Monday, December 29, 2008

Yes, but can you type?


Reading the Wall Street Jounral can be ever so insightful. One article that made me laugh was about a survey they took and in it, wealthy married men who claimed that they also had mistresses, stated that due to the financial hard times caused by this poor economy they will be spending less on their mistresses and no longer be showering them with so much bling-bling as they use to! Times are hard indeed!

Sex always sells but in hard times it's also a hard sale.

I read in the L.A. Times that even the hookers and strip clubs in Las Vegas, a.k.a. Sin City are not getting as much business as they use to.

So ladies, maybe it's time to learn another job skill. During these hard times your face may not be your fortune.
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Surfs up?


It's Christmas day. Raining off and on. When the sun does shine it's intensely bright and clear. It's Christmas day and yet there are still surfers in the water. Well, surfers are a sub-culture of their own. A lovely morning of unwrapping gifts and hot coffee with mom. Now off to cook prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. Merry Christmas to all!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I got a secret


I'm house sitting for a very weathy friend of mine. While he , his daughter and his latest S.O. are spending the winter season in Aspen, my mom and I are watching his beach front home in Malibu and okay you won't see any A-list actors walking down the beach you have the plus of having the beach all to yourself. It is sheer heaven! Despite the fact that it's going to rain this aftrenoon and it's freezing out here there are surfers in the ocean. They love the surf before and after it rains for the ocean swells are higher after a storm.

After Christmas shopping I stopped by Dukes, a beachside bar and restaurant in Malibu. I started to talk to the bartender , who is also, surprise , surprise an actor as well as has written a screenplay, what are the odds. In this town it would be strange if the bartendar wasn't an actor! We started talking about our dreams and about what he called late bloomers. For example, the great writer Count Leo Tolstoy was well into his forties when he started his career as a writer and what a writer he was! A friend gave me the book "The Secret" and what I got from it is that the main secret of getting what we want is knowing what we want! Most of us seem to spend our engery out of focus, not truly looking into our talents and passions therefore not knowing our true potential and power. Knowing what you truly want is the real secret of success for how can you be happy if you are wasting your energy on everything but following your dream? Besides it seems to me it not reaching success that brings joy but the journey to success. Just a thought!

Merry Christmas!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Curb your enthusiasm


It's pleasing to read that there are many members of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) that are speaking up and being the voice of reason and speaking against the proposed actors strike. The writer's strike did major damage to their career's cash flow. And even though the writer's won the battle they didn't win the war.

Now with the Madoff's scandal effecting some great studio heads as Speilberg and Katzenberg of Dreamworks there will be little compassion for actors asking for more.

And while we're on this subject allow me to hand down some sound financial advice. It's simple, handle your own money! Don't hand your money to an investment manager or a financial banker, they're in business to make money on YOUR money!
So do your homework and do it yourself. Now, I say, save, save, save, shop for a bank that give you the highest interest rate (make certain they're insured) don't keep over two hundred thousand in each bank and don't roll over monthly interest but get a check. (If the government goes down we're all screwed so shop around for a bank that is insured and gives the highest rates!) Also, start writing your Senator, Congressperson, President and demand higher interest rates, this is a win, win for you and the banks. Don't use yur debit card! Use cash only! If you can't paid for your Starbucks with cash , it's time to brew your own coffee! If you use your credit card pay the whole balance each month, why should they make money off you! Also, write your Senator, Congressperson, President to increase the interest on Treasury Bills, this is also a win win for you and the country. They use your money to pay to run the country and they pay you for using your money!

Hard times are here but we the people have more power than you think, make demands of your country! Stop these greedy bastards and take control of your cash! Lower interset rates don't help the economy, saving money does. This era of spending cash on designer junk must stop! We can overcome!

As for the Writer's Guild and Actor's Guild get a life, when you get work you're well paid , okay the studios make more money but whatever job you have the Boss always make more!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Christmas time in the city...


How do we Southern Californian's know that tis the season to be jolly?

Well, one way is the fact that the parking meters are covered to look like candy canes.

But wait; you may ask. Why are the meters covered with a yellow bag? Well, my friends, good will to men (or women) has nothing to do with it.

Some genius has thought up a great idea of making us pay at a paid station. Each parking space has a number and you have to program your space and then deposit your coins. Plus, the good old days of free parking on Sundays is gone!

So much for the Christmas spirit! Bah-humbug indeed!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Booksigning for foodies


Vorman's Bookstore and the California School of Culinary Arts hosted a book signing of Chef Eric Ripert's new book "On the Line". What could be a more perfect afternoon, books, fine wine and gourmet food!

Menu: Starter -Venison Loin Carpaccio with berries & dark chocolate
Entree - Pan Roasted Monkfish Homage Gaudi with confit of peppers, patatas bravas & chorizo-albarino emulsion
Dessert - Chaocolate Bar - with marcona almonds, pimenton, port sorbet, dried blackberries & blackberry jus

Chef Eric was friendly, charming and very handsome, plus got to share a table with local chefs in the area and also they gave me some more local ghost stories I will share later. It was a lovely afternoon, a great break from holiday shopping!
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Get your motor going, head out to the highway....


Been down with the flue for a couple of days but able to take a drive to Zuma Beach, while stopping at a Starbucks in Malibu I saw this bike and envied the owner's road trip. How wonderful it must be to be young and free and have the freetime to take a road trip up the coast. There was a map of the 101 Coast Highway taped to his handle bars and I love the antlers on the handle bars as well. Maybe this bike belonged to Santa Claus.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gaudeamus igitur


Read recently that the P.C. police want to stop public schools from teaching and celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday for it might offend the Native Americans. Oh please! If anything the story shows the virtues and kindness of Native Americans to these strange white people dressed in black and brwon who came over to their homeland, uninvited! And the story of Thanksgiving shows how two groups of people from different worlds came together in good fellowship. Now, what harm can there be in such a tale?

I'm just getting over the exhaustion from my Thanksgiving feast with my friends. Before we all ate I asked each person to share with the group what they have to be grateful for. I heard once that being grateful shows the world that you are open as well as venerable to others and their kindness. I welled up in tears when all my guest gave me a special toast for gratitude to me for the feast. It was a wonderful feast and we all ate well and had a great time playing games afterwards. Still, exhausting, even though I got loads of help with the clean up from my friends. Some even brought extra desserts, which they didn't need to do, for I baked and cooked for an army! There were plenty of Spirits as well.

Strange thing about that, the day before the event I got a case of wine from one of my wine clubs. Couldn't come at a better time. "Wine" say Ben Franklin "is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Some of my friends also brought extra bottles of spirits as well, so we were a happy group.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's always something....


The rains have come to Southern California and due to the lost of vegetation from the brush fires in the foothills now there are mud slides. Some people couldn't reach their homes last night due to the mud filling up on the roads. And now some people have mud damage in their homes. It's just one thing after another.

Today it took me two hours to get home ( a drive that usually takes thirty minutes) due to bummer bummer traffic on the freeways. It's seem like a lot of people were trying to get out of town for the long Thanksgiving weekend. A lot of people in town love to head for Vegas for the long weekend.

Somehow I feel Thanksgiving should be spend with family, friends and home cooking and not at a slot machine.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Friends to the friendless


I love that "I love Lucy" episode called "Friends to the friendless". At my yoga studio there are a lot of fellow staff members and students who came out west to follow that great American dream of making it big in the film industry. This year a lot of them won't be able to go home for the holidays because they can't afford the airfare to flyt back East. So I decided that this year I would open my home to my friends and invited them over to my house for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I always cook enough for an army even when it's just my mom and I so why not share the goodies? Mom always enjoy company and during these hard times why not reach out and spread good cheer? So I've been shopping all day. Now the real trick; how am I'm going to fit all this food in my frig? I'll think of something. I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

When you're a jet...


It appears this hard ecomony has effected the tickets sales on Broadway and many shows are closing. "Spamalot" now starring that American Idol, Clay Aiken and "Hair Spray" will soon be closing. Not surprsied, tickets averaging $175.00 is far too high a price to pay for two hours of song and dance. And that's not not counting cab fare and dinner! "West Side Story" is going to open on Broadway soon and wonder who wants to see an old show for such high prices.

And the screen writers are miffed because they claim they're not getting download royalties as promised in the new contract. Knew that wasn't going to be easy for the studios to do. And the actors are now talking about going on strike during award season, which seems more like career suicide. Winning those awards that no one really cares about (can you name what won Best Picture last year?) are what gives actors their clout to bargain for such high salaries. Let's face it most films are mindless trash, a new drug of fantasy to keep the masses from rebelling from the conditions corporate greed put our ecomony in.

Neil Gaiman posted on his blog, a few months back, a signing he did while in Washington D.C. And there were these two, young, silly, attactive young women of voting age, giggling and stating to him that seeing him was more important to them than concerning their empty little heads with the politics that was going on around them. Now, I've greatly enjoy reading Neil Gaiman's wonderful works (his short stories are great gems of Fantasy and Magic) but it's because of "Politics" and those individuals holding political office who fight for such ideals of "Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech" that gives me the freedom to enjoy reading such works as Fantasy, Msytery, History or whatever book I please.

Writers are our treasures but we must also be interested in politics and who is elected in those seats to protect our treasures and Civil Rights.

Oh well, the Market keeps going down, the American Auto companies are asking for "we the people" to pay for their bad management (while the auto bosses fly to Washington D.C. on PRIVATE JETS!), major business chains like Circut City and Meryrn's are closing down leaving hundreds without jobs; looks like hard times are here! What can we do? Maybe we should have a revolution?
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Counting one's blessings....

 Thanks for all the kinds words of support for my fellow Califorians. I agree with Goatman too, some areas we shouldn't build on. I have a friend who lives in the Whittier Hills and she's always bicthing that in the evenings the raccoons come down and swims and wash their paws in her hot tub (I personally think that would be so cute) ,also she complains that the coyotes come down and eat her cats. "Well; hello!" leave you cats indoors. We move into their environment and expect them to comply to our world! Still, what is so heartbreaking a lot of the people who are suffering most from these current wild fires are the retirement community who lost their trailer homes, everything really. It's so hard to start afresh when you are in your so called Golden Years.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust....


Went out to pick up the Sunday Times and noticed that the cars , the streets , the pavement , the lawns , everything, is covered with the white ash from the fires. The air quality is a nightmare, awoke with a major sinus headache. The pressure in my head is so intense my teeth hurt! Staying indoors and off the freeways today! I hope our noble fire-fighters will be able to kill these fires today! My heart and prayers go out for all those who loss their homes to these devil fires.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

City on fire, city on fire...

"Smoke, smoke, sign of the devil, sign of the devil
City on fire..." Sweeny Todd

Now I have an idea of what the people of Pompeii must had felt during those last final days. The air is thick with smoke and you can feel the pressure on your chest, the skies are datk and ash is falling everywhere. The Santa Ana winds (a wind the great writer Raymond Chandler called the devil winds) has brought on fires. And they're all over the city from the exclusive coast village of Montecito to Anahiem. Wherever I look there is smoke, all the freeways are bumper, bumper traffic and the air smells like a gaint bonfire. My home is safe due to the fact that I'm a flat lander, I always wanted a home in the hills and in Southern California there are hills everywhere, but there is a price to pay for a house with a view. Brush fires when those Santa Ana winds blow in the hot dry season. The writer was wise to call these winds devil wind.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Three little words


One thing that is so frustrating about living in the greater L.A. area, is the fact that the best laid schemes can be totally discarded by not being able to find a parking space! I really wanted to go to yoga class this afternoon but I just couldn't find a bloody parking space! So after circling around the buidling four times, like a shark after it's prey, I just said screw it and went to the supermarket and then to a local sports bar for an ice cold comos. It's November but the heat is back! In the 90's today! While sipping my pretty, red drink the bartender gave all us bar flies a slip of paper and asked us to write three things we could never get enough of. Well, this was a sports bar you can imagine what one item was on all the guy's list. Sex ofcourse , maybe not number 1 on the list but on the list, some added money but one guy said something rather profound, he wrote down "Time". How true; you can never have too much time! As a matter of fact I feel there is never enough time in a day!

My list had books, champagne, and love. Not in that order.

What would be on your list?

By the way this isn't a photo of me in the sports bar but a detailed shot of a painting at the Norton Simon Museum titled "The Wedding at Cana".
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stealing beauty


Today I had to take my mother to have cataract surgery. It was one of those same day operation centers and while there I couldn't help but notice that there was no one under 60 scheduled surgery. I listened to their conversational exchange of information ; "What are you in for?" (like the dialogue in a bad prison movie). And all these Senior Citzens revealed what part of their body was in for repairs. It was a little depressing. Our bodies are like an expensive sports-car like a Ferrari or Maserati but these cars take a lot of TCL to maitain and very expensive to repair. And after they're repaired they really never do run the same. Like these poor souls, after all the surgery and drugs their bodies will never be in the shape it was in their youth. Whoever coined the word Golden Years didn't have a clue of what they were talking about!

My mother is doing fine but worn out!
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy days are here again...

That all chestnut song, "Happy days are here again", was the theme song that was used by the F.D.R. when that great president won his first election and became the Democratic's party theme song for 12 years. He too had to clean up the big Elephant mess the Hoover years left behind.

Well boys and girls, history has repeated itself, Obama won and like F.D.R he has a big clean up job of eight years of that big Elephant dump the Bush years dropped in our country!

So, let's break open a bottle of champagne and remember :"There's nothing to fear but fear itself!"

Now, I'm off to Vegas for a Book Conference. (But hey, I will hit the Black Jack tables too!)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008



If you don't vote you can't bitch! SO VOTE!
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The lights are on but no one's home


As I stated before, when ghost hunting sometimes all you have to do is look into your own backyard.

Just a few miles up from my home in Whittier, there is a small park that was once a graveyard to the founding families of the small once Quaker town of Whittier, California While growing up I always notice that in the evening there is always a mist over the park. Never thought about it much ,until I read that people believe that the mist isn't a fog of nature but the spirits of the undead upset because their tombstones have been removed. (Reminds me of Neil Gaiman's new novel "The Graveyard Book" in the chapter where a witch asks the young hero to mark her burial place with a tombstone). For some strange reason the City Council decided to change the graveyard into a city park. The tombstones were relocated to Rose Hills Cemetery but not the remains of the dearly departed. So now it is believed that the reatless souls of the dead wander the once gravesite in search of their tombstones.

Can't blame them, judging from the looks of these huge stone gravestones they must had cost the family a bundle to buy.

There are two large monuments with the names written in brass stating the names of the people who are buried there but I guess that's not the same to the dead that rest (or unrest) there?

The photo is of some of the relocated tomstones.
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The tombstone have been removed now a park


Park in on east Braodway Avenue but the remains of the dead still rest their.
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Product Placement


While waiting in line at the supermarket I picked up a copy of "People" magazine. Now, I'm not a big fan of the over-paid celebrities (as a matter of fact the only celebrity blogs I read are Poppy Brite, Eddie Campbell and Neil Gaiman- talented writers with interesting things to say and share). They shouldn't call this rag "People" magazine but product placement mazagine. It's pages and pages of ads for stuff were really don't need, celebrities holding Starbucks cups, and a plug for over-price high fashion items. Really is any pair of shoes worth more than $500.00 or a purse a $1,000.00? Get a life!

No wonder our ecomony is D.O.A.!

I decided to extend my ghost stories beyound the Halloween season for while doing research the local haunting I found a lot of stories I just have to share.

Post Happy Halloween. Happy All Souls Day.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

What becomes a legend most


What a lovely Halloween!

Started the day with a book signing at Vorman's Bookstore in Pasadena of the great S.F. legend writer Ray Bardbury.

Poor dear man. He's almost blind, deaf, in a wheel chair and made strange old man sounds as he did the best he could to sign each book. We were limited to one book only.

I once had lunch with the man. A male friend of mine is a good friend to him. But I didn't say a word, just sipped my wined and listened.

Then I went home and got ready for the Halloween events. Scroll down for the events. I even posted a photo of me in witch's makeup

My neighborhood has mosly Mexican American kids and they're so sweet and polite and the mothers usually make the costumes for their kids no store bought costumes for them. Still a very sweet group of kids all said "Thank you".
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My Halloween graveyard

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Halloween night is here!

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Trick or treaters - beautiful neigborhood kids

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