The 5+ Things I Would Grab In Case of an Evacuation

800px-Flashlight_(Wuzur)Driving back from Fresno yesterday evening, I could see the hazy, hot pink sky and billowing smoke as I headed towards LA proper.  Nasty.  And scary.  If you’re within striking distance of any of the four major fires and are packing your things in case of a forced (or unforced) evacuation, the Red Cross has a handy guide of important items to pack.  Please don’t forget that your pets need evacuation kits too – the ASPCA has a great list here.

The Red Cross’ list includes:


  • Flashlight + batteries
  • Radio (battery powered) + batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (prescription and non-prescription) & glasses
  • Water (at least one gallon per person is recommended; more is better) and non-perishable foods
  • Change of clothes and sleeping bag for each household member
  • Checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Map (i.e., dust off that Thomas guide and if you have a portable GPS, now would be the time to charge it)
  • I also recommend that you grab your portable external hard drive if you can (i.e., back up your computer NOW)


  • Driver’s license or personal identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates

Feel free to make additional suggestions in the comments.  Good luck to everyone – stay safe!

Time to declare a war on arson?

Out with the old...
Out with the old...

Enough is enough. How many fires must we endure before we start treating arsonists as terrorists?

I know the jury’s still out on the exact cause of these most recent fires, but just consider all the endangered lives, wasted resources, interrupted commerce, health hazards, environmental damage, destroyed property and the psychological damage that one arsonist creates when he ignites a forest.

If it turns out that somebody did indeed purposely start one of these blazes, doesn’t he deserve an all-expense paid trip to Guantanamo Bay?

Or at least somewhere where he can chill out?

Top chef on marriage equality

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio

“The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong.”

Remember last fall’s boycott of El Coyote restaurant in West Hollywood by supporters of same-sex marriage after it was learned an owner had donated money to the campaign to pass Prop 8?

El Coyote had a sizable gay clientele on Thursday nights, the unofficial “gay night” at the restaurant, which packed the place. That all changed in the aftermath of Prop 8’s passing when the owner’s name appeared on donor lists that were available online and publicized by some media outlets.

Demonstrators appeared in front of the restaurant, business fell off on Thursdays, the pilloried owner did herself no favors when she tried to explain herself, saying if she had a chance to do it all over again, she would do the same thing, citing her religious convictions.

Such a mess for such a mediocre restaurant.

Enter Tom Colicchio, Bravo TV’s Top Chef lead judge and owner of Craft, his first venture into the  Los Angeles restaurant world, located in Century City. Continue reading Top chef on marriage equality

See You Tomorrow Night For Classic Eats #7!

See you tomorrow at 6pm at the Reel Inn for Classic Eats: Hot Summer Nights Edition. The Reel Inn has tons of outdoor seating, which is where I’ll be with Metblogs signs.

Just FYI, the Reel Inn has a counter where you order, then they call your name. So come on in, get in line, get your order up and then come out and find the gang enjoying a beautiful LA evening.


The Reel Inn
18661 Pacific Coast Highway (just past Topanga Canyon Blvd.)


Bone up on your surfing trivia and we’ll see you there!

Art Walk and Free Film Night in Old Town Monrovia Saturday.

summerartwalks copyMonrovia Association of Fine Arts, Monrovia Old Town Merchants and the city have teamed up to produce a family friendly Art Walk and Free Family Film night this Saturday.  The Art Walks start the evening at 6PM on the 400-600 blocks of Myrtle Avenue.

“The Never Ending Story” starts at 8PM on the 100 block of East Colorado Avenue.  Bring the kids, Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy the free showing.  (A trailer is available after the jump).

The evenings Art Walk has over 30 artists in attendance representing a variety of media from traditional plein air Oil Paintings to glass making to Photography.  The full press release can be found here if you want even more detail on the arts and artists.   Continue reading Art Walk and Free Film Night in Old Town Monrovia Saturday.

Honoring The Fallen

Patriot Guard Rider, honoring a fallen hero. Photo by Burns!
Patriot Guard Rider, honoring a fallen hero. Photo by Burns!

“Standing For Those  Who Stood For Us.”

That is the motto of the Patriot Guard Riders. The Patriot Guard is a diverse group of motorcycle riders from all over the United States, with a particularly active chapter here in Los Angeles (and surrounding counties.) From the Patriot Guard Riders’ mission statement:

“Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives :

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families and their communities.
2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.”

I first learned of the PGR when researching Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church (most famous for being the Christians hateful bigots who carry signs that say “God hates fags.”) It turns out that Phelps & co. also protest military funerals with signs such as “God loves IEDs” and “God loves dead Marines.” Can you imagine anything more hurtful to a grieving family?

You don’t have to ride a motorcycle. Join me after the jump to learn more about the PGR and how you can get involved.
Continue reading Honoring The Fallen

One Ring To Include Them All


Biking home along Sunset Boulevard last night, I found the above dramatic new addition being installed by a crew on the north side of the street adjacent to Local restaurant (map) in Silver Lake. Stopping to check it out I met the artist, Charles Sherman, overseeing  the finishing touches of its placement who clued me in to what it’s all about.

Titled “The Ring of Inclusion”, Sherman told me it’s the first of a series of Sunset Infinity Rings he has planned as part of an arts program partnered with the Los Angeles Opera’s upcoming Ring Festival. He pointed out that an infinity ring has no beginning or end; only one continuous edge or plane.

Set to be officially unveiled today at an 11 a.m. press conference, The Ring of Inclusion will be here today and gone tomorrow — literally just a one-day affair. But before it gets removed Sherman said he’s setting up searchlights and a Wagner-blasting sound system for a viewing scheduled from 8 -11 tonight, so check it out if you’re in the area.

UPDATED: (8.29): Stopping by last night, Sherman told me he’s gotten a stay of execution from the sculpture’s owner and the Ring of Inclusion will remain at its current location for a yet to be determined amount of time — and there just may be other rings to come, if the LA Opera in its infinite wisdom commissions more.

Film buffs win

Jill Clayburgh and Matthew Barry in "Luna"

Film repertory fans in Los Angeles rallied after LACMA announced it was pulling the plug on its four-decade-old weekend film series. And they were apparently heard. This week, Time Warner Cable and The Hollywood Foreign Press (presenter of the Golden Globes) stepped up and donated $150K to fund the series  continuously through next June. After that who knows?

For now, film buffs have scored a victory for the art of cinema and brought new life and resolve to their legions. And as summer’s final weekends dwindle down, there seems to be a cache of diverse films playing at art galleries, cemeteries, museums and, of course, movie theaters. If you’ve got blockbuster fatigue or spend the summer like I do, avoiding them, consider these:

(PICK HIT) Friday: Luna (1979) – Opera, heroin and incest, anyone?  Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial tale of a wildly successful American opera singer, played by Jill Clayburgh, and the sexual relationship that springs up between her and her 15-year-old son as she tries to help him kick his heroin habit. And it’s in English, so there are no subtitles to distract you from the histrionic melodrama. A bizarre hoot. Antebellum Gallery’s Fetish Film Fridays series; 7:30 PM; Antebellum Gallery, 1643 N. Las Palmas Ave. Los Angeles 90028; phone, 323-856-0667 for more info. Continue reading Film buffs win

Where’s The Fire?

In this day and age of instant information, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated when I can’t find an answer immediately. Just this evening, I left work and noticed fire and smoke in some hills that looked like they might be near Burbank or Glendale. Driving along the 5, I saw that the flames were close to Glendale.

Photo by Jodi

Wanting to know more, I tuned my radio to a “news” station. In the span of 14 minutes, I heard about some traffic in Sherman Oaks, a dead model’s car, a professional football game, and a kidnapping victim discovery. Finally…a fire update! Two fires were mentioned, but neither was the one I was driving alongside. When I got home, I scoured the internet with no luck. The LAFD site hasn’t been updated since Tuesday (granted, I know they are very busy) and most people on twitter were questioning and speculating as well.

So, what source do you turn to for breaking news in L.A.? Please help! I need to know NOW!

Mayor Had Sprinkler Malfunction, So It’s All Good

sprinklers_250x251Matt Szabo, Senior Press Secretary to Mayor Villaraigosa, is on vacation. We know this, because he left us all a LoveYouBye note 10 days ago.

Enter one Sarah Hamilton. She’s no where near as venomous as Angry Matt. But at least she’s available to keep us up to date on Tony’s Tomfoolery.

And as the Mayor said yesterday, there was a sprinkler malfunction that has been corrected. Watering is back to 2 days/wk

Oh. Okay. In that case, I had a sprinkler malfunction, too. Can you refund me for the past 6 months? Thanks.

Secret Show on Sunday at the Smell!

Shhh! Keep it under your hat. The FYF Fest guys just emailed to let us know that they’re hosting a secret show this Sunday at the Smell–breakfast (coffee, pancakes, tofu tacos, oh my!) plus a big indie-pop band! I’d like to help keep it secret-ish, so I’m not going to say the name of the band here, but I’d suggest you check out @lametblogs on twitter for more info. I ain’t sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

Win Tix to Dredg & RX Bandits @ El Rey Sunday & Monday

Pic by Flickr user via Creative Commons
Pic by Flickr user via Creative Commons

Alt-pop-proggers Dredg are touring with RX Bandits (pop-punk with vocal harmonies, some horns for a touch of ska, and those wonky prog progressions) for a show that should be explosive and, hopefully, necessitate a mosh pit. These guys’ styles beg so many hyphens in their descriptions that they make me think of a crazy mixed-up musical ice cream sundae. Delicious! Hyphen-y!

They’ll be at the El Rey for two nights: this Sunday the 30th and next Monday the 31st. Wanna check out this kick*ss blend of styles? We have tickets! To win, tell me which night you wanna go, and what sundae you would make if you have to mix FIVE (yes five) different flavors of ice cream together. Yes, you can use Scoops flavors.

Win Tix to The Faint & Moving Units @ Club Nokia This Sunday!

Image by flickr user thisisbossi via Creative Commons

Sometime in maybe 2002 or so, I saw The Faint play at The Smell downtown. A couple hundred people wedged themselves into a solid column of humanity clogging the entire length of The Smell, which is basically a long hallway of variable dimensions, with The Faint playing at the very end. I could barely see them, because tall people at shows are always assholes & stand in front of short girls (I’m 5’1″). But it was still an amazing show.

The days of those eeny-weeny shows are over for The Faint, who will be playing the considerably larger Club Nokia this Sunday, but I’m particularly stoked by this pairing of artist & venue, since the sound there is so fantastic and The Faint’s dark, frenetic and detailed electro really benefits from a seriously hi-fi sound system.

Wanna go? Tell me about the first time you heard The Faint and what was going on in your life back then (no TMI, please). Consider it a little way-back machine. Info on Sunday’s show is here.