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12 Days Of Giving: spcaLA

December 17, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, Holidays, LA, Pets, Seasonal

spcaLA logoPreamble/Disclosure: There’s a subset of the fine folks who know I’ve been a scrivener for Blogging.la going way back to March 2004, who also know that back in 2011, despite all appearances of sanity, sensibility and advanced middle age, I committed to making a rather drastic career change in leaving behind a 20-odd year (emphasis on the word “odd’) career in journalism to become a humane law enforcement officer, more commonly known as an “animal cop.” Soon after that decision, I undertook what would become a lengthy, arduous and challenging process of training and preparation and hiring — I call it a “journey of a thousand hurdles” — that culminated this past summer when I was sworn in as a Level 1 Humane Officer working for, you guessed it: the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA).

But enough about me. More importantly, I need to clear up an important misconception. You know those heart-wrenching ads that inundate your TV screens around this time of year, soundtracked by Sarah McG’s “Angel” and featuring some celeb (last year it was the guy from “Will & Grace”) guilting the hell out of you to donate NOWRIGHTNOW while a slideshow of horribly mistreated animals scrolls by? Yeah: that’s soooooo not spcaLA. That’s a whole different animal: That’s ASPCA, or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

But Will, you ask, isn’t ASPCA the “parent” of spcaLA? Great question! Answer: Not in any way, shape or form. They are entirely individual and separate entities. It’s a common mistake people make believing that ASPCA is some sort of national umbrella under which all SPCAs in the country operate. But they don’t. Each and every SPCA is its own independent organization. The same goes with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). They have absolutely nothing to do with, say, the Pasadena Humane Society.

But Will, you ask, why should that matter to me? Another valid query! As an Angeleno it should matter to you because at the end of one of those above-mentioned ASPCA ads that will be dominating the local year-end airwaves, when you rush to your computer or telephone, whip out your credit card and ship some money to their headquarters across the country in New York City, not a penny of it will benefit any of the animals in your own neighborhoods. Think of it like donating blood to your local hospital versus the American Red Cross. In both worthy cases, the precious resource will almost certainly go to someone who needs it, but the chances are exponentially greater that the blood you gave at, say, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will go to a child at that hospital. Donate locally, I say… which rhymes with spcaLA!

After the jump, a bit of history before we get to the fun part.

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12 Days of Giving: The Peace Project

December 17, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, culver city, Holidays, LA, Seasonal, Shopping

2014 has been a great year for my family.  It wasn’t always like this.  We’ve had some pretty lean years in the past but hard work, faith, and determination put us on a blessed path.  There are plenty of places in the world where, no matter how hard citizens try, those qualities still don’t offer up a dream life.  This year, I felt it was important to give back to the universe that has created joy and plenty in my life but still finds so many people suffering around the world.  My husband and I both come from from traditions of charitable giving and volunteership.  No matter how impoverished we’ve been, we could always put food on the table and our parents taught us that meant we were still fortunate and it was our duty to offer assistance to those without.

So our regular checks to charitable organizations weren’t good enough this year.  A stellar year means we’d have to reach a little deeper.  But I’m lazy and volunteering with an infant while my husband is working overseas is more difficult than I can manage.  Instead, I found a great way to give while doing my regular weekly shopping at the Culver City Farmers Market.  The Whole 9 Gallery had a booth I could not avoid.  So many cute and cool things to buy!  And what’s this??  The money spent helps to support their charity The Peace Project??  Perfect!  Holiday shopping AND charitable giving, combined!  I bought more gifts than I had people to give to just so I could throw more money at a worthy cause.  And all of it was reasonably priced and very well made and unique.

The Peace Project is an effort by The Whole 9 online creative community to transform lives globally.  Started in 2010 by the community’s founder, the project has distributed crutches to amputees and victims of civil war in Sierra Leone, sponsored educational grants for African school-age children, built houses for Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines, and been the benefactor for several artists on six continents.  Through their works, they’ve used art to bridge the gap between necessary resources and the community members who desperately require them.  The Whole 9 Gallery in Culver City sells the wares for several artists whose proceeds fund these works abroad.

To learn more about The Peace Project or to donate directly, visit http://thepeaceproject.com/donate.php.  Just want some last minute gifts that will fund the future happiness of others in our world?  Check out The Whole 9 Gallery at 3830 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232.

Have Infant, Will Travel

November 21, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, Events, Seasonal, Uncategorized

People often ask me how I get around so much with an infant. It’s pretty easy: my daughter is 5 months old and can’t say “please stop dragging me to everything, Mom.” Since her birth in June, we’ve been in perpetual motion, stopping only long enough to nurse and fight naps. There’s been a diaper change or two in there somewhere.

WeHo Pumpkin PatchWe’ve been to 3 weddings, 2 baby showers, a wedding shower, and a family reunion, visited folks in 4 states and the District of Columbia, saw the world’s largest rubber ducky in Long Beach, watched Shakespeare in Griffith Park, perused art at the world’s oldest and largest artist colony at the LA Brewery Art Walk, toured one of California’s most over-embellished homes at Hearst Castle, stared at the biggest trees in Big Sur, and gaped at the most expansive collection of Greek artifacts on the West Coast at the Getty Villa. There was a dust-free party for the Burning Man left-behinds in Reseda, a backyard Octoberfest in Eagle Rock, a quick spin through the Patchwork Craft Fair in Long Beach, a free ferry ride to Catalina for my birthday, a single visit to the “Birth Stories” lecture series in Venice, and more baby storytime at the local library than you can shake a stick at. We also spotted a well-known but poorly aging celebrity at a pumpkin patch in West Hollywood. Would it be LA without a star sighting?

I thought life with a baby would slow me down but I’ve been to more places with my tiny partner in crime than I ever went as a single entity. My desire to show my kid the best our world has to offer gets me out of my shell and reintroduces me to all the reasons I moved to California. We don’t plan on stopping. Well, maybe after this nap.

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by frazgo

We’re a fun bunch of guys….

November 1, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, Fictional LA, History, LA, LA bloggers, Vintage, Which Side?

Do you wanna jump in the sand box and play with us?

Seriously, the “we” is a bit limited at the moment.  Add in the return of a few old voices and that we have a new owner  that wants to breath some life back into this blog so its gonna be a fun sandbox again..

Requirements are simple. Love Los Angeles. Love to write about what you see/hear/do here in Los Angeles. You don’t have to be spectacular, just be you and have a story to tell here.  Be prepared to commit to semi-frequently posting to blogging.la.

I started here May 2007 for kicks and giggles. I’m among the few that turned it into one adventure after another here in L.A. How? I use my writing here to get press credentials and then apply for press passes on things that interest me. I’m not bashful so I’ve asked to go on ride alongs with local PD, visit concerts and even the L.A Auto Show. You get out of it what you put into it.

The group is always in flux. The common thread is we love L.A and have each others backs. We do fun things too. Series posts on themes like “Songs of L.A” and the Donut Summit. Of course we blog it and share it with everyone else that has a love of Los Angeles.  Remember live blogging at Canter’s Deli?  Thats the sort of events that build a community and readership.

With the return of our former “city captain” Lucinda Michele back at the helm we’ll have direction and start all sorts of new ideas.  If you want to join blogging.la and grow your writing skills and share your love of Los Angeles send me a link to your writing or a sample to me at [email protected] and I’ll make sure it gets seen.  I wish I could tell you how fast decistions will be made, but I can’t but I can promise your efforts won’t fall on deaf ears.

Ho-leeee crap. Hello, Los Angeles, my love.

October 13, 2014 in Art, Blogging (in) LA, Fires, History, LA, LA bloggers, Metroblogging Network, People, The Valley, Vintage

Who’s got two thumbs (and her index fingers, with which she primarily types, like a spazzy T-Rex on a typewriter) and is back in LA?!

This girl.

Along these rhapsodic, elegiac and thrilled welcome-home lines I’m walking, here’s some songs to make you love your city again. Fall outta love? Don’t do what I do and leave.  Or do…it might be what you need to appreciate it.
Rilo Kiley, Let Me Back In: link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXZR0rwhXvs

“From the Eastern seaboard, the landlocked Midwest
The Keys, the Alps, the Black Hills and Budapest
With my heart in a sling, tail between my legs a-swinging
I’m sorry for leaving

But when the palm trees bow their heads
No matter how wrong I’ve been
L.A., you always let me back in

And you can bury me when my body breaks
In the earth that created me, in the Golden State
By my mama and her brother and their mama too…”

And then there’s this one, by the Delta Spirit, for the folks I left behind in the South.     ;)

I mean, this sorta already happened, and that fellow is now happily married, so….everybody come on out! Apparently I’m a great vector for changing your life.    :P

(Yes, this post is enormously personal. Kevin Roderick may have a field day with this one. Or he may not, which will make me feel like a loser. Whateves.)

“I want you to move to California for yourself,
I want you to find whatever your heart needs,
I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me.

I want you to go out there and find somebody else,
I want him to treat you like I know he should,
I want you to find somebody new for yourself, if not for me.

all of the feelings that I know you never felt,
and all of the simple words you never said,
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself, they’re not for me.

I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms,
I want you to hide yourself from all I see,
and though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me.”

 

Also…I love the video for this one.

So, yeah. I’m back. We did hot dogs, we did donuts. What do you think should be next?

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Final 626 Night Market for the year this weekend 9/12-14

September 11, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Music, San Gabriel Valley

logo for 626 Night Market

It’s here the final 626 Night Market, the thing to do in the SGV, is this weekend. Friday night it starts at 4PM and runs Saturday into Sunday too. Food, stuff, music and special guest appearances market this weekend.

Theres still no transit way to make it there.  From the 210 Exit Santa Anita and drive south to Huntington.  Make a right and follow Huntington to the Santa Anita Park.

Parking is free and admission is a measly $3 per person.

Deets.  Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia.  MAP HERE  Hours Friday/Saturday 4PM-1AM, Sunday 4PM-10PM

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Things only Angelenos will understand

April 8, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, Fictional LA, LA, Which Side?

OK…I’m at a bit of of loss on this one. This link was sent to me by a PR firm for a realty company in the Bay Area, a part of the state that for reasons I’ve never understood, hold us with great disdain.  The LIST isn’t entirely accurate and certainly missed out on a few biggies about us that are more truthful and enlightening on our own idiosyncrasies.  Race you to the 405?

What’s missing from their list?  What needs to be added?  Deleted?

Pic by me taken with the trusty old che-ez snap, a .2 megapixel toy camera.  Arty ain’t it?

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Sierra Madre Tattler uncovers, literally, City Council Candidate selfies

February 19, 2014 in Blogging (in) LA, LA bloggers, Politics, San Gabriel Valley

I’m not quite sure where to start with this. Background maybe? Noah Green is/was a candidate for City Attorney council for Sierra Madre. So far so good. Sierra Madre is a quiet, staid little bedroom community.   Here he went astray.  He referred to the locals as “townies” which ruffled a few feathers. Then they saw his facebook page. Sierra Madre Tattler was on the story.

Before long this story exploded and likely cost Noah his shot at winning the election.  3 images surfaced and appeared on the Sierra Madre Tattler, before long his selfies, as childish and sophomoric as they were, became big news. Big enough that the Tattler opines it cost him the election. (Complete story and pictures here, mildly NSFW)

My question to you, with the exception of the nudie in the hammock, should this poor exercise in judegement be enough to cost him the election?  Or would it have been funnier if he got his dangly bits caught in the open loops of the hammock?

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Militant Angeleno explains how the ‘burbs got their names

November 8, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, LA bloggers, People, Which Side?

I believe it was Raymond Chandler who described Los Angeles as “40 suburbs in search of a city” back in the 40’s.  He was wrong there were 88 in Los Angeles County alone and Militant Angeleno took the  time to catalog them and explain how they got their names.  His post “88 suburbs in search of their names” went live today.  Its an easy read that is both informative and entertaining.

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LA vlogger Austin Null is a Agent for the Fiesta Movement

July 31, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, Transportation, Twitter

It bears repeating, you meet the coolest people blogging.  This time around it was LA vlogger Austin Null an Agent with the Fiesta Movement.  The Fiesta Movement is a social media program with Ford that gives folks who blog and vlog 2014 Ford Fiestas to take on missions, adventures if you will, and do posts about the cars they are given. It involves monthly missions from when they get the car in April until the program ends in December or January of next year.

I met up with Austin recently here in Culver City at Fullscreen where he is a “Social Engagement Strategist”.  He also blogs and vlogs with his own YouTube channel.  Austin is a recent transplant to the Los Angeles area living in the West LA area.  The Fiesta Movement has given him missions that have allowed him to explore more of L.A and sunny SoCal. Read the rest of this entry →

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SGV Bloggers picnic Saturday…all are welcome to attend

March 28, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, Events, Food & Drink, LA bloggers, San Gabriel Valley

5th annual sgv bloggers picnic

Do you write a blog?  Like to read blogs? Like to meet the folks behind a blog?  Well then this annual event is made for you.  There are usually a few dozen local bloggers there and their groupies (not including each other).

This is the 5th annual held at this park, but if you have followed me on blogging.la for a while you will know that we, a large diverse group of us bloggers in the SGV, have been getting together since ’07.  This picnic got going when it was determined we needed to do it annually in one location and blogger Timothy Rutt of the Altadenablog got it all rolling for us.

This is a pot luck affair so bring a tasty bit to share with the group.  Don’t be surprised if it gets blogged too.

Deets: March 30, 2013, 11AM – ???, Farnsworth Park,568 Mt Curve Ave, Altadena, CA 91001  MAP HERE

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L.A. Auto Show opens today and what to expect.

November 30, 2012 in Blogging (in) LA, Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation

Ford World 2012 LA Auto Show

So much to talk about so will try to bring it down to a Reader’s Digest condensed version.  I will also try to bring you up to date as well as what you missed during Press Days which were this Wednesday and Thursday.

First of all, if you are looking for exotics fuhgetaboutit, there are none.  The entire class is represented by Galpin’s stock of Aston Martins.  Very nice cars, but not the boat load of Ferraris, Lambos and Rolls of years past.  That’s what happens when the L.A. show grows so big with a focus on green cars it alienated that fun bunch of fantasy cars. Read the rest of this entry →

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Militant Angeleno explains how to jump the LA Times Paywall

March 15, 2012 in Blogging (in) LA, LA, News, People

Not happy with the LA Times decision to set up a paywall limiting you to content on the LA Times Web?  Blogger and ever diligent lover of all things LA has a way for you to overcome the paywall limits and is explained entirely in his post HERE.  Happy reading.

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Shit People Say in LA…the video

January 24, 2012 in Blogging (in) LA, LA bloggers, Media, People, Which Side?

I’m guilty of more than a few.  You?  I particularly like the dig about moving to the West Side…a place I barely know as there is simply no easy way to get there from where I live and there is never any parking.  There, I said it.

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Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: Its a Wrap!

December 24, 2011 in Blogging (in) LA, Seasonal, Social issues

jingle bags

Over the course of the last week or so we’ve given you ideas for Holiday giving.  These represented a variety of ways to give to charities and causes near and dear to us.

A list of those ways to give back a little of yourself to L.A.:

Of course it is never too late to chime in with you own ideas for giving back to the community in the comments here.