Category Archives: Burbank

Getting out and about, a couple of requests, and a song about a California town

Right, I’m glad to say that the knee is improving. Still a bit sore, even worse than usual to look at, but hey, I can walk on it, so lets celebrate that at least.

First, lets do some catching up. Yesterday I did the one tour in Hollywood that I wanted to do, though I’d have enjoyed it even more if I could have time warped it back to the 1930’s, but being realistic…Warner Brothers do a studio tour, and I headed off to take a look. Most of it (obviously) relates to modern movies, and TV programming, not the Golden Era that I truly love. But there were a few spots I saw, where films in the 30’s were made, even if the facilities on site were on the whole slightly more technologically up to date than back then. What I had forgotten, until conveniently reminded by my excellent guide, was that Jean Harlow starred in at least 1 movie for Warner’s, while Howard Hughes was contracting her out, ‘Public Enemy’. Alright, more remember Cagney, but anyway… Of course, a short period after that, MGM signed her to a contract, and of course, thats where she’s remembered for working, naturally.

Oh fine, so some of those Batman cars, I wouldnt mind being taken for a ride in, and the Hathaway, Catwoman suit (in my size), I’d love to wear. As for the Mr Freeze outfit… It was also interesting to see inside a sound stage, and imagine that Jean might have done the same walk, across town at MGM.

Seriously, the tour comes highly recommended. I did afterwards get my picture taken with ‘An Oscar’, which I will pull off my camera some time, and post. As close as Jean Harlow ever got to winning one, lol!

The other main moment of hilarity was attempting to arrange the meet that never happened. As much as you can ever know someone only through Twitter, and Facebook, I have the pleasure of knowing a wonderful, crazy guy there, by the name of Matt. Lets leave it at that, to protect his privacy at least, though a few will know who I mean. If I had a smart phone, with internet, and the like, I would have got his Twitter messages after I left here, I would have met him, and got a DVD. Sadly, even though I have a US phone, its cheap, cheerful, and no internet. So, in the end, it never happened. I did ask a couple of people in the studio if they knew the name, met with blank faces. As he told me afterwards, if I’d asked at the end of the Stage 48 part of the tour, where I got my coffee,…would have happened, but…

Today was a briefer trip, to the science museum down at Expo Park, close to USC. I did go mainly for the space stuff, but had a general look around, and yes, its good value. Straight face, that might be because basic entry is free, but seriously, well worth visiting.

Fine, the 2 requests. And lets face it, as you might have guessed, unless you’re in the LA area, you might as well jump to the video link. Well, unless you want to bestow a few thousand dollars on me, so I can stay a bit longer, but otherwise…

Firstly, is to take me out by car (or whatever) to a very special address. 9525 Easton Drive, up above Beverly Hills is the (in)famous home where Jean lived with her 2nd husband, Paul Bern, and where he committed suicide. Well, we assume he did, its the generally believed version, but we will never know for sure now, I guess? If I say this address is 3.5 miles from the nearest public transport point, and that the temperature during the day is still at least in the high 70’s, I’m not going to get there under my own steam. And its not like I’m going to pay a lengthy visit, unless I get invited in, ha ha! So, if anyone is prepared to drive me up there, I’d be eternally grateful. So might Jean’s ghost (allegedly) be, but thats another story! In my dreams, Jay Leno reads this, and drives me up there in 1 of his 30’s cars, but this isnt a fairy tale!

Second request is a more silly one, which I’m sure wont happen, but in this town, where movies are made, and special effects people abound, I can only ask. Yes, a robot transformation, or brainwashing scene, performed on me. No, I dont mean for real (though I wouldnt mind), just a roleplay where it really feels like its going to happen. You have a week, on both these requests, btw.

I know, I know, but if you dont ask…

OK, lastly, the video. One of the things that amuses me, is that the signpost for the main highway, doesnt use San Francisco, when going north, it uses Sacramento. Now fine, the latter is the state capital, and I gather little love is lost between here, and SF, but anyway…I find it funny. So, I’m using that as an excuse to use this golden oldie, from the 70’s, as my video tonight.

And lastly, as you know, recently I was interviewed by a wonderful lady named Alexia. Well, I’m trying to publicize, and raise funds for her new movie. There is one of those Thunderclap things, due to go off tomorrow, which costs you nothing to support, at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/31154-support-selfdiscovery-film and also, if you want to offer her financial support to get the movie made, go here, and do so https://www.rockethub.com/projects/60770-support-alexia-s-selfdiscovery-film-experiment-the-fantastic-santa-monaco please!

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Beautiful downtown Burbank

Title might give a clue as to where I went today, at least! Though it will mean more to those with long memories, I must admit. But lets catch up first…

The weekend was fairly quiet in terms of entertainment, mostly just relaxing watching various forms of gridiron football, though given that my college team (Kansas State) managed to conjure up defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday, and the Bills were totally undisciplined in defeat on Sunday, I might not have been that calm and relaxed, but anyway… Fine, the college one was worse, given that it was Kate’s team, Oklahoma State that we managed to lose to. Irony, our QB got injured, and a Wide Receiver took over from him, and did a better job. Then he got injured, the now recovered QB came back, and conjured up defeat for us. Ah well…

The Bills were just shocking, giving away penalties, as Santa Claus gives away presents. Yes, awful stuff.

Thankfully, after that, things improved dramatically. Yesterday I headed back to Santa Monica, and reminded myself just how ‘entertaining’ bus services can be over here. Aided by not enough knee room, and very hard seats, I wasnt sorry to arrive. Then I did something I didnt get to last time around, I went out on the pier. And yes, when I saw the rides, and the arcade, I realised how old I was, but anyway…The bus journey back was less entertaining, but a combination of a broken down vehicle in front of us at one point, and general traffic, it was very slow, and pretty painful on my knees too.

A brief dash home, which may, or may not have been a good idea, as I was going out again, but there was really just too much gap between, to just stay in town, so…Oh, and a remarkable thing around here, it rained! Not for long, but it rained, wow!

The evening was spent interestingly, talking with, and listening to people who know a lot more about the movie industry than me. But I learnt things, they learnt a few things about me, so all well and good. Only down point, the buses up here stop about 7.30. I got out at 9.15. So I went on a taxi hunt. Not as easy as I thought it would be. When I did eventually bag one, he made it pretty clear (in less than tactful terms) that he wasnt interested in fares that took him out of the main part of Hollywood, even if it was for less than a mile and a half each way. When I got home, I found out that the Checker Cab company have an awful reputation on reviews, and I can see why! I did send a message of complaint, but no surprise, I’ve heard nothing.

OK, finally, to today. Yes, when I was a child, once a week at the turn of the 60’s, into the 70’s, there was a crazy program on TV, which had a punchline that it was coming from beautiful downtown Burbank. Now as a 10 year old, I had no idea where that was, it was just somewhere in America. Yes, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, of course. Given the nature of the show, I never knew if the beautiful bit was true, or sarcasm, but anyway…

So today, I took the chance to visit Burbank. Nowadays I wouldnt say it was beautiful, but I’ve seen a lot uglier too. Of course, the studio where it was filmed, and all the stars are now long gone, most of them literally, sadly. But hey, I didnt see any ghosts there, but at least I now know what downtown Burbank looks like.

Oh, and a quick snippet of that legendary series

Fine, a pre thing. Tomorrow, in case you’d forgotten, I’m getting interviewed, which should be interesting. A chance to talk about me, LGBT issues (especially T, I suspect), and a few other things. A chance to sell myself around here? Just maybe, we will see. 11.30 am PST, work out your own time zone from there, though for Brits, like me, its 7.30 in the evening. The link to that https://sqeeqee.com/streaming/event/105

You’ll hear how it goes, for sure, but you could always watch it anyway, just saying…