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

Monday, March 30, 2009


Since the Dawn of NeighborGoodies, lo those many moons ago (about 15 months' worth of moons, to be specific...) I have been sneaking around my Luxurious Hollywood Hills apartment building, secretly snapping photos of the miscellany that has been dumped in the laundry room. As I've said before, I didn't want anyone in the building to know about this little project, partly because I don't want to compromise the "integrity" of the NeighborGoodies by having thwarters plant items... but mainly because I don't want any of the would-be murderers in the building to become actual murderers after reading my stunningly accurate descriptions of them and their objects.

And so, for over a year, the Secret was, well... a secret.

Then last week, a friend from the building found me on Facebook. He's lived here for years, and I've known him since I moved to LA almost 10 years ago. We worked together on my first job out here, and then lost touch until he found me (oddly enough) in the laundry room soon after he had moved into the building, completely by coincidence.

Because I often use Facebook to alert people when there's a particularly interesting post, I knew the proverbial jig was up.

I fired off an email that said, "Can you keep a secret?" And just like that, the cat was out of the bag.

He called later to tell me that A: He enjoyed the blog and B: that there were a bunch of mugs and a light bulb on the table. Like this one, which sadly is only the second ugliest of the bunch:

This mug, which is designed to look as though it was pieced together using tiny green brickettes and other assorted masonry to create the flower, was actually stolen from Mon Sushi. I know that because it is written in itty-bitty letters near the bottom of the mug:

Weirdly, a place called Mon Sushi with a different phone number has recently gone out of business a few miles from here. However, a place called with that phone number exists in West Hollywood under the name of "Sushi Mon." What a mystery! Because of such confusion, I'll go ahead and assume this is all an elaborate trap to lure unsuspecting tea-sippers to their doom.

Also on the Big, Blue Table is this mug from the cruelly-named Performing Arts Physical Therapy studio...

...for anyone who took the phrase "break a leg" little too literally before hitting the stage.

And, of course, we have these three matching mugs...

...which look as though they were an artists' rendition of television's white noise, which were then filled up with hideousness... the form of rat droppings. But despite all this ugliness...

...the worst mug of all has to be this international piece of waste:

Featuring, among other things, haphazardly drawn cherries, glasses of wine, what look to be either strawberries or hearts, an Eiffel Tower and some birds all against a cloudy blue sky background, this thing screams of being a last-minute, thoughtless gift for someone purchased at the Airport.

I'm not entirely sure why the light bulb is stuffed inside of it...

...but it is, and it is almost guaranteed to set your apartment ablaze. That is, if you don't poison yourself by drinking out of one of the doody-infested mugs first.

Honorable Mention goes to the Lion King Sippy Cup...

...and to the Downstairs Neighbor Guy, who has become The first official in-building ally of NeighborGoodies. Thanks for alerting me to these items, and welcome to the team! Now shhhh!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vase Anatomy

Last week, while I was in JetLag Hell™, these two household items appeared, seemingly straight from an old episode of Wheel of Fortune, back when you were forced to spend your Winnings on items such as ceramic dogs and, well, hideous lamps and vases:

These items, along with their accompanying debris...

...seem pretty unremarkable at first--Especially this lamp...

...complete with its stained shade:

At what point do you stop using this lamp? It's base has been an eyesore since its inception in the Dynasty-era 80's, and I'm pretty sure that stain has been on the shade for a lot of years, so why are we just-now getting rid of it? I have to imagine it's because it recently stopped working and, like many other broken items we find at NeighborGoodies, the owners would rather deposit it onto the Big Blue Table "Just In Case" someone has a use for it. Which, of course, they never do.

Another seemingly useless piece of d├ęcor is this vase...

...with its, uhh, unique design:

I'm calling it a vase, but its breastacular lid, which is sealed on, actually makes storage of any stemmed piece of nature impossible. So, I suppose a more accurate description of it would be Oedipal Pottery, but that's not quite as catchy as "vase" or "eyesore."

I turned this item over to see if I could find any information on its Freudian origins and, as it turns out...
...this is a piece by Southern California pottery artist Tom Wallick from 1998. No matter where you click on his website, you are taken to a photo album of his work, where you can buy some of his pieces for 2-3 thousand dollars.

Two. To Three. Thousand.


Which means, basically, that someone who is Living in Luxury in these very Hollywood Hills threw out a BoobieVase that is quite possibly worth More Than TWO or THREE Thousand Dollars, clearly making this the Most Valuable NeighborGoodie Ever. (Even moreso than the $100 inflatable Charles Manson from a few weeks ago!)

Of course, by the time I did my research on this item, it was long gone. Luckily, I can buy more pieces at his web site...for two to three thousand dollars. And, thankfully, most of the items for sale don't even have anything to do with human anatomy.

Although some do:


Friday, March 20, 2009

Battle of the Lexus

The third and final post from the now-weeks-old Pile of Crazy:

Clearly the person who left this stuff behind...

...had a somewhat rough relationship with his car. After years of faithful service, the car likely started breaking down--and breaking his heart. Finally, after years of tinkering with the engine himself, he was forced to get rid of it and move on, suddenly leaving him with a pile of stuff that can only accumulate in a car's trunk over the years--which is often much like the items that accumulate on the Big Blue Table itself.

Few things scream "I Just Got A New Car" more than a pile of cassette tapes:

Especially ones from Black Sabbath, ZZ Top and Metallica... along with several mix tapes that were made over the years which, no doubt, include some Def Leppard, Warrant and, for some reason, Nelson.

In addition to the cassettes, this person also finally got rid of several other old and useless items that were popular in the midwest in the 90's.

Items such as The Club (Slogan: "Use It!") and an ice scraper, which has little-to-no-use here in sunny southern California indicating that this car hadn't been cleaned out since before its owner drove it to live in luxury in the Hollywood Hills.

Its tumultuous relationship with its owner is also indicated by the presence of a bicycle seat...

...which means the driver often had to pedal to or from work when the car decided to break down.

I'm not 100% sure where these wooly socks and shorts fit in:

but I guarantee you they probably were last used around the time of the ice scraper... and these blue Christmas icicle lights:

Because nothing says "broken down car" like icicle lights and a club.

In other news, I'm still jet-laggy, so I apologize for the rambly nature of these recent posts. Next week, I swear I'll be better. Maybe even funny. But I'm not promising anything.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Battle of the Exes

Oh, hello there! Welcome back to NeighborGoodies!

Obviously my intention to present some posts while in Japan never came to fruition, so please forgive my absence. You see, Japan is an incredibly distracting land. And there is a lot of sake there. Consequently, there was a lot of sake inside of me, which prevented me from presenting you with these items.

As you'll recall from last week, there was a big pile of craziness on the table just waiting to be mocked rationally discussed:

Since I've just gotten back from Tokyo, let's focus first on this Japanese bracelet...

....ok, so maybe it's Chinese. Whatever the case, this pink item with many fancy dragons looks like it was probably made at a Claire's in Chinatown, where a set of hooker earrings was also purchased:

Based on the items surrounding these jewels, I'm going to go ahead and say, for once, that they did not belong to a murderer. There's been a lot of talk about killers here on NeighborGoodies, and I don't want to be "that guy" who is always looking at everyone in the building as if they are about to murder everyone else in the building (we could only be so lucky, after all.)

I will say, however, that these items likely belonged to the killer's latest victim. The hooker earrings alone are enough evidence to put anyone behind bars--serial killers love themselves some ho's!

But there were likely other non-whorey victims, based on these board games:

These "Battle of the Sexes" Games market themselves as family fun, what with their Far Side-like cartoon drawings of man & woman in deep thought, as they try to answer the burning question: "Which is the Smarter Sex?" I'm not sure why we need two different versions of this board game (One regular, the other an IQ Test) but some lucky spouse got home one night to find his betrothed ready to prove herself as the smarter half in their relationship once and for all.

Being of a competitive nature, the mister likely got angry when the wife began beating him. She, as has happened a thousand times before, got pissed off, started yelling at him about things that happened fifteen years ago, went into their bedroom, slammed the door, opened it again, put this on the outside...

...and slammed it again.

The husband, tired of his wife always communicating via terribly non-hilarious drawings picked up at Spencer's, grabbed the nearest item--also picked up at Spencer's...

...his beloved Pet Rock, whom he often said was like a son to him, since the barren witch he married couldn't give him one, and smashed the door in... followed quickly by her skull.

Obviously the evidence was once again placed on NeighborGoodies Table in order for the world to see.

It's exhausting living in luxury.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Battle of the Axes

Konnichiwa NeighborGoodies Enthusiasts, and greetings from Tokyo, which is where I am, and will be for the next few days for work. If you want to read about my travel adventures, there’s a blog somewhere about them, although there's nothing there but an awesome graphic at the moment.

Clearly, you're here for some NeighboGoodies--and lucky for you, a vast array of craziness appeared on the NeighborGoodies Table last week:
I had no time to present them to you, as I was busy preparing for my sudden trip to Japan. And so, I will be happily reporting on those items while I’m here in the Land of the Rising Sun, getting blinded by all the bright colors and being crippled by the toilets.

First up, I want to start with the craziest of the crazy. I know we’ve been talking a lot about murderers here at NeighborGoodies in recent weeks, and some people seem to think that maybe I am paranoid and somewhat delusional when I say there are psycho killers roaming the halls of my apartment building . Well, to you I say "HA!" Now, I can PROVE once and for all that there is at least one murderer in the building.

"How," you ask?


Someone left one on the NeighborGoodies Table.


Yes, that’s right. It’s a fucking inflatable Charles Manson.


No sane person has this. None. So go ahead—you try to tell me that there aren’t murderers in my building! I dare you! Not only is Manson a murderer, but he killed a bunch of people right in Hollywood. Hooray.

In fact, that’s part of the reason I’m in Japan. I feel like this is a sign that some bad shit’s going down, and I want to be as far away as possible when it does

Also, who is making this? I mean, it says so clearly right here….

…but why? It also indicates that there are three other inflatable murderers out there, probably lurking in the Luxurious Hollywood Hills Halls. They're all part of the "Bizarre Icons" family...

...and the back of this monster has a suction cup, so that you might hang it from any of your windows for inspiration, or perhaps stick it to the tiled wall in your bathroom and use it as a flotation device, should some plumbing problems occur.

For those of you who are curious, the story of Charles Manson is printed on the back as well:
Feel free to click on the photos to read about this killer. But keep in mind that if you do, I will know not only who you are, but how crazy you are.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not-So-Hot Pot

Someone left behind this Toastmaster "Hot Pot"...

...complete with this note:
It simply states: "I can't get this to work but maybe you can!" This item has only the most basic technology--a plug and an on/off switch... and that's about it. There isn't even a temperature control on this piece of cookery. This is the kind of item that makes me want to bang on everyone's doors until I find the owner so that I may shout at them: "HEY! If you plugged it in and switched it to 'on' and it didn't work for you, it will not be working for anyone else. Because it is broken. Idiot!"

But then common sense kicks in and I realize they probably broke the damned thing by boiling one too many human heads inside of it...

Monday, March 2, 2009


While I often use the words "Scary" and "Terrifying" to identify NeighborGoodies, few actually rattle me to my core like this one does:

I think I speak for everyone when I wet my pants with fright and shout, "GOOD FUCKING CHRIST GET IT AWAY!"

I'd like to say this item, made out of what seems to be a wedding veil, is some sort of Halloween decoration, but its appearance four months after the holiday (and, coincidentally, eight months before it...) makes me think that it's something far more sinister.

The presence of the stick indicates that perhaps this monster is meant to be some sort of puppet, although clearly not intended for children. I have to believe no kid's puppet is going to have menacing red hair coming up out of its neckline...

...or a fiery crotch down below:

So if it's not a puppet, and it's not a Halloween decoration... then there really is only one other possible use for this item: Voodoo Doll. Clearly, this is an item that someone, somewhere was using to get back at somebody for something.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific today, but I am simply too frightened to give it even another moment's thought.