Call of duty: Jury edition – part 2, the reckoning

After calling in for four evenings to find out the status of my jury service, I’ve been asked to report tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. My service was switched from my original reporting location at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Temple to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Hill, which apparently handles civil cases. So far, so good – I’ve taken everyone’s advice from the last post and I’m bringing things to keep me occupied. I was also told on the recording that I shouldn’t bring anything sharp, including knitting needles. So those of you who are expecting baby blankets and scarves from me as holiday gifts might be kept waiting a bit longer.

My only beef so far with the process is that the jury locations site has the courts listed by their names, not their locations, so if you don’t know the name of the courthouse (see non-location-specific names above), it might be hard to find. I got my notification to appear via cell phone while I was picking someone up at LAX, so I couldn’t write down the courthouse name – I just happened to remember the address, so I found it that way.

Also, after talking with a friend in the 909, I found out that they can check on their jury service online. As far as I can tell, you can’t do that in L.A. County. The phone system seems fine, but I wonder why we haven’t implemented an online system as well. Maybe I’m just an internet nerd, but I think having multiple ways to check whether you need to report would be great – and an online system would allow the potential juror the ability to print out the confirmation, so there wouldn’t be any question if they were told not to report, and they could provide printed confirmation to their employer if needed.

In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Auto Perfection – Not

Coasting back into town late Monday night after a wild weekend up north, I was happy to be back in the warm embrace of LA. There’s no place like home. It was a long drive up the 5, so when we hit town around 11pm, my sweetie and I dropped in at the 101 Cafe in Hollywood for a snack before bed. I parked my car under a bright light, both parking spaces on either side empty….looked like a good bet not to get any dings. I had a pretty bad smash up this summer, so the whole car got buffed out on someone elses dime. The paint is now shiny and new, no dents from all the mishaps of the past five years. I was happy in my sweet beemer now that she was looking slick and ready for action again.

After a quick bite we strolled back out, I walked up to the car and did a double take…dammit!!
What IS that?!!!! A huge gash in the door!!! And another one on the hood, and the roof and the rear panel and the trunk. We’re not talking mere keying my friend, but pedal to the metal rips right down to the metal base of the car. Here I was loving LA and grateful that I could come home to such a sweet inviting city and she slapped me upside the head. As if to say, don’t be so starry-eyed, bitch! There’s jagged teeth buried under these bright lights. Ah well, I knew a perfect car was to good to last long in LA. I guess I’ll just have to wait until someone hits me again, cuz I sure as hell am not shelling out $1500 to fix it.

The next morning I remembered! Security cameras! I’ll call the restaurant and get them to check the feed. Sean, the manager, was sweet and reviewed the tapes….maybe just maybe we could figure out who the angry shithead was who did the dirty deed. But then what? Stalk the parking lot on the thin hope he’d strike again. And I’m sure someone like that would respond well to me marching my ass up to him and demanding renumeration. I let it go. Every day now I see my car and think….okay this is a lesson….don’t be attached.

But try as I might to forgive the stranger who took out his anger on my shiny car, all I want is revenge!

NO RideArc This Friday

Although I don’t have any details as to the theme of the ride, as far as I know, the ride is still on and will be meeting at 9pm this Friday at the SCI-Arc parking lot. I’ll see you there (and don’t forget, next week is the Downtown Art Ride on Thursday and Midnight Ridazz on Friday)! [Here is my write up from the last RideArc] Here is an excerpt from an email that for some reason I must have missed [thanks to Will Campbell for pointing this out in the comments]:

We regretfully (really, you don’t know how regretfully….) cancel this month’s RIDE-Arc which was supposed to happen this Friday evening. Unfortunately, we were a bit late in notifying this planet’s weather systems, which coincidentally planned a nice slopping of rain for the Los Angeles area this Friday. We’ve discussed amongst ourselves how much a long bike ride in the rain (or a recently rained-ground) wouldn’t be the most pleasurable of experiences, so we regretfully cancel this week’s ride. We’re very sorry for an inconveniences this may cause…

Mica! Mica!

If you’re looking to get a new identity, head on down to MacArthur Park. I think most people that have lived here for awhile know that, but the Times breaks it down for the n00b5.

When first moved here, a man approached me while I was waiting to pull out of a McDonald’s at Alvarado/Beverly and offered to sell me a new Social Security card. At the time, I thought that was pretty crazy and I must be in a pretty shady part of town. Little did I know that eight years later I’d be buying a house only four blocks away! Admittedly, a lot has been done to clean up this area (Rampart/MacArthur Park/HiFi) since then. I haven’t seen anybody hawking ID’s at Mickey D’s for a long time.

Get back in touch with your inner musician*

chopsback.jpg

Come to the Music Center to re-learn and play those notes in the company of other lapsed musicians like you! Make music again – mistakes happily included – for the sheer love and fun of it.

Workshops / Play-Alongs for:
– Clarinet
– Flute
– Trumpet

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2005
9:30am to 11:30am
DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION

Registration is required (space is limited). Registration fee: $10 per workshop (parking included). All sessions run concurrently; one workshop per person only.

Intended and designed for adult learners (age 18 and above), non-professional musicians. All participants must provide their own instruments and should be able to play at an advanced beginner level. Sheet music provided at no extra cost.

For more information please e-mail [email protected] or call 213.972.3660 or visit the Music Center website

*Time machine not included in registration fee. Maybe they’ll have another one soon.

Nellie McKay…

Last night, Nellie McKay performed at The Troubadour (she performs at Largo tonight), and it was reportedly quite a memorable experience:

I just got back from Nellie’s Troubadour show and was pretty blown away. She was very passionate and very frustrated with her position at Sony and how they’re handling her, getting really worked up, yelling and crying as she pleaded her case to put out the CD as she envisions it (they want to take off 7! songs and release a 45 minute CD instead of a 70 minute CD). She asked everyone to please e-mail the president of Sony ( [email protected] I believe, I haven’t tried yet). At one point a woman yelled “shut up and sing” but she was booed away and Nellie snapped back at her saying something, something “you bitch.”

It was intense, no one there to give her a hug or a tissue, she just broke down for a few minutes and I totally expected her to walk off (we were only a few songs in) but she composed herself and powered straight into a song, still crying (and ended up playing a 2 hour set). She said later that the band must be really on edge now, waiting for her to freak out again.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Nellie McKay…

Peck Plaque Purloined, or Star’s Star Snatched, or… Whatever

gpstar.jpgThe L.A. Times’s Bob Pool reports today that Gregory Peck’s 43-year-old star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near Gower Street was removed sometime last Sunday.

Peck’s star is located near that of the late comedian Lucille Ball. Ironically, in an episode of her “I Love Lucy” show, Ball once tried digging up John Wayne’s footprints from the forecourt at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Pool and Honorary H’wood Mayor Johnny Grant use the tribute’s alleged abduction to gloss the boulevard’s new camera system as the potential cure-all for such high crimes:

But new video surveillance cameras being installed along the Walk of Fame may put an end to that.

“They hadn’t gotten to Hollywood and Gower with them yet,” Grant said. “One of the next cameras is supposed to go in right there.”

So let me get this straight JG and BP… a thief or thieves show up near Gower Gulch with a substantially bulky/noisy/messy concrete cutting utensil, spend what I can only concieve was a pretty good chunk of time required to excavate the thing, make off with it, and somehow you’re all just gung-ho to rely on a video camera that may or not be monitored at the time of the crime?

My stars, but don’t I feel safer already.

Elves that go pop

Last year I snubbed Griffith Park’s Light Festival. I’m not much for the Christmas spirit except for the post-xmas tree beach burn. Tonight however, Gloria, Moki and I decided to check it out as it was only 15 minutes from the house. First tip, if you can at all coordinate it, go on a weeknight. At the entrance to the park at Los Feliz and Riverside Drive there was a sign posting the wait time as 90 minutes. We sped by in the blackness and within one minute passed another sign that posted the wait time as 40 minutes. In another 2 minutes we were driving under the archway of lights. I can’t really imagine waiting in a car with impatient kids to see 10 minutes of eye candy. Tip number two: turn off your headlights. If you’ve been waiting for an hour already, maybe you already have turned them off.

Once you cross under the arcway of lights, It’s almost like the Vegas strip. Happy elves pop their smiling and mischievous faces out from behind trees. Airplanes take off from LAX and dinosaurs munch on the perpetual LA palm. My favorite was the exploding volcano and the herd of buffalo. Then there was the DWP hose that sprays a fountain of lights across the road to a patch of growing red flowers. It was quite a spectacle with the accompanying holiday themed music.

Tip number you didn’t hear it from me: I can imagine enjoying the sparkling lights in various relaxed states, if you know what I mean. Hire a driver and bring your own soundtrack. You’ve got until December 30th to partake.

Stalker Alert

Uh oh! Looks like we’ve got another obsessed psycho fan. While the “I’m so jealous of ______ I have to compensate by making fun of them” thing is always fresh and exciting, really we aren’t worth all the attention. I mean, 2 full posts in the last 3 days? Entire paragraphs reprinted from 5 different posts? It’s all very flattering but really we’re not into the whole idol/rock star/hero worship thing so honestly, just being on your blogroll is more than enough link love for us. kthnxbye.

UPDATE: Another post! That’s three in four days. And this one reprinted an entire post, not just a part of one. I’m glad our content is so boring that he has to fill his site up with it. But that’s not all, he also whiped out the ever popular “I’m not jealous, check out how cool I already am!!” arguement with links to his own accomlishments. Which is never flattering. Ever. Tsk tsk.

Eric The Great: Garcetti Elected President of Los Angeles!

eg.jpgWell, almost… President of the Los Angeles City Council, actually.

Time was not so long ago that I could lampoon my favorite L.A. City Councilperson for some ridiulous fine the city’s ethics commission levied against him for walking around with his shoelaces untied while campaigning back in 2001, and he’d be the only one to get the joke. But with the news just out that his fellow councileers have today unanimously elected him our next City Council President, I guess it’s time for me to quit kidding around, right?

Gawd, I hope not. Hell, I voted him for mayor last May. Seriously!

Eric Garcetti’s good humor coupled with his amazing accessibility, his ironclad work ethic, and his tireless dedication to the city of L.A. and its citizens will all come in handy when he succeeds outgoing Prez Alex Padilla this coming New Year’s Day. According to the official press release, the council presidency is anything but laid back:

Elected by the 15 members of the Los Angeles City Council, the Council President is the parliamentary chair of the council. In his new role, Councilmember Garcetti will be responsible for setting the council agenda, chairing council meetings, and assigning members to legislative committees. The president also serves as interim mayor if the mayor leaves the state of California.

Sources tell me that there’s quite the goody bag that comes with the new gig. Some of the shwag includes a really cool crown and sceptor (only worn in closed-door sessions and during Lakers championship parades), a gavel that doubles as a Pez dispenser, the money needed to repave Griffith Park Boulevard and restripe its bike lanes, a Segway, an Xbox 360, and unlimited free rides on the Angels Flight railway, whenever it finally reopens.

But in all proud constituent righteousness: congratulation Councilman/President-Elect Garcetti. You lead. I’ll follow.

Disco Fiesta!

discofiesta.jpg I know this is a terrible photo, but that’s the marquee of a store I passed on Broadway, downtown. In case you can’t read it, the name of the store is Disco Fiesta. How awesome is that? Disco Fiesta. Take that, regular Fiesta!

20 Items or Less: An IQ Test

Good people of Los Angeles, the next time you’re headed to the checkout lane at Von’s I’d ask you to bear in mind that the sign over the Express Line that says “20 Items or Less” is an explicit direction, not a suggestion. “20 items” does not mean a rough estimate of 20 items. “20 Items” is not 22 or 24 or 28 items. “20 Items” is already pushing the limits of “Express,” so do us a favor and don’t ruin it for those of us that really only need to buy a couple of things. And don’t cheat on your count. You can only count items of the same type as one item if you’re reasonable about it. Obviously, a bag of tomatoes is one item. If the checker can ring in one of your items and then input the quantity on the keyboard, maybe that’s okay. But if your 20 yogurts and 20 2-liter bottles of soda and 20 boxes of diapers have to be rung up separately then it’s 60 items, not 3. Or if your stuff takes up an entire cart or an entire checkout counter belt, it’s not 20 items.

As a corollary, I would like to point out to the management of the Echo Park Von’s on Alvarado that if the only lane you have open is an Express Lane it sort of defeats the point.

Frozen in time

So this is really weird – for the last 10 minutes or so, my cable reception has been completely frozen. I was watching some cheesy made-for-TV movie (what? when I’m ovulating, I watch sappy chick flicks. deal with it) and it just stopped mid-sentence. So, thinking it might just be that channel, I flipped through to see what the others were doing. Every channel I’ve switched to is suspended in some kind of weird thing, like a still photo from a promotional photoset. Except it’s just not working and eerily quiet.

Anyone else dealing with Adelphia meltdown right now?

Under Siege

Vido, the neighborhood dog from up the street has decided he wants to move in. For the past week he has been stalking the house. He’s able to open his gate, walk down the street and open the gate to OUR house! Then he comes in the yard and starts taunting Moki – our dog. What do we do?

He’s a friendly older dog, but makes ours jealous and what’s up with opening OUR gate? Right now, he’s laying siege in the sun in the street in front of our house. Any suggestions?