Ahoy, Mateys! Climb aboard if you dare and meet Captain Schnook, a Mysterious Newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning looking like an animatronic refugee from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. He wore shocking white dreadlocks, an eyepatch and -- strangely enough -- a blazer, striped tie and bright green handkerchief. He sat motionless for 20-minutes, staring into space like a Zombie and listening to his iPod. "I'll bet you ten galleons he's listening to pirated content," I said, "I have half a mind to report him to the Recording Industry Association of America!" On the other hand, maybe it's better to lay low. With my luck, he'd make me walk the plank ...!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Elton Jane, a Local Fashion Victim with one foot in the 1970s and the other in the dumpster behind the Salvation Army Thrift Store. She made the scene this morning at 7th and Montana wearing a pair of platform boots that simply screamed "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." If there were elections for Wackiest Wardrobe in Town, she'd be a shoe-in ...!
It was a 21-Balloon salute for Barista Anthony at 7th and Montana last week as he announced that he was leaving Our Favorite Starbucks for greener pastures. Anthony -- known as Lobes for his peculiar, golf-tee style ear-studs -- has left the coffee grind to follow in his father's footsteps in the Precious Gems business. He made the scene briefly this morning -- to collect his tips and say a brief 'hello' -- and it's already obvious that the gem business has been good to him. I always knew he was a diamond in the rough ...!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the Swami," a Local Loon who made the scene near Sony Pictures this morning intent on causing a commotion. I knew something was up as soon as I saw him walking my way. He had thick, greasy dreadlocks and a crazy glint in his eyes. I got into my car -- where I was conducting a conference call -- and watched in amazement as he knelt to the ground, stuck his rear end in the air and began kissing the earth. Twenty minutes later, he let out a fart of seismic proportions and began standing on his head.
That was my exit cue. "It doesn't get much zanier than this," I thought, heading back to my office. I arrived just in time to share the elevator with a man whose fingers seemed to be permanently ensconced in his nose. I tried not to look as he carefully plucked out several nose hairs and dropped them one-by-one on the elevator floor. I guess it's time to start picketing the elevator ...!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
It's official, you can ignore the weathermen in Los Angeles. Not that I'm complaining -- it's been warm and sunny for the past two days despite forecasts calling for more rain -- but at a certain point you really have to wonder why we need weathermen around here at all. That's why I was so pleased to learn yesterday that the Dignified Walking Lady, known for treating Southern California like her own, personal Ice Station Zebra, has taken on a new role. "Beautiful weather we're having, isn't it?," I asked. "Yes," she confirmed. "You must be sweltering in that outfit," I continued. "Yes," she confirmed. "Do you think winter is over?," I asked. "Yes," she confirmed. And there you have it. Who needs Groundhog Day when you have the Dignified Walking Lady around ...?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Light finally dawned at 7th and Montana this morning as I figured out what Rigolatte -- the Local Loon known for locking himself in the men's room at Our Favorite Starbucks and belting out Opera tunes -- has been up to. Two weeks ago, he took me aside and asked me a rather unusual question. "What's a Cubit?," he asked, "I must know what a Cubit is!" "It's an ancient unit of measurement," I replied, "Noah's Ark was measured in cubits." "I already know all that!," he barked, "But how big is a cubit?" His eyes were blazing, his hands were twitching and he looked just about ready to break out into song. I fled the scene. Today, two weeks later, he re-appeared, this time with a different question. "What religion are you?," he asked, "Catholic or Christian?" He appeared to be holding a checklist. "Neither," I replied. "Aha," he said, moving on to the next table. He asked the people sitting next to me whether they were familiar with the Book of Genesis. For the record, a cubit was roughly equivalent to 18 inches. According to Genesis, Noah's Ark was 300 cubits long by 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That's more than enough to hold Rigolatte and his entire collection of Opera CDs. And that's when it struck me: Rigolatte has been busy with a project of Biblical Proportions. I was about to confront him with my suspicions -- and request a cabin in First Class -- but I was too late. He was already busy cackling up a storm and doing pirouettes down the center of 7th Street ...!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana this morning as the Notorious Mr. Sludge -- known up and down San Vicente Boulevard for flushing baby wipes down the toilet to disastrous effect -- unveiled a new look. He made the scene wearing Bright Pink Sweatpants and a pigtail in his hair. Could it be the Sludge is getting soft or mellowing with age ...?!?
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry ... Step Right Up. Meet the Mysterious Madame X, a Colorful Neighborhood Newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning looking like a Gypsy Fortune Teller. She wore a Black Fur Hat festooned with phlorescent plastic streamers, a bobbing plastic skull, oversized pink sunglasses, a purple feather boa, and a velour running suit with knee-high leg warmers. Her hair, a mass of fire engine red, looked like an explosion in a Henna Factory and she had so many layers of pancake make-up on I thought I was at an IHOP. She looked at me as if to say, "Come, gaze into my Crystal Ball and meet your destiny." But two can play at that game. I whipped out my Spycam and made a prediction of my own. "I see a Blog in your futuuure ...!"
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as Barista Tyler donned a Black Fright Wig, snuck-up behind Genevieve and began vigorously massaging her neck. "What's with the Fright Wig?," I asked, ignoring his fixation with Genevieve's neck. "It's just my disguise," he said. The look was part Rod Stewart, part Jeffrey Dahmer and all American Psycho. "Ahhh," I replied, "I guess that's why they call Genevieve the Cougar!" I must say, it's hard to imagine the two of them cutting a rug ... unless, of course, it's the one on Tyler's head!
Friday, January 22, 2010
If you think you had a bad day, consider this: Poor Barista Anthony had to slog his way through a Torrential Rainstorm this morning passing out free pastry samples to passersby. "What's that?," I asked, eyeing his tray suspiciously. "Marble Loaf!," he said, "Want some?" The sample was practically wearing a name tag that said 'Hello: My Name is Partially Hydrogenated.' "Go ahead, you'll like it," Anthony continued, "It combines Vanilla and Chocolate into one awesome piece of bread!" I took a bite and was instantly transported to my youth. "It's just like my late Grandmother used to make!," I said, smiling. In other words, I liked it ... a first for a Starbucks pastry. Maybe I've lost my marbles!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It was a Terrible Trifecta this morning at 7th and Montana as the Accountant -- known for spreading out his confidential paperwork all over Our Favorite Starbucks -- expanded his horizons: He took over the handicapped table, turned a blind eye to a Little Old Lady who was looking for space to stow her walker, and put one of his clients on speakerphone ... all at the same time. The client, unaware that she was broadcasting her finances across the espresso bar, went on and on. "Blah, blah blah ... W-2 Forms ... Blah, blah, blah ... tax codes ... Blah, Blah, Blah ... Charitable donations." It was like listening to the teacher in the old Charlie Brown television specials ... and if that's not taxing, I don't know what is!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A Mysterious 'Appy Camper' made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning, determined to make the world a better place through the use of his iPhone. "I just have to show you the coolest new iPhone App," he said. I'd never seen him before and was surprised to learn he was talking to me. "It's called Cause World," he said, "And it lets you steer corporate donations to your favorite causes." "Wow," I said, whipping out my Spycam, "But how did you know I have an iPhone?" "Lucky guess," he said. I guess he was luckier than me ... none of the secret photos I took of him while he was talking came out. As for the Cause World application, he was right. I checked it out this afternoon and it's great. Users earn points by opening the app when they're out shopping and "checking-in" to certain stores. These points, in turn, can be donated in the form of cash to various worthy causes ranging from providing disaster relief in Haiti to planting trees in the rainforest. The cash itself is donated by Cause World sponsors such as Citibank and Kraft Foods. No strings attached!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
True Hollywood Royalty made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "The Barefoot Contessa," an attractive young woman who evidently thinks shoes are for the birds. "What do you expect me to do, wear my shoes in here?!?," she asked her friend. If you ask me, she's a shoe-in for a case of Athlete's Foot. Meanwhile, another movie star made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks this morning but I guess I'm not supposed to say anything about it. Barista Kenisha seemed a bit put out when I asked questions, leaving me to conclude that she ranks me and my blog right up there with the Supermarket Tabloids. And so, without further ado, I bring you a photo of the "Mystery Movie Star." Go ahead, take a guess at who she is. I'll let you know by Highly Confidential E-mail if you're on the right track ...!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning as Barista Tyler revealed his latest Hollywood strategy. He's befriending the Rich and Famous ... on Facebook. "It all started with Valerie Harper," he said, "I sent her a Facebook invitation and she accepted." So far, so good. It's easy to imagine Tyler hobnobbing with Valerie who -- while perhaps best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern in the 1970s -- occasionally hangs out at Our Favorite Starbucks. "Then I saw that Valerie was friends with Anson Williams, so I befriended him, too," Tyler continued. "Wow," I said, "Potsy Webber from Happy Days ... I'm impressed." Tyler went on. "And guess what," he said, "Now I'm 'friends' with Bruce Willis and I've invited Candy Spelling out for coffee!" I didn't know what to say. "Tell me," said Tyler, "Are you on Facebook? Can I send you an invitation?" "Absolutely," I replied, "Of course there's no guarantee I'll accept ..."
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Peter Gun," the Rat Pack Wannabe who made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday packing a pistol. Actually, it was a white plastic gun and it looked a lot like a toy phaser from the Starship Enterprise. "Sheesh," I muttered, I hope he has that thing set on stun." I followed him inside to get the scoop. "What's with the toy gun?," I asked, "Are you expecting an invasion from the Romulan Empire?" "Actually, it's not a gun," he explained, "It's the remote control to my Electric Skateboard." "Ahhh," I said, "That explains it." And with that, he whipped out the gun, pointed it straight ahead and zipped down 7th Street like a bat out of Hell. Beam me up, Scotty ...!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The stars were out this morning at 7th and Montana as Actor-turned-Director Ron Howard made the scene with grandson, Theo, no doubt for some fun-in-the-sun before tomorrow's Golden Globes. His last film, Angels & Demons, wasn't nominated for anything but it is, afterall, awards season in Hollywood. His daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, stopped by the Buffalo Club on Olympic last night for a pre-Golden Globes party, along with the likes of Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo di Caprio and Meryl Streep, who popped-in shortly after winning Best Actress honors at the Critics' Choice Awards.
Friday, January 15, 2010
It was a Happy Homecoming at 7th and Montana this morning as Susan, our Friendly Neighborhood American in Paris, regaled the crowd with stories from her new life in France. Susan moved to Paris some months ago and it seems to agree with her. However, when she moved, she had to leave her beloved pet, Sophia, the Australian Bearded Dragon, with a friend. "Tell me," I said, "Do you plan to visit Sophia while you're back in town?" "No," she said, wisely, "Sometimes you just have to let the guy have the lizard and leave him alone." Speaking of cold-blooded animals, a Genuine Ex-Spy made the scene at Our Favorite Starbucks today. How do I know he was a Spy? I'll never tell ...!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Quick, call the Fashion Police! There's an Escaped Convict on the loose at 7th and Montana and his jail stripes are a dead giveaway. Actually, it was yet another Pajama Boy, a poor, unfortunate fashion victim who thought it was a good idea to go out in public this morning wearing a pair of striped pajamas. This time, given the perpetrator's age, I'm willing to give the kid a "get out of jail free card." But something tells me we'll be seeing this one again in a few years ... and I won't be so lenient!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Privacy Advocates were up-in-arms at 7th and Montana this morning as the Accountant once again spread out his worksheets across a table at Our Favorite Starbucks. "How nice," I said, "I think I see a Social Security Number." Rumor has it he's branching out. For a reasonable fee, he's offering identity theft protection services ...!
Most people think the folks in Hollywood live a pretty glamorous life, but something I saw yesterday at one of the studios was enough to almost make me lose my lunch. There I was, about to grab a quick lunch at the employee cafe, when I saw a small, discreet sign posted near the entrance. "Warning," it said, "Chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here." I've seen many signs like this before, usually warning of potentially hazardous materials used in a building's construction, but this was the first time I noticed a restaurant warning that its food might contain known carcinogens. It didn't stop me from enjoying my meal. "I'll have a Uranium Burger with Cheese ... on second thought, make that Cheez Spread!," I said. "Would you like anything to drink with that?," said the man behind the counter, dryly. "Yes," I replied, "A large glass of Reactor Juice ... on the rocks!"
It was hats off to Ace Photographer Kovar who made a quick pit stop at 7th and Montana yesterday on his way to check out the latest exhibition of his work. His photos are on display at the Nesou Salon in Santa Monica (1914 Wilshire Blvd.), or you can check them out here.
Monday, January 11, 2010
While most of the buzz at CES was dominated by 3D -- it was everywhere you turned -- I think one of the cooler products on display almost fits in the palm of your hand. Sony has announced a new "mini-tablet" called dash™ , a personal Internet viewer which sits on your desk like an alarm clock (it serves as an alarm clock) but does a lot more. All you need is a wireless Internet connection and the device can access more than 1,000 applications including weather and traffic updates, recipes, twitter, facebook, e-mail, videos, music, games and more. I might just get one of these when they come out later this year, depending on the reviews. Meanwhile, speaking of dash, I had to leave Las Vegas in a hurry yesterday, quickly booking an earlier flight than I had originally planned in order to get home in time for a busy new week.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage of the CES Show in Las Vegas with some breaking news from Sarasota, Florida, where my sister, brother-in-law and the kids are visiting my parents. My nephew, Jackson, surprised everyone by reading his first words today. Sources close to the situation say he spontaneously sounded out the words 'hot,' 'pot,' 'fox' and 'box.' OK, so it's not Shakespeare, but it's quite an accomplishment considering he's only 2 years and four months old. Way, to go, Jackson (especially if you're reading this ...)!
Anyone who has ever been to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will tell you, the best way to get an accurate reading on the crowds is to ask a Cab Driver. Last year, the response was the same everywhere: "It's dead." This year, however, it's a completely different story. "It's alive," they all say. Official estimates yesterday put the crowd at 112,000 with two days to go. That's good news for an industry that has been especially hard-hit by the recession and great news for Las Vegas. Speaking of cab drivers, the one I just had (pictured below) spent most of the ride from the convention center to Mandalay Bay telling me all about his blog -- Herbert Hoover Was Right -- which, simply put, credits Herbert Hoover for coming up with a decent plan to provide water to the arid Southwest without depleting other arid regions. No one listened to Hoover, so the cab driver has made it his mission ever since he was 12-years-old to spread the word. Or thousands of words, to be exact, all in a single entry posted last March. "I just wanted there to be a public record," he said. Good for him, I say, though be forewarned: It takes a while to wade through his blog ...!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It was 3D, 3D and more 3D at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today as everywhere you went people were making a spectacle of themselves wearing 3D glasses. Actually, quite a few companies have announced 3D TVs and Blu-ray Disc players that will launch later this year ... and I know many more haven't been announced yet. The movie studios are starting to announce special 3D Blu-ray Discs and several broadcasters have even announced the launch of new 3D TV networks. One satellite company even hired a 3D spokesmodel to walk around their booth looking like a living 3D special effect. "What are you dressed up as," I asked. "I'm not sure I know what you mean!," she replied.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It was a case of "Ground Control to Major Tom" at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Fashion Plate made the scene disguised as an airport ground operations officer, complete with a set of noise cancellation headphones and a woolen ski cap. He sat at a table in front of Our Favorite Starbucks for about twenty minutes, then moved to a seat at the bus stop. Who knows ... perhaps he was waiting for an Airbus ...?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
It was easy come, easy go at 7th and Montana this morning as word spread that Hypoxi, the mysterious body sculpting clinic that opened its doors five months ago across from Our Favorite Starbucks, seems to have vanished as quickly as it appeared. Could it be that someone left the Vacunaut, a contraption designed to suction away fat from the abdominal and hip region, on too long and inadvertently sucked all the life out of the now empty office space? Or perhaps the enterprise grew too big for its britches? Whatever the reason, the Hypoxi sign has disappeared, only to be replaced by an enigmatic new message in black spraypaint behind the building: "It's never surprising, but it always hurts ..."
Monday, January 4, 2010
The sun wasn't the only thing shining at 7th and Montana this morning. An Anonymous Spook -- pictured above -- seemed intent on re-enacting a scene from the 1980 film based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, The Shining. In the movie, a young boy, played by Actor Danny Torrance, wanders around his parents' bedroom squealing the word "REDRUM" over and over in a munchkin-like voice, as if he was on helium (see the video here). Our Friendly Neighborhood Spook sounded much the same. Every few minutes, for no apparent reason, he squealed the word "REDRUM" and then resumed his conversation as if nothing had happened. I say, slip the guy a Fritter ...!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
It was a Mission to go Pishin' this morning at 7th and Montana as Pokey, our friendly neighborhood security guard, made a bee-line for the Men's Room at Our Favorite Starbucks. "There he goes, again, out for his morning constitutional," I said, as he walked by, guns a'blazin. "Don't you mean his constipational?," asked Bob, dryly. Indeed, Pokey has become something of a legend around these parts based on the sheer number of hours he spends in the Men's Room. I whipped out my stopwatch to time him but, to my surprise, he never emerged. An hour went by and there was still no sign of him. Oh, well, I guess it's up to him how he spends his time on dooty ...!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as a pair of Anonymous Swingers made the scene, determined to turn the parking lot behind Our Favorite Starbucks into their own, personal Country Club. They arrived in an SUV, pulled out a set of Golf Clubs and proceeded to take turns practicing their swing in front of an astonished crowd. "Now I've seen everything," I said, half-expecting Barnacle Bess to emerge from a nearby dumpster and offer to serve as their caddy. I wonder whether this is how Tiger Woods got his start ...?
Friday, January 1, 2010
It was a Bright, Colorful start to the New Year at 7th and Montana this morning as the woman known as "Technicolor Tess" made the scene wearing a Glowing Magenta Sweatshirt and clashing pants festooned with Christmas Ornaments. She was throwing off more wattage than the ball in Times Square. Rumor has it her New Year's Resolution is to put her glasses on before she gets dressed. Then again, in the immortal words of Bicyclist Greg, "You know what they say about New Year's Resolutions: They're in one Year and out the Other ...!"