Porn Star Events…

Here are two weekly events, around the Los Angeles area, involving porn stars that are open to the public:

  • Tuesday nights: Porn Star Karaoke @ Sardos in Burbank.
  • Wednesday nights: A porn star get-together (“Tiffany Holliday tells me there will be a bunch of porn stars coming in a limo to the heart of Los Angeles Orthodox Judaism. It’ll be an every-Wednesday-night thing.”) @ The Mint in Los Angeles. Info via LukeIsBack.com (link is NSFW).

ELF? Nah, more like Frog Town

I just got home from a 10 day trip to Chicago and New York (where I stayed in Washington Heights, the Harlem on a hill) and was very happy to settle back in to my quiet little neighborhood. My hubby and I decided about 20 mintues ago to walk to our local water machine and refill our jug. On our way back as we were walking down Atwater Ave we heard what sounded like 5 little fireworks– at least, that’s what I thought they sounded like. Turns out there was a shooting (drive by? walk by? I don’t know) on the corner of our street (atwater and Tyburn). I know that just East of us around Fletcher Atwater gets a little gritty, but I never thought there would be shootings 100 feet from my front door. This is some craziness. Luckily it didn’t look like anyone was hurt. It looked as though they shot up an SUV… maybe they were eco terrorists? I don’t really think eco terrorists would target an SUV in Atwater, so I’ll have to guess it was somehow related to local gang activity. Either way, I wish they’d stay out of my neck of the neighborhood. Welcome home to peaceful Atwater!

Everything Old is New Again

bla-atandt.gifFor those of you old enough to remember when phones actually had real bells in them, you’ll remember old Ma Bell. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

You’ll also remember when it was broken up into all the baby bells. And then they started to put themselves back together again. Pacific Bell got swallowed up by Southwestern Bell and became SBC, after all. Then they took over Ameritech (which was once Ohio Bell, Wisconsin Bell … most of the midwest bells) … pretty soon the whole country again as it’s eaten up its mother. (here’s some history of that)

It’s not really that bad. I have to admit in the past 20 years a long distance call has come way down in price, though the new taxes (or fees or whatever you call those) kind of balance it all out.

Yes, SBC will soon be AT&T. (found via om blog)

Armin Van Buuren…

Just a quick FYI that Armin Van Buuren (ranked fourth on TheDJList.com) will be spinning records and signing autographs this Saturday at 5:00 PM at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset Blvd.

(The Megastore website currently doesn’t list this appearance, but I was at the store earlier today and there was a sign in front of the main entrance promoting his appearance.)

Armin will also be spinning a set at this Saturday’s Nocturnal Wonderland at the NOS Events Center in San Bernadino from 12:30 AM-2:00 AM (which would technically fall under Sunday morning).

On another day, this would be the top news of the day…

Four Indicted in Alleged U.S. Terror Plot
By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES – The head of a militant Islamic prison gang and three others were indicted Wednesday on federal charges of planning terrorist attacks against National Guard facilities, the Israeli Consulate and other Los Angeles-area targets.

The four conspired to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism, kill armed service members and murder foreign officials, among other charges, according to the indictment. [full story]

Shooting looters on sight?

There’s a post over on Metroblogging New Orleans that is causing a lot of fuss, in part because it’s advocating shooting looters on sight. I personally think that’s a bit extreme, but I’m not there in that situation and don’t know how bad it really is. There’s more discussion in the comments about what that means and what is considered a looter but it’s a pretty sparky statement none the less. What I can say is that bands of armed looters roaming the streets is a damn good argument that the general public should be armed, and able to defend themselves. I think it’s fairly clear to anyone reading first hand accounts that it’s a total mess there, complete governmental failure to protect the people. Honestly, between knowing how quickly things degraded in Florida last year and riots that have happened here in LA, I have little faith that if something like this happened anywhere else in the US things would be any different. In LA for example, if there was no power, no water, no phones, no grid at all, I don’t think I’d feel secure that the already-stretched-too-thin police force would be able to protect me, or anyone else. And with the majority of the public having never seen a gun in person, I think most people would be fair game for anyone who decided they were going to go out and start taking things. I wonder how that situation would differ if the location was Switzerland where every person age 18 and over is required to own (and know how to operate) a gun. Of course that’s the extreme opposite and I’m sure there’s some middle ground that makes more sense but it’s an interesting situation unfolding right before our eyes here. I mean, basically, a huge city that was full of people last week now doesn’t exist, and in it’s place is outright anarchy.

You know big media is in trouble when…

I just called the LA Times Subscriber Service to change my 3-day/week (Fri-Sun) paper to Sunday only. It wasn’t the cost (I’m currently paying $1/week for three papers, delivered); it was more that I’ve not had time recently to properly consume all of my alt media AND read the paper.

The customer service rep said if I would keep the 3-day, he could lower my cost to 75¢/week, but if I went down to Sunday only, my cost would go up to $1.50/wk.

Hunh?

They’re trying to increase their circulation rates because…he trailed off.

Rrright. So basically, they’ll pay me 75¢/wk to NOT read the paper they’re telling their advertisers I’m reading.

I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I do know that if I were in the newspaper business, I’d be very, very nervous.

Pedicures and mangos

Best way to spend your birthday in this city? Not quite sure, but it might involve tequila, playing hooky from work, piÒatas, moon bounces, brunch, pedicures, mangos, Dodgers (hopefully) beating the Cubs, and getting news from your friend who lives in New Orleans that he and his family are alive and well.

It should not involve crowded subway trains, nearly missed flights, customs officials, midterms, traffic-filled commutes, and other minor annoyances.

$4.00 A Gallon?!

2005_08_16_shell_gas.jpg(Photo courtesy of Lori Shepler/LAT.)

I’ve been swamped at the office the past few weeks, so I finally got a chance to read about Katrina’s devastation last night. Adding to the information overload is the fact that gas prices could skyrocket even further:

Consumers can expect retail gas prices to rise to $4 a gallon soon but whether they stay there depends on the long-term damage to oil facilities from Hurricane Katrina, oil and gas analysts said Wednesday.

“There’s no question gas will hit $4 a gallon,” Ben Brockwell, director of pricing at the Oil Price Information Service, said. “The question is how high will it go and how long will it last?” …

Brockwell said with gasoline prices now exceeding $3 a gallon before even reaching the wholesale level, it “doesn’t take a genius” to expect retail prices to hit $4 a gallon soon.

“Consumers haven’t seen the worst of it yet,” Brockwell said.

As if there wasn’t already enough incentive to conserve gas…

Give Because it Hurts

I know a lot of us are just holding our breaths for those on the Gulf Coast. But the time has come for us to do something. I know some have already donated money and have started calling around to find out what else they can offer up.

At the moment I’m planning to do another loose change donation via CoinStar tonight to the Red Cross. Last time my two trips totalled $126.76. I know I don’t have that much change this time, but it’s a start.

My big question to our readers is what do you recommend? I know some folks don’t like the Red Cross and obviously I want as much of my money to go directly to aiding those affected. (I also donated to Tsunami relief to a woman in one of my classes from Sri Lanka who gave it directly to her church in her hometown where it went towards new housing for her former neighbors.) Should I spread my money around to a lot of charities or focus it on one or two to do the greatest good?

Here’s one list I’ve found so far that has a lot of good organizations (faith-based). Habitat for Humanity has also set up a special fund for Katrina rebuilding.

I’ll keep updating this post with as many resources as you can point me to.

UPDATES: Los Angeles Times List.

The Humane Society of the United Statesdonate online (thanks Loren)

Find out which corporations are donating here. (found via new orleans metblog) – if you work for a large company, find out if they’re matching employee contributions.

Pretty exhaustive list for resources for both those who want to help and those who need help: Zarq’s Hurricane Help. (Thanks Suzanne)

Katrina Help Wiki – exhaustive and communally updated listings.

KTLA is matching donations to its McCormick Tribune Foundation Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign – 50 cents on the dollar up to $1 million. (more about the fund here)

BoingBoing warns folks to be on the lookout for scam websites that claim to aid Katrina victims. Here’s FEMA’s list of verified charities.

That 101 Center Divider…

Photo_083105_002.jpg

Yesterday morning, during the drive to work, my carpooling friends and I all noticed that the concrete barricades protecting the construction of the new center divider along the 101 Freeway between the 134 Freeway and Barham have finally disappeared (this was along the southbound side, so I’m not 100% sure if they’ve also been removed but the barricades are still there along the northbound side).

There’s certainly been a lot of work involved in putting this new divider up. It had been under construction for so many months that I’ve since forgotten what was there before, let alone why this new one has been constructed.

Coincidence? I Think Not.

I’m a certified sucker for this kind of mystery marketing. So what if it’s probably just a stage-one teaser for some upcoming film or fall TV show, this billboard’s location at Spaceland a couple blocks south of the Silver Lake Reservoir featuring some strange illuminations dangling in the skies over what ó with a little imagination ó could very well be the northeasterly side of that nearby body of water is enough to make me wonder what I might have missed.

dystl.jpg

UPDATE: Katrina disaster forces ABC to delay on-air promotions for fall season series Invasion.

Our own emergency

As we watch in horror the destruction that has been visited on the poor folks of the Gulf Coast states, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t think at least a little bit of our own danger here. So after donating money or blood, spend a thought on your own preparedness.

In Los Angeles and nearby counties, we don’t really have to worry much about hurricanes — we have our own forces of nature to contend with. And although there is no annual earthquake season, we always have in the back of our minds the potential danger inherent in living here.

However, it’s not about being scared: it’s about being ready….
Continue reading Our own emergency