The Hollywood Junkys make great money off junk!

This is an excerpt of my article in the LA Weekly about this incredible family who makes a living reselling things they buy at yard sales! Thank you to Dino Anello, Kristy Paul (The Godmother!), Ryan Paul and the rest of the Hollywood Junkys family. Also a special thank you to my amazing editor Sarah Fenske!

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It is 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and Dino Anello is cruising the back streets of Beverly Hills in his Champagne-colored Camry. With him is his affable brother-in-law, Ryan Paul, as well as a documentary cameraman, who monitors the action from a remote-controlled cab camera mounted under the rearview mirror.

Their prey is not celebrities but yard sales — a surprisingly technical (and action-packed) undertaking…

Anello moved to L.A. from Marin County in the early 1990s, hoping to become an actor. He landed speaking roles in movies and small parts on TV shows, including Baywatch and ER, before focusing on screenwriting. But like so many others seeking stardom, he found it hard to make ends meet. He knew he would have to find a backup plan.

Enter Kristy, who goes by either KP or “the Godmother.” When she met Anello four years ago, he was throwing a yard sale in front of his apartment off Olympic Boulevard. She began browsing through his items, and the two hit it off instantly…

It was destiny. Both early risers, they went hiking at 6 a.m. for their first date. Just a few months later, they decided to start a family. They now live in that same apartment, a one-bedroom, with their bulldog, a 2-year-old daughter and an infant son — a home life that is both hectic and joyful.

And they make their money on yard sales. They hit sales every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and spend the rest of the week listing their haul on eBay and Amazon and shipping it to eager buyers — netting an annual income that they say is well over six figures…

After completing their morning haul, the brothers-in-law drag “the kill,” as they lovingly refer to their new inventory, into their cramped living room. They’ve purchased more than 200 items (mostly books, plus a big collection of sealed DVD box sets), all for a total of about $235 — which they estimate they can resell for at least $1,000 online, maybe more.

At the apartment, Kristy Paul looks over the kill proudly, carefully assessing the morning’s hard work. Of her family’s trade, she says, “Because our life is unconventional, we are able to stay home and be with our daughter and son all the time. There are no real days off — but we are basically blazing a new trail and creating our own way.”

Click here to read the whole article!

 

 

The L.A. Weekly Best of L.A. 2013 is here!

I was very happy to contribute 5 write-ups to this year’s Best of L.A. issue – Find links to all of them (and the entire issue) below. Special thanks to my editors Sarah Fenske, Zachary Pincus-Roth, and Jill Stewart and extra special thanks to the amazing editorial assistant Jenn Swann!

Best Date-Night Movie Theater – Sundance Sunset 5 Cinema

Best Red-Carpet Rentals – One Night Affair

Best Place to Buy Vintage Designer Clothes – Lemon Frog Shop

Best Tarot Card Reader – Red Rose Tarot

Best Body Scrub – Aroma Spa & Sports

Click here to see all the listings from the biggest issue of the year!  Enjoy discovering some of the greatest stuff Los Angeles has to offer!

The L.A. Weekly Instagram is really super cool!

I like using Instagram to share my personal vision of life in Los Angeles. In recent months, I have partnered with the wonderful members of the LA Weekly Street Team in bringing our followers a combination of unique photographic impressions of our fair city — the city of Angels!

Check it out here.

If you have an instagram, please follow the profile here: instagram.com/laweekly!

Shout outs to Jacob (@p42r), Lennon (@lennonal), Elisa (@elifigs),  Sascha (@soschii), Michele (@chelefromhell), Alex (@horrorshowfame), Gina (@_lovelyrabbit_), @Jordyn (@missjordynreese), & Rachel (@racheltatum) for all of your beautiful photography contributions!

Carla Esparza in the Best of LA People Issue!

Here is an excerpt from the profile I wrote about the inspiring and kick-butt female MMA champion Carla Esparza for the L.A. Weekly 2013 “Best Of L.A. People” Issue! Special thanks to Carla, my editor Jill Stewart and all of the other fascinating Angelenos featured in the issue! See the entire article at www.laweekly.com.

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In January, Carla Esparza became the first Invicta Fighting Championships Straw-weight Champion in Women’s Mixed Martial Arts. The gorgeous 25-year-old, ranked No. 1 in her weight class in the world, says her victory against Bec Hyatt via unanimous decision was like a dream. “There’s a goal you aim toward, and the accumulation of training and hard work all come together when you have your hand raised! Even if you come out bloodied and broken — it’s all for that one moment. It’s almost unreal.”

Carla “The Cookie Monster” Esparza was drawn to wrestling at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach when football players in the weight room expressed surprise at how strong she was for her size (at 5-foot-1, she’s 4 inches shorter than the current Atomweight female champ)…

Esparza has sustained injuries including sprains, bruises, torn ligaments, a snapped elbow, a broken ankle and a concussion. “People aren’t used to it, seeing women fighting against women and getting hurt,” she says. “It is raw and intense, and it awakens that basic instinct that people have to attack or defend. But between the fighters, the more intense it gets, the more we love each other.”

She believes that “day after day, we are changing people’s minds” about women in MMA… People usually don’t recognize her, but she says, laughing, “You get to dress up and go out with a black eye, and that’s kinda hot!”

Most of all, she says, “I feel grateful to be doing what I love.”

The Harp Twins come to Los Angeles!

The Harp Twins are a very talented pair of sisters that I have been following online for several years. When they came to Los Angeles for a special performance at Ace Gallery I was lucky enough to catch their duet harp performance and write about it for www.laweekly.com. Here is an excerpt from the article. Special thanks to the Harp Twins Camille and Kennerly Kitt and my editor Zachary Pincus-Roth.

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Martin Schoeller’s new show “Identical: Portraits of Twins” at ACE gallery in Beverly Hills is interesting enough on its own, but the opening this past Saturday was an unusual and memorable experience that, quite literally, made this L.A. Weekly reporter do more than a few double takes.

HarpTwins1-by-Anna-Jones

The party featured a rare Los Angeles appearance by the sublimely beautiful and exceptionally talented duo known as the Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly Kitt. Also in attendance were dozens of pairs of identical twins. Twins of all ages, ethnicities, and professions crowded the lofty space, mingling and sipping cocktails as the strains of such tunes as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Rihanna’s “Disturbia” lilted from the two golden concert grand harps and collective 20 fingers of Camille and Kennerly, transformed from gritty rock and pop into something that sounds downright angelic…

Known on YouTube for their entirely self-produced and self-styled music videos covering everything from The Smiths to Coldplay to AC/DC to Lady Gaga, the Harp Twins have been gaining more and more fame with each passing video and performance…

At the opening at ACE gallery there was a sense of the surreal, being surrounded by so many pairs of people who look exactly alike, and it raised some questions about not only etiquette, but the possible frustration of being perceived as a clone…

“We are never offended when people can’t tell us apart,” they say. “Looking alike is the way we were born and we’ve never known life any differently. We think it is strange that some people find twins ‘creepy,’ but we think that people are sometimes wary of things that they don’t understand….We love being ‘different’ together…We’ve never spent more than part of a day apart.”…

The History of Gay Rights in Silverlake – With Puppets!

This is an excerpt of the piece I wrote for www.laweekly.com previewing the latest production from the extremely cool experimental puppet theater Automata in LA’s Chinatown. Special thanks to my editor Zachary Pincus-Roth and Susan Simpson of Automata.

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“Let’s face it, puppets are cool. Automata, the non-profit experimental puppet theater and workshop that is quickly gaining a reputation as the center of cutting edge puppetry in Los Angeles, is yet again proving just how cool puppets can be with their latest production,Exhibit A…

Exhibit A focuses mainly on the inner lives of some key members of the Mattachine Society, one of the very first homosexual activism groups in the United States when it was founded in L.A. in 1950…

Exhibit A mixes this rich and not-widely-known history with fictional elements to explore themes of revolution, secrecy and a space-age vision of utopia. “I don’t really like to make things that are didactic or historically accurate,” Simpson says. “It’s all a part of my fantasy.”…

A puppet show taking on complex social issues and sending powerful messages is pretty uncommon. The spontaneous animation of raw materials is both uncanny and bewitching, with moments where the puppets seem so bizarrely alive that the spectator may be left with questions as to whether we might one day be legalizing inter-puppet marriage. And if puppets can fight for gay rights, then maybe there really is no limit to what puppetry might be able to achieve.

AutomataExhibitA-2

Purchase tickets and learn more about Automata LosAngeles at www.automata-la.comand check them out on Facebook.”

 

Anna Mary Miles Jones

On March 22, my beloved Grandmother and namesake Anna Jones began her next great adventure. 541257_10151659313292415_809369568_n She was a truly inspiring educator and an extremely strong yet compassionate woman. Her warmth was unparalleled and the memories I have of her are all so positive and vivid. Every summer, she invited me and my sisters and cousins to live with her and my Grandfather Ollie and those were the best times of my childhood. Her legacy reaches far beyond her immediate family and I take comfort in knowing that. Her obituary was published today in the Boston Globe. I hope I can make as much of a difference in so many lives. <3

Should this offend us? I would say yes.

I wrote this article for www.laweekly.com on a subject that, although controversial, still attests to the value of personal freedom! Special thanks to Lois Banner, Ph.D. for her contribution and to my editor Zachary Pincus-Roth.

An Excerpt is below…

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“So believe it or not, today is actually an obscure holiday; but we’re not talking Festivus or National Pancake Day here, people…

The increasingly infamous “Steak & BJ Day” doesn’t require a whole lot of explaining. “Invented” by a Tom Birdsey (whose online presence seems to be limited to this Myspace profile), the idea behind the celebration is simple. Very simple…

Lois Banner, a professor of history at USC and the author of Women in Modern America: A Brief History told us in an interview:

“This [holiday] sounds like another part of the backlash against the feminist movement… this sort of reaction has happened a number of times in the last 100 years. What we are moving toward in this culture is a very gross version of human interaction. This is part of the hook-up culture. Most of my female students hate it, because they feel it is enforced by men.”

And maybe some men are in fact trying to reinforce the idea of male dominance in a world that is, however slowly, becoming increasingly equal for all genders…

Because maybe real love is not supposed to be all sappy and sweet — maybe it should be visceral and meaty and make you feel like a Roman soldier getting his heart ripped out. But whether you want to participate is, thankfully, still totally up to you.”