All posts by la_colleen

The Taxalis are coming! The Taxalis are coming!

invite-taxali.jpgOkay, sure Caryn will blog about this, too, but she’s in Florida cut off from high-speed or something and everyone needs to mark their calendars NOW for the upcoming Gary Taxali show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery.

Gary uses found objects (old book covers, mostly, as far as I can tell) in his mixed-media pieces. They’re sophisticated and haunting and fun all at once, and I want to own every one I see. Think I’m kidding? Just wait. These paintings are like the art equivalent of crack cocaine, only your first taste is NOT free.

I will, of course, be there. However, I am freezing the rent money in some Tupperware before I go. Caveat browser…

La Luz de Jesus Gallery presents
“Chumpy’s Night-School”
New works by Gary Taxali

January 7th – January 30, 2005
Opening reception: Friday, January 7th, 8-11pm

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-7667


Detail from “Unfamous”, mixed media, ©Gary Taxali

Note: Next week, the works will be available for viewing on the La Luz web site.

Get your Fabulous on for the holidays

gregFilkensMain.jpgIf you never saw the Fabulous Monsters’ Ramayana 2K4 in one of its many L.A. (or NYC, for that matter) incarnations, I feel for you. However, you can still get that Monsters vibe and maybe come away with a piece of something Fabulous this season if you show up at the 1st Annual Fabulous Monsters Art Party this Saturday (that’s TOMORROW), December 19th.

According to the email I got, there will be FREE (as in, no cover) “music, fun, food & shopping.” I can’t believe they’ll be giving away food and I’m pretty sure they’ll make you pay for your items but damn, those Monsters know how to party.

Items for sale include masks & clothes by Sheryl Schaeffer; hoops (sic) by Dawn Light Amora, art & clothes by the extraordinary costume designer, Robert Prior; and hip huggers & fudgee shoulder bags by someone named “Mikiko” who’s probably cool, too. Plus a bunch of art & stuff from over 30 artists from Electric Grasshopper in Silver Lake. Proceeds benefit the individual artists as well as Fabulous Monsters, an outrageously inventive L.A. theater company.

From 2-7pm, Saturday, Dec. 19 at Abundant Sugar (in the Brewery Arts Complex) 618 A. Moulton Ave, Los Angeles, CA. Music by Rara and friends (the Monsters & Co. are super-into electronica).

Be there or be, um, square. For reals. These cats are supah-cool.

Or you could stay at home and watch T.V.

It’s officially awards season here in L.A. No, they don’t start doling them out until 2005, but the solicitations have begun. At the bottom of the newspaper ads for every movie that believes it has even a remote chance of being nominated for any award, there is abundant mousetype inviting the members of various organizations who give awards to present their I.D. cards for free admittance for themselves and a guest to any show.

I, on the other hand, am being solicited for a different sort of nomination. Yes, for the second time in ten unlucky years I have been invited not to be on the SAG film nominating committee, but its bastard stepchild, the SAG television nominating committee. So while the lucky film nominators run off to free screenings of The Aviator, Ray and The Incredibles at the plush theater of their choice (The Motorcycle Diaries…free…at the ARCLIGHT!!!), my mailbox is filling up with such exciting free-screener fare as “Two and a Half Men” and ESPN’s “3.”

I’m beside myself with holiday joy…

Adios, Floridalma

My newspaper delivery is definitely of the no-frills variety (I have to put on both clothes AND shoes to pick it up) but when that little envelope shows up in my paper L.A. Times every year, I tip anyway. Not a lot–I only get the Sunday edition and like I said, it ain’t exactly primo serviceó-but I figure anyone who’s delivering the paper for a living in L.A. can use a little boost once a year.

Every time I wrote the check, I’d wonder about Floridalma Mazariegos: who s/he was; how many kids s/he had, and whether s/he’d have enough this year for a merry Christmas; what the hell gender s/he was, anyway. But mostly, I’d worry: why, after five years, was Floridalma still delivering my paper? Were there no better jobs to be had? Or was this really such a great one?

That’s why this year’s envelope from my new delivery person came as such a shock. Floridalma has clearly moved on, one way or another, but I don’t know where or why. I’m not even sure how I’d go about finding out.

I’m keeping a happy holiday thought that s/he found greener pastures. I’ve got Jorge Canul’s future to worry about now.

At least I don’t have to sweat the pronoun thing anymore.

Merry Christmas, have a…banana?

BHbanana.jpgOn the way home from my honest-to-jesus Happy Accident, I elected to take Wilshire, having had enough of the heinous traffic on Santa Monica and Olympic. Got my first view of the 2004 Beverly Hills holiday street decorations and, well…I’m hoping they look better lit up. Because those weird crescent-shaped wedges strung up over Wilshire look like creepy evergreen eyebrows in the daytime.

Fortunately, they have enough scratch in BH to pony up (as it were) a more traditional holiday decoration, as well.

Ho ho ho, and all that rot.

Finally, a GOOD L.A. car accident story

So I’m heading home from a production meeting in Century City. Stopped off afterwards to grab a cuppa at the Coffee Bean on Beverly Glen and Santa Monica (which, true to form, had the craziest homeless guy yakking it up I’ve seen in some time–what is it about that particular Bean?).

I pull out of the Walgreen’s parking lot and–saints be praised–a parking enforcement vehicle turning left onto Beverly Glen throws me a two-lane block. Which is great, because the construction at that intersection has increased driver intolerance in direct proportion to it slowing down driver progress.

So I ease into the middle (straight thru) lane. A brand new Lexus pulls out of my land into the left (turn) lane. He’s sitting funny, but it’s a crowded intersection so I decide he’s nothing to worry about.

Wrong. Just after the light has turned green for southbound traffic (me) and southbound traffic (me) is moving forward, Lexus decides he’d rather go straight after all so he LURCHES into my lane as I am MOVING FORWARD for the GREEN LIGHT which in 99.999% of the countries on this planet MEANS GO. I don’t even know how that asshat squeezed in front of me, much less how I stopped in time, but the Escalade behind me didn’t have time and I got rear-ended.

We pulled around the corner to an abandoned parking lot to inspect the damage (not Asshat–he sped off down Beverly Glen as fast as his Lexus-so-new-it-had-no-plates could take him). But Escalade couldn’t have been nicer. In between my cursing out Asshat, he managed to say he was incredibly sorry, that he could see what was coming as soon as Asshat pulled his asshat move, but while my little Corolla could stop in time, his gigantic car could not.

Oddly enough, there was no immediately discernible damage–and he hit me kinda hard. But there wasn’t a scratch on his bumper and upon close inspection, just a teeny coupla dings on mine. Which I waved away–my bumper has already been scraped up from another rear-ender two days (!!!) after I bought the car.

Escalade kept asking me if it was really alright and I kept saying it was; finally, he asked how much it would cost to get the bumper painted–$200, maybe? I shrugged and said I guessed so, but really, not to worry about–

And the next thing I knew, he handed me two crisp $100 bills and after apologizing again and asking me to take it, got back in his car and took off.

But not before I got his name: Ari.

So Ari, thanks for making my week. A nice guy like you makes up for several dozen Asshat Lexus guys.

And as for you, Asshat: may the larvae of a thousand cockroaches find their birthing place in the crevices of your brand-new leather seats.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Comcast gets all stylie and stuff

comcast.jpgThis probably won’t help my embarrassing TV addiction, but I’m enjoying the crackóer, my cable experienceófar more since I turned on my TV (well, launched my digital tuner) this evening and saw that Comcast’s horsey old-school chyron titles had been replaced by these pretty new digital ones, all tastefully proportioned and everything.

Frankly, it’s a pleasure to fork over an additional 15 bucks per month when it buys you not only convenience but aesthetic pleasure.

LA Recycles (I think)

larecycles.jpgFriday has always been Recycling Day on my block. So Thursday is the day I sneak around sticking my recyclables in my neighbors’ recycling bins because LA doesn’t provide bins or service for what it classifies as medium-sized multi-family dwellings.

Until now. Well, I think.

Last week, we in our ramshackle, rent-controlled, 14-unit hovel were each provided with two starter bags and an attractive glossy packet stuffed to bursting with informative, if redundant, materials on how to discern and recycle what was actually recyclable.

While I was encouraged by the official-looking blue bags and the hand-lettered start date (today!) on one of the tip-ins, I was a wee bit leery of the drop-off/pick-up details. I could not imagine that the intrepid LA Sanitation Workers were (a) going to figure out how to access our garage and then (b) haul each individual bag from the sodden pile that’s accrued beside our dumpster to their truck.

So I called the number on the materials and spoke to the very nice and articulate Jeff of the LA Recycles Pilot Program. He explained rather sheepishly that they had moved the start date to the 16th. I shouldn’t worry, though, because we would be getting our official building bin by the 9th or 10th. But, oh–that reminded him: someone was coming by tomorrow and they’d need access to figure out where said bin would go (to which I loudly say “HA!”–there’s not enough room in that peanut-can garage for a sandwich, much less another dumpster. Or dumpsterette).

I hooked him up with the apartment manager’s day number, which is good because this being L.A., she has to support her channeling vocation with a day job in television and isn’t home much.

I guess I’d be more optimistic about the whole proposition if at least the official website (URL prominent on the materials) was up. But Jeff said that, too, would be up “real soon”. I’m holding out hope, but not my breath…

L.A. winters are bulls**t

Okay, it’s December and I’m still wearing t-shirts in the daytime so I know this is a petty, petty thing to complain about but my semi-weekly homage to pedestrian travel has become way too fragrant.

Of course, part of the problem is the uncharacteristically large (for L.A.) lots you find on my errand route: dump a bunch of steer manure in a few Echo Park yards, no big deal; trowel it on in three Hancock Park lots (in a row!) and you have one stinky stroll–or sprint–on your hands.

Maybe it’s time to check out the services in K-town. Or maybe I’ll just do my errands in Malibu and hit the beach afterwards.

Caroline’s loss = your gain

caroline.jpgI don’t go to the out-of-town road shows often because: (a) not into big, cheesy musicals; (b) not into paying 3-6x what it costs to go see something local; and (c) don’t like the Ahmanson (although the Pantages is kinda groovy in an old-fashioned way).

I made an exception last night for Caroline, or Change and am glad I did. Partly because the show is every bit as good as I’d hopedónothing makes me happier than walking out of a large venue with a swollen nose and tears streaming down my face, but I’m weird that way. And partly because of the built-in relaxation time I got between buying my tickets at public rush and curtain. At 6pm on certain show days, they release tickets for the hoi polloi to purchase for riduculously low prices ($12, in this case–cash only).

So here’s the good part: The Music Center sports its own Pinot smack dab between the Taper and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It is 100% al fresco and regrettably, most of the heat lamps are dedicated to the dining area (a.k.a., Rich People’s Section), but give me a couple of $8 Belvederes on the rocks and an extra New Yorker to put between my ass and the metal (!!!) barstool and I’m good to go.

Right now, it’s super-pretty at the Music Center. There’s a big, ol’ xmas tree and tons of fairy lights and last night, there was an excellent doo-wop group busking in front of the Taper. All in all, a damned good way to pass the evening, and not too-too expensive, if you cool it with the call brands and find street parking. And no, I’m not going to tell you my super-secret, free parking spot–a (cheap) girl’s gotta have her secrets.

@#$*(&! ants!!!

infestation-thumb.jpgThey come out when it rains. They come out when it doesn’t rain enough. They come marching in endless (albeit impressive) columns. They come in ones and twos and threes, in scouting missions (note to self: empty bathroom garbage often–really often).

I’m starting to think Los Angeles is built on one gigantic anthill.

Worse, ants are unbelievably resistant to the concept of boundaries. Take my hibiscus plant…please. No matter how many times I haul the thing inside to my kitchen sink and meticulously (but safely!) de-infest it with hot water and dish soap, within hours they and their symbiotic playmates, the aphids, are massing all over the buds on my poor little Charlie-Brown plant. That bud in the above pic is BRIGHT FREAKIN’ ORANGE, people! It is only black because it is lousy with ants.

I refuse to give in; I refuse to get chemical on their asses. Any tips from you Sunset Garden Book types? Anyone?

We don’t need no stinkin’ Nutcracker

weird_thumb.jpgThe holidays are upon us, alright. I can tell because the entryway of every 99-seat theater in town is lousy with flyers for holiday shows…and I do mean lousy.

The Nutcracker has its place, yo, and I’ll be the first to say how much I dug it when I saw it back in Chicago. When I was ten. But there are far cooler, far sexier ways to ring in the holidays here in L.A.

First off: make your reservations NOW (I mean it…go! Now!) for the ninth incarnation of Bob’s Holiday Office Party. Running three weeks only at the teeny-tiny (but lovely, in its way) 3rd Stage Theater in Burbank. Justin Tanner directs a crack team of comic actors in what is definitely the filthiest holiday show and possibly one of the funniest show-shows I’ve ever seen, period. I bow down before the magnificent Ann Randolph, and you should, too. You should also pee first. Yes, it’s that funny.

Next, my one-and-only (I promise!) shameless plug for this year’s all-new version of Ken Roht‘s super-freaky holiday operetta, Peace Squad Goes 99: The Greatest 99¢ Only Story Ever Told…Ever! Everything in the whole rip-snortin’ hootenanny (except for load-bearing items like my stilts) is from the 99¢ Only Stores (the show’s co-sponsors) which sounds chintzy but in the hands of some of L.A. theater’s finest designers, most certainly is not. At Evidence Room through December 19th. Cool for the under-12 set, too.

Finally, I have not yet seen Bill Robens’s celebrated holiday musical, A Mulholland Christmas Carol, but it’s won so many danged awards and so many danged people keep telling me to go go go that I am considering the unthinkable and giving up my last free Thursday to do so this year. At Theatre of NOTE through December 18.