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Author Micah Cambre

the huell howser legacy is online!

Bookmarked Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University by an author

Gold has struck! For those who’ve never heard of the enthusiastic Huell Howser, he created a show that ran for years on California’s PBS stations which highlighted his trips and research to various locations around the state.

Because of his show, I visited a few places in the state that I would not have otherwise thought about or known. In October of 2017, for example, we went apple picking about a couple hours east of LA and it was a really nice way to get out of LA proper and enjoy one of the many things that California has.

If you want a taste of what kind of show he made, try the episode about the Hollywood Sign.

He left behind such a great legacy and now I can see more episodes that I missed through the years!

perks of living in hollywood

  1. Vince Vaughn @ Fred ClausOn the first weekend of November, I had a friend visiting me for her first trip to LA. I love when my out of town friends come into to town and visit me. It gives me a chance to show off the city I’ve spent three and a half years growing to love.

    We did all the stereotypical things one would expect when coming to LA: Disneyland, Hollywood Blvd., and the beach. I asked her if there was anything particular that she wanted to do only to receive an apathetic reply. So, I made my own little tour for the weekend.

    Following a day at Disneyland, we decided to go to Hollywood on Saturday. The most obvious and tourist friendly place for out-of-towners is the Highland and Hollywood center. It’s $2 parking for 4 hours, accessible to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame.

    On this particular day, we had a nice quick lunch before walking out and noticing that Hollywood Blvd. was blocked off. The one thing she had kinda requested was to see the hand and foot prints at the theatre. As we walked over there, we noticed a bunch of lights, microphones, cameras, and slowly people congregating. Then we noticed that the theatre was off limits. Turns out there was a premiere for the movie Fred Claus.

    We eventually decided to stick around since apparently the premiere festivities were about to start. I grabbed my camera and looked like a paparazzo perched to the side amongst a little crowd near the entrance of the red carpet. Eventually, black cars drove up and let out celebrity after celebrity, many of whom I couldn’t name or had no idea who they were.

    After standing there taking photographs of whomever I could, a guy approaches us with a stack full of passes in his hand. “Does anyone want a pass to a screening?” he asked. Sounded good to me. So we both tried fighting for passes not thinking much of it. Maybe it was just some random screening of this movie on another weekend. Our diligence paid off as we were the last two tickets that he had in his hand.

    After receiving the tickets, we looked on the passes to see what date this screening was for.

    Hey, wait, isn’t this today’s date? I asked.

    “It sure looks like it; what time is it?” she replied.

    The premiere start time was 4pm on Saturday, November 3rd. Wait, that was… we had the golden tickets to this premiere! We walked to the entrance of the red carpet and they let us right through! I walked my very first and only Hollywood premiere!

    As we passed on the left portion of the red carpet, we passed all the celebrities on the right as they were doing interviews with the media. I got a good look at most of the celebrities up close and even met a couple. Premieres are all they’re cracked up to be too: free everything and unlimited access to all of it. Hollywood knows how to party in style

    The strangest part of the whole experience for me was after the movie was over. We waited a couple of minutes for the crowd to die down before making our way up the aisle. Then, as if on cue, stands up Vince Vaughn, Fred Claus himself. How many times in your life do you see a movie with the lead star, only to see him in person after the movie is over?

    Only in Hollywood.

  2. Keira and JamesI got a phone call last Tuesday evening for an invitation to a screening of the movie Atonement. Once again, not expecting anything, I got to see a pretty decent movie with some very mature and deep themes of romance, lost hope and lifelong regret.

    The screening finished followed by a Q&A with the director. Then, the surprise turned even better: all the leads were in attendance. It was quite a treat to hear each of them talk about different elements of the movie and how it was all put together. Keira is even more attractive and radiant in person.

In a span of a month, I attended two events which were spontaneous and unplanned surprises. People back in Texas ask me when I’m moving back, expecting me to be ready to go back to what I had before and continue life in Texas. As far as I’m concerned, I’m enjoying the availability of events like this and look forward for more to come. I’m just having too much fun to actually go anywhere else.

into the wild

into the wild

Driving is in my blood. I do it often and I enjoy it. It’s a mobile comfort zone. I’ve made many long distance trips and endured many hours alone while driving from point A to point B. I mentally prepare myself for long trips since some drives can be tedious and boring. I also learn and adapt to visual cues to make my drives more interesting.

In college, there were the trips I made between Houston and Dallas on I-45. I know the amount of time it should take to make the trip. I know how the outlet mall in Conroe is the cue that either I’m completely out of or getting closer to the metropolitan and suburban of Houston. I remember Highway 79 at Buffalo is where I used to turn in order to go to my grandparent’s house in northeast Texas or the way to Lakeview church camp. Fairfield is the beginning of the Dallas half of I-45. I know the exact point about 30 miles south of downtown Dallas that I can see the neon green outline of the Bank of America building at night. The McDonalds in Huntsville is where I’ve spent many rest stops with my friends going to and from church camp. Right before I get to Madisonville, I know I’m exactly 99 miles from downtown Houston. My dad and I stopped at a closed gas station between Conroe and Huntsville for a few minutes because the rain was coming down so hard. There used to be a hill between Corsicana and Dallas just east of the freeway that had “GOLF” clearly spelled out.

When I lived in Denver for two years, I spent two 8 hour days with an overnight in Lubbock. Brenham is where the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory is located! When 290 turns into 36, I spend about five hours of my drive on 36 ending up in Abilene. One time when I was driving through Abilene, I found a college radio station that happened to be playing one of my favorite composers, Kurt Bestor. I instantly fell in love that day. There’s a stretch of Highway 84 that has a lot of plateaus and rocky hills. This is the precursor to the next day’s drive or reminder of the previous day’s drive. After leaving Clayton on Highway 64, about 15 minutes into the drive to Raton, there’s a huge hill across from Mt. Capulin Volcano that keeps my attention for about an hour. It’s a beautiful drive. From Dumas to Clayton, there is little of anything to look at except corn fields and silos. Dalhart is your last chance for Blue Bell Ice Cream before you leave Texas. About 15 minutes south of Raton, a hail storm pounded my car and I almost got into an accident. Trinidad, Colorado has this one hill that looks like stair steps. Colorado Spring signifies the last leg of my journey or the beginning of the rest of my trip. Just north of Colorado Springs is the Air Force Academy’s chapel, a place I’ve been to exactly three times. Between Trinidad and Pueblo, the best music to play while you see a train going down the track with mountains in the background is Kansas’ “Song for America”. In fact, this song is appropriate for a lot of this trip.

I saw the movie Into the Wild a week ago. I don’t watch movies as often as I wish, and I come across movies like this even less often. Although the subject of the movie has its controversies, the message was very well delivered and quite thought provoking.

Throughout the movie, I continually thought of different people I know who would identify with this scene or that scene. His journey, the scenery, his misfortunes… so much brought back memories of my own journeys and behaviors. For each person I thought of, I could relate my own experience and memory of these scenes just as much. This kid had a lot of angst and loneliness trying to find the way to his purpose and I understand what that’s like. This kind of loneliness is being in a car for many hours and allows you to process anything you want. It’s you, the radio, and your thoughts.

The kinds of solitary experiences Christopher went through brought me back to the countless hours I spent in my drivers seat. The kinds of inductive reasonings and theories he would often expound upon, including the memorable quotes from several well known authors, were identifiable and familiar. It made me miss those solitary times I spend in the car. I think that’s part of the reason I like to be on the road; the open road is my freedom, my independence and my endless possibility. It reminds me that there’s more to live than just the routines and habits we develop. If we continue to do the same all the time, we lose the opportunities to make the memories that change us. Living outside your element is the experience which helps you see those new possibilities.

“Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fairness… give me truth.” -Henry David Thoreau

one night in hollywood

Last night was my first social night in weeks. I’ve spent the last few weeks staying at home, being frugal and not spending much so that I can save money and use what I do have for the things I enjoy. It’s been a test of my patience and discipline, but it’s what had to be done given my circumstance.

Room 5 sits just above Amalfi on Le Brea. I arrived a few minutes late only to find out his performance didn’t start until 8:30. Already, it being 10 past 8, the room was completely full with every seat taken. But the crowd slowly filled out. By the end of his performance the place was more than overcrowded. Sweat was dripping down my armpits as the temperature rose several degrees. My body is already too hot as it is.

I went to support my friend. I enjoy going to see my friends do what makes them happy. This night did not disappoint. Standing tall and peering over several people, I clung to a column as I watched six guys sing their hearts out. My friend had two solos throughout the performance, but you knew this was only one of many performances. Sadly, his mic was too quiet.

If you’ve never heard a boy band or barbershop quartet, the one thing you are missing out on is voices that harmonize in such a way that it makes your arm hair stand straight up. These six guys had a really exciting stage presence, with beautiful harmony throughout each song.

A thirty-five minute performance ended with a very desired encore. The room, full of the best and worst of hollywood, cheered and shouted for more. This was just one night, everyone knew what they wanted and the following musicians waited their turns to make their impressions.

“They’ve got nothing on you,” texted one guy to his friend. Whoever he was talking to must have been in the game for a while because this group I watched was so on last night.

Following the encore, we preceded downstairs to have drinks. I became my usual self, standing alone, checking my phone for text messages and doing whatever was necessary to look like I wasn’t bored or alone. It wasn’t before too long that I met some mutual friends who were there supporting the same friend I was. So small talk and minutes passed as I waited for our next move.

Red Rock on Sunset is a popular place for drinks. On any given night, you’ll find a typical collection of the west coast attitude; girls who dress to look their finest and guys who arrive for their drinks and sights. I stood around for about thirty minutes waiting on the group to arrive. I felt the need to make sure that I wasn’t alone; ordering a drink when no one I recognized is kinda sad, and I definitely didn’t want to be seen as desperate. However, this was a good night for me. I got several looks from the ladies but did not grow large enough testicles to make any moves.

Several drinks and good conversations later, it was time to call it a night. I’m proud of myself for how much I spent. Even if it wasn’t for parking meters on Sunset, I spent the least I’ve ever spent going out in Hollywood: $1.40 and a few gallons of gas. I paid for not one of my drinks (I had four and a half total). When it comes to living the frugal life in hollywood, it’s all about who you’re with and what you do. It’s not impossible, but it takes a little strategy.

how’s LA

Los Angeles Palm Tree
I get asked quite often from my friends and family who don’t live in Los Angeles how I like it. I’ll hear one of the following or more:

  • How’s LA?
  • How do you like living there?
  • What’s it like there?
  • What do you think of LA?
  • Do you really enjoy living there?

Simply giving my broad opinions about this place doesn’t quite do it justice for how I feel. It’s hard to explain such a huge place in just a few sentences. And having lived here for over three years now, I think I have a much better opinion to give about what it’s like to live here.

So let’s put these questions to rest. Here are my Woos and Boos about the largest city on the left coast.

  • woo – It’s a huge metropolitan city. You can find anything and everything you can find anywhere else. There’s always something to go do or see or experience.
  • boo – It’s a huge metropolitan city. It’s too populated and has no stop in sight. There’s TOO much to do and see, so you can get lost in the mix.
  • woo – Want to get away? LA is neighbored by San Diego, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
  • boo – Trying to get away is a nightmare, especially on holidays. Traffic is as bad as you hear about. Driving down the 405 during peak hours is a complete nightmare most of the time. There are few shortcuts to travel worth the time it takes to drive them. You either go on the freeway or just stay home.
  • woo – Has some limited but beautiful architecture. You can find a diamond in the rough by driving down just about any street in LA.
  • booReal estate prices are a complete joke. They might not be as high as NYC, but they’re certainly higher than most of the country. To purchase a house, you need to be in the very high middle class or just plain rich.
  • woo – There are some amazing, creative and talented people who live here. It’s a melting pot of the states, bringing together people from all over the country and world.
  • boo – Superficiality rules. So many people are here just for the industry, trying to make it and become the next “it”. It can be difficult to make meaningful relationships with anyone.
  • woo – You’re miles away from almost all terrains: sun-kissed beaches, snow-capped mountain ranges, hot and desolate deserts, thick and thin forests.
  • boo – So many of these terrains are scarred with human interaction or pollution. Smog is a huge problem and doesn’t seem to be getting any better. The heat of summer can last 6-8 months out of the year.
  • wooHollywood. Celebrities. World famous clubs.
  • booHollywood. Celebrities. World famous clubs. They’re overrated.

This city is a mixed bag. But right now, it’s MY mixed bag.

amazing

He invented the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the battery. He held over 900 patents during this time. He spent his life with two leading ladies. He was a director, producer, and executive producer, and he starred in his own film. He was the jack of all trades. His name? Thomas Edison.

Wait, did I just say director, producer and actor? What the heck? Yesterday, while walking on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Leigh (younger brother) and his friend Callie, we walked over so many unfamiliar names. However, one name sorta caught my eye. Thomas A. Edison. It couldn’t have been the Thomas Edison, right??
Dude's gotta star!
I got home to look on us.imdb.com and found out that, undeniably, Thomas Alva Edison was in the entertainment industry. However, probably not like you’d think. But sure enough, out of all the stars who you walk over on Hollywood Blvd., Thomas Edison was one of them. I never would have guessed in a million years.

So, as I previously stated, I took a walk on the hall of fame actually looking at the stars and taking a few photos of just a couple of the stars. It really wasn’t all that glamorous but I was just going along with the flow. It’s not really that much fun unless you know most of the people, and everyone who is more than a few blocks from hollywood and highlands is pretty much outdated to me. No offense to those people but I didn’t recognize 95% of the stars.

hollywood and highlands

I finally drove to Hollywood today. After being here 10 days and not doing all that much, I met up with a friend down in Hollywood at the California Pizza Kitchen. Good pizza but a tad expensive. However, they have this lemonade with a nice strawberry mix and it was wonderful!

If you have never been to Hollywood, there is plenty to see for the first time and lots to take pictures of. I didn’t take my camera out with me this time because we just walked around and ate most of the time. Except when we were in the bowling alley.

Lucky Strike Lanes is tucked away under the Hollywood and Highlands center on the lower east side facing Highlands. It’s a trendy, contemporary restaurant/bar/bowling alley and during the day, prices are half reasonable. If you go on the weekends, expect to pay a lot of money!! It was very much like stepping into a classy bar which happened to provide 12 lanes of bowling. They had black lights, wide screen TVs with animated video and a subdued atmosphere including some very comfortable couches to sit on while you wait your turn! It was strange to think that it was a bowling alley but very nice.

Hmm… That last paragraph almost sounds like an advertisement.

Well, I’ll probably go out this weekend sometime to get some photos but I really hope that the smog will clear up. When I was driving on the (Interstate) 5 into town I noticed something really strange. The closer I got to the actual city limits, the smoggier it was. I literally could see the end of a beautiful, clean day and the beginning of a bubble of smog. It seriously looked like I was driving into a bubble but it was a huge cloud of smog. After you drive into it, everything becomes a little more clear but when looking up in from a distance, you’d think there’s a lot of dirt particles flying around in the air. Sorta like what a dust storm looks like from a distance on a nice day up in the panhandle of west Texas.

I might appear on the Jimmy Kimmel Show tonight in one of their segments and if so, I’ll see if I can post a screen capture! They were, however, interviewing a lot of people. EDIT: 1:30am Hey, I actually made the cut! They showed me saying, “I’ve never even seen that show before”. Eh, what a goofball I look like…

It’s electricity, baby!

FINALLY, there’s electricity in our house. It feels so sweet. I’m gonna actually sleep in my warm bed in our heated house. Not that the neighbor’s house wasn’t comfy, it’s just nice to be back in my house.

I’m off to LA tomorrow evening for a week in LA. I REALLY hope that I get to see all my contacts and work everything out. I need this to be productive job wise. Or at least help me formulate some idea of what I want to do.

I might go to Hollywood Sunday night to try to see some movie stars! I’m staying near the Airport so who knows, maybe I’ll see some anyway. Should be a fun trip overall.

the whelming midst

does my title make sense? i thought it sounds cool. Basically, it means I’m in the midst of a whelming time where I have papers, midterms, and trying to get my project turned into a CD. Then I’m off to LA, baby! Right in time for Oscar night!!! I doubt I’ll be in Hollywood that night but I might try to go if I can. I’ll have to talk to the people who are putting me up if they wanna go or not because right now they’re my ride.

As for my CD, so many things have to be done before I can even begin to get funding for it. I’m a little scared that it won’t happen and I’ll be upset about it because of all the money and preparation I’ve put into it. I think that there are a few things that I can share about it. I’m pretty sure that we have a good recording of everything. I’m pretty sure that we can use 10-14 songs from the whole recording and turn them into a CD. And I’m sure that the UCF can make back all of its money and earn a few thousand in profit no matter what. My roadblock at the current moment is time. I still have to get the recording, listen to it, approve the budget needs and time needs from Bill and his boss, and then mix and get it replicated. All this would take no less than a month unless I SPEED through the mixing and mastering process. It won’t be easy at all but I think it could be done. But obviously, politics and time are my obstacles.

Be really careful on eBay. Make sure you’re paying attention to who you’re bidding from because if they have no feedback, you might lose your money. It happened to me and I’m in the process of filing fraud charges.