The Best News in the History of the World

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Is is me or is television actually getting better? I mean, there’s Alias (bien sur) and all the HBO shows but there are a new batch of projects that are so good, it’s actually making me consider getting cable. LOST is out of this world amazing and, say what you will, Desperate Housewives rocks my socks. So what could be better than this? Well, my friends, that would be a new show developed, written, and starting Chris Elliot…

In the still-untitled project, Elliott will star as a father of two daughters, one of whom is a driven aspiring pop singer.

I’m hoping that it has the enough of the silliness of Get a Life and the god-like Cabin Boy with perhaps a little something else to make it stay on the air longer. But Chris Elliot is a genious – if he and Will Ferrell did a show together, I just might die.

via Defamer.

Notes from the Punisher

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A couple of announcements regarding the site:

1. blogging.la has now completed our 20,000th pitcher of Lemonade, so please let us know if you see any lingering problems, particularly with our pee. The writers of the site are also living in a new house, with a dedicated server, so hopefully that will result in better performance and speed of which we can consume Lemonade. If you are noticing strange colored pee, a couple of glasses of something not so citrusy should resolve it.

2. Not to spank our own monkies, but blogging.la now consumes more lemonade than any other website on the whole damn interweb. By a longshot! We can’t thank our server enough- and we can’t wait to show you all the new color of our pee over the next couple of months. Come on back, y’all! (The lemonade data from our friends at eBay is courtesy of their moms.)

Talk to you soon!

Man And Superman

reeve.jpgI remember him in 1978 night-flying across the silver screen with Margot Kidder on one arm and the whole world on the other. I remember him falling in 1995 never to rise again, and a year later I remember him surprising the world with his strength and courage and resilience at the Academy Awards appearing alone on the stage in his wheelchair. Delivering a tribute to films that examine social issues, he urged his peers and the world to continue to take risks and tackle them. “There is no challenge artistic or otherwise that we can’t meet,” he said. I remember the ovations he got that night. I remember him with Barbara Walters on television a few years later, breathing on his own when everyone said he wouldn’t ever again be able to do so. Between breaths he told Walters that he never wavered in his belief he would walk again, and said he had a hard time tolerating anyone who accepted obstacles instead of overcoming them ó especially people who could do the little things that were now monumental to him. Like walking. And holding someone’s hand. And breathing.

Looking below the fold of the front page of today’s L.A. Times, his name and picture were at the bottom and I remembered that whenever someone of note appears in the “Inside” box there it usually means we’ve lost them. I dropped the paper like a hot potato, as if that could somehow make him not dead. It didn’t work. He’s gone, of cardiac arrest at 52. Rest in peace, Christopher Reeve. You are my hero and an inspiration to us all.

Parking Tips

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Victoria Chiarello gives some affordable and easy-access parking tips on today’s desire Los Angeles. It’s a subject I find to be really crucial wherever you live – hell, parking is one of the reasons why I left Chicago! I find that there are plenty of parking options in LA and even if there aren’t, valet is super cheap here. I’m still giddy when it only costs $4 to valet…FOUR DOLLARS! Here are some of my own suggestions…

– Melrose/Fairfax: the Grove is around $2 to park for a few hours and the Beverly Center is $1 for the same. (Side note: Glendale Galleria is free, free, free).

– Downtown: downtown can be tricky but here’s what I’ve learned…there is street parking, you just have to find it. $5 to park in an attended lot so you don’t have to drive around is worth it. Valet parking at the Biltmore for the bar is only $3. If all that fails, just go visit sixspace – there’s plenty of parking there.

-Beverly Hills: I hear that the valet at Neiman Marcus is affordable – and if you treat them right (as one of my friends did) they comp you. Oh yeah.

Blue

With the screaming joy of Saturday’s epic game still echoing in Chavez Ravine, reality began to descend like a marine layer over the city. Southern California’s baseball hopes came down appropriately to two innings by all-star pitcher Eric Gagne. Could he hold the Cardinals off long enough while the Dodgers, the comeback kids of 2004, somehow conjured up one more improbable victory? After the nigh-on spiritual lovefest of Jose Lima’s shutout on Saturday, giving the boys in blue their first won playoff game since 1988 and one more chance on the edge of elimination, would it all end tonight?

Gagne, quite possibly the finest closing pitcher in recent memory, smothered the Cardinals in the 8th inning. Now it was the offense’s turn.

The largest crowd ever to see a game at Dodger Stadium groaned as frequent pinch hitter and hero Robin Ventura grounded out on the first pitch. Cesar Izturis took the count to 3-2 before racing to first for a single. Thundersticks pounded hopefully as Jason Werth, who hit a homer his first at bat, came to the plate, only to strikeout quickly. Two outs. The Cardinals substituted pitchers to bring a lefty against lefty Steve Finley. But all too soon, Finley popped up to end the inning.

Top of the ninth, and two outs via a double play, then a third with a fly out. Due up, the heart of the Dodger order in more ways than one: Adrian Beltre, Shawn Green, Milton Bradley. Three batters and half an inning stood between the team and the end of the season….
Continue reading Blue

Devil Dog Ranch Puppy Class

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This morning I started my six week “Basic Manners” training classes with my new puppy Quint. It’s been a year since we took our older dog Lebowski to the very same class (see picture) and I’m just thrilled at doing it all over again. It’s the only thing that will make me get up early on a Sunday morning. In fact, I was up a whole hour early than necessary today with anticipation and excitement. Hey, I’m obsessed with my pups, what can I say? It’s a de-stresser!

The classes we attend are taught by a woman name Marsha under the appropriate moniker Devil Dog Ranch. These sessions proved to be so useful with Lebowski that we’ve recommended them to everyone we know with a puppy or unruly pooch. She teaches both at the Glendale rescue and at a park in Silver Lake – I go to the park in Silver Lake because she sets up a mini agility course that we can play on before and after the class.

Because the only thing better than a cute pooch, is a well-trained gentleman cute pooch, these classes are a necessity. Completley reward-based training (all postive) which means no yelling, no tugging, just setting your dog up for success. Even better news, if you have any problems with your dog all you have to do is call or email Marsha and she’ll help you out.

I can’t wait to see my little Quint grow into a fine young man with great manners. He’s a bit of a wild one so we’ll see!

Joz deals with the Parking Violations Bureau

(Originally posted at my own blog a few days ago, but since people have asked how my parking ticket saga is going, I thought I’d cross-post this here).

So after I got that STU-PID letter from Parking Violations last week, I decided I had to make it obvious that I was not the idiot for not including my ticket number on the correspondence, but rather, that it was someone over there who did not see it.

Now that I’m back from Gnomedex, I saw the letter sitting on my desk, so I thought I’d send it back, complete with the ticket number highlighted in pink on my original letter to them.

Then I circled the ticket number with a green pen.

Then I drew red arrows around it, pointing to the ticket number.

Then I got my special purple/metallic silver pen and drew stars around the ticket number.

THEN, when I went to get a stamp, but found the *perfect* “sticker” to attach to the letter…

The “American FilmMaking: Behind the Scenes” commemorative stamps features a picture of Cecil B DeMille pointing at something (and someone else looking at what he’s pointing to) while on the set of “Cleopatra.” I cut out the background photo I made him point at the ticket number and then wrote next to it, “Cecil B DeMille says, ‘Look! There’s the ticket number!’ (Paraphrasing, of course).

I’ve been told that this is going to piss off some Parking Violations office employee and that I’m going to get fined more EVEN MORE for this. If I do, I am going to start asking for donations to find a way to pay for all my parking tickets.

Anyway, I know you’re waiting to see my work of art, so here it is… click to embiggen…

Click to embiggen my Parking Ticket Number Clarification

(It goes went out in the mail today on Tuesday.)

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Dodger fans, turn off the tv and turn your radios to 710 AM. I know that you’re used to hearing the voice of the immortal Vin Scully, and I’m not knocking him a bit.* But ESPN Radio is covering the playoffs, and for the Dodger series they’ve assigned one of the best of the new school, Gary Cohen.

Gary usually works for my team, the Mets, and there is nobody I would rather listen to covering a ballgame. He paints a great word picture, always telling you exactly what you want to know, when you need to know it. And he’s got a GREAT home run call…a crescendoing “It’s Outta Here!” – simple, dramatic, and not drawing attention to itself at the expense of the game action (I’m talking to you Sterling.) There is nobody I’ve heard who’s better at conveying the drama and tension of a tight game or a clutch hit than he.

*Vin called one of the greatest basbeall moments of my life: October 26, 1986, an event known simply as Game 6.

The Secret Lives Of Books

book.jpgThis is a little matter. Trival even. But sometimes the little pictures can yield a wide pride and good vibes can be found in the moments most miniscule. Such was the case yesterday standing before the “New Books” shelves inside the Cahuenga branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Upon it was a copy of Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis, and it’s mine… or at least it used to be.

Before moving in with my girlfriend at the end of July, I purged my personal library. Flat out gutted it. Through a cold-hearted process of elimination, I kept some essentials, inseparables and beloveds, but relieved myself of something like 14 Trader Joe’s grocery bags and three boxes full by driving them over to the surprised and appreciative librarians there on Santa Monica Boulevard east of Vermont.

It wasn’t easy. Ushering such an exodus represented a major shift in my relationship with reading matter. Before, a book was forever. Whether it was my high school algebra text or a tattered paperback copy of “The Twilight Zone Companion,” it was my responsibility. A life-long partnership. As such, I ended up with a lot of books ó and a growing number unread. With the coming move, I suddenly started thinking not about holding onto them like they’re mine-all-mine, but instead about setting them free.

So I did.
Continue reading The Secret Lives Of Books

Adultcon This Sunday…

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(Links are not safe for work.)

Almost forgot to mention that this Sunday is Adultcon 7, which will for the first time, be held at the LA Convention Center’s Petree Hall from 1:00 PM-7:00 PM. Admission is unfortunately a whopping $30.00, with parking an additional $10.00.

The pornstars scheduled to be in attendance include recent Howard Stern guests Aurora Snow and Alexis Amore, as well as the one and only hedgehog himself, Ron Jeremy. :o

(Photos were snapped from Adultcon 5.)

None More Black

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Maybe it’s because Halloween is coming up and LA feels the need to be extra spooky but there has been a fog rolling up my street for the past two nights and it’s awesome. I totally feel like Michael Myers is waiting across the street in the dark.

And the view outside my window usually has the twinkling lights of Hollywood visable but not tonight…it’s blacker than black. There’s none more black.

North Mission Road

Caught a cool show on Court TV last night, set in L.A.: North Mission Road. Interesting enough if you’re an investigation junky, but an added bonus of being set locally. Here’s the description from the show’s site:

If Los Angeles is a city of illusions, those illusions end at 1104 North Mission Road, the home of the Los Angeles County Coroner. Here, up to 20,000 cases are investigated annually, to determine the identity, cause and manner of death. North Mission Road is now a television series. With unprecedented access to the CoronerÔøΩs massive files, it presents their most unique and compelling cases. Each episode follows the highly trained professionals of the L.A. County Coroner Department as they use the latest in forensic medicine and investigative techniques to solve a variety of challenging mysteries.

And here is the Coroner’s real site. Dig the, ah, “inspirational” intro music.

Best Media Buy

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On my way to work I pass this billboard. (It’s on Santa Monica Blvd., just east of the 101.)

I’ve been passing this billboard for the past, oh, let’s say 14 months.

Whoever made this media buy made the best deal on earth. I’m guessing they paid for one, maybe two months of placement, but it’s been up there for at least 14 months, probably 15 if they put it up as a teaser campaign.

American Wedding had its Los Angeles premiere on July 24, 2003. The national premiere was August 1, 2003. The DVD release was January 2, 2004. The HBO premiere was last week.

I’m wondering if the billboard will be up when it starts airing on American Movie Classics.