Shillebrity Revisited: Filler Up!

I’ve long been the least enthusiastic fan of the Thursday L.A. Times Calendar section’s “My Favorite Weekend” filler feature (case in point: my May 2004 post headlined “Shillebrity”), but mostly I’m content to ignore it because it’s easy to do so usually buried in the back pages where I don’t turn to anyway.

Not this Thursday. Today it’s front and center on the section’s cover and inside is a special jaw-dropping and mind-numbing expanded double-truck-plus-one spread diving deep into the fantabulous life and weekend times of one Lauren Graham previous star of the now-defunct “Gilmore Girls.”

So after some three years of silence, why the sudden re-beef? It’s certainly not with Graham who should give her publicist a raise car boat house. Hell, it’s even kinda entertaining the way the former Gilmore Gal is quoted refering to wildlife from the post-Griffith Park Fire as “misplaced” rather than displaced. And I’m all for spotlighting local establishments (though plugs for Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus are kinda pffft whatever).

No, my main gripe is that the Calendar folks’ decision to run “My Favorite Weekend” featuring a currently between-jobs actor on its cover just screams of a hastily arranged 11th-hour editorial meeting that results in Plan Z — as in “Fuck our exclusive interview with Tom Sizemore Phil Spector Paris Hilton never happened dangit and we don’t have a real cover story, now what the hell are we gonna do!?” Then some intern in the back of the conference room answers in the form of a question “Maybe run the Lauren Graham filler — I mean feature?” and everyone is laughing except the Tribune exec on speakerphone back in Chicago who hangs up after saying “Fuck yeah I love Lorna whatshername from that Gilroy show. Is that still on? Who cares, she hawt. Make it so!”

And so it is made. And so the paper’s irrelevance is driven up another notch giving what amounts to onetwothreefour pages to an unemployed TV actor’s leisure time preferences. I highly doubt it, but maybe it would’ve mattered if the intern had instead said “What about expanding our current lousy coverage of an actual happening like, say, the Anime Expo this weekend in Long Beach or the U.S. Air Guitar Championships at Key Club Friday or even the punkilicious Warped Tour Saturday in Pomona and Sunday in Ventura… or howsabout quadrupling the ink and paper we’re currently devoting to the Bicycle Film Festival this weekend at the Vine Street Theater in Hollywood.” Maybe no one would have laughed at those suggestions… except the Tribune exec on the speakerphone back in Chicago.

Tiny Champions!

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I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for these tiny cars (“Klienwagen” “Kleinwagen” auf Deutsch), and right now the Petersen Automotive Museum is having a show of them.

Never have so many been packed into a space so small, and seldom will you get as much bang for your buck.

Head over to the Pete – there are some real strange ones in this show.

On exhibit in the Gordon R. Howard Gallery June 23, 2007 – February 3, 2008


Because the love of my life hails from the Berkley/San Francisco area, we cruise up the 5 on occasion to socialize with members of his extended family. The NorCcal circle includes some best friends from his former life, his really cool ex-wife, (I know, it’s unusual, but she and I get along) his fab daughter and assorted tech wizards. Invariably the discussion always gets around to ‘how horrible LA is and how wonderful Berkely or ANY place in Northern California is’. In fact, “How can you two bear living here?”

Now, I do love San Francisco and Berkley…. but I have also lived in Los Angeles for 24 years, so I’m a hard core semi-native. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the sweet spots on the planets, especially when you load in all the ‘living here’ data. So, I’m the lone dissenter in rallying to her cause in these discussions. In my world, people in LA don’t even think about comparing themselves to our Northern sister. It’s just not too relevant a discussion. But up there they go on and on about how intellectually inferior people are in LA, how boob jobs and appearances seem more important than anything, and how we don’t have enough social awareness going on. The vibe is that in LA it’s all about money, money, more money and looks.

Okay, so there is a surface to the place. It’s pretty shiny. And it can throw you off course if you let it. But the real LA lies beneath it’s beautiful, sometimes languid surface. My experience is that there are some ridiculously talented, smart, fun, spiritually aware, people here. And sometimes they even look good. And hey! What’s wrong with beauty. It soothes the soul! Even funnier to me is that Berkeley and Northern CA are traditionally where the idea of “universal love” originated. If so, wouldn’t that mean embracing everyone? See, that’s where I think we get into trouble. The whole ‘Us vs.Them’ idea. Whether it’s the Westside vs. the Eastside, LA vs SF or Israel vs. Palestine, we are all one when you get down to it.
Yes, we girls in LA sometimes do wear ‘come fuck me’ shoes rather than the Berkely Teva staple… merely to get your attention mind you. But that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Just different.

Lucha … VaVOOM!!! night my wife and I had a huge, stupid amount of fun whooping and gasping at the first of Lucha VaVoom‘s three nights of sold-out shows at the Mayan downtown.

This quinceanera run marks the 15th outing of the Mexican- wrestling- hot- strippers- comedy- and- flying- midgets extravaganza since its birth at the start of Gulf War II (there’s a great Current Affair video on the home page) and I’m here to tell you: there’s not a lower-brow, higher-octane night of fun to be had for 30 bucks in L.A.

Did I say sold-out? Yep. But scalpers can be found hawking tickets for unknown prices at showtime on the sidewalks outside, so if you gotta get in, that’s your route. Either that, or risk tangling with hulking 275-pound walls of muscle wearing black “SECURIDAD” t-shirts …
Continue reading Lucha … VaVOOM!!!

Gonna try for the iPhone?

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So, have you decided to throw your hat in the ring and try for an iPhone?

Me, I’m a total gadget whore but my P990 still has more features than the iPhone, so for now I hope to keep it in my pants and not get the iPhone. (I’m one of those people who never buys the first year of a car either.)

If you are of greater intestinal fortitude, though, and are looking for info, I called the Glendale Galleria Apple store, and here’s what they told me:

They do expect to get the phones on Friday.

The store will be closed from 2-6pm to prepare for the launch event.

The launch event starts at 6pm.

They don’t know how many phones they will get and they are not taking reservations, making lists, or handing out wristbands. Unlike other Apple locations, the Glendale Galleria is an indoor mall so no camping out overnight.

Good luck if this is your chosen outing – and please anyone who gets one post your review here in the comments.

Slings & Burroughs

Over at Atwater Village Newbie minor umbrage has been taken with references over on the Silver Lake Gallery Alliance blog to the nebulousity of Los Angeles’ “Five Burroughs.”

AVN writes: “Never mind that “Borroughs” is usually spelled ‘Boroughs.’ And never mind that New York City established its own Five Boroughs in 1898. I’m just trying to figure out what/where in the world are the Five Borroughs/Boroughs of Los Angeles?”

With area boundaries pratically gauranteed to spark debate (Eastside, anyone?), instead of going what/where I’m all about who are Los Angeles’ Five Burroughs:

1) Don “The Blade” Burroughs, Los Angeles Rams defensive back, 1955-59
2) Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and Tarzana
3) Harold Burroughs Rhodes, father of the electric piano
4) John Burroughs, naturalist of whom an LA middle school and Burbank high school is named
5) William S. Burroughs, novelist and primary beat gen’er who stomped the Venice Boardwalk with Ginsberg and Kerouac in the 1950s

So who’d I miss?

Arclight gets a little SiCKO

sicko2_large.jpgI was biting my blog tongue on this one for two reasons:

1. I complain too much about the Arclight, even though it remains my all time favorite movie theatre, and
2. After seeing the sneak preview “SiCKO” at the theatre last Saturday night, I walked away being even more pro-publicly funded healthcare than ever before.

Here’s my gripe:

I spent $14 bucks for my ticket at the Arclight, their usual cost of a first run film over the weekend. I didn’t think twice about this, because, as you know, the Arclight not only has reserved seating, but they also don’t show advertisements before the movie.

Unfortunately, before walking to my seat I was stopped by a group of people identifying themselves as from the Weinstein Company, who released the film. They let me know that there was a card in my seat they’d like me to fill out before and after the movie to let them know what I thought of the film.

I’m mildly annoyed. I don’t mind filling out these cards, but only when its one of those free screenings. Quid pro quo, y’know? Not when I’m spending $14.

Then, I walk to my seat. Before I’ve even had a chance to put my Coke into the cupholder, a woman walks up to me with a clipboard asking me if I’m interested in free public healthcare.

Thats right: the Arclight allowed lobbyists into its movie theatres.
Continue reading Arclight gets a little SiCKO

I’ve got a theory…

buffymusical.jpgI wouldn’t be a blogger if not for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No, really! It was a Buffy message board that led me to read my first blog, which prompted me to start my own, lo these five years ago.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also responsible for the only time in my life that I’ve paid for cable television, because my apartment in Chicago didn’t get UPN with rabbit ears. (Bunnies! It must be bunnies!)


Caroline on Crack tells me (just me, she writes that blog directly to me) that the LA Film Fest is screening the musical episode, Once More With Feeling, tomorrow night. It’s a sing-along and I’ve heard from folks who’ve been to similar screenings at the Alamo Draft House that it’s an awesome experience. Due to a combination of not having $11 to spare and not caring to stay up past 10:00 (man, kids are exhausting), I can’t go, so I’m just posting this here in case any readers can. Of course, if you go, I’d love for you to report back! Be aware, though, that pre-sales are sold out and tickets at the door are first-come, first-serve.

Putting The Ad in Bad

Dear Three Pilots Of Those Single Engine Aircraft Who’ve Been Repeatedly Flying Over My House Yesterday and Today Pulling Banners Across The Sky Advertising The June 27 Release Of A Certain Sequel Starring A Certain Guy Who Used To Be Married To A Certain Gal Who’s Now Married To Another Certain Guy Who’s Like 20 Years Younger Than Her,

Yeah, you!

Seriously, I get it. The movie’s opening tomorrow. Mission Accomplished. You can go land now and celebrate. Or at least if you must circle around for the umpteenth time, whichever one of you is doing that weird throttle-down thing so that the engine sputters a bit and makes the plane sound as if it’s totally ready to stall a couple hundred feet right over my head? Stop it.


Ripe full of suckers

A guy in a Ross Dress 4 Less button up and tie is pitching his company, ACN, to an oafish looking dude at the table next to me here at Starbucks. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, so I immediately Google up “ACN” and quickly find a number of people associating them as being little different from a pyramid scheme. According to numerous online reports, most of the money made by ACN “reps” is by recruiting new reps… and to become a rep it costs around $500.

After graduating high school, I almost fell for company that worked off a very similar model (I think it was Cutco), where you have to pay to work for them. Fortunately, my family talked me out of it, and I am forever humbled that I once believed I couldn’t be suckered into any scam.

Enter Los Angeles, the city of dreams, where the hordes flock in hopes of being discovered at a bus stop, or selling a million idea movie idea during a chance encounter with a producer. I can recall over the years meeting more than a handful of friends who tried to convince me that theyhad stumbled upon an outstanding opportunity that would make them rich. Most recently, these came in the form of being licensed as travel agents, but I still remember a couple different casting website type deals, and the ever present tele-communications “opportunities”.

Six months later, I’d always find the same poor souls back waiting tables or again at a temp agency, never wanting to discuss whatever happened to the business opportunity.

So, please, let this serve as a simple public service announcement, and before you spend a dime for a business opportunity, check the web and do a lot of research.

The Volunteer Chronicles: Meals on Wheels West

Numerous studies have shown that doing good is good for you. have even demonstrated a measurable correlation between volunteering and good health. Not only do volunteers live longer, they live better: Volunteering can promote a sense of well-being, bolster the immune system, reduce insomnia, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, help keep weight in check, raise energy levels, increase relaxation, and a lot of other cool stuff. Sounds like the fountain of youth, a miracle cure, and a happy pill all rolled into one. With this in mind, I’ve set out to volunteer for a different Los Angeles organization each week. I’ll write about the experience here. This week: Meals on Wheels West.
Continue reading The Volunteer Chronicles: Meals on Wheels West