Question of the Week: What New Laws Do We Need?

Chief Bratton and the LAPDAs Cybele mentioned in two posts this week (here and here), new state laws will go into effect tomorrow regarding driving, minimum wage, urban blight, and more.

Nothing terribly unreasonable or ridiculous like some previous California and local laws outlined at For example:

  • In Los Angeles courts it is illegal to cry on the witness stand.
  • In Los Angeles a man is legally entitled to beat his wife with a leather belt or strap, but the belt can’t be wider than 2 inches, unless he has his wife’s consent to beat her with a wider strap. Consent should be given prior to the event, as is carefully stipulated.
  • In Los Angeles, you cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.
  • The Santa Monica, Calif., City Council recently proposed that men be allowed to use women’s public restrooms when there’s a line of three or more at the mens’ room, and vice versa.

Which bring us to this week’s question: what local or state laws do you think should be made and passed? Or are there any archaic or ridiculous laws that you feel need to be repealed?

photo by ecclesine

Who Will She Choose?

I’m posting via mobile and don’t have a photo – but today is the second day that I’ve seen a skywriter laboriously writing “WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE?” in the skies over West L.A. Obviously a teaser for something – but what?

And skywriting? Am I the only one who thinks that’s kind of retro?

What You Say!! (and more)

We just finished the last week of the year but that didn’t slow any conversations down here, lots of back and forth as usual. Don’t you people have families or something that you should have been hanging out with rather than posting comments all the time? Here are the most active threads from last week:

  • Dead Man’s Party – Will Campbell pointed out some smiles in photos of Police Officers standing over a newly created corpse and all hell broke lose. Comments have lots of back and forth and talk of criminals deserving to die in the streets. Definitely one of the more interesting threads I’ve read in a while.
  • Best New Restaurant On The Eastside…? – Lucinda Michele whips up a review and sparks the old eastside vs. really eastside argument. Holy crap we’ve been bickering over that one forever.
  • New blog: LA Can’t Drive – Wowza! Talk about hot topics this week. Annika Barranti points out a new blog about driving skills, or lack there of and war is declared in the comments.
  • Flags At Half-Mast – eecue posts a photo and everyone has an opinion about staffs and masts.
  • Is The MTA All That And A Bag Of Chips? (Part 1) – Jillian phones one in from Vancouver. Does anyone have strong opinions about public transportation in Los Angeles? Turns out, yes they do.

Also, as a bonus – two posts of interest from around the network:

Happy New Year, World! – Auckland, New Zealand became the first Metroblogging city to post in 2007. We’ve still got a few hours of 2006 left here, but feel free to wish them a good one.

Bombs Over Bangkok – While people usually expect explosions of some kind on a day like today, I don’t think what’s going on in Bangkok is part of any celebration. Bombs are blowing up all over the city, more news here as it comes in.

Things wrong with L.A.(me) hate lists

I’m fully prepared for the L.A. Hater haters to jump on me, but I have lived my life, or at least, the more humorous portions of it, by one credo: with exceptions so rare as to prove it a rule, The Joke is King; All Hail the Joke. (This means you.)

That said, it is with great sadness that I read KungFuMike’s anti-L.A. rant list. Not because I am anti-L.A.-rants–I love a good rant–but because his is lame-lame-bo-bame, banana-fanna-fo-fame lame.

For those of you less familiar with the form, a good list:

1. is useful (e.g. that Trader Joe’s list on your fridge)
2. is concise yet comprehensive
3. contains at least three items (symmetry thing)

A great list:

1. adheres to principles #1 & 2, above
2. is instructive, thought-provoking and/or hilarious
3. may contain less than three items (chiefly limited to McSweeney’s practitioners and other masters of the genre)

With these principles in mind, I can now address KFM’s list.
Continue reading Things wrong with L.A.(me) hate lists

KGRL’s Top 10 Artists To Watch Out For In 2007…


Pictured: Sara Bareilles

I first became aware of KGRL (MySpace) @ the Hotel Cafe while in line for a Kate Earl (MySpace) show last July.

According to their website, “KGRL is a non-profit non-commercial internet radio station that plays ALL female artist mixed-genre, easy-listening, flower-powered hits from past to present. … The songs played falls in a wide variety of genre, mostly indie, alternative, jazz, pop, folk, rock, trip-hop, classic, and even japanese pop. Artists range from popular mainstream to obscure ones.” Considering the fact that I listen to female singer-songwriters and female-fronted bands on a regular basis, KGRL sounds like a station that is tailor-made for me. They also just happen to be based in LA.

So here’s their list to help close out this year, as compiled by Mysty @ KGRL, which includes several artists based here in LA.

KGRL’s Top 10 Artists To Watch Out For In 2007:

10. Emi Meyer (MySpace) – “Pure Jazz bliss in the likes of Sara Gazarek [MySpace]. With today’s lack of appreciation in Jazz, Emi comes to bring back some loving to the genre. Her EP Magnolias is a sure sign that we are to expect something big from this emerging artist.”

9. Schuyler Fisk (MySpace) – “Sissy Spacek’s daughter writes and sings well-crafted acoustic ballads. Schuyler scrapped the idea of having an EP made available in favor of working on a full-length. With enough fans anticipating the CD, it’s probably the right decision to work on something bigger.”

More after the jump.
Continue reading KGRL’s Top 10 Artists To Watch Out For In 2007…

Best New Restaurant In The Eastside Echo Park/Silverlake…?

There’s no phone, no web site yet, and no sign. But Elf, despite its lack of distinguishing markings, has my heart.

I don’t like salad. I don’t like, well, green things. Unless they are pistachios. Or candy. I like candy.

Who woulda thunk a vegetarian, mostly-vegan joint would get my vote as best new restaurant of the year? But this place makes me love fresh kale. This is no minor feat.


Elf–so named for its tiny little dining room–seems to be enjoying the benefit of outstanding word of mouth and a supportive vegetarian/vegan community on the Eastside, because despite having no ads & no signage, the place has been packed every time I’m there. And it doesn’t hurt that its proprietors, servers and chefs are beloved fixtures in the area as well: owner Scott Zwiezen and servers/hosts Ween Callas, Ravi Dhar and Evan Haros are all members of local band Viva K! (photo by Tryan George)
Continue reading Best New Restaurant In The Eastside Echo Park/Silverlake…?

The New Years Eve Conundrum

So yes, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and the man and I have yet to firm up plans for the festive evening. First, we got the great idea to zip off to Vegas and catch the “Love” show, Cirque du Soleil’s new Beatles extravaganza. A friend of his is involved in it, so we had the opportunity to score good tickets. But after trying to get a hotel room and realizing I’d be paying over 500 bucks a night, (that coupled with remembering what a zoo Vegas is on NYE) suddenly it’s back to Los Angeles!

Another friend is a promoter, so he’s involved in several events, one being the big bash over at Paramount for the Killers, hosted by Carmen Electra. The other is an event called “The Time Machine” at The Highlands which features four decades of dance music in four different rooms. Each room’s style and ambiance reflects the different era of music. That sounds fun and he’s saying it will be the bomb, so that’s a possibility. We may even be able to slip in for free. If you want tickets, check out inlist which is a site that has lots of different events listed for both NYE and other clubs every night of the week.

I love Burning Man, so there’s also the Sea of Dreams party. It’s downtown, which will definitely be hoppin’ so be advised and bring money for parking!!! Wow…. on second thought, holing up here at the house with a couple of friends and digging into the ridiculously yummy Stone Crabs my borther-in-law from Florida sent us sounds like a plan! But only if I have lots of good champagne. And I do really like to dance, so we’ll just have to slip out late to one of these events and shake our wild thangs. Hmm… I wonder, does everyone else make last minute decisions for New Year’s Eve too? Any wild suggestions out there?

The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy? Could be a Rose Bowl float.

lucasrosebowl.jpgStormtroopers to lead George Lucas into battle at Monday’s Rose Bowl Parade

I used to think I was a diehard Star Wars fan – heck, I stood in line for hours to just buy tickets when Episode IV was re-released in the late 90s, and I managed to see The Phantom Menace almost three times before opening day, not to mention having a small collection of Star Wars Pez, Legos, and an odd assortment of action figures…

Anyway, as far as Star Wars fan, I’ve learned that I’m a lightweight. On the opposite end are people that attempt to relive the Star Wars lifestyle – many of these nerfherders are active members of the 501st Legion, an international group that dress up as Star Wars characters at conventions, for roleplaying, and sometimes even paid gigs.

This Monday at the Rosebowl Parade, aka the Tournament of Roses, around 200 members of the 501st will don their Stormtrooper outfits, and led by Darth Vader himself, will march in the 118th Rose Parade.

From the LA Times:

The group will march along the 5 1/2 -mile parade route alongside two “Star Wars” floats, a 176-member band from Grambling State University, eight flag bearers, eight dancers dressed as Twi’leks and a Jedi Knight drum leader.

And Grand Marshall at this year’s parade? George Lucas, creator/God of Star Wars.

His appearance, along with the Lucasfilm organized participation of the 501st, is no mere coincidence. 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars debut… and this May, Los Angeles will host Star Wars Celebration IV, a weeklong convention to be held downtown.

As for paid Storm Trooper gigs, last week I spotted this ad on Craigs List offering $100 and free drinks to anyone who would attend their party (and perhaps guard the door) on New Years Eve… Wookies and Darths also encouraged to apply.

previous coverage of Star Wars Celebration IV here and here… photo by bonniegrrl.

The Ditty Bops’ Top 10 Food Stops On Their 2006 Bicycle Tour Across The US…


Pictured: Amanda Barrett & Abby DeWald from The Ditty Bops

With 2006 coming to a close, many lists are being published on those Internet tubes.

So here’s a rather unique one, contributed by LA residents The Ditty Bops (MySpace), based on their recent cross-country summer bicycle tour from LA to New York City.

The Ditty Bops’ Top 10 Food Stops On Their 2006 Bicycle Tour Across The US:

  1. Bedrock Depot (Dinosaur, CO) – “Best lemon ice cream.”
  2. Big Sur Roadhouse (Big Sur, CA) – “Best chocolate cake.”
  3. Bistro Campagne (Chicago, IL) – “Best mac ‘n’ cheese.”
  4. Cheese Board Pizza Collective (Berkeley, CA) – “Best pizza.”
  5. Holy Land Diner (Springfield, IL) – “Best Middle Eastern buffet.”
  6. OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria (NYC, NY) – “Best olive oil ice cream.”
  7. Planet Juices & Java (Nevada City, CA) – “Best juice and smoothies.”
  8. Sages Cafe (Salt Lake City, UT) – “Best peanut butter chocolate non-dairy shake.”
  9. Souen (NYC, NY) – “Best macrobiotic cuisine.”
  10. Westville (NYC, NY) – “Best mac ‘n’ cheese.”

(The Ditty Bops’ next shows are next Saturday @ McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica to celebrate the release of their 2007 Vegetable Bikini Calendar.)

Sweatin’ Bullets (12/28/06): Lazy Holiday Edition the 60th Anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s gruesome, unsolved murder with The Lost Weekend of the Black Dahlia – actually a near weeklong series of events including a cabaret show at the 3 of Clubs, a premiere and screenings of Ramzi Abed’s “Black Dahlia Movie”, and an exhibit featuring Dahlia-inspired artwork. Of course, the folks at 1947 Project are helping throw it all together, topping it all with a handful of Crime Bus tours including a sure-to-be extra creepy midnight tour of Elizabeth Short’s haunts and murder site. (more at the Black Dahlia Lost Weekend Myspace page)

Larry Elders asks, What if the NBA Had Quotas? (h/t Amy Alkon)

Speaking of Amy Alkon, she recently wrote a letter to her new prison pen pal, Jack Abramoff, and he wrote back! Could conjugal visits be next? Take a read and decide for yourself.

Westward Ho counts seven meth labs in the City of Los Angeles, while the County has “a supermegafuckload”.

Mayor Sam is calling for readers to vote for LA’s Citizen of the Year.

The LA City Nerd alerts local treasure hunters to a lost stash of gold that was buried under city hall in 1927.

I’ll Raise you 75 Cents

In addition to the new laws for the road, there are a few more changes in store for the state on Monday. Some are relevant to Los Angeles and some I just found interesting.

gavelicon.gifThe state minimum wage will increase from $6.75 an hour to $7.50 (and to up to $8.00 on January 1, 2008 – probably to help folks pay for those hands free devices for their cell phones in the car that will be required then).

gavelicon.gifNew disclosures are required to be given to those applying for Reverse Mortgages. (This is something you might want to read up on if you or your grand/parents might be considering it.)

gavelicon.gifSmall claims court case juristictional limit will be raised from $5,000 to $7,500 for certain cases (most already went up to $7,500 this year). Some of this applies to tenant/landlord suits.

gavelicon.gifSafety rules for new pools on residental properties will now also be applied to spas & hot tubs, owners will now have to implement one of seven (or more if they choose) safety measures to prevent accidental drowning. This will probably be good news for folks who own fencing companies.
Continue reading I’ll Raise you 75 Cents

Dead Man’s Party

This L.A. Times image by photographer Don Bartletti of the aftermath of the killing in Santa Ana yesterday of the alleged suspect wanted in connection with the shooting last Friday of two Long Beach police officers shows some details some might not consider worthy of comment but I think bear examination. Details like both Santa Ana officers on the left side of the frame standing a few feet away from the dead man enjoying tasty beverages. Details like the broad grin on the cop facing the camera.

Look, cops are human and when they put themselves on the line there’s understandable relief, pride and satisfaction when they make the world have one less bad guy and do it cleanly without themselves or bystanders getting shot or worse. I can totally respect that. I’m just saying that if they’re going to mill about in the immediate proximity of the corpse just created they might want to refrain from acting like they’re at some kind of shindig, ya dig?

A Dark NYE for LA

Today’s coverage of the major parties in L.A. by the Times reminded me that it is, indeed, only three more days to New Year’s Eve. And, once again, I’m delighted to be celebrating it in Los Angeles. It’s warmer here than it is on most places the night of December 31st/January 1st, which means it’s easy to traipse around in cute outfits without having to worry about freezing one’s ass off. I can’t imagine celebrating in, say, Chicago, waiting for cabs and waiting in lines to get into clubs in the snow, and then checking a twenty-pound coat. Yay, SoCal microclimate!

However, there are those of us for whom spending NYE at a major festival-style party like Giant or Together as One doesn’t sound like fun. I’m not a big fan of crowds. So I went off searching for smaller parties. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a major goth event this year. Last year, Bar Sinister was open, because it was New Year’s Eve on a Saturday. This year, it’s a Sunday – but the Sunday night goth club is Malediction Society, which takes place in a club used for hip-hop and R&B on Saturdays. Tragically, the Saturday promoter bought out the club at a higher price than the goth promoters could afford. And while Evil Club Empire, who run Blacklist on Sundays at the Knitting Factory still have possession of the club, they’re using it for an 18+ event focusing on 80s music, which doesn’t even sound like as much fun as the live 80s tribute Club London is throwing at Boardners, featuring a Depeche Mode tribute band.

So that leaves just the fetish parties for the dark-minded. Miss Kitty’s is throwing a major party, of course, but will have DJ Amanda Jones spinning. The Catch One has a party, but haven’t even specified what type of music the “four hot DJs” will play. And those of you familiar with DJ Xian and her LA Dead community may want to go check the site for rumors on the small event she may be doing, and come by Malediction Society on Monday the 1st instead.

I’m sure there are a zillion other parties and clubs and events happening in L.A., and if there’s one with a particularly cool lineup, I invite you to share it in the comments. I’ll update with another post on Saturday if there’s worthwhile happenings in town I haven’t looked in on by then. And my commentary on the BIG events happening in the L.A. region is behind the cut.
Continue reading A Dark NYE for LA

New Road Rules for 2007

dmv2007.jpgA few new laws will be going into effect on Monday with the rollover of the calendar year. Not much that will impact your day to day life, unless you’re a street racer who gets caught or like to tote your pals around in your trunk.

New laws include a fine an points on your license for transporting people in your trunk, stiffer penalties for drag racing and DUI. Other changes include extending the Safe at Home privacy protections for folks who are victims of domestic violence or stalking and some other new laws about data mining information from car dealerships about their customers.

The new rules for hands-free cell phones don’t go into effect until January, 2008.

LATimes article & DMV Press Release. Full list follows after the jump:
Continue reading New Road Rules for 2007