Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My entire June "Read, Sweat, Post" Challenge Diary

What a crazy month! Everyone died, Jon and Kate broke up, Iran is standing up for itself , American troops withdrew out of Iraqi cities, USA soccer was really good, everyone on Facebook complained about the weather a lot in NYC and LA. I'm sure you're most concerned about the results of my Challenge. Here's my full June "Read, Sweat, Post" Challenge Diary. I dropped the ball with my reading, didn't quite do 30 posts and missed some workouts, but I was a good lapsed Catholic and felt guilty for my failures every step of the way.
To summarize my June:
  • Days of Reading: 16.
  • Days of Sweating: 23.
  • Number of Posts: 25.
  • Number of celebrities that passed away: 6. (including comedian, Frank Travalena)
June 1
June 1 Read
  • I couldn't sleep 1 AM last night when I found an unidentifiable bug in the bathroom. I read about 15 pages of Chuck Klosterman's IV. I liked his essay about the death of Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones and Robbin Crosby of Ratt. Both deaths were heroin induced and 24 hours apart. Though Ratt was a larger commercial success and could be considered "more famous," no one in the media (i.e. rock critics and journalists) cared about Robbin's death as much as Dee Dee's. It's an interesting analysis about the subjective nature of good taste. Best quote to sum up the essay: "The things that matter to normal people are not supposed to matter to smart people."
June 1 Sweat
  • 40 minutes on the treadmill, run and walk at 3.0-6.0 mph at different inclines
  • 4 reps of 25 on inner and outer leg hip abduction machines at 65-100 lbs
  • 2 reps of 25 on quad leg curl machine at 40-55 lbs
  • 3 reps of 25 on leg press machine machine at 90-110 lbs
  • 4 45-second intervals of planking, 3 minutes total
June 1 Post Crap TV I'm DVRing
  • Jon and Kate Plus 8. I drank the Kool-Aid.
June 2
June 2 Read
  • Read more of Chuck Klosterman's collection of articles and essays, IV including his article about the Fargo underground scene. I can't really remember any details because The Real Housewives of New Jersey shot up my brain and left it in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental in the parking lot of a Jersey catering hall.
June 2 Sweat
  • 60 minutes on the treadmill, run/walk 3.0-6.0 mph, various inclines
  • 2 reps of 12 of various arm and shoulder, 10 and 12 lbs weights
  • 250 Crunches
June 2 Post
Was Looking Forward to Tonight
  • New casting class tonight that no one told me was canceled.
Today I Learned How To
  • Infuse vodka. My friend Allison gave me a quick lesson and recipe ideas. We were supposed to be in a class tonight that no one told us was canceled.
Crap TV I DVRed tonight because I was supposed to be in a class that no one told me was canceled. I instead hung out with Allison and learned how to booze up fruit and vegetables
  • Real Housewives of New Jersey
  • Repeat of last night's Charm School
June 3
June 3 Read
  • 20 pages of The Giver by Lois Lowry. The Giver is this month's book club selection. My book club meeting is sort of tomorrow night. I sort of used that this is a Young Adult book as a reason to procrastinate. Take a guess what will be tomorrow's read.
June 3 Sweat I kinda had a "quickie" today except it wasn't against the copy machine.
  • 30 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes run and 15 minutes walking
  • 2 reps of 25 on inner thing hip abductions, 100 and 110 lbs.
  • 2 reps of 25 on butt leg curl machine thing, 30 and 35 lbs
  • 3 minutes of planking
June 3 Post
Crap TV I Wished I DVRed:
  • I'm totally missing I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Was it on tonight? Has it been on every night this. I need to make room on my DVR. I might have to delete that I'm Michael J. Fox and I'm An Optimist Because I Have Parkinson's and I'm Michael J. Fox ABC Special from last month.
June 4
June 4 Read
  • The remaining 159 pages of The Giver by Lois Lowry, just in time for tonight's Book Club meeting. Before you put any energy in being impressed, it's a book written for smart 12 year olds and I'm a 30 year old that's put a lot of time in watching Reality TV. So yeah, I guess you should be a little impressed.
June 4 Sweat
  • 30 minute run in my neighborhood. There were hills! I sweated, I swear! Then I ate 30 dates wrapped in bacon at Book Club so it doesn't matter.
June 4 Post
  • Technically posted Wanted: This Bar after midnight on June 5, but I started writing it at 11:30 on June 4. I spent some time Google image searching "Twisted Bar Greenpoint" and got nothing. 1-3 people reading this will get the reference. Everyone else should feel good they never found themselves in a bar off the BQE that's only top shelf offering is a near empty bottle of 99 Monkeys banana flavored liqueur.
Crap TV I will now DVR because I just saw an ad for it while writing this
  • Um. Merlin. NBC mini-series starting June 21. It looks like Xena meets Hercules meets a Sci Fi Channel movie.
June 5
Ok, I'm already cracking. I did workout today, but I didn't read and the post I wrote is crap. Alex will have the car for most of the day tomorrow so I'll have no choice but sit at home and catch up.
June 5 Read
  • Nope.
June 5 Sweat
  • 20 minutes on the Elliptical Machine
  • 25 minutes of the Stationary Bike
  • 4 reps of 25 on the outer and inner thigh hip abduction machines, 85-115 lbs
  • 2 reps of 25 of leg curl butt machine thing, 30 and 35 lbs
  • 2 reps of 25 of quad machine, 50 lbs
  • Lot of free weights, 10 and 12 lbs weights
  • 200 crunches
June 6
June 6 Read
  • I read the first 17 pages of My Holocaust by Tova Reich. I should have put more time into reading today since I miserably failed yesterday, but I wanted to post this before midnight.
June 6 Sweat:
  • 21 minutes of walking on the treadmill
  • 2 miles run on the treadmill at a very slow 12 minutes per mile so 45 minutes total of cardio
  • 4 reps of 25 on Seated Leg Press machine, 2 reps of 90 lbs, 1 rep of 100 lbs and 1 rep of 110 lbs
  • 1 rep of 25 on the Leg Curl butt machine thing, 35 lbs
  • 3 one minute planks
June 6 Post
Wishing I was
  • On Katie and Jim's rooftop in Williamsburg tonight.
June 7
June 7 Read
  • A few more pages of Chuck Klosterman's IV including his ESPN essay about Barry Bonds.
June 7 Sweat
  • Three hours of golf practice and a lesson. It's debatable if a pastime that you can drink, eat, smoke, and be fat while doing is considered a sport, but my back and shoulders hurt so I'm counting it. I'm actually counting my next three golf lessons as my Sunday "Sweat" during the rest of this challenge.
June 7 Post
June 8
June 8 Read
  • A few pages of My Holocaust and then I fell asleep. At 4:30 in the afternoon
June 8 Sweat
  • 25 minutes on the treadmill
  • 20 minutes on the elliptical
  • 4 reps of 25 on outer thing hip abduction, 60-90 lbs
  • 4 reps of 25 on the inner thigh hip abduction, 80-110 lbs
June 9
Ugh, today was spent with a pulled shoulder and writer's block. While I wasn't sweating or writing, I did get some reading in. June 9 Read:
June 9 Sweat:
  • Last night while backing out of a parking lot, I turned my neck and it felt like the wrath of God was ripping my head off. I think that was a sign to take a breath and relax. So I spent today on the couch with a heating pad and a bottle of Aleve. A little warm under that heating pad? Yes. Sweat? No.
June 9 Post:
  • I got nothing, folks. I'm tapped out. Viva la Day 10!
June 10
June 10 Read
  • I still have to pick up an actual book. I just read my diary entries and school essay at Mortified tonight. I was a little nervous because there were actual people there. A lot of actual people. The audience was amazing and I had a great time!
June 10 Sweat
  • I sweated for real today. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill! And then crunches and leg press stuff... you know the drill.
June 10 Post
TV I DVRed
Thoughts on Crap TV
  • Okay, Jon and Kate: You need to have a major Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? meltdown or I'm going to stop watching. You were interesting and lovable when you were a too young cubicle jockey and a weekend nurse with some Jesus freak tendencies , that were way over your heads and doing the best you can. Now Emeril is coming to your house and making you a green bean casserole. Stop going on separate vacations and having stars of other basic cable shows visit you and fucking deal with each other. You're right, it's none of our business, but none of this was ever our business. You went ahead and made a TV show and now your children are all over the Internet. If you sit on that dumb couch and look each other in the eye and say something honest, we will be on your side.
June 11
Around 6PM on June 10 I drank half a Diet Coke with dinner. That night I fell asleep about eleven hours later, 5 AM on June 11. Hmm..think I'm becoming a little sensitive to afternoon caffeine? I spent yesterday with a blazing post- insomnia headache and didn't want to go near the computer. I'm working on a few posts but facing the eternal question: Do you want it fast or do you want it good? Second week into this Challenge, I'm finding it really hard to achieve all three tasks with any sort of quality. I'll pull it together and make up for the post-less days this week. There might be days that my only post will be my daily diary, but I'll put a little more effort into it than a laundry list of stuff I did or didn't do that day.
June 11 Read:
  • While avoiding the computer and my phone, I spent more time with books. I put a little dent into My Holocaust. I'm still getting into it and I don't really have any strong thoughts about it yet.
  • I also read more of Klosterman's IV. There's interesting piece he wrote for Esquire. He proposed that being worried that other countries don't like us because of our policies is just as ignorant as rednecks hating France because it opposed the war. The predisposition of liberals apologizing to other countries for Bush is systemic of a larger issue in our culture, the desperate need to be liked. Is being liked by everyone and making everyone happy the same as being good person? Are we spending so much energy wanting to be liked by everyone that we stray from our convictions and our own moral compass and being paralyzed form forging our own path independent of others fears and doubts? I spent a lot of my life desperately wanting to be liked by everyone and apologizing for any inconvenience that my existence might bring onto others. And now I'm 30 and tired. I think it might be easier and a lot more fun to be a bitch.
  • Klosterman wrote another piece for Esquire about the idea of guilty pleasures and apologizing for liking what would be considered "bad:" reality TV, hair metal, movies that will find a home on TBS on Sunday afternoons. It's not important what you like or feeling bad that you like it, but defining for yourself why you like it. This kicked me in my own "please like me" ass. I like a lot of "bad" TV and I will no longer apologize it. You've probably made a decision about my taste level and intelligence and your opinion really isn't going to change knowing that I kind of like Ashley and hope she'll win Charm School. Why do I watch Charm School and why am I rooting for Ashley? She's ragingly unapologetic and a complete bitch and I envy that. I also envy her eye shadow skills.
June 11 Sweat
  • After my headache subsided and I woke up a little bit, I did some Pilates exercises and push ups at home.
June 11 Post
  • Um, this might be it.
I found myself doing actual stuff this weekend and really didn't want to be in front of the computer so it's Monday morning catch up time!
June 12
June 12 Read:
  • Hmmm, not really.
June 12 Sweat:
  • Hmmm, not really.
June 12 Post:
June 13
June 13 Read:
  • Hmmm, not really.
June 13 Sweat:
  • Ran 30 minutes on the treadmill.
  • 4 reps of 25 on the inner and outer thigh weight machines.
  • 300 crunches.
  • 5 reps of 12 of 10 lb free weights.
AND...
  • 90 minute golf practice.
So I'm considering this a "two-a-day." June 13 Post:
  • Hmmm, not really.
June 14
June 14 Read:
  • Worked on some more Klosterman last night.
June 14 Sweat:
  • 90 minute golf lesson.
June 14 Post:
  • Hmmm, not really.
June 15
June 15 Read
  • Some more Klosterman.
June 15 Sweat
  • Hmmm, not really. I was really sore after the weekend.
June 15 Post Running out of stuff to write about?
  • Hmmm, sort of.
What I'm Doing Right Now
  • Sitting with a heating pad after a long weekend of golf while watching Bethenny Frankel guest hosting the Today Show. Poor Hoda seems a little overwhelmed.
June 16
June 16 Read
  • Almost done with Klosterman. I read maybe five pages and fell asleep.
  • I have to get going on this month's book club selection, Bear's Eye by Yannick Murphy
  • Spend more time with My Holocaust.
June 16 Sweat
  • 20 minute run on the treadmill
  • 20 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 4 reps of 15, 10lb free weights
  • 2 reps of 25 on the leg press machine, 110 lbs
  • 2 reps of 25, 5olbs on the quad machine
  • 2 reps of 25, 30 lbs on the butt/leg curl machine
June 16 Post
  • Including today, I'm behind by four posts! I wrote 13 posts in the 17 days in June so far. Yikes! I should've done some catch up yesterday, but I was in a really bad mood. I was happy to get a sports bra over my head and get myself to the gym.
What Am I Doing Now
  • I'm waiting for an LA City Council member's interview about who is picking up the check for today's Lakers parade to come on CNN. Everytime I watch CNN's coverage of the protests in Iran, the anchors really, really want to brand the protests in Iran as a "revolution," and you can tell the anonymous Iranians they're interviewing on the phone are kind of freaked out by that word.
What I Just Learned
  • Nick Jonas (the ones that's not gay or 40) of the Jonas Brothers has diabetes. He's on a commercial telling me how he manages his diabetes and is selling me some blood sugar level machine thing. I think the cast of High School Musical should start selling Jazzy scooters.
June 17
I'll pepper this update with some exclamation points to make it appear interesting. June 17 Read
  • Almost done with Klosterman.
June 17 Sweat
  • 90 minute golf practice! Then beer!
June 17 Post
Today's Tourist Tip
The "Corpse flower" bloomed today in the Huntington Library Botanical Garden. When this flower blooms it smells like the Nassau Ave G subway stop in August on garbage day after it rains...or a corpse.
June 18
June 18 Read
  • I finished up IV by Chuck Klosterman.
June 18 Sweat
  • 45 minutes on the treadmill, ran and walked a little over 3 miles. Could do better.
  • 4 reps of 25 on the inner thigh hip abductor, 85-110 lbs
  • 4 reps of 25 on the outer thing hip abductor, 85 lbs
  • 1 reps of 25 on the butt/leg curl, 35 lbs.
June 18 Post I'm attaching my new headshots to this and mailing it to industry people. This is probably exactly how the Governor made it in Hollywood. I dare to cast me when I can't act OR speak English. Don't be a pussy. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-arnold-gift18-2009jun18,0,7131989.story
June 19
June 19 Read June 19 Sweat
  • Does scrubbing the tub, Magic Erasing the molding and blanching asparagus count?
June 20 Post
June 20
June 20 Read
  • Not so much.
June 20 Sweat
  • Does more cooking and cleaning count?
June 20 Post
  • Not so much. I was too busy hosting a BBQ and socializing with real, live humans.
June 21
June 21 Read
  • Not yet!
June 21 Sweat
  • 90 minute golf lesson
  • 30 minute putting practice
June 21 Post
  • Working on it!
June 22
June 22 Read June 22 Sweat
  • Yikes, not so much. I think there were four days so far in June that I didn't work out. I'm thinking of extending my challenge into July to make up for it.
June 22 Post
June 23
June 23 Read
  • Alright, I have a lot of catching up to do in this area.
June 23 Sweat
  • 40 minutes on the elliptical machine
  • 4 reps of 25 on the outer and inner thing hip abductor machines, 80-110 lbs
  • 4 reps of 25 on the leg press, 90-100 lbs
  • 10 reps of 12 of 12 lb free weights
June 23 Post
  • Alright, I have a lot of catching up to do in this area also.
June 24
June 24 Read
  • Read a few pages of My Holocaust.
June 24 Sweat
  • 25 minutes on the bike, levels 7-15
  • 15 minutes on the treadmill, walking at 4.0
  • 2 reps of 25 on the butt machine, 35 lbs
June 24 Post Crap TV I'm DVRing tonight:
  • Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Part 2 of course.
June 25
June 25 Read
  • I watched Michael Jackson videos on MTV and felt sad instead.
June 25 Sweat
  • Today I woke up with sore shoulders so I'll consider holding a camera while helping a friend shoot a webseries as my "sweat."
June 25 Post
  • It was a busy day of camera holding and video watching. I'm working on a post now about Michael Jackson.
June 26
June 26 Read
  • I fell off the reading wagon...hard.
June 26 Sweat
  • 1 hour of golf practice
June 26 Post
June 27 Read
  • Nope.
June 27 Sweat
  • Nope.
June 27 Post
  • Nope.
June 28
June 28 Read
  • Nope.
,June 28 Sweat
  • My first nine holes of golf!
June 28 Post
  • Nope.
June 29
June 29 Read
  • 20 pages of My Holocaust. This book isn't moving for me. Clearly.
June 29 Sweat
  • 30 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes run at 5.5-6.0 mph & 15 minutes walk at 3.5-4.0 mph
  • 2 reps of 50 on the inner and outer thigh hip abductors, 100 lbs
  • 2 reps of 50 on quad leg curl, 50 lbs
  • 4 minutes of planking, including side plank!
June 29 Post
June 30
June 30 Read
  • The rest of Sunset Magazine will getting a pedicure. There's a great recipe for Italian sausage and eggplant fettuccine. Who wants to come over?
June 30 Sweat
  • 40 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes run at 5.0-6.0 run & 20 minutes walk at 3.5-4.0 mph
  • 2 reps of 25 on the butt/leg curl machine, 35 lbs
  • 2 reps of 25 on the leg press, 110 lbs
  • 7 reps of 12, 10 and 12 lbs free weights
  • 3 minutes of planking
June 30 Post

Open Letter to An Asshole #3: The Guy that left the toilet on our street

Dear Guy that Left the Toilet on our Street:
I believe you left your toilet outside on our street. Feel free to stop by anytime and pick it up. Since it's a heavy, porcelain, filthy, broken toilet, we're confident that it'll be safe from thieves. Unfortunately, it was mistaken as a recycling receptacle and someone dropped a Negra Modelo six pack carton into the bowl. We trust that you'll dispose of the packaging properly, and will chalk up your misplaced toilet as a minor lapse in memory. Regards, Laura

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunset Magazine might be running out of day trip ideas

A lotus doesn't grow in Echo Park.
I got my July issue of Sunset Magazine today and was surprised to see a profile of Echo Park as an L.A. day trip. Echo Park has more boiling concrete than day trip splendor. I like neighborhoods that have a bit of an inferiority complex and want to prove its shiny new finish, but there's better day trips in LA. The Eastsider LA ripped Sunset's research a new one. Apparently the lotuses at the Echo Park Lake are way dead, so is the yearly Lotus Festival, and the Echo Park Film Center is closing in July. I will offer to Sunset disappointed readers to come over for a BBQ and then a night on the town in Echo Park . We can buy used shoes and get free HIV tests at Out of the Closet, then bar crawl to Short Stop, El Prado, City Sip, and wrap up at Gold Room. Gold Room is a taco stand meets the set design of Scarface, so you need to be a little liquored up for it.

LA Field Trips #9: Los Feliz Golf Course


Yes, these pictures were taken in 2009.
Jon Favreau and Ron Livingston counting their shots at the Los Feliz Course in Swingers.
Basically the course is nine 150 yard miniature golf holes without the windmills.
I've been taking beginner golf lessons at Griffith Park. As my "final exam," I played my first nine holes of golf at the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course. What I love about this course is that you feel like you're in central Texas in 1968. Time stands still here. It's 3 par course so you're supposed to shoot a 27. I shot a 50. Which is about as many times I told my pitching wedge to go fuck itself. I actually had fun and I look forward to playing with friends and a six pack.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Unsung Heroes of Michael Jackson's Career

There were so many dancers, musicians, video actors, weird 80's aesthetics, and over the top celebrity cameos that were a huge part of my memories of Michael Jackson's career. Here are some of my favorites.
  • Dan Akroyd in the We Are the World video. He looks so uncomfortable and so like he walked into the wrong room. I think he was expecting to loop for Into the Night.
  • Speaking of uncomfortable..Linda McCartney in the Say, Say, Say video. Aww, the poor girl. I've seen driftwood with more charisma. Also, is Paul and Michael's make-up in the vaudeville scene in poor taste?
  • Sheryl Crow's hair on the Bad tour. It was huge and frizzy. She back- up danced her Midwestern ass off.
  • Kick ass lady guitarist, Jennifer Batten that toured with Jackson. I wonder if she and Sheryl fought over a bottle of LA Looks hair gel.
  • Magic Johnson's acting in the Remember the Time video. It's terrible. Why didn't he play the pharaoh and Eddie Murphy play the goofy guard? I always though that Iman ordering the death of the hacky court entertainers made her just a little less attractive as a video love interest. Has anyone seen David Bowie and Iman's children? I bet they look like mocha skinned Communion aliens.
  • The other gang leader guy in the Beat It video. He gets lost in the background amidst the the other guy's dumb white outfit. I think Chuck Klosertman pointed out that he was probably at a disadvantage to defend himself with a knife in his left hand. I might be biased as a left hand-er, but I assumed left hand-ers don't become gang leaders. We tend to become art teachers and bassists for the Beatles.
  • George Wendt and his La-Z-Boy falling victim to Macaulay's Marshall stack the Black or White video and ending up in Africa. It's terrible, but not as awkward as watching Magic. Where is George? We need more of him.
  • The church lady zombie with the pill box hat in the Thriller video. There's something about her. I wish she was one of the kooky aunts on Amen.
  • The trippy, weird glycerin soap background in the Don't Stop Till You Get Enough video. I think there were better wedding videos being produced at that time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Writer's Block or LA Block?

So including today, I'm five posts behind in my little challenge. I would like to make up for it six days left in June, but I'm feeling a little blocked. Maybe I don't feel as excited to write everyday because I don't feel as excited about LA. LA's new car smell is starting to fade. I'm having a great time and everything is gong really well, but life's been status quo. This past week I've hosted a BBQ, went to some classes, went to the gym, hit golf balls, watched reality TV, and dropped a dress off at the dry cleaners. Aside from the "doing stuff outside" part, it's pretty standard stuff I would do in NYC. I always wanted this blog to be specifically focused about my new life in LA, not my life as an actor or as a comic. It shouldn't matter if we're an actor or a civil engineer, we all crave and fear change and have a "fish out of water" moment. In the beginning of the month, I realized that everything will be okay and can have a great life here. Now as I enter my fifth month here (which sort of feel like ten years), I'm finding a routine. Keeping a pack of Smart Dogs on hand at all times, getting cut off by five cars in a row on the freeway, asking for water in a restaurant, boxing your own leftovers at that restaurant, bars closing before the night really begins, and buying vodka at Walgreens just doesn't seem as weird anymore. I still have so much to learn and discover about this town. I still had a lot to learn and experience in NYC before I left. I didn't feel totally done with NYC, but it was time to start over. I have to get used to getting used to LA, but can't use it as an excuse to be bored with it. The honeymoon is over and now the real relationship begins. I hope LA doesn't leave towels on the floor, I really hate that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today on craigslist: Why is it so hard to give away a Scrabble board?

What if this is the very board and um, racks?
Friend and comic, Jenny Rubin has perfected the art of finding weird shit on craigslist. Today when I got bored looking for actual jobs, I clicked on the "Free Stuff" section. I found this ad:

why is it so hard to give away a Scrabble board (West LA (Barrington)

I offered a SCRABBLE BOARD and its four racks - but NOT the Scrabble tiles - and someone wanted it, and of course didn't follow up. I hate to throw anything away, so let's try again: Can anyone use a SCRABBLE BOARD and the FOUR RACKS that come with it? Please don't ask for the tiles; that's what I needed the set for. I also came across a Trivial Pursuit board since running the ad last week so if you want that too, for some craft project or such - it's yours for the same amazingly low price of $0 (that's zero, no money, FREE, you flaggers). Cannot reply to emails; please include LOCAL PHONE NUMBER ONLY with response. Located near Santa Monica Boulevard and Barrington Avenue. Thanks.
Offering a free Scrabble Board isn't as weird as getting pissed off that no one wants an incomplete board game. No, no one wants a Scrabble board and racks without the tiles. What circumstances would you lose a board and racks but still have the tiles on hand? Fires, floods, and board game thieves aren't that selective. Who are you that you only need the Scrabble tiles? I bet it's for "art." If you're taking it personally that a stranger flaked and blew you off during a free game board transaction, you must find LA exhausting.
Other free stuff includes gravel, dirt, and a capuchin monkey.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

LA Isn't Here Anymore

1 am last night, I was watching Things That Aren't Here Anymore and More Things That Aren't Here Anymore, LA public television, KCET. It was hosted by a man, Ralph Story (yes, that's his name) and it was a documentary about well, stuff that isn't here anymore in LA. Ladies named Mae and Esther were interviewed about the Pasadena Ostrich Farm before it became work/live lofts with a fancy website with fancy music, Clifton's Cafeteria, Angels Flight railway, and The Brown Derby. The title seems so morbid and sad. It was like a memorial to a once truly weird and kitchsy LA. It might as well be called Everything and Everyone You Know and Love Are Dead. I wonder what landmarks would be included in the next Even More Things That Aren't Here Anymore sixty years from now. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf franchises? $20 Thai Massage Parlors? 99 cent Only Stores?

Friday, June 19, 2009

All the ways I don't want to die

In today's latimes.com and its affiliate sites, I found all the ways I really don't want to die:
So what's worse? Being burned alive in your wheelchair, getting sucked into a wood chipper, having your car flip over when someone throws a rock into the windshield at precisely the moment you're hit with E.coli bacteria from the cookie you're eating, or a grenade rocket smashing through a window of Reseda's own Mongolian Bar-B-Q King's right when you're about to enjoy your Stir Fry Bowl?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shitcanned-tivities #3: Join a Flash Mob

Find more videos like this on AdGabber
A great activity to pass the time while you're waiting for your temp agency to call is to join a flash mob to advertise basic cable reality programming or gum. I found this on LA Snark and it's hysterical! I have to keep my eyes peeled for flash mob casting notices. I'd like to think rehearsal spaces in NYC and LA are packed with out of work actors learning choreography to Lucas with the Lid Off to sell GladWare interlocking lid containers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Favorite Moments of The Real Housewives of NJ Finale

I can't find a transcript of Karen's voiceover in this scene from Goodfellas. It basically sums up The Real Housewives of New Jersey. And where's Illeana Douglas these days?
I like to keep my Real Housewives analysis to Facebook but I can't fit it all in my status. Last night's Real Housewives of New Jersey was the crazies fucking ladies book club meeting ever! Here's my top fave moments:
  • 5.The smell of Teresa's husband's wine celler. I bet it's the rotting corpse of that seceretary her husband was fucking and gave her stink eye in Episode 1.
  • 4. Ofcourse disgraced NYPD Commissioner, Bernard Kerik is a family friend of Caroline's. Ofcourse he trains house pets to maul humans.
  • 3. The horrified, tragic look on the faces of Danielle's daughters when she showed them pictures from her modeling days. If pictures are blurred for basic cable, they're probably shouldn't been seen by children.
  • 2. "I was vomiting diarrhea for three weeks."
  • 1. Yes, Teresa's psychotic break at dinner. I think something more significant happened. Jacqueline broke from her fear of her territorial sisters-in-law and called them out on their lies. I was actually really proud of her. If only Eugene O'Neill cared to write about the family lives of the guido trash nouveau riche. Long Day's Journey Into Night would have a lot more bubbies and cash wads than morphine addictions and TB.

TV Talking Heads Talking About the Lakers Parade

I propose that the "Sorry I fucked that Colorado girl and almost got charged with rape" ring Kobe gave his wife should be auctioned to cover the cost of today's parade. C'mon Vanessa, hook up all the poor fans that made your husband rich by spending all their money on those stupid car flags. I feel so positive about the future when the state I just moved to is now a segment on CNN. On today's "Issue #1: Crisis in California" (cue graphic of state of California wrapped in dollar bills), Bernard Parks, LA City Councilman was interviewed about the cost of today's Lakers parade. Here's some fun financial fun facts about the parade:
  • The estimated cost of today's parade is $2 million.
  • Private donors donated about $850,000.
  • The Lakers are covering the $1 million in production costs.
  • The city can pay up to $1 million for cops and transportation.
Here's some less fun facts about the state's financial state:
  • The state's budget is short by $24 billion.
  • State unemployment is 12.5% (I have the honor of still contributing to New York's unemployment rate)
  • The state is $59 billion in debt.
  • 21,000 homes have foreclosed on this year.
  • The state could run out of money by July 28.
Bernard Parks assured us that corporate donors will reimburse the city for any costs. CNN firecracker, Kyra Phillips asked if that corporate goodwill will extend to the city's school system and help out the teachers that are getting fired. Zing! The most hateful thing about the parade aside from Kobe Bryant's general presence: David Beckham is on a team bus.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tehran or the Staples Center?

Hmmm, who is protesting a possible corruption in a national Presidential election and who is celebrating their hometown basketball team's victory by destroying personal property and their own city? I think we should ship these Lakers fans to Tehran and see how they fare. Freedom is wasted on some Americans.

LA Field Trips #8: Culver City

This is all knew of Culver City before yesterday.
I was in Culver City yesterday helping out as extra on a web series. I think in LA-speak, I'm considered a "featured." Anyway, remember the Culver City Red Feathers, the Wilderness Girls arch enemies of Troop Beverly Hills?! I was in the car going to the shoot location with two lovely girls in their early twenties. They had no idea what I was talking about. No. Idea. They lived an entire childhood of sleepovers without this movie! I officially aged myself for the first time since I turned 30. I think I need to host a Screening/Intervention. To the Netflix Queue!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Open Letter to An Asshole #2: Carrie Prejean

Dear Carrie,
Welcome to the ranks of the Shitcanned. I'm sure finding out about your termination in the press is probably a shred more embarrassing than being watched by everyone in your office as you make the death march to HR. I hope during your time off you can check in on my shitcanned-tivity tips. It might be difficult for you to find another job. Your poor verbal skills and inability to fulfill your job description is on public display. I don't blame you for having an opinion and answering the question truthfully. I don't agree with you, but I don't blame you. I blame the Miss USA for their ridiculously high standards of expecting you to express an intelligent and well-constructed opinion. We might have accepted your position on gay marriage as corn-fed naiveté if just spoke English. You also haven't gained enough life experience to know when to tell the truth and when to give the right answer. You were truthful about how you felt, but it wasn't the right answer. Unfortunately this inability makes you wildly unqualified for a large array of job positions from being President of the United States to temping. To add insult to injury, the gays hate you. You're going to have a difficult time filling the day with fun and relaxing activities while looking for another job. Who will style your hair, decorate your house, help you shop and not bat an eyelash while you use "c" word with reckless abandon when describing your "friends" while lunching on Pinot Grigio and ice? In spite of all this, you don't need our help or a resume. You're blonde, skinny, have a new rack, probably come from a rich family, and gained a loyal fan base of Jesus Freaks that will pay you a lot of money to show up at a Grand Opening of a Cache. Never look back and stay true to yourself. Even though you're a national joke, most of us would take your life over ours. Snugs, Laura P.S. But seriously, you might want to make an appearance on a Bravo show and do a little damage control.

LA Lesson #5: June Gloom

When I first heard of June Gloom, I thought it was a poor attempt by Anglenos to create weather. It's real and it's starting to suck. For those unfamiliar with June Gloom, it's basically overcast (something about a marine layer) and gray until 3 in the afternoon and then maybe the sun will come out just in time to be in your eyes when you're in rush hour traffic. I liked it at first because it felt like home and I missed not having something to complain about. I could relate to everyone in NY bitching about the rain on Facebook. Now I'm sort of bummed and sort of don't want to leave the house or get dressed. I probably picked a really bad month to challenge myself to work out everyday. I sort of am losing the will to live let alone the will to be skinny. I think New Yorkers like bad weather because it gives them a reason to take circumstances out of their control personally, and wonder why Mother Nature is fucking with them. I think Angelenos use their version of bad weather to be even more passive and really not give shit about anything. Like putting on a bra.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Words of Wisdom #2: The Daily Show's Advice to California

On last night's The Daily Show, John Hodgman offered some solutions to California's budget woes and its population's fondness for voting for their short sighted self interests instead of what's best for the state as a whole. Click here for the video. I really don't know if ballot initiatives are the best way to run a state government. Fine, have Old Man Rivers run his mouth at a town council meeting about loud garbage trucks and those darn- fangled neighborhood kids, but elected officials should keep him away from the budget. I can't believe I've never heard of the Cow Palace until I watched this.

Monday, June 8, 2009

LA Lessons #4: Using Show Program to Place Agent Wanted Ad

I haven't seen a lot of theatre in LA yet (and yes, there's theatre) so it doesn't seem fair to make a blanket statement. Of what I've seen, I noticed many actors use their bios in show programs to advertise: a) their agent's information and b) they don't have an agent and would really like one. I know all actors would rather be getting paid to be on the set of Two and a Half Men (that shit is never going off the air), than rolling around naked in Crisco for free in an experimental production of Our Town, on that weird stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard after the Sears that seems stuck in 1957 and West Hollywood. We, as the paying audience though, need to believe that you want to be there for us; and you're not putting yourself on display only to get plucked and propelled to stardom by one of the hundred casting directors and agents you anonymously sent postcards to, and will totally spend their Saturday night watching you. I don't think New York actors use their bios to advertise their representation status. I could be wrong, I strayed from theatre to pursue the red-headed stepchild of show business, stand-up. Maybe actors in New York prioritize pride over networking. Maybe that's why I'm in classes with 22 year-olds that already have their SAG cards...and Charlie Sheen's number.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

LAPD is all up in my inbox

So I got this e-mail yesterday. I'm trying to figure out what mailing list I signed to get the Los Angeles Police Protective League newsletter. Is the LAPD shaking down wine bars and comedy shows for info? Our local precinct admitted to never hearing of our street when we reported our little car break in, so I now feel a responsibility to be a concerned citizen. If LA is cutting the police force, I think it's time for the cast of Southland to pick up the slack and start earning their keep. I want that guy with the cigar from Band of Brothers, Ryan from The O.C. and Brenda from 227 to patrol the street of LA, and protect its citizens of ne'er do wells on the prowl for exposed GPS accessories. C.Thomas Howell must be so happy to have a job, he'd gladly to take a patrol shift. Police work is no Celbracadabra, but it's an honest day's work. In honor of the LAPD's work, here's Ice Cube's It Was A Good Day video. 1993 was a good year for video hos, all you had to do was walk around in a trenchcoat and hand your man a 40 oz.
<span class=LAPPL" align="center" border="0" height="210" width="740">

Dear Laura, As the President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), I am writing to share with you the concerns of the more than 9,800 Los Angeles police officers we represent. We are asking for your help in maintaining public safety at a crucial time in our city’s history. If you are concerned about maintaining safe communities, please click here to sign the online petition urging City Hall to keep public safety as its number-one priority. Over the past six years, the City of Los Angeles has enjoyed unprecedented crime decreases to levels not seen since the 1950s, due to the hard work of the men and women of the LAPD. However, by any objective measure, the LAPD is understaffed compared to other large cities. Reducing the number of officers on the streets would be a serious mistake, and Angelenos who are already feeling economically vulnerable must not be made even more vulnerable by increasing their exposure to crime. They deserve better. We are very concerned that the city may seek to take inappropriate and unnecessary risks in trying to solve the city’s financial crisis by cutting deeply into the public safety budget. We have too few officers protecting our city now. It doesn't make sense to furlough the police officers of an already under-policed city. The easily predictable result of this ill-advised action would be a reversal of the lower crime-rate trend officers have worked so hard to achieve over the past several years. Maintaining fully staffed patrols should take precedence over proposed cost-saving measures in the city’s budget planning. You can also help by staying informed on the critical issues facing your police department by taking advantage of a number of complimentary resources available to you. Click here to tell us the news and information services you would like to receive. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our city safe. Very truly yours, PAUL M. WEBER, President Los Angeles Police Protective League About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,800 LAPD Officers. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at www.LAPD.com.

Los Angeles Police Protective League • 1308 West Eighth Street • Los Angeles, California 90017

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LA Field Trips #7: The Beverly Hilton

Last night Alex and I went to an event to raise money to participate in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Hike for Discovery in Yosemite. The fundraiser was a Champagne and Chocolate Tasting at La Chateau at the Beverly Hilton. The hosts did a wonderful job and we met a great group of really fun people. I love hanging out at hotels in Los Angeles. I probably would've loved hanging out at hotels in New York but I was too busy being busy. The great thing about the Beverly Hilton is that blends old Hollywood glamor with 80's coke head sleaze. There's something approaching an all white monolith with small slim red lettering that pierces the skyline of Beverly Hills that makes you feel like you're in a movie adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. Click on the Bret Easton Ellis link. The music! Really? Bret Easton Ellis is sooo Bret Easton Ellis.

Friday, June 5, 2009

50 Posts In: An Anthology of Faves so Far

I started this blog to let everyone from home that I am not in the Los Angeles County morgue and my car isn't wrapped around an Ed hardy store. During these past four months, I've written fifty posts. I know I could've written more, but I what I've done so far shows some initial commitment and dedication. I'd like to revisit some of my favorites posts that best signify my journey so far. I might also be running out of things to write about five days into my Challenge.
  1. My first post on February 16. This isn't my favorite but it's my first. I haven't watch an episode of Rachel Maddow since. I noticed my posts are getting longer and I might be breaking my own rule.
  2. My big decision to have a lifestyle on April 28. I still need to work on that garden and wine journal.
  3. An Open Letter to A Douche on April 30. Three words: "glass shard ejaculate."
  4. A recap of our twenties on May 18. This one is kind of depressing.
  5. Welcome to LA, Conan! on June 2. Enough time hasn't past to be nostalgic about this post (or maybe any of these posts), but it's perhaps the most reflective and offers the clearest perspective of my time in LA so far.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wanted: This Bar

Alex and I are looking for a bar somewhere in Los Angles that offers the following:
  1. A television or two hovering over the bar to watch whatever sporting competition that's happening at that moment, no matter what day of the week, no matter what time of the day.
  2. $3 Bud bottles.
  3. A functional alcoholic that is funny and cool and you'll see every time you walk into the bar to and will sit next to you drinking $3 Bud bottle and watch whatever sports competition is on. After awhile your Bud/Sports/Bar relationship will extend to invitations to BBQs, holiday parties, and watching games at home. This friend will have enough of a drinking problem to be fun, but not so much of a problem that's he stealing or breaking your stuff.
Does any bar exist in LA? I'm sure it does, we just need to know. Tell us! We'll take any bar that resembles the above images.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shitcanned-tivities #2: Start a Blog

I thought this was stock photograph that will be turned into an inspirational poster for a high school computer lab, but I think it's an actual portrait for a blog. These people are serious. And in very uncomfortable positions for typing.
The last time I offered a shitcanned-tivity tip, it was more of a suggestion of what not to do then an actual activity. I recommended not watching afternoon television between noon news and Oprah. You'll find yourself signing up for that Gun Repair course offered by ITT, so you'll know how to clean out your sawed off shotgun when you finally snap. While you're not watching afternoon television, I recommend holing up in front of your laptop and starting a blog. About anything. Unfortunately it's no longer 2003, so I don't think you'll be handed a book deal upon opening a Blogger account, but you'll feel like you're doing something. I also recommend adding Google Ads to your blog and obsessively checking to see if you've earned a penny in revenue yet. When you do "earn" that penny you might start thinking, "maybe I won't have to get a job after all." Obsessively stepping on the scale every time you find yourself in the bathroom after you publicly challenge yourself on your blog to workout everyday is another great way to pass the afternoon. Now that your blog and new compulsions are eating your life away, it'll be time for Oprah before you know it and you can participate in popular culture again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome to LA, Conan!

Back in February I wrote about Conan's last Late Night and John Mayer's advice to him about LA. By the way, Alex and I saw John Mayer being followed by paparazzi in Venice. I almost got plowed over by one. It was weird and kind of disconcerting. I kind of get why celebs can get addicted to the whirlwond of attention and then go all Bjork on the photographers. ANYWAY, I loved Conan's show opening. There were times that I wanted to do the same 3,000 mile run, but in the other direction back to NYC. Conan's last Late Night in NYC and his first Tonight Show in LA are symbolic bookend moments for me. On February 21 I was sitting in a sublet by myself. I think I spent that night at home watching old lady CBS programming on a very uncomfortable couch that wasn't mine. I hadn't seen my husband in three weeks. I spent the day staring at people at the Coffee Bean who were on the phone, on their way to fabulous industry jobs, typing away on laptops or having meetings. I was jealous of their "on the go" pace and wish I had something else going on other than the book I was reading at 10 am. Last night on June 1, I came back from an empowering class that makes me excited about auditioning, to a husband and a home that's ours, and watched Conan's first Tonight Show on my very comfortable couch that's seen a lot of parties and lot of friends. It took nearly four months and change for my head and heart to run 3,000 miles across country and catch up with me here in LA. Now I'm finding my own pace.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Announcing June "Read, Sweat, Post" Challenge: Day 1

It's amazing what you think of when you're at the gym and your shuffle dies, Oprah's not on yet, and you're thinking of anything to distract yourself from walking out and getting a Vanilla iced latte at Starbucks next door. During the last four months, reading and working out went to the back burner so I can concentrate on other stuff like freaking out, settling in, and getting lost. I have actually been writing more since I moved here, so I want to keep it up and take it up a notch. I'm starting a new decade, it's the middle of 2009, I don't suspect any major distractions from my pretty open schedule- this is the month to get it together! Every day in the month of June I will publish a blog post, read, and engage in some physical fitness. Along with my daily post, I will also publish a daily diary detailing my workout, what I'm reading, any other writing projects I'm working on, and maybe something fun I did that day or look forward to doing. I'll probably include "Worst thing I ate today," "Today in crap television," "What I'm procrastinating on" and "Why did I drink that last night?" to keep you from believing that I actually have all of my shit together. So here it is, my first post of the June "Post, Read, Sweat" Challenge!

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