Call of duty: Jury edition – part 3

I went down to the courthouse this morning to report for my jury service. After filling out an affidavit saying I’m not a dirty commie (or something like that), I was selected for a panel. About 50 of us went to the courtroom and filled out a form with some simple questions on it. I did fill out one section saying that I would prefer a postponement because I have 4 business trips scheduled in December, but since that doesn’t cause me any personal financial hardship, I was asked to stay on the panel and return for jury selection on Monday. By the way, I wasn’t trying to get out of service altogether, I just wanted to postpone it. However, since I’d already been granted one postponement this year I was ineligible for another.

It’s a pretty straightforward process so far. The standard rules apply – no talking about the case with anyone, no research on the topics being discussed, etc. I don’t know if I’ll be selected for the actual jury yet, though – that process doesn’t start until next week. Though I’m glad that I got switched from the criminal court to civil court (because I’m a big pansy and don’t want to hold someone else’s fate in my hands), I’m a little concerned about my ability to remain impartial for this particular case. That said, I filled out my questionnaire about how I felt about the topic of the case honestly, so I’ll be interested to see what the judge and attorneys say on Monday.

A school that’s doing something right

It may be rivalry week in LA (Go Bruins!), but I can’t help feeling proud of Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights. My high school and LAHS were rivals, but that’s only relevant when it comes to sports.

LAHS was featured as one of four “high-impact” high schools in The Education Trust’s just-released study “Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground.” The other three high schools were all in North Carolina.

Apparently, LAHS is doing something right in improving the academic attainment of minority students. The school is majority Latino (60.5%) and has about 8% English language learners, most of which are Spanish or Mandarin speakers.
Continue reading A school that’s doing something right

Nellie McKay, Part Deux…

For those of you who were curious what the ramifications were for Nellie McKay‘s on-stage breakdown on Tuesday night at The Troubadour, here’s a recap of what happened last night at Largo:

I just got back from the Largo show. Smaller venue, quiet-sit-down-dinner crowd, no smoke machine, no light show, the band was still with her but they were much tighter tonight and the mood of the whole show was much lighter.

Nellie prefaced the show to say that Sony has given her the full CD. I heard there were label people at the Troubadour and her outburst might have done the trick. But she was still pissed and a little worked up over the fact that she even had to “take it to the streets” as she said. “I got my 65 minute CD I should be happy” but she continued to rag on Sony, urging everyone to steal anything and everything they can from major corporations and said if she was computer savvy she would be stealing music online. …

In general a much more relaxed show with just a hint of lingering tension from the night before. She still had all the passion though. She ragged on LA a little, complained about art films and Woody Allen and other pretentious filmmakers, saying she preferred Disney to Fellini. She did a Woody Allen jazz tribute in LA a few months ago though so I wasn’t sure what to make of it other then maybe it’s a love/hate thing. …

That’s about the gist of it. I think tonight’s was a better show with a better venue and a better audience, but it’s hard to beat the Nellie-unleashed intensity of last night.

Long story short, Nellie got what she wanted.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Nellie McKay, Part Deux…

L.A. Times: It’s A Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog World

With an awesome lead photo of’s own Heathervescent backdropped by the downtown skyline along wth a fair share of ink devoted to her personal blog, the L.A. Times’ Scott Martelle takes a run around some of the the local bloghoods in today’s Calendar section and finds the glorious normalness of it all:

This is the daily face Los Angeles bloggers present to the world, and it is decidedly different from the image forged by decades of television, movie, newspaper, magazine and literary portrayals of the SoCal lifestyle. In this new etherworld, Hollywood, flowering bougainvillea and beaches are augmented by internal landscapes, closely observed neighborhoods, musings on politics or relationships and behind-the-scenes looks at myriad elements of local life.

Martelle spotlights a variety of area-based online endeavors large and small, from Gawker and Patterico to El Sereno’s Encie — even my wife Susan’s Cinnamon Thoughts, which debuted but a couple months ago. itself only gets mentioned in the rather insubstantial sidebar/blogroll, kind of a shame since the headline of the piece was… “Blogging L.A”.

Let the “What, no Tony Pierce!?” “What, no LAist!?” What, no 8763 Wonderland Avenue!?” harumphing and pfffft-ing begin.

Local World AIDS Day event

Many of you probably know that World AIDS Day is December 1. For the past 12 years, there has been a community event in my neighborhood to remember those who have suffered from this disease. Sponsored by community organizations, churches, local companies, and the Wall Las Memorias project, the Noche de las Memorias (Night of the Memories) event will occur tonight at 7 PM. There will be a candlelight procession, and participants are welcome to bring photos of loved ones for the procession or to place on the altar. Laura Diaz from KCBS will be hosting the ceremony.

The AIDS monument is located in Lincoln Park at 3600 N. Mission Road in Lincoln Heights. For more information, call 323-257-1056.

I know there are a number of other local events taking place; I’m just posting about the one in my little section of Los Angeles. Other events are posted on the World AIDS Day website. If you know of any events in your area, please post them in the comments.