Now hiring: undercover hipster

In what sounds like the plot of an 80s B-film starring Jon Cryer, but with a wacky 90s CraigsList twist:

Private Investigator / Detective Needed for Covert Assignment

Licensed private investigator needed for covert infiltration into a network of hip, socially powerful individuals. The individuals are middle-class, middle-aged and racially diverse. The investigator must have STRONG social skills to gain their confidence, establish friendships, and get welcomed into social circles.

Assignment will be on a solo basis, independent of any agency. It is anticipated to span several months on a sporadic basis, depending on the timing of events as the various relationships evolve. NO physical danger is anticipated.

Please email resume and California license number. Thank you.

Check out the listing here.

New 2009 Driving Laws: Don’t get a ticket for DWT

I have a theory that the reason traffic was so stupid this morning is because everyone was getting their last legal texting in before the new driving laws go into effect tomorrow. AAA of Southern California has a run down on the legal changes. Most are fee increases; it seems that Sacramento is attempting to balance the books by raising the fines for tickets and the cost of driving school. There are, however, a couple of new laws: In addition to the emailing and texting ban that you’ve probably already heard about, new regulations about the positioning of GPS devices also go into effect. (If they are affixed to the windshield they need to be in the lower right- or lower left-hand corner.) Sadly, there is not yet a regulation on simple douchebaggery. Perhaps in 2010.

(Hammered phone photo courtesy of jzlomek.)

New Year’s Eve Party Spots On The Cheap

Downtown blog Angelenic has posted a great list of places in L.A. to count down the final minutes of 2008, with people you may or may not know. Let’s face it, sometimes the latter is better. And since we’re in the throes of a Depression, these parties are all on the cheap, and all conveniently located within stumbling distance of a Metro Rail station. 24 hours of designated driver fun.

Check out Angelenic’s 12 Downtown NYE options under $50 here.

Happy New Year!

Girlie Hair on Fridays!

Girls:  Tired of your hair looking plain jane when you hit the town on Friday nights?  Well you’re in luck.  Last week, purely by chance, I happened onto this hair salon, “Harroin:  Addicted to Style” smack in the middle of Hollywood and they are running a really fun (and pretty cheap) deal.

On Fridays, from 7-11 pm you can drop by and get your hair styled in an up-do, or any other fashion you yearn, for a mere $25!!! They even have a DJ and free champagne to sweeten the deal.

It was my birthday and before the festivities began, I had gone for a coffee at Caffe Etc on Selma and Cahuenga and walked over to check out how much a blow-out would be.  It was super cool and I looked great to boot.  I’m definitely going back with a pack of girlfriends.  Fun way to start the weekend!!

They’re at 1553 Chauenga Blvd. in Hollywood.  323-467-0392, but no appointment neccessary for this one.

Metro’s Twitter Goes Bilingual

Your ATM does it. Your kid’s toys do it. Even Disneyland does it.

Now, Metro joins the club by tweeting in both English and Spanish. That’s very nice of them, unless you don’t want to read the exact same update twice. The tweet pictured above popped up this morning – four minutes after an identical update in English. Nobody likes a repeater. Nobody likes a repeater.

Maybe it’s time for Metro to run separate accounts?

Tal vez es hora de metro para ejecutar cuentas separadas?

A Float Gets Built

Volunteerism
Volunteerism

After sharing my experiences decorating floats with my daughter, I figured it would only make sense to actually show her.  The entire family packed into the car for a quick trip to the float near us in the City of South Pasadena, the oldest self-built float in the parade.

Located behind the War Memorial on Fair Oaks, the group of long-time volunteers and South Pasadena High School students pitched in on their entry into the 2009 Tournament of Roses. Since the entire float is raised up through volunteer efforts, the committee has several ways for locals to donate money.  Last night was their Crunch Time Dinner, a sort of last minute shove to get bills from this year paid off and ramp up for next year’s float.  Another little way to raise money was to give us the opportunity to get our name on the float, so to speak. For $1, we signed a vial that will hold flowers that will be placed on the float.

Walking in, we came upon a group of women who were deveining luminaria.  I spoke to one who has been volunteering for 15 years and another, Wendy Snow, who has volunteered for the last 27 years and is now on the float’s committeee. My daughter, fascinated by the project, quickly jumped in to help them and you can too.  There is still a few more hours to decorate before the float gets towed to Orange Grove Blvd.  If you’re in the area and want to experience the fun or just drop by to make a donation, they’d love to have you.

Continue reading A Float Gets Built

LA Times bankruptcy hits home…mine, as a matter of fact

Well, technically I dodged the bullet, because my services were rendered and paid for a while ago. But since I have freelanced for the LA Times before, I received a lovely notification in the mail yesterday informing me that my sometimes-employer had gone dodgy on me, and had claimed bankruptcy; and that, if I had not yet been paid for my work, there was a fair chance I might never be.

Now, that doesn’t impact my bottom line a bit as I’ve been too busy with the day job to freelance lately; but my heart breaks for the freelancers who may never see sizable paychecks they worked hard for.

A lot of people claim this is a necessary adjustment for the Times, and in fact I’m one of them: papers need to get leaner, meaner, savvier and more nimble to compete in today’s mediascape. But those changes could have been accomplished under steady and thoughtful guidance. Instead, we have hamhanded half-measures, quick-fixes and half-assing, and it’s not only the Times and Times employees getting screwed: it’s the city at large, and it’s the little folks like you & me who were counting on that $300 check to pay the car payment this month.

[EDIT] I remember there being some discussion about this on a freelancer mailing list I’m on, and someone indicated payments had been resurrected, per this mediabistro article here. Now that this mailing post-dates that announcement, I will assume payments are back off the table. Does anyone know for sure?

Pedro Pete does Huell Howser

Its a parody, get your mind outta the gutter and enjoy.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJGtFWhISo8[/youtube]
 

Pedro Pete is an LA area blogger whose blogs and youtube I follow.  Pete does a a sports blog and a video blog.  Here is what he has to say about the Huell Howser video.

I’m actually a huge fan of his work. I love man-on-the-street interviewers, and he features so many fascinating personalities and local treasures here in California. His enthusiasm and personality while improvising make the show hilarious at times, so I decided to do a parody about a fictional park. The footage was actually shot in Baldwin Hills at Village Green, a National Historical Landmark.

Villa Sombrero in Highland Park Reincarnated!

Those of you who knew & loved Villa Sombrero, in Highland Park, mourned its passing a few months back when it shut its doors on those sombrero-sized margaritas forever.

But despair not! My friend, often when we lose a loved one, what we don’t realize is we only lose the shell of that individual. We lose that small representation of them, yes, but what we do not realize is that they are actually restored to us, a greater version of what they were before. And, my friends, such is the case with our beloved Villa Sombrero.

Eagle Rock Talk discovers this:

“Villa Sombrero, the classic Highland Park Mexican restaurant with the supersize margaritas on York shut its doors over the summer. The original owner, Felipe Nunez – who sold the name and business, but not the property twenty years ago – has reclaimed the space and is opening his own restaurant – Felipe’s. He’ll be bringing back some specialties from the original menu, which was more of a continental, upscale Latin cuisine. Dishes will include swordfish, scallops, lobster, chicken mole, and grilled steak.”

Hallelujia! Praise the Lard!

Christmas isn’t cold and its VDay already at WalfriggenMart

I lost the coin toss to see who got to take the kids to walmart to use their freaking gift cards.  Despite requests she not give them cards from walmart ,my sister still does it.  Anyway..imagine my horror when I see Valentines Day up.  Sheesh Christmas isn’t even cold, NYE is still days away and they want us to flash forward nearly 2 months?  As if maybe the world will look better in 2 months?  I don’t think so.

pic by me with the trusty phone cam.

Vote now for LA Metblogs’ Grinch of the Year!

Oh, LA Grinches, don’t think we forgot about you! The holiday glow isn’t enough to let us here at Metblogs forget about you nasty, wasty skunks and decide who among you we’d least like to touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

Vote now! The dishonoree will be announced Tuesday, January 6th.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Note: While all readers can vote, only votes made by “registered” Metblogs readers will count in the final announcement. This is a small effort to avoid ballot stuffing. Registration is of course free and easy – to ensure your vote is truly counted, log in or register here.

Click to read summaries of the nominees!

How Should L.A. Celebrate NYE?

In New York, they drop a ball. Orange County supposedly has an orange – although last year I found myself at a depressing outdoor “Mardi Gras celebration” with questionable live music, blackjack table raffles, and some guy trying to sell me a posturepedic mattress. That’s what I get for crossing the border.

Anyhoo… I’ve been wondering why Los Angeles doesn’t have one major New Year’s Eve celebration that doesn’t include a warehouse rave or Pink playing a studio backlot. Should we have an outdoor gathering with some type of ball & countdown? Could such an event be held at the new L.A. Live, once touted as “Times Square West?”

Sure, we had some fun with the suits at AEG for the Christmas tree disaster show they called the Lighting of the Angels. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t want this place to succeed. Perhaps it just needs to find its niche. What better use of all those flashy lights and electronic billboards than a West Coast NYE Countdown?

What do you think?

Photo from UB1’s photostream