All posts by David Markland

Born in Ohio, grew up in Connecticut, but have lived in Los Angeles longer than anywhere else. To make money to move to L.A. I worked as a walking fire alarm at a nuclear power plant. Upon arrival in the city I was an au pair by day and a bouncer by night. Since then I've made ends meet as an audience wrangler, assistant to an investigative reporter, flower delivery guy, production assistant, audience warm up guy for Ozzy Osbourne, videographer, event producer, red carpet manager, writer, and blog consultant, but the highlight was my visit to Skywalker Ranch where I had to help George Lucas wire speakers to an old stereo. In between it all I've volunteered as a nude model, served jury duty, nearly won Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (the Disneyland version... I only lost a cruise, not money), been punched in the face by a complete stranger, was stalked and killed by a squirt gun assassin squad, and once loaned $5 to Heath Ledger that he never paid back. I can be reached at unsomnambulist at gmail dot com.

Finally, an app to shame parking turds

Legendary Angelyne's legendary Corvette's legendary parking job.
Legendary Angelyne’s legendary Corvette’s legendary parking job in 2009.

For years, has served as a clearinghouse for photos of rude parkers, most often committing the sin of parking across the line and taking up two precious parking spots. Unfortunately, beyond posting the photo along with some snark and overhyped indignation, there was never the full satisfaction of knowing whether or not the “parking turd”* ever saw them publicly shamed.

Now all that is about to change.

Yesterday, Dennis Romero at LA Weekly reported about PL8CHAT, a new app that allows users to text drivers via their license plate numbers.

We immediately thought of the satisfaction that would result from being able to tell a driver what a complete idiot he is. Imagine being able to inform someone about the rules of the road or just about plain parking etiquette.

Yes, IMAGINE! Not only can we post photos online of these human embarrassments, we can then text them to let them know they’ve been suitably shamed on social media. Continue reading Finally, an app to shame parking turds

Fans Going CoCo for Tonight’s Conan Debut

photo courtesy Colin Remas Brown

While Los Angeles pines for an NFL team to come back, we should feel proud that Conan O’Brien didn’t retreat back to New York after his Tonight Show gig was abruptly cancelled.

Conan’s return to broadcast television at 11pm will be beamed from the site of his new studio on Burbank’s Warner Brothers lot, where fans waited outside in the rain as early as 7am for a chance to be part of the audience (see pic).

Does anyone have any doubts that he’ll not only beat Jay Leno in the ratings, but also Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert?

Festival of Lights cancelled – looking for options.

DWP Festival of Lights
Some rights reserved by Veronica Jauriqui, used under a Creative Commons license.

Sorry, kids. There will be no bitching about how tack the DWP’s Holiday Light Festival this year. No arguing about how bike or pedestrian friendly it should be. That’s right – Santa Claus Tom LaBonge has cancelled the annual event.

Unfortunately, this isn’t some sort of mandate against the DWP for rate hikes and an aversion to accountability and transparency, but simply a matter of practicality. From LaBonge’s weekly update: “Due to the cost and amount of time need to halt a major construction project – the installation of a major water line, the River Supply Conduit – as well as the installation of the new zoo parking lot, it is in the public’s best interest to cancel this year’s event.”

However, LaBonge still hopes for “an alternative location for this great, free, family-friendly event,” and to contact his office if you have any ideas. Heck, leave a comment below and will nudge his staff to keep an eye on this thread.

Pro-lifer arrested after being allegedly assaulted by Jimmel Kimmel Live crew

As much as I recognize the abortion debate is a heated one, and I for one am entrenched on the pro-choice side, I like to think I can also recognize assault even when its against one of those supposed “pro-life” anti-choice people.

Case in point: this YouTube video featured over at Huffington Post today, showing a pro-life advocate being body checked and even punched but an apparent crew member with the Jimmy Kimmel Live crew. Per info gleaned from the video, the pro-lifer was upset that the JKL crew was pointing a “high intensity light” at a teenage abortion protester on Hollywood Blvd. We see the pro-lifer then attempt to reposition the light when the crewman then essentially attacks the guy.

Granted, the pro-lifer shouldn’t touch the crew’s gear, but instead of asking nearby law enforcement or sercurity to take care of the guy, a crewman attacks the pro-lifer.


The typically opinionated Huffington Post take a non-objective stand in their post, and I’m somewhat disturbed that the commenters there can’t call a spade a spade and even indicate that the pro-lifer deserves the violence coming his way. Am I missing something?

Derby Dolls smack, jam and brawl

Photographer Colin Remas Brown, who captured a post-apocalyptic Griffith Park following the May 2007 fire, sent in this report from last Sunday’s Derby Dolls event:
photo by Colin Remas Brown

Tough looking nine-year-old girls yell, “We love Smack,” and I’m not surprised, I’m at the all ages Baby Doll Brawl.

Inside the Doll Factory, a cavernous Echo Park warehouse, the Black Diamonds are battling the Rotten Candy. These rookie L.A. Derby Dolls are eager and mean, obviously they have something to prove. For many this is their first bout and they want to impress the pack.

I’m here to document my friend Rhiannon kicking some Rotten Candy(ass), and she did. The stars on her helmet let you know that she’s the jammer, the point scorer for this one minute period in the game.

While I’m trying get at least a couple photos in focus I hear “Fleetwood Smack,” Rhiannon’s derby name, incessantly repeated over the PA system and screamed by her new fans.

When the game’s over it’s Black Diamond’s… 106 to 96.

Dear internet, you’ve won tickets to a free show at the Troubadour tonight!

Congratulations! You and all your friends have been awarded free passes to see an exclusive show by Dios 8pm tonight at arguably the best live music venue in all of Los Angeles, West Hollywood’s legendary Troubadour.

Also on the bill are  Signals (ex Mae Shi), The Henry Clay People and Brandon Intelligator and the Sheriffs. Spinning rock n’ roll between live sets will be DJ Jimi Hey (All Night RadioBeachwood Sparks).

And that’s not all! Right now, at this very moment, you’ve also win a free hi-fi mp3 off Dios’ new album, “We Are Dios.” The song is called “Stare at Wheel.” Download it by clicking here.

RSVP here if you dig the Facebook, otherwise just show up at the door – they’ll recognize you as a winner the moment you show up (although they may flatter you by asking for your id to “prove you’re 21”).

Hollywood sign to be covered this Thursday*

City Councilman Tom LaBonge participating in cover up. Literally.

An LAPD “community alert” sent to me moments ago reads:

On February 11, 2010 the Hollywood sign will be covered up for an international campaign. The sign will be covered until further notice.

Do not be alarmed, the sign will remain in place and there will be no changes done to the sign. This is just an informational e-mail so we do not receive phone calls from worried citizens.

Carolyn Ramsay with Councilman Tom LaBonge’s office would provide me with no additional information besides that they were participating in the secretive event. “You’ll have to wait til Thursday,” Carolyn repeated to me when I pressed for information.

*UPDATE 4:59pm: The media point person with the Hollywood sign itself, Betsy Isroelit, told me that the sign cover up would have nothing to do with an Amnesty International announced day of support for human rights Iran also scheduled for the 11th, or the Winter Olympics, beginning the following day. Zach at LAist is also digging into this.

**UPDATE 7:54p: The LA Weekly reveals that the alteration is planned to coincide with an announcement by the non-profit “Trust for Public Land,” which, based on the group’s purpose, could theoretically be purchasing the land around the Hollywood sign, which has been at risk of being used for private development over the past few years. Details will be announced at a Thursday 10am press conference at the Hollywood W Hotel.

Worth nothing: Carolyn insisted this has nothing to do with the fake Hollywood sign vandalism that pop star Ke$ha hoaxed her fans with a few days ago. Viral video after the jump.

Polls open: Vote now for L.A. Metblogs Grinch of the Year!

grinch09bThe nominees as chosen by Metblogs readers and reasons in their own words are…

  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, for being “a worthless, do-nothing mayor who’s fast turning this city into a former shell of itself…” “for grandstanding something for political gain, when he’s travelling he’s grandstanding for political gain… (and) his dictatorial role on the metro transit board.”
  • Russell Brown “who simultaneously claims to represent major property owners as paid rep for the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (HDBID) and the wider community — including the transient and disenfranchised — as unpaid President of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council (DLANC)” and for “halting progress with downtown’s artwalk.”
  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, “for raising my taxes by 10% while simultaneously slashing state-funded programs and services, bankrupting our state, and standing by while our state unemployment has ballooned to 12.5% (the highest ever),” and for “planning/threatening to close our state parks.” While these issues affect the whole state, as one reader notes, he is still technically an Angeleno.
  • Michele Mowry, LADOT’s Bicycle Coordinator, “for arguing in Bicycling Magazine that when it comes to cyclists on the streets of Los Angeles, ‘There’s no more room!’ She later pointed out, in LA’s Transportation Committee, that it’s a little easier to do effective work in Portland (because) ‘They’re White!'”

Vote Here

“Winner” will be announced next Wednesday, December 30th.

Why is The Grinch associating with L.A.’s elected officials?

Now that the elections are out of the way, it seems that L.A.’s elected officials now have no problem associating publicly with bad bananas and greasy black peels.

Of course, I’m referring specifically to the mean one, aka Mr. Grinch.

LA County Sherriff Lee Baca within arms reach of The Grinch.
LA County Sherriff Lee Baca within arm's reach of The Grinch.

Last week at Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca posed for a photo op with the Grinch himself as 100 Los Angeles elementary school students from the Inner City Educational Foundation charter school looked on.

Then, in an undated photo posted at the Griffith Park Wayist’s blog, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can be seen being chummy with The Grinch.

Finally, in what I suspect to be a thinly veiled viral ad for Goldstar Events, City Council President Eric Garcetti has issued a public statement calling for the apprehension of the Grinch (video at Mayor Sam’s Sister City blog).

Los Angeles residents can’t shake a ten foot poll without hitting the Grinch – our own Mayor and Sherriff have his number on speed dial, and Eric Garcetti, a Naval intelligence officer to boot, needs our help catching him? Yeah, right.

Here’s where you can find the Grinch and make a citizen’s arrest:

  • Every day from now through December 31st at Universal Studios Hollywood. Celebrity readings of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be held each afternoon, which may attract the mean one. (on a side note, they also have real snow there to arm yourself with snowballs).
  • At numerous performances of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at the Pantages through December 27th.

Strike a pose, Virgin Mary

virginmaryfailThe legendary stage director Charlie Brown once asked, “Is there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Well, sure, Charlie Brown. The answer can be found in the window display at Madison on 3rd Street, where you’ll find the Virgin Mary dressed in some fashion autrocity, her bare legs spread, and baby Jesus in her lap.

The three Wise Men standby with gifts for the newborn child, appropriately hidden in Madison shopping bags.

The true meaning of Christmas is eroticizing a sacred, virginal religious icon for commercial gain.

CNN iReporter “Pixel” has a brief report.

Do you find this political ad sexist?

krekesselPaul Krekorian recently mailed out a flier depicting political opponent Chris Essel as a marionette alongside text reading, “Chris Essel. Brought to you by the union bosses who are raising your DWP rates.” (original here)

Just a few days before voters Los Angeles City Council District 2 will decide which of the two will be their next Councilperson, Essel responded with a flier of her own, alleging that the image of her having her strings pulled is “sexist” and “insensitive of women.” One quote on her flier even has a Sunland resident quoted as saying, “I’d kick his butt if that was my wife.” (see it here)

Additionally, Essel’s flier reprints the image of her as a marionette, it removes the contextual text, replaces it with a headshot by Krekorian, but alleges right below the image: “Actual Krekorian Mailer.”

In addition to the weak claim of sexism and edited image, on the flip side are vague allegations that Krekorian is an anti-semite whose campaign stole documents from her… no citations or hints as to where more info on the charges can be found.

But back to the main point – do you find the image of Essel as a marionnete offensive or sexist?