Monday, March 31, 2008

Biking in Santa Monica

One of the best things you can do in Los Angeles is to bike along the beach on a Sunday morning. The path goes for miles from Santa Monica (upscale) to Venice (weird homeless vibe) and eventually down to Marina Del Rey (yuppie).

This is the end of March and I was wearing shorts. Viva La California!

This picture would have looked a lot better with a couple of hot bodies posing in it.

The Santa Monica pier. This is a fun place to visit, maybe once or twice. I remember it from the opening credits of Three's Company.

It was also the site of the climax for the movie, Cellular.

But you probably don't care about that.

This is me. I have chicken arms but cool sunglasses.

If you bike far enough down to Marina Del Rey, you come to Fisherman's Wharf. Lo and Behold, this is where the frozen banana stand was really located in the BRILLIANT (but prematurely cancelled) tv series Arrested Development.

In the series, the Bluth stand was located in Newport Beach.

The lighthouse has a snack bar where they serve awesome hamburgers. I heartily recommend them for thoroughly cleaning out your colon. If you order a water with your hamburger you have roughly two hours before your blow out. If you order a fruit smoothie with your dead meat, you'll be lucky to have thirty minutes.

Being a Canadian, I find the sign below very offensive! Where would you be, Hollywood, without Lorne Greene, Michael J. Fox, and Ellen Page? (We could also claim Jim Carrey, although not after The Number 23.)

This is just trash talk. No wonder this sign was posted on the side of a garbage can.

How I write

I get a mug of coffee, turn on the computer, surf the web, bite off all my fingernails and before I start typing, I realize that my refrigerator needs cleaning.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Slimmin' with Simmons!

You can do some crazy things in L.A. right?


My coworker found out that Richard Simmons hosts an aerobic class in Beverly Hills. This shit was just too whacked to pass up so, against our better judgement, a few of us decided to attend.

This is how we looked like while we were still in our clinic parking lot.

Uh, huh. Read on. It only gets worse.

We had no idea what to expect. At least, I didn't. I have never attended an aerobics class before (okay, maybe one, but I was in a pool in Cancun and I was drunk) but I'm in pretty decent shape and somewhat coordinated so I figured I wouldn't look completely foolish.

It took us about 25 minutes to get down to his studio on a Thursday night. Mr. Simmons arrived soon after and gave us all hugs and welcomed us to his workout. He looked exactly like he has looked for as long as I can remember. Crazy hair, bright tank-top with crystals, short shorts and enough energy to fuel ten gay parades. The guy does not age. Kinda like Cher.

The class started on time and this was no mamby-pamby workout. He wanted those kicks high and the arms strong. If you weren't workin' it, he would give you an icy glare or yell like a drill instructor on speed. After twenty minutes, I was starting to wonder how long this damn thing was going to last. I found out later that the class is an hour and a half long! At the very least, that was WAY too much 90s music at full volume.

Towards the end, our instructor mellowed out a little. We used free weights. We did some pelvic thrusts. He counselled us on how to reach our goals and to think before we eat. He told us a short and somewhat sad story about how he was flooded with autograph and picture requests at the last restaurant he went to. This made me feel a little guilty because I had brought my camera with me. I guess that's your life if your R. Simmons.

At the end of the class, I was the brave one who went up to him and requested photos. He said yes without hesitation and we all got a group photo and individual photos with him.

Here is our group photo.

I also have my individual photo. But I have to warn you. It is TERRIFYING. It should be censored. I fear that people who view it may go blind.

So I'm telling you now. It's okay to skip past this picture.

I can't decide whether to post it. I am getting cold feet. I don't have a lot of shame but in the interest of public safety, I do have some reservations about showing it to the world.

Oh, who cares. I gave you enough warning, right?

Here it is.

As we were leaving, Richard told us that he loved us and we promised we would be back for more ass kicking. We returned to our homes in the valley, exhausted but (strangely) exhilarated. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself but I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Thanks Richard. Keep on fighting the good fight against fat and flab!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lessons in Dog Walking

Acton, California

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to go visit many of the dogs rescued from a hoarding situation in Lancaster, California. These dogs are currently housed at a facility in Acton, which is overseen by a rescue group called A Wish for Animals.

A hoarding situation occurs when an individual or group of individuals collect animals (sometimes with the best of intentions) and are unable to care for them. In Lancaster, nearly 400 animals were involved. By the time the rescue groups stepped in, the animals were either very sick or dead.

The dogs I saw seemed to be in very good health. The volunteers have certainly done an amazing job in rehabilitating these animals and now they are all ready for adoption. Many of them have abundant energy and would be so thankful to find permanent homes.

My friend and I spent about three hours walking the dogs. Or should I say, they walked us. Either way, it was an afternoon well spent.

If you would like more information and especially if you could help in any way, please contact A Wish for Animals at their website




Sunday, March 9, 2008

Three reasons why I live in California

Reason #1 Reason #2
Reason #3
These pictures were all taken recently by my dad in London, Ontario, Canada.

The devil above me

Call me privileged but I’ve never lived in an apartment before, at least not until I moved to Studio City.

I thought that apartments would be fun places to live. I had this perception from Melrose Place. There would be bitchy people, people with secrets, definitely good looking people and everyone would be having sex with each other, bitchy or otherwise.

Instead I live in an apartment with people who are merely indifferent or even worse, anti-social. I have said “hi” to people and they walk past me in silence. A smile doesn’t get returned. The pool area is vacant. When I go to the laundry room, there might be clothes tumbling in the dryer or spinning in the washer but nobody is around. It’s as if ghosts need clean clothes too.

It isn’t all that bad. I don’t live next to sex-starved menopausal women, voyeuristic men who don’t show their mouth, or religious freaks who scream like a girl and have abs of steel. Life is not a tv show, even when you’re living this close to Hollywood.

I do, however, have Satan living above me.

How do I know this? Every so often, I hear a very un-human voice yell “God, I fucking hate you!”. I expect to hear furniture being thrown or maybe a scream but this outburst is usually followed by a very frightening silence. This leads me to believe that a) God has done something very bad to the entity above me b) the entity is pretty darn mad c) there is no one else above me except for the entity and d) the entity is the prince of darkness who arguably has the biggest beef with our sweet Lord.

In fact, one of my friends slept over last night and she was awoken by one of Satan’s outbursts. She asked me who was living above me and I told her. She didn’t question me; this is, after all, California where weird things do happen and no explanation is necessary except for “this is California”.

The voice still scares me when I hear it; it is so guttural, so animalistic but so far, I have yet to witness any other ill effects from living beneath Satan. The walls haven’t started bleeding, I haven’t looked in the mirror and witnessed my own death, I have not heard voices behind me telling me to “get out”. Actually, I wouldn’t mind meeting him some day. I’m sure he is well connected in this town and he could probably hook me up with some pretty important people. He might want my soul but those things are really overrated anyway and I think I gave mine up when I moved here two years ago

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The truth about L.A. #1

Everyone has a car in L.A. even small children and dogs. If you use public transportation, you're destitute. If you are travelling by foot, then you are likely hiking and not walking. If you are using a bicycle, you are either near the beach or have too many DUIs.