It’s a little past midnight when I was about to call it a night but then I get a call for Britney. Supposedly, she came down from the mountain heading to the valley. I thought it was another wack ass fake tip but I decided just to check out to make sure. For last couple of months Mrs. Spears has been all over town doing insane things but for the last couple of weeks she’s been in hiding. Maybe she wanted to make us believe she had calmed down but it was not the case this night. I take a drive on Mulholland Drive up to The Summit and noticed the night crew was not there, parking my car on the side of road making a couple of calls to figure where she was then Arturo shows up in his brand new Jaguar, which is not so new after a couple of Britney follows as the transmission is already gone to shit, the brakes probably needed to be changed weeks ago and the smell from all the fast food wrappers from all the stake outs has a worse smell then an actual garbage truck.
But it didn’t matter to him because he could afford another expensive car because during the Britney days, the money for the shots were so ridiculous that you would do anything to get those photos. From large SUVs to exotic European automobiles, the cars from all those Britney chases looked like car extras from the Fast and the Furious. He tells he she’s already on the other side of the valley and the guys are on it, so I jump in his shit with my gear heading to the hunt. He tells me she’s been out for the last twenty minutes and we need to catch up to the pack. He drives like a bat out of hell, swerving down to the valley as he gets a location of where she was in the valley. Apparently, she was with her manager, driving like a maniac trying to get away from us, which is never a good for us or other drivers on the road.
We are minutes away from catching up to the pack when Arturo gets a tip that a bunch of paps have been caught by the cops for speeding, but they didn’t stop Britney. So, he slows down a bit making sure we don’t get caught up, as minutes later we see a gang of cops pulling over a bunch of paps on Sepulveda Blvd with their backs against a chain link fence being questioned by the cops. We quietly pass them as Arturo finally spots the infamous white Mercedes as continue the hunt. We try to drive normal hoping to not raise any suspicion to Mrs. Spears. Although, she was still driving erratic as we try to figure out her next move.
We’re still in the valley as Arturo spots a notorious Britney hangout, the grocery store. He drives past her making it look like we were just normal stoned dudes, who needed to go to the grocery store because we had the munchies. Arturo pulls into the Ralph’s parking lot as we can see the Britney followed right behind us trying to find a parking spot. We do a couple of loops until Mrs. Spears found a spot getting out of the car with her manager heading to the grocery store. We decide not to shoot her going in as we wait until she finally walked into the store. We park the car feeling a bit astonished that we were the only one there following her. But it was short-lived as paps start to arrive at grocery store like bloodhounds finding her scent. All of us wait at the exit like a couple of hungry wolves waiting for our meal. We see her in line with her manager with a basket full of groceries looking like she was about to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for a small army. We saw our opportunity and took it, storming the Ralphs blasting Mrs. Spears while she was checking out.
Amazingly, as we were flashing the shit out of her none of the patrons or the store employees thought it was odd. They just acted like it was totally normal that two people were getting photographed at a grocery store like it was a runaway show. She finally checks out proceeding to get out the store as we continue to shoot her as she smiled and giggled for us like a school girl right after school. When we reach the parking lot there were actually fans of hers waiting and trying to get autographs from her. I push them to side trying to get more shots but they weren’t going to be denied as they wanted to meet the Princess of Pop. She graciously obliges them by posing with them. I finally had enough of shooting her feeling like a stuffed lion. I just looked at the controlled chaos that was surrounding her as she tired to act like a normal woman trying to get groceries past one o’clock in the morning. She finally gets back into her car with her manager as we run back to Arturo’s car to continue the hunt.
We all start following her again but not as crazy like before because we already got our shots which were great, so good that it could have probably fixed the transmission on Arturo’s brand new Jaguar. While in the car he tells me she was probably going home, which he was right again as she pulled into her compound. We pull on the side of road down Mulholland Drive to check out our photos and video. Once again, I was about to call it a night when Arturo tells me she’s probably going to come out again. I tell him to stop fucking with me but then in the corner of my eye I see the infamous white Mercedes passing us heading down Mulholland Drive. I know who I was dealing with but I was totally shocked and amazed that she came out again. I mean where the fuck is she going to past two in the morning. As we follow her again in the dead of night wondering where she would take us now.
This time she took us into Hollywood going towards Robertson Blvd, which is called Paparazzi Alley because it’s where the Ivy and a lot of trendy shopping stores that many celebrities like to shop. Naturally, all the stores were closed including the gas station as I thought for fucks sake where was this girl going? Then after a couple of laps up and down Paparazzi Alley I see the store manager of Kitson opening up his shop for Britney. She parks right in front of store as we all get out of cars shooting her once again pretending like we didn’t just shoot her thirty minutes ago. She and manager get the run of the store all by themselves as we shoot her looking and trying out clothes. The word has spread that she came out again as the freaks with cameras were coming out of the shadows. As our small gangbang became larger and larger as the store manager tells us that this was totally normal for her.
I thought about what he said as I looked at all the freaks at the window taking photos of Britney trying to be normal girl shopping for clothes at a time where normal people usually slept. Did I also mention this was not the weekend, it was the middle of the week when this shit is all going down. I thought what at any point of this whole night resembled any kind of normalcy. These are not actions of a normal grown human being even with the all media attention she was getting, this was outrageous by any standards of a public or private figure. But as savages we don’t think about that because our job is to report the news no matter how insane or how disturbing it is. So, we keep on shoot as she grabs bags of clothes to her car, proceeding to another a store which is kindly opened up just for her to shop in.
We continue the process of following her then shooting her inside of the store. In the middle of it I start to breakdown, I couldn’t shoot anymore or I did not want to shoot her unless she did something different. I waited as the rest of the animals continued on with the media assault of her as she pretends to be a normal girl shopping on Paparazzi Alley trying to not get any attention from media keeping a low profile. Naturally, she was failing at it and maybe we all were because we were part of the problem. But it was not that kind of night trying to fix the world’s problems. It was just a normal night with a normal girl doing normal things followed by grown men with cameras. It’s past three in the morning when she finally stops her shopping spree heading back to her car. We do the dance again one last time running back to our cars following her in the dark. Arturo tells me once again she probably is going back home, which I prayed to the gods she did because I was getting really tired and I was starting to lose what little mind I had left. Luckily, she went back home again as we pull into the side of the road next toMulholland Drive. Before, Arturo says anything I grab all my things getting out of the car, as he tells me as I walk to my car she’s probably going out again but I didn’t care. I’ve had enough of her and the freaks. I just wanted to go home and sleep, which I didn’t care if I even uploaded the photos because I was so tired.
As I make my way to my car I could hear the sounds of cars starting up, as I hear walkie talkies chirping that she was coming out again but I’ve made up my mind about going home. I’ve had enough with the craziness and the freaks as I see the infamous white Mercedes again drive past me along with the money train going down Mulholland Drive into the unknown during the twilight hours. I say a quite pray in the dark for the hunted because there is usually no mercy from the hunters, as I put an end on this fucked up night but it wasn’t going to be the last crazy night with her unless she actually decides to act normal, which could mean the end of these insane nights.
Secretly, I didn’t want it to end because I know it’s fucked up but it’s a great ride to be on, which you can only ride it once in your lifetime. In the end, we regret all things we should have done because we were too scared. I just hope I don’t have those regrets as I enjoy this crazy ass ride called life or something like it.
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
6 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
Bake at 400° for 7 minutes; remove from oven.
Cook bacon pieces in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels, and crumble. Sprinkle bacon, green onions, and 1 cup cheese into prepared crust.
Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients; pour mixture into crust, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and nutmeg.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes.
Credit: My Recipes
As its name implies, a foam roller is a large “log” made out of foam that helps your body to warm up for exercise and recover afterward. Among its many benefits are:
- Improved circulation
- Increased blood flow
- Releases muscle tightness
- Breaks down knots in your muscles
- Reduces pain
Using a foam roller is actually similar to getting a massage (only less expensive!). As you roll on it, fibrous tissue is broken down and circulation is boosted, helping to relieve tension and pain. When you perform various exercises with the roller it also helps to engage your muscles and build strength. Plus, because the foam roller is unstable, using it works your core muscles and helps improve balance. Many people wait to use a foam roller until they feel a tight spot in a muscle, then simply ‘roll’ it out. While this can be effective, it’s a mistake to regard the foam roller as only an occasional fitness tool. You can actually use it daily (even if it’s for just a few minutes) to help prevent trouble spots in your muscles from occurring.
Increase Your Range of Motion in Five to 10 Seconds
Foam rollers are often used by therapists and athletes to mimic myofascial release treatments, which are typically used to help reduce muscle immobility and pain. Their effects can be quite significant, as one study found that using a foam roller on your hamstrings may lead to statistically significant increases in range of motion after just five to 10 seconds.1 Separate research also found that using a foam roller reduces arterial stiffness, which may indicate improved flexibility, and improves vascular endothelial function.2 Older women who used foam rollers for balance training also showed improvements in dynamic balance after just five weeks,3 adding scientific credibility to the use of this incredibly simple fitness tool. My favorite is to combine the Trigger Point Foam Roller with the Power Plate. The vibration from the Power Plate is a powerful synergy with the foam roller and I seek to do that twice a day when I have access to a Power Plate. This combination can radically increase your range of motion and flexibility.
5 ‘Critical Rules’ for Foam Rolling
Master trainer Josh Stolz recently shared what he calls the five most critical rules for getting the most out of your foam roller.4
- Drink plenty of water first: This helps to keep your tissues hydrated and more pliable during rolling, so drink a large glass of water first.
- Use your roller for warm-ups and cool downs: Foam rollers are both a warm-up tool and a recovery tool. Try swapping out static stretches in your warm-up for foam rolling.
- Slow down: Avoid rolling too quickly; your movements on the foam roller should be slow and concentrated.
- Move in multiple directions: For best results, combine up-and-down, side-to-side and other directional movements to best work your muscles.
- Do it regularly– preferably daily: As mentioned, using the foam roller daily is an excellent tool for muscle maintenance, injury prevention and pain relief.
Try These Foam Roller Exercises
Once you get your foam roller, what should you do with it? Try these sample exercises from Q by Equinox:5
“Position yourself on your right side with your right leg flat, knee bent 90 degrees, your left foot flat on the floor. Place the center of a foam roller beneath your right arm pit, perpendicular to your body, and extend your right arm straight, resting your left hand on the foam roller. (Reach that right arm as far as possible to create more of a stretch.)
From this position, roll from your armpit about four inches down towards your waist, and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides; repeat.”
2. Shoulders and Pecs
“Lie face down, resting your left forearm on the floor, legs slightly wider than shoulder width. Place one end of a foam roller under your right shoulder, extending arm straight out at shoulder height, forming a T with the roller. (Again, reach that straight arm as far as possible to create more tension.) In short movements, roll from your shoulder to right pec and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides and repeat.”
3. Thoracic Spine
“Lie face up with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. Center a foam roller beneath your mid-back or shoulder blades so that it is perpendicular to your body. (Note: You can move the foam roller up and down to target different areas of the thoracic spine while still doing the extension motion.)
Extend arms out from shoulders at a 45-degree angle. Reach arms back behind you towards floor and back again for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure that the lower back doesn’t extend—think about pushing the lumbar spine into the ground as you are reaching back.”
“Sit with legs extended in front of you, and rest your lower right calf on the center of a foam roller that’s perpendicular to your body. With hands on the floor, press your triceps to lift your butt off the floor, and then place your left foot on top of your right calf. Roll up from your lower right calf to the meat of your calf and back for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch legs; repeat. (Note: Also target the inside and the outside of the calf simply by turning the foot in or turning the foot out.)”
5. Glutes and Piriformis
“With your feet flat on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width, center a foam roller beneath your glutes. Lift your right leg and rest your right ankle on your left knee. Roll back and forth from the center of your right glute to the bottom of your spine for 30 seconds to a minute; switch legs and repeat.”
How to Make Your Foam-Roller Workout Even Better
The benefits of using a foam roller are even better if you do them on a Power Plate, which is my favorite type of Acceleration (or Whole Body Vibration) Training equipment. Acceleration Training is ideally done using a platform like the Power Plate, which vibrates in three planes: vertical, horizontal and sagittal (front to back).
There is equipment out there that only moves in two planes but the three-plane movement devices seem superior. These micro-accelerations force your muscles to accommodate, resulting in dramatic improvement in strength, power, flexibility, balance, tone and leanness. Remember, you can perform many different types of exercises on the Power Plate, including foam rolling, and doing so will enhance your results. Combining the Power Plate and Trigger Point Foam Roller is something I do virtually every day when I am at home.
When you stand on the vibrating platform, each muscle in your body reacts in a continuous flow of micro adjustments, contracting reflexively.The up-and-down movement improves your muscle tone. The left-to-right, and front-to-back movements improve your balance and coordination. What’s truly exceptional about Acceleration Training technology is that it engages up to 98 percent of your muscle fibers—including the fast and super-fast muscle fibers. So, with Acceleration Training you get greater rewards and shorter workouts because you’re working muscle fibers every second.
I truly believe Acceleration Training technology represents a revolution in fitness science that can benefit virtually everyone, regardless of age or fitness status. However, even if you don’t have access to such technology, regular foam rolling is still an excellent strategy to add to your fitness program.
Credit: Fitness Mercola
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and water, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Credit: Taste of Home
Credit: Michael De Souza
According to the LA Times, Nabisco’s newest flavor includes a graham cracker-flavored cookie with a chocolate-marshmallow creme filling. Think s’mores that have been sitting out overnight. Still good, just cold.
The cookie taste likes a graham cracker, and the filling a mix of chocolate and the classic Oreo creme. Before you know it, you’ve eaten half the bag.
Looking back at some of Nabisco’s recent Oreo flavors, including red velvet, watermelon, fruit punch and limeade, it’s safe to say the s’mores cookies are a step in the right direction.
AMY SCATTERGOOD / LOS ANGELES TIMES
The new Oreos will be available starting May 22 for a limited time and retail for $4.49.