To Kill a Mockingbird

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In the comments of Annika’s Parrot post someone mentioned a bird making all kinds of crazy sounds at night. Well, that might the be public nuisance bird – aka the mockingbird. I’ve had one perched in the palm tree next to my bedroom all week and it’s been driving me crazy.

The northern mockingbird is apparently capable of singing 200 different songs. They break down in the following categories: 50% car alarm, 20% bird, 10% Byrds, 10% film score, and 3% ska. The rest is an odd mix of nursery rhymes, Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Paul McCartney & Wings, and, of course, Neil Diamond. Mockingbirds were highly prized for their singing during the 19th and early 20th centuries, until the advent of radio. It was, in fact, the first audio format to become obsolete, and possibly the angriest. This mockingbird was following me through the park the other day, showing off his plumage in a manner that one might describe as “somewhat effete.”

My mockingbird likes to sing the car alarm song. However unlike the car alarms, the mockingbird doesn’t shut up after 5 minutes. It continues to sing until I get out my 22. But wait, I would never shoot an innocent little bird. No, but I did threaten it. It hasn’t come back for several days. But when it does, I’ll be ready.

photo and text used with permission by Anthemic

Jacaranda Anniversary

jacaranda_flickr.jpgSpring has always equaled purple flowers. For a long time, those were lilacs, but any lilac lover knows it’s a rare lilac bush that grows in Los Angeles. But then, I discovered Jacaranda trees – gorgeous purple Jacaranda trees.

And since my first memories of Jacarandas are the first month in LA three years ago. The streets are filled with purple flowers again, so it’s time to celebrate another year in this grand city.

Photo by jubilo

Events in the Blogosphere!

It’s a busy week for bloggy events. LA Daddy has invited all bloggers to Hollywood for a blogger party Saturday.

What: The 1st Annual L.A. Blogger Party. It is basically an excuse to get together and talk with fellow bloggers, blog readers, blog lurkers, and blog celebrities (blogebrities?) who live in Southern California. No hype, no pressure, no expectations… just good clean fun for all!

No snarky comments about the 1st annual. I know there have been various blogger meet-ups for a while, but it’s always someone’s first time. Come on out and meet some new folks. I plan to stop by before shaking mah Bootie at Safari Sam’s!

And then Leahpeah is hosting two cool blogger events. First up is LA Angst! I don’t know about you, but I was the living embodiment of angst in my teenage years. A few years ago, I burned all my teenage poetry, school notes and the boxes of love letters from a plethora of X-boyfriends (and husband). But, I still have my journals. I don’t know if I will dare to read from any of them. But hey, you might want to come on out. Ariel Meadow Stallings from Salon of Shame in Seattle is kicking it off.

Here are some guidelines:

Here are some guidelines to help you choose your selection:
1. You must be the author. We only encourage embarrassing yourself, not others.
2. We’ve found the best age range to be the teen years. Childhood and early college years come in as close seconds. Old diaries are pure gold.
3. Selections should be 5 minutes or less. People have short attention spans. If your diary entries are sagas, best to pick your favorite page and leave the rest for next time.

You can check out LA Angst on Sunday, June 3rd at Liquid Kitty in West LA.

The second one is Bloggers Live.

Bloggers Live! is a combination of Los Angeles bloggers getting together every second Thursday to read a selection of their entries live. Anyone who blogs is encouraged to join the group and sign up to read. Anyone who reads them, blogger or not, is invited to come and listen.

I’ll be reading some of my own selections at the first one next Thursday. It will probably be all gushy I love LA type posts. Or maybe I’ll read the one about driving off the canyon road. Regardless, come for the fun and join the group if you are so inclined.

Light up the Fire Nunchucks

firearts.jpgGet with the modernity. The new thing is Fire Nunchuku! Or if that’s not your thing, there’s Kung Fu Fire Sabre or Fire Eating or just your standard Poi.

And you too can get these modern skills in just 4 to 6 weeks at Fire Groove! Ok, so maybe this sounds a bit like an advertisement, but that’s just because I think it’s so cool – or rather Hot!!! I think ya’all know how much I like the fire. But seriously, if you are into getting some hot fire skills, I suggest you check out Hannah and her siblings. I’ve had their fire staff classes on my todo list for about a year.

Geek Makeover

As most of you know, I’ve been fairly involved with the whole LA g33k scene. What scene you may ask? Exactly. I’ve been running monthly g33k d1nners for over a year and coordinating the local Barcamps, pimping LA when I happen to travel.

I’ve always wanted to do a geek makeover at Barcamp. You know, photograph the geek before and then whisk him away with a fashion designer, only to barely recognize him afterwards. Well Jason James over at Visibly Worn did it this past weekend. I sent a tip about a Perry Ellis dirt cheap sample sale this past weekend. (We’re talking $3-$7 shirts, pants, jackets, etc!)

As it turns out, an advantage of living in LA is that you can buy expensive designer clothing for a tiny fraction of the MSRP. This is accomplished through what’s referred to in the industry as Sample Sales. Those of you who now or at some point in your lives have spent time away from the computer may already know about these things but it was all news to me.

Check out the transformation!
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Where’s the Juice?!

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Lately I have found myself driving around Hollywood with a craving for fresh juice. I’ve had it with Jamba Juice and Robeks ice filled cups, I want a local yummy fresh juice place. Anyone have a tip? Extra special points if you can find me Acerola or Passion fruit.

Tempting photo by Matthieu-Aubry

Hacking Griffith Park

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Although Mack had some trouble getting into Griffith Park yesterday, I had none when I zipped in about 3pm and and proceed to walk Romeo to the top of the hill. On the way we spied a photo shoot in progress. Totally Hollywood!

But seriously, I really loved walking in the desolation. No one around. The smell of charred word, the wind blowing through the branches, walking on a dirt road with bright birds flitting from the black stick trees, the layer of ash crust. Magical and eerie at the same time.

I really think the park should let people walk through this area, before they clean it up, to witness what real destruction and desolation looks like. Because way too many people have no clue. As for me, I’m ready for the apocalypse.

Stimulating Oil Shock

People play games to blow off steam, have fun and learn a skill. Many of the skills that games excel in have no application to reality. However there are games cropping up that do teach skills and bring awareness to sensitive topics. World without Oil is exactly one of these games. What is it?

WORLD WITHOUT OIL is an alternate reality event, a serious game for the public good. It invites everyone to help simulate a global oil shock. People participate by contributing original online stories, created as though the oil shock were really happening.

From what I understand, you basically pretend you live in a world where gas is over $6 a gallon. How does that impact your life? How does that impact your community? The services? Product offered at the grocery store. Warnwood has been playing in the LA area.

Sound interesting? Learn more here. You can join the LA area team here.
and share your own story.

Who else is playing and what do you think of it so far?

Zombie Prom: Sunday night!

zombie.JPGOk, so if you’re not into talking plants, you can get your zombie on this weekend. The Zombie Prom is happening on Sunday, May 13th, 8pm at Zen Sushi in Silverlake. Feating the magickal art of Dame Darcy and music for zombies by Death by Doll, Unknown Boy, Dr Empty and Veritas. All proceeds go to Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation. You may ask, what do you wear to a zombie prom?

Whereas a regular zombie can totally get away with just a dirty T-shirt, a zombie who died on prom night would definitely wear ancient paisley blazers, oversized tuxedo jackets…or at least a ripped pirate shirt. Still others zombie-emulators may go for the extra-wild “double theme” and be, say, a dead Danny Zuko, a stitched-up Breakfast Club member, or even a bloodied Lloyd Dobbler.

But, look at me. I’m leaving out the ladies. For ladies, we recommend thrift store dresses or, even better, that ugly ultraviolet bridesmaid gown you were forced to buy by bridezilla. (You’ll finally get to tear it up. For a good cause.) For ladies who want to rock the double theme, the possibilities are just as endless. We look forward to seeing some dead Bring It On cheerleaders or the new incarnation of Emily Rose.

I really wish I was in town because I so would be there and bring my troupe of zombie cheerleader/bananas. Please, go in my stead and report back!

If Plants could Talk

SLOP-Plant.jpgMachine Project is hosting an utterly fascinating event this weekend called PsychoBotany.

Visitors will be able to participate in the classic science experiment where two identical tomato plants live or die based on our positive or negative thoughts. Presented by the Center for Tactical Magic, this telepathic struggle will be accompanied by a performance lecture exploring plants’ roles as purveyors of knowledge, from Moses’ consultation with a burning bush to the Pentagon’s recent development of “sentinel plants”.

Kate Hartman, Kati London, Rebecca Bray, Rob Faludi will present “Botanicalls”, a system that allows plants to place phone calls to people when they need help. Each plant has a different voice, and will call when in need water or light. They also make calls to thank you for watering them.

I am utterly fascinated. The opening is Saturday, but the plants are on display through next week.

Alternate Routes

steeringhands.jpgMack and Sean have already covered the Griffith Park fire happening right now (thank you very much Santa Ana winds). I want to chime in with some alternate routes, because I just drove from Glendale to Hollywood and if you thought Franklin Avenue was bad with the construction @ La Brea, well it’s just gotten worse.

I was headed westbound on Franklin and although I encountered my own obstacles, eastbound looked like a parking lot – at 2:30pm! The Griffith Park entrance on Los Feliz near Western was closed. No one could enter, but there were cars exiting. It was kind of surreal to see people hanging out in the grass seemingly oblivious to the fire.

So instead of grumbling over the traffic, how about finding some alternate routes. If you’re heading eastbound to Silverlake, Los Feliz, Glendale and beyond, why not meet Beverly? If you can navigate the Virgil, Temple Beverly intersection (Temple!) you can pick up Glendale Blvd, which you put you smack on the 2. From there be friends with San Fernando and say hello to Atwater Village, Glassell Park, Glendale, Mt Washington, Eagle Park and Highland Park. (You can reverse it if you’re headed to Hollywood.)

I always enjoy a stroll down Sunset. Yes, it takes a bit more time and has a bit more traffic, but how long will you live in LA? Just put on some good music and enjoy the scenery.

I always love a refreshing splash down Fountain, if you want to jet through Mid-city. Melrose is another option. You can check out the stores while stopped at the red light. (San Vicente and Olympic are other obvious alternate routes.)

If you’re going North/South, I always forget about Crescent Heights. Yeah there is that irritating jog at Wilshire/San Vicente/Olympic. But once you navigate the school there, it’s smooth sailing down to the 10 (see ya later La Cienga and loads faster than Fairfax).

If you’re going over the hill into the Valley, don’t forget Hollywood leads you right to Laurel Canyon, where, if you get tired of the slow going, there is always Lookout Mountain and Mulholland Drive to give you fabulous view.

Anyone else want to share some alternate routes?

Image by Penumbra

R U a Black Leather Savage?

Bandjob_sm.jpgI came across this flyer over the weekend and it’s just too good not to share with you.

Summon the Dead is looking for a new lead singer. If you are a guy with LONG HAIR and show no mercy to those in the way of TRUE Heavy Metal, then this gig’s for you.

Too bad for me, cause I always wanted to be in a heavy metal band. :(

Art Walk Tips

vanessa.jpgIf you’re headed to Art Walk at the Brewery this weekend, be prepared for a little detour. The main street bridge is closed for the weekend. This is great coordination on the part of the city, because Main St is the easiest way to get to the Brewery. Instead you’ll have to detour up to Broadway and then take 20th street to main.

Once you make it, be sure to stop by Psycho Girlfriend [disclaimer, I think these girls rock, they are my friends and I will pimp what they do shamelessly]. Kasey was the person who did the CompuBeaver casemod that was covered on Engadget and Wired a weeks ago. You can see it in person! Please note, this is not a robot, so the beaver will not be doing a robotic dance.

There’s always a plethora of fantastically dressed manikins and larger than life puppets – along with the new creations – an aluminum dress and a twirling ballerina. Really, this is one art walk stop you won’t want to miss. Where else can you see a dress with a hamster, spitting cockroaches or touch meal worms?

Kathleen already ran down a list of notable stops, and to that I’d also add my friends at Theory Labs, Kevin Flint – whose re-designed industrial loft is a must stop – that is – if you like the goth, dark dungeon look and Sean Sobczak, whose double headed dragon will be on display at Abundant Sugar.

There – get your art on.
* photo of Vanessa Bonet and Mathilde

What will you be doing at 4:20 today?

State of Grace enlightens us on the significance of today.

It’s 4/20.

“So, what?” most of us of a certain age and/or culture will inquire.

Ah, I said the same thing several years ago. My stepkids enlightened me when I, too, said “So?” They informed me that today is a day to celebrate marijuana and 4:20pm is the time to smoke it.

And to celebrate, I’ve heard that some dispensaries are offering 10% off. Unfortunately I will not be partaking of the 4:20 celebration. But I’m sure there will be some in my WeHo hood. At least you can play this song.

Please note: don’t try to “crash” one of these parties because these are medical establishments. You must have a prescription and be a member.