Ralph’s Food Cheap!(er)

img_1522After supermarket food prices rose sharply in 2008, today I noticed a huge number of items on sale at my local Ralph’s.  There were yellow sale tags on everything from strawberries to eggs to Lay’s potato chips.  This was very dangerous for me, as I have just gotten over a three-day stomach virus during which I ate almost nothing, and now have all kinds of new food cravings (although I’m not quite ready to think about that Hot Dog Death March).

So, what’s going on at Ralph’s?  Has business dropped off, requiring it to slash prices?  Obviously, in the midst of a severe economic recession, the prices of many things, from houses to cars, have plummeted.  Restaurants and other businesses are offering all kinds of deals to hold onto business.  But, since food is a staple, I would have thought that supermarkets like Ralph’s were immune to  downturns.   In fact, I thought Ralph’s would do better, as people eat at home more during the recession. 

Speculate with me, after the jump

Help Roll Royce From The Joint

My friends at Bark Avenue Foundation asked me to help spread the word about Royce. This affectionate guy was relinquished by his owners due to a devastating financial crisis. He has been at the shelter for over six months, so even a temporary foster home would be ideal for right now. Royce is great with all dogs, even small ones. He’s a well-trained young chap too. Unfortunately, like many other pits or pit mixes, he suffers from widespread breed prejudice and is often overlooked, despite his playful and nurturing demeanor.

Royce's family could no longer take care of him financially. Please help find him a loving home.
Royce's family could no longer take care of him financially. Please help find him a loving home.

For more information on how to foster or adopt this little guy, visit Royce’s Dogster profile here: http://www.dogster.com/dogs/935736


Per the LA Times, the State Supreme Court just issued its decision to uphold the constitutionality of Proposition 8.  It also held that those gay couples who were married prior to the passage of the horrific proposition will continue to be legally married.  The fight continues ….

Update: Now that traffic to the Supreme Court’s decision has died down, you can mosey on over here to read the 100+ page opinion for yourself.  Choiciest quote so far, at page 9:

We agree with petitioners that the state constitutional right to equal protection of the laws unquestionably represents a long-standing and fundamental constitutional principle (a constitutional principle that, as we already have explained, has not generally been repealed or eliminated by Proposition 8). There are many other constitutional rights that have been amended in the past through the initiative process, however, that also are embodied in the state Constitution’s Declaration of Rights and reflect equally long-standing and fundamental constitutional principles whose purpose is to protect often unpopular individuals and groups from overzealous or abusive treatment that at times may be condoned by a transient majority. Neither the language of the relevant constitutional provisions, nor our past cases, support the proposition that any of these rights is totally exempt from modification by a constitutional amendment adopted by a majority of the voters through the initiative process.

Fischerspooner “Performs”

When Pretentious NYC Electroclashers Fake Sing and/or Burgeon with Ennui


Remember electroclash? It was that musical burp that crept onto the scene at the turn of the millennium, then went the way of the buffalo. Or did it? Like spotting a sasquatch in a heavily wooded area, Fischerspooner appeared at the Avalon and revealed that electroclash still exists, just in a slightly older, more rotund manner. Continue reading Fischerspooner “Performs”

Dance Camera West Plays Redcat in June

dcw-becoming A couple of years ago, I happened on a screening of films about dance that blew me away. I was at a performance art thing and a group called “Dance Camera West” showed some films at this event. The short form pieces were from all over the world, and unexpectedly wonderful.

Because all the films were so fine, I went to a couple more in the ensuing weeks. They were all stunningly original and very cinematic, something that can be rare when you combine dance and film. Since that summer, I haven’t missed this yearly celebration of dance on film.

Starting on Friday, June 5th, Dance Camera West celebrates their eighth year with the screening of dance films at Redcat downtown. Using various venues, including Redcat, they’ll show 41 films you can catch all over the city. Check out the schedule here. If you like dance, you don’t want to miss this.

Caché / Eyer Mural Finally Captured


This isn’t a new piece from collaborators Caché and Eyer (thumbnails from the Flickr photoset above), but it may well be their longest. The mural’s been there on the north side of Beverly Boulevard between Commonwealth and Virgil for some months now. But coming back to Silver Lake from this morning’s L.A. Bike Tour I finally made good on a long-standing promise to snap it in its ultra-wide awesomeness.

After the jump is a very tiny and low-resolution and veeeeery rough cobbled-together pano of the complete work that gets bigger when you click it.

Continue reading Caché / Eyer Mural Finally Captured

10:19 a.m. At The Los Angeles National Cemetery

lancIt’s not an entirely annual tradition, but over the last six Memorial Day weekends, I’ve paid visits to the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood more often than not. Surprise: I like to bike there, and today was no exception.

With more than 85,400 veterans interred across its 114 acres, the cemetery — 120 years old this year — is a solemn and poignant and historic place any day, but on this particular weekend with each grave bearing a flag it is especially so.

Since the official ceremony is tomorrow, this morning was quiet. Not more than a handful of visitors were on the premises. Nevertheless when my friend Hap and I arrived we were told immediately by the groundskeeper to walk our bikes so we wondered why, but respectfully obeyed the order and locked up near the chapel to wander around on foot.

I’m the kind of sap that won’t stand for a fallen flag and will go way out of my way to right the ones that I see downed.  But graves unadorned as those two that I found near to where we’d secured our bikes? Inconceivable.

I made things right at the first grave with one flag found just stuck in the ground near nothing in particular. But I wasn’t so fortunate with the second site. So I tried the chapel door and it was locked, but a lady approaching it told me where the restrooms were.

“Thank you, but I don’t need a restroom. I need a flag for a grave I found without one.”

Continue reading 10:19 a.m. At The Los Angeles National Cemetery

What’s In Your Earthquake Kit?

earhquakesuppliesIn 1994 I was single and living in a studio apartment in Santa Monica when the Northridge Earthquake hit. Santa Monica got hit pretty hard considering its distance from Northridge, many houses came off their foundations and one apartment building two blocks from me had a gas leak and explosion minutes after the earthquake struck. (Thankfully due to the MLK holiday, none of the tenants were home at the time.)

And how well prepared was I for the earthquake? I had one small maglight flashlight IN MY CAR. That’s it. So in the pitch dark — and you know what I mean by how dark it was at 4:30 in the morning with a lot of power out throughout the city — I found shoes and went to my car to get the flashlight. After that day I was only slightly better prepared: I kept water in my car and bought many more flashlights to keep around the apartments I lived in.

Since we got married 8 years ago, my husband and I have been keeping a fairly decent earthquake kit in our easy to get to storage area and after all the recent shaking we pulled it all out and refreshed it. The photo above is of the supply box and the small blue bin behind it has our foodstuffs. We wrote down a few more things we needed and I have been perusing Sean and Jason’s Urban Journal website for additional ideas. 

I would love for you all to share things you have your kits, items you have in your cars, what you keep by your bedside. I would love recommendations on hand crank/solar flashlights and radios. Tell me what oddball things you keep in those boxes, just in case.

Click through the jump to see photos from Santa Monica damage in 94 as well as a sample of our foodstuffs and a more complete list of things in our supply box.


Continue reading What’s In Your Earthquake Kit?

Those Most Sporting of Street Closures: LA Marathon Monday

lamarathonIt’s that time again! I understand the LA Marathon is a world-class athletic event offering us humans the possibility to excel and revel in our physicality, but for me, the LA Marathon means one thing: road closures.

This year’s route begins in downtown, heading south on Fig, and jogs around Exposition Park; proceeds west on Exposition Blvd. to jog south through Leimert Park; heads up to Rodeo ROAD via Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; north on Crenshaw to Venice; then zigzags up La Cienega to Pico, executing a u-turn via San Vicente to Wilshire & 6th Street, heading east again through the Tar Pits area & Hancock Park; meanders around in Hancock Park/K-Town a little bit before heading to Olympic, pointed east; and then returns to its starting point downtown.

Plan your routes accordingly. The map is here.

Photo by mil8 via Creative Commons.

Super deals on bikes this weekend at Coco’s


If you’ve been considering picking up a used bike, or already have one but have been toying with the idea of fixing up another boy do I have news for you. My friend Mister Jalopy has informed me that they are having the first ever bike sale at Coco’s this weekend. Basically what happened is his eyes were bigger than his warehouse so to speak and months and months of buying all kinds of used bikes at swap meets and garage sales has caught up with him and he has so many he can’t walk around without knocking over huge stacks of bikes or something like that. Having purchased bikes and bike related items from Coco’s in the past I can tell you 2 things – 1. They try to price things extremely fair with an emphasis on selling cool bikes to cool people at cool prices and 2. They never negotiate prices because of point #1. So a sale is unheard of. It’s crazy talk. But it’s real. Over on the Coco’s blog he has a rundown of some of what is available. If you’ve been thinking along those lines, I’d highly recommend swinging by to see what they have. On Riverside, just south of Fletcher.

Free class: Hacking for fun and Profit

hackingI could start with a snark about the economy and desperate educational institutions but I’ll pass.  Mount Sierra College here in Monrovia turns out some pretty incredible graphic arts and animation artists and they are offering up free classes as a sampler for those interested on May 30 from noon to 4PM.  The free classes being offered include animation, flash web design, resume building, hacking that tie in with the Bachelor degrees they offer in Media Arts and Information Technology.

The snazzy postcard they sent me can be embiggened from the thumbnail.  Registration is required and you can do it here now.

Address: 101 E Huntington Dr, Monrovia CA 91016

One week from tonight: Coop show opens at Corey Helford

coop upcoming evite(DISCLAIMER: Shameless Self Promotion coming at you in 3, 2, 1)

No secret my affiliation with COOP – so here’s news of the opening of Coop’s first show of paintings in three years.

It’s at the stupendously awesome Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, and PLEASE come!

Party is Friday the 29th from 7-10pm and Coop and I will both be on hand so please step up and say hey!




Party – open to the public –


7 – 10 pm