Friday, February 27, 2009

Life in clubLAnd: H.wood

When you're no longer surprised to see girls in tutus, DJs in pom-poms and grown men sporting arts and crafts, have you been in LA too long or just long enough?

Last night, my good pals--Dina and Elana--and I braved a night on the town. We stopped by H.wood [formerly (and briefly) Stork Lounge, even more formerly who knows what at the back of Hollywood & Highland]. If entering a posh club through a shopping mall seems is. Though once inside the venue's gate, I felt part of a dark, loungey atmosphere--well, going in and out, all I could think of was how great it would be to find an open Wetzel's Pretzels.

Last night's party, hosted by Posso the DJ (one half pictured below), celebrated the birthday of Daisy O'Dell and claimed inspiration from the Dada movement. Ok, we'll buy it.

Beside seeing some long lost LA cohorts (Rich Royal, Foundtrack's V, half the staff from Chateau Marmont, etcetera, etcetera), some of the evening's visual highlights included crafting...

Girls in leotards (thank you Elana for posing so I could discreetly get this shot)...

Balloon monkeys...

And the Carl's Junior fries picked up on the way home.

Also of note was the Crayola chalk on display as part of H.wood's free-spirited cirque theme. I am so sorry to the Hollywood & Highland staff for any damages I may [or may not] have done on the way out. Again...there are dangers to placing a club inside the mall.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Snuggie. Out to get me.

Several weeks ago, I gave in to the craze. I bought a pair of matching Snuggies online. Several weeks later, the winter already waning along with my need for them, they have still not arrived. Throughout the process the Snuggie brand has assaulted my trust and led me down the path of misdirection more than once.

1. Am I the only person who thought the Snuggie was a full-fledged sleeping bag meets onesie apparatus? Finding out it was merely a blanket with arms was like learning about death all over again.

2. After all these many days of anticipation, my product still not in hand, I consulted the UPS tracking. Apparently, the folks at Snuggie confused my shipping and billing addresses. My package of Snuggies has been in UPS limbo for more than a week and no one had informed me.

3. I called the Snuggie automated hotline. The female voice, perky and peppy in the face of my shipping woes, nearly drove me to tears before I found the way to a number for live help.

4. The Snuggie live ‘help’ proved no help at all when she gave me the 1-800 number for a porn hotline instead of UPS.

5. The second Snuggie live ‘help’ offered me the number for USPCS instead of UPS.

6. The third Snuggie live ‘help’ gave me the correct number for UPS, but apparently the UPS automated system is as trying to get through as the Unemployment hotline.

So, nearing the end of February my Snuggies have still not arrived. Lesson learned. By next year, I will either order a heated blanket or move to an apartment building with proper heating.

Signing off—cold and Snuggie-less,
Jessie B. R.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is where produce comes to die.

I have never cooked. Nor have I ever claimed a desire to learn to cook. But, occasionally, it would be nice to have the skill set necessary to prepare something simple for consumption and sustenance. I lack this skill set.

4 nights ago, I came home for a quick 15 minutes between work and [other] work. In an attempt to feed myself, I decided on toast. Without a toaster, the oven would have to do. Within minutes the kitchen had filled with smoke. A few minutes later, my entire studio was a dark, toxic fire hazard. I couldn't see the mirror in front of me, let alone breathe. The cause of the near wipe out of my entire building? The last time I'd used my oven (a few months ago) had been to melt the remaining wax out of a candle. Needless to say, my apartment still smells like Hannukah.

Tonight, I cleaned out my produce drawer to find this...

Apparently, I've begun to grow a garden in my onion.

And these...well supposedly these were baby carrots in a past life. At least according to the bag. I don't believe it...

Sincerely yours and obviously better off with take-out,
Jessie B. R.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Xs & Os: A downtown LA adventure in cheap nuptial bliss.

In the last couple of months, everything has suddenly become too expensive. People are cutting back on everything, and rightfully so.

I've even heard of couples cancelling weddings because of budgetary restraints. Well, happy couples--money shouldn't be an obstacle when it comes to publicly announcing your love. Instead of taking out payday loans in order to pay for the 7 layer wedding cake, consider a cheaper and  more, um, colorful option...

 In a lunchtime walk yesterday around my building in Downtown LA, I came across a strip of Broadway (between 2nd and 4th), in which you can literally complete your entire wedding day extravanza, from shopping, to grooming, to the reception.

Brides: within just a couple of blocks, you'll be sure to find the dress that's right for you...

And for your bridal party...
Grooms: The block has got a resident barber shop...conveniently housed within a knife store...
The Guadalupe Wedding Chapel provides a unique and cultural backdrop for your romantic ceremony. They also offer income tax services, perfect for early spring nuptials...

Nothing will please your guests' fine-tuned palates like a banquet of chicken and the fixings. This particular El Pollo Loco has got a touch of regality in its exterior detailing--a perfect choice for your reception hall...

For these budget wedding tips, what do I ask? Just an invite to the happy couple's big day!

xx * Jessie B. R.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The RSVP Line: The Travel & Adventure Show. Because you are so desperately alone on Valentine's Day.

Maybe you're completely and hopelessly single with nothing at all to do on Valentine's Day but stay home alone, wallowing in your very deep despair and terribly tragic self-pity. Or perhaps you're coupled, but dating someone who's thought of nothing romantic to do this weekend, save his presentation of a plastic-wrapped box of Whitman's chocolate. Well, either way, it sounds like you're an excellent candidate for Travel & Adventure Show attendance! Hosted by the Los Angeles Times, the show will feature aisles and aisles [and aisles] of cities, countries and travel-related businesses to browse through. (I am available to accompany you on any trips, assuming my travel is paid for.)

More important to you, there will be a zip-line, rock-climbing, a dive pool (yes, there are wetsuits), a surf simulator, segways, and other fun [and slightly dangerous] activities.

And then there's the Culinary Stage, which I am uber excited for. Chef Evan Kleiman, owner/chef of Angeli Caffe will be demoing and sampling her Ricotta Beet Gnochetti. I tasted these last week during dineLA. And they are pretty f-ing good. Then there will be the other samples that you and your meat-eating friends can try in my stead.

Hope to see you this weekend folks.

Kisses and Valentine's Day hugs,
Jessie B. R.

Photo Credit: Falling

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What will they think of next? Camel Crush Cigarettes

My friend introduced me today to a wonky new invention from RJ Reynolds, the evil mastermind behind some of America's favorite cigarette brands. As a non-smoker, I suppose I've fallen behind in the tobacco industry's exciting new product launches, as Camel Crush is apparently not new. It's brand spanking new to me however and let me just say 'wow.' I didn't think that smokers were looking for innovaton in their ciagarettes--I assumed that for the truly addicted, the nicotine was the catch. But for the smoker who likes a little gadget action with his blackening lung, Camel Crush offers the 'ooh' and 'ah' factor he's seeking. The filter houses a tiny ball, containing menthol on demand. When you're ready to turn your stick to spearmint, you just crush (hence the name) the end of your fag.

I personally think mint belongs in toothpaste and chewing gum, but for those who like to include mint everywhere that it does not belong (i.e. - chocolate, ice cream and cigarettes), I suppose Camel Crush is a little slice of do-it-yourself minty heaven. Menthol smokers, rejoice.

P.S. In trying to find out more about Camel Crush, I visited the Camel website. This site has better security than LAX. Not wanting to give my real information, I made up a name and address. Camel actually verifies its users' information and was quickly on to me. I could not enter the fortress that is Camel Online.

Photo Credit: CS News

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A cabash on kiddies.

While I’m all for women’s rights and the right to choose, I do think we should have restrictions over who gets those rights. If this seems undemocratic…suck it. We live in America, not Pleasantville. And some chicks need to put a cabash on the baby-making.

Top 10 types of women who should NOT be allowed to bear children…

1. Nadya Suleman
2. Crackheads
3. Nadya Suleman
4. Baby-eaters
5. Women who’ve already born 5 + children (Nadya Suleman)
6. Women already receiving welfare for their first 5+ children (Nadya Suleman)
7. Women who describe their desire to have children as a ‘fixation’ (Nadya Suleman)
8. Women who need government funding to feed their children but obviously have money for plastic surgery (Nadya Suleman…I think)
9. Violent women
10. Nadya Suleman

[FOX News: Octuplets' Mom On Welfare, Spokesman Confirms]

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Wow, Chris Brown, wow.

Just heard about Chris Brown's arrest during E!'s red carpet Grammy coverage.

Couldn't you have curbed your assault and battery urges til after the show, Chris?! And beating on a woman? C'mon--that's just lame. You're lame, Chris Brown. Lame.

[ Chris Brown sought in connection with felony battery]

Life in clubLAnd: The Woods, Renee's Courtyard Cafe

I don't do Saturday nights anymore. Making my venture out last night to see my visiting friend J a rather large shock to the system. Things I learned along the way...

1. I didn't realize so many people still went out on the weekends.

2. That their skirts had gotten so grossly short.

3. We should all be on high alert for the thief who stole Santa Monica's style.

After dinner at Chan Dara (where I would highly recommend the Pad Se Ew and highly distrust the waitress' promise of 'mild'), we began our adventures at The Woods, the strip mall-housed bar, designed to look like, duh, the woods, and called a 'dive bar' despite the obvious design efforts and lounge appeal.

Well, in truth, we really began at Mashti Malone's Ice Cream next door in the shopping center. We skipped the house specialty, the rosewater ice cream, for straight up cream and fudge. Not a bad choice.

Next up, we traveled to Santa Monica's Renee's Courtyard Cafe. To my friends who warned me (Elana--you tried!)...I never should have doubted you. The room full of dusty old dolls, meant to evoke the kitschy and creepy, paled in frightfulness next to the horror of what appeared to be a full-on college party. Couples making out against the walls, gaggles of girls and groups of guys and beer and rain a mess on the floor. I had sudden urges to down kamakazi shots, smoke cigarettes while swapping spit with strangers in the corner, and wake up in my own vomit--just like the good old college days. Well, no--my first instinct was actually to propel myself out of there.

I never fail to see a different side of the city when friends are in town. And while I'm sure J is now frightened of ever returning to LA's nightlife scene after last night's sampling, I hope she'll return. So I can show her the safest place to spend a Saturday home.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

White women and their love of Africa.

In the last couple of days, I've been struck by a few white women who are very confident in their relationship to black, or African, culture. I hold judgement...for the most part.

Exhibit A: The white, female handler of a very famous R&B singer asking what time he really had to be on-site because she was dealing on 'black central time.' I believe there was also a reference to 'black playschool.' As the lone white girl amongst the event's front of house staff, I obviously had to wait for permission to laugh at this. After receiving confirmation from my black coworker at the table, I smiled. I am still not sure if I am hugely offended or wildly amused.

Exhibit B: Lauren Hutton 'Africa' eyeglasses. In the optometrist's office yesterday, I came upon this collection of eyewear [right next to Sophia Loren's--really?]. I understand Lauren loves her some travel and philanthropy, but c'mon now--Africa? Eyeglasses? What's the connection? Do Africans have an affinity for unattractive designer spectacles?