Friday, July 31, 2009


The Rumor Mill was working overtime at 7th and Montana this morning as work neared completion on the whimsical new home under construction on Georgina Avenue. At first, like many others, I thought the architect was inspired by a Coffee Grinder. Now, however, it has become clear that something more sinister is at play. A glowing presence resembling a Giant, Halogen Amoeba has taken up residence in the entryway and the light emanating from its nucleus can be seen from a block away. Who would commission something like this? Here's a hint: They come from the Planet Remulak, they answer to the names Beldar and Prymaat and, if asked, they'll say "We're from France." I haven't met them yet, but something tells me their dog made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks a few days ago ... !

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Tongues were tied at 7th and Montana this morning as a Dead Ringer for Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made the scene. I knew it wasn't Palin, but that didn't stop me from trying to make parallels, especially when it became clear that she's friendly with former Barista Robb. "What's with the Sarah Palin look-a-like?," I asked, taking Robb aside. "She's not Sarah Palin," he explained, "She's ... she's ..." "A Republican?," I interrupted. "No," Robb continued, "She's getting her Master's Degree in something ... " "Political Science, no doubt," I said, firmly. By the time she left, I had invented a whole life story for her, beginning with a dysfunctional family in Wasilla and ending with a Gubernatorial Resignation speech that gives new meaning to the term "stump speech."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as Our Favorite Numbers Cruncher, the Accountant -- known for spreading his clients' confidential paperwork all over Starbucks -- was up to his old tricks. I watched closely as he transcribed what looked like someone's Social Security Number onto a government form. You see, I've been on the lookout for a new accountant ever since I learned from the IRS that the H&R Blockhead who prepared my taxes last year made several mistakes. At least with the Accountant pictured above, you know there are plenty of people around who can double-check his math ...!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as a Local Eccentric breezed-in wearing the latest in Arctic Fashion, a bright red, knee-length down jacket. "Make way for the Polar Express," I said as she walked by, clearly unaware that it's July in Southern California. "Look," said Richard, "It's one of Santa's Helpers!" All I can say is, Santa must be pretty hard-up if she's one of his helpers. Then, again, times being what they are, who can blame him if he's traded in an Elf or two for a Nome ...?

Monday, July 27, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Flora the Flutist, a gifted musician who every evening at sunset makes her way to Palisades Park, sets herself up behind the rose garden overlooking the ocean, and treats the neighborhood to inspirational tunes ranging from Ave Maria to the Theme from Love Story. People come from miles around to hear her play and I'm no exception. In fact, I recently decided to take a page from her songbook. Several days ago, I secretly downloaded Ocarina, an application which turns your iPhone into a flute. Last night, I paid more attention than usual to Flora's concert. After she finished a particularly soulful version of Amazing Grace, a Little Old Lady with a German accent said, "That was beautiful. Can you play Blue Danube?" Flora glanced through her songbook. "I'm sorry," she said, "but I don't have the sheet music." This was my chance. I took the Little Old Lady aside, away from the "competition," and said, "Mam, I think I can play Blue Danube for you." I whipped out my iPhone, turned it on its side, activated the Ocarina application and began blowing into the microphone. The result sounded like a Funeral Dirge. "What was that?!?," asked the woman, laughing. "Amazing Disgrace," I said. And indeed it was ...!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Ex-Barista Quinn. She and longtime boyfriend C.J. are getting married and, while you can't see it in the photo above, she's sporting a sparkling, new engagement ring on her left hand. "He proposed last week in Hawaii," Quinn said, adding that by the time he asked the question, she knew it was coming. Speaking of engagements, Grammy-winning Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley made the scene yesterday for a one-day engagement at the 3rd Street Promenade. Kathy caught-up with him in-concert (pictured below). I ran into him a bit later at Shutters, where I was having lunch with a colleague. He was sitting at a table nearby and -- even though I mistook him for someone else -- I said "hello." "Who is that?," asked my colleague. "I know him from somewhere, but I just can't remember," I said, "I think he's one of my neighbors." Oh, well, perhaps we're neighbors in the Sarah Palin sense of the word. If she can see Russia from her doorstep, who's to say I can't see Jamaica ...?

Saturday, July 25, 2009


A funny thing happened today on this, my last morning in Rancho Bernardo. I awoke feeling Spectacular. Birds were singing, bees were humming and everywhere the gentle plink, plunk of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo Inn were calling to me. I decided to take the "highly recommended" walking tour of the fountains around the property. First up was the "Fountain of Hospitality" (pictured above). Designed by a world famous artist in Mexico City, the Fountain of Hospitality combines two antique pieces on a base that is etched with what the hotel describes as "a significant Spanish pattern." The woman at the front desk recommended that I toss a pineapple mint leaf into the fountain in the spirit of hospitality. I ate a slice of pineapple, instead.

Next up was the "Buena Vista Fountain." Buena Vista means good view in Spanish and I guess that's appropriate given that this fountain overlooks the "legendary" Rancho Bernardo Golf Course, pictured in my earlier post on Wednesday. One look and you'll say "Spectacular!"

The "Tranquility Fountain" sits beside the entrance to the 2,500 square foot Spa. Guests are encouraged to "reduce (their) stress and calm (their) minds" by tossing some lavender into this fountain. Then they're supposed to throw caution to the wind by booking a "cup of calm" including a 50-minute, made-to-order massage, a 50-minute made-to-order facial, a 50-minute Spa Pedicure and a Warm, Spicy Cocoa and Chocolate Trio for $295.

Next up was the "Fountain of Reflection," which, I'm told, "exhibits a considerable Arabic influence in its restrained quantity of water." Indeed, a gentle trickle flows continuously down a natural stone pedestal and into a Romanesque bowl below. Guests are supposed to stand in front of this fountain and chant the following mantra: "May good befall all, May there be peace for all, May all be fit for perfection, May all experience that which is auspicious." I think the folks from the local Starbucks take a nip from this fountain every now and then when no one is looking.

The "Dreams of Eternity" fountain sits on the hotel's Valencia Lawn, conveniently near a room used for wedding ceremonies. Couples are supposed to "toss in rose petals to wish themselves a lifetime of love and many happy returns to Rancho Bernardo Inn to celebrate their anniversaries." I guess if they end up getting divorced they can always dive head first into the fountain's spacious stone basin.

The "Rancho Wishing Well" was the first fountain on the property and was placed there in 1965 by owner James Colachis who was looking for a simple way to enhance the resort's main covered walkway. In the Roman tradition, guests are supposed to toss a coin over their left shoulder and make a wish to return to Rancho Bernardo Inn.
The "Santiago Lawn Fountain" is tucked away in a quiet corner of the resort. It's perhaps the most simple of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo Inn, consisting mainly of an octagonal base and a bowl, designed in what the hotel calls a Moorish style. I must admit, by this point in the tour I was starting to think the style was more Bore-ish than anything else. Yawn ...!

The "Alhambra Fountain" (pictured above) was purchased by the hotel owner -- the same James Colachis mentioned above -- mainly because it includes an antique lead box bearing his initials. It's a good thing his initials weren't S.O.B.

"La Fontana di Santiago" is, in my opinion, the most dramatic of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo. It was imported from Vicenza, Italy, and includes "heroic-sized" figures of a god and goddess taming a lion. Water shoots from the lion's mouth in a controlled stream down a mosaic chute into a stone clam shell below.

The "Fountain of Rejuvenation" -- as I wrote on Wednesday -- stood right outside my hotel room. It was created by a master carver in Guadalajara and, according to the hotel, it "adds a refreshing feature to the sunny ambiance of the Santiago Pool." Quite frankly, the water pressure in my room was so bad this morning I was tempted to use it as a shower.Last but not least, the "Granada Fountain" is the focal point of an elegantly manicured garden just outside the main lobby of the hotel. It is an antique from Mexico, featuring a 12-sided base with alternating carvings of suns and angels. Guests are supposed to walk around the fountain until they find the plaque with their birth month on it. If your birth month falls on an angel, you can expect a year of tranquility. If it falls on a sun, you'll get a year of prosperity. I walked around and around the base, but I wasn't looking for my birth month. I wanted to hide myself from view as I set aside the little package of coins, lavender and pebbles that the hotel gave me to toss into the various fountains on the tour and produced a little surprise of my own. I pulled out a package of Folger's Crystals -- pilfered from the self-serve coffee bar in my room -- and tossed a small handful into the bubbling waters. The people of Rancho Bernardo need a Spectacular Dose of Caffeine, if you ask me ...!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Captain's Log, Star Date 2009.07.24. The Enterprise is in Orbit around a strange and isolated world called Rancho Bernardo, where the local inhabitants think everything is "Spectacular." Broken a limb? Spectacular! Fallen off a cliff? Spectacular! Captured by the Klingons? Spectacular! I paid another visit to the local Starbucks this morning and, once again, was surprised at just how "chipper" everyone was. "Here's your Treat Receipt," chirped a Spectacular Young Barista. "Why is my receipt such a treat?," I asked. "If you bring it in after 2:00 p.m. today, we'll give you a grande cold drink for only $2.00," she said. Thanks, but no thanks. Two trips to this Starbucks in one day would be enough to put me in a Diabetic Coma, and I'm not talking about the Apple Fritters. Beam me up, Scotty ...!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Stepford Starbucks, the squeaky clean cafe near the Rancho Bernardo Inn where every day is "spectacular" and the baristas whistle while they work. I knew something was up as soon as I walked in the door. "Hi there ... what will it be?," asked a barista whose name, Stephanie, was neatly embroidered on her apron. "I'll have a Grande Half Caff," I said. "Spectacular," she replied. There were no super heroes wearing underpants on their head, no opera singers belting out disco favorites and no jittery nutcases throwing hot chocolate at passersby. Just a "Happy Housefrau" who hopped from table-to-table telling everyone to have a Spectacular Day while spraying everything down over and over with a bottle of window cleaner. I left before she could spray me down, too ...!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It was out of the frying pan and into the fire yesterday as I arrived at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego in the midst of a 98-degree heat wave. The hotel has been rated "the number one spa resort in North America" by Conde Naste Traveler, but don't be jealous: I'm in meetings all day, every day, until Saturday. I couldn't help noticing that the hotel really encourages guests to check out its fountains. "The lush grounds of Rancho Bernardo Inn are home to 21 distinctive fountains," reads the hotel's promotional literature, "Each fountain adds to the resort's tranquil ambiance." When I checked-in, the woman at the front desk handed me a guidebook describing the various fountains and suggested that I take a walking tour. With names like "Dreams of Eternity" and "Tranquility Fountain" how could I resist? Unfortunately, I only got as far as the "Fountain of Rejuvenation" -- which happens to be right outside my hotel room -- before I cried Uncle. Uncle Starbucks, that is. I high-tailed it to the nearest Starbucks and ordered my usual Grande Drip. Now that's what I call rejuvenation ...!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It was "Lights, Camera, Disillusionment" for Barista J.C. as she nabbed a role as an extra in the M-TV hit reality show, Run's House. The show is supposed to provide a glimpse into the lives of Rapper Joseph Simmons (a.k.a. Rev Run) and his family. But I ask you, how many "real life" families do you know who go around hiring extras? J.C.'s job was to sit in a restaurant drinking cranberry-juice-disguised-as-wine, while Rev Run and his family chowed down. Next time, they should try grabbing a cup of coffee at 7th and Montana. At least then J.C. would have a speaking role ...!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Hagatha" (pictured above, to the left). I guess there's no polite way to say it: Hagatha looks like she waltzed right out of the pages of a Grimm Fairy tale ... with the emphasis on Grim. Her voice is raspy, she cackles for no apparent reason and rumor has it she lives in a Gingerbread House somewhere East of 26th Street. But she has a heart of gold. Every morning she tries to pet Charlie, the irascible sheepdog ... and every morning someone needs to restrain Charlie from lunging at her. Today it was my turn. "What a little Cutie Pie!," she said, as usual, inching closer and closer, "I simply must pet him!" "He's very unpredictable, you shouldn't pet him. He nips!," I warned her, yet again. "Oh Cutsey, Wootsie," she said, "I'll bet if you brought him here every day he'd get used to me." I couldn't very well tell her the truth -- that Charlie only nips at Suspicious Characters and French Bulldogs -- so, instead, I said, "He's been coming here day after day for more than five years and he still nips." By now Hagatha had turned her attention to Baby Ben, who was sitting nearby in Joyce's lap. "What a Little Cutie Pie," she said. "This is Ben," explained Joyce, "He also nips, but he doesn't have any teeth ...!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It was do or dye at 7th and Montana this morning as California State Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger made the scene to get a quick haircut at the Salon Montana West, followed by breakfast across from Our Favorite Starbucks. Reactions from the crowd were varied. "There he is," cried Phony Malone, the Local Oddball known for his strange fixation on long-range weapons and his striking resemblance to Mr. Clean, "He's leaving the Salon. Now's my chance!" Phony ran into the middle of 7th Street, intercepted Schwarzenegger and yelled, "Hey, Arnold, do you have a minute?!?" "Not really!" replied Schwarzenegger, as a Secret Service Agent brushed Phony aside. I fared a little better. Arnold gave me a quick thumbs-up and posed for a blog shot. Unfortunately, I cut off half his body. Oh, well, I guess that's only appropriate given the current condition of the California state budget ...!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


It was a Warm Welcome Home for Neighbor Richard today as he made the scene at 7th and Montana after his recent neck surgery. Naturally, Richard regaled the crowd with strange-but-true tales from the Operating Room. Doctors, it seems, slid his Voice Box and Carotid Artery aside, removed the discs from three of his vertebrae, and replaced them with Cadaver Parts. "I'm dead from the neck up," he quipped. While I know Richard was in the best possible hands at Cedars-Sinai, the whole thing makes me wonder: Did the surgeon wake him up by shouting "It's alive ... it's alive ... for the love of God, Igor, it's alive!" Fortunately, there wasn't any lightning involved in Richard's procedure, but he does have to wear an Electric Bone Stimulator for the next few months. Welcome Back, Richard. I'm glad the operation was a success!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Look, up in the sky: It's a Bird, It's a Plane ... It's a Demented Crane! Yes, folks, it's true, a Demented Crane has landed in our midst and rumor has it he's building a nest near 7th and Montana. I first encountered the Crane, an eccentric man in his mid-forties, last week in Palisades Park, perched by the bluffs over Pacific Coast Highway. He held his left leg aloft for what seemed like an eternity, then reached for the stars with his right arm. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear he was auditioning for a part on Sesame Street ... as Big Bird's Hood Ornament. I walked around him repeatedly, pointing my camera phone in his face and snapping photos from every conceivable angle. I just hope I didn't ruffle any feathers ...!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


It was an Exercise in Futility last night at Santa Monica City Hall as Kathy, Genevieve and I attended a public hearing to discuss Verizon's plans to install an industrial-sized "cellular transmission facility" atop the residence at 404 San Vicente. Here's the scoop: Verizon, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the perfect spot for a new cell phone base facility -- capable of processing hundreds of calls at a time -- would be on the roof of a condominium at the corner of Fourth and San Vicente. They approached the President of the Homeowners Association with a lucrative offer he couldn't refuse and he, in turn, presented it in the most glowing terms to the building residents. Later, after the deal was signed, the residents realized just how glowing the terms would be: They, and the elementary school nearby, would be bombarded with radiation morning, noon and night. They tried to get out of the deal but by that point it was too late: Verizon wouldn't budge and the initial proposal had already been approved by the City Planning Commission. Last night's hearing was to discuss an appeal, filed by some friends of mine who live directly across from the building-in-question. Residents, many of whom would be sleeping five feet beneath Verizon's transmitters, outlined their case: They're terrified of the health risks and feel they were tricked into signing the deal with Verizon. While they were arguing their case, I reviewed some relevant research Kathy had given me and made a list of all the health issues associated with long-term exposure in close proximity to cell phone transmission facilities: Leukemia, Cardiac Problems, Cancer (especially brain tumors), Mood Swings, Indigestion, Ulcers, Joint Pain, Suppressed Immune Function, Alzheimer's and more.

Five representatives from Verizon argued that the radiation from their equipment would be no more dangerous than a Gentle Ocean Breeze. One of them, pictured below, kept twitching his hands nervously as he spoke. "Look at how he's hiding his hands behind his back," said Genevieve, "That's the weirdest posture I've ever seen." "It must be an occupational hazard," I said, adding Neurological Disorders to my list. Verizon, for their part, admitted that they won't send anyone near the equipment-in-question unless they're wearing a Special Radiation Suit. How did our City Planning Commissioners respond to all this? Four of them -- Gerda Newbold, Hank Koning, Gwynne Pugh and Jim Ries -- seemed to wash their hands of the issue: They "sympathized" with the homeowners but said that the health concerns were beyond their jurisdiction. Only one, Jay Johnson, said he was inclined to vote against Verizon on the basis of the homeowners' concerns. Afterall, he noted, this was the first time that the City had ever considered allowing a major cell phone transmitter to be placed atop a private residence. He also reminded everyone that there already is a cell phone tower -- a Sprint transmitter -- directly across from 404 San Vicente. But it was all to no avail. Verizon prevailed in what I consider a Tremendous Miscarriage of Justice. Speaking of which, according to Dr. Neal Cherry, a biophysicist at Lincoln University, "prompt effects" of living in close proximity to cell phone base stations might also include miscarriages.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as Screenwriter Nat delivered a Nasty Surprise. "Good morning, Marty," he said, "Do you mind if I join you ... I don't want to ruin your Zen Morning!" I had been sitting alone, reading the newspaper. "Not at all," I replied, "My Zen usually goes out the window by 8:15, anyway. What's new?" "Well, I just learned that my writing partner has Swine Flu." "Oh," I replied, watching what was left of my Zen slowly drift out my nostrils and up 7th Street, "Have you been in contact with him recently?" "We work together every day," he replied. Fortunately, Nat doesn't have any symptoms and is past the point where he would have contracted the illness, but the incident left me wondering: Perhaps "Gladys Knight" -- the local woman known for parading up and down Montana Avenue wearing a Jousting Helmet over a Surgical Mask -- is onto something. A report from the Centers for Disease Control suggests that surgical masks might provide some limited protection from the H1N1 virus even though they "are not designed to protect against breathing in very small particle aerosols that may contain viruses." I guess that's where the Jousting Helmet comes in ...!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Cool Hand Uke, a local ukulele enthusiast with a heart of gold. Every evening at Sunset he makes his way down Montana Avenue to Palisades Park, plants himself on a bench overlooking the ocean, and treats the neighborhood to an impromptu concert. Unfortunately, his repertoire these days seems to consist mainly of Michael Jackson tunes. Nothing against Michael Jackson, but -- in case you were wondering -- Thriller wasn't made for the ukulele. "I guess everyone grieves in their own way," said one woman. If you ask me, the whole thing gives new meaning to the words "Good Grief" ...!

Monday, July 13, 2009


The stars were out at 7th and Montana yesterday as Actor-Comedian Eugene Levy -- a perennial "eccentric" in dozens of feature films -- made the scene. Levy has starred in such classics as Father of the Bride (parts I and II), Cheaper by the Dozen II, and the full series of American Pie movies. And who could forget his turn in a vastly underrated TV episode of Greg the Bunny entitled Piddler on the Roof? In other celebrity news, Simon Pegg, the British actor who played Scotty in the recent Star Trek movie has also been hanging out at 7th and Montana. He even wrote about the experience in his blog, "I feel a huge debt and affection to the people I have encountered during my stay in this beguiling city," he wrote, including "the staff at Starbucks on the corner of Montana and 7th." Rumor has it Barista Tyler is replacing the coffee with Dilithium Crystals in his honor ...!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The Fashion Police had their work cut out for them this morning at 7th and Montana as an Anonymous Nincompoop made the scene wearing a multi-colored Hawaiian Shirt and a pair of Fluorescent Bermuda Shorts. "Good Lord, it looks like Don Ho threw up on him," I said to myself, wondering how many Tiny Bubbles it would take to sweep the whole Clashing Mess out to sea. Where's the crew from Hawaii Five-O when you need them? Book 'em, Danno ...!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Pass the ear plugs, folks, the Local Oddball known as Phony Malone is back in town and something tells me he won't rest until everyone in a three-mile radius of 7th and Montana has heard at least one of his cell phone conversations. And what conversations they are, chock full of "intelligence!" You see, Phony fancies himself a Military Officer. Today he wore a U.S. Army baseball cap, backwards of course, and barked a series of orders into his cell phone. It sounded like he was discussing a "covert operation" in Afghanistan. "I'll be there's no one on the other end," I said. "You might be right," replied Joyce, "I just wonder what he's doing with the Plastic Rose." Indeed, despite his evident war-mongering, Phony was clutching a plastic rose in his left hand. I guess he's preparing for the War of the Roses ...!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Allie, the delightfully intrepid wireframe terrier with a thirst for adventure. Her thirst got the best of her this morning at 7th and Montana, however, as she tried to take a swig from a sprinkler that was running full-blast. I'd hate to see what she does to a fire hydrant ...!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as a mysterious young woman known locally as "the Advisor" made the scene. Don't ask me what she specializes in, I just hope it has nothing to do with fashion. Her hat -- an Opaque Visor that covered most of her face -- seemed inspired by Sir Lancelot. "It looks like she's ready to joust," said Screenwriter Nat. "Yes," I agreed, though I have to admit, up close it looked more like she was wearing half a lampshade. Perhaps she left the other half in Camelot ...!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


A Star was Born at 7th and Montana today as Barista David revealed that he just landed his first acting gig ... as an extra on the new Beverly Hills 90210. "I play a Stoner," he said, proudly, "I get to act like I'm high and ride around on a skateboard." "Hmmmm," I said, "I just hope you don't get typecast." "Look," he replied, "It's my forte ... you have to stick with what you're good at, right?" Apparently, the producers took one look at David and expanded his role. He was originally supposed to just stand around looking high, but when the producers found out about his skateboarding skills, they couldn't resist asking him to ride around, as well. Congratulations, David, on finding your niche. What next, a recurring role on Weeds?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It was "Surf City here we come" at 7th and Montana this morning as Heather -- our Friendly, Neighborhood Gidget -- made the scene with one thing in mind: catching the perfect wave. At least, I think that's what was on her mind. It was difficult to tell. "I've got a 6'8" Simon Anderson," she enthused, "And the other day someone snaked away from me!" She went on to explain that she's dying to get a "fishboard" and then, faster than you can say "Surf's Up," she took off for the beach. "I don't know about you, but I couldn't understand a word she said," joked Screenwriter Nat. "Me, neither," I replied. Indeed, something fishy was going on. All I could understand was "Malibu," "Zuma" and "Fishtail."

Monday, July 6, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Lawrence of Arabia, the Chic Local Gentleman who dresses as though he thinks he's in Abu Dhabi. I stumbled across Lawrence today as he wandered aimlessly around Palisades Park. He seemed lost without his camel. Hey, Lawrence, if you're out there, could you do something about the Gas Prices? They're getting out of control, again ...!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


It was a Red Carpet moment at 7th and Montana this morning as Barista Tyler announced that he has a Fan Club. "There he is," said Tyler, proudly pointing to an elderly gentleman who was hunched over the counter, "My Number One Fan!" I was agog. Granted, Tyler's recent exploits on You Tube -- including an interview with Spiderman on Hollywood Boulevard -- have generated something of a cult following, but I never knew he had such a loyal fan base. "I'm impressed," I whispered, "What makes that guy your Number One Fan?" "Oh," replied Tyler sheepishly, "That's Tom. I've only talked to him a couple of times. I just made that stuff up about him being my Number One Fan. I have a way with people, you know." Indeed, you do, Tyler. At least you didn't call him Number Two ...!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Handmaiden, a Mysterious, Hooded Creature who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning intent on shielding herself from view. Every time anyone looked in her direction, she lifted her left hand to cover her face like a celebrity avoiding the Paparazzi. "Gee," I thought, "It's almost as if she thinks she's being watched. How Paranoid can you get?!?" If you zoom-in on the photo I took when she wasn't looking, you'll see that the Handmaiden was munching on a snack when she left Starbucks. Rumor has it she's partial to Finger Food ...!

Friday, July 3, 2009


The Fireworks came early at 7th and Montana this morning as The Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief once again dipped his sticky fingers into the newspaper bin and walked away with a "free" copy of The Los Angeles Times. "Stop, thief!," I cried, "You're not going to get away with it this time!" But, of course, he did. "Have you no shame?!?," I continued, "You disgust me!" He looked at the newspaper in his hand, then he looked at me quizzically -- as if to say "I just can't help myself" -- and darted out the door. Who knows ... maybe he suffers from a new form of Tactile Tourette Syndrome!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, meet PETe, A relative newcomer to 7th and Montana, and his PET, An adorable terrier with a minor problem. Evidently, Pete specializes in dangling and swinging his dog around by a rope. Pete laughs while his dog grunts, growls and whirls around like an isotope in a centrifuge. If this is Man's Best Friend, I'd hate to see how he treats his worst enemy. Hello, PETA ...?!?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Heads were turning at 7th and Montana this morning as Malissa -- known for riding her bicycle around town with her lovable pooch, Mission, at the helm-- made the scene on a different kind of bike: A Harley-Davidson. "I've been riding for a while now," she said, "I just love it." Apparently, Mission loves it, too. "Mission usually comes with me -- she sits right up front or sometimes drapes herself over my shoulder -- but she's staying with my sister this time." Malissa is riding to Yosemite for a little rest and relaxation. Now that's what I call living high on the Hog ...!