Bird by Bird


There it is. Our bird. 14.5 pounds.

10 people for dinner.

Menu:
Horseradish Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Mango Pine Nut Salsa
Field Green Salad with Roquefort & Candied Pecans
Whole Wheat Dressing with Pecans
Baked Yams with Spiced Brown Sugar Butter on the side
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds
Roasted Carrots
Turkey rubbed with Sage & Garlic
Fresh Rye Bread and Rosemary Rolls

Dessert:
Coffee
Pecan Pie
Coconut Cookies from Lord de Pastry
Fine Dark Chocolate

Gah! I’m full just recounting it.

Unturkey Day

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This Thanksgiving was all about trying new things. First of all, I didn’t have to cook much this year or host anything at my house. Our friends Michael and Crystal invited us over to their place for a vegan feast featuring a fabulous menu. What a relief that was. Second, it was an exploration of new eats. Instead of the regular Tofurkey, they had gotten this new thing at Wholefoods called Unturkey. I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But Michael said the box was just too damn funny and that it looked good. Well, it was good…really good in fact. Came with some yummy gravy and stuffing inside. A delightful treat. Also delicious were the cauliflower, potato cakes, and my broccoli casserole. The dessert wasn’t too bad either: apple pastry things, ice cream, and lattes (courtesy of Sean the barista).

After dinner we played Monopoly and the new Grand Theft Auto. So yeah, I guess you could say we gave thanks in some serious style.

News Flash: Adelphia Sucks

adelphia.03.jpgAnyone who has Adelphia, has tried to get Adelphia, knows someone who has Adelphia, knows someone who has tried to get Adelphia, knows someone who knows someone who has Adelphia, or knows someone who knows someone who tried to get Adelphia can probably tell you how bad they suck. In fact it’s pretty much common knowledge. They suck big time. They suck so bad that in all my years in Los Angeles I’ve never heard a single positive statement or comment about them. Ever. I’ve heard a lions share of complaints and rants though.

Well it looks like some of our Councilmemebers, Weiss and Garcetti to be exact, heard the complaints too and have decided to do something about it.

LOS ANGELES ñ Defending City residents from unfair cable rate hikes, Councilmembers Jack Weiss and Eric Garcetti today announced that the City of Los Angeles has reached a settlement with Adelphia Cable that guarantees a basic cable rate freeze, creates a new low-rate basic cable package, and eliminates a surcharge that will save customers millions.

ìAdelphia customers have put up with poor service and excessive charges for too long,î said Councilmember Jack Weiss who chairs the City Councilís Information Technology and General Services Committee that oversees cable television. ìThe rate freeze agreement will save consumers money, and I will keep the pressure on Adelphia to provide better service thatís a better value.î

Download the full PDF press release for more details.

La Bomba

So there’s nothing to wake up a hazy headed freelancer in the early afternoon like looking out your home office window and seeing 3 large LAPD suv’s with the prominent words “BOMB SQUAD” emblazoned across the side creep down your street. The corner of Sunset and Lucile here in Silver Lake has been blocked off by several squad cars. South of Sunset on Lucile Ave., one can hear LAPD giving a suspect instructions to “come down slowly”; they’re currently combing the street and plan to investigate the reports of a suspicious package. A nearby officer mentions they take all reports of such nature seriously (better safe than sorry, cuz I don’t wanna see my neighbors or neighborhood businesses damaged!), thus the street will be blocked off for the next hour or so. The fact that I went to the bathroom just minutes before and the subsequent appearance of the bomb squad have no connection whatsoever…I think.

Looks like everything checked out okay. Despite the previous mention of an hour or so wait for things to “check out”, the street is open up to traffic again.

Whine Of The Times

bus2.jpgIt seems that whenever our city’s dominant rag scratches it’s newsprinted ass and remembers that it’s been awhile since they’ve last gratuitiously and snidely bagged on the various forms and functions of LA’s sprawling public transportation system, they trot out some eagerbeaving staffer who takes one or more car-versus-bus or car-versus-train trips only to come back and report in a “Behind The Wheel” column that cars rool and everything else drools. In this lameass pit in its newshole the Times has previously slammed on bikes as an alternative commute only a loser or Lance Armstrong could love, and last July it whined about the Gold Line being too freaking stoppy-and-starty. Waaaaah!

Now in today’s edition comes the next volley. Headlined “Lunch in L.A.? Car Beats Train As Meal Ticket,” (crapass registration required), writer Sharon Bernstein and her editors suffer us with something like 40 column inches of her and her family becoming the latest publicly transported guinea pigs sent over from Spring Street. Her radical mission? Do lunch in Pasadena from downtown and later from her home in Studio City. And among the smug results of her investigative treks: a) the sidewalk at the Civic Center Red Line stop smells like peepee, b) the signage at Union Station is markedly poor, and inevitably, c) her car beat anything the MTA could offer. Shocking, t’aint it?

Sigh. Sure, I’m irrationally defensive of this city’s public transportage, but not to the point that I’m blind to its flaws and drawbacks. Still, once and for all I’d like to see the Times drop the axe and stop the grindstone and come to grips with the fact that they and their seemingly all-too-deskbound writers are the only ones in this town who don’t understand that the MTA’s products and services just aren’t built for speed. Hell, convenience isn’t even much of a factor. But you know what? For the vast majority of riders lacking and/or declining the luxury of an automobile, it gets them where they’ve got to go. And the last time I left my truck in the garage and hopped aboard the No. 201 bus at Sunset and Parkman and rolled with it over to Fletcher and Riverside to catch the No. 96 up to work, it took me about an hour and along the way I knocked back 45 pages of the book I was reading. Nice. Try it some time. Or don’t. Just don’t let the Times make that decision for you.

Time to Strap It on. And I’m Talking Snowboards, Sicko.

bm_gallerys4.jpgI’ve been meaning to post about this for weeks and, well, I just haven’t got around to it. But our local mountains have had a pretty healthy early dose of snow and the local ski/snowboard resorts are open for bidness, brah. We got a surprise dump several weeks ago, and Bear Mountain just got two feet of fresh snow on Saturday. They’ve had healthy snowmaking to boot, giving them a 22-28″ base. That’s insane for this early in the year. Not a lot of open runs, but that will probably change this weekend (when all you n00bs show up to ruin my holiday). It’s shaping up to be a hell of a season, which is a great reason to check out Ski Dazzle next weekend:

Once again, the world of skiing and snowboarding is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center just to meet YOU! ÖAnd itís all going to fit under one roof with 5 football fields of bargains and information you canít get anywhere else! Hundreds of local, national and international exhibitors including over 85 resorts, ski and snowboard retailers, manufacturers, a huge ski & snowboard sale and lots of surprises. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is just no better place to get ready for winter!

If you plan on going up earlier (like, today or tomorrow), be sure to check the road conditions because all roads in currently require chains.

Notes from LAX on the tuesday before tgiving

Standing on the line to get to the escalators to the security check-in. Yes, the line to get on the line. And the airport personnel must be overwhelmed because Kareem Abdul Jabar stands in line with us for a whole minute before a harried LAXer guides him away from the unwashed masses and through the Special Celebrity Porthole. I can’t decide which irked me more: that he didn’t have to wait with the peons, or that the people arround me kept muttering, “Is that Magic?” “Isn’t he gay” Doesn’t he have AIDS?” I wanted to ask him if I should avoid the fish, but I opted to stick with my celebrity pokerface.

Hey, there goes Heather Locklear! Now I feel safe.

Yes, the lines were long to get to the concourse, and even longer to get through the security check. But the sad thing is that the longest line was at Starbucks.

A lotta Uggs on this plane. But its cold in NY, so I’l give ’em a pass.

I’m blogging this from the plane now.
Must…update…before…attendant..discovers…phone…

Happy Turkey Day.

Get Lucky

red flyer!

A friend said to me matter of factly, “its an art party”…as oppose to an art show. Was it? Maybe. Did it matter. Not really. Friendswithyou, probably more known for their plush animals with a rough sense of humor, had their opening reception at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery last saturday night. In addition to hand-sewned plush dolls, there were paintings, wooden block sculptures and several small installations of altars with written stories as well as…errr, performance pieces (?) by artists Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval. Dressed in white furry costumes, they either walked around the gallery hugging various fans, friends or both, or stood behind a large white sheer curtain like the wizard of oz, dispensing gifts and music. Sometimes, when crazy things happen at a reception, it can take away from the art and evening. But the night worked in their favor since Borkson and Sandoval’s art had always seem to be about bringing smiles and happiness to people – Not only did their pieces do so on a small intimate scale, but it succeeded from a larger perspective as well. I mean, who doesn’t like to petted by something soft and furry? Although, the performance portion of the works will be gone, their oil paintings served as a 2D extension of furthering the emotional content of the artist themselves as well as their characters while the altars gave greater insight into their creative process. Should people go check out the show…only if you want to walk away with a smile.

Wanna write for blogging.la?

We want you! No, not you. To your left. You. Yeah, you! Jason is moving to San Francisco which is going to open up a blogger spot here on blogging.la. Think you can fill it? Do you live in LA and love it? Want a piece of the fame and glory that comes along with having the tens of people who read this site on a weekly basis vaguely recognize you name from something they think they might have seen somewhere? Want to have local PR schumcks track down your e-mail address and send you press releases and then send you follow up nasty grams when you don’t blog about their crappy events? Want to have the undivided attention of sometimes up to 4 entire people?! Want to be constantly hounded to post more often without having any kind of compensation offered your way? Then tell me about it. Send an e-mail to seanatbloggingdotla and tell me why you think the spot should be yours. I’ll forward it around to the rest of the b.la posse and we’ll pick someone. I’m net setting a time frame for this, so basically until we find the right person (or two) we’re on the hunt. Show us what you got.

NOTE: I swear to Christ, if any local PR schmucks harvest my e-mail from this post and start sending me “news” about their crappy events I’ll shut down the e-mail address will post their contact info here as the reason we’re not picking any new people. OK, so don’t even think about it.

UPDATE: OK. We heard from a ton of people, and are now going through the e-mails. Stay tuned for details.

damn you, randy newman.

Whenever my wife, Anne, and I get fed up with traffic, or smog, or idiots who can’t drive when there’s a light mist falling from the sky, we talk rather furiously about moving away from Los Angeles.

This usually lasts for a few days, until we realize that we live 30 minutes from the ocean, fifteen minutes from incredible hiking, and an hour from skiing and snowboarding. Plus there’s the Arclight, and all the random local things that I don’t want those damn tourists fucking up, so I’ll keep them to myself.

Oh, and Vegas is a 50 minute flight away, and if LA sucks so much, why did Rockstar choose our fair city to be in the latest Grand Theft Auto game? Because we rule, sukas.

So there’s lots to love here in SoCal, even if there is also a lot to hate. Sometimes it’s a good idea to remember that.

Washington Mutual is screwing everything up

Anyone notice all the construction going on at just about every Washington Mutual? They are supposed to be making them better, but instead they are srewing them all up. OK, the way it used to work at most of them was you walked in freely, there was some guard dude who would nod at you and you could either walk up to wait in line then then talk to a teller who was behind a few inches of bullet proof glass, or if you were in a rush you could just throw your deposit envelope into the express deposit box and then take off. Well, I guess they thought that was too “impersonal” or some crap so they are getting rid of all that and replacing the windows with individual islands where you can just go talk to someone in person. It sounds good, but there’s a HUGE flaw that is playing out most obviously at the Vermont branch between Hollywood and Sunset. Because the tellers are just out in the open now you have to walk through a crazy double door weapon scanner thing when you walk in, and there’s no room for a line inside, so a guard stands outside and lets people in one at a time. Which takes for ever. The line the other day took over 30 minutes. Here’s the great, super well thought out part. The express deposit box? It’s inside. So if you just want to make a quick deposit, you have to wait in the same line outside with everyone for the entire time before you can get to the “express” box. Not very express at all. Well, at least there’s the ATMs right? Sort of. That’s great if you are making a withdraw, but if you want to make a deposit, you need a deposit envelope. Guess where those are. With the ATMs? Nope. Inside. Get in line sucker.

So what do people talk about while waiting in line? How much it sucks, and how there’s none of this chaos at other banks. I’ve heard several people talking about how they were waiting in line to close their accounts because it’s a nightmare to do business there now. On that note I opened a new account at Union Bank of California the other day and the experience was much, much better.

JJ Abrams Love

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JJ Abrams is one of the two reasons I wish I had cable (the other being, of course, Deadwood). Fortunately for me I have generous friends who invite us over to get overly involved in the weaving, enjoyable, and sometimes shocking stories of LOST and, heart be still, Alias. Ah Alias, despite the fact that it deals with SPIES for christssakes, I like the fact that all of their “international” locations are in downtown Los Angeles. Oh, they’re in Russia…nope, just the Biltmore. Ah, they’re in Sweden…nope, that’s the downtown bridge. I’m just waiting for them to film something outside of the gallery – are you listening JJ? As for LOST, I’ve been gone hook-line-and-sinker since that show debuted. It’s phenominally crafted and, just so long as that monster isn’t Barney, I’ll continue to watch.

The New York Times has an article on Mr. Abrams today who is working on another pilot and Mission Impossible 3. Can it be that someone in Hollywood actually has style, taste, and is getting great jobs? I hope for more of his shows and less of the droll and useless “reality” shows. Wouldn’t you much rather watch Jennifer Garner as a spy with a hot dude than some disgusting wife swap? (Note: America’s Next Top Model is excluded from that statement – that shit rocks).

LA – City of Rain

Caryn had never seen Lethal Weapon before so we rented it from Video Journeys the other day and finally got to watch it tonight. If you haven’t seen it in a while all you need to know at the moment is it takes place in LA and it’s raining in every other scene. We were making jokes thought the whole thing about the “creative license” that the director must have taken with that since it never rains here. Never. OK, maybe like one day a year. But not in December and not every day like they depict on the screen. I guess since Mel made that Jesus flick earlier this year he’s got some extra back up or something because as soon as the credits started rolling it started raining. Just to show us. I swear there was a puddle on my porch shaped like a middle finger. It’s was like Baby Jesus himself heard us breakin’ Mel’s balls over the that tubular hair-do he’s rocking and decided to take a piss all over us. Guess that’s what we get for busting on a dude who’s down with Gee Oh Dee!

Saturday Is Religious Intrusion Day

1120.jpg On our regular fitness walks around the neighborhood, usually my baby and I head up and down and around some of Silver Lake’s available public stairways, but on this morning we decided to forego our usual routes up the Music Box Steps and accept the challenge of climbing up Micheltorena from Sunset Boulevard to the top. So we headed from our house across Marathon up to Micheltorena, and on our way north we first pass two LAPD patrol cars whose officers are congregated around an older jeep Cherokee. The officers smiled and waved and said good morning as we passed, which allowed me to hope that the vehicle didn’t contain anything or anyone dead, and we didn’t linger at all to find out the contrary.

Down the 200 stairs to Sunset, we set off up the climb to the top of the decently steep Micheltorena, at the top of which we spot a pair of Asian women heading south. One of the women, walking backwards, is wearing a vest and upon its back is everybody’s favorite: “Jesus Is God Read The Bible.” The fun part is, she proceeds to intentionally walk right up to me indicating the phrase on her back, asking repeatedly “Excuse me? Excuse me? Did you read? Did you read?” Stifling the urge to scream “No he’s not. Read something else!” my baby and I went on our way to the reservoir then at the Backdoor Cafe for a little breakfast before heading home. Not more than 15 minutes after we arrive there’s a knock on the door and I find a pair of neatly dressed Watchtower-bearing Jehovah’s Witness folk asking me if I was interested in learning more about how I could live forever.

Lord, help me.