Saturday, May 10, 2003

You could say I'm broke and alone on Saturday night,

OR you could say I'm full of good ideas.

In my days in Hollywood, I have discovered a few good bargains, or services, or whatevers, through trial and error. And now, in honor of The Day of Our Lady of Scrambly Nags, I give them to you. Here is a little bit of my life, distilled for your use.

1. The BEST gum in the world, Orbit, which comes in cute little packets that feel Japanese, and also like cigarettes, is way expensive. But at the 99 Cents Only store on Sunset and Normandie-ish, you can get a three-pack for $1.07. They probably should call it the $1.07 Only store.

2. Hey all you whiskey lovers out there in computerland: Mayfair has a really fine cheap whiskey in big bottles for 5 bucks. Every day. It's very un-Mayfairy of them. Look for the label that says something like "Kentucky Blended Whiskey--a blend."

3. If you ever need a mechanic, you have no choice, unless you're nuts, but to see Jim Matson (323-939-2171). Cheap and honest as C natural.

4. For a super reasonable and really great massage, you have to go to Linda at Nail Station at Hyperion and Rowena. (323-667-1688) It's 50 bucks for an hour or 75 for 90 minutes.

5. For high-quality, carefully planned acupunture treatments, Dongguk Royal University on Shatto and 4th St. is your place. After the inital consultation, it's $15 per session--which often includes massage, hot packs and all kinds of radness. (By the way, my friend Garth, who is black, corrected me when I said that "rad" is a white phrase and only white people use it. Today I got it when this crazy black man sitting on the steps of Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School, wearing socks, with his shoes lying on the sidewalk like they were napping, told me he had painted a "rad" portrait of Kirsten, whoever that is.)

6. If you're ever walking around and you see a tall, middle-aged black man wearing sunglasses, playing a small guitar, with a little Toto-dog on a leash, you can smile and say hello for me. His name is Ken, and he is not crazy at all. He's a beautiful person. He also doesn't necessarily want to waste his time shooting the bullshit all afternoon. He's doing his thing.

7. Oh my God, I felt so bad today. I was in the Coffee Beans, right? The one on Hillhurst. So anyway, I'm on the phone with my brother, probably talking really loud. And I look out the window into the parking lot and I see Angelyne's pink Corvette. And I blurt out, oh my God, Angelyne's here! And then, of course, I look around the coffeeshop, and there she is, over in the corner, sitting at a table with some lanky man. For some reason, this blurting out seemed rude. It didn't sound the way you would say, for example, "Oh my God, Drew Barrymore's here!" It lacked awe and delight. It was more of a, "Oh my God, Grandma's wearing her underwear on her head again!" vibe.

8. I know you know this, but Amoeba has the best cheapest vinyl, man. So cheap you're losing money if you don't buy it, somehow.

9. If you're totally mental and you want your head shrunk, but not your wallet, have I got the place for you! Southern California Counseling Center is a miracle, and it's right across the street from an old-school African-American barbershop called The Headmasters.

10. If you want a really great facial that will change your whole life, call Leetal. It costs $65 for an hour or $80 for an hour and a half with massage. But she owns her own business so you don't have to feel obliged to tip. She's a very gentle and wise person. (323-655-5138)

11. If I've said it once I've said it probably five times: Fred 62 has the Best shakes in the universe, and beyond.

12. A cool boy I know listens to mystery books on tape to help him fall asleep. It's the cutest thing.

13. "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" uses sleigh bells on the B section and it really adds special magic.

14. Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KROQ they have a great show called Spin Psycle, DJ'd by Mix Master Mike. No playlist, no station IDs every two seconds. Of course they're punk-ass bitches for limiting it to one hour. Fuck, even KISS-FM does the in-the-mix thing all night on Friday. (Last time I checked, anyway.) Spin Psychle a weird mix of rock and hip hop and electronica mushed together with the spirit of excitement of the old KROQ. There is a soul and a brain behind the song choices, and this makes me feel not-alone in the cold universe.

15. Tsar is playing Saturday night at Spaceland, and I wanna go if only to see what T-shirt the singer will wear. They're a really fucking great band, and it seems weird and kind of secret rabbit-holey to me that we can go see them in a small room for five bucks or whatever it'll be.

16. Little Joy, on Sunset one block west of the Shortstop, has 2 dollar beers and they let you smoke, and a crazy-ass jukebox with the Small Faces, the Sonics, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and a bunch of taqueria music, because it's essentially a Mexican bar. You can get some pretty cool aural mismatches going if everyone's contributing.

17. As you know, The New Beverly Cinema is the best movie theater in the world, especially for cheapass movie fans like us.

18. The Matrix reloads Thursday!



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