Planet Birthday

I always say I will never live in Southern California again, but I am glad I still have reasons to visit. My beau and I drove down to LA last weekend for some quick and dirty quality time with college friends and, of course, my beautiful niece (and her parents).  
Alice, rocking the pants-on-head look for summer.
That kid is a ripe 14.5 months old and I cannot believe this number means it's been more than one year since she was born. She is no longer an infant, all gums and swaddle and involuntary movement. She is a toddler, a girl, a little person with intentions and a sense of humor. She puts one foot in front of the other and reads coloring books upside down. I only get to see her every few months but within the first hour she was sitting contentedly in my lap as I melted, the love in me breaking down like sugar molecules into their simplest form.

That was the end of the weekend, but our visit to LA started off a little more sinister. I had somehow forgotten the kind of weird you can find in Hollywood until Friday night when we went to the Nuart Theatre for a midnight showing of the cult slasher Sleepaway Camp. Note: this was not my idea. 
The movie was one of the all around strangest things I've ever seen in my life. The ending? Anyone? I won't ruin it for you but all I can say is wtf. Like, seriously.

Anyway, in what ended up being a wonderful illustration of the Hollywood absurd, we also got to see one of the child stars (now in their 40s) from the movie perform two songs on his acoustic guitar before showtime. And yes, he was wearing a wife beater tank, a necklace, and, you got it, bleached tips. The quiet, unassuming leading lady of the film was there as well and (can you blame her?) most certainly drunk.

And, though it is connected in no way other than that I learned about it the same day as Sleepaway Camp, I will now introduce you to Cookie Puss. You may have heard of Carvel, the chain of ice cream stores hailing from the East Coast, but have you heard of Cookie Puss? He is the mysterious dessert creature you see to your right. Let's read more, shall we? The name alone is worth a little of our attention.

"Cookie Puss is an ice cream cake character created by Carvel in the 1970s as an expansion of its line of freshly made products sold only in its stores, along with Hug-Me Bear and Fudgie the Whale. According to Carvel lore, Cookie Puss is a space alien (his original name was "Celestial Person" and his initials, "C.P.", later came to stand for "Cookie Puss") who was born on planet Birthday. In his television commercials, Cookie Puss has the ability to fly, though he requires a saucer-shaped spacecraft for interplanetary travel. During the 1980s Cookie Puss was repurposed to serve as a cake for St Patrick's Day, dubbed "Cookie O'Puss"."

Thanks Wikipedia! Does anyone else find that as hilarious as I do? Again, words escape me. I mean, wtf. 

Sigh. Image via.
Fortunately the rest of our weekend did not have me asking WHY DOES THAT EXIST?! But rather, we just caught up with dear old friends (otherwise known as "main bitches"), and made some new ones. We went for a hike in Runyon Canyon for a dramatic view of LA and all the clear turquoise rooftop pools you can imagine. We went for a swim and remembered what it feels like to lay down on hot brick as the sun and chlorine tighten your skin. We grilled on a balcony and wore dresses at night (me, not Ian). We celebrated my friend's birthday at a bar called the Parlour Room and found out the next day that Jon Hamm had been there too, that perhaps we'd brushed shoulders with him and didn't even realize they were the most classically handsome and manly shoulders ever.

Yes, just your typical weekend in sunny LA.


  1. I don't think I will ever get over missing Jon Hamm. Look forward to a 'Main Bitches' reunion in SF.

  2. I absolutely LOVE "Sleepaway Camp"! A friend of mine who loves bad movies showed it to us, and - even though she warned us beforehand of the absolutely C.R.A.Z.Y. surprise ending - I had forgotten about it and felt totally scarred walking away from it. Since then my friend has hosted several "Sleepaway Camp" movie nights for large groups. Always fun to expose people to a movie *that* bad. So cool you got to see the cast! I'm sure they were bowing their heads in shame, haha.

  3. Stacy - I thought you might be a fan! Did your sister tell you I ran into her at the screening?! So funny!!!

  4. that amazing photo of jon hamm just increased my feelings of depression and regret after missing my chance to see him IN THE FLESH. and btw can't wait to get my hands on a copy of sleepaway camp