Saturday, February 27, 2010

Missed connection. At Koreatown Ralph's.

Dear Woman at the Koreatown Ralph's,

At approximately 9:43 this morning I got behind you in the checkout line. You had 2 cases of Diet Coke and I thought, 'hey, this woman and I both share great taste in carbonated beverages.' Plus, you were gonna be quick and I was in a rush and all.

But then, lady, you asked for bags for your two 12 packs. And the plastic bags alone weren't enough. You asked for paper too. And then-well then you asked for separate bags for each case of soda. So, in total, you walked out of there with each 12 pack in a paper bag within a plastic bag because 'they're heavy' as you pointed out to the Ralph's clerk who gets paid minimum wage to give you what you ask for even if you're asking to destroy the earth.

Lady--12 packs have their own handles on them as both you and I, as avid Diet Coke consumers, know well. You did not need a 12 pack with its own handle within a paper handle within a plastic handle. Diet Coke doesn't deserve to be associated with that kind of wasteful crap. And neither do my children (the one I may someday have and the other that I might adopt from an impoverished country ala Angelina Jolie). And neither do their children (the grandchildren I may someday have and that I wish to grow up amongst some remaining trees).

Get a clue lady. Us Diet Coke drinkers are supposed to be better than that.

Anyway, that's what I wanted to tell you this morning. And which I did tell in part to the poor store clerk after you left.

Signing off,
Someone who wishes she'd had the balls to tell you all this earlier today in line at the Ktown Ralph's on Western.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, February 26, 2010

Desiree Rogers and her wardrobe leave the White House.

To me, politics is about as sexy as a pap smear. You sort of have to stay up to date for appearance's sake but god knows you'd rather not. But start talking event planning and I'll listen. Cause I love a party. I don't care if it's for the party's sake, for the President of the United States or for little Matthew's Bar Mitzvah. You say caterer. I say I'm there. So when I started reading about the White House's new Social Secretary last year--a smart, sassy woman with style to match, my ears perked. Desiree Rogers was gonna class up the joint [better known as the White House] and throw some political parties that might actually hold my attention.

And then last fall, as you may remember, 2 aspiring reality stars showed up at the White House steps and weaseled their way inside the first Obama state dinner. And now--well now Desiree Rogers is out of a job. And I am out of a political style icon.

Did somebody need to pay for the security breach? Sure, no one wants reality show scum showing up to the White House. That would be like inviting a rat to dinner. Unpleasant, embarrassing and just plain ill-advised. But isn't there a head of security for that kind of thing? The last great party I was at--it wasn't the party planner who was screening guests at the door. It was a strong-armed security team and a beautiful girl with a clipboard (yes, I've been both the planner and the beautiful gal at the door).

But apparently it's buh-bye to Desiree Rogers. Because someone needed to be made a public example. Someone needed to go so that the administration could say, see, we are doing our jobs. We are taking matters seriously. We are letting go of someone to make amends for this national security error. But if we let go of the head security, no one will notice because no one ever knew his name to begin with. So instead, we'll let go of Desiree. And with her, the grace, poise and fabulous wardrobe that she brought with her.

[via ABC News]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Buh-bye to the Hummer.

God giveth. And God taketh away. And today, auto God GM announced that it will taketh away the Hummer.

I never got to ride to prom or my wedding in a Hummer limo.

I never got to compensate for inferiority complexes and/or small genitals by steering a Hummer through traffic on Hollywood Boulevard.

I never got to play out macho warfare fantasies by renting a Hummer and driving through the mean dessert roads of Palm Springs.

I never even got to test drive a Hummer. Mostly because the idea of sitting in one made me a little bit queasy.

But for all the good times I had making fun of Hummers, Hummer drivers, and everything Hummer-related, I thank GM and bid the grand ole automotive American symbol of excess and greed a fond farewell.

[via NY Times]

Friday, February 19, 2010

If Christopher Guest asks me, I'll participate in the census.

And if I'm the only person who thinks this is genius, I'll take the census for the fools who don't too.

[via Five Blogs Before Lunch]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

art in LA: Alison Blickle at Bergamot Station.

Last weekend we took a tour through Bergamot Station, the amazing enclave of galleries and art spaces in Santa Monica. We had gone for the show at the Mark Moore Gallery, but stumbled upon the opening at the Richard Heller Gallery, where Alison Blickle was showing. Incredible.

The show will be up through March 13, 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thank the lord for Santa Monica bus benches.

Sometimes when you feel like crap and are walking and walking in search of somewhere to sit for just 5 minutes, you find a bus bench in front of a church and it feels like a sign even if you are an atheist and have never taken the big blue bus in your life.
I may not hear the Lord. But I guess the Lord heard me.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The perfect gift I wasn't given: Hug E Gram.

I am wildly disappointed that I did not receive one of these for Valentine's Day. I take solace only in the fact that St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo and my birthday are all coming up in 2010, giving all of you plenty of reason and opportunity to send one of these my way.

I would love it. And, indirectly, then love you. Which is pretty special.

[via Five Blogs Before Lunch]

The RSVP Line: Mishka Echo Park Grand Opening.

Yeah, it's Fashion Week in New York right now, but a little bit of New York fashion is about to hit the streets of Los Angeles.

This Saturday, celebrate the opening of NYC based fashion brand Mishka in Echo Park. The line is a fresh, sophisticated take on streetwear--a mix of buttoned up and dressed down with a splash of awesome graphics. My buddy is opening the LA outpost which is sure to be a hotbed for all things and people fantastic on the East Side.

Stop by the Grand Opening this Saturday!

And while you're at it, check out Mishka's Spring 2010 Lookbook shot by photog Marley Kate.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This American Life comes to LA. Be still my heart.

Thanks to a tip from my good friend STS this morning, I found out that the great love of my young life, Ira Glass, will be coming to town next month for one night (two shows) of what I'm sure will be nothing less than pure, nerdy, genius entertainment.

For those who aren't familiar with This American Life, it's a weekly, hour-long NPR show (Angelenos can listen in on KCRW or KPCC) that features themed stories each week that are sometimes moving, often hilarious, and always compelling.

Lots of folks download dance tracks to hit the gym. I download This American Life.

Tickets went on sale at 10 am this morning (I bought my tickets by the time the clock turned 10:01). Glass' nerdy fans of Los Angeles will surely scoop up seats at both shows soon, so join me and your fellow Glass geeks and pick up your tickets asap.

Find out more and buy tickets.

[via Scenestar]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sounds: Lissie. Live. Here and now. And at The Hotel Cafe tomorrow.

There are a few live videos of Lissie's 'Everywhere I Go' on YouTube. This is my favorite. It's raw. And wonderful. And looks like it was shot in someone's living room. It probably was.

Lissie is performing tomorrow night at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. I can't say I am going because I'm not. But you can. Cause tickets are still available, you lucky sons of [wonderful women].

February 15
8 p

The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

TED vs. Sarah Silverman. A tale of tweet wars, spineless men and 'retards.'

You don't ask your drunk of a cousin to give your grandma's eulogy, the tone deaf student to lead the choir, or the one-armed deaf, dumb and blind kid to captain the baseball team. Unless you want a shit show. But sometimes you do want a shit show. Cause it's funny. And entertaining. And then you call in Sarah Silverman.
TED, the annual conference for smart and/or wealthy people who can understand and/or pay to pretend to understand giant and innovative ideas, invited Silverman to speak at this year's event in Long Beach. Silverman delivered her usual brand of subversive humor, peppered with politically incorrect banter and misappropriation of the word 'retarded.' This is highly offensive if you're not a fan of Sarah Silverman, insanely funny if you are.

Well, Chris Anderson, TED's curator and the person who would have orchestrated Silverman's participation himself, responded to her presentation with a scathing and incredibly inappropriate [and now deleted] tweet...

To which Silverman replied in true Silverman fashion...
Kudos to @TEDChris for making TED an unsafe haven for all! You're a barnacle of mediocrity on Bill Gates' asshole.
I could not have said it better myself. Though mediocrity might be too kind of a word to describe Anderson's professionalism. For a community of supposedly superior intellect, the TED folks have proven themselves to be a bunch of stodgy, pretentious white men with sticks up their behinds [or, in the words of Silverman herself, just plain 'retarded']. And Anderson has shown himself to be a spineless leader who, when confronted with the consequence of his own poor judgement, found it easier to throw out insults instead of defending his choice and his speaker.

As someone who has long dreamt of attending the TED Conference, I can now say that if and when I should ever be able to afford the several thousand dollar entry fee, I would rather spend a fraction of the ticket price for a front row seat to a Sarah Silverman shit show.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Design Dish: a behind the scenes with Ai for Ai.

Every time I think I have discovered every talent my friends have, they surprise me with another one. As it turns out, my friends are unnaturally gifted. And if they weren't my friends I'd be jealous. But as they are my friends, I am just incredibly proud.

Elizabeth and Carol Ai are two of the sweetest, sassiest and most stylish ladies I know. Well, because they're so gosh darn generous, they've decided to share their good style with the rest of us. They've just launched Ai for Ai, a women's fashion collection that's feminine, sexy and totally on trend. If you need one word for it...try fabulous.

The girls shared this image above with me--it's a behind-the-scenes sneak peak of the designers' look book featuring the talented and beautiful artist Mercedes Helnwein whose work I covet as well.

Ai for Ai is hitting an impressive roster of stores soon. I, for one, am thrilled and excited and dying for it all at once.

Visit the Ai for Ai Blog.
Follow Ai for Ai on Twitter. (They're always sharing awesome bits.)

NY Fashion Week: Erin Wasson x RVCA

There was much buzz yesterday about the Erin Wasson x RVCA show at NY Fashion Week.

I have only this to say...

I am so glad crimped hair is back. I knew this would someday be big again and my 9 year old crimping efforts would not be in vain.
And Ke$ha...put on some g'damn pants.
[Image Credit: Refinery 29]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Design Dish: Levis + Opening Ceremony + Ryan McGinley = Awesome

Levi's and Opening Ceremony have collaborated on a line. Which I find bizarre and fascinating and wonderful. and photog Ryan McGinley, who's been getting lots of buzz lately (he recently shot Olympian athletes wearing Rodarte for NYT), shot the campaign. Wow. Stunning.

Shop the collection online.

[via Cool Hunting]

Tech Crush: Wisdom from Biz Stone, Founder of Twitter. From his beak to my ears to your eyes.

If I had founded the 21st Century Silicon Valley equivalent of Wonder Bread during the baked goods revolution, I would have 2 assistants. I would wear Christian Louboutins and a perfectly coiffed hairdo. I would walk with the swagger of the much celebrated tech geniu-ette that I would be.

And then there's Biz Stone, Founder of a little platform called Twitter, who began this evening's remarks at the CAA Curious Series by telling us he had a large, gaping hole in his pants. Stone is young, witty and had no product in his hair. He was casual and smart and fabulous.

Here are some pieces of wisdom and interesting tidbits from Stone's talk this evening...

1. 'Twitter is about the triumph of humanity, not the triumph of technology.'

Much of Stone's talk focused on the way Twitter has connected us all. From alerts of the earthquake last year in California to the rallying of activists in corruptly-run nations abroad to notifications of a new dessert item from your corner bakery, individuals have taken ownership of their Twitterverse, using it to inform, share, and spread information to their fellow beings. Twitter, as it turns out, is a beautiful thing.

2. Twitter wishes to have a global impact--to serve places without internet (yes, there are still some places without wi-fi)--and to do so has emphasized a mobile functionality. The 140 character limit Twitter imposes on your updates was created because of SMS systems' 160 character limit. Twitter left a difference of 20 characters for the users' names. And here I had thought that Twitter just knew no one wanted more than 140 characters about your lunch and subsequent trip to the bathroom.

3. 'There are more smart people outside than inside.'

Stone shared with us the philosophies and 'assumptions' taught to all new Twitter employees during training. They ranged from the motivational to the inspirational. This particular bulletpoint was a great reminder that all the answers do not always lie within--yourself or your organization. Seeking help on the outside is not a sign of defeat--it is smart business.

4. Regarding Google Buzz, the newest Twitter-esque service from social giant Google, which launched today (you can find my blog on the product here), Stone said this: 'It's a way to interact with Twitter in your's going to be mostly tweets that you're looking at...Maybe they'll make a lot of money and we can share some of it.' Fantastic. Just fantastic banter Mr. Stone.

5. And regarding the silly, oft ridiculed name of the company, Stone admitted that 'the fact that people could make fun of the name and call it 'twatter' probably led to its success.' Well, that is one nickname for Twitter that I'd not yet thought of. But now I surely will.

Logging off,

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Design Dish: Sex sells. Armani Exchange. Big whoop.

Armani Exchange, the fashion brand best at putting its name on everything, has now figured out how to capitalize off of today's hot topic--same sex relations. The brand's latest campaign, titled 'Share the Love,' features a trifecta of man-on-man, woman-on-woman, and good ole hetero action. And considering that each couple shares a participant in common, one might say that the ad also implies a good ole partner swap.

Of course, some people are angry. Because some people are always angry. About something or other. The American Family Association's wants to clean up the 'filth' and [blah blah blah, whatever]. Well, OneMillionMoms--I have this to say to you. A) You should be happy--Armani features the hetero couple in the most contrasting photo of the three. The brand's clearly not as daring as you'd like them out to be. B) The couples aren't actually engaging in anything more than a brush-by. I saw more action at your church last Sunday. And C) Have you seen the other filth that's out there?! Hanna Montana is as straight as an arrow and as slutty as a sexpot. Go take her poster off your kids' wall before you take stabs at Armani Exchange. That brand's got enough to worry about without your yammering.

[via New York Magazine]

Monday, February 08, 2010

Marketing that moves me: seatbelt ad brings me to tears.

I've had the great pleasure and daunting task today of combing through hundreds of marketing blogs for work. And thereby I bring you the second moving ad of the day. This one brought me to tears. Well, almost. More like the well up right before the tears. But without the actual tears. Cause I'm not a complete sap--just slightly, well, overemotional.

This ad is beautiful, touching, and makes me want to take a drive just as an excuse to buckle my seat belt.

[via Adverblog]

Marketing that moves me: Skittles ad makes me fear for child safety.

I'm not sure if this ad amuses me or creeps me a lot.

Either way--I want to taste the rainbow. I want a Skittle tree.

[via I Believe in Adv]

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Pictures: exploration, altitudes and outdoor adventure in 180° South.

I understand that my recent interest in things active, outdoorsy and West of La Brea may be confusing some of you. Surely, you thought, my interests did not extend beyond swanky Eastside restaurants, oversize glasses, and occasionally missing New York. Well, my dear friends, my interests do indeed have a greater scope. And working amongst such an eclectic and different group of folks as I do now has opened me up to an even greater broadband of culture and experiences. Case in point: this Wednesday I will be joining my colleagues in a trip up North, back to Santa Barbara (which you'll remember I visited recently for the first time), for the premiere of 180° South at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Some reasons why this should interest you too...

1. 180° South is an amazing adveture story. I'll borrow from the film's synopsis here so I don't butcher it...
180° SOUTH is the story of one of the most unique and prolific environmentalists of our time -Yvon Chouinard. Rather than re-living Yvon's story through old photos and his life's work with pie charts, 180° SOUTH weaves Chouinard's tale through a modern day expedition. This expedition was inspired by the rumor of a legendary trip in 1968 and the proof that came with it when the lost cans of film that documented the trip were recently discovered. The old footage captures Chouinard and best friend Doug Tompkins in 1968 as they explore untouched mountain ranges and un-surfed coastline on a 5000 mile expedition from California to deep Patagonia. For the two men, the original '68 adventure still stands as "the trip of our lives."
2. The film was produced by our rad office mates, Woodshed Films, the film sister arm (I just made this term up, yeah) to Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records (I like slow, happy, hippy music too--what of it).

3. The key art was designed by the talented and controversial Shepard Fairey who, yes, is facing some legal troubles at the moment, but who isn't.

4. The film is sponsored by Patagonia and Kashi, two pretty cool brands. And I can't tell you how much it turns out I like Kashi snack bars.

Check out the trailer here and see y'all in Santa Barbara!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Celebrating Valentine's Day: Arty Party + Naughty Nature + Eat Your Heart Out.

Valentine's Day is exactly 9 days away...not that anyone's counting...though you might have thought it had arrived weeks ago if the decorated aisles of your local pharmacy were any indication. But no--it's right around the corner now and, in a relationship or not, it's likely on your mind.

Here's one thing not to do on Valentine's Day: stay in. There is simply too much out there to do. Plus, staying in if you're single is sort of pitiful (sorry friends). And staying in if you're in a relationship is pretty flipping lazy.

There's an activity in LA for each of you--one as perfect for you as your other half (ew, gag). So buck up, grab your date [or at least a platonic friend who likes to make out when intoxicated], and get out there young lovers.

For the Art Freak

There's Lucent L'amore at the Shrine in Downtown LA. According to my very poor language skills, the name translates to light / the love. In reality, it translates to a multimedia bonanza for you and your sweetie. There will be installations including one from The Do Lab (you've seen 'em at Coachella), art from talented peeps like Kofie One and L. Croskey (the brains behind Cannibal Flower), and entertainment from the likes of N.A.S.A. and Lucent Dossier Experience. I'm not saying a bunch of folks at this humongo party will be tripping balls,, I said I wasn't saying anything. Sober or--um, not--this event will surely provide enough mind-blowing distractions to entertain you on even the worst of Valentine's Day dates.

A Tip From Cupid: study up on the participating artists in advance and then say really smart and insightful things to impress your companion.

For the Nature Buff

There's always a hike. Cause nothing says romance like running out of breath and fainting at high altitudes. For the casual hiker there's Griffith Park (if you're not a casual hiker I'm not the person to talk to). Meet up at Trails Cafe where you and your new Craiglist Casual Encounters friend can caffeinate for the long walk ahead. If you're feeling lazy, order a sandwich and call off the hike. If you're really going to spend your Valentine's Day sweating, start up the trail and be sure to veer off to find Dante's Peak, a lovely little garden meets overlook meets picnicking spot.

A Tip From Cupid: try not to look as geeky as these kids in the picture here. Also, if you plan on getting frisky on the trail, bring a blanket. Getting weeds up your butt's not romantic.

For the Desert Duo

If nothing turns you and your lov-ah on like cactii and antique shopping, pack your bags and get out of town. Palm Springs is just a road trip and one very romantic iTunes compilation away. On the 13th, the Coachella Valley Arts Scene is hosting Doo Wop in the Desert - A Retro Valentine's Dance at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. So get your semi-formal vintage out, your dancing shoes on, and your significant other in the car for a desert romance.

For the Hungry

Depending on how well you know your date, eating a large meal may not be advisable on V Day. But if you and your honey are close enough to feel bloated with each other, make a reservation (like yesterday) and dine, drink and then do (I mean, um, talk with) your date at one of these eateries offering prix fixe or holiday special offerings: Grace Restaurant (yes, there's a Ring Ding on the dessert menu), Bottega Louie (you'll be thanked for the ordering the macarons), or Real Food Daily (who says love can't come in the form of tofu everything).

A Tip From Cupid: do yourself and your date a favor. Don't overeat. Don't order things that 'disagree' with you. Bring an after dinner mint. Make that two.

Whatever you do this February 14th, be sure to remember that your lovely, local blogger needs love too. All Valentine's Day cards, chocolates, and other romantical and/or cash gifts can be sent directly to me. Thanks much and happy early lovey-dovey Hallmark Holiday.

[Main Image - Teointarifa]

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Do Good: party for Haiti next week at the All-Star Jam

Just because you've stopped seeing the messages for Haiti relief flood your Facebook and Twitter feeds doesn't mean the crisis is over. Thousands are displaced, orphaned and in critical condition. The problems in the country are just beginning and your help is still needed. My good friend at Bright House Events is helping with this amazing event next week. Support!

ALL STAR JAM Benefit for Haiti
February 11th
9 p - 2a

6523 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Line up features DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, SHEILA E, LADY TIGRA, JUDITH HILL, BILLY MORRISON, KATIE VOGEL and A SURPRISE MUSICAL GUEST! Come out and support all those who have lost everything they had in Haiti. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Partners in Health Tickets are $30 at the door and VIP Private table options are available.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Blog Love: Selleck Waterfall Sandwich

Imagine actor Tom Selleck. Imagine a calm, flowing waterfall. Now imagine them together along with your favorite sandwich. The 'Selleck Waterfall Sandwich' blog crafts this stunning fantasy...over and over and over again.

Behold some of the scenes below.

Selleck with a waterfall with a Meatloaf sandwich...

Or perhaps with a Caribbean Jerk Chicken sammy...

More Selleck + waterfall + food fantasies for your viewing and wonderment on Selleck Waterfall Sandwich.

Food Find: Baby Monster Kookies

If you are not into things that taste awesome, then this post is probably not for you. Or perhaps you're on one of those crazy lemon, cayenne pepper and masochism diets. Okay, you too should probably not bother reading this.

My good friend and associate just launched a cookie company that rivals Mrs. Fields and squashes Entenmann's chocolate chips. Baby Monster Kookies are decadent. They've got a chocolate to cookie ratio that's practically sinful. They create good karma (a percentage of profits go to St. Jude's Children Hospital). And, despite the bad rap that monsters have gotten, these cookies are sweet.

I tried one for the first time last week and have already ordered a box (the first of many, I'm sure) for my office. And now I will stop bragging about my talented friend and keep a watchful eye on the door for any sign of the delivery man with my cookies.

Visit Baby Monster Kookies to find out more or place an order.

Monday, February 01, 2010

LA's Westside and I. A reconciliation.

I have talked sh*t about the Westside of Los Angeles for as long as I have lived on the city's other side--you know the section to the East of La Brea which anyone who lives there will tell you is superior. But with a recent job shift to Santa Monica [which is a city unto itself--a concept I still do not understand and only remember due to the strange looking street signs] and perhaps the fact that I am, ahem, getting older, I have recently considered taking the plunge, packing my boxes, and leaving skinny jeaned, indie loving hipsters for Birkenstock wearing, beach cruiser riding yogis. Horror of horrors--what has become of me??

I'll tell you--I think it's the quiet. And the closeness to the beach. And the higher percentage of trees to grit.

And this week I got a card to the Santa Monica Library. Which may not mean much to you. And, quite frankly, I only got so I could take out Spanish lanugage audiobooks. But to me it means Santa Monica in my wallet. And one step closer to a reconciliation, if not possible love affair, between the Westside and I.

Food Find: healthy eats at Sante La Brea.

Though one wouldn't normally associate the famed Gordon Ramsay with a casual, mostly vegetarian restaurant whose menus are plastic coated and complete with low-budg computer graphics, apparently the gourmand helped Sante La Brea revise their offerings a year + ago. Whatever he did, and whatever the restaurant was like before, the end results are good by me. But then again, the option add fake chicken to my meal is usually a sure fire way to win me over. I visited this past weekend and was all about the diverse menu, friendly service and scary green soup.

Sante La Brea
345 North La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA

Beautiful things: Tim Walker's fantasy photos.

The photography of London-based artist Tim Walker makes me want to walk through a mirror and come out the other side into his world. Because I'm pretty sure there'd be unicorns there. And probably calorie-free milkshakes too.

[Images all by Tim Walker]