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Don’t Forget: Travel Safely (and for Free) This Holiday Season!

December 22, 2011 in Holidays, LA, Mass Transit, Transportation

sleigh picture

Metro will offer free fare rates on the Eves of both Christmas and New Years. Here is some information from the press release, as found at Metro’s The Source blog:

The free fare program will be in effect between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on the nights and early mornings hours of December 24-25 and December 31-January 1.

Patrons boarding a Metro Bus, including the Metro Orange Line, or the Metro Red, Purple, Blue, Green or Gold rail lines during the hours designated will receive a free ride to their destination.

Have fun; be safe. Happy Holidays!

Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: The Library

December 21, 2011 in Holidays, Seasonal, Social issues

This is not the first time I’ve written here about supporting your local library, nor will it be the last.  I say this because this post might sound a little repetitive now, and it really will be a grand day when we all can move on to other things because this problem has been solved, its coffers full.  But it’s unsolved and the treasure chest remains empty and looted, so here, again, is just another two cents about why it is you should care about the continued existence of local institutions that make you smarter with or without you knowing it.  Or, at the very least, keep you entertained.

One of the best gifts I ever received for Christmas was a book.  The Missing Piece, specifically.  I first read at the library when I was a kid, the whole thing, in the children’s section, S aisle.  I checked it out, then again, then again again, so many times that my mom eventually just got it for me for Christmas.  That book made my soul smarter, and I likely wouldn’t have read it otherwise.  Certainly not at the bookstore – partly because we didn’t go to bookstores very often, and partly because I was afraid of new books.  Too new.  Too nice.  We had nice things, but not very often new things.  So, the old, used ones in the library were more approachable.  I read those.  Everyone read those.

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Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: Five Acres

December 19, 2011 in Blogging (in) LA, Events, Holidays, Seasonal, Social issues

5 acres logo

Five Acres is a child services organization in Altadena that specializes in helping abused kids.  It started in 1888 as an orphanage for Los Angeles County and today has grown to include full service to families where child abuse and neglect is an issue.  They have been creamed with the loss of government and private grants as the economy has tanked yet the kids needs has not changed.  They are in need of financial assistance now more than ever.

I apologize for the late notice but they are in need of help with their “Holidays and Family Angels” program.  They have a deadline of today to help if you can.  What they need is volunteers to adopt a family of 2-10 members and provide them with Holiday gifts.  If you can spare the extra right now this is a great way to bring a little joy to the season for a family.  More information can be had on this program by contacting Danielle Barr at 626-798-6793 ext 2250 or emailing her at [email protected]

For more information visit their web. Other contact information on the group: Five Acres – The Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society of Los Angeles County,760 W Mountain View St.Altadena,CA 91001, (626) 798-6793

Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: Occupy L.A. and the Occupy Movement

December 17, 2011 in Holidays, Politics, Seasonal, Social issues

Occupy Venice

This Christmas, amid all my gift-giving, I’m thinking of the Occupy protesters, who have been out there for up to three months, fighting for the rights of regular folks like you and me. That’s why I’m highlighting the Occupy movement for this Blogging Los Angeles series on holiday giving.

In the Los Angeles area, we have Occupy Los Angeles, one of the largest Occupy protests in the U.S. (Note: the LAPD evicted the Occupy L.A. protesters from their encampment a couple of weeks ago, but, as their website indicates, the protesters are holding many daytime and evening assemblies). Occupy L.A.’s website has a Donate” section, where they ask for cash or other supplies.

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Blogging.LA Holiday Living: Cri-Help Treatment Centers

December 16, 2011 in Holidays, LA, Social issues

This post is part of our Blogging.LA Holiday Giving series.

The holidays, for many, can be a time to excuse a bit more indulgence than usual. A few extra drinks at the office Christmas party, perhaps. But then, most offices have that guy or that gal—you know the one—who takes it to another level. Slurring, stumbling, making inappropriate comments and feeling like a total asshole upon waking up coming to the next morning. Or maybe it’s the one who spends an inordinate amount of time in the restroom, talking like Charlie Sheen when they finally emerge. Winning! Read the rest of this entry →

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Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: Foothill Unity Center

December 15, 2011 in Events, Holidays, Seasonal, Social issues

Serving families in need in the SGV is the Foothill Unity Center.  They are in need of more help than ever due to the ever increasing demands on them as a resource for families in distress.  Over Thanksgiving they served over 2,000 families up from some 1,600 a year ago.  Things aren’t getting better and they need all the help they can get for this Holiday Season.

They have a nifty page on what they need right now to get ready for Christmas.  They need food items.  They need gifts for kids.  They need to have volunteers to help with the distribution.  That is 3 ways to help them out, not including the constant need for cash donations.

If you have someone on your list that has everything, consider making a gift to the Foothill Unity Center in their name this Holiday Season.

For more complete information on the Foothill Unity Center visit their web site.

Monrovia Center: 415 W. Chestnut Ave., Monrovia 91016 Phone: (626) 358-3486 / Fax: (626) 358-8224 Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Pasadena Center: 191 N. Oak Ave., Pasadena 91107 Phone: (626) 584-7420 / Fax: (626) 584-7422 Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: FixNation

December 14, 2011 in Holidays, LA, Pets

I was not a cat person.

I didn’t like cats. My family always had dogs. Dogs were congenial, enthusiastic, stoked. Cats were diffident, seemed to not form attachments, and were generally a pain in the ass with zero ROI.

Then I moved into the Little House In Canoga Park.

Ok, so this little house had a bunch of feral cats living around it. Scads of ‘em. Everywhere! The place was filthy with cats! They were all terrified of me. The house was surrounded by trees and undergrowth, and the cats ran and hid under bushes, amidst vines, and in the crawl space under the Little House. I was determined to not become attached to them.

That endeavor did not succeed.

I began feeding the cats.  They warmed up to me. They curled around my feet and purred. They licked my arm when I petted them. My heart melted. I started to see how many little ones would show up, be cute, then…disappear. I tried not to think about what became of those kittens.

I had to try to get these cats all spayed and neutered, but how? Vets charge a lot for that. My search led me to FixNation, a nonprofit that offers free spay and neuter services for homeless cats. Slowly, over the course of about two years, I got all the cats trapped, taken to FixNation where they were sterilized and vaccinated, and then released them again. They mellowed out. They became cool cats. They chilled, lounged and rolled around adorably. Distinct personalities could be detected. They snuggled up to one another–I’d always thought cats were loners! Not these guys. They were friends. They were a pack. Team Meow.

It’s great that these guys are all doing so well, with me looking after them, but if they’d kept reproducing, the resultant kittens would NOT be doing well. And they’re NOT doing well all over the city. It’s awful. But FixNation is leading the charge to prevent the uncontrolled breeding.  Their mission is to reduce the population of homeless cats and kittens in Los Angeles by sterilizing as many as possible. To date, FixNation has spayed and neutered over 65,000 cats.

I know that there’s great suffering all over, in our communities. Homelessness and poverty are becoming ever more evident. And we all could stand to help out our fellow man. But it’s in the way we treat those who are small, who are relatively powerless, that grace is found. All creatures great and small, we should be responsible stewards of them all.

One donation of $40 neuters one male cat. You improve the quality of his life, and prevent the needless suffering of untold others. Thank you to FixNation for doing this work.

Two Days, Two Holiday Boat Parades

December 7, 2011 in Events, Holidays, Seasonal, West Side

Boat Channel

If you’re an L.A. lover of the life aquatic, you’re in luck: this weekend, we’ve got two boat parades in a row.

First up, on Saturday, December 10, is the Marina Holiday Boat Parade at the Boat Channel in Marina del Rey. The boat parade, where the vessels are decked out in lit holiday splendor, begins at 6 p.m., preceded by a fireworks show at 5:55, which some people may be eager to see after the annual July 4 fireworks display was canceled due to budget cuts. There will be judging in various categories for the boats. See the first link above for all details.

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Midnight Ridazz 6th-Annual All-City Toy Ride Is This Friday

December 5, 2011 in Biking in LA, Events, Holidays

It’s not every Friday night of the year I dress up in an electric santa suit and go biking around Los Angeles  — just this one upcoming Friday night for the Midnight Ridazz 6th-Annual All-City Toy Ride.

This yearly convergence of multiple rides starting at various points around the greater Los Angeles area will bring hundreds  of toy-bearing cyclists together December 9 at 10 p.m. at the historic Plaza de Los Angeles gazebo to donate their gifts to The Alliance for Children’s Rights a worthy organization serving children in need.

All participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy valued at $5-$25. The celebration will then continue after the toy collection with a ride through downtown that will end up at what I’m feeling will be the most kick ass after-party in the history of All-City Toy Rides, where there will be delicious foods, drinks, musics and funs.

The satellite rides to Olvera Street that are presently organized are as follows, so find the one nearest you and get yourself some of the most unique holiday spirit to be found in town (with or without an electric santa suit):

IMPORTANT: The post-ride party will have a guest list and you won’t be able to get in if you don’t RSVP, so if you’re coming do so either through the All-City Toy Ride’s Facebook page or via email at [email protected]

ICME: Graffiti-esque Marketing in Hollywood

November 7, 2011 in Halloween, Hollywood

Greatness Doesn't Ask Permission graffiti

Driving up Cahuenga in Hollywood the other evening, my compadres and I spotted this odd-looking house strewn with a variety of dummies, some of them holding cans of spray paint. While it was still technically the week of Halloween, my feeling was that we were well into the month of November, so Halloween should be over and done with already. (more pics after the jump) Read the rest of this entry →

No 4th of July Fireworks for Marina del Rey

June 20, 2011 in Entertainment, Events, Holidays, Seasonal, West Side

Marina del Rey 4th of July

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors (see top link under “News and Press Releases”), “[t]here will be no fireworks display this year in Marina del Rey in celebration of Independence Day on Monday, July 4, 2011 due to budget curtailments.” That has got to be a big disappointment not just to locals who enjoy the big fireworks show from the Marina Boat Channel, Burton Chace Park, Venice Beach, and Playa del Rey, but also to many other Angelenos who braved the local driving and parking nightmares in previous years to see it too.

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June 3, 2011 in Donut Summit 2011, Events, Food & Drink, Holidays, LA

Back by very popular demand, blogging.LA is proud to announce the 2011 Donut Summit, the sequel to last summer’s showdown, from which Glendora’s Donut Man emerged with the much-coveted title of Donut King!  Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 31, and join us for another battle for the Los Angeles Donut Crown!  Check back next week for more details.

And today, not coincidentally, is National Donut Day!  I suggest you pre-game for the Donut Summit with a donut or twelve from your favorite donut establishment.  Or check out some of the extra special Donut Day offerings that some local eateries have on the menu just for today:

BLD, at 7450 Beverly Blvd., is offering a three donut flight that includes a blueberry ricotta donut with maple syrup, a banana cream pie donut, and a pulled pork donut.  (via LA Weekly)

The Buttermilk Truck has donuts on offer this week in conjunction with the Geffen Playhouse’s new show, Superior Donuts.  They’ll be in front of the Geffen in Westwood from 11:30-2:00 today, with donuts served up by members of the cast.  You can follow the Buttermilk Truck on twitter.

This year is actually the 73rd National Donut Day, believe it or not.  It was started by the Salvation Army to honor veterans after World War I, and more specifically to honor “lassies,” who were female volunteers who provided piping hot donuts to American troops during the war.  Many local donut shops are accepting donating part of today’s proceeds to the Salvation Army.  A list of participating LA donut shops is available here.

If you’ve got any favorite spots to hit for National Donut Day, let us know in the comments!  And don’t forget to join us on July 31st for the Ultimate Donut Showdown!!!

My Mother, Let Me Tell You About My Mother…

May 6, 2011 in Holidays, Movies

Mommie Dearest

Yes, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, or as some of us like to think of it, Avoid Brunch Restaurants As If Your Life Depended On It Day. My fellow bloggers have helped you figure out where to shop for your momma and where to take her out. I’m here to let the dysfunctional family set know the Egyptian Theater has planned a Sunday evening just for us. In the programming equivalent of scheduling My Bloody Valentine on February 14th, the Egyptian is screening Mommie Dearest at 7:30 Sunday night. You’ll never look at a wire hanger the same again. See you there.

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LA Celebrates 420 Day!

April 20, 2011 in Announcements, Holidays, Social issues

Yes kids, it’s that day again. April 20th. The day cannabis imbibers all over the world celebrate the new ‘Cannabis Culture’ that is sweeping through our nation.

From it’s humble beginnings back in the 70’s, the date of April 20th has grown into a world wide holiday to celebrate all that’s good about Cannabis. It’s reputed that 420 was the time and secret code that a group of high school stoners in Pt. Reyes, CA used to plan meet-ups to search of a secret cache of marijuana growing on the coast. They never found it, but now, all over the world cannabis lovers use the day and number to celebrate their love for the miraculous qualities of their beloved Marijuana.

Here in Los Angeles, a number of dispensaries are celebrating with heavy discounts on products, free food and lots of samples.
In Hollywood, one of the biggest and best collectives in town, ‘Kushmart’ on Selma, just past Cahuenga, is having a huge raffle all day and the prize is a 5 oz of several of their top shelf meds. Wow! Can’t beat that for gratitude and support of their patients! They are also giving lots of meds out at 50% off. If you check them out, don’t miss the Ganja Goddess Brownies and Gingerbread. They are seriously the bomb. Not to be missed and famous for their healing strength and amazing yummy taste!
Starbudz on Lankershim in Noho, is another collective that has great meds and is offering specials for 420. Go in and ask about their 420 specials and Angela will hook you up.

Anyway, if you’re a medical marijuana patient, you can find deals galore just about anywhere in Los Angeles today. Luckily, we live in one of the most patient friendly cities in the world!

Happy bunny weekend!

April 19, 2011 in Entertainment, Events, Holidays

Hey, Easter is coming! And we all know what that means: FUZZY BUNNIES. If you are excited about the impending onslaught of cuteness, here are some ways that you can treat yourself to a hopping (oh, admit it, the bad puns, you love them!) bunny-themed Easter weekend!

1. Forget the lions and tigers and bears, the LA Zoo is hosting Big Bunny’s Spring Fling, Friday through Sunday, with bunny face painting, bunny ear making, and lots of real live bunnies. But most important of all, their website says there will be FREE PEEPS. Oh, happy day! (April 22, 23, and 24 at the LA Zoo. More info available here.)

2. At Olvera Street, you can bring your pets for the annual Blessing of the Animals, which is a charming tradition that moves even my largely agnostic heart. And while this isn’t bunny-specific, I imagine there will be some bunnies in attendance, or, if photos from past events are any indication, at least some puppies in bunny clothing. (Saturday, April 23, 12pm-5pm, El Pueblo Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. More info available here.)

(More bunny rabbit fun after the jump!)

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