Didn't get to watch any short films so hung out in a porn shop instead: My tale of a Friday night

TEARING UP AT THE HOLLYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL
On Friday, August 15, Neil and I met up at the TCL Chinese Theater in the evening to catch a screening of shorts at the Hollyshorts Film Festival. The event was held on the third floor of the historic theater in Hollywood, and my intention was to find new filmmakers to profile on The Daily T.Lo.

When Neil and I arrived at the festival, our eyes immediately watered, and I started to cough uncontrollably. Those around us had the same reaction so they evacuated the lobby, and we followed suit. We returned over an hour later and learned from a security guard that someone at the festival had been maced.

A stock photo representation of what it's like to get maced (Photo courtesy of RapGenius)
The remnants of the mace in the air that had caused everyone's adverse reactions had seemed to subside so I went to the check-in table to get press passes for Neil and me. There was a misunderstanding between me and the publicity person, and she couldn't accommodate Neil. We were bummed, but we left the festival and decided to wander Hollywood instead.

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD WINDOW BROWSING
Some say the Hollywood Walk of Fame area is "dirty" and judging from a handmade sign politely asking strangers not to pee on the building's wall confirms this reputation. However, the dirtiness and embracing of vice may actually be the main draw of what makes the area so unique. While Neil and I were walking the few blocks down Hollywood Boulevard from Highland Avenue to Cahuenga Boulevard, we couldn't help but be entertained by the numerous tattoo parlors, discount t-shirt shops, lingerie boutiques, and drug paraphernalia stores. The businesses were colorful and creative, and everything for sale, which included Hello Kitty bongs and armored lingerie, was a reminder that in Hollywood you are free to be whoever you want to be. Just let your freak flag fly.



24/7 SEX SHOP
Neil and I decided that we still wanted to see a movie so we turned south onto Cahuenga Boulevard so that we could go to the Arclight Hollywood. For those unfamiliar with the Arclight, it is a massive movie theater complex and one of its theaters is literally inside of a giant dome which gives a panoramic movie watching experience. It's incredible.

Anyway, Neil and I were heading to the Arclight when I got distracted by a neon "Open" sign above the tinted door of a nondescript, windowless building with a sign that advertised it was an "Adult" store. "Let's go inside," I said, thinking it would be funny to go into a sex shop. "I don't think it's open," Neil said. "Its open light is on," I said. "But look inside. There's nothing in there," he said, referring to the blackened windows. We debated whether or not the store was open for a few minutes before one of us just tried to enter, and that's how we spent nearly thirty minutes inside of Hollywood's famous 24 hour sex store, Cahuenga Adult Video (1651 N. Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028.)

The entire time, we nervously giggled at the giant dildos, racially divided pornography titles, and the fact that the store had a VHS selection. However, we knew it was time for us to go when we could hear someone watching a porno inside of a private viewing room in the back. When we left, the rock star-looking cashier wished us a good night and told us that the store was open 24 hours a day, in case we wanted to come back. Being a small store, we knew that he could hear our immature conversation, and we also knew that we were probably one of the most stereotypical types of customers to wander into an adult shop. If we were a stereotype, then that meant that the storekeeper knew that one day one of us was going to come back. He was like the Yoda of porn shops.

THE GIVER
Finally, Neil and I arrived at The Arclight. Because it was late, we didn't have a ton of movie options so I suggested we watch The Giver because I liked the book when I was a child. The movie started off fairly strong, but after a while, there were too many plot holes and the story just didn't make any sense. I don't want to give any spoilers so I'll just say, "Read the book instead" and leave it at that.
Not really feeling this adaption...
Overall, although we didn't get to watch any short films at The Hollyshorts Festival, Neil and I were exposed to pornography and mediocre book adaptations so our night of supporting filmmakers was still a success!