on our way to

grand ave sports bar



Tommy says

It's Your duty, Judy!

Man, the phillies won.



Greg Maddux stole a base.


off to the shower now....


3 to one!

Go Dodgers!

I feel bad now

I have been making fun of Grady Little all year.

Sorry Grady, I take it all back



He rolled right over the plate!

stepping away

Just got told to get into the shower so the day can get started....







Lugo hit the ball to the far right corner of the outfield. Ahhhhhh. RUN KENNY RUN!

It's Saturday, and there's baseball

I was supposed to get up and go get my bus pass, get the rent check, and clean out my top dresser drawer. It's 1:30 p.m. and I'm watching the dodgers.

And, I'm going to continue watching the dodgers.

Greg Maddux RULES!

LaMarche on Homelessness


The State of Homelessness In the United States
By Pat LaMarche

A powerful look at what it means to be homeless
in the United States

In her first, highly anticipated book, accomplished broadcaster and journalist, Pat
LaMarche has documented a piece of American life like no one else has. Having slept in 14 homeless shelters throughout the country over a two week period, and recording her experiences in a journal, LaMarche has captured the condition of this current humanitarian crisis and brought it sharply into focus.

Available October 5th, 2006 at

October 2006 • Paperback • 71⁄4" x
53⁄4" • B & W
168 Pages • $14.95 • ISBN: 1929565208

Upala Press
25 Caleb Street • Portland, Maine 04102 • USA
ph. 207-775-9872 • •

LAT: Little Pedro's : New flavor to retro hangouts


New flavor to retro hangouts
By Betty Hallock
Times Staff Writer

September 27, 2006

At Little Pedro's, where old L.A. noir meets new down-low hip, bar patrons knock back shots of vodka dropped in Red Bull. At the just-opened pirate-themed Redwood Bar and Grill, the ahoy-matey paraphernalia and a DJ booth dress up the former hangout of journalists and judges. Meanwhile, MySpacers make the scene at the decades-old flamenco supper club El Cid.

Suddenly, everything old is hip-ified again.

There's much that's gloriously retro about these new-old landmark hot spots; their latest owners are preserving atmosphere, details of décor and even some of the entertainment. But updated menus are central to the strategy in bringing them back to life.

Despite the Jolly Roger hanging over the bar, downtown's Redwood still looks like the place that once hosted the likes of Mickey Cohen or Richard Nixon, a place where — in another newspaper era — an editor might have found a stray reporter nursing a Scotch. It's all dark wood and low lighting.

Co-owners Christian Frizzell and Dev Dugal have kept the name and preserved a watering-hole feeling. "We wanted to appeal to the former clientele too," says Frizzell. "As soon as we got the lease on this place we knew we would keep the name Redwood." But the menu has been transformed: grilled stuffed squid, skirt steak and seared scallops over risotto — which will be offered promptly after final inspections.

Across the 1st Street bridge just east of Little Tokyo, Little Pedro's — one of L.A.'s oldest bars — was built in the late 1800s and is said to have once housed a brothel. It has been drawing the cool crowd at least since designer and restaurateur Dana Hollister, who is also an owner of Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake and the Brite Spot, revamped the place this year. She's planning a new menu by chef Michael Borassi — which might include such dishes as fennel-encrusted sea bass, grilled shrimp salad or a cheese plate.

"I just walked in and it had that vibe — that it was just on the edge of being completely brilliant," Hollister says. Now a stuffed polar bear hangs over the bar and there's a 13-foot shuffleboard in the corner. Friday's Punky Reggae Party draws hipsters while jazz singer Mickey Champion (an L.A. fixture for decades) still belts 'em out on Tuesdays.

And why keep the name Little Pedro's? "Because that's what we ended up naming the polar bear."

At El Cid in Silver Lake, the plastic fake plants are gone, but not the flamenco dancers, some of whom have been clicking their castanets for more than 20 years.

"I didn't want to offend the flamenco gods" by changing the place too much, co-owner Tobin Shea says. But he has added an ever-changing roster of rock bands, comedy acts and cabaret shows. And much of the décor — call it circa-1961 medieval Spanish opera house — is intact too.

Crab-stuffed mushrooms are a holdover from a bygone era, but the tapas menu is new and diners are offered such fare as Spanish tortilla, spicy albacore crostini, pan-roasted shrimp with red-pepper butter or seared beef tenderloin. "We've been putting more emphasis on the food. The food has gotten so much better," Shea says. Maybe that's what's appeasing the flamenco gods.

The story of our trip


Los Angeles to Seattle (Via the Coast Starlight)

Seattle to Vancouver (Via the Norwegian Sun)

Vancouver to San Pedro (Via the Norwegian Star)

The Train! The Train!
Most days I travel to Union Station on my way to work. This morning Alex and I hopped on the DASH, got to Union Station and hopped on to the Coast Starlight. Our accommodations included a sleeper car, which included our meals, wine and cheese tasting, movies. If I had to do this again, I’d go running towards the train as fast as I could.

Our first day we spent looking out the window as we headed up the coast, seeing parts of the Pacific you couldn’t see by car. The guides that hop on at Santa Barbara and hop off further north.

The food wasn’t anything too earth shattering. I had envisioned this gourmet kitchen down below, china plates, and large glasses. In reality, plates were plastic. Food was a little bland. And,the drinks were over-iced - so you went through your plastic cup of Iced Tea pretty quick.

What made up for this? Oh...really cool co-travelers. The first couple we met was from Garden Grove. Married for 30 years, business partners for 25. They are taking the cruise that’s right behind us. The second couple - we met during the first wine/cheese tasting - now that I think about it - we didn’t ask them where they were from. But, we had a great time talking about the Hapa book and showing at the Japanese Art Museum. We were late for dinner so we ate all by ourselves. I don’t remember what we talked about...I had a fruity white wine.

At breakfast, we ate with two people who had come on board at Emeryville. The “Emeryville People” boarded the night before, and they were full of energy. I don’t know if they recognized if they were boarding at 11 p.m. - but the rest of us had been on the train the whole day, up since 7 a.m. First thing we heard was “Where’s the Parlor car? Where’s the club? Where’s the bar?” Then, someone went up the hallway yelling “have you seen my cell phone?”

And, we ate breakfast with the guy who lost his cell phone. At his table, a large bottle of champagne. I don’t know if he ever learned how to use an inside voice, which is funny. We sat across from a lady who works with autistic children.
Lunch was with a Houston couple, mid-trip. They took a flight from Houston to Los Angeles, the train to Seattle, a bus to Vancouver, and a train across Canada, and then...

3 weeks of travel in total.

We enjoyed talking with them so much, that when we saw them eating alone at dinner, we asked to be reseated so that we could enjoy dinner with them - again. We talked about traveling, the other cities we’ve been to, how they met (because they were married for 50+ years). They were just a neat couple!

We got into Seattle at about 10 p.m. It was a bit surreal, as every time I go back it feels like I never left. We walked from the train station to the Pioneer Square Best Western. I had the map to the hotel on my Palm Zire, and I had the whole walk almost memorized. We got into the hotel room and just crashed.

One thing about this hotel- it’s right across the street from one of my favorite Italian restaurants. While in college, I would eat there one every three months. After a couple of classes of chianti, I’d look over and see the hotel and think to myself - I should just stay the night rather than hop back on the ferry.

The next morning, Alex and I were down in the breakfast nook and Dad and Mark appeared. They were about 30 minutes early, but it was welcomed! We walked over to the Uyajama grocery store, had breakfast (spam, eggs, rice, and macaroni salad) and shopped. We walked over to the Elliot Bay book store, and the Toy Store. Then, we checked out of the hotel, and headed over cruise terminal.

Seeing Mark was great! Markie will be 16 in January. OMG! He’s taller, but still looks like Markie! He and Dad did come over to see us, however there was more pressing matters - the Science Fiction Museum! I was the added bonus!
Before we headed up to the terminal, Dad left us with 6 jars of jams and jellies. I’m not 100% positive he didn’t leave us with some sauces or vegetables, but I had to carry them onto the boat. I got a little cranky because the bag was heavy and unwieldily. But...we got onto the boat and repacked the bag so it was easier to maneuver. Can’t wait to get those home and redistributed them properly. Thanks Dad!

Our one night cruise to Vancouver was exactly what I needed - a night of rest. Alex was ready to hit the casino, but midnight? I was tired and ready for bed. :-)

However, I did stay up long enough to see the duty free store before bed.

We woke up in Vancouver - the first time for both of us! I was in charge of the day, and I had this huge list of activities planned. First, the Harbour Center tower, Gastown, Chinatown, closing with the Pacific Center.

I was AT the game...and I SAW this...

Jeff Kent got up to the plate, and I said "Jeff, you need to hit a homerun"

Once the 4 homeruns in a row started...

Oh....then, we all went nuts when we saw this...

A true TOP TEN game...

Eye One

Alex told me not to put it like that, but it's funny.

Yes, I won!

I got the call tonight that I won with a whopping 20 votes! Thank you to the 18 other people outside of my household who voted for me!

Thank you!

Now you have to see the site


Baristas gripe about 'poor man's latte'

06:26 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 12, 2006
SEATTLE – In coffee crazy Seattle, a new way some customers have of saving a buck is leaving baristas a little steamed.

The so-called “poor man’s latte” has become a topic of conversation lately on, a Web site that is not run by the corporation.

The poor man’s latte is what you get when you order straight shots of espresso and then use the canister of milk on the condiments counter to turn the drink into a latte.

Krystyna Frahm has owned her own coffee shop Moka's on Fairview Avenue for two years and says usually once or twice a day she sees someone pulling a fast one.

"I just kind of look over and give people the evil eye sometimes," she said. "Usually it’s someone who wants a 20-ounce ice cup with just a double shot of espresso in it. It’s pretty obvious.”

Such customers can save up to $1.50 or more per drink, but it may cost them when it comes to karma.

Baristas concerned about the problem say they found at least one simple way to combat it: Remove the pitcher of nonfat from the counter, leaving just the half-and-half.

Frahm said the poor man's latte isn't robbing her blind, but admits it may eventually take its toll on her fully paying customers.

"Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that it could end up raising our prices because to offset the cost of people getting something for free."

And that may get everyone else just a little bit steamed.

KING 5's Deborah Feldman contributed to this report

My speech from the Good Neighbor Dinner

My church held their annual "Good Neighbor Award" Dinner tonight. I was asked to present an award to Brady Westwater. Brady asked me earlier in the night if we (as in Alex and Ginny - we) were the ones who put his name in the hat. Again, Brady - Alex and I didn't nominate you - it was someone else. :-) So, take the award, recognize your good work!

There were two other honorees: Councilwoman Jan Perry and Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas. They had good speeches too. However, the congregation really took the cake in terms of providing personality. The more time I spend with my congregation, the more I feel like they are my family. (note to self: other blog entry needed if I'm going down this path)

And, before you read the speech I gave for Brady, I wanted to take a couple of lines to shout-out to Pastor Sandy! WOW! What an amazing job! Dinner was great! Guests were great! Everything was great. She's so amazing! She's a rockstar!

Okay - the Speech!

Good evening everyone! Again, my name is Ginny-Marie Case, and I live in a loft downtown, on Main street. I’m very excited to be a part of the Good Neighbor dinner. The person I get to present the award to - really, he should get the Best Neighbor award. Because, Brady Westwater is probably the best neighbor anyone could wish for. I haven’t heard about any loud parties, unruly pets, and, well, all the things I have heard about it, really I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want him next door.

I leave Los Angeles almost every day of the week. It’s really sad if you think about it. When I leave, I hate it. Most days, I can deal with it just fine. The days I don’t handle it that well - it’s when we are driving down Main street, and we pass the intersection where I can see Disney Hall, then the LA Times, CalTrans, and City Hall. We make that turn on to Temple, and I used to think...that’s it... no turning back I come...Pasadena, watch out.

But, two weeks ago, something happened. On my way home, on the train I noticed that far off, not too far in the distance, I noticed our building’s flagpole. I could see my building from Chinatown. Right at the point when the rail turns to enter into Union Station...there it is. I can see home.

I could see all the way up Main Street.

So, what’s that got to do with Brady Westwater? Well, I feel that Brady has been a driving force to help improve Main Street - through conversation, action, writing, maybe an occasionally louder voice - Brady has helped to call attention to the needs of Main street. And, it doesn’t end there.

I have come to learn that Brady isn’t a street-discriminator...he’s out there calling attention to all of the downtown streets. And, it’s not just street’s he’s worried about, buildings, trees, shrubs, sidewalks, bikeways, tents, apartments, SROs, and yes...and maybe even a loft or two. And, some where in there a pet. Wait, there’s more...People! Kids, teenagers, seniors..

Geesh Brady, that’s a lot of worrying.

One night, Alex and I were driving home from dinner, and we are stopped at 7th and Spring. I see this guy, wearing a nylon windbreaker. I think to myself - Is that Brady? Then, I said it outloud to Alex - Hey, that’s Brady! Look! Look! It’s Brady!

However, it sounded like the time I saw Lenny Kravitz in Malibu, coming out of starbucks. Hey, that’s Lenny Kravitz!!!!!!! Look! Look! It’s Lenny Kravitz!!!! Yes, the rockstar Lenny Kratvitz made me starstruck.

My point is, Once I realized what I had said, and how I had said are the rockstar of Main Street, and an amazingly good neighbor. And, I thank you for that!