Miss Derringer

January 20, 2004 at 3:29 pm in Uncategorized

The first time I met Liz McGrath she was at Mr. T’s Bowl, singing so hard with the band Tongue her throat was livid, and bulged like a bullfrog’s. She and her new band, MISS DERRINGER, have just released “King James, Crown Royal and a Colt 45,” described as “a montage of musical styles from rootsy country to folk pop to prom punk… [that] plays like a musical diary of a haunted and hell-bent ’30′s starlet gone wrong.” The label, Sympathy for the Record Industry, is new, too.

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Big Trouble in Little India

January 20, 2004 at 3:51 am in Uncategorized


About half an hour away from Downtown Los Angeles, right off the Imperial Freeway in Artesia is an enclave of eateries, markets, and stores known as Little India. Pioneer Blvd. starts off the freeway as a street dominated by korean businesses, then just two blocks later it morphs into a predominately chinese/vietnamese locale where the allure of fried fish from 99 Ranch Market beckons and Sam Woo’s roast duck almost pulled me off course from coming to my intended destination. Before your eyes realize it, it will be your nose that will inform you that you’ve crossed into Little India. And from the smell of it, the community promises a good meal.

Jay Bharat Restaurant(18701 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, CA 90701) is an Indian sweets and farsans shop, that also serves meals representing a southern Indian palate. The menu was nearly overwhelming, everything reading like a promise for a good time like that found on a high school bathroom wall. Fortunately there are two combinations platters, one offered only on weekends, that seem to include a good array of what their menu has to offer. The Gujarati Thali combo comes with basmati rice, dal (soup), pickled ginger in red pepper paste (which remarkably resembles a kimchee in both taste and appearance), two vegetable curries, kathor, two farsans, a plate of papdam (crisp breads), puri (fried bread), and raita. Emily got the Kathiyawadi Thali combination, which shared many of the same dishes as mine, but instead of the puri, it comes with eat-every-grain-good basmati rice and a couple pieces of unleavened whole wheat bread that has been slathered with the gastronomic glee maker, ghee (clarified butter). At $8.99 for a healthy portion of food, its a reasonably priced meal with an unreasonably delicious effect on your palate. If it wasn’t for the seducing allure of trying out a nearby dive specializing in spiced mutton next time (I could only liken the effect of the odours wafting outside the doors of this restaurant as how blood my smell like to a shark), I’d go back to Jay Bharat on my return visit.

But the eating didn’t stop there. Oh no…we just unbuckled our belts a few notches further and continued on down the boulevard to Bombay Sweets and Snacks where a colourful selection of indian sweets and fried pastries greeted us. Listening to the advice of a sweet, old gentleman who was in there grabbing lunch, we narrowed down our choices to five sweets. In a very froggy, deep accented voice, he recommended a couple of barfi (dense and dry cakes), a very rich and delicious pastry called habshi halwa (reputed to be good for a “man’s performance”), a saffron tart, and a tangle of fried dough coated in honey-sugar that was like a churro gone wild. We were only disappointed we could not stuff ourselves further, since there were milk-dough desserts amusingly called chum chum and gulab jamuns dipped in sweetened rose water that seemed to beg some porntastic mouth on dough action. Next time.

I am pleased to say that I did not have one unwelcome flavour touch my tongue that afternoon. Thanks Little India!

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I Went to SF and All I Got Was This Lousy Food Poisoning

January 19, 2004 at 11:49 pm in Uncategorized

I am taking a momentary pause from vomiting up anything I’ve eaten in the past few days (which hasn’t been much) to just say…oh my god does having food poisoning stink the big one. My friend Tim had it on Saturday while in SF and I thought it was from some shrimp he had and that I was in the clear. Nope! It hit me today like a ton of bricks. Sean did a little internet research and apparently food poisoning can take up to a week to show up…a week! Now I feel REALLY bad that my friend had to go through this. Hopefully I’m on the upswing…

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Default Dads

January 19, 2004 at 8:12 pm in Uncategorized

Amy Alkon points out a piece called Default Dads that Matt Welch just wrote for Reason magazine about some of the paternity / child support laws we have here in California. Unfortunately the article isn’t online yet, but you can pick up the Feb issue at most newsstands and check it out. When I first moved to LA I heard Tom Leykis talking about this issue and sort of assumed he was blowing it out of proportion, turns out he wasn’t.

If you haven’t heard about this before, the way the system is set up here in CA basically works like this — a mother can put any name down on the birth certificate as the father with out any proof or consent. Then, if she decides to claim child support from the father, he’s notified, has 30 days to contest it, and if he doesn’t the state takes that as him saying “OK” and he starts owing money. Obviously this is set up with the best intentions but anyone can see where that’s a little sketchy to begin with. The big problem comes in during the notification process. Sometimes they mail out a letter (to an address provided by the mother), sometimes they just print a notice in the paper. If the man listed as the father moved or never lived at that address in the first place, the letter gets lost in the mail (it’s sent regular, not certified), or didn’t happen to see the paper that day, chances are he won’t be able to contest it within 30 days and after that the states decision is final. The man might not hear about this for years, and when he does, even if he’s never met the mother, and can medically proove he’s not the father of the child, the state doesn’t care and he still has to pay up, and his credit — and life — have probably been wrecked already.

Amy posted this quote:

…Family cases typically hew to the “finality of judgment” principle to prevent disruptions in children’s lives. Or, in the words of former California legistlator Rod Wright, “It ain’t your kid, you can prove it ain’t your kid, and they say, ‘So what?’”

That’s how a man like Taron James could be slapped with a support bill for thousands of dollars from Los Angeles County in 2002, and continue to be barred from using his notary public license, even after producing convincing DNA evidence and notarized testimony from the mother that her 11-year-old son, whom he’s seen exactly once and looks nothing like, is not his child and that she no longer seeks his support. James says his name was placed on the child’s birth certificate without his consent while he was on a Navy tour of duty; then the mother refused to take blood tests for eight years, and he became aware of a default order against him only when the Department Of Motor Vehicles refused to issue him a driver’s license in October 1996. By that time, James had missed all the relvant deadlines, the court was unimpressed with his tale of woe, and he has since coughed up $14,000 in child support via liens and garnishments.

Coming from a family where is was a nightmare every single month to get child support from my actual father, I know how important this money can be sometimes. But the only reason he should have been paying was because he was really my father. If the guy isn’t the dad, he shouldn’t owe $0.01. And worse, is that there’s basically nothing set up to discourage putting down an incorrect name as the father. Child support is a good thing, this system is definitely not. Of course there’s a billion issues that go along with this, but this has to be one of the most messed up things I’ve heard about in a long time. It makes absolutely no sense that this could actually happen, but it does. Right here in LA.

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MINI ROAD TRIP

January 19, 2004 at 4:11 am in Uncategorized

Dear La Jolla, California:

Hi, my name is Jessica and I would just like to make a few friendly suggestions.

LEARN TO DRIVE, YOU PIECE OF CRAP. Please don’t slow to 1.2 mph when making right turns. It’s green. That means you can go. It really throws off us motorists awaiting the chance to make unprotected left turns across from you. Don’t dodge into the front of my car at the last minute without signaling because you forgot to get in the proper lane. Not that signaling would excuse you from making me brake like a maniac while swerving to avoid being hit, but you know, it’d be nice.

Well, I guess that was really just one suggestion, but your Thai food also made me kinda sick. I don’t hate you because I got to see sea lions up close on your beach, but your residents are ridiculously preppie-pop-punk so that makes me want to vomit on your metaphorical face. I will be returning in two weeks, so I hope that you will take these suggestions into consideration and make it snappy. I appreciate your time, thank you.

Until next time,
Jessica Gao

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Leaving Los Angeles

January 18, 2004 at 7:41 pm in Uncategorized

Haven’t posted in a few days because I drove my sorry ass up to San Francisco to see the San Francisco Art International Fair and hang out with my friends Tim and Danielle. I’ll be posting ALL about that on my own site soon and will be sure to let keep you posted…some things I was keeping track of were striped paintings, wire art, facelifts, and bad art (although I lost track of that).

Glad to be back in LA though…it’s a lot warmer here!

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Quake 2

January 17, 2004 at 11:34 am in Uncategorized

Anyone else keep hearing about the predicted big-ass quake in our back yard in the next few months actually starting to take it seriously? What are you doing to prepare, if anything? The thing I’m worrying most about is my big fish tank. BTW, I ripped a bunch of muscles in my arm the other day so typing has been rough, sorry for the slack over here.

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DMV

January 17, 2004 at 8:31 am in Uncategorized

It’s Tuesday, 10:30 AM. I turn into the DMV near USC and drive 3 feet. There’s a dude parked in the middle of the lane. Oh good, there are cars just like his sitting around the whole lot, all waiting for a space. No way I’m dealing with that so I back up, get honked at 3 times for doing it, and try the other lot. Same deal. Why does everyone want the DMV today? Street parking it is, but the only space is a quarter mile away, and there’s a one hour time limit. Do I a) park here and hope my appointment means something and that I’ll be back in less than an hour, or b) brave the terror that is hell-lot, wait my turn, and assume I’ll be in for a full day of anger but not have to pay $40 for an expired meter. Hmm. That lot sucked. I park on the street. T minus one hour. It’s 10:41. It takes seven minutes to get to hell-lot. I MUST leave this place by 11:34 to avoid a ticket. I look at my note as I approach the entrance: “Report to second floor.” The doors automatically open, but the hall is blocked by one thousand people. It smells like ass. I weave through, trying to find the stairs. Maybe the second floor is a beautiful oasis with comfortable seats and English television for while you wait. Nope. There is one room on the second floor that could hold 100 people but instead there are 300. I wait in the one line to check in with the one guy. “I have an appointment.” Dude hands me a ticket. F-047. There are two queues…G and F. F are appointments, G are “Gee, I wish I had an appointment.” It’s 10:51. I stand there and wait for my turn to pay $24 and have a mandatory thumb print because I couldn’t send in my renewal letter. 11:04. For every F called there are six or seven G’s. 11:18. I start to think I’m not going to make it. How could the rest of this process only take 14 minutes? Finally I’m called. While I’m at the window, a dude asks my teller if he can pay her to skip the line. She does a sort of grunt/laugh and the man walks off. I get my renewal thing and the stupid thumb print which makes me think I’ll ultimately lose some civil liberty, and I’m out by 11:30. Nice. The moral of the story is that you MUST use the automatic mail renewal thing.

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by la_xeni

I’m an actor who wants to be a director who blogs

January 14, 2004 at 12:03 pm in Uncategorized

Recent L.A. transplant Jason Calacanis launches yet another new new thing: www.bloggingsundance.com, sponsored by Sundance. Possibly the largest professional blog sponsorship to date? Site features interviews with directors, live buzz from Park City, and, if I know Jason, inevitable party reports.

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Catherine Opie – Surf Riders

January 13, 2004 at 10:12 pm in Uncategorized

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the shows that opened last Saturday was Catherine Opie at Regen Projects. I haven’t seen it yet but I plan on going next week when the gallery is closed for installation but, in the meantime, here is a link to an article I received today from my local Van Buren Place Assocation (it’s the local business and resident news for the area of downtown sixspace is in). Anyway, it’s not really all that well-written but it was informative to know that Catherine Opie lives in West Adams, again where the gallery is, not to mention a section of town that has incredibly gorgeous Victorian homes.

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Add Your Own

January 13, 2004 at 9:51 pm in Uncategorized

LA Blogs points out a cool new site, Add Your Own which is a user driven restaurants guide. It’s like a Wiki in that anyone can edit anything, which is great for something like this. People can post about feed they like, and other people can follow up with their opinions. They cover other cities to, but who really cares about that?

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Yummy Sushi

January 13, 2004 at 1:54 pm in Uncategorized

If you’re in the neighborhood, EDO Sushi 2 has a great menu. I ain’t no restaurant critic, but they’ve yet to disappoint. Their salmon sashimi isn’t as good as what’s served at Enshino, but… that’s to be expected.

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by la_bill

Art like a knife…

January 12, 2004 at 10:33 pm in Uncategorized

Going to an art show early meant avoiding most of the hipsters and scensters who show up to drink and mingle with their “friends” that they haven’t seen since, oh the last art show. But it also meant a chance to see yoshitomo nara and have him sign and draw (!) inside one of the books he was selling. Known for his mad little girls done in poppy anime undertone style, nara had three rooms of art. His installation was a clint eastwood movie.

The good: One room contained 6′ by 6′ paintings that were surprisingly very very* good because most of the stuff I had previously seen were mostly smaller pieces and going big is a completely different genre. No detail was lost and in fact gained as pupils and lips contained minute marks that clarified the painting even standing 15 feet away. Unfortunately, the 20000 was left in my other pants pocket.

The bad: And apparently nara takes photos too. Probably uses a decent camera Which is all nice and fine but really, what made them intrisically interesting – because there were pictures of little kids, japanese landscapes and other peoples of the world? Or was it only because they were taken by nara. My grandmother could snap a lot of kodaks too and I’m fairly certain that something cool will turn out. Oddly enough, his photo book is called, “the good, the bad, the average…the unique”. Sure.

The mediocre: There was a not so secret room that had colored drawings and sketches that nara originally want hung in the main gallery. But we saw them and there’s a reason why these are in the back. They’re only ok. Although they were done last year, and maybe he was exploring new territory with style (they almost looked like copies by a bad plagerist or stuff done way early in his career), content (girls faces in mountains) or medium (the back of different size envelopes which not only was pretty cool, was cheaper than gesso canvas).

On a side note, he wasn’t doing any drawings in personal sketch books – probably due to ebay sellers. Which of course wouldn’t be so prevalent if he didn’t tear random shit out of his sketch book and sell them for thousands of dollars.

*Also, I will never be a very very good journalist because I like to use certain words to build up word count.

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The Only Quake I Like Is One with a BFG

January 12, 2004 at 11:22 am in Uncategorized

This is an excerpt from a Slashdot post about the prediction of a large earthquake near Los Angeles by September this year. Considering Los Angeles is due for a big one, earthquake prediction months in advance would be godsend.

“A UCLA seismologist named Vladimir Keilis-Borok claims earthquakes can be predicted months in advance. In the article at the University of California Newswire, he claims that the “team including experts of pattern recognition, geodynamics, seismology, chaos theory, statistical physics and public safety … has developed algorithms to detect precursory earthquake patterns.” It also says “the team’s current predictions have not missed any earthquake, and have had its two most recent ones come to pass.” They predict “an earthquake of at least magnitude 6.4 by Sept. 5, 2004, in a region that includes the southeastern portion of the Mojave Desert, and an area south of it.” We’ll see if they’re right.”

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Yummy Indian

January 11, 2004 at 3:54 pm in Uncategorized

We hit the Elecrtic Lotus last night; you’re advised to do the same. Arguably, the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.

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