The Best Part Of The Suburbs Are The Toilets

Beneath the average American City exterior the suburbs try to present, I know for a fact that all the worst things in the world come from these disconnected living environments: Rent-To-Own, Automatic Sensor Faucets, Baseball, Individual Retirement Accounts, The Grilled Cheese Truck, “I have to use some vacation hours or I will lose them”, Plastic Mole Jars, Self-Checkout Cashiers. I bet all of these modern evils have been thought up in some suburban kitchen or den, by some equally evil people. Yeah, it has to be true.

But I do like getting invited to the pool parties. Today I found out that these bastard suburbanites also enjoy some outstanding tinkle stations.

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Film Festival on the LA Metro!

Those of you who ride the metro to work and around town, you’re in for a unique treat this month. Starting June 13 there will be a continuous loop of short films created about Los Angeles and especially for those who ride the metro.  This collection of films is called “Out of the Window”.  The Los Angeles Weekly got the jump on the details of this event last week. If knowing whose idea this was and who is funding this film festival click here for all those details.

My 2 minute film “LA Woman” was selected to be a part of this first group of films created by 30 professional artists and teams of teen filmmaking students. The films will be shown on 2000 LA Metro buses over 4000 square miles of LA County—wow! I’ve never been in such a mega media blitz before. The buzz was that there were an overwhelming amount of ‘car culture’ themed entries. Well, hell LA is all about how you get around the city–whether it’s on the metro, bike or car—it’s one our our daily preoccupations. My film is all about cruising. This festival will be interactive too. Films will end with a question prompting metro riders to text their response. My film question is “Who is your favorite LA woman?”.  Simple, because I like to keep it easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy.

On Sunday, June 12, all the student entries will be screened followed by a reception at Inner City Arts, 3pm. This is such an exciting project for these young Cecil B. DeMilles in-the-making. [I’m more of a Godard.]
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The Geniuses of East LA

Last month Popular Mechanics announced that Motive Industries in Canada is in the process of developing an earth-friendly-eco car made out of hemp. Gives the concept of hot-boxing a new definition, right?

As I laughed non-stop about the marijuana-mobile in Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke— never did I think, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” I kinda remember this vehicle made out of weed as funny and absurd. Who knew that 33 years later this stoner-logic would be the answer to our gas and ecological woes? Now it’s genius!

This hemp car, The Kestrel is scheduled to be available in 2012 or 2013. More than likely it will not be too popular on the eastside though, because of its size, being electrical and its general meekness. Had the developers stuck to the original van as Cheech and Chong had envisioned it—we might have been more into it. Especially, if the van had that burning exhaust pipe, with it’s 100-foot mota-smoke screen.

The techs working on this hemp car have no idea how the car body will wear down, they believe it will have a quiet interior and will not smell. Still, I envision a side industry of car sprays and air fresheners with names like Kalifornia Kush, Turkish Gold or Blueberry Purps—sort of a rip on the popular New Car scent. I also wondered if the Kestrel would drive the scent dogs crazy when crossing the international border, especially on a really hot day. Since the body is organic, it is supposed to bounce back and be easy to repair. Just a few Zig-Zags would work maybe.

Hemp has the lowest amount of THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its magical properties. You’d probably have to torch the whole car to get any effect—but hemp does have great nutritional value. I think that’s a big plus, because during some natural disaster—you’d have something life saving to gnaw on.

Now my thoughts are onto other genius inventions from the eastside. Maybe in 2025 all vehicles will come standard with hydraulics—something we may need for a future flood or for jumping-in during an earthquake.


My Pal, The Gas Company

(Gas man checking the gas lines. Of course he is.)

It’s a hopping Saturday Night with lots of festivity in the air: a couple of parties down the street with some loud ass Banda-Rancheras-sabra que mas playing, young mensos are tearing up the asphalt on their motorcycles probably headed to some desmadre or other, and my neighbor is going crazy dancing along to one of those new stupid “interactive” video games. Me? Break out the chelas and the checkbook cuz it’s bill paying time! Hey, it has to get done, que no?

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The Metro Dream

The Metro Dream circa 1987

While looking through some old papers that belonged to my grandmother, I found this map from the early 1980s of Los Angeles’ projected Metro rail system. It was part of a promotional package sent to Los Angeles city residents. More than twenty years later and sadly only a few of those lines became reality.

The Metro 2010


A worker installs panels in the array, which will be about the size of a football field. (Christina House/For The Times / September 19, 2010). A photo from the LA Times article about the installation of 1400 large solar panels on the hills above Griffin Ave.

The project on property belonging to the Christian Science Convalescence Home has been temporarily halted as public outrage over the ugly scaring of the hills is discussed further.

The owners of the old folks home have all the permits and legal rights to complete the project but is the eyesore and desecration one of the remaining undeveloped hillsides going to be allowed? At what price does solar energy and energy savings to the owners have on not only the aesthetics of the community but also the future of the birds and animals that reside in those hills?

Solar energy is a viable and resourceful way to combat the oil industry and it’s dirty poisonous effects on Mother Nature but does this justify the destruction of nature and habitat that is becoming so rare in Los Angeles nowadays?

As a roofing and construction professional of many decades I would ask why we in the USA don’t mandate the use of roofing materials that use solar collector cells integrated into the membrane as is so popular now in Europe.

Imagine if almost every roofing surface in Los Angeles was covered with a solar energy efficient material that turned solar energy into a power source, on most days peoples electrical meters would run backwards and ugly solar collector panels and giant wind turbines wouldn’t be ruining the aesthetics of the landscape.

Paletero Man

Last night I was hanging out at a youtube party, where various folks pick a music video to share with the gathered crowd. It’s all the rage these days, didn’t you know? Vicente from the bay area shared this ridiculous video that had us busting up for minutes, which I thought was the stupidest video ever. A paletero without a properly insulated cart? Not even a damn ice chest? Plus no bells or horns either on the shopping cart, nobody’s gonna know the paletero is coming around. Even the poorest and dumbest ambulante in LA knows that this shit ain’t gonna work. What’s wrong with them fools from Frisco? At least they paid a visit to the laundromat, otherwise known as the functional local plaza.

This morning I can’t remember any of the other videos so I guess this was the best one of the night. Enjoy!

Serving Notice: Learn to Decipher Maya Hieroglyphics

BL FLier

The Mesoamerican Society at Cal State L.A and co-sponsor the Art History Society at CSULA are sponsoring a Maya Epigraphy Workshop on February 19-21. The three-day workshop will be taught by Dr. Bruce Love, one of the world’s main epigraphers and translator of The Paris Codex: Handbook for a Maya Priest (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994). These workshops generally cost hundreds of dollars but thanks to Prof. Love — who will be teaching this workshop for free — students can enroll for a minimum fee that will help defray the cost of workshop materials.

It didn’t take long…

Eastside Gold Line train at 3rd near Rowan

Just read this on the LA Now blog:

Southern California — this just in
2 injured in collision between car, Gold Line train
November 26, 2009 | 11:05 pm

Two people suffered minor injuries this evening when their car collided with a Gold Line Metro train in East Los Angeles, authorities said.

The car turned in front of the eastbound train at a crossing near 3rd Street and Rowan Avenue about 8:20 p.m., said Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Hinkle. The two occupants of the car complained of pain and were taken to a hospital, he said.

A California Highway Patrol officer said the pair were riding in a Chevy Malibu, which was towed after the crash.

The one passenger on the train was uninjured.

— Jack Leonard

LA Eastside contributor Browne Molyneux pointed out some of the safety issues of the Eastside Gold Line Extension back in August. In particular she pointed out the nearby intersection where the above accident took place and asked why there weren’t more safeguards like crossing bars. Many of us felt that it would take an accident or worse for Metro to implement some of these much needed changes. How many accidents it will take before the area gets the consideration the residents of South Pasadena received?

Lane Lights on the Pasadena Fwy

Sorry for the crappy video, but I figured I’d share this short clip of some new “lane lights” that are now, uh, lighted on the Northbound Pasadena Fwy that’s supposed to help with that long line to transfer on to the 5. I guess that’s what the signs about lane lights have been about. I noticed these last night and they seemed a bit bright and almost distracting. Not sure if others think that as well but I also noticed there was way more traffic around this time than usual (8:30 pm-ish) yesterday and today. You ‘ll notice that it’s one line of lights and then turns into two lines (don’t cross) near the 5 ramp. Plus they also put up physical barriers to see if they can stop the usual assholes that try to cut in line way up front, though I bet they’ll just be jerks a bit sooner. I usually stay out of this lane precisely to avoid said jerks, but I wanted to get close to safely get this clip. Yes, very safe.

Just an FYI, so you don’t get all freaked out in the middle of the night. If you’ve seen them, do you think they are useful or just a tad distracting/dangerous?

Day Trippin’: Cerritos Library


It’s been awhile since I did one of these, and I’ve bet you’ve all just been sitting around waiting to be told where to go next, eh? Well the wait is over! Warm up your engines, or pedals, or sandals, or whatever, cuz there’s a new day trip excursion around Los Angeles for you to consider. And to which exciting and fascinating spot are we headed today? To the library! Wait a minute…what?

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