Mini Microcinema

Last night I had my first visit to OTR’s Mini Microcinema and was immediately taken with the energy of being where people loved doing what they were doing: filmmakers showing and sharing films.

Microcinema exists to show experimental film/video/media, highlighting work made by artists and filmmakers outside of the mainstream. This is a very different experience than seeing a Hollywood movie. The space is a store front on Main Street where they optimistically set up about 30 folding chairs which more than accommodated 5 patrons, 3 workers and the director of the film. I imagine experimental film is a tough sell. I imagine this makes the folks running the cinema a little sad.

There was serve-yourself popcorn and a policy of BYOB which benefits the convenient mart next door. The workers clearly loved sharing the film with even a small crowd, and provided very interesting, informed questions for the director in the post-film discussion. I don’t know if Microcinema does discussions for every show, but it worked well with this program.

The film was actually scenes from an not-yet-completed film call Tuba Thieves, directed by Alison O’Daniel. The film was beautiful using long lingering shots and duel screens. She got the idea from a rash of tuba thefts from high schools in L.A. beginning in 2012. While following events surrounding the thefts, she came upon two other unrelated things that caught her attention. First, she found out about a deaf drummer who lives in a home with hearing parents. Second, she discovered L.A.’s Deaf Club, a club where deaf and hearing impaired people socialized, that, in the 1970’s, opened it’s doors to Punk Rock acts. O’Daniel used these three concepts to commission three pieces of music and from there she wrote her film.

She’s been working on the project for a couple of years, showing segments at art installations. O’Daniel, who is hearing impaired, uses captioning, ambient sound, music, and silence to call attention to sound and to explore how and what we hear.

Dancing to the Music

Last night I caught a couple of bands at MOTR (the end of Little Junior, Mona, and July Talk). Super fun set of music.

MOTR is a tiny place for live music with a tiny stage (many bands I’ve seen there relegate their base player or keyboards to the floor by stage – which I imagine has really hacked off some musicians over the years.)

The crowd is thicker as you get closer to the stage, of course,  but we worked our way about 4 “rows” back for Mona. What was in front of us was three super exuberant, tequila chugging, bounty-dancing young women (in their twenties) and a couple of their guy friends.

I’m short (5 feet and 1/2 inch) and I have spent many, many shows of this nature staring into the back of dude’s plaid shirt, catching glimpses of the stage when the guy shifted position. And occasionally I get what I got last night. As the ladies bopped up and down and shook from side to side, I kept getting whapped in the face with hair. Long, luckily clean smelling hair.

There is a way to “dance” in the tight quarters of people pressed up close to a music stage, but these ladies didn’t have it. But they were having a blast, and that’s why I go to see live music. I don’t want people to act the way I act, I want them to feel their evening and enjoy. And, a few songs into the July Talk set, they actually pulled me in front of them, and asked the next tall guy by the stage to let me stand in front of him. So yeah, a few uncomfortable hair smacks, but a me and this group of girls had a great night.


The Man Who Wouldn’t Shop

Working at the cash register at my TJ Maxx shift Monday, I saw an older man walk in, moving quickly and purposely toward the men’s department. Seconds later, his wife came in, trying to keep up.

He already had a pack of t-shirts in his hand by the time she caught up to him, but she had to check to make sure had had the right size. I could tell he did not. She got him the correct pack and he turned to head toward me at the register.

“What about socks” she asked. He clearly was done shopping, or, as I think he heard her question, “What if I chain you to this display and we never leave.” Oh, such torture he had to endure to walk 10 feet to the sock display, mumbling all the way, “I don’t need socks.”

But his wife was quick/well-practiced. She already had two packs of black socks in her hands and held them up to him for inspection. As if. As if he had time to look at the socks after already having had to look at the t-shirts.

He looked (barely) and said “Fine. Let’s go!” and said it forceful enough that I looked right at him (instead of pretending to tidy up while spying). He looked right back at me and said, “I can’t help it. I’m a guy. I hate shopping.”

I should note that he was not naked. But, it seemed to me, his job was to put clothes on. His wife’s job was to make them available.

Since there was no one in line I let them squeeze around a display to get to my register as quickly as possible. I was concerned the man was going to blow a gasket.

As soon as the transaction was finished (and it took a good 30 seconds longer than I planned because his wife had a gift certificate – Geez lady, your man is going to die right here at register 5!), I looked up at the man and said, “You. You get out. I’m kicking you out. You are no longer welcome here.”

He looked right at me and said, “Thank you!”

No Way

Kaze’s bar has a great happy hour and it’s quiet on Tuesdays. Quiet enough for me to read my Kindle, and maybe eavesdrop on the bartenders.

Tonight, the two bartenders, over the discussion of song lyrics, recognized they had an age difference. The younger one, upon getting the age out of the older one was “blown away.” “No way, dude.” Yeah, the old one kept saying. He showed his license and seemed pleased the young one didn’t guess him for all of 29. The old one was 29.

30 years old is about the time a portion of the population is beginning to find you old. It’s unnerving. This 29 year old still thinks aging is a lark. Shit’s about to get real, my young friend.


Just because the smoke detector goes off doesn’t mean I’m not in control of the pan.

The smoke detector needs to watch more cooking shows.

Or maybe I’m an aggressive Sautéer. But brown onions and veges in a dry pan is a key to good flavor.

And waving at a smoke detector 16 feet in the may look like I’m fighting windmills, but I’m building flavor.