I turned 46 this past April 2. I don't feel it, some say I don't look it, but that's how the calendar reads. To mark the occasion, I had been planning to continue our semi-annual mission of staying in every theme room, working our way around the pool, at the Orbit In in Palm Springs, followed by some time in LA with family and friends, highlighted by dinner and cocktails at the recently renovated Luau in Beverly Hills. Naturally economic reality interceded, so I "settled" for a night in Santa Cruz and dinner at Hula's Bar & Grill. Little did I know this was the beginning of one of my best bday weeks ever, with Thrillville's 12th Anniversary Show this past April 9 being the grand finale.
My beautiful wife Monica Tiki Goddess arranged it all, starting with reservations at the best B&B I've ever stayed in: The Adobe on Green Street in Santa Cruz. I not only dug the cozy Spanish style decor, but also the fact it was so quiet: the owners left you notes with the keys and you basically have the place to yourself. It's walking distance to Pacific Ave in downtown Santa Cruz, where we enjoyed not only Hula's (remember I found out about it when we accidentally discovered the one in Monterey, see story here) but also cocktails at Aqua Bleu and then a movie at the restored movie palace, the Del Mar (Sunshine Cleaning, okay for a quirky chick flick.) The next day I caught a matinee of a flick I really wanted to see, Alien Trespass - not as witty as Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, but it looked and felt just like a 1950s sci-fi flick (good month for those, since this was released right on the heels of the enjoyable Monsters vs. Aliens.) We also walked around the boardwalk, which was closed (off-season) and enjoyed meals at Zacahary's and the Saturn Cafe. I really dig Santa Cruz, great for a quick getaway, and totally livable. Even the cops seem laid back.
Couple of days later on April 4, we caught one of our favorite singers, Keely Smith, once again at the cool little jazz joint the Rrazz Room at Hotel Niko in SF. She must be 80something but Keely is as bawdy as ever, and she still sings as wonderfully as ever. Last time we saw Keely here, Monica had her picture taken with her, so this time it was my turn. What an honor.
I thought my bday celebrations had peaked with that but the best was yet to come. Monica sprung a surprise bday party on me at the new La Pinata (their second in Alameda!) on Bay Farm Island. About twenty of my best pals showed up and nearly gave me a heart attack. This was followed by my already scheduled gig MCing Pollo del Mar at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, for whom I am now official PR/band booker/front man/doorman. (I just picked up Conga Lounge as a client, too.) All in all, one of my most memorable bdays ever - thanks to my lovely wife.
A week later on April 9, I celebrated 12 years of Thrillville with a big show at the Cerrito Speakeasy, its current home. On the thrill bill: Plan 9 From Outer Space in color, Re-Animator, The Twilight Vixen Revue, Mr Lobo, and the premiere of Ernie "Hardware Wars" Fosselius's new short, "Plan 9.1 From Outer Space." A poor gal named Sarah Jean actually celebrated her birthday there too. It sold out and it was another memorable milestone in Thrillville history.
Here's to 12 more years of Thrillville, and 46 more years for its host...cheers!