Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giving Away Ganesh

This little statue of Ganesh is 3 inches high. I should say WAS 3 inches high because I gave him away. I bought him in the lobby of the Best Western in Mumbai, India in 2006 and have kept him in my car since then. Ganesh is a Hindu God known for *removing obstacles* and seeing him riding in my ashtray always made me feel safe. Whenever I had my car washed I put him in my purse until I got my car back. He was made of wood and garishly painted, probably cost me about 35 rupees. Tops. At the time 110 rupees was worth $1.10. Life in India is cheap, even in the gift shops.

I took this picture of him and then gave him to Mimi's daughter when Mimi lay dying in the hospital. At that point I felt so helpless it was all I could do.

I drove home from Santa Monica the weekend of July 9th as Mimi was being prepared for organ donation. In West Hollywood I was rear-ended by a car. No one was hurt so I let the young driver off the hook since my car had minimal damage. It's a 1998 Ford so I didn't think an extra ding on the bumper was going to bring down its current Blue Book value of $8.96.

I went to Mimi's memorial last Monday, the 23rd. I changed from the pair of Keen's I normally wear, unattractive, backless scary looking shoes I bought after my ankle surgery four years ago, to a pair of lovely Steve Madden pony skin loafers. Flats!! I drove to Santa Monica, about forty five minutes away, walked the five minutes from the garage to the memorial site, sat for two hours, walked back to my car, drove home.

The next morning I woke up and my right foot hurt. The right foot that was cut to bits by Dr. Cruel and his house of pain back in 2008.

Don't fuck with my foot because my foot's hardware can kick your foot's ass:

I went to Urgent Care over the weekend and I have a stress fracture on my 3rd distal, the bony part of the foot's skeleton that connects my third toe to the rest of my foot. I'm in a black walking boot, no pony skin. Definitely not Chanel.

Which brings me back to Ganesh. When I gave him away I had a few twinges of Uh-oh, Ganesh Is Gone. Will I be safe or more importantly will I FEEL safe? I dismissed the thoughts immediately because I know how powerful thoughts are.

Thoughts become things. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK.

I hope Ganesh wasn't paying me back for riding in my ashtray all those years.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Working Out Means Never Having To Say No Dessert For Me

Before I bought a scale I used to walk to the gym, weigh myself and then hike, and I use the word hike loosely here, the three blocks home. In my defense, the walk back was uphill. So a few years ago I decided to get serious and hire a trainer, or rather hire the one that Bally’s Gym assigned to me. He'd been Mr. Bulgaria twice, Mr. Northern California in the early 90’s and had written three fitness books, which was three more than I'd written. I felt sorry for him; his business card was an unevenly scissored piece of Xerox paper. He was earnest and committed and I knew he had a family waiting in a cramped one-bedroom apartment somewhere in Koreatown expecting him to put borscht on the table. He had that sad, vacant look that people who do not ever expect to catch up with life have.

I hate working out but I hate eating even more. I don’t like food. Hand me a pill called LUNCH and leave me alone. I refuse to cook. If you don’t want to impress me, invite me out for dinner and then ask me where we should go, what we should eat and what we should order. Then as we’re eating, ask me how my Sea Bass is, or if I want to try your Carpaccio or split a dessert. Just so we’re clear, I don’t like to discuss food, shop for food or try out new food at the trendy new restaurant in Who Cares, New Jersey. I can hardly wait until I’m rich enough to have Ina Garten move in. It’s the only reason I’m still breathing in and out.

I only kept going to the gym because there were cute guys there. But sometime in the last two years my gym became a meeting place for old Chinese women. Mr. Bulgaria deftly escorted me through them as if he was afraid I'd stop and spontaneously break into a mah-jongg game.

The gym rat in our family is my sister, who once graced the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. She goes around spewing communist propaganda like, “I’m really craving an apple.” Please, Johnny Appleseed didn’t crave an apple. If you’re at her house and want something fattening to eat, you have to lick the grease off her stove. She’s the kind of person who you'll ask, “How do I look in this bathing suit?” and she’ll say, “You look fabulous.” Then ten days later she sees you in shorts and says, “Gee, you really look great; not like you did in that bathing suit.” She got so addicted to exercise that she had to join a 12-step program. I don’t think it worked because now she’s up to 27 steps. As for the rest of our family, we would rather die with a stent in our hearts than a deltoid on our wherever-the-fuck the deltoid goes.

I went to World Gym in Venice with her one day many years ago. Arnold Schwarzenegger owned it then and Stallone hung out there a lot. I was having a rough time in the business and my sister, who was friendly with both Arnold and Sly, had told them about my struggle. Sly was there that day and when she introduced me to him, he had that crooked half-smile going on and came towards me with his arms outstretched. “Aaaayyy, somebody needs a hug.” His bodyguards surrounded us and Sly hugged me like I owed him money. I knew he had had a rough ride in Hollywood before Rocky hit and I knew he understood where I was in my slide into artistic hell.

“Aaaayyy, don’t give up, it can happen to you,” Sly said. I’ve never given up because of that.

Sly and his body guards left and my sister and I began to work out in earnest. She did anyway, I was staring into space and wondering if Sly noticed that I hadn’t plucked my eyebrows. I watched as she admired her calves. Inspected them as if they had USDA stamped on them and were going to market in a refrigerated truck. A line formed. Now other people were inspecting her calves. Suddenly one of these voyeurs took time out from his busy schedule of ogling her and eyed me suspiciously.
“What’s that on the back of your arm?” he asked.
“A triceps?”
“Well,” he continued, “have a doctor look at it; it might be cancer.”

This was a repost from 2006. It was my 11th post! But it has a Sly Stallone anecdote that endeared me to the man for life. I'm so sad for him and Sasha and everyone who knew and loved Sage.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yet One More Blog I Love

As much as I love all things fashion, I equally love all things style. So continuing with my Most Favorite Blogs Ever, I give you the fabulous style gurus the Junk Gypsies. They meet all my criteria of extreme creativity, brazen confidence and off the wall originality. They shop for a living. In vintage shops and junkyards and flea markets. Since more than half of my apartment is filled with items from those three places, I was a devotee from the moment I saw them.

Amie and Jolie and a stranger in the middle. (my crack research team is on vacation) (also non-existent)

I'll admit to being late to the Junk Gypsy party but I've made up for it with ardent stalking on Twitter, @junkgypsy, and watching every video of theirs on When my finances fell into hell, I cut off my cable so can't watch their wildly popular HGTV show. But when I house sit in Santa Monica, I do watch while praying for cash flow at the altar of my rich friends.

Sidebar: You know how you follow people on Twitter and shout them out with a compliment? I'm not talking about regular bloggers, I'm talking about people more in the public eye, with lots of followers. And you know how they couldn't be bothered to tweet you back? There are even a few big bloggers who couldn't be bothered. But not Amie and Jolie. Maybe because they're down home girls from Texas, but they're very quick draw with a response.

One of my favorite designs of theirs was for the Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton wedding. OH MY GOD. I've never been a fan of those white weddings where everything looks exactly like the wedding down the street. No sameness here. No beige people need apply.

Here they are with some of their treasures on The Today Show with Hoda and KLG:

While you're visiting their site, check out their store and buy me something, like for example THIS:

**All photos stolen off their site. All the real information, like who that stranger is in the picture at the top, is on their site. Also, all photo attributions. Apologies to the Gypsies for my extreme laziness this morning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Really Happened To Mimi?

By all eyewitness accounts it was a horrible accident. Mimi was putting her gym bag in the back seat of her car. She wasn't on the sidewalk, but in the street, on the driver's side. Whether she saw the car or not, no one is sure. But he slammed into her going about 35 miles per hour and she became airborne. Later, the doctors would say she was dead the moment she landed on her head. But those of us who knew her thought she'd really died long before; this was just the physical death.

They'd divorced 5 years earlier. Unhappy, Mimi became more distraught when her ex-husband remarried. As her unhappiness grew, her son went to live with his father while the daughter stayed with her. Then her ex stopped paying alimony 2 years ago, adding to her anguish. Her own mother told her she was tired of hearing her complain about her problems.

Mimi started telling everyone that she'd be better off dead. And that "they" would pay for it.

As I regularly updated the story on Twitter, Mimi was declared brain dead and her body was MRI'd in preparation for organ donation. Her parents lost a son in a terrible accident years ago, and now a daughter was dying from another tragic accident. Doctors waited to terminate Mimi's life until her parents arrived from Iran. I can't imagine what that conversation was like.

The last time I saw Mimi was at the big surprise birthday party my sister threw for our mom back in December. When she found out about the party she asked Lindy what she could do to help and to give her a list of errands she'd be happy to run for her. She gave mom a lovely crystal bowl.

The point of this post is me harping on something I warn people about all the time. BE CAREFUL OF YOUR WORDS. "Thoughts become things" and "what you think about you bring about" are mantras for me. People who say they have bad luck? Usually do. People who say they get a cold every winter? Get a cold every winter.

Mimi said she'd be better off dead. And as to the second part of her sentence, "they will pay for it" Mimi's ex-husband will now have to take financial care of their two children, both in their 20's, for the rest of their lives. We don't know for sure but there will probably be a massive lawsuit against the man who hit her. And what was his profession?


Monday, July 09, 2012

Ah, The Good Old Days

I house sit for fabulous friends of mine and they have a book called Hollywood Life. Every time I look through it I wish those days weren't over. No Kardashians and trashy movie stars!! No Real Housewives of anywhere!! These are some of the pictures from the book:

Charlton Heston, the guy who is all about owning guns. And being naked, apparently. Also? BEING CREEPY.

This is (was) Gypsy Rose Lee's toilet:

How much would you pay to see Bethenny Frankel's toilet? If your answer is Nothing then congratulations, you're not a moron.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #102

On Ocean Avenue, in Santa Monica, I always look forward to seeing this tree. Trees?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

(the cone heads)

During the California Northridge Earthquake houses plunged off cliffs, concrete overpasses overloaded with cars collapsed, and downed high voltage wires crisscrossed streets. My comedian friend Lisa was on the road and called to ask if I could check her apartment for damage. When I got to Studio City, I discovered her building had been red-tagged, meaning it was no longer safe to inhabit. (loot)

I walked (tiptoed crying) inside.

When I traveled with the USO during the Bosnian War, they put us up in bombed-out Army barracks in Macedonia. U.N. Peacekeepers high up in barbed wire towers looked out for us day and night. No, not safe to inhabit. (have sex with soldiers in)

I slept (prayed) in them for 3 days.

We all know police tape means KEEP OUT (sneak in you might find a severed arm) But when it went up on a door in a building I used to live (crash) in, I limboed under that tape easily. (tripped on my own shoe)

But if I drive into a busy parking lot and see a lone space with one orange traffic cone in it? I’ll look for another spot. Even if that spot is at the far end of the lot. (two states away)

No one will move that cone because on some level we’re afraid to. Like if we do, cops will come careening around the corner with sirens blaring. (Dunkin’ Donuts cups)

In the middle of the night when no one is watching I’ll be driving down four lanes of freeway and abruptly will come up on one lane blocked off by orange cones. And not one car will defy that lane, not one truck will mow down those cones. We will all merge peacefully (brandishing firearms) into three lanes.

Why do I bow to the power of the plastic orange cone? And not the more obvious, more dangerous things like police tape and crumbling red-tagged buildings?

I have no idea. My family will tell you I'm fearless. (dropped on my head as a baby)

But I do wonder what the power of orange is. And why orange. And why a cone? Was a purple trapezium unavailable? How about a black triangle? You put a black triangle somewhere and I know death (my mother) is close by. But orange? After careful research (xanax overdose) it appears the color orange elicits a stronger response than any other color and sparks more controversy than any other hue. If that last sentence appears better written than the ones preceding it that’s because I stole it off Wikipedia where English is king. (written by disgruntled unpublished authors)

Before the entire system was replaced, orange was the color used to signify a high alert in the terrorist threat system. I would have gone with a blinking WE'RE FUCKED sign but I don’t work for the Government so I make sense. (file false income tax returns every year) (hi irs, just kidding) (only some years)

So if orange is so badass then instead of wasting taxpayer money putting prisoners behind bars, surround them with orange cones! Don’t lock your homes at night. Stick an orange cone on your front porch! Want to scare the crap out of school children? Stick an orange cone in the Principal’s chair!

Late at night if you’re walking alone and encounter a mugger or serial killer? Whip out your orange cone and watch them run for their lives. (kill you anyway) (but steal your watch first)

I think I know the real reason orange is used on traffic cones. If you look up the definition of colors, orange is supposed to stimulate your appetite. And the cone? The cone refers to the bowl of a bong, where the weed goes.

So appetite stimulant plus weed = Denny’s.

The orange traffic cone has made us fat.