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

Art Pranksters Stealthily Erect Giant Fork In Road in Pasadena Saturday Morning

I got an email this weekend from occasional Off-Ramp contributor Donna Barnes-Roberts. She writes:

Dear John,

I don't know if you were in Pasadena when there was a building in Old Town with the legend:

"My People are People of the Dessert,” said T.E. Lawrence picking up his fork.

Well, some slightly wacky people up in the unincorporated township called Altadena felt a certain lack in their souls after that mural fell to progress oh so many years ago, and, Saturday morning at about 9:30, erected an 18-foot fork at the fork in the road where Pasadena Ave. divides into two one-way streets. If you go north on Pasadena Ave., from Glenarm, you will see it at the … fork in the road.


And see it before some bureaucrat takes it down -- though it is built sturdily and set in over 400 pounds of concrete. One of the participants was anticipating arrest, though he just turned 75, and didn't actually build it. However, he certainly had a twinkle in his eye when he mentioned “arrest".

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Bleeding Through – New Play About the Fabric of LA


Big thanks to Jerry Sullivan of LA Garment & Citizen for tipping us to a new play at Shakespeare Festival/LA, 1238 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. It’s called "Bleeding Through," and it’s an About…Productions production that digs into the history of Angelino Heights.

It’s not exactly a play. I think they used the word “experiential.” You walk into the theatre, and are met by a narrator who has befriended a widow who lives in a big old house in Angelino Heights, the neighborhood near downtown where Gloria Swanson used to live. He’s trying to figure out her history, which is intertwined with the history of the freeways, Latinos, corruption, the Red Line … in other words, it’s an LA story.

After he briefs you, you sit at tables in the audience as the actors move about you. During intermission, you can go on stage and poke around – looking for clues and further immersing yourself in the recent history of the area. Jerry’s wife Lorna and I did a reading of the “speeding ticket” scene from the "Double Indemnity" screenplay left out for us to see. Jerry ate the gummi bears in a covered dish. He says he's going to go see it again and, during intermission, look for clues to solve the mystery...

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Halloween Tips from LA County Public Health

News release received today:

LOS ANGELES – Halloween night can be a fun opportunity for children and parents to show off creative costumes, spend time with friends at parties, and participate in the traditional trick-or-treat outing for candy and other goodies. But can also be an opportunity for germs, such as the flu virus, to spread.

“The H1N1 flu is affecting residents throughout Los Angeles County,” said Jonathan E. Harker, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “By practicing good hygiene and these healthy habits, you can avoid being tricked into passing out germs along with your treats.”

• Wash your hands before handling or eating candy.
• If you are sick, don’t hand out candy.
• If you or your child are sick, don’t go out trick-or-treating or to parties. Consider staying home and watching a scary movie.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you do not have a tissue, do the “Dracula” and cover your nose and mouth with your arm.
• Bring any human brains up to an internal temperature of 250-degrees Fahrenheit before serving them to zombies.
• Clean the blade on the giant swinging pendulum thoroughly with alcohol, and make sure the retaining straps do not cut off your victim’s circulation.
• If you build a house out of candy to attract children, consider using reduced-sugar snacks to lessen the chance of juvenile diabetes.

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AVOID WILD MUSHROOMS, CDPH WARNS


News release sent today:

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today reminded Californians that collecting and eating wild mushrooms can cause serious illness and even death.

In California, eating wild mushrooms has caused multiple illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the California Poison Control System (CPCS), 894 cases of mushroom ingestion were reported statewide in 2008. Among those cases:

• 499 were children under six years of age and usually involved eating a small amount of a mushroom the child found growing in a backyard;
• 358 individuals were treated at a health care facility;
• 72 had a moderate health effect, such as diarrhea severe enough to require intravenous fluids;
• 17 were admitted to the intensive care unit;
• Five had a major health outcome, such as liver failure leading to coma, liver transplant or renal failure requiring dialysis;
• One died.

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