Rocking the Charity Circuit

St. Jude Children's Hospital held a gala at L.A.'s Club Nokia this month, and I had the honor of serving as a Gala Committe member. As Silent Auction Chair, I also had to oversee the live auction and gift bags! It was one of the hardest things I've ever pulled off, especially in this economy. But it's a challenge to be proud of. With Wolfgang Puck feeding us, Maker's Mark Whiskey opening up a dipping station, a successful auction filled with high-end items and generous sponsors, it was a success. With Daisy Fuentes, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Kenny Ortega, Zoe Saldana and Wilmer Valdarrama and more stepping out, the turnout was excellent too. Enjoy the photos!


Phil Spector's House

It wasn't until Phil Spector's murder trial that I had any idea where he lived. Much ado was made about his "secluded castle" that was said to be "in the middle of nowhere." Imagine my feelings of inferiority when I discovered that "the middle of nowhere" was just down the street from me. Let's just say I was living in the San Gabriel Valley. It wasn't Malibu, but "the middle of nowhere" was completely unnecessary.

Mapquest told me that Phil Spector's Pureness Castle was but a short bike ride away. I wanted to get there before sunset, so I rode hard and fast. Block by block, I realized I was riding deep into the heart of an unkempt Chinese neighborhood spotted with chubby Latino gangsters. Phil Spector lived on the top of the hill, but aside from the fence protecting his vast property, it was not at all secluded. Photos taken of the home are aerial due to the large trees, and the castle seems to spring from the grounds of heavily-wooded land. But aside from the trees he planted around his hilltop home, it is but a tiny green pimple upon a giant, flat face of concrete, covered with dirt-smudged apartment complexes and greasy food shacks. One block separated his home from a major thoroughfare, and on the corner of his block was a Chinese-owned auto body shop with a broken sign and mechanics screaming what I can only imagine were Chinese obscenities at one another. The Jack-in-the-Box actually classed up the place.

I caught a glimpse of the Pureness Castle. People scoff that it isn't pure, but of course it is. Pure creepiness. Aside from the fact that it's the scene of a murder, did you see the guy's hair?

Oh wait, that's a wig.

Not pictured in the top photo is the white dog trapped in the cage by the gate. Held in a box-like space, it paces the floor and goes nearly mad when someone walks by. The barks were of desperation, not fierceness. Any true dog owner knows their pooch will bark way before someone dangerous could get their hands on them. And if tethering is illegal, how can caging them be humane?

Now that Mr. Spector is off to jail, I hope the little guy found a new home and some space to stretch out. I also hope Phil is thinking long and hard about all the crimes he's committed. Including ones involing human hair.


Lunch Truck Mania!

It all seemed to start with that ever-elusive Kogi truck, belting out Korean BBQ/Mexican fusion to hipsters en masse. People could lock down the truck's whereabouts via Twitter.

Now following this model are countless trucks catering to those with a sophisticated palate, whether serving organic salads, sashimi or breakfast all day. Gone are the days of the roach coach; these days on Wilshire's Miracle Mile, media types and entertainment industry bigwigs line up along the sidewalks to catch the newest lunch truck craze. If someone spots a new and obscure lunch truck, it earns them bragging rights at the office.

Things have gotten so crazed at the epicenter of the Miracle Mile lunch truck scene (5700 Wilshire by E! and Screen Actor's Guild), that the strip of restaurants started complaining to the City of Los Angeles that it was hurting their own businesses. Apparently, Marie Callendar's, Baja Fresh and Johnny's tried to scoot the trucks out to boost their own sales, and the foodie entrepreneurs found themselves harassed by local police, determined to muddle up the lunch truck business with red tape.

But this is a free country, and we have the right to variety. We created and signed petitions, and now our street is rife with delicious options. All this lunch truck brouhaha has even inspired a potential television show. Courtney Cox and David Arquette are developing a series called Eat Street, and it touches upon this stuff.

While I'm here, some of the best lunch trucks out there (complete with websites and Twitter whereabouts) are:

Kogi (the father of lunch truck mania)

Buttermilk (breakfast all the time - yea!!!)

Green Truck (organic)

India Jones (Indian street food - like walking the streets of Mumbai sans the risk of food-born illness! That's right I said it.)


If you like the show HOARDERS...

...you have GOT to see this house, Angelenos!

Just in time for Easter, allow me to introduce you to The Bunny Museum! Winning the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most bunny...stuff, Candace Frazee (who answered the door in bunny earrings and bright red lipstick) has opened her home, grease-splattered kitchen and all, to the masses to take in all of her wascaly wabbits, whether they're stuffed animals, carved figurines or live bunnies.

The woman has so many rabbits, that she had to section them off by theme and/or country of origin. She has Christmas bunnies, Mexican folk art bunnies, Japanese bunnies and Easter bunnies. She says the collection started when her husband gave her their first stuffed bunny as a token of his love. Now that she's tens of thousands of bunnies deep, she says the entire home is a "shrine to their love." He was nowhere in sight.

It starts out cute & kitschy enough...

Then you start wondering how they can live that way...

Then there was that poor blind rabbit with tumors....

And the Vaseline bunny collection...

And evidence of general dilapidation...

And then there was this hot mess...

...and the general smell of cat pee, bunny pee and trash that made me need to take a breather outside. But it's still very much worth a go-see, especially if you are fascinated by hoarders. As Candace Frazee would say, "Hop on in..."