Losanjealous Commenter of the Month Award

RibbonAt our last staff meeting, after the long silence following De Marco’s Powerpoint presentation, the idea of a Losanjealous “Commenter of the Month Award” was thrown out on the table. The suggestion was mocked and promptly forgotten as matters turned to ordering food. This was early July. Cut to a couple of weeks ago, when, frisking a rented tuxedo vest (8 weeks late = $366.22), I found a cocktail napkin in the pocketwatch slit with the minutes of that meeting. The relevant scrawling upon it read: “COMNTR O’ MO.” Looking back, I’m not exactly sure who exactly put forth that idea, as we tend to be drunk at our meetings, but we were happy to recover it and finally put it into action here. -Ed.

It gives us much pleasure–too much, really–to present the first ever Losanjealous Commenter of the Month Award (LCMA–not to be confused with the LAMAs or LACMA) to:

(MV) Pete: Miss August 2006 Commenter of the Month
September 2006

If you might think of Losanjealous as a bar like Cheers, then (MV)Pete may well be our Cliff Claven, ever present at the bar, ready with acute facts and ready opinions both commonplace and outlandish, never failing to observe the going-ons with a discerning perspective and voice all his own. You already know his knowledge of Los Angeles area municipal matters, topography and taco vendors is second to none. But now we hope to reveal to you another side of (MV)Pete. On to the Q&A.

OK, let’s take you back to your first comment ever. It was on November 29, 2005, on a post entitled “I Love Lucy’s” about the Lucy’s restaurant chain:

“There’s also a Lucy’s on Washington, at either Vermont or Hoover. I considered hitting that last night when coming home late from USC but decided to stick with Chano’s.”

That’s not my first Losanjealous comment, I’m pretty sure–check for comments by “slightlyslack” or just “slack.” (We’re off to a great start. You’re fired, factchecker. -Ed.)

In any case, I have decided that Chano’s sucks the low low.

As that post remained active, you would go on to comment six additional times on that same post. I think in some ways that piece content and comment pattern foreshadowed the areas of interest for your future comments, namely Mexican food and city topography, as well as a willingness to stay with a thread to engage with other readers. Would you agree?

LA City Nerd calls me the “Transportation Policy, Planning & Development Nerd,” but really I should just be the “Taco/Geography Nerd.”

It would seem that our post content and your personal interests frequently align at Losanjealous. Do you find that to be the case as well? Or, conversely, do you ever find yourself using post content as a “jumping off point” for your own concerns?

We’re all white (quasi-)hipsters here, dude. I mean, that’s an Achewood shirt I’m wearing in my pic. I like eating street tacos and discovering cool nabes and bitching about poorly designed intersections, and you guys happen to as well.

Now, some general commenting questions: How would you describe that initial impulse that makes you reach for the keyboard to comment?

Bursts of narcissism.

How would you describe your own commenting style?


You mention USC often, leaving us to guess you are/were a student there. Do you know Justin Hall, who is frequently credited as being the first ever “blogger,” and is a currently a graduate student there?

I am indeed a Trojan. I’m doing a PhD in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development. Regarding Mr. Hall, dude seriously needs to reconsider the haircut and outfit in that picture. It’s like Carlos D meets Billy Corgan–nasty.

In one particular comment, you pointed to another comment of yours on another site (in a bit of self-hyperlinking that surely post-modernists must find delicious), in which you alluded to the fact that you are/were raised Mormon. Presumably you go into more personal details on your own blog. Are you completely conscientious about revelation of personal details in your comments?

I am arguably more active in the LDS faith now than I ever have been. My congregation is full of indie rock-listening aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters with awesome facial hair. One of my duders and I go to the temple up on Santa Monica Boulevard occasionally and then hit up a taco truck afterward, usually Tacos Chatos in Palms but sometimes the legendary El Pecas #2. Personal details are bound to come out sooner or later. I mean, could anyone but a Mormon have written that part of “Special Qué” where I compare myself to Brigham Young saying “This is the place. Drive on”? By the way, Qué Ricos still has the best salsa roja of any taqueria I’ve ever tried. Damn, man.

Are there any other commenters on our site or any other sites whom you admire and with whom you enjoy exchanging comments the most? How about any commenters that might antagonize you, whom you enter into heated arguments? Any “Anti-Petes” out there that stalk and mock your comments around the blogosphere?

Jeanette is awesome. The exchange on the “Lincoln Boulevard Cock Car” thread has put a bug in my ass to write, as a parody of the dreadful ’90s Nic Cage vehicle “8mm,” a song detailing a man’s obsessive search for the penis taco of which an old Zacatecan told him before stumbling drunkenly into the path of the #204 bus on Vermont Avenue. Musically, I’m hearing something along the lines of King Missile meets The Jesus Lizard.

As far as antagonists go, I get into arguments on Curbed LA with this dude Robert Coté all the time. He’s one of those “I’ve got mine, screw you” types who supports Ventura County’s growth controls as a way of keeping out “undesirables” and thinks that residential density is Communist. I don’t like Coté because he’s even sloppier than I am about citing his sources and everything he writes seems as if it starts in the middle of a larger paragraph.

Some days see spikes in your commenting frequency. (for example, 6 comments on 12/5; 5 comments on 12/13/05, etc.) Would you say these peaks have more to do with free time, boredom or genuine interest in the items on the site that day?

#1 and #3.

At a certain point, you began to sign off as “(MV) Pete” instead of just “Pete.” Do you see this as an evolution into a new commenting persona or just a new handle for same ol’ you? Do you comment in persona or are you “yourself” in your comments for the most part? If we met you on the street, would you hold fast to the many, various opinions you espouse in our pages?

I don’t affect a persona; that would take too much effort. As I recall, I switched to “(MV) Pete” because Ryan called me “Palms Pete” but I can’t really be Palms Pete anymore now that I live in Mar Vista.

One of the inherent deficiencies of the post/comment communication channel is that without the proper context, one can easily appear as a “know-it-all” or a nitpicker whenever they offer a suggestion or a correction over, say, for example, a matter of geographical inaccuracy put forth by a previous commenter. Are such occasions to deliver a correction ones you seek out with relish or is this something that appears to be so only after the fact?

Dude, I’m a total “know-it-all” in real life, and I hate it. I seriously should get therapy or start smoking weed or something.

Finally, are there any closing remarks you’d like to make? People you’d like to thank, rub it in the face of those you thought you wouldn’t amout to anything, or words of encouragement for up and coming commenters hoping to break in?

I meant to tell Intern Shane once that he really looked like a Mormon missionary the time he wore a short-sleeved white shirt and a solid-color tie in one of his food reviews. He should totally come up to people on the street and say, “Hi, can I share a message with you about Cuchi Cuchi?”