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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Here Come The NeighborGoodies

Hi! For those of you who are new, Welcome to NeighborGoodies!

To get you caught up, here are a few links to some of my favorite NeighborGoodies, that will help you get the feel for what this thing is:

1. The First One
2. Thyme's Square
3. Blue Monday
4. Rainbow Connection

Now, on to today's selection! I can only assume that these NeighborGoodies were pulled from the kitchen of a recently separated couple, who probably got most of these items on the happiest day of their life.

These stylish martini glasses with a hip 50’s style design are straight out of a gift registry.

There’s also this assortment of clutter. . .

. . .which seems as though it was simply dumped directly from the junk drawer in the kitchen that was, in all likelihood, a point of contention in the marriage. Included is a lovely set of knives that the couple probably took with them to LA after leaving the murder capital of the world, Detroit, as evidenced by this board game they also took with them:

Rather than determine who got what in the divorce settlement, they opted to just throw everything onto the NeighborGoodies table and let the buzzards of the Hollywood Hills have at them.

My favorite piece of NeighborGoodness today is this:

... a plastic fast-food spoon, still in its wrapper. I assume that once the wife started to hate her husband, she ceased cooking and he went on an all-Taco-Bell-and-Wendy’s-Diet, until she finally dumped him.

My guess is that this couple wasn’t ever nearly as happy as any of the ones featured in ABC’s awesome new series “Here Come The Newlyweds” which premieres this Sunday Evening at 10:02PM (9:02 Central)! This adorable piece of reality fare is, quite possibly, the best hour of television you will see throughout 2008, and I’m not just saying that. I’m actually looking out for your best interest. I mean, you don’t want to look like a jerk on Monday when the entire nation is talking about amazing this show is… Do you?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Actors Anonymous

As Oscar Fever fades, These final Oscar-themed Neighborgoodies will help you on the road to becoming an Academy Award Winning Actor:

Stella Adler’s Technique of Acting with a foreword by her student Marlon Brando is chock full of advice for the budding young actor and actress. Her method involves using your imagination. Some of her more successful students of her technique include Charlotte Rae, Teri Garr and Phyllis Diller.

The other thing that you'll need on your road to stardom is:

This book is as close to a bible as you can get in Hollywood. It boasts "Some methods AA members have used for not drinking." For example: "Eating or Drinking Something--usually sweet!" Apparently, if you have dessert, you don't want booze. Unless you're me.

Another method of living sober is "Staying Away from That First Drink." This theory is founded upon the basis that if you don't have a drink, then you won't have a drink. Seems logical, yet unhelpful.

Some of the more successful students of these techniques include Oscar Winner Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and Phyllis Diller. Ok, that's not true. But you're not here for facts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keep It In Your Shoes

I worked with a guy a long time ago who was quite fond of the phrase "Keep it in your shoes." He was in a play that used that phrase to let other characters know when he was telling them things in confidence. In real life, he would pop his head into my office and just shout "Shoes!" before continuing down the hall.

I miss corporate America sometimes.

Anyway, today's post continues where Monday's left off--with more Oscar-related goodies.

First up is a book by former Academy Awards host Steve Martin:

Not many people know this, but Steve Martin was actually nominated for an Oscar. Ok, that's kind of a lie...but the first film he was in--a short entitled "The Absent-Minded Waiter" was up for the Best Short Film Oscar in 1978, but it still counts as far as I'm concerned.

Cruel Shoes is a collection of short stories by Steve Martin--the title of which comes from an anecdote of the same name, which you can listen to here.

Steve Martin is pretty much a genius as far as I'm concerned. Unlike Dane Cook, whose album surpassed Martin's Wild & Crazy Guy as the hottest selling Comedy Record ever, Steve's stand up was always solid and most of his movies are amazing, if you don't count things like The Pink Panther and Bilko.

I get that Dane Cook is fun to watch--and I do understand his appeal. He's up there like a comedian, but he has the energy of a rock star. Not a ton of comedians are working up a sweat on stage. Unfortunately, his energy seems to make everyone forget that he's not actually saying anything funny. He's just saying things in a fun way...which I suppose is enough for some people. I wonder what it's like to be dim?

Anyway, I love Steve Martin and highly recommend this book.

Speaking of Cruel Shoes, someone left a pair of barely-used Rollerblades under the NeighborGoodies table:

Rollerblades are especially cruel because they look fun, and then they make you die if you try using them. They entice you with their image of "Hey! Look at us! We're kinda like roller skates, but we're awesome and hip and we'll make you fit! You love roller skates! Put us on!" And then you buy them, use them once, break your ankle and put them in the laundry room of your building, hoping that one of your asshole neighbors will also break their ass.

The guy was kind enough to leave behind his elbow bads and knee pads as well:

I've only been Rollerblading once. I took a friend who was visiting over to Santa Monica and she insisted on making me try. I'm pretty clumsy so she was doing this strictly so she could mock me openly. I actually didn't do as horribly as we both had expected, only falling once when I first got them on and was getting used to them. Once I started moving, I was fine--although I did have to grab her a few times to steady myself so that I wouldn't fall and die. Afterwards, she bladed into the bathroom to take care of some business and I decided that it would be in my best interest to hold off, because I did not want to be covered in my own urine. While she was in there, I took a pretty nasty spill on the concrete.

Suddenly, a pack of kids aged 10 - 14 were swarming around me trying to help me up--clearly having been taught to protect their elders. They kept saying things like, "Are you all right, mister??" It was absolutely one of the more humiliating moments of my life. Especially since my friend saw the whole thing.

As sad as that was, nothing could compare to the horror of having to wear these. . .

These brown suede boots with yellowing fur inside might just be the cruelest shoes out there. I didn't want to get too close to them because they were just nasty. But I will say they were gone within a few hours of being placed up for who am I to judge?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Worthy

This was a big weekend in Hollywood. Not only were the Oscars last night, but so many NeighborGoodies showed up in the laundry room this weekend, that they actually spilled over to the underside of the table. Apparently, someone was moving out and ran out of room in the moving truck.

The Oscar goody bags make headlines every year, but few people know that just about every TV and movie production has some kind of swag--which unofficially stands for "Shit We All Get." This piece of swag is from the 2003 film "The Fighting Temptations"
Here's the plot, according to IMDB: A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect.

Well, at least it's plausible. Kind of like Sister Act meets Easy Money. (Who wouldn't want a Rodney Dangerfield musical number?) Shockingly, this film was never nominated for any Oscars, but it did manage to score a Razzie nomination for star Cuba Gooding Jr. (who was also Razzed for his work in Boat Trip and Radio that year, but ultimately lost out to Ben Affleck on the strength of Daredevil, Paycheck and Gigli.) The Fighting Temptations did manage to win Film of the Year at the American Black Film Festival as well as a couple of Black Reel awards. Perhaps the winner used this swag bag to carry his awards to his luxurious Hollywood Hills Apartment.

This same guy probably got this bag during his work on the set of a film that actually did win an Oscar: The Wonder Boys:

Nominated for three, and bringing home one (for Best Original Song), 2000's "Wonder Boys" was also up for 29 other prestigious awards that no one's heard of, bringing home 14 of the honors, including: the "USC Scripter Award" and a coveted SEFCA award! At least Hollywood doesn't over-congratulate itself ever.


Also downstairs this weekend is a mug (which has some sort of yellow liquid in it) from a production facility:

The Hollywood Production Center is located in lovely Hollywood Hills Adjacent, and is home to many TV and Film offices. In fact, I had the worst job interview of my life there. As a Big Shot Freelance TV Producer, I'm used to these meetings and they generally go pretty well for me. They look at my resume, see that I've worked on ten thousand tv shows that are exactly the same as what they're trying to do, even though theirs is somehow "different" and "special." Then we talk money and they hire me. I expected the same since two of my friends had recommended me to this toolbag.

But alas, he immediately hated me and we had a pretty bad rapport. At one point, he actually said to me: "What's the real you like? Tell me something that's not on your resume."

"Umm, I don't know. I kinda hate you," is what was going through my mind. I only shared the first half of that with him. I asked him what, specifically, he would like to know. He sort of shrugged and called in his boss to meet with me.

His boss was friendlier-ish, but when the first guy mentioned that the gig would last for eight months, the boss scoffed and said, "Well, we'd need to see if you are a fit before we commit to that kind of schedule. . ."

After it was clear that I would not be fitting in, I thanked them for their time and left. I got a call a few days later saying that I didn't get the job. Shocker. Later, I heard that they were afraid of me because I was "too polite" and the boss apparently said he "didn't want to get sued if I said the word pussy" in front of me... which is hilarious since I do have a show about the Playboy Mansion on my resume.

The only thing that makes me feel better is that they probably got all of their TV Production knowledge out of a the one conveniently left at the NeighborGoodies:

If they handed out Razzies for TV, I'd nominate those guys in second. Of course, I'd probably have an armload of them maybe I should just shut it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

These items are, I'm sure, are happily left behind.

This Coyote Ugly shirt represents the worst of the worst to me: The female counterpart to the guy who left behind these shirts. This girl is hopefully on the path to non-douchiness. Perhaps the next step is covering up her tramp stamp. (If she can figure out a way to leave it on the NeighborGoodies Table, I'll be quite impressed.)

She was clearly the type of girl who wore sparkling shirts to the gym, but has clearly turned her back on this lifestyle.

She has also gotten rid of a lot of her work clothes. I imagine her in a Dilbert-like office environment, her co-workers thinking she's "totally outrageous and hilarious" because she flirts with the boss and probably swears in the lunch room.

To her credit, she is getting rid of the whore-pants that make her look like the office skank:

She also contributed this sweater...
...which actually holds the world's record for the highest turtleneck in history!

These jeans also found their way down. . .
. . .along with this pair of headache-inducing plaid pants.
They remind me of the ties we had to wear in grade school. Except ours also had orange lines in them. Heinous.

I've been searching for an image of them online all day, but I've had no luck.

Whatever. Clothes aren't ever my favorite NeighborGoodie because I find them boring.

The end.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Rainbow Connection

Today's NeighborGoodies are pretty straight forward. There's this random photo of Marilyn Monroe that was torn out of a magazine:

Perhaps someone was using it to celebrate Presidents Day?

And one of the few eco-friendly NeighborGoodies to cross our paths:

This canvas bag, which features lots of photos of what looks to be run-of-the-mill Hollywood Freaks. There's a lot of weird looking people in this town, and it seems as though this bag is made up of a lot of them. In addition to lots of shirtless guys (both fat and fit) and scantily clad women, there's also a lot of piercings, a lot of bad wigs and bad facial hair, and a few people making faces directly into the camera. There's something vaguely familiar about a lot of the people on the bag...I can't tell if they are people from the 'hood, or if a lot of them are character actors. . .

Perhaps one of them is a painter and painted this. . .

Or maybe this painting is a final statement from the person who left behind all the blue things the other day.

Like--she's blue on the outside and when you go in deeper and deeper, you find warmth! Yes, that must be it! And so she removed all the blue from her life in an effort to get to the creamy yellow and red center.

I did a modicum of research about color theory and discovered these interesting factoids about blue:


The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

While this text indicates that blue is pretty much a good color (hence it being in the sky and all), it does state that blue can be cold and depressing...but it seems like it's mostly producing tranquility in your brain. Maybe this person shouldn't be getting rid of the blues after all. . .

Once she's left with Yellow and Red, let's see what she'll have:


Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism.


The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention.

So, essentially, she's getting rid of peace and tranquility and trading it in for a shorter temper and a quicker metabolism. That means she'll be pissed, but skinny--except if she's wearing which case she'll apparently look fat. Who knew?

Or maybe someone in the building just didn't like the painting, which does pale in comparison to my favorite piece of art that ever wound up here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blue Monday

This weekend, there were lots of NeighborGoodies laying around. The first two tiny items are beauty product samples:
This teensy tiny container of Blue Chamomile Day Moisturizer is about the size of a quarter and came from EvanHealy company, along with this tiny bottle of Blue Lavender Cleansing Milk:

My question is, when did "blue" become an ingredient for face creams and "cleansing milk" (whatever that is)? A quick trip to the Evan Healy web site reveals that these are "Holistic" skin care products, but it doesn't seem to mention how much blue is contained in their products. According to the web site, these products were featured in an article in Martha Stewart's now-defunct Blueprint Magazine.

Then I realized that the rest of the items on the blue table that is NeighborGoodies Central, were also quite blue, including these two postcards:

Both of these postcards feature works of art by Eric Drooker from a 1992 book called Flood! A Novel In Pictures, which is described as "a modern novel written in the ancient language of pictures."

Is it a coincidence, or is someone consciously making an effort to remove the color blue from their lives? Perhaps they took it too literally when they were told to do something to get rid of their blues.

Also removed from their troubled life, this light blue 2008 weekly planner:

This one dollar blue item was likely purchased in order to help this individual gain control of their life, but was ultimately discarded six weeks into the year, without a single plan inside of it.

The final piece of blue baloney is quite similar to an item I was pissed off about just a mere ten days ago. Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the Return of Carpet Madness:

Yes...once again the NeighborGoodies table has been bequeathed a vehicle of feces in the form of a used toilet seat cover and bathroom floor cozy--with the same exact pattern as the red ones that appeared weeks ago--have a look:

A Neighboroodies Flashback!

Same hideous floral pattern....same misguided notion that someone in this building wants these things.

And finally, all of these blue items were being overseen by this pissed-off cat:

While the kitty itself isn't blue, I'm sure that it was still causing the NeighborGooder a mild case of The Blues, so clearly it had to go as well.

Hopefully this person searching for a sense of order will find happiness in her blue-less existence. And, hopefully, we here in the Hollywood Hills will benefit by getting their Smurfs DVDs.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stop, Collaborate and LISTEN!

First up, I want to thank NeighborGoodies enthusiast Kate who managed to shed some light on yesterday's Goodie.

As it turns out, this thing. . . actually a valet--a rack to hang a suit on. The bottom metal ring is to dangle your pants while the top hanger-like thing is, well, a hanger for a suit jacket. There's even a hook for a tie! And the top ashtray is used to deposit high class items such as cuff links, tie clips and money holders, because you're rich and you wear suits all the time.

Clearly, I don't dress well enough because I've never crossed paths with such a piece of furniture. I apparently am living in less luxury than the other tenants in my building, who have spare suit racks just lying around their apartments.

Anyway, onward and upward. The creators of today's NeighborGoodie have managed to avoid the current "Blu-Ray or HD-DVD" quagmire by simply choosing to distribute their new film on VHS.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Look . . .and Listen:

According to the back of the video box, this collection of three short films is "an honest look at inner city teens and their struggle to avoid drugs and alcohol." It is written by local teens and their mentors...which might explain why the characters have names like "Preppy" and "Little" and "Cheez."

If you click on the images below, taken from the back cover, you'll be able to read the synopses of the three short films, as well as the full story behind the creation of this collection:

These films, with their universal high-school themes of running with the wrong crowd, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and people named Cheez, remind me of ABC's Afterschool Specials which ran in the 80s and 90s--including my favorite: "Too Soon for Jeff" which starred Freddie Prinze Jr. as a master debater in high school whose future is thrown into doubt when he knocks up Jessica Alba. Too soon for Jeff, indeed. Hopefully, the characters in Listen's The End of Something New will follow in Freddie Prinze Jr.s footsteps and do the Right Thing!

And the best part is, you can take a copy for yourself and a troubled friend!

I do have to admit that as far as NeighborGoodies go, this one isn't so bad. At least it's got a positive message. Although since it is still sealed, it is clear that whoever had these tapes didn't bother to watch. She's probably a baby mama by now, living illegally in the broom closet contained inside of the NeighborGoodies laundry room, where she likely places her infant inside of the dryers at night to keep him warm. I half expect to find the bastard child on the blue table, left amongst the abandoned VHS tapes, toasters and old shoes. And when I do, you can bet you'll see it first right here at NeighborGoodies!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Thing

This item has been hanging around the NeighborGoodies table all week long, but it took me until this morning to realize it is, in fact, a giveaway.

The problem is that it's not actually on the Official NeighborGoodies Table...just kinda near it, which is probably why no one has taken it yet:

Ok, maybe that's not the problem. Perhaps the problem is that no one knows what the hell this thing is. In fact, I'm not sure that this item has a real function.

It's got the base of a lamp. . .

....and has hanger-like arms coming out of it. . .

The top portion looks like it was removed from a sturdy wooden hanger, and the bottom, metal contraption spins for some inexplicable reason.

And the whole mess is capped off with what seems to be . . .an ash tray?

This Frankenstein of furniture begs the question: What is it?

I started thinking that maybe it's a coat rack, but it only stands about four and a half feet high total, and the two sets of arms are way too low to the ground to hang anything of length on them. Plus, it would only really work if you used the two sets of arms as why bother?

It really does seem lamp-like in its structure, but there is no place for a bulb. Or a lampshade, for that matter.

That metal set of arms beneath the wooden hanger is kind of like a paper towel dispenser, but I couldn't find a way to separate it from the rest of the body to install a roll.

And as an ashtray, it seems pretty inconvenient. You certainly couldn't sit around it and smoke, unless you were on a pretty high barstool, or a bunch of chairs stacked upon one another. And that just seems like a lot of effort.

But the fact that the metal dish on top is pretty clean (for a NeighborGoodie) indicates that it probably wasn't ever used as an ash tray.

And so, dear reader(s)...i just have no idea what the hell this is.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not just Closer to Free...

...but ACTUALLY free!

Oh, I love me some pop culture items--especially when they're free! This XL hoodie from the 1994 hit Fox series Party of Five somehow found its way out of the hands of a trusty crew member (or Suncoast shopper) and onto the NeighborGoodies pile eight full years after the show's cancellation:

This piece of swag, with the show's logo emblazoned on the chest, is pretty well-worn, but it is a must-have for any fan of the show!

One of my first celebrity sightings when I moved to LA was Party of Five star Scott Wolf at the Rite Aid on Fairfax. My first roommate and I were buying toiletries when she spotted the petite actor in the checkout lane next to us. She called him "Hot Wolf" at the time. I made some lame height joke: "More like 'Party of Five-FIVE'!" You know...cuz he's small.

Would that joke have read better if I wrote: Party of 5'5"?

Maybe.'s the show's opening credits for you to enjoy:

And now, you're free to go. Because everybody really does want to be closer to free.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

These Boots Were Made for Dancin'. . .

The great thing about some of the NeighborGoodies that are left on a daily basis: You can find a whole new life for yourself. For example, if you were bored today, you could head down there and pick out an exciting new (to you) pair of work boots and begin a career in, say, construction!

For a used pair of boots, these things are in pretty decent shape.

And since they're Brahma Boots: The Name to Trust, you know they must be great!

You could work veryhard building things on construction sites! You might even be able to weld in these shoes! WOW!

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull after a long day at the construction site, you can return home to grab your gal for a night on the town. But first, you'll want to stop off at NeighborGoodies Central to find everything she'll need tonight! Including these snazzy high heels:

You'll be happy to note that these shoes are standing in a pile of crumbs left from the weekend's toaster. . .

Despite the small sweat stain near the toes, these used "What's what" shoes by Aerosoles are just what you need to go out. But don't be an idiot: No one can go out just wearing shoes! Well, you're in luck because today only, you can find a fancy cocktail dress!

Now you've got everything you could ever possibly need to have a great night out, just in time for Valentine's Day! And with all the money you've just saved on a new outfit--why not treat yourself to a night out on the town? For ideas, look no further than the entrance to our lovely apartment complex.

I normally wouldn't post anything outside of the NeighborGoodies table, but some (presumably drunk) random has doctored the STOP sign that adorns our gated garage:

Clearly, this is a sign from the gods themselves to take your new work boots, high heels and party dress to go out dancin'!