Saturday, January 31, 2009


Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as Dr. Mark, an Orthopedic Surgeon, put his foot in his mouth and left it there to simmer for several minutes. The fun began shortly after he made the scene wearing a Lycra Bicycle Suit promoting the Century Road Club Association. You see, Dr. Mark and his buddies are Avid Bicyclists but their destination of choice today was Somewhat Controversial. "We're going to our Starbucks," he said proudly, referring to the location at 26th and Wilshire. "And what exactly is wrong with 7th and Montana?," I asked. "It's too pretentious," he said, "Did you know there's actually someone around here who keeps a blog about everything that happens at this Starbucks?" I paused momentarily before saying, "Can I quote you on that?" Not to worry, Dr. Mark, I'm not easily offended. How about an Apple Fritter for the road ...?!?

Friday, January 30, 2009


Much has been said and written about Howard's passion for Perfectly Toasted Bagels, how he must start every day, no matter where he is, with a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel from The Nosh restaurant in Beverly Hills. We know that Cathy orders the Bagels in bulk, individually wraps, freezes and even ships them, when necessary, to Colorado ... and that Howard has taken the art of Bagel Toasting to a whole new level. But how much do we really know about these Bagels? What Deep Dark Secret lurks behind Howard's addiction? For the answers to these and other questions, I visited the Nosh this afternoon on the pretext of picking up Howard's latest supply.

Me: Hello, I'm here to pick-up a large order of Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.

Mr. Nosh: You must be Marty. We've been expecting you.

Me: Yes. Let me ask you, do all of your customers order dozens of bagels at a time?

Mr. Nosh: Yes, of course. Everyone loves our bagels. Especially Cinnamon Raisin. And Egg, too. They come from miles around.

Me (chuckling): I'm sure they do. But why? What's your secret?

Mr. Nosh: Our Bagels are the best, people never stop ordering them.

Me (suspicious): What do you put in them?

Mr. Nosh (evasively): Try one!

I declined. Afterall, everyone knows I'm more of a Fritter man.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as a Curious Stick Figure -- a woman balancing what appeared to be a large tree branch across her shoulders -- made the scene. "Good Lord," I said to Ace Photographer Kovar as the Stick Figure made her way across 7th Street, "The Loons are Branching Out!" But this was no ordinary bird: She was dressed like an Ancient Chinese Water Carrier, complete with a Floppy Straw Hat and a Long, Black Braid running down her back. All that was missing were the water buckets on either side of her stick ... and a rickshaw in case she got tired. Rumor has it she was heading to the Palisades, where she's building a nest overlooking the Pacific ...!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


There was something fishy in the air this morning at 7th and Montana as the man known locally as the Gorton's of Gloucester Fisherman for his tendency to dress like he belongs on a box of Frozen Fish missed the boat when it came to finding a table at Our Favorite Starbucks. Last seen on New Year's Day scribbling a random list of vocabulary words on a napkin, the Fisherman arrived bright and early this morning, hoping to get a good table. There was just one problem: I arrived at the same time and there was only one table left. I looked at him. He looked at me. I smiled, made a dash for it and sat down. He stood in the doorway, looking more surprised than a plate of Glazed Trout, before making his way to a seat at the counter near the Pastry Case. I had nearly forgotten the incident when, fifteen-minutes later, he tapped me on the shoulder, smiled broadly and said, "You're very enhancing!" It was then that I realized that the word "enhancing" probably wasn't on his vocabulary list. I paused momentarily before replying, "Why thank you ... and you're quite fundamental!" And indeed, he is ... to my blog for today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It was Par for the Course at 7th and Montana this morning as Professional Golfer Amy Alcott -- a member of both the World Golf and LPGA Halls of Fame -- made the scene. "You have a nice smile," she said to me, as she walked by. "Why thanks," I replied, "Not to change the subject, but aren't you Amy Alcott?" I went on to explain that several years ago, a little "birdie" in the form of my father, a professional golf writer, told me he thought that Amy lived in my neighborhood. I've been expecting her to swing by Our Favorite Starbucks ever since. Amy keeps busy these days on the lecture circuit and her second book, The Leader Board: Conversations on Golf and Life, featuring "one-on-one intimate interviews" with luminaries ranging from Bill Clinton to Jack Nicholson, is due out next month. In other Sports News, Bowflex Owen, our Friendly Neighborhood Bowflex Spokesperson and Former Professional Volleyball Player, reports that he's recovering nicely from his recent knee surgery. I don't know how he injured himself, but something tells me his knees bowed when they should have flexed ...

Monday, January 26, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Two Face" Tyler, the Actor/Barista with a Split Personality and a Nose for News. "I've got some news for you today," said Tyler, proudly, "Look, I only shaved half my face." Sure enough, Tyler -- ever the trend-setter -- has started growing a beard only on the left side of his face. The right side is completely clean-shaven. "Wow," I replied, "That is blogworthy, especially if you let it grow." "Yes," Tyler agreed, "And to think it all started when I broke my mirror in half." I couldn't help wondering whether Tyler cracked a bit more than his mirror. Either that, or maybe he's been drinking too much half-and-half ...!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Nincompoop made the scene wearing a Pith Helmet and a Down Winter Coat. "There's something you don't see every day in Southern California," I thought, as the Nincompoop-in-Question marched up and down 7th Street like a Silent Sentinel on parade. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?," asked Howard, facetiously. "I wonder what he's up to," said Joyce, as the Nincompoop did an abrupt about face and continued up 7th Street for the third time. It was my turn to say something Pithy. "I don't know," I whispered, "But if it takes a Village, there's our Idiot ...!"

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Look out, Captain Underpants, there's a new Superhero at 7th and Montana ... and something tells me this town ain't big enough for the two of you. The Amazing Superman made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning and wasted no time telling everyone who was in charge. "I'm the Man of Steel," he said proudly, "I'm Superman and I can fly!" And fly he did, right into Starbucks with his mother and little brother, who was wearing a matching Superhero Costume. "Tell me," I said when the trio emerged, "If you're Superman, who is your brother?" "Oh," said Superman, "He's Tyrannosaurus Boy." To emphasize the point, his brother, not yet old enough to talk, roared convincingly and stomped his way, together with Superman, into their Little Red Wagon. They were last seen fighting crimes against humanity at Casa del Bozo.

Friday, January 23, 2009


It was like a scene from High School Musical: The Caffeinated Years at 7th and Montana this morning as a gaggle of giggling cheerleaders descended upon Our Favorite Starbucks. "Where do they think they are?" I wondered, as they ordered their morning cappuccinos and lattes, "St. Folgers Academy for Wayward Girls?" Seriously, since when has a trip to Starbucks become the "in" thing for teens on their way to school? What next, Happy Hour as an Extracurricular Activity?!?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It was a case of Bad Timing this morning for an Anonymous Bearded Gentleman who rolled off "The Big Blue Bus" and into Our Favorite Starbucks like a man on a mission. His long, flowing beard, loose-fitting travel clothes and suitcase-on-wheels all spoke volumes: Here is a man who came to 7th and Montana with one thing in mind. Unfortunately, he's 33 years too late. They finished casting "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" back in 1976.


It was the Thrill of Victory yesterday at 7th and Montana as the whole neighborhood, it seemed, caught Inauguration Fever. Personally, I've never seen such excitement -- or such high hopes -- over the U.S. Presidency. A record-setting 1.8 million people were crammed into the Mall to witness the event on Tuesday -- including several who made the trip from 7th and Montana -- but to me the best part of the new presidency is the impact it's already having on our nation's young people. A recent survey found that more kids than ever say they want to be President when they grow up. Genevieve brought the special "Inauguration Edition" of The Los Angeles Times to her class yesterday to review it with her students. I hope it inspires them more than their last project, a writing assignment where they were asked to offer advice regarding how the PTA should spend its money. Evidently, no one told them that the PTA doesn't have any money ...!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It was the Agony of Defeat this morning at 7th and Montana as a woman wearing Pajamas foiled my efforts to get a decent photo for my blog. "Look," said Genevieve, "It's Plaids and PJs!" Sure enough, the Woman-in-Question -- an attractive blond bearing a striking resemblance to Mariel Hemingway -- was wearing gray pajamas and a plaid shirt. However, before I could get my camera phone into position, she glared at me and began shaking her head "no." Every time I tried getting a photo, she glared at me. I couldn't helping thinking that she knew what I was up to. Finally, in an act of desperation, I tried to snap a quick photo of her while she poured cream and sugar in her coffee. But, alas, she was too quick for me. Pajama Girl: If you're out there: This isn't over yet ...!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "The Scarecrow," the Gangly, Gaunt Gentleman who made waves this morning at 7th and Montana by ordering what looked like a Turkey Club Sandwich for breakfast. "Can you hold the mayo?," he asked Barista Nada, no doubt mistaking her for a Short Order Cook, "Mayo is so fattening." Whether it was the fact that he ordered lunch at 8:00 a.m., or his hint about watching his weight, that got under Nada's skin, we'll never know. What we do know is that Nada burst into peals of laughter. "Get a load of this," she said, as the Scarecrow began gobbling down his sandwich at the Cappuccino Bar. "He doesn't want the mayo ... he's watching his weight!" Turning to face the Scarecrow directly, she continued, "You're already so skinny, I could floss my teeth with your legs!" I, for one, would hate to see what she'd use for Fluoride ...!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Hurry, Hurry, Hurry ... Step Right Up: The Circus is in town at 7th and Montana and, trust me, you don't want to miss a single minute. First-up we have Zoey the Zebra, an attractive young woman (pictured above) who earned her stripes this morning by wearing a Flimsy, Translucent Zebra Dress. Next there's Lottie Leopard, a Misguided Matron who thinks Leopard Pants are in season. "Quick," said Bob, "Get your camera ready, she's heading for the bathroom." "Oh good," I replied, "Maybe if I'm lucky I'll catch her lifting her leg."

Then there's Yucko the Clown, a woman who gave Professional Clowns everywhere a bad name today by wearing a minidress so colorful it looked like Bozo threw-up on her.

And finally, last but not least, there's Enchantra, Mistress of the Occult, a sorceress so dangerous she made what appeared to be an entire box of Fig Newtons disappear this morning in the blink of an eye. Watch your hands, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is said that Enchantra has a certain fondness for finger food ...!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a Dead Ringer for silent film "legend" Norma Desmond made the scene, decked-out in a broad-brimmed straw hat over what appeared to be a tightly wound turban and a pair of dark sunglasses. "Holy Cecil B. Demille," I thought, "I haven't seen anything this campy since Sunset Blvd." I whipped out my trusty camera phone and snapped her picture. She turned to me and nodded -- as if to her adoring public -- before heading out the door, towards the beach. Something tells me she was ready for her close-up ...!

Friday, January 16, 2009


It was a Collective Sigh of Relief at 7th and Montana this morning as Joyce revealed that she took some steps to hopefully ensure that the elderly woman once known as "Mother Goose" for her tendency to show up at Starbucks half-naked gets the help she needs. You see, at first we thought "Mother Goose" was just another Local Eccentric, but, over time, her behavior has become increasingly erratic. Several weeks ago, when she began routinely tottering back and forth across 7th Street amidst oncoming traffic, we knew something was terribly wrong. The problem has been, how do you handle a situation like this delicately enough to get the woman some badly needed help without upsetting her? One couple famously courted disaster by confronting her directly. "Are you disoriented?," they asked. Not surprisingly, she exploded into denials more vehement than Richard "I-am-not-a-crook" Nixon. Joyce, however, quietly came up with a better idea. She visited the independent living facility where this woman lives and let one of the employees know that we're concerned for her safety. As a result, the management in her facility is notifying her family -- who live overseas -- and, with any luck, help is on the way.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Madam Bowser, a local animal lover with a PETA Principle all her own: She delights in talking "baby talk" to strange dogs and sticking her hands in their faces. This morning, Madam Bowser met her match in the form of Susie, a less-than-adorable German Shephard who hangs out at 7th and Montana. "Ooooh," she cooed, reaching for Susie's face, "Look at the cutesy wootsey doggie!" Susie snapped and lunged in what appeared to be an understandable effort to rip out Madam Bowser's vocal chords. Thank God Susie's owner, John, sprang into immediate action to prevent a catastrophe. "Please, don't take it personally," he explained, "Susie is protective and doesn't like people rushing up to her like that." Personally, I think he was wasting his breath. Anyone who would go poking their hands into a strange dog's face -- without even asking whether the dog is friendly -- must be Barking Mad ...!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Cheers erupted at 7th and Montana this morning as the Dignified Walking Lady -- known for her long walks and arctic sense of style in 80-degree heat -- returned to Our Favorite Starbucks after a long hiatus. Last seen on October 28, 2007, the Dignified Walking Lady hasn't changed a bit. Her outfit -- a tweed skirt, heavy winter coat, woolen scarf, gloves and a broad-brimmed hat -- is the same. Her ivory-tipped walking stick is the same. Her limited command of the English language is the same. Even my conversation with her was the same. "Hello," I cried, "So nice to see you, again. Beautiful weather we're having, isn't it?" "Hi," she replied. "It's almost like Summer," I said. She smiled in response, tightened her scarf, waved goodbye and continued along her merry way. I, for one, am relieved to see her back in action. For a while there, I was afraid she might be stuck on an iceberg, floating out to sea ...!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as two attractive women -- a "mentor" and her "pupil" -- held an impromptu study session at Our Favorite Starbucks. "That woman on the right is really attractive but something about her doesn't add up," said Richard, ever observant. "For starters, there's a Strange Tattoo on her foot (a series of Chinese characters ran across her left foot), her nails look weird (they were Florescent Purple) and there's a stud in her nose." "I think you're missing something," I said, "She obviously has bigger problems than just her foot, her nails and her nose." "Really, how do you know?," asked Richard. "Detective work," I replied. I'm not going to divulge the nature of the problem here, but -- suffice to say -- it was written all over their faces and across their textbooks.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It was Hats Off to the Mysterious Newcomer at 7th and Montana this morning for effortlessly defying my attempts to guess his true identity. Certainly, he was a Villain, with his Broad-Brimmed Black Hat, Dark Sunglasses, Black Attire and Cowboy Boots. But where had I seen him before? Was it Nightmare on Elm Street? The Matrix? Scooby Doo Meets Dracula? It wasn't until much later in the day, when I showed his photo to my colleague, Chuck, that it all became clear. "He's from The X-Files," said Chuck, "He's one of the Men in Black." "Of course," I replied, gratefully, "I knew it would be something like that!" According to the X-Files Rogue Gallery, the Men in Black are masters of deception, "adept at silencing witnesses" and distilling "their own version of the truth to those they visit." Thank God I kept my distance. Something tells me that otherwise, by the time this Evildoer was through with me, I'd be drinking my Apple Fritters through a straw ...!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


It was a Warm Welcome Home this morning at 7th and Montana as I returned home to 78-degree temperatures and balmy, summer-like conditions. But, despite the beautiful weather, not everyone was Particularly Warm. Shortly after I made the scene, "the Accountant" -- known for spreading his files all over Our Favorite Starbucks -- tapped me on the shoulder. Our conversation went something like this:
The Accountant: Can I have your table?
Me: No.
The Accountant: Are you leaving anytime soon?
Me: No.
The Accountant: Could you let me know if you plan on leaving?
Me: Perhaps.
Minutes later, Kathy and Robin joined me. As for the Accountant, he stood there glowering until another table finally opened up. I deliberately waited until he was already seated before heading outside. I guess he's not the only CPA -- Certified Public Antagonist -- in town today!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


They say that "revenge is a dish best served cold," but I didn't waste any time getting my revenge on the Bellagio for their deceptive practice of charging guests for the use of an Ethernet Cable by including it in the minibar and calling it a "souvenir." Early this morning, the hotel sent me an "urgent" message, offering a deep discount of more than $200 if I wanted to extend my stay for an extra night. Evidently, the Bellagio, like all the other hotels in Las Vegas, is suffering based on the less-than-expected attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Tempting as it was to stay an extra night, I decided to rush right downstairs and give the hotel my answer in person. "Well, Norma," I explained to the woman at the check-out desk, "I'd love to extend my stay for another night but that $14 charge on my bill for the "Refreshment Center" is actually for an Ethernet Cable, something that every other hotel I have ever stayed at provides for free. It's leaving such a bad taste in my mouth that I've decided to check-out rather than stay another night." Norma was quite understanding, encouraged me to send a note to the hotel management (which I have already done) and mentioned, almost sheepishly, that just this morning the Bellagio management raised the price of the Ethernet Cable by another dollar. "Not to worry," I said happily as I checked-out, "By my calculations, the Bellagio has just lost $115 and gained another empty room for tonight." By the way, I concluded my note to the Bellagio management by telling them: "For more information on my experience, I invite you to run a Google search on either Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas Hotels or Bellagio Internet Cable. I've posted my opinions online to forewarn future guests about your Deceptive Internet Charges and -- yes -- I used my "souvenir" Ethernet Cable from your "Refreshment Center" to do it ...!"

Friday, January 9, 2009


What I like the most about my hotel here in Las Vegas, the Bellagio, is that they go all out to make every guest feel like a celebrity. Just this morning, I felt like Augustus Gloop when I stumbled across a genuine Chocolate Fountain in the lobby. It's filled with 2 tons of white and dark chocolate rising nearly 27 feet above the Jean Philippe Patisserie and is, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, the largest chocolate fountain in the world.

Later, I felt more like the victim of a con job in The Grifters when I realized just how much the Bellagio charges its guests to connect to the Internet. I don't mind the $14.99 per day connection fee. Most hotels charge a daily rate for high-speed Internet access and I would expect the Bellagio to charge more than most. What I do mind is the creative way they further jack-up the price. Unlike most major hotels, they don't offer Wireless Internet Access. Instead, they tell you to "use the Ethernet Cable near the minibar" to get connected. What they don't tell you -- unless you look very closely at the Minibar Menu -- is that the Ethernet Cable is, in their opinion, a "Souvenir" for which they charge you an additional $12.99. Yes, that's right, the cable -- which every other hotel I've ever stayed at provides for free -- comes in a shrink-wrapped "gift box" and the minute you open it, the Bellagio charges you an additional $12.99. Now that's what I call an ISP (Indecent Superfluous Price) ...!


It was a day of firsts here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as -- for the first time ever -- a "reporter" fell fast asleep in a press conference I was hosting. The "reporter," an elderly man sitting near the front row, began dozing shortly after the press conference began. Within ten minutes, he was snoring loudly. "Sheesh," I whispered to one of my colleagues, "Isn't someone double-checking credentials at the door ... how could they let Sleeping Beauty over there in?!?" "That's nothing," said my colleague, "Look behind you." Sure enough, several rows behind me was a Rather Rotund Gentleman with a Large Parrot on his shoulder. Every so often, the Parrot would squawk, shift position from one shoulder to the other and glare in my direction. After the press conference was over, the man with the Parrot walked right up on stage and began asking a lot of detailed questions about the future of home entertainment. To be honest, I was tempted to have him removed from the event, but I didn't want to ruffle any feathers ...!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


They say "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" but I think I'll share what happened today, anyway, because it's just so interesting. I met two bloggers, a husband and wife team -- Ken and Beth -- who have been reading my blog. I, in turn, have been reading theirs, as well, and have come to look forward to their updates from the home they call Nutwood Junction in Indiana. Through our blogs, we found out that we were going to be in Las Vegas at the same time, so we agreed to meet in person. I must say, they're both as nice -- and interesting -- in person as they are in Cyberspace. For my part, I felt a responsibility to deliver a message from the gang at 7th and Montana: "We're not all as crazy as you might think." Don't ask me why, but some people think I've given the world the impression that Our Favorite Starbucks is filled with Lunatics. Anyhow, our get-together was a Big Success except for one Little Glitch. Beth asked me to explain why I call the monstrosity at 7th and San Vicente "Casa del Bozo." "Well," I said, "It's such an eyesore with all its twists and turns and rusting metal that I can't imagine anyone but a clown living there." Little did I realize, Ken -- in a "previous life" -- was a Professional Clown. What can I say, except that "I'm sorry" and I was just clowning around ...!
UPDATE: Here's a link to Beth's version of the encounter: Nutwood Junction: Meet and Greet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


It was standing room only at 7th and Montana this morning as the line of customers waiting to order coffee stretched all the way around the store, between the tables and beyond the espresso bar. I think I know why the wait was longer than usual. According to Our Favorite City Councilman -- who is still actively promoting the (Red) Card, Starbucks donates five cents to the global fund to save lives in Africa every time you make a transaction using the card. In other words, you could order a coffee, and then -- just before leaving the cashier -- turn around and ask for an Apple Fritter as a separate transaction, thus doubling Starbucks' charitable donation. I put it to the test this morning by ordering my usual Grande Half Caff, and then -- as a pretend afterthought -- I told the cashier that I also wanted to buy a newspaper. Ka-Ching: Starbucks donated ten instead of five cents to the Global Fund. Now if I could just figure out what happens when you really do use the card to purchase an Apple Fritter ...!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Eyes -- and wheels -- were rolling this morning at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Garbage Collector made the scene pushing a suitcase filled with trash. Mind you, it wasn't just any trash ... it was mine. Early this morning, the Collector -- a man in his mid fifties -- was fishing through the garbage bin behind my condo, plucking out various items of interest and slipping them into his suitcase. By 7:30, he had wheeled his way to Starbucks and his suitcase was practically bursting at the seams. My trash from last night seemed to be peeking out at me, waving goodbye. I've heard that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" but, in my case, let me assure you, it's trash. I carefully shred anything that has my name or any other personally identifiable information on it, and I recycle anything that can be recycled. That leaves mostly "wet trash," the kind of stuff I'd rather not put down the Garbage Disposal. Who knows, maybe he has a lab somewhere and is secretly converting it all to gasoline ...!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I was red-faced with embarrassment this morning at 7th and Montana as Our Favorite City Councilman, Bobby Shriver, politely took me to task for not carrying a (Red) Card, the new "stored value card" that allows you to donate while you drink at Starbucks. "Here," he said, handing me a card, "You need one of these!" The (Red) Card ties into the charity, (Red)™, which Bobby established together with Bono of U2 in 2006 to help fight AIDS in Africa. From now through the end of the year, every time you make a purchase at a participating Starbucks using a (Red) Card, Starbucks will donate 5 cents to the global fund to save lives in Africa. Already, based on a similar promotion running last month, Starbucks customers have generated enough money to fund 1.4 million daily doses of lifesaving medicine. So, I promptly thanked Bobby for the card and loaded it up with cash. What happens when it runs out? I guess I'll be caught red-handed ...!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


It was a Bittersweet Moment at 7th and Montana this morning as the last of the New Year's Party Favors, a Noisemaker, lay abandoned on the sidewalk near Our Favorite Starbucks. And yet, if the past few days are any indication, there will be no shortage of Noisemakers in 2009. Let me introduce you to a few:

Meet Mr. Surround Sound. He wants the whole neighborhood to know he just got a Sony 47" Flat Screen Television with 7.1 Channel Surround Sound. And he's not shy about calling folks from his cell phone to loudly read them the technical spec sheet, either. I just have one question, Sir: Does it come with a Mute Button?!?

Next up are the Sirens of 7th Street, a group of attractive, twenty-something women who seem to have formed their own sect. Membership is exclusive: These Decibels of the Ball only accept people who can cackle loud enough to break glass.

Then there are the Hollywood Tycoons, a pair of Fake Screenwriters who made the scene last week, intent on convincing everyone -- perhaps themselves most of all -- that they're a couple of Powerbrokers. They discussed every detail of their "project" so loudly you could hear them three tables away. Trust me, their performance isn't going to win them any Academy Awards. Ironically, they were sitting right near the Screenwriter Brothers, Mark and Rob, who were quietly and productively piecing together the next Will Smith movie.

Finally, there's Mr. Litigator, the man who spent all morning loudly convincing his friend to "Sue them for all they're worth!" I tell you, it's getting harder and harder these days to tell the ambulances apart from the ambulance chasers.

It can't be a coincidence -- all these people Spontaneously Combusting -- and I have a theory about it. People are getting nervous. Times are tough and no one wants the party to end. If that means some folks are craving more attention than usual, well, maybe that's where I come in. I'm always more than happy to give them the "shout out" they deserve ... right here in Cyberspace!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Herbert," a man-on-a-mission who inexplicably wheeled his Vacuum Cleaner -- a Hoover Soft & Light Upright Model #U4266 -- into Our Favorite Starbucks this morning. At first I wondered whether he was cleaning-up after the Lint Lady, the local eccentric who threw a memorable Conniption Fit last June when she dropped her lint brush on 7th Street. But then, instead of turning his vacuum cleaner on, he merely wheeled it to the Espresso Bar, sucked-up a cappuccino faster than you can say "dust mite," and continued along his merry way. In related news, there was major Sucking-Up in the air today at 7th and Montana as the Starbucks Local District Manager made the scene. Rumor has it that he demonstrated the proper way to hold a Dish Rag.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Christmas may have come and gone, but that hasn't stopped the Gorton's of Gloucester Fisherman -- known for dressing as though he's expecting a Nor'easter to come blowing through Southern California at any moment -- from making his list and checking it twice. Indeed, he could be found this morning at 7th and Montana hunched over a notepad, creating a Mysterious List of his own design. I couldn't resist peeking over his shoulder. "Veteran ... Joseph ... Container," he began. I zoomed-in for a closer-look, half-expecting to find Haddock, Flounder or Cod on his list. "Retired ... Marshmallow ... Gideon," he continued. I was nonplussed. Clearly, something fishy was going on. "Maybe he's a creative genius," said Joyce, "You know, a poet like E.E. Cummings." Something tells me E.E. Shortcummings is more like it ...!