Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekend Wind-Down #55 - Dogtown And Mama's Boys Edition

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(Cynthia got our Mom some special cupcakes from SPRINKLES, in Beverly Hills...the little candy disks are color codes that correspond to a list that tells you what flavors the cupcakes are)

This edition of the WEEKEND WIND-DOWN is super long and super late. My bad. We finished the survey at the very end of the weekend, but it was several days before I could get all my photos uploaded...

On Sunday, MOTHER'S DAY, my sister, CYNTHIA, took us out to her place in VENICE BEACH, California. We rode comfortably in the new Volkswagen GTI she picked up friday night, on her way to my parent's house...we were lovin' that new car smell...

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Almost everyone in Southern California knows someone who works for "THE BIZ" ("SHOW BUSINESS", that is) in some capacity. For us, it's Cynthia...she's the newly appointed tax manager for SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT. On the way to her place we stopped by her work and took a brief tour of the studio lot, which was virtually empty, since it was Sunday...

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We were prohibited from taking pictures until we reached "MAIN STREET", a stretch of the lot which was lined with fake storefronts and various employee stores and departments:

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Cynthia demonstrates just how fake some of the store fronts are:

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The fake "POLICE STATION" which is actually the headquarters for Sony Pictures' "campus security":

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After the quick tour of Sony Pictures, we stopped at MITSUWA, a chain of Japanese supermarkets, for snacks to take with us. We looked in the candy and snack aisles and passed on the green tea chocolate chip cookies and other questionable concoctions. We found the best nibbles at the MOCHI STAND at the entrance to the market. There, you could watch a little old Japanese lady handmake fresh mochi. Mmmmmmmmm...

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My sister's apartment in Venice is just a short walk to the beach. There's a picket fence gate in her parking courtyard that leads to an alleyway that takes you onto the heart of the boardwalk on the beach:

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Belinda, Shawn and the kids arrived shortly after, making their way down the alley to Cynthia's place:

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We finally made our way down to the boardwalk to witness the freak show that is VENICE BEACH:

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SOCAL 3865 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

SOCAL 3870 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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Only in Venice...roller derby girls practice along side hardcore street ballers:

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Evan and Auntie Cynthia kickback while Julia practices climbing a rope:

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SOCAL 3897 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

We stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at the SIDEWALK CAFE. The hustling and bustling cafe started off as a little bookstore called SMALL WORLD BOOKS...they built a cafe next door that eventually overshadowed the bookstore. The literary-themed menu pays tribute to the restaurant's humble beginnings...and the cocktail menu pays tribute to some of SoCal's more common "natural disasters":

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Julia passed the time by working on a coloring book:

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At long last, my food arrived...I got a veggie burger called the LOUIS L'AMOUR...a veggie burger topped with cheese, tomato, salsa, and thick avocado slices coupled with a generous helping of fries...

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After our meal, Cynthia, Belinda, and my Mom took baby Lillian back to the apartment, while Shawn, my Dad, and I took Evan and Julia to play in the ocean for a little bit. We headed towards a gigantic DRUM CIRCLE which had formed on the could hear (and..ahem...SMELL) the drum circle from a mile away. Evan danced to the primitive beat:

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SOCAL 3937 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

SOCAL 3942 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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The LAPD circled the circle, making sure that things did not get too out of a couple more hours the drum circle would expand and quadruple in size:

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On the other side of the drum circle we finally greeted the PACIFIC OCEAN...

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SOCAL 3960 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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All along the shore where the waves retreated back to the ocean were thousands of washed up LADYBUGS, drying off their wings. Where did they come from? It was a complete mystery:

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MISSY - Raoul getting to California.
RAOUL - Seeing family and D.A.C. reunion.
BENNY - Seeing "so-and-so" scratching herself!
RUTH - Raoul's arrival.
CYNTHIA - Raoul coming to visit and NEW CAR!
BELINDA - Opening kids' Mother's Day present.
SHAWN - Band reunion.

MISSY - Not getting to go to California!
RAOUL - Flight from Dallas to the O.C.
BENNY - Seeing "so-and-so" scratching herself!
RUTH - Not being able to finish all that I wanted to cook...
CYNTHIA - Toyota died.
BELINDA - Lillian crying during car ride...
SHAWN - No low points...steady medium.

MISSY - Nilla sleeping in my laptop case.
RAOUL - D.A.C. reunion!
BENNY - High School Musical D.A.C.
RUTH - Reading Cynthia's card...
CYNTHIA - Dad saying "High School Musical D.A.C."
BELINDA - Band reunion.
SHAWN - "Don't lock your legs!"

MISSY - "Toilet paper people"
RAOUL - "Juice! Juice!"
BENNY - "Plump"
RUTH - "Coochie coochie coo!"
BELINDA - "Awww, sweet!"
SHAWN - "Juuuuuuuuuuuuuice!"

MISSY - Fake chicken soup.
RAOUL - Tacos and burritos at Shawn and Belinda's.
BENNY - Sprinkles' cupcakes.
RUTH - Pot stickers.
CYNTHIA - Sprinkles' cupcakes.
BELINDA - Shawn's BBQ.
SHAWN - Tacos for dinner.

MISSY - The palm trees and stuff...
RAOUL - My family is here!
BENNY - Lakers!
RUTH - My grandkids.
CYNTHIA - Venice Beach.
BELINDA - Family.
SHAWN - Lakers.

MISSY - Traffic.
RAOUL - Traffic and smog.
BENNY - Clippers.
RUTH - Mean people.
CYNTHIA - Traffic.
BELINDA - You're not here anymore! (There, I squeezed it in!)

MISSY - Alessi's Ark, Juliana Hatfield, Tuscadero, Unrest, Leslie Gore.
RAOUL - Velvet Underground, No Doubt, Warp Records mix.
BENNY - Beach Boys' "California Girls"
RUTH - The kids' songs...
CYNTHIA - Santo Gold.
BELINDA - Flaming Lips, Miss Flutterbee and Kindergarten Rocks.
SHAWN - They Might Be Giants.

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