Connect the Dots (#195)

You’d think that the most annoying thing about living by a middle school would have been kids sitting on your steps, or littering, or trampling your flowers.

It wasn’t.

It was their parents. Continue reading Connect the Dots (#195)

The Finest Drivers in Los Angeles (#189)

This driver is ready to take on L.A.’s asphalt jungle.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck behind an old white woman doing 45 mph on the 405 Freeway, I remember Germany’s Autobahn.

I drove on the Autobahn once, years ago. Heaven. Not just because it’s well-paved and you can go really, really fast. It’s heaven because a) Germans are rule-followers, and b) Everyone follows the same rules. If you’re passing, you’re in the left lane. If you’re slow, you’re in the right lane. If you wind up slow in the fast lane, a righteous German will fly up behind you and flash his lights until you move.

Los Angeles is the opposite of Germany. Continue reading The Finest Drivers in Los Angeles (#189)

Of Privilege & Police (#168)

My father was an authoritarian. When I screwed up, the consequences were swift. That’s how I expect justice to roll.

I got my first ticket when I was 16 in suburban Virginia. I could have contested it. I didn’t. I sniffled. I paid the ticket. I endured a weeklong harangue by my father. Continue reading Of Privilege & Police (#168)

The Hunt (#139)

Look! It's a sign! A rainbow on the studio backlot...oh, wait, more Hollywood fakery.
Look! It’s a sign! A rainbow on the studio backlot…oh, wait, more Hollywood fakery.

When my production company laid me off, I sued them for unpaid wages. That’s risky. Hollywood is all about relationships. Relationships are all about getting along – even when you’re getting screwed. Make waves, and you may never be hired again. Unless, of course, you are An Established White Male Director or Actor, in which case everything from rape (statutory or aided by rufies) to drugs to assault to crazy-assed religious requirements are forgiven. You might not even have to do a highly publicized stint in rehab! Continue reading The Hunt (#139)

16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

When Andy and I went to London earlier this month, I thought I was prepared.

Turns out, Dr. Who, Top Gear, Graham Norton, Inspector Lewis, and Downton Abbey may leave gaping holes in your education that authors P.D. James, Helen Simonson, and Elizabeth George cannot quite fill.

The internet doesn’t exactly do London justice, either. But for those of you who are either looking to laugh at the clueless Americans or hoping to visit London and NOT look like clueless Americans, I’ve made this handy list: Continue reading 16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

When You Listen to Lawyers (#120)

IMG_6583After serving on two excruciating civil juries, I got lucky. I reported for jury duty twice and never left the jury room. I was dismissed from service at the end of the day. Both times.

There was great rejoicing. Continue reading When You Listen to Lawyers (#120)

Sometimes You’re the Bug (#82)

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If I lived in DC, New York, or Boston, I wouldn’t have a car. I would take the Metro, the Subway, or the T. I’d read or people-watch, and then I’d walk.

But Los Angeles County doesn’t have just one urban center. There’s Downtown LA, Century City, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena… Continue reading Sometimes You’re the Bug (#82)

Alas for the Red Car (#81)

 

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The original Red Car.  From the Robert Gaddie collection, photographer unknown. Courtesy of PacificElectric.org

Once upon a time, Los Angeles had mass transportation in the form of 900+ electric “Red Cars.” 1,100 miles of track connected cities such as Pasadena, Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Long Beach. (Today New York City only has about 842 miles of track.) A massive hydro-electric plant in the Sierra Nevadas powered the cars. Continue reading Alas for the Red Car (#81)