that the squeaky clean Council President Garcetti has had his hand buried in some bantha fodder lately according to this article in LA Weekly. I'm not completely convinced. I think the author of the article is a bit of a GHP. Columbia Square, which is located at 6121 Sunset Blvd will soon be home to a 40-story skyscraper and a 14-story office building that will no doubt block somebody's view of the Hollywood Sign. I'm going to let you people make up your own mind on that.

I've always been of the opinion that Hollywood has lost its luster over the years despite it being the Center of Attention for so long. Projects like these and the W are bringing Hollywood back into the forefront of LA.

This project is within walking distance of a Metro Station. It will be within walking distance of the proposed Hollywood Central Park which I am a huge fan of. With gas prices already at $4 a gallon and i guarantee will reach $5 by the summer of 2009 people WILL be using the mass transit available to them. People WILL be biking more than driving and people WILL be taking the bus more. People WILL walk to the park. People WILL walk to their local shops.

Maybe with all this walking and biking Hollywood and even LA will begin to have a more community feel to it. Eyes on the streets. Neighbors actually knowing each other. Sidewalks will become conducive to socializing and lets face it people... the denser this area gets, the safer it gets. Its beginning to sound like Manhattan. NY'ers will say YAY. Angelenos will say NAY. I say, Coruscant works fine.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beyond The Call

Yesterday I went to see a movie screening of Beyond The Call with my Sith Attorney at the downtown Laemmle located on Fig. I caught wind of this movie because it starred three Jedi Knights from Malta who started an organization called Knightsbridge International who travel around the world dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief worldwide without regard to race, religion or national origin. This film, made by the same guys that did the Academy nominated Genghis Blues, follows these three Jedi Knights around the world for three years going to places like Afghanistan, Thailand and the Philippines as they provide food, shelter, clothes, medicine and even solar energy to those in need. This is not a movie you should miss. It will be screening at the same theater until Thursday, April 24th. The filmmaker will be available for Q+A after the movie during certain screenings. These guys are so cool, they even have their own action figures!

Knightsbridge International is currently planning a Humanitarian Aide Mission to Darfur.

Movie Trailer

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Somebody cut me. Four times!

Okay. So I've been a shitty Jedi of late and not blogged. I swear I have good reasons.

As many of you know, back in September I had a bit of a medical problem with my gall bladder. And then despite not blogging it, back in January I made trip to the sick bay at nearby Hollywood Presbyterian where they told me I needed to have surgery asap!

Three months later, which I suppose is a testament to this country's health care system, I went in for my "oh so important and necessary" surgery to have my gall bladder removed.

In case you have morbid curiosity like me, here is a video of what they do.

Tuesday morning (April Fools Day) I went in for surgery to have it removed because it was kicking my ass. All day Monday I was doing things expecting them to be the last time I would ever do them. My last supper sucked. My last shit was unsatisfying. I had Danica visit because she wanted to borrow a movie that is really hard to find and because it would be easier to borrow while I’m still alive. Whatever. I went to Dodgers opening day and that was full of mixed emotions because as much as I love the Dodgers and they won the game against the hated Giants, a friend of mine somehow became my conscience and wouldn’t allow me to eat yummy stadium food.

My registration time for surgery was changed last minute from 6am to 5am. That sucked. Why even bother going to sleep right?

Anyways, I show up to the hospital and they were expecting me. Nice old lady registered me and said they would be with me in a few minutes. Not long after I got taken into a pre-op room where I had to strip and put a hospital gown on. I laid in bed and they asked me a bunch of questions about allergies and lifestyle habits. Then I had to sign some paperwork. Thats when I started to freak out. Thats when they said, "just in case Dr. Riviera cant perform the surgery laparoscopically he may have to cut you open and you may have to stay a couple of days.

cue broken R2 Unit

Say what!? Totally unexpected. Why wouldn’t he be able to do it how we discussed? Oh its just in case he finds something unusual or maybe wants to explore something else. WTF! This guy is a surgeon not a fucking conquistador exploring my innards!

Needless to say I was freaking out at this point. I signed the waiver but was scared shitless. Nurse came in and strapped an IV on my hand. Why my hand? Why not my arm? I started questioning everything. My heart was beating faster than Lando Calrissians hands were during his gambling days. Suddenly I became ultra sensitive to my entire surroundings and could hear conversations the Medical Corps were having down the hall.

In walked the anesthesiologist. He asked me all the same questions the nurses had asked me earlier. Explained how he was gonna knock me the fuck out, then walked away. Crazy thing was, he really did look like Nick Riviera. Next walked in another doctor who said he would be assisting on my surgery and asked me what I was having done. WTF? You’re asking me! You should know! Next walks in my surgeon and he asks me the same thing!


Well, looks like the OR is ready. They start to wheel my scared ass into a room thats freezing with all kinds of medical droids and people in masks and beeps and basically I thought I was going to go through a Darth Vader conversion operation at this point. I jump from the medical capsule onto the operating table and lay down. The Anesthesiologist slaps a mask over my face and says take deep breaths I need your lungs to fill with oxygen before I put you down. WTF! I’m not a dying dog! The mask was uncomfortable and as much I could inhale I couldn't exhale for shit and it started to freak me out. I had one doctor grab my right arm and put a blood pressure monitor on it and then strap it down to the table, then another guy took my left arm and strapped it down to the table. Somebody put a heartbeat monitor on my finger and then they strapped my legs down to the table. I freaked out and said "why are you strapping me d........ ZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZ

So yeah. I passed out. I had a crazy dream that I was fighting people and trying to run away. When I woke up, everything was a haze, blurry, voices seemed distant yet close by and my feet were cold so I asked a nurse next to me to bring me a blanket. She said don't go anywhere. Where am I going to go? She laughed. I lay there trying to correct my vision when I realized that surgery must be over and that I had tried to run away. I asked the nurse when she returned if I had really tried to run away and she laughed and said yes. She said as soon as I woke up I had tried to run away and it took four nurses to restrain me and get me back in bed. Really? Yeah. You were pretty heavily sedated and it still took four of us a tough time to get you to lay down. Wow. Yeah we nicknamed you Darth Bane. Wow.

I got some instructions about diet and drug (prescription) use. Do not operate lightsabers for 24 hours, rest and avoid making critical decisions or signing documents. I didn’t accidentally get married did I?

Surgery lasted 40 minutes and I was home by noon.

I felt pretty good for the rest of the day. Family came over and hung out. I saw The Lion King with the kids, got phone calls from friends, one person I wanted to come didn’t or rather couldn’t due to a cold.

The next day (Wednesday) I felt like I had been hit by a bus. My whole body hurt from hair follicle to toe nail. I still managed to go to a John Williams show that evening. Probably shouldn’t have gone. Oh well. A few other friends called. That was nice.

Thursday I woke up feeling much better. A little sore around the incisions which are four by the way. My belly button which has one incision itches really bad. I bled a little last night but nothing major. I’ve lost more blood popping a pimple. My boss called to find out if I was okay.

Anywho. I’m good. Thanks to all my young padawans and Jedi and Sith friends alike who called to wish me well.