All posts by la_colleen

All hail Czar Neil

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/10/minimall2-thumb.jpgIn an effort to right some egregious visual wrongness, L.A. blogger Neil Kramer has taken a stand against the unchecked uglification of our fair city and nominated himself Design Czar. Among his proposed initiatives: mandatory tree planting with car registration; the removal of 75% of L.A. billboards and (my favorite) requiring minimall owners to submit sign designs for his approval. Like Neil, I’m not a freak for aesthetics, and the twee purity of places like Carmel scares me a little (they have their own dirty little minimall-hell secret on the east side of PCH, just south of town), but there’s just no excuse for the nasty that is the vinyl sign stack.

Derby Rag-Doll

moonliterink.jpgI hadn’t been upright on skates since the ’80s, when me and my Walkman would head to the cement schoolyard in Wrigleyville and give the LL Cool J tape a workout. And, no, I never got good at it, okay?

So I wasn’t even planning on renting skates for my friend’s birthday gathering at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale last night. I thought I’d just make like all the b.la cats who are into roller derby and, you know, like…watch.
Continue reading Derby Rag-Doll

The dorkiest thing I may ever post here

So I’m racing around like an L.A. chicken with my head cut off, trying to cram a million things in between last weekend’s conference in Palm Springs (highly recommend the uberstylish Parker, if you’ve never been there) and this weekend’s in San Diego (no reco for boring, Joe Corporate hotel), and one of the things I need to do is pay the bills. Which, since I am a big nerd and cheapskate, in addition to being a big dork, I do online.

So I type “dwp.com” into the URL bar, hit return and–whoa, Nellie! I’m stopped dead in my tracks by the clean, understated style of this. Way to go, L.A. public utilities!!!

Then I notice something about, uh, “design.” And, um, Bahrain. And I actually googled LA DWP. And I landed on this.

Dork. Sigh…

The late, great Pamela Gordon finally gets her close-up

dogwalker.jpgWe mark the passing of superstars in public and with great fanfare, but there are rank-and-file acting greats who deserve no less than the same star treatment. Pamela Gordon was one of those unknown superstars: an actor’s actor with an IMDb full of bread-and-butter roles that paid the rent while she did breathtaking (and I mean, this broad took your breath away) diva turns on local stages like the force of nature she was.

Ironically, Pamela’s first starring role is one she’ll never get to see in the dark with her fans; she died of cancer in 2003 and The Dogwalker opens today at the Laemmle’s in Beverly Hills.

For those of you who knew & loved Pam, here’s one more chance to see her strut her stuff. For those of you what didn’t, you can read up on her via L.A. playwright Erik Patterson’s blog here (and the excellent story of their first meeting here) and wish you had…

Black & white & zin all over

Tonight marks the convergence of two of my favorite things: drinking wine and gazing at my friend Andrew Ward‘s photographs. Andrew hails from Ireland, originally, and in that inimitable Irish way seems to make himself at home and put his subjects at ease wherever he is: India, Haiti, Cuba, Guatemala, etc. ad nauseum.

He’s hauled over some new large format Gicl√©e prints from his place in Mt. Washington to the Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock, including one that’s on loan from my collection (ahem). The goods will be on display through September 24th, but if you want to snag some free hors d’oeuvres and cheese (here’s hoping his French-born wife, Alex, has a hand in those) while you look, head on over tonight between 6 – 8:30.

Caveat freeloaders: a call to the friendly Nugents of Co. Wine Co. confirmed that there will be a charge per glass ($4 – 7), but they assured me it will be nicer stuff than the usual art opening fare (a.k.a. worth it). Deets after the jump.
Continue reading Black & white & zin all over

Cato, we hardly knew ye

I don’t know when Kurt E. Floren was appointed (elected?) Director of the Agricultural Commissioner, Weights and Measures. Hell, I don’t even know if that’s his official title. (Can you be the Director of a Commissioner?) All I know is my big treat at the pump–seeing Cato R. Fiksdal’s fantastic name–vanished while I was looking away. And that the great reign of unusually named Directors of Commissioners has officially come to a close…

Blogger, 1; pedestrians on the bike path, 0

While Metroblogging has had a MySpace profile for awhile, this may be the first b.la instance of linking to an actual MySpace blog. But since the blog is an L.A.-based one AND the post is a hi-larious rant about nimrod pedestrians taking umbrage when cyclists dare to use their designated thoroughfare AND there are so many cycle-haids on b.la–well, I couldn’t resist.
Continue reading Blogger, 1; pedestrians on the bike path, 0

Be the L.A. Al Gore

As director Davis Guggenheim mentioned during the Q&A after opening day of An Inconvenient Truth at the ArcLight, Al Gore’s intention was always to bring his message of global warming and what we need to do about it to the widest audience possible AND do it by disrupting the environment as little as possible.

So now you can apply to be one of the first 100 people to bring the message to L.A.! They’re accepting applications for the first wave of training in Nashville; how you get yourself there is your eco-bidness. Maybe take a cue from local faves, the Ditty Bops or Midnight Ridazz and human-power your way there…

The Climate Project Training Program, via kottke.org, via WorldChanging.com

Where, oh, where is my 5-pak?

I’ve been a KCRW subscriber for years–an Angel, for the flush ones. (I listen to a lot of NPR in between Dr. Laura and Tom Leykis.)

But these are leaner times chez communicatrix, and I’ve had to cut back lately to the $100 pledge level. Less than I’d like, but the nice volunteers during Weekend Becomes Eclectic (where I’ve pledged since Joe Frank went off the air) seemed satisfied, and I still got 5-count-’em-5 CDs of my choosing plus, if I timed it right, a free subscription to Los Angeles magazine.

To my great dismay, I’m listening to the (interminable) pledge drive this morning during Nic Harcourt’s show and I hear a lot of “4-pak at the $100 level”, but no 5-pak! Damn this inflation. Between that and Ann Litt off having her baby, this could be the worst pledge drive ever…

Greatest Fictional Angeleno #7: Sgt. Joe Friday

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/bla_friday-thumb.jpg

Name: Joe Friday
Residence: Bachelor pad in an undisclosed location
Rank: Sergeant
Badge: 714
Occupation: Detective, LAPD
Wheels: 1966 Ford Fairlane

A top detective with the LAPD from 1949, Friday was inexplicably demoted from Lieutenant to Sergeant in 1967. Still, he served the force with no discernible decline in dedication until his retirement in 1970; in fact, Friday was so passionate about right and wrong, he was known for reading his charges the riot act along with their rights, giving long, spontaneous dissertations on truth, justice and the American way before letting the officer in charge take them away.

The cases assigned to him and partner Bill Gannon ranged widely: a Jane Doe found off the Venice Pier; a race against the clock to stop a suicide attempt at the Hollywood Elsinore Hotel; the mysterious disappearance of a pilot who made a crash landing in a San Fernando Valley parking lot. Unfortunately, his dedication to the force precluded any serious romantic life. Save a brief engagement to Ann Baker from 1953-1954 and a couple of rumored dalliances (the last of which, with policewoman Dorothy Miller, would have been kept secret for obvious reasons), Friday remained a steadfast bachelor and social loner, although he would occasionally dine at family man Gannon’s Eagle Rock home.

wikipedia | ‘just the facts, ma’am’? | badge714.com

Other fictional Angelenos in this series.

Greatest Fictional Angelenos #14: Breezy

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/bla_breezy-thumb.jpgName: Breezy
Residence: Silver Lake and West Hollywood
Occupation: chanteuse/prostitute/mom
Areacode: 323
Wheels: Nissan Elantra, Toyota Corolla

The distinctively uni-named Breezy nevertheless was able to grow a full beard while her identical twin brother, Dank, remained smooth-cheeked as a baby. Although not a singer of tremendous skill or talent, Breezy pursued her dream of nightclub entertainer with faith and relentlessness despite a daunting series of personal tragedies, including arrests for possession, prostitution and vehicular manslaughter (she accidentally hit a vanful of born-again teens on their way to a Who Would Jesus Kill? war rally). When an infamous court ruling made homosexuality a crime, Breezy and a number of her friends were forced to leave their Silver Lake homes for the West Hollywood ghetto/compound, a.k.a. “The Pink Section.” She had one daughter, Sunshine, who mysteriously disappeared at age 8 after misuse of her native telekinetic ability. Despite romantic entanglements with a number of suitors, including her pimp, Butch, best friend and fellow former prostitute, Tanya, and various prison guards, Breezy remained unlucky in love as well as career.

Other fictional Angelenos in this series.

Greatest Fictional Angelenos #23: Henry Chinaski

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/bla_chinaski-thumb.jpgName: Henry “Hank” Chinaski
Residence: Hollywood; downtown L.A.; San Pedro
Occupation: Writer, civil servant, factotum
Wheels: Various or none
Interests: Horse racing, Classical music

Upon leaving L.A.C.C., author Henry “Hank” Chinaski traveled around the United States, working a series of odd jobs and staying in various rooming houses, before returning to L.A. to actively pursue his dream of writing. A prolific writer of poems, short stories and novels, he nonetheless spent many years either unemployed, working as a day laborer, or in the employ of the U.S. Postal Service before he achieved that dream. He emulated his idols, John Fante and Ernest Hemingway, both in writing style and lifestyle, actively indulging in “manly” pleasures–drinking, fighting, and playing the horses at Hollywood Park or Santa Anita–whenever possible. Highly unattractive by his own admission (with the exception of ‘excellent legs’, of which he was quite proud), Chinaski was also quite a ladies’ man, and enjoyed relationships of varying duration with a variety of women.

linkage: wikipedia, litkicks and some choice (NSFW) quotage at IMDb

Other Fictional Angelenos in this series

They grow up so fast…

“Oh my god–chocolate is, like, the tenth ingredient listed.”

— an 8-going-on-38* year old boy, examining the side of a box of “chocolate”-flavored something-or-other in the grocery section at the Hollywood Target this afternoon

*age approximate, based on the reporter’s limited interface with non-drinking-aged persons

The only heat post I will make this summer

to231rev01.jpgSo I’m sitting here in the EZ Bake Oven last night, wearing a shirt soaked in cold water, slaving away at the computer, and an ad comes on for this solar panel you attach to your car window that keeps the interior of the car a comfy something-under-120¬∫F when you park in the sun. They said this was not available in stores, but I found something similar at vendio.com, here.

So my question is (a) do these things work and (b) if I buy five for my jalousie window in the kitchen, would it do any good?

(Boy, I’m full of questions this morning. Must be the heat…)

And a little model shall lead them?

So I wake up to my morning email, which is 105¬∫F, like everything else in my apartment, and find an item from online media industry rag Cynopsis saying that ‘the majority’ of the writers for America’s Next Top Toothpick n have signed with the WGA and walked off the show, demanding a union contract.

Now, I was not born on the turnip truck yesterday and I know all about the non-union TV ghetto, but it still surprises me that reality TV has been a force for so long and still, the producers haven’t succumbed. Could ANTM be the unionizing tipping point? Any of the reality TV writer crowd care to weigh in on this?