This week I had intended to write about the recent “makeover” here at the Shores apartments. (That is, until I happened to see Charlie Sheen and Moammar Gadhafi in TV interviews.) My editor always encourages me to write about life in Santa Monica, the point being that the Daily Press is not the New York Times and I’m not Pulitzer Prize-winning Maureen Dowd. (Actually, she’s only won one Pulitzer, so if I happened to get one we’d be even.)

The big news at the Shores is that the laundry rooms got all new machines and they’re gorgeous. (In 30 years of writing columns I never imagined that I’d be discussing washers and dryers, much less using the word “gorgeous” to describe them.) But polarized as our culture is, there’s even a split in the residents’ reactions. The new washers are front loading and a number of tenants prefer top loading. (I never realized there was a difference.)

Apparently, I’m in the “front loading” camp because the clothes seem to come out so much cleaner. (If you’re wondering how I’m going to get from “washers and dryers” to “Sheen and Gadhafi,” you’re not the only one.)

The Shores’ pool area was also redone and now looks like a lavish resort. The new decking is elegant-looking, that is if concrete can be elegant. And the formerly back-breaking chaise lounges (a chiropractor’s dream) have been outfitted with lush foam pads colored royal blue. Unfortunately the day the pool re-opened we had torrential rains. But as I write this it’s sunny and the pool area looks like a swanky Club Med.

You could say our pool area looks as fancy as the pool at Charlie Sheen’s Beverly Hills mansion. (Not my cleverest segue, but at least we’ve moved off washers and dryers.) I saw Charlie’s pool in a poolside interview he gave. He did so to defend charges that he’s insane, the result of which, to me at least, only made him look more disturbed. (As to who’s crazier, Charlie or Moammar, I’d say it’s a tossup, but I’ll let you decide after I’m done.)

Today Charlie lost temporary custody of his twin boys for having allegedly told his ex-wife he “would cut her head off, put it in a box” and send it to her mom. (I’m hoping at least he didn’t do it on Valentine’s Day.)

Charlie’s been getting help in raising the young tykes (whom I fear are doomed) from his “goddesses,” two very attractive blondes, one a former porn star, Rachel Oberlin, aka Bree Olson, and Natalie Kenley, a former nanny and model. The trio lives together at the mansion Sheen has dubbed “Sober Valley Lodge” to indicate he’s clean and sober. (If that’s clean and sober, maybe he’d be better off drinking?)

Apparently Sheen is doing all these interviews to win public support in his battle with CBS over the cancellation of the last eight episodes of his hit TV show, “Two and a Half Men.” (For which he gets $2 million per episode, not exactly bad wages for a half-hour gig.)

But unfortunately Sheen comes off manic, narcissistic and, forgive the medical term, “completely out to lunch.” Here are a couple of his recent quotes. “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a bitchin’ total friggin’ rock star from Mars.” (My reaction is Charlie’s definitely special, a special kind of idiot.)

Forgetting Charlie, (and I’d love to) Moammar Gadhafi has been Libya’s dictator for the past 41 years. He has given himself the official title of “The Honorific Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” (Imagine how hard that would be to fit on a business card.)

Currently Libya is in the middle of a widespread revolt. How crazy is Moammar? He says that the unrest is because al-Qaida has put LSD in his countrymen’s water supply. He professes that he “loves his people” but today he unleashed a massive bombing campaign killing hundreds if not thousands of Libyans. (Giving new meaning to the term “tough love?”)

In his TV interview Moammar repeated, “My people love me, they love me!” He sounded like Sally Field when she accepted her Oscar in 1984. (Speaking of the Oscars this past Sunday — yawn — I was pleased that “Inside Job” won for Best Documentary and admired director Charles Ferguson’s comment, “Three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single Wall Street executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.” Amen.)

But back to Moammar. Today The Hague announced they’re opening an investigation of Gadhafi for possible “crimes against humanity.” That probably gives Moammar the edge over Charlie in the “who’s crazier” contest. That said, still unresolved is which is the better washer, top or front loading.

When he isn’t busy wasting his life watching insane narcissists being interviewed on TV, Jack can be reached at

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