Swervedriver Tix from bLA!

swervedriver.jpgSo English grunge rock heroes Swervedriver are back after a long hiatus (since 1999) and are set to play the Fonda on Saturday the 31st along with awesome locals Film School and Xu Xu Fang. It’s going to be an amaaaaaaayzing show, and we wanna give you tickets. So to win, just enter a comment with your real email addy (so I can contact you if you win) telling me what 90s band you’d love to see return to the stage, and why. We’ll pick a few winners & send you to the show!

Save Paul Prischman’s Brain! Go see Blade Runner!

Who is Paul Prischman? Well friends, we here at the Mark and Steve Foundation know him best as the storyboard artist for the Hellboy movie. Paul is an all-around swell guy, LA resident, talented artist, devoted fan of movies, music and comic books… and he has brain cancer. From his site:

In late 2007, Paul was plagued by a series of symptoms which seemed, at first, to be some sort of recurring sinus infection. But no conventional sinus treatment helped, and his symptoms worsened. In February, an MRI revealed that Paul had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in his brain stem. On March 18th, Paul underwent brain surgery. Although the tumor was successfully removed, the pathology proved to be Grade 4 brain cancer: Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

Tickets for a special screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, featuring a Q&A with awesome director Ridley Scott along with some as of yet unannounced cast and crew are on sale now. Biggify the flyer for more details.

And even if you can’t go to the screening, maybe throw a few bucks into the Paypal donation fund and keep an eye out for the sure-to-be amazing items up for auction… whatever we can do to help our fellow in need.

You can’t afford it if you have to ask

Right before I got off the 5 FWY today, I noticed this tanker:

I’m only left to wonder exactly what message is being conveyed here.  I’m already priced out of attending the opera in the evenings–not that I’m an opera fan, but there’s principles involved.  Is this a subtle way of letting us know that gas will be out of the reach of the hoi polloi like way too many cultural events in Los Angeles already are?

Nah…I know that there is a very important message being told.

Yeah, it’s:  “We can wrap two tankers and you still can’t afford gas OR the opera.  Sucka ass.”

Dharma issue food night

Hello friends! Tomorrow night is the season finale for the fourth season of the mind-f***ingly awesome show, LOST!

We love the show so much, that all of our friends get together and watch it every Thursday. Those that can’t make it to the gathering often wind up participating in the discussion via text message or Skype. Yes, we are all just that nerdy.

This season, we’ve been getting together for LOST night at Mark’s place and he has been supplying Dharma issue foodstuffs whenever he had some extra time or we heard beforehand that it would be a special episode. We know for sure that we’re not the only people doing this, so here’s our entry into the community of LOST-themed fun times!

Click here to see the different foods and some helpful tips to have your own LOST party

To Bee Or Not

I had no choice. For the first L.A. workday since Daylight Savings Time kicked in at the beginning of March, I did not bike to work. It hurt for the streak to end, but as I needed to get from Westchester at 5:15 p.m. to Granada Hills High School by 6:30 p.m. for my daughter’s senior class awards ceremony, I had to accept reality and just step away from the two-wheeler this morning and into my trusty four-wheeler to prowl surface streets in to work and then crawl the northbound 405 away from it yesterday afternoon. Bonus pain for having to fill the tank on the way in for like the first time in six weeks — otherwise known as the good old days back when gas was $3.70 a gallon. ‘Member then? Sigh.

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And by crawl I mean ccccrrrraa*&#[email protected]%!aawwwwllll. It took 30 minutes to move the 4.4 miles from Howard Hughes Center to the 10 Freeway. But at least I had company in the form of this fastidious freewayin’ honeybee above (click to triplify) who used my windshield to clean up and hang out and laugh at me for about five minutes (or the distance equivalent of about 400 feet traveled — gah!). After it took off it would be another 30 minutes getting to the 118.

Tomorrow I’m taking off work for a loooooong ride to some places I remember. Just me and the bike. In penance. And celebration.

I Drink Your Milkshake

Amid L.A.’s civil war between trendy frozen yogurt chains, it’s easy to forget the Other White Dessert that predated all of this by decades: soft serve ice cream. I was reminded of the old stuff recently, when, ironically, returning from the dentist, I saw one of the L.A. area’s only Carvel locations, on Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A.

For those of us who grew up in the New York area, seeing a Carvel on the other side of the country is an instant shot of comfort. Many of us have fond memories of the low-budget commercials by gravelly-voiced founder Tom Carvel, and of trips to the shiny steel and glass box Carvel store with the giant ice cream cone on top. We were served a variety of novelty products at Carvel, from swirly soft ice cream, to Flying Saucers (precursor of the Chipwich), to cakes in the shape of wacky characters such as Fudgie the Whale and my favorite, Cookie Puss.

My trip back in time to Carvel, after the jump

Let a Student Knead Your Flesh

BOTTOMFEEDERS’ GUIDE TO LA: $35 Massages

I spent many lean years as a grad student, what Pierre Bourdieu would call “the dominated fraction of the dominant class.” During those years, I honed my bottom-feeding skills, skills that still come in handy as a nonprofit worker in a for-profit world.

A cheap massage is just the ticket for soothing impoverished mouse-arm and the rest of the aches and pains. I’ve been to National Holistic Institute twice and while it’s no Burke Williams they give a fine massage. You can make an appointment online and the school/massage clinic is located at Ventura and Haskell in Encino (right down the road from the Galleria and the S.O. Arclight). There’s no tipping and you can’t request a particular masseuse, but hey, it’s less money than a tank of gas.

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Mid-Week Round-Up: It’s a Gas

Americans are driving less than we did last year. I don’t have stats for Los Angeles specifically, but anecdotally I’d say we’re no exception.

Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl, who already commutes to work on the bus, has stopped buying stuff. She says it’s because it doesn’t fit in her house or make her happy, but really, I think it’s because gas costs well over $4 for regular, and over $5 for diesel.

Chez Shoes is trying out a car-free commute, and if it works she’ll be giving it up for good. She’s off to a rocky start, with the bus leaving early without her–anyone have tips on commuting?

Sean Bonner has a near-death experience that reminds him why he bikes everywhere. Jesus, we’re all glad you guys are OK. This is the second wrong-way-in-the-fast-lane story in as many weeks. WTF.

Photo by JozJozJoz…in 2004.

Like a Monkey Shot Into Space, Book Fight Club Blasts into Hollywood


Let’s face it; books are for dorks.

First of all, there’s all those words, words, words. Honestly, who has the time?

Then you have to read those words in order.

Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and, heaven forbid, an addendum.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, books are simply impossible to avoid. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and crack one open, or attend a literary event and pretend like you do.

Which is why I was relieved to hear that TOW Books has organized a Book Fight Club for this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at iO West in Hollywood.

What is Book Fight Club? According to the event’s Facebook page, the evening will be hosted by comedian/actor/writer Jen Kirkman and feature a trio of TOW writers reading from their books.

John Warner, editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and founder of TOW Books, will read from So You Want to be President: Find Out if you Have the Ego, Bankroll and Moral Flexibility to Lead the Nation and Take on the World, Wendy Molyneaux will read from Everything is Wrong With You: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Finding Self-Confidence through Self-Loathing, and Kate Hahn will, and I’m not making this up, fight a monkey live on stage.

I’m not really sure why Hahn plans to battle a simian instead of reading from her forthcoming book Forgotten Fashion: An Illustrated Faux History of Outrageous Trends and their Untimely Demise, but I’m sure she has her reasons.

And besides, this is the type of out-of-the-box thinking that might make reading cool again.

Oh, and a little primate told me that you, dear readers, can get half off at the door by mentioning LA Metblogs.

Photo: Miss Sam, a rhesus monkey, the lone crew member a 1960 Mercury spacecraft test launch. Courtesy of NASA Archive.

Monday Bullets: Because Those With Jobs Feel Like It’s Monday, And That Sucks

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If you’re reading this, it means that you haven’t died from alcohol poisoning or any boating related incident. Congratulations! Here’s a quick rundown of projectile bloggitting you may have missed:

  • Franklin Avenue reminds us to stop talking on our cell phones while driving. The Law is coming.
  • Superfluous Juxtaposition drove to San Diego for the holiday weekend to find “no traffic.” In related news, CNN reports that retail gas prices have now hit record highs for the 20th day in a row. Maybe it’s time to buy a bike.
  • BeFrank was on the scene in Baldwin Park for snow day. As a harmless news event turns into full-on anarchy/stupidty, he wonders when these idiots will grow the hell up.
  • LAbuzzBLOG heads to Sunday School at Zanzibar because cover is only $5. Cover is only $5 because Sunday School at Zanzibar sucks.
  • And Brayj Against The Machine launches another salvo in the ongoing Battle of the Expo Line. He comes to the defense of Damien Goodmon, who has become the voice of opposition in the line’s current design. Get some Tubeness, and dream of trains with us.

Photo from beFrank

Chunknugget’s Adventure with El-P & Busdriver

img_0301.JPGThe fabulous Ms. Chunknugget (not her real name–hard to believe, I know) won tickets last week to see El-P & Busdriver at the El Rey. This is her story. These are her pictures. img_0303.JPG

I considered buying tickets for this show, because I’ve never missed El-P when he comes through LA, but seeing as the El Rey is all ages and I’m old, I figured I’d skip it. I learned the hard way that I was getting too old for hip-hop shows after I got pushed into a pit at an Atmosphere show a couple years ago.

So I won the tickets after a “what the hell” moment (thanks Metblogs), and braved it, and I’m so glad I did. Busdriver came on first. He’s local, and a true veteran of West Coast underground. He’s a progressive musician who happens to work in hip-hop, super talented and, as we used to say, on some next level shit. Go see him! Just stay a few rows back if you don’t want his sweat beads in your eye. Continue reading Chunknugget’s Adventure with El-P & Busdriver

L.A. churchgoers chip in for child sex abuse settlements

Because I don’t attend church, or associate with any religion, part of me feels unqualified to even state an opinion on this. But, maybe because I was raised Catholic, I’m still enraged by this story:

…Parishes across the sprawling Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are answering an appeal from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to help the archdiocese dig out of the financial hole resulting from its multimillion-dollar legal settlements with victims of clergy sexual abuse. [LA Times]

The L.A. archdiocese needs to pay $292 million of a staggering $720 million in abuse case settlements.

Shouldn’t the Vatican be taking care of the entirely of this settlement, considering that its institution is responsible for years of coverups into these abuse cases? And why is Mahony, who many believe was actively involved in moving priests accused of child abuse to different churches, the one asking for the money?