Lost Angels

Photo courtesy of www.socialventurepartners.org

Living in Los Angeles and residing here are two completely different things. Allow me to highlight that for you:

Living in LA requires you to be doing what Angelenos do:

  • Go eat at one of the hundreds of fine restaurants that offer you the same food you’ve always eaten but renamed and re-branded for the sake of originality.
  • Attend galleries for people you’ve never heard of and never will care about while looking at “art” that is better sold on a Venice Beach boardwalk for the price of a deep fried Oreo.
  • Smoke from a myriad selection of weed strains while trying to act like you can tell one strain from the other.
  • Buy food from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s that is gluten-free and so organic, you can smell the manure it was planted in.
  • Show off that you are living in LA by telling people how awesome restaurants here are, how great the art scene is, how natural the food is, and how sublime the weed choice is.

Residing in LA is a whole different story. You’re either at home, or at work, planning a weekend getaway to Las Vegas, Santa Barbara or Malibu, all of which you’ve been to more than you’d be willing to admit to yourself, and all of them being more boring than you’d be willing to admit to your friends and co-workers. Hey, you have to stand out somehow, right? What’s the point of going on a “staycation” if you’re not going to boast about it? Either way, you are ultimately just staring out the window waiting for something to happen, or for someone to come and tell you “Good job! You’re in LA! Let’s chest-bump and give you that moral boost you were looking for!”

That, or you’re just another actor driving an Uber in-between roles, practicing Yoga over the weekends.

But I hate, I hate! LA is actually an awesome spot, our primary choice of city when my wife and I planned our excursion to the land of the free, home of the brave. Something about it just stuck with us and we hope all our friends and loved ones discover its charm for themselves; the charm inherent in the wonderful food, inspiring art and copious amounts of weed.

Five days in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of www.socialventurepartners.org

 

Five days in Los Angeles
Image source: huffingtonpost.com

I was recently approached by a friend to offer her insight about the stand-out things one might do in LA. I am not an expert, nor do I entitle myself an ‘Angeleno’, but I have spent the better part of one year in this expansive city exploring it through the eyes of a visitor. Here, for your viewing pleasure, was what I sent her. Let me know what you think and if you would like me to add anything to the list!

 

1) Hollywood

Image source: Wikipedia
Image source: Wikipedia

I wanted to start off with the most touristic spot that many visitors ask about. Yes, it’s the Hollywood you see on TV, no it is not the Hollywood you see in the movies. In fact, you will be done with the novelty of being there in mere minutes. Factor in the charm of seeing the Walk of Fame and the likes of the Chinese Theater, and you have yourself 20 minutes. You will more than likely bump in to shady characters, and almost definitely be bombarded with photo requests by costume wearers who seem to celebrate Halloween year-long, but while you’re on Hollywood….

2) Have lunch at Hooters

Five Days in LA_Hooters
Image source: Wikipedia

As juvenile as it may sound, especially that we’ve all grown up beyond waitresses serving you chicken wings and beer, wearing the tightest possible shorts and shirts, you can not come to LA, nay, to the United States, and not eat at Hooters. Is it awesome food? Nothing special, but the place has to be on everyone’s bucket list.

3) Visit Universal Studios / Disneyland

Five Days in Los Angeles_Universal Studios
Image source: worldoftravelusa.com

I’m not sure if you’ve been to either of them, but you have to experience them in your adulthood, specially if you’re lifted, which brings me to…

4) Weed is abundantly available

Image source: rollingout.com
Image source: rollingout.com

Nuff said. Whether you’re a casual smoker or an all-out stoner, you will be sampling top shelf produce from one of the hundreds of dispensaries peppered around the city. No shady dealings, no dodgy contacts–Straight up business. If you create your own license ($140), you will go home with a medical marijuana ID to show off and laugh about, and you will get to see the insides of the dispensaries–well worth the view, if I were to be asked. Where can you get that license, you ask? Why it’s at places like…

5) Venice Beach

Image source: venicebeach.com
Image source: venicebeach.com

If you want to know why palm trees, mural art and awesome coastlines are synonymous with California, this is the place to prove it. Absolute haven for hedonists, artists and beach goers, it is a magnificent piece of land that I love visiting in a timely manner. After enjoying a gorgeous day out, especially over a weekend when a massive drum circle shapes up on the beach around sunset, your next logical stop would be…

6) Santa Monica Pier

Image source: choicewallpapers.net
Image source: choicewallpapers.net

Located an easy 30 minute walk along the Venice beach coastline, this decadent and vintage spot is another one of those areas you can’t not visit while you are here. It’s nothing special, compromising of a Ferris wheel, some random rides for kids and a few artists displaying their works, but the vibe and feel of the place is another California must-see.

7) Food. Lots of it.

LA is known for it’s love for food, and there are a gazillion places that I would love to name but obviously won’t as these places are dependant on your mood and taste. Honorable mentions are In ‘n’ Out Burger, complete with their ‘secret menu’ that was only shared via word of mouth until the internet took over, SugarFish with its sublime approach to sushi that you have to taste to believe, and that dingy Mexican joint that sells the best tacos. Also, you will have to try Churros and Funnel Cakes. I’m not sure about the origin of the latter, but the former is Mexican and is the bomb-diggy when it comes to sweet, cinnamon treats. As a general rule, avoid anything that looks like this, and you should be fine!

Image source: thecowfish.com
Image source: thecowfish.com

While I’m on the subject of food…

8) Food trucks

Image source: nowimhungry.com
Image source: nowimhungry.com

 

Scattered around the city is a ridiculous amount of food trucks that serve up everything from the saltiest to the sweetest of foods. Hamburgers, cakes, fried Oreos, waffles, chicken wings, pancake sandwiches doused in banana mustard and basted with vegemite. I’m not really sure about that last one, but you may as well find it! If you’re not accustomed to eating from a truck, let me comfort you from now: Every one of them is graded as a stand-alone restaurant would and are required to display their score for all to see. Regardless, be your own judge and don’t go around eating deep fried fava beans mixed with pig fat just because a truck brandishes an ‘A’ score.

9) Comedy Clubs

Image source: timeout.com
Image source: timeout.com

These places are a dime a dozen, but there are a couple of places like the Laugh Factory that you will probably want to visit. It’s where most all comedians you grew up watching had their start, and where you will most likely bump in to Jesus.

10) The Viper Room / House of Blues

Image source: visitwesthollywood.com
Image source: visitwesthollywood.com

Two iconic spots that have hosted every rock, blues, and jazz musician you can think of. If you are looking for live music, this is probably where you would want to go. They also host a plethora of musical events that cover music beyond rock. Just check out their schedules prior to your arrival.

11) Clubs

Image source: discoverlosangeles.com
Image source: discoverlosangeles.com

If you entertain the club scene, there are a multitude of clubs to consider, my favorite being Playhouse. It’s smack in the middle of Hollywood, arguably has the hottest pole dancers and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the dodgiest Mario / Luigi cosplay on this side of the world.

Hearthstone Beta Key Giveaway 2.0

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The last time I held a giveaway for Hearthstone, the reception was phenomenal and I promised to negotiate more keys. Astute readers will have already established that I have delivered on my promise and am ready to unleash Beta keys for this awesome game to 100 lucky winners.

That was not a typo. It’s 100.

To enter, you have to:

1) Make sure that you follow my account @Sparkileptic on twitter/instagram/facebook

2) Publish a tweet, status update or photo using the hashtag #HearthStoneFTW. The content of your published material needs to be relative to Hearthstone and needs to express how excited you are to play it.

3) Retweet/Share someone else’s #HearthstoneFTW post.

3) Sit tight and pray to the videogame gods.

20 Winners will be selected randomly on a weekly basis every Monday, starting Monday November 18.

Good luck to all you awesome gamers!

I vault jumped over buildings and survived a methane attack

sparku

There are moments that define your life as a gamer: The first time you completed a game. The first time you cried playing a game. The first time you heard yourself naming a game as your favorite. Wanting to work in videogames and finding the perfect job for you.

This post is one of those moments.

The majority of you won’t understand what this post is, but for those of you who do, get in touch with me ASAP. We have much to do and pixels to evolve!

Hearthstone giveaway results!

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

When I posted the contest a few days ago, I was not expecting the response to be this phenomenal! Thank you for your awesome participation and you will be psyched to know that the suits have been pleased with the feedback and are considering throwing more codes down my way to give out to you.

As always is the case, my intention was to award each and every one of you, and hopefully I will be able to in the near future. For now, here are the 8 lucky winners of the Hearthstone Beta keys:

Nico Schneider

Cristian Olivan

Nuvori

Maels

Shotgunheavy

Yummydecor

Amer T

Tracy D

Congratulations to all the winners! Those of you with twitter handles and email addresses will be contacted later on today.

Those of you without any means for me to get in touch with you, please drop me a comment with your email / twitter handle within the next 48 hours to claim your prize.

Until next time, all the luck for all of you who were a part of this and much love to you all!

Gamer’s Salute! <(^-^)

Hearthstone BETA Key giveaway

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Earlier today, I sent out a seemingly innocent tweet proclaiming that I had 8 keys to give away for this highly anticipated card game. What I did not expect was the flurry of responses that it has received.

You obviously want to play it, and I would love nothing more than to hand over the codes to you.

To gain access to this awesome game and win yourself a key, just drop in a comment letting me know what you are most looking forward to in the game.

Winners will be chosen at random on September 23.

Keep retweeting and telling your friends to participate as the more the interest, the more codes I will be able to get you guys!