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Showing posts from June, 2011


You've Lived in L.A. Long Enough When...

...Facebook starts suggesting directors of blockbuster R-rated comedies and sitcom stars as "people you may know."


Meanwhile, at Literati Cafe...

Leslie Mann window shops for a sweet treat and studies the refrigerated desserts in the glass display, only to end up settling for a mocha latte (probably with soy, she looks like the type).

I, sitting at my corner table, am tempted to purchase a chocolate chip scone after scarfing down a bland turkey melt. I also envision myself tapping the Knocked Up actress on the shoulder and asking her if I could score a meeting with her husband, Judd Apatow, so that I could pitch a few ideas to him. I then have to remind myself that I am neither that obnoxious nor tactless when it comes to approaching the celebrity spouse of a Hollywood bigwig.

Back to work...


Nine

I lived through the Trucker Cap Takeover of 2003. I survived the reign of The Governator. I participated in the historic marches for NOH8. I witnessed The Great Pinkberry Explosion of 2008...followed by The Great Pinkberry Implosion two years later.

And later this summer I shall experience the aftershocks caused by The Giant Closure of the 405 Freeway, or Carmageddon, as locals are calling it.

By now, there's nothing besides that long-awaited Big One that will shake me like a proverbial Polaroid picture and force me to leave my Southern California haven I call Los Angeles.

When I moved here nine years ago (today) I could not have imagined the things, the people, the events that would shape me, inspire me, and help me get to where I am now (Heads up: there's going to be a lot of talk about journeys, reflections, and continued aspirations while I celebrate this personal anniversary of mine).

Nine years ago I didn't know what a blog was. I never heard of a smartphone, but I did …


Searching for Christopher Pike, Part 2

God bless Facebook.

My blog entry and video from earlier this month, honoring the literary idol who had quite the impact on my life as a writer and an all-around bookworm, generated a few reactions and comments online, most notably this one:



As you may recall, Kevin McFadden is the real name behind the pseudonym Christopher Pike, the reclusive author responsible for dozens of young-adult novels that kept a generation of readers in suspense and entertained.

The moment I found this message in my FB inbox my jaw dropped. Could it be? Had he seen the link I posted on his fanpage? Naturally, I had my doubts and feared an impostor setting me up for humiliation.

And then there was this (click on it for a closer look)...



...followed by this response:



This could possibly set a personal record for being the most geeked-out in my life. More so than the time I waited in line with J.J. Abrams at a sushi buffet during the afterparty for the Revenge of the Sith premiere. More so than the time I shook hand…


The Burning: 2011 Summer Playlist - Vol. 2

Because one mix is not enough to keep you quenched and satisfied while things are just starting to sizzle...

Here are thirty (30!) more tunes to load up on your iThingy and add to what's proving to be one megasoundtrack for the Summer of '11:

1. "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera - First, a little electro-funk from a pairing I didn't know would work so well.


2. "Marry the Night" by Lady Gaga
3. "Dirty Dancer" by Enrique Iglesias feat. Usher & Lil Wayne
4. "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj
5. "Helena Beat" by Foster the People - The alt-pop anthem of the year. There, I said it.


6. "You Make Me Feel" by Cobra Starship feat. Sabi - Irresistible Red Bull-fueled trash.
7. "Hypnotico" by Jennifer Lopez - From her latest CD, this bonus track was written by Lady Gaga and deserves to see the light of play.
8. "Unfriend You" by Greyson Chance - I've said it before, and I'll say it agai…


Searching for Christopher Pike

"Nostalgia is denial of the painful present." - Paul, Midnight in Paris

Having developed a tendency to frequently shuffle the 90s playlist on my iPod and honor the anniversaries of certain movie releases, it's been brought to my attention that I have become the King of Looking Back. And if it's because I refuse to accept and face the "painful present," then...oh, who am I kidding? That's the reason. My bank account shames me whenever I glance at the balance on my ATM receipts, a diet of Diddy Riese cookies and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has done nothing for my health, and the pressure to do that whole "figure out my place in the world" thing is a struggle I face almost every day.

But I continue to revisit the past. This month I have decided to dig up old copies from Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series and reread the fifth and sixth installments, Evil Thirst and Creatures of Forever, for a couple of reasons. First, the bestselling youn…


15 Years Late But...

I finally bought a copy of The Score by The Fugees. For a dollar at a library book sale no less.

Listening to the album now in 2011, the beats and rhymes seem so quaint and...organic. Lauryn, before she allegedly went batshit crazy. Wyclef, before he sunk deeper into irrelevancy, especially after ruining last year's remake of "We Are The World." And that other guy...whoever he is.

As the CD jumps to "Fu-Gee-La," I'm transported back to my sophomore year dance at Iona Prep, grinding and getting my proverbial groove on in the school cafeteria which had been turned into a nightclub with vending machines, the scent of lunchmeat lingering above a throng of 15- and 16-year-olds dressed to the nines in baggy jeans, Tommy Hilfiger tees, and Air Jordans.

Being killed softly,

H.P.M.


Theme Song of the Month: June

Who knew that it would take an episode of The Vampire Diaries and two listens on L.A.'s alternative radio station to get me attached to this unique rock jam? It's Foster for the People's "Helena Beat," a surprise summer anthem that just might earn a slot on my Top 10 Songs of 2011 (and yes, that's a dude singing). Take a little bit of MGMT and a little bit of Spoon, and voila:



By the way, it was the Free Download of the Week on iTunes. Congrats if you were lucky enough to grab it.

H.P.M.