After a good night’s rest and breakfast at Tammy’s we headed north to Los Angeles. Peter had made an appointment to see the studio of internet personality Bill Whittle, but it was like a scavenger hunt, in that we could not get the actual address until we were within 20 miles of the studio proper.
So we went to what has become a regular spot for our LA visits — Magnolia Lane in Burbank. Besides having a screenwriter’s store and a horror book store, it also has a consignment clothing store called It’s A Wrap. When a show or movie production ends, the studio is often left with a lot of clothing, which may have been worn by an actor for a few takes, or more often, was bought as one of several options. The most stylish and camera-friendly clothing is available, mostly in slender actor sizes, for half of its original price or more. It’s just as much fun to browse and understand what goes into creating an image which looks carefree and simple, but is often not. Almost all the women’s shoes have high, high heels and/or platforms. Unused shapewear comes in several sizes. And some clothes have nips and stitches put in the back or low on the side. The store will tell you which production the items came from, and you can guess who wore it (or for whom it was intended) if you want to know whose style in what movie you’re now wearing. For instance, on a previous visit, I bought a pair of Manolo Blahnik high heels from Snakes on a Plane. By their size and style, I think they were Lupita N’ongo’s, and if I ever see the movie, I will be looking at her feet.
This time, Peter found a pullover which had been meant for a Transformers movie for only $10. I discovered the clothes from a TV show called Mistresses suit my style, and snagged a blue skirt. I also found a cute dress that had been meant for (by never worn by) Giuiliana Rancic, and in a very Los Angeles way, intended to wear it that night for Neil’s birthday party.
We received the address of our destination and checked out. Bill Whittle’s studio was far more impressive that I expected it to be for an internet personality, but then I may still be thinking of YouTube as an amateur medium, even as much quality entertainment including full on TV shows are exclusively online now. More than anything, I enjoyed all his science fiction memoribilia. I had to pose with Buckaroo Banzai
and the Star Trek uniform
Bill Whittle spoke to us briefly as he was downloading files for another show he was about to produce. On the way out, I discovered his door made the same sound as the doors in the original Star Trek. Fascinated, I opened and closed the door repeatedly. Whittle told me I could buy the motion activated device that made that sound myself for only $4 online. Well, I guess I know what accessory I will have in my next house.
We’d made plans to take Neil out for dinner to celebrate his 19th birthday, but his classes didn’t end until 5:30 pm. I had to post my last travelogue, so we had Google maps direct us to a pub. We couldn’t resist one named the Robin Hood pub for a late lunch.
Then we headed over to UCLA and hung out in the bookstore until Neil was out of class and joined us. We took him to Valentino’s, a nice Italian restaurant in Santa Monica. Here we are celebrating the occasion.
The restaurant has a good reputation, and food was indeed very good. Both Neil and I had pasta, and I may come around to making fresh pasta myself, having thought for years that dry pasta was good enough. Scout had some tomato soup, and Peter the veal piccata. Maybe I should be relieved they didn’t have chicken piccata. It’s my signature dish, and better than anyone else’s chicken piccata, but Valentino’s chef might have given me some competition.
We asked our waiter for bring Neil some tiramisu with a candle in lieu of a birthday cake. They wrote happy birthday on the plate in chocolate as well. Peter got some, and it was the best tiramisu we’ve ever had. I also had some hazelnut ice cream and Scout enjoyed the cannoli.
Then we had Neil open his presents, and all too soon, we had to drop him back off at campus, and head east to Las Vegas.