Category Archives: Seasonal

Happy October 1, 31 more til Halloween!

halloweenpt1.jpg It’s time to drag out the spooky stuff and get ready for the big day at the end of the month. Yup, trick or treat time. It’s just about my most favorite holiday around. It was fun as a kid, awesome in college (my alma mater was the state party school so we did it right). My first Halloween here was a let down until my co-workers convinced me to do Weho with them. OMG…another story though.

What’s your neighborhood like in terms of decorating? SoSDoD or is there someone who really goes over the top? Where’s your favorite place to see Halloween decorations?

Better, where is your favorite place for trick or treating? Favorite method? First round of trick or treating here is for the elementary school kids who visit all the shops on Myrtle Avenue in Old Town Monrovia. In my ‘hood the Dad’s take the kidlets about with their goodie ‘punkin, us in costume with a shot glass. (Did I tell you I live on a fun street?).

My neighbor Shane has to start early (like yesterday afternoon) to get all his stuff up in time for the judging in the city run contest. Shane will keep adding bits and buying more to make sure he’s the best. Every year it is a bit more grandios. I can’t wait to see what this year holds in store. I’ll update you on his progress as the month goes by. It could take another 2 weeks before he is done, I’ll show some restraint with the updates. (pic by me, get’s bigger if you rub it with your mouse a bit and toss in a magic spell for good measure).
A bit more after the jump.
Continue reading Happy October 1, 31 more til Halloween!

Give Me, Give Me Wild West

P1010146 On Saturday, the fiance and I were sitting around the house, when I realized we had nowhere to be that weekend. And I remembered that in some book of SoCal getaways, I had read about someplace called Oak Glen that had an apple festival in the fall, and a campground in the vicinity. So we dug out our camping equipment, threw everything in the car, and headed for the 10.

And let me just say, Oak Glen was even more corn-pone Wild West tourist trap than I could have imagined. It had a whole reproduction town, with little scaled-down wooden buildings selling souvenirs, dolls, and potpourri. There were employees in cowboy and cowgirl costumes, including the girls running the pony-go-round. It was like a ramshackle version of Frontierland – only more like a temporary California gold mining town than the permanent settlement that Disney imagined. It was pure post-frontier West, something straight out of the era when the frontier no longer really existed in the lower 48, but America was still obsessed with the West.

Of course, all this meant I thought the whole place was AWESOME. I LOVE Americana. Plus, we got to see a small, non-dangerous fire (above) being put out. And all this was exactly 92 minutes from our doorstep. Who knew that there was so much Americana so close to Southern California? Photo goes to my Flickr photoset for those who want to see more photos of tourist trap awesomeness.

Main Street USA

IMG_12101.JPGThis past Monday was the 16th Annual Memorial Day Parade in little Canoga Park. Wandering up and down the main drag of the old town (Sherman Way at Topanga Canyon, basically), watching the parade pull together, the crowds fill in and the families and friends all together, having fun or yelling at each other or just chillin’–it was amazing. IMG_126521.JPG

Canoga Park is extraordinarily diverse. I think I probably saw individuals representing every corner of the planet here, and for the most part everyone was smiling at each other and opening doors for one another or shuffling aside to make space for each other.

Dads in Sikh garb stood next to dads in Harley t-shirts all video-ing their kids in the drill teams or the color guards. The girls on the drill teams eyed one another’s costumes jealously. The veterans and rednecks and homies alike all gawped at the lowered cars as they bumped their way up and down along the street. Everyone had dogs.

IMG_12711.JPGFor the briefest few hours, this misanthrope found she really, really liked other people, as messy and misled and fucked-up and difficult as they all are. You know? We’re all just doing our best here on this planet. Our best isn’t great, but hey, it sure could be worse. We’re trying.

Here’s the flickr set.

It’s an amazing look at diversity in contemporary America, and the contrast between young and old, idealistic nostalgia and urban grit, rednecks and homies (who really do come together over the car–and bike!–thing, which is cool), innocence and wartime. Lots of children right next to giant machines of death. It makes you wonder–stop and look around–look at everyone laughing and smiling on this sunny breezy day–can we just prioritize this? Can we stop killing each other now? I know it’s not that simple. But days like this make me wish it were.IMG_11831.JPG

Are you Red Flagged?

[doesn’t get much bigger but it’s still fun to click]
All this talk about Red Flag zones and no parking on Red Flag days – do you know if that’s you?

Go check it out!

Get a map by clicking on your district number (or search for your address), and prepare to be surprised. You can also sign up to get a call or an email on restriction days.

According to the site, “the Department of Transportation just completed making 1700 new signs that will be in place by January 1, 2006. ”

Hmmm. There sure aren’t any on my street or in my neighborhood, yet wouldn’t you know it we’re smack in the middle of a red flag zone, and until I checked the website we had no idea. Nothing mailed to us, no notice left, and no signs anywhere.

What a lovely surprise to find my car had been towed with no warning – Wherefore art thou, Brian Humphrey?

What I meant to say was, ” What a lovely surprise it would have been to find my car had been towed.” My car has not been towed. Sorry for any confusion.

99 cent show turns five bucks this year, Markland beat me to my nowannual pimpage of Ken Roht’s fabu “99 cent show” this year, but since the plug got buried in a laundry list of (albeit a good one) of holiday shows and since reader Justin Jorgensen let us know that even Holiday Meister Charles Phoenix gave it a rave and since there’s only one more weekend to catch it, I thought it deserved its own plug.

This year’s iteration–the fifth all-original musical extravaganza in the series–is especially lush and charming. It’s true to its title (Pageant of the 4 Seasons) in that it feels like more of a pastiche than years past. It’s also especially lush musically–the vocal arrangements are nothing short of extraordinary, and a little darker in parts. And of course, the costumes and props, all fashioned from items found on the 99-Cent Only chain’s shelves, are as dazzling as ever. (Nice job on those ‘flowers’, Justin!)

Oh, and speaking of nice jobs–I did Mr. Cutey-face graphic this year, once again. (I told you I was shameless…)

Pageant of the 4 Seasons, A 99-Cent Only Modern Something
Written, directed & choreographed by Ken Roht
Through Dec 17 at the Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly at Alvarado
Tix, times and other details on the Orphean Circus website

Add the LAFD to Your Gift List

In the comments of one of Tammara’s recent posts, frequent commenter and LAFD Public Service Officer Brian Humphrey illuminated the difficult conditions under which the LAFD Public Service Office gets to do it’s work. So, if you’re looking to prove to Santa that you’re not such a selfish bastard afterall, consider helping them, or your local Fire Station, with a little time or money via the Adopt-a-Fire-Station program. The LAFD Public Service Office also has a wish list of things that you can buy on their behalf if you’re so inclined, and if you’ve got design skills they are also looking for somebody to help them update the banner on their homepage. Get crackin’, Grinches!

Petra Haden and Pals, Gift-Slingin’ at Sugarbutterbex, and More

To do this weekend and beyond:


Petra Haden (That Dog, Afoostic Fighters, solo), Lisa Papineau (Air, Big Sur, solo), and Francoise Blound Blound appear with Crooked Cowboy & the Freshwater Indians Monday for free at Mr. T’s Bowl; Spindrift gets drifty with space rockers Tsk Tsk and Seattle boot-gazers Dead Meadow on Saturday; and Sugarbutterbex going beyond pimping your bike into the ever-popular DIY crafter holiday faire field. More info after le jump.
Continue reading Petra Haden and Pals, Gift-Slingin’ at Sugarbutterbex, and More