Sunday, May 31, 2009

Clowns and romance...Good morning Los Angeles.

Clowns. Romance. Acceptance. What better way to begin a Sunday morning.

Well, ok. Maybe sex, diet coke, and the NY Times' Weddings & Celebrations section would be better. But let's take what we can get here, ok people?

[You Tube: Ingrid Michaelson Video of 'The Way I Am', directed by Autumn de Wilde]

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life in clubLAnd: Studio Apartment

I rocked out last night. No, seriously, I ROCKED out.

6:30 p - Early Bird Dinner compiled from items purchased on recent trip to Ralph's, as well as found [food] objects from the fridge.

7:30 p - CSI Miami marathon...all watched on my computer. Who knew the autopsy doctor was popping prescription pills!?

10:30 p - Suze Orman's tips for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. Read from the comfort of bed.

12:00 a - Pass. Out.

Listen, it's a tough door at my studio apartment. I'm not promising you can just waltz right in and enjoy the most rocking spot in clubLAnd. But slip a twenty to the bouncer and who knows. Next hot night...probably tonight.

Well the sun goes down and the clock says eight,
I better get dress cuz i don't wanna be late,
I don't wanna be late-cuz there's a lot to do,
I'm gonna change my clothes,
Put on my stiletto shoes,
Put on my eyeliner and my lipstick too,
So c'mon- we're gonna party till the break of dawn.
- The Eyeliners

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ed Hardy in Downtown (or how to ruin a neighborhood)

You can call it what you want (atrocious, tacky, the end of an era--all come to mind), but I'll officially caption this picture--taken on a stroll down Downtown's Spring Street today--'When Bad Things Happen to Good Neighborhoods.' Guh-ross.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dos Equis: beermaster and spiritual advisor.

He has his very own academy.

At last count, he has 44,522 fans on Facebook.

He is The most Interesting Man in the World (the italics are intentional and effective), according to Dos Equis' ad men, and he's got one of the best ad campaigns I've seen in a while.

Driving through Los Angeles this week, I spotted a recent Dos Equis billboard. 'You only live once. Make sure it's enough,' The most Interesting Man forewarns us. And because this elusive figure in recent commercial fiction has been built up as a worldly and wise man, I take heed.

Since passing the billboard, the larger-than-life ad at the corner of Santa Monica and Virgil, I have indeed begun to question the extent to which I'm living my life. The office has begun to feel slightly like a prison--the sound of tapping on keyboards an increasingly dismal symbol of my worklife. The confines of my studio apartment seem to be growing smaller--the musical loop from the ice cream truck outside, louder every day.

I consider the options. I think of donning a smoking jacket, surrounding myself with beautiful women, and taking up cigars and beers. But I really dislike beer and quickly abandon that idea. I contemplate new careers--floral design?--but the Los Angeles community colleges are slashing budgets and I can't seem to find any interesting summer courses. I debate a trip. The Grand Canyon sounds nice, but my budget won't get me much farther than Palm Springs at present.

And so, with only the vague instruction of a completely fictitious character [and absolutely no ideas of my own], I begin a misguided journey toward a life of fulfillment...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Highlights from New York: The Hudson Hotel, Sweat Shoppes, and Virgin America

I went to New York last week. These were the highlights of four and a half days on the other coast...

* I flew Virgin America for the first time. Overrated, but inexpensive. And we like inexpensive. We also like touch screen snack menus.

* The terminal waiting area provided for some interesting people watching. For instance...

These two men were obviously interested in chatting. Their stances say 'I want to talk to you. Talking will probably make this wait time go faster. But let's leave these two seats between us. I can barely hear you from here. So speak up. But please don't lean in too close as we might appear too close. And that is one step away from gay.'

This blonde woman was very excited to see her friend (not pictured). She tried for minutes to move her face in such a way that would express this sentiment before relinquishing to the fact that she could no longer smile due to excessive cosmetic surgery.

* I stayed at the Hudson Hotel. The single room I slept in may very well be the smallest hotel room known to the Western hemisphere. But for $140 a night, I would have shared a cardboard box with an escaped convict. The room was cheap, so I won't complain that the hallway on the 14th floor smelled like sweat. I'll just mention it briefly. The hallway sort of smelled like a locker room. Everything else was lovely. Seriously. I'd stay here again in a heartbeat.

* I stopped by Topshop's much-buzzed about new store in Soho. The multilevel boutique, full of youthful fashions and neon wares, felt like the lovechild of H&M and the 80s. Some luster was definitely lost at seeing the shop in person. But I was excited to find a lower-priced line from denim brand Radcliffe.

* I saw young, drunk love on the subway train.

* I visited my mother in Long Island where the mall boasts stores with original and descriptive names like 'Sweats & Jeans,' and knife demos happen on the hour at Sears.

"New York is the dirtiest, largest, ugliest, broken-down city in the world--but it's the only one."
- Isaac Stern

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life in clubLAnd: Happy Hour at The Terrace at XIV

Last night launched the start of an amazing summer happy hour at The Terrace at XIV, SBE's culinary cornerstone on Sunset. Chef Michael Mina has made the restaurant famous for its wide selection of gourmet goodies and tasting menus, including a substantial selection of vegetarian and even vegan menu items (hoorah!). The restaurant has also earned infamy for a lesser known partner called sky-high prices. But cheapskates, foodies and funseekers can rejoice together at the newly debuted specials offered between 6 and 8 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, all summer long. Drink specials, made special by Krol Vodka and some nice handiwork by the bartenders, are just $6. A small menu of apps from the restaurant are available for $6. And the valet, if you arrive before 7 p, is on hand guessed it...$6.

Last night, my happy hour buddy sampled the lobster corn dogs (I'm sure they were called something more impressive)...

And I chowed down on the best popcorn I've ever eaten (and I've eaten a lot, my friends). Black truffle oil should be a mandate in movie houses across the country...

I'll be returning some night soon for popcorn on the patio. You should join me. With prices like these, I may even be buying.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sounds of the rainforest.

This morning--as I return from the bustle of New York (more on the trip later) to the dreariness of my office--the emails, the endless paperwork and requests from coworkers--I'm listening to the sounds of the Costa Rican Rainforest via this YouTube video. And it is somehow--almost--keeping me sane.

And then I realize that if sitting at my desk, listening to nature sounds through a pair of headphones is a welcome change, it may be time to reevaluate my life.

[YouTube: Rainforest Sound]

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Pictures: Julie and Julia

Maybe it's because I can't cook. Maybe it's because I feel a little bit lost like Amy Adam's character Julie. Maybe it's because Meryl Streep's impersonation of Julia Child is so endearing. Maybe it's because I feel inspired by Julie Powell's desire to accomplish something, albeit something as strange as cooking each and every one of Julia Child's recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Maybe it's because I just love to eat. But I am now dying to see Julie and Julia, screenwriter Nora Ephron's (When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail) latest and greatest, out this summer.

Julie and Julie Trailer [YouTube via New York Magazine]

Friday, May 01, 2009

Straight Talk About Swine Flu from the '70s

The take-away lessons from these 1970's PSAs about the swine flu...

1. You may be strong as an ox. But swine is stronger.

2. Sharing is fun til someone drops dead.

Good luck out there compadres,