Thank You Los Angeles!

This Thanksgiving, I'd like to thank Los Angeles for...

Portos Bakery! (their potato balls are abusive)

Frog Island Comedy! (Pacino & Pacino Talent Agency is still tops)

$2 matinees at Academy Cinemas in Pasadena! (and their variety of popcorn powder toppings like jalapeno & sour cream & onion)

Boba Loca! (when oh when will you open in Studio City?)

Cinespia Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery! (and thanks for letting us bring booze!)

Pho at Golden Deli! (so worth the drive)

The Pasadena Community Youth Orchestra! (selflessly giving back to L.A.)

Thank you!



The Legend of Johnny Blaze

Los Angeles has its fair share of hauntings. There's the house in Culver City that inspired the movie The Entity, the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, etc.

But there's one place in Los Angeles that's haunted by a living soul, a creature so bizarre that upon encountering it, he makes the space within it's walls a live historical site. This place is a karaoke bar called Dimples, and it's haunted by a man named Johnny Blaze.

He looks like Rick Moranis, swaggers like Elvis, wears a leather jacket a la The Fonz and cannot do a song on stage without breaking out in a violent karate frenzy, complete with sound effects.

We stood in silent awe as he took over the stage, singing, kicking and chopping the air until the whirling dervish was awash with sweat and swooshing sound effects. He roams the place after his performance, handing out his card, winking and telling anyone who will listen of his big Hollywood plans.

Like any haunted place, half the visitors are there to patronize the business, and the other half are there in hopes of experiencing the in-house ghost. So many people have left the place completely freaked out, that word spread like wildfire around Los Angeles and even Jimmy Kimmel couldn't resist having him do a song on his show. For those who may have missed the unnatural phenomenon, you can see his official site.


L.A. Weekly: Arts & Entertainment, Plastic Surgery & Escorts

I love the L.A. Weekly, even if they won't hire me as a writer.

L.A. Weekly helped me fall in love with this town; not an easy task for an East Coast transplant. To avoid that cliche trap of complaining loudly and claiming intellectual superiority simply because I grew up on the Eastern seaboard, I turned to this publication. Every fall when their highly-anticipated "Best of" issue is released, I grab a cup of coffee and attack it with a pair of scissors. I did try the "Best Tacos" and I did drive up to the "Best View of the Ocean" - I was determined to love it here.

The thing that separates L.A. Weekly from all other city papers, is that:

- 20 pages in the front are dedicated to plastic surgery

- 20 pages in the back are dedicated to escorts

But with this dwindling economy, these ridiculous ads are fewer. The paper is lighter. Less advertisers means less revenue, and I can't have my weekly shutting their doors on me. I love editorial the best of course, but what's an issue of L.A. Weekly without trashy ads of Filipino girls clutching their breasts and begging for the affection of strangers? What about the plastic surgery ads featuring girls with inflated inner-tube lips covered in frosted pink gloss circa '84?

There are even fewer vaginal rejuvenation ads, which must mean the porn industry is tanking. Lord knows what that will do to our pitiful economy. Here's to hoping L.A. Weekly won't ever, ever leave us!

Vaginal Rejuvenation Ad


How to Make a Quick Buck Off the Desperately Unemployed

I won't name the popular "media marketplace" that threw this so-called party, because God knows, I may need them one day. Times are tough, so when I was invited to their networking party at swanky Social Hollywood, (better known as the scene for drunken antics by Paris Hilton), I was drunk with the promise of making connections in this bleak market. So did hundreds of others.

But this networking party felt like a shameless scheme to make a quick buck. It's as if the semi-media moguls sniffed out our desperation and hatched a scheme to swipe our money. Perhaps they are are struggling like the rest of us, and reserved the club for a night to hike up prices and split the profits.

How to tell if you're being hoodwinked:

1) The valet parking costs as much as dinner at Chaya

2) No open bar, but plenty of "drink specials" that insult you by their use of the word "special"

3) Too cheap to hire sufficient help, one bartender spins wildly to serve a line of 30 people, most of whom cannot afford the drink "special" in the first place

4) No entertainment, just a bunch of strangers standing in line bonding over how insane it is to have one bartender serve a party of a few hundred

5) No food. Not even a plate of germ-infested pretzels.

6) No speech given by the head of this organization to give out a message, interact with or unite the crowd. Just a raffle that no one would buy a ticket for because no one would buy the prize in the first place.

7) The raffle item is an overpriced service that the company itself offers

I would have loved to pitch my book, but I never spoke with anyone. It all felt too awkward. People either came and huddled with their friends or skulked in corners of the beautiful bar, seeing how the Paris Hiltons of the world spend their time. Apparently, bars that cater to the rich and famous have no qualms about the dangers of open firelaces and the potential damage to plush white carpeting. And when I say plush, I mean the carpet was a couple of inches thick. You sink into it while you walk, as if in a freshly-fallen snow. If it were someone's home, I would have had to take my shoes off.

We were being robbed, but everything and everyone was so pretty, that most of us didn't notice.