Welcome to the Jungle, Pt. 2

Somebody asked me this in the comments of my last post:

why are you catching the kitties? just wondering…what type of shelter to you bring them too and what happens to them? I have never heard of a trapping license.

And the more of my reply that I typed, the more I thought this deserved a post of it’s own.

We’re trapping the cats because there’s a huge colony (like, 14-16) of ill and uncared for animals that the old woman behind our house refuses to stop feeding (though she won’t get them fixed or see to their health care). More importantly, because our house was empty for the two years before we moved in and there was no lawn, they were all trained to use our rather small front lawn as a litter box. This, in turn, led to our three indoor cats contracting worms and, for the first time in three years, fleas. The strays have also caused a huge amount of damage to our newly installed lawn and almost any personal property that we leave outside. Not to mention the disgusting environment that hour front lawn had become, or the constant fighting, or the fact that they urinated on our front door twice a week.
Continue reading Welcome to the Jungle, Pt. 2

News Around Town

This week (well, every week recently) has been super chaotic and I haven’t had the time to post thing things I’ve been wanting two. Here’s three news entries that otherwise would have been their own posts but today will all be lumped into this one.

From The LA Times: A study of mothers who gave birth to boys in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Columbia, Mo. shows a disturbing trend of smaller than usual, um.. junk. This is being blamed on a handful of chemicals and explains the Hummer H2s parked all over here in LA. And just for the record, I was born in Washington D.C.

From The Longbeach Press Telegram: Some Christian Biker Gangs are Ganging up on Street Gangs to show them they are not welcome in their communities. Elder Claude Powe and his motorcycle posse and on the attack and he says “It’s going to take a community as a whole coming together as mothers and fathers and uncles and brothers and friends and neighbors to say, ‘Enough is enough,” – No word if Aunts or Sisters are to be included.

From The Daily Bulletin: (Who clearly wanted to distinguish themselves from the Press Telegram design wise) Some sort of committee is trying to decide where and how to have medical marijuana dispensaries which wouldn’t be too close to schools and would be welcomed by neighborhoods. As is non-medical marijuana isn’t already being dispensed in schools and welcomed by neighborhoods in LA.

Welcome to the Jungle

I just caught our 11th stray cat. Not the mangy orange and white one that I really want to catch. The trapping permit runs out Tuesday, so I doubt we’re going to get him. On my way to the shelter, I passed a car fully engulfed in flames on the shoulder of the 101. And when I say fully engulfed, I mean fully engulfed. Human Torch-style. No uneflamed car parts to be seen. Which is eerie because I saw the exact same thing happening on the news earlier on the 118. Then on the way home, I drove through an intersection full of cops where a passenger car had just rammed a bus. I don’t know how you manage to not see a bus, but they managed it. I also passed the burned out skeleton of the flaming car, extinguished by a newly arrived fire engine.

Anyway, maybe the MTA mugging story is stirring up some old anxieties or all the drugs I did back in the 80’s are finally bearing down, but the mojo feels a little strange out there tonight. Just wanted to tell you all to have a safe holiday weekend.

abLA Round-Up for May 27

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ï It’s official, my landlords really hate me.

ï Valerie reviews Mel Kadel drawings in her exhibition The Park at Jeff Electric Gallery.

ï Machine Project has a secret gallery. Shhhhh…don’t tell anyone about the coolest thing ever.

ï Art criticism is dying (wah wah wah). Don’t tell that to the folks at the National Critics Conference this week in Los Angeles.

ï My report on the fabulous 26th Annual LACE Benefit Auction (complete with pictures). I’m telling you, it was a blast. Make a note to yourself to go next time – great art at amazing prices.

ï The UCLA Hammer Museum proves once again that it’s the best museum in town by providing FREE admission to all exhibitions and programs this summer.

ï Doug Harvey said “poo.”

ï LA Times reports on Getty curator Marion True’s indictment. Apparently she was big on ethics. Hmmm.

ï MoMA becomes a sexy beast as it acquires the Judith Rothschild Foundation collection of drawings that includes Zak Smith’s portrait of a Suicide Girl and Tom of Finland (well, you do the math on why his stuff is sexy).

ï de Soto (art gallery) has its inaugural exhibition tomorrow night with Kelly Reemsten’s mid-century modern loving exhibition Good Living. (see image) I think de Soto is a solid addition to the downtown art scene. Other receptions listed include galleries 4F, lizabeth oliveria, the Brewery Project, and a one-night event at Gallery 825.

Have a good weekend!

This Land is Your Land…And so is the Beach!

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Yeah! Yesterday was the dedication of the new coastal access to the beach in front of David Geffenís house in Malibu. He fought 22 long years to keep people off the beach, which is owned by everyone, but in the end, he dropped his opposition and this area is finally open.

Coastal access areas are the walkways which dot the California coastline and allow ordinary folk who donít own beachfront property entry ways to the beachfront. If you frequent Malibu and like the un-crowded conditions of the few (and often times very hidden) public access beach fronts, you know it can get highly charged between the beach front home-owners and people who visit the beach for a day in the surf. There have been times that home-owners called the police to keep people from spreading their towels, signs torn down that show where access areas are and even chained locks illegally put on the gates to keep us local Joes out. If you want a great map that shows where the coastal access areas are check out this coastal access guide that gives detailed maps and info. They have a very detailed down-load for the Broad Beach area at Pt. Dume, as well as other good beach spots.

LosCon vs. BayCon! Represent!

I’m in San Jose right now for work and as I was coming back to the hotel today I saw some folks from BayCon bringing some arcade games and stuff in. I went up to the concierge floor, because I’m fancy like that, and several of the organizers and staff were there talking about the con. It’s a sci-fi convention run by local fans every year over Memorial Day weekend. The schedule is here.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because we have our own Los Angeles-based con run by local fans every year called LosCon. It’s happening this November at the LAX Marriott. I think the L.A. sci-fi fan con should try and outdo the Bay Area fan con this year! We can do it! We have the technology (and their agenda)! I mean, the L.A. con already has an operetta. Can those BayCon people beat a freakin’ operetta? I didn’t think so!

I’ll continue my extremely subtle reconnaissance until my departure tomorrow. L.A. sci-fi fans, I have your backs!

Super Scary MTA Story

I can’t say I’ve checked out too many blogs on Friendster but this post from a guy who got mugged last week on the MTA is a must read. I don’t know what’s worse, the stuff he remembers or the stuff he doesn’t:

“I remember two black females and one black male on the train insisting that they “WERE helping me” and they kept shoving me back into my seat. I felt like I was 5 again, with bullies pushing me around and it was making me upset. I remember struggling, yelling “THIS IS MY STOP!” a lot of times, and they restrained me, laughing. I tried to break free, but I couldn’t; I looked for some type of emergency call button but I couldn’t see one, and I was at the back of the car, too far from the door. These people that were holding me asked me for something, I assume my money since my wallet and checkbook are missing now, and I said “NO!”. The last thing I clearly remember on the train is a hand grabbing the back of my head.”

“My next string of memories are very wet and strange. I’m waking up on my side, and start crawling on the ground, trying to make my phone work; there’s cars passing by but noone is stopping; I’m screaming and crying and I think I’ve lost most of my teeth. I keep spitting out and vomiting out blood. I’m trying vainly not to make a mess. I can’t stand up. A small part inside of me keeps telling me that I won’t die out here; I just have to keep moving… just keep going and you’ll end up safe, I had to argue with me that I wasn’t going to die.”

Puente Hills Fault

I was always surprised to hear folks from other parts of the country talk about one of the main reasons they wouldn’t live in California: earthquakes.

The fear seemed irrational. Sure, earthquakes are unpredictable, but the big ones don’t occur very often. At least we don’t have a season where we expect Mother Nature to kick our ass.

I may understand these folks a little more now.

The first earthquake I remember, the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake, struck while I ate breakfast before school. I was in second grade and my mom still sent me to school after the quake, but we spent the day just playing around ’cause so many kids stayed home. As a kid, I thought earthquakes were fun. I didn’t realize that the epicenter for this quake was only a few miles from my house and that we were lucky there was no damage to our home.

I recently learned that the Whittier Narrows quake ruptured a small segment of the recently discovered Puente Hills Fault. If I remembered a little more from my college earthquakes course, I could tell you what it means that the fault is a “thrust fault” (I think it goes under another plate). The fault runs from northern Orange County to downtown LA.

I still wouldn’t be too worried about this. But now that I’ve read the latest news from the US Geological Survey on how a potential quake at the Puente Hills fault of magnitude 7.2 to 7.5 could result in thousands of fatalities (3 to 18,000) and $250 billion in damages, I’m getting a little nervous.

Damn, when I was a kid, earthquakes used to be fun. They’re not so fun when you’ve seen the damage from other quakes (Loma Prieta in 1989 and Northridge in 1994) in California and throughout the world.

Oh yeah, and it also doesn’t help that the home where I grew up and my parents currently live is a few miles away from Puente Hills. Eek.

Bunny Update

On lawyerly advice, I went down to the Northeast LA Police Station today to inquire about what can be done to keep my bunny out of that big, shiny pot. I brought incriminating printouts of threats written on the bunny-boiler’s website. Officer Kong, after treating me to a rant on how lawyers will make you do all sorts of crazy things, proceeded to read the printouts aloud to the entire front desk. Joy. Then he disappeared into the station to consult with a “detective and his superior.”

When Officer Kong returned, he informed me there was little the police could do, as the specific web entry did not specify me by name (even though it would take a mongoloid on a bad day or a Star Wars prequel screenwriter to not understand that it is directed at me), but that I could pursue a civil restraining order (where’s the oxymoron police when you need ’em).

But my favorite part was Officer Kong’s explanation that things published on a person’s website have a certain degree of privacy. “Like a diary,” he said. Um, doesn’t that overlook the whole idea of PUBLISHING something to the web? Does Defamer hide behind this argument?

So I guess it’s off to LA Superior Court for me.

Indie 103.1 a Harbinger of Things to Come?

So, Clear Channel has apparently set up a fake pirate radio station in Akron, Ohio that spends it’s time harrasing and insulting other Clear Channel stations. Oh Great Corporate Stupidity, will your insanity never end?

The conclusion most people seem to be drawing is that it’s a publicity stunt in advance of them switching one of their OH stations to an alternative format. I can’t help but wonder, though, if this the beginning of CC rolling out an Indie 103.1-inspired format nationwide. The success that Entravision (and CC) has found with Indie here in L.A. has got to have them formulating ways to franchise the idea. In markets where they’re not already legally over-extended, that is. Anyway, even if this isn’t it I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. We should start a pool.

Write on, girl!

reading_img1.gifIn case it isn’t obvious already, I’m a sucker for the help-others-help-themselves type of organization.

At this month’s Women’s Night Out, a very nice, smart and funny lady named Keren Taylor got up and extolled the virtues of WriteGirl, a local mentoring group that matches working female writers with teenaged female counterparts to get them fired up about writing (and through it, we hope, life in general).

The time commitment for mentoring is not inconsiderableóone meeting per week, one-on-one, and one monthly meeting with a groupóbut there are also all kinds of other ways you can help out, and I’m sure if you’re interested, they’ll do their best to use your skills in a way that will keep you engaged since, if Taylor is any indication, the WriteGirl chicks are pretty cool bunch.

Bonus b.la extra: Joz’s friend, Jeopardy champion Diane Siegel, serves on the advisory board. So maybe being involved with WriteGirl makes you nicer AND smarter!

Mr. Garcetti! Tear Down This Outdated Blog Banner!

L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti is a busy, busy man ó seriously. He definitely has more pressing things to think about than stuff like his blog’s banner graphic, which is still urging his consituency to “re-elect” him:

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Being one of those proud and staunch constituents, I did exactly as he had requested, but ya know… that vote was way the hell back in March (and did I mention Garcetti was running unopposed?). So when the councilman began posting to his blog again after last week’s mayoral election, he made mention of being officially sworn in to another term and I chimed in with a good natured comment inquirying if the time might finally be right to retire the “re-elect” from the top of his page. True to form, good-humored Garcetti commented back that just such a change was in the works and thanks for all the fish!

But four days later, nothing. Now, before any of you get all huffy and post comments that I absolutely have no right to be concerned with such insignifica and that I definitely shouldn’t expect such a minor fix in such a short time, go re-read my first sentence: I know Garcetti’s a busy dude, especially during this mayoral transition and all. So in the interest of pitching in and serving my favorite public servant, I decided to click-and-save the over-aged section of the banner in question (below, on the left), throw it into Photoshop and with the help of my mad erase skills serve up ó tada! ó a freshly updated version (on the right) that all he (or his webguy) has to do is click and save, then drop into the images folder on the blog’s server. Should only take a second. Or so.

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Happy to be of assistance Councilman.

Invasion Los Angeles

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This ceramic mosaic that has been permanently affixed to the “D” on the Hollywood sign since December 31, 1999. In fact there are 6 other invaders on the Hollywood sign and more than 100 around Los Angeles. A brand new book documenting this invasion of Los Angeles has just been released and since this news is spreading fast around the blogosphere I should go ahead and announce it here as well. On June 11th, we’ll be opening RUBIKCUBISM – a logical exhibition (which will be the first major North American showing from French artist Invader) at sixspace.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this show.

I’ve been a bit obsessed since I learned about Invader sometime in 2000, and when I moved to LA from Chicago in 2001 and found out there were actual invader pieces in town I started searching for them right away. It’s beyond cool that 4 years later the gallery I co-own will be full of them. In addition to the “alias” series, one of a kind, resin encased exact replicas of the invaders on the streets (including this one from the “D”), we’ll be showing a brand new collection of sculptures made out of Rubik Cubes, as well as computer animations and a large scale installation. We’ll be posting more info and images soon and this event might be something you want to mark on your calendar now. You won’t want to miss it.

The opening reception is Saturday, June 11 from 7-10pm at sixspace, 549 west 23rd street in downtown. [map] There will be a book signing immediately prior to the opening.

Here’s a flickr group with photos people have taken of invaders all over the world.