Much has been written about the origins of punk rock music in Los Angeles, but perhaps lost in the footnote of history is a place called Oki Dog, a fast-food restaurant that was located on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of what was hardcore Hollywood.
In the late 70s, early 80s, it was the place to be and be seen in Los Angeles, especially if you were into the punk rock movement. Seminal SoCal punk bands hung out there regularly, including members of The Germs, The Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendancies, Bad Religion and others.
Greg Graffin, lead singer Bad Religion, wrote about Oki Dog in his 2010 Book, “Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God”:
“Oki Dog was the center of our misfit universe, said Pete Finestone, former drummer of Bad Religion (who also happens to be my husband). “It was a place where you could meet and talk to other people and find out you weren’t alone in your feelings of being the outsider… the freak.”
“Let’s Get Ready to ……. “. Yes, I was completely distracted by the dude behind Michael Buffer in the ring tonight before the Marquez- Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas. And yes, he deserves his own GIF. Enjoy.
Creativity fuels the soul. When we’re creative, time stands still, the mind explodes with wonder and ideas, and passion exudes from every pore. Bottom line, the world is a mad, mad, place.
Very few creative types are truly originals, even fewer are perhaps what you would consider successful, but one thing all creative people share is passion for their art.
And this brings me to rock icon, Courtney Love, who recently debuted a new fashion line she calls, “Never the Bride”. Love first tweeted photos of her clothes back in October. Since then, it’s made headlines in various online publications like Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Daily Mail.
But one thing that hasn’t been discussed in these articles is the back story to the story. And it involves an award winning Austin, Texas based fashion designer, named Dawn Younger-Smith, aka “Boudoir Queen”. For a short time, Dawn designed and sold clothes to Courtney Love. They were also involved in a very public defamation lawsuit- one that Love lost.
Dawn is an old friend of my husband’s….
Are you confused about the Petraeus Scandal? If so, you are not alone. But finally, someone made sense of the real life telenovela, also known as the “Love Pentagon Scandal”. My favorite part: the shirtless FBI agent who interjected himself in this mess.
Thanks to GAWKER for the flow chart. I keep thinking at some point Kevin Bacon is gonna pop up in the scandal….
About four years ago I stumbled upon an incredible story involving a group of Veterans from Minnesota. These men played a significant, yet dangerous role in the development of America’s nuclear weapon’s program. They served in the Army’s 216th Chemical services company and for very good reason, they call themselves “The Forgotten 216th”.
It was their job to measure radiation during the military’s nuclear bomb tests during the 50’s in Nevada. Atomic veterans were sent to ground zero with little or no protection. They were not given any warning about the dangers of exposure to radiation.
Almost all of them were made to sign a document swearing they would never discuss the nuclear projects. Almost all of them took this oath seriously, feeling a discussion of all this, even after half-a-century, still posed a national security threat.
Most members of the Forgotten 216th have already died, often of cancer. Some of the men became sterile. The wives of others experienced multiple stillbirths and miscarriages. In some cases, after normal deliveries had occurred, prior to their spouse’s exposure to radiation. Many of their children and even grandchildren are suffering from serious illnesses and birth defects, conditions that had never occurred previously in the family of either parent. All of the Veterans I interviewed believed the conditions are directly related to their service during the atomic tests.
In the mid 1990s Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota) championed their cause and fought to give them recognition and compensation for their service related illnesses. Wellstone even testified before Congress and called the 216th Veterans the most neglected in the history of the United States.
Wellstone died in a plane crash in 2002- and with him, so did the Veteran’s hope for full compensation and recognition.
Now, the very few Veterans who are still alive, the widows of those who have died, and their children are asking the government, not for any money, not for any compensation of any kind, but something they hold far more valuable: recognition of their service and their sacrifice.
And many feel because of their age and their declining health, their last hope lies with the Obama Administration.
Over the past several years, my husband and I have researched and conducted dozens of interviews with the surviving Veterans and their families.
We’ve also created a trailer in hopes of finding funding to complete the film and share their incredible story with the world.
So my 4 1/2 year old’s current obsession is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. We spend quite a bit of time looking at photos of TMNT ninja online. I pull the ninjas up on the iPad, and he flips through photos like these:
Since it’s Halloween time, we’ve been cruising websites to find Ninja Turtle costumes. He wants to be Leonardo this year. This is Leonardo:
This morning, he came to me with the iPad after stumbling across a couple of costumes that he said, ”would look great on you Mommy”.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that only whores would be “Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” on Halloween. Yes, young, stunning, smoking hot whores. I also didn’t tell him that I’d sell my soul to have their body just for one night.
My almost 3 year old recently had surgery to remove his adenoids and tonsils. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’d know that this was medically necessary because of his sleep apnea diagnosis.
The surgery was fine. We were nervous, but prayed that all would go well. It did, thank goodness. The surgeon was amazing so was our time spent at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
So here comes the BUT… you knew it was coming, right? The recovery was tough, very tough. In fact, I wish I would have known more about what to expect BEFORE we agreed to the procedure.
1) YOUR CHILD COULD FLIP OUT FROM THE ANESTHESIA
When I write “flip out” I mean “flip out”. Some kids (i.e.: my kid) can’t handle coming out of anesthesia. All hell broke loose the moment he woke up after surgery. He was beyond agitated. He was yelling for “mommy”, but he couldn’t grasp that I was right there next to him. The nurses thought it might help if I held him. As they were transferring him to me, he pulled out his I.V. (blood started squirting everywhere, for the record, blood is warm). The nurses kept him in my arms as they rehooked the IV into his arm. Then, the nurses gave him not one, but two doses of morphine. It didn’t calm him. They then paged the anesthesiologist who showed up a few minutes later with a vile of Propofol. Sound familiar? That’s the medicine (i.e.: “Milk”) that Michael Jackson used to help him sleep. As she injected the drug into his IV, the good doctor told me “Don’t worry mom, he’s going fall asleep, just hold onto him.” Within 20 seconds he went limp on my arms and they instructed me to help put him back on the recovery bed. Finally, he was at rest. But it wasn’t easy to watch. We stayed there from 9am until almost 6pm. It was a long recovery post surgery. It was a trigger of things to come.
2) RECOVERY CAN TAKE WEEKS
When we decided on the surgery, my child’s ENT doctor assured us that, while each child is different, his recovery from the surgery wouldn’t take more than a few days. He lied. Well… okay, perhaps he didn’t lie, but he didn’t tell us how rough it would be. My boy really didn’t start feeling well until day 11 days post surgery. And he wasn’t himself until almost three weeks after surgery. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except he was in a lot of pain and refused to take his pain medication regularly. That brings me to number three:
3) YOUR CHILD COULD FIGHT/REJECT PAIN MEDICATION
You might be thinking, “please, that’s not a big deal, just force it down them”. Uhm, good luck with that. Apparently the liquid codeine that hospital sends you home with actually stings the back of the throat. My boy would have nothing to do with it. He’s still a bit too young to reason with, so my husband and I had to plan surprise attacks to try and get him to swallow the medication. Normally, we would get him to take 1/2 of his recommended dose. This was the hardest part of the recovery for us and for my child. It was painful to watch him in so much pain.
4) THE POPSICLE/ICE CREAM MYTH
The first hours post surgery my kid had a few popsicles. Then the pain set in and he wanted NOTHING. In fact, it was a challenge to get him to drink and/or eat for the first week. We did what we could and my kid rejected the freezer full of treats that I had bought before we took him to the hospital. He lost about 8 pounds during his recovery (he’s a big kid so the doctors weren’t worried). We were told it was important to make sure he drank enough fluids and not to worry about him eating solids. It took sometime to get him to do both. And sadly, popsicles/ice cream were not part of his recovery.
5) YOUR CHILD WILL HAVE GNARLY BREATH
Notice I didn’t say “could” have gnarly breath. They WILL have the most foul smelling mouth you have ever witnessed, worse than your pets, worse than your husband’s after a long night of drinking. And you can’t do a dang thing about it until they allow you to start brushing their teeth. In my son’s case, that was probably around day 11 post surgery. In the scheme of things, this is a minor issue, but you should know about it none-the-less.
If you are a working parent, plan on taking at least 10 days off to help your child recover. Fortunately, I was between jobs and was able to stay home the entire time.
Lastly and most importantly, the surgery was a smashing success. He’s sleeping through the night and has never felt or looked better. So in the end, all the pain, the suffering, and the unknown was completely worth it.
The scene: Ventura, California
The Venue: The Beach
The Event: ”Surf Rodeo”
What’s a Surf Rodeo? Well, I’m told it involves surfers wearing cowboy hats and bands rocking out on a stage at the beach. For years, it was a must see annual, weekend event in beautiful Ventura, California.
My husband’s friend John Drury is bringing back the “Surf Rodeo” next year with the help of “Roadshow Revival” productions (the team behind the Johnny Cash Music Festival).
But to get folks hyped up now, they held a “mini rodeo” on the beach in Ventura over the weekend.
Amazing venue to listen to music and boogie a little too. Pefect setting to catch the honky-tonk punk band “Jackass”.
Look closer- that’s my hubs banging on the drum kit. And yup, that’s my wee one playing his bongo on stage. Total family affair.
Some of the sights and sounds from vendors who setup on the boardwalk.
You didn’t have too look too far to find the real deal. This lil’ guy was on the swing next to my kid. Odd, but cute.
I’m sure we’ll be up here next year- COWBOY UP!
About a month ago, I made a big score at a garage sale. A family was getting rid of this dining set for $50. But it didn’t always look likes this.
The “before” pictures- I spent the last four weekends sanding, stripping and staining the benches and table.
I finished the biggest of the benches this morning. The stain came out a little bit darker than the others, but overall, I really like the finished product.
Perhaps the best part: The benches have storage! This is a big bonus for my family because our small bungalow lacks closet/storage space.
Roses I bought two weeks ago from our local “Trader Joes”.
A wide shot of our dining/living area. You can see just how tiny our craftsman home really is. The new dining set fits perfectly in the small space.
An amazing and rare date night with my husband. We saw the one and only NEIL DIAMOND-at this historic Greek Theater in Los Angeles last night.
But this wasn’t just any Neil Diamond concert— it was his final gig celebrating the 40th anniversary of his legendary album “Hot August Night”.
A special thanks to our friend Mark who helped us score tickets to this sold out show.
We arrived about 30 minutes early and decided to walk around, check out the sites.
I’ve seen Neil three other times— and it’s always fun to people watch at his concerts.
We made it to our seats— time for a photo op.
And then the people watching continued. You just never know who you are going to see at a concert in Los Angeles….
Look closer, that’s comedian David Spade. Who knew he was a Diamond fan?
Finally… the main event. Not too shabby- 17 rows back.
The view behind us. There were no “Tree People” this time around, but ain’t the Greek gorgeous?
Neil Diamond is killer- 71 years old and one of the best showman I’ve ever seen.
I had dinner with a friend last night who shared with me what I like to call a “only in LA” moment. The moment turned out to be so incredibly ironic, that I asked him for permission to share it on my blog.
My friend said he had dinner one night (in Hollywood) with OJ Simpson and a couple of other people. This was a few years before OJ (allegedly) butchered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, in 1994.
My friend said that OJ pulled a piece paper from his jacket during dinner. He then proceeded to tell the group that he often carried it with him and read it anytime he felt the need.
My friend not only had the balls to ask Simpson to allow him to photocopy the piece of paper (the restaurant gladly obliged the request), but he also asked the “Juice” to autograph it. As you can see, OJ granted the request… and for the record, my friend wasn’t “bitch-slapped” on the head for asking.
And now you know.
This cover is wrong and it’s not because a 3 year old boy is breastfeeding. I have NO problem with that. But already, across the internet, people are reacting to this photo with disgust. It’s not my thing, but again, I have no problem with this boy, his mom, and her boob.
What irritates me is the headline:
“Are you Mom Enough… why attachment parenting drives some women to extremes.”
TIME Magazine editors, please know that all mothers are “Mom Enough”— we just choose different paths and styles to raise our kids. Some moms breastfeed, some do not, and some are not even able to. Some mothers have to work, some CHOOSE to work, while others are able to stay home. We are all different. We all have our own unique challenges. And we all go to “extremes”.
This cover photo, whether intentional or not, is an attempt to make “attachment parents” look like freaks. Sad… very sad. ENOUGH of these “Mommy Wars”.
- +++Conversation last night with my 4 year old son in our front yard+++
- 4YO: Mommy look! (He had pulled up t-shirt and was pointing at his chest/stomach).
- Me: Hmmm... you have lots of red bumps.
- Me: (turns to my neighbor) These aren't chicken pox are they?
- Neighbor: He's vaccinated right?
- Me: Yes.
- Neighbor: Then no, probably just some bites.
- Me: (looking at my kid) you are fine, go play.
- +++Fast forward to a phone call that I received today at work from my kids preschool+++
- Me: Hi, this is Tara.
- Preschool: Hi Tara, this is _____ from _____ school. Your son is with me here in the office.
- Me: What? Is he okay?
- Preschool: I'm not sure. He pulled up his t-shirt in class this morning and said that he has chicken pox.
- Me: (laughing) Really?
- Preschool: Yes. He does have quite a few bumps.
- Me: (laughing harder)
- Preschool: He said that you told him that he had chicken pox.
- Me: No... no. He doesn't have chicken pox. He has fleas.
- Preschool: Oh good. I'll send him back to class.