Thursday, August 2, 2012

It Was Just A Paper Bag...

Mark bought us tickets to the Fiona Apple concert at the Palladium last Sunday as a birthday gift to himself. Even though I was somewhat obsessed with When the Pawn... back in college, I wasn't really all that excited beforehand because I hadn't really listened to her new album. I suppose really though it was hard thinking about how much I used to associate with her lyrics, being so beautiful but so deeply sad, and thinking about how sad I used to be. The show was good though.

And yeah, I may have nearly shed a tear or two when she started singing "Paper Bag." As a total nerd with extreme bouts of self-loathing and insecurity, it was totally my constantly repeating on the iPod self-defeating anthem that stated more beautifully than I could express all of my feelings at the time-how I would never find anyone who would love me with all my inner craziness and fun thoughts like that. What can I say-I used to really like wallowing in my unhappiness. Of course, now I know that we're all crazy and it's just about finding someone whose weirdness and quirks can tolerate and love your own. Still, even if the words of the song don't match how I feel anymore, remembering how much they meant to me then was moving enough and made me quite happy not to feel that way anymore.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning to Love Summer

I have a confession to make: I hate summer. Now before you pelt things at your screen aimed at my head, I get it-there are tons of wonderful things about summertime and I have many great memories of going to the beach, eating a bowl of ripe strawberries after dinner, BBQs that involved staying in the pool so long my whole hands were wrinkly, and the like. But ultimately, I crave cloudy days, tights, getting to throw on a pair of boots, and the magic of winter and fall holidays. Sorry.

Still, rather than pout for the next (sweaty, heat stroke-inducing) two months, I am determined to focus on those things about summer that are good, and forget for now about all the things I would rather be doing and wearing. A few of my favorite upsides:

  • The fact that the sun doesn't set until around 9pm. There is nothing so sad as the sun going down at 4:30pm. It makes me terribly lazy, as I am not exactly very productive at nighttime, and is just depressing to get out of work and realize you haven't seen the sun all day. 

  • Nectarines. Now that I am very half-heartedly trying to cut out the processed sugars I need really good natural alternatives. Slowly peeling nectarine skins with my teeth and then getting to taste their luscious innards makes saying bye-bye to almond croissants somewhat more bearable. Somewhat. 

  • Outdoor concerts. There is something so indulgent about sitting/standing outside in the fresh air and listening to music. Whether craziness like Lollapalooza or a more sedate orchestral performance at the Hollywood Bowl, it's not something I'd find nearly as appealing with the threat of rain or serious chill.

  • The beach. I can theoretically go to the beach any season, but the Pacific is freezing, y'all! It's barely tolerable in August, so being able to actually get in the water is something of a treat, even if seeing someone catch a baby shark from the shores of Malibu as a child has basically wiped out my interest in actually swimming in the ocean. 

  • Bright colored clothing. If I had to select one color palette to wear for the rest of my life I would undoubtedly go with black, charcoal, and other shades of grey, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the opportunity to have fun with my summer clothes. Mint, bright pink, cobalt, and even (gasp!) white are all fair game when the sun is out and I've got some sad semblance of a tan to help them pop. It's the perfect chance to mix patterns and have some fun since fewer layers means fewer opportunities to criminally clash. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tonight, We Dance

I have FINALLY gotten a job offer in my field. I was seriously starting to think I would literally never get hired. The gig involves a level of discretion that requires I undergo a background check so extensive that it may take 2-4 months to be completed and for me to be given my start date but the bottom line is that I can see the light at the end of this broke-ass tunnel lined in low self-confidence and debt.

So knowing me I've already bought myself like 5 "congratulations" gifts, including the only necklace I'll ever need (post to come when it arrives Monday), classes to SPX Pilates at Pilates Plus Silverlake (which I start bright and early at 7am on Monday-I'm so serious about this getting into shape crap that I've started the Paleo Diet and straight up cut out sugar since I've become legitimately addicted to the point of -eek- consuming baked goods almost daily at one point), and a pair of summer sandals that contain silver foil polka dots and are sure to be ruined by the end of the season. Whatever. I'll be able to pay off my credit cards within a couple of months on the new salary, save up to help Mark and I get out of our tiny apartment with its filthy carpet (never again, my friends-forget cold feet and just invest in some good slippers and rugs), and finally be able to afford the kinds of things like regular hair cuts, bikini waxes, and good facial masks that keep people unlike me looking put together and sophisticated. Not going to lie-I will trade all of today's problems for the problems that come along with having a real job. A real job where I get to pee when I want to without asking permission and get a paycheck for that covers more than a tank of gas.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Oops, way past due for posting. See, I am currently mega broke, and that makes blogging slightly more...depressing. I can't window shop for cool goods because I never make it out without placing five things in my virtual cart and keeping the tab open for so long that I break and stick a purchase on my credit card. And as an eternal dieter, I can't go gaga posting about all the delicious naughty treats I want to stuff my face with. At least not with any regularity. I mean, I have been craving an almond croissant from Proof Bakery for upwards of a week now but I'm not budging until my pants are as loose as your mother (sorry, sometimes my humor is awkward and crass). And that would make for a drool-worthy blog post because everyone knows the almond croissant is the best weekday breakfast treat ever. I sort of hate those blogs that just regurgitate fashion images with no original content so while my life is pretty boring, I just don't have much "coolness" to put out there.

So instead, you're reading about all the ways in life I fail. Sorry, I'm not loving it much either. But if you want me to be more entertaining, just find someone to give me a normal-paying gig! Actually, please do. Then I can blog about buying fun exercise classes at the Heartbeat House, which will help me burn enough calories to justify running across the street for that frickin' croissant.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Trails

Vegas was actually not horrible. I mean, granted, I spent nearly all of my time in the hotel, but what do you want from me!? Honestly, I was just happy to catch up on some sleep. But I also did the two things I wanted to do: have a drink at the Peppermill and grab some gigantor macarons from Bouchon Bakery. I don't know why I forgot that we have a Bouchon now in Beverly Hills...okay, probably because it's in Beverly Hills and I feel inferior and dirty just driving on Santa Monica Blvd. west of San Vicente. But anyway, it gave me something to look forward to, so in the end it was fine. The macarons were delicious but the only one that really stuck out in terms of strength of flavor was the coffee, which was amazing. If I had them again I'd just get a couple of those and bypass the rest. We stayed at the Aria, which I'm no fan of and I had no phone service the entire time I was in the hotel-which you already know was a lot of the time-so when I got to the airport Saturday I was deep into app withdrawal and sort of went crazy making mediocre Pic Stitch collages. That I will now subject you to look at.

Monday, May 7, 2012

In A Nutshell...

I used to feel guilty and inferior for not having it all together. Then I realized you only get it all together in time to die or become too decrepit to move your body. Nobody my age has a clue what they are doing, and if they do, they are probably extremely boring while doing their version of the elusive it. So here's to making mistakes and having as much fun as possible along the way!

Speaking of mistakes, I'm going to Las Vegas at the end of the week. The reason is a good one-my cuz is graduating law school, but Vegas, man do I hate that town. Still, I've decided that I will completely avoid everything about it I hate (compulsive gambling, fake tits, chain stores everywhere, and public vomiting) by consuming my time at the few places I love: the Peppermill diner with it's fake pink foliage covering the ceilings and pitch-black lounge illuminated by a fire pit (okay, not exactly safe but my current lack of funds will preclude getting to the point where I stumble into the flames) and giant macarons from Bouchon Bakery.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"If You're Truly Wild At Heart...'ll fight for your dreams." Wild At Heart, which is all sorts of crazy goodness, happened to be on HBO the other night and I caught it just in time to hear those words uttered by Sailor's good witch/fairy godmother/hallucination. And it's a good thing I did. Finishing up my coursework and now being simply unemployed rather than a graduate student seeking employment has been a really hard adjustment. The wealth of Gang of Four music playing around here probably hasn't been terribly helpful for my mood either...But that's okay.

 A graduation card my mom gave me offered a lot of perspective-she wrote that a lot of people are so consumed with career or their own woes that they don't really enjoy life, and that I'm lucky to at least be in a position to have a lot of amazing experiences and wonderful opportunities outside the career realm. I mean, yeah I want to get the show on the road in terms of working in a special collections library already, but in the meantime I go out and explore this fabulous city, have the support of an amazing boyfriend, and haven't put my life on hold. So yes, I am going to fight for my dreams rather than sit in a pool of my own tears wallowing in the salty-sad mess.

So as for that next adventure, Australia proved to be too expensive right now, probably down to the overblown fuel costs. So we opted for Turkey! My pops went on a ridiculous trip a couple years ago, and it put the seed in my mind looking at all of his beautiful pictures. We'll be there for 12 days,  seeing everything from the ancient ruins at Ephesus and Troy, exploring modern Istanbul, hanging out in hot springs cliffs in Pamukkale, and tons of other amazing places. I'm actually more excited about this trip. We leave at the end of November and I cannot wait. Let's hope by then it's a welcome break from work, but even if it isn't, it's a frickin' vacation and another amazing country to scratch off my map.

Pamukkale colors
The amazing hot springs in Pamukkale. 

Turkey - Pamukkale 2010

Capadoccia market colors

Cappadocia spice market-loving the color!

evil eye tree
Evil eye tree in Cappadocia.

Hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, where buildings are literally cut into the rock formations.

Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Desert Getaway

Our hotel, which was a lot of fun, but damn did they nickel and dime for every little thing. It got to be a bummer.

The Amigo Bar, where yeah, we spent more than a little time.

Roof paintings at the Amigo.

Ace Hotel lobby. A rope and macrame fan's dream hotel.

Okay, so maybe I had a few drinks in my system at this the amazing Parker Palm Springs.

Gorgeous little quartz fountain outside of the Parker.

Mister Parker's. Tasty food and awesome, fun decor.

Indeed. Desert getaway doesn't come cheap. Guess that's why it's a once a year deal. Sigh.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Winter Is Coming

Well, if you live in the southern hemisphere it is, anyway. I like so many others have been watching Game of Thrones despite the fact that I don't need to see naked breasts every thirty seconds to get wrapped up in a series. I have to say that while the King's Landing outfits are too gauzy and gaudily ornate for my tastes, I really love the utilitarian yet exceptionally detailed vibe the costuming department has developed for the Northerners' outfits and decor. The quilted leathers, the pelts of fur lining coat lapels, the patchwork of skins that make up little crippled Bran's duvet. Now I'm not one who thinks killing a fox exclusively for fashion is acceptable, but I can't say I don't think like the Native Americans in terms of utilizing every part of an animal that's killed for food. Um, so why am I writing a post that may incur 'meat is murder'-like wrath? Because I discovered  Black Sheep White Light, which sells culturally significant animal pelts as a byproduct of their local food industries and can't help but be reminded that there was a period in human history where such now fashionable items were the only things keeping people from freezing to death. Anyone who's walked through a medieval building like the Edinburgh Castle or even wood-build Nijo Castle knows that they do not exactly a cozy home make.

An Icelandic sheepskin in a rare grey shade.

Gigantic winter coated buffalo hides feature a rich pattern of colors and fur patterns.

Hides taken from farms used by the Scandinavian Sami people to raise reindeer meat have some of the most haunting patterns and shapes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I...Am A Librarian!

If you watched The Mummy and fell in love with Rachel Weisz as a teen like me, you know what I'm talking about. But seriously, I am a librarian! I have officially completed my e-portfolio and am getting the hell out of town to celebrate having received my MLIS! (Now just give me a job)

This fancy bottle of copper-plated Beau Joie champagne is coming with me, and will return home to serve as a flower vase long after I've hiccuped away the last few sips of bubbly.The mister and I are running away to Palm Springs for a few days to soak up some sun, do a little vintage furniture shopping, and sit by the pool with some good books. We're staying at the Ace Hotel, which I'm totally not rail-thin, hipster-cool enough to be admitted attendance but I guess that's what the resort fees cover? Anyway, I'll just wear a bunch of rags in my hair and tribal patterned items and hope for the best.

Right now, though, I'm headed out for my family's Pesach seder, and hoping to convince my pops that helping to finance a dream trip to Peru would make for a superb and well-deserved (ha!) graduation present. Wish ya girl luck.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Know Thy Enemy

See you in a few months ice cream. Until then, get the hell away from me with your tauntingly sweet scent. 

I'm nearly done with my e-portfolio and now that I have 17 whole days to work on my intro, conclusion, and statement of philosophy, I can breathe again and focus on every other part of my life that I've been ignoring since this project began. I haven't dusted anything in the apartment in so long I literally can't remember doing it, haven't painted my nails since January, have an inch of roots in my hair, haven't even straightened my hair in at least a month because the idea of spending 30 minutes on something so frivolous felt too indulgent, and feel fatter than ever (no, it's not actually true, but I'm at the highest weight I've weighed in many years and need to drop 5-8 pounds stat). So now it's time to pay attention to me again! Yay and hallalujah.

Which is what brings me to finally breaking my sugar addiction-and it is a full blown addiction at this point-by completely cutting the sweet stuff out of my diet in the ten days leading up to my mini trip with Mark to Palm Springs to celebrate getting my MLIS and his getting to take more than one day off in a row. It's going to be a long, hard road out of flabby body hell but I figure if I can find the willpower to survive it, I'll have loose pants in time for vacation and be less likely to wear a muumuu into the Ace Hotel's pool rather than a bikini. Once I get home, if there's more weight to drop I'll continue the no sugar shock, because while I have a sweet tooth and will always pick cheating with ice cream over french fries, I've somehow gotten to the point where it's cool to eat Sour Patch kids every single day like I'm a five year old. And no, I've definitely not got a five year old's metabolism. So wish me luck, pull any sweets you see in my hands from my grip, and let's home when I share photos on here of my trip that neither of us are thinking "should have cropped closer to hide that bedonkadonk/those hips/that extra chin."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Week In Review

So, most of my week has involved being chained to the computer, eeking out these e-porfolio essays while distracting myself with images of pretty clothes I don't need and picking up the million packages of Legos and Studio Ghibli dvds from the Post Office that Mark has been buying himself like he's making up for a lifetime of missed childhood Christmases (Remember this post? She definitely wants us to move by now!). Still, I managed to have a bit of fun with the perfect mix of window shopping, hanging out with good people, and one of the Village Bakery's addictive donut muffins thrown into the mix for good measure. 

I tried on these lovely Persol sunglasses while Mark picked up a pair for himself at the Optical Shop of Aspen on Melrose.

A multitude of skulls and antlers at Seven Grand, where I hadn't imbibed in at least a couple of years!

Mas Malo didn't have the intimacy I enjoy at the original, and I found the food and drinks to be a little less yummy, but I can't say the chevron walls didn't make my heart skip a beat and earn the Mas a few extra points.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pop Culture Hipsters

While doing my semi-nightly perusal of Pinterest I came across this image of Frida Kahlo by Fabian Ciraolo:

 He's an artist from Chile who takes iconic people or characters and re-imagines them as current-day hipsters. It's entertaining to think about Grace Kelly with an eyebrow piercing or John Wayne with a full sleeve of tattoos and I love the floral, galactic backgrounds that add to the dreamlike quality of his work. 

 Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz-clearly we're not in Kansas, anymore. 

 Salvador Dali. I think this one is particularly spot on with the jacket, sinewy exposed abs, and belt buckle. 

Dapper Skeletor loses his unitard in favor of a polo and checkered suit. 

It's not all about pop icons though. A couple of my favorite other pieces:

Killer. I want this one for my home-the bow, the floral "eye mask," the hair. Like I said, killer. 


Francois Verkirk photographed by Hassan Havier. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stress As Relaxation

The Raven Spa's entryway-a beautiful spot, but one I didn't mind leaving behind.

I'm really not one for relaxation. Case in point: Mark wanted to tack me onto his semi-regular appointment for a massage last Tuesday at the Raven Spa in Silverlake and I practically begged him to let me not go. I begged this man to not pay for me to get a massage! I'm bonkers. But the truth is, the idea of having a couple hours of solitude to work on my e-portfolio (the only thing standing in the way of me getting my MLIS degree) that's due in exactly one month sounded so much better on the stress-reduction meter. He didn't budge. He told me I'd think of nothing and almost want to fall asleep. He told me it would leave me feeling weightless for the rest of the day. He, ladies and gentelmen, is clearly not me. Because I spent the bulk of that hour of getting twisted, kneaded, and turned thinking about when it was going to be over, perusing the next door Broome St. General Store, and what I needed to get done that week. Sure, it was nice, but the truth is, I think I'd get more out of a yoga class or spinning. I can't sit still without feeling guilty-the massage felt like an over the top, wild luxury. The other day Mark's brother asked me why I wouldn't consider going to a place like Hawaii for vacation after I mentioned our plans to visit Australia (already a semi-chill compromise of destination on my part), and it all became clear-I consider stress and the pressure of go-go-go to be living. Hawaii sounds so boring. Ha! I don't feel guilty about traveling the globe because while I'm gone it's hustle, hustle, hustle to experience everything I want to see-but laying on a mat for an hour? Panic. It may be that I'm seeking a fulfillment that I don't already possess (thanks, stalled career) but either way, I am slowly realizing that the more that's on my plate, the happier I am. Even if it means my back is a tangle of knots that require bribery and coercion to work out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Love Letter To Etsy

I continue to be surprised at the wealth of fabulous stuff available on Etsy. From packaging supplies to extremely well-made clothing, and home decor that ranges from whimsical modern tat to classic vintage wares, there is really nothing you can't find on there. I took a break from visiting the site for a few months when finances where low and the pain of looking at so much coolness that couldn't be mine wasn't worth the ooing and aahing that a visit inevitably delivered. For whatever reason (because I am crazy) I've been lurking and shopping on Etsy again the past few weeks.

It all started innocently: I wanted to buy some bow tie collars for a Sante D'or photoshoot and knew Snoop Catty Catt, the maker of Finn's amazing birthday suit was just the gal to buy from. Boy was she. The offer of 25% off for our rescue suddenly had me throwing bows and ties into my cart like a crazy cat lady with a serious penchant for formal wear.

Then I started thinking of some upcoming occasions I have to bake some goodies and needing packaging to make them look extra special (perhaps to *ahem* make up for my limited baking skills). One look at Pretty Tape and suddenly I own tartan tape, Christmas ornament themed tape and a host of other awesome things like checkered multicolored twist ties to keep plastic cello bags looking cheery. I bought more tape from this seller than I did when I was actually in Japan!

The final and most extravagant (I know what you're thinking-buying cats bow ties, let alone cats that aren't even your pets, and fancy twist ties is already extravagant enough, but if you are thinking that, you cuh-learly don't know me) buy was an amazing technicolor dream rug that-wait for it-also features chevron stripes! It's a boucherouite, a type of Moroccan rug that the same people who make the famed Moroccan wedding blankets make from leftover pieces of fabric. Seriously, this thing was a steal-not so much cheaper than other versions that it's clearly a made in China fake, but so immensely gorgeous and affordable to boot! Dying to have it laid out on the floor of an otherwise stark, white room. Gaaaah. I love you Etsy. I love you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Geometric Dreams

Glass pyramid display I picked up from Uncovet by The Foreign Archives.

White wooden gem necklace from Karolinfelixdream.

Superb chevron suncatcher by Halona Glass.

Pyramid brass necklace from SilkPurseSowsEar.

Mini Road Trip

Thierry Lasry, you slay me.

Almost there...passing Palm Springs. 

Welcome to the bizarre, mystical, amazing, and depressing Salton Sea. Smells like death as you walk on thousands of fish bones, crushed barnacles, and random debris.

We stopped by the Cabazon Dinosaurs on the way home.