All posts by annika

I live between Hollywood and Downtown. I'm a writer. I'm a mom. I like to knit.

I Wanna Be Her Joey Ramone

I Wanna Be Your Joey RamoneToday’s LA Times has a review of a young adult book called I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, by Stephanie Kuehnert. You can read the review here, and check out Stephanie’s website here. And if you’re so inclined you can read the first chapter of the book here.

Steph was my neighbor across the hall in college (for the one year that we both attended Antioch) and we took a creative writing class together. The class was crap, but her writing was always amazing.

Now: Antioch is in Ohio, Stephanie lives in Chicago, and the book is set in Wisconsin. So why do I mention it here? Because she is going to be in town next weekend doing two book-related events.

Saturday, July, 12, she will be doing a reading and signing at Book Soup in West Hollywood at 5:00. Also reading and signing will be local author Alexa Young, whose book Frenemies came out this spring.

Rock ‘n ReadSunday, July 13, Stephanie and Alexa will be joined by other local authors and several local bands at the Virgin Megastore at Hollywood & Highland for their Rock ‘n Read event. I am so excited about this that it’s kind of absurd. Books! And music! Together! I can’t believe this sort of event doesn’t happen all the time. It all goes down at 3:00 and is ALL AGES. Their is an optional $10 suggested donation which will enter you to win a whole bunch of goodies including books and CDs.

See you there?

Mid-Week Round-Up

Washington Boulevard

(Image by Will Campbell and Google)

Wil Wheaton is having a good week. He had the opportunity to work with Seth McFarland. Then he took the time to write a wonderful post about writing and spilled the beans that his work-in-progress is “a noir kinda thing, set in a dystopian future Los Angeles.”

Will Campbell hit a bike-riding milestone and immediately began planning a way to beat it.

Sean Bonner stopped to smell the journey. (Er, or something like that.)

Last week there was a sooper-sekrit Metblogs get-together, which the Slackmistress wrote about. Also at The Slack Daily, the story of a beautiful dog who needs a home.

Girl in the Room has a pretty belly!  She also writes about another labor of love, her husband’s film Half Life.

Girl’s Gone Child wonders what the hell BabyCenter is thinking with their “Your baby is the size of” updates.

The End of Motherhood? is thinking about children’s privacy and how much they’re entitled to from their parents.

Peggy Archer succeeds in grossing me out (not an easy task).

Jane Espenson alerts aspiring TV writers to a new deadline for the Warner Bros Writing Workshop, and shares the good news that they really are just looking for good writing.

Molls…she wrote shares a sweet moment.

And Chez Shoes shares a sample of how much Angelenos can suck.

Craigslist tricks

I’m always sure I’m the last one to find out a new way to use technology, but I mentioned this trick to a friend the other day and was met with, “You can do that? How?” So I thought I’d share it in case there is anyone else as behind as us.

I’ve been looking for a jogging stroller for a while. (I don’t really jog, but I need something that can better handle both the crappy sidewalks in my neighborhood and the sand and rocks on minor hikes. And you know, I could jog. Maybe.) My budget is teensy and I want a used one with inflatable non-fixed wheels and a canopy. I also don’t want to drive very far to pick it up, what with the price of gas and all–go far enough and I might as well pony up the extra cash for a new one. Of course, perfect strollers keep turning up in Redondo Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes. I am not even sure where that is.

So naturally I’ve been looking for a while. I was checking every day or two until my brilliant friend Erin suggested that I subscribe to the RSS feed for my search. “The what, now?” I mean, I know what RSS is but I had no idea it was available for Craigslist searches.

How I did it, behind the cut for anyone who needs the assist. And if you’ve got another good Craigslist tip, please share in the comments!

Continue reading Craigslist tricks

Expanding Culinary Horizons

IMG_4111As a child, my exposure to Mexican food was pretty much limited to Taco Juan’s in Woodstock, New York, where they served what my husband and I refer to as East Coast Tacos: hard shell, iceberg lettuce, shredded orange cheddar, black olives, and that “taco sauce” stuff that is basically ketchup, or hot sauce bred with enchilada sauce, all flavor somehow removed. Plus hamburger meat or pinto beans.

I did not like avocados, hot sauce, or sour cream.

I learned to love avocados in my late teens. I like to eat them with a spoon, sprinkled with salt and lime juice. Soy sauce or Bragg is also nice. Don’t you judge me.

But sour cream and hot sauce remained ingredients only; never condiments.

Until Los Angeles. Now, I’d love to tell you that I learned to love real Mexican condiments by eating real Mexican food, but the truth is that all I learned to love by eating real Mexican food was real Mexican food. No, the truth is much scarier.

I learned to love sour cream and hot sauce at the International House of Pancakes. Yes, folks. I learned to love sour cream at the IHOP in West Hollywood, and hot sauce when I first tried Cholula at the IHOP on 6th near Vermont.

Changing the way I think.

Wilshire CenterIt’s not just the rising gas prices. It’s not just the “baby weight” that I’ve, ahem, put back on two years post-partum. It’s not just environmental concerns.

It’s all of those things, but it isn’t any one of them alone.

We’re walking more. The taco stand that I used to send my husband to on the Vespa? I walk there. Larchmont. I used to drive to Larchmont! It is 1.7 miles door to door between my apartment and Village Pizza. I’m embarrassed. And the park! I have driven to the park, which is even closer (1.3 miles).

I’m walking everywhere that’s in my neighborhood. But more importantly, I’m changing what I consider my neighborhood. It’s a slow process, but it’s good.

Photo (of my neighborhood, natch) by me. Click for full size.

Mid-Week Round-Up: Geeks Rule

For you Battlestar fans, Jane Espenson reports on a collaborative joke between the audience and creator Ron Moore at last week’s screening of the finale.

Friend of Metblogs Jessica Stover’s website for her film, Artemis Eternal, has won a WebVisionary Award. Congratulations, Jessica!

Over at Anti-Social Networking, Slackmistress reviews Newsweek’s article on hot nerd girls.

Mike ran into some less-than-nerdy girls, and they were rude. I blame Sex and the City.

Chez Shoes tries the bus for a second time, this time with some success. What the hell are they thinking, putting televisions on buses?

And Wil Wheaton is taking a short blogging break. Did I really just link to a post about not posting? Well, yes. I did. Because I want to know: what are you doing with your summer?

Special Effects Superhero Stan Winston Dead at 62

Stan WinstonI am so sad to read that Stan Winston died yesterday. No details as of yet, but I’ll update if/when they are released.

Winston created Special Effects and Make-Up Effects for motion pictures starting in 1972. He’s best known (arguably) for the Terminator series. He also directed Pumpkinhead, which is the saddest horror movie I’ve ever seen, and a favorite.

My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Bon Voyage, Intrepid Sailor!

Sixteen-year-old Angeleno Zac Sunderland sets sail today on a trip around the world… alone. His goal is to become the youngest person to ever sail around the world alone, a record currently held by Australian David Dicks who was 18 when he completed his 1996 voyage.

Reading the article I immediately thought of Robin Lee Graham, who sailed around the world alone when he was 16, but took five years to do it. Graham is an autodidact whose book Dove relates his voyage and follow-up Home is the Sailor tells of his choice to quit Stanford after a year and become a homesteader in Montana.

I can’t wait to read Sunderland’s book (assuming that he writes one). And personally, I’m hoping he’ll skip the standardized tests. He is getting an incomparable education–why should he prove that he knows how to take a test?

Bon Voyage, Zac!

Mid-Week Round-Up, Evening Edition

Can you put yourself into history? Will Campbell discovers where he really was when Kennedy was shot. (No, the other one.)

Fearful of a SAG strike, Peggy Archer risks shooting herself in the foot (no, not literally) to keep working in the short-term.

The economy is so bad that people are selling cemetery plots on Craigslist… or are they just taking advantage?

Ellen Bloom goes on a field trip with the LA Conservancy to see our city’s theatrical history at Joseph Musil’ Salon of Theatres.

And Will (the other one) reminisces about a moment of his life before Los Angeles. (His what, now? Weird, I know.)

Mid-Week Round-Up: this + that

TweetUpLA had its first get-together this weekend, attended by several bloggers who actually read their friends tweets and therefore knew about it (in other words, not me). Based on my new favorite photo of all time ever, I’d say a good time was had if not by all then at least by Will and Nina.

Speaking of Twitter and good times, Sean Bonner and Xeni Jardin showed us all how it’s done. That has to be the funniest exchange I’ve ever read.

What do robots do for fun? Raccoon attack!

And in totally non-funny news, Universal has admitted that the prints lost in last week’s fire may be harder to replace than originally stated. Damn.

Finally, for you Trek fans, Wil Wheaton has a lovely tribute to Bob Justman.

Comparison Shopping: Fair Trade Coffee

fair trade coffees

I buy my coffee at Trader Joe’s. For a while I bought the Mexican Double Dark, and more recently I was buying a delicious Italian roast. It bothered me to not be buying Fair Trade coffee, so when I finally saw one on the shelf I bought it immediately. It was the Morning Blend, pictured on the left, and was the only Fair Trade option at my TJ’s (3rd and La Brea). It tasted like bad diner coffee, which I fully believe has its place (bad diners, natch) but can’t drink at home. So I headed to the Trader Joe’s on Santa Monica, at the 8-Track Kid’s recommendation. I’ve shopped there before but usually skip it since it’s further from my home. I found a wonderland of Fair Trade coffees, including the middle one above, a medium roast from Bolivia that was a huge improvement (and made my husband call me Sundance). When it was dwindling I returned, and hit the jackpot: Cafe Pajaro, a dark roast that is perfectly divine in my French press.

So, West Hollywood TJ’s for fair trade coffee. I paid $5.99 for 13 ounces but I think the prices are not set.

Mid-Week Round-Up: It’s a Gas

Americans are driving less than we did last year. I don’t have stats for Los Angeles specifically, but anecdotally I’d say we’re no exception.

Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl, who already commutes to work on the bus, has stopped buying stuff. She says it’s because it doesn’t fit in her house or make her happy, but really, I think it’s because gas costs well over $4 for regular, and over $5 for diesel.

Chez Shoes is trying out a car-free commute, and if it works she’ll be giving it up for good. She’s off to a rocky start, with the bus leaving early without her–anyone have tips on commuting?

Sean Bonner has a near-death experience that reminds him why he bikes everywhere. Jesus, we’re all glad you guys are OK. This is the second wrong-way-in-the-fast-lane story in as many weeks. WTF.

Photo by JozJozJoz…in 2004.

Mid-Week Round-Up: Brushes with Celebrity

Even celebrities (in as much as writers are celebrities) sometimes get starstruck.

Writers also enjoy nature.

And on another note, I’d like to extend condolences to Travis, whose best friend has lost her mother.