Immaculate Receptions

It’s a great story, and who could blame the Los Angeles Times for the line in their story today about the Sheriff’s deputies catching two kids as they were dropped from the second floor of a burning apartment building:

Trapped by a predawn fire, a desperate mother dangled her infant daughter out of a second-story window, and then dropped her ó into the hands of a sheriff’s deputy.

The father then dropped his 9-year-old son, Jermaine Carter, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Kim caught him too.

The immaculate receptions were made in Watts about 3 a.m. today at the Imperial Courts housing project on East Imperial Highway. The drop was about 10 feet, authorities said.

Excellent further coverage by Ron Myers at the LAFD blog.

Carping On The El Crapitan

Let me long-windedly preview this with the disclosure that I am an Arclight junkie. Even at $14 a ticket, it is without doubt the finest place in town to see a flick: online purchases of reserved seating, no commercials, those ushers that step up to the mic before the show starts to make sure you’re in the right place and that your goddam cellphone is silenced… it’s all good.

I’m bummed whenever a film is not playing there. I believe I actually had an indignant blogfit last year when I learned that “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” was absent from its screens (only after watching the DVD did I realize the good people there were trying to spare me from that overhyped piece of crapola).

So long intro short, I’m spoiled rotten and setting foot in any other movieplex is bound to leave me tsk-tsking and rolling my eyes at the inevitable shortcomings. This was never truer than at Disney’s vaunted El Capitan this weekend. Looking for a Christmas Day tour through the magical land of Narnia, I ended up settling on the El Cap because it was the nearest theater in the area that offered online ticketing and reserved seating — but that “VIP” option comes at a hefty premium. When the price came up on screen I mistakenly thought the $22 pricetag was for both seats. Hell no. At checkout I was about to be dinged for $44 plus a $2 per seat “service fee.” That shit scared me so bad, I not only closed the browser window, but ran away from the computer like a litle girl.
Continue reading Carping On The El Crapitan

You’d Better Watch Out

Today marks the start of another Pacific Gray Whale Watching season. The whale watching naturalist team from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society goes on their annual training trip on December 26th and since I passed my certification test last week, I got to join in the fun.

We left from Redondo Beach on the Voyager from Redondo Beach Sportfishing and though we didn’t see any whales but came across a pod of about 800 long-beaked common dolphins feeding along with a large group of birds and a few sea lions.
Continue reading You’d Better Watch Out

Junk Busters

Just a block from my loft is a place known as Heroin Alley where people from all walks of life come to buy their junk. Today undercover officers posing as dealers arrested 13 would be drug buyers including former child star and actor Brad Renfro. You can see his priceless expression on the LAT website. I think that arresting buyers is only a partial solution, if the dealers weren’t so prevalent the people wouldn’t come from all over LA to get their drugs here. I know that every time I walk to the gym I get offered heroin despite the fact that I’m wearing my gym clothes and walking with my fiance.

The High Seas

Blasting the Pier
Originally uploaded by eatingorange.

eatingorange posted this to the Pacific Ocean Flickr group that I moderate. I haven’t been out to the ocean in a few weeks (though things were calm down at Cabrillo Beach on Tuesday night). It looks wild and foamy. I know the surfers are enjoying the mild temps and high surf.

I’m heading out on Monday for my first Whalewatching tour for the year (my training trip) so I’m hoping things will calm down a bit before then, but for now, I hope the surfers are enjoying their white-cap Christmas.

Hit & Run Fatalities: Information Sought

Making my daily stop over at City Councilman Eric Garcetti’s blog I found the news that he’s been busy sadly attending press conferences “that no councilmember ever wants to attend,” specifically two regarding fatal hit-and-run accidents in his district earlier this month.

Around 8 p.m. December 2, Micheline Fernande Mayes was struck by a car while walking her dog near the home of her son on the 800 block of Lucile Avenue north of Marathon Street, and at 10:40 p.m. December 11 on Virgil Avenue near the intersection of Burns Avenue, Sulma Orellana was standing on the east side of Virgil Avenue adjacent to the parked cars at the east curb, when she was struck. A witness described the automobile that hit Mayes as a “1990-1995 dark-colored Ford Thunderbird.” The vehicle that killed Orellana is reportedly a “Ford, Dodge or Nissan pickup truck.”

The city council has authorized respective $25,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the drivers. LAPD Detective Felix Padilla is the contact for the Mayes case at 213/972-1825 ; Detective Mike Kaden is ithe Orellana investigator at 213/972-1825.

does jacko work for the bushes, or what?

Just in time to drag Americans’ attention away from George W. Bush’s illegal spying scandal, Michael Jackson is right back in the news, and this one is a doozy:

Michael Jackson’s ex is accusing him of kidnapping their children.

Jackson and his children are in Bahrain. [Bahrain? WTF?] [A gossip website that’s not getting any google juice from me] said. Rowe [The no-longer-being-paid-off-ex-wife] wants custody of the kids and allegedly said the pop singer underhandedly took them out of the country to make it difficult for her to get them.

Awesome. Now all we need is a beautiful white woman to get into some sort of trouble and a shark attack, and everything will be right back to normal. Back to you in the studio, Paul Moyers.

Gadgetgasm Update: Logitech Makes Good

hp.jpgBack in October ago I posted a mini-review about Logitech’s cumbersomely named but otherwise decent Wireless Headphone For iPod.

In the two short months that I’ve had them (and used them only a handful of times) they’ve proved entirely adequate, until last week. But there was nothing wrong with the sound quality or their perfomance. Instead, after a bike ride into downtown I noticed that a crack had developed in the center of semi-flexible plastic band that wraps around the back of the user’s head. As the speakers and band are all one piece, it’s only a matter of time before the crack worsens and perhaps even breaks all the way through. In other words, catastrophic design flaw. Bad news.

But the happy ending is that after a call to Logitech’s customer service and an explanation of the problem, I’m now the recipient of a brand new set, no questions asked and no charge. And bonus: since there’s nothing Logitech can do with the cracking but still fully functional ones, I get to keep them. So now I’ve got two sets: the originals (now taped up) for low stress uses around the house, and the new ones for the great outdoors… until perhaps they crack in a couple more months as well.

I facetiously asked the customer service rep about who might have been sleeping on the job when it came to such a poor design, and he countered that there’d only been four other calls along the lines of mine. That may be, but I’m thinking with such a rapid resolution, Logitech’s had enough of these devices fail and hopefully whatever designers were dozing will wake up and go back to the drawing board to come up with v2.0. In the meantime I’ll be seeing how long it takes before I’m calling up for my next replacement pair.

The New World is Wonderful

Thanks to Koga, Monday night I scored a couple of tickets to Variety’s preview of Terrance Malick’s new epic film, “The New World” at the Arclight. It was a stunning film.

I see a lot of media…and most of it seems to bounce into one brain cell and just as quickly bounce out, quickly forgotten. Not so this piece. The visual imagery was stunning and the natural quality of the film permeated the lighting, the emotion between the actors and the sparse dialogue. Out of all the films I’ve seen this year, “The New World”, will remain burned in my memory. It is first and foremost a great lovestory between Pocohantas and John Smith in 1608. But the bigger picture details the struggle two cultures inevitably have when they come together.
Even though it was four hundred years ago, we still wrestle with those themes today. After all the wars, the killing, the only thing that seems to heal differences is when the people love one another and bring families together. Kind of like the great meld of the world. You are me and I am you. Such a simplistic concept, but one we humans seem to have a hard time getting our minds around.

Retro-Americana for the holidays

retroslideshow.jpgI can’t believe I forgot to post about one of my favorite holiday traditions of all: Charles Phoenix’s Retro Holiday Slide Show at the Egyptian!

Rummaging through countless attics, thrift stores and garage sales around the country (but mostly around California), collector Charles Phoenix has found thousands of old family slides documenting their various holiday celebrations. He’s selected the best of them and woven them into a hilarious 90-minute (if memory serves) show presented by himself, with running commentary, at American Cinemateque at the Egyptian.

It’s sold out this Friday, and dark for Christmas Eve, but at last check there were still tickets available for Christmas Day at 1pm, and for the final three shows next weekend. Here’s the link to Phoenix’s site, which will take you to the ticket interface.

And yes, for those who keep up with these things, it’s as camp as the 99¢ show and as funny as Bob’s.