Weekend Hangout – Birthday Edition

I know I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks with the Weekend Hangout, but I was sick with terrible allergies. Now I’m back in time for my birthday! Today is the date my mom was in labor with me for 15 hours…as I’ve been told over the years, many, many times.  I can’t wait for a frozen strawberry margarita and some fun.

But because we are in rather tough times and my REAL favorite affordable Mexican food restaurant, Acapulco,  is no longer near where I live, I have rounded up a group of family and friends for Happy Hour at El Torito Grill.

I actually enjoy going there for Happy Hour in the Cantina. You can either sit indoors and enjoy some of the best chips, salsa and guacamole around or go out on the patio to enjoy the cool, mild LA evenings with drinks and friends in tow. Their Happy Hour lasts from 3 – 8 p.m….five hours to get your eat and drink on.  Another plus is  the staff… they’re so nice, friendly and accommodating. Ask for Lance, he’ll hook you up.

So if you’re ever in the Los Angeles area and looking for a good bang for your buck, stop by…you won’t be disappointed.

ET Grill

El Torito Grill

9595 Wilshire Blvd.

Beverly Hills, California 90210

Phone: 310-550-1599

Open Daily
Monday-Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm
Friday-Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm
Sunday 12:00am-9:00pm

Cantina Small Bites (7 Days/wk in the Cantina).

Drink Specials (M-F 3-8pm in the Cantina).

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“Carrie” 2013 – Hollywood’s Officially Brain Dead.

It’s official, Hollywood has either run out of ideas or this is some cleverly contrived way of keeping diversity at a minimum. Had to throw that one in for good measure. How many Carrie’s are they going to remake? The original movie with Sissy Spacek is a cult classic but it also had a human interest story behind the central plot. She didn’t go ballistic for the sake of terrorizing people, she lost control of her emotions after being relentlessly teased and harassed. Could you blame her, she was with the hot guy in school and that was interrupted by bullying jerks. I would have put the smack-down on them too.

Then there was that made-for-TV stinker with Angela Bettis…Hello, please, that thing should have never seen the light of day. Now we have this one with the newest young “it” girl, Chloe Moretz. I think the 1 sheet (movie poster) pretty much says it all. And the trailer puts the period at the end of the sentence. This is another CGI gore fest that’s short on narrative and long on death and destruction. Just another day in brain-cell deficient Hollywood.

They recycle the same actors and the same characters over and over again…ad nauseam. Then when there are great films, with fantastic acting and thought-provoking narratives, those will barely see the light of day.  For example, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and even some of the soon to be released ones like Zero Dark Thirty and Hitchcock…tons of people won’t see these films because the public has been indoctrinated to want gratuitous sex, spectacular explosions, very little dialogue and hot young things (men and women) prancing around with bulging muscles, ripped six packs, big breasts and skin-tight costumes. Some people don’t necessarily want to think (short attention spans), they want to fantasize and be entertained.  It’s as if Hollywood wants the viewing audience to lose additional brain-cells right along with them.

But here’s the trailer in all its bloody glory.

The 99 Cent Store Wants to Invade the 1%-er’s Playground

This cracks me up! The residents of Beverly Hills and surrounding affluent neighborhoods, are the same people who have tried endlessly to stop the subway to the sea because they’re afraid that the “wrong people” will invade their bastion of wealth and entitlement, though they won’t publicly admit it. Now the 99 Cent Store wants to further encroach on the mecca of conspicuous consumption by opening a store on Rodeo Drive…my how times have changed. For some strange reason, I’m pulling for the 99 Cent Store. I would love to see the faces of the old money elite shivering in their designer duds when they see different people, not of the Beverly Hills/Bel Air set, marching proudly into the store, feeling that a store they’re familiar with, is reason enough to take a trip to Rodeo Drive. If this comes to fruition, I too will drive down there and do my shopping right beside all the other working class people rubbing the wealthy’s noses in the mere fact of us being there. Sorry 1%-ers, it just may be open season on your playground.

Dollar Store Seeks to Rub Elbows on Rodeo Drive

If your Rodeo Drive shopping stops include Versace, Armani, Chanel and Tiffany & Co., perhaps you’d be interested in a store where you could drop a real bundle, of $1 bills that is.

The 99 Cents Only Stores chain announced that it’s searching for a retail space on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., one of the toniest shopping strips in the world.

“We think our store will do well. Our highest amounts of sales are happening in our branch on Wilshire Boulevard. We know for a fact a lot of customers there are coming from Beverly Hills. This store will be here to stay. The major reason for its success will be the challenging economy which came as the final impetus to open the store,” Eric Schiffer, The 99 Cents Only Store CEO, told ABC News.

The 99 Cents Only Store is confident that opening on Rodeo Drive be a winning move. “We’ve had many success stories that are similar to this scenario. After we opened our store in West Hollywood on West Lincoln Boulevard, a Whole Foods came right next to us. As soon as it did, our business went up dramatically,” he said.

“Oh my God! How will it work in the middle of all the fancy-shmantsy?” Beverly Hills resident since 1977 Ann Garry told ABC News when she heard the news.

“If there’s a 99 Cent Only Store on Rodeo Drive, I will definitely shop there. I wouldn’t dream of shopping on Rodeo Drive. Instead of just looking at the windows I can now shop there,” said Garry.

Mikael Choukroun, manager of 208 Rodeo restaurant located on the Rodeo Drive, he is concerned about the street losing its high-class identity.

“Hearing news of The 99 Cents Store opening is very disappointing. I worked for 20 years at Les Champs Elysees [in Paris] and I have seen what such stores have done to it. After McDonalds and similar places opened many of the high-end brands left Les Champs Elysees and it’s now full of cheap stores. I can see this happening to Rodeo Drive if they start opening such stores,” said Choukroun.

Making ends meet as far as rent will be a challenging task, said Schiffer. “We’re hoping to find a landlord who will understand that with opening such a store we will increase traffic on Rodeo Drive, which has been slow due to the bad economy,” said Schiffer.

“By putting our news release out on Tuesday we hope to attract the interest of landlords and perhaps cut the middle-man process, and by that, cut some extra costs,” he said.

The store hopes to appeal to locals and to tourists. “Shops on Rodeo make most of their sales from tourists. When tourists get their basic needs from our store, as opposed to paying a lot more for the same items at their hotels, they will have saved enough to shop on Rodeo,” said Schiffer.

The 99 Cent Stores operates 303 outlets in California, Texas, Arizona, and  Nevada. “We were the first store to sell in 99 cent or a buck items. We are an LA iconic business. We started in LA 30 years ago and grew to 300 stores and we want it to be the home of our flagship store… the city where we started.  Also, what’s wrong with having an exception, and we would be that exception,” said Schiffer.

Countdown to Liz & Dick – Make or Break for Lindsay Lohan

Got a sneak peek at the Lifetime movie about the tumultuous relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and though we aren’t suppose to comment, allow me to say that people won’t be disappointed. Check out the clip below.

I know Lindsay is a serious pint-size taste of crazy, but I can’t help it, I’m pulling for her to turn her life around and regain her career. I guess it’s because I vividly remember that red-haired, freckle-faced little girl that you could just grab and hug. She had so much promise back then and though her career is on life-support, I think it could be resuscitated.  Liz & Dick shows the talent that once was and could be again. Here’s hoping Ms. Lohan can move onward and upward.

What Happens When a Friendship Turns to Sh*t?

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down”.  Oprah Winfrey

I know in every long-term friendship,  like with any other relationship, you’ll hit a bad patch. But what happens when you absolutely do not recognize the person who has been your best friend forever? This is a question that I thought I would never be compelled to ask. My best friend…my brother, has turned into someone I can’t comprehend nor understand. He’s sullen, sulking, combative, moody, irritable, defensive…whew, it’s exhausting. It’s as if he’s turned into some Jekyll and Hyde, walking advertisement for schizophrenic psychotropic drugs. I’ve tried to talk with him but I’ve hit a brick wall every damn time.

More than anything, this is the behavior that’s the most puzzling; we have always been able to talk about any subject or issue that was bothering us, now we can barely talk about anything. He’s had several life-changing events in his little slice of the world over the last year and a half and I understand that, but I’ve been there for him every step of the way. However, the blame-game is what’s troubling. It seems that everything that’s going wrong in his life or bothering him, is someone or something else’s fault or responsibility.

The environment around him is most times…toxic and I called him on it. But as usual, he started with a childish response instead of an adult solution. This type of erratic behavior has only made our relationship even more strained and splintered. Today for example, he went with me to a meeting and all the way there you could feel the tension in the car. Normally we’re laughing, joking and having fun, but oh no, not this time, it was awful. On the way back, it was more of the same and when we are out and about, we normally stop by his home to see my niece/god-daughter (a long story about that title) and I had made arrangements with his wife to do so because I hadn’t seen my little muffin for about a week.

He made an excuse about being too busy and I could “catch up tomorrow”. Excuse me, but tomorrow is Monday and I haven’t won the lottery, so I need to handle my business. This is uncharacteristic behavior and I’m at a loss on what to do. Before anyone starts with maybe his wife has something to do with us having issues (which has been brought up by others), she’s a genuinely nice person and it’s not in her personality to cause trouble. Believe me, I know what friends and relatives look like when they’re knifing you in the back. I also want people to know that my brother is not an inherently bad person either, he has a good heart but at this moment, that’s just hard to remember.

I have almost arrived at the conclusion that maybe we need a good long break from one another…maybe we’ve hit an insurmountable brick wall and it’s just best to change routes…I don’t know at this point. I want him in my life, but I’m not quite sure that he still wants me in his. He has never verbally indicated anything of the sort, but if it’s not that, then what? The one thing that I feel he resents is my friendship with his wife…he even said to her, “why were we communicating”, that I was HIS friend…HIS sister. But how can I have a relationship with my niece/god-daughter and him if I don’t have some sort of amicable relationship with his wife? You see, none of this makes sense.

I’m at a loss on how to fix this and for me, that’s a first. I don’t want to keep going around in circles with him nor do I want to walk on eggshells around him. It has almost become untenable and that has to stop. Do friendships have expiration dates or do we need to freeze them every once in a while to make them last longer? What to do……

South Beach Tow is at it Again! Chunky Boy Gets Dropped

South Beach Tow is at it Again! Chunky Boy Gets Dropped

I MUST start watching this reality show on Tru-TV, this segment has me in stitches!

Kar-azay – South Beach Tow

Kar-azay – South Beach Tow

Tru-TV has a show about the lives of repo drivers and this one is hilarious! If this doesn’t make you laugh and shake your head at the same time, I don’t know what will.