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Artisanal LA

December 7, 2014 in Crafts, Entertainment, Holidays, Seasonal, Shopping

Artisanal LA Holiday City Market – Pasadena

I had no intention of going to Artisanal LA‘s holiday market in Pasadena but I found myself there anyway on Saturday.  It was ok.  Most  of the vendors didn’t really speak to my holiday shopping needs but I did manage to get some high falutin’ chocolates from Marco Paolo and a jar of Indian spiced tomato sauce from Mee’s Kut.  The chocolates will be given as a gift but the tomato sauce is mine, all mine!  I will probably eat it all in one sitting with a very large serving spoon.  Possibly a bib.  Also, a shout out to the ladies at Bond Bar…  Thanks for the 5lbs you’ve added to my hips in samples.  I appreciate your efforts but I was serious when I said I’m avoiding you.  My fu is stronger than your tasty treats!

The highlight of the event and the whole reason for the spontaneous visit was seeing Santa!  My little one had never met the big guy and I was nervous about her reaction so I went with a friend as a precursor to our real Santa excursion next week.  My darling daughter is a huge flirt though, so it was an instant love fest.  After a short wait to get him sprung from jail (he was stuck in a parking lot), she took up her seat of honor on his knee and stared longingly into his twinkling eyes while tangling her fingers in his beard.  Sadly, the pictures include a crummy tent tarp background in a lackluster general environment.  We’ll still visit a higher end Santa next week but for 5 bucks, Artisanal’s Santa experience wasn’t awful.

Santa made it onto his own naughty list.

Santa made it onto his own naughty list.

"Psst, big guy...  I have a present for you in my diaper!"

“Psst, big guy… I have a present for you in my diaper!”

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by frazgo

I told you we had a Christmas Parade

December 6, 2014 in Entertainment, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Well the city renamed it “Holiday Parade” but that doesn’t matter, Santa Claus brought up the rear, not kwanza claus.

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Christmas its a big deal in my corner of L.A

December 4, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

I will be the first to tell you I love my little corner of L.A.  Its big enough to get lost if you want to, but small enough to be able to keep tabs on all that is important.  Plus I can be anywhere in L.A or behind the Orange Curtain in about an hour.  But thats not the real news, tonight is the traditional…been doing it as long as I can remember…the Lighting of the Christmas Tree followed by the Annual Christmas Parade.

  • 6 PM Tree lighting in Libarary Park
  • 7 PM Christmas Parade, Myrtle Avenue starting at Chestnut and ending at Palm (Library Park)

Hot on the heels of that is the Annual touring of Santa Claus escorted by MPD and MFD through the city. It takes 5 nights to cover every nook, cranny and alley in town. This year it starts on the 15th and the last night is the 19th. Details here.

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Surviving Christmas with toddlers

November 30, 2014 in Entertainment, Holidays, Seasonal

Surviving Christmas with a toddler can be a challenge.  A nice looking tree with a toddler around is easy if you take a few simple steps.  I remember all the steps and criteria for a well dressed tree from my days at Bullock’s, one fatally so as a Christmas Shop Manager, so I know how to do it.  A toddler simple requires a little revision.  All that bright shiny twinkly stuff is a huge temptation.  Let them at it but with some safeguards.

Christmas tree in a play pen - click to embiggen

Christmas tree in a play pen – click to embiggen

  • Put the tree in a playpen to keep them yanking it apart when done.
  • Buy shiny unbreakable ornaments they can put on the tree.  Do the lower half of those onrmaments within their reach
  • Keep the fragile Radko and similar above their reach
  • Use LED bulbs which burn cool compared to the old minatures and c7 bulbs…just in case they get through the barricades they still cant get injured

My grand is 2 1/2 and we found this was a much easier solution than yelling “no” all day.  Also they feel quite proud of helping put it all together so its a win on many levels.

I may get brave and try him on Christmas cookie making this year.  What harm can come of giving a toddler colored sugar and sprinkles?

The Apple Pan on Thanksgiving Eve – Free Theater While You Wait!

November 26, 2014 in Food & Drink, Holidays, LA, West Side

ApplePan2When you enter the Apple Pan, you have to understand you are entering a totalitarian state. This joint has been around, almost untouched, since 1947 and nothing you say or do will change how they do business. This is true on any day. This is doubly true on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eves when they make tons of extra pies and all of us die-hards line up to get them. (My husband loves the chocolate cream.) You’ll wait and if you are like me, you’ll enjoy the wait because the wait is great theater.

ApplePan1With all the extra people coming to buy pies on the same days every year, you would think they might put on a special person simply to sell pies and keep the crowds moving. No, no they won’t. Why? Because we are the Apple Pan and because f**k you. You don’t like it? Go buy pies at that tramp Marie Callendar’s place. The guy who takes your pie order is the same guy servicing his side of the counter (which of course is full of lunch eating peeps) and he’ll get to you when he gets to you.

During my 35 minute wait, I was lucky to stand next to a nice woman who had the same attitude as I did, in fact she was going to be late for a doctors appointment, but damned if she was going to miss picking up the apple pie for her boyfriend’s family!  We chatted a bit between shows.

Read the rest of this entry →

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by ruth666

Does Antelope Valley Count?

November 21, 2014 in Art, Crafts, Events, Food & Drink, Holidays, Seasonal

Because if so, there are a few very groovy things on the horizon!

Crafters and Chili Cooks Sought for Holiday Event
at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park is currently planning the fourth annual “Holidays on the Homestead,” a holiday-themed fundraiser for the museum to be held on Saturday December 6th from 5 pm – 8 pm. Participants are now sought for the “cowboy” chili cook-off and the handmade craft boutique.

Rose Edwards, the wife of the museum’s builder, was known for her chili and cornbread holiday feasts at their 1930’s homestead holiday celebrations. This delicious tradition is being revived in her honor! All chili styles will be considered; there is no registration fee for the cook-off.

Representing the talents of artist and museum founder Howard Arden Edwards, crafters are being sought for a craft boutique of handmade country and holiday-themed items. Booths are $30, supporting the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum.

For chili cook-off or craft booth information and applications, contact Jean Rhyne at (661) 946-6900 or [email protected] See below for more information about this fun event!

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by ruth666

Your Krampus Konnection!

November 19, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, History, Holidays, LA, Seasonal

Greetings, Children...!

Greetings, Children…!

Let your Great Aunt Rusty hook you up for all things Krampus this year!

All Info Right Here!

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by frazgo

Don’t say I never warned you – DUI arrests way up this year

December 27, 2013 in Driving, Holidays, Law, Law Enforcement, Mass Transit, Social issues, Transportation

1,520 DUI Arrests by LA County Policing Agencies Dec. 13-25

A couple of weeks ago I posted a warning that DUI check points were going to increase this year as the various local law enforcement agencies got Federal Grants to up enforcement.  Yikes…up over last year by 95 arrests.  AND New Years isn’t here yet.  Save yourself the hassle and HUGE expense and get a destignated driver, use AAA Tipsy Tow, call a taxi, use the UBER app, use METRO,  but don’t get behind the wheel as its not worth it.

In my corner of L.A, as well as the whole city there will be a huge increase in DUI Checkpoints starting this tonight through New Years.  The press releases with details after the jump.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Santa Visits my ‘hood

December 21, 2013 in Entertainment, Holidays, Seasonal, Which Side?

For as long as I can remember, MPD and MFD escort Santa in his gigantic sleigh, rolling code 3 of course, through our neighborhoods.  This is also done in El Segundo, Rancho and a few other neighborhoods around L.A.

Another wonderful tradition is neighborhoods that go all out with decorations for the holidays.  Hastings Ranch in Pasadena is my absolute favorite.  In spite of bumper to bumper traffic, its fun to wind your way up and down the streets admiring how each block has its own theme and is decorated over the top.

What’s your favorite neighborhood tradition?

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Open Studio tour in Inglewood 11/9-10

November 2, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Holidays, People, Seasonal, Shopping


Its that time of year again. Get your art on in Inglewood with their open studio tour.  More than 50 artists will be showing their work at 8 locations within the city of Inglewood.  Of course my absolute must stop destination is for the art of Luke VanHook (painting) and Ginger VanHook (photography, and author).  They are stop #4 on the tour…just to make sure you don’t miss them.

All the details you could want can be found on their website HERE.  To make it even easier there is a FREE SHUTTLE times to the various studios courtesy the city of Inglewood.   Next week will be hopping in Inglewood, join the fun and be prepared for visual over stimulation!

The full press release after the jump Read the rest of this entry →

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Today is Thank an Officer Day

September 21, 2013 in Holidays, Law, Law Enforcement, People

Thank a cop day

Thank a cop day poster, click to embiggen

Who knew they had a special day too…well it is today.  Be nice and thank one, anyone you see.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a lot of good cops over the years, too many to enumerate, certainly more good than weiners.  I hate to admit it, but with most of the tickets I got I deserved, certainly the 2 I didn’t deserve I fought and won.

Hat tip to my friend Tom Le Veque a sergeant at Arcadia PD for sharing the info on the day.  Truthfully he exemplifies what a good cop is and what they do for the community.  Tom aside from all his other duties runs APD’s social media, twitter, facebook and nixle that engages and informs the community on what is going on in the community.

Other good cops I’ve known over the years include Michael Solarez whom I knew through his work with MPD.  Pasadena PD’s Christopher Kirby is another. LAPD’s Ed Brentlinger from the North Hollywood division from when I was in Valley Village is another great one I had the pleasure of knowing and working with. All these men were known by the community they served and enjoyed what they did.

So…don’t screw up today, instead hand out a starbucks card to  your local officer on the beat to thank them for their largely thankless job.

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L.A. County DUI arrests up 43% over last year’s July 4th

July 7, 2013 in Holidays, Law, Law Enforcement

There must be a lot of folks sitting with their heads on their hands going “man did I eff up this time”.  DUI arrests this year are 490 compared to 343 a year ago for the same period.  Thats a lot of sorry folks looking at huge legal bills, fines and some jail time.  What happened?

This from nixle:

“Community: 490+ DUI Arrests So Far in #LACounty: Independence Day Weekend AVOID #DUI Campaign (Multi-Agency Update 3)

Avoid the 100 (policing agencies) Los Angeles County DUI Campaign

The Independence Day Weekend Anti DUI crackdown is reporting DUI arrests from local routine traffic enforcement and special Avoid the 100 DUI deployments in Los Angeles County.

From 12:01 AM Thursday July 4, 2013 through midnight Saturday 6, 2013 officers representing 100 county law enforcement agencies have arrested

490 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (**NOTE: These numbers are only provisional with some agencies yet to report**). Last year during the same time period there were a total of 343 arrests for DUI.

Law enforcement officials are continuing DUI efforts throughout the county and region. DUI arrest data collection will continue through midnight tonight. Additionally, CHP throughout the state have all available officers patrolling freeways and county roads throughout the weekend for their Maximum Enforcement Period.” 

Read the rest of this entry →

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Seriously 286+ Dui’s this weekend and Saturday hasn’t even started

July 6, 2013 in Holidays, Law, Law Enforcement, News

OK  I leave town for a few days and I came back to this nixle message from the L.A. County Sheriff.  Has the city lost its collective mind?  DUI arrests are up 23% over last year and not all agencies in the county have been counted.  Have we forgotten about the designated driver or cab option?  Sheesh.

This from LASD Nixle:

The Independence Day Weekend (Multi-Agency) Anti DUI crackdown is reporting a significant number of DUI arrests from local routine traffic enforcement and special Avoid the 100 DUI deployments in Los Angeles County.

From 12:01 AM Thursday July 4, 2013 through midnight Friday, July 5, 2013, officers representing 100 county law enforcement agencies have arrested 286 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Last year, 233 individuals were arrested during same the 48 hours. (**NOTE: These numbers are only provisional with some agencies yet to report**).

DUI arrest data collection will continue through midnight Sunday July 7, 2013. Law enforcement officials are continuing DUI efforts throughout the county and region. Additionally, CHP throughout the state have all available officers patrolling freeways and county roads throughout the weekend for their Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). Police, Sheriff and the CHP encourage all motorists to help make your community safer: Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.

Avoid programs, named for the number of law enforcement agencies in each county, will also concentrate crackdowns during the 18-Day August/Labor Day period. In recognition that the summer season is among the deadliest time of the year, law enforcement agencies throughout the county will be making every effort to arrest drunk drivers before another life is lost. Read the rest of this entry →

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Happy New Years Eve L.A.

December 31, 2012 in Driving, Holidays, Mass Transit, Seasonal, Social issues, Transportation

Its New Years Eve here in L.A. and I read a startling statistic that there are nationally 25 deaths a day caused by drunk drivers over holiday weekends.  July 4th weekend here in L.A for example had 1,000 DUI arrests.   Please don’t be a stat tonight, rather have a great night and take public transportation.   You can even ride the trains for FREE from 9PM tonight until 2AM tomorrow (New Years Day).

If you drive and find yourself too tanked to drive call AAA if you are a member or not,  you can take advantage of their “Tipsy Tow“.  All you have to do is call them at 1-800-400-4222 and they will pick you AND your car up and tow you up to 7 miles.  Great service that can save you a DUI ticket or worse an accident.

I for one this year will be spending a quiet evening of family game night.  What are your plans?

Happy 2013 in advance.

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Santa visited my ‘hood last night

December 19, 2012 in Entertainment, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Its been going on for as long as my kids were little and I have lived in Monrovia.  Its a great little tradition where MPD and MFD escort Santa and his carolers through the streets of town hitting EVERY neighborhood during the course of 4 nights the week before Christmas.  The Holidays wouldn’t be the same without this wonderful tradition, especially for those with little ones afoot still.

What sort of traditions exist in your pocket of L.A?  Share them in the comments with links to any video or pics you have.