Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year LA!

Welcome to 2014! They're will be plenty of more things to do in LA this year so stay tuned.

Celebrate LA! Celebrate with friends, family and new acquaintances. Drink, play, shout and look up to the sky for fireworks nearby. Make noise for all that can happen in then new year. So much is coming to the city. So many new events. So many returning festivals we've waited a year to see again. All coming in the new year.

A Trip to Japan in Sixteen Minutes, Revisited Sold Out

Do you smell? I mean with your nose. Those luckily enough to get the free tickets for A Trip to Japan in 16 minutes, Revisited must have been. This feast of smells is taking place at the Hammer Museum in January and every spot has been taken. Based on a "scent concert" that took place more than a 100 years ago in New York, a new revised smelling theater has the pungent arrival at the Hammer starting January 7th for a limited run. Now guests will enjoy Japan's smell from the comfort of LA.

Unlike it's predecessor's performance, which was an abysmal failure where its creator ended half-way through to cat-calls, this show has learned from those mistakes. A six-course smelling of different scents will be filtered into the room from a revised machine used in the original performance. Each smell devised from a real perfumer will be accompanied by its own music and sounds. To truly take in the performance guests will be blindfolded.

Hopefully, the scent theater becomes such a success that we can all smell it some time in the future.

A Trip to Japan in Sixteen Minutes, Revisited
Sold Out
Jan 7-12
The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd., 
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Space Dandy Premieres Jan 4

Space Dandy with those from Bones, Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop behind it has its premiere on Toonami. Saturday, January 4th, 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. 

Featuring a pretty boy who goes after new aliens to capture along his sidekicks an alien cat and a robot.

The show has a lot of heat behind it. It's coming to us English at the same time as it's Japanese showing. If it does well other animes might come dubbed to America the same way instead of the arduous process that can take years for them to come to America.

Plastic Bag Ban Starts Wednesday

Fellow LAins we face the ban on plastic bags this week. No longer may we simply get bags for our items we buy in stores. Starting Wednesday we ring in the New Year by not being allowed to purchase anything without remembering to bring a bag or basket.

Baskets will now return to the market as a convenience.

Go out and get a canvas bag that's easily washable.

Smaller stores don't have to get into the act until July and you'll be able to buy paper bags at supermarkets for ten cents if you don't have a bag yet.

Wrong Cops Quick Review Wrong

Wrong Cops

I take back putting Wrong Cops in the Weekly What To Do section. Quentin Dupieux's fourth film is an argument someone could you against indie movies being garbage and they would win. It could have been the bizarre shooting schedule, from what I've read online was random and not shot altogether. The film features short vignettes of bad cops doing bad things. The pace and switching from cop to cops matches changing what your listening to on the radio. Dupieux's background in music breaks through as large chunks of the film are about music choices even a cop trying to get a song distributed.

The cops acting, the ugly setting and boring camera work make nothing stand out in the film. Wrong, his previous film, had some strange ideas, psychically linking to your dog. That's not even here. This movie is void of the strange, except for one joke about pot distribution in dead animals, in favor of cops acting badly and I mean that literally.

It's like Dupieux's somehow got worse as a director and writer. After loving Rubber and being saddened by Wrong, it's time for Dupieux to stick to music, which is what he cared more about in the film then any story.

Wrong Cops is a series of shorts that should be free on the internet, though I wouldn't continue to watch them.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Metro Free New Year's Eve

"Specifically. starting 9pm on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 until 2am on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. All Metro Rail Line Stations with latched gates will be unlatched during this time.
One-way fare is $1.50 for travel in one direction, on one line only. A $5 Day Pass covers unlimited travel starting on date of purchase until 3am the next morning.
Note: All Metro Rail lines and the Metro Orange Line will operate all night every 20 minutes on New Year's Eve."


Last Minute New Year's Eve List

Here's the test footage of downtown LA's New Year's Eve event. Looks like the 3D projection works well enough to ring in the new year.

Check it out for real 

New Year's Eve LA
Starts at 6pm
Grand Park
200 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles,CA 90012

The Grand Park will be the perfect point in LA to celebrate the new year with plenty of musical acts leading up to the big countdown at midnight.

I've already given you a taste of all the New Year's Eve Celebrations and some Nerdy New Year's.

Here's some more that have popped up on my radar. Both 21+ events

Passport to a New Year: Queen Mary's New Year's Eve Celebration
Starts at 7pm
Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
$99 and up

Be on the Queen Mary to seemingly land in the new year. Featuring the Ports of Cocktails where you can try different cocktails from around the world. Celebrate with a fireworks display at midnight.

Cross Counter presents New Years Eve 2014
Starts at 8pm
3184 E. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA  90023

For the gamer you have Cross Counter filling the night with fighters and a cosplay contest with  lovely Miss Amie Lynn hosting.

Zelda Wrapping Paper Contest Last Day

you could win this
Jeez, the entries have been so minimal anyone could win even if they enter today. I thought you people liked Zelda? Why not draw quick sketch of what Zelda Wrapping Paper might look like and win?

 To win one of these posters you'll have to send in a Legend of Zelda wrapping paper design to

conteststtdila (at) gmail.com

with the subject being

Legend of Zelda wrapping paper

 include your full name, age and address

Anything will due, but the best sketches/drawings/what have you win. I want wrapping paper that's based on the Legend of Zelda. Be creative! Have It's Dangerous To Go Alone repeated. Mix in a Home Alone idea. Whatever, just have fun.

Deadline is Dec 30. Open to US residents only.

Wizard Robes Cheap

Whimsic Alley, your local fantasy shop, has to get rid of wizard robes in the new year. I'm guessing the lawsuit over using the Harry Potter brand is going into affect and they're getting rid of any retail not licensed.

From now until their stock runs out you can get deals on the robes and other wizard apparel. They will not restock, so unless you want to get this stuff online best get on a broom and fly over.

No Jamie Kennedy New Year's Eve

Despite promising coming back in some form for New Year's, Jamie Kennedy has no listed New Year's Eve parties or specials. Pechanga made claims of hosting the party when the hype of how bad the event went was big news in the city last January. Macy Gray seemed confused and unsettled, live cursing and finally a fight ending the festivities all in the courtyard of The Chinese Theater.

This year the Chinese Theater is being rented out for a New Year's eve party. Pechanga has KC and the Sunshine Band playing on the 31st. Kennedy's web-site list no event happening to ring in the new year.

KDOC, the station that held the party, has washed it's hands of the event. They'll be showing a taped community New Year's Eve event.

Round 1 Arcade Beyond LA Lies A Great Arcade

Beyond the city of LA are the surrounding far off lands seldom people visit do to the constant local news telling of murders most foul. For those brave enough to venture beyond LA to the City of Industry you'll encounter the most up to date arcade featuring the newest machines from Japan in the LA area.

On a recent quest that did not end enjoying the tastes of the Magic Bathroom Cafe, a mere mile or so from the location, some friends and I were presented with one of the finest arcades and entertainment centers that begs the questions, "Why didn't this place open in Hollywood and Highland?" or "Why isn't this in the valley?"

Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
Puente Hills Mall
1600 S.Azusa Ave. Suite 285,
City of Industry, CA 91748
(626) 964-5356

We parked on the wrong end of the lot. We missed the majesty of a giant bowling pin. The comfort of sliding doors. A commercial explaining what the place was. We missed the wall of what new machines were in. We missed who the bowling champs were.

We explored the mall first until we saw the massive entrance. I stopped to behold Sega's Dream Raiders, which I had only seen on the Arcade Heroes web-site. One of the only new arcade machines brought to America from Sega last year. We were in awe.

For the first thirty minutes we explored the vast nature of Round 1. My party or to write my best friend's birthday party had driven forty miles, passed two major accident (one expected, because it's LA) and one dead duck left on the side of the freeway on metal railing, it looked like it was killed with a vendetta, all to traverse this wonderful arcade.

Stumbling passed the Sega's Dream Raiders we entered the redemption center. Toys and items that would be cheaper to buy instead of going after in the arcade. We went further into the redemption games. Beyond that were shooters I had never shot. So many brightly colored guns to hold. So many different set-ups, so many ways to shoot killer robots in the future.

Passed Mario racing Pac-Man was the fighter section. You can actually get the Tekken Banapassport card to save your progress and level up your fighter, I don't believe there are any LA locations to do so.

Dueling guitars from Gitadora.

What's that sound?

I'm listening....

Where have I heard this before?

Oh, my G-d!

It's the theme song for Humanity Has Declined, "Real World" by Nano Ripe. Gitadora was playing the opening theme from one of my favorite animes that just got released in the US.

Is this place magical?

Taiko Drum Master!

They have a brand new Taiko Drum Master with Doramon and Naruto songs.

I thought I'd never see you again after Japan Arcade closed old giant drum friend.

After the sheer joy of getting to play Taiko again swelled my heart, further did I wander and marvel at all the glorious games to try. From the entrance I could see the bowling alley,I had passed it  the arcade calling was to loud. Bowling, next to billiards, ping-pong and rooms and rooms of karaoke.

This isn't just two lanes or a few rooms, karaoke and bowling dominate an area of the amusement center. If you enter from it's real entrance you'll pass them as you get to the arcade area.

Food is found inside with it's own greasy food area and a few tables. There's even a locker area to stow your belongings to free up your hands.

Now after just accepting I was in a real honest to goodness arcade again I had to get a card. Quarters are dead. You've got to put credit on your card, which cost a buck to activate to play these games. In the next two hours I spent fifteen and played everything I wanted to or I probably spent more. Time and common sense died when I just walked around looking at all the new machines.

You also have the ability to pay for an hourly rate for playing the arcade machines, you lose redemption machines and perhaps more with this offer. Just ask the staff.

Staff interaction was minimal. I could use a kiosk to put points on my card. The times I talked to them they could barely understand me over the noise of people.

I can't recall if anything was even broken other than one air hockey machines. There were a few minor scrapes hear and there. The test your strength hammer looked like a dog got to it. Clean arcade approval.
The settings for Pac-Man Smash were stuck on normal though. A game where the rules of normal air hockey should not apply as muliple tiny discs are suppose to be flinged on the board so you can chomp up points faster by scoring them into your opponents goal. This option was not open and normal "classic mode" was only allowed on these machines.

Sticker picture machines for girls, claw machines to win prizes for girls and boys. Music games to play out your rock star fantasies with racers nearby.

Let's get gaming!

First to play was the Let's Go Jungle 3D game. No glasses required, I played along side a friend the poorly written shooter where you shoot starfish and squids down for ruining your vacation. It's a game I played before, not in 3D though.

I will stick to not playing it in 3D. The screen had some sort of a streak in it, which wouldn't be too damning if the 3D wasn't so bad.

This ridiculous shooter with bad acting cut scenes of an Australian couple has other units to play on, I suggest you play on them instead.

Dariusburst Another Chronicle wanted my butt to start shooting aliens mutant robots. The four player side-scrolling shooter had me teaming up with friends destroying a giant whale robot and satellites in space. Four-player weapon enhancing via tiny glowing orbs action. There's even a button to raise sound on your side of the machine.

There was nothing stranger or fun to watch then Elevator Action Death Parade. An arcade machine with real closing elevator doors you could open and close with the push of a button while shooting bad guys and monsters. The name alone will have you wanting to try it off in the corner in the back.

Dream Raiders, the machine that first encountered my eye was another insane concept from Sega. Enter dreams and shoot things. There are a lot of robots in dreams no matter if you're on a race track or your in the old west. This shooter takes two players and features  rumble seat to feel every car after your or UFO ride. I remember racing away from meteorites on the road.

Dark Escape 4D has two units to get trapped in. Put on some 3D glasses then get stuck in a nightmare where the machine "monitors" your heard through the shooter controllers. It's "4D" due to surround sound and air blowers to get you when your crawling through crevices or zombies are breathing on you.

Zombies in this are heavy. No flailing, it more like your hitting something with with no ligaments, a big heavy piece of meat. A horror shooter that be fun to master along side a friend who likes scary movies. With authentic 3D that gets all that gruesome close to your face.

Animal Kaiser makes it's appearance. Another game I never thought I'd see in America an to my knowledge weren't in the US until that day. Play as real world animals with unrealistic attacks against other real world animals with collectible cards. This machine scans real world cards. It's a gamble, you just have to hope whatever your number lands on is higher than your opponents. This machine does something most others haven't in the US. Give you a new card after playing. A new animal, attack, and super attack might fall out. You'll get a free card to start with if you ask for one behind the counter.

Watch as real world animals perform Dragon Ball Z attacks on each other for your pleasure.

They day grew short and we never go to bowl or sing or even play ping pong. There were other machines in photos I took I forgot to play. All that means is I have an excuse to go back.

This arcade amusement center comes from Japan, sort of like a test to see the market of America and how well there brand might work. There are two other locations further away from LA. The one I went to has been going since at least 2010 and into 2014 I hope to hear news of it moving closer to my city.

One of the best arcades I've gone to, blowing any other in LA right now. If you want a real arcade then it's worth the drive.

*You could still put this in the Arcades in LA series.

Photo Gallery

Multiple Exhibits To Check Out

The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years
Until Sunday, April 27th, 2014
The Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City

Amazing photos from the last 125 years of the National Geographic.

Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986
Until February 9, 2014
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles

See how American comics depicted Asians in it's early years into the 80's. 

"The exhibition also contains elements designed to encourage direct engagement with the archetypes, such as life-size cutouts of the eight archetypes that allow visitors to put themselves “inside the image” and an installation called “Shades of Yellow” that matches the shades used for Asian skin tones in the comics with their garish yellow Pantone™."

SPY: The Secret World of Espionage
Until March 9, 2014
The Reagan Library

Coming out on the heels of no movie related to spying is a curious new exhibit at the Reagan Library, probably not the best time to be mentioning spying with the NSA in deep trouble, but it is the Regan Library. Interactive exhibits with featuring spy equipment to look at. All the goodies you want to see from movies that were used for real.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2014 LA Times Travel Show

2014 LA Times Travel Show 
January 18-19
LA Convention Center

From the press release:

"This year’s show will feature an expanded LA Times area where award-winning journalists will host salons with their favorite experts on international sports events, major music fests and useful travel tech, as well as a presentation on The Times’ “Postcards From the West” series. The Travel Smart stage has a full schedule of mini-seminars on the best of Europe for 2014, getting the most from your vacation budget, staying connected on the road, travel safety and the latest in alternative lodging. Over at the Flavors of the World kitchen, acclaimed chefs will treat audiences to cooking demos and samples of regional cuisine. Attendees will also be entertained by live cultural performances and have access to a screening room showing short videos, including reader-submitted vacation movies.

Tickets are $8 in advance (use code Travel2014) or $10 at the door; Times members have access to two-for-one tickets. LA Times’ 3rd annual trade day for travel professionals will be held January 17. For tickets and more information, go to latimes.com/travelshow."

Friday, December 27, 2013

Game Haus Cafe Photo Log

Terry Chiu and Robert Cron, Game Haus Cafe owners

Gaming time! Earlier this December TTDILA visited Game Hause Cafe, the cafe where you can play board games. A video of the experience is on the way, in the mean time check out Terry Chiu and Robert Cron the owners and myself getting into a heated game of Battleship

Game Haus Cafe
1800 South Brand Blvd., #107, 
Glendale, California 91204
It's across from the park, little hard to find your first time. Keep going down San Fernando Road to find parking.

Don't forget about the

Game Haus Cafe New Year's Eve Party
December 31st