Posts Tagged ‘Mike Mora’

Kickin’ it with Kapn’ Kula

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Originally used to describe any sort of nautical ne’er-do-well from antiquity, the pirate has made a cultural metamorphosis into the rum-swigging, peg-leg wearing, Jolly Roger flag waving, ill-mannered darling of our collective imaginations.  You can blame the mouse house with their multi-billion dollar movies and “yo-ho-ho”-ing robots in Anaheim if you’d like.  Or the masterful musings of literary icons like J.M. Barrie, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  You could blame Gilbert & Sullivan or Hallowe’en costume companies.  You could even blame that team of bat-and-ball fellers down Pittsburgh way.  But in the end, no matter who the culprit is (what are we going to do to them anyway?  Make them walk the plank?) the fact remains that the booze-stinkin’, lice-ridden, pirate replete with greasy beard, smelly eye hole, and Capn’ Crunch style bicorne hat, is here to stay.  And if said pirates are in everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to internet memes than you’d better believe that Bixby Knolls, in all it’s splendor, has some too.

Our pirates are none other than Kaptain Ray Kula and his crew of crooning cut-throats!  The good Kaptn. is the front-man of a band that plays on authentic hundred year-old mandolins, accordions, and ukuleles and will throw you a Calypso or Hawaiian beat just to get your attention before growling into a 300 year old shantie about man’s love for manatees.  They play all over the sea’s of Southern CA mind you entertaining in cruise ships, watering holes, and private parties.  They’ve been honored to perform before the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at their 2004 National Conference and alongside the Hollywood elite during Disney’s red carpet premier’s of Pirate’s 2,3, & 4.  They’re also frequent guests to Bixby Knolls and First Fridays, filling the night with their raucous cries and merry music!  With their odd looks and demeanor they fit right in with Bixby’s eclectic crew of characters which includes your’s truly: the official super-hero/greeter/pod-person, Annie the beloved English Bull-dog, the ever-classy Duke and Duchess, and Mike Mora of the beard coalition (we can’t get enough of it!).

I recently sat down with Kaptn. Kula over a delicious Blair’s special pizza at one of my favorite fine dining establishment, Nino’s Italian Restaurant to ask him a few questions about life at sea and what makes him tick.

Knolls Ranger:  Howdy ho Kapn’ Kula!

Kaptn. Kula:  ARRRRR me matey!

Ranger:  What wonderful Nino’s menu item are you devouring today Kaptn.?

Kula:  I’m having the Chicken PARRRRRRmigian.

Ranger:  Heavenly.  Now most people don’t know this about you, but in addition to being a dreaded pirate you are also a fan of the stage, what is one of your favorite plays?

Kula:  I’d have to say ARRRRRsenic and Old Lace.

Ranger:  Hahaha, and your favorite 1970’s folk song?

Kula:  PARRRRRsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme by Simon and GARRRRRRfunkle.

Ranger:  Favorite Greek Mathematician?

Kula:  ARRRRRRRchimedes.

Ranger:  Beloved Don Knotts television character?

Kula:  BARRRRRRRney Fife.

Ranger:  Favorite Tuscany province in Italy?

Kula:  The eastern province of ARRRRRRRRRezzo.

Ranger:  Former Bodybuilding State Governor recently under fire for adulterous child fathering?

Kula:  Listen, do we have to keep doing this?  The ARRRRR jokes?  It’s a little demeaning, I mean I may be a pirate but I’m not just a simple, monosyllabic archetype.

Ranger:  Not just a what?  I’m sorry.

Kula:  An archetype.

Ranger:  Gee, I still couldn’t make that out.  Could you speak up a little.

Kula:  (Sighs) An ARRRRRchetype.

Ranger:  Ohhhhhh, an ARRRRRchetype!  Hehehe, Kula you crazy.

And then we danced

You can catch performances of Kula and his crew coming up at the Fun Draiser birthday show for Alive Theatre company members, Jasper Oliver and Aurea Tomeski on June 10th at The Farm, 555 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, CA, 90802.

Roxanne’s, You Don’t Have to Put Out the Red Light…But You Can If You So Desire

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Remember

Well dip me in the sweet Suwannee and call me a swampy salamder, I think I just found my new favorite bar and grille!  (The metaphor’s mixed but the sentiments sincere).  Last weekend after receiving a buzz in my top secret subterranean ranger lair, I boogie-oogied out to 1115 E. Wardlow Road for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the brand new Roxanne’s Lounge!

Boom Shakka Lakka

Joining me were neighbors,

The Citizens of Cal Heights

Bonnie Lowenthal

the press over at the Gazette and beyond

Thrill seekers

owner Robert Molina

The man, the legend: Robert Molina

His lovely family including the adorable and eponymous Roxanne

Roxanne, Robert Molina, Silvia Jaquez, James Johnston of the 7th District, and everyone's favorite ranger

my pals from the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (Holla!)

Morgan Wraight and I prepare for the ceremony over S'mores (It ain't Christmas any more you silly ranger!)

the ever suave James Johnston of the Seventh District

James Johnston: Straight Up

The Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce

The Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce

Media darling Mike Mora

Mike Mora, still the best beard in Bixby

And these guys, who just wanted to play a little pocket billiards

"Eight Ball, corner pocket."

Formerly the sight of the Green Dog Tavern, the new Roxanne’s Bar and Grille has a little something for everyone.  With it’s modern design (including a marble light up bar top!), and vintage images of California Heights and Signal Hill from the forties, it’s the perfect blend of old and new.  Their family friendly menu includes all manner of delicious American cuisine and after hours the place bumps with the sounds of top 40 and hip hop grooves.  their happy hour is from two to six pm, and their kitchen is open until 9:30 pm.  Call (562) 426-4777 to make your reservations or just show up!  tell ‘em the Ranger sent you!

We're Cutting Rugs over at Roxanne's!  See you soon!Bixby BuddiesThe Gang's all Here!

Hearken, A Great First Friday Is Come!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Feelin' the First Friday Funk

Please pardon the archaic English in this articles title Bixby blogsmiths, but the Knolls Ranger is old school about his joy for First Fridays!  In fact, back in 1949 (the year it was established) my grammar teacher at Hughes Middle School made me stay in class writing “I will not use the word come as an unaccusative intransitive verb.” indefinitely while all the other kids were cutting rugs over at the sockhop.  (Thanks a lot Mrs. McMurphy!)

School was tough for bean-pods

But anyway true believers, this, as always, is The Knolls Ranger, champion of the community, brave boy of Bixby, and one time Yak herdsmen in Tibet (I’m full of stories!).

And let me tell you of all the things I love in Bixby Knolls (baby gecko’s in Reptiles Unlimited, Sunday strolls with the royalty, Mike Mora’s facial hair, etc.) I think I just might love First Fridays the most.

Best Beard in Town

Now granted asking a ranger to choose his favorite BKBIA program is a bit like asking my old friend Papa Steve which one of his 14 children he loves the most, but First Fridays is unique in Bixby Knolls.  Heck, it’s unique in Long Beach!  Hey, it’s unique in CA!  Higgeldy piggeldy, it’s unique in the USA!  You know what, I can’t think of an arts and business event like it in the entire solar system!  (There is one very similar in a neighboring galaxy however, but instead of calling it First Fridays the bizarre denizens of that celestial system simply call it BLEESNAX 7)

What makes First Fridays so darn tootin’ unique is it’s successful merging of two worlds (business and art) by promoting and supporting the local actors, crafters, and music makers that make this city vibrant while drawing attention to all of our favorite local watering holes as well.   Every month due to the concerted efforts of folks like former child actor Victoria Wells, Picasso-legged magic man Blair Cohn, dog Annie, the lovely Ms. Morgan Wraight, and the always amicable Krista Leaders  we see more and more businesses open late housing galleries, bands, and performance artists!

As always I was there to give you the good word and shake my tail feathers.  And as always the paparazzi was there documenting my actions and slinging barbed queries at me demanding to know details about my weekend trip to Barbados with Branjelina among other things.  (“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you people, Nothing happened!  We JUST ranged ok?!”)

Check it out:

I had them in stitches at Roy Robbin’s Gifts and Stationary!

Roy Robbins Gifts and Stationary

Hardcore band The Gunslingers burst ear drums (in a good way) over at the Richard Goad Theatre before actors from the Long Beach Shakespeare Company took to the stage with their production of the ribald Greek comedy, Lysistrata.

The Gunslingers

Stylists from Salon Medusa were doing live painting and hair art to compliment their gallery, The Times focusing on the medias hold on us.  Woah!  Red spray!

A Touch of Color

Korean students of design, and flight attendance were having a party!

Stduents

The Sultans were out enjoying the car art on display outside of Melinda McCoy’s Flowers.

The Sultans

Elises Tea Room was serving the finest!

Elises Tea Room

Plus I got to hang out with Long Beaches finest!  Folks like Rabbi Dov Gartenberg!

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

And Hearty Love!

Getting ready for that flugtag!

First Fridays kicks off on the first friday of every month all along the Atlantic Cooridor at 6:45.  Check back here for a near comprehensive listing of next month’s events!