Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Mmmmm. Parks & Rec’s Sweetums makes for contented cows and docile people.

Who could have predicted, that crazy night at House of Pies …

(Photo: Julian Bermudez)

… that my friend, the actor Chris Murray , would soon be corporate creep Nick Newport in NBC’s new Thursday night series Parks & Rec? Here’s “Newport” extolling the virtues of corn syrup.

Chris, who played Dean Rivers on "Zoey 101," and who is the son of Don Murray and Hope Lange, has appeared on Off-Ramp a few times. He’s told us the story of his unjust handcuffing by a morally compromised security guard in the employ of a public-access-blocking Malibu Beach Baron, updated us on his efforts to get Lange a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and revealed the secrets of being staff announcer for the Pinewood Derby at his kids’ elementary school.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)


Dear racists, here’s what a REAL “Compton Cookout” looks like.

UC San Diego officials are looking into a party that was held earlier this week off-campus. As the LA Times reported, the party was dubbed a “Compton Cookout” and organizers encouraged people to come dressed as ho’s and served fried chicken and watermelon.

“In Sacramento, Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) said leaders of the Legislature's black, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, gay and women's caucuses would gather outside the Capitol on Thursday to condemn the party.”

I’ll let the above groups take on the racist attitudes. But meantime, what was described is not what any party I’ve been to The Comptons is like. It so happens my husband’s family lives in The Comptons and so I have not only discovered a Compton donut shop that makes the finest apple fritters in the world, and shopped at Compton’s surprisingly well-stocked Food4Less (lots of vegetarian options and good produce), but I’ve attended more “Compton Cookouts” than 99% of San Diegans.


Polanski’s “Ghost Writer”

Am I the only one who finds a bitter irony in the fact that fugitive sex criminal Roman Polanski’s ”Ghost Writer” is considered “not suitable for audiences under 13?”

By the way, movie trailers are just as idiotic and predictable in German as they are in English.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)


Scottish terrier Sadie wins Westminster; Rabe has the backstory on owner Amelia Musser, old family friend.

Amelia Musser has had big success at dog shows in years past, but nothing like the Triple Crown that her Sadie, a Scottish terrier (below, right), scored last night by winning best of show at the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.

Mrs. Musser is co-owner of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, which you’ll recognize if you’ve ever watched the movies “Somewhere in Time” or “This Time for Keeps.” It’s a small island in Lake Huron where cars are not allowed – only bikes and cars – so it’s become a sort of time machine, an oasis of calm.

Here’s my husband Julian Bermudez with the hotel in 2005:

What were we doing there? Back in the late 1960s, my dad started a long friendship with Amelia and her husband Dan Musser when he agreed to do PR for the hotel and Mackinac Island. They “got” that my dad did a different kind of publicity, and so they welcomed World Sauntering Day, the Stone Skipping Contest, and other offbeat events that brought attention to the Island and Grand Hotel without being “in your face” about it. Here’s me talking with Bob Edwards about World Sauntering Day on NPR’s Morning Edition. (Kids, Bob Edwards used to host Morning Edition, with Graham McNamee and Hughes Rudd.)