Thursday, July 31, 2008



Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as Smokey the Stinkpot took steps to escalate a Cold War that's been brewing for weeks between the Smokers and Non Smokers at Our Favorite Starbucks.  Last Friday, Smokey deliberately removed the "No Smoking" sticker from his favorite table, lit-up a cigarette and blew smoke in the direction of a pregnant woman.  Today, mere hours after a team of Neighborhood Vigilantes replaced the sticker, Smokey removed it once again, this time hiding it on the back cover of a book he was reading.  His ruse didn't last long.  "You're breaking the law," said someone at a nearby table, "You need to put that cigarette out."  Reluctantly, Smokey took one last drag on his cigarette and left.  Speaking of Drag, he was replaced by none other than the Boy Named Sue, a Local Cross-Dresser who began frequenting Our Favorite Starbucks earlier this month.  Sue wore men's clothing today -- a blazer and slacks -- offset by a pair of Fuzzy Blue Slippers and a Large Red Purse.  "Sue" also smoked, but nobody said a word ...!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008



Halloween came early at 7th and Montana last night as the woman known among insiders as the Bulgarian Vulgarian -- famous for her recent efforts to take over Our Favorite Starbucks -- made the scene.  At precisely 7:36 p.m. last night, Genevieve and Kathy sent out an Alert which popped-up on my computer screen at home:  "She's Back ... Calling Management Again!"  "I'm on it," I said, as I grabbed my Spy Cam and ran out the door.  In recent days, the Bulgarian has invaded a number of local establishments, each time insisting that she's calling "Top Management" on her cell phone.  Rumor has it the walls at the Seven-Eleven on Wilshire are still echoing from her visit two days ago ("It isn't a Slurpee until I say it's a Slurpee ...!!!").  By the time I arrived on the scene last night, she had zeroed-in on the Montana West Hair Salon and was, as usual, screaming into her cell phone ("You call this a Haircut?!?  I'll show you a Haircut ...!!!").  Indeed, her hair was flying wildly in all directions, and so was her vocabulary for that matter.  She recoiled at the sight of me -- perhaps confusing my Spy Cam with a Silver Cross -- and began screeching in an Unknown Language.  "Now she's speaking in tongues," said Kathy, helpfully.  I watched for several minutes, half-expecting to see the Bulgarian's head rotate a full 360-degrees while she projectile vomited mass quantities of Green Goop, but she merely muttered to herself and walked away.  She was last seen heading South towards the Seven-Eleven, where something tells me she'll show them all exactly what it means to take a "Big Gulp" ...!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hats Off to my Friends and Neighbors at 7th and Montana this week for giving me some Constructive Criticism about my Blog.  "You're making us look like a bunch of Wackadoos," said Joyce, "Maybe you should try to cover some of the Regular Folks, too!"  Perhaps Joyce is right.  Research suggests that five out of six people at Our Favorite Starbucks consider themselves "Completely Average."  The sixth person (pictured above) is Ace Photographer Kovar, who just this morning donned a Ridiculous Straw Hat -- a "leave behind" from a previous customer -- in an effort to get into my Blog.  "It's been a while," he said, "Will this hat make me more Blogworthy?"  Indeed it will, Kovar!  In related news, the Mad Hatter otherwise known as The Jittery Nutcase returned to 7th and Montana today after a Brief Hiatus.  Rumor has it he served a two-month sentence for Assault with a Deadly Hot Chocolate ...!

Monday, July 28, 2008



Head for the Hills, Folks!  There's a new Basket Case in town and he's unbalanced in more ways than one.  At approximately 8:00 a.m. this morning, an Unidentified Psychopath arrived on the scene at 7th and Montana, teetering dangerously on his bicycle as he struggled to balance a large Plastic Case and a ten-gallon container of Industrial Strength Laundry Detergent.  "Howdy, Everyone!," he yelled, "I was born in 1900 and I've been flying airplanes ever since they first came out!"  He walked into Starbucks singing "Kumbaya" at the top of his lungs and emerged, moments later, drinking a Vivanno (TM), Starbucks' "nourishing" new energy drink.  "I don't care what anyone says," he yelled, "I'm not on Narcotics!"  And with that, he jumped on his bike and proceeded to "do wheelies" into oncoming traffic.  "I'm famous," he roared, "I'm friends with Alec Baldwin, Daryl Hannah, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bono.  They're making a movie about me.  It comes out next week!"  "Naturally," I whispered to the woman sitting next to me while she dialed 911, "I assume it's a remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ...!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008



Heads and stomachs were turning this morning at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Trendsetter arrived on the scene sporting the latest Sado-Masochistic Fashion Accessory:  A Stick Up His Butt.  "That looks painful," I said as he walked by.  His Skintight Lycra Bodysuit and Obligatory Bicyclist Tap Shoes didn't do much for him, either.  No doubt it takes the right person to pull off this look.  I nominate the Grizzly Adams Look-a-Like who tried to steal my newspaper today.  Then, again, he already had a Stick Up his Butt ...!

Saturday, July 26, 2008



It was raining "Celebrities" this morning at 7th and Montana as Our Favorite Starbucks filled-up with enough Star Power for a Supernova.  The fun began with a Rare Appearance by the original Little Old Lady from Pasadena, made popular by singers Jan and Dean in the 1960s.  Today she drives a Toyota Prius (California License Number 5MDX45) and refuses to accelerate beyond two miles-per-hour.  She stopped traffic on 7th Street for nearly five minutes while she inexplicably stared at a sign promoting surfboards at a local Yard Sale.  In other celebrity news, Robert Wagner made the scene with his family;  Barista Robb startled the crowd with news that he's moonlighting on a job with '70s New Wave Band, Devoand the Screenwriter Brothers announced that they're considering an invitation to spend the weekend at the beach with Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston.

Friday, July 25, 2008



Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Smokey the Stinkpot," the latest No-Goodnik to butt-in on the action at 7th and Montana.  This morning, when he thought no one was looking, Smokey peeled the "No Smoking" sticker off his table at Our Favorite Starbucks, took a quick look around to make sure the coast was clear, and lit up a cigarette which he kept hidden behind a copy of Motor Home Magazine.  I watched, dumbfounded, as the smoke billowed in the direction of a pregnant woman at a nearby table.  "I smell smoke," I said loudly, "Is somebody smoking?!?"  He pretended to ignore me until I eventually moved to another table, out of his range.  Moments later, I dialed 310-458-8923 -- the City of Santa Monica's No Smoking Hotline -- to report the incident.  California State Law prohibits smoking within 20-feet of entrances, exits or operable windows of a public building.  I then called the City Attorney's Office -- to urge them to hurry -- and learned that violators of the City's No Smoking Laws pay an initial fine of $250 which generally increases to $1,000 based on court and other administrative costs.  Let's hope this Ash-Hole gets what he deserves ...!

Thursday, July 24, 2008



Political Intrigue filled the air at 7th and Montana this morning as Our Favorite City Councilman, Bobby, met with what appeared to be a Special Interest Group.  In hushed tones, they discussed a series of potential local building initiatives including -- if I eavesdropped correctly -- the proposed construction of a Mental Research Facility.  Councilman Bobby listened intently while his guests appeared to build a case against new construction in an already overpopulated city.  For what it's worth, I agree with Bobby's guests.  Who needs a Mental Research Facility when we have 7th and Montana ...?!?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



Holy Smoke-Free Environment, Batman!  Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that a team of Anonymous Vigilantes descended upon Our Favorite Starbucks last night and applied "No Smoking" Stickers everywhere in sight.  Just who is our Dark Knight?  No one knows for sure but inside sources point to a certain Dynamic Duo who -- like many of us -- have become increasingly fired-up about the growing influx of smokers at 7th and Montana.  To these Caped Crusaders I say "Bravo" and thanks for improving our neighborhood.  Tonight I'm sending out a Bat-Signal in the hopes that, for your next performance, you'll do something to Stamp Out Doggy Doo on our sidewalks once and for all ...!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



It was Many Happy Returns this morning at 7th and Montana as Rita made the scene, fresh from her Back to Nature retrreat in the Mayan Jungles of Tulum.  Just how "au naturel" did she go?  Apparently the beaches of Tulum are Nude -- or what insiders like to call "clothing optional" -- and Rita really got into the spirit of things.  The highlight of her trip was when a Renegade Group of Guerillas -- armed with both rifles and cameras -- emerged out of nowhere and starting shooting up a storm.  Fortunately, they were merely shooting pictures ...!

Monday, July 21, 2008



You know you've "arrived" at 7th and Montana when the Baristas start reserving tables for you.  That became apparent last week when Barista Tyler rushed over to one of the few available tables at Our Favorite Starbucks and held it for me with a "Reserved for Marty" sign.  "How nice of you," I said, "but I have a few reservations of my own."  Right there, staring me in the face -- on the flip side of the "Reserved for Marty" sign -- was a teaser advertisement promoting a mysterious new pastry.  The text read, "With whole-grain fiber, whole-fruit goodness and Omega 3s to boot!"  Honestly, I wouldn't know an Omega 3 from an Andromeda Strain, but I can't help thinking that I've somehow been "insulted" ...!

Sunday, July 20, 2008



Head for the Hills, Folks:  The Local Eccentric known among insiders as "My Favorite Martian" landed at 7th and Montana this morning and he's sporting a Bold, New Look.  Gone is the "Signature Retractable Antennae" he normally wears on top of his head and in its place is a Light Brown Fright Wig.  Today he spent more than 30-minutes barking into a cell phone, no doubt plotting an invasion.  "I'll get the F---cking Government," he screeched, "I'll get them all and I couldn't be happier about it ...!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008



Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning on rumors that Joyce is getting an Early Start on her Second Childhood.  How?  By enrolling herself in a Preschool Class, of course!  Actually, there's a method to her madness and it's called Reggio Emilia, an innovative educational philosophy that encourages youngsters to learn by doing.  Named for the town in Italy where it was established, Reggio Emilia teaches preschoolers to become creative problem solvers by giving them an element of control over the direction of their learning.  Kids dream up their own projects and work on them, together, under the guidance of specially-trained teachers.  Joyce's grandson, Alex, will be attending a Reggio Emilia Preschool this Fall, so Joyce is taking an educational course to learn more about it.  Now that's what I call a Class Act ...!

Friday, July 18, 2008



They say the Road to 7th and Montana is Paved with Good Intentions, but today it was just being paved, period, as a work crew arrived on the scene to apply a coat of slurry.  Sections of Montana and Palisades Avenues were closed to traffic all day while work progressed under the guidance of a Suspiciously Camera-Shy Road Worker.  "Put that camera away, no pictures of me, no pictures of me ... Leave me out of your pictures!," screamed the worker-in-question, while his colleagues tried to figure out what was making him so nervous.  "Not to worry," I muttered under my breath, "I'm not taking any pictures ... I'm simply calling Homeland Security to say 'hello' ...!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008



I knew something was up the minute I walked into Starbucks this morning.  "There he is," said Barista Nada, quietly pointing me out to one of her new colleagues, "He's the one we were just talking about."  The Newbie Barista-in-Question, Matt, somehow stumbled across my blog and was apparently asking questions.  "I saw your website," he said, "I was in it ... except you cut my head off."  Indeed, a review of some of my recent entries reveals that, on July 3rd, Matt offered me a free sample of Green Tea Lemonade which I inadvertently compared to a Glass of Urine.  I'm so sorry, Matt, for cutting off your head and refusing to sample such a Refreshing Beverage.  I promise to do better next time.  Welcome to 7th and Montana ...!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



It was a Hostile Takeover at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Bulgarian made the scene, intent on taking over the Starbucks Corporation.  "I'm from Bulgaria and there are going to be some changes around here," she announced loudly as she whipped out her cell phone.  Then she dialed a number -- presumably at Starbucks headquarters -- and began barking out orders in Broken English.  "I told you yesterday and I'm telling you today, I'm taking over," she yelled, "I'm starting with the fruits and juices."  Unfortunately, she left in a huff before I could get her policy on Apple Fritter Disarmament ...!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It was an evening to remember last night as I joined a group of colleagues to support a "Blu Carpet" event at The Playboy Mansion to celebrate the official kick-off of ESPN's annual ESPY Awards.  Basically, we transformed a corner of the mansion into a Blu-ray Disc Lounge allowing professional athletes and celebrities ranging from Jose Canseco to Hugh Hefner a chance to see some High-Definition Perfection.  Naturally, Playboy trotted out some eye candy of its own.  A group of Playboy Bunnies made the scene "in the raw."  Their outfits -- pictured above -- consisted mainly of strategically-placed body paint designed to look like clothing.  Click here for the official wire photos from the event.

Monday, July 14, 2008



Research suggests that rising gas prices have taken their toll on the nation's economy.  Here's how some of the locals at 7th and Montana are coping:  Gary attached a small engine to his scooter and is zipping around town at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour;  Joyce has taken to riding the Big Blue Bus to Jury Duty;  and Arnold Schwarzenegger, not to be outdone, has had his Hummer modified to run exclusively on Vegetable Oil.  Speaking of Vegetables, a Dazed and Confused Woman arrived on the scene this morning astride her very own Dog Sled.  Her dog apparently pulled her to Starbucks on a skateboard.  Now that's what I call fuel efficiency ...!

Sunday, July 13, 2008



Ever wonder how the Baristas at 7th and Montana cope with the Cast of Characters at Our Favorite Starbucks?  They take Basic Martial Arts Training, that's how.  Take Tyler, for instance.  In his spare time, he can be found lately at Goose Egg Park sparring with U.S. Tai-Chi Champion Jonathan Wang.  "It's great," said Tyler, "Jonathan lets me practice my self-defense technique.  He's a real expert and he knows everyone in the Martial Arts Community."  Jonathan:  If you're reading this, please do me a favor:  Don't let "Klancy the Klingon" and his ilk at Palisades Park know about my blog.  Something tells me I'm better off staying on their good side ...!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I had a "serious decision" to make this morning:  Do I remain in the Magic Kingdom an extra day to explore the park, or do I head home and rejoin the crowd at 7th and Montana?  My friends at Disney gave me free passes to explore the park today but, truth be told, it's been a long week and I've been looking forward to getting home.  So, I high-tailed it back to 7th and Montana, knowing that there was a good chance I could have my cake and eat it, too.  Afterall, as everyone knows, the Parade of Costumed Characters at 7th and Montana on any given day would make any Theme Park proud.  Today was no exception.  First there was "A Boy Named Sue," a fashionable "she-male" sporting a Black Miniskirt, Black Nylons and a Bad Case of Five O'Clock Shadow.  I didn't see "Sue" in person -- he actually made the scene yesterday -- but Robin was kind enough to send me the photo above.  Then there was "Klancy the Klingon."  Klancy and his band of fellow Intergalactic Warriors set-up shop this morning at Palisades Park, where they amused themselves by waving various Klingon Armaments at passersby.  Last but not least, there was "Nature Boy," a man so in love with the Eucalyptus Trees at 7th and Montana that he took a branch, molded it into a crown, and wore it all over the neighborhood.  He was last seen (pictured above) at the Panda Express Chinese Restaurant enjoying a large order of Bean Sprouts.  It's great to be home ...!

Friday, July 11, 2008



In keeping with her recent round of Pigeon-Oriented Questions, Beckiepainton from the U.K. sent me a question:  "Have they got pigeons in Disneyland? ... I gotta ask."  A Little Birdie told me that the Magic Kingdom maintains a closed door -- and window -- policy when it come to pigeons.  A sign prominently displayed on the window of my hotel room at the Disneyland Resort reads:  "The birds here are very friendly!  They will fly in and visit if your window is left open.  To prevent this, please keep your window closed."  I think this smacks of discrimination.  Everywhere you turn here at Disneyland, there are animals of every kind ... but there's not a pigeon in sight.  Why should Disney draw the line with birds?  I took my complaint right to the top.


Just one look at the Head Groundskeeper told me everything I needed to know.  Disneyland may be free of pigeons, but it's infested with rodents ...!

Thursday, July 10, 2008



I set out on a mission this morning to find out what makes Disneyland the "Happiest Place on Earth."  I began my search at the Disneyland Cafe.  "Tell me," I asked the 'Cast Member' behind the counter, "What makes this the Happiest Place on Earth?"  "That's easy," she said, smiling brightly, "It's Magic!"  Then she charged me $2.90 -- nearly twice what they charge at 7th and Montana -- for a cup of Nescafe, the Official Coffee of Disneyland.  I guess you'd be Happy, too, if you could rake in that kind of dough ...!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008



As usual, my colleagues asked me to organize a group dinner for us last night, someplace "away from the Magic Kingdom" where we could have a quiet dinner meeting.  Nothing against Disneyland, but after a while you yearn to eat in an atmosphere free of Animatronic Puppets.  "What do you feel like?," I asked the group.  "Someplace local," they said, "Surprise us."  So I took them to a nice restaurant called The Cellar I didn't tell them until we were en route that it was built by Walt Disney in the late 1960s as a location where he could give visiting executives an initial taste of Disneyland.  He hired the same "Imagineers" who built the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland to transform an ordinary basement in Fullerton into a cavernous wine cellar.  "Don't worry," I said as we descended into the Murky Depths, "It's just like Pirates of the Caribbean, except all the puppets look like waiters ...!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



Greetings from the Happiest Place on Earth, where I'm holed-up all week for a series of meetings organized by my friends at Disney.  Disneyland is a special place.  All you have to do is look in the eyes of any one of the thousands of kids who rule the roost here on any given day to experience some of the magic for yourself.  Of course, I wasn't feeling very "magical" this morning when I emerged from my hotel room in search of coffee.  "My Kingdom for a Half Caff," I said to Chef Pluto in sheer desperation.  Pluto quickly pointed me in the right direction.  "Now that's what I call service with a smile," I said, "You should apply for a job at Starbucks ...!"

Monday, July 7, 2008



It's official:  Starbucks' new Green Tea Lemonade can be hazardous to your health.  Just ask the Baristas at 7th and Montana.  A sign promoting the Controversial New Beverage fell off the wall this morning and nearly hit Barista Nada on the head.  "I tell you we're haunted," said one Insider, "One minute, it was business as usual and the next, the sign was plummeting towards Nada's head ... almost as if it had a mind of its own!"  Nada took the incident in stride.  Meanwhile, as for me, I'm laying off the Green Tea Lemonade pending further investigation ...

Sunday, July 6, 2008



Lovebirds Kate Hudson and Lance Armstrong couldn't quite declare their Independence this weekend from the Paparazzi, who swooped-in on them like a Flock of Vultures the minute they appeared in front of Benton's Sporting Goods in Pacific Palisades.  "It was disgusting," said Genevieve, who was live on the scene with Diane and sent me the photo above.  "The photographers had poor Kate surrounded until someone finally called the police."  Kate, Lance:  It's obvious you two need to find a quiet, friendly location, someplace where you don't have to worry about a constant camera in your face.  Might I suggest 7th and Montana ...?

Saturday, July 5, 2008



Charity began at 7th and Montana this morning as Our Favorite Starbucks unveiled a new Book Drive to help kids at the Miramonte Elementary School -- a low-income school in South L.A. -- improve their reading skills.  To participate in the program, just bring a book, something suitable for a student between Kindergarten and Grade 5, to Starbucks.  Starbucks will make sure your donation gets into the right hands.  I, for one, can hardly wait to begin donating to the cause.  In fact, you could say I got an early start.  At precisely 8:45 a.m. this morning, the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief -- known until recently for stealing newspapers from Our Favorite Starbucks -- quietly arrived on the scene and cast a furtive glance towards the Newspaper Stand.


"Excuse me, Sir," I said, intercepting him, "Would you like my Los Angeles Times?  I'm done with it and I hate to see it go to waste."  The thief -- who has been traveling incognito ever since someone plastered a "Wanted" poster with his picture on it all over 7th and Montana -- looked at me as if I were Kris Kringle himself.  "Thank you," he gushed, "I owe you one!"  And with that, he jumped on his Getaway Bike and pedaled away as fast as his legs could carry him.  He was last seen heading due East, perhaps towards the Miramonte School ...!

Friday, July 4, 2008



It was Nonstop Entertainment at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Fashion Plate arrived on the scene wearing a pair of pants with the word "Nonstop" inexplicably emblazoned on her behind.  "Perhaps she has Chronic Diarrhea," I speculated, "And she wears that label on her rear end like a Scarlet Letter ...!"  Moments later, as if to prove my point, the Woman-in-Question disappeared into the restroom at Our Favorite Starbucks.  Take it from me, folks, not every Fireworks Display deserves an audience.  Happy Independence Day!   

Thursday, July 3, 2008



It was out with the old and in with the new this morning at 7th and Montana as the latest crop of Newbie Baristas arrived on the scene, offering free samples of a brand, new Starbucks Concoction.  "Care for a taste of our new Green Tea Lemonade?," asked Newcomer Matt.  Starbucks officially describes the new beverage as a combination of "Chinese Green Tea blended with Mint, Lemongrass and Verbena" but it looks suspiciously like Something Else.  "It reminds me of a cup of Urine I once drank," said an Inside Source who Requested Anonymity.  "Thanks for Urinalysis," I replied, "I'll take a pass ...!" 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



Confidential to the Fashionable Trendsetter Sitting in Front of Our Favorite Starbucks this Morning:  Rod Stewart called.  He wants his hairdo back ...!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008



Holy Cappuccino, Batman!  Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as a Young Tyke in a Batman Suit made the scene, intent on protecting Our Favorite Starbucks from Evil.  "You've arrived just in time, Batman," I said, "We're up to our eyeballs in Villains this morning!"  "I'm Batman," squealed the Tyke, "I really am Batman!  I also have a Spiderman costume.  And X-Men.  And Godzilla.  And Superman.  And Aquaman.  And ..."  Unfortunately, Batman's monologue was cut short when his Arch Nemesis, a woman known only as "The Nanny," swooped-in and dragged the "Dark Knight" away by pulling on his cape ...!