Friday, February 29, 2008

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda...

Were they still together today (which is impossible for a multitude of reasons), yesterday would've marked my parent's 32nd wedding anniversary. I thought about this today because it's leap day and my mother used to tell me a story about how my dad wanted to get married on leap day in 1976 because he thought it would be, a. funny, and b. he'd only have to buy my mother an anniversary present every four years. In this sense (and in most others) I share my mother's sensibility in thinking that his joke is infinitely lame.

So now February's over and I'm more than ready for March to begin mostly because this month marked my first official month at the new job, February is colder than all get out, and March is always a fun month full of birthday and St. Patrick's Day goodness. This year watches me inch ever closer to the dreaded 27, when I can no longer call myself a mid-twenty-er, and when I'll officially have to succumb to the knowledge that I am, indeed, in my late twenties.

This is all sort of stupefying for me considering that I am now doing things that are proto-typical of a late-twenty-er: I regularly (and gladly) contribute to a 401k, I show up to work everyday (for the most part, gladly), and I socialize with co-workers. Okay, so the last one, I've always done, but I mention it because tonight was the first night I've socialized with people at my current job. Back in my Gap days, partying with co-workers was always a little bit seedier, but tonight's festivities had, I don't know... an air of respectability about them. My boss even bought me a drink for christ's sake. If that's not classy, I don't know what is.

After Monday I'll be 26 and I'm sure it's all downhill from here. Were one of my favorite magazines from my teens, Swing, still around, I just know I'd be identifying with it less and less. Bonnie was in her twenties when she subscribed to it and I got the dregs which I ate UP at the time. Swing presented a vision of twenty-dom glam that was so downright enviable, I thought I might shit myself. Little did I know the truth behind all those lies Swing so cleverly packaged.

Well... now I know that truth behind all those lies, and I also know why Swing folded. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beast Cancer Is A Doozy

Katie came home yesterday to inform me that her co-worker fucked up an ad that's been running in the Tribune for the last month. The ad was a quarter page dealie that ran once a week. The copy was supposed to address breast cancer, but thanks to her co-worker's inattention to detail, ended up addressing the scourage that is beast cancer.

It's a touchy topic, no doubt, and one that is severely under-funded. Let this post be a sound alarm to all those readers out there who don't think the beast that haunts your dreams won't one day be afflicted with this dubious, dubious disease.

Word to the wise, protect your near and dear by doing a beast exam stat.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Internet Will Destroy Us All

Sometimes you discover something on the internet that makes you rethink the greatness of all this inter-connectivity. It's happened to me before when I've been written about by a friend or an ex and sure, I could link to those instances right here and now, but that would further whatever agenda the person writing had, so I won't, because I'd like to preserve at least a modicum of dignity while I still can - *cue laughter.

I'm thinking about personal space on the internet for two reasons: Yesterday my roommate had something posted about her that wasn't too earth-shatteringly awful, but it was something that she, nonetheless, didn't want spread allover your T1 line. Ultimately, the person who put the offending material up had the good sense to take it down, but not until after a day full of Katie wracking her brain over who'd seen said offending material and how she was going to do damage control.

And then there was this weekend when I discovered an online memorial to my mother. Mom died back in 2000 but it's taken me this long to find an eerie little slice of world wide web dedicated to the woman who bore me. God only knows when this baby was put up, but I do know that my father's sister created the "online grave site"... no joke about the name, BTDubs.

I suppose I'm not really offended that this thing exists - it's the thought that counts and at least people care enough to think about her - but I do have a problem with the fact that this thing is so fundamentally tacky. Tell me, can an online memorial ever be tasteful? I tend to think not. I don't know what it is, but it seems that when it comes to the dead, people's lose all control and their emotions get funnelled into the most god-awful displays of excess known to man. Pair that with a shoe-string budget on the internet, and you've got a deadly* combination.

Case in point: I've more than once had to reign in family members who wanted to deck out my mom's real-life grave site with all sorts of hot mess. Garland for Christmas, shamrocks for St. Pat's, plastic hearts for Valentine's... what have you. Not to mention it's like the most precarious of situations to be in because you don't want to upset your loved ones who are already having a tough time of it with the whole dead thing, but you also don't want your mother's grave looking like something that came out of the Lillian Vernon catalog.

I realize that I'm complicit in all this since I write about people I know here, but I can at least be proud of the fact that I've yet to post a single online memorial to anyone.

Wait... does writing about Heath Ledger count? Okay, so I say no because I'm not submitting that post to an electronic graveyard. Ooof. And sucks for families of celebrities like Heath Ledger. If I have one word of advice to Michelle Williams or her daughter, it's that you shouldn't go trolling the internet for traces of deceased family members because you'll more than likely not like what you find. Unless of course your sensibility is of the Harriet Carter variety, and then in that case, go forth brave soldiers into that dark, dark night.

*No pun intended, I promise.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Potluck's Guest List Was Especially Prestigious This Year


Since the Oscars have been such a boon to this site's traffic, I'll continue to write about them. Forever. Or not, since I'm already pretty much over talking about last night's festivities after spending 5+ hours shifting between tearing down/lauding Hollywood's best and brightest with a roomful of the bitchiest people I know some dear and close friends.

And I am fully aware that this post is coming a little bit late considering the torrent of Oscar-talk that's been going on all day across the internets, but I've been at work all day, and while I'm there I have to actually, ahem, work.

We all dropped a collective load when Marion Cotillard won and after a quick room vote, it was clear that gays and straights alike wanted to make sweet passionate love to our little sparrow.

I'm pretty sure that everyone recognized how unfathomably awesome it was that Tilda Swinton won especially since she didn't really give a flying fuck. I, however, was the only one physically jumping out of my seat when they called her name. Face it, Tilda should've won for Orlando years ago.

Di-no-no Cody was everything I expected her to be (this includes her flashing her pikachu to all of America during her walk off stage) and while I thought I was holding back my vitriol vis-à-vis Cody during last night's ceremony, Leah most definitely did not agree.

Whatever. One too many There Will Be Bloody Marys will do that to a person. I still love you though, Leah, and your No Country Casserole was truly a show-stopper!

In related news, and in a weird twist of Kevin Bacon, I've discovered a conflict of interest in my one man campaign against El Diablo. It's recently been brought to my attention that a close friend of mine is quite fond of "Brook" and once upon a time had something of a bloggerific acquaintance with Di-no-no thanks to their mutual penchants for writing about their sex lives online. This sucks simply if for no other reason than I find it infinitely easier to hate people when I have absolutely no knowledge of them as real, and they only inhabit the friendly confines of my television set.

While Lindsay went on to be published in a collection of sex bloggers, Brook went on to win, well, an Oscar. Lindsay, incidentally, will soon be celebrating her blog's fifth anniversary which, combined with my impending birfday, makes me feel old. For real though, I wouldn't put it past Lindsay to achieve the same success as Di-no-no one day, but I'm fully confident she'd wear something far less cooch-revealing.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Victory, Thy Name Is Oscar.

I'm pretty happy with my Oscar predictions this year which averaged somewhere around 65% correct. This, might I add, is fantastic considering my track record from years previous. I just wish I'd put more money on it this year cuz I'm pretty sure I kicked Todd's ass royally.

And even if I didn't pick her as a "will win", Marion Cotillard's win/speech made everything worth it. Mmm... triumph.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Knew He Was A Rocker From His Tight Jeans And Retarded Name

The Chicago Reader alerted me to what has to be the most unfortunate name in all of rock:

Aren't rockers supposed to have some creative license with names? And please let this not be the name Jay-Jay chose for himself.

Anyway, I'd advise him to change his last name (real or imagined) post haste. And - ahem - while he's at it, he may want to do something about his "look", since this photo from Spin isn't convincing me that Jay isn't actually mentally disabled:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I kept going to Brooklyn and buying musk oils...

This clip of Amy Sedaris on Letterman last night is so low rent as to be AMAZING. She's her usual hysterical self, talking about (amongst other things) her love of musk oils, the imaginary pet monkey whose teeth she pulled out, calling Ellen Degeneres a man, and recounting her obsession with There Will Be Blood. It's also worth noting that Amy recently did a video with Dolly Parton which Dave shows at the tail end of this segment. For me, it's almost too much to bear seeing Dolly as a carnival barker and Amy as the resident gypsy. Hmm... heaven.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is what I look like at work

Okay guys, so I'm about to do something that is next to unheard of in my book. In many circles it's considered taboo and I think you can actually be banished from some Western European countries for saying this, but I have to cuz, I'm pretty sure it's true: I like my job.

I never thought I'd see the day that phrase came spilling forth from my lips, at least not this soon in my life, but it's kind of happened. This isn't to say that I don't have greater aspirations, but right about now I feel like I've landed in just the right spot. Now I know certain people are reading this and are cursing me up and down for even daring to write such things - besitos, Leah! - and I'd certainly do the same if I was on the other side of the fence but I'm a little flabbergasted as to how this phenomenon occurred. I mean, I'm not even on meds right now and it's still all good, which is like, supernatural.

I told Katie the other day that I'm waiting to find someone to hate at work cuz that's just... inevitable, but today marked my third week and I've yet to curse the ground anyone walks on or mentally will someone down an elevator shaft. Maybe I've grown up (goodbye early to mid twenties) or perhaps my glee at having found gainful employment during a time of economic upheaval has superceded my need to bitch. Either way, I'm thankful. If that's annoying, sorry, but the internets is chock full of places where you can read about people who do nothing but complain.

On the other hand, the superstitious prick in me hopes that I haven't just totally jinxed my happiness. If I write a post tomorrow about how I had the "worst day ever", please, somebody, delete my account.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading Takes Forever

I've been on something of a reading jag lately which I'm sure I have my newfound singleness to thank, but I also have to the acknowledge the role the new year's played in all my bookishness. There is, simply, so much good shit out right now! I'm not sure when the book industry's Super Tuesday normally is, but there just seems to be a glut of exciting books on the horizon.

I'm currently reading Charles Bock's Beautiful Children which has been getting some great buzz so far, and I just finished José Saramago's Blindness (an oldie but goodie). Saramago's a Nobel Laureate with a severe case of the magical realisms, which I've never been a huge fan of, but Blindness is refreshing if for no other reason than the shear amount of shit and defecation that makes a special guest appearance throughout the novel. Conversely, this is also the reason I'm sort of sad to see this picture of Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in the film adaptation:

Moore and Ruffalo: Spic and Span

In the novel, Moore's character is the only person alive who retains her eyesight while the rest of humanity is struck by "white blindness", including her opthamologist husband played by Ruffalo. Everyone goes around shitting any which where and not wiping themselves and sleeping in shitty bedclothes and having sex with shit-covered partners and basically being pretty shitty to each other both literally and figuratively. At any rate, Moore and Ruffalo are way too clean in the above picture and even if this scene takes place at the film's outset, I'm pretty sure a major Hollywood production isn't gonna be willing to take it there quite like it should.

The only complaint I find myself making about reading these days is that it takes forever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that's part of the appeal, but I have such a backlog of insanely awesome books waiting that I can't help but want to pound through them faster. I'm actually shocked that I get as much reading done as I do, but I suppose this is part of the appeal of public transportation and recumbent bicycles at gyms.

That's not to say that I'm not still appropriately depleting brain cells by watching television. These days, pretty much the only shows I watch on a regular basis involve celebrities in faux rehab, or poorly-dressed women in serious need of some sartorial rehab. I did, however, rewatch Annie Hall for the first time since high school last night and might I just say, MY GOD, how that movie takes on a new meaning once you've been through a handful of relationships in the interim.

Who plays doubles tennis anyway?

In high school, I loved Annie Hall. It was witty, it was about New York, it had undertones of LA-hatred, and most importantly, it had Diane Keaton in menswear. Essentially, it was pretty flawless. Yet, I watch it now and it's lost much of it's luster. I suppose I don't think it's any less of a movie, but my perspective has fundamentally changed. I was once able to interpret Allen's character's egocentric musings as lovable but now they come across as blatantly destructive. Pardon the cliché, but if I had a dime for every time a significant other of mine turned one of my problems into something about himself, well, I'd (to continue this post's defecatory nature) be shitting bricks of gold.

It's also worth noting that 2008 John views Diane Keaton's character as vaguely cloying (what movie of hers isn't these days?), and all the couples activities as hopelessly unrealistic (who plays doubles tennis or goes to museums together anyway?).

So, for now, I'm sticking to books. I'm sure all of this will be over as soon as the new season of Dexter premieres, but since the writer's strike slowed things down on that front, I've got a little bit more time to eat up some good lit.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


It's that time of year again, when we forget about all that truly matters in the world and spend three plus hours on a Sunday night watching the giant stroke-fest that is the Academy Awards. It's also a fantastic excuse to throw a potluck. Since every party must have a theme, well, Oscar potlucks naturally have to have themed food.

Two years ago was our first experiment with this format, which I think came out smashingly. I was the proud bearer of Ca-potato Casserole and Munich Madness German Chocolate Brownies, but Dojo really stole the show with his March of the Penguins-themed hors d'oeuvres.

March of the Black Olive Penguins

While the combination of black olives, cream cheese, mozzerella, and carrots left my stomach churning, his presentation was flawless, and that counts for a hell of a lot. I also recall that Leah made a pie that refused to solidify, so I guess it was more of a milkshake, but whatevs, it was delicious.

And speaking of milkshakes it looks like the unifying element of this year's awards is going to be milk; Cases in point:

There Will Be Blood's runaway hit of a catchphrase is "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!" It's more than a little annoying that this line uttered by Daniel Day Lewis has already been profiled by Defamer and Best Week Ever, but the movie's pretty snazzy so whatever gets it attention, right?

I can remember at least two distinct instances in No Country For Old Men in which characters drink milk out of an old-fashioned glass jar. The first involves a cop, and the second involves a serial killer, but I digress.

Juno is about a pregnant teen whose breasts are slowly filling up with milk, end of story.

Atonement takes place in England where people drink lots of tea. As we all know, what makes the British special is that they put milk in their tea, and that's it.

The one conspicuous exception to this rule is Michael Clayton which, as far as I know, is lacking any images of, or references to milk or milk by-products. If you can prove me wrong, please do since I have no desire to see this film and I probably never will.

Let's hope we can continue this trend next year when Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk is up for noms.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Mine, Valentine

I'm so glad I found this before Valentine's Day is officially over. This is, in a word, perfect. It's also the only V-Day card I want to receive. Ever.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She's Very Commercial, AND THAT'S FINE.

Nina Garcia is a cunt and that's also why I love her. I've often said that Nina's dictum that a designer is "commercial" or "going in a commercial direction" or "palatable" is secretly code for "your ass is out the door in a matter of a commercial break". It sucks, but after having had to put up with four seasons worth of hot mess designers, Nina knows of what she speaks. Commercial is generally boring and has no place on Project Runway.

Which is why Sweet Pea had to go. I love her, yes, but this look is just unacceptable. If Sweet Pea hadn't trademarked irrepressible exuberance somewhere around episode two, sister would've been gone long ago. I can only hope that I'm exuding that much spunk when I'm 46, but should I ever learn to sew a garment, may it NEVER look like this.

So adieu Sweet Pea! We knew you well, er... didn't know you at all. So what if your construction was always a little slipshod and your insecurity was through the roof? You've got a fiance or a husband or boyfriend or something waiting for you back at home who doesn't care what your designs look like AND you got to show at fashion week. Quoth Donna Summer: "No more tears."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mucha Muchacha

This is the new artwork for my friend Nichole's fused-glass jewelery business, Mucha Muchacha. It's a illustration of Nichole and her cat Mito flanking a giant fused-glass necklace, done by artist Helena Garcia. I don't even like cats and I want to basically eat Mito in this picture. Adorable. I love also love that Mito and I share the same haircut and, uh, P.S. Nichole... I hope Mito wears your jewelery in real life.

Right now Mucha Muchacha sells at various craft markets in the LA area - like the South Park Flea Market and the I Made It! Market - so if you're in the neighborhood you should check one out. She also hawks her wares over at Etsy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Audacity of the Grammys

Reasons why the Grammys are irrelevant:

Album of the Year: "River: The Joni Letters," Herbie Hancock.

New Artist: Amy Winehouse.

Alternative Music Album: "Icky Thump," The White Stripes.

Rock Album: "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," Foo Fighters.

Electronic/Dance Album: "We Are the Night," The Chemical Brothers.

Spoken Word: "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," Barack Obama.

For reals... the White Stripes, Chemical Brothers, and Foo Fighters? It's like straight up 2001 in here. However...

Reasons why there may still be hope:

Comedy Album: "The Distant Future," Flight of the Conchords.

Short Form Music Video: "God's Gonna Cut You Down," Johnny Cash.

Long Form Music Video: "The Confessions Tour," Madonna.

Record of the Year: "Rehab," Amy Winehouse.

Musical Album for Children: "A Green and Red Christmas," The Muppets.

Tombé Amoureux: Kitsuné

"If I had the money to go to a record store I would... I... I... would."

My latest obsession has manifested itself in the form of French fashion label cum boutique cum record label cum record store, Kitsuné. I've yet to own any of their apparel but it's right up my alley despite being squarely out of my price range. Think Fred Perry by way of Paris, or Modern Amusement minus all the crazy:


maybe a little crazy.

The new Kitsuné Paris store is opening in March and I'm trying to figure out which is the best way to bribe Jason into taking the Chunnel over to France, transfering to the TGV, finding Kitsuné, and then buying me a full suitcase-worth of clothes and CDs when he visits Jess in London this Spring. I don't think it's too much to ask, but others seem to disagree.

This wouldn't be so much of an issue if Kitsuné was more accessible in the US. Right now itunes carries a handful of Kitsuné artists and compilations, but the Kitsuné website only ships to Europe. Not to mention the incredibly weak dollar makes ordering anything overseas next to impossible... sadness.

Luckily, some of Kitsuné's best artists are currently available stateside like:

The Teenagers


Simian Mobile Disco

Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya
Download: "F**k Friend - (Yuksek & Brodinski Remix)"

Kitsuné deals heavily (read: almost exclusively) in electronic music which can be slightly at odds with their preppier than thou wares, but I don't really have a problem with it. I like my syncopation fast, my beats thumping, and my clothes just short of staid. Go figure... je t'aime Kitsuné.

Now some videos for your viewing pleasure:

Yelle - "A Cause Des Garçons"

The Teenagers - "Homecoming"

Simian Mobile Disco - "Hustler"*

*DON'T watch this one on a full stomach.