Palm Reading

Blame it on the blustery East Coast winters of my childhood, but the image of a palm tree has always been a sign of the good life. Corona commercials and movies about L.A. even use palm trees to express when someone’s finally “arrived.” In Los Angeles, even the most formidable South Central ghettos are prettier than the mean streets of D.C. because of the foliage. Since I’m not a native Angeleno, I don’t take the tropical wonders for granted. Even if they aren’t native to California and were imported from Mexico. Even when palms shoot up between doughnut shops and jail bond shacks with empty bags of Hot Cheetohs scattered around the base.

Luckily, my backyard offers the dramatic view of a palm stark against the wide open sky. I like to lean back in my lawn chair and take it in with a nice cocktail. I sigh and pretend to believe this view is symbolic of the good life I am now living. Because of its immense height, the palm is the last thing to catch the sun as it sets in the west, and it glows bright yellow against a pink and purple sky. In the moonlight, the fronds shimmer in blue, free from the shadowy clutter on the ground. When there’s a breeze, it rustles like a faraway forest. It bends toward the sun. When windy, it performs yoga.

Once, when I thought my stress was going to break me, my friend Chrystina offered sage advice. “Think of a palm tree,” she said, “during the most violent storms, it doesn’t fight the wind and snap. It adapts and bends with it.” This is when I admit that while I live among the palms now, I still have yet to “arrive.” But much like the palm, I’ve learned to bend. Even if the trees don’t grant a life of decadence, it’s still the good life.


Shuttling to Mexico for Plastic Surgery - Es Bueno?

In a town where debates over Lisa Rinna's Juvederm cheek injections take precedence over, say, oh I don't know, the Middle East crisis, it was only a matter of time until Mexico came up. Blame it on the times, but discounted plastic surgery offered south of the of the border is looking more and more...interesante.

If you've already made up your mind to alter your parts, I'm thinking why NOT hit up Mexico? Not only is it cheaper, but celebs could avoid the bloodsucking paparazzi hiding out in the bushes of our most worshipped surgeons. And let's not forget recovery time. Dragging down Robertson Boulevard swathed in gauze like an albino mummy is SO obvious. And think of how delicious recovery time will be, mixing pain meds with native margaritas and fish tacos, all while overlooking the glittering Pacific.

Don't get me wrong, I was at first wary of the idea. Going under the knife in a country known for it's border town donkey shows is a little frightening. Then I looked at the above photo and realized, what do you have to lose?


It Ain't Easy Being a Soap Star Villain

The term soap opera has it's origins in the 1930's, when dramatic daytime radio shows were geared towards women as they cleaned their homes. Palmolive and Brillo paid for the programs to they could advertise to their core audience.

The term soap opera sounds so clean and wholesome. That is, until my grandmother found out I met a villain from The Young and The Restless. "What?!" she screeched into the phone. "You're going to hang out with that motherf***er?" I was taken aback, "Well, yes. I thought you'd be excited. You've been watching the show since I was a kid."

"Why should I be excited that you're hanging out with a God*** a**hole who doesn't even care about his family?"
"He's in the tabloids?"
"No, his God**** family on TV! He has a guard sitting outside his f***ing office and he won't even let his kids in to see his sorry a**."
"But you know that's not real."
"I know, I know. Just do your grandmother a favor. When you see him, slap him across his God**** snotty face."

Eric Braeden plays villain Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless. I don't watch soaps, but was thrilled to go to his party for the sake of my family. They would want to know everything, down to whether or not he puts in his toilet paper backwards. Mr. Braeden hails from Germany and had catered a gourmet spread of sausages, kraut and potato salad. As everyone mingled in his sprawling backyard, I noticed that his Pacific Palisades home overlooked the ocean. A stunning wall of mist flowed inland and thought of how lucky Mr. Braeden was. Barefoot and casual in his own backyard, surrounded by friends and admirers, he seemed to have it all. What with valets parking my car, the Pacific roaring behind me, top notch catering, gorgeous home and an adoring wife, it seemed perfect.

Then I remembered that delusional old bats like my grandmother would make sure he never ate a peaceful meal in a restaurant or be allowed to relax on the beach. Lurking in grocery stores and at malls everywhere, hordes of geriatrics are ready to assault him with oversized bags and scream obscenities until their dentures pop out. Knowing my grandmother, I realized that not only does Eric deserve what he has, but also a home in Germany, Long Island, an entire island in the Caribbean, and a fleet of yachts to get him there.