Join Our Club! Oh, wait. DON'T.

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I just received an email that was quite curious, and not because it called me by the Asian-esque name, “BEN BEN.” The cyber missive came from an organization called HollywoodMixer.com, and seeing that the title comprised two of my favorite things, I was immediately intrigued. After the header (From: admin@hollywoodmixer.com, To: BEN BEN), the first paragraph offered these brief but compelling details about the club:

Continue reading “Join Our Club! Oh, wait. DON'T.”

Grammar 1, Idiots 0

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To those unfamiliar with the latest offerings on Los Angeles’s Lazy Susan of fads, one particular sensation that has swept the city by storm has been the Frozen Yogurt craze, helpfully nurtured by Pinkberry and its many imitators. Basically, people have rediscovered FroYo, but this time around, they’ve taken out the flavoring, added fresh toppings, and convinced themselves that they’re now eating health food. I’m not necessarily opposed to the whole movement, but I can’t abide by any frozen yogurt shop (or frozen dairy shop in general) that doesn’t offer a chocolate option for those of us less health inclined (Pinkberry, it should be noted, has a scant selection consisting of only Plain and Green Tea. Oh, and their signature flavor: AWFUL).
Well, over the past year, dozens of Pinkberry knockoffs have sprouted up across the city, and now, it seems the bubble is at last bursting. One of the first casualties is none other than the miserable establishment, Yogurtpia, which happens to be one of the places I’ve actually been to. According to Eater LA, the storefront is covered with ominous, brown paper, hopefully signaling the end to this embarrassment of an enterprise. Yes, it’s a joyous time for me, as Yogurtpia’s unceremonious death fills me with great satisfaction. But why? Why am I so thrilled that a generic yogurt shop has disappeared into the night, never to be heard from again?

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ROW ALERT: Countess of Wessex Out-Hats Royal Family

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Breaking news from the Royal Family. New mother Sophie Rhys-Jones, a.k.a. the Countess of Wessex (or C.O.W.), has proven that while her title is un-throneworthy, she’s certainly the queen (get it?) of hats. I know this must seem like a scone-shattering proclamation to all you Camilla Parker Bowles fans, but before you get your clotted cream all up in a bundle, take a look at the compelling evidence after the jump…

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Further Evidence That Los Angeles Is Run By Idiots

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MTA to Los Angeles:  You need more traffic 


According to the Los Angeles Times, there’s apparently a movement afoot to install toll mechanisms on the previously free and glorious carpool lanes that extend across L.A. county’s myriad highways.  The thinking is that drivers should pay for the luxurious privilege of a reduced traffic lane, especially at peak times when the fares will increase.  Those not willing to pony up (a high number of drivers, I imagine) will have to remain with the general population, which of course means increased congestion for the vast majority of commuters.  The MTA reasons that with miserly and impecunious drivers effectively phased back into the hoi polloi, those that are willing to part with a bit of cash will have an even easier drive, what with the carpool lanes even more desolate and 1989-Dodge-Caravan-free.  This just leads to one question:  has the MTV even played SimCity???  You can’t hate on the citizens like that!


Of course, business is business, and every company or government bureau has a right to seek profits wherever possible, blah blah blah.  This idea, however, is absolutely idiotic.  While yes, it will benefit a small population of those who are willing to pay money (like non-everyday commuters), the overall effect is that it’s just going to clog the regular lanes even further.  The whole point of the HOV lane is to ease congestion/save the environment/be wonderful, and this new plan espouses none of those ideals.  It is merely a reward system for those willing to donate to the MTA and Caltrans, existing solely to raise revenues, not to help Los Angeles’s debilitating traffic problems.  The MTA needs funding, sure, but not at the expense of the congestion it’s supposed to be easing.  Gosh, I’m already on strike with the WGA, and AFTRA looks like it might be acting up soon.  The last thing I need is a THIRD cause to be activist-y about.  This is totally against my world outlook!

Carpoolers’ free ride may be over [Los Angeles Times via Franklin Avenue]

I Will Eat This



Ever since the days of The Amazing Race 4 when the then-married couple of Chip and Reichen had to down a plate full of writhing octopus tentacles — a local Korean delicacy, no less — I’ve thought to myself “I bet I could do that.”  Yes, chalk it up to couch-emboldened bravery or a disillusioned sense of gastro-intestinal fortitude, but I’ve sincerely believed that when faced with the task of eating raw, undulating octopus that I would succeed with flying colors.  The reasoning has always been that for the Korean people, this dish is considered a delicacy, and while it seems gross and unsavory to most of us Americans, there’s got to be something going for it if millions of people think it’s, as some say, delish.  


Well, after years of bombastic claims, it appears as if I’ll finally have my opportunity to put my money (or octopus, as it were) where my mouth is.  Turns out there’s a restaurant here in Los Angeles that serves up this hallowed dish, which means it’s now my duty to head on over to it and happily feast on this squirmy, sticky treat.  Most of my friends (READ:  all of them) refuse to participate in this culinary adventure, but nonetheless, I plan to go and document the entire experience.  Heck, I’ve eaten bugs.  Semi-live octopus should be a walk in the park.  And if the squeamish suburban-mom-types in the clip above can do it (and love it), so can I.  Who says there’s anything wrong with a meal that WRITHES? 


For more information on the restaurant, Ma San, check out this Los Angeles Times article.

Kwanzaa Time? YUUUM!

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“Happy Kwanzaa, black people.  From me and my breasts!”


I happened to be perusing the program listings on my Tivo today, and not only did I discover that Sandra Lee was going to attempt a shiksa-tastic Star of David Cake in honor of my people, but she was also going to hone her inner Angelou and whip up a Kwanzaa Celebration Cake.  Needless to say, I will be watching this sure-to-be holiday disaster with glee (but I shan’t be reporting on it, sorry).

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Whopper There It Is!



Never one to turn down a solid prank by Corporate America on, you know, America, I bring to you this joyful bit of viral advertising, highlights of which have been appearing on the air for a week or two now.  It’s Burger King’s curious question:  What would happen if the Whopper were discontinued?  Well, aside from the obvious answer (decline in heart attacks, acne), I’d like to wager that there might be riots, tears, and shakes — at least as far as my reactions are I’m concerned.  Of course, things would only go to Code Red if they dropped those delectable onion rings that I sometimes like to call “Heaven in an o-shape.”  Luckily, this fast food lover’s nightmare / PETA member’s dream did not come true, but the reactions of the clueless customers, documented all here in a nifty — if lengthy — video, are amusing nonetheless.  It’s like the Middle America version of Punk’d.

The Absinthe Minded Professor

lucid_absinthe.jpgI’ve never had absinthe — mostly because I’m afraid of what it might do to me (uncontrolled giddiness, unpleasant hallucinations, sustained nausea) — but I know there are those out there who live and die by the stuff.  Or at least, they say they do to sound hardcore.  Nevertheless, the infamous beverage is now apparently legal (since the beginning of the month) and coming to a liquor store near you, and thanks to the good people at LAist, we have a slurry, downward-spiral comparison of some of the major brands.  I’ll toast to that (rimshot!).


Absinthe Is Legal and BevMo’s Got It [LAist]

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Vito's Pizza

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For those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles, there’s something you should know about our currently frosty (63 degrees!!) city:  we have very bad pizza.  Let me restate that:  we have very bad normal pizza.  The dainty, gourmet stuff is fine.  You know what I’m talking about:  the fancy stuff with the proscuitto and goat cheese and other assorted ingredients.  That’s all good.  But sometimes you just want a basic mozzarella and tomato sauce pie (ie. a margherita, for the highbrow set).  You’d think it would be an easy enough thing to execute, but you’d be surprised at how many well-meaning pizza parlors fall short.


Recently, however, there’s been a lot of buzz on the internets about a pizza joint named Vito’s Pizza.  It’s been around for a while, but over the past year, and especially in the last two months or so, the chattering about Vito’s on sites such as Chowhound and Eater LA has intensified.  Boosters claim it’s the only place in Los Angeles to get authentic New York pizza.  Detractors say it’s overhyped (of course, that’s what detractors always say).  Nevertheless, after sitting on the sidelines for months, my friends and I decided to trek down La Cienega Blvd (or La Ciens, for people in the know) to find out what all the fuss was about.

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Identity Crisis!

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My blog is less than a week old, and I’m already suffering major titular cold feet.  While at first I enjoyed the blog’s name and its directness, “This Blog Is Mine” has worn a bit thin on me.  The major problem is that it’s confusing to remember.  Is it “This Blog Is Mine” or “This Is My Blog?”  Also, it’s slightly wordy and doesn’t quite promote the brand, which in this case is, well, me (not to be narcissistic or anything…).

So I’ve decided to change the blog to the self-descriptive B-Side Blog.  It’s not a particularly snazzy name, but it gets the job done.  It’s also more unique.  Nevertheless, I’ve installed a new banner, which is really only temporary (unless people are in love with it).  One of these days, the URL will switch to bsideblog.com, but thisblogismine.com will still work.

Hopefully, this will be the last name change, but one can never underestimate my indecisiveness.  Or can they?