"Make a list and blow out the candles." "No."
Beloved readers and interested others:
1. To produce this, the first-ever
2. 2nd Annual List Issue, more than
3. three dozen writers and artists have,
4. for your convenience, spent a good
5. five minutes or hours out of the last month or so ruminating on the role of the list in today's society, determining how this role might best be scintillatingly exploited in the form of more lists, so that our readers might pooh-pooh our judgments accordingly.
6. Six weeks ago, the first-ever 2nd Annual List Issue was going to be a
7. seven-part series of lists comprising
8. eight or more (or less) related or unrelated items, incorporating or encompassing or avoiding as many as
9. nine or as few as one distinct idea(s); anything to keep everything from being organized into groups of ten. A week later, it came to our at
10. tention that this wasn't necessarily the best way to go about the process, but by then it was too late.
Still, some of us thought it might be useful to provide, for very little financial gain, the following indelicate evidences of our disorganizational skills, in the hopes that by combining them in one convenient location we might draw forth some mysteriously worthwhile and/or subtly cathartic sigh.
Thanks, Dave Shulman, editor
RENTING SUCKS. Paying rent sucks worse, and not having the dough to pay it is the ultimate in suck. The last-ditch effort is beyond ultimate suck: selling off the precious things that make you you. As bad as that is, it's even worse when your friends sell your stuff to pay their rent. I cringe when I think of a real cool Morris-Mini electric-acoustic guitar I sold for next to nothing to some creep at a bygone guitar store on Sunset Boulevard just so I could pay $185 for a shitty room that I didn't even own on a crappy street in downtown L.A. FUCK!
Mat Pruneda (musician)
Years ago, when I'd been selling plasma to help with rent money, I had a friend who pawned his bass to pay rent. It was a '63 Gibson, 335 body style, cherry red. It was only supposed to be in the pawnshop for a week until his paycheck came in. Three days after he pawned it, there was a fire that took out four buildings, and his bass burned to death. The pawnshop told him that as a measure of good will, he didn't have to pay the $100 back.
Bruce Duff (musician, writer)
I sold a '70s vintage Fender Jazz Bass to support the band while on tour in Japan. Got 180,000 yen for it. (About a thousand bucks.) The band's lead player and I had been all over Tokyo trying to sell vintage crap, because we'd been on the road for nine weeks in Europe, were basically out of money and couldn't pay rent back in the USA.
Gendy Alimurung (writer, but not musician)
Last year I had to sell almost all my furniture to pay for the apartment that contained it. The first month I sold my dining-room table. Then I sold the chairs, the lamp and the computer desk. I tried to sell the coffee table, but no one wanted it. I'm still trying to sell the computer ($300 want it?). Now I'm down to a couch, a mattress, a TV and the coffee table. Someone offered me $50 for the TV, but I told them to get lost. What do they think I am, some kind of animal?
Sad? Ya wanna hear sad? Well, maybe not really sad, because I was so fucked up on drugs that I probably deserved it. I've sold family heirlooms, antiques and jewelry, lost my wedding ring to a pawnshop; I've sold a stock '62 Ford Falcon station wagon, my ass when it was young and juicy, hoards of CDs and stereo equipment. And a Clavinet!
Ron Stringer (musician, writer and L.A. Weekly film editor)
When I took two years (1994-96) off from L.A. to live in a hotel room in Santa Cruz, I lived on my savings for a while, then, to make ends meet, I started selling my books and records to a used-book store down the street. When I couldn't bear to part with any more of those, I sold my guitar, amp, effects boxes, etc. to a music shop. Then I broke down and got a gig in men's sportswear at Gottchalks department store, where I learned to fold shirts and sweaters and stack them neatly on the shelves so the customers could tear into them again. Then I decided it was high time I went back to L.A.
Jack Taco (musician, sound engineer)
Right before the Rodney King riots, I lived in Pico-Union. I smoked crack and hung out with a chick that liked to beat me up and never fuck me. She needed her rent paid, so I pawned everything I wasn't using at the time, including my best friend's P.A. combo mixer/amp, along with my stereo system and TV. Got around $300. Two hundred went to crazy Mary; the rest went to two cases of 48 oz. malt liquor, a couple bottles of Cisco and, of course, $50 worth of crack. Right after the riots, I went to collect my things at the pawnshop, but the store had been looted and was gone. So instead I just went and got more crack, malt liquor and Cisco. Ah, the good ol' days.
THE NEXT DOZEN SILVER LAKES
1. Echo Park 2. Eagle Rock 3. Highland Park 4. Mar Vista 5. Athens 6. Bell 7. Santa Fe Springs 8. Lomita 9. Pacoima 10. Hawaiian Gardens 11. Harbor Gateway 12. That housing project on the back side of Palos Verdes
TEN THINGS PURGATORY MIGHT BE LIKE
01. A SINK FULL OF DISHES 02. BAD TRACKING 03. AN UNFIXABLE DING ON YOUR '65 MUSTANG 04. THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT 05. LENTIL SOUP 06. THE KNITTING FACTORY 07. DOT.ORG 08. INFINITE JEST 09. JAY LENO 10. 94.7
Ten Best Places I've Been Jumped
1. Tommy's on Rampart: Couldn't even finish my chili-cheeseburger. 2. Rowan Elementary School: Bullies. 3. On an MTA bus: "Where you from?" 4. Stevenson Jr. High: Bullies. 5. In front of my house: My sister had to fend off the tagging crew. 6. Garfield High School: Bullies. 7. House party after my prom: Prom date with a cue stick. 8. Cal State L.A. house party: A riot ensued, literally. 9. Turkey Bowl football game: "That's not a first down!" 10. My neighbor's house: My neighbor.
Hey, Mom! Hey, Dad! It's Christmastime! Exploiting the innate militarism of children is always good for a buck, so pull on your 9/11 T-shirts, gather 'round the tree and see what Colonel Santa's toy companies have brought this year!
1. Because the War on Terror isn't the only war we're fighting, don't forget that cops are still America's Heroes®. While last year's popular NYPD doll (with authentic toilet-plunger action) is no longer available, the SWAT Urban Camo action figure is! Comes with a flak vest, a face mask, and a battering ram for those flimsy housing-project doors (not included).
2. America's least marketable war has finally come around. Two traditional favorites, Hasbro's GI Joe and 21st Century Toy Co.'s Ultimate Soldier, have new lines of Vietnam War toys, including a lifelike 9th Infantry soldier and an "x-treme detail" M41 Walker Bulldog Tank. Lieutenant Calley figures are not yet available, but the Ultimate Soldier has created a strange and spooky "Vietnam War Memorial" toy three well-armed, fully bendable but gaunt and battle-hardened grunts, complete with haunted thousand-mile stares.
3. Buy beige! Desert camo is hot this season. "Deployed to harsh desert regions," Hasbro's 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit GI Joe "searches caves that pockmark the hills to flush out hidden enemy fighters." Hasbro also makes a Modern Day Israeli Defense Force Soldier ("a force to be reckoned with") and a khaki-colored dune buggy, the Desert Striker ATV, which comes with two beige-and-tan-clad action figures, machine guns and missile launchers. The Ultimate Soldier has a full line of desert-ready warriors, featuring the best toy on the market this season the Desert Infantry figure "with interchangeable head."
4. Collateral damage is rad! Imagine shelling a civilian home, "disappearing" the survivors and establishing your very own Forward Command Post! Stop imagining for $44.99 you can have your very own 75-piece "fully outfitted battle zone"! This bombed-out shell of a home has realistic shattered windows and bullet-scarred walls, and comes with a foot-high action figure, an American flag, a radio, maps, little folding chairs and lots and lots of guns! (Bloodstains not included.)
5. Irvine-based TalkingPresidents.com has produced "a true action hero" a George W. Bush talking doll! Just push the button on the back and it belches one of 17 randomly selected genuine soundbites, from "Terrorism against our nation will not stand" to "I come from Texas!" Also functions as effigy.
TOP 95 NAMES FROM THE L.A. WHITE PAGES (A-K) 1. Sock Won Ahn 2. Flores Atonal 3. Sadsamboon Auskundey 4. Juan Baez 5. Betty Ballnik 6. Charles Balls 7. Tasha Baloney 8. Young Duk Bang 9. Olufemi Banjo 10. R. Beaglehole 11. B.B. Beans 12. Miyojo Beauregard 13. Fnu Beauty 14. Bonnie Beavers 15. Minnie Beavers 16. Bertha Beggs 17. Yuk Lam Chow 18. A. Beveridge 19. Melody Bible 20. Gaspard Bigumanshaka 21. Boris Bimbad 22. Homeric Bio 23. Bad Bird 24. Maria Bizarro 25. Tipton Blish 26. Tatiana Bliss 27. Xavorie Blithe 28. Gene Blood 29. Joe Blow 30. Brenda Bone 31. D. Boone 32. Bob Boop 33. Walled Booze 34. Desiree Botts 35. Roddy Bottum 36. Harry Box 37. Dora Bozo 38. Zil Brill 39. Bing Bu 40. Elmo Bugg 41. Yolanda Buggs 42. Chester Bumper 43. Fuller Bumpers 44. Seymour Bush 45. Harry Butole 46. Bambi Canada 47. Andre Canty-Swapp 48. Clint Catalyst 49. Garland Cheeks 50. Tom Chestnutwood 51. Pick Chew 52. Merrily Chopp 53. Jew Chow 54. Yuk Lam Chow 55. Lolita Corpus 56. Kelly Cream 57. Clarice Crisp 58. Goldie Crummie 59. Catalina Cruz 60. Phuoc Cum 61. Aftan Dada 62. Jeffrey Damnit 63. Long Dang 64. Phat Dong 65. Ima Diva 66. Slippy Dogg 67. Peppermint Dooley 68. Lesbia Dubon 69. Nap Dung 70. Bert Dunk 71. Phuc Duong 72. Hope Faust 73. Foxy Felt 74. Misty Flatt 75. Stone Fleshman 76. P. Flushman 77. Buffy Frankenstein 78. Eric Fromm 79. M. Gandhi 80. Fanny Gay 81. Chuckles Geddes 82. Happy Gilmour 83. Pride Grinn 84. Ha Ha 85. Suk Ham 86. Ida Harden 87. O. Harder 88. Bong Hipolito 89. Bich Ho 90. Phuc A Ho 91. Harry Hyman 92. Hoo Tin Jew 93. Brigit Jones 94. Keng Kong
95. Tom Christie
Ten Fruit-and-Vegetable Hybrids To Look for in 2003: 01. Grumpkin, 02. Peapple, 03. Mangato, 04. Cucaloupe, 05. Potapricot, 06. Beetnip, 07. Asquat, 08. Beanana, 09. Avapaya, 10. Cumsquash Joe Donnelly
SEVEN REASONS WE CAN'T AFFORD BASIC HEALTH CARE
01. UnitedHealth Group Inc.
CEO William W. McGuire's 2001 earnings: $58,103,499 (salary, bonus, perks/benefits, deferred payments, exercised stock options); stock value: $378,196,614.
02. First Health Group Corp.
Outgoing CEO James C. Smith's 2001 earnings: $15,282,823; stock value: $12,216,080.
03. CIGNA Corp.
CEO H. Edward Hanway's 2001 earnings (approx.): $14,055,582; stock value: $8,258,653.
04. WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
CEO Leonard D. Schaeffer's 2001 earnings: $10,062,379; stock value: $60,712,587.
05. Aetna Inc.
CEO John W. Rowe's 2001 earnings: $5,557,896; stock value: $5,864,153.
06. PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.
CEO Howard G. Phanstiel's 2001 earnings: $1,431,039; stock value: $1,181,251.
07. Health Net Inc.
CEO Jay M. Gellert's 2001 earnings: $757,487; stock value: $11,171,250.
From 2001 annual reports to shareholders, available at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml. Information on CEOs of the major private health-insurance companies operating in Southern California Bruce Bodaken of Blue Shield of California, David M. Lawrence (outgoing) of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Howard E. Davis of Universal Care is not readily available.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a "Private" Malibu Beach
AMID THE HIGHLY PUBLICIZED, LAWYERED-UP BATTLES BY THE city of Malibu, David Geffen and his neighbors to block the creation of public access to Malibu's beaches (very big houses now wall off 20 of 27 miles), it's far less well-known that 1) the public still owns these beaches, below the high-tide line, and 2) there are 13 public-access paths to them. (That's just 130 paths short of the Coastal Commission Plan's goal of one path every 1,000 feet.) So go and enjoy! Note that most of the gates close at sunset. And please in light of homeowners' fears for their security and hygiene as well as for our safety do be careful not to burglarize, drown, defecate or get hit by a car.
FROM EAST TO WEST:
1. BIG ROCK BEACH #1
Between 19958 and 20000 PCH. Just west of Big Rock Road; park on north side of PCH.
2. BIG ROCK BEACH #2
Between 20338 and Moonshadows on PCH. Closed due to storm damage not for long, we hope.
3. CARBON BEACH
Zonker Harris Access Way, between 22664 and Windsail on PCH. As close as you can get for the three miles of Carbon, La Costa and Las Flores beaches to the east. Ignore the "private beach" signs they're wrong.
4. MALIBU BEACH (MALIBU COLONY)
Enter at Surfrider Beach (Cross Creek Road off PCH, at the Civic Center). There's no access through the gated and guarded fortress of Malibu Colony, but the path from the Surfrider Beach parking lot leads right to the Colony's eastern edge. Just duck under the fence and ignore all the inaccurate "private beach" signs.
5. AMARILLO BEACH
Between 24434 and 24436 Malibu Road (turn on Webb Way off PCH). More "private beach" signs all along these Malibu Road beaches. Downright antisocial.
6. PUERCO BEACH #1
Between 24572 and 24604 Malibu Road.
7. PUERCO BEACH #2
Just west of 24712 Malibu Road.
8. PUERCO BEACH #3
Between 25116 and 25120 Malibu Road.
9. PUERCO BEACH #4
Just west of 25446 Malibu Road west end of the road.
10. ESCONDIDO BEACH #1
Small gap between Malibu Cove Colony Drive and Escondido Beach Road (east of Geoffrey's). Hard to find. Tucked behind a bus stop. Park on PCH (beach side) and walk down.
11. ESCONDIDO BEACH #2
Between 27400 and 27420 PCH (west of Geoffrey's). The "coastal access" sign points right to it with a pullout for two cars. A long, fun staircase.
12. BROAD BEACH #1
Between 31138 and 31202 Broad Beach Road (turn off PCH at Trancas Canyon). Broad Beach residents have posted signs to tell you that the private beach extends 30 to 70 feet out from the signs which, if true, would put the average high-tide line in the middle of the ocean. Just stick to the moist sand and you can tell that to the private security guards who patrol the beach and disseminate this misinformation on Labor Day and other holidays.
13. BROAD BEACH #2
Between 31340 and 31346 Broad Beach Road. In exchange for development permits, one out of every three or four Broad Beach homeowners have actually granted public access to parts of their beachfront above the high-tide line. (If only there were signs posted to tell us where these places are.)
If you really want to know where property owners on all these beaches have agreed to let us sit on the dry sand, check out the maps at the Coastal Commission Web site.
8 Great Recipes for a Guaranteed Hangover
A Missionary's Downfall and two bowls of party mix at Tiki Ti in Los Feliz. The mint sprig disguises the force of this sucker. Refreshing? More like comatose.
Buckets of chips and salsa, strawberry margaritas and a shot of Cuervo at El Coyote on Beverly. Never ever actually order a meal, it'll only make it worse.
An Alaskan Oil Spill shot (various clear liqueurs w/ Jägermeister floated on top) at the Shack on Wilshire in Santa Monica. You might not have the wherewithal to order a backup. Or keep anything down at your 3 a.m. breakfast.
A Scorpion Bowl, followed by Tsingtaos at Hop Louie's in Chinatown. Cigarette smoke from neighbor's booth will stimulate the nausea.
Free-flowing happy-hour cider, washing down a fried-veggie sampler at Barney's Beanery. Even Janis' last meal didn't taste this good going down.
A Laughing Hyena (SoCo, Malibu rum and cranberry) just about anywhere, but especially at the Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater. Thankfully, Del Taco, the best fast-food booze-chaser around, is right up the street.
Every damn tiki drink at Bahooka in Rosemead. Lacking the finesse of their compatriots at Tiki Ti but just as potent; order plenty of ribs you're gonna need 'em.
A White Russian and a Melonball, in tandem, at Dragonfly in Hollywood. All right, I admit you're in deep shit anywhere you choose to mix these. I'm not sure why I did it, and frankly I don't care. All I know is I was bedridden for two days. And I've never looked a bottle of Midori in the eye since.
~ NICOLE CAMPOS ~
Places I Saw People Use Their Turn Signals, 2002
1. Laurel Canyon Boulevard & Fountain Avenue (twice).
2. Exiting parking lot at Rock & Roll Ralphs (then car sped through crosswalk with mother and child in stroller crossing).
3. Turning into Gymboree parking lot, Sherman Oaks.
4. 101 to 110-south offramp, though indicating opposite direction.
5. Hollywood Boulevard eastbound, turning south on Las Palmas (me).
6. Sunset & Las Palmas, later that same year Angelyne.
7. Mulholland, turning right (west) from Woodrow Wilson pretty sure it was Quentin Tarantino, or possibly Queen Latifah.
8. Sunset & La Brea, eastbound black car running red light (and not turning).
9. Mangled Honda on its side, Gardner & Hollywood.
1. Comeback of the Year: Swingers. Just when you thought swingin' couples had gone the way of lava lamps and Nehru jackets, they came back like . . . lava lamps and Nehru jackets. Lurid courtroom details about Danielle van Dam's parents' yen for group sex inside their garage and dirty dancing at Poway's unforgettably named Dad's Café & Steakhouse reminded us that carnal swap meets still exist. The San Diego Union-Tribune eagerly sketched the area's swinger topography: "With names like Club Exchange, La Villa and Club CB, they host parties almost every weekend in Oceanside, San Diego, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook and elsewhere. There are two clubs in Temecula, a tract-home community of 67,000 people." Suddenly, "behind the green door" meant a garage entrance to a suburban split-level.
2. Worst Thing Seen at a Movie Theater: KCRW Trailers. These insufferable commercials follow the journey of the radio station's idealized listener-explorer some dweeb traipsing around the planet wearing a headset that sprouts milelong tentacles pumping him, no doubt, with KCRW's trademark techno-lite, snorey world music and fake rave noise.
3. Cheapest Way To Landscape Pearblossom Highway: Just let people keep maintaining their family car-crash shrines.
4. Most Hideous Sculpture: Any one of the angel statues that littered the sidewalks of L.A. this year and last. The creepy fiberglass figures were sponsored by A Community of Angels, which, for a fee, placed the abjects d'art in front of sponsoring businesses. These painterly equivalents of macramé art are now up for sale: "Full Size 6'4" Angels beginning at only $2000!!!" the community's Web site brays. "20-inch Angel Artist Originals starting at $300." What ever happened to the separation of Church and Taste?
5. Most Egregious Tchotchkes: Interchangeable cell-phone faceplates. (Second place: Interchangeable mouse covers.) If ever there was a reason to bring back 1950s dinner-table guilt, this is it. While much of the world goes to bed hungry with AIDS and within sight of an American PX, we are blessed with the right to spend $35 a pop on faceplates that express our ever-changing moods. "Get creative!" the ads order, and we click our heels obediently but creatively.
6. Likeliest New Piece of Legislation: Caitlin's Law. Would mandate harsher sentences for the kidnapping of young adults who look like minors.
7. 2002's Most Bizarre "Outing": New York Post writer Steve Dunleavy's exposé of Sammy the Bull Gravano in the columnist's fawning eulogy of John Gotti. Here's how Dunleavy, the Teflon Don's Boswell, suavely attacked his hero's betrayer, who has been accused of committing 19 murders: "Murder No. 19 . . . was a man whose name I will not disclose because of the embarrassment it might cause his widow. It was a man who, it was alleged, had a homosexual affair with Gravano. Gravano whacked him in case the man confirmed Gravano swung both ways." Smooth, Steve and chivalrous.
8. Most Salutary 9/11 Effect on TV Programming: No more imploding-buildings footage on the 6 o'clock news.
9. Most Paranoid Security Precautions: This year's Academy Awards show. Honestly, you would have thought that Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue had become the president's private putting green there was that much heat on it last March 24. Still, this year's Palm Sunday Oscars enabled plain Hollywood folk unemployed ushers, families, drunks from the Powerhouse to catch glimpses of Russell Crowe and a celebrity impostor named Scoobie Davis, who drove his rented '57 Chevy deep into the Kodak Theater's security maw pretending to be "Owen Wilson's illegitimate brother." Needless to say, this was also the best place to spot the latest cell-phone faceplates.
10. 2002's Most Suspicious Coincidence: George W. Bush's prostate examination and the search for Dick Cheney's missing Rolex.
My 10 Favorite Local Cable-Access Personalities
1. The Christian Science Guy who sings while moving the mouth of a rather shaggy puppet. (Also see next year's list, "My Favorite Performers Who Sit Outside the Hollywood Bowl Singing Loudly With Shaggy Puppets.")
2. The Ph.D. guy who wears a crooked tie and eyeglasses from the '50s and talks about the universe in an excited way.
3. Because she thinks wearing a hat with a wide brim is sexy, Dr. Susan Block.
4. The 70-year-old Galactic Messenger guy, because he thinks a lot of problems would be solved ("I don't know why no one else is saying this!") if the U.S. government would simply print a bunch of extra money.
5. Skip E. Lowe, because he scares me. He broadcasts a supertight close-up of his face that resembles the full moon, so white, reflective and creepy.
6. All the people in the opening-credit sequence to a program called Unarius (about UFOs, heaven and aliens). Behind the scrolling credits, a choir in bridesmaid dresses appears, and then a man, who also seems to be wearing a bridesmaid dress (pink!), shows up playing harp. Hurray!
7. Mister Morrison. Because he talks in 5-minute-long sentences that include many words he invents on the spot. Then he stops and makes balloon animals.
8. The two girls from Venice, because they are completely normal. (I'm not kidding I don't know how they got on cable access, they aren't crazy or anything. No one even sings karaoke.) They just give tips on how to be nice to people it's like Oprah shot on a $5 budget, without an audience, celebs or Oprah.
9. The three young filmmakers who sit and discuss recent film releases. Not because they actually sound intelligent, but because they have inexplicably chosen to aim the camera at their crotches.
10. Any other on-air "personalities" who manage to fill entire broadcast segments without using the terms juice, fasts, juice fasts or spiritual juice fasting.
FIVE CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD BUILDINGS THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY DOESN'T OWN (YET)
1. THE MAX FACTOR BUILDING (current tenant: the Hollywood History Museum).
2. FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF HOLLYWOOD BUILDING (current tenant: not sure, but whoever it is has left that damn Chicken Run poster in the window for two years).
3. J.J. NEWBERRY CO. BUILDING (current tenant: Hollywood Toys & Costumes).
4. THE MAGIC CASTLE (current tenant: a private magicians' club also rather secretive, but at least they don't accost you on the sidewalks offering to test your aptitude for card tricks).
5. WARNER/PACIFIC THEATER BUILDING (currently vacant, but there are lights on the radio towers, and it's not boarded up anymore . . . Gee, you think maybe . . . ? Uh-oh . . . ). Nicole Campos
DANCING BEARS WE HAVE KNOWN BRUNO JONATHAN GOLD
TRUE HMO STORIES
"I went in for surgery on a broken ankle, and that went fine. But then they made me leave right after the surgery. I was drugged and barfing on myself. My girlfriend had to carry me. When we asked for a pillow to prop my ankle for the ride home, they said, 'No.'"
"I went into Kaiser on Sunset to get a skin biopsy. When I went into the room for the procedure, there were tons and tons of toenail clippings all over the floor."
"Each time I'd get my annual Pap, they'd say, 'Don't call us, we'll call you if anything is wrong.' When I called anyway, they got nasty and refused to pull the chart, saying they would've called if anything was wrong. Weeks later, I called in to follow up on some other problems I was having. An intern read my chart, saw the Pap results, and said, 'You'd better come in right away.' Turned out I had a very serious problem."
"Right before the nurse was about to shoot a syringe of water into my ears, she asked the doctor, 'Ever done this before?' The doctor shrugged and said, 'Only on myself.'"
"When I delivered my baby, I was told that it would be covered by the comprehensive health plan that we had. I even called Aetna myself to verify that everything was covered and to pre-register. After my daughter was born, I was charged $1,500 for procedures not covered."
"I was in the waiting room, and there was this drunk, homeless guy picking his boogers and rubbing them all over the seats."
A Dozen Orchids
1. THE BEE ORCHID. It looks like a bee. Smells like a bee. Male bees try to have sex with it because its flowers look like the backside of a girl bee. But sorry, boys, it's a flower.
2. THE VAMPIRES. Dracula vampira. Hate sunshine. Have hairy faces with very long tails, strange patterns, and deep maroon stripes that look like trickles of blood. Sometimes, they look like monkeys. They like to hang from the ceiling. They grow in dark, dank, cool places like, say, graveyards and crypts.
3. THE BLACK ONE. Fear of a black orchid? It's said that no true black orchids exist. Some say that's a lie. Others say that depends on what you call "black."
4. THE BLUE BABE IN A CRADLE. Spends most of its life underwater.
5. THE GHOST. Also known as the "frog orchid," Polyrrhiza lives in the Florida swamps, stuck to the side of trees. It has no leaves, just a tangled mess of gray roots and a single otherworldly white flower that hovers, ghostlike.
6. THE PIGEONS. Seven days after a rain or a drop in temperature, the pigeon orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum, flowers. The blooms open all at the same time and last for only one day.
7. THE QUEEN. The biggest orchids on the planet. Grammatophyllum papuanum's monstrous pseudobulbs can grow 25 feet tall and weigh over a ton, with flower spikes taller than a man.
8. THE SPIDERS. Their petals look like spider legs.
9. CHOCOLATE & VANILLA. Vanilla bean comes from an orchid. But the Sherry Baby, an oncidium with thumb-size purple flowers, smells like chocolate.
10. THE STINKING CORPSE. A fleshy flower bigger than a medium-size dog. Looks like a giant red eyeball with pus-colored bumps. Smells like rotted meat.
11. THE SAMURAI. In feudal Japan, samurai warriors traveled for miles in search of Neofinetia falcata, a dainty little orchid with sickle-shaped spurs. If the warrior succeeded in his quest, it was considered a sign of bravery. If he plunged down the side of the mountain cliff where the Neofinetia liked to grow, it was considered . . . really damn stupid?
12. THE UNMENTIONABLES. Eight orchid hunters arrived in the Philippines in 1901. According to a Nova documentary, one was eaten by a tiger, one was doused in oil and burned alive, while five others "mysteriously disappeared," leaving one hunter to stagger out of the jungle with some 7,000 unnamed orchids.
1. Ontario International Airport. Much quicker to get to from Hollywood than you might think, and decorated with entertaining paraphernalia from 19th-century Cucamonga vineyards. Still, this is one scary, humongous, empty place, big enough to grace a major European capital yet hosting only a few flights a day. The airport of choice for the Final Days and for goateed pop-punk bands traveling on Jet Blue.
2. Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport. Easy to get to and equipped with valet parking, yet . . . disappointing, like a Target store a couple of days after Christmas. Unless you're going to Oakland, and who isn't these days?
3. LAX. Nonstops to Australia, a branch of the Daily Grill and, in some terminals, the local version of Waterstone's, which manages to be one of the best small bookstores in the city. It's also the ninth circle of Hell, but you already knew that.
4. Long Beach Airport. An outdoor baggage claim, jerry-rigged terminals and palm trees for days. Also, dirt-cheap flights to New York and Dallas, as American Airlines tries to keep up with the Joneses. You could almost believe that you've landed at an island resort. Except that's not a smoking volcano in the middle distance it's only Signal Hill.
5. John Wayne Airport. The last time I changed planes in Munich, I was searched three times, poked with a policeman's stick, and hypnotically induced to buy a lederhosen-wearing bear that yodels when you squeeze its tummy. John Wayne isn't quite that bad.
You Can Calls Me Dubya, You Can Calls Me Bush, but Ya Doesn't Have To Calls Me:
~1~ "Moron" Françoise Ducros, aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien
~2~ "Liar" Jim McDermott, Democratic congressman, saying the president will "lie" to secure his war agenda
~3~ "Country Club Idiot" Simon Kahn, Canada-Israel Committee associate director
~4~ "Mayberry Machiavelli"John Dilulio, former high-ranking Bush-administration official, referring to Bush's staff
~5~ "Dangerous" Chuck Hegel, Republican senator
~6~ "Hitler" Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, German justice minister
COFFEE BREAK: LUCY, STRIPE, VISOR, DAEMIA, ORB, HOMER, MAJOR, WRACK, PHOBOS, BONES, SARGE
My Two Favorite Phone Messages of 2002 (OR, WHY THE COMICS EDITOR'S GOING TO HELL)
A "Yes. Regarding a comic strip on Page 189 of this week's L.A. Weekly, 'Beat Your Children.' The first scene is a young man being smacked. The next scene is a little girl being beaten in the rear end. The next one is a little boy's head being cracked against the wall. And the third [technically the fourth] one is a little girl about to be whipped. There is no punch line. There is no moral substance to this. There is no actual intelligence, even humor, whatsoever. There's not any sarcasm. It's just a blatant display of idiocy. My name is Julia, and I will be taking this to the attention of all the nonviolence committees I can find in the city, and all intelligent, responsible citizens of Los Angeles County. Besides the fact that I have an issue with you people advertising all kinds of fake, fraudulent mail-order schemes, I've seen there is no ethics with the L.A. Weekly whatsoever. There's been several complaints we've had, so please follow up on this. My name is Julia, and my phone number's [wouldn't you like to know] and I have to say, again, I AM APPALLED, and I feel this violates my rights to no cruel and unusual treatment. I was an abused child, and I know several people, if they saw this, would be extremely offended. Therefore, I'm going to be running it off today, putting it on a flier, and I'm going to be asking that question, as a poll. Thank you! . . . PARASITES!"
B "Yeah, hi. This is Mere One [huh?] from Los Angeles. I'm an artist, and I usually do some pretty, you know, outrageous artwork and stuff. But I just looked at your back page of the recent L.A. Weekly, and I've recently licensed my company where I have a lot of money for advertising budget, and I'll never advertise in your magazine, because you all are some sexist, racist pigs. I'm disgusted that y'all are gonna put out a "Fuck a Woman With Your Hands" on your back page when, like, little kids pick this shit up and they grow up to be fuckin' idiots just like you fuckin' lame fuckers. So for Marc Cooper1 and all the fuckin' lame fuckers up there, I hope I see you on the street so I can paint you white, the color you really are. Empty and fuckin' selfish and just ignorant and fuckin' lame people. You people make me sick. And I'm gonna let everyone in my community know about it. I'm gonna get on the radio and tell people about it. I'm gonna start calling up KPFK and demanding that they make a big deal outta this, because you used to have La Cucaracha on the back page [he means Mexiled, but all Latino columns look alike, we agree], and it was interesting, it was informative. This is just erasing. You're just subtracting our abilities out here. And you FUCKING SUCK because of it. And I hope to God I bump into one of you people in a dark alley there one day so I can SHIT ON YOUR FACE!"
Ellen Forney's practical guide, "How To Fuck a Woman With Your Hands," is viewable in the archive. 1Mr. Cooper had nothing to do with this particular comic.
Predictions Gone Wild
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ANYONE ELSE, BUT I don't feel much like George Jetson. When L.A. Weekly's fifth issue appeared, on January 5, 1979, punk rock was kicking disco in the nuts, Michael Jackson was still black and had a nose, the Beatles, while no longer Beatles, were still alive, and our cover story was "L.A. in 2002: Speculations on the Future." While some of the predictions about things and people of the far-off future (that would be us) were just plain goofy I haven't noticed any flying cars, networks of moving sidewalks or robot maids that can play basketball with the kids a handful of the Weekly's predictions weren't too far off the mark:
1. Sony will become king of the world, almost. (Who is this Sony guy, anyway?)
2. "More than 1,500 people will live and work on four orbiting satellites," as long as there's also a Starbucks, a Burger World and a Bally's.
3. "Psychics will prove accurate at predicting earthquakes, and police departments will employ [Dionne Warwick and Miss Cleo] to help catch fugitives."
4. Tattoos become as popular as socks.
5. "Beta-Mix" TiVO-type shit.
6. "Cable Phreaks" telecom hackers.
7. Cable television for the masses; home theater for the rich mass, with "records . . . to be plugged into your TV." (Whoa!)
8. Virtual rides like the ones in Las Vegas and Universal CityWalk; elaborate computer games in the home.
9. Laptop computers. (But not ones that fry your crotch.)
Read MORE Predictions from the fifth issue of the L.A. Weekly - an online exclusive!
That Good Old Rock & Roll: 66 Actual Band Names Anal Blast Anal Cunt Angel Corpse Anybody Killa Atrocity Autopsy Autopsy Torment Bleeding Display Blood Coven Bloodflowerz Bloodgasm Bloodvomit Brutal Mastication Butchery Cadaver Inc. Cadaverous Candy Striper Death Orgy Cannibal Corpse Carcass Carnage Cattle Decapitation Cephalic Carnage Corpsevomit Cradle of Filth Dead Jesus Decapitated Decayed Remains Death Dismembered Fetus Dying Fetus Entombed Exhumed Exposing Innards Flesh Grinder Gorehammer Gorgasm Grave Digger Impaled Impaled Nazarene Infest and Corrupt Intestine Lividity Malignancy Massacre Meatshits Mortician Napalm Death Postmortem Putrilege Pungent Stench Regurgitation Rotting Christ Sadistic Intent Satanic Slaughter Satanic Surfers Skinless Slaughter of Souls Slaytanic Splattered Cadaver Tears of Decay Victims of Internal Decay Viral Load Virus Visceral Bleeding Vivisect Vomit Remnants
9 Reasons To Ditch a Fuckin Momo
In Casino, Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert De Niros character based on the legendary Stardust boss, Lefty Rosenthal) came up with the absolute lowest name to call anyone who comes off as a rube in Las Vegas. "Dont be a fuckin momo," says De Niro with a scowl. Even one momo at your 21 table can ruin the game for everyone, so before you head for Vegas on your next blackjack run, memorize this guide:
If someone sitting next to you asks for "some red chips," its time to get up from the table. Red ($5) chips are "nickels," and green ($25) chips are "quarters." (The black $100 chips are simply called "blacks," but dont worry about them you wont get any.)
If someone sitting next to you thinks a shoe is only something on your foot, or if theyve figured they can drink enough free Jack or Jim to make up for the stack of nickel chips theyre mindlessly blowing through, or if they have to use their fingers and move their lips to figure out how much 5 and 7 add up to, its time to get up from the table.
If someone sitting next to you splits face cards or 10s, or splits sixes, sevens or nines against any dealers up-card of a higher value, or doesnt split 8s against almost anything, or they tell you they learned any of this playing on the riverboats in Dubuque, its time to get up from the table.
If someone sitting next to you tries to double down on ace-9 (a 10 or a soft 20), or if he keeps looking at his watch worried hes going to miss the turn-around bus back home, or if he supplements his bet with a promotional "free-2-for-1-bet" coupon, its time to get up from the table and run screaming from the casino.
If someone sitting next to you hits his 13, 14, 15 or 16 when the dealer is showing a 4, 5 or 6, or refuses to hit a 16 when the dealer is showing a 7, 8, 9, 10 or ace, or tells you that he knows what the dealers hole card is so its okay to break strategy, its time to get up from the table.
If someone sitting next to you keeps counting his miserable little stack of chips after each hand, or doesnt know to increase the bet 50 percent after each winning hand, its time to get up from the table.
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If someone sitting next to you thinks theres no difference between playing multideck, single-deck, or with perpetual automatic-shuffle machines, its definitely time to get up from the table.
If someone sitting next to you keeps looking at one of those little laminated blackjack-strategy cards from the hotel gift shop, or is wearing a tour-group wristband, or wearing a sun visor, sweatshirt, T-shirt or God forbid satin jacket with a casino logo . . . thats correct: Get up from the table.
If you didnt know all the above already, you should have never sat down at the table in the first place, you fuckin momo.