Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Chinatown of Los Angeles

I've been to the Chinatowns in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and my favourite so far has been the one in New York.

I was there about twenty years ago and I made the trek because I wanted to see the chicken who could play tic-tac-toe.  Apparently no one could beat this damn chicken so of course, I wanted to see just how smart this feathered beast was.  Just as I was about to enter the building where the chicken held court, I literally chickened out.  I can't remember why I turned away.  I think it was because I felt like the chicken was being abused in some way despite the fact that it was rewarded with food each time it won a game.  Apparently, I didn't want to be a part of some weird animal torture.

So I never met the chicken that played tic-tac-toe.

But the New York Chinatown was very impressive and I still have the silver Buddha I bought there.

The Chinatown in Los Angeles is situated in the downtown area.  It's a fairly small area and seems very practical--not overly welcoming to tourists unless you take some time to explore all the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood.  But it is worth a visit even if you're time is limited and you're tired of driving by big houses where the moviestars live.

Here are some photos of my recent visit ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photoshop Fun

I'm still learning photoshop and while I'm having a lot of fun, there are some art casualties along the way.

Such as the example below.  

I'm not sure what I had in mind.  I was trying out some layer and brush techniques and ended up with something that could be called SciFi Vomit.  

But I just didn't have the heart to delete it.

Even the ugly babies I create deserve some love.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Twelve reasons why the Apocalypse is upon us

  •     Someone's definition of a star is Rob Kardashian
  •     Killers can be set free if they have a smart lawyer and a dumb jury
  •    The latest Transformers movie made over $350 million at the domestic box office
  •     DrPhil thinks he is qualified to give weight loss advice
  •   Charlie Sheen is $100 million dollars richer just because he is an asshole
  •  The Learning Channel can show toddlers wearing hooker outfits and fake breasts and isn’t immediately shut down
  • There are still people who believe that Sarah Palin should run for President
  •  PETA is using porn to promote their message
  • The United States can’t afford to wage any more wars yet they do it anyway
  • An assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University is telling parents not to let their kids watch Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars because it might cause them to question their own sexual identity 
  • Michelle Bachmann was born
And the number one reason why the Apocalypse is upon us:  
  •  They still haven’t told us whether the iPhone 5 is being released or even if it’s going to be called the iPhone 5

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Canals of Venice

Nope, not THAT Venice.

There is another Venice which you might not be familiar with if you've never been to California.

Venice, Los Angeles is a funky beach community which has a great boardwalk where you can buy art or incense or jewelry from homeless-looking "artists".  It is one of my favorite places in LA to hang out if I have a lazy afternoon to spare.

But there is a reason, of course, why Venice is called Venice.  Back in 1905, a developer named Abbot Kinney wanted to recreate the look and feel of Venice, Italy so he designed a community with bridges and canals.  After a couple of decades, the area fell apart and it wasn't until the early 90s that the subdivision was renovated and restored.

Now it is a very desirable and upscale neighborhood and from the pictures below, I think you'll see why.

The houses are all very unique and they are well maintained.

And where else in Los Angeles can you step outside your front door and go for a canoe ride?

It's a cool area to check out if you're in the neighborhood.  The real Venice, it isn't.  But c'mon, nothing is real in LA anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jumping on the bandwagon

I've resisted it for a long time but I've finally given in ...

Yes, I've joined the twittosphere.

For better or for worse.

You can read my tweets over in the right hand corner of this blog.  I've come to the conclusion that I have far more questions than answers so I'm just going to be posting questions.  Mostly stupid questions but questions all the same.

And I've decided to give my popsites blog a rest.  I really liked doing this blog which was about filming and music locations in Los Angeles but each post took too much time to do.  I may start it up again at a later date but for now, I will be sadly letting it cover up with dust.

So for these people drifting on by, I hope you find something interesting in all the ramblings.  And if you have any interest in charity work and/or Cambodia, please check out my facebook page at



Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Big $10 Fundraiser

Five years ago, I never would have guessed that I would be so involved in a country very, very far away from home.  

But Cambodia is a magical country and I have no regrets about starting a foundation which helps the people who live there.  

The Savong Foundation was officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) registered US charity on May 4, 2011.  Its mission is to support the Savong School (which teaches English, Japanese and Korean to over 600 students at no charge), the Savong Orphan Center (home to about 35 children) and the medical clinic (which sees about 30 patients from the surrounding community at no charge).  These are great projects and I'm very pleased that we are just about to embark upon another ...

The Savong Student Center

This center will allow the older students from the Savong Orphan Center to attend a better school in Siem Reap.  It hasn't opened yet because we are still waiting to get the financing in place.  

And this is where you can help.  

I've started the Big $10 Fundraiser for the Savong Student Center.  100% of the donations will go towards the center and with all the support that is out there, we hope to raise $3000 to fund the center well into the future.

For me, fundraising is a tough business because I HATE asking people for money.  I remember when I was a teenager spending some time in England and back in those days, the hostels charged 5 pounds for a night.  My friend and I completely ran out of money--and I mean completely--and those were the days before ATMs and neither of us had a credit card.  We met a girl at the hostel and very painfully, we asked her to loan us the money to stay one more night.  She was so kind and didn't hesitate to help us out but an hour later, we gave her back the money.  We just couldn't keep it.  Instead we decided to sleep in a leek field and hitchhiked back to London (which took us a day) so that my dad could wire us some money to an international bank.  

But I am passionate about this cause so that's why I'm asking for your help.  And I'm only asking for $10 a person which is about the cost of two coffees in LA.  

Here is the link for more information:  

And please follow our progress on facebook:  

Online fundraising for The Big $10 Fundraiser for the Savong Student Center

Thanks for your support!