Thursday, December 22, 2005

It is war time.

To those who are fighting in warfare, I salute you. To those on the streets seeking roofs. And those in the deserts seeking water. Those holding guns seeking justice. And those in tenements seeking government. And those with wives and children who seek out mistresses in the dark. To all those who have a hunger for something more that they fight for. Who feel they must fight for freedom.

To those who feel that war is the answer, I wish strength.

For you. For those who you encounter at the front line. For the defeated.

And prayers sent that the latter were not made for more than your war.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A man who is very busy seldom changes his opinions.

"A man who is very busy seldom changes his opinions." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The last two weeks have been my busiest here, if not, perhaps, my busiest ever. Although I'm sure the latter sentiment would be a complete and unjust exaggeration. With my organization's largest event of the year approaching this Friday, work hours have become increasingly long. With a growing list of "friends" and casual acquaintances, social hours have become steadily busier. And with all this business, the productivity, which came with leisure hours and which I was just beginning to grudgingly enjoy, is ceasing altogether.

Amongst the notable and unnotable events of the last several days:

I experienced my first casualty of the treacherous activity that is Los Angeles driving. It was only a matter of time with my luck and my driving skills that I should have an accident. But I SWEAR--totally not my fault this time! In an ironic twist of fate, I had stayed over on Friday night at a friend's in the Valley because I was not seen fit to drive home along the curvy roads, pending my level of [non]sobriety. And so, I left, sleepless, on Saturday morning to head to the office for some event work. And some man who'd been up my Jetta's ass for a mile or so already all of a sudden swerved, scraping my car and hitting two parked cars. Luckily my car got the least of it. But I got out anyway because I was so shaken. And for the sake of this poor Canadian-Israeli couple who was driving a rental for their last day in LA, called the police. Let it be noted that it took over 15 minutes for a live person to pick up on 911. Should I have had a real emergency (which, they ultimately deemed this NOT to be) I could, of course, have been dead or worse. Anyway, so my baby Jetta's not in perfect condition anymore. But so it goes.

The only exciting "celebrity" encounter of the last week was Bob Guccione at our event on Monday. A supposedly big supporter of my organization, I can only imagine this to mean that he enjoys our open bars and prays for available, indiscriminating pussy to find him when he arrives. Unable to speak coherently, or to remember anyone's names including, I might mention, his own son's, he took a picture with me which I will either frame. Or burn.

Work has otherwise consumed my days, my evenings and my dreams. Should this week ever end, and should I keep my job after the disaster which I pray that this Friday does not become, I plan to have several days of reprieve. Whether that should constitutes an indeterminable number of days sleeping or, conversely, indeterminable number of days partying and not sleeping, has yet to be decided. But regardless many days are to be taken in trying to forget everything that is, has been and will be October the 14th.

To sleep to wake again.

Kisses and sweet dreams of vendors that show up on time * Jessie

Monday, October 03, 2005

A moment of silence.


Promises were made by houses in hills surrounded by warm winds.
Journeys followed and hearts were swallowed by oceans and hemispheres.
They dreamed of life and never death,
for death it seemed was for the poor and frivolous.

Cold gusts of hard air would come soon though
as it always does.
And death would follow too in its steel-suited armor.
The light would dim once again on the hills by the water.
And Paris would dance off drunk on last hoorahs unto the night.

** "For My Sister" is a poetic interpretaion of Paris Hilton and Paris Lastis' disengagement which I will mourn for a very long time. Or until I remember that they each are left, loveless as they may be, with more money than I may ever dream about. At which point, I may just throw up and plunge myself into deep depression. Or into the oven. Whichever.

*** Poem should be recited with Bette Midler's love anthem, You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings, playing faintly in the background. Accompanying interpretive dance is suggested and encouraged, but not required.

Wishing everyone an easy time of mourning. And remember, with tears comes the making of a new tomorrow. Stay strong. If not for yourself, than for Paris...and Paris.

* Jessie

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's pouring.

When it rains it pours. Even in sunny California where rain is as common as brunettes. Five weeks in to the LA experience, and it's officially pouring. And, because this is me and I'm never prepared, I haven't got a damn metaphorical umbrella. Which has left me knee deep in a flood of silly cocktail parties, plans with friends-new and old, more work than I know how to handle, and far too little sleep to properly face the challenges. On the flip side, I'm the happiest I've been since I arrived--smiling all day and running around giddy like a bloody 15 year old, forcing everyone in the office to join in on the antics. I've got girls gushing about new loves, the crankiest of bosses smiling for the first time and everyone eating chocolate. (This may also be an aftereffect of no sleep and too much Diet Cola.)

In other exciting LA news:

* I have seen the valley for the first time. I made it over the hill on Tuesday night. And yes, I came back to tell the tale. And no, I do not see why anyone lives over there.

* I received a copy of Holly Roninson Peete's book, "Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game! : A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football," as LA Confidential magazine thought the book was a worthy cause for a party this week. So, for all you ladies who are just dying to learn the game. From Holly's pink-riddled paperback. And I know there's a large demographic of you. Um. Yeah. You can have my copy.

* Hillary Duff celebrated her 18th birthday last night at Mood in Hollywood. While there may not be as many collegiate males creaming their pants across the country as on the Olsen twins' big day, huge names came out to celebrate the Hilster's milestone. Like, well, her boyfriend and sister. Check out pictures from the totally rocking party of young Hillary, her younger friends and her older, pedophilic boyfriend.

Off to Santa Monica for work errands. Nothing says good morning like an airport hangar.

West Coast Word of the Day: aphorism. 'a-f&-"ri-z&m.
1 : a concise statement of a principle
2 : a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment : ADAGE
I could offer many aphorisms to you, but I will spare you.

Hoping your week's as spastic as mine * Jessie

Monday, September 26, 2005

Damn you Blogpost. Damn you!

This post is dedicated to the unborn child of the pregnant lady on line in front of me at Von's supermarket tonight. That baby has interesting times ahead to look forward to. I will say no more. (There is a marginal possibility that said lady was just oddly shaped and not, in fact, with child.)

[I just wrote a FANtastic recap of my last four days which we have all just lost from the history books due to a Blogspot server error. So, we can all blame this website for my current urge to shoot myself in the foot and for the tears which I am quite sure you must be shedding right now at the news of this loss. I will recap below, but please note that there were many fascinating points made and lessons to be learned that you will now suffer the absence of. Mourning period begins tomorrow at sunup.]

LACMA + C magazine + Gallery pARTy: Wine. Confusion at function of party. Too many partners. Wine. Judge people. Smoke cigarette. Wine.
Domino magazine + H.D. Buttercup party: Wine. Home furnishings. Freebies. DJ AM looking awkwardly juxtaposed to throw pillows and vintage inspired shelving. Wine.
The Falcon: Bad, bad taste at bad, bad club. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Spider Club at Avalon: Drink. Impressed by lack of urge to throw up at site of crowd. Dance. Drink. Good times.

Daytime: Bed. Lunch. Bed. Thoughts of productivity. Bed. Bed. Bed.
Keds/Mischa Barton Party: Mischa. Shit brown dress. Flat Keds sneakers. Me. Hotter.

LA POV State of the Arts: Conference at Pacific Design Center. Bad--tall, blond actress playing tall, blond actress. Badly. Fan-fucking-tastic: Norton Wisdom--live action painter. Large canvas, water spray, brush, finger, five minutes = tremendous painting of nude woman with monsters eating her pussy.
Evening: Thoughts of work tomorrow. Bad. Bad. Bad.

West Coast Word of the Day: serendipitous. "ser-&n-'di-p&-t&s. As in: My roommate ate my candy. I wrote accusatory memo. Candy found. Oops. But now I can eat candy. Freakin' serendipitous.

And so my weekend went. And so you lost out on the fascinating details. (How unfortunate for those of you who might have found an everlasting place on the internet through mention in this blog.) Or, conversely, you may just have narrowly escaped a rather boring and overly worded description of four days of my life. (How serendipitous for you.)

Til the next time, signing off * Jessie

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My baby gets a beatdown from the NYT.

I may not have been certain about my car selection when I made it--I had just arrived the night before from New York. I was tired, I was angsty, I was carless in a city that is simply inaccessible without a car. A decision needed to be made quickly, a deal struck, and a car driven off the lot. I had until closing time to complete my mission. With the aid of a dear friend who has the patience of an almost-saint, I went to the Mini-Cooper dealership where I saw my first car crush, then drove it, then came to my senses. And then in a spontaneous--my dream has just died a death of pragmatism and budget, I better find another one asap--moment, we drove to the downtown Los Angeles Volkswagen dealership, where we were met with the caricatured pushiness of several car salesmen and freshly popped popcorn. One might even say the sales tactics at this particular dealership were bordering on...manipulative--like, oh let's see--how they essentially wouldn't let us leave for lunch and harassed us with a line of questioning that followed our "We're going to go for lunch and come back," with something like, "Why are you leaving? Are you not sure about the car? Are you really going to come back? Are you going to determine anything outside that you couldn't figure out here? Are you? Are you? Are you???" And after the actual purchase, when "Steve," the primary salesman basically cornered me in the car and instructed me on exactly what responses to give when I would later be called by the VW HQ about his performance. Well Steve, how about instead of saying excellent to everyhing as instructed, I should just tell them that you're a frightening, frightening PSYCHO? How would that do?

All this to say, so perhaps I wasn't sure of my decision. Perhaps I settled on the Volkswagen Jetta because if I didn't drive off in one, I wouldn't have a ride the next day to continue the search for the more perfect vehicle. Or because Steve and his cronies had my number and I feared long term harassment. Whatever the reason, I drove away in a car that seemed a little adult for me. I felt like the leather seats were too luxurious. The size, a little hard for parking. The chrome grill, akin to a barbeque I'd never seen on a car before. The trunk, suitable for soccer moms, not hot 24 year olds ready to cruise on the freeway.

But I was getting over all this. One month in I was starting to love my Jetta like a mother begins to love its ugly baby. And then...yesterday...I saw the Sunday Times article. "2005 Volkswagen Jetta" was like a stick to the heart.

The first disheartening announcement from Mr. Jeff Sabatini, aka The Fun Killer:

A new advertising campaign, still heavy on the music, carries a new tagline: "It's all grown up. Sort of." Which implies that all those 20-somethings, having reached the age that makes them no longer trustworthy, need cars more consistent with their new stations in life - even if they are not too happy about it.

Did you need to point this out Fun Killer? Did we need to address, in the Times no less that I am a. getting old, b. still not trustworthy, and c. unhappy with my new, undefined "station" in life. Bite me Jeff.

And then things get personal:

Most unsettling is the new grille, surely one of the largest chrome-finish surfaces on any passenger car made today.

You know what Jeff, some babies have bigger teeth than others. Some babies' heads are clearly too big for their bodies. But therapists for years have been trying to counter the damaging demoralization of critics like you. Now my baby is going to grow up with a grille complex. And who's gonna pay for the years of auto therapy? Who Jeff-the Fun Killer-Sabatini?

And so Fun Killer went on and on, ripping apart my Jetta. Killing my delusion that I had somehow picked a car that still said fun! young! cruising for boys! I should have known from the looks of Steve and his buddies at the dealership that I was not getting fun. That I was not buying young. That this Jetta would bring me no boys. Even with the G D sunroof.

The baby's crying. Gotta run. She's got to take me to work. And she'll do it at 22 miles a gallon damnit.

Kisses * Jessie

The woes of a blogger.

As a new blogger, I feel that I have faced this week the ultimate irony of the blog life. One must do things to obtain content to write about. But when one does them, one loses time to write. And so it's been over this last week, that I have actually been so busy doing fabulous LA things, all the time thinking how interested you would be to read of them, and in doing them, left myself with minimal time to log the excitement. So, a recap is in order. It will be brief because I'm just exhausted from all the running around I've been doing and my bed is calling me like a hooker calls on her tricks. Alluring (as my head keeps nodding over). Forbidden (as I am intent on writing this before I sleep). Dirty (as I've not done laundry in quite a while). Except for that my bed is disease free. And not wearing patent leather.

Former work friends were in from New York over the weekend for a series of events in Los Angeles and I was made to question, on several levels, my decision to leave that position. They were staying at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset, where one evening's stay alone is valued at nearly what I earn in a week now. Beside the luxury of all expenses paid, I miss the comradery of a larger coworker pool. My current office of three won't allow for office gossip, although tensions and politics admittedly run high all the same despite, or because of, close quarters. An office without open fights, closeted giggles and caddy remarks just doesn't seem a fit place for working. But as remorseful as the weekend became for regrets of a good thing left behind, all was made right with expensed dinners out with the old work crew and invites to events chock full of b-rate celebs and more face work than a season of The Swan. Friday night's dinner at Massimo in Beverly Hills was delicious and nothing could have felt more old school Hollywood than sitting at a table just a foot away from Tom Poston and Debbie Reynolds, dining with another recognizable [but unnameable] couple.

More free meals, more semi-famous people you don't know or don't care about, scattered throughout the weekend could not compare with the real thrills of these past few days. Rites of passage into LA living that surpass even the celebrity encounter, for what is more valued in this city of fake blondes and fast cars than, well...blonde hair and a sweet car. So, in honor of my month anniversary as a Los Angeles resident (yes, it was yesterday and I'll expect your congratulatory remarks are in the mail already) I went blonder than I've ever been and treated my Jetta to a "full service" car wash (at least one of us should be getting serviced here). Both involved too much time, too much money and chemicals that don't belong among laymen. I am officially bleached and my car is sparklier than at conception.

Blonder than me, although with a hairstyle not exactly enviable, was Princess Superstar who I saw in concert last night at The Echo. Spastic costume changes [into a variety of outfits better suited for the animal which they once belonged to] aside, the performance was riveting. For a woman of her age (and by that, I mean any age over 15) to maintain that much energy without the aid of several lines of cocaine hidden backstage which she may or may not have been partaking in during said costume changes was impressive to say the least. She rapped against her own recording as a backdrop which I found to be cheap, but her sound was lively and engaging and her lyrics bizarre and hysterical. While it was debatable (and my guest and I did indeed debate this) whether or not she was a mere train wreck or a social genius of sorts, the show was entertaining. I thought myself brilliant when I realized half way through the show that who she reminded me of was Eminem. But according to several interviews that were pointed out to me today, others have mentioned the kinship before. Damn.

So that I shouldn't go back to the kitchen yet again for more processed edibles, I better get to bed.

A Little Lesson from Los Angeles: Say no to drugs--that don't fit neatly into your Fendi spy bag.

West Coast Word of the Day: phenomenological. fi-"nä-m&-n&l-'ä-ji-k&l.
* First person to use it in a sentence gets to feel like an intellectual elitist.

Kisses + sweet dreams of sex and chocolate * Jessie

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Post Decembrists. Things fall apart.

Many folks like to say that they're a young [insert age here]. Like so and so's grandmother who's 76 and goes out dancing every night to pick up what she can find in the way of single senior gents. She gets gussied up, made up, and picked up by the senior van. And then she'll tell you for as long as you'll listen that she may be 76, but she's a young 76. All this to give proper context to my allegation that I am conversely an old 24. Save the fact that I can, at my worst, be ornery and, should you become the brunt of my ill will, a killer of fun in all sorts of ways not fitting to a young person, my physical ailments have often been [self-] diagnosed as geriatric. I bruise easily, my gums are receding, I have bad balance, my eyesight is probably closer to blind that it is to 20/20, and my hearing occasionally departs from my right ear. (I can only imagine the image you have conjured up of me now, those of you don't know me, but note well that despite the medical history, I'm not all gray-haired and hip-breaking yet.) It is the latter two afflictions that have come to ruin my day and possibly the week ahead, which had previosly been looking on the up.

I woke up this morning groggy after last night's hoorah at The Decembrists concert at The Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater...quick interjection to say, yes, I did find accompaniment to the show. No, it was not a male escort service. Yes, the show rocked. The Decembrists are like this group of--pardon my high school cafeteria throwback--rejects who sat together at recess and wouldn't play sports and made fun of the cheerleaders and the jocks and plotted revenge cause they were, like, obviously so much smarter and more talented than the cool kids and they would show them and they would start a band or something that would get really big and then the captain of the basketball team and the kickline girls would totally want to get to know them, but it would be too late man. But in The Decembrists' case, they actually were super talented and did start a band and did make it big. (N.B.--Above history may or may not be based on factual evidence. It also may or may not be a projection of author's own childhood years.) From the lead singer's Elton John-Jack Osbourne look to the drummer's tighty whities on the outside to the female accordian player who could only be said to look like a female version of an oompa loompa, the band looked like a bunch of misfits. But their energy was above average, their performance polished, and their sound, quite frankly, amazing.

But this is not a music review, and so I return to the matter of relevance. And the conditions brought on, and I realize now, only slightly relevant to my unfortunate, self-diagnosed state of premature aging (known to some as hypochondria). I awoke this morning and following usual routine ate, showered, readied. But when I went for my right contact lens from its case, fumbling around a bit and finally finding it on the bathroom counter, I was to find two jagged pieces of ripped plastic not even close to resembling the contact lens that had come out the night prior. In retrospect, this is my fault. Things don't fall [instantly] apart on their own. At least not expensive [high] prescription contact lenses. In my state the night before, which looking back must obviously have been a tipsy one, I either did some devestating thing to the poor lens on its entrance into its plastic case. Or perhaps did not even deposit it in there at all, leaving it on the counter to face the elements overnight--The cold. The mosquitos. My roommates.

In any event (as I would like to quickly focus away from my guilty association with the whole ordeal and turn back to my loss and suffering), I was forced to wear my bloody glasses all day which a) are cute enough, but not quite part of the new Cali look I'm going for here, and b) not adequate for purposes of seeing. And with eyesight like mine, that's rather jarring. In combination with the loss of hearing I've recently been experiencing in my right ear, I found myself walking around yesterday like a modern, moderate, [better looking] Helen Keller. The number of times I was forced to repeat What?!? to coworkers was embarassing. The drive home as I made 4 almost-turns for every turn I was to take as I couldn't see street signs clearly, mortifying, and more significantly, making me a menace to others on the road. I was supposed to venture out last night for drinks and was forced to quarantine myself away in the loft instead so as not to offend anyone with my four-eyed, deathly driving antics.

To make matters worse, the UPS box which contained both an extra set of contacts and drops for my ears and which had been sitting at the UPS store after 3 failed deliveries at my home, was...that's right...returned back to NY as I'd neglected to pick it up in time.


Well, I better get to bed before I hurt myself or others.

Seeing no evil. Hearing no evil. * Jessie

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A date for the highest bidder.

Last night had me out on the town for the first time in LA. When I say out, I mean, of course, at a half empty gay bar in Silverlake. But so what if there was no one for me there? No one to psych myself up to talk to? To give a number to? To throw myself at mercilessly and scream, It's been three long weeks already! Please god anyone! Anything! Regardless of all this (i.e. expressed feelings of desperation which may or not be exaggerated), to enter an establishment that was not someone's dorm-style decorated home in Venice or Silverlake or whichever [heavily populated by young LA hipsters] neighborhood, was refreshing at the very least. Akbar, which underlines with subhead "Praise Allah for this friendly, mostly-gay gem," was indeed friendly and served up a stiffer drink than a girl who's not gonna get any needs in her. So, were this a bar review, which it is not, but rather a review of me and my life (let's not lose focus here), I would give it a 7, at least for a Tuesday night (7 out of what, I don't know). I'd go back again for quick intoxicification purposes alone. And to be oblique, the new girl in town is gonna fare a lot better, make a lot more lasting friends, and wake up with a tad more dignity in the morning, if she sticks with the gay crowd. Talk to me in a month, of course, and I might be climbing ivy outside of a straight club to catch a glimpse of potential suitors inside, but I [and my hormones] are in check for now...unless you have someone you'd like to set me up with in which case I'm all a go.

On the subject of datelessness, I've miraculously won something for the first time in my young life and don't even have a partner in crime to enjoy the winnings with. Through Flavorpill, a great newsletter of events (listing mostly musical acts and djs I'd rather not listen too, but great all the same for their offering of free and moderately priced happenings in various cities), I've won tickets to see The Decembrists tonight and I have no one to bloody take with me. Now, that's really sad when a person can't even give something away--that's how few friends she's got. Well, to hell with self-pity--you'll see me there alone if I can't find a taker. I'll be the one in the back with the hoodie, the notebook and the incessant scribbling. That's right--if I'm going alone, then consider me faux press for the evening. No one judges a reporter for heading out alone.

Well, should you have a friend in LA who likes the Decembrists (I've never even heard them) and is free for this evening, let me know. If he/she wants to drive, even better. If you send a cute, straight young male my way, there are extra bonus points and a whole lotta love coming your way.

Kisses * Jessie

Monday, September 12, 2005

LA Department of Water & Power puts the LA in blackout

It was one thing (and a horrible one at that) when I was two days late in hearing about the devastation caused by the hurricane in New Orleans--What kind of an ignoramus doesn't know that a major U.S. metropolis has been flooded. I mean Noah lived in an age before wireless servers and still he knew to swing by in his luxury cruise ship (little known fact that his Arc was really a Carnival cruise ship on route to the Dominican) to pick up the animals two by two. Yes, that was one thing not to hear of the disaster many states away until days later. But when one's friend in NY calls to ask about the terrorist threats on your city--well that seems bordering on the absurd. It seems bordering, one might say, on the time to purchase a cable package, one with HBO and the Soap network and ESPN and...oh, I don't know...maybe news?!?

The city of Los Angeles experienced a major power shortage this afternoon, which I was alerted of by a concerned roommate calling. I happened to know nothing of it as my work is in Beverly Hills, a Los Angeles neighborhood with, apparently, great powers of resistance against misfortune. While out and about for lunch I overheard a radio declaring that there was "no foul play" involved in the day's inconvenience. Well, the only foul play I could tell of was the unequal distribution of black out upon the city. It seems all rather unfair that I was not awarded the hour off that I'm sure other businesses were forced to grant employees, who like myself, work all day at computers in offices with no windows, making electricity doubly pertinent to getting on.

Well, that was the end I supposed. That is, until said friend in NY called me to inform of terrorist threats on Los Angeles. Checking online I learned that P was right. The New York Times (no, I will not yield to the LA Times for even local news if it is to be deemed credible), sited that "The blackout, which occurred just after 12:30 p.m. Pacific time and lasted for less than an hour in most areas, came a day after Sept. 11 and amid reports of threats by Al Qaeda against the city, setting off jitters citywide." A disturbing concept on many levels. ONE. Terrorist threats are just generally disturbing, especially if followed by actual terrorist acts. TWO. How had I not been privy to this news of threats, oh...let's say yesterday when the knowledge might have served as a catalyst for precaution. THREE. The Los Angeles militia that might band together in the case of such an event--a frontline of plastic surgeons with Botox needles and scalpels as weapons, too worried about damage to their manicured hands for hand to hand combat, a team of starlets high on cocaine and armed with Black Amexes, and the cast and crew of Laguna Beach bringing up the rear fighting evil with high ratings and a lot of boring dialogue.

So, my first California scare came today, not in the form of an earthquake which I've been trying to mentally prepare for for some days now, but as a city-wide blackout, which a) I was not aware of til it was almost resolved and b) did not realize should have been a scary incident until the evening's discovery of terror threats. Having survived this [not-even-nearly] catatstrophic event, it can only get better in L.A. from here. I am one with the Los Angelians now, having shared these moments of city-wide panic I didn't know about.

I am off to bed now, feeling very Californian. And also very sure that I have just moved to the likely mark of the next Al Qaeda terrorist attack. To those of you on either coast who've got cable, do me a favor please and let me know when to duck and cover.

* Jessie

Weekend Three Over...So where's the bloody party at?

It's been three weekends in Los Angeles now. Three weekends of making calls [to same five people I know here]. Three weekends of looking for the action. Needless to say, the action has not been found. And the futile attempts at its discovery are costing me $3.50 a gallon. Friday evening began with a subpar dinner at Hal's in Venice. Nothing sets a bad tone for an evening like tofu with an identity crisis. Was it Mexican? Was it Italian? Was Hal's attempting to revolutionize the culinary industry with a new kind of MexItal fusion flavor?

Down the street at The Brig, talk turned, as it often does when conversation's stilted and spirits low from multicultural tofu, to the weather. The weather, in this instance, being a devastating hurricane and all. One wouldn't think discussion of Katrina might turn to controversy so much as it would inspire awwwws and yeah, it's just really, totally sad. But in Friday's crowd of opinionated youth, it became, of course, debate. I was of the opinion (as most of us are, I think?) that a hurricane which literally drowns government and punishes those communities that already live on the margin by leaving them in that margin to die, is a fucking travesty. That is fucking devastating. A city is devastated. Families are devastated. I mean, I am bloody f-ing devastated, reading about it in the New York Times every day. Most of you won't find much cause to counter this sentiment. But on Friday night, at The Brig, surrounded by Venice eclectics all there to have a good time, someone indeed found a bone to pick with my seemingly innate empathies. I believe the response was...wait, get this...(and I will paraphrase here and leave out details of context so as to earn your support through bias) It's their fault. No, this was no right-wing Christian Conservative spouting such absurdities. This was a fellow alumni of one of the most liberal universities in the country. Long story short--because to follow the dialogue that followed between us would be infuriating for both you as a thoughtful, sensitive audience and myself as a still heated participant in the debate--no conclusion was met, but I left the table with a higher sense of moral righteousness than I had entered that Venice Beach bar with. And because conversation can only seem anticlimactic after a stellar adrenaline rush like that, I knew there was no more fun to be had at The Brig that evening.

Cut to a gym visit, boring bar and many meals later, I spent my Sunday at the UCLA Extensions Writing Faire, a day of free writing seminars, sponsored by the school to lure you into its Writing Program. The trick, of course, is to project the idea that there is to be 'something' for 'nothing,' while professors speak in panels and awkwardly stumble over rehearsed mentions of the program's merits and answer every query in Q&A by implying the answer is to be found...where else! the classes which you can take for only $500, Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted on your way out. For what is was worth (and I don't know for a fact that it was actually worth the $8 spent on parking) I was made to feel productive with my day. A day spent engaged in Los Angeles culture. An attempt to partake in the social hemisphere outside my loft and the Whole Foods and the gym. Learning--I wouldn't claim to have done any. Networking--eh, not really. But I made a [temporary] friend, ate onion rings for lunch with the excuse that there was literally no alternative, and saw the UCLA campus, a must-see in any decent Los Angeles self-guided tour.

So, from my weekend I gained: knowledge of one restaurant in California I should not visit again, a sense of moral superiority, and finally, the confidence that I am, in fact, a better writer than many other aspiring writers. (The latter I know now to be fact. I met quite a few of said others today.)

Hoping your weekend was as fulfilling as mine, I'm off to bed.

Kisses * Jessie

Thursday, September 08, 2005

So it's NOT all about me?

It's been more than two and a half weeks since I moved to sunny Los Angeles. Time enough, I'd say, to emerge from the haze of transition. Time, in other words, to remove my head from my rectum and take note of other (potentially more significant) things that are happening in the greater world today. Whether that translates into the disaster that ravaged lives just last week or something so trivial as the opening of a new restaurant, I acquiesce, from hereon in, to discussion of matters not [wholly] about me.

This is not a promise, mind you, for serious political commentary, because...well...I just don't do stuff like that. I read the news as far as the NYTimes online headlines incent me to. Some days, I won't even make it as far as the bottom of the homepage. On a good day (when the NYT edit staff has lured me in with some particularly catchy titles, I'll click through to read a few articles. [Often those in the Fashion section]. I used to watch CNN, but cable's not an option in my new LA-livin' easy lifestyle. This honest tidbit of insight into my ignorance of things relevant, critical and/or newsworthy was not an invitation for critique, but rather an acknowledgment of a miseducation (or lack of education) that in turns serves as a disclaimer for topics that will NOT be discussed in depth in this forum.

Also not to be focused on are fashion trends, technology or celebrity gossip. Gossip of a more familiar kind, namely about myself, might be shared however on a fairly regular basis. Yes, I'm aware of my having just said that this was no longer to be all about me, but I now modify that earlier said statement and reproduce as "I will not be so self-reflective" in future entries. I qualify all opinions, dirt and ramblings as extensions of me, and therefore permissible.

On that note, I present, after much hyped introduction (focusing very much on ME and really nothing else), my first published thought following this blog's theme of Los Angeles discoveries and also the newly instituted guidelines stated above.......drumroll.......

My first LA food review: The fast food franchise which has swept the West Coast, Baja Fresh, seems to me overrated, underspiced and with poor execution shall I say...flavor. Granted I'm a vegetarian and am currently enforcing other ridiculous eating restrictions on myself, creating limited menu options and in sum very little credibility as any sort of judge of food. But the tostada salad (sans the meat, of course) just didn't do it for me. And I've given it multiple chances, following the pattern of those great leaders before I who faced an abhorrence and returned several times again with the hopes of facing a more positive if not completely desirable circumstance. (By leaders of course, I mean Pavlov's untrained dogs.) In conclusion, while I did not find a Baja Fresh salad for lunch to be nearly as bad as the reception of electric shocks, I was not entirely pleased. I could have gone for a tuna melt instead (if I ate tuna...or bread).

Goodnight neighboring Los Angelians & friends on other coasts.

xo * Jessie

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What happens at the Crunch on Sunset...

Despite earlier rants and raves, it's not all bad in Los Angeles. Or rather, from every evil, comes at least some good. Native, migrated, or just passing through, anyone in LA will tell you that there is a layer of superficiality that coats everything you touch here. You could brush up against a rock here and next thing you know it'd be telling you you need your eyebrows shaped and crying over Brangelina. LA might be the only city (save Korea) where the majority of women would sooner spend their money on a rhinoplasty than donate to Katrina victims, would rather get their boobs augmented than have their boobs checked for cancer, would probably sell their first born (and those born after as well) to have their stomach back, pre-childbirth wreckage.

But, on to the good from this evil...not gonna lie kids...I've been hitting the gym like it's my job. I don't know if it's the weather, the boredom, or more likely the desire to feel like I belong on the beach alongside the surfer chicks, but that Crunch has seen more of me in the last two weeks than Bush has seen people laughing at him on the street. And let me tell you, the men ain't straight at this club, which puts an immediate stopper on my usual raison d'working out. Past stats show that my attendance at a gym increases by 69.8% during periods where a potential mate is known to be attending as well. (Experience would also show that after said "mating" is achieved, attendance drops again for at least several weeks until drunken incident can be assuredly blurred in both parties' minds--this of course a precaution against awkward tripping on treadmill as one party tries to avoid eye contact or fumbling of free weights as other party struggles to pretend he has not seen the other walk in.) I'm realizing, a bit late in the game, that it is almost BETTER not to have fantasy gym crushes--One can almost focus on getting in shape, which is news to me as that never seemed the logical reason for gym visits before.

And because it just wouldn't be fitting to remove the element of sex from the gym entirely, tonight marked my second visit to the Striptease workout class, which I seem to have more of an inclination for than other types of movement class. The step combinations are minimal to memorize and gyrating comes naturally to me I suppose. As I said to my ex earlier, it is a shame he missed this formal education I'm now receiving at the gym. It is good to know that Crunch cares about the quality of my sex life (of which I'm having next to none here quite yet). But yet here we are with our first solidified benefit to my new life in Los Angeles: a hotter bod and a potentially steamier life in the bedroom [should I ever regain the latter]. If that shouldn't be in the LA tourist attractions, I don't know what else they'll put in there. The found motivation to shape up is certainly more impressive than everything else I've seen here so far. LA, the new Vegas of sorts: What happens at the Crunch on Sunset...stays at the Crunch on Sunset.

I'm just pooped from simulations of hard core sex at the gym and off to bed.



Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Who put the SUPER in Supermarket?

Granted I've just now consumed nearly an entire bar of chocolate which generally does lift the clouds--no, of course it's not just a regular Hershey's chocolate bar, that would be so UN-LA--but life is seeming on the up and up. Perhaps the gloom I went to sleep with last night (and which I awoke to) was a bit premature after all. If I ignore the fact that I'm essentially alone in a humongous loft space for the bulk of this evening, a situation known to cause me minor panic attacks in past instances--I'm really quite happy. I may even go to bed smiling tonight--with knife and mace tucked in with me as well, of course--but smiling all the same.

To recount the day's occurrences in an effort to analyze the shift in emotional balance (for those with short attention, i.e. from self-pity to a state resembling stability), I awoke with difficulty as I always do when depressed. I ate a piece of spelt bread with natural peanut butter and jelly with a glass of soy milk. (I am trying very hard to embrace these foreign Los Angelenian behaviors such as: Eating healthier. Driving as if no one else is on the road. Creating as much pollution as possible on any given day.) I went to work at 10 am, later hours having begun post-Labor Day. I ate lunch from Baja Fresh, a franchise(for all you non-West Coasters) that serves up Mexican fares, fast-food style even cheaper than Chipotle. Recap: so, before the afternoon, I had already eaten enough healthy crap to give a competitive eater indigestion, and done, well, not much else.

The afternoon brought me a string of texts with an ex back East, some light work and a trip to Sav-On (normally tactless Sav-On exterior designed specially here to blend in with the other drab architecture on Wilshire) for stamps and Diet Coke and Slim Fast. So, again, we have more food, more mindless activity. Thus far, you might conclude that food and inactivity are the major causes of happiness in my life. And you might be right. As all that's come since the late afternoon snacks are a dance class at the Crunch gym on Sunset and more soy product for dinner.

Conclusion: So, to those that are just getting to know me, there you have it--And to those who know me already, I think we'd all had a suspicion--food, (and note that in my book, it is strictly quantity and rarely quality that are of import) is really the only thing that makes me tick.

You can take a girl away from New York's pizza, bagels and hot dogs, but you can't, I don't believe that applies. More accurately, where there's a will, there's a, that doesn't quite fit the bill either. I like food--food makes me happy--there are cheap take out joints and supermarkets in Los Angeles--dare I say, that's all a person like me needs to get on. To hell with the celebutantes, the actors, the writers and their fancy cars and clubs. Me and the Ralph's on Pico, the Whole Foods on 3rd, the Jamba Juice on La Cienega--we're gonna be alright, me and them. One meal at a time...with a couple of snacks in between.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Second Weekend Down, Loneliness Sets In...Check

The first full week of work is over. And while I'm doing smashingly, I'll admit to those who want to know, the novelty of a new job, although it was slight at best to start with, is gone. The thrill of new excel sheets to update, gone. The prospect of fast friends with my coworkers, dead. As only the third employee of a small branch of a medium-sized company, pickings are slim and office gossip virtually non-existent.

Driving again, an activity completely superflous in New York, had seemed alluring upon arrival to Los Angeles. Windows down, sunroof open, music blasting, traveling from place to place was an adventure unto itself. Having listened now to the three cds I have here over 100 times each, they have grown, well...tired. The new Kanye West album, while genius, is getting old. I feel bad for being white. I feel bad for having a "higher" education. I feel bad for letting men take me out to dinner. I feel bad for having new shoes. Well, no, I guess the only thing I really feel bad for is not having a tenth of Kanye's talent. And, of course, not having more than three cds.

Also wearing thin or fading altogether, are the few friendships I thought I had here. I can only call people so many times before feelings of desperation set in. Having only a handful of people to call upon here for social plans, it becomes tempting to call those few again and again. And thus far, I have given into temptation. And I feel that I'm about to become "that girl" very fast. You know, the one who doesn't get the hint. The one who's always hanging around. The one who lingers and tries to usurp your friends and your friend's friends. Yes, that's me. Leave me in a room with your pals for long enough, and I will have acquired their stats, their numbers and promises for phone calls later, plans next week, friendships to bud at a later date.

Hopes for chic parties with chic people have not panned out thus far. Two house parties later, I've not entered the coveted velvet rope I had near-mastered in New York's club-infested nightlife. I have not even seen one here as of yet. The closest I've come near celebrity is Nicole Richie and fiance DJ AM dining with Mischa Barton and unidentifiable gentleman at The Ivy. In other words, daddy's girl, famous for Daddy's money and a willingness to flaunt her insensitivity and ignorance on national reality television. DJ, famous for fiance's money and said willingness to behave like an ass. Teeny-bopper star, famous for mediocre acting skills, a pretty face, and feet fit for Keds. Unidentified Mystery Man, soon to be famous for relationship with the pretty face.

Well, it's all becoming a bit less glamorous, this city that I'm learning is not quite a city [but more on that later]--the employers that treat me like a glorified intern, the freeways and the maps and the lost hours trying to find the neighboring region, listening to Missy's new single for the umpteenth time, the friends who are coming fast to resent me and my calls and my confusion, the starlets who get better seating at The Ivy despite the fact the the 40 bucks I'm throwing down for the lunch salad is a much greater sacfifice.

I feel lonely in Los Angeles, the city of healthier eating and a slower pace, the city of fifteen minutes of fame, the city of freeways, the City of Angels.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

First Weekend in LA...Check

My first weekend in LA is over and while satisfied with my overall productivity and go-gettedness, I was admittedly disappointed by the lack of sex, drugs and rock & roll that, if there exists a city that matches New York in these offerings, I would have placed my bets on this one. Not that I won't allow myself another chance at the LA nightlife. I simply say that the city and its people are one peg down now and its going to take some hefty efforts on their part to regain their standing as a notable and reliable resource for seedy activity and elicit behaviour, all of which I hope to get my share of by Tuesday at the latest.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Los Angeles, Home of the Taco

Monday had me on a plane from New York to Los Angeles. From the West Village to West Hollywood. From bagels to burritos. From literatti to paparazzi. East to West. You grasp the distinction, I'm sure. I came for a job. A job that I could have gotten in any city. But it was the leaving that was more important. I was leaving a bad relationship that had ceased being a relationship over a year ago which was exactly the point. I wasn't (am not) over it. And if 3,000 miles cannot put what is out of sight out of my bloody mind, I 'm quite sure I'm doomed. But not to give sole credit for a change of potentially life-altering significance to the individual who's had more than his fair share of alteration on my life already, I moved in [great] part to prove to myself that I am a person capable of taking risk. A quality which I have shown time and time again to be lacking. For the sake of illustration, follow me back to earlier years: I signed up with the PAL softball league when I was seven, approached the first practice, fully geared, mitt on hand, when, realizing the horror of my commitment, burst out in anguished tears and demanded to be taken home. At age eight, I joined the Brownies, marched the first day in uniform to the entrance of the school cafeteria, saw only an intimidating group of Jewish elementary school-age girls trying desperately in their shit brown suits for gentile standing through crafts, camping and medals earned for congeniality. And I cried again and hurried away in disgust at the Brownies' need for conformity and validation. If you believe that at eight I had such a deep comprehension of such things. Somewhere in the range of age nine, I completed a season of ice-skating lessons and, when the time came for the recital, would not step on the ice. (Yes, I was once more in full costume if you're the type that insists on seeing patterns in everything.) Between ten and eleven, I took Level 1 Ballet. Twice. I would not move on despite encouraging words from an otherwise discoraging Russian drill sergeant who liked to slap deirerres to instiitue proper stance in first position. And so on and so forth, such it was that I dwarfed my own growth, stopped my own living.

Cut to a good decade and a half, degraded by an addiction to a bad relatinship, and moreover the inability to get over it a year after its cessation. Me, working for a fabulous magazine, noted for its edge in fashion and outstanding editorial, but of course not lending anything creative to the production, but rather working in Marketing, where the height of my creativity came with competitive pricing for a caterer for a shopping event. Me, living in an overpriced East Village closet amongst crackheads, styled kids with too much product in their hair and leather in their wardrobe, and mice. And so, for once, taking a risk--to move clear across the country in this instance--didn't seem all that scary. Because the state I was living in seemed just a tad scarier. So without giving myself time to choose the default, to essentially make no choice at all, I accepted a job I knew little about in a city where I knew very few people and with very minimal budget to do so with.

What do I think of LA, home of the taco, the Dodgers and Paris Hilton for the greater portion of her year? I think it's hollow. I think the disparity between the Mexican laborers and the 15 year old girls shopping at Fred Segal is disgusting. And I think that those 15 year old girls finding anything at Fred Segal tasteful even more disgusting. I think that everyone belongs to a gym, but yet won't walk two blocks to get to the next store is absurd. I think that the Hollywood Hills look like they're about to fall down and I hope I'm around to catch the piles of gold and rainfall of chihauhas that will surely fall out of them onto Melrose. I think that I already miss New York, where the people kniow their shit stinks and hot pink's not a prerequisite in the average wardrobe.

But I am determined to find my place in this City of Angels. Though if anyone's undeserving of the halo, it's me. I intend to find real friends amongst the hordes of bobbleheads shouting, And what do you do, How are you affiliated, What can you do for me? I want to sit on the Malibu beaches and think, This is why I came here. I'd like to make it through an earthquake and have the feeling that Angelinans must have that keeps them from gathering their children and their belongings and running clear across the country.

Los Angeles. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.

Thursday, August 25, 2005



I moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2005. I moved for a job and I've remained for the palm trees and the people. As a native New Yorker, it should have been in my blood to hate it here, but I find this city (and I still have trouble calling LA a city) accessible, yet rich in culture, experiences and opportunity. I continue to explore Los Angeles in a way one never explores the place where she's actually from. And I love to share my discoveries with you here. Welcome to A strange and unsober journey.


I've been working in events and marketing for more years than I care to mention, with a focus on media and the arts.

Currently, I freelance for incredible clients including Niche Media, Red Bull North America, WMMA, Kid Concierge, Bryan Rabin, Conde Nast, Chateau Marmont, Element Weddings, Pink Cloud Events, and many more wonderful people and venues on both coasts.

Some past employers include W Magazine, Gen Art Los Angeles, Metromix LA, the Los Angeles Times Media Group, and Culture Jam.

I graduated--seemingly many, many moons ago--from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a B.A. in English.

I am still figuring out what I want to do 'when I grow up' and I welcome your suggestions.

You can find a more detailed resume and add me to your network on Linked In.


I welcome your questions, tips, and general items of conversation. Email me (but puh-lease don't spam me).

You can also follow my adventures in other places...

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