Movin' On Up

One way you can tell whether or not you've moved up in the world is to take a walk in your neighborhood around Halloween.

My old neighbors would weave paper decorations between the bars on their windows if they had time between bouts of domestic violence. In this place, strings of softly-lit jack-o-lantern lights are woven through vintage wood fences and bougainvillea. Just a few of years ago I lived off Hollywood Boulevard, and was proud of the 4'x5' rectangle of grass that was my front yard. It was ingrained in my psyche that if it wasn't nailed down, it would be gone in the morning.

Now look at me, strolling past makeshift graveyards sprouting from emerald green lawns, clusters of rare pumpkins sit beside Adirondack porch chairs, and scarecrows stand beside stacks of hay. Giant spiders the size of Smartcars sit on roofs, with the inflater humming by the gable of a bedroom window. I bet it's the child's window, and the soothing hum of that air pump brings back all the excitement of Halloween year after year.

Some parts of my old Hollywood neighborhood were so sketchy, I could close my eyes, throw a rock and feel a certain guarantee that I would hit an Armenian drug dealer or tacky sports car. Having spent all their dough on hair gel and car parts that make vehicles so loud they sound insecure, there was no money left to liven up their shabby home fronts. With strewn trash, people screaming over blaring TVs and cobwebs, it was Halloween rear-round, baby.

Here, perky young families close up their pools, pull out the Halloween box from their tidy garages and try to be scary. The effect is of course over-the-top cuteness, and thank God. No one wants to actually be scared when walking through their neighborhood at night. I prefer "Boo!" to "Bitch, gimme your bag" any day of the year.

Happy Halloween.


Yes, but what about the jeans?

Above: Joe's "Jeans" a.k.a. The Emperor's New Clothes

I am by no means a political Conservative, though I am beginning to wonder what's so bad about conserving. After all, we're applauded if we conserve water, energy and our principles.

My principles are the driving force behind this blog. Los Angeles is entrenched in a denim billboard war, and it's not over how desirable the jeans are, but by how shocking the images are. Corporations are pushing for shock value over quality product, and we're the idiots eating it up. Or are we?

Yes, this is exactly what happens when you wear Bongo.

Are we feeding the beast by thinking, "Dude, there was a chick giving a guy oral in the Guess Jeans ad, so I'm hitting the Beverly Center today!"? It's like making reservations at an expensive restaurant that serves absolutely nothing on fine china because it's the hottest new diet trend and Ashlee Simpson eats there.

What exactly is this young man doing?

Sex is obviously the mode du jour to push product on us. But once we become numb to it, what will they shock us with next?

Jeans superimposed onto holocaust victims?
Jeans worn by malnourished African children with flies on their face?
How about some amputees?

Yes, she won the photo shoot lottery, but...seriously?

Back to the issue of conservation, let's grasp onto what little dignity we have left. We get enough of a hard time about living in Los Angeles, why give them ammo? These billboards are embarrassing and make us look stupid.

Nice jeans, a**hole.



One of the best things about Los Angeles is the Latino culture. I love it all, from front yard parties blasting ranchera to Dia de los Muertos. But no culture, whether Chinese or Norwegian, should let their daughters dress like a tramp. Or, let them wear a dress that looks like a Disney princess went to Vegas and slummed around with a showgirl then stumbled into a bordello and didn't leave until she got tangled in the sales bin at Michaels.

Though she wore cornrows to her own quinceanera, she was a nice girl. That's why I'm speaking out. That thing she has on cost as much as a wedding dress, and I'd like to know who the cruel people behind this operation are.


Elle Yes!

People from Los Angeles take a lot of flack from outsiders. Take Elle Woods for instance. Yes, I know Legally Blonde was just a movie, but how many times have people been accused of being stupid just because they were blonde, bubbly and living outside of Silverlake?

Exactly. I don't care who thinks I'm sniffing glue; Elle Woods is a heroine of mine.

It's because of Elle that:
  • My wedding was pink.
  • I refuse to give up on a somewhat impossible career goal.
  • I'll always have a 90-minute dose of encouragement & happiness when I'm down.
  • My future (currently imaginary) daughter will have an impeccably high self-esteem.

And now because of Elle, I had the most unforgettable date of my life. My (now perfect) husband surprised me with tickets to Broadway's Legally Blonde, and it was the best play I'd ever seen. Opening the program, I noticed that the first song was laughably titled, Omigod You Guys. That's when I knew a good time was upon us. Oh, my (wonderful) husband tried to resist the force of nature that was this play. In fact, as patrons filed in, he said, "Wow, there certainly are a lot of 12 year-olds here." Even afterwards, he desperately clung to Les Miserables as the best Broadway show he'd seen. But in the end, he had to concede. Legally Blonde has no equal, and was filled with color, energy and heart. I was breathless.

Elle Woods is a louder-than-life Los Angeles stereotype that I will always be proud of.

See Legally Blonde in your town!


Halloween Time, Los Angeles!

Angelenos, I got a sneak preview of Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights, and it's a blood-drenched, maze-filled, saw-wielding extravaganza of terror! And I'm pretty sure all the smoke from the fog machines can be seen from the moon. GO.

This is the house from Psycho, complete with a Norman Bates glaring at you from the porch.

Above right: a plane crash scene with real airplane.

Left: Inside the SAW VI house - the goriest. But not as frightening as masked psychopaths lunging at you with chainsaws through the fog. The smell of gas permeates the air as sparks fly at you when they scrape the chainsaw across the pavement in your path. Are they using method actors for this? If so, we're all in trouble...