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Since I go to Lindy Grundy at least once a week, I had had the pleasure of tasting their addictive sausages, delectable pork chops, tender steaks, and wonderful lamb (see my previous post here). Today I picked up a rabbit and I will be making it into a gumbo with some of their andouille sausage (using Emeril’s recipe) and my friend Robin picked up some short ribs. For those of you who have only eaten short ribs but never cooked them, Lindy & Grundy is teaching a small group of 40 how to they butcher, how to make short ribs, and how to pair wine with them for only $40 (instead of $75) if you reserve in advance here. They will be at the Century City Westfield Mall this Monday, October 24 at 6:30pm in Bloomingdale’s, so get your tickets and get some short ribs!

For those of you who have never seen the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, this Christmas might be the time to go with a 30% TravelZoo discount for the show. Just put code TZ001 into the promotion code box at this link and get your discount. The best prices are available Nov. 11-23 and Nov. 28-Dec. 2 with Orchestra and 1st Mezzanine seats going for $52.50 instead of $75 and an additional $13.75-$17.60 per ticket, please note that full-price tickets are subject to the same additional fees. With the Travelzoo deal you can print your tickets immediately for no extra charge with the “Ticketfast” option.

Do you have a favorite chef? If you could ask them a question, what do you want to know? Now is your chance to ask and get answers!

If you know the names Wolfgang Puck, Josiah Citrin, Karen Hatfield, Mark Peel, Susan Feniger, or Joachim Splichal, then tune in TODAY for a FREE panel discussion with all six innovative chefs. The program will be moderated by Lisa Foxx of 104.3 MYfm. You can even submit your questions to them and watch the free webstream broadcast here from 7-8pm.

This is fun interactive live education at its best!

Happy Earth Day!

Oceanhouse Media has a novel way to celebrate if you have an iPhone (it’s also iPad compatible), just download the app Lorax Garden for $2.99 and you can plant (and design) you own plants and trees in a virtual world which you can then send as postcards, keeping it green from inception to reception. You can also download the book for $3.99 and use it either as a reading and teaching tool.

If you prefer your greenery to be actual rather than virtual, the first Zipline in Los Angeles or Orange County is now open on Catalina Island. You will be traveling at speeds of up to 45 miles an hour about 300 feet up in the air over nearly .75 of a mile through five connected platform stations that hover over various areas of Catalina. Each station will teach you something about the areas you are zipping through, so this is not only an exhilarating ride, it will be educational also. It takes about 2 hours and costs $92.50, but the experience will be priceless.

Social Vibe helps feed people, fight cancer, preserve wildlife, educate, and provide clean drinking water, all you need to do is answer some questions that take about 5 minutes of your time for the cause of your choice.

The Extraordinairies allows you to “micro volunteer” to help change the world for the better, whether it is helping log photos from Haiti so people can locate lost loved ones, catalog animal abuse photos for an archive, or inspire children with a message of encouragement. All that is required to be extraordinary is your time.

Free Rice is a game that you play and when you answer correctly, the game sponsors donate rice to feed people, one right answer provides 10 free grains, five right answers is 50 grains. This is one game that you can play to win obsessively that will result in something good for everyone.

“You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”

~ Isadora Duncan

With Passover beginning today, it fitting that today’s theme is about the freedom we all have to choose our education and our pleasures.

I am always eager to learn a new language, or even a few useful phrases when I travel so that I can communicate in the local language. Any traveler who at least attempts a few words like “Please” and “Thank-you” will have a much better experience in a foreign land. Now everyone can be a better traveler by using a free learning resource from Transparent Language that my friend Susie found online. Transparent Language allows you to either download software to learn a new language or get an email with a new word a day from the language of your choice. You can learn with others in their Facebook community, have common phrases sent to your iPhone, read their cultural and language blogs, and there is even a section with “flash cards” you can use to test yourself. Languages available include Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and even Esperanto!

Many artists perform for the sheer pleasure of it and now you can listen to their music free every Monday through Mashable’s Free Music downloads. There are a variety of genres offered and all you need to do is click on the link to download your free (full) songs. It is a great way for unknown artists to get some exposure and a following, so this is a mutually beneficial exchange with their audience. If you are a musician you are welcome to submit your songs to be put on a Free Music Monday by emailing the contact address in this post.

L’Chaim – To Life.

I found the entire Last Lecture (about 1 hour long) and was even more inspired after watching the complete version and learning about Alice. I’ve been playing with Alice, the FREE educational software program, ever since I watched the video. The program has one version for Middle School, and another for High School to University level students, and can be used on PC and MAC, even in shared environments (like classrooms). It starts with a tutorial that is so user friendly I was able to make two mini animated movies in the first two lessons! If I had this in school when I was younger I would probably be working for Pixar today, instead I am learning how to program just for the fun of it, which is exactly the legacy that Randy Pausch wanted to leave the world.

Now go be like Tigger and have some fun today!

Have you been putting off going to museums because admission prices would put a dent in your budget? For two days, October 3 & 4th, twenty-two Los Angeles area museums are offering free entries! Every museum in the promotion, from the famous Getty and the California Science Center, to the lesser known Skirball Center and the Hammer at UCLA, is participating for at least one of the days (but you may still want to bring some cash for some exhibits that require entrance fees, and to pay for parking).

If you’ve got about $11,000 to spend, you and a friend can experience zero gravity flight, a 2 night stay at the Wynn in Las Vegas (with an upgrade to a Tower Suite room), and a spa treatment. The weightless flight is about 2 hours long aboard G FORCE ONE, ZERO-G’s specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft. Zero-G is the first and only company to offer FAA approved weightless commercial flights, so this could be considered the ultimate flight experience short of a rocket flight.

Experiences are the currency of life, spend yours wisely.

Los Angeles has great weather almost all year around and even though drive in movie theaters are all but extinct here, there are a few venues which still offer free movies on summer nights. The Century City Westfield Mall movie series is now over, but the W Hotel in Westwood still has free movie screenings every Sunday until September 27, 2009. The venue is small, so make sure you reserve a seat before heading over there. I had a wonderful lunch at the Backyard restaurant there not too long ago, so if you want dinner and a movie, just go earlier to grab a bite before the movie starts.

After watching a movie, you may want to make your own, so if you get that itch, and it needs scratching, the Showbiz Store & Cafe should be your next stop. It’s a WiFi cafe with software and production supplies for the television, film, and commercial industries. If you want to learn about how to produce the best audio visual experience, they offer seminars and workshops to teach you about everything from budgeting and payrolls, to supplies like clapperboards and screenwriting software.

If you want some inspiration for your film, tonight is Santa Monica Pier’s 100th anniversary and there will be fireworks over the Pier at 8:50pm.

Are you ready for your close-up?

Now that it’s time for school again, it’s also time to figure out how much college will cost. Too bad there isn’t a high school course on how to calculate and pay for higher education. Two of my friends are sending their kids off this year and looking at both their empty nests and their empty checking accounts, trying to figure out where to go from here. Good thing that there are several websites designed to help you navigate the financial and academic roads.

Collegeboard has tools, calculators, and resources for students, parents, and educators. They even have links to registering for the SATs on their home page. If you want to research colleges, they have information on more than 3800 and you can search by major, by location, or cost. I like how the site has everything from planning to go to college, to the logistics of applying, to the options for financial aid, all in one place.

For those who want to put away money for college (meaning you child is not enrolled this year), check out collegesavings, which has information on the 529 plans for every state.

For those who want some help with financial options Finaid is the place to go; they have everything from how to apply for scholarships, grants, how to get loans, how much to save, and even military aid options. There is a handy calculator to help you figure out actual costs with interest right on the homepage.

With the government handing out money to so many, why not get in line for a student loan? Studentloans has all the information on federal student aid and it has the application (free) on the website. These loans are usually based on income with lower interest than other loans, so apply for a federal loan first to avoid paying more later.

An education is always a wise investment; investing in yourself or your children can yield some amazing returns.

>Many people come to Los Angeles to act, and it always surprises me when I learn that they come expecting to be discovered without any idea of how to audition or how to work as an actor. Although I received a BA in Theater Arts at a UC, I never had any desire to work in the entertainment industry; instead, I used my education and skills in sales where I made money presenting my products to the marketplace.

If you don’t want to spend four years and several thousand dollars getting a degree, there are great classes for people who would like some education and preparation for acting, like Acting Organics or The Groundlings School. Both offer professional teachers who actually work in the industry teaching the basics of how to prepare and succeed in a career here that is not based in the fantasy of being discovered simply by drinking a soda at a counter in Hollywood.

Acting is work, and if you want to work as an actor, you must be willing to study, present yourself, and persevere in both your education and in the face of rejection. Classes are a safe and fun place to hone your craft as your prepare for that one part that may change your life. Education is always necessary, no matter what your career or your age, so you might as well do it by choosing to study something you want to do with your life. If you want to be an actor, you will be a better actor if you study the art of acting.

If you only want to to be famous, then just apply to be on a reality show.




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