The top 10 favorite blogging moments as a Metblogs contributor
Allow me to indulge my reminiscing to celebrate this, my 1000th post with Los Angeles Metblogs. In no particular order:
#10: Moments with Barack.
After seeing him speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention, I had a gut feeling about that guy. So I was pretty excited when my first official press pass was for his first L.A. appearance after announcing his intention to run for the White House. Nearly one year later, in January 2008, I was granted media access to the CNN Democratic Debate at the Kodak (posts here, here, here, here, and here) where my running coverage was even mentioned live on CNN… and then managed to sneak in with the photographers pool as Obama and Hillary Clinton hit the stage. Bringing things full circle, I was proud to be issued a White House Press Pool credential to attend Obama’s first Los Angeles appearance since becoming President at last month’s Town Hall event.
On a related political note, I thought I snagged some decent shots of then Presidential candidate John Edwards as he shook hands with Writers Guild protestors outside of NBC Studios in Burbank to be on the Tonight Show.
#9: Fred Brito.
A little light investigative research helped me discover where Los Angeles conman Fred Brito had run off to after being fired by the American Red Cross for falsifying his resume and using a false name just months after he’d also been fired by UCLA for the same offense. In both cases (and countless others prior) Brito has also failed to disclose previous convictions for embezzlement and theft.
On Metblogs, I reported that I’d found Fred Brito living in Las Cruces, NM, and that he’d found employment, once again, using fabricated credentials, which he was also fired from during the course of my research. Coincidentally, the most supportive comments about Fred Brito on these posts came from the same IP address in Las Cruces, NM, which also matched that of a commenter claiming to be from Glendale that accused me of trying to rape them before stealing their watch.
#8: Greatest Angelenos Series of Series
Without a doubt, the best part of writing for Metblogs is being able to meet and occasionally collaborate with the other authors here. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to launch series the following series:
- “25 Greatest Fictional Angelenos” – my entries: Alice Nelson (housekeeper), Bill S. Preston, Esq. (rock star/time traveller), and Jupiter Jones (student/private investigator).
- “Top LA Legends” (wherein we debunked or confirmed local urban legends) – my entries: Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard Was A Satanist, and Griffith Park is Cursed (and Haunted). Joz Joz Joz’s contribution, Jamie Lee Curtis Is A Hermaphrodite, continues to be one of the site’s most read posts.
- “Greatest Dead Angelenos” – my sole entry in this series was on Father Juan Crespi, at #25, while Will Campbell contributed the profile of the #1 Dead Angeleno… click here to see who it was.
#7: Security Cameras
Its nice to be friends with my building’s apartment manager, especially since she occasionally allows me to review and post video from the security cameras, which occasionally turn up some interesting hijinks, such as the bike thief who posed as an LADOT worker, or when they caught a suspect in a series of local mail thefts snooping the premises. On both occasions, the footage ended up on local television news, and caught the attention of local law enforcement. Unfortunately, no word if either led to an arrest.
#6: Walter Moore smackdown
Say what you want about Walter Moore, but the man received more than 26% of the vote in the March 3rd election for mayor, even though he had barely a fraction of the financial resources or public recognition of incumbent Antonio Villaraigosa, and even though I called him out on some very sloppy math in a February, 2007 post. In short, the passionately anti-immigrant Moore posted on Mayor Sam’s Sister City blog that at any given time, 40,000 illegal immigrants were in Los Angeles jails… even though the L.A. system can only hold 15,000 inmates at any given time.
After writing Moore with details of why and how his details were flawed, he initially deleted the entry, before reposting it suggesting his original post had a “small” mistake… which led me to calling out Mayor Sam himself for a handful of issues I had with the blog. Mayor Sam responded by devoting an entire article to me called, defending his site, called, “David Markland is an Idiot.”
Since then, Mayor Sam and I have made peace and are now friends, and I still don’t regret how any of it transpired… even though last week Sam accused me of hating the Girl Scouts.
#5: Questions of the Week
Asking readers a question is partly comment bait, but usually a chance to hear opinions or ideas on issues I’ve been on the fence about or wanted to learn about. Most surprising for me were the number of responses when I asked for readers to answer, What Is A Suburb? Other questions have included, “Mullholland, Hero or Villain?,” “What is Your Favorite Los Angeles Nickname?” and an issue of coffee house ettiquette.
#4: L.A. City Council Goes to Springfield
When the Simpsons movie was released, Burger King launched a website that allowed anyone to easily turn themself, or anyone else, into a cartoon character. Since I know how busy our city’s elected officials are, I decided to I decided to Simpsonsize them. I heard from a couple different city hall insiders that a couple council members had printed out posted their cartoon mugs in their offices.
If there’s any doubt about City Council having a sense of humor, Council President Eric Garcetti fessed up to me to being the anonymous LA City Nerd for April Fools Day 2008… on tape.
#3: Top Ten (or whatever) Lists
Love ’em or hate ’em, numbered lists are fun to write, and an easy format to fall back on when trying to disseminate ideas or information. Some of my favorites include the Top 8 Reason to Vote yea on Prop 8: Stop Gay Marriage!, Angeleno’s 10 Commandments, and 10 Ways to Improve L.A.’s Public Transportation System.
#2: Naked man runs through Starbucks, eats pastries, gets shot by rubber bullets
I don’t have the exact numbers to back this up, but I’m pretty certain that this is probably the most read item I’ve ever posted… and may have taken me less time to write than any other entry, approximately 5 minutes. And yes, I’m pretty proud of it.
#1: This Post.
Wow. You’re still reading? See, this is the best part. Readers. Knowing that people enjoy what I write and that I’m not typing into an echo chamber (does that even make sense?). There’s something pretty awesome about going to an event and meeting someone who is also there because they’d read about it on Metblogs, or getting an email or commet from someone acknowledging that a driving or parking tip helped, or even on the occasions when a reader corrects me on a fact, or passionately disagrees with my opinion. Seriously, if it weren’t for the interaction and the satisfaction that comes from writing about the city I love, I could probably focus better on what I came here for in the first place: screenplays. Anyway, expect more from me, in the immediate future at least, and if you’d like to suggest a story or item, feel free to email me anytime at markland at metblogs dot com.
Now, get back to reading everything else on Metblogs.