Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Day In Hollywood

I signed up for an early morning volunteer shift at Egyptian Theatre .
They don't usually have things where I need to be there at 9:30 am. But today was an all day event, sponsored by The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles and The Japan Foundation of Los Angeles .
Two Anime movies, Aachi & Ssipak from Korea, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time from Japan

Of course, I was running late. It is Saturday after all.
So instead of parking in the Hollywood and Highland lot, where they will validate - I grab a spot on the street and start to feed the meter.
I am standing there, digging through my purse trying to find that Quarter that is stuck at the very bottom.
When a group of four nice gentlemen go passed by me.....
And one of them puts a Quarter in the parking meter.
"You don't want to get a ticket. They are really strict around here, I know how it is" he says.

"Oh, yeah, okay - thanks." I say stunned and almost speechless at what just happened.
As they continue on their way.

By the time I run/walk to the Egyptian, they are an entire half block away.
I thought they were going to the Anime event - I mean why else would a group of four guys be in Hollywood at this time of the morning ?
But by the time I realize they are walking passed the Egyptian, it is to late for me to run after them to say anything, and I really wanted to invite them to the free animation screening.

As I am volunteering, a theatre patron asks another volunteer about where to eat in the area.
The volunteer tells him about the great places to eat over at Hollywood and Highland . I hear them mentioning "California Pizza Kitchen" and Beard Papa's Creme Puffs.
They are talking about how delicious the creme puffs are....

Soon the Anime movies are starting. But now I have to move my car.
The meters on the street are only for one hour. And I will be in Hollywood all day.
So I go drive me car into the Hollywood and Highland complex.
I can get validated - 4 hours for $2 - but it really won't matter, because I will be there all day.

Walking back up through the mall, to make it back to Hollywood Blvd and the Egyptian, I walk right passed Beard Papa's Creme Puffs.
How long has it been since I have had a Creme Puff ?
Oh, around Twenty Years.
Thats it. I am having a Creme Puff.

I walk into the store, and yes they sell Creme Puffs. There is a few flavors to choose from.
And a few other desserts. I am wondering "How can a store survive only selling Creme Puffs?"
I order one with chocolate filling, and a cup of coffee.
And it is sooooo delicious.
Then its back to finishing my shift at the Egyptian.

Later on in the afternoon, I meet up with friends.
I have been getting opinions on the movie ""300" , trying to figure out if a women in her 40s, like me, could possibly enjoy an ancient Greek war move.

I have asked two other friends. One said Yes, it was Fabulous.
The other said No, it was to violent and she hated it.
So I decide to ask one more female for one more opinion.
"Oh, it is fantastic ! You have to see it !" she says.
"Well, I heard it wasn't that good" I said "Oh, no... its great... there are really fit buff men who wear nothing but leather diapers through-out the entire movie. Its fantastic, you have to see it !"

Well, thats a good enough review for me. I'm there.

I walk over to the Mann's Theatres at Hollywood and Highland.
I was hoping to see it in the Chinese, but the timing doesn't work out right.
I will have to see it in the Mann 6.
I ask the ticket seller how big the theatre is. It only has 150 seats.
He notices the look on my face "But we've only sold 8 tickets, you can sit anywhere."
I buy a ticket, alittle unhappy about the situation.
This is the kind of movie you really want to see on a huge screen.

In line to get my concessions. I am trying to ignore the family in front of me.
The mother and father look like they just walked out of a Bar, are alittle tipsy, and its only early afternoon.
The mother has bleach blond hair, and she is wearing black leggings - not a good choice for someone in her age range.
The poor little boy just wants some candy.
"No, you aren't getting any sugar. Thats all you eat is sugar", says the mother.
She orders a couple of Combos. Popcorn, Soda, Candy.
The Concession Guy asks her "What size combo do you want?"
"I don't care" is her reply.
She and her husband are completely confused at the concession stand choices.

I move to a different line and get my concessions and go into the theatre.
I sit in the very last row of the 150 seat Mann 6, hoping to get a good view.
It was okay from the last row.

"300" is a movie that both men and women will like. There is definitely alot of war in it - because thats what its about.
And blood, and heads getting chopped off. But its all in Slo-Mo, so it doesn't seem the realistic.
During the movie, I only had to shut my eyes once.

And yes, as my friend said, lots of really hot dudes in leather diapers in the movie - "300" of them in fact.

I did enjoy the relationship between the King and his wife .
I wonder if thats really how they treated their women back then.
Oh, and there is one really steamy love-scene that is worth the price of your admission ticket.

And.... its also a history lesson, because these events really did happen.

After that, I am ready for dinner - so I stop at "California Pizza Kitchen".
And I have the healthy Chopped Salad, with no salami, but with chicken.
Next to me is a table of Working Actors, who are discussing acting teachers, casting websites and similar.
It was interesting eavesdropping on them. One of the actors was saying how studying at one of the Improv schools, like Second city, or the Groundlings, was considered very impressive by most casting directors. They give it even more consideration
than if you studied theatre arts at a four year college.
I don't know if thats true - but that what he said.

After arriving in Hollywood at 9:30 am, it is finally time to go home - and its 8pm already.
The parking validation didn't help - I was there all day, and I have to still pay ten bucks to get out the lot.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Bright Building Photo Print

Bright Building print

Bright Building by

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Books and Music Selections

What I've Been Reading:

Fast Food Naton by Eric Schlosser
Yes, I know fast food is bad for me. I really try never to eat it. I keep Amy's Kitchen healthy frozen pocket sandwiches in the freezer for those times I am in a rush. And Cascadian Farms Organic Granola bars in the kitchen cabinet.
But besides the health issues, there are ecomonic and moral issues surrounding the Fast Food industry that we should all be aware of.
I listened to the book on tape of Fast Food Nation, and it made me much more aware of the other issues that I need to take into consideration when buying fast food.
Just the chapter on how french fries are made, is enough to scare you.

The Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneres
Totally funny.... Ellen does have alot of humorous insights into life.
My favorite: She talks about difficult packaging is to open, like a package of batteries that you buy at the store.
But a package of light bulbs - in a flimsy little cardboard container.
Very humorous, with stories that everyone can relate to.

What I've been listening to:

Mozart Concerto No 23
If I am stressed out, Classical Music is the one thing that helps to relax me.
I listen to it at the office and in the car, and its wonderful and puts me into an entirely different frame of mind.
Piano Concertos are my absolute favorite.

Los Angeles Radio station KMozart, 105FM KMZT, recently switched to 105 FM over to 1260 AM. I just can't seem to get 1260 AM all the time, I can't get AM at office. I can listen at home though.
It looks like I will buying more Classical CDs.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bricks & Pipes Greeting Card

bricks & pipes greeting card

bricks & pipes greeting card
by DonnaGrayson

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Lost - Episode 14

That had to be the best episode of Lost in a while.
The ending was terrifying..
Nikki poisons Paulo with a spider bite that paralyzes him.
Then the spider bites her too, so she ends up paralysed.
Everyone thinks they are both dead - and they hold a touching funeral service as they get buried alive.
Wow ! Being buried alive is definitely NOT the way to go....

Lost Episode guide on ABC TV
Lost DVDs on
Music from the ABC Series
Lost Season 2 soundtrack
Lost - The Board Game
Lost - Official Magazine

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bright Window print

Bright Window
by DonnaGrayson

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Insomnia, subtitled: How I Love Coffee

Its 3 am .... And in my groggy sleep-deprived state, I call the office and leave my boss a voicemail.
I say "its 3 am, and I am still wide awake".
I will be late for work.

I never really get insomnia. But lately its happening often.
I need to totally cut out the coffee. Like that will ever happen. ha ha ha...

But for now ... no point in just laying there staring at the ceiling.
I make myself a cup of Trader Joes Decaf Chai Green Tea, and I play games on until about 4 am, when I start to feel myself nodding off.

As I start to drift off, finally falling asleep, I hear a distant "poof! poof!".
What is that "poof" noise ?
I figure it out... its a Coffee Maker.
Someone in my building is making their morning coffee, while I slowing drift off to sleep.

Oh, how I love Freshly Brewed Coffee.
And I can't wait until I can get enough sleep so I can wake up and have a cup......

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Freak Storm

I work on the 16th floor of a high rise building in Hollywood.
Thats actually pretty tall for a building in this part of California.
The highest buildings in my area are maybe about 30 stories, though Downtown LA has a some higher.

(Here's an interesting link about Los Angeles High Rises LA Almanac )

Anyway, today I was sitting there working, looking down over Sunset Blvd.
A pretty, bright sunny day.
I look to the north, towards Burbank - and there is this big black wall of clouds rolling in.

Before I knew it, there were grocery bags and trash blowing right at my eye level on the 16th floor.
I was worried a piece of trash was going to slam into the window.
On the street, I look down to see waiters rushing to put restaurant tables and chairs inside before everything blows away.
The palm trees are bending over in the wind.
Then a downpour of rain - thick heavy rain drops come down fast.

Then it stops.
The clouds move south, heading towards Redondo Beach and Torrance.
And its a pretty bright sunny day again.

Here's an article about the Storm in the Los Angeles Times
the NBC TV website

Storm Photographic Prints on

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sky in glendale Postcard

sky in glendale Postcard

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Cocktails !

cocktails shirt
cocktails tshirt
by DonnaGrayson
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cocktails mug
cocktails coffee mug
by DonnaGrayson
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Dinner and Conversation

Dinner with friends at Mel's Diner on Highland.

I got a meatloaf dinner. And then we had berry pie for dessert.
Enough food to bring take half home for lunch tomorrow.
Not the best choice. But maybe the berries in the pie will kill all the bad things in the red meat.

Interesting conversation. You know, its kind of strange looking back on 2005 and my cancer surgery.
And its kind of strange how I pick and choose what I do and don't do.
I did the radiation. I refused the chemo.
I won't use plastic utensils or Styrofoam if possible. And I have been known to educate a restaurant or two about their dangers.
I won't drink artificial sweeteners or eat processed meats.
I take a long list of vitamins a supplements, like Co-Q10 , Flax seed , Fish Oil, Mushroom Extract and Curcumin extract .
I even tried "Cats Claw" herbal tea, though I didn't like it very much.
Every so often I do the Budwig thing with cottage cheese and flax seed.
I drink organic green tea, and Trader Joes Organic Decaf Chai Tea, which contains organic cinnamon and organic ginger.
And I try to buy Organic whenever possible. (Except of course eating out.)

Every morning I have a bowl of slow-cooked oatmeal, with fresh berries, cinnamon and ginger and ground flaxseed, along with an organic hard boiled egg. (Thats a big change from the bagel with cream cheese that I used to have every morning..)

Yet...I still have one or two glasses of wine per month - which I still think is to often.
I keep trying to quit high-fructose soft drinks. (I'm down to one a day, or less - which is still to many.)
I use the microwave about twice a week - which I also think is to often.
I wanted to quit dairy products, but that was next to impossible, so I try to limit them.
I still drink coffee.
I still need to lose weight, and exercise more.
And I dye my hair. Which pretty much makes most of my friends freak completely out.

I guess it comes down to the fact that you can't stop living your life even though you have had a terrible disease.
You still have to do, whatever it is you have to do.

This all came from the part of the conversation where my friends noticed my hair.
The last time they saw me, I was blond.
Now I am such a dark brown, its almost black.
But it is closer to my natural color, and I prefer how it covers up my grey hairs.

I told them that after the cancer, I was pretty much committed to becoming an "Earth Mother", not even polishing my nails. But thats not me, and there was no way I could stick to it.
I had to keep living my life, and adjusting what I could, and accepting what I can't.
And I laughed about my hair and said "I'm surprised you even recognized me !"

More info:
Johanna Budwig books on
Natural Approaches to Cancer Treatment books on

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

A pretty print of Downtown LA, as seen through the Palm Trees

City View print
City View by
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How Green Was My Valley

Volunteering today at the Egyptian Theatre .

How Green Was My Valley
The movie was "How Green Was My Valley" from 1941. Directed by John Ford .
And with a very young Roddy McDowall.

This movie won 5 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Donald Crisp, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography.

Its the story of a Welsh coal-mining family who deal with faith, money and job security as they face the industrialization of the industry that they work in.

Check out the movie quotes page on .
There are some amazing lines in this movie. For instance:
"But remember, with strength goes responsibility - to others and to yourselves. For you cannot conquer injustice with more injustice - only with justice and the help of God."

There is a scene that is not in the quotes on IMDB, that really stood out to me. It is when Hew first becomes unable to walk, and Mr. Gruffydd goes to his bedside and tells him to have faith that God will heal him, and that he has to believe. Its a moving and touching scene.

I highly recommend you rent this movie. Its a great classic movie, with great moral lessons.
I think its one of the best movies ever made.

Its from the novel by Richard Llewellyn. When I got home, I got online to the Los Angeles Public Library , and I requested a few books by Richard Llewellyn.
I can't wait to read them.

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March 25 2007 Photos

Downtown LA Downtown Los Angeles

bathtime Cinnamon Dries off after her bath

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