Just Vin, Baby!

2346672-2346671-home_vin_scullyEarlier this month, I crowed via social media about getting a pair of cheap seats to the Vin Scully Appreciation Game at Dodgers Stadium this coming September and how by not spending $1,400 for field-level butt rests I would have mooooore than enough to get me a customized Dodgers jersey honoring The Greatest Broadcaster Of Aaaaaaall Times who I unabashedly idolize and cherish!

Turns out easier said than done.

But let me back and fill for those who might be entirely and inexplicably clueless. Vincent Edward Scully, 88, has been the Los Angeles Dodgers announcer since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the year Nineteen Hundred and Fifty. Last year, The Beloved Institution That He Is announced his retirement would commence at the end of this his Sixty-Seventh season behind the mic. If that two-digit number doesn’t blow you away, what’s wrong with you!? Sorry, didn’t mean to snap. What I mean is: think on that kind of longevity a little harder. What’s the longest job you’ve ever held? Me, it’s six years. Next, factor in this nebulous and dysfunctional City Of Change that we call home, and how its landmarks have been torn down and built over and torn down again and again forming sedimentary stacks of reinvention rising upon a foundation of disregard for our past. Then mix in the changes the Dodgers as an organization have been through these last 20 years alone? Lastly mix in the fact that most of us came from somewhere else and a lot of us remain unrooted to L.A. as a permanent base.

All the while, there has been Scully. Since the Dodgers moved here in 1958, there has been Scully. Every single year of my old-ass life as a native Angeleno and Dodgers fan: There. Has. Been. Scully. If his landmark status previously eluded you, maybe now you can see how people such as myself have formed such an attachment to this humble extraordinary man — who, incidentally, would be the first to dismiss such adoration. Maybe now you can see how people such as myself are among hundreds of thousands who really can’t fathom our town or its soundwaves without Scully in it. I still can’t fully wrap my head around the idea of his “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” opener at every home game not ringing out next year.

But let’s return now to my original point: the jersey!

Continue reading “Just Vin, Baby!”

Longtime KABC weatherman Dr. George Fischbeck passes away

bla-2015-03-25-dr-george-fullshotABC7 announced today that longtime KABC weatherman Dr. George Fischbeck died on this morning at the age of 92.

I remember watching Dr. George and his signature bow-tie on television until he retired from ABC and enjoyed his re-emergence KCBS in the mid-to-late 1990s.

For many Angelenos, Dr. George was more than just the weatherman. He taught us about jet streams, high and low pressures and millibars. When he was giving us his forecast for the highs and lows for the next day, he’d also remind us to be good citizens and take care of each other.

He was also an ambassador of good will both on and off the set. For years, he collected toys for children at Porterville State Hospital.

Years after he retired, he gave his support to ABC7’s Spark of Love Toy Drive.

DIY wants your trashed out dead front yard

diy desperate landscape
DIY's Desperate Landscape Logo

DIY’s Desperate Landscapes is coming to Los Angeles and they want your desperate dead and dying front yard.  Its pretty easy, go to JayTV and follow the steps on the how to apply tab.  Your yard has to be really bad and take 2 days to fix.  You do need to submit a picture and a video…the latter is more of an audition tape so give it your all.  The process is pretty painless, especially if you have a youtube account that allows for large video uploads.

If you do submit yourself…drop me a note and a link to the video I’d love to post it here.  If you get on the show…let me know as I’d love to interview you.

Continue reading “DIY wants your trashed out dead front yard”

Do you have a contractor horror story? Reality TV may be calling you.

pic courtesy of Shed Media

You can read the full news release I got in my email after the jump.  But the short version is if you had a reno or remodel done to your home and got screwed by your contractor an LA casting producer from Shed Media is looking to talk to you.  The Casting Producer is Ben Selle and he is looking for a homeowner willing to spare a few hours filming with a hopeful host for a soon to launch major cable network reality show about contractor horrors.

I’ve tossed my hat into the ring for this one. We did an addition for a studio/game room and a patio redo.  The job should have taken 2 months, but took 10 as the contractor kept disappearing and dodging phone calls.  Worse after going over budget the work has aged very poorly…drywall seams showing and cracking, slate tiles popping up or disintegrating.  Sigh.  Eventually we fired him and hired someone else to finish the job.  Now we are finding out how shoddy his work was and we have no recourse.

To make things uber easy write Ben directly at [email protected] with your story of woe.  Include pictures of the problem, yourself since you will be on camera, and your location in L.A.

The press release after the jump… Continue reading “Do you have a contractor horror story? Reality TV may be calling you.”

Desperate Landscapes needs your rotten dead yard

Yup, the DIY networks Desperate Landscapes show is coming to L.A.  They are looking for folks with yards so bad the neighbors complain about it.  Applying is simple, upload a couple of small size stills of your yard and do a YouTube vid explaining why you want their help.  Full details on the application process is on their Web Site.  If any of you are chosen for the show drop me a line…I’d love to do a blog post on you and your yard too!

To read the full press release make the jump.   Continue reading “Desperate Landscapes needs your rotten dead yard”

Culver City Classic Car Show this Saturday

Classic Car
One of our area's vintage cars, spotted in Santa Monica

One of my pleasures of living in the relatively dry SoCal climate is our thriving classic car culture. Part of that culture will be on display this Saturday, as downtown Culver City hosts its Crusing Back to the 50s car show right out on Culver and Washington Blvds. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. I was there four years ago, and it was loads of fun.

In addition to a selection of over 400 classic cars, expect to see some of the world’s most famous tv show custom cars and their creator, George Barris (Batmobile, Munster Koach, etc.). There will be food, music, and car-related merchandise on hand as well. Oh, and did I mention that admission to the show is free?

Hero Complex Film Festival May 18-21

Hero ComplexSuperheroes, nasty villains, and zombies will visit us as the Hero Complex Film Festival returns to Los Angeles on May 18-21, at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live. Cinema classics will be screened with stars and creators of the movies, such as RoboCop with an appearance by Peter Weller, Shaun of the Dead featuring director Edgar Wright, and A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell. On Monday, pioneer comic book creator Stan Lee (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc.) will be there for a not yet announced screening. Although the $105 festival pass is listed as sold out, individual screening passes can be had for $20, which isn’t much more than a movie ticket on a weekend night nowadays.

See link above for full schedule and details.

Brett and Ross and their next big adventure: Escape Routes

Blogging leads one on many adventures, Brett Lemick and Ross Everett of Los Angeles are about to partake on a new one.  Fresh off  digitour that they served as hosts, these Los Angelenos are 1 of 6 Teams that will race from L.A. to New York (save your boos) and back home again in a NBC reality show that starts March 31st.  The show will pit the teams in challenges as they road trip across the country.  The teams will have home audience fans that will help them with their challenges.  In the end the winning team and one of their “fans” will win a new 2013 Ford Escape.

As a couple of YouTubers they have already vlogged as much as they can about the show in the opening video in this post.  They are looking forward to the trip and have been promised by the producers that they will be “terrified” by the tasks they will need to complete along the way.  Brett and Ross did their due diligence in preparing for this race.  They watched last years Focus Rally that included teams of Los Angelenos for clues as to what sort of challenges they can expect.  To even better hedge their chances they have been working with personal trainers to be in best shape possible for those challenges. Continue reading “Brett and Ross and their next big adventure: Escape Routes”

It Caught My Eye: Dr. Dre Drives LA Like It’s the UK

My wife Susan has built up a tolerance over the years, but you’d probably hate watching TV with me. Be it in a commercial or movie, I’m the kinda guy who’ll go all non-sequitor yelling out the name of a place a bit too emphatically when I see a Los Angeles location I recognize.

“Second Street Tunnel!”
“Sixth Street Bridge!”
“Parkview Hotel!”
“Northwest corner of Normandie and 23rd!”
“Johnnies Coffee Shop!”
“Natural History Museum!”

Stupid shit like that. Maybe even shamelessly augmented with a “booyah!” or a “yeeeeeah boooooiiiiee!” or a fist-pump as if I’ve not already made enough of a fool of myself. What can I say; it’s a curse knowing my city. Susan will agree.

And the curse continues with the Chrysler 300 commercial that’s currently making the heavy rotation across the TV spectrum (YouTube link) featuring Dr. Dre tooling all over town  in a car-that-goes-boom and finishing up at the end of the ad with “This is LA. This is what we do.”

Trouble is apparently one of the things Dre do is drive southbound on Silver Lake Boulevard below the Sunset Boulevard bridge on the wrong of the street (and past the requisite hoodlum out for an after-hours jog with his requisite pitbull; click to biggify):

Booyah!

Yo Gabba Gabba show @ Meltdown Comics

Yo Gabba Gabba @ Meltdown Comics
Yo Gabba Gabba @ Meltdown Comics

Yo Hipsters, Comic Book Nerds & Alcoholics Anonymous Members (you know who you are)… if you fall into one of these categories, then make sure to clear your Friday night to check out the opening reception of “Here is my Art” A Yo Gabba Gabba Gallery Show at Meltdown Comics on Sunset.

Curated by Julia Vickerman, the art director & co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba! This show pulls together work from the likes of Christian Jacobs, Leslie Hall, Mark Mothersbaugh, Parker Jacobs, Brandon Bird, Jesse Ledoux, Charlyne Yi, Carlos Ramos, Deanna Rooney, Joel Fox, Kali Fontecchio, Myke Chilian, Dylan Sprouse, Joel Trussell, Erin Pearce, Kevin Sukho Lee, Julia Vickerman & David Wain. Which takes care of the hipsters who love the show & the comic book nerds who’ve followed the careers of several of these artists…

And for the alcoholics & those in recovery alike, the adorable duo of Alie & Georgia will be on hand whipping up a Yo Gabba Gabba cocktail which will be sure to surprise, tingle and amaze your taste-buds.

So mark it in your calendar.

Friday, June 3rd
7pm – 10pm

Meltdown Comics
7522 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 851-7223
http://www.meltcomics.com/

You Know You’re On a Flight Back to L.A. When …


It includes:

— the reality show celebrity/mom telling her little kids about the “lady with a face like plastic”;

— the actor from “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”;

— the music producer-looking guy with the very long grey pouffy hair and dark sunglasses (yeah, that guy);

— the flight attendant asking you if you’re a particular actor, and then threatening to check the passenger manifest when you say “no”; and

— the Lady with the Face like Plastic.  It really was, and I guess I’m really back home.

Big Brother Season 13 Casting Tomorrow!

Big Brother is one of those guilty pleasures I still admit to watching. I know it’s rotting my brain from the inside out but screw it, life is short. So if you’re a narcissistic loony who likes to be on camera 24/7 you should head down to Spot 5750 tomorrow from 1pm to 4 pm and try your luck at the open auditions. You can download the online application before you head down. Good luck!

The El Toro Y and Other Things The Simpsons Taught Me

If you were to visit a city, who would you trust to be your tour guide: Lonely Planet or The Simpsons?  Based on the screencap below, my tip money would go to The Simpsons.


This was from last week’s episode: Bart is nominated for an Oscar (Best Animated Short, natch) and the Simpsons go to Hollywood.  Wary of Homer hogging all the credit for the movie on his big night, Bart sends him on a, er, special tour of LA-area landmarks.  The Watts Towers is one of our greatest landmarks that no one visits, and naming the Cerritos Auto Square as a “must-see attraction” is very funny, very cruel joke to would-be tourists — but what struck me the most was that certain locations actually are named!  Take, for example, the El Toro Y: this would be the official name of the freeway clusterfuck where the 5 and 405 merge.  The California Incline is what I always, always miss when I’m trying to get off PCH and back into Santa Monica.  And Chatsworth is, as the local residents helpfully explain to Homer, where “the 118 meets Topanga Canyon, fool.”

Me, I would have added Worthington Ford, Tito’s Tacos, and the WTF that is where Virgil turns into Hillhurst as it meets Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., and Sunset Dr. Oh, and donuts: despite Homer’s penchant for donuts, none of LA’s donut icons made it onto the list.  Too bad, as a donut crawl definitely would have kept everyone infinitely more entertained than the “Dead. In. The. Water.” ceremony that was Sunday. Actually, doing anything on that list, including the sad atrocity that is The Beverly Connection, would have been far, far more satisfying than watching that ceremony.  Next year around this time, you’ll know where to find me.

This Old House Comes To Los Angeles

Honest to goodness celebrities: Kevin O'Connor and Norm Abram

When you hear Reality Show you might first think of Survivor or American Idol, Top Chef or Project Runway. If you are a fan of PBS you probably think of the first and finest reality show of them all: This Old House. And after nearly 30 years on the air, TOH has come to Los Angeles for its first ever LA remodel. (Watch the video sneak peak here.)

You might find it hard to believe that there is actually anything “old” in LA to renovate, right? Since we are famous for our facelifts and all. This sweet Spanish Revival house in Silver Lake is getting more of a “gentle spa treatment” than an “ass-fat injection to the cheekbones” operation. The original two bedroom, one bath floorplan was fine for the married couple when they moved in 12 years ago, but now with two small kids, it was time for more space and more bathrooms.

This Old House is about education and part of every house redo series includes stories of the local craftspeople who work on various details of the house. Look for visits to the tile company that recreates 30’s style tile for the bathrooms and kitchen, the iron workers making new wrought iron and the roofers who reuse the old roof tiles and tell you the history of how these 70 year old tiles were originally made. TOH will also visit Frank Lloyd Wright houses and Richard Neutra sites so we can all see that LA actually has some awesome architectural street cred.

The homeowners Kurt and Mary were not looking for the limelight (far from it), but were very pleased to have their general contractor approach them to be part of the show. What better record of your home remodel than a full documentation on This Old House? Plus you get to meet master carpenter Norm Abram!! (Seriously that guy rocks the woodwork.)

This Old House: The Los Angeles Project begins airing on KOCE this Thursday (1/27) at 7:00pm. (Check your local listings as different cable/dish providers may have a different schedule.)

Kevin, Norm, Mary and Kurt (Homeowners), Steve Pallrand (General Contractor)

(All Photos by Image Group LA and used with permission by This Old House.)

(Full disclosure: I am friends with the homeowners, but sadly I have not met Norm.)