Sunday, December 26, 2010

An hour's worth of quality holiday entertainment for the day after.

It's not only Sunday. But it's the Day After Christmas kind of Sunday. Which means that you have double excuse to sit back on your couch, get ahold of the remote controls, and not move all morning.

But you've got hours still until football. So how bout you spend an hour of that lazy day listening to something worthwhile. Like This American Life's Comedians of Christmas Holiday Special. Acts 3 and 5 are the best so have some patience or fast forward.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knitting for a new generation.

If I could knit, I'd want to knit this. Oh, and I'd also want to look like that while sitting on my knit motorbike. (While dreaming, always dream big, right?)

Find out more about the creators, Knittaplease, and watch the corresponding video here.

Photo by Mike Piscitelli

[via Insight]

The truth behind creationism, c/o Ricky Gervais.

In honor of the most religious of all holidays, Christmas, I offer you Ricky Gervais' satirical translation of the Book of Genesis.

[via Flavorwire]

Monday, December 20, 2010

I just want to love you dear.

Everybody's gotta love someone. But I just wanna love you dear. Everybody's gotta feel something. I just want to be with you my dear.

Oh my bleeding heart, this song by BK-based band, The Drums, is so good. Check the remix.

Jurassic jewels.

Love these bold, playful pieces from Australian based jewelry (and homeware) designers, Dinosaur Designs. Especially digging the recent Bones collection.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's a sexy Cupid-Meets-Christ kind of holiday.

Count the following amongst tidbits of information to which you will reply 'Who knew!?' in your lifetime: In Japan, where Christianity is a minority faith, the Christmas holiday is celebrated as a more commercial occasion (sound familiar?) than religious, with the emphasis on Christmas Eve, happiness, presents, and...romance. [Cue: wide eyes, long gasp, exclamation in unison of 'Who knew?!'] Long story short (mostly because I don't know the whole story), it's not considered favorable to be single round this time. LA based party people New Noir, are throwing a Japanese style holiday party, 'Christmas is for Cupid,' to honor that strange tradition. So, grab the sexiest holiday wares the cold weather will allow and head on over to Royal/T next Wednesday for the ho-ho-ho-down.

The event will feature tunes, dancing, ping-pong, and a naughty costume contest. Gift bags'll be raffled off and tacos'll be served up.

Now get ready to be shocked yet again. Fried chicken is also customary at Japanese Christmas. But that is neither here, nor there, and certainly not of interest to this vegetarian.

Christmas is for Cupid
December 22nd
7 p - 12 a

8910 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

Tickets available online for $10. But my readers can score 15% off using the code SANTA at checkout.

See you there!

Mr. Brainwash still believes in love.

Mr Brainwash is releasing a special holiday print, "I Still Believe In Love."

While I do believe in Santa--I mean, I just saw him at the mall shaking a bucket of change--this print by the famed street artist and documentarian (Exit Through The Gift Shop) is for a good cause.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the charity, "Toys for Tots," which spreads "a message for hope to less fortunate youngsters" this holiday season.

Price: $175

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to: host a crafty holiday party.

In LA, we do our best to fake it through the holiday season. We hang the usual lights above Wilshire Boulevard, we host parties touting 'snow' (white paper cutouts do not count, people), and we run clothing drives for Skid Row (because what the homeless down there really need is your old Juicy tracksuit).

Despite temps that don't fall below 50, we can still have genuine holiday fun. Here's a tip on how c/o my great friends Amy and Nat who hosted a killer holiday bash last week in Brooklyn. Instead of just serving the expected egg nog and gingerbread cookies, they put guests to work in an Ornament Making, crafts for big kids fashion. This is genius for reasons twofold.

1. Hosts may end the party with the usual wine spills and shattered glasses to clean up, but also with a fully decorated tree. Score.

2. Guests have something to do. And guests need something to do. Because we've all already used up our small talk during the previous 11 months of the year.

All you need is old magazines, crafty items (think pipe cleaners), random items from your junk drawer or the 99 Cents Store (cake toppers, stickers, letters from old boyfriends that are ripe for cutting up), adhesive*, and hooks for hanging.

* NB - Hot glue guns seem like a great idea, but clumsy guests (ahem, yes, me) may end up with 2nd degree burns. Have a First Aid Kit on hand!

Below, some of the decorative highlights from Amy & Nat's party (the first two are mine--please note that ornaments can make statements as well as be pleasing to the eye, i.e. my Don't Ask Don't Tell tribute)...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Giveaways are good: BITNB Jesse Spears Tank.

I give big tips. I give apples to homeless men. I give a hoot. I give stuff away like it's my bidness. And lucky for you, and you, and you, I'm starting some giveaways on this here blog. They'll be regular. Not like every Tuesday regular. But regular enough that you should check back in once in a while. Ya know, so you don't miss a thing.

This week, Jessie B. R. (that's me) and BITNB (that's the often-mentioned-on-this-blog, amazing, unique tee collection, Blood is the New Black) are giving away one of my favorite pieces from the line. Designed by artist Jesse Spears, the Britney Spears tank makes a statement. And what that statement is is totally up to the wearer. I'm giving the shirt away. I'm not gonna tell you what it bloody means as well.

To enter this one, click here and retweet.

Or, fill out the below...

A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, December 27th. So keep an eye on your tweets (that sounds so delightfully dirty) and email to see if you won. Good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Art Barter. I would've offered a first born.

When I read about Art Barter, I had to go and try my luck at procuring a new piece of art--the kind of thing one never needs but always wants.

Art Barter operates like this. Works by a number of renowned and talented artists are hung in a group show. Pieces are neither priced nor openly credited to their creator (though some of them are signed or just very characteristic of the artist and therefore pretty transparent). Guests and art lovers then make offers on the pieces they fancy. Non-monetary offers.

Take my offer for barter, for instance. I filled out the 'Offer' field...

And then I filled out the entire back too.

My final offer read as follows:
1. A long weekend (4 days, let's say) in my studio apartment in Koreatown, Los Angeles. It's not a lovely building, no. It once was, maybe, but not any more. There are apartments occupied by 5 when there should be one. There is garbage in the hall sometimes. But it's got character. And I've made (I think) the best one can in my own little unit. And dirt & despair inspires artists, so they say - inspires creativity? So really--what I'm offering you--is an opportunity to be inspired. Oh, and you may use my parking spot too. I'd take that if I were you. I got held up earlier this year on a nearby street.

2. If Offer 1's not of interest, I'd be willing instead to send you 1 funny, inspiring email a day for a month. xo
Fingers crossed that the artist responsible for No. 16, an incredible photograph, finds average to inferior living conditions as alluring as I do. If so, I may need somewhere to crash for the weekend when he/she comes to claim what's his/hers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sit on this. My first cover is on stands now.

For those who don't know, I've been working with the incredible publishing house, Niche Media, working on their LA based cover shoots as a Sittings Editor of sorts. LA folks--you all know their LA mag, LA Confidential. This cover was done for the publication's NYC sister, Gotham Magazine. Anne Hathaway and the entire crew on set that day was lovely to work with. So this stunningly lovely cover that resulted is no surprise.

Read the cover story on Anne here.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Jonathan Adler for a cause & caffeine.

Project (RED) launched several years ago, teaming up with big brands to develop cool products whose proceeds would go to support HIV and AIDS progams. The incredible project has only grown bigger and more effective since.

Design star Jonathan Adler has now joined the fight, designing a travel mug for Starbucks that is--dare I say this and risk demeaning the cause--really freaking adorable.

Beside supporting (RED) with the purchase of a mug, you of course also support the green movement. Enough with those cardboard sleeves already, ya hear?

Pick up your Adler mug to go at your local Starbucks or shop the (STARBUCKS)RED collection online and make your holiday shopping dollars count.

Cool Hunting's pop-up gift mecca. [NYC]

Shopping for the holidays can be like a slow, month-long death to the creativity and authenticity of generosity.

How much did Jimmy Jo spend on me last year? I'll have to get him exactly three and a half sets of wool socks to make good.

Or, little Janey is just growing so quickly these days. A gift card seems best. Is Starbucks credit appropriate for a 4 year old?

Well, Cool Hunting--blogging purveyors of pretty much everything awesome and fresh in culture, arts, tech and design--have launched a pop-up shop with Gap in NYC this holiday season which guarantees that each and every gift you get will at least start a conversation that doesn't end in Where's the closest location for me to return this?

From frivolous items like customizable trophies (I want an 'Imma Winner' engraving) to books by cool peeps (like Amy Sedaris) to decorative collaborations with design gods (like Jonathan Adler--check out his butt bust below) to unique edibles (like some amazing chocolate--yes, I sampled, and tasty pickles), the store is an amazing treasure trove of gifts for your nearest and dearest [and yourself].

Below the jump, some of my favorite items in the store. I didn't officially register or anything, but ya know, take this as an official hint of my holiday wish list...

A little bit of NY noise at Playhouse Hollywood.

Just in time for my return to LA next week, my good friend, NY's best and best dressed DJ, DJ Reach, is coming to town. Catch him with me at Playhouse a week from tonight. (And you know if I'm leaving my apartment into the cold...and into the cold in Hollywood no less, than he must be just that good.)

Thursday, December 16th

6506 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA

Get yourself excited for his appearance with a taste of his last venture to our fair city below...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Bird and the Bee. And you but not me.

I'm in New York for the week. But you--you're most likely in LA. So go to this for me, would you? I adore the sweet sounds of The Bird and the Bee and am rueful that I'll be missing this free (yes, you heard me--FREE) performance they're doing as part of the Mondrian Sessions--the hotel's cool new monthly musical night cohosted by KCRW and other cool LA kats, like style bible Refinery 29.

Mondrian Hotel
8440 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA


LA band Warpaint covers Bowie.

Like Warpaint cause they're LA based. Like 'em cause it's members are all super cute ladies. Like 'em cause they were just this week nominated for BBC's Sound of 2011 (and the BBC knows what's up).

[Thanks to my friend Dylan Willoughby for sharing this video.]

Monday, December 06, 2010

Corporate design that's more art than ad.

In plowing through hundreds of portfolios recently on Behance, the web's awesome crowdsourced network of designers, artists, and other creative types, I discovered the work of Spanish artist Marta Cerda Alimbau. Alimbau has created designs for international brands including Ray Ban, Nike, Coca Cola, Beautiful Decay, Kleenex, and more.

A note to the artist: Your work, dear Marta, is sick.

Diet Coke, inspiring designers, inspiring me.

When I lost my luggage this weekend...I'm sorry--when the airline lost my first stop was Target. Spending money on new clothing would be admission that my bag was lost forever. And, well, I'm just not ready to admit that. So, off to Target for affordable, temporary replacements to traipse around Long Island in it was. Much to my great pleasure I discovered a 'Vintage' line of sweatshirts and tees that the mega-superduper-giganto retailer now carries. And lo and behold, I found a heather gray sweatshirt emblazoned with my favorite beverage, Diet Coke's, logo--this is a sweatshirt I would have purchased if my luggage had arrived. This is the sweatshirt I was meant to own, to proudly wear while coolly sipping, what else, a cold can of DC.

But in an attempt to find an image online to share with you of my new favorite dud I discovered these puppies. It turns out that sneaker brand PUMA has a thing for my beloved beverage too. Peep these Diet Coke First Round Soda kicks from PUMA's retro-inspired collection. Love.

And perfect timing for the discovery as my new Puma sneaks are amongst the items lost in my bag lost in turn in baggage purgatory.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

VOGUE (and I) invite you to the Lacoste store.

Vogue invites you to brighten the season with Lacoste in San Francisco. Vogue's Market Stylist (that's me!) will be on hand to shop with you from 5:30 - 7:30 pm tonight--Thursday, December 2nd--while enjoying cocktails, passed apps, and a live DJ.

See you there San Francisco!

xx * Jessie

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Glamorous: the real behind the scenes of the making of an award show.

When you think Award Show, you may think red carpet, celebrities, mediocre jokes.

Well, the truth behind award shows can be found in some behind the scenes pictures from our WMMA Awards production office below. They feature not fancy gowns nor famous mugs, but food, food, more food, and then some recycled meeting room air. Guest starring late night loopiness and frozen yogurt trips. Also, a cameo with our Coordinating Producer and one of our fave UFC fighters, Jon Jones, who came by to grab his tickets and provide a brief moment of reprieve.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Las Vegas, City of Sin and Shows.

For those of you who have wondered how I ended up going straight from a Buddhist Monastery to Las Vegas, City of Sin, this is how...

I'm happily working on talent and Presenters for the WMMA Awards again. I'll admit--I'm not well versed in the new sport, but the folks involved in this industry as well as the fighters themselves are as nice as can be. A fact that's hard to believe considering it's a sport popular for its blood, guts and violence.

If you happen to be in Vegas this Wednesday, December 1st, join us at the event!

Tickets are available online through the Palms Hotel.

The Making of a Bed, Part Un: The Bed.

Three years ago I moved into the studio which I'm still residing in in always sunny, always shady Koreatown, Los Angeles. At that time, I moved without anything more than a shoddy metal bookshelf and some sheets. I slept on the floor for 2 days and then hurriedly bought the cheapest mattress I could find with the standard, chinsy metal frame that comes practically free with purchase. In that time, my bed has withstood spills, bugs and breakage (no, there is no elicit story here. it is just. a cheap. bed!). Last month I decided it was high time for a proper adult bed. And though I don't yet have a proper adult budget, I'm slowly piecing together a bed that I'll be proud[er] to see as I walk in the door (and hopefully one that I'll sleep a bit easier on too).

First came first: the bed frame.

Ikea's all fine and good in the post-grad years. But several years later, I needed a step up. Enter Pottery Barn's baby sister company, west elm.

I have now ordered [drum roll please] this Queen size!

Will the larger size bed look ridiculous in my teeny tiny studio? Maybe.

Am I forgoing a headboard which may or may not work for me. Darn straight I am. Headboards, I've learned, are expensive!!

Can I afford to go mattress shopping right now? No.

Am I excited as anything to buy new bedding which I also can't afford to change the look of my apartment and give it new character? Um, yeah.

Over the next couple of weeks I will [hopefully] and slowly build my new bed. I'll document as I go (an action packed design adventure, I know!). Until then it will be my new Queen size bedframe sat upon by my old full size janky mattress and cheap sheets. And zero photos will likely be shared with you.

Narrow-Leg Nailhead Upholstered Bed Frame
$349.00 – $499.00
Available on or in stores.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Leaving Los Angeles. Me and the monks.

I told my friend a few weeks ago, 'So, I'm going to a Buddhist monastery next month for a week.'

Maybe I wasn't expecting a reaction quite of shock. Or exactly resembling excited, impressed wonderment. But something along the lines of 'Oh my goodness! How unlike you! Isn't this totally unexpected and unanticipated?!' Okay. So perhaps I was expecting shock and wonderment after all.

I certainly wasn't expecting my friend to say 'Oh......I'm not surprised.'

Well, despite my friend's opinion that it is exactly like me to get up and do something ridiculous, it was a bit of a surprise to me when I decided to register for 5 nights at the Deer Park Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in Escondido.

And today, I am departing. Without access to email or phones for nearly a week. No blogging, no Twitter, no Facebook updates. Radio silence from the 400 acre sanctuary just a couple of hours south of Los Angeles.

I'll end this last post before my journey with the same message I sent to my friends and family last night...
In olden days, a trip to the monastery would mean I was pregnant out of wedlock. Today, it just means I'm a privileged yuppy from the city who needs 'a break.'

I will have no access to email, phones or other electronic devices during this time. Smoke signals, maybe. But I haven't checked the fog levels out there yet. So, please refrain from emailing, calling or texting me as your expressions of love and/or tomfoolery will fall on deaf ears (no jokes about my poor hearing, please).

In the case of emergency, you may try to reach me via the Deer Park Monastery. I actually have no idea if anyone will answer the phone.

In case you are unclear about what constitutes an emergency, please use the following quick guide.

This is an Emergency...

* My apartment's on fire.
* You're dead.

This is NOT an Emergency...

* You stubbed your toe.
* Your boyfriend was rude to you.
* You're experiencing digestion issues.

I look forward to talking to you all when I return next week. Until then, have a great week and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Duty calls in a large waiting room in Downtown LA.

I'd like to make it clear that jury duty in Downtown LA looks absolutely nothing like the above stock photo.

Jury duty at the LA County Metropolitan Branch Court House looks like dozens of average looking people slumped in couches, eating chips and Cheetos for breakfast--some of them reading less than quality novels, another disproportionate number reading what I think from this distance may be gay bondage magazines.

And we are all sitting underneath Jury Service promotional ads featuring has-been actors and decorations like this which may have been on sale at the 99 Cent store. I know I would not have paid the full dollar for this poor attempt at a feeling of patriotism.