(Shane, if I win, I’ll totally split it with you. Unless that’s against your future laws, or something.)
During the power outage, I was having some major September 11th flashbacks until friends and family in New York checked the news and reassured me it wasn’t a terrorist attack.
Before hearing from them, I had a glass of wine to help me relax, and made a little painting in which I am clinging to my cell phone, feeling totally helpless without power. Maybe it’s a little too silly for blogging.la, but the wine gives me the confidence to post it anyway!
Update: Where I am in North Hollywood/Universal City, power was down from 12:35 until around 2. And about two minutes after it came back on, my Vons.com guy showed up with my grocery delivery. Apparently they drive around even without stop lights?
When I tell people that I don’t own a car, they sometimes ask if I’m a member of Flexcar. I looked into the car-sharing thing when I first moved to LA, but none of the Flexcar pick-up locations are anywhere near my North Hollywood/Universal City home, and I just couldn’t get excited about taking the subway to a rental car. But it sounds like they’re going to add lots more locations soon — AOL cofounder Steve Case just purchased a majority stake in the company.
Case said he hopes to increase Flexcar’s customer base to 1 million and its fleet to 20,000 vehicles in five years. The Seattle-based company currently operates 450 cars in six cities — Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Washington and Portland, Ore.
If they put a Flexcar within walking distance of my apartment, I will sign up immediately. Every Flexcar in Los Angeles is a Honda Civic Hybrid, so it would be a chance to live my dream of driving a hybrid car. (Well, the real dream is to own one, but I’ll take what I can get.)
I know Koga’s usually the porny one on the blog, but for those of you who are into this stuff — lately, whenever I go to the Washington Mutual branch in Studio City, it is porn star central. I wouldn’t recognize specific actresses, but that branch has way more fake boobs and tiny skirts than I’ve ever seen in line at a bank before. So if you’re looking to spot some sexy ladies while doing your banking, the WaMu on the corner of Ventura Blvd and Laurel Canyon is the place to be. (But if you see a tall, pink-haired girl in a short skirt, that’s not a porn star, that’s me.)
I spent an hour or so today hanging out at the Tofu Festival in Little Tokyo. I got to eat a tofu tostada, watch some kids compete in a tofu eating contest, and buy a tank top with a tofu robot on it. I think the photo on the right captures the highlight of my afternoon. How often does a girl have a chance to pose with an oversized, inflatable package of tofu?
The festival continues until 9 p.m. tonight, and Ozomatli is playing at 7, if you’re looking for some last-minute Sunday evening plans.
A few more photos are here.
Update: Mike of Franklin Avenue has a nice write up with yet more photos, although it looks like he passed up the opportunity to pose with the giant tofu.
If you are concerned about drowning as you drive around town, you could follow this motorcyclist’s example and strap life jackets to either side of your body.
Cybele and I spotted him (?) on Santa Monica Blvd yesterday, but I forgot to post the photo until just now. I’m glad I was able to get my camera out before he zoomed away between lanes. Someone needs to explain to this guy that life jackets only help if you’re being reckless in the water.
As the carless member of blogging.la, I can’t participate in discussions about traffic or bad driving, but I feel compelled to share that while riding on the red line tonight at approximately 5 p.m., I saw a man eating a plastic bag.
He was sitting in the center of the car, holding three plastic bags full of stuff and one empty one from the 99 Cents Store. As I watched, he took a bite of the empty bag and started chewing on the piece of plastic. I didn’t see if he swallowed it or not, because I was momentarily distracted by a woman walking past me, whose flip-flopped feet were covered entirely in gold glitter. When I looked back at the bag-eating man, he was gathering his possessions. He left the empty bag on the floor as he got off at the next stop.
Okay, that blurry camera phone photo might not look like much, but earlier tonight I saw Liz Phair at the Troubadour, and it was the best live music performance I’ve seen in Los Angeles. I think the Troubadour might be my new favorite place to see a live show. Even though it was sold out and I got there late, it didn’t feel overly packed, and the sound was amazing. I love places where you can get a beer and stand towards the back, and still see and hear everything.
I’ve listened to Liz Phair for a long time, and one of her older songs, “Go West,” was sort of my moving-to-L.A. theme song last year.
Continue reading Liz Phair rocks West Hollywood
This NBC 4 page has more facts about the fire in the Hollywood Hills. A few minutes ago they had a live video feed going, but it looks like they removed that link from the page.
When I came out of the subway at Universal City earlier and saw bits of ash falling from the smoky sky, it reminded me of being in NYC on September 11th. As I walked home, I was getting kind of nervous until a guy on the street explained what was going on. Before I talked to him, I kept trying to reassure myself with the thought, “It doesn’t smell like a building exploded.” I wish I didn’t know what that smells like.
Update: Cybele just pointed out that ABC 7 has a story up that quotes blogging.la’s favorite firefighting commenter, Brian Humphrey.
Earlier tonight, I had dinner at Mardi Gras in Toluca Lake, which has good food and live music, but some seriously tacky decor. The poster above our table made me want to get a pet just so I can dress it in a giant ruffled collar and take it to New Orleans to party.
When we arrived at the restaurant, my friend ran into a former coworker outside the bar next door. He told us how two minutes earlier, David Carradine left the bar, kinda drunk after doing shots of Jagermeister, and had trouble starting his car. Then, as he pulled away, he almost hit someone. Meanwhile, I was at the ATM a block down, and by the time I showed up, there were no drunken celebs to be found. I felt like a blogging failure. (If David Carradine doing something dumb in a car sounds familiar, you are probably thinking of Sean’s post from a few weeks ago.)
Since I don’t have a car, I love shopping for groceries online, but it’s pretty clear that Vons doesn’t use my previous orders (stuff like tofu and organic vegetables) to do targeted marketing. According to today’s email, “The Great Meat Sale is NOW!” Their joyful excitement about meat seems out of place in my inbox, but if anyone in L.A. is both carless and a meat-eater, this is your lucky week.
Today I had a ton of work to do, but my friend Dan wanted to come over and use my pool to test the underwater housing for his digital camera. That sounded like a lot more fun than working, so we spent the afternoon laughing underwater and taking badly-framed, overexposed photos like this one. A few more are here.
Earlier this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council released Testing the Waters, their annual report on beach water quality, and the Los Angeles area beach map is pretty depressing. It bugs me that so many places don’t test the water at all, so you have no way of knowing if you’re swimming around in bacteria unless you get sick.
The report’s “Beach Bums” section includes this list of municipalities with no regular monitoring: Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, City of Alhambra, City of Arcadia, City of Artesia, City of Baldwin Park, City of Bell Gardens, City of Bellflower, City of Beverly Hills, City of Carson, City of Cerritos, City of Claremont, City of Commerce, City of Covina, City of Diamond Bar, City of Downey, City of Gardena, City of Hawaiian Gardens, City of Industry, City of Irwindale, City of La Mirada, City of Lakewood, City of Lawndale, City of Monrovia, City of Montebello, City of Monterey Park, City of Norwalk, City of Paramount, City of Pico Rivera, City of Pomona, City of Rancho Palos Verdes, City of Rosemead, City of San Gabriel, City of Santa Clarita, City of Santa Fe Springs, City of Sierra Madre, City of Signal Hill, City of South Gate, City of South Pasadena, City of Temple City, City of Torrance, City of Vernon, City of Walnut, City of West Covina, City of Westlake Village, and City of Whittier.
Update: To answer the question in the comments about how some of those areas don’t have beaches, this is how the report explains it:
Although many of these municipalities are inland, their bacteria-laden stormwater pollution directly affects beach water quality.
Earlier today a friend asked me if LA has ice cream trucks, and I realized I’ve never seen one in the year or so I’ve been here. I haven’t heard even one ice cream truck jingle since I moved out of Brooklyn.
I live in a residential part of North Hollywood/Universal City that seems like it would be pretty ice cream friendly — my building alone has tons of kids. So what’s up? Are the trucks hanging out in other neighborhoods? Or are they just not as popular here as they are in New York?
I searched the blogging.la archive for clues, but I doubt I’ll be lucky enough to run into the free ice cream guy anytime soon. It doesn’t have to be free, though. I’d happily hand over $2 (maybe even $3?) for a small chocolate cone dipped in chocolate, if I had any idea where to go.
Today I took a picture of what has to be my favorite strip mall sign in Los Angeles:
How cute is that bear?! Here’s a photo of the whole sign, but the rest of the panels are nowhere near as exciting. It’s located on the corner of Gower and Santa Monica, right down the street from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, so if you’re going to the Carrie screening on Saturday, keep an eye out for a furry little mechanic.
I don’t have a car, but if I did, I’d totally want to have it fixed by a bear wearing sunglasses.