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

Rabe interviews R.H. Greene, author of "Incarnadine," new Dracula memoir. Full audio posted.

I’ve just posted a long interview with R.H. Greene, who has just written a wonderful, engrossing memoir of an easily villainized literary figure. It’s “Incarnadine: the True Memoirs of Count Dracula,” and I couldn’t put it down. It’s the inside story on Dracula, offering a sophisticated, nuanced explanation for the various parts of the Dracula myth, like why he needs to sleep in his home soil, why oak stakes go through him, and why he's so damn angry.

We’ll be running a shorter version of the interview on the Halloween edition of Off-Ramp, but I thought you’d like a sneak preview.

Then, at 4pm on November 15th, Greene is at Book Soup for a reading and signing: 8818 W Sunset Blvd 90069-2125.

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Old Myth and Cliches Live On In LA Weekly Story on Escalante Killing

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I don’t know if there’s anything else wrong in Christine Pelisek’s LA Weekly article about the killing of LA County Sheriff’s deputy Abel Escalante, but she perpetuates one probable myth.

She retells how a poor lost family wound up tragic victims of a street gang. The infamous story made international headlines in the 1990s -- leading to many raised eyebrows when I moved to Cypress Park years ago -- but nobody picked up on the follow-up that refutes the myth.

Pelisek writes, “Escalante’s slaying in the summer of 2008 rattled gang-scarred Cypress Park, a working-class neighborhood a couple of miles northeast of downtown. Nestled next to Highland Park and Glassell Park, in the shadow of isolated and upscale Mount Washington, the area has earned dark headlines for Los Angeles before. In 1995, Avenues members opened fire on a lost family that had made a wrong turn into their gang-infested alley. They killed 3-year-old Stephanie Kuhen, a toddler inside the family car.”


Do Not Read This If You Hate Big Scary Hairy Spiders

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This afternoon, I got this email from my husband Julian:

“Guess who’s back?!”

Attached was this picture:

He’s referring to the much larger spider that showed up on our front porch after a deluge. Please don’t watch the video below if you hate spiders … or like action or drama. It simply shows me transporting the spider from our house to a tree in a nearby vacant lot. Of course, I carrry the spider IN MY MOUTH.