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Bio
Erika Schickel is the author of "You're Not the Boss of Me: Adventures of a Modern Mom." She contributes to the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, CityBeat and Bust Magazine. In addition to LA Observed she writes online for TheDailyReel.com. A stay-at-home writer, Erika lives in lovely Faircrest Heights, where Mid-City meets the Westside, with her husband and two daughters. Website. Email
Native Intelligence:
Let's face it, a big rock moving past on a truck is not an inherently gripping visual, unless maybe you're a six year-old boy. It is slow and looks a lot like construction.
Rhino Records is revived.
She gaped at me like I was living history -- Miss Jane Pittman come to put her withered lips to the "Young Only" fountain straw of ageism.
There is something gaspingly lovely about seeing a girl in a striped panty being swung through the air at the end of a piece of fluttering silk.
I was sitting in the corner office of my underground bunker the other day, twirling my mustache, wondering how...
Me and my three die-hard Obama Mama galpals had signed up for the Nevada "Drive For Change" canvassing campaign when...
“Feminism,” that thorny, hot-under-the-collar, outspoken bitch, got batted aside by the far more kittenish, media-friendly notion of “Girl Power.”
I was sitting at the breakfast table yesterday, enjoying what is left of the LA Times, when I heard...
Us mommies are mad. We have baked and fundraised, sold magazines and clocked in endless volunteer hours at our children's schools, trying make up for previous budget cuts that have left our schools without teacher's aides, arts programs, working computers, you name it.
He told me he had played music with guys named Chubby Checker, Fats Domino and someone named Muddy Waters, all names I had never heard of and which made me laugh, they sounded so silly.
For me the Book Festival is an opportunity to swan around the green room, gorging on free food and generally sucking up the last sweet drops of milk from the withering teat of Mama Tribune.
Aurelia's Oratorio is a long series of "what ifs?" that get answered in startling, visual terms.
LA City Beat from 2003-2008 was good. I will miss it -- as both a reader and a writer. I really hope you will too.
Dutton's felt like a big "You Are Here" arrow, orienting me in my life.
Hell man, I'm coming from a cinderblocks-and-plywood place.
The screams tore across the street. It sounded like she was being brutally tortured.
Leaky roof? Favorite movie star dead? Wrong candidate leading in the polls? Writer's strike got you broke and hungry?
All us LAO-ers peeled our heiners off our desk chairs this morning and headed to Tarzana for our Second Annual...
All across TV Land, from "House" to "Desperate Housewives," actresses are doing what is known in the theater world as "mask work" -- where they must express through their bodies what can no longer be read in the face.
In this era of hothouse child-rearing, to question achievement-oriented education is close to heresy.
Idleness is the Devil's workshop.
There is a pox on my neighborhood. A quick count reveals there are no fewer than twelve rapist/pedophiles between my house and the mall.
I was at my local Target the other day and noticed a lack of solicitors, then I saw this sign...
Warning: this piece cracks wise, floats a goofy idea, contains copious potty talk (as well as ample alliteration) and is in fairly poor taste. Read at your own risk...and enjoy!
Unless you've been detained in a Gitmo holding cell you probably know that beatboxer Blake Lewis is poised to win American Idol tonight. In that spirit Idol has flown beatboxing grandaddy Doug E Fresh to L.A. to appear on the show for a duet with Blake.
After 83 years of furnishing the homes of Mid-west LA, Horizon Furniture will close.
So many great sights and sounds at the LA Times book festival this weekend but my favorite by far: Standing...
I thought of the tens of bees that had died at my hands, crushed beneath the glossy pages of a food magazine and the irony smacked me upside the head. No bees cross-pollinating the almond and fruit trees? Then no almond pear clafouti. It's that simple. I felt a pang of guilt realizing that not only was I endangering our delicate ecosystem, but also the future of desserts everywhere.
What does a successful television writer/producer do once she has made it? Go back to her first love of course, singing and songwriting.
I would lie in bed and fantasize about James, trying to decide which of his albums I would save first were my room to actually combust from the heat of my passion.
My boob is smashed down in mammogram fashion, but with extra clamps to keep me immobile. As a modest B-cup, it takes a heap of extra squashing to get enough meat on the plate. My "sexy time" mindset ebbs a little as they winch the clamp down harder. 'Ooh yeah baby, that's it, it hurts so good, harder lover' I try to convince myself, but it just isn't working.
Sarah Michelle and Puffy are off power lunching and Divine Design is given over to the fashion bottom-feeders: the freelancers and the part-timers, the waitresses, school teachers and D-girls burned out on haunting the Gap sale racks and jonesing for a smidge of affordable glamour in their low-paid lives.
Everywhere were gals in their going-out best: sparkly tops, cowgirl hats, perfumed cleavage, skinny jeans and sleek LA-meets-Nashville hair. A guy swept past us on his way to the men's room and seeing the bounty of turned-out feminine beauty and goodwill exclaimed , "Wow! Girl power!" Yes siree.
Roughing it with six troops of girls meant soothing their homesickness and trying to outdo the mothers from Beverly Hills. Then the mountain lion showed up.
I live in "Faircrest Heights" We're the neighborhood you see out your car window on the way to the 10 freeway. It's not much to look at, I know, but we're growing good crops here.
Native Intelligence
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.
Don Shirley | The outdoors venues in Los Angeles this summer constitute one of America's largest Shakespearean hotspots. Let Don Shirley be your guide.
Jenny Burman | Their voices were cutting in and out as they followed Marisol's path up the hillside. Hot dogs wouldn't hurt. Hot dogs to fight a curse.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | Natural history museums grew out of the "Wunderkammer"--a device for cultivating wonder in the face of the amazing diversity and weirdness of the world, but also for discovery, of the new, the unknown, of patterns, and laws. The LA River has become a kind of cabinet of wonders for Los Angeles: a site for thinking about and making sense of nature and culture in the city.
Phil Wallace | The Dodgers do need help in the back of their rotation. But giving up a top prospect for an ace like David Price would be a huge mistake.
Al Martinez | Martinez lies abed craving a hot, sweet thing right then and there, but Cinelli who lies next to him can always figure him out and suggests that he might just relax and think of puppies instead.
Bill Boyarsky
The latest version of the mayoral web site, Data LA, is greatly improved from its shaky first edition. Even modestly computer-savvy Angelenos get enough information to come to their own conclusions about the mayor and the rest of city government.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
It's a shock to see the Central Valley these days.