Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
My nephew, Jackson, is a Genius. Here he is, reading from one of his favorite books, "What to Expect the First Year" by Heidi Murkoff. "How do you like the book?," I asked him. "Hi!," he answered, brightly, which I take to mean "It's a fascinating book and I highly recommend it." And what's not to recommend? It's loaded with useful tips and information on what to expect during baby's first year. Jackson appeared to be leafing through a chapter on "Baby's First Birthday." Murkoff advises readers to keep the celebration simple so as not to overwhelm the baby. She specifically says, "Don't order a clown; Don't have a band; Don't have too much hoopla!" Did we follow her advice? Stay tuned for further details ...!
Friday, August 29, 2008
My Nephew Jackson took Center Stage today at my sister's house in Plainville, Massachusetts, showing off his toys and entertaining the family for hours on end. He especially likes anything with wheels or pages. Ever since Jackson was born, my Brother-in-Law, Doug, has been preparing him to take on some of the yardwork. It was therefore no surprise that one of Jackson's favorite passtimes is a game we call "Mow the Deck." He takes his Toy Lawnmower and runs around the deck at my sister's house, mowing it as if it was a lawn. I'm just glad he doesn't have a toy Weed Wacker. His other favorite activities include reading (he turns the pages himself), music (he plays a mean Xylophone) and Baseball (his plastic baseball set doubles as a teething post). Jackson has a toy for every occasion but I thought I'd surprise him -- and my sister -- with a special gift: "Baby's First Drum Set." To my amazement, however, he already had a set of Bongo Drums ...!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Eyes were popping in Plainville, Massachusetts as an "Anonymous Grandmother" with an Elmo Fixation made the scene to celebrate my nephew Jackson's First Birthday. I, too, am here to mark the occasion but I haven't yet mastered the art of impersonating Elmo. Instead, I've been focused on trying to get a perfect picture of the Birthday Boy ... but he's no easy target. Every time he sees my Camera Phone, he grabs for it like it's his Favorite New Toy. The only thing that seems to interest him more is my Grande Half Caff ...!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Fuchsia Fashionista -- a Gregarious Local Bicyclist with a penchant for Bright, Pink Lycra -- was seeing red yesterday at 7th and Montana in the wake of a Dangerous Accident. "It was unbelievable," he said, "A vehicle came out of nowhere and headed right for me!" Fortunately, Mr. Fuschia avoided serious injury by swerving away in the nick of time and crashing into a fellow bicyclist. I guess one could say he's in the Pink. Meanwhile, police are searching for the driver-in-question. I just hope it wasn't Our Friendly, Neighborhood Mitzva Mobile ...!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It was Bon Voyage at 7th and Montana yesterday as Our Favorite City Councilman left Starbucks in a hurry to join the rest of the Kennedy Clan at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. "What's with the tie?," asked nearly everyone he passed as he tried to beat a hasty retreat up 7th Street. "Denver!," he replied, rushing to his car. If anyone can unlock a victory for Newbie Candidate Obama, it's Bobby. Moments before leaving Starbucks, he attached a set of keys to his belt with a two-foot chain ...!
Monday, August 25, 2008
It was a rousing chorus of "Аз ще бъда обратно" -- which means "I'll be Back!" in Bulgarian -- as word spread at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning that The Bulgarian Vulgarian is back on the scene after a brief hiatus. Known for her Razor Sharp Tongue and her constant threats to "take over" a variety of area businesses, the Vulgarian had been missing-in-action ever since she left 7th and Montana under Police Escort last month. She re-emerged yesterday in front of The Gap, where she could be found loudly critiquing the shoes of passersby ("You scum ... you are as worthless as your Flip Flops!!"). Photographic evidence suggests that she remains under Police Surveillance ...
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Horns heralded the arrival of an Anonymous Real Estate Tycoon at 7th and Montana this morning. Actually, the "horn section" in this case was a series of Angry Drivers, all furious that the Tycoon-in-Question -- an attractive young woman working for Real Estate Agent Linda Lackey -- was blocking traffic while she placed signs around the neighborhood promoting an Open House. The fun began almost as soon as Lackey's Lackey arrived. "Hmmm," she must have thought, "This Bus Stop would make a perfect parking space." Moments later, when a Bus arrived, she tried to ignore it. Why? Because she had locked her keys in the car, forcing the Bus and other vehicles to back up into oncoming traffic while she waited for help from the American Automobile Association. "I'm not so sure I'd trust her with the keys to my house," said Richard, wisely. Even Charlie the Irascible Sheepdog knows better than to park himself at a Bus Stop ...!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Cheers erupted at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that Our Favorite Starbucks has been named Number One for Customer Service in the District. "I'd like to thank my agent, my hair stylist and everyone else -- you all know who you are -- who made it all possible," said one Barista who spoke on condition of anonymity. Seriously, the award couldn't go to a better Starbucks as far as I'm concerned but then, again, my vote of confidence should come as no surprise. Rumor has it that my recent Love Note to Starbucks Management has attracted attention among "the Powers that Be."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
It was Mating Season at 7th and Montana as a pair of lovebirds swooped-in, intent on showing us all that Sex in the City is alive and well at Our Favorite Starbucks. According to Robin, who was live on the scene, the Happy Couple (pictured above) seemed to be locked in what witnesses described as a "Perpetual State of Orgasm" for more than 30-minutes. Rumor has it they overdosed on Starbucks' nourishing new Energy Drink, Vivanno(TM), "an exclusive blend of Starbucks' proprietary protein powder and Naked Juice ...!"
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Elevator Jeff -- our Friendly Local Elevator Repairman -- shared some good news at 7th and Montana this morning: He has a flourishing side business. When he's not busy fixing elevators, Jeff runs a popular sports memorabilia firm called Big Leagues Sports. Local franchises of a national fast food chain -- Buffalo Wild Wings -- have started working with him to purchase sports memorabilia for their restaurants. Way to go, Jeff. I always knew you'd ride straight to the top ...!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Make way for Gaseous Clay, the Heavyweight Champ of 7th and Montana, a man who packs a punch so powerful it can clear the room in ten seconds flat(ulent). Gaseous made the scene yesterday with a group of friends, fresh from what appeared to be a particularly nasty bout in the ring. "Do you smell rotten eggs or something?," I asked Kathy. "It isn't Rotten Eggs," she said, "It's more like Sewerage." One glance at Gaseous told me all I needed to know. He was going to such elaborate lengths to acknowledge the smell -- fanning himself, pretending to gasp and choke while his buddies read the paper -- that I can only assume he was "responsible." Afterall, you know what they say: "Floats like a Butterfly, Stinks like a Bee-hind ...!"
Monday, August 18, 2008
It was the Dog Days of Summer at 7th and Montana yesterday as a Parade of Pampered Pooches made the scene, led by Everyone's Favorite Spa Dog, Einstein. Inside sources report that the Adorable Bichon Frise -- fresh from a recent stint in doggie rehab -- has a new leash on life. Rumor has it he plans to market a new line of fashion accessories, starting with the Einstein Handbag pictured here. In related news, a pack of stray dogs caused a commotion yesterday at the UCLA campus in Westwood. "It was bizarre," said one witness, "The dogs -- a German Shepherd, a Black Lab and a Poodle mix -- kept circling the same tree, howling and digging like they were searching for Buried Treasure!" What's the Big Attraction? Evidently, on a quiet evening when no one was looking, Neighbor Dennis buried his own dogs in the exact, same spot ...!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Shock Waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as "Ms. Mukluk," the woman known for wearing Arctic Attire in Southern California, made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks without her Signature Mukluks. "I can't believe it," I said, "She's actually dressed for Summer." Indeed, in what some say is the most incontrovertible evidence yet of Global Warming, Ms. Mukluk has started wearing Sandals. I have to admit, I feel the slightest bit guilty about poking fun at her. You see, I've had the chance to meet Ms. Mukluk and she's really quite nice. That's why, as far as I'm concerned, she can go ahead and wear Mukluks until the cows come home and I won't say a word. It's worth noting, however, that the cows apparently came home several weeks ago where Ms. Mukluk is concerned. In case anyone missed it, she recently installed a life-sized replica of a Holstein Dairy Cow in her front yard. But that, my friends, is an Inconvenient Truth of another kind ...!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a Poor Slob arrived on the scene wearing a Turtleneck Sweater in 80-degree heat. What kind of Spastic Moron wears a Turtleneck in mid-August? I do! It turns out I had some "muscle spasms" in my neck and the doctor advised me to avoid exposing it to breezes or air conditioning for a while. The good news is that, thanks to the UCLA East-West Medical Clinic and their innovative approach combining Chinese and Western medical techniques, I'm pretty much right as rain again. The bad news is, folks are starting to wonder whether I've been getting fashion tips from "Ms. Mukluk," the woman known for wearing Arctic Footwear year-round at 7th and Montana ...!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It was all Fun and Games this morning at 7th and Montana as word spread that Kathy won $26,000 last night as a contestant on Catch 21, the wildly popular new television gameshow where "players rely on a combination of Trivia Talent and Card Counting Cleverness to Catch a 21." Kathy -- pictured above doing a Victory Dance between Hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Mikki Padilla -- was the first woman ever to win the Jackpot. "Not bad for someone who just learned to play blackjack," she joked. In related news, Actor-Barista Tyler announced that he's making a special Guest Appearance as a contestant on 12 Corazones, a Spanish-language version of The Dating Game. Rumor has it that Tyler "didn't exactly win" but, then again, he's the first to admit that he speaks very little Spanish. You can catch Tyler's Debut on Telemundo this Holiday Season. Meanwhile, here is a link to Kathy's Victory Video:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Bells were ringing at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that a "Wedding on Wheels Mobile" was in town conducting Quickie Weddings for Busy Couples on-the-go. Operated by The Hollywood Chapel, the SUV caters to Lovebirds who want to "Elope in Style." "The only requirement is your presence and those famous words I DO," say the nice folks at the Hollywood Chapel, "We can even issue your Marriage License on the spot!" For an additional touch of class, I recommend the Love in a Limo package which includes a Minister, Four Wedding Cupcakes and your choice of Sparkling Cider or Champagne ... all for only $1,200. And just in case things don't work out, rumor has it that Dominos delivers Pre-Nups and the Good Humor Man has been running a Divorce Court from the back of his Ice Cream Truck ...!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Head for the Hills, folks, there's a Smoking Gunslinger at 7th and Montana and he's all fired-up about the City of Santa Monica's No Smoking Laws. Indeed, one might describe him as "indignant" if such a word was in his vocabulary. "This sucks," he growled, "I don't give a damn about these f-cking 'no smoking stickers' ... you can shove them up your ass for all I care." Ironically, he was talking to none other than Smokey the Stinkpot, the very man who, until last week, had been sending smoke signals of his own to the crowd at Our Favorite Starbucks. Smokey, it seems, has Seen the Light. Now, when he wants a cigarette, he walks away from the crowd. Don't hold your breath, however, where the Smoking Gunslinger is concerned. "I dare anyone to make me put this cigarette out," he said loudly to no one in particular and then -- as if to neutralize his own threat -- he snubbed it out himself and vanished in a cloud of smoke ...!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The crowd at 7th and Montana breathed a collective sigh of relief this morning as "Pinky" -- the Local Eccentric known for his Bright Pink and Orange Pigtails and Five O'Clock Shadow -- made the scene after a Month-Long Hiatus. "Oh good," I said as Pinky arrived wearing his Signature Pink Pantaloons, "I was beginning to worry." By all appearances, Pinky was in the Pink ... even though he's traded-in his Pink Pigtails for a Black Afro. He stayed long enough to fish a half-eaten Strawberry Parfait out of the garbage before continuing on his merry way up 7th Street, towards Casa del Bozo ...!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Our Favorite Starbucks felt like Mayberry, U.S.A. this morning as the whole neighborhood descended upon 7th and Montana en masse, taking-up every available table and chair. To make the image complete, Actor-Director Ron Howard -- who got his start playing "Opie" on The Andy Griffith Show -- made the scene with his wife, Cheryl, and their grandson, Theo. I said "hello" and waited patiently inside for a table to become available. Then, just as Ron and his family were leaving, an Evil Table Fiend swooped-in out of nowhere and snatched their table out from under my very nose. Ron is back in town working on Angels & Demons, his sequel to The Da Vinci Code, due out in May. Perhaps the Evil Table Fiend (pictured above) was auditioning for a role as a Demon ...!
Friday, August 8, 2008
It was Many Happy Returns at 7th and Montana this morning as Cathy made the scene -- fresh from her Summer digs in Colorado -- to celebrate her Birthday. It was also Many Happy Returns (or "Re-Gifts," as the case may be) for one of her Birthday Presents: A Garish, Bronze Frog, sitting in a Yoga Position. Cathy brought the Frog with her to Starbucks this morning, no doubt hoping to find it a good home, and today was her lucky day. "It's perfect," said Joyce. Joyce, it should be noted, runs an annual White Elephant Charity Auction where the only thing more appropriate than Cathy's Frog would be an Actual White Elephant. Happy Birthday, Cathy ...!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Creative Juices were flowing at 7th and Montana this morning as Screenwriter Nat took a break from developing new TV shows to pitch a concept of another kind at Our Favorite Starbucks. "You know," he said, "Starbucks' policy is that if your coffee doesn't taste right, they'll remake it for you, free-of-charge. Theoretically, we could spend all day drinking half a cup of coffee and forcing the Baristas to 'remake' us a new one ... again and again, all day long." Great idea, Nat, though something tells me this is how the Jittery Nutcase got his start. In related news, Actress Susan came up with a concept of her own for a new, local TV show, based loosely on my Blog. Instead of focusing on the Lunatics that congregate at 7th and Montana, she and I would interview the various Paranormal Entities that follow her around on a daily basis. Susan (pictured above warding off an Evil Spirit) attracts more Ectoplasm than anyone I know ...!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
What does the Starbucks at Lincoln and Montana have in common with the Javan Rhino and the Arakan Forest Turtle? They're all on the Endangered Species List, that's what. Rumor has it that Starbucks Management is gearing-up to close their location on Lincoln. It seems like only yesterday -- though it was actually June 1, 2007 -- that a Bewildered Young Barista first opened the doors of what would become the third Starbucks in a one-block radius. Sources close to the situation say it was inevitable that "something had to give," but that Our Favorite Starbucks, which is just 236 steps away from the Doomed Location, will remain open. Just to be safe, I sent an e-mail to the Starbucks Regional District Manager this afternoon. "Dear Tina," I wrote, "We haven't met but I am a frequent customer at your location at 7th and Montana in Santa Monica ... (It) has a real sense of Community that you don't always find at other Starbucks locations and the staff is always friendly and courteous." I went on: "I just have one bit of Constructive Criticism: Your Apple Fritters Look Scary ...!"
Monday, August 4, 2008
Scandal filled the air at 7th and Montana this morning as a couple of Hollywood Cameramen quietly shared some "hypothetical" gossip. "Do you think I'm liable if I allowed an actor to go through an entire scene on camera with an obvious 'boner' -- if it clearly showed-up on film, but I didn't say anything about it during the shoot?," asked one of the Cameramen nervously. "I don't know," said the other, "We might want to get a legal opinion just to be safe." You do that, guys, but here's a little advice from the Peanut Gallery: Try blotting-out the offensive images by replacing them with Barnyard Critters. I hear that works wonders these days ...
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It was a morning of Crossed Words and Mixed Signals for Kathy today as she made the scene at 7th and Montana with an embarrassing story to tell. Instead of spending the day in Chicago with her family, as planned, she was sitting at Starbucks doing the Crossword Puzzle, as usual, with me and Genevieve. Why? "Well," she explained, "I got all the way to the airport last night, only to find out that I wasn't scheduled to leave until today." The story gets better: She didn't ask the airline whether they could still get her out last night, anyway. Instead, Genevieve, who had dropped her at the airport to begin with, made a return trip to bring her back to Santa Monica. For the record, folks, Kathy usually isn't this flighty ...!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
It's time to pull out the Soapbox, folks -- and no, I don't mean the one that our Friendly Neighborhood Basket Case lugs around on a daily basis. Our Favorite City Councilman, Bobby Shriver, is seeking signatures for his re-election bid. "I'll be happy to sign," I said yesterday, after re-assuring him that I am, indeed, a Registered Voter. "Great," he replied, "That makes you Number Two." I guess I've been called worse. Who, you might ask, was Number One? I'll give you a hint: It wasn't his Brother-in-Law, the Governator, who famously fired him earlier this year from his post as Chairman of the State Park and Recreation Commission. Evidently, Arnold was pretty busy himself yesterday, firing 10,000 more people ...
Friday, August 1, 2008
In a world of injustice -- where Smoking Stinkpots, Jittery Nutcases and Babbling Bulgarians reign supreme -- it takes a special kind of Superhero to keep things balanced. Meet Captain Underpants, the Hero of 7th and Montana, who fights crime while wearing Bright Blue Underpants on his Head. He arrived on the scene this morning astride his Trusty Banana Seat Bicycle and treated the crowd to a Dazzling Display of Strength. First, he single-handedly fished a Used Cup of Coffee out of the Garbage Can. Then, he dashed into Starbucks where he did a series of Impressive Yoga Squats on the Floor. Finally, faster than a speeding bullet, he ran outside where he stood on his head near oncoming traffic for a full five minutes. He was last seen devouring several Bran Muffins at Super Speed. "I'm leaving," I said to the folks at the next table, "This guy's wearing his underpants on his head and I, for one, don't want to be around when the Bran Muffins take effect ...!"