Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

This video is for anyone who is a Rick Astley fan. Remember him from the 80s? This clip is from a recent concert in Manila which was loaded onto YouTube by someone who attended the concert. He is seen singing with the Filipino version of himself!!!  I ❤ Rick Astley!!!

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This post is for Michael and Alison at Off the Vine Wines in San Pedro. Their store is awesome and we have gone wine tasting a few times there.  Last Labor day e also went on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach cruise and it was a blast. So if you are in San Pedro this weekend, you must check this out as it sounds a lot of fun. I wished we could go but we have prior commitments.

Central Coast Wine and BBQ Cruise

Saturday August 23rd – 7p-9:30p – $85 ($75 OTV Members)

Off The Vine and Spirit Cruises invite you on a special wine and dinner cruise. Come aboard and Cruise around Terminal Island, Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbors, under all four bridges and see over 150 points of interest in our nations busiest harbors.  See the Queen Mary, old Navy Base, Terminal Island Federal Prison, “Love Boat” Terminal, tankers, cargo ships, and much, much more!!
Feast on BBQ steak kabobs and fish as well as sip incredible wines from Central Coast Wineries such as Alma Rosa, Ovene, Vines on the Marycrest, Zeneida Cellars, Garretson and Rancho Sisquoc.
Limited to 40 guests so RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW!!!
Cancellations for a full refund must be made by Tuesday August 19th. No refunds given if cancellation is received after Tuesday August 19th.

In store Tasting Hours
First Thursday (of each month) 4p-9p
Friday 4p-9p
Saturday 2p-9p
Michael Koth and Alison Shaw
Off the Vine
600 S Pacific Ave STE 103
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 831-1551

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One of my students my favorite student, the wonderful-awesome-funny-nutty-kind CS, gave me a wonderful gift for Xmas: tickets to see the LA Galaxy on their season opener game against the San Jose Earthquakes. When DB was brought to play with the Galaxy there was, and there still is, such a huge hype about it. I was rather annoyed about all the attention that was given to only one player and left the others, who by the way are wonderful players, in his shadow. To add insult to injury, every time they had their games last fall the area around the stadium, the Home Depot, became so congested and for students who were attending classes during the times that the games were on, it was a nuisance –to put it mildly. How do I know this? Well that’s where I go to school…can you imagine sitting in class listening to a lecture and then all of sudden there is this uproar coming from the west side of the campus? It was beyond annoying.

So anyway, my wonderful student gave me tickets because she and her husband have been going to the Galaxy games for years and she told me that I HAD to see the man in action. So I was excited about going to see a soccer game live because I do love soccer. What made the whole experience even more exciting was the fact that I found out one of my favorite players from back in the days is currently the head coach of the Galaxy. YES!! Rudd Gullit, the man the legend, he who played with my second favorite Italian team AC Milan and was in the same team as my FAVORITE player in the whole wild world Paolo Maldini was here in LA in my school’s stadium. Oh the excitement that I felt about being there, sitting a few rows behind the Galaxy bench and breathing the same air as Gullit.

So the long dreadlocks are gone, the mustache is gone and he totally looks different nowadays. But man was I jolly to be there! The picture is not the greatest, but it makes me giggle every time I look at it. I really hope that he will help make the Galaxy into a kick ass team and take their game to a higher level! I think Landon Donovan is also a very good player and man was it exciting to see him in action! And kudos to the rest of the team as well for winning the game and making the whole experience so exciting. For the record, I lost my voice…it was hard to stay quiet and sit in my seat like the rest around me….hehe 🙂

There is an awesome YouTube video of him which shows what an amazing player he is. It is totally worth watching. Anyway, I can’t finish this post without out sending a shout out to my my favorite boys: Forza Roma my favorite Italian soccer league team and Forza Azzurri world cop champions baby!!!!

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Today is the evening of Chahar Shanbeh Sury. In Iran people gather around bonfires and jump over the flames while reciting a phrase which loosely translated means “give me your red complexion or coloring and take my yellow or sickly coloring.” This is an old ritual which always takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year.

Tonight I created my own version of a bonfire. I came up with my own genius method a few years back when I didn’t have a backyard. A good old candle on the floor of my apartment was given he honor of pretending to be a bonfire. So once again this year I jumped over a candle! J partook in the celebration by jumping over our makeshift fire while reading the phrase from one of my Persian cookbooks which has a description of the whole event. Then he promptly handed me the book and went back to watching his documentary. I am glad that he at least partakes…while he probably thinks to himself “what have I gotten myself into.” 🙂

Wikipedia does a fabulous job of explaining this ritual and because it is late and I am tired I am going to just post the portion that is relevant to today:

The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated by the Iranian people as Chahârshanbe Sûrî Persian: چهارشنبه سوری, (Azerbaijani: Od çərşənbəsi meaning wednesday of fire, Kurdish: Çarşeme surê, چوارشه‌مه‌ سوورێ meaning red wednesday), the Iranian festival of fire. This festival is the celebration of the light (the good) winning over the darkness (the bad); the symbolism behind the rituals are all rooted back to Zoroastrianism.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make bonfires, and jump over them while singing the traditional song Zardî-ye man az to, sorkhî-ye to az man; This literally translates to “My yellowness for you, your redness for me,” with the figurative message “My paleness (pain, sickness) for you (the fire), your strength (health) for me.”

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Maria De Barros


A couple of weekends ago we went to a concert at the Getty Center. I am always happy to go to the Getty center because I love going to museum and this one happens to have an amazing garden and view of LA as a bonus. I have been to a few concerts at the Getty in the past few years, but this last one was by far the most amazing experience EVER.

There were three musician and the one that made a lasting impression on me personally was Maria de Barros. What an amazing singer, her music touched my soul. Her band was also mazing. I had never seen people actually get up and dance at the Getty center. Her warmth was felt by everyone in the auditorium. It was just a unique and terrific experience. I really like the sound of Portuguese and because of her I like the language even more.

J and I bought one of her CDs and continued to listen to her on our way home from the Getty. Maria de Barros was gracious enough to sign our CD followed by a warm hug and kiss, well just to me, because by then J was wondering off on his own, so he missed out!! One thing that came to mind was the fact that it was nice to see a real artist that connects with her crowd and is a gracious performer, unlike all the fluff and untalented singers that we hear nowadays on the radio.

We tried taking pictures, but the lighting wasn’t right in the auditorium. I was able to take a picture of her outside, not the greatest picture, but you can still see how beautiful she is! You can purchase her CDs through her website which are sold through Amazon.

The LA Times did a nice review of her performance which is worth reading:


Live: Maria de Barros

Dancing the night away with a diva-in-waiting
By Don Heckman, Special to The Times
March 3, 2008

Maria de Barros came onstage like a colorful whirlwind of Cape Verdean exhilaration at the Getty Center’s Williams Auditorium on Saturday night. Engaging the full-house crowd from her very first note, she sang and danced her way through a colorful collection of songs rooted in the island culture of her parents’ birthplace.

Although the multilingual De Barros was born in Senegal and lived in Mauritania before moving to Rhode Island as a teenager, she has come to prominence as a highly visible exponent of Cape Verdean music. Her Getty performance, however, clearly demonstrated that — although she is the goddaughter of reigning Cape Verde diva Cesária Évora — De Barros is creating an expressive vocal style that is uniquely her own.

Much of the material in her too-brief set was drawn from her second CD, “Danca ma Me” (Dance With Me). “Rosinha,” the tale of a woman awaiting the return of a lover, embraced the deep Cape Verdean tradition of songs associated with loss and longing, tinged with the poignancy of Brazilian saudade.

Other songs — “Bo Ke Nha Boy,” Espaco Infinito” and “Riberonzinha” among them — dipped into the traditional mornas and coladeiras that first came to the attention of Western listeners via the recordings of Évora. And “Sol di Manha” added the vigor of funana rhythms, energized by the stirring percussive sound of the ferro, which is nothing more than a piece of metal vigorously scraped and tapped with a spoon.

In each case, De Barros enhanced the traditional rhythms with other elements, sometimes infusing them with the spice of Brazilian sambas and Afro-Cuban salsas, always enlivening them with the dark, velvet timbres of her voice, her emotive phrasing and her sheer enthusiasm for making music.

Those qualities triggered effusive responses from the crowd, especially the substantial numbers of Cape Verdeans present, many of whom lined the sides of the auditorium and the edges of the stage in dancing posses, occasionally waving the multi-starred flag of their native island.

De Barros, after drawing the audience into singing a selection from her soon to be released third album, “Morbeza,” slipped into the aisles, winding up her engaging performance with up close and personal contact with her enthusiastic listeners.

Opening the evening, singer-songwriter Waldemar Bastos delivered several stirring numbers affirming his reputation as the “voice of Angola.”

And the evening wrapped on a high point with a characteristically vigorous blend of African and Cuban rhythms from Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca.

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