Yes, Los Angeles invented road rage. But if you want to test your luck by riding a motorcyle in this town, you may want to reconsider the amount of rear-view mirrors you have: 13


Sideways-inspired roadtrip!

Hollywood films always inspire me to take road trips. I've made a pilgrimage to the Amityville house and Grey Gardens. This trip to the Solvang/Santa Barbara-area was inspired by Sideways, and didn't require a plane ticket. It doesn't take arm-twisting to get me to leave Los Angeles. I'm always hunched on the springboard, waiting for an opportunity. Pulling away from the city, I can feel the proverbial claws releasing with each mile.

Breakfast in Santa Barbara
Eggs Benedict

 sampling wines and gourmet olive oil

Robert, appreciating the statues dedicated to great men
Sunstone Winery

with friends Gus and Jiwon Zdanovich
organic vineyard

catching the sunset


Guns and Roses and Steak Fries

Last month I sang the praises of many L.A. delis to prove that we've got power lunch nosh spots as good as any New York one. Not to mention celebrity sightings galore. But it didn't feel right to simply give Canter's a passing mention, given my one-sided love affair with the place. And when I say one-sided, I mean it. They are renown for their "aging waitresses from hell." Love them.

While I've never sampled it myself, I hear crack is quite addicting. And if one could transform the feeling of well-being it gives a person into an actual flavor, it would be the steak fries and ranch dressing at Canter's. To call it addicting would be an understatement. The false sense of well-being it provides is the reason why I treat myself to the place on my birthday. I'm sure part of the warm and fuzzy feeling comes from the vintage interior, almost reminiscent of a big cafeteria or truck stop from the 50's. Giant booths that swallow you up, lots of brown, lots of orange. And I love the sound of clinking classes and silverware in a large room. Except at weddings, where you're wearing Spanx, which physically restrict you from feeling true bliss.

Plus, Guns N' Roses got their start in Canter's Kibitz room, where they played regularly at the beginning of their career. In case you've been living in a cave for the past quarter century, that's huge.


The White Witch of Los Angeles

credit: Sera Timms

I will give her credit for one thing and one thing only. She thought of a cool name for her website. GodIsMyBoyfriend.com. Hardy har har. Not that it actually means anything.

But don't tell Los Angeles that. Homegirl gets all kinds of coverage in the L.A. Weekly, not to mention the fact that the city of Los Angeles must be throwing her enough coins to keep her operating. Maja D'aoust is "The White Witch of L.A." What does this mean? It means she can have photos taken of herself prancing in gauzy white dresses, declare the dust and dirt on the camera lens to be orbs (after development of course, since nothing actually happened during the photo shoot) and take your money to do, like, spiritual stuff with it. Like put it in her pocket. Then go buy other new white dresses to prance in.

I'm not mad at her. We allowed this to happen. People refuse to believe in God because of the talking snakes and the parting seas being "unrealistic," but then hail "The White Witch of Los Angeles." It just goes to show that some people long to be "different," simply because they're desperate for attention. So I say you go, Maja D'Aoust. You take all their money and you swirl and twirl in those gauzy white dresses and you wave your hands and you mumble over that burning sage. Take them for all they're worth, even if the rest of the country is laughing at us.

You go. You go Glen Coco.