Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas kills.

Yesterday, a Walmart employee was trampled to death at the start of Black Friday. Further proof that people have more regard for personal gain than for for humanity, that Christmas is dangerous, and that I should never move back to Long Island.

Source: NY Times

Friday, November 28, 2008

Heaven is a can of pop.

16 oz. Diet Coke cans. They've been on the market now for a couple of months but seem to arrive in stores just to taunt me with their disappearance weeks later. Today, I hit the jackpot in a Silverlake liquor store. I've stocked up. Apparently, the cans are a limited time test run for the brand. I am hoping the company's product development team comes to its senses and makes it a permanent staple in the Diet Coke collection. Addicts like me everywhere are crossing our fingers and counting our remaining supply.

Giving thanks for yesterday's carb count.

Thanksigving 2.0 proved, on almost all counts, a success. The morning's turnout to Gobble Gobble Give was astounding. I'm pretty certain that every hipster in a 15 mile radius of The Echo turned out to pack, pass and send out hundreds of packaged meals to LA's homeless. Note for next year: rolls and pie do not a Thanksgiving meal make people. By the end of the day, we'd run out of turkey and were sending out whole pies in the stead of meals. But a pumpkin pie is better than nothing to eat. And I left inspired by the community's come-togetherness. And especially impressed by my very own DJ Scott T. Sterling's 2 hour set which had volunteers shaking their tail as they doled stuffing and pie out.

The rest of the day was equally satisfactory.

The centerpiece turned out...well, it turned out alright. A little gliterry for the occasion, perhaps. But now we've just got a headstart on decorating for Christmas...

Scott and I made a pumpkin pie. Because the one pie we'd already purchased, simply put, needed a pal. And because no Thanksgiving would be complete without pumpkin products...

We snacked on brie and my all time fave cheese, Cave-Aged Gruyere...

Heating up the dinner from Auntie Em's, picked up the day before, was quite the production for me and had me baffled more than a couple of times--further proof that I should never, ever attempt to actually create an entire meal from scratch. It also could probably have fed 4 people...

As you'll see by the amount of food leftover, which looks nearly identical to the amount of food which we started with...

Next year, perhaps we'll opt for a dinner out. Either that or the purchase of a stomach pump.

Til the next holiday. When we'll do it all over again...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A centerpiece for Thanksgiving.

For the last 26 years, I've anticipated Thanksgiving (and most major holidays) with a sense of agitation and annoyance. I likely had to choose between family members' dinners. And once I made my choice, I would usually come to regret it for some reason or another--generally to do with either a family fight or questionable culinary offerings. This year, however, I received no invitation anywhere and for the first time I was saddened that I wouldn't get a chance to spend an uncomfortable evening with family.

But times change and holiday meals must change with them. As neither my boyfriend nor I wanted to forsake the holiday, we decided to create Thanksgiving 2.0--our way (catered), our guests (he. and I.), our style (still figuring this one out, but most likely it will be drunk, messy and fast).

Once we decided on Auntie Em's Kitchen to provide the edibles, the only thing left to do was sort out decor. Yes, that's right--decor. Just cause it's just the two of us don't mean this party's not a party.

Having spent most of the holiday budget on ordering dinner (and knowing I'll need to save some for the several bottles of wine it will take me to forget that we're actually catering dinner) I turned to the closest 99 Cent Only store for some festive touches. I expected to walk in and find pumpkins and turkey mobiles and pilgrim figurines at my disposal which I would magically, in Martha Stewart style, fashion into some sort of masterful centerpiece. But I am no Martha Stewart. And this was the 99 Cent Only store's excuse for a holiday display.

Realizing that I might need to get creative, I took a trip through the rest of the store. Turkey bags and plastic Halloween pumpkins aside, the pickings were slim. I did manage to scoop up some fall-colored candles, a couple of shiny objects that I figure I can do something with, a glittered reindeer (so, I'm on the wrong holiday--like I said, the pickings were slim) and a ceramic bird that I think may be a turkey (and if it's a chicken, so what?).

The decorations will be mismatched, the food may be from someone else's family kitchen and I may be too drunk at the end to stop myself from eating the last of the pie, but I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving alright--pumpkin pie, pilgrim abuse of the Indians, and all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank you Daily Candy for the burning in my thighs.

There are few of us ladies residing in major metropolises that don't subscribe to Daily Candy, even if the editorial has gotten too bombastic for its own good. However, those of us who are savvy know better than to take too much stock in the daily newsletter's reviews. If we're in the know, than we've likely already heard of the new restaurant/boutique/sample sale its touting. If, by chance, the editors suggest something fab and unique, it will have been made common by by the time you get to the store after hundreds of other girls before you. And if the DC writers actually get the scoop on a new gem before word's out, it's often before the gem itself is ready for business. (I'm sure others out there were duped when Daily Candy told us about Mode Restaurant, the restaurant that would 'stay open around the clock' but never actually opened its doors at all--a fact I learned only after paying $10 for parking to find the eatery dark. Or remember when The Waffle was reviewed just days after opening, after impoloring DC not to run the item, and faced a rush of eager readers wanting items that were'nt yet stocked and service that hadn't yet been ironed out.)

So, after years of faithful Daily Candy reading, despite my sometimes bitter disappointment in its coverage, I was finally rewarded with an item I couldn't have been more pleased to discover--Pop Physique, an East side sculpting studio that I have, since reading about, fallen just a little bit in love with. Yes, the studio's logo and website design is a play on the American Apparel motif. And yes, the irony is sort of twisted when the studio is located in the heart of Silverlake which is nothing if not American Apparel hipster central, making me unsure if the girls in leotards and bleached hair is not supposed to be ironic at all. But still, design follies aside, I'm glad I allowed Daily Candy to direct me to the only healthy thing I've done for myself since I gave up heroin and crack cocaine. Kidding, kidding. Cause really--nothing feels better than a burning in your thighs while a rubber ball's placed squarely between your [you know what].

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The new Gmail: a party in my inbox.

Opening up my email generally consists of weeding through bills, bank statements (that show how little I am worth after said bills), and daily inspirational messages I have opted to receive from various spiritual and religious groups for kicks.

Today, upon logging into my gmail account, I discovered a new template. New things tend to bother me, especially when they're dropped into my life without warning, without a request. But after fiddling around for a moment with the colors and themes, I've realized I rather like the new and colorful gmail interface. It's like a party in my inbox. Check out this adventurous ninja theme I decided to try out...

Little Samurai Sams that seem to say 'hey! email can be fun! just look at how I make this Wells Fargo overdraft notice look exciting and new.'

Of course, now that I've had enough of the ninja nonsense, I can't seem to find the template options again. But I trust, I'll happen upon it by accident again before I'm driven to register for a yahoo account.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anti-WORD of the Day

Today's Anti-Word of the Day is: brainstorm.

This word should never have been mainstreamed. There's just no proper way to envision a brain storming. I refuse to engage.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Los Angeles in flames.

Los Angeles County has been on fire since some time yesterday or the day before. Yesterday the news of wildfires seemed unimportant as the fires were contained to a region near Santa Barbara which, since I've never been there, seems especially far away. By this morning, the fires had spread to areas I've heard of, have even been to. But still, from what I could tell from the radio coverage, these people knew what they were in for--lived in areas prone to dryness and fire when the yearly Santa Ana winds come through. Tonight, however, I can smell the fire through the open windows in my studio apartment here in Koreatown. In this small space, the smell seeps in and, with nowhere to circulate to, grows sour--like a mix of fire and barbeque and pot smoke. I take a walk outside, figuring I might see the streets ablaze. But people are out per usual. It's Saturday night and no one seems to notice that the air is heavy and smells like ash. Young twenty somethings are out at Le Cercle Super Club, taking advantage of the warm weather by wearing next to nothing. I can smell the cigarette smoke as I walk by and I wonder if they realize they could ignite a Koreatown fire with the next butt tossed carelessly to the sidewalk. I'm scared that, if I fall asleep, I might wake to flames outside my window. I contemplate loading my important documents and belongings--organized for just such an occasion--into the car in case we're encouraged to evacuate. But one can't let these things get to her if she's to live in Los Angeles. If it's not a fire, it's an earthquake. If it's not an earthquake, it's a corrupt police force and pricey plastic surgeons. Those of us who come to live here, come knowing full well what the risks are. And so, knowing that I can probably pack my car in 15 minutes flat with my few posessions and pieces of art and nostalgia, I resolve to calm down, maybe have a glass of wine to fall asleep, and hope the winds have calmed by morning.

For full fire coverage, visit The LA Times

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stand up against Prop 8. Stand for Love.

Since the morning of November 5th when I learned that California's Prop 8 had been approved, I've been seething. I've been incredulous. I've been wanting to say something to the many who voted in its favor, voting against the rights of an entire segment of the population. But I was unsure of how to send a message to those whose position stems from faith--in something they think they understand from the bible and in what a small number of bishops tell them. Well, MSNBC's Keith Olberman has said it for me...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do Good: No plans for Thanksgiving? Now you've got 'em. We're volunteering.

So, you're stuck in LA for Thanksgiving? Sucks to be you. But it sucks a lot more to be homeless. Or food-less. Or just really, really worse than you think you are because you can't afford a plane ticket out of here. I'm hoping that realizing you're not that bad off even though you had to sell your last bit of Prada on ebay last week inspires you to volunteer with me this Thanksgiving Day at Gobble Gobble Give. We'll be hanging at your favorite spot for Indie tunes, The Echo, and getting food together for peeps who need it. Even more than you.

Want to sign up to volunteer? CLICK HERE.

Interested in donating either supplies (clothes, toiletries, day-of cooking necessities) or money? CLICK HERE. (And remember, just $5 or $10 can go a long way.)

Do you work for a company that might have product (shirts, food, etc) to donate? Email me at

I'll be there. You should be too. Looking forward to seeing many of you on T Day.

Flaming Hot Cardboard...Baked!

Just cause something's got an exclamation point in it, doesn't make it good. Case in point--Baked(!) Flaming Hot Cheetos. They were not good the first time I bought them from the office cafeteria. But they were novel. They were not good the second time I bought them. But I was hungry. Today, after I actually sought them out in every vending machine in the building, they were just foul. An exclamation point does not equate flavor, nor does the boatload of inedible 'Hot' in the ingredient list. Oh, Frito Lay, how you've disappointed my snack hour.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's always sunny when you're Van Morrison.

Last night, on an unusually warm night at the Bowl, Van Morrison took the stage, donning a pair of dark sunglasses he would not remove for the entirety of his show. He performed--first, a set of Greatest Hits (Brown Eyed Girls drew hoots and hollers) and later, the complete set of Astral Weeks--before an enthused, though not completely full, crowd. Save a militant-type move he fancied with his right arm, Van's performance was cool, calm and one might say, un-emotional. Toward the end of his last song, he exited, calculatedly re-entered and then, finally, exited again. A wave of audience members rose to cheer and clap and shout encore. And they did so for near 10 minutes, expecting their rock idol to give them what they wanted--another song, a brief rendition of Moondance, a few more notes at his personzlized, logo-ed mic stand. But nothing. Van Morrison was likely piling into his car already--cool, calm, seemingly unattached to his adoring fans, and, probably, still wearing his dark shades. Van, The Man, The Machine.

On another note, sightings at the Bowl included Justin Long and Jonah Hill together and excitedly greeting friends. Jonah--this is probably, no definitely, the 4th time I've seen you this month. Are you following me? Also spotted...we think...was Fran Drescher heading toward the ladies loo. Cause everyone's got to go. After all, stars--they're just like us.

Photo Credit: Van Morrison, Hollywood Bowl
Photo Credit: Jonah Hill and Justin Long in 'Accepted', Universal Pictures

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

As the race draws to a close...

The current map on the homepage of, as we approach the 7 o'clock hour is frighteningly red. Barack Obama is winning the race, but not by the sweeping lead you would have thought he had guaranteed to him if you live in California, or New York or a state where people are led by their hearts and not by bibles.

Last night, I volunteered at the shelter near my home and the young children, all under 10 years old, of all races--they all told me that they would be 'voting' for Obama today. When I asked one why, he let me know that Obama would 'be the first president.' Well, not really. But not so far from the truth. It is a shame that these children are not voting today--we would all benefit from their innocence and their hopefulness.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Elephants and effigies.

Halloween is over and beside relief at its end, I'm left with just a few thoughts.

1. People are stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

2. Larry King is not as easy a costume to pull together as I'd suspected. Graying my hair and giving it the volume necessary to do proper justice to Larry's would have taken far too long. And suspenders; where does one even get suspenders?

3. Horrors are not reserved for just Halloween day. For example, today, Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door at 10:30 in the morning. And believe me, there is nothing more frightful to awaken to on a Saturday.