The New Quarters Are Here!

caquarter.jpg

Governor S. unveiled the new California state quarter today in Sacramento.

I remember voting for this on the ca.gov site last year. You can see the finalists here.

It’s okay. I mean, it’s nice they put John Muir and Yosemite and a condor on it and all. But I like a simplicity to my quarters. I like Connecticut’s and Mississippi’s, they’ve got it down to one image. I look at other quarters like Louisiana and it’s just a mess of clip art of something, so it could have been worse. I guess I should just be grateful it won’t have the Hollywood sign on it.

The View From Here

view.jpg So in memory of Cesar Chavez and in celebration of having the day off from work in his honor, I decided to embrace his most famous quote, !Si se puede° (Yes we can!), and take the first step this still relatively young year towards getting into better health before my age becomes higher than my IQ this May.

So I dusted off my mountain bike, stocked up on water, pretzels and a pb&j sammich and trucked myself into Glendale, wherein duly sunscreened and bug sprayed, I hauled myself slowly through the hellacious temps up the Beaudry North fire road to the Verdugo fire road to the Crossroads (where the Verdugo FR intersects with the Brand FR that comes up from Brand Park). There’s a nice little bench there for relaxing and whipping out the digicam to grab some snaps of the view. The image doesn’t do the wonderful view justice, but it gives you an idea of what the payoff is. What’s really nice is that the hillsides are finally beginning to green back up from the fire that swept through about 18 months ago.

I’ll happily supply directions to anyone interested in how to get there.

abLA & MAN Get Together

East meets West as Modern Art Notes’ Tyler Green comes to Los Angeles this April. So, inspired by recent blog get-togethers, abLA and MAN have planned a little gathering at the Millenium Biltmore (in downtown baby) which is one of our favorite places to grab a drink and relax…and you’re all invited!

MAN/abLA Get-Together
@ the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Bar – 506 South Grand Avenue (downtown)
Friday, April 9 from 8pm – ?????
Valet parking available for $3 but street parking is around if you look

Another LA Blogger Get-Together

Just wanted to mention that there was a an impromptu get-together of three members of the blogging.la community earlier today, as I said hi to Wil at Creation’s 12th Annual Grand Slam: The Sci-Fi Summit, who then introduced me to blogging.la’s Kathleen. I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone else from here, and since I had to miss Saturday’s LA blogger get-together, this was a nice surprise.

As for the convention itself, I’ve hated Creation with a passion before and I still hate them, as TPTB that run them are major disorganized assholes. It’s really too bad they have a monopoly on the whole sci-fi/genre convention business. Still, the blogging.la get-together was a treat, and I had fun hanging out with my friends and the “Buffy” and “Angel” celebs who were there.

Dos AÒos de Arts in Action

If, despite Caryn’s wonderful recommendations, you’re still short on things to do tonight, Arts in Action is having it’s two year anniversay party. Bands, DJ’s, food, graffiti…all the important party elements. I’ll be there some time after Farmer’s Market and Streetwise. Come say hi (I’ll be wearing a white 5000!/Destroy All Non-Robots t-shirt) and I’ll give you a sticker.

LA Blogger get together – tonight!

OK, who else is going to this? I’ll be there from like 6:30 PM till about 8 pm or so.

UPDATE: Holy Shit! a crap load of people showed up. I’m sure it’s going to be blogged left and right so I’ll post links here as they start popping up. Here’s a quick phonecam shot I took right after showing up…

And here’s some other reports:
Grant’s Blog – a phonecam shot of me and Jonah. ( and this post with the written details)
[sic] – Will covered the singers and listed some of the attendees.
Cobb – gives a good rundown
Strange Little Boy – another report
LA Blogs – List of who showed up and links to more coverage.
Cybele – with a recap
Grey Expectations – still more

Post in the comments if I miss someone talking about this.

3 days until the Official start of Spring

Equinox, shmequinox. Spring starts on baseball’s opening day. Which is three days from now if you’re a fan of the Evil Empire. And a week later for the rest.

Dodger Stadium, while now one of the older parks in the league, is still a great place to see a game. There’s a new regime and a giant payroll in Disneyland. And down in SD, they have a brand new park by the beach.

My beloved Quixotes will be in town at the end of April, and I’m going to try to make as many of those games as I can. But I’ll be ready for peanuts and crackerjacks throughout the whole season. So, who’s up for some field trips?

Dolled Up

matrushka.jpg Until recently, I almost exclusively wore vintage clothing and shunned anything contemporary. What changed all this? Matrushka Construction. I’m not exaggerating — Matrushka is that inspiring. The boutique, next to Millie’s on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake (and dangerously just a few blocks from my apartment), is run by Beth Ann Whittaker and Laura S. Howe. The shop actually started out carrying a mix of unique designs and vintage items (hence my initial interest), but in the past year or so has blossomed into a really innovative space. The women whip up one-of-a-kind designs on their sewing machine in back, and hang them up for sale amongst bookshelves and anti-Bush slogans. They also sell some items from other designers. From feminine dresses to bold avant-garde constructions, they have a knack for using eye-catching fabrics. And since the designing and selling process is so organic, if you don’t find something you like on one day, there may be several new items that capture your fancy the next.
Continue reading Dolled Up

My Car Makes Me Nice

cybeleprius.jpgI have a Prius. It’s a nice car, but it has an agenda. It’s trying to turn me into a nice person. Really.

The car has this onboard computer and screen that compels me to drive curteously. Sure, cut in front of me, no biggie, my breaking just regenerated 12KwH. I’ll just smile and thank you.

Sit at a stop light Ö no biggie. The Prius’ engine will cycle off, so I’m not burning any fuel. Really.
Continue reading My Car Makes Me Nice

Movie Piracy, Hargh!

A few months ago, some friends and I had some lunch at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on West Pico near La Brea. And as we got out of the front entrance and walked towards the parking lot, I noticed a guy standing around on the sidewalk selling pirated movies on DVD right in front of the restaurant.

I joked with my friends, “Wow, this guy’s just begging to get arrested.”

And sure enough, either him or someone like him has been arrested by the FBI for movie piracy over at Roscoe’s Hollywood restaurant. D’oh!

“Coffee and Cigarettes”

Yesterday I diverged from my usual choice for cinematic entertainment venue , and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at the Loews Cineplex in Santa Monica. Despite loving the film, I left reminded how darn awful typical chain movie theaters are. From the horribly unclean bathrooms that seem to be the breeding ground of new lifeforms, the uncomfortably cramped seats sponsored by Al Quaida’s movement of terror via thrombosis, and the inability of the projectionist to keep the picture center, the movie experience away from the Arclight Cinema (or the charming Vista, Egyptian and El Capitan) is almost always a disappointment. Fortunately the film kept me entranced and from noting any further crimes against cinema.

Speaking of the Arclight, on April 19th, one of my favourite filmmakers is coming out to do a special engagement Q&A/screening with the director himself. AFI is hosting Jim Jarmusch’s “Coffee an Cigarettes”, “a series of short films disguised as a feature (or maybe vice versa).† Each sequence involves several characters just sitting around, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and discussing subjects as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Abbott & Costello, Elvis conspiracy theories, the proper preparation of English tea, the inventions of Nikola Tesla, the fictitious rock band SQ‹RL, Paris in the twenties, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide.† The cast is an extremely eclectic group of extraordinary actors and musicians portraying an equally eclectic collection of oddballs, with sequences strikingly photographed in black (coffee) and white (cigarettes) by Frederick Elmes, Robby M¸ller, Ellen Kuras and Tom DiCillo.î The cast includes Roberto Benigni, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, RZA, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, and Alfred Molina. The oddly coifed auteur will be there afterwards to drop knowledge on your ass.

Whole Lotta Lube

ezlube.jpgCan I just tell you how proud I am that this EZ Lube has been installed near the intersection of Fountain Avenue and Sunset Boulevard? I mean, not only is the structure architecturally stunning, but its occupant is providing an invaluable service in making it that much more convenient for community SUVers to keep their road-hogging monstrosities guzzling along ó a service, prior to its star-studded grand opening several weeks ago, that was only available a full and torturous half-mile east at the Sunset Junction Jiffy Lube.

Prayers have been answered, let me tell you! Prior to its arrival I had to go a whole two blocks (and uphill!) from my apartment to get to the SunJun J-Lu. True to their name and corporate mission statement, this state-of-the-art EZ Lube has now made maintaining my vehicle that much more EZer by taking almost a full block off my oil-change commute (and with no change in elevation ó no more nose bleeds!). Over the course of a year that will translate into a gas savings of almost 45 cents (maybe even more if prices continue to climb). Cha-ching!

But this EZ Lube is more than just another way for us to maintain our addiction to oil. It stands proudly as magnificent testament to the fact that when those rare opportunities for neighborhood beautification or cultural enrichment raise their disgusting heads ó like a proposal perhaps for some of that gawd-awful green space or maybe a (gad!) free-speech zone, or something more morally and culturally acceptable like another (cough)… Starbucks? ó we disenfranchised citizens of Gloss Angeles still have the power to rise up and bow down before the corporate steamrollers (and the civic leaders that drive them) like so many obedient dawgs.

Woof!