A few years ago, I took on a challenge to stop reading and watching the news. What I found was that my outlook on life was much better. We should not be ignorant of the things happening around us, but we should also not be consumed by them. A good chunk of what is broadcasted is negative and doesn't contribute to society. We need to hear more about positive things happening in the world. That's why I started this Facebook page to Share Good News. There are good people out there making this world a better place.
I have been celebrating my birthday at Disneyland since 2009 when they had a promotion for people to receive a free ticket on their birthday. Even before this promotion, I always went to Disneyland at least once a year. I grew up having fun at Disneyland and probably have visited the park over 100 times. It is one of the happiest places on earth.
We went this past Friday and it was the perfect day to go. It wasn't very busy. There were still lines, but the average wait time was 15 minutes.
Since we had Free hopper pass, we decided to explore California Adventure a lot more than Disneyland. I have only been to California Adventure once before when it first opened in 2001. I didn't think it was that great. But since then, they have put in a lot more rides. California Adventure caters more to the adult audience. They serve alcohol, which is not available at Disneyland. The rides are more grown-up, although there are still a few rides that kids and adults can ride together. There are also a lot more places to eat.
Hands down my favorite ride is Radiator Spring Racers. I cannot begin to describe how amazing this ride is. Not only does it feel like your getting your bang for your wait time (You spend about 3 minutes on this ride). The design of the ride is entertaining and interesting. You really feel like you're in a race. The wait time was 60 minutes through out the day. We were very fortunate that we got a Fastrak pass early in the day, so we only waited 15 minutes. I highly recommend getting on this ride at night. The view is breathtaking.
On the lines of bangs, if you want a great deal on food I suggest Taste Pilot's Grill. We were lured in by the amazing smell of burgers. I almost went with a bread bowl somewhere else, so glad I went here instead. There are about five burgers you can choose from, including chicken and vegetarian. They give you the meat and bun with fries. You get to load up your burger. There is a whole area where you can get vegetables and different sauces. They even had grilled red peppers. My burger ended up being huge because of this. We spent $27 for the two burgers and 1 drink. We both felt stuffed afterwards.
As a kid, I used to hate watching the shows because it took away from precious ride time, but as an adult I love it. There are three really great shows. At Disneyland, Fantasmic and the Fireworks cannot be missed. At California Adventure, World of Color is amazing. I love these water shows. I actually get teary eyed when I see them because of how wonderful they are. The music choice is solid. For that moment, I am carefree. For World of Color, you do need to pick up a Fast Pass to be able to watch it. I like this system because it guarantee's you a spot. Fantasmic and the Fireworks, you just have to get there early. I really wish they would come up with a better system because in order to get a good view, you have to wait hours beforehand.
They had the Christmas decorations up. I'm so glad that my birthday falls around the Christmas decorations. They put them up right after Halloween. Halloween is also a good time to go if you do Mickey's Halloween party. The Haunted Mansion turns into the Nightmare Before Christmas. They had a few new surprises this year.
There were so many photo opportunities at California Adventure. There were photographers and characters everywhere. The lines of course are long for these, but I think it is worth the wait.
We had free hopper passes, but I actually don't recommend buying a hopper pass. You really don't have enough time to do both parks. It wasn't very busy, but we had to prioritize what we wanted to do in both parks. We got to all our favorite rides, but we couldn't do a lot at Disneyland. If you are spending two nights at the resort, I would just get one pass per day.
Parking is now $17. That, of course, is irritating as it was $16 just a few months ago. Every year the prices go up. Plan ahead and stick to a budget. You can easily overspend.
I love Disneyland!!! I can't wait to go again.
Normally, I don't eat McDonald's or fast food in general. I do a lot of home cooking. Bennie on the other hand goes to McDonald's almost everyday to get coke and cookies. I will say I am a sucker for cute toys, especially if that toy is Hello Kitty. McDonald has done a great job marketing to children and woman with bows in their hairs (i.e. me). I do have several McDonald happy meal toy collections at my house. I have the full set of Despicable Me 2 and Mario Cart characters. I also collect the ty mini beanie babies. Now I am on the hunt for all the Hello Kitty toys.
You can buy the toys separately for about $2 or you can pay $1 more for the Happy Meal. I often will get the Happy Meal because I love those golden fries. One thing that I really like to do is get the gogurt and freeze them. It's like eating ice cream, but healthier. Don't get the sliced apples. There is a wax coating on the peel and a citric taste on the apple.
I came back from Hello Kitty Con 2014 and it was a dream come true. It was held at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Toyko. It is a 4 day event from Oct 30 - Nov 2. Unfortunately, all the tickets have been sold out. I was fortunate to have snagged my tickets in time.
I was not prepared for the crowds. I wish I had done proper planning before coming today. A lot of information wasn't available online. I assume that most people were there Thursday, so they knew what to anticipate when they got to the convention. If you are going this weekend, please read my post.
The space is very small and the crowds are huge. I arrived at opening 10 am and the line to get inside was around the block. I believe people were waiting as early as 5 am. I found out exactly why people had gotten there early. If you did not get there at least by 7 am, you were not able to get inside the Hello Kitty Friendship Station Pop-up Shop. It was a 3 hour wait and they were not allowing people to form a line beyond the 3 hours threshold. People were also turned away from the Target Station and the Tattoo Shop stopped taking in people by 12 pm. I think the worst thing was being turned away and not being allowed to form a line. You had to hang around and wait for them to announce that they were forming a line.
I only had a badge for Friday and was not able to get into the Pop-up shop, Target Station, Autograph, and Trading Card. I did want to get a FREE Tattoo, but didn't know where the line began by the time I figured it out, it was too late.
If there is something you really really want, I would recommend getting in line for that first. Here are the high ticket lines that I recommend lining up early for:
Other cool things that I was able to do and you will probably be able to do:
Overall, I had a great time at the Convention, but I think they need a bigger space. It was way too crowded. They should also ban strollers because it became downright dangerous. A suggestion I have is having a kiosk where people could sign up. Then having those people arrive at their assigned time. That way people could enjoy the rest of the convention. It seemed really unfair that people were turned away, especially those with a one day badge. I think there were a lot of people that left unhappy.
You can see that my swag for the convention wasn't that great. The Ty doll, Eraser, and Japanese Pin were things that I bought. Everything else was FREE.
Next year, I will have a game plan.
The New Beverly Cinema is one of the oldest revival houses in the Los Angeles area, the other being the Egyptian Theater. The building has housed a number of different things including a nightclub, live nude dancing, and live theater. In 1978, the Torgan family turned it to what it is today, a movie theater showing double features of modern and classic films in 35mm. In 2007, Sherman Torgan passed away. In order to preserve the movie theater from redevelopment, Quentin Tarantino bought the building. The Torgan family, specifically son Michael Torgan, was allowed to continue to operate the theater. In September 2014, Quentin Tarantino took over the programming for the theater firing Michael Torgan and causing a lot of controversy. I will touch on this controversy. You can read more about my opinion on my yelp.com review.
I first heard about The New Beverly Cinema from my sister. She's a big film and Tarantino fan. Then I met my boyfriend who absolutely loves this place and is also a Tarantino fan. How Mr. Tarantino got a hold of the two important people in my life, I will not know. I really don't like Quentin Tarantino. I was forced to watch two of his films and I refuse to get on the bandwagon. His movies are too long and gross. But alas, he has won me over with his idealism. I respect his mission to preserve 35mm.
With the introduction of the digital age, film has almost been wiped out. There are very few theaters that have film projectors, most have converted to digital projectors. Fuji Film no longer makes film. Walter Mitty was one of the last films to be shot on Fuji Film. I never realized how important it was to preserve film till I met my boyfriend. Digital cannot capture colors the way film can. Kodak continues to make film, but who knows how long that will continue. Unless the demand is there, film will disappear. Fortunately, we have crusaders like Quentin Tarantino who are helping to preserve this art. Thank you to Christopher Nolan for forcing theaters to bring back film in order to screen Interstellar two days earlier.
This gets to the point of the controversy. The major reason why Michael Torgan was released from The New Beverly Cinema was because he installed a Digital Projector. I completely understand his reasoning behind it. They could bring in more films with Digital, but it went against the whole reason Quentin Tarantino preserved the theater in the first place. The charm of the New Beverly Cinema was its double features of 35mm prints.
I, of course, wanted to hate Quentin Tarantino for throwing Michael out and making drastic changes. But, I went there this week and have to say it better now. They renovated the whole interior of the theater. They kept the same layout, but the chairs have nice padding, the curtains are new, and I even believe the screen is brand new. They made the lobby brighter. The programming is much better now. They have grindhouse every Tuesday instead of every few months. They also changed the midnight showing, finally. The prices are the same. My boyfriend actually liked the grubbiness before, but he's not complaining about the changes.
Quentin Tarantino was made out to be the bad guy, but quite frankly I would be pissed if I purchased something to preserve it and found out that someone has did the exact thing I didn't want. Could he have done things more kindly? Possibly, but people forget there wouldn't even be a New Beverly today if it were not for Quentin Tarantino. I'm the first one to run and bash the man, but not for this. I'll be pissed if they raise prices.
I rarely rant on this blog, but I just wanted to say my peace in regards to this topic. Just because you hate the man doesn't mean you should stop supporting the theater and what it stands for. I know a ton of regulars left because of this whole thing, but they should come back. There are not many of these theaters left and they need our support.
7165 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
One of the joys I had as a child was going to Thrifty Drug Store for some ice cream. In 1996, Thrifty was acquired by Rite Aid. Luckily, Rite Aid has kept Thrifty ice cream, which is AMAZING.
Just look at my picture. The two scoops I got are bigger than my head. I love the signature square scoop.
My all time favorite flavor is Black Cherry. I absolutely must get Black Cherry every time I get Thrifty Ice Cream. As a child, I used to get Rainbow Sherbet, which is also very good. The two flavors that are in the picture are Animal Cracker and Black Cherry.
Two scoops cost less than $3. You can't beat that.
959 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
I started a new meetup group called Los Angeles Community Supporters. The mission of the group is to support local business's and make new friends. Once I get more people to join, I want to do events where the owners tell their stories and do private tours for the group. I think it would be cool to learn more about the mom and pop shops of Los Angeles.
So far, I have four events posted. I have a stage reading that I'm attending tomorrow. There is a Lit Crawl in NOHO tomorrow that I unfortunately cannot attend. Bennie and I are also attending the Dusk till Dawn Marathon at the Aero on Saturday. I have a Central Library Walking tour planned on November 2nd.
Please join if you're interested in supporting local business's and independent artist. As well as, make new friends and have fun exploring Los Angeles.
I have this dream to open a cafe that will support the community. I'm in the very beginning of getting it all together.
There is a big need in Los Angeles for community. I think there are a lot of people like me who feel lost and unsupported. I want to create a place where people can gather, support each other, and learn something new. These are the major components to my idea:
I'm excited about also scared going on this journey.
Up till recently, I wasn't sure if that was what I really wanted to do. I tried to start a business a few years ago selling my drawings, but it didn't work out because I didn't have the capital to make merchandise. Also, there wasn't much interest. Even friends wouldn't buy cards or prints, so I gave up. I've experience a lot of rejection and failure in my life, so it was a big blow when it didn't work out. Couple things I realized:
I want to make a real difference in this world and I hope that by opening this cafe, I'll be making a big impact.
Something fun I discovered last Christmas was Reddit Gifts. Reddit Gifts is a part of Reddit. I love the feeling of receiving a package and reddit gifts does just that. Strangers from all over the world participate in different exchanges. So far, I have participated in 7 exchanges and I'm currently doing 2 more.
My very first exchange was 2013 Secret Santa. Unfortunately, I sent a gift, but I never received a gift. Just FYI, the person you send a gift to isn't the person you're receiving a gift from. I was really sad. I also participated in the card exchange, which I did receive a card.
I didn't let that mishap discourage me from participating. I decided to do the Apron Exchange, Awesome Apron, because I love baking. I got a really nice Vera Bradley apron. I love it.
The very best gift I ever received was from the 100th Exchange Extravaganza. I love Hello Kitty and I happen to get matched with someone who used to work with Sanrio. That person sent me a box load of Hello Kitty stuff. It was AMAZING.
This is one of the gifts I sent.
All you have to do is sign up with Reddit, join one of the many exchanges available. Every time you complete an exchange you receive credits. Some exchanges require credits while others don't. When you get matched with another participant, you get their profile so you can see what they would like. When you receive your package, you take a photo and post it in the gallery. Sometimes Celebrities participate.
It really is fun to participate. It makes me happy when the person receiving my gift really loves it.