Mutant Squirrel

2004_06_27_fat_squirrel.jpgSo some friends and I killed some time yesterday by heading up to the Griffith Park Observatory to see how far the renovation has gotten and to check out the view of the city from up there. As far as parking goes, you can now drive all the way up to the parking lot for the observatory, park there, and walk around.

Our view of the city was unfortunately marred by the June gloom haze (which I actually don’t mind at all for the sake of cool temperatures). And while I was snapping some photos, I heard a rustle from beyond the chain link fence. I looked down, noticed it was a squirrel, and snapped a photo of it. It wasn’t until later that I realized just how big it was. Holy cow! What the hell has that thing been gorging on?! :o

Glad to See Integrity Flourishing in the LA Journalistic Community

Found this ad on La Liste du Craig:

Help! Busted Journalist! Need Voice Actor

Hey. I’m a freelance journalist in a bit of hot water here. I wrote a story for a major national publication detailing how easy it is to buy false I.D. in the Hispanic areas of L.A. I’ve been able, as the magazine requires, to provide verification of all of my sources but for one — I quoted a street source I called “Paco”. Problem is in the wake of Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass and all that they want to verify EVERYTHING. And there is no Paco. I made him up. So I need a good voice actor to call my editor and pretend to be Paco for verfication purposes. I’ll provide a script for you as well.

Anyone wanna make a quick $500 bucks?

“The American Classic”

tbird.jpgLately, we’ve been brunching at Campanile a lot. It’s a decadent choice, but everything is just so gosh-darn tasty.

Anyhoo, on either side of the front dining room is a large glass case, one featuring wheels of fancy cheese, the other featuring bottles of fancy wine…with one exception.

The picture’s crappy, but you’re gonna have to trust me on this one: The center wine on the center shelf is a well-aged bottle of Thunderbird.

Also, today I had a taste of really moldy cheese from the cheese counter there. Seriously, it was furry. And tasty. Like a little pet you can eat.

(Say, Will, how do you make sure a photo doesn’t encroach on the entry below

What Fahrenheit 9/11 Means to Me

The New York Times says this about Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”:

The most moving sections of “Fahrenheit 9/11” concern Lila Lipscomb, a cheerful state employee and former welfare recipient who wears a crucifix pendant and an American flag lapel pin. When we first meet her, she is proud of her family’s military service ó a daughter served in the Persian Gulf war and a son, Michael Pedersen, was a marine in Iraq ó and grateful for the opportunities it has offered. Then Michael is killed in Karbala, and in sharing her grief with Mr. Moore, she also gives his film an eloquence that its most determined critics will find hard to dismiss. Mr. Bush is under no obligation to answer Mr. Moore’s charges, but he will have to answer to Mrs. Lipscomb.

In what I believe to be the saddest film I have ever watched, the last sentence from the Times encapuslates the movie for me. Forget whether or not you’re conservative or libel, republican or democrat, whether you hate Bush or can’t stand Moore’s weight, this movie isn’t really about that. The purpose of Fahrenheit 9/11 is to show that the actions of government greatly effect the general public.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” opened today at the Arclight flashing the words SOLD OUT on the main screen. Complete with security guards, the theater was packed…
Continue reading What Fahrenheit 9/11 Means to Me

Guns of Brixton (or Berkley)

Anyone else hear all those gun shots in silverlake last night? When I lived in Chicago this happened all the time, and sometimes in our front yard, but it’s been pretty rare since moving west. Last night, about 10 PM and midnight there were distinct shots fired. Maybe just at coyote’s or something but still one of those things you aren’t quite used to hearning in your living room.

What’s Creepier?

So I spent last Saturday morning and the early afternoon at Erotica LA with a friend, snapping photos.

And instead of shooting the pornstars who were there, because I knew there’d be other websites doing that, and sure enough, Fleshbot (NSFW) has since provided links to such websites (NSFW), I focused on the general ambience at the convention.

Which proved to be quite a boon as the following two photos show…

(Warning: Adult content, probably NSFW.)
Continue reading What’s Creepier?

What A Lousy Racquet!

Someone really wise once said something like “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, shame on me, Raquet Doctor in Atwater Village. Shame. On. Me. This purportedly venerable tennis equipment establishment on Glendale Boulevard fooled me first about three years ago when I dropped my tennis racquet off to be restrung and regripped and was told to come back the following day to pick it up. When I did it was neither restrung nor regripped and I had to wait more than an hour for them to rush-job it all the while with attitude and not even the slightest apology for wasting my time. I stormed out and vowed never to go there again. But back then I lived in the Valley and I had several tennis shop options in my vicinity. Now that I’m here on the eastside of the westside those options are slim.

So this afternoon on my lunch break I run my trusty Prince stick over figuring lightning can’t strike me twice, right? Wrong. I order up the strings and the grip and I’m told by the friendly counterguy that the work will be done in 45 minutes. Speedy, but I ask if I can come back and pick it up after 5 p.m. and he tells me it’s cool since they’re open until 7. Uh, no they’re not. At least not when I roll up to the front door at 5:10 and find the place locked up tight and dark inside. No note. Nothing. Just a sign that says “New Hours” and next to Wednesday it reads “10 a.m. to 7 p.m.” Oh, how that sucks!

In short folks, while the place obviously can’t have stayed in business so long without doing something right, if you’re in need of tennis-related anything, I say avoid the joint at all costs. People may swear by ’em, but they just make me swear at ’em as the two times I’ve frequented the place with three years in between, they’ve fucked up 100%. For a Raquet Doctor that’s a crappy malpractice ratio. And frankly I will not be at all surprised when I storm in tomorrow to find my racquet unstrung and ungripped.

Making sure you get your Strummer on

The aforementioned screening of the new Joe Strummer doc “Let’s Rock Again” is supposed to be asmall affair, with no pre-sales. But if you want to make sure you get in, the film’s director, Dick Rude needs 4 to 5 volunteers to staff this Monday’s screening. If you’re interested, send me one of those electronic mail thingies.PS – one of the volunteers may need to give me a ride there, as my car got wrecked last night. :(

Clinton Book Signing

Former President Bill Clinton will be signing his new book, My Life at the Brentano’s book store in the Century City Mall on Friday, June 25, 2004 at 5:00PM.

For more information, please contact Brentano’s at (310) 785-0204.

For more information you can also check out the Clinton Presidential Center website which has a countdown to the opening of the center, as well an excerpt from the book, and (my favorite) the collector’s package if you make a $500 donation to the The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation.

Radio Free Joe

Flavorpill brings word of the screening of a new documentary about the Original Punk Rock Warlord, next Monday night at the Los Angeles Film School.

Anybody who’s spent even a little time with me in the past few years knows that I have developed something of an obsession with Joe Strummer. His second-to-last album, Global A Go-Go, stayed in my CD player every day for a whole year, over which time my favorite track changed a half-dozen times. I’ve spent hours trolling the back corners of P2P nets looking for recordings of his out-of-print solo album, Earthquake Weather, his score for films Permanent Record and When Pigs Fly, and for the rare, bootlegged, original 2-disc version of Combat Rock, known as Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg. I even almost put a bid in on his T-Bird when it was auctioned on Ebay.

NO CHANCE I’m missing this screening.

Encino Crime Watch

A while back when I mentioned my friend in Encino who…

…Within a two block radius of her workplace, my friend also said that they also had a police shoot out at IHOP, a homicide/suicide at a marriage counselor’s office, and arson on the temple next door, all within the last year. I know what part of Encino I’m staying away from.

Guess what?

Her building is in lockdown.

As she hears it, a police chase ended in their garage and one of her co-workers just saw someone get arrested. But supposedly, someone is still around… hence, the lockdown.

She had to tell me right away since (as she said to me) “I just know you thrive on that stuff.”

I do?!?!?

I just think it’s amazing that so much crime happens near/around that building. What if we’ve discovered the gateway to Hell and it’s in Encino!?

Radio Free L.A.

I recently acquired a 40GB Creative Nomad MP3 player. I purchased it specifically so that I could listen to it in the car, because I’m sick of the radio and figured it was a more efficient and cost-effective option than getting a CD changer. So I got a Belkin TuneCast II FM transmitter to go with it. Easy, right? Yeah, not so much.

Turns out that the L.A. airwaves are pretty freakin’ crowded. I found it nearly impossible to find a usable frequency, even though the transmitter has a range from 88.1 – 107.9. At home, I can find one or two, but when I’m driving around various parts of the city, I get reception that varies from mediocre to horrendous. So I plan to take it back and exchange it for a cassette adapter.

But before I do, has anyone had any success with one of these FM transmitters in L.A.? Tips? Tricks? Anyone?


Stop, Hammer Time!

Us LA folks all have an opinion which museum deserves the title of “finest in the city”. Some say the crown jewel is the Getty. Others point to the multiple modern-oriented sites of MOCA. Many are partial to older, more traditional institutions like LACMA or the Norton Simon, while still others are particularly fond of the serene grounds of the Huntington Library. Me? I like the UCLA Hammer Museum. I love the diversity of what they exhibit, always feeling fresh but not trendy; a little bit of new, and a little bit of old make for an always educational yet enjoyable mix. And jumpin’ jehosophat, if they don’t have the best darn museum bookstore. I could live there, especially since my favourite cookie shop Diddy Riese (Diddy makes Mrs. Fields her bitch in price and taste) and the meat-eater-friendly vegan restaurant Native Foods are both just a hop, skip and a pop-lock away from the museum. The Hammer also hosts great free shows like the one tonite with ousted former KCRW radio performer, Joe Frank (7pm).