By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Peru Year!

With 2009 commencing in mere hours, some polite NeighborGooder left this calendar on the Big Blue Table:
It was printed to serve as a year-long advertisement for the Natalie Peruvian Seafood Restaurant, conveniently located near the Luxurious Hollywood Hills.

Beneath the lush view of Peru that adorns the top of this calendar is this woman:

Judging by the giant orange & yellow lettering, I can only assume that the woman in the fancy dress standing by the Ricola Mountain is the Natalie in question.

I can understand why Natalie would want her smiling face on this calendar; it gives the restaurant more of a neighbory feel. What does confuse me, however, is the series of photographs lining the bottom of this calendar:

I can certainly understand wanting to highlight some of the finer dishes served at Natalie's Peruvian Seafood Restaurant...

...however, this seems to be showcasing some sort of chicken item, along with French fries, slices of avocado, and a urine-colored beverage. Not exactly seafood, but at least its presence makes a little sense, which is more than I can say for the rest of these featured images:

Unless they are a Peruvian delicacy, I fail to see what these puppies have to do with anything. And even if they are a popular Peruvian dish, once again, these animals are not seafood no matter how you prepare them, Natalie. Please take note.

Here, we’ve got another photo of, I guess, Peruvia...
...followed by this weird looking golden car with three headlights...
...which, of course, is parked on the beach.

Am I supposed to assume that this how their seafood is delivered fresh every day? They just drive this car right into the Peruvian Ocean and serve up whatever swims into the trunk?

Then there’s this image….
My geography sucks, but I know for a fact that this is a view from England's River Thames. I may only know this because I watched a lot of Benny Hill growing up, which featured this logo at the end of each episode...

...but I know it nonetheless. And although I'm no world-class traveler, I'm pretty sure that Peru ins’t in England. I’m also pretty sure I don't want to eat whatever the Golden Fishing Car caught in the River Thames.

Then there’s this holy item:
I believe this is a rarely-depicted Toddler Jesus and a Mary holding ceramic tiled images of the crucifixion, which indicates not only some sort of time-travel capabilities you never hear about in the Bible, but also the rarely discussed gift shop that opened up after the death of Jesus, may he rest in peace. These are all features, of course, in the oft-ignored Book of Natalie somewhere deep in the New Testament.

Finally, next to all of these little boxes of insanity is this crazy thing:

What the hell am I supposed to do with this child? Is it Baby New Year 2009? Did it fall out of a Busby Berkeley dance number? Initially, I thought it was dressed as a caterpillar, but it has wings. It could also be a ladybug, but I’ve never seen a blue one—unless those are indigenous to Peru. In any case, they also should not be featured on the menu, because they Are Not Seafood.

The calendar closes with the phrase "Feliz Anu Nuevo" which, loosely translated, means "Peruvian Year of the Crazy."

Happy 2009 Everyone! And remember, if it sucks, you can always pray to Time-Travel Jesus to bring you to some other time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hope you and yours have a great holiday season!

Have a look at some of our seasonal fare from the past year here!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Artistic Integrity

To the untrained eye, this might seem like just a normal piece of trash:

But as I stared at this seemingly useless and busted-ass paper towel holder, I began to wonder, as I often do, why anyone wouldn't just throw this thing away. It takes a lot more effort to drag this thing out of your Luxurious Apartment and bring it downstairs into the Laundry Room than simply tossing it into your trash can.

When I looked slightly to the right, however, I had my answer. It's not trash: It's art!

Specifically, it's an artistic project from a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Using a series of sophisticated machinery...

...and art supplies...
...some NeighborGooder created a masterpiece!

I certainly hope this teaches you rubes a lesson in art.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dress Your Man

First of all, I want to thank the folks over at Scrap Smack for giving NeighborGoodies a shout-out. Welcome, scrap-bookers! I hope you enjoy your stay here in the Luxurious Hollywood Hills!

Now, on with the Goodies:

Today, we find a copy of "Dressing the Man You Love: A Woman's Guide to Purchasing, Coordinating and Caring for His Classic Wardrobe." I'm surprised the Big Blue Table didn't collapse under the weight of the title alone.

According to the website, this book is a "well-organized, non intimidating resource," and was written by Betsy Durkin Matthes, who had a role in a bunch of episodes of the 60's TV Series "Dark Shadows." Since then, she's become some sort of 'lyricist' and, I assume, a woman who obsessively nagged her husband about his wardrobe until he went insane and she wrote a book.

Judging only by what was accompanying the book on the NeighborGoodies Table, I'm a little unnerved by what Betsy might be suggesting you put on your put-upon husband:

Whoever had this book was clearly trying to get her husband to dress like a drag queen...

...often using items she found right here on The NeighborGoodies Table:

That turquoise terrycloth fiasco and those hot pink high heels once belonged to a girl named Samantha, who left them on the NeighborGoodies Table way back in April:

Just so we're all on the same page: These outfits were questionable at best when Samantha bought them new. After she wised up and abandoned them, they were claimed by another resident in the building, kept for eight months, then re-discarded. I wonder if Samantha ever saw her Turquoise Traveling Pants and Pink glass-sided hooker shoes wandering the halls of the apartment building again. And I wonder if they were on some poor guy whose wife started dressing him after reading Betsy's book.


The only way it could be worse is if he was wearing those heels, those pants and....

...a "Get Crunk" tank top. I can just picture New-Samantha coming home one night completely crunked out of her head, taking off that tank top and placing it on her boyfriend while she sloppily slurs her way through a passage in Betsy's book.

Once Drunky passed out in a pile of clothes and vomit, her guy carefully grabbed what he could from beneath her, snuck downstairs and placed the items in question on the NeighborGoodies Table, starting with Betsy's book... figuring (correctly) that she'll never remember what went on that night. If he can keep her away from the laundry room for a couple of days until these items disappear again, he'll be home free! And if not... one of them will be homeless.

In conclusion: Never trust a former actor. Especially for fashion, marital or career advice.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hats Off

Today we have a million billion hats on the NeighborGoodies Table...

...ok, maybe there's only six. And two of them are the same. But it's kind of like a million billion.

According to The Village Hat Shop's "Hat-isms" page (yes, they have a "hat-isms" page):

"Historically, hats have often been an integral, even necessary, part of a working uniform. A miner, welder, construction worker, undertaker, white-collar worker or banker before the 1960s, chef, farmer, etc. all wear, or wore, a particular hat. Wearing 'many hats' or 'many different hats' simply means that one has different duties or jobs."

It kind of makes you wonder what sort of duties this lad Living in Luxury in the Hollywood Hills had. This hat...

...indicates, of course, that he worked at the Mobil station pumping fuel and selling gum for 87 dollars a pop. With the steady downturn in Gas Prices and the economy as a whole, he was likely let go, which would make anyone... mad as a hatter! Hey-o!!

This one, with three tomahawks on it...

...indicates that he is, perhaps, a chief for a Native American tribe. It also indicates that the job of Indian Chief is more physically taxing than I had ever thought possible, judging from the extent of the sweat stains beneath the rim:

Obviously, this violates the ancient Native American rule of "Never Let 'em See You Sweat." Our hero was once again removed from power... at the drop of a hat!

OK, seriously.... I'll stop with the hat jokes. They're... OLD HAT anyway!

Ahem...anyway, the rest of the hats have No Fear and RealPlayer logos on them:

I imagine this guy lost his gig at the Real company years ago, during the dotcom bust. It was his favorite job--the feather in his cap, if you will. (sorry) Now, he spends his days in home in the Hollywood Hills.... just waiting for another job to come up, being a burden on society.

Oh wait... that's me. Hooray for unemployment!!

*sigh* Ok....I guess I'd better put my... thinking cap on to concentrate on finding another job!

(I hate myself)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Light of Your Life

When I walked into the laundry room and saw this lampshade on the NeighborGoodies Table...

. . .I was kind of surprised. It seems to be a decent, semi-sturdy lampshade in relatively good shape. Might this be something that is actually of use to someone in the building for once?

Then I moved it, and discovered the rest of what was left behind:

Yes...this is an entire lamp, sans bulb. And when I say "entire lamp" I mean "busted ass former lamp-like set-up that has ceased all functionality." It comes complete with stripped pole connectors (hot!) , so you can't actually put it together & have it stand up on the floor in order to properly illuminate a room. You'd have to lay the randomly shaped metal items side-by-side on your floor, allowing the electricity to flow to a bulb that, if included, would rest dangerously on your carpet beneath the sturdy lampshade.

The whole thing reminds me of this weird plastic animal toy I had as a kid: You'd press the bottom of a little stand that a lion was perched upon, and the lion would collapse into a pile of plastic lion-limbs. When you released the button, he'd stand up again, totally fine. I used to pretend he was a drunk hobo lion who ran away from the circus. Because that's what kids do.

Much like my lion, this lamp's sturdiness wore out years ago and will never stand upright again, no matter how many times you press the button. But on the upside, someone in this Luxurious Hollywood Hills building is sure to end up with that lampshade hilariously placed upon their drunken head at their next holiday party. And, just like the lamp and the drunken runaway hobo lion, they will likely end up in a pile on the floor by the end of the night.

Ahhh, the circle of life.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ghost of Christmas Past

Today on the Big Blue Table, we have a teeny tiny light blue plastic belt. . .

...which would be perfect for anyone on your holiday list who has a size negative four waist. Luckily, there's also some wrapping paper to go along with it...

...which is the same crappy kid-drawn wrapping paper that appeared on NeighborGoodies six weeks ago:

This rerun, of course, means someone took them off the table for six weeks with the intention of using these hideous pieces of holiday cheer and realized one of three things:

1. They didn't have enough money to buy anyone presents this year.
2. They've killed all of their loved ones (possibly with a light blue plastic belt. Which, I believe, the Hillside Strangler used when he lived in this very building.) Or:
3. Maybe, just maybe, they came to their senses and decided that a little Holiday Racism maybe wasn't the way to go.

Of course, you can read my full analysis of the wrapping paper here. In the comments section from that day, "Anonymous" wrote:

I like that your theme song was written by Wrapping Paper and your blog post was about Wrapping Paper. Hehe. Also, it helps that I'm really drunk right now.

Right you are, Anonymous! The NeighborGoodies theme song (always available right at the top of this blog!) is indeed by Wrapping Paper! And right you are again, Anonymous, by pointing out that it helps to be really drunk when reading this blog and/or listening to that song! I highly recommend it.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Running on Empty

Possibly the most overused phrase on this blog is something along the lines of "I don't know what to make of this thing."

But today, seriously, I really don't know what to make of this thing:

This sleeveless shirt (with the left shoulder ripped off) is from the 1991 US Olympic Festival, which, coincidentally was held in Los Angeles.

Up until I saw this shirt, I had not heard of the US Olympic Festival, and information about it is pretty hard to come by. I had to consult an Independent Outside Research Firm (JRu's Research, Development & Furniture Destruction Co.) for more information.

During our session together, I discovered this 1987 proclamation from President Ronald Reagan describing the event as such:

The United States Olympic Festival is an amateur athletic competition that enables potential Olympians to participate in events identical to those performed in the International Games. During this Festival, skills are refined and a camaraderie is fostered among our athletes that signifies American unity and exemplifies the spirit of the Olympic movement.

Basically, this annual event (held only during non-Olympic years) was there to help train American athletes to compete in Olympic competitions. That all came to an an end after the 1995 Festival, according to this article that JRu found. Low public interest coupled with bored administrators at the US Olympic Committee seem to have killed it.

What makes this shirt truly frightening (aside from the fact that it is 17 years old) is that in 2001, ten years after it was made, it looks as though someone tried to update it with an iron-on:
One of the things hastily applied to the shirt is the phrase "Enterprise 2001" in runny, smudged ink. Later, the phrase "In Its Infancy..." was added twice and, as you can see, both attempts to do so failed miserably--One resulting in the first word missing; the other showing up completely backwards.

The end result is a t-shirt with random, ill-placed messages that strikes terror in my heart. I can't help but wonder if the owner actually competed in one of the Olympic Festival events. The shirt looks pretty well-worn, and I imagine the owner was a runner of some sort, judging by the sleevelessness of the garment.

But why hold on to this shirt for so long? After the festival was put to sleep, did the runner's sanity also become a distant memory? Is the state of this shirt and its mixed messages an indication of a runner's descent into madness? Or did someone just use this trashy shirt to test out their screen-printing process? If that's the case--were they printing the start of a "bring back the festival" manifesto on this shirt ? Either way, there are some terrifying people Living in Luxury in the Hollywood Hills. And I may not be able to outrun them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Thanks.

Hi! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I certainly had a blast, but I can't say the same for some NeighborGooders who seem to have spent the last few days trying to eliminate all memories of the weekend.

Holidays are always stressful no matter what--especially if you have guests in town--so it doesn't seem all that strange to me that immediately after a Big Holiday Meal, someone unceremoniously dumped their plates, their pots. . .

. . .and their silverware onto the NeighborGoodies Table...

...almost, it seems, in an effort to ensure that no one can ever come to their Luxurious Home in the Hollywood Hills for a holiday meal again. Based on the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, I believe I can piece together what occurred on this Thanksgiving in the Hollywood Hills--and it isn't pretty.

Along with your unwanted house guests, the presence of a scale is almost certainly unwelcome during the holiday season. Especially if, for example, said guest is your cranky mother-in-law who constantly needles you about your weight.

With the economic crisis, coupled with the stress of the holidays and a case or two of red wine; one little comment too many and suddenly BLAM! You've got a Thanksgiving Double Homicide on your hands.

One moment you're picking off the last of the turkey and the next, one of your house guests is being carved up with an ass full of stuffing while another is being pureed into a Hate Pie with this lovely blender:

If you look closely, I think you can see skin cells, hair follicles and signs of human struggle on the lid:

In an effort to sober the attacker and calm any survivors down, someone brews a pot of decaf...

...while trying to clear up any evidence of mashed-face potatoes, gran-berry sauce and screamed corn. And man-yams™. Because there are almost certainly some man-yams around when all is said and done.

Now calm, the chef-turned-Thanksgiving Killer insists on dumping the evidence--and any chance of another dinner party--onto the Big Blue NeighborGoodies table. Now, any would-be visitors would have no plates to eat from, no utensils to eat with, and no coffee to drink...

...and certainly no non-dairy creamer or coffee stirrers if they somehow sneak in with a cup of their own coffee. After all, our hosts certainly don't want a repeat of the Thanksgiving Day Massacre, which seems almost unavoidable with another set of holidays coming up.

On the other hand, I suppose all this stuff could be on the NeighborGoodies Table simply because someone moved out at the end of the month.

Either way, I wouldn't eat any leftovers from this building. Just in case.