Metblogs Kitten of the Week #2: Electric Boogaloo

Remember my post from last week, written by Tiny, the kitten in need of a home? Well, she still hasn’t found one. I know, collective “Awwww.” But maybe this will convince you. This is her brother. Behold, below. YOU WANT THIS KITTEN.

I really have to give a shout out to FixNation, which has been providing me with traps and free spay/neuter services so we can sterilize the feral cat population on this one little suburban block in the West Valley. It’s disconcerting, to see how many cats there are just here, on this one block. I can’t imagine how many others die unloved & uncared for. If you have a pet, please spay & neuter.


If you really do want to meet Marmie II, follow the instructions in this post.

Win Tix for LA Sake Festival August 15

poster does get bigger with a click

A pair of tickets has been offered up by the good folks at for Metblog readers for this years LA Sake Festival. The festival is a joint effort with Sakesocial.

The Sake Festival itself promises to be both entertaining and enlightening. On the former there will be nearly 100 types of sake for you to try. The latter is that in all those sake tastings you’ll learn that it is more than just rice wine. Depending on fermentation it yields hundreds of versions all with their own use. Mixologists will be present teaching you how to make drinks…which of course you get to sample. This is your chance to learn all about sake in a casual and relaxed atmosphere of the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel & Spa.

To win you have to answer this question:”What is the Japanese ceremony called where “celebration sake” is served freely to all to spread good fortune?” First person with the winning answer will get the pair of tickets (That is a hundred dollar value for those of you doing the math.)

Make sure you have a legit email address in your comment so I can contact you for all the information needed for you to claim your tickets).  Of course it would be greatly appreciated if the winner drops us a note with their own review of the event…not required, just requested.

Those of you not fortunate enough to win can purchase your tickets online HERE.

Details: LA Sake Festival, August 15, 8PM-11PM. Hollywood Renaissance Hotel & Spa, Twist Restaurant, 1755 N. Highland Ave Hollywood, CA, 90028 Phone:310-303-4883

‘Ingelore’ & ‘Point of Entry’ screen at Docuweeks film festival


Two documentaries examining immigrant experiences, both here in the US as well as in the originating countries for each subject, played last night at the DocuWeeks film festival at the Arclight Hollywood. And if you take for granted how you got here, each of these films are stark reminders of the challenges faced somewhere along the way by the people of a nation primarily descended from immigrants (let alone the problems we collectively created for Native Americans.)

Ingelore is the story of Ingelore Herz Honigstein, a deaf Jewish woman born in Germany in 1924. She comes to grips with her disability over the next 14 years as the Third Reich rises up around her, practically unnoticed by a girl who already has far too much to accommodate and overcome.

Director Frank Stiefel‘s moving film about his mother, who was present at the screening, is propelled by her own words describing her experiences at the hands of embarrassed parents, ostracizing classmates, plundering Nazis and uncaring US Consulate officials. As she tells her story of overcoming her limitations and escaping Germany for the US, I got a sense she still marvels at her own survival. Continue reading ‘Ingelore’ & ‘Point of Entry’ screen at Docuweeks film festival

Park[ing] Day LA Coming September 18

IMG_0922Park[ing] Day LA is a guerrilla protest that’s creative, fun, and socially relevant — in other words, tailor-made for Metblogs.  And it’s coming around again, for the third year, this September 18.  So what is Park[ing] Day LA?  As its organizers explain here, people all around Los Angeles will turn metered parking spaces into miniature parks, by feeding the meters and, instead of parking their cars in the spaces, well, take a look at the website and you’ll get the idea.

I like the cause, as encapsulated in the slogan “Parks Not Parking.” However, the practical side of me has a few questions about this:
Continue reading Park[ing] Day LA Coming September 18

Half Off Funk Fest at The Greek Theatre

Morris Day will be performing at the Funkfest among others this Saturday at The Greek Theatre
Morris Day will be performing at the Funk Fest among others this Saturday at The Greek Theatre

This Saturday is the Funk Fest at The Greek Theatre featuring Morris Day (“Jungle Love”), S.O.S. Band (“Take Your Time (Do It Right)”), Zapp (“Computer Love”), Midnight Starr (“No Parking on the Dance Floor”) and Con Funk Shun (“Love’s Train”).

Goldstar is offering HALF price tickets, only $32.95 if you buy them at

If you’re into funk, then you already know that this show is not to be missed – and at half-off, even you noob-to-moderate funkateers should get up off your seats and get down with us this Saturday. See you there, Funk Army!

The Greek Theatre
2700 North Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90027

Rummage Sale to help newly orphaned Sat 8/8

My donations to the cause.
My donations to the cause.

Grab your kleenex and get ready.   One of the saddest, yet encouraging stories I have experienced in ages is unfolding before my eyes.   I don’t know all the players personally, only through connections at my kids schools.

Single Mom Emily Taylor passed away a few hours after giving birth to her youngest son a few weeks ago.   She left behind 4 children and no fathers in the picture.   Her best friend “Jackie” stepped up to the plate and took in the 4 kids.  She already has 6 kids of her own.   She even is expecting her own newborn child in a few months.

Jackie has been awarded temporary custody of the kids who are now wards of the state.   Jackie is doing all she can to make sure she can care for the kids and is working closely with Dept of Children Services to ensure she can provide for her best friends kids.  Maybe even get permanent custody to keep the siblings together.

In an effort to pay for the funeral a table was set up in front of Monrovia’s Pavilion market to try and solicit help with the funeral. One anonymous Monrovian was so touched by the tale of what happened that they exited the store with a bag of diapers and groceries for the family and left a check for $5oo. Its about community. Its about stepping in to help those least fortunate. That is just the start of the community helping these unfortunate kids. Continue reading Rummage Sale to help newly orphaned Sat 8/8

Cirque Berzerk Delivers and More…

Photo courtesy of Pixie Vision Productions
Photo courtesy of Pixie Vision Productions

This past Friday night I went to the performance of Cirque Berzerk and wow!  I was blown away!  It was a wild, fantastic and downright fun way to usher in the weekend.  I’m a sucker for any kind of performance:  movies, dance, theater, performance art, spur of the moment expression, whatever… I’m in.   It takes a special kind of drive to make art and I really respect it’s forms.  So of course, I see a lot of weird, not so great marginal stuff.  Not this time.  My mouth was hanging open and I laughed and sighed in excitement every moment.

The creators of Cirque Berzerk deserve an award.  I didn’t realize it when I went, but Kevin Borque, who created the show (he’s the riveting ringmaster as well) is someone I used to work with.  He’s one talented hombre, writing, producing, performing and running the show.  He and his partners have created a wonderful fantasy of performance, dressed it up with some sexy burlesque dancers and topped it off with a big wollop of circus acrobatics that will blow your mind.  From the moment you arrive you are caught up in an alternative atmosphere.  And it’s all about fun.

The main tent houses the performance, but before the show and during intermission there’s a fantastic band playing in another open air tent, with a great bar and characters of all sorts.  The crowd is as impressive as the performers.  You really step into another world when you get there.

Alas, this is the last week for Cirque Berzerk… and I can only say…don’t miss it.  The show has been extended a couple of times, but this is finally the last weekend.  It runs this Thursday through Sunday, closing on August 9th.  It’s downtown close to Chinatown at the Los Angeles State Park.  You can read more about it from an earlier post by Burns! here and see more pix to whet your appetite.

WRSHP the desert


You gotta grant Los Angeles its geographic or climatic diversity.  LA is not unique in this feature–I was surprised and delighted when I first visited Vancouver, for example, to find that one could visit a northern rain forest within a half-hour drive, and the visual contrast of the surrounding mountains and the central sound is appealing.  We have an equally broad range of features here in Los Angeles, though warmer and drier versions of those.  Still, we manage beaches, flatlands, and reasonable mountains, in a moderate radius, and with lots of differences in vegetation (albeit spread over more square miles than most geographically diverse cities)

One hears an insistence, from time to time, that Los Angeles is no desert.  This is true, since that would require less than 10in/year of rainfall, where Los Angeles gets about 15in/year.  Something interesting to me, however, as a relative newcomer is that this precipitation is strongly bimodal with low-rainfall years averaging 7-8in/year.  So we are only a desert in odd years, it appears. Continue reading WRSHP the desert

The Kids Are Alright @ Black Maria Gallery

andrewholderThis week is your last chance to see a five-city touring exhibit of  25 young emerging artists fresh out of (and some still attending) art school.

The Kids Are Alright, curated by Beau Basse, owner of LeBasse Projects in Culver City, is on view at Black Maria Gallery in Atwater Village until Saturday, August 8th.

Then the exhibit departs for its two final stops at the Tell Gallery in Toronto and the London Miles Gallery in London. (Prior to Los Angeles, it was in Philadelphia and San Diego.)

Artists participating are from Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and London and come from some of the top art schools in the world including Otis (LA,) Art Center (Pasadena,) Sheridan Institute, RISD and Parsons.

For the Black Maria exhibit, artists were asked to work exclusively in black and white — and, of course, a couple artists rebelled and dipped into a color here and there. Hey, rules were made to be broken, you know?

I’ve been writing about Black Maria for years and it looks like the LA Times has finally gotten on board too, recently calling the gallery “hot” and suggesting it’s “a great chance to discover the next big things while they’re still affordable.”

Told you so.

Black Maria Gallery, 3137 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Image: Andrew Holder “Untitled-birds” – ink, acrylic & graphite; 12″ x 16″ – 2009

This Sept’s FYF Fest To Be Balls-Out Awesome (As Usual)

I just got the announce from Sean Carlson of Part Time Punks & The FYF Fest (redundancy noted, but the name has now been changed from its former “F*ck Yeah Fest” moniker) for the festival’s Sept. 5th lineup, and holy smokes is it going to be amazing. (Tix go on sale tomorrow–details behind the jump.)

It also will be themed around “Save Our State Parks,” and will be held at the Los Angeles Historic State Park (formerly The Cornfield, where Cirque Berserk is performing now), so that’s super-cool too.

Highlights of the lineup include The Black Lips, Lightning Bolt, Tim & Eric, Lucero, No Age, Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio, Glass Candy, Darker My Love, Peanut Butter Wolf, Crystal Antlers, Mika Miko, Har Mar Superstar, Dios, Avi Buffalo & scads more to be announced. Full lineup of awesome behind the jump.

Continue reading This Sept’s FYF Fest To Be Balls-Out Awesome (As Usual)

The Beat Goes On

English Beat 171_filtered
The English Beat at Club Nokia, 31 July 2009.

The English Beat returned to Los Angeles to perform in front of a packed house at Club Nokia at the LA LIVE complex on Friday night. Although originally from Birmingham, England, band leader Dave Wakeling has made his home in southern California for the last couple of decades, so this was a show for the hometown crowd. The Beat definitely did not disappoint.

From the moment Wakeling and company took the stage, the crowd was electrified. Pockets of dancers began spontaneously skankin’ around the room, while the center of the floor became one big mosh pit. At one point, though, Dave did note that it was “probably the most polite mosh pit” he’d ever seen.

More photos and why you’re sorry you missed this show after the jump. Continue reading The Beat Goes On

Normandie Room Closes; Now Where Will I Go?

Normandie logoOh, no.  LA just found itself sans one great bar.  My favorite lezzie bar, my favorite bar, bar none:  after opening in 1993, The Normandie Room had its closing party on Friday night.  According to this article, the owner chalks up the closure to a never-ending street construction project on Santa Monica that decreased foot traffic and the generally depressed/recessed economy.  The sweet bar will be replaced by – natch – a boy’s bar called Gym.  On behalf of lesbians everywhere, I am so, so sad.

To fully appreciate the space that The Norm occupied, one has to realize that most gay bars on the Westside are catered to gay men and that these gay bars usually, sweetly, have lesbian-themed nights only one day out of the week.  Alas, for those of us who practice our lesbianism all seven days of the week, we have our pick of a very, very narrow set of full-time girl bars, all of which are obscene scenes and/or are quickly becoming heterosexualized (i.e., The Abbey).

The Norm didn’t start out as a full time lez bar (it’s motto was “No Homophobes, No Heterophobes, No Assholes”), but over time, we found a home in its deeply red walls, its cozy low-key ambience, and its generous pours.  It was a welcome, laid back neighborhood spot where the point of one’s night was not necessarily to pick up a girl, but to pick up a drink and maybe a game of pool.  There isn’t any other place like it – indeed, some places refuse to reside on this side of classy – and now, I’m at a loss as to where to go.  Oh, Norm.  I’ll miss you.

Metblogs video debunked by Snopes!

Nearly two years ago, I posted a video of bank robbers in downtown Los Angeles making a getaway in spite of a heavy police presence. Nearly 3 million people have watched it.


However, it wasn’t real. In both my original post, and the description on YouTube, I point it that it was merely a commercial shoot I’d run across. Still, people clearly will believe what they want.

Fortunately, Snopes finally looked into it, and confirmed that this was indeed just a commercial shoot.

Unfortunately, the YouTube page is pulling from doesn’t include my description – someone downloaded my clip and reuploaded it under their own name, saying it took place in Georgia. Damn copyright thieves will even resort to stealing free content of crappy video shot guerrilla style at a public film shoot!

Today’s Snapshot: Bearing Witness

lily(click pic to go big)

I have this compulsion to visit scenes of tragedies, not from some sense of morbid curiosity as for a need to represent, to observe. I stand at the scenes of crimes such as this and try to fathom the randomness. I try to manage the anger. I fail.

Near this memorial to 17-year-old Lily Burk is where she was abducted July 24. For my lack of a match the candles are all out — not because of neglect but because of the groundskeepers’ leaf blowers and the law school’s sprinklers that morning, said a security guard who arrived and carefully repositioned the placard as I stood there.

“I didn’t want it to get wet,” he said, and I sensed there was some solace found in protecting her memory.

Rest in peace, Lily.

Where was this taken? It was taken here.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Inter Here Stunflower
Dueling Coyotes Restoration Era The Domain Of The Green Lynx
Why Is This Alligator Lizard Smiling?

LA 2010 Model reveal with Ford/Mazda/Volvo cars

mazda3HDRtmvppub16 cars in 5 hours. That was the number of cars and time allotted to ride, drive and test them at the Ford, Mazda and Volvo 2010 Model Reveal. An 8 mile loop on So Cal Freeways did give one the chance at least get a feel for the cars and identify those I want to spend more time with on some of the fun roads to drive in the LA Area.

We were asked to drive a variety of cars from the basic transportation variety to all out fun sporty cars. The one request by Octavio Navarro of Ford was to keep in mind “would I buy this car, would I recommend it to a friend”. I actually came across several that I’d do that just with. Very easy task for me as I am actually finally looking at getting to retire the “dad car”.

Hands down winner for me was the 2010 Mazda 3s Grand Touring. Just plain fun to drive, an engine that begs you to wind it up and go and handling to match the capabilities. Driving aside I loved the new grill. It is part of the whole “Nagare” design theory in Mazda these days. For me that grill is a giant grin to close in on another car with a “neener neener neener” attitude as you run past them during your commute. This car, even with the stick is fun and easy to drive, even in our bump and go traffic. Add in its green factors and its actually a responsible car. It scored a very respectable 9/10 on its smog score and 7/10 on its EPA Global warming score.

For more of the new cars heading our way and my first drive impressions you need to make the jump. Continue reading LA 2010 Model reveal with Ford/Mazda/Volvo cars