Monday, March 16, 2009

Winter Time and the Speakin's Easy

This past Saturday night, some girlfriends and I went to a speakeasy downtown in the back room of Cole's French Dip. At this particular secret drinking chamber, the bartender, clad in 1930s apparel, greets you at the door and ushers you to the bar or table where you order from a menu of mad scientist type concoctions, all featuring one single giant ice cube and pretentious, yet wonderful, ingredients such as rose water and absynth. There's also an old-fashioned piano that would normally have someone keying it if it weren't for the fact that it was broken.

I only bring this special occasion up because it got me thinking about the allure of secret back rooms. Every since I was a little girl I've always wondered 'what goes on in there?' It started with the closets in my teachers' classrooms. You know the one: the tiny room she would disappear to and then bring confiscated toys or aging textbooks out of. It was truly fascinating. So fascinating that I spent a lot of time in my own closet at home, building forts, rearranging my shelves of My Little Ponies and making secret pacts with friends out of my parents' ear reach.

Now I've never been to a strip club except in Vegas - the Disneyland version of sin, so it doesn't count - but as my male friends will tell me, the back room has a great deal of attraction in these type of establishments as well. Casinos, bars, nightclubs, banks, designer clothing stores, wineries, uppity restaurants, sneaker shops... they all have a secret back room or two that we'd love to get into. But why exactly? Why does VIP hold any appeal? Why does the fact that something is 'secret' and exclusive make it so intriguing? It's true, there's some back rooms you hope to avoid, like the judge's chambers or the back room at the vets or HIV clinic. But generally speaking, we love a good secret. And once it's no longer exclusive or it's too popular we brush it aside like stale hamburger meat. Ick, gross, don't want to go there.

I'm not suggesting we do away with these places. Like I said, my fascination with them began in childhood, but I would like to hear your opinions on the motivation behind their existence and subsequent cultural obsession. What's the psychology there? Is it healthy? Or do these places represent a darker side of ourselves that we'd do best to avoid? I can't wait to hear your feedback. Until then, I'm going to try to find someone to get me into Magic Castle once and for all, damnit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beware of Dog... Really???!!!

Here's the thing, I simply don't trust people who post 'Beware of Dog' signs. Take my neighbor across the street. You know what his sign said to me before I even caught a glimpse of him? Macho guy, doesn't respect women, drinks cheap beer and probably has tattoos. Stereotyping? Nope. Dead on. I won't get into it, but let's just say there's a small battle going on between my roommate and his over-sized pick-up truck that he consistently parks in front of our house even when his own curb is free and clear. Not only that, but he parks four feet behind every car instead of pulling up to allow another vehicle to park. Besides, I think if you have to warn people that your dog is a dick, then you probably are one too. Oh, and I caught him carrying home a 12 pack of Natty Ice - tattoos visibly present - so once again, ladies and gentlemen of the court, I've proven my case.

If I had my way, I'd swap out all the 'Beware of Dog' signs of the world with one of the following, all of which can apply to men who put up these signs (honestly, I highly doubt women thinks, 'oh you know what this gate needs?... a giant police sketch of a snarling dog!'):

1.) Beware of Ego
2.) Beware of Machismo
3.) Beware of my Enormous Beer Belly
4.) Beware of Domestic Abuse
5.) Beware of Noxious Gas
6.) Beware of Small Phallus

There you go! Now we're really being honest. It's not your dog we should be aware of, but you. Nope, I simply don't trust people with 'Beware of Dog' signs. 'Beware of Cat' signs... now there's someone I can drink a glass of sherry with.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Introducing Your New LA Frugal Living Examiner...

Never one to hold back my warped views of the world, I now have the pleasure of introducing my new frugal way of life to a larger audience. Please check me out at where I am the new LA Frugal Living Examiner (under Home & Living, Los Angeles) to keep up with my journey into the land of 'living in my means'. As for this blog, it's back to my blackhearted discussions of love, friendship, fun and adventure. So for more frugal tips, advice and thoughtful reflections go to Thanks, everyone! And stay cheap...