Localized Power Outage

So here I am, sitting outside using the last of my laptop battery and accessing the internet via my neighbor’s wifi.

There was a small power outage around 4PM tonight in Silverlake. Probably a dozen houses are included in the rampant darkness and oppressive stillness in the air.

DWP hasn’t budged much, it took about 4 hours for them to actually respond that it was a verified problem. Since then they said that they’d dispatched a crew, but we’ve seen no crew crawling around in the back yards of those affected.

I miss my electricity and if they give it back to me, I promise I won’t use much. (I admit that I did actually turn on the air conditioner this afternoon for the first time ever while it was still light out.)

UPDATE: As of this morning a crew still hasn’t been dispatched. There are about 20,000 people in LA County without power in many different areas. They have to prioritize and this little pocket of 20 houses isn’t that high on their list. This is the second time this year we’ve been without power for more than 12 hours.

UPDATED UPDATE: At around 10 AM we returned from breakfast at Astro to find our street filled to the brim with four DWP trucks (two with bucket cranes!). Of course all the vehicles are useless as the transformer that needs to be replaced is on a pole in our second-neighbor-over’s back yard … down a very steep hill.

Two hours since then … the crew has been up on the pole but has yet to remove the old transformer. But they’re here! They’re here! (I’m going to take them popsicles later!)

UPDATED UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Power was back on by 2PM. Fans a whirring, the ambient temp in my house at 10PM was still 90 degrees. So much for the belief that electricity makes things better.

L.A.’s craziest, weirdest, deathliest, and most bizarre expos√©s

L.A. Bizarro and four of my other favorite books about the City of Angels

labizarro.jpgArguably the greatest guide ever written about Los Angeles, 1997’s L.A. Bizarro, is finally getting a much deserved sequel update. This is a book that spilled all of the city’s secrets before blogs came along and ruined the idea of local secrets, such as the Coroner’s Gift Shop, Clifton’s Cafeteria, or the history behind the “fags go away” sign at Barney’s Beanery.

The Time’s Calendar has an interview up with authors Matt Maranian and Anthony Lovett, revealing that “Part 2” will be “an expanded and updated version, with 60% of its material brand new.” The article offers only a couple hints of what the 60% will include, but I can only hope they’ve uncovered some gems that haven’t already been raked over by the L.A. blogosphere.

While first Bizarro is out of print, and the update isn’t available for pre-order yet, I did want to suggest my four other favorite books about Los Angeles… a few of which were most likely “inspired” by the idea of L.A. Bizarro. All are great to have on hand when putting together a tour of the city for out of town visitors, or simply to study up on before testing for your LA City Nerd certification exam…

>>the list after the jump<<
Continue reading L.A.’s craziest, weirdest, deathliest, and most bizarre expos√©s

Not RIDE-Arc But An Incredible Facsimile!

As an enthusiastic group-night-bike-rider the two two-wheeled events I look forward to every month should go without saying, but I will anyway: RIDE-Arc on the first Friday and Midnight Ridazz on the second. So it was with an “Oh dude that sucks!” when I heard the news that this month’s RIDE-Arc was being canceled because its co-founder Alex “The Axe” Amerri sustained a broken arm in a fall on 4th Street during a running gun battle with alleged members of the Hancock Park Homeskoolaz while riding his bike and minding his own business.

Almost immediately thereafter a lightbulb went off and I shot an email to the 16,000-strong members of the IAAL‚Ä¢MAF that basically relayed the bad news and then like Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House I attempted to rally the troops into rigging up a late-breaking spinvitational that would serve as a substitute RIDE-Arc. Who’s with me? Well, Sean “I Don’t Do Nicknames” Bonner texted back immediately from either Hemet or the Aleutians with a bunch of expletives indicating his support, and Stephen “Mr. Rollers” Roullier said he was most definitely in, and our newest member Manny “Department of Power & Light” Treeson said “Sure, sounds great.”

Thus according to the IAAL bylaws, having successfully failed to establish a quorum I then contacted Alex in his suite at Cedars with the idea and after he pro and conned it for an hour gave us the greenlight pending the timely completion of the package of legal documentation he faxed over for notarized signature, which we returned via courier with a cashier’s check for an undisclosed amount and a Shetland pony (we didn’t ask).

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/tbridges2a-thumb.jpgThe end result is that there won’t be a RIDE-Arc ride next Friday September 7, but there will be a willing and able imitation also known as IAAL‚Ä¢MAF Spinvitational No. 6.0 dubbed the “Ten Bridges” ride (click to biggify image) departing from the SCI-Arc parking lot (map) at 9:30 p.m. And while not as thematically grandiose or incredibly original and overachievingly enlightening as some of Alex’s past treks, it promises to at least partially and somewhat uniquely fill the void that otherwise would have been left this coming first Friday of September. Join us, won’t you?

From abLA :: East of Eden’s Edge by Mike Kelley

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When it comes to the Los Angeles art culture The Los Angeles Municipal Gallery at Barnsdal Park is either the best kept secret in L.A or the most poorly advertised space of its kind. With no dedicated webpage of its own and limited advertising the they put on great show after great show. The gallery sits atop Olive Hill near the intersection of Hollywood and Vermont and operates aunder the DCA (Department of Cultural Affairs) umbrella. The site is also home to a theater for the performing arts, the Junior Arts Center and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House. It’s an eastside resource that in my mind should have the same brand recognition as similar institutions like the Hammer…what a difference private funding makes.

Detour Festival

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Last year’s Detour Festival in Downtown Los Angeles was well attended and quite fun, if I may say so myself. This year’s festival has just been announced along with the partial lineup. I am looking forward to the full lineup, hopefully with more bands that I’m in to, and with some more hip-hop, but I’m sure folks who are more hip than me will be very excited about the lineup. The tickets are on sale here for $35.50.

More photos from last year’s Detour festival can be found on flickr and eecue.com. The full map and press release can be found after the jump:
Continue reading Detour Festival

End-of-Summer Notes from the Goth-sphere

The LA Weekly has a shockingly under-researched article on Bats Day up. They managed to write a paragraph about a counter Bats Day called “Babs Day” that never happened, but didn’t have anything from Noah K, the actual event organizer for both Bats Day and Fright Night. I’m shocked, Weekly. You usually do such wonderful research on local counterculture.

By the way, speaking of Noah K, it looks like Fright Night is closing so you all may want to go get your bad horror fixes soon. Just three more showings left!

L.A. is seriously lacking in a cohesive goth calendar ever since LAGOTH got hacked one too many times & shut down. Therefore, I’m posting a handful of bigger band name shows here. More behind the cut, so I don’t clutter up the site for the non-goths out there
Continue reading End-of-Summer Notes from the Goth-sphere

Gimme A Sign: Subliminal Suggestion

What is it with signage in Atwater Village. There’s a bar on Glendale Boulevard whose neon sports a letter that’s somewhat open to inebriated interpretation. Frankly I couldn’t tell you if the place is called Tee Yee or Tee Gee or Tee Hee or Tee Pee, nor do I really care.

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And then there’s this pharmacy’s nameplate above that I spotted at Larga and Glendale while coming through this afternoon. Am I the only one who doesn’t have to squint too hard to decipher it’s thinly veiled evilness: PHARMASCARE.

An entirely new traffic problem

We live in a city that’s known for its traffic – bad traffic, especially. This here blog has an entire category just for posts about driving! But today I had an unexpected issue with traffic.

We’d been visiting with friends in Studio City and my son hadn’t taken his midday nap (too excited, I suppose, by my friend’s non-nap-aged kids). So when we left I took the long way home to Koreatown so Sammy could sleep in the car. I took Laurel Canyon to Magnolia and turned right, driving into Burbank. I turned down Catalina and drove through a beautiful residential neighborhood to Olive, where I turned right. Took Olive past the WB studio until it turned into Barham, then made a left at the end on the Cahuenga Pass. Then through Hollywood and left toward downtown for home. A nice roundabout way home.

Traffic was spectacular. It kept moving at the speed limit and I must have hit every green light. What I’d hoped would take at least an hour barely took 40 minutes, and that was driving like a little old lady (whenever it wouldn’t hold up traffic, of course).

Has this happened to anyone else?

Comfort Food

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Yesterday I got home from a crazy five day journey which I won’t recount for you now.* My lovely husband picked me up from LAX and as it was dinner time, we pondered what to do while driving north on Sepulveda. Me: “What do we have at home to make?” Him: “Not much.” Him: “Should we go out to a restaurant?” Me: “No thanks, I’m not up for it.” The decision was to pick something up, but what? LIGHTBULB! “Let’s get some chicken from Dinah’s!”

I haven’t had Dinah’s since I was at LMU in the late 80’s. My best Dinah’s memories are of going to crew practice at 5:30am and it would be pouring rain or so fogged in at Marina Del Rey that we couldn’t row. Usually that meant a long run along the bike path or back to the weight room. But every once in a great while the coach would say “Let’s go to breakfast!” And we would troop off to Dinah’s for pancakes or eggs or waffles. Or if you were in the mood at 6am, fried chicken. MMmmmm.

Not sure why it’s been so long since I’ve eaten there, that is some delicious fried chicken! I guess even though it is not that far away from where I live now, it is outside of our regular haunts. But that box of chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and creamed spinach were just the comfort food I needed on my way home. Thanks Dinah’s!

*But if you are curious, you can read about it here.

107 here and I have electricity too…how about you?

107today001.jpg I’m fried, I’ve done what I can to save power but….who didn’t? My sources at SCE let me know that the ISO is worried, stage 2 today and likely stage 3 tomorrow. You can get more California ISO and the flex your power here.

DWP cut Sunland off the grid around 2:30 for about half an hour to cope with the demand. Tomorrow promises to be more of the same. The SCE pal of mine joked that DWP being an independant power not public utility answerable to shareholders places like Sunland, Grand Terrace and other “trailer trash capitals of metro LA” get the power cut. (Don’t shoot me that’s the joke in the industry just repeating what I said).

According the the SCE mole if we go into stage 3 tomorrow or Saturday we may see the rolling blackouts. Do what you can to keep us up and running.

(The pic is mine taken minutes ago on my patio….it’s from the che-ez stroke it a few times to see how bad it is fully engorged).

How To Avoid A $1 Million Lawsuit Over Your YouTube Masterpiece

This post is for all you aspiring YouTubers out there. There’s a ton of you here in LA trying to break into the business using video on the net, and I myself have been seen the fruits of this strategy.

There’s a story today about a couple of kids getting sued for a million bucks by their former employer, A&P Groceries, for filming a YouTube video that has been viewed as of this posting less than 10,000 times.

My analysis and advice after the jump.
Continue reading How To Avoid A $1 Million Lawsuit Over Your YouTube Masterpiece

At the Tone, the Time will be No More

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Something I’ve taken for granted and counted on (literally) for my entire life will cease to exist September 19th, and the only official word will be a footnote on your utility bill.

AT&T will be discontinuing the phone-in time service in California to make way for a potential 300,000 new numbers beginning with the 853 or 767 prefixes.

Apparently, phone in time service has bee disappearing across the nation. I had no idea. California and Nevada are the only ones left, and soon, only Nevada. This kind of bums me out. What? I gotta go to Vegas to hear the Time lady’s voice? What’s truly sad is it was not until I read the news of the service ending that I even found out the name attached to the voice I’ve heard my entire life: Joanne Daniels.

Joanne, my Dulcet Toned Time Lady, I hardly knew ye.

The Times has a pretty good article on it. (Ha! The Times! Get it? …What? Too soon?)

Blogging.la idea being borrowed by FCBlog

fcbloglogo.jpg I wish I had a great hook for you, but short version is that one of the most entertaining blogs (after blogging.la of course) is the Foothill Cities Blog. The two writers on their one year anniversary have opened up their blog for additional writers to write on the Foothill Cities blog. The caveat is that you have a tie into the various FCBlog’s numerous themes. What happens in the SGV doesn’t stay here, it feeds the political grist mills.

I have to give the writers, Publius and Centinel a lot of credit. They have exposed a lot of stuff and generated a lot of controversy. Good controversy as the issues they have floated have inspired civic leaders or communities into action. I read them daily and comment about as often. (I’ve even linked to them when there is some really interesting stuff that goes on when it affects the whole metro area). Their site is entertaining. Certainly good role models for anyone wanting to challenge local officials in the blog format and stir up public debate.

With so much going on it was only a matter of time before they needed to open up their ranks to additional writers. It was announced here: “Hey FC…Can I Borrow the Key’s to the Blog?. Of course they give credit to blogging.la for being one of the big blogs to do it first.

BEAT THE HEAT!!!!

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Summertime was a sweet, languid haze when I was a little girl. The heat rolling through the tropics where I grew up was fierce, yet it didn’t seem to bother us so much. We just slowed down, stayed in the shade and swam a lot.

I suppose part of it was that we didn’t have to race around a burning hot city like LA trying to accomplish everything on our to-do list… and work just wasn’t on the agenda.

One of my Grandmother’s favorite things to do to cool off when it was hot, was to crank up the ice grinder attached to the wall in our kitchen. She filled huge glasses full of shaved ice, then drizzled Coca-Cola over it. Ahhhh! Instant cool-off. Unfortunately, I don’t drink Coke anymore. My mother was right (she always had a conniption fit when she found out my Grandma was feeding us Cokes), there’s too much sugar in the darn things.

So how do you beat the heat here in our lovely desert/coastal oasis city of LA when the temperature soars? I wrote about this once before, but it’s so friggin’ hot, I thought it might be good to revisit it.
Continue reading BEAT THE HEAT!!!!