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Trip Report, Los Angeles, January 26, 2011

Mrs. Bart and I were invited to Los Angeles to see the Michael Jackson's Cirque du Soliel
"Immortal" World Tour at the Staples Center.

I've mentioned a few times that Perry Sanders, my World Series of Poker buddy
is now Mrs. Jackson's attorney for the Michael Jackson estate.

Not one person has ever commented on that - seems funny.
Maybe people think I'm kidding or maybe they just don't care.

We flew out Thursday and got into LAX just after dark.
Timing is often a bitch, and it was that day, too.

Had we gotten there a few hours earlier, we might've been able to join Perry when he
attended a
"glove and footprint in cement" ceremony at Graumann's Chinese Theater
on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

He said they had a good time.
Quincy Jones was there, Smokey Robinson was there, as was Justin Beiber and Chris Tucker.

Had we gotten there in time, it might've been fun to go to that ceremony, but I wouldn't
have bothered any of the celebrities because what am I going to say to them?

"Hey, Quincy, you did a good job producing Micheal's albums?"

"Hi, Justin, I'm a creepy old guy - wanna hang out and be my friend?"

Besides the Obamas, the Clintons and Jimmy Page, there aren't many people I would really
enjoy meeting because what would one actually say to them without saying something stupid
that they've heard 10,000 times before? 

At least with Jimmy page, I could fall to his feet sobbing and giving him "I'm not worthy."
I'm sure he's been there many times before :)

So while Perry was taking care of his client, we rented a car and headed towards the hotel. 
BTW, we rented an excellent Nissan Maximum, as we called it back at the old car lot.

It was new, only had 800 miles on it, and it had plenty of horses under the hood.
(More on that later - we always have great luck with car rentals)

Then an In-n-Out Burger caught my eye.
For years I've heard celebrities say In-n-Out had the best burgers on the West Coast.

They have In-n-Out in Las Vegas, but we never rent a car in Vegas and I'll be damned
if I'm going to take a cab and spent $60 on a $3 burger - and then have it totally blow.

So we pulled in - first thing, Mrs Bart noticed their art-deco tiles on the walls of the kitchen.

Of course, everyone in Hollywood wants to be famous, so this happened:

It's an odd feeling being amongst semi-intelligent people.
Everyone we met in Los Angeles was not only nice, but they were also competent.

In Oklahoma, it's easy to find nice people (if you're white and non-gay looking)
but in Los Angeles, everyone we met seemed to have a brain on their shoulders.

When I gave the outside In-n-Out Burger attendant our order, he read it back to me,
correctly, and faster than I gave it to him which doesn't happen often.

Back in 1970, when I moved (against my will) to Arkansas, everybody asked me
why I talked so fast.  Truth is, I don't talk fast - Arkies talk really f-ing slow.
They talk slow in Oklahoma, too, so I'm considered a "fast talker," here, too.

For the record, the In-n-Out Burger was fine, not spectacular.

If you want a fine burger, catch Goldie's in Tulsa.
When I opened The Train Station in 1993, I stole their recipe.

I've had burgers in Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Tahoe, LA, Phoenix, Vegas, Denver,
Kansas City, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans, Little Rock, Memphis, St Louis,
Chicago, DC, New York, Boston, Miami etc. - nobody touches Goldies.

But now it started to get late, and my leg was killing me.
Did I mention I've been on crutches since Christmas?

Somehow I pulled my piriformis muscle harder than a rusty German grenade.

Thinking it would eventually go away, I just limped on it for a week or two, in great pain.
After a week of limping, I managed to rub raw my sciatic nerve, which is the longest and
widest nerve in the human body and it hurt so bad, it reminded me of my broken femurs.
Perry, of course, wanted to scour LA for their fanciest champagne bars, but since I was hurt,
he decided to stay and have a quiet drink with us at the hotel, instead.

I e-mailed my old radio buddy Tommy Mack to see if he was free to meet up for a drink
but our schedules conflicted and it didn't work, but at least we broke the ice.

So now it's the day of the show. Perry had some Jackson Family business to attend to,
so we decided WE'RE GOING TO HOLLYWOOD like we were on American Idol.

We first came to Hollywood in 1983 and back then, first thing we did was head for Sunset Boulevard.
Now, that's the only part of Los Angeles we're really familiar with, so we went there to look around.

We drove north on Highland until we hit Hollywood.
Damn, that's a busy place, compared to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
If you're ever in Hollywood, one of the funnest things you can do is cruise Hollywood Blvd
or Sunset Blvd after midnight on a weekend, or maybe any night, I didn't know.

Cruising the Sunset Strip isn't like cruising around your home town.
The girls look like streetwalkers, the guys look like they're in Motley Crue
and everybody looks like they've done a little too much cocaine.

But, who's sober enough to drive at midnight?

Driving on, we saw some familiar sights.

This is Grauman's Chinese Theater, where they had yesterday's Cement Ceremony.
They also host movie premiers and the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
You can only see two (left half) but they have ghouls and goblins in costume to pose with you, I suppose for tips.

Note: It's hard to drive and work the iPhone camera at the same time.

Driving on, I got a good shot of Hollywood's palm tree-lined streets.

Funny, in Hollywood, all you see are Mercedes, BMWs and Audis. (Lots of Audis)
I saw ONE Rolls Royce, maybe 3 Maseratis and only a handful of Lexuses.

If you drive long enough, you'll eventually drive by the Chateau Marmont, where the LA cops executed John Belushi.
That's so sad  - had they not murdered him, Belushi might be celebrating his 30th anniversary as the King of Hollywood today.

 Click  Here for Part Two


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