We started off the day with an 8:30 a.m. showing of The Great Silence, a Spaghetti Western in which the hero is a deaf gunslinger who is killed by the bad guys in the end. Those wacky Italians. After that pick-me-up we began our great adventure at...
...the DMV, baby! See, I needed to exchange my plain plates for the personalized ones I ordered for my Prius.
At least I was courteous enough to my friends to make an appointment to speed up the process... oh wait, never mind.
This woman had just graduated high school when she first stood in line.
Mike is flabbergasted that he took a day off work to come to the DMV.
Ok, so I slightly miscalculated how long this would take.
This woman had just received her driver's permit when she started waiting in line.
Brian vented his bitterness by taking pictures. The guy next to me wasn't appreciative of the paparazzi treatment.
Mike still couldn't believe he was at the DMV.
They both finally joined me. After I took this picture the DMV worker at window 25 yelled at me, saying photography inside was illegal. It was at that moment I understood why he was behind bullet-proof glass.
A half hour later and the end was in sight.
Finally! For the rest of the day Brian called me Vearth as if my plate said "I Vearth." And I had to take it as part of my penance for dragging them to Boredom City.
We decided to head to Hollywood for lunch. Carney's it was.
While Brian ordered a hamburger and I had a sauerkraut dog, Mike ordered the Derailer. That would be spaghetti with chili. Yes, the Derailer.
As we were leaving Carney's we noticed a guy taking pictures of a very young-looking girl. Welcome to Hollywood. Oh, and the reason she is looking at my camera is that while I was snapping my shot Brian yelled, "Hey look at my camera." The penance continues.
We stopped off at Grauman's Chinese to check out the scene.
We noticed ABC7 news vans parked in front and later learned that a couple of the characters, Elmo and Mr. Incredible, had been arrested the day before for aggressively soliciting tips. I bet Mickey just needed to wave his fingers and say in a very high-pitched voice, "You want to tip me generously."
What is this world coming to when you can't trust adorable little Chuckie. Oh, and I don't know if the guy on the right is supposed to be James Brown or Blacula, but you'll see him again in a moment.
Even superheroes need coffe breaks (although the "Man of Steel" needs to stop ordering the double frappacino latte with a sprinkle of Kryptonite).
What the flip is Napoleon Dynamite so distracted by?
Heck yes, Harry Potter is sweet. I'll bet his magic skills help him hook up with chicks.
Remember James Brown/Blacula? I snapped a pic of Brian washing his hands next to that dude. Brian was like, "Dude, what are you doing taking a picture in a men's room in Hollywood?!"
We visited KROQ, which is upstairs next to the Kodak Theater.
Dave Sanchez AKA "The King of Mexico" was trying to surpass the word record for watching TV.
He was at 52 hours when we came by. The current record was 69 hours 48 minutes.
Check the rules. Apparently he eventually broke the record, stopping after 72 hours.
Hollywood Blvd, the El Capitan and moi.
We had a 1 p.m. appointment with Dearly Departed, a company that takes you on a tour of the seamy side of Hollywood.
We met in front of the Erotic Museum. How fitting.
The boys await departure.
First Brian and Mike goad me into taking a picture of this very-buxom blonde, then proceed to yell, "Hey, look at my camera!" and then ducking. OK, I know it was the DMV I took you to, but damn....
The first stop on our tour was the Las Palmas Hotel, the place Julia Roberts lived and was rescued by Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. It was also the last residence of Elizabeth Short AKA The Black Dahlia .
This is the driveway that James Dean drove out on the final day of his life. While now an empty lot Competition Motors once stood here. It is especially creepy that on the day we passed there was a hearse parked there. I don't know if there is any significance or if it was just a coincidence. The story of his last day: Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder west on highway 466 (later 46) near Cholame, California on September 30, 1955 when a car driven from the opposite direction by 23-year-old Cal Poly student Donald Turnupseed, attempting to take the fork onto highway 41, crossed into Dean's lane without seeing the very low-slung, topless silver-grey Porsche in the twilight. The two cars hit almost head on. Officer Ron Nelson and his partner were called to the scene of the accident where they saw a heavily-breathing Dean being placed into an ambulance. Dean's mechanic, Rolf Wutherich , had been thrown from the car but survived with a broken jaw and other injuries. Dean was taken to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:59PM, aged twenty-four.
The Alto Nido Hotel is the "apartment house above Frankin Avenue" that William Holden's cgaracter, Joe Gillis, resided in Sunset Boulevard. The window with the planter on the sill was his room. It is also claimed by some sources that Elizabeth Short AKA the "Black Dahlia" lived here on the 4th floor before she gained fame with her gruesome murder in 1947.
5620 Harold Way, the final residence of Bela Lugosi. On August 16, 1956, Bela died of a heart attack. He was buried in his full Dracula costume, cape included, as written in his will. According to Vincent Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela Lugosi's body during the funeral, Lorre made a comment about Bela's attire. "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"
This is the LaBianca house where Charles Manson sent his people to kill.
It is often repeated that the Lord moves in mysterious ways. I have found proof that he moves in an Isuzu pickup truck.
The Ambassador Hotel is being torn down at the moment. It was famous for the Coconut Grove and infamous for the site of Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
A new high school for L.A. Unified will be put up in its place.
This is the final residence of Dan "Hoss Cartwright" Blocker of Bonanza fame. It is currenly owned by Rob Zombie.
It was in front of this door that Marilyn Monroe held a press conference telling the world she was divorcing Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.
The driveway where George Burns etched his initials in newly poured cement.
We made a restroom stop at West Hollywood Park...
...where George Michael was arrested for lewd behavior.
Brian does the jitterbug.
Out tour guide is intrigued my Brian's Star Wars watch (shortly thereafter he invited Brian into the restroom).
This house is the replacemet of the one where the Manson Family brutally murdered Sharon Tate.
This is one of the houses into which Howard Hughes crashed (watch The Aviator if you don't know what I'm talking about).
In 1970 blues legend Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the former Landmark Hotel, 7047 Franklin Ave. It's renamed the Highland Gardens Hotel.
After the tour Brian wanted to stop at this comic book store on Highland only to meet with disappointment. Check out Mike's face. Classic.
We ate at the Saddle Ranch Chop House and were forced to pay $3.75 for valet parking. Bitches, man, bitches.
This was the only car to which I yielded the entire day. Hybrid, baby!
We headed to the mall for some Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a couple of movies.
We saw Waiting and Serenity.
We came out after midnight to more valet parking. Welcome to the lifestyles of the rich and infamous