Tag Archives: Central Library

L.A. Libraries reopen today!

It might not be big news where y’all live, but today, Monday the 18th of July, the libraries of Los Angeles will throw their doors open to the public, on a Monday, for the first time in months! That’s rights, thanks to the overwhelming voter approval of Measure L, the libraries have had enough of their funding restored so that they’ll be able to be open and fully-staffed on Mondays again. Hooray!

Greta and I already have very comprehensive lists prepared of all the books and movies we’re gonna check out today. So, see ya in the stacks, amigos!

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Save our libraries, vote “Yes on Measure L” today!!

Oh, man, you don’t even wanna know how bummed Christine and I are that we can’t vote “Yes on Measure L” today. But, because we live in Burbank, which is its own city, we cannot. But what we can do is urge anyone of voting age in Los Angeles to get out there today and save our libraries!

Even before Christine starting working at The Library Store, we used the hell out of the libraries in Los Angeles and beyond, and now that Greta is here, well, forget about it. Books and libraries are a huge part of our lives and let me tell ya, the libraries in Los Angeles are in serious trouble.

Shortened hours, brutal staff and budget cuts and a philistine mayor and city hall who care more about pricey, unproven after-school gang prevention programs than they do about libraries have driven the already beleaguered LAPL system even further into the ground.

Well, guess what else keeps kids off the streets and out of gangs, Mayor Villaraigosa? You got it, libraries! Los Angeles ranks last in per capita spending on library materials in the eight largest U.S. library systems…LAST! We are a major metropolitan city, amigos, that is just plain shameful.

Great cities deserve great libraries, they are the cornerstone of learning and a real beacon of light in our community, especially in these troubled times, so, please, please vote “Yes on L” today.

To read more about the awesomeness that is Measure L, please click here.


Filed under Do, Read

The Library Store featured in Los Angeles Magazine!

Just found out that Christine’s store, aka The Library Store, is going to be featured in February’s “Hidden L.A.” issue of Los Angeles Magazine as one of their best “below-the-rader boutiques”.  Hooray!

Cooler still is the fact that the magazine only chose six stores to feature in the retail section of the issue. That’s right, amigos…of the hundreds, if not thousands, of super cool retail haunts in the Los Angeles metro area, The Library Store is one of the top six picks. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, and on top of all that, The Library Store was also voted Best Bookstore last year by the Los Angeles Downtown News. And, as anyone who has shopped there before can tell you, unusual books are only one of the many, amazingly-eclectic gifts on sale at The Library Store.

I dunno, I might be a little biased here, but, I don’t remember rad things like this happening before Christine took over the buying. So, rock on, sweetie. You and your super cool staff deserve every honor you receive!

For those of you who haven’t checked out the awesomeness for yourself, The Library Store is located in the heart of the historic Richard J. Riordan Central Library at 630 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles.

And if you can’t make it there in person, check out the scads of groovy gifts available on their website here. Long live The Library Store!


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Christine’s award-winning Gingerbread House Bundt Cake

OK, we have been waiting to blog about Christine’s award-winning bundt cake for a year. Literally! See, by the time we finished making it for Christine’s work Christmas party, it was already too late in the season to blog about it, so, we skipped it. Well, not this year!

Actually, there isn’t much to this thing…all you need is a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, Gingerbread cake mix and all kinds of crazy candy for the outside. We bought our Bundt pan the year before at an after-Christmas sale at Sur La Table, and from what I can gather, our exact style is no longer available on most sites. But I did find a similar pan at Wal-Mart that would work just as well.

For the cake itself, we used Trader Joe’s Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix, which is freaking delicious on its own, but even better in tiny Christmas house form. Yum!

As you can see in the second picture above, the cake comes out of the over kind of rounded on the bottom, so, we cut that part off and promptly ate it. Then, with the bottom of our Gingerbread house flattened, we placed it in the center back of our cake plate (gotta leave room for a big, snowy front yard, yo!) and got down to decorating the outside of our house.

Aside from the little jelly candies we used in the windows — which we found in the candy aisle at our local CVS — we stuck to pretty traditional candy decor: M&M’s, Red Vines, candy canes, and marshmallows.

The most expensive “building materials” we used were probably the Williams-Sonoma chocolate covered peppermint sticks (aka North Poles) we used for the fence. They weren’t cheap, but we only needed a few of them and since we had them in the house already, we used them.

The snowy ground cover in the yard was powered sugar mixed with water and, lemme tell ya, that stuff was hard to work with! You have to wait for it to kinda half-dry before anything will stick to it and if you wait too long, it gets too hard and you’re screwed. Trust me, this is where having two people working on the house came in very handy!

After plopping down a marshmallow snow woman in the front yard, we dusted the entire house with more powdered sugar and hurried off to the party where, lo-and-behold, we actually won a prize! Hooray!

But even cooler than the shiny award certificate or the $20 Target gift card that went with it, was the fact that the people at the party positively devoured our Gingerbread house. I’m not kidding, man. I saw a dude scraping the sugar snow off the plate…crazy!

I’m not saying everything we used wasn’t edible, because it totally was, but, wow, we never thought anyone would actually eat the whole thing. Yikes…guess the pickings on the buffet table were slim.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-make Gingerbread house this holiday season, Nordic Ware has the pan for you. Happy Baking, amigos!


Filed under Eat, Make

Halloween on Dagobah!

Saturday night, Christine and I attended a massive LAPL (Los Angeles Public Library) Halloween party at the Central Library in downtown L.A..

Although technically not city employees, Christine and her staff (who work for the Library Foundation) usually crash these shindigs since her store is located inside the Central Branch.

Christine as Master Yoda!

And what a party it was! Not nearly as crowded as the LAPL’s annual Christmas bash, the turnout of costumed Library staffers (from every branch in L.A. county!) was still pretty damn spectacular. But most impressive of all was Christine’s hand-made Master Yoda costume!

Working without a pattern (s0mething she hates!) Christine crafted her headpiece and ears from one of my old Yoda-colored sweatshirts.

Christine in full-on Yoda mode!

Using pipe cleaners and batting to fill the ears, she then knit them onto a simple white headband ($3.99 @ Target!) tucked under the headpiece and pulled the ears through two small slits in the fabric.

Aside from the make-up (two shades of green for $4.99 a piece @ the rocking Cinema Secrets nearby) and the dark cloak underneath (which is a monk costume we bought at Party America for $14.99) everything else Christine wore was handmade, including her awesome, full-length Jedi cloak!

Yoda waits for no man!

It took kind of a YEAR to make, but as you can see, the results are, in the words of Lord Vadar himself: “Most impressive.”

In keeping with the “Star Wars” theme, I wore the super styling Anakin Skywalker costume Christine made me (once again, from scratch!) for Halloween 2005.

Yoda & Anakin!

Sadly, we didn’t win any awards in the costume contest — a Simpsons family in cheesy store-bought masks won first place! Huh? — we were pretty stoked with the way our handmade duds turned out and had a Jedi-tastic time at the party.

And though our filmic counterparts never actually battled one another onscreen, our Yoda and Anakin did manage to squeeze in a kick-ass “Duel of the Fates” on the steps outside the Getty Gallery.

Yoda & Anakin duel to the death!

But the best part of all was when Christine started quoting Yoda (accurately and in Yoda-speak!) on the car ride home, wow, what can I say…I never loved that little green-faced woman more!

The Force will be with her…always.


Filed under Make