Dead Again

JackAlbertFirst of all, if you’ve never seen the 1991 movie Dead Again, it’s a great rental. That’s not with this post is about, but the title is appropriate for my week. I should begin by saying that Albert and I got Apple TV for Christmas, and recently hooked it up. The best thing about it, besides the actual television streaming, is that it can play a slideshow of your photos from your computer. So, whenever the tv goes idle, pictures from your past start floating across the screen. It’s lovely.

I have already told you that somebody from the Hollywood Forever cemetery recently came by to try and sell me a space in their dirt. This is not a door-to-door salesman anyone wants coming by, really ever. I could be at death’s door, hemorrhaging blood, and would still tell the cemetery salesman, “I’m not ready!” So, it was somewhat unsettling that I got at least three reminders of my very old age this week. It began simply, with yet another invitation to join AARP. Um, I am 45.

The next day, I got a postcard from The Neptune Society. These people have skipped my retirement and are ready to cremate me. They have been “caring for families since 1973.” And by caring, I mean burning. For the record, I could care less what happens to my body when I pass, because I won’t be around to watch. I’ll already be off haunting people, which sounds like an eternal surprise party.

The next day I had another salesman come to my door, from a different cemetery, this time in North Hollywood. I can’t spend eternity in the Valley. Also, the salesman presented me with a brochure in Spanish, and I’m not sure if I have time to learn another language before I pass.

At this point, I am pretty sure that I’m dying. The salesman from Dignity Memorial in NoHo is packing up his briefcase of doom and leaving the house, and I am wondering what the hell is going on. Am I being punked by God, or is my time here coming to an end? I turn around toward my television, and my whole life is passing before my eyes, one beautiful friend and family member after another. Yes, I guess I’m dead, and heaven is a bungalow in Hollywood. Boo.

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Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

IMG_1525The above picture is my duck homage to Bette and Dot from AHS: Freak Show.

Over the Christmas holiday Albert was obsessed with Serial, which became a viral phenomenon. He was telling me about this new podcast that had the whole world sitting around, just listening to people tell a story, with just words. Oh my God, what century is it? All of the steampunks and hipsters have literally turned us back into 1920 radio days. I was about to buy music last week, and Albert stopped me and said, “Oh, people aren’t doing that anymore.”

“But I want to buy it, so I can put it on my playlist.”

“No, people are just doing Spotify or Pandora, so they don’t have to buy it. You just have to listen to a commercial every now and then.”

“Oh, like the radio.” And I’m out.

It is the 22nd and I have actually kept my New Year’s resolution of having a meatless January, in possibly The Roaring Twenties. The pounds are not falling off of my holiday-swollen-body as I’d hoped, but I am feeling good about saving some animals. I am almost to the point of being an annoying elitist. Albert has cheated twice and eaten animal flesh, so I quickly started referring to him as “weak” and myself “pure,” although I’d much rather be calling both of us “thin.” It’s just not in the cards. We were big-boned in 2014, and I’m pretty sure we’ll stay big-boned in 2015, as long as beer and carbohydrates roam the earth.

I do have a new salad place that is helping me keep the dream of slenderness alive. I highly recommend Mean Greens on Fairfax and Melrose, for those looking for a Tender Greens alternative in Los Angeles. The produce is fresh and locally sourced, the prices are low, there is free parking, and the owners are a super nice group of guys from New York. Give them some business if you are in West Hollywood, because I want them to stay open!

I was at Target this week and noticed a Fifty Shades of Grey pop-up display. They are selling blindfolds, massage oils, and vibrating penis rings at your local discount department store — Expect More Sadomasochism. Pay Less. In case you’re curious, and I know you are, sex toys are located near office supplies.

Into The Words

IMG_1422Happy New Year and congratulations! We all made it to 2015, with my liver still trying to process the holiday alcohol. I’m, of course, trying to burn off the fat from Christmas cookies, pumpkin pie, and Halloween candy from last year, so the New Year has me hungry. Albert and I are also doing a meatless January to try to shed the combined weight of guilt and animal tears. This is a pretty easy thing to do in Los Angeles, because the vegetarian options abound and are delicious. BUT, let me tell you now, if I gain weight instead of lose it on this diet of shrubs and seeds, watch your animals in February because I will be hungry and there will be carnage. Speaking of pets, look (above) how big Jack has gotten!

So, I am at Gold’s gym today, and there is an ad for a 12-week weight-loss exercise program. The background is a black man with a very large belly, and in front of that is the same man, skinnier and holding a child, and it says that he can be a hero now. Well as a graphic designer, the poster reads that the man had some sort of miracle baby in only 12 short weeks, thusly dropping the weight, like a hot placenta. Hell, I think he’s a hero for just being able to have to have the child at all.

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So I’m confused and hungry because I’m starving, and I’m walking home from the gym when I see the plastic of a blister-card on the sidewalk. The plastic packaging is in the shape of a tiny penis and testicles and I think to myself, “When did they start selling baby penises at the Dollar Store? How do they stay fresh? Are the kids sucking on hard candy dicks and balls these days?” I look further to see that the packaging, in fact, belonged to safety scissors, which was disappointing.

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Christmas with the family in Cincinnati was great. Albert and I got to see a lot of friends also, and special thanks to Kim for hosting her annual Night After Christmas bash, where I got to catch up with the old gang who are now spread across the country. Of course the traveling back and forth was the usual and expensive pain in the ass, this time with United. EVERY leg of the trip, and there were many, was delayed, even though the weather was lovely. Oh, and there was much running to make connections, and neither food nor entertainment once on board.

Speaking of entertainment, I have two movies to briefly review for you. I’m a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan and have enjoyed all of his films. I absolutely hated Inherent Vice and had trouble staying awake. You have been warned. The flip side of that coin is Into the Woods. I’m a huge fan of the stage musical, of Sondheim, and of Rob Marshall, and I think the movie musical is stunning. It’s visually gorgeous, the score has never sounded so lush, and it’s just so smart. I’ve gone Into the Woods twice already, and I recommend the trip to anyone. There is no better way to start the New Year then going deep into an enchanted forest, and having a chorus of people singing to you, “No one is alone.”