Zucchini Fritters with fresh Tzatziki Dip

You can thank good ‘ole Martha Stewart for this recipe. The only difference I made was add some fresh dill to the mix as well.


Raw Zucchini Salad with Feta, Kalamatas and Mint with a lemon vinaigrette


With all this hullabaloo regarding Tom Cruise and Scientology lately, it had me thinking of my few experiences with this infamous, esoteric corporation, I mean religion.

I had just moved to LA and still thought I wanted to be an actor.

Well, one cookie jar Scientology definitely has its hands in, is the entertainment industry.

My friend, Nancy and I signed up for an acting class at the uber creepster Celebrity Center complex in Hollywood.

She was never heard from again.


Well, it was still a creepster experience.

We arrived at the complex, cheerfully greeted by parking attendants.

That’s something I clearly remember. Everyone was TOO cheerful.

While I don’t recall too many details, I remember a few weird things.

They used something called the Tone Scale as an acting tool. We were given a situation to act out and then were told where on the tone scale we were supposed to behave.

I remember an elderly man in our class (perhaps, homeless).

I think he may have also been deceased.

It became evident he had wet himself. Made worse by the fact we were supposed to change our seats on occasion and I grew terrified I’d have to sit in his soiled chair.

“Teacher, I don’t want to sit in the wet spot!”

I mean, what could I have said??

After the pointless class, Nancy and I attempted to leave the building. Just like a ride at Disneyland, they make you exit through the gift shop.

There were young men in white shirts blocking every exit, persuading us to take stress tests or take a closer look at all the books.

“We have more classes, we can sign you up tonight!”

The flyer for the acting class promised that Scientology was not going to be discussed but good luck getting out of the building without a fresh copy of Dianetics in your hand!

I remember being stopped by several more sharp dressed men on our way to the parking lot.


Can we leave now??

Nancy later went to another acting class there taught by Juliette Lewis.

As punishment, her mailbox never spent a SINGLE DAY without a letter or magazine from Scientology. It was impressive.

A few months later, I heard about the famous Scientology brunch and knew I had to check it out. This time, I brought reinforcements. 4 other friends!

The building and the grounds are beautiful, don’t get me wrong.

But that weird vibe, the second you step on the property, is ever present.

The food spread was pretty nice but all I can remember was the female jazz singer, belting out the cheesiest “up with people” tunes I’ve ever heard. The room was small and she was standing, like, a foot from us!

Screaming in our faces while we’re trying to swallow down our food as fast as possible.

It was supremely irritating.

And then we were all assimilated, one by one.