All posts by Spencer Cross

Spencer Cross, a.k.a. 5000!, is an artist and graphic designer and is the founder of Los Angles-based creative services boutique, Tokyo Farm. He is also the creator of KERNSPIRACY, a unique effort to foster community and camaraderie among Los Angeles creative professionals through a combination of ongoing events and discussion forums. Spencer also co-founded the art collective PopRocks+Soda, who are intensely focused on the study of the issues surrounding the eating of fermented milk and the drinking of fermented grapes. Yay, fermentation. Spencer also occasionally updates blogTHOUSAND!, widely recognized as the internet's topmost authority on who would win in a fight between a ninja and a pirate.

Surfrider Brings Celeb Surfathon to MSA Classic

Photy by Flickr user imagebysp, used under Creative Commons license.
Photo by Flickr user imagebysp, used under Creative Commons license.
Next weekend my friends at the Malibu Surfing Association are throwing down for the 45th anniversary of the MSA Classic, the longest running longboard competition in Southern California. This time around, the Surfrider Foundation is tagging along with a “Celebrity Expression Session:”

An event like no other, the Surfrider Foundation’s Celebrity Expression Session allows celebrities to show off their surfing skills and moves in a free surf format. In addition, celebrities can win prizes for every wave they catch and ride courtesy of Project Blue, a collective between six of the surf industry’s top brands to raise funds aimed at supporting the Surfrider Foundation. Celebrities taking part in the surf session include Jason Mraz, Flea, Sal Masekela, Peter DiStefano, Chad Lowe, Richard Burgi, Brandon Cruz and David Chokachi.

They may be playing a little loose with the definition of “celebrity,” but I’d love to see Flea in the water. The MSA Classic takes place at Surfrider Beach and events are free of charge and open to the public. Early rounds begin on Saturday, September 6th and run through Sunday, September 7th.

Green Bin Table Scrap Collection for the Masses

Eco-conscious Angelenos were doubtless thrilled at last week’s news that the city is starting a pilot program that allows citizens on a select few sanitation routes to dump their table scraps and “food-soiled” materials in the green bin for composting. Great news, but I thought we could already use the green bins for all kinds of organic waste like lumber and past-their-prime veggies. Fortunately, Siel of the Times’ Emerald City blog answered this question a few months ago, clarifying that the green bins are an appropriate resting place for food scaps that don’t contain any animal products, as well as grass, leaves, weeds, tree branches, and clean wood. Those new-fangled compostable plastics? Not so much. Unless, as pointed out on Emerald City more recently, you live in the city of Santa Monica, who recently began sending the contents of their green bins to an appropriate industrial-grade composting facility in Sun Valley. So, only the lucky few residents in Harbor Gateway, Lincoln Heights and South Los Angeles that are part of the city’s new program can throw their chicken bones and pizza boxes in the green bin, but the rest of us can and should still use it for our corn cobs and rotten apples.

Spotted in the Wild: Yanni Graffiti


Somewhere in northeast LA, there’s a graffiti artist that actually invested the time and energy required to illustrate, cut and spray a stencil of raven-maned and virilely mustachioed new age maestro Yanni on an otherwise unassuming wooden fence on Eagle Rock Boulevard near Auntie Em’s Kitchen (who, on an unrelated note, are still the purveyors of the finest biscuits and gravy in the tri-county area). Anonymous Yannificiando, we here at Metroblogging salute your dedication to mediocrity and, if we may be so bold as to suggest a contender for the second in what’s sure to be a long running series, humbly submit the name of the one and only Mr. John Tesh.

Festival Time Comes to Hi-Fi Tomorrow

439315674_ed32b4b42f.jpgYou can be sure that tomorrow I’ll be walking the short two blocks to the to this stretch of Temple in front of the Derby Dolls HQ to check out the sixth Historic Filipinotown Festival. Along with the requisite food and entertainment, there will be free bus tours, a 5K walk/run and nearby Hi-Fi gallery Remy’s on Temple is hosting a show called “Singgalot: The Ties that Bind, Filipinos in America.” Official festival hours are 7:00am to 10:00pm. Admission is free.

Photo by our very own Will Campbell.

Save-A-Pet Vol. 3 Featuring Rey the Wonder Dog

dog.jpgI’m posting this plea for somebody to adopt this beautiful little stray dog because I think getting her placed with somebody else is the only way I’m going to be able to resist adding her to my already-too-large animal brood:

I just found this sweet girl as I was driving to an appointment in Maria Del Rey early this morning (7/29/08). She was running across the street dodging traffic and ran behind a doughnut shop. I followed her and found her in the trash looking for scraps.

I’ve bathed her and given her flea medicine already and am taking her to the vet tomorrow morning. She seems very healthy, just a little malnourished. She’s extremely well behaved, slept in my car and has been quiet and sleeping all day. As you can see by the photos – she’s quite a looker too.

I’m calling her “Rey” for now – she weighs about 20lbs – my guess is she’ll grow to about 70lbs.

If you’re interested, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll forward you the person’s contact info. And make with the clicky for a larger peek at the sweet houndling.

NIke Presents 88BoaDrum with The Boredoms

photo_1.jpgCan’t find much in the way of an official site for this, but Nike’s sponsoring an event at the La Brea Tar Pits next week that sounds freakolicious:

Nike Sportswear presents 88BoaDrum featuring Boredoms at the La Brea Tar Pits- an unprecedented aural and visual experience.

Beginning precisely at 8:08 PM PST, the 88-minute experience at the historic La Brea Tar Pits will feature 88 drummers selected by Boredoms and 88BoaDrum artistic director, Hisham Bharoocha.

The experience will be commemorated with a very special complimentary Nike Sportswear 88BoaDrum NSW Tee collection. The NSW Tees will be hand-screened at each location with an original graphic of your choice, including designs created by Eye from Boredoms. This collection will be available exclusively on 8.8.08 and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Tickets are available at Amoeba, the LACMA box office or online at

Hindsight is Best: Earthquake Safety!

In light of the fact that we just had what was probably the biggest earthquake most of us have felt in a long time (5.8 centered in Chino Hills) and I, for one, couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do, maybe now is a good time to remind readers of the proper earthquake safety procedures as dictated by the LAFD. It’s also a great reminder to get out to the store and assemble your earthquake preparedness kit.

NY Times on the Day Los Angeles’ Housing Bubble Burst

Thanks to my friend Michael for pointing out this interesting NY Times article about the decline of the Los Angeles’s real estate market…in 1980. The article itself is actually from ’84, and it’s creepy how much of this very same language I heard from our broker when we were buying our house 20 years later:

Every day, home buyers would look at the prices and say, ”It can’t go on.” But every day, for five years, it did go on. Middle-class families were priced out of the market, and the brokers said, ”But the rich will always be able to buy.” Ordinary rich people were squeezed out of the market in some areas, but the brokers said, ”Never mind, the music business people will buy anything.” The music business fell into a depression in 1979, and the brokers said, ”The foreigners are buying. Compared with Paris or Teheran, real estate in Holmby Hills is a bargain.”

You know what they say, “Those that cannot remember the past are doomed to buy a $650,000 one bedroom fixer-uppper in Cypress Park.”

Derby Dolls to Offer Women’s Wellness Clinic

I’m not really sure what the “Mayor’s Day of Service” is, but I do know that it somehow relates to the Derby Dolls hosting an awesome sounding Women’s Wellness Clinic here in Hi-Fi:

LA Derby Dolls, with the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), will be offering a Free Women’s Wellness Clinic July 19th, 8am – 12 Noon, for the women of the community.

The 45-minute workshops will include: a self-defense workshop taught by the renowned Nelson Nio, founder of SHIELD Women’s Self-Defense System; a Tai Chi made easy lesson by Derby Doll and certified Tai Chi instructor, Sydney Bennett; healthy eating on the go nutrition advice from Alyson Weeces and Dr. Jeffrey Palmer; a workshop to discuss the effect media has on women’s body image and self-esteem; a yoga tutorial; and a “Staying Fit with Exercise” instructions to provide low cost and convenient fitness tips, including aerobics and “punkrope” lessons.

You need to email [email protected] to sign up, and given that this is going down tomorrow I think you probably need to do so soon. Full announcement after the jump
Continue reading Derby Dolls to Offer Women’s Wellness Clinic

iPhone Line-Waiter Calls KTLA’s Eric Spillman a Jackass on Air


I’m loving this video of a man (who is either Jeff Voris of the Comic Art Collective or his twin brother) waiting in line for an iPhone at the Apple Store in Burbank responding pointedly to KTLA’s Eric Spillman’s circa-80’s-mentality questions about things like whether Jeff’s ever seen a woman naked. Given the nature of LA’s morning news, I suppose it should come as no surprise, but I’m amazed that this mindset manages to keep a hold on so many people.

via BoingBoing

Fact and Fiction about “New Driving Laws Taking Effect July 1st!”

I’m guessing we can thank today’s enacting of the ban on automobile-based cell phone yakking for the resurgence of a chain email purportedly full of info about a assortment of new fines going into effect in California on July 1st. The message first appeared last year, warning of fines supposedly going into effect in 2007, and quickly added a number of other states to the tally of those cracking down on drivers for things like driving in the carpool lane and using a cell phone in a construction zone. So, I’m surprised to see the very same message making the rounds again this year, with an amended date ‘natch. Fortunately, the folks at have the lowdown on what is and isn’t true among the laundry list of fines, and as you’d guess it’s about 98% bunk so if it shows up in your inbox you can rest easy not forwarding it to Aunt Gladys in Modesto or Cousin Joe in Humboldt.

Knitting Factory Facing Possible Closure by City

UPDATE: via LAist, here’s a link to the Notice of Hearing, which notes that there’s also petition “stating the non compliance with the conditions of the Zoning Administrators’ grant approvals” with a whopping 31 signatures and “photographs of illegal activity within the establishment use.”

The Knitting Factory, which opened its doors in a beleaguered, beat down section of Hollywood eight years ago and helped spearhead the neighborhood’s dramatic improvements since, is apparently facing the possibility of revocation of their Conditional Use Permit by LADBS. This would effectively put them out of business:

Dear Friends of The Knitting Factory,

I’m writing this letter to garner support for an upcoming public hearing by the LADBS (Los Angeles Bldg. and Safety) against our venue on Thursday July 17th 2008.

The Los Angeles Building Department is aggressively trying to revoke our CUP (Conditional Use Permit). For those of you who don’t know, a CUP is the conditions that all restaurants, bars, clubs etc must run under in order to keep their doors open. If you lose your CUP, you are essentially closed for business. After eight years in a crime riddled Hollywood corridor, the LADBS and vice state that our venue is a “nuisance” and we do not comply under “upscale restaurant guidelines” (nonsense, food is always served and continues service and will someone please define “upscale” for me). They are also trying to say we do a steady stream of Erotica here, which is absurd, as we’ve only had 3 Adult Entertainment parties over 8 years and 10,000 shows.

Bar owners beware; the city is on a major crack down for what they deem CUP violations.

More info about how you can speak out on behalf of one of Hollywood’s most creative and energetic venues after the jump.
Continue reading Knitting Factory Facing Possible Closure by City