Los Angeles, Oct 2019 A.D.

Updated March 26, 2020: I’ve added the YouTube videos for The Evil Dead Experience, Halloween Horror Nights, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

And, again, Bo! and I were back on the road to SoCal during the last week of Oct. We had no plans, besides Halloween Horror Nights, meet some L.A. friends, and just see what happens. I’m not one who’s fond of having an excel sheet full of plans, makes the trips rigid and not spontaneous.

I rarely eat fast food in general… it’s somewhat a health choice I’m not gonna preach, but when on a road trip, I do splurge. But, showing how ignorant I am of the processed food subculture, I had no clue the McRib was such a big deal, Bo! had me pose dorkily before devouring this McThang, and then various inquiries came into how to get their hands on some.

Before arriving at our hotel in Los Angeles, we did some food and drinks shopping at the local markets, and was caught on camera at a local Ralph’s goofing off.

Then after we settled into our hotel at Glen Capri Inn & Suites in Burbank Universal, we got up the next day to our first stop at…

The Evil Dead Experience

The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror

Bo! and I are die hard Evil Dead fans. We’ve both met Bruce Campbell under various circumstances, multiple times (can prob match our Kevin Smith experiences) – we had met Fed Alvarez and Jane Levy at SDCC2013, and have a signed Evil Dead poster by them proudly on my wall. I have a signed VHS copy of Evil Dead by Bruce Campbell sitting among my collectibles. We’ve done a red carpet premiere for Ash vs. Evil Dead, where Bruce Campbell picked Bo! out of a large audience because of his odd and unique costume.

So, it’s fitting that we finally did the Evil Dead Experience at the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum

The Breaking Bad Experience

That same evening, we checked out the Breaking Bad Experience, a unique pop-up restaurant, featured out of West Hollywood. Bo! is more the die-hard BB fan (I still have not watched a single episode of Better Call Saul, don’t hit me). But, pretty worth the price to get a meal and a couple of drinks, plus an interactivity with various replicas from the AMC show… #sciencebitches

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4DBCLJjvcP/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Stopped by Golden Apple Comics

Watchdogs comic series from Golden Apple comics store

Next day, TGIF, we went comic book store hopping around SoCal, and the most famous one we dropped into was Golden Apple Comics… Kevin Smith (yes, I think I mention that guy’s name in almost every post) features this comic book shop on YouTube (watch him shop recently here). In fact, the reason why we stopped here was because Bo! won a gift certificate for this shop from his Q&A with Kevin at the Cantina a couple weeks back. (Talked about it in this post). We found out Samuel Jackson has a pull box at this store. I tried to get the shop owner to tell me what Nick Fury likes to read, but it’s apparently a secret.

I grabbed a couple of comic issues from the Watchdog series that I wasn’t aware existed. And, Bo! picked up a bunch of good reads, including the Watchmen and the Dark Knight. “It was a good day,” as Ice Cube would say, and didn’t have to pull an AK. Reread that again, and let it flow, yay-ah-yay.

Then night time came…

Tarantino’s Beverly Cinema

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Met up with Jasper and Corey, Tommy, and Davis, at the Beverly Cinema, which is owned by Quentin Tarantino. As much as I hoped we would get a glimpse of seeing him there to present the movie, or selling us popcorn, no go on any sightings.

We were misinformed that we were going to watch the new cut of “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” or at least, we had a preconceived notion that that was what we’re expecting. The news was rampant about Tarantino releasing a cut with four extra scenes around this date.

But instead, we got extra features in the beginning of the film, including the original trailer to “Rosemary’s Baby” (I don’t think I’ve seen this version, as there’s the musical sequence that has a pulsating ballad by Delacroix – Bad Beginnings. I have since replayed the trailer on loop, just for the music score). A trailer for C.C. & Company starring Joe Namath was shown that’s featured in the film. And, an extended dance and song sequence with Dicaprio’s character Rick Dalton.

The theater is pretty strict about bad movie etiquette – no talking during the movie kinda stuff… and, I didn’t realize, my smartwatch emitted such a distracting light, the theater warned me about it, to turn it off or put it away, which I totally understand and respect. I’m one of those that believes there should be zero tolerance for any distractions in a film experience. You wouldn’t want to know what I think of parents who bring their crying babies to movie theaters. That being said, for a three hour movie, it barely felt like an hour, when the lights went up… I really love this film, prob one of my favs of the year.

Rewatching the Bruce Lee scenes in the film, I have the same initial reaction when I first saw the film in July, a bit of awkwardness, only in hopes of wishing I had seen more dimension of the character being portrayed. But, it doesn’t really take me away from the film. This is Tarantino’s version of Bruce Lee, not a documentary. I am more excited that he had brought Nancy Kwan prominently into the film world. Remember her in The World of Suzy Wong and Flower Drum Song? No? Go watch ’em…

Afterwards, we strolled down to the El Coyote Mexican cafe across the street, and grabbed a few drinks. Jameson shots, as I recall, as I suggested it’s my favorite. The bar was closing quick, but we chit-chatted, as no one wanted to go home yet.

For the ‘gram!

Jasper and Corey went home after the bar, but the rest of us were hungry. We ended up at Itacho, a tasty Japanese spot. Over a lot of sake, ramen, and sushi, we chatted and debated the meaning of it all, “The Secret”, and what is good sushi. I’m always in good company and fun times – Tommy works for NASA besides being an actor, Davis does stand-up besides being an actor, and Bo! can stay sober over a lot of sake shots, besides being an occasional actor.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4GUV8mjUjg/

Bar Hopping

After dilly dallying mostly around Burbank and Universal City during the beginning of the weekend, and gulping mounds and mounds of Starbucks, we stopped by Residuals Tavern to meet up with Jackie (who I fondly refer to as that gal from “Stranger Things“) w/ her husband, Kai, and Nicci(!). A few of our Hollywood friends… I jokingly asked Jackie if she used some of her residual checks from Netflix, as she walked from the bar with a couple of drinks in her hands, and giggled. In fact, so she did! The popularity of them demogorgons are paying off!

Bored with the Tavern, we headed over to the Idle Hour, which the interior looked like a pirate ship, or so I had imagined. People were dressed up because it was the weekend of Halloween, and definitely a more lively environment…

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4H3qIKHGgy/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Nicci and Bo encountered a Jedi (cosplayer) at the bar, and asked what he thought of the “Last Jedi”. With a graceful spin of a Jedi Knight ready to face down a Sith, he pronounced,”It sucked!”

Bo! was then ready to become a Force ghost…

The Last Jedi sucked!

Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios)

By this morning, we switched over to the Dixie hotel on Hollywood boulevard which had interesting artwork on their doors. It was a good deal thing… and it was also almost time for Halloween Horror Nights! I’ve been planning to do this for years… We met up with Bo’s buddy, Joaquin, nice guy who works on film production. I know he’s worked on various flicks including recently “Us”, and and recently on the new Harley Quinn flick. He showed some cool pics of him with Margot Robbie and director Cathy Yan (I’m excited for what she can do!).

Because the horror mazes didn’t open until evening, we just killed time by doing the Universal rides like the Simpsons, Transformers and Jurassic World.

We are recruited by the Autobots to look serious in the face of the Decepticons.

And then night arrived, the full moon was out, and the scary stuff began! I ain’t gonna lie, I was nervous… but, I’m down to be scared, as a hardcore horror fanatic. I’ve done various, smaller, local haunted mazes before, but I was unsure what was I facing this time.

We jumped into the mazes for the classic wolf man, Ghostbusters, and some random grave yard setting. I screamed more than I expected, hiding behind my camera, recording footage, but the mazes found a way to surprise me. I’m not a big fan of roller coasters because of my fear of heights, but jump scares that get me good, has a certain level of thrill that’s cathartic for me.

By around the third maze, featuring the Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Bo! said to me,”Ray, this time I challenge you to go first, and not hide behind your phone.” Hey, I got some good footage! But, he was right. He also didn’t realize, sometimes I’m hiding behind him behind my phone, when we went through the mazes.

I had survived my run of being first, but when we went back to further mazes like “Creepshow,” “Us,” “House of 1000 Corpses,” and “Stranger Things,” I was losing my endurance to scream…

Terminator: Dark Fate Red Carpet Premiere (CANCELED)

Oct 28, 2019 A.D. So, originally, we had reserved advanced tickets to a red carpet premiere of “Terminator: Dark Fate” (on this day of my XXth birthday} at the TCL Chinese Theater, which was only a few blocks away from where we stayed. Would have been a nice gift to have spent some possible glimpse time, along with my fellow “Hollywood” friends, with the famous T-800 Arnie Schwarzenegger and future war goddess Sarah Connor, aka Linda Hamilton.

But, it did not happen…

Petersen Automotive Museum

Since we weren’t able to attend the new coming of Skynet, Bo! and I decided to do something on our bucket list, to check out the scifi vehicles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. It was some amazing stuff, including some famous Hollywood movie vehicles like the DeLoreon from BTTF, Mad Max, the Terminator (of course, that made my nerd bells jingle), and concept vehicles that you swore aliens have invaded human neurological capacities to have designed. Check out the “LoRes reboot” stuff towards the end…

Korean BBQ Dinner and dranks!

Spent the night of my bday with these lovelies. ^

So, we ended up having dinner at Quarters Korean BBQ, and some whiskey shots, at Sake House by Hikari. Mostly the same people mentioned in previous days, and in addition with the presence of both Tom (I always like to point out that he’s the first guy to die in the “The Purge“) and Dorian (I read his books)! Despite our disappointment of not having attended the Terminator red carpet screening, it was a fun night with these group of people. Dorian even told me a story of how he had stayed at Linda Hamilton‘s house because his last ex was her god daughter. Damn, he could have been part of John Connor’s resistance.

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That was my overall trip to L.A., as always, it was a good Hollywood experience that I will always cherish to have gratitude for.

And, also, Dorian was super nice to have given me a limited edition spartan helmet from 300. I proudly display it among my collection of weird stuff, well I collect, as pictured here.

#TooMuchContent

Last post, I mentioned my good friend Jenn P., pilates-fu expert and farmer gal, from Oregon. She was recently featured on the Giving It Up For Less with Lauren Ash podcast ep titled “Dumb Lies with Leslie Seiler” where Jenn describes as “I sent her my story of being at Sundance and getting cancer. She used the story on her first podcast. OMG It’s at the 20+ minute mark. I love listening to podcasts and this is a great one. So happy they didn’t make fun of me too much. I’m sure my parents would laugh about it now, but I still never told them. That’s why it’s a “dumb” lie. They are loving, supportive people.” (pulled from her IG). The link takes you directly to the beginning of the story around 20:35.

When I got back in time for Halloween, I just hung out at Mike & Melainie’s spot to watch “Annabelle Comes Home“. I am excited for what they will do with the Hellhound plotline in the upcoming Conjuring 3. I love werewolves! I ended up crashing over because I had a flat tire I didn’t want to deal with until morning. I couldn’t sleep for a bit, and binged the entire “Prank Encounters” on Netflix hosted by Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things. I love prank shows, esp. horror themed stuff like SyFy’s Scare Tactics, but I wary of edited inter-cutting of melodrama acting, and portraying Gaten as the mastermind of these pranks (with fancy map effects and hokey, conspiratorial dialogue), where I’m suspicious that he’s just a figure-head to (over)sell the show.

Anyways, it was a fun past of a week… until next post…

The future belongs to me! This is spar… err… brb… I think I pulled a groin…

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