Sunday, June 28, 2009

Idol Worship: The religion of Celebrity

This week has seen the coming and going of more cultural icons than our celebrity-obsessed culture knows what to do with. And all the hubbub has made me wonder what in Hollywood's hot hell we're thinking and why we care so much about these individuals?

I like to be entertained as much as the next person (though my version of entertainment generally involves bad online TV accompanied by Chinese take out and a 12 pack of Diet Coke), but my relationship with the entertainer ends when the show/movie/song does. Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie are not my best friends (though they may play them on TV), Brad Pitt is not my boyfriend, and Kanye West is not my spiritual adviser (despite his attempts at prophecy).

While Michael Jackson’s untimely passing is undoubtedly a tragedy, we’d not heard new music from him since 2001. He was last in the news for controversial molestation charges and massive debt. And while mourning him, I understand--a fellow human being has passed too soon--one that we felt like we knew through his music, one who'd earned our compassion for his troubled childhood and saddened spirit--it's the parades and idolization and worldwide pandemonium following his death that I'm not sure I comprehend. He was a human. And humans die. Especially ones that undergo frequent elective surgery and ingest oodles of scrips over a lifetime. And I think our reaction as a society begs the question--what are our priorities? Why do we choose to revere some people as gods and dismiss others as insignificant? How are we still, in 2009, practicing idol worship?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dear Farrah...

Thanks for being an inspiring beauty. At 62, you were hotter than I am at 22 (that's right, 22, ya hear me!).

[Source: LA Times - Pop culture icon Farrah Fawcet dies...]

Monday, June 22, 2009

The RSVP Line: Brand X Celebrates L.A. in Short at LAFF

Brand X, the new weekly pub from the LA Times, is celebrating the 9 winners of its L.A. in Short Video Competition this Friday night at the Los Angeles Film Festival. And you're invited.

If my being there is not enough, here are 5 additional reasons you should join me...

1. Music selections will be courtesy of one of the competition's judges, Nic Harcourt, LA Magazine's Editor at Large.

2. Drinks are on me from the open bar.

3. Film gets you hot.

4. You'll have the chance to view the winning entries and cast your vote for the contest's Grand Prize Winner--an honor and an obligation you'd be a real a**hole to miss.

5. Westwood's not that far away. I promise.

L.A. in Short Celebration
Los Angeles Film Festival -
ZonePerfect live.create.lounge
1028 Westwood Blvd. (between Kinross and Weyburn)
Westwood, CA 90024
(Get directions here)

Send your RSVP to

Sunday, June 21, 2009

LaughTrack: the cast of The Hangover gives good sketch.

I don't know what The Hangover is about. Before the billboards appeared last month, I had never seen the bearded man who plays comedic sidekick to the handsome Bradley Cooper in the film. But as it turns out, Zach Galifianakis is the most engaging comedian I've seen in ages.

He is the comedian I would be if I were funny. And performing for a living. And incredibly and superbly amazing. He is the man I'd marry if he weren't a little overweight. And a stoner.

Friday, June 19, 2009

When sweet things happen to endangered media folk.

Working at the LA Times is like reading a really engaging thriller novel. You never know who's going down next. And you never really can tell who's yielding the weapon. But sometimes, something happens--you have a really great day, or you feel like you're making a significant contribution, or somebody does something extra nice--and you're like--oh, cool, that's why you like working here. Well, in this case, the somebody is Sprinkles Cupcakes and the extra nice thing is this invite, received today, inviting LAT employees down next Thursday to try some grub from its brand new Sprinklesmobile.

While LA needs another eatery on wheels like Florida needs another retired senior, I'm still stoked that LA's finest [bakers, that is] know we're here, we need a morale boost, and we're hungry goddamnit.

Follow the Sprinklesmobile on Twitter to find out when a sugar high is coming to a corner near you.

The first thing that I DON'T hate about Ed Hardy.

I hate Ed Hardy. In the entire city of Los Angeles, there is little that offends me more than the sight of an illustrated lion bedazzled with more rhinestones than God meant to be created [ever], let alone affixed to one shirt.

But I have to admit...and it pains me...that I don't completely hate the new Ed Hardy ad campaign. Perhaps it's just because I know it's shot by the masterful David LaChapelle, but it seems [almost] not that awful. Not that I'll be sporting the staple rhinestone-emblazoned trucker hat any time soon.

[Source: WWD Memo Pad]

Shop: a Sample Sale we're excited for.

And when I say we, I mean me. Obvs.

One of Downtown's fashion hubs, the California Market Center, hosts a sample sale next Friday, June 26th. The showrooms, normally reserved for industry pros, opens its doors to you, the eager and adoring public. So go forth, shop, and pick something up for me por favor (I'm a size 6, but I'll squeeze into whatever you manage to scrounge up, thank you very much).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Design Dish: Jimmy Choo for the Poor

If Jimmy Choo was good enough for Sex & the City's Carrie, it's apparently good enough for all of us. Jimmy Choo--heel provider for the rich, famous and better dressed--is the latest designer to announce collaboration with H&M, everyone's favorite low-budge fashion stop.

The collaboration promises a more moderately priced collection of bags, shoes and clothes for those of us who can't afford the real thing. Here's to hoping that Jimmy Choo delivers with style and quality. Because I'm onto the high end designers who sign on to these deals only to put their junior-est staff to work on what ends up as mediocre [at best] product. Remember Alexander McQueen for Target? No? Neither do I.

[Source: LA Times]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food Find: stuffing my face at Bottega Louie

Sometimes, stuffing yourself into a state of dizzying, stomach-throbbing proportions is a bad thing. And occasionally, it's just delicious.

Last night Bil, Jessica and I headed downtown to Bottega Louie, the new market/bar/restaurant that has the corner of 7th and Grand abuzz. Beautiful marble, attractive waitstaff and just a touch of gilt make the cavernous space feel a little bit museum, a little bit Dean & Deluca.

We started our evening at the bar. I started my buzz with a Lemon Drop.

When we finally reached our table in the main dining room, the waitress emphasized [over and over again] that the Bottega Louie menu was best experienced family style. So, at her suggestion, we ordered a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Namely, we ordered the Modena Salad, Rigatoni Pomodoro, Fettucine Belmondo, Heirloom Carrots, Brussel Sprouts with Almonds, and--oh yeah--the Margherita Pizza. My carnivorous dining mates attempted an order of the sea bass as well, but there was a little problem with bones in the "boneless" fish. Oops.

I forgot to take a picture of the food as it came. But you can see here how it went. And how...

And then there was the small remaining matter of dessert. We skipped the 25 minute wait for the house special, the Chocolate Souflee, and opted instead for the Peanut Butter Terrine. I'm not sure what Terrine means. But it tasted like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup which is cool by me.

So, yeah, there were some problems with the fish. And a couple of communication glitches with our well-meaning waitress. And the larger problem of me eating ad nauseum. But I'd do it again. I totally, totally would.

Do Good: Global Giving

At a recent event I worked at the Ferragamo store, I learned about Global Giving, an online donation portal for community based projects that need support. Users can search the site for the issues and countries they'd like to support and voila!--with the click of a button and the donation amount that's right for them--they can make a difference.

Upon exit from the event, Global Giving gave out gift cards so that guests could experience the incredible act of giving first hand. I just donated my funds to an organization that builds homes for people with AIDS in Africa.

I encourage you to check out the site, make a donation yourself, or give a gift card as a gift on your friends' or family's next special occasion. Father's Day is coming up this Sunday. Perhaps Dad would rather support human rights issues in Cambodia or education programs in Kenya than wear those sucky cuff links you were thinking about buying him.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Victory and Pride. Apparently in LA.

Today was an LA kind of day. Almost every resident within the county was celebrating something--whether it be gay pride, the Lakers' big win, or the sun finally showing its face through the recent curtain of June gloom. But somehow, I missed it all--the parading drag queens, the rioting fans in gold and purple--I managed to outrun the excitement. Somehow I made it through my day with nary a homosexual or sports fan in sight. And I feel like I missed out. Like somehow a city that's so big, a resident could escape all the action, isn't a city at all.

But yet I'm a resident here. I'm nearing my fourth year, in my second car, and about to sign a lease on a third apartment. There's no longer any denying that I'm an Angeleno. Forever or just for another year, for good or bad--I'm here and I may as well embrace it. So, huge congrats to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. March on, ye drag queens, fabulous gays, and straight girls of West Hollywood. Next time, just remind me to join the party.

[Photo Credits: LA Times]

Friday, June 12, 2009

The last Virgin standing. And she's on sale.

Walking through Hollywood & Highland last night I popped into the Virgin Megastore and discovered half the store completely dissembled. And the other half 70% off. The clearance sale which has been going on for weeks and weeks already has finally become a real sale and worth heading to (the earlier 10-30% didn't impress me much). I don't know how long it will be going on for before they run out of goods, so get there this weekend for vinyl, DVDs and CDs priced even cheaper than their iTunes alternatives.

I picked up: Antony and the Johnsons' The Crying Light and Yelle's Pop-Up.

Happy shopping!

[Image Credit: LA Times Pop & Hiss]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The RSVP Line: Do good. Get fit. Free.

Dear [female] reader friends,

You all say you want to do good, give back, etcetera, etcetera. But what have you really given lately [beside that chewing gum wrapper you accidentally dropped into that homeless man's cup instead of a quarter]? That's right. Nothing. So, here's a fun way to find out about an amazing non-profit organization, Step Up Women's Network, that supports mentorship programs for young girls.

Get your butts in gear for this Sunday's FREE day of fitness and awesomeness at The Sports Club/LA. Your registration entitles you to a free class, snacks and fitness tips from our guest speaker. As well as networking opps with all sorts of rad ladies. So, basically, Step Up is giving YOU all this free stuff. And all you have to do is go to the event and check 'em out.

Sunday, June 14th
2 - 5:30 p

For more info on the event and the list of classes to choose from, click here.

To RSVP: just send an email with your name, email address, and the class you'd like to attend to And let her know I sent you. Painless. And an impressive story to tell to all your do-gooding friends next time they start going on about their work with the displaced locals in that country somewhere.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Angelina Jolie, the unwilling cover model.

I know that I am late to this news, but apparently the subject of Harper's Bazaar's July newstand cover story is Angelina Jolie. But she's not necessarily a willing cover model. The shot is actually borrowed from a Getty Images red carpet shot. And the feature inside is an essay about, rather than an interview with, the subject.

The stunt feels rather desperate and awkward on Bazaar's part. Especially when I so willingly would have volunteered for the spot of cover model atop their glossy periodical.

[Source: WWD Memo Pad: Much Ado]

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pauline Parry: Hostess with the Mostess

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than eating. Well, sure, there are a couple of things I'd prefer to chowing down--I mean, I'm not a hedonistic pig, for goodness sake. But, for the sake of this piece, let's begin with the fact that I do love to eat. And I love, love, love a good party. Which is why yesterday's event [at the gorgeous new event space, High Profile Productions], celebrating the very first book penned by Pauline Parry (the hostess with the mostess and owner of Good Gracious! Events), was such a treat.

The book, 'FOOD FUN LOVE: PARTY STYLES,' contains tips on entertaining and recipes for those daring enough to do the cooking on their own. I, myself, am not such a master in the kitchen, but for those of you with a bit more culinary coordination, I implore you to buy the book, throw a party, and invite me over. If your version of Pauline's mac and cheese hors d'ouevres is anything close to yesterday's sampling, I will gladly attend and will likely stay til you kick me out.

Thanks to Sarah of Pink Cloud Events for inviting me to tag along!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Food Find: Loteria Grill

Downtown just wasn't good enough for my coworker Uriel and I today. In an effort to expand our culinary horizons beyond Cesar Chavez Avenue, we ventured into Hollywood for lunch at Loteria Grill, the second outpost of a restaurant best known for its Farmers Market origins, and named after Loteria, the Mexican game of chance. I had had the pleasure of meeting Chef and Owner of Loteria Grill, Jimmy Shaw, during his memorable appearances at our Travel Show in February. But I hadn't yet tasted the real Mexican magic from his kitchen.

My dining mate and I started out with 'Queso Panela a la Plancha con Nopalitos.' I cannot translate this for you exactly. But imagine a square of awesome cheese. Topped with cactus. Topped with salsa and guacomole. Perhaps this is not as spectacular sounding as it tastes. But trust me. It's pretty freaking spectacular.

Next, Chef sent out
the 'Chicharron de Queso,' which can pretty much be summed up with the below picture of a towering cone of crispy, fried cheese. Salty and amazing.

While we didn't get around to drinks--though our waitress did ask us if we were having a 'wet lunch'--the bar can only be described as fully stocked.

And I plan on returning soon for some more awesome Fried Cheese on a Plate accompanied by a Tequila-Something-or-Other. It all sounds delightful in Spanish, I promise.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Life in clubLAnd: What’s wrong with Hollywood.

There are numerous things wrong with Hollywood. I mean, the list is endless. Some areas are still dirty. Others are too clean and touristy. The traffic is bad. Grown men dressed as costumed cartoon characters will assault you on the street. And for God’s sake, the Scientologists have got to be stopped.

But this party flyer basically takes all the hobos and the addicts and the paparazzi and makes them seem like characters out of Pleasantville. Cause this—this, people—is what’s really wrong with Hollywood.

No. 1 – Who the f++k is Gemini and why should I care? In case you wondered the same thing, it turns out that Gemini Pop Diva is a ‘young aspiring singer of ethnic background.’ Well, those are her words. My words would more likely come in the form of advice to put on some decent clothes and wipe that awful tranny makeup off her face.

No. 2 – The press release accompanying this flyer tells us that “Jason Wahler is a former Mtv The Hills & Laguna Beach Star as well as ex-boyfriend to Lauren Conrad….People normally confuse him with Actor Colin Farrell since they both look alike and share the same Irish heritage.” I’d like to remind Jason’s publicist that a) people who appear in reality television shows are not ‘stars.’ They are people. Who openly humiliate themselves on national TV. b) Being someone’s ex boyfriend is not a feat. It is just over. And c) Some people think I look like Jamie Lee Curtis. So what?

No. 3 – Being David Hasselhoff’s ex-wife and the mother of his children does not make one interesting. Being convicted of a hit and run makes you even more un-interesting. In fact, it makes you a terrible human being, not a candidate for club-night host.

And that, friends, is what's happening in clubLAnd this week. And what is so terribly wrong with Hollywood.