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Gallipoli: The Final Wave and how it shaped my comic point of view

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

gallipoli end shot
When I was 7, I watched the final scene of Gallipoli with my Dad. So, that’s troublesome.

In case you’re blissfully unfamiliar with the 1981 Peter Weir war epic, let me sum it up as best I can: a super dreamy 25-year-old pre-anti-Semitic Mel Gibson and another hot dude are world class sprinters whose Olympic track careers get jacked by World War I in 1915. They work as runners carrying messages back and forth from the front line to the generals in the rear. In the final scene, Mel Gibson runs towards the trenches to let the soldiers know that the general has called off the fight–but he doesn’t run fucking fast enough and….

Warning, graphic content kind of:

It’s hilarious, right? Well, not really. Honestly, I was super crushed when I saw it. After the other handsome blonde runner dude gets shot running across the battlefield, the credits rolled, and I said to my Dad: “But,…why? Mel Gibson was coming to say it was OK and they didn’t have to fight!”

And my Dad said: “He didn’t get there in time.”

I was really upset. It wasn’t fair at all. Mel Gibson was REALLY running for it. Later in the evening, I braided my Barbie’s hair and lamented the cruelty of the world.

“That’s the way things work out sometimes,” a 7-year-old me said, shaking my head and making a note of it in my Ramona Quimby Personalized Diary.

I guess my point is that I learned early on that life is absurd. Or, maybe my point is that painful experiences help you shit out funny things to say. Or maybe I’m just desperately hoping there’s one other person out there besides me that thinks it’s funny to think of a 7-year-old toe-head blonde in a froggy turtleneck watching the end of “Gallipoli” with her Dad?

Survey Names Los Angeles As Most Sex-centric City in U.S.

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 9:32 am
Venice Beach

Venice Beach isn't closed. Everyone is just at home banging.

It may be time to officially change L.A.’s nickname from City of Angels to City of Strumpets.The newly released results of a survey from Match.com’s sister site Chemistry.com reveal that eight of the 10 most sex-loving cities in the country are in California — and seven of those are local to Los Angeles.

I suspect that when they picked “Eureka!” (I have found it!) for the California state motto, they may have been talking about the G-spot.

Read the rest on LA Weekly After Dark

Holy shit. I’m a sex writer.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

‘Tis a glorious day in the world of Liz Brown.

I had my first piece published on LA Weekly’s ‘After Dark’ Sex Blog today, and now even IIII know I’m a real-live professional writer.  For a sex blog.

Please God, don’t let me ever be THIS annoying:

If you know me personally, you have some idea how hilarious it is that I’m now passing myself off as a sexpert. The wildest sexual thing I’ve ever done is watch ‘Requiem for a Dream’.  If you don’t know me personally, feel free to envision me as a Goddess of Sexual Knowledge. Either way, you’d better read my shit. There WILL be a quiz.

Check out my first LA Weekly After Dark piece here:

5 Sexy Condom Tips for More ‘Pro-Phylactic’ Safe Sex

The Best Places for Homeless Sex in Los Angeles – Silver Lake edition

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Everywhere I go, the homeless are making love.

Sometimes I wonder if their sex lives are better than mine. While I don’t envy their constant day-to-day struggle for survival on the mean streets of L.A., I definitely resent their ability to eschew taboos about sex in public.

One thing that I’ve learned by observing and working with L.A.’s homeless population is that being without shelter doesn’t have to curb your sex life. I’ve observed more homeless sex acts than any former middle class white girl should. It got me thinking: where are the best places for homeless sex in Los Angeles?

L.A. is a big place with neighborhoods as diverse as the dildo selection at Hustler Hollywood. I decided to start by exploring the love dens of the shelterless in my own neighborhood: Silver Lake, aka Hipster Central.

5 BEST PLACES FOR HOMELESS SEX IN SILVER LAKE

1.   
PARKING LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM CAFE TROPICAL 

This location is a proven hotspot. I’ve personally observed three separate sex acts in this parking lot myself. There’s a mattress next to the dumpster right behind Sun Lake Drugs that serves as a popular sleeping station/fuckpad. You may get interrupted by some of the hipsters coming out of the AA meeting at Café Tropical, but they’re totally cool and non-judgmental. Also, there are a variety of pillows and blankets available. It’s not romantic, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone.


2.   
SILVER LAKE DOG PARK AFTER DARK 

By day, the park is a popular humping ground for Silver Lake’s hippest hipster doggies. By night, it’s an untapped wonderland of coital pleasures. The park “closes” at 10PM –just in time to take advantage of the low lights and do some star gazing with a receptive lover. The only drawback: doggie poop “land mines” that could harsh on the afterglow when you’re on your way out.

3. UNDER THE BRIDGE

The bridge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge” (where Anthony Kiedis used to shoot up heroin) isn’t just for bleak but lyrically inspiring drug binges anymore. Now it’s the Bunny Ranch of the homeless Silver Lake community. If you park your car under there (cause you’re late for a gig at Silverlake Lounge), be prepared to hear some coital music emanating from the mattresses nearby. There’s nothing sexier than fucking like a rock star at a spot where rock was born—except fucking somewhere that totally doesn’t smell like pee at all.

4. MUSIC BOX STEPS

When Laurel and Hardy’s historical landmark isn’t occupied with high school students smoking a bowl, it’s an optimal location for those willing to do a stand-and-bang. Plus, sometimes the high school students will share their bowl.

5. PARKING LOT BEHIND EL POLLO LOCO ON SUNSET

Most of the time, the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on a major L.A. boulevard would be a straight up no-no for a public screw, but the El Pollo Loco at Sunset and Sanborn has a cozy and secluded back parking lot with multiple dumpsters for privacy. I’ve only observed one homeless sex act at this location, but the convenience of the affordable meal right next door after a quickie is undeniable. Plus? That chicken is CRAZY man!

Slow going: a rewriter’s lament

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I love having a big project to work on piece by piece, day by day–except when I hate it.

I started rewriting the first draft of my novel about a week ago. I”ve turned 35 single-spaced first draft pages into 25 double-spaced second draft pages, which means I threw out a whole lot of stuff in my first 35. I guess that was to be expected. The beginning of my first draft is sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are at least four alternate story lines going on, so I chucked the pages from the three I’m not using and a few more pages of mortifyingly cheesy dialogue between the main character and a character that totally doesn’t exist anymore.

The whole beginning of the book was feeling pretty sluggish to me. Besides this novel, the majority of my writing experience has come in the form of blog posts and sketch comedy–two places where you need to get your point across immediately or risk having your audience tune out. In the first draft of my novel, nothing happened for the first thirty pages. Now, in the second draft, I’m making the opening line of the whole book an explanation of the premise.

There are a lot of great classic novelists who took their sweet time getting to “the point” in their books, giving fifty pages of historical context and their characters’ personal genealogy before revealing a single piece of action to their readers.

I don’t think I want to do that. I think I want to try to suck people in right away. I guess that will make my piece more pop culture-y than classic novel-y, but I guess that’s okay. I just want it to be good and for people to like it.

DEADLINE FOR SECOND DRAFT: FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FIRST DRAFT (SINGLE-SPACED) PAGES REWRITTEN: 35/250
SECOND DRAFT (DOUBLE-SPACED) PAGES COMPLETE: 25
DAYS LEFT:  51
PAGES LEFT TO REWRITE: 215 (Ouch. It hurts to even write that.)

Am I the worst person alive? That’s not nice!

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t possible be the worst person alive, but sometimes I just don’t know.

I snapped at my husband when my car wouldn’t start. I screamed at some of the homeless people hanging out in front of my house yesterday to “get fucking lost you fucking losers!” and called the police on them. Granted-they WERE screaming and on crack–but still–it’s not nice. I used to be a social worker. I could have handled that better. The other day, I didn’t completely and totally pick up all of my dog’s poop.

I’m selfish–self-focused, attention grubbing, narcissistic and jerkish. And petty. And wasteful. And disorganized and messy. And I have a headache.

I’ve never killed anybody–but I’ve definitely wished that people were dead. I really have. It’s not nice.  It makes me feel like I’m the worst person alive.

I used to be SO NICE back in college. Of course, that was back when I wished that I was dead myself because I surrounded myself with users and assholes. But–I was definitely NICER than I am now. “Nice” doesn’t really count for much in Hollywood, but it still has power for me.

I think my mom might actually be Jesus. She’s SOOOOO nice–lives very modestly, has dedicated her life to helping impoverished children, always sees the absolute best in people, eschews materialism.

She always told me: “The most important thing in life is to be a nice person. You could work at a gas station your whole life and I’d still be proud of you, as long as you’re a nice person.”

So,…that should give you some idea of the emotional handicap I’m working with.

The Sweater

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

My friend Jenny got me this sweater. Not only is it soft and sexy, but it’s a Medium and it doesn’t look like a fucking crop top on me–a rarity for “long-torsoed” folk like myself. I’m wearing it every day of 2012. Have you ever seen a better sweater? Fuck off. No you haven’t,…

Image

The Puffer by Liz Brown

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hate reading? Listen to “The Puffer” on Taboo Tales Podcast here:
The Puffer

I walked up to the airport security checkpoint feeling confident and secure—with a fat sack of weed nestled in my underpants.

I’d brought more doobie than I needed on my trip back East to see my family and there was no way I was just throwing it out. I was bringing it back to L.A. with me.

This was back in the days before there were marijuana dispensaries on every corner in Hollywood—back when you had to put a little effort into scoring your weed. You had to make phone calls and speak in code about needing some “salad” or “groceries” or “tickets to the show”—and then meet up with a dude named Sponto or Kozmo or Dreddy some sketchy corner in Culver City and buy a sack of whatever he had on hand to get your blaze on—back in the days when you had to score your weed like a real, dirty little drug addict.

So—I wasn’t about to just toss my hard earned bud—especially not with the foolproof weed smuggling method I’d so carefully and cleverly developed.

See, I didn’t just carry weed on a plane in my underpants. I carried weed on a plane in my underpants in a hollowed out maxi pad. I decided that the troglodytes at airport security had to be pretty fucking sure I was carrying something dangerous before they felt justified in asking me to hand over the maxi pad I was currently wearing.

My crotch carry method required a few minutes of pre-flight preparation and an old school Kotex extra thick maxi pad. Kotex (with wings) were always the best—offering plenty of room to nestle your buds inside the absorbent stuffing. I sliced the pad down the middle, tucked my sack of green inside, place some “absorbent” stuffing back on top and then seal the whole thing shut tape to neutralize the scent. I’d done it at least a dozen times before, with 100% success rate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I thought I was pretty hot shit—until that day when I strode up to airport security with my husband and the TSA agent stated politely: “Would you two just step over to the left side please? You guys are going to go through the puffer.”

“What’s the puffer?” asked my husband.

“Oh you guys have never been through the puffer?” said the Troglodyte.

“No,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve been through the puffer.”

Beads of cold sweat began to form all over my body. I felt dizzy.

“It’s no biggie,” said the security agent. “You’re just going to step inside that chamber right there, then you’re going to get a few puffs of air blown on you—then we analyze the air to make sure you’re not carrying any foreign substances—and then we let you out on the other side.”

Foreign substances. Really dizzy. I wondered how suspicious it would look if I started screaming that I needed to go to the bathroom RIGHT AWAY.
As my husband (who wasn’t carrying ANYTHING illegal) was directed to enter the puffer, the first security agent seemed to notice my distress.

“You claustrophobic?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I’m VERY claustrophobic.”

This was my way out of the puffer. My ticket said I was headed to L.A. The guy read me as one of those kooky, crazy L.A. artist types who just couldn’t be locked in a cage. He was going to let me skip it.

“Don’t worry hon,” he said. “We’ll getcha in and outta there in a jiff.”

I heard a long, low beep and looked up to see my husband exiting the puffer on the other side—free. He turned around and waved at me, smiling weakly.

“Right this way ma’am,” called out the puffer operator, indicating that it was my turn. I smiled and waddled forward. My profuse, all over body sweating had caused my weed filled maxi pad to become unstuck and ride up between my buttcheeks. It was a wedge I dared not pick.

“I’m really claustrophobic!” I told the puffer operator in one last, pathetic attempt to escape my fate.

“Don’t worry hon,” he said echoing his partner’s words. “We’ll getcha outta there in a jiff.”

There was no escape. I stepped inside. “The puffer” was an 8-foot-tall Plexiglass chamber that looked something like those booths they used to have on game shows with all the cash flying around inside.

There were two footprints on the floor showing me where to stand and a lighted sign over the exit door that said “STOP”.

The door closed behind me. I was caught—like a giant rat in a giant plastic trap. There were no signs that cash would be filling the chamber any time soon.
I peered through the Plexiglass at my husband. He looked like he was about to shit his pants.

Then, then puffing began. Five short blasts of air from head to toe—and then nothing.

I was busted. The evidence was collected. This was where it would all end for me. I was going to get arrested for a federal offense. I would have a police record. I would lose my job—all those years of work to become a trained psychotherapist—all waster—all over.

Yeah, that’s right. Some psychotherapists smoke weed. I did. Yours probably does to. We have to. Because people like you are unbelievably fucking boring to talk to.

I closed my eyes. As the seconds in the puffer ticked by, I braced myself for the sound of an alarm followed by a swarm of security agents wrestling me to the cold, hard airport floor. I envisioned myself being mercilessly dragged to a “private screening room” where I would be subjected to a ruthless strip and body cavity search.

Don’t say anything without a lawyer, I told myself. I was thankful that my husband and I had just finished watching all five seasons of The Wire on DVD. At least I knew that I had to “lawyer up” the minute they had me in the interrogation room.

Then, I heard the sound—not an alarm actually—but a long, high pitched beep. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. The red light above the door that had said “STOP” had turned to a green light that said “GO”. The exit door opened in front of me.

I walked out. Calmly. Like someone without weed in her crotch.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?” said the TSA troglodyte on the other side.

“No,” I said. “I guess it wasn’t. I’m such a baby. Heh heh. Heh heh.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Have a nice flight guys.”

My husband was next to me now—shoving my purse into and coat into my hands.

“Come on,” he said, grabbing my arm. “Let’s go!” He started walking—steering me in no particular direction—just away. Away from the puffer—towards freedom.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. You can still get weed on an airplane if the security gate has a puffer.

Also? Being white helps.

You’re welcome.

[Note to anyone in a position of authority who may be reading this post: please consider it entirely fictional. Everyone else, consider it 100% factual memoir. Thank you.]

The Puffer was first performed at the Groundlings Theater in Hollywood.

How I Became America’s Next Top Tiny Hat Model

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2011 at 11:11 am

     

HOW I BECAME AMERICA’S NEXT TOP TINY HAT MODEL

My crafty next door neighbor Lynda is a tiny hat maker.

I found out by accident when I knocked on her door last week to give her some misdelivered mail
and bait her into a discussion of Dancing with the Stars. 
When she invited me in, I found myself surrounded by tiny hats. I was horrified, assuming (as anyone would)
that she had mugged an entire band of oompah loompahs and mercilessly jacked their head gear.  
I was wrong. It turns out she has a tiny hat store on Etsy.
READ THE REST ON HELLOGIGGLES.COM

Occupy LA: Shutterbugs Gone Wild!

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 at 1:37 am

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Photos by Liz Brown

Let me start by saying this: I’m a terrible photographer, and I’m not a fan of standing up.

I’m a writer and a sitter downer. I’ve also got a condition that restricts me to seeing out of only one eye at a time, which means I’ve got half the perspective of your run of the mill Dorothea Lange wannabe. Still, I dragged myself down to the Occupy L.A. protest on Saturday, armed with my old, piece of shit (hot pink-for breast cancer awareness) digital camera that I bought from a drug store and my half-charged cell phone-because it’s important to have a back up. I figured that if the mainstream media was truly ignoring a people’s movement and there was no one else covering the protest, then my terrible pictures would be better than nothing.

I had flattered myself.

Occupy L.A. was like a people’s media cattle call.  You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting an amateur photojournalist. You also couldn’t throw a rock because one of the more intense hippies would have insisted on giving you a “free hug”. My fantasy of being the heroic lone member of the people’s media was quickly dashed. I was surrounded by little old ladies and teenagers taking pictures with equipment vastly superior to my own.

I watched a platoon of professional photographers sprint through the crowd like a pack of Kenyan marathoners, running ahead of us to get the best shots. I felt a surge of adrenaline and chased after them, running up a hill in sweaty, baggy jeans.  After about a quarter of a mile,  I stopped for a moment to ponder vomiting and see what my shots looked like so far. They astoundingly bad. Like “I’ve-taken-better-shots-from-inside-my-purse” bad.

I felt inferior, redundant and sweaty. I could have been enjoying a Saturday afternoon at home writing and not standing up. And my camera battery was dying.

I saw a woman sprawled out on the pavement taking shots of the protesters marching towards her with a telephoto lens.

Show off, I thought to myself, stewing. I took her picture.

I felt clever, and took another shot of a serious looking man in a Panama hat, who was taking a picture of a someone else’s protest sign (or their ass).  Then, I took a picture of guy videotaping himself commenting on the protest. Then, I took a picture of  guy videotaping a woman taking a picture of one of the speakers outside City Hall.

And voila–a novelty photo slideshow was born.

I felt empowered and brilliant–like a freshman year art school student before her first soul-crushing critique.  My Postmodernism teacher would have been so proud.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the “people’s media”. Or, as I like to call them, “71 People at Occupy LA with Better Cameras than Mine”:

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