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.

Occupy LA: Shutterbugs Gone Wild!

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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”:

Fastest Cycle in the West: A Period Piece

I’ve been slow at a lot of things in my life. I had my first kiss when I was 17, graduated college when I was 25 and figured out what I wanted to do with my life at 32.  There’s one area, though, where I know I’ve got most of other women my age beat. I get my period every 21 days. That’s the shortest menstrual cycle allowed by law.

Read the rest on

Reader “Fan Mail”: The Greatest Birthday Gift of All

It’s my BIRTH-DAY and I already know I’m a pretty lucky lady. But this year? I got an unexpected gift in the form of some reader “fan mail”.

I think it really expresses where I’m at as both a person and a professional in my life. Thanks “James”:

Hello, I was reading your piece on Celebrities who talk to Howard Stern about their pubic hair. Because of that, I thought you’d be good to ask. Have you seen the picture of Demi Moore? it has her posing from the front with a lot of black pubic hair. Is that really her bush? or did someone photo shop? I have never heard or read that she has commented on the matter. Let me know, thx


Dear James: Thanks for your incisive and thought provoking question. It’s my understanding that the photo is real and that they were taken in 1981 when Moore was 19 years old–four years before she hit it big with ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’.Daniel Tosh was banned from even talking about it on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 in 2009 but posted this video about how his fans could find it anyway. Thanks for reading.
Liz Brown (America’s Go-To Source for Pubic Hairstyle News)

Ms. Demi Moore (in a photo I won’t get sued for posting)

You can read my Howard Stern column here at

On the Cougar Cusp

My 35th birthday is coming up and there’s only one thing I’m asking for: move the minimum age for calling a woman a “cougar” up to 36.

Last week, while searching for non-explicit euphemisms to describe ‘Real Housewives’ cast members, I stumbled across the Urban Dictionary definition for “cougar” and found myself gutted by this definition:

“Cougar: Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male.”

35. That’s me in a month. I’m not ready to be a cougar. I didn’t think it would happen this soon.  I thought you had to be at least forty. I thought I had more time.

I’ve lived in Hollywood for almost ten years and I’ve never once considered lying about my age before now. I’m a terrible liar and I don’t think there’s anything that makes you look older or more pathetic  than getting busted for lying about your age (except maybe wearing a mock turtleneck).  It just seemed like more hassle than it was worth—until I found out that I was on the Cougar Cusp.

Now, suddenly, I feel compelled to start whiting out the dates on old baby pictures and bribing my high school friends to un-tag me in graduation photos on Facebook.

I read on:

“Cougars can be single or married,…”


So you’re telling me it doesn’t even matter that my husband “put a ring on it”? If I happen to be at a stand-up gig and I’m spotted offering basic Hollywood survival advice to some 20-something man-child right off the bus from Kansas who doesn’t even know he’s gay yet—I could be labeled a COUGAR?

I resent the label. I eschew it!

I don’t want to be a cougar. I have my reasons and they stem from a pretty significant childhood attachment.

The first ever true love of my life was Jack Tripper on ‘Three’s Company’.  I was 6-years-old, and there was no one in the world I hated seeing grab at my man than that skanky cougar Lana Shields. She was the only woman on the show that Jack absolutely refused to touch—because she was an annoying, pesky, undesirable old cougar.

Lana Shields: the dreaded cougar.

I may be more grown up now, but psychologists say the archetypes we learn in early childhood can stay with us are whole lives. I can’t help thinking that if I’m really about to become a cougar then the only guy who’s going to find me attractive is someone resembling Don Knotts as Mr. Furley.

Of course, a pro-cougar advocate might argue that I’ve completely misinterpreted the entire cougar concept—that cougars are empowered females who are experienced, savvy women that younger men love because they can teach them about life, sex and success.

But if that’s the case, then that’s not me either. I just BARELY figured out what I want to do with my life. I spend my paydays debating whether to try to keep my student loan out of default or pay a mechanic to investigate the cause behind “Check Engine” light on my 2002 Mazda Protégé. I’ve NEVER taken any of my cats to have their teeth cleaned, I still don’t know how to put make-up on, I just barely got over all those people torturing me in junior high school and I don’t know any weird sex moves.

On paper I’m like 20.

I have no wisdom to impart to a younger generation of “willing to do anything” males. (And are they REALLY willing to do anything? Does that include picking up a box of Monistat 7 and some tampons if my seductive and wise cougar-gina is having an off day?)

36 needs to be the absolute minimum age for cougar—so there’s at least one full adult life span between me and an 18-year-old before I’m considered so aged and decrepit that I have to feed off the blood of the young like one of the less hot vampires on ‘True Blood’? Please?

Let’s get that age bumped up to 36 people. We’ve got less than a month to go before I’m relegated to wandering up and down the Sunset Strip in search of fresh, young man meat. Do it for the children. Or, if you’re a woman, do it for yourself.  Mr. Furley is lurking right around the corner.

Only Mr. Furley wants me now,....

I’m a sext prude

I’ve never, ever been in Anthony Weiner’s position.I can say, with certitude, that there are no lewd pictures of me out there in the world that could come back to haunt me should I ever become important enough for people to care who I send pictures of my crotch to.

It’s because I’m a sext prude.

Part of it’s just my historical timeline. I met my husband in 2002, when cell phones were for making and receiving calls. We hooked right before electronically exchanging nude photos became a regular part of the courting and mating process.

But honestly, the truth is I’m just not a sexter. Even if I’d been single when sexting came of age, I still feel pretty confident that there would be no stray boob or vagina shots of me out there keeping me up late at night. I’ve just never done it. I don’t even like having regular photos taken of myself. I never have. I hate how I look in pictures.

I suppose some people would say that my non-existent stash of self-made erotica indicates that I’m sexually repressed. I like to think it means I just have a healthy dose of good old-fashioned American female body image dysmorphia. Either way, I’m loathe to reproduce any parts of my body on film.

I’m not saying there’s no pictures of me out there looking like an asshole. There’s plenty of those. There’s pictures of me drunk, stoned, sweaty, red-faced, dancing badly, lazy-eyed, poorly dressed, poorly coiffed, with poorly applied make-up and terrible double chins.

Here’s one of me with my sister and cousins wearing matching sweaters our grandmother made us. My friend says I look like a “little Hesher,” meaning I’m a stoner, metal kid who’s wearing a Judas Priest t-shirt underneath that gigantic homemade sweater. In truth, I think I was just at that really awkward stage of growing out my bangs:

Here’s me in 8th grade. I tried to cover my lazy eye with my hair. It didn’t work:

There’s plenty of photos of me out there that I’m ashamed of. I’m thinking specifically of that fateful year in college that I tried to look “sexy” in photos by biting my lip in every picture that was taken of me in every situation.

Now, that’s a mortifying photo series that could come back to haunt me for sure. I shudder to think of it.

But sexting pictures? Nope. I never took any. Not one. I never even sent one to my husband.

I started to wonder: is that bad? It seems almost abnormal in this day and age.

“Am I a bad wife?” I asked myself. I know plenty of my girlfriends have sent their boyfriends sexy photos. I’m probably the only person in my peer group who hasn’t. It’s a practice that goes all the way back to those pin-up girls whose photos kept our boys sane back in World War II. It’s an American tradition and I’m the only prude not on board.

Even conservative beauty queen Carrie Prejean sexted videos of herself.Dr. Laura Schlessinger took nude photos back in her day. I was a bigger prude than the both of them.

The more I thought about it, the more anxious I felt. My poor husband married a sext prude. It’s not something I disclosed to him before we took our vows, and now he was stuck with me.

In a moment of panic, I sexted him this photo of my crotch from the car:

The bulge is from a bottle of Vitamin Water that I stuffed down my pants to create the Anthony Weiner effect. It was orange flavored—the Vitamin Water I mean.

I guess I’m pretty bad at this.

If anyone out there has a lewd photo of me that I don’t remember taking, would you please send it to me? I’ve got nothing here and I’m not taking one now. I’ve been on a macaroni and cheese eating tear of late. It’s just not a good time.

If any of you have one of those photos of me biting my lip though, hang onto it.

I’m broke now, but if I ever get famous and hit it big I’ll want those things buried. You’ll definitely be able to milk me for some major cash.