Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap year or not, the eve of my anniversary is here

My journey began on March 1, 1981, at Angel's Gate Park overlooking the harbor of Los Angeles. My fairy godmother couldn't have picked a more beautiful place for me to begin my life anew. So ironic, in that this is the first glimpse of America for so many immigrants from around the world.

But that was still one long walk home that morning. And though today, the sun is shining and Catalina Island is visible, floating on a silvery sea, it was most certainly not sunny that day.

Guess who is trying to destroy the American economy

Wrong! Look below:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Skank of the year: Bill Cunningham

IF you missed Bill Cunningham of WLW-AM's racist, un-American, anti-Muslim, intolerant tirade at the McCain rally in Ohio that was replayed over and over on the news last night, count yourself lucky.

I'd like to think I have a pretty high threshold before I get angry (and it shows), so I'm glad he's 2,000 miles away from me and I don't have to listen to him everyday. Or hopefully, ever again. The FCC has been working doubletime documenting every little snippet broadcast over the last few years to impose an arbitrary, insipid standard of decency, but scum of the Earth like Cunnigham somehow get a free pass.

Okay; nice easy breaths. Think of puppies and kittens. Watch the breeze rustling through the palm trees. Feel the warm sun on my face. Count my lucky stars that I'm in beautiful Southern California, and it's a beach day, to boot. And no more caffeine for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This is just the kind of thing that they make you take off your shoes at the airport for... and no, Raul and Fidel didn't do it*

All day, the story has been growing: from the hundreds of thousands to a million, to four million affected...

The last account I read acknowleged cascading blackouts from Tampa to Key West to Jacksonville. Some only had their power offline for a few minutes. Some are, um, still waiting for FP & L to get to them. And this was in good weather.

It could have been worse: they might have sent in FEMA.

*That doesn't mean they aren't having a good laugh over it

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Historic Filipinotown

I spent a pleasant afternoon touring Histoic Filipinotown, sponsored by the Filipino American Library. It was as non-Academy Awards as you could get in this town, this weekend. But then, Wolfgang Puck never made lumpia, either (it was delicious, as was the pancit).

Friday, February 15, 2008

They shot a satellite into the air

I shot a satellite into the air,
It fell to earth,
I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a missile into the air,
It fell to earth, I know not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward in an oak
I found the satellite, still unbroke;
And the missile, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

with apologies to Henry Longsworth Longfellow

Brownie, you did some good after all...

Who could have foreseen (besides everyone over four years old) that the thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina would have been better off because those FEMA trailers couldn't be delivered? And do you suppose we'll ever find out who was responsible for purchasing those trailers that would make people sick? Not if the Republicans manage to steal the election again, that's for sure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Go ahead and build your multi-million dollar mansions above the Hollywood sign, why don't you?

To my chagrine, I learned as did millions of Angelenos that the land around the Hollywood sign is not only not owned by the city of Los Angeles, but has been put up for sale to be developed as multi-million dollar estates.

I knew it wasn't officially a part nearby Griffith Park, but because of the telecommunications towers along the ridge of Mt. Lee, I'd always assumed it was owned by some government agency or another.

It might be just some kind of power play to force the city's hand in purchase negotions, but I can't believe anyone would be so stupid as to actually seriously consider building a home up there. Well, yes, I can believe that someone would be so stupid.

I also believe that even if they could get anti-terrorism insurance, they wouldn't get a moment's sleep knowing that they live in the most visible targets to terrorists on the entire planet --moreso than even the White House or Buckingham Palace, given the potential media windfall. Then there are all the twisted pranksters from stoners to pyromaniacs who would just love to see the houses built on the site go up in flames. No amount of private security in the world is gonna keep those homes from being targeted. And then, too, there's Mother Nature to contend with.

All of LA would probably come to a halt to watch as whatever might get built there burn to the ground, as would the rest of the world via satellite. And few --if any-- would be sad to see them destroyed.

There's a golden once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here for some corporation or individual to purchase the site and donate the land --with or without naming rights-- and perhaps even get some good civic pr out of it. They wouldn't even need the deep pockets of, say, an Eli Broad to do it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pop the Paparazzi, already

Now they tell us it'll be at least six months before any ordinance can get through the LA City Council regarding paparazzi swarms that endanger the public.

Well, as one of the 14 million people in Southern California who has to frequently cross the street, I'd like to see something done about this damn mess. It is no infringement on the free press or anyone's first amendment rights to make the paparazzo follow the same basic traffic laws as the rest of us. Since, as in this moment for example, I'm often near Robertson Boulevard where the gilded set eat, shop or philander, I'd like to have some sense of security that I won't be shoved into the street (it's happened) or worse. It's not the pseudo-celebs I'm worried about as much as the innocent bystanders-- too often it's the publicists for said celebs who employ the paparazzi for their own benefit. As a real writer, I take umbrage at the cloke of respectability these bottomfeeders wrap themselves in when defending their behavior, which has become significantly worse in recent years. We're on an express path to the finale of Day of the Locust if something isn't done soon.

Trestles is safe... for now

After a raucous 18 hour meeting, the project to connect the Highway 241 toll road with Interstate 5 right through the California state park has been denied. But for how long?

If one follows the arguments of the proponents for extending Highway 241, it ought to go inland, skirting the Camp Pendelton Marine Base and the Cleveland National Forest, serving the fast-growing communities from Fallbrook through San Marcos; connecting with Highway 78, and then either Highway 15 or eventually the 5. After all, that's where the fastest growing communities are in northern San Diego County, and the greatest freeway congestion.

As anyone who drives along the California coast is aware, if any pristine stretch of the coast should be obliterated for a six-lane freeway, it should be Pacific Coast Highway between the Oxnard Plain and Pacific Palisades. Fortunately, there are enough millionaires residing there (FOA; Friends of Arnold) who consider Malibu to be their personal enclave we can be assured that will never happen.

The Embarcadero Freeway, which God, and/or the San Andreas Fault sought fit to destroy in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, was but one link in chain of proposed highways that would have made San Francisco more freeway-centric than Los Angeles. Hey--San Francisco has enough hills that they wouldn't miss a few of 'em being blasted to smithereens in the name of progress, right?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The morning after

Well, I was first in line at the polls yesterday morning, waiting before seven a.m. as they rushed around preparing for the onslaught. I was standing there at the ready when the poll captain ceremoniously declared the polls open, then did my duty.

All I want to see as of this moment out of the the election is to see the lot of them (Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld et al) brought before a tribunal as quickly as possible after Inauguration Day. Maybe we'll let them off easy, and have them break big rocks into little rocks when they're all joined together in their little chain gang, Burgess Meredith standing over them drawling, "What we we have here is a failure to communicate..."