Category Archives: Rants

South Central Farm Eviction Notice

According to their blog, the South Central Farm received their eviction notice on March 1st, giving them until March 6th to get off the Farm. If this eviction happens, and the Farm is closed, it will be an absolute travesty.

There’s a rally on the 18th at the Farm that I’m looking for more details on, and there was an action this morning at City Hall as well. Additionally, you can send angry letters and emails to the mayor and city councilpeople, and you can donate at the site to the SoCentral Farmers legal defense funds.

Some people just don’t appreciate a good documentary.

The thing about Netflix is that not only is it totally awesome (I use it instead of television), but those red envelopes are like a beacon to anyone around, they scream “HEY! Lookit me! I’ve get DVDs in the mail, like, ALL THE TIME!” A friend of mine in Echo Park has been having some theft issues as of late. He’s been pretty annoyed by it but ultimately amused as he keeps telling me that they’re all “movies that ‘normal people’ wouldn’t want to watch.” Well, whoever was poaching his movies has apparently wised up. My friend found this in his mailbox yesterday:

netflix.jpg

Now the Mysterious Netflix-Stealer Who Steals at Midnight has decided to start previewing the movies to see if they were movies “normal people” would want to watch. He clearly didn’t want to watch the Frontline documentary ‘Ghosts of Rwanda.’ Some people just don’t care about learning. Has anyone else had any trouble with Netflix discs, or anything else for that matter, disappearing from their mailboxes?

Where’d I Leave That Ark?

I know that there’s thousands of people out there in Los Angeles right now who are smugly chiding their co-workers, friends and family for even noticing that it’s raining. I’m one of them. I can’t mutter about snow like the East Coasters or Midwesterners, but I am from a real rainforest. In fact, I’m getting a little nostalgic right now, seeing it all gloomy and dark and rainy out there.

Still, because we’re not used to rain here, I don’t think it’s overreacting to let people know that the LAFD blog has an entry up on storm preparedness. And to ask people to remember that the streets are slippery today, and many people drive like worse jerks than usual in this stuff. Please be careful.

Customer Service

I’ve come to have fairly low expectations, but sometimes a store will surpass them in ways I hadn’t imagined.

On Friday I ordered a sewing machine at sears.com. It was a slightly complex order as I was paying with my father’s credit card because it was a gift from him (he always lets me pick out my own, which I love). I got through checkout with no problems, selecting in-store pickup. After the sale was completed and the card charged, there was a note about bringing the credit card to the store for pickup. Well, crap, I thought. As there was absolutely no option given anywhere on the site-or in my confirmation email-to change the shipping options, I decided to go to the store and see what happened.
Continue reading Customer Service

In case you were wondering, silverlake coffee still sucks

coffee editsI’ve written more than a few times about how much I used to like Silverlake Coffee over on Glendale Blvd. Last summer Caryn blogged about how it was going down hill and I haven’t been back since. Yesterday morning I decided to give it another shot – boy was that ever a mistake.

When I walked in the first thing I noticed was how nice the place looked. I mean, it looked really nice. New tables, new lights, someone was not paying attention to all the details. Not that they weren’t before, but someone had clearly gone out of their way to spiffy the place up. As I got up to the counter I heard the last half of a conversation between the two people employees. The guy was explaining to the girl how he’d blocked a customer from their wireless network.
Continue reading In case you were wondering, silverlake coffee still sucks

Diamond Dave or El Douchemaster?

10425570.jpgWhat’s up with both of Howard Stern’s replacements on FM being the two worst talk radio hosts ever? I’m not sure who I’d rather get stuck listening to. The east coast gets one of my favorite rock stars ever, David Lee Roth. While the west coast gets the world’s luckiest frat guy, Adam Carolla. I guess DLR wins this special Olympics cuz at least he was in Van Halen, knows how to rock and didn’t get replaced by the biggest douche bag walking the earth, Steve-O (yeah, Steve-O is on Love Line now). But that ain’t saying much, cuz as much as I think the dude was rad on stage doing head-high jump kicks, he sucks shit on the radio (although his interview with Kevin Federline is kind of amazing, but then again how couldn’t it be). You know I’m gonna be front and center when Halen (with Diamond Dave) play Los Angeles. Either way, this rain blows.

Diminished Service is our Business

Name any bank and I can produce at least one person with a horror story about why they will never bank there. For me that bank is Bank of America, but this story is about the bank I like– Wells Fargo.

I opened my account there the day BofA bought my beloved Security Pacific (yeah I’m old), and with very few exceptions the stagecoach has provided me with fine service.

In addition to being old, I’m also old fashioned. When I write a check, I want to see it returned to me in the envelope with my bank statement. For years I’ve had to pay Wells Fargo $2.50 a month for the “privilege” of getting my own checks back: Apparently they prefer to store them electronically and then destroy them.

Well, I want them and have no problem paying for them (although I do wonder what exactly I’m paying for).

All was well with me and Henry Wells until about two months ago, when my statement arrived with pages of copies of checks, but no checks. I’m right on top of my finances, so two months later (when I noticed) I got mightily pissed off about this and went into the bank to see what’s what.

No more checks is what’s what. No matter how you plead, no matter what you pay, you ain’t never seein’ dem checkies again once they leave you.

I’m wondering if this policy is universal to all banks now that we are in the Modern Age (HEY WHERE’S MY DAMN JET PACK?) or if this is peculiar to Wells Fargo.

After all these years I would hate the thought of changing banks, but this is pretty important to me – I might consider it….

SBC DSL Outage

bla-wiretangle.jpgWhy is it when I have a problem with my power or hosting company I have no problem finding out why?

If my website is down, I can check some offsite status blog or I can call up their 1-800 number and get a recording. And when I call the power company and give them my address, they can confirm not only that my power is out, but that they’re working on it.

Why isn’t DSL like that? How is it when you call up SBC for the third time to ask about the DSL outage, they keep making you check your cables, router and crap? Why can’t they just look at your phone number and check it against some outage bulletin and say that they’re aware of the problem and give you an ETA?

I don’t know about anyone else in SoCal, but my DSL was out for most of yesterday … but the neighbor’s wasn’t. But SBC said that there was a widespread outage because of some router failure.

Anyone have similar problems with Cable broadband?

Paper or Plastic?

I am a firm believer that there is a correct way to bag my groceries. Generally speaking, the cashiers and baggers at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s do a pretty good job, though they tend to overload the bags a bit (hello, I’m small and pregnant and can’t carry this!).

I only go to regular grocery stores under the most severe of conditions. Usually if we need something at rush hour (when parking at TJ’s is impossible) or late at night.

Today I needed some things because my poor husband is sick, sick, sick. Chicken and dumplings. Hot toddy. Needed bourbon and flour. So, Ralphs. 3rd and La Brea. 5:00 in the afternoon. The store was surprisingly not crowded, all things considered. I was tickled pink when two separate men asked me for help in the baking aisle – though I was somewhat irritated that I had no idea how to help them (some domestic goddess, me). There was only one person ahead of me in line.

But.

The cashier asked, “Paper or plastic?”

I answered, “Paper.”

She gave me paper-in-plastic, which is, the last time I checked, paper and plastic and therefore not what I asked for.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. I didn’t raise a fuss because the customer behind me had a full cart and I was hungry, but I kind of wish I had.

If I may go all hippie-environmentalist for a minute, paper is from a renewable source and plastic is not.

Also, paper bags are easier to carry and don’t fall over and spill my groceries all over the back of my car.

Why do stores do this? Is it the bagger’s choice or part of training? Should I raise a fuss or just deal with it as part of the package of shopping at Ralphs?

Agroculture: Putting The Ass In Grass

pampas.jpgThe proper common name for the popular plant pictured at right is pampas grass, but I like to call it pompous grass. I also like to moan and groan about what it truly is: dastardly invasive.

Sure it’s eye-catching and its tall plumage can bring dramatic flair to cosmetically-enhanced landscapes such as the one at this home that I passed by this morning up near the summit of Mount Maltman south of Sunset in Silver Lake, but the owner of this property and anyone else out there who’s allowed this malignant South American space invader to be planted is doing a horticultural injustice to the indigenous plant life, which is a nice way of saying they suck.

Pampas grass may not be as prevalent around the hills and dales of the eastside as another aggressive colonizer/displacer known as North African fountain grass (disclosure: there’s a stand of that stuff in our front yard, which I’ve so-far been unsuccessful in trying to talk my wife into letting me remove), but I invite you to take a look around the coastal bluffs and cliffsides next time you might be heading up or down any extended stretch of PCH or Highway 1. The place is lousy with the pampas grass, and what’s most disturbing is that it’s taken over io thoroughly in only the last couple decades ‚Äî primarily because people plop it into their yards without concern for its success at spreading.

There are stacks of websites out there promoting pampas and fountain grasses for their ornamental properties and drought resistance with nary even a mention that the suckers could practically colonize the moon. Since they’re not illegal or restricted around here, there’s nothing to keep your uninformed or unconcerned neighbor from planting some and subsequently sending them your way sooner or later.

Von’s Club

To the young man waiting behind me in the express lane at the Von’s at Sunset and Hillhurst: Thank you. I know I held you up, ruining the concept of “express” checkout. I filled out that Clubcard application as fast as I could. It saved me eight bucks and I really appreciate how patient you were. It’s nice to know there are some kind people out there.

To the drivers between my house and said Von’s: I can’t remember the b.la policy on profanity, so just trust me when I say I’ve got lots for you. Bitches. I just wanted to buy some damn juice without fearing for my life and my car the whole drive there.

To Von’s: What kind of racket are you running? Eight bucks was almost 25% of my grocery total.

Not Interested!

To the guy who would not leave me alone last night and continued to try to pick me up after I told him I was waiting for the boyfriend, I know it must be hard for you to take, but I’m not actually interested in you! I can’t believe you continued to try to talk to me after I point blank told you I was not interested in having a conversation with you. Even after that you continued to ask me what kind of food I like, so you would know just in case you took me to dinner. I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I am so not going to dinner with you. What kind of delusional world are you living in? And I don’t care if you just got into law school and were a stock broker. And yes, I will lie to you and tell you I dropped out of high school just to attempt to get a rise and get you to LEAVE ME ALONE. But no, you just did not get the hint. So, take your martini and shove off already. Sheesh.

“Give Me Your Money You Thieving Bastards!”

I just have to make a quick post to say how glad I am that I don’t have to listen to Ruth Seymour berating me to join KCRW anymore. Not that I mind the fund-raising drive. I actually listen to it all week and even enjoy some of the banter between a few of the hosts. Especially Warren Olney. But Ruth Seymour’s segments drive me nuts and, like a lot of people…like most people even, I could do without hearing her voice ever again.

For the record, I waited until the very last minute, pledged $50 and got an Arctic Monkeys CD. I only heard one premium all week that I was remotely interested in, and I turned on radio‚Äîafter three straight days of listening all day‚Äîjust in time to hear them announce that they were all gone. Maybe I’ll win a Saab convertible.