October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To focus attention on the issue, Liz Claiborne and Elisabeth stores (South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) will donate profits from sales of specially designed handbags and T-shirts to local groups that help victims of domestic violence. The linings of the $25 handbags bear the message "Love is not abuse." Long-sleeved cotton T-shirts, $12, display anti-violence messages. After October, the products will be available by phone, (800) 449-STOP. A free booklet, "A Woman's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Discussing Relationship Abuse," is also available at that number.
Traffic Stoppers: Causing gridlock in L.A. is illegal. A ticket for that traffic-jamming offense costs at least $136. Here's a perfectly legal form of gridlock for L.A.--or any place--but it's going to cost you a whole lot more. Cartier recently designed a watch with a diamond-encrusted grid over the face. The model, available in November, costs a mere $54,900. (Keep in mind the grid is removable.) On the other hand, or for the other hand, watchmaker Swatch has released a tick-or-treat line of watches at a much more reasonable $40 each. Designs include a vampire, a skeleton or a ghost, which comes in its own "tombstone."