Bird: the Charlie Parker story

The great thing about working from home is that it's OK to fuck around in the time you save by not travelling. So today this was watching the second half of Madame X which we taped the other night and selections from Clint Eastwood's Bird. One of my favourite bits of Bird is when Parker takes the red-headed jewish trumpeter Red Rodney on a tour of the deep South as part of his band under the billing of "Albino Red" (this being the days of segregation in the South) and makes him sing the blues in various juke joints. Forest Whitaker is exceptionally good as Parker.

Madame X, on the other hand, is a fifties melodrama where Lana Turner is almightily punished (the loss of husband, son, exile, alcoholism, whoring, madness and ultimately death) for playing around with Ricardo Montalban while her husband is away. I hope Montalban was a pretty good shag. Of course, Montalban's other great film is Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.

Las Vegas: dirty girls, cold beer

Las Vegas

I didn't like Las Vegas. Too disorientating (I know that's the idea). We got a bus up from our Stassi-themed hotel by the flyover to the top end of the strip where the prostitutes live (as opposed to where they work) and walked down. It's two or three miles. We'd pop into different casinos to have a look around, gawp at the bedraggled queues of people for the all-you-can-eat buffets and then spend half an hour trying to find the way out. The best bit was the vodka martini I had in a Japanese restaurant about halfway down. Having said that the fact there were 200,000 people in town for a fashion convention didn't help my mood. But we do have some nice pictures, like this one.


Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove

Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove

We went for a walk in Santa Cruz in the morning before breakfast. Lots of joggers and power walkers.


Round San Francisco

Round San Francisco

Still slowly uploading all the pics from USA. We haven't left SF as yet. This was Saturday at the Farmer's Market, the view away from the people buying organic oranges and french pastries.


Murphy's: San Francisco

Murphy's: San Francisco

More pics from San Francisco.


Alcatraz: No Exit

Alcatraz: San Francisco

I am back from California. I have 1000s of pictures. I will refrain from posting them all and just post the better ones. We started in San Francisco and one of the best things we did there was visit Alcatraz. You can see the pics here or click on the picture.

Did you know: The Birdman of Alcatraz didn't have any birds in all the time he was at Alcatraz, that was at his previous jail.