ICME: Realistic chew toys for dogs

omgtoyThese lovelies provided me with one of those Oh My Gawd stop me in my track moments.  Realistic, fur covered chew toys for dogs.  Real right down to a honking duck and a squeaky-hooty rabbit.  Is this “funny but wrong” or just “wrong” ?  If they don’t creep you out run on over to Target in Duarte while their supplies last and get your own.

In the end my little pup got a traditional squeaky ball to gnaw on while teething.   

Pic by me on the sly with the trusty phone cam.

Montecito Heights Photoblogging: “Above the City”

There’s no info readily available on the author of this blog, but this photoblog of the Montecito Heights area–the surprisingly-sylvan rolling hills and dipping canyons to the west of the Arroyo Seco and northeast of Lincoln Heights–is a pleasant surprise to stumble upon: http://montyheights.blogspot.com.

Consider recent posts such as one contrasting a plein-air painting with a real-life vista from the Heights, or a bit down the page (sorry, no links on the post titles) the post titled “Suit and Tie”, showing a “desk” composed of cinderblocks & a plank of wood overlooking the vista of Downtown from a grassy, overgrown hillside–they leave one with the sense that Montecito Heights regards the wilderness in a companionable manner, and that the feeling is mutual; and the other images on the blog paint the picture of a scrappy, resourceful and close-knit community.

The author’s contrasts of the seasonal changes in the landscape (titled “Two Tone” and a bit down the page) are amazing and show some serious dedication.

Cheers to you, anonymous Montecito Heights chronicler. You’re putting a face to a name I’ve heard for years but have only driven confusedly through maybe twice. Now I actively want to go back and explore.

LA Channel 36

L.A. Channel 36 is a locally funded station servicing Downtown and Citywide residence.  It is in jeopardy of being shut down.  Today I received an email plea to pass this information along and encourage others to contact council members, requesting that they do not cut this vital service from the budget. 

April 30, 2009

Dear LA36 Supporter,

On April 29, 2009, we spoke at the L.A City Council Budget Hearing meeting and asked Council Members to save our channel by not taking away our city operating grant. Please take a moment and watch this video on our website at,  http://la36.org/savela36.html


Carla Calini

President and General Manager



About LA36::

LA36 is a citywide educational and community access television channel. It serves nearly 650,000 cable subscribers within the City of Los Angeles. LA36 strives to support community building and promote learning through the development and  distribution of  innovative, high-quality programming dedicated to lifelong learning.  It can be seen on Cable Channel 36 in Los Angeles and 24×7 on www.la36.org

Songs About Los Angeles: “Blue Jay Way” by The Beatles


So even the Beatles encountered the flakey ways of Los Angeles no-shows always holding out for a better offer. Damn, bitches– standing up a Beatle?!

Blue Jay Way, a cul-de-sac in the hills of West Hollywood, was where George Harrison was holed up on a visit to Los Angeles in 1967. Jet-lagged and fogged in, he was waiting on a friend to show up and amused himself by playing around on a small Hammond organ at the house. The song “Blue Jay Way” was born and ended up on the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour album and in their BBC television special of the same name.

As an OCD Beatles fan, of course I knew all of this long before I came to Los Angeles, so I also know the friend he was awaiting was not an Angeleno but a fellow Brit and employ of the band, so I take back that little slap at the top– but only because I hate mis-assigning blame for the lack of social graces in this town. But don’t get me started.

BarCampLA #7 this weekend!


As Jodi mentioned earlier today, BarCampLA is happening this weekend. For those keeping count this is the 7th BarCamp to manifest itself in this City of Angles and I expect it’ll be just as awesome as all previous incarnations. There’s a new venue this year, so you’ll find the camp at OTX Research (10567 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 – map) so you east siders will have to go west, and you west siders will have to go east. Or something like that. There are lots and lots and lots of details about who will be there and what ill be going on over on the BarCamp LA wiki. Go check it out, and I’ll see you there this weekend!

[photo by Boogah]

In Case You Were Wondering Which Was the Block Least Likely To Get Hit By Any Criminal Activity Whatsoever This Evening at 6:54 P.M….

…that would be Commonwealth between 5th and 6th streets.


I came upon this scene biking home and was ordered by the officers manning the street closure point to get on the sidewalk if I wanted to proceed. I considered a “Bikes on the Streets!” protest, but thought better of it.


In the midst of my full compliance with the directive as issued I asked one of the 3,000 officers assembled if this was for the scheduled May Day parades he said yes and that there had been expectations of up to 60,000 protesters.

“How many were there?” I inquired.

Continue reading In Case You Were Wondering Which Was the Block Least Likely To Get Hit By Any Criminal Activity Whatsoever This Evening at 6:54 P.M….

Deep House Music Tonight (and tomorrow too!)

imagesYeah, lots to do this weekend… and if you love house music… electronic ecstasy abounds tonight (May 1) at King KIng in Hollywood.  Spundae is putting on an event there with Incognito.  It promises to be ultra fun if you like putting on your dance shoes.

DJs Cody Lee, Gil LA and Fei-Fei, plush Karin Bash and Apartment DJs will be spinning from 9:30 to sometime around 4am.  And Saturday night is always a blast at this club, with Balance bringing on the beats every week.  This week Steve Loria and Juan Nunez are playing.  I know I can’t handle two nights… so which one to hit is the dilemma!  King King is at 6555 Hollwood, enter from the back parking lot.

Breaking: Earthquake Hits Near Malibu

Or Westlake Village.  Or Thousand Oaks.  Take your pick.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake, which occured at 6:11 p.m. local time, preliminarily measures 4.4, a number that will likely change slightly after review by USGS seismologists.  Here is a USGS map of where the quake struck.  Strangely, USGS always locates earthquakes by their proximity in four directions to nearby cities and towns, instead of just pinpointing exactly the area where the quakes hit. A local and apparently jaded friend of mine calls these less-than-catastrophic quakes “massages,” but since they unsettle my balance and/or my gut, I don’t take them so lightly.

Boredom Is Not An Option In L.A. This Weekend!

I’m excited about the vast number of cool, cheap options for entertainment in Los Angeles this weekend, May 2nd and 3rd. A couple have been covered in more detail here on L.A. Metblogs already, but here is a quick guide, in case you can’t find anything fun and economical to do over the next couple of days.


  • JPL Open House, Sat/Sun, 9am-5pm, FREE-Here’s your chance to see what the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory rocket scientists are currently up to.
  • Unique L.A., Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm, $5-Click on the link to read Travis‘ post on this more-than-a-craft-fair event.
  • BarCampLA 7, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 10am-5pm, FREE-An un-conference where tech enthusiasts come together to share, teach, learn, and play.
  • Santa Fe Art Colony Open Studios, Sat/Sun 12pm-7pm, FREE-Over 40 artists will open up their private studios and allow you to peek inside their worlds of creativity.
  • L.A. Metblogs Classic Eats #5, Sat 5pm-?, you name the price, which will depend on how much you indulge in cocktails or if you stick with water. It’s more about the atmosphere and company anyway, right?
  • Circuit Bending Lecture & Demo @ Machine Project, Sun 1pm, FREE-Yeah, I don’t really understand it either, but Machine events are usually pretty awesome, even if they go over your head.

Personally, I’m overwhelmed by all of the amazing possibilities combined with weekend responsibilities. Isn’t it fantastic to have all of these options though? Aside from the above list, I’m sure there are many, many other music, film, etc. events at your disposal if you want to spend some money.

Feel free to leave any info on other happenings in the comments.

Swine flu robo-dial from our school district.

Monrovia Unified started a robo-dial campaign earlier this afternoon on the topic of the swine flue concerns.  And a little rumor control was added in for good measure in terms of confirming no one in the district has been diagnosed as having the swine flu.

You can read the full text after the jump, short version is no one in MUSD has been diagnosed with the flu.  Nor has anyone in LA County.   The district is taking measures to ensure there won’t be a problem and asks we talk with the kids to remind them what to do.  Basics like don’t sneeze or cough on anyone and for gawd’s sake wash your grubby little  mits often.  (Emphasis on the latter added by me).

Anyone else in the LA Metro area have their schools contact them on the topic yet? Continue reading Swine flu robo-dial from our school district.

Songs About Los Angeles: “MacArthur Park” by Donna Summer


Certainly one of the loopiest, most infectious, most brilliant songs (and only marginally about Los Angeles,) “MacArthur Park” is a tale of private madness born out of unrequited love, written by one of the master pop songwriters of the 20th century, Jimmy Webb. It was first recorded by Richard Harris in 1968.

Webb was born in Oklahoma, attended college in San Bernardino and moved to Los Angeles in 1965 to pursue a career as a songwriter. He connected with Glen Campbell, then a young session guitarist and singer, and wrote three of the songs that made him a star; “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Witchita Lineman” and “Galveston.”

I remember the first time a friend drove me by MacArthur Park, not long after I moved to Los Angeles. It was mythic to me for two pop culture-influenced reasons: first and foremost, the song; and second, it was a location used in a harrowing episode of Six Feet Under, the HBO series about a family that runs a Los Angeles funeral home. (In the episode, the character David gets car-jacked and forced to drive to the park to buy crack.)

Today being May Day, it bears mentioning that on May 1, 2007, MacArthur Park was the site of a large immigration rights demonstration that led to a violent confrontation between demonstrators and police that drew international attention.

And then there’s this karaoke video of disco queen Donna Summer, who had a huge hit with it in 1978, and it’s probably the best known version of the song about how “someone left the cake out in the rain.” Extra points if you can follow the choreography.

Classic Eats #5 Tomorrow Night

classiceats1So you’ve been seeing these posts about Classic Eats and you’ve seen some photos of all the good fun and good food (and drinks) we have. But have you come out with us yet? Can I entice you with a little video that Lucinda Michele made of our adventures on Classic Eats 3: Tiki Ti and Taix?   Check it out:


Now you want to join us! Here is the plan for this Saturday May 2:
5:00pm meet at Musso and Frank in the bar for a cocktail(s). If you want to eat there too, rock on!
6:30pm to Formosa for additional cocktails and to eat appetizers or dinner, whichever anyone likes. I made a reservation at 6:30 for about 12 people in the train car section under my name.  The nice woman, Rebecca, said that since we were coming so early, seating shouldn’t be an issue.

Musso & Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd. (A few blocks east of Highland)

The Formosa Cafe
7156 Santa Monica Blvd. (Just west of La Brea)

Thanks for voting everyone and we’ll see you there!