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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

. . .And All I Got Was This Lousy. . .

There's nothing worse than going on a trip and remembering that you need to bring back a gift for someone. It always puts undue pressure on everyone involved because no matter what you get, it's going to be lame--especially if you're like me and you wait until you're at the airport to purchase your merchandise. It's equally bad for the giftee as well, who now needs to pretend that he or she likes what you've given them, even though it is clearly lame.

I imagine that one of the NeighborGooders went to Vegas for his bachelor party, drank his face off and, as his booze-filled near-corpse was being dragged through the airport to come back, he managed to sober up enough to realize that if he didn't buy something for his fiancé, he would likely be killed upon his return. He was not, however, in any state to pick something of quality out, for only a person in a drunken haze at an airport gift shop would choose this:

Yes, that's a canary yellow t-shirt with a cartoon slot machine and the phrase "STRIKE IT RICH" emblazoned on it. STRIKE IT RICH-- No period, exclamation point or emotion involved whatsoever.

What occurred next was undoubtedly the biggest fight of their young lives as a couple, followed immediately by him going out to purchase a sweet, tender, sensitive "Forgive Me" item... which also ended up on the table:

...along with the supplies they were going to use to decorate their first Luxurious Home together (in the Hollywood Hills!):

This unloved stuffed animal and these unused paintbrushes & rollers are all that's left of a relationship gone sour; a blank canvas that was marred with canary-yellow annoyance... an annoyance usually saved for a forgotten anniversary or a midlife crisis.

And that's why airport gift shops should be outlawed. The end.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Going Down?

Over the years, the elevators here in this fine establishment I like to call home have been spotty at best. They were constantly breaking down, only working about 30% of the time. This prompted a 'major upgrade' last year, after which they immediately stopped working altogether. This is a problem, as the elevators are the most convenient way to get to the NeighborGoodies Table--especially for the heavy things.

Recently, a new upgrade project was initiated and as of this weekend, both elevators were restored to proper working order, much to the shock of everyone in the building.

Even more shocking is the fact that after two full days of uninterrupted service (a record!), I found part of the newly-working (but-now-broken-again) elevators on the NeighborGoodies Table:

Here, we have the frosted translucent glass that once covered the overhead lights in the elevators. There is also what looks to be a fan... although it could very well be the motor or the brakes for all I know. Either way, if the elevators are going to wind up on the NeighborGoodies table piece by piece, I'm taking the stairs.

Apparently, the building management has just given up on having elevators at all, and are donating them to anyone who might like to build one in the comfort of their own home! Finally, a way for you to access those hard-to-reach areas!

Or perhaps this is a cry for help. Maybe they want the residents to take a crack and fixing these things, since whoever they're hiring doesn't seem to be working out. Or maybe they're working on extending the elevator shaft directly to hell. That might take a while.

Oh wait... no it won't.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy Wars

Apparently the Mormon DVDs from yesterday didn't sit too well with someone, as they were replaced with several homemade bible quotes:

But these aren't just any old Bible Quotes. We're not talking the hits here, like "An Eye for an Eye" or any sort of Christmas or Easter story. No, these are passages from the rarely-quoted books of the Philippians and Ephesians. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I'm only dimly aware of their existence because even our priests didn't care about them.

This is exactly like when a radio station refuses to play your favorite songs, instead opting for 'deeper cuts' to try to be edgy. Guess what? No one cares. People don't want to hear anything by Bon Jovi except for "Living on a Prayer," and even that's pushing it. Likewise with these Bible Quotes: If you're not going to overtly threaten us with fire and brimstone--the good stuff--why bother printing these ridiculous passages (on pastel paper, no less)?

What kind of person would specifically print out bible quotes (suitable for framing!) to place on the NeighborGoodies table? I think it must be some former man or woman of the cloth, or perhaps the retired substitute teacher that is roaming the halls of this building. She may have decided that our depraved lives of luxury in the Hollywood Hills are leading us down a dangerous path, and that we need a big ole Cup of Jesus to help us through the day.

Or perhaps these are the first bold steps in a Hollywood Hills Holy War. First Mormon DVDs, then Bible Quotes. Soon there will be statues that cry blood, potato chips in the shape of Mary, and NeighborGoodies suicide bombers. It's really only a matter of time before someone winds up being crucified on the big, blue table. I just hope to God it isn't me, because I have stuff to do. Like take photos of said crucifixion and write about it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

MawMaw's Family

Over the weekend, a couple of "Feature Films for Families" appeared on the NeighborGoodies table. The Films are made in Murray, UT--home of Mormania™--so you know they are just dripping with moral fiber.
The first film, Same River Twice, is the gripping story of "Kramer and his old river-running buddies: Skinner, Mikey and Stan" as they revisit the "breathtaking and dangerous Salmon River." It's more than just a reunion, however! No... they were all brought together... for a reason!

Sounds riveting. A quick visit to the "Same River Twice" IMDB page reveals little more about the movie, aside from one fan's review where she explains what happened when she was watching it: "My 12 year old grandson walked by the t.v. on the way outside to play (on a lovely day I might add) when he stopped in his tracks, turned to me and said, 'MawMaw, I'm gonna watch this for a minute before I go out.' That 'minute' ended with the final credits."

Let me tell you something, MawMaw... I can almost guarantee that your grandson would rather be doing ANYTHING ELSE besides watching this Mormon-themed flick with you. I'm positive that he was on his way outside when he saw some bully that has been terrorizing him. Rather than getting his ass kicked, he stayed inside with your bony ass and watched these four middle-aged men preach heavy-handed values at him. He likely would have taken his chances with the fucker outside if he knew a Family Discussion was coming, using the questions featured on the back of the DVD case:

MawMaw also likely had Seasons of the Heart up her sleeve, in case young Wilbur Q. Nerdington's bully was still lurking outside:

As you can see, this movie is billed as "A story for anyone who has ever loved a child." On the back, we discover that this is the tale of Jed and Martha, who agree to raise Daniel the Orphan. Jed's psyched, but Martha's still cranky about her own two daughters who perished "on the trek across the American Plains." Martha is then "swept away each day in a thousand wistful memories" in which her "golden-haired daughters dance through her aching heart."


This one also has a Family Discussion guide:

#4 indicates that there is even a Manger Scene in this gem! I'm pretty sure that after this double feature, MawMaw's grandson immediately took these films to the NeighborGoodies table and submitted himself to a beating outside, praying for death... or at least severe memory loss to block these movies out.

Meanwhile, MawMaw, starved for attention from her grandson, has likely gone to the Family Films website, where she will buy dozens of these stunningly boring morality tales because she thinks young Wilbur loves them. While there, she can also pick up a DVD player that promises to somehow edit out Sex, Violence and Profanity from regular movies--which will likely also end up on the NeighborGoodies table in the coming weeks if MawMaw's precious little angel has anything to do with it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Local Warming

People often say that one of the best things about living in Southern California is the weather, and I'd agree with that if the air wasn't crunchy. As it stands, I will admit that temperature-wise, the weather is great, but it actually gets pretty damned cold sometimes in the winter. Certainly, it's not nearly as bad as the rest of the country . . .not by a long shot, but when it dips into the 40s during those winter nights, you'll want to bring some blankets. . .and maybe one of these:

The Good-Housekeeping-Approved 1500 Watt "Rapid-Heat" Heater/Fan from Holmes Air, which is mercifully "Equipped with New Ceramic Control and Auto Safety Shutoff!"

Despite the winter chill, I will say that this "electronic fan-forced convection room heater" which "Delivers 5,120 BTU's of clean heat output" is pretty useless, as The Luxurious Apartments here in the Hollywood Hills are equipped with some of the most technologically advanced heating systems known to man:

Each room in the apartment features an "Electric-Heat" thermostat just like the one above. If you click the dial from the 'off' position, a not-entirely-unpleasant (but still incredibly alarming) wave of silent heat emanates from inside the popcorn/plaster/asbestos combo which passes for the ceiling. The ensuing warmth that washes over you from above creates a sort of "toaster oven" effect on the entire area. Despite the presence of a "Comfort Zone" on the thermostat, if you dare turn the dial further than the "50" position, all of your belongings will immediately begin to smolder. Apparently, the 50 indicates how many suns you want to use to heat your apartment up.

If, for some reason, you do turn the dial to the Comfort Zone, you will swiftly and instantly burst into flames--which is exactly what happened to two residents last year. As they burned, the NeighborGooders ran screaming from the building, setting the nearby Hollywood Hills alight--causing the major fire you surely recall:

I only hope that whoever picks up the Rapid-Heat NeighborGoodie is smart enough to use it responsibly--IE not in conjunction with the built-in death-ray heater. We certainly don't want the entire NeighborGoodies Building going up in flames... because if the big, blue table is gone, where would everyone put their stuff?

PS: Be sure to check out the all-new NeighborGoodies myspace page!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Case of the Suitcase: A NeighborGoodies Mystery!

The NeighborGoodies table, while often used for good, can actually be used to get rid of evidence. Sinister evidence! For example, this suitcase:

It is well-worn--almost too well-worn, if you ask me. Why is this bag traveling so much? Clearly it's because there's some sort of International Espionage going on.

I like to think that this suitcase was accidentally picked up at the airport, in classic 80's Sitcom Suitcase Mix-Up fashion, and that the NeighborGooder was followed back to their Luxurious Home right here in the Hollywood Hills by its original owner: An International Soviet Sitcom Spy! This spy was then forced to secretly switch the bags back and retrieve the microfiche that she mysteriously put in with the checked baggage, even though it is a matter of International Importance!

The Sitcom Spy then had to throw out her identity completely and start anew. It sounds crazy, but the evidence of this wacky misunderstanding follows--but I must warn you: It's not pretty. Not pretty at all.

First up. . .

. . .there's this handsome Ann Taylor pinstriped power jacket, the perfect disguise for any Spy-on-the-go--especially when paired up with these shoes. . .

. . .which, conveniently enough, are next to another power-outfit. This blouse and skirt are perfect for any business meetings or assassinations you may have at home or abroad! There's also this pile of costumes designed to make you fit in to any crowd:

A Hawaiian Muu Muu, along with some corduroys and various woolen items mean our Gal Spy is ready for any climate that her missions may send her to.

I can hear what you're saying, dear NeighborGoodie Enthusiast: "Don't be retarded. These clothes are not from a spy, you incredibly creative and amazing writer! They are just from someone with a tragic sense of fashion!" Normally I'd agree with you, especially when this sea-foam green jacket is involved. . .

. . . however, the evidence of a Sitcom Spy Mission gone wrong is overwhelming!

Take this sheer black & white patterned scarf:

See? It's perfect for any disguise or spy-related strangulation! And these. . .uhh...fancy, filthy black shoes. . .

. . . still with the original owner's toe-prints still clearly visible! Likely, these belonged to the NeighborGooder who mistakenly took this suitcase in the first place. Obviously, she had to be destroyed by our Soviet Spy--if you look closely enough, you can even see signs of the struggle-- her toes curling as she was strangled by that black and white number up there.

Still don't believe me? Have a look at this pile of endless hideousness also inside the International Suitcase of Mystery:

Especially this pair of pants. . .

. . .which is Stained. That's right... STAINED! Stained with either lipstick, Kool-Aid, or. . . the evidence of a bloody, violent spy-related murder.

Outrageous? Maybe. But the likelihood of an actual non-spy human being owning all of these clothes seems very slim to me. Oh sure, these don't look like the glamorous spy costumes you'd see in the movies, but this is real life, not Hollywood! Well... I mean it's technically Hollywood... but, you know... real-life Hollywood, not . . . you know what I mean. shut up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ottoman Empire

I saw this small, hideous ottoman on the floor beneath the NeighborGoodies table. . .

. . .and decided that I wanted to put it on the table in order to get a better look at it and take its picture. I wanted to get some cool shots of the ornate design on the ottoman itself, not to mention the hideous fabric. However, when I tried to move this beast, I discovered that it is the single heaviest piece of furniture on the entire planet.

It's just stunning. It must have taken at least two people to move this beast down to the NeighborGoodies Laundry Room, and they both likely collapsed before they were able to place it on the table itself. It was left on the floor as everyone involved was carted off to the hospital to be treated for hernias, exhaustion and terrible taste in furniture.

Fortunately, only one of them fractured their skull on the NeighborGoodies floor upon impact, as the other one landed softly on this equally hideous pillow. . .

. . .which, as the color scheme suggests, looks like it was taken directly from the set of Miami Vice. . .Then kicked around and chewed up for 25 years. Just like me! Wait... what. . .?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pot of Gold

They say at the end of a rainbow, you'll find a pot of gold. However, when the end of that rainbow is found at a big, blue table, you'll find treasures of a different sort. Treasures such as this astonishingly bland-looking book called, well, Rainbow's End by Irene Hannon:

The book was a free gift with something and is described on the cover as "A wholesome, tender romance novel." The absence of a shirtless man holding a half-naked woman on the cover gives this novel a distinct "Christian" feel, so I opened the cover to read a little bit about it, and Irene's bio and accompanying photo confirmed my suspicions:

This photo makes Irene look like a former nun, and the bio describes her books as "emotionally gripping" and tells us they feature "hope-filled endings that highlight the tremendous power of love and faith to transform lives."

I've never heard of a romance novel with a Christian edge, so I did a little more research on Irene. This bio uses the term "ecclesiastical" and describes her as wondering "if she is the only person in America who doesn't own a microwave!" Apparently, she doesn't live near a NeighborGoodies table, otherwise she'd have one.

I assume, since it's Christian, that the main character drives a station wagon, has lots of cats and doesn't actually sleep with anyone. She prefers, instead, to hold prayer groups, bake cookies and secretly pleasure herself before running to confession. Sounds like a real page-turner.

Also left behind is a little romance-novel mood-lighting:

This Cande-Lite brand candle, which smells like dust and sadness, provides the perfect compliment to read your Christian romance novel by! It's a match made in Heaven!

But I'd rather have a pot of gold.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Correction Fluid

First off, let me take a moment to apologize and correct some errors that have been featured on the pages of NeigbhorGoodies. Last week, I mistakenly identified these Korean CEO Magazines as Japanese. . .

As my friend pointed out: "The guys on the cover are too fat to be Japanese." She's right, and I'm sorry.

And just last post, I couldn't figure out what the holes in this metal shelf were for:

My pal Kibble suggests that they are to hold candles, which was my initial thought as well. But then I realized that heating up metal with multiple open flames is probably a terrible idea, unless you plan on using the shelf as a weapon against intruders (or loved ones, for that matter. Who am I to judge?)

Anyway, I'm more inclined to believe Lucia Pamela, who thinks the holes are for potted plants.

So from now on, I plan on doing a little more research before I just post things willy-nilly, and I can absolutely guarantee that what you read from here on out will be dripping with triple-checked accuracy.

With that, I bring you today's NeighborGoodie, found on our big, brown table:

. . .an industrial-sized tub of generic Target-brand Typewriter Correction Fluid, for all your print needs! Instead of a clumsy, minuscule brush that takes forever to apply, this off-brand of Liquid Paper comes with an easy-to-use pump to correct all of your large-scale typographical errors! I'm told this is how the pros at Wikipedia fix their fact, I used a few squirts to fix the erros on this very blog!

Once again, I'd like to apologize for any inconvenience my earlier mistakes may have caused, and I vow to bring you nothing but facts on the filthy items left on the neon green NeighborGoodeeze table.

And I thank you for your patients.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back to the Grind...

On my way to the gym, I saw these three items hanging out on the NeighborGoodies Table:

A metal shelf (which, for some reason, has holes in it), a trendy lamp, and a high-end coffee maker--with Grinder!

I forgot my camera and was late (ofcourseIwas) so I took this photo hastily with my cell phone, with the intention of taking proper portraits later if the objects were still there. (There's a veryquick turnaround on the NeighborGoodies Table. I'm just saying...)

When I arrived home again, I heard an eerie sound coming from NeighborGoodies Central. I walked in to find the room filled with thick steam, while the Sassy Russian Maintenance Man and his trusty sidekick, the Mustachioed Mexican Custodian tested the coffeemaker on top of one of the dryers. Usually, the Sassy Russian Guy just complains about having to clean off the NeighborGoodies table every day...I had no idea that he was part of a NeighborGoodies Quality Assurance Team!

I asked what was going on and the custodian loudly informed me (over the shrieking noise the coffeepot was emitting) that he was frustrated because it was not grinding any of his beans, and didn't seem to be working at all.

It's weird (and a little rude) that instead of throwing it out, the NeighborGooder simply left this broken piece of poo on the table for someone else to deal with. But what's doubly weird to me is that these guys just had coffee beans laying around, waiting to be ground...unless they were left in the coffeemaker as it was discarded, which is totally disgusting (and totally possible.)

As the Mustachioed Man tinkered with the coffeepot, it began to drip a little and he swelled with pride. His Sassy Russian counterpart wanted no part of these shenanigans and vowed to go to Starbucks as soon as he tossed out the useless hole-y shelf. I laughed to myself...then went to my office and promptly broke the coffee machine there. I found myself wishing I had stuck around for some NeighborGoodies Roast™ which, if I was lucky, could have killed me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Get Rich Quick!

Living in Luxury takes lots of money. Luckily, one happy Luxury Liver has chosen to share his secret of success right here on the NeighborGoodies table:

Chances are, he or she has so much money from reading this book, that they ran out of room in their spacious apartment here in the Hollywood Hills. Having already made a fortune, their only option was to share their secret with some lucky burgeoning investor who happened to be doing laundry. If you're really serious about being as successful as someone living in this building, you'll want to get started right away. Luckily, there's a brand new (to you!) office chair set up at NeighborGoodies Central just for you:

This way, you can sit right down at the big blue table and figure out your financial future instantly, while your delicates are drying!

As I look at this photo, I'm reminded of when I first moved to Hollywood with nothing but a dream and about four cents to my name. When I first got here...I didn't even live in luxury! In fact, it took months before I could even find a real job. I eventually had to give up and find work through a temp agency, who were eager to place me somewhere "In the Industry!"

Apparently "The Industry" they were referring to wasn't Entertainment, as they immediately placed me at a company whose main function was to design offices. They took care of everything from lighting to furniture to cubical design. They had a room full of catalogs they referred to as "The Library," which featured endless photos of the different furniture available for your new office. My function, at $8 - 10/hour, was to reorganize this library by collecting the loose pages of these catalogs from the sales team and putting them back in order by object. In other words: I filed pictures of chairs.

These chairs were placed in different books based on their unique features. Features most humans don't even think about when considering office chairs. Features such as:

1. Do they have arms?

2. Do they have wheels? (And if so, how many? Chairs with four wheels were in one category, while chairs with five wheels were in a different category. Chairs with Five wheels and two arms were often very high end, while chairs with no wheels were in a different category altogether: Guest Chairs.)

3. What kind of fabric are the chairs made of? (Leather = good. Everything else = bad.)

4. Chair Color, to match any office décor!

5. Special Functions of the chairs (These included, but aren't limited to: How high you can raise the chair, whether or not the chair can lean back, does it vibrate, etc.)

When I worked there, filing pictures of furniture all day long, it didn't take me long to understand why some men go home and beat their wives. It was the single most soul-sucking experience of my life; and I've worked in Reality TV. I also don't think I need to tell you that the office chair available as a NeighborGoodie is pretty low-end, even with its five wheels. With no arms, no leather and a crooked back, it's certainly not a chair that someone who's investing in Mutual Funds would ever want around them. Because, according to the company I worked at, "Success is Where You Sit!™"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Turning Japanese

Apparently, someone from Japan is now living in luxury in the Hollywood hills. . .or maybe someone is simply obsessed with Japanese Culture:

Despite not reading or speaking Japanese, I assume that inside of Japanese CEO Magazine, you'll find interesting articles explaining how to become a successful CEO of your very own Japanese Business! According to this article, the secret to success seems to be all about what kind of tie you wear.

The Japanese are very innovative with their business-wear! But CEO Magazine isn't just about business. Whoever dropped off these magazines left one specific issue open to a page with pictures depicting the aftermath of the earthquake in China from May, along with this note:

Living in Earthquake country, these pictures do tell an astounding story of the devastation an earthquake can cause. I must note, however, that I'm confused by the NeighborGooder's choice of writing a note (with words) to tell us that these pictures need no words to tell us about the devastation.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Return of Carpet Madness

With the triumphant return of the elevators...comes the triumphant return of unwieldy and oversized Neighborgoodies!

Up for grabs today is this massive carpet, complete with what looks to be food, drink and cigar stains:

As filthy and stained as this carpet least it's not from the bathroom, like the filthiest of all Neighborgoodies.

The unique design of this handsome carpet seems to be a cross between a chalk outline (drawn by a strokey chalk artist) and some sort of vein-like design. Perhaps it's a post-modern, artsy statement about the human condition--how food, drink and smoke impede the flow of your veins inside your body, as well as on your fancy carpet. Or perhaps it is an actual murder scene. It's hard to tell sometimes here in the Hollywood Hills.