On Monday I went to the mall to partake in the wonderful and torturous tradition of christmas shopping. I don’t really like the mall, but I was having a pretty good day so far. For one, I was wearing this new fitted jacket that I had bought earlier in the week and made me feel quite skinn-ay. For two, I figured on a Monday afternoon I would not have to battle enormous crowds of other holiday shoppers. This seemed promising.


I was like, “alright, let’s do this!” And I set off cheerfully.


But after a couple hours, I had aged considerably. It felt like many a year I had been wandering this accursed desert, this land devoid of any hope.


If I had to see one more piece of clothing, I was sure my eyes were going to rot out of my head.


And yet, I had not yet bought a single thing. (This is me in various stages of fatigue/beardiness. Also may be interpreted as my various attempts to draw just one of this stage.)

img_7115Finally, when it seemed all hope was lost and I must surely perish, I found myself in an oasis of not-retailers. In my famished state everything was a blur, but I could tell that there were people holding pieces of chicken on sticks. I did not care that I was a vegetarian. I was dying.


There was terryaki chicken on a stick, fried chicken on a stick, curry chicken on a stick… Slowly I revived, and as my senses returned to me, I realized these chickens on sticks were in fact samples.


I had made it to the food court.


There was also a


This reminded me of one of my ex-boyfriends who would always order a burrito bowl instead of a burrito. He was manorexic and constantly pulling up his shirt to oggle his stomach in the mirror. This was very annoying. Only I am allowed to do that.


Anyway, then my eye alighted on something delicious that I did desire to eat. Pearl milk tea. <insert sound of angels singing>


I got in line for PMT, but as I waited and looked around the food court, I realized that something was terribly wrong…



Let us pause for a minute to contemplate the systematic eradication of cinnabon from lands where it once used to be plentiful, ie. the airport and mall. Seriously, who the fuck is messing with my cinnabon supply? Sure, I had promised myself not to eat a cinnabon, but what I really meant was, “Damn, I can’t wait to eat a cinnabon.” I love me some cinnabon. In Chicago I used to walk to the train station just to get cinnabon. I neverrrr took a train out of there, but cinnabons are a rare breed now–sometimes you need to go to exotic locations to find them. Anyway, don’t think I haven’t noticed, cinnabon murderers (Michelle Obama?). I’m on to these disturbing vanishings.

Right, so the point of this story is that there was no cinnabon, and so now I had to figure out what to eat. For some reason the PMT place also sold sandwiches, so that is what I ate.


Now as I finished half of the sandwich I was feeling pretty happy.

img_7125I was also feeling somewhat superior as I looked around at my other food court compatriots. There they were, having fallen victim to Panda Express and pizza and McDonalds and milkshakes, and here I was, having eaten just half a sandwich.


Then I looked at the other half of the sandwich.


What was I going to do with half a leftover sandwich? I wasn’t going to carry it around the mall the rest of the day, look at the size of my purse:


Maybe I should eat it…

I ate it.

img_7130Ug too much. I needed something to wash it down. But there was no MT left, just P. I ate some of the tapioca pearls. Even as I did it, I was like this is not logical. Why am I eating rubber balls if I am thirsty?


After that I was kinda fat. So much for my food court superiority. And fuck the form fitting jacket.


There were mirrors everywhere. I could not escape.


Also there were sexy mannequins that were at the same time both more curvaceous and skinnier than I. They had impossibly long legs and feet that were also high heels and confusing yet presumably fashionable arm poses.


The mannequins were like, “Fuck you, you will never be as sexy or have as cool clothes as we do, even though you are a human and have hair and facial features. Also, your feet will never be high heels.”

img_7136I was like, “No, fuck YOU, mannequins!” But that was not a very good come back.


Then I had to go pee, but it is impossible to find your way anywhere in a department store, even though there are thousands of signs pointing out directions.

img_7139Even if you can follow the arrows to where the bathroom is supposed to be, good luck finding it. The area with the sign actually denoting where it is will probably look something like this:

img_7140But despite these obstacles, I did find the bathroom. There was a homeless woman living in it and water on the ground from over-flowed toilets. img_7141Let us pause again to consider another matter. Why is your path in to the bathroom of a department store always like this:


But the path out is like this: ?



Right, so then I was shopping some more. For some reason I was attracted to Doc Martins


I felt like I could kick a lot of ass while wearing them. And I had some ass-kicking opportunities in mind…IMG_7147 IMG_7145IMG_7146 I also had a moment with a leather skirt. It started with me mentally mocking it,


but then I was like


… alter-ego sexy bad girl Ali who rides around on motorcycles and wears ass-kicking boots and also has larger boobs? (Illustration would be more effective if I hadn’t drawn a bicycle.)


The skirt did not fit.




Some of the places I went in LA seemed more like something out of an  SNL skit than real life…

If you’re looking for a place to stock up on supplies for your lates witch’s brew, I have just the place for you. Guarded by three large dogs, Necromance is your one-stop shop for anything fucking creepy. Located in East-West Hollywood, this store has everything: freeze-dried bats, squirrel-feet necklaces, scorpion lollipops, human vertebrae, tortoise shells, armadillo/badger limbs, and complete snake skeletons. Need some light to read by? Don’t forget to check out their lamps made out of deer forelegs. l

Necromance, 7220 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  http://www.necromance.com/


Need a date with a bearded dude? Or, alternatively, like music? Brave a hallway of judgemental hipster eyes to enter Amoeba Records, the world’s largest independent record store. Come in dressed in your beatnik costume with prepared “cool” affect to browse thousands of records and pretend you know what you’re looking at. Then think to yourself, “I don’t need this shit, I have Spotify.”

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Amoeba Music, 6400 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA http://www.amoeba.com/


Are you Lady Gaga, her impersonator, or a dancer in her music video? LA’s hottest shop to get your outfit is… the store that doesn’t exist on Google Maps. Seriously, I had to do some CSI shit on my computer to see the name of a store across from it in the reflection of a picture I took. So I know it’s located across the street from Explosion (7555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA). It gets weirder: this store also does not have a door into it. To get in you have to go next door and ask the nice middle eastern man if there’s an entrance. After telling you it’s all custom made, and none of it’s for sale, he’ll let you in through the secret back door (which he then shuts behind you so no one else can see it exists/enter). This mystery shop has everything you need to be a pop star/futuristic super hero: horse-face armor, mohawk made of quartz crystals, horned face-mask, rib-bone collar, spiky cod piece, shoulder pads for days, nefertiti chain veils, and much, much more. Trust me, in these outfits people will respect your personal-space bubble.

IMG_1527 IMG_1529 IMG_1530 IMG_1531 IMG_1534 IMG_1535 IMG_1536 IMG_1537 IMG_1538 IMG_1540 IMG_1541 IMG_1542 IMG_1544 IMG_1545


If you looking for a fart machine, the perfect post card for your Mormon lover, Henri Rousseau Art stick-on tattoos, or justification for your chocolate addiction, LA’s best store for anything and everything is Wacko Soap Plant. Located on the outskirts of Little Armenia, Wacko is crammed floor to ceiling with knick-knacks, decoration, and toys, with an art exhibit nestled in the back. Go here if you enjoy browsing cute curiousities. Wacko, 4633 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA

IMG_3973IMG_3960 IMG_3961 IMG_3966IMG_3970 IMG_3968 IMG_3969  IMG_3971


Finally, LA’s hottest club is Jumbo’s Clown Room. Located on Hollywood Boulevard,this little joint is packed to the brim with enthusiastic dancers and even more enthusiastic patrons. Opened in 1970 and converted to an exotic dance bar in ’82, this bar embodies burlesque without crossing into the vulgarly agressive territory. All different shapes and sizes, tattooed and pierced chicks dance/strip to 80’s hits and rock picked off the club’s jukebox. No actual nudity- the skimpiest they get down to is underwear, which I at least appreciated. Different levels of skill and style range from a duo jazz dancing to footloose, to a serious acrobat pole dancer doing the splits on the ceiling then dropping straight down to catch herself, head inches from the floor, just by the strength of her inner thighs. Goddamn. The crowd goes wild and bills fly onto the stage. No cover charge, so drink well and tip the dancers on stage. (Ps. Courtney Love danced here in the early 90’s. Cool.)l

No pictures allowed, so I found this one online. Jumbo’s Clown Room, 5153 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA http://jumbos.com/



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