icme: Rudolf taking care of business

Tonight was our annual Christmas Dinner with our neighbors, actually close enough to be family, Bill and Stacey.  After dinner we cruise on up to Upper Hasting Ranch of Pasadena, along with several hundred other carloads of families to check out the holiday lights.   Each street is themed, snowmen, santa, elves etc.,.

This year we broke up into 2 cars.  A “girls” car and a “boys” car.  I had the latter.  It was 3 boys 11, 13 and 15 who still revel in potty humor.  As we rounded the corner up on one of the streets the theme was “Rudolf”, you know the red nosed reindeer kind.  All of a sudden there was this rising staccato of giggles and guffaws. Given the potty humor coming out of the back seat I kept quiet, my wife however had to ask what was so funny this time.

“Rudolf is taking a dump” was the chorus from the back.  I had to laugh, my wife was not as amused.

Happy Holidays all.  The fraz and fam got last minute scheduling done and are off to LV for the Holiday with relatives.  Should be fun.  Should be very cold…and my kids will get skiing lessons if I am lucky and the roads to the local slopes are open.

Pic by me with the trusty phonecam.

BREAKING: Yankees Sign Everybody

The New York Yankees followed up today’s $180-million signing of Anaheim’s Mark Teixeira by adding all of the other players from all of the other teams in the country. The 2009 season will now feature an intra-squad schedule of Yankees vs. Yankees, with all home and away games to be held in the new Yankee Stadium.

Immediately following this announcement, all official Major League Baseball retailers announced plans to sell only Yankees-related merchandise, including an immediate 300% price inflation to pay for stadium construction and player salaries.

Happy Holidays.

UPDATE 2:01pm: The Yankees have just sent a request to Congress for a bailout package in the amount of $970-million.

Rick Warren visits West Hollywood

Rick Warren (Saddleback Church pastor and same-sex marriage opponent) stopped by the Out of the Closet thrift shop in West Hollywood yesterday as part of his PR tour in preparation for his moment next month in the national spotlight when he will recite a prayer at Obama’s inauguration.

Lord knows (literally) what Rick Warren is thinking. Is this a person in the throws of megalomania? Or is he just the latest famous-for-15-minutes celebrity oddity who before long will shuffle off the cultural radar to write another religious screed to keep his flock from straying, hoping to keep them baffled and fearful about the pursuit of happiness of those who think differently than they do?

Consider the evidence: Continue reading Rick Warren visits West Hollywood

Mysterious Anonymous Benefactor Pays for 300 Los Angeles Animal Services Pet Adoptions


A press release just came across my desk notifying me that “A benefactor, wishing to remain anonymous, pledged to pay all adoption fees for 300 pets adopted between now and Christmas at any LA Animal Services Center.”

The anonymous donor stated, “I hope this offer will help empty the kennels and cages and gives these pets a real home for Christmas.”

The donor also had one request of those adopting a pet; that they write a letter to LA Animal Services explaining how adopting the pet changed their lives. I think that’s a small price to pay–and another gift, if you think about how meaningful it can often be to write letters enumerating the things for which you are grateful–for saving the life of an animal who will enrich your own life for years to come.

Full info & adoption locations from the Department of Animal Services is behind the jump. At a time when the government of the state is considering cutting costs in animal services, this is a priceless gift.

Continue reading Mysterious Anonymous Benefactor Pays for 300 Los Angeles Animal Services Pet Adoptions

Los Angeles Gasoline Prices: Up or Down?

This Chevron station at the corner of Lincoln and Venice had two different sets of prices posted today. One set listed premium at $2.00 ($1.99.9 is two dollars, not a dollar ninety-nine, to the non-impressionable among us). The other sign listed premium at $2.04. A station employee was standing under the sign with the cheaper prices. My guess is that he was about to raise the posted prices above him, as opposed to having just finished lowering them. Gasoline prices may have fallen around the country this past week, but we’re talking about the West Side of Los Angeles, where I am seeing them back on the upswing.

And Now: Broguiere’s, A Fond Recollection

When I grow up I wanna go back in time and be a Broguiere’s milk man!

Following up on my rant last week about going everywhere my favorite egg nog ain’t, I’m happy to report that our Saturday morning trip out to Broguiere’s Farm Fresh Dairy in the flats of Montebello was a resounding success. But talk about an unassuming establishment. Hell, upon arrival we drove right by it because instead of signage trumpeting Broguiere’s, the marquee read Montebello Sanitary Dairy and stood over what was little more than a  drive-through store in the midst of vast tracts of an agridustrial landscape.

There was no gift shop with Brog’s merch a-plenty. No fancy people in throwback uniforms. No tours offered every hour on the hour. No happy cows talking to each other.  Just a darkened portal behind stacks of crated empty bottles from which workers would emerge wheeling loaded-up handtrucks to restock supplies in the refrigerated cases lined up behind a register that was manned by a guy who probably operates carnival rides on his days off and who I’m pretty sure would’ve asked me if I really thought he gave a hoot had I dared vocalize any first-visit glee.

Continue reading And Now: Broguiere’s, A Fond Recollection

Flamenco at El Cid keeps on keeping on

For the five years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I’ve been driving, biking and walking past El Cid, the 47 year-old restaurant on Sunset in Silver Lake. That all finally changed on Saturday night when a group of friends gathered there to celebrate a birthday.

Eight of us wound down the labyrinthine stairs from Sunset into the seemingly subterranean theater restaurant. Although there is a same-level entrance from Myra St., the sense that your burrowing into times past matches well with El Cid because the building itself has a story to tell:

Built as a movie theater around 1900 by early movie director D. W. Griffith, it was where his notoriously racist silent film, Birth of a Nation, first played in 1915.

Converted into a cabaret theater in 1950, it became known as a hangout for actors of the day. In 1961, the building was converted into a 16th century Spanish-style tavern and the El Cid restaurant was born.

A few nights per week or month are given over to comedy, burlesque and country music, but El Cid’s mainstay is the Flamenco Dinner Theater that has been running for the past 40 years. And whether you pay $34.95 at the restaurant or $25 in advance through Goldstar Events, it’s a bargain that includes a three-course dinner along with the dance performance. Drinks and tip are extra; but still, dinner and a movie comes in at around the same price. (New Year’s Eve suggestion after the jump.) Continue reading Flamenco at El Cid keeps on keeping on

NY Times rates LAX restaurants

In the NY Times Travel section on Sunday, an article by Matt Gross about airport dining chills and thrills  pointed out three restaurant options when passing through LAX.

Using words and phrases like “purgatorial gloom,” “disheartening,” “lacked any recognizable flavor,” “$71!” and “the waiter kept calling me ‘chief’ and ‘boss'” — well, you get the idea.

While Gross mentioned two restaurants inside the terminal that sound disappointing even by airport standards, one of them, Encounter, might be worth checking out for a drink just to take in its Jetsons-esque kitsch.

The third? It involves taking a parking shuttle to get to an In-N-Out Burger joint on Sepulveda.

Rick Warren does NOT liken gays to pizza

Los Angeles humorist Steve Young posted a satirical piece on his blog saying Saddleback Church pastor/same-sex marriage foe Rick Warren had compared gays to pizza.

This morning, The Raw Story web site picked it up and ran with it as fact as their  lead story. By this evening the story had disappeared from the site. Still, it was more needed levity in the face of Obama selling out gays by giving an international platform to a divisive religious leader who believes they shouldn’t be afforded marriage rights. (I’ve come to accept Obama as just another political pragmatist. We’ve been down this road before with the Clintons, so it’s either laugh or grit my teeth until my gums bleed.)

Riffing on a recent NBC Dateline interview the Prop 8-supporting pastor did with reporter Ann Curry wherein he compared being gay to incest, adultery, etc., Young made up a funny bit about Curry coming forth with statements she said Warren made after the cameras stopped rolling.

… After the camera stopped filming he went on to make the comparison of gays to pizza, I must say, I was startled.

“Just because I like pizza it doesn’t mean I should marry it,” said Warren. “Biologically, I am predisposed to enjoy the immaculate melding of mozzarella cheese, red sauce and thick crust baked to tasty perfection. But that doesn’t mean I should enter into a lifelong commitment with Sicilian or plain, nor bed it down, nor bring children into the world and have them have to explain to their classmates why their mom’s crust is not as crisp as it once was.”

Young is a funny guy who was one of the original hosts on LA’s liberal talk radio station KTLK AM 1150, as well as a writer on TV sitcoms. He also wrote the weekly op-ed column “All The News That’s Fit To Spoof ” for the LA Daily News, according to his web site bio, “until they realized it was there.”

Metblogs Author Submissions: I’m sorry, you’re not on the list

Ok kids, it’s the 21st and no more metblogs author submissions will be accepted. I thought about extending the deadline since I got a rush of last-minute applications, but I figure if you can’t even apply on deadline, what makes me think you’d blog on a regular basis? Ha! Silly me.

So, I was looking for an image of a club bouncer standing menacingly in front of a door, as if to say, “Sorry, it’s a private party tonight” but googling “door bouncer” brought up so many images of babies in bouncers (that’s what those boingy thingies that hang in doorways are called, yes?) I figured I’d just use one of those. Hence our charming photo, left.

If you sent your email in, and you didn’t get a bounceback, well then I got it, and you’ll be hearing from me shortly if you haven’t already. We’ve now got about two dozen folks who applied, which is flippin’ sweet, and frankly you’re all just fabulous little winners in my book already.

No decisions will be made until after New Year’s, but once that ball drops, baby, you may be blogging with our team of illustrious blogging rockstars before you can say “Now where’s my press pass?”

Eco-shop Regeneration, in Eagle Rock, going out of business!!! NOOOOO!!!

squeeeemustposessJust look at all those horrified exclamation points there in the subject line! Yes, it breaks my heart to say that Regeneration is being forced into closing its brick-and-mortar shop, by these foul economic times that have befallen us all. [shakes fist impotently at sky.] I doubt there’s much we can do to keep ’em open (and its Etsy site will remain open), but we sure as hell can send ’em out with a bang. Regeneration, I’m broke, and I swore all anyone was getting from me this year were cards, but you’ve made me recant. I’ll be there. With the paltry sum I have left before payday, I shall arrive, and buy as much as possible, and then in the grand tradition of any quality holiday shopping spree, I shall keep it all for myself, and everyone will still be getting just cards.

I saw Cracker open for the New York Dolls tonight, and their lyric here properly sums up my holiday shopping behavior:

” Well I was gonna bring you flowers, but I didn’t.
It’s the thought that counts and I think I’m a bit too broke.”

ISO Sweat-free discounted t-shirt: Is this a mythical beast?

American Apparel is too goddamn expensive.

I remember when American Apparel first started up and they were all up in that “fair wages, fair day’s work” thang. Then the whole thing transitioned into cracked-out seemingly-underage models posing with that pouty, poufy “I just got hit in the face by a brick” look, and seems like people forgot a lot of the labor issues. I hear a lot about how AA is no longer such an industry leader in terms of fair labor practices, and now that I’m looking for reasonably priced tees, I’m quite stymied.

You see, inspired by recent crafty things like Felt Club & Unique LA, I decided to get back to handpainting tees like I did a long-ass time ago. But I need shirts. Shirts I can AFFORD. American Apparel is not affordable–not in any volume, at least. There are these shirts from No Sweat, but they’re still too pricy for me, unless I plan on selling these shirts for a fricken’ mint.

Now, I used to hear about there being one day a week when you could go down to the AA plant on Alameda and root through their slightly-wonky seconds: you know, the color was a little off, or a seam wasn’t perfectly straight. And these were discounted. Dear lazyweb, does that day still exist?

Or are there, somewhere out there, low-cost sweat-free shirts, just waiting for me to discover them?

Halp, Los Angeles! Halp! I ask here because I know there are a lot of other crafty ladies out there who’ve asked the same question, and also because I want sweat-free operations to have a chance to sound off in a public forum if they can offer me a good solution.

Just Call Me “Dances With Rabbits”

As you may or may not know, I’ve become something of an on-the-fly abandoned animal ambassador, a patron of the put-out. I carry a leash and some spare dry dog kibble wherever I go as a “just in case,” and those cases have increased dramatically of late. In fact, for the third day in a row on my treks to/from work I’ve encountered a stray animal. Day 1 was the saddest case and the biggest fail in me trying to assist a lost and half-starved pitbull in Jefferson Park whose fear left him too determined to avoid me. Day 2 featured a minor success in finding and returning a pitbull in my neighborhood that had gotten out of its nearby yard. Day 3, involved the biggest surprise in me biking up Crescent Heights in between Pico and Olympic and coming up on a cute little white bunny munching on some grass near the curb. WTF?

As you can see in the clickable thumbnail at right I was actually successful in wrangling the wascally wabbit and holding him up for my timelapsing handlebar cam to capture. In fact, my cam dutifully caught and condensed the entire capture dance I had with the critter, embedded below.

As a bonus I knocked on a couple of doors, first to learn that the bunny’s become something of a local legend and that it was pretty amazing I was able to catch it single-handedly since so many others have tried and failed; second I was pointed to the location of the bunny’s home; and then third I found out from one of residents there that her roommate who owns the bunny actually allows it to roam the property freely and it has been doing so (much to the concern of passersby and neighbors — and now me) for about a month. Gah!

As politely as I could all the while holding the now calm and contented cuteness to my chest I  tried to make it clear that there were several reasons why such irresponsible actions were reeeeeeaaaaalllly not in the best interest of the bunny. But while the roommate agreed, it was not her bunny to protect and thus I made no headway in getting the bunny to a more secure environment… you know, like one more than a few feet away from loud roadkill-creating vehicles. Ultimately after contemplating how poorly the furball might handle the rest of my crosstown bike trip in my cramped backpack, I was forced to return the bundle of adorable to slightly safer patch of grass that it commenced munching upon. Sigh. I try.

Now I’m off to the LA Grand Crew Beer Ride 2008. Beautiful day for it. In the meantime, enjoy the waltz: