School was in session yesterday at 7th and Montana as Neighbor Larry, an actor whose credits range from television sitcoms and movies to commercials, posted a sign on the bulletin board promoting a series of acting workshops. One, for Aspiring Music Artists, is on May 19th and the other, for Professional Artists, is on May 21. Both classes are organized by Actor Gary Imhoff and will be held at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center in North Hollywood. Larry will be appearing in the workshops which, alone, makes them worth the price of admission. You can see Larry's latest demo reel here: Larry's Demo Reel. What you won't see in that reel is perhaps his most challenging role yet, that of Starbucks Bulletin Board Maven. Evidently, every time he posts the sign promoting next month's classes, someone rips it down, sometimes within minutes. I tell you, some people have no class ...!
Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Newcomer, a woman in her early 40s, made the scene with some unusual reading material. Shortly after arriving, she pulled out a children's book -- "The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl" -- and began reading out loud. "How shocking," said one witness. "I know," I replied, "I didn't think anyone read books anymore ... hasn't she heard of a Kindle?" In the end, I guess there was a method to her madness. A baby sitting at the next table was glued to her every word ...!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the Phony," an Anonymous Newcomer who made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday intent on letting us all know that she was dialing into a conference call. Shortly after arriving, she whipped out her cell phone, turned the speakerphone up to full blast and dialed up a conference call service. "Excuse me," she said loudly, "Duty calls!" And with that, she held the phone aloft, exposing us all to the dulcet tones of an automated voice attendant. "Press One to annoy everyone around you; Press Two to look very busy; Press Three to alert the Fashion Police to a Spandex Violation." The menu seemed endless. Finally, I, too, whipped out my cell phone. "Are you dialing-in?," asked David. "Yes," I replied, getting my Spycam in position, "In a manner of speaking ..."
Sunday, April 22, 2012
It was Love at First Bite at 7th and Montana this morning as Barista Tyler was caught canoodling with Louigi the Wonder Dog. The scene had more romance to it than a Nicholas Sparks novel. Somehow I don't think this is what Paul Anka had in mind when he called it Puppy Love. "What I want to know," said Howard, "Is which one's the dog?" Tyler, unphased, continued showering the pooch with affection. "Hmmm," I said after a while, "Do I detect a whiff of Bestiality?" But everyone agreed that was going too far. I guess we'll just have to call it Animal Husbandry ...!
Friday, April 20, 2012
It was Hats Off to the Guru yesterday for finding a friend who shares his taste in makeshift turbans. There I was, trying not to make eye contact, when much to my surprise a newcomer made the scene wearing a bright orange turban and a white pith helmet. He wasted no time befriending the Guru. “Howdy, friend,” he said, “Mind watching my gear while I freshen up?” “No problem, amigo,” said the Guru, “The facilities are just inside and to your left.” And with that, the newcomer disappeared into the Starbucks bathroom to "unwind." I don't know what he unwound exactly, but it wasn't his turban. When he emerged, he gave the Guru a small salute, donned the pith helmet, and zipped down 7th Street, leaving me to wonder why someone would wear both a turban and a pith helmet. Mad Hatter, I presume ...?
Monday, April 16, 2012
Politics reared its ugly head -- with a little help from yours truly -- at the local Staples on Wilshire today. There I was, trying to find the perfect notebook, when a salesman called my attention to a new gadget on display, the Boogie Board, an LCD "writing tablet" that lets you doodle to your heart's content, then erase your work at the push of a button. "It's the memo pad of the future," the salesman gushed. "I see what you mean," I said. I waited until he disappeared, then left a little message on the demo model: "Hmmm ... this is better than Mitt Romney's Etch-a-Sketch!" Perhaps that's why Staples -- a chain Romney helped to establish when he was at Bain Capital -- is so hot on the product ...
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It was a case of "E = 7th and Montana" yesterday as a dead ringer for Albert Einstein made the scene, complete with the flyaway hairdo and thick, horn-rimmed glasses. I noticed the resemblance right away, but pretended to be pre-occupied on my iPad when he walked right up to me and said, "I like your iPad case." My case, it should be noted, promotes an upcoming movie, "The Life of Pi." "Pi has always been one of my favorite mathematical constants," he said, "But then, again, maybe that's because I look so much like Albert Einstein." "No, really?!?"," I said, feigning ignorance, "I guess now that you mention it, I see what you mean!" Who knows, maybe they're second cousins, twice removed. Afterall, it's all relative, isn't it?
Friday, April 13, 2012
Doggone it, I’m telling you, sometimes it feels like Our Favorite Starbucks is going to the dogs. Take Louis, David and Kerry's lovable young “Malti-poo." A “Malti-poo,” in case you hadn't heard, is a cross between a Maltese and a Poodle and what they lack in size they make for in mischief. Louis performed an astonishing feat on Tuesday: He locked himself up. Yes, it’s true. He somehow managed to squeeze through the slats of a neighbor’s picket fence and refused to budge, sending both the dog whose turf he was invading – and Kerry – into fits. Kerry finally had to trespass in order to spring Louis free. Meanwhile, a certain Anonymous Pooch didn't need anyone's help getting free: He flew the coop on his own, leading half the neighborhood, the police and the fire department on a merry chase through Santa Monica. The story has a happy ending: The poor, terrified pooch was found not far from the beach. He's been resting comfortably at home ever since.
Monday, April 9, 2012
After years of providing unsolicited "fashion advice" at 7th and Montana, I finally got some of my own this morning. The Guru, known for knowing everything, made a beeline for my table and said, "I just want to tell you something: You look so much better than usual today." I let that sink in for a few seconds, then turned to him and said, "Why thanks. I take it I normally look -- err -- like complete shit!" "I wouldn't put it that way," he said, "But you look better than usual." Truth be told, I was dressed pretty much as usual -- sport coat, gray slacks and a mock turtleneck -- but I listened intently as the Guru went on. "It's so important," he said, "To define your look. Take me, for instance ... my Turban is much more than a fashion statement." "Really?," I asked. "Oh, yes," he went on, "Without it I might scare people. Let me demonstrate." And with that, he ripped off his turban, exposing masses of greasy, white hair which hung limply on either side of his head, almost to my table. "Nonsense," I lied, "I'm surprised the news media aren't following you around!" I meant that last part. He bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain, notorious resident of Corcoran State Prison who's currently up for parole ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the St. Paulie Girl," an adorable four-year-old who led the Easter Parade yesterday at 7th and Montana riding in a customized "Peter Cottontail" wagon, festooned with pink and purple Easter designs. She was surrounded by pillows, flowers and plush, stuffed animals. But that's not all. She was sitting atop two cases of beer. "Ahh, I see you start them young around here," said Neighbor David, who is still getting used to life in Santa Monica. I, for one, want to see how she celebrates Oktoberfest ...!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Esther Bunny, an attractive young newcomer who hippety hopped her way down 7th Street this morning sporting a hot pink miniskirt, matching sneakers and -- to top it all off -- a hot pink cell phone with bunny ears on top. "Now I've seen everything," I said, "I wonder whether those rabbit ears improve her reception ... in Wonderland, that is." On second thought, she probably has AT&T, in which case all the rabbit ears, whiskers, and cotton tails in the world wouldn't make any difference ...!
Friday, April 6, 2012
It was a Good Friday today at 7th and Montana as a Scraggly Newcomer made the scene, dressed in rags with greasy hair and a long beard. At first he didn't make much of an impression, but -- boy, howdy-- did he attract a crowd when he tore off his shirt and mounted a cross in front of Saint Monica's Church. "Good God," I said, "Is this normal?" Another man meanwhile mounted another a cross nearby. I was in my car, racing to FedEx, but vowed to return with my Spycam. Unfortunately, by the time I made it back to the church, both men were gone. All that remained was a group of little old ladies. "What was going on here?," I asked. "It was a service," explained one of the women. "Really?!?," I replied, "Does this happen all the time?" "It was a first as far as I know," said the woman. "Thanks," I said, "And what was with the other cross ... why did that African American guy join Jesus in the service?" "I take it you don't know the Good Book," said the woman, disapprovingly, "That was one of the Thieves who suffered with Jesus." "Hmmm," I said, "Sounds like a little Racial Profiling if you ask me ... " But the woman wasn't listening. She clearly had other things on her mind. "Young man," she said, "What are you doing on Sunday ... why don't you come to a real Easter Service and see it all for yourself?" Being more of an Old Testament kind of guy, I politely declined. But to all those who choose to hang around at Saint Monica's, Happy Easter ...!