Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Price is Right

Spoiler Alert!!!
Let me start off by stating the obvious for those of you that know me: No, my name was not called to play a game or win prizes and money.

But I was in the audience with Gonzo's mom, Dolores, and sister Rena.

They visited us in February and Gonzo's mom wanted to go- honestly who wouldn't?  Well to be honest, leading up to it, I wasn't that interested in going.  It was more of a "I don't have a job and nothing better to do, why not?" kind of moment for me.
But I'm going to tell you why you should want to be on The Price is Right.

If you are in LA, it almost seems like a normal thing that people do.  If not attending an episode of The Price is Right, then it's attending one of the many other shows that shoots on a regular basis in town.  But The Price is Right was almost magical.  I'm so glad I went.  I'm so glad Gonzo's mom got the tickets and invited me to go. 

Yes, I'm sure you've all heard, or read about the cattle call lines that you have to wait in for hours on end, which yes, it's true.  But few people talk about the comradarie that takes place in line.  It's basically 3 1/2 hours of waiting in lines and you begin to pick out people you would like to see get their name called to run up and take a stab at the price of some random prize.

This guy was hilarious when it was interview time and even had a poem for Drew Carey.  I really hoped that he would be called, but he wasn't.  

I did not want my name to be called.  The entire time I was in line, I didn't want my name to be called.  It wasn't until we were in the studio that I then wanted my name to be called.

Here I am cheering in the hopes that maybe just maybe they'll see how eager I was, now that I was in the studio (behind the person with the blue sleeves).
And again, super excited that someone was getting their named called...still not mine. 

The studio is so bright!  If you've seen the show, you have some idea- but in person it's so much brighter.  The stage is much smaller than I thought it would be.  The crowd, much smaller than it looks on TV.  It's all much, much louder in person than on TV.  So loud in fact, you can't really hear the names being called, you have to rely on watching the cue card guy to hold up the card with the name that's being announced.  The cheering from the crowd is so loud that I missed the descriptions of several items that were on the episode so it was hard to know what we were cheering for.

Drew Carey is actually hilarious during commercial breaks.  It was like we were getting a free comedy show while we just happened to be audience members for a TV show.  It was fantastic! He interacts with the audience and genuinely seems like he wants to know everyone.  He's a class act, that Drew!
He actually suggested a restaurant that he frequents, to some people who were there from out of town and we ended up going afterwards and conversing with one of the waiters about Drew and how awesome he is.  He's actually really great at suggesting things to do around town for people who are new to the area, which was fantastic for us.

George Gray, the announcer also interacts with the audience and banters with Drew, both while filming the episode and during commercial breaks.  Just another added bonus.

The taping is so quick- basically done in an hour (just like the show) that you will be sad when it's time to leave.  But you will be excited for who ever won their showcase.

You might even attempt to congratulate their loved ones on the way out.

Side note about this particular episode: The two people in the showcase were named Amber and David.  Gonzo's real first name is David, so it was like some alternate version of ourselves were on the stage.  It was a good inside joke.  

David won his showcase on this Earth Day episode, but I was rooting for Amber.  Amber Stoner was her name and the jokes that were cut out of the broadcast were hilarious.  I was actually pretty disappointed in seeing the episode that aired as it wasn't nearly as comical as the taping had been (another good reason to go to a taping).  

The right Amber was selected for this show.  She was really enthusiastic and properly jumped on Drew Carey several times. 

I'm in this shot cheering like a crazy person for Amber Stoner when she guessed the right amount and got to go on stage.

Yes the whole process basically takes the entire day.  The likelihood that you will actually have your name called is slim.  Even if you win something the taxes are so ridiculous you will probably leave empty handed anyway, but to witness the whole thing is so much fun. 

I purchased a shirt while I was waiting in line, before the taping (the store is closed after the taping)- I've worn it several times since then, and each time, when in public, I have at least 2 people ask if I won anything.  That's the funny thing about this town.  They know that if you have a shirt, you must have gone to a taping, it's not just one of those random shirts you can buy at a Wal-Mart.  Now I can actually tell people that I did not win anything...what a relief!

Here's Dolores (dead center with the pink shirt and Navy blue sweater) waving slowly so the camera would get a shot of her when one of the contestants was called. 

Here's Rena, showing the appropriate amount of enthusiasm when nothing exciting was actually happening.  (Her dark hair blends into the guy's shirt behind her)

So, moral of this post- if you're in LA and you have a least a day to do nothing, go online to get tickets to The Price is Right and wait in some lines- meet some fun people you might not normally associate with, and enjoy the taping.  You won't be sorry!              

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Angeles National Forest

A few weeks back Gonzo and I had managed to leave our noisy apartment for the solitude of nature. 
And by nature, I really mean "driving thru nature".  Quite frankly that's because of my crazy fear of wildlife in this state.  Mountain Lions and Bears, oh my!

Anyway, that's a totally unrelated topic.  I just wanted to share some of the gorgeous pictures that Gonzo took while we were driving thru the Angeles National Forest.

Can you believe this view is only a few short miles away from LA?  Ok, well this particular view is quite a few miles into the Angeles National Forest...but even as you are driving into the Forest itself there are some pretty spectacular views:
It truly feels as if you are no where close to any sort of city life.  The traffic is minimal, unless it's a Sunday morning and you are driving toward Newcomb's Ranch.  Then it might be a little congested with motorcycles or sports cars doing meet ups, but for the most part you'll probably only see a handful of vehicles.

Make sure you take a jacket as the further up the elevation you go the colder it gets.  I believe on this particular day I was in a skirt and t-shirt...and flip flops (I honestly didn't know where we were going and it was 80 something in LA).  We went all the way up to 7200 feet I believe, and I was pretty chilly as night started to fall.

The views are amazing and there's plenty of turn-outs so you can stop and take photos (but limited cell phone service, so make sure you check your vehicle to make sure it can survive the trip and not leave you stranded).
(no that's not a spaceship, just lens flares)
There's, I believe, 80 or so miles of road to drive down.  There's several ski slopes along the way that you can stop at if they are open.  I think we only went roughly 50 miles in, as we got a late start and the sun was setting before we even made it back to civilization.
But as you head out, particularly at dusk or dark, you can see the sprawling city of LA on your way out and breathe one last sigh of relief at the lack of people surrounding you, before you get back in your car and get caught up in the craziness of it all. 

If you are ever in the LA area and need a break from the traffic, or the people, journey to the Angeles National Forest for a bit, and forget about your worries...unless of course you encounter a mountain lion or a bear...then you should worry. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

What's going on?

Aside from showing new friends around the LA area over the weekend, and hitting up Unwind in Burbank twice this weekend there hasn't been a whole heck of a lot going on in my neck of the woods.

I have to ship out the Baby Kai drawing I posted last week.  I'm still knitting the sweater for my niece, which will hopefully have a large majority of progress on it this week.  The yarn I purchased at Unwind this weekend will go toward making a sweater for myself from the free knitting pattern I received during the Yarn there's that.  I have a drawing of my niece to do for my mom that will hopefully be done either later this week or next.

I'm also working on a secret project.

It honestly probably shouldn't be secret, but I'm super self conscious about it, so it will remain under wraps for a bit longer.  Hopefully I'll be able to spill some of the beans by next month.  We shall see.

So what's going on in your neck of the woods?  Did you all have a great weekend? 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Baby Kai

I have some friends that have an adorable baby that has posing down!
Normally I don't post progress shots of my drawings, for various self conscious reasons.  But I have always enjoyed the look of partially completed drawings- as if faces or hands are floating in white space- or that they are only connected by a random line that would normally be a shirt or hat. I actually prefer less detail of the random line than what I have here...but whatever.

Most of my clients are looking for a completed drawing and that's what I provide- but occasionally I like to take photos of partially completed drawings to have something to look back on and wish that I hadn't completed.

That's not true.  I do like completing the drawings.  I like drawing the shading on clothing and finding shadows that maybe weren't clear in the photos I'm drawing from.  But there's something about the partially completed drawings that I really enjoy.  Maybe I'll do family portraits for myself- of people in my family... the drawings will be partially completed and then I can hang them in my office or living room for conversation pieces.  Time will tell.

Here is the finished product.

It's on 8 1/2" x 11" 20lb. printer paper.  I used HB, B, 2B and 4B graphite pencils.  Planning took several days to get all the kinks worked out on the perspective- but actually drawing the details and shading took roughly 5 hours.

Cute baby!  I have another baby drawing that I'll be working on in a the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Some Knits and some Comedy

Aside from some laziness on my part, I really have no other reason for not posting sooner, so I won't bore you with the details.

This post is going to be a mess of randomness, so be patient.

I've already begun using the yarn that was purchased and won at the L.A. Yarn Crawl.  Gonzo had asked for a hat out of the blue Rowan yarn- and since hats tend to be quick knits for me, I just dove right in.
There's a bit of a point at the top that I will probably go back and alter at some point, but Gonzo didn't seem to mind it, so it might stay.

I'm in the process of knitting a sweater for my niece.  This image is from the book "Baby Basics to knit for new moms" (no I'm not a new mom, but they have some cute items for babies, so I got it...I will also make note that there are mistakes in the pattern, so I'm taking my time on it to make sure I straighten it all out)
Using the splatter Hello Kitty yarn with stripes of the Irene colorway yarn from the basket I won.  As soon as I'm done, I'll post some pictures.

With that out of the way, I can tell you about my Monday night.  Gonzo managed to get us passes to the free Beta Test at Meltdown Comics/The Nerdist.  We got there kind of early, so we wandered Sunset Blvd.
Got some words of wisdom from some graffiti art; ate some Chipotle; walked some more; then stood in line for a good long while.  We made some line friends, one of whom gave me a Nerdist temporary tattoo for holding their spot in line.  The other entertained us with banter between her and the store employees.  While there is a good chunk of LA that is unfriendly, I've encountered a slew of very friendly people who aren't trying to recruit me for a cult. 

Anyway, a Beta Test at The Nerdist is where Chris Hardwick and special guests test out new standup material to find out if it's good enough to use. 
Apologies for the blurred picture, but I won't apologize for the fact that I am essentially making eye contact with Mr. Chris Hardwick here.  If you don't know who he is, there is a search engine called Google that you might want to type his name into to find answers.  I have no other photos from the set because a few moments after I snapped this picture Chris encouraged us to just be in the moment and put our cell phones down.  He didn't say we couldn't take pictures, but he was right...we've lost touch with just enjoying the moment.
The other surprise guests were Ron Funches, who I've seen on TV, but is also in the movie "Get Hard" with Will Farrell and Kevin Hart.  Doug Benson who was on a movie called "Super High Me".  Yes the theater smelled like pot (if you know or have seen either of the above mentioned then you know they get high...a lot).  Both were funny.  Chris Hardwick was, perhaps, more funny.  That's probably my opinion only- as I could relate more with his material than the other two.  But they were all entertaining and hilarious and definitely made my day. 

Not really anything else going on at the moment.  I've got some drawings I need to work on and will post those later.  Hope everyone had a great Easter!