Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh...MAX!

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He was such a funny man.

I just read that Harvey Korman passed away today. It's a very sad day indeed. He was one of the all-time comic geniuses, especially on "The Carol Burnett Show" and some of Mel Brooks' earlier movies like "High Anxiety" and "Blazing Saddles"

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When I was much younger, I never missed "The Carol Burnett Show". Besides being one of the best shows on TV at that time, I used to sit and watch just to see if Tim Conway would end up making Harvey Korman break character and laugh. And, when he inevitibly did, Tim Conway would often push Harvey to the point of almost being doubled-over with laughter.

And me right along with him.

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Another of my favorite Harvey Korman performaces was in Mel Brooks movie "High Anxiety". Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman (as Nurse Diesel) had this hilarious S&M relationship throughout the film. From Nurse Diesel taking away his dessert because he was one minute late for dinner ("Dinner will be served promptly at six. Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup.") to her stapping him up on her closet door for some "private spanking time" ("It was Thorndike...you're making too much noise!")...

Hilarious.

He was a very funny man and, although he will be missed, his legacy will be available on DVD and future formats for all to see for many years to come.

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Here is a classic example of how a Tim Conway/Harvey Korman sketch usually ended up playing out...



It's a shame they don't make shows like this anymore.

The world could really use a good laugh these days.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weekend sex

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I wanna get me some of this!

I'm really looking forward to the "Sex and the City" movie this weekend. After watching Indiana Jones stroll through his latest adventure last weekend, I'm ready to watch some gals who really know how to work a hat and whip!

Greg over at Out in Hollywood went to a screening and posted his review of the movie. Seems that he really enjoyed it...

It's all here: the clothes, the hair, the brunches, the puns ("I have a Mexi-coma") the frank talk about sex, the Cosmos! I'm glad they waited four years to make the movie because it made me miss these girls and gave me time to get to know them better through the TBS reruns and the DVDs. Kim Cattrall, who is sublime as Samantha, was the holdout on an earlier planned film. She is worth waiting for. Everytime she is on screen, you know you are in for some fun. My favorite line in the entire movie was one she delivers to an unwaxed bikini-clad Miranda: "I could be on death row and have that (wave of the hand to her unkept crotch area) ...situation."

I'm gonna make sure my situation is under control and then make my way to the nearest theater....Cosmo firmly in hand!

How about you?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dog days

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A good friend of mine is entering his dog, Zorra, into the "Nuts for Mutts" show on Sunday June 1st. This is an annual event here in LA that is sponsored by New Leash On Life, an organization that helps rescue and find homes for various unwanted dogs, among other things.

I don't have a dog, but I may have to go just for the crazy mix of celebrity participants. The event is hosted by Kim Basinger again this year and, along with the possibility that Alec Baldwin might show up and yell at the dogs or his ex-wife, there are many other cool celebrities that will be in attendance.

A few noteables are...

The hyper-kenetic Rip Taylor (pictured above)

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Beba Deba Deep, "Buck Rogers" and "Silver Spoons" star Erin Gray

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"The West Wing's" always enjoyable (and soon to be Lily Tomlin's character in the "9 to 5" Musical) Allison Janney.

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The mom from "ET", Dee Wallace Stone.

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Surley you know Mrs. Partidge herself, Shirley Jones (Yes I do and don't call me Shirley).

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Uber-naked underwear model Antonio Sabato Jr.

Plus, many others....

So, if you happen to be in the area on Sunday and feel like hanging out with some doggies and Celebrities of Christmas Past....come on down.

If Rip Taylor shows up with the usual stock of rapid-fire glitter in his pockets, it's bound to make the dog "presents" much easier to spot as the day progresses.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In space, no one can hear you...

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You might want to carry an umbrella with you for the next few days...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The international space station's lone toilet is broken, leaving the crew with almost nowhere to go. So NASA may order an in-orbit plumbing service call when space shuttle Discovery visits next week.

If there is a plumber out there that will actually go into space to make a repair...

I want their number.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tater Tots

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Well, I saw the latest Indiana Jones movie this weekend and, although it'll likely make tons of cash (I think around $126 million opening weekend), it would have been a lot more enjoyable if Pixar had made it with Mr. Potatoe Heads in place of the actors. I won't spoil it for those of you who have yet to see it, but one viewing was enough for me.

However, what turned out to be a VERY pleasant surprise was...

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I finally watched the DVD for the latest "Die Hard" movie and was amazed at how good it turned out to be. Great effects and editing, fun story and it didn't stop moving until the end.

Perhaps John McLaine and/or Bruce Willis should be the next Indiana Jones.

Yippee Kiyaa!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Indy films

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Has anyone heard of this movie?

The poster looks colorful, but do you think that people are willing to pay admission for an adventure film that takes place in a time before cell phones and Paris Hilton?

And who is this Harrison Ford guy?

I'm a big supporter of Independent Films, so I'll likely try to see it. Hopefully the Sleestak image in the center of the poster will lure the general public in too.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's just a flesh wound

I saw this clip over on Towleroad, regarding Hillary's determined crusade to stay in the political race. The voice-over is pretty funny...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bro-Magnon Man

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My trips to the gym are rarely a source of inspiration or confidence in the male species.

One is often confronted with the disinterested guys at the front desk who can barely break from their "Sup bro's" and "That bitch is fine" conversations amongst themselves to grunt an "Enjoy your workout" from their pie-holes as they scan your card, while elbowing their co-workers nearby.

Then, as you pass the workout room, you witness the usual guys looking in the mirror, smiling, flexing and flirting with themselves in between quick checks on their cellphones for "important" text messages that seem to arrive every five minutes, notated by the theme song to "Smack my bitch up" chirping from their ever-present lifeline devices resting on the workout bench behind them.

Throw in the random groups of guys who just hang around one machine talking to each other for hours, the biker-guys who frown and glare at anyone who even attempts to walk past a machine they happen to be sitting on....to the no-necks (steriod boys) growling and groaning like crazed wildebeests in the center of everyone as they attempt to lift an entire rack of weights without snapping in half...and you're left with the rest of us.

The ones just trying to get our workout done and over with so we can return to our regular lives amongst the unwashed.

However...today I witnessed a glimmer of hope for my people.

As I was treading air with the rest of the elliptical machine kids, I overheard a conversation between two very straight guys, maybe in their early 30's, ellipticizing next to me. I pretended to be watching whatever was on the TV monitor in front of me, while slyly Bionic Womaning my imaginary hair away from my ear to get a better listen to their intense conversation.

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The one guy had been discussing some problem in his marriage, then started talking about how much he liked being married, problems and all. I heard him talk about how much he loved his wife and how he was willing to do what he could to keep that relationship strong.

As I quickly looked around to make sure that I was actually at the gym and not part of some new hidden camera show, his friend responded and gave him very sound words of encouragement and support.

Then, the first guy said to his friend "And, I know this might sound gay, but I don't care....I am a better husband to my wife, because of my relationship with you. I mean that."

If I hadn't been hanging on to the ever-moving hand supports of the machine, I would have probably lost my balance and flown head-over-ass to the front of my magical running machine.

Who are these men and what have they done with the stereotypical non-communicating cave-dwellers that have been around for centuries?

The friend said "Really" and they both got into this conversation about how their friendship and ability to talk about stuff like this with one another has helped both of them in their relationships and life.

As much as it is still a shame that straight guys usually feel that expressing honest emotion to another man is considered "gay", I do appreciate the baby steps and the "but I don't care" that followed his obligitory emotional disclaimer.

It took all of my willpower not to turn to them both and say "You guys are a rare breed and I hope you both continue to do this for each other for the rest of your lives." But, I didn't. Mainly because I thought it would be intrusive...or that one of them might punch me in the head.

Regardless...it gave me a bit of hope for men.

Hope that there might actually be men out there who have grown enough mentally and emotionally to understand the power of communication and the value that it can bring to their relationships, friendships and the lives around them.

Hope that there are men that do value their wifes (or husbands) and families enough to appreciate the good stuff and work through the difficult times, without resorting to hurtful games or violence or the old standby....jumping into the sack with the first girl/guy that flirts with them when they're feeling insecure or sorry for themselves and had a "bit" too much to drink.

Hope that, for me and my single friends, we might actually be able to find one of these "gay sounding" guys and be able to experience what it might be like to have a balanced relationship where both parties really want to make it work and are willing to do what it takes to ensure that.

It doesn't mean we won't have to plow through our share of bro's and ho's along the way....but if we don't give up on what we really want and don't settle for less than what we need...

Maybe we'll actually find it.

How scary would that be?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jean-Claude-Bonaduce Top

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I saw this picture today of Jean-Claude Van Damme at the Cannes Film Festival and read about a mockumentary about "his" life that he's promoting called "J.C.V.D" (for his name). I've read a lot over the past few years about his drug and steriod problems and, like most people in that position, his face is really starting to show that.

His overall change is even more apparent in this interview from Cannes as well....



He used to be this high-energy happy guy and now just seems a bit...sad.

I do feel bad for him and wish that he and many other people could find a way to avoid the steriod-madness that seems to be all around these days. It has really made some people start to look like creatures...almost cartoons of their former selves....like...

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Danny Bonaduce...and, the king of all steriod creatures....

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Carrot Top.

All three of them even kind of look alike in the face...hair....smiles.

But, honestly....Carrot Top should be the poster child for "Don't do Steroids!".

He should also be the poster child for the movie "Killer Clowns from Outer Space 2".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shatner pants

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My friend, Ling from Auckland, is a huge William Shatner fan. She loves "Boston Legal" and has been reminding me throughout the month that Mr. Shatner has a new autobiography, "Up Till Now" coming out in May and that he'd be signing copys at Book Soup here in LA. So, I braved the 100 degree heat to stand in line to get her a copy.

Now, I've always been a "Star Trek" fan, but have really come to appreciate William Shatner's humor over the years, especially in his role as Denny Crane on "Boston Legal". I think he's funny and was actually looking forward to meeting him while getting Ling her book. I even bought a copy for myself and my roommate Joel (since he wasn't feeling well and couldn't go with me).

Honestly, I only bought our two books because I thought it might appear rude to just get a book for someone else and, if he asked me where mine was...I would hate to say "Oh, I don't really want one...I'm only here for Ling."

The book signing started at 2:00 and I was in the first group to be let in. The store made us write, on a Post it, who the book was for and what we would like the message to be (he wouldn't just sign a book with his signature only...probably so people wouldn't just buy copies to sell on ebay). I really just wanted him to put "To Ling, my number one fan in New Zealand" in hers and really didn't care if he just signed the other two with his name.

I come around the corner with the rest of the group and see him sitting behind the counter in a faded Tshirt, with light makeup, staring down as he signs a book for a woman who is trying to chat with him about a recent appearance he did on "The View". He barely acknowledged her, signs her book and reaches for the next one.

When I'm next in line, the staff takes my three books and passes them on to him. I walk in front of him as he's signing...

Here was my meeting with the legendary William Shatner:

He starts signing the books, but doesn't look up at me.

"Hello, Mr. Shatner. Just wanted to say I'm a big fan of you work on "Boston Legal".

No response. Still staring down.

"Oh, that book is for my friend Ling in New Zealand. She is a huge fan of yours and she's been asking me for the past month to get her an autographed copy of your new book. It's the reason I came all the way down here today in this horrible heat. She just loves you."

He doesn't look up at me, but says...

"Well, I hope he enjoys the book."

I say "Would you mind if I took a picture?"

Still not looking up at me, he says...

"Yes, I would mind."

The three books are shoved off to the side and he reaches for the next book in line.

The end.

Now, I understand that celebrities would probably rather be doing any number of things other than spending two hours on a weekend signing books. I also understand that they, like all people, have days when they're feeling less than social or pleasant.

However, I think if you're trying to promote a new book about your life and you've had people waiting in a line in 100 degree heat just to have you sign one (after paying $25 for it), you could at least make eye contact at some point and, perhaps, even force a smile for their effort.

I opened Ling's book to see if he at least signed what I put in there and found that, in fact, he had ignored it....he just signed "To Ling, William Shatner".

If I could have returned the other two books and got my money back, I would have.

Unfortunately, I had Shatner stains all over the inside covers of those copies now.

That stinks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A wicked good time

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I went to see "Wicked" last night in Hollywood with a friend who had never been to a play...ever.

I have been wanting to see it since it arrived here in LA last year, but never got around to actually organzing it. So, when he called last week to tell me that he got two tickets through school to see it and wanted to know if I would like to go...I immediately accepted.

He was really looking forward to it and, after sitting down in our seats, he mentioned that this was his first play, which was a surprise, since he's 36 and most people have at least seen one in their life by that point.

What was funny and cute was that, when the curtain went down at intermission and we headed to the lobby....he thought the play was actually over and was talking about how much he really enjoyed it.

That says a lot about the show and how good it is!

I told him that there was still a second part, which turned out to be just as good and satisfying to him as the first. We both just loved it!

We sat behind a woman and her husband who were seeing the play for the third time, so she was full of all kinds of praise about it before it even started. It really makes the theater-going experience even better when you're sitting around fun people who are also excited about seeing the show.

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I loved the story and music....such an interesting take on the classic "Wizard of Oz" premise, giving the audience a background story on Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Who knew they went to school together and actually became best friends eventually? For some reason, I always assumed (based on the movie) that the witches were sisters...not sure what made me think that...but I did.

I won't spoil the plot, for those of you who haven't seen it. But, if you're a fan, in any way, of the movie, you'll enjoy the great backstory on OZ, the witches and the events leading up to and following the film. I do highly recommend that you get yourself out there and see the show, whenever it comes to your town. It's a lot of fun, has great set design/costumes and some really wonderful music.

I really hope they make a movie out of this show (like they did "Hairspray")...it could really be amazing, with the special effects and production capabilities that we have these days.

Now, click your heels together and get yourself over to the box office and reserve your tickets today!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh, happy gays

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Well, it is a fine day in California history kids....

In a much-anticipated ruling issued Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

"There can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's general legislative policy and preference," said the 120-page ruling.

It said that the state law's language "limiting the designation of marriage to a 'union between a man and a woman' is unconstitutional, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples."

Ignore that man behind the curtain...his veil keeps getting tangled up in his leather harness.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sands of time

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I went out to visit a good friend of mine in Marina del Rey yesterday. I left 3 hours before I needed to meet him because of the "lovely" traffic that consumes our freeways on any given day. Although it didn't take me 3 hours to get there, it did take me a good hour (when, without traffic it should have taken about 25 minutes) to get to that side of the city.

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I breathed a sigh of relief as I got off the freeway and saw a big billboard for In-N-Out Burger, just around the corner. I haven't been to one of those since before I left on my trip and it sounded really good...so it was my first stop. If you ever get to LA, you must make an effort to visit one. Their burgers are among the best, their fries are cut daily from real potatoes (no frozen fries here), and they don't have any other food options. Just burgers and fries and good shakes, if you want something other than a soda.

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After filling my pie-hole with food, I drove to my friend's neighborhood, parked my car and headed to the beach to walk around. It was a beautiful day to just wander about and revisit an area that I used to see a bit more frequently before the other three billion people moved here and hopped on the freeways. The heinous traffic really does prevent people from visiting each other as often as they may like. You have to plan such a window of time just to motivate yourself to go that, often-times, it's just not worth it.

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This part of the beach also runs into Venice Beach...the Melrose Avenue and freak show of the coast. It's filled with tourists, locals walking their dogs, police officers, gang members and has that "Night of a 100 Homeless People" vibe, many of which are selling jewelry, or playing an instrument while "fragrantly" rolling around on rollerskates or a bicycle. It really is a feast for the eyes and senses. There are also the usual shops and vendors all around selling their wares to anyone still holding their own wallet.

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There were even a few "vendors" (and I use that term loosely, since many of them appeared to also be living under the umbrellas where they had set up shop) who wanted to charge me just for taking a picture of anything they sold. So, I just shot them, took what I wanted and headed on down the boulevard.

I kid...I didn't steal anything. That would just be wrong...

I also enjoy the variety of beachfront homes that line the area. So many different styles and designs....many in need of a major make-over, while others look like Barbie-Dream-Homes.

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I'm sure this statue...

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Is meditating on a new color for the house behind her.

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This house would be the one that I would buy (in the fantasy world where I had unlimited money and decorating skills)...

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It is the only house like it along the strip and, in my mind, the current residents are just watching it for me until I decide to finally move in.

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I finally met up with my friend, we chatted a bit, then headed to the beach for sunset...a daily ritual for the locals.

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I can see why my friend has always lived here at the beach. With all of the daily stresses and noise, you really can't beat walking out to the sand, listening to the crashing waves and witnessing the close of another day on this planet.

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As the sun finally set and the sound of the first police helicopter filled the air...we knew it was time to get off the dark beach, step over a few homeless people, and make our way into a well-lit public space to have dinner.

California dreamin'...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cheeks ahoy

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I just read another article about Spencer Tunick, a photographer who has become famous for taking pictures of large groups of people in the nude at a variety of known landmarks around the world. This past Sunday, he shot 1,800 people posing in Vienna at the new stadium where the 2008 Euro soccer tournament will be held.

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His largest turnout of volunteers was in Mexico City where 18,000 people showed up to participate.

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I first became aware of Spencer a few years ago while watching his documentaries, "Naked States" and "Naked World" on HBO. It's not really about the nudity for me, as it is my fascination that one person could get that many strangers to show up to a very public location, strip off their clothes, and lay or stand around naked for a couple of hours surrounded by several hundred other strangers, many of whom are likely neighbors you'd run into daily at the grocery store or post office.

The photos are amazing and I certainly give him credit for creating an interesting niche for himself and a world-wide following. However, I don't think I'd be able to participate in one of his shoots. I'm just not that comfy carting my naughty bits out for an early morning of socializing amongst the locals.

How about you?

Here is the link to his official site, if you'd like to see more of his ass...I mean WORK.

Update: Seems that Photobucket, the site that hosts my images, didn't approve of some of Spencer's art that I uploaded...so they deleted four of them without alerting me (so I posted a couple others that they didn't remove). Guess some of the images are a bit too nude...

Art...Ass...Art.

I think we all know who the asses are....

Monday, May 12, 2008

This man is a whore

I finally watched last weeks "Grey's Anatomy" and, as annoyed as I get with the show these days, it was one of their better episodes I've seen in a while. Last week's episode got a lot of publicity about the gay soldiers storyline (which was very touching), but my favorite part was a speech by the lone character on the show that keeps me watching...

Dr. Bailey.

There is a sub-plot about all the nurses who have decided to boycott working with Dr. Sloane (The other good-looking doctor on the show) because of his numerous sexual conquests with nurses in the hospital.

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He tries to get several friends to speak to the other nurses, on his behalf, to get them to back off and realize that he really isn't such a bad guy. Of course, no one will do it. Finally, Dr. Bailey rounds all of the nurses up and gives them a lecture, in front of Dr. Sloane, on how they all need to get over it and get back to doing their jobs.

Her speech is 30 seconds into this clip and it is HILARIOUS!




"Now you wanna be all woe is me, he doesn't call me back, he's datin' other women...he's NASTY, but he's a doctor."

Funny stuff....

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Abbey

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I was out-and-about most of yesterday. I had lunch with a good friend in the afternoon, then hung out at his place and watched some TV, then met my roommate at The Abbey bar in West Hollywood in the evening.

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This is my favorite bar, in terms of design, that I've ever seen anywhere. It started out as a small coffee shop, then an outside bar was added...then another bar added in the back with some additional private sitting booths.

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Then, the owners bought the store next door and converted that into two more bars, two huge lounges and added some cool bathrooms and a variety of interesting candle holders, statues and rod iron throughout the indoor/outdoor areas.

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Then, inside the newest front lounge area, they added a huge crystal fireplace...something you'd picture Cher having in one of her many houses.

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The bar is just one of the coolest designed places around and a must-see if you ever get to Los Angeles. There are a variety of indoor/outdoor spaces with plenty of room to just sit back and watch the pretty people that mill about throughout the night. The weekends are especially crowded, but worth all of the squeezing by and weaving through all the kids standing around.

Plus, they make make some really good food and a variety of martinis and mojitos that, although a bit pricey ($14 each), are quite worth it.

It would be a perfect house for me (of course it would have to come with all of the bartenders, cooks, waiters and liquor), if it were actually a house.

With a few modifications and a winning lottery ticket...it just might be one day.