More Than A shame, It Should Be a Crime

This is very bad news for my avator’s namesake — our friends The bees. Makers of life. That’s why I’m voting for Bernie Sanders. Last night, at a rally in Los Angeles, he said we need to learn from the native people of this land that a part of living is to preserve our environment for generations to come. We’ve got to stand up to this reckless greed!

http://www.sierraclub.org/california/capitol-voice-june-2016#bees

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MAD MEN: THE FINAL HOUR

SpyThe final episode of Mad Men is coming up this Sunday. I’d say that Matthew Weiner is a pretty awesome story teller. The show has been an incredible journey and I’m really happy I played a part in creating it. You’ll find out exactly what kind of a part I played in my latest article for City Watch LA.  It’s all about where to go if you live in LA, to catch the series finale and enjoy a cocktail just like all the folks on Mad Men did for seven seasons.

Enjoy! And if you’re going out to catch the show, maybe I’ll see you there!

Link

JUSTICE FOR DARRIN MANNING

CLICK LINK ABOVE FOR FOOTAGE OF DARRIN WHO IS RECOVERING AND HIS MOTHER WHO IS SHOCKED AND OUTRAGED, AS AM I!

BREAKING: A 16-year-old African American boy in Philadelphia had to have surgery because a cop grabbed his testicles and literally “tore them off” during a stop-and-frisk pat down. The incidence of police brutality is out of control. THIS MUST STOP.

THE PEOPLE’S LIBRARY

The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research is a great place to learn about the rich history of progressive movements in the city of Los Angeles. A non-profit entity, operating on a shoestring budget, the library houses some 30,000 books, 3,000 periodicals, and 1500 posters, just to mention a few of the documents inside. Of course, access to all of this is free of charge.

The library was founded by a man named Emil Freed who was an activist and a member of the International Association of Machinists until he was expelled for participating in the 1945 Hollywood Studio strike.

Starting back in the 1940’s, and increasingly in the 1950’s as McCarthyism reached its’ peak, many activists in the area were getting rid of a whole bunch of books, pamphlets, movies and other materials. Freed was doing his best to rescue those items. He accumulated masses of these materials, storing them in a garage, moving them into a storefront library downtown, and finally, into their current residence at 6120 S. Vermont Avenue.

The outside of the building on Vermont is covered with murals depicting the history of the people of Los Angeles. Preserving the history of communities in struggle for social justice and the multicultural nature of the city; and ensuring this is accessible to future generations is the mission of the library.

Here, you can see original materials from the great civil rights defender, Leo Gallagher, who actually went to Nazi Germany to defend George Dimitroff, who the fascists charged with burning down the Reichstag. The library also holds archival collections on the Walls Rebellion, and Chicano activism. Other popular items that folks are particularly interested in include documentary films from the Film and Photo League of the 1930’s as well as those from the 1960’s Newsreel collective of the SDS.

All of these items are free to browse. You do have to be a member to check out books or tapes. Basic membership is $40. They also have a student rate of $20 and a “People’s rate” at $10. This is for a whole year — a great deal! You can join the library by going there in person, and writing a check, which I recommend; by phoning them at 323-759-6063; or by going to www.socallib.org and paying with PayPal.

There’s always something happening at the Southern California Library. This Saturday, I went to a book signing by author, Robert Lee Johnson. Mr. Johnson discussed the history of the city of Compton, alongside historical images taken from his book, Compton: Images of America. It was a very informative talk, followed by a nice discussion and a chance to chat and meet new folks.

Aside from the free stuff, the library has some great deals going on right now on books you can take home and keep. They’re offering a selection of great titles, with paperbacks going for $1.00 and hardbacks for $2.00. They’ve also got some fascinating historical pamphlets dating back to the 1930’s that you can keep at only $1.00 for four of them! They’re really unique pieces of history.

Another deal the library is offering right now is a coupon for $2 off of one of three newly unionized car washes in the city – and it’s only a block away. For $10.99 with the coupon, I got a super spiffy union job on my car and it looks spectacular!  You can print out the coupon from the library’s website; and, when you use it, the library gets $1 for each car washed. So, you can help the library, help wash away injustice for car wash workers and get a sparkling vehicle to run around town, all in one go!

NEED TO KNOW:

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research (map) http://goo.gl/maps/TCPt6

6120 South Vermont Avenue, L.A., CA 90044

Phone: 323-759-6063

(web) www.socallib.org

Vermont Car Wash

6219 S. Vermont Avenue, L.A., CA 90044 (at Gage) (map) http://goo.gl/maps/Pj085

Phone: 323-778-7100

Union Proud!

SHOE FEVER

High heels, long nails, hot rollers, curling irons – I was never one for any of that. All my life, I’ve been a flat shoe’d, wash n’ wear kinda gal.  You wouldn’t catch me placing my foot into a position like the one used in Chinese foot binding. Yech!

But, as Marx said, material circumstances shape our ideas; and, due to my employment in the entertainment BIZ, it has been necessary to familiarize myself with various devices.  Working as an actor, a photodouble, a stand in and a background performer, I’ve learned to tinker with all manner of wardrobe, makeup, hair-dos and finger nails. I’ve been primped up, loaded in, vamped up, frumped down, scooped in, lifted up and twisted around.

All this time spent in makeup rooms, hair trailers and changing areas has slowly but surely altered my thinking.

Three days ago, it hit me big.

Staring at the rows of shoes hanging from a rack on my closet door, I realized I hardly had any. Following in my Mom’s footsteps (no pun intended), I guess I’d never thought beyond the practical footwear needed to navigate the farm fields and country roads I grew up on. To top it off, the shoes I did have were all still in good shape but looking like 1992. I knew then that I would have to make some changes. No wonder Hollywood did not consider me chic!

So, as is my wont, I went about the business of carefully and reasonably updating my archaic shoe collection – if it could be called a collection. I went to Goodwill that very day and spent $8.00 on a beautiful burgundy pair of Alfani heels. Pretty high but somewhat comfortable – for heels.

I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Enter Natascha.

Natascha, like many of my women friends, has a closet full of assorted shoes and boots. She’s forever stylish; so, when she asked me to hit a couple of Crossroads Trading Company stores to give my opinion on three pairs of shoes she was considering, I agreed.

First, we hit the Melrose store. I was expecting a quick look at the shoes she had in mind, but no. Natascha floated into the store as if she was magnetized, her eyes scanning the rows of shoes above the clothing racks. She quickly honed in on a stunning pair of brown/gold/yellow and cream patent leather five inch platform stilletos. “These are awesome!,” she said. “Aren’t they great?,” she set them down and slid her feet inside. Maybe her her excitement was contagious. Maybe it was just time. Whatever it was, I was sold. They looked amazing.

She took them off and gripped them by the heels, her eyes darting left and right as she swept down the aisle. “Grab something good right away if you see it,” she whispered. “One time, I saw a sweet pair, didn’t take them, realized my mistake, and when I turned to get them, the woman right behind me had already picked them up. To this day, I still think about that pair.”

As Natascha continued down the rows of shoes, I began to try on a few pairs myself, at first gingerly, and then, with building excitement. By the time she called me over to check out the shoes she was thinking about, I could barely tear myself away.

I was mesmerized. I didn’t want to leave but Natascha insisted we still hit the Santa Monica store. I followed her out, my head turned for one last lingering look at the shoes I was leaving behind. At the second store, my mouth may have been open most of the time. I suddenly wondered why I’d never noticed how many types of shoes there are or how many different looks they could make. How ornate they can be. How colorful. How splendid. I needed to get home and feed my dog but I could not tear myself away from the rows and rows of mid to high end shoes – in excellent condition. I started to feel hot.

Natascha and I ended up spending some three hours in a fevered shoe bonanza. I called to ask my neighbor to feed my dog. When it came time to make choices, I couldn’t decide what advice to give Natascha or myself. I wanted to be sensible.

She tried the Santa Monica store shoes over and again. We looked at pictures of the ones we’d taken on Melrose.  She also found several more pairs. Finally, her face was calm as she looked square at me and said, “I think I’m going to buy them all.” She started to laugh in a giddy way, “I should, right?”

“Yes, I said, disbelieving my own words, “I think you should.”

As for me, between the two stores, I found nine pairs. When I asked Natascha to help me pick out the best ones, I knew what she was going to say. I also knew that I was going to do it. I was delirious. Yes! All of them!

I returned home with my bags, flushed and incredulous that I had actually purchased nine pairs of shoes in one day. I had never bought more than two in a day before and that only rarely.

The damage to the pocketbook was not at all bad. Several pairs were half price off. That is Crossroads’ policy. They always want to keep their stock fresh; so, after just a few weeks, everything goes for half price. I ended up paying $120.00 for eight pairs of like-new shoes and one pair of killer boots with labels like Steve Madden, Nine West, Aldo and Miu Miu.

Sweet!