All posts by annika

I live between Hollywood and Downtown. I'm a writer. I'm a mom. I like to knit.

Ugly Betty moves; 300+ Angelenos lose jobs

New York has introduced tax incentives to get film crews to shoot there. Which is great! For New York. Apparently Los Angeles has no such incentives (which I find incredibly hard to believe, as I know the studios themselves get all sorts of insane tax breaks), and Ugly Betty is the first production to announce that it will be moving East.

The Los Angeles-based crew is laid off and pissed off, and they’re expressing their anger in an ad that will run in tomorrow’s Variety, sponsored by vendors who are losing Ugly Betty’s business. From the ad:

Instead of making good wages and paying our fair share of California state income tax, we will all be collecting Unemployment Benefits. In addition, we will certainly be cutting our spending back to the bone, which will not only cut back our sales tax contributions substantially, but it could end up costing the jobs of the people who provide services and products to us. Not only are these crew positions being lost; all of our local vendors are losing our business.

Full ad text and further commentary at Deadline Hollywood. Via Watchers Watch (formerly Writers Strike).

Life imitates art… and sucks.

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is the perfect LA movie. As long as you define “perfect” as “grim possible future.” Who can forget the stunning art direction? The bleak, rain-filled streets lit up by mile-high talking billboards?

Well, just in case, Sonny Astani is planning to recreate those billboards in real life. Now you’ll never ever forget. Or escape. Whatever is advertised will probably be burned onto your eyelids forever.

There is a reason that art usually imitates life and not the other way around. There have been harmless examples of ideas co-opted from movies and television (Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company, “the Rachel”), but this? It is fucking stupid, not to mention dangerously distracting.

We’re only eleven and a half years from the dystopic world of Blade Runner. I’m willing to wait.

Mid-Week Round-Up

I missed this last week (insert lame-o excuse here) so I’m going to start off with some belated but nonetheless stunning Southern California flora:

poppies by frazgoLate April is prime poppy season, and two of my blogging friends made the journey out into the Poppy Reserve. Allison made the trip with her family and writes about it here, while Chez Shoes enjoyed the trip alone with her Mary-Janes. She writes about it and her other travel plans, here.

Moving along time-wise and from flora to fauna, Will Campbell has been posting more stunning photos of local wildlife. Check out a coyote, a moth, a caterpillar, and this photo-less story about a murder of crows going up against a hawk.

Outside of nature, El Chavo spotted this stunning ironwork on a decidedly non-stunning pick-up, and Creepy LA found a way to show our love of the Dodgers and funeral homes… at the same time!

And for those of you interested in le industrie de film, Peggy Archer talks about the realities of working–and not working.

Photo by frazgo, used with permission.

Confidential, to the bitch in the Escalade

Sweetheart, I didn’t pull into the intersection because the traffic on the other side wasn’t moving. I was trying to let the little old lady turn left in front of us. But people in huge fucking trucks kept swinging around me and gunning it, so she was too terrified to go anywhere. So I gave in and pulled forward when traffic ahead of us started to move. I didn’t realize you’d choose that exact moment to lose patience with me (I think it had been an entire minute since I stopped) and pull around me. Wow, Escalades accelerate pretty fast! You were almost in front of me when you looked over and saw that I was moving. I know how hurt you must have been that I was going with the flow of traffic, so it’s totally understandable that you whipped back into my lane. Your behemoth Cadillac was way more entitled to that piece of road than my compact car was, even if I was currently occupying it. It’s OK, I have good breaks. And hey, look at that! My horn works, too! Oh, does that make you mad? Oh my god, you’re pulling over and gesturing to me to fight you? Lady, you are tiny and blond. “Tough” looks silly on you. And seriously, we both have children in our car. Mine is small, but yours looks to be around nine. What the hell do you think you’re teaching him? You idiot.

Love,

Annika

P.S. Mild controversy, after the jump.

Continue reading Confidential, to the bitch in the Escalade

64 Worst Quarterfinals: Self Important Jackholes vs. Slow 911 Response Time

Hey! You there! Get out of my way. Can’t you see I have somewhere to be? No I don’t have a reservation, don’t you know who I am? What do you mean, you were here first? Don’t you know who I am? Oh I know you won’t hit my car, it cost more than your house. I said, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

And on the flip side… nothing. Your call is put on hold indefinitely. Officers arrive after the crime has been committed, if they arrive at all. Everyone thinks your problem is someone else’s problem. There is no one to help you.

Which is worse:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

…poll closes Friday evening…

Hotel Figueroa

Hotel Figueroa

Last night some of us Metbloggers got together for drinks downtown at the gorgeous Hotel Figueroa. I’d never been there before, and it is definitely worth a visit. Several photos below the cut, all taken in the basement. Which is where they keep the Ladies’ Room. Yes, there are pictures of the bathroom. But it’s a pretty bathroom.

The pictures are as big as they get, since I took most of them sans flash and they’re a bit blurry.

Continue reading Hotel Figueroa

3rd & La Brea

palmThis afternoon I visited the third circle of hell: Petco. The crazy thing is that I don’t even have a pet (stupid landlord), I was just there to pick up some rocks. Putting aside my feelings of utter betrayal by the universe that I paid for some rocks, the visit was totally excruciating. Because the people? Sucked. The store was very crowded and people went out of their way to get in my way. Employees, my fellow shoppers, everyone. Also the line went halfway through the store and moved very slowly. I finally paid my $4.32 and convinced the clerk that I did not want a bag for my bag of rocks (honestly, that is more stupid than putting a bottled beer into a glass), and I retreated from the store for what I hope will be forever. At least until I am overcome with the urge to get a betta.

From Petco I drove across La Brea and parked at Trader Joe’s. It was also extremely busy, so much so that the aisles were deadlocked in places and food was emptying off the shelves faster than employees could restock it. But instead of pushing, shoving, and standing in the way, people were laughing and smiling and being marvelously friendly. A tall fellow (not an employee) saw me looking distraught and got the soy milk from the back of the top shelf for me. People moved their carts to the side. And the lines moved as quickly as is possible, with more opening up while I waited.

(The photo, of a Palm in my Koreatown neighborhood, is totally irrelevant but I thought it was kinda pretty.)

Mid-Week Round-Up

from our authors:

and friends of b.la:

  • Catherine @ So That Happened… catches some awesome closed captioning (and while I am sure the CC is national, zombies are certainly an LA favorite).
  • Neil @ Citizen of the Month finds some writing inspiration, but can he top it? Forget it, Neil. (Also, according to this page I was once his Blog Crush of the Day. How did I miss that?!)
  • Ellen Bloom finds something to do downtown at night — besides drinking, that is. I didn’t even know there was a museum of neon art.
  • JustJenn continues her quest to force me to eat cupcakes. Vegan ones, this time. (Jenn’s son is having surgery today, please send good wishes.)
  • Jane Espenson talks about show bibles, and reveals the totally unsurprising fact that Frasier’s was kinda anal. (Follow-up post here.)
  • And Crazy Aunt Purl speculates that the Pope won’t visit LA because we discourage people from using the Park ‘n Ride. WTF, LA?

Phew! Lots of stuff to read this week. Please forgive the lack of photo, I am having computer issues. Like, I completely filled my hard drive. Whoops.

Mid-Week Round-Up: LA Love

George Clooney vs. the WGA

LeatherheadsHere’s a surprise: George Clooney, member of the Writers Guild of America, West, has gone Financial Core.

Actually, he did it last fall. Quietly and with tremendous class, not wanting to make the union look bad during the impending strike. His beef? He’d been denied writing credit on Leatherheads (which opened Friday). He’d taken the languishing script, by Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, and rewritten (according to him) about 80% of it. He wasn’t looking for sole credit, but wanted to share credit with the screenplay’s creators. In a 2-1 decision, WGA arbitrators said no. Rather than withdraw his membership, Clooney went fi-core.

I am pro-union. I’m the first to say that they are FAR from perfect, but we need unions. This time, though? I am pro-Clooney.

During the strike I had a meal with someone who tried to tell me that it was OK for me to work during the strike because I could “just go fi-core.” He simply did not understand why that was a totally unacceptable idea. And I am really sad that the union put Clooney in the position where it was the better choice for him. (Please note that I am not saying it was the only choice–it wasn’t–or that it’s the choice I’d have made–I don’t know what I’d have done. But it’s what he did and it’s done. No do-overs.)

Story at Variety, via Writer’s Blog, via writersstrike.

Mid-Week Round-Up

From the b.la roster:

And from friends of Metblogs:

64 Worst: Lack of Dunkin Donuts vs. Transplants

I’ll just say it: Los Angeles has no Dunkin Donuts. We have Krispy Kreme, we have Yum Yum, we’ve got Bob’s. We even have California Donut (my personal favorite). But there is no Dunkin Donuts anywhere to be found. None of their legendary coffee, not one single Boston Creme. Here on the left coast, it is never “time to make the donuts.”

On the other hand, if it weren’t for all these damn transplants, LA wouldn’t be full of east coasters whining about their precious donuts. What the heck, transplants? If you miss it so much, GO HOME. And for heaven’s sake, stop planting grass in your yard. Native plants will grow better and make you look like less of a water-wasting ass.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

I do love living here.

Cahuenga Pass

Driving through the Cahuenga Pass with the moonroof open, listening to my kid sing… Sure is lovely.

I’m coming up on my six year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles, and I haven’t regretted it once yet. But it’s nice to be reminded.

Mid-Week Round-Up

Chez Shoes wonders about a mysterious sign in the Fairfax district (see photo).

United Hollywood shares pictures from their photo shoot. Check out the revamped UH site, too–I’m glad to see them branching out now that the strike’s over.

Our own Will Campbell opposes the closing of an access gate to a bike path. Why does the city seem so determined to discourage bikes? Sigh.

Television writer Jane Espenson branches out with advice on writing a comic book script.

And our own Wil Wheaton (you know what we need? More Williams writing for the site) guest stars in an episode of Retarded Policeman, my new favorite show on the web. (Video plays automatically at that last link.)