Monday, April 30, 2012

The Many Faces of Tree




Musical Interlude

I couldn't sleep the other night.

It just happens, sometimes, as I'm sure it does to you. No rhyme or reason for it, and there's no cure. Just restless limbs, tossing and turning for hours, with a cat glaring at you from the foot of the bed as if to say, "Calm DOWN, woman, I'm dreaming of hummingbirds over here!"

I live next door to a 7th Day Adventist church. It was 4AM early Saturday morning, I was wide awake and staring at the ceiling, when I started to hear piano music wafting through my window. At first, I thought it was in my head, another symptom of my slow descent into insanity. But no, it grew a bit louder, and I peeked out my window, hoping to see.

I wanted to know who it was. I wanted to know why they were alone in a church so early in the morning, playing sad slow tunes that relaxed the coils of tension in my body. My brain, wide awake, spun its wheels and wondered. Did they have a fight with someone? Did they break in? What was their name? Were they as lonely as me?

They didn't play for long, unaware they had a captive audience.

And eventually I fell asleep again, still wondering.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Matinee Style

I'm lucky enough to have parents that a) enjoy my company b) will drive down from Santa Barbara to do so c) take me to awesome things like plays and concerts.

On this sunny Sunday we first enjoyed a delicious lunch on the patio at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. Completely amazing. I indulged in elderflower cucumber sangria, had a roasted veggie salad and a vegetable eggs benedict, as well as a small piece of coffee cake. All delicious and light.

After lunch, we saw the matinee showing of the west coast premiere of "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire at the Geffen Playhouse. Truly one of the most fantastic and well-acted productions I've had the pleasure of seeing in the last few years. Starring Jane Kaczmarek and Jon Tenney, amongst others, it was both completely hilarious, totally offensive, and a little bit heart-breaking. If you ever have the chance, go see!

So, any excuse I have to get fancy, I will take. And I don't often have excuses. Thus today I decided to wear the new dress I bought yesterday, as it felt appropriately springy, and tried to play up the fun mix of colors in the print.

  • Dress by Old Navy (I thought it was a medium, per the hanger it was on. Didn't find out until I'd tried it on, bought it and taken it home that it's actually a small. WTF?!)
  • Lace Cardigan by Miss Chievous (I am wearing the shit out of this thing. $15 well spent.)
  • Peep-Toe Wedges by Aerosoles (So darn comfy, my feet thank me profusely.)
  • Earrings from ModCloth (YELLOW!)
  • Sash by What Now? (Pretty sure I got it at a vintage shop or garage sale or something. It looked kind of weird, but I dug it.)
  • Gold cuff by H&M (Funny, I was wearing this when I got mugged in Paris last summer. When I fell flat on my face, I landed on my forearm and it got all misshappen and popped off. It fits weird now. True story.)
  • Ring by Someone Talented (Bought at a street fair in Seattle in 2008.)
  • Purse by Kathy Von Zeeland (I like to carry a lot of crap.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deep Thoughts

It's a sunny 75 degree day in Los Angeles. Pretty much couldn't ask for anything more. And for once, I actually left my apartment on the weekend. Gasp. 90 minutes of delicious stretchy vinyasa flow at Naam Yoga, a tasty grilled tuna, veggie and mashed potato lunch at Tender Greens, then a little shopping at Old Navy, all around 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

I should go into work for a few hours to build some desks and earn a little extra money, but the last thing on Earth I feel like doing is stepping foot inside that God-forsaken dungeon.

The second to last thing I feel like doing is thinking very hard.

So here are today's deep thoughts.

*My landlord left a very official document in my mailbox. They're raising my rent by $3.61 per month. I'm not sure I'm okay with this.

* I love my mother for a lot of reasons, but mostly because she's the kind of person who would buy me a pink pepper spray and put it in my Easter basket. At age 24.

*This is happening right now.

*I couldn't find my car on Arizona Avenue. I think I'm getting old. Or possibly have killed too many brain cells.

*There's a bounce house party across the street. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail.

*On the wall of the Tender Greens they have a bunch of cartoon posters instructing you to do things like "Hang With More Vegetables!", "Be A Random Act Of Kindness!", or "Set Your Ideas Free!". You know, hippie propaganda. This was my favorite:

*I think I have that covered.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

I was in a glorious mood this morning.

Then, this afternoon...not so much.

But why dwell on the bullshit that makes me cranky? Why write a post whining about all my first world problems? That would only make me feel worse.

Thus: a photo retrospective of things that made this a wonderful Wednesday.

Strange gorgeous skies, streaks of light through dark clouds. A little rain, balmy heat. Hawaii in California. 

A sunny yellow manicure on shrinking fingers. One Claddagh grew too big for my thumb, so it joined the other on my middle finger. All the better to flip off love. Badumdumchh.

Hand-made earrings by yours truly. I feel a little extra awesome rocking jewelry I made myself.

An amazing find at Marshall's freshly hung above my vanity. Thematically apt, no?

And finally, this sweet little face. You'd never guess his role model is the Evil Queen.

And now, I will fall asleep listening to the rain. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Stealth Asshole

One of society’s most truly elusive creatures, the stealth asshole is just that —- sneaky, hidden, tricksy like a fox. They’re skilled at manipulation, gifted with the ability to maintain their sweetheart facade for weeks, months, even years. Oh, but when they finally reveal their true colors, when the effort to maintain that candy coating on their personality becomes too much…watch the fuck out.  
How is it that completely rational, intelligent people get taken in time and time again by these crafty charlatans? I suppose it’s human nature to trust the good in front of you, to believe with your whole heart that someone means the kind things the say. How can you look into a pair of pretty bright eyes, seemingly infused with sincerity and adoration, and see the darkness lurking behind? How can we learn to pick out of a crowd these men (or women, yes) who manage to hide their true selves just long enough to suck you in to their web, only to then smash your soul like a particularly fragile insect? 
I really have no idea. 
The good guys are becoming increasingly rare--either they inhabit far-off lands, or they've already been domesticated by some lucky bitch. Or, more often, the good guy turns out to be a stealth asshole in disguise.
If you encounter one of these stealth assholes, please, do the world a favor and tag them before they are released back into the wild. For all our sakes. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Scenes from a Sunday morning after...

Her: I think I'm turning into a bit of a makeout whore.

Me: Please, do tell. I need to slut it up vicariously through you.

Her: Well, I ended up making out with that guy from high school last weekend...and last night, the bachelor party best man.

Me: Can you go for the trifecta? Please kiss another stranger next weekend. I'm counting on you.

Her: I'll try my best.

I love my friends.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Country Wedding Style

I spent this weekend in a little town called Greeley, celebrating the wedding of my cousin. I was stoked to check Colorado off my list of states-to-visit, and Northern CO really was beautiful. Gorgeous sunsets, a sky full of stars, snow-capped mountains in the distance.

But the whole place kind of smelled like cow...not a fan. I guess I'm a bit of a city snob, I don't deny. Give me smog over shit any day. 

But seriously, much fun was had. It was the first time in dozens on years of moons that my entire extended family was together, so that was kind of special. Plus: drunk grandmas.

SO, two weeks ago, I went shopping with my mother for an outfit for the event itself, and enjoyed a fabulous afternoon inside many dressing rooms. Then I spent two hours in my closet Thursday night trying to find something to fit for the rehearsal dinner among the too big and too small. I do have to say, fashion is so much more fun 35 pounds lighter.

Sidenote: Two pounds away from the 150s...and I have not been there in about 5 years. SO MUCH HAPPY.

Anyway, I had a ton of style fun this weekend, so let's get to it, shall we?

Oh, wait.

1) I need to work on my fashion photography. Check out the sexy bathroom shots, hey-o.
2) Heels hurt a lot less when there's less weight on them. The more you know. 
3) Say hi to Mr. Tree in the corner! He LOVES shoes. He's very gay. We'll come back to that another time.
4) Check out that awesome manicure. A few days old without a chip, for $9? AMAZING.

Rehearsal Dinner 

  • Tank by Whothehellknows (I've been wearing this thing for probably four years, it has no tag.)
  • Lace Cardigan by Miss Chievous (Purchased at Marshall's in West LA. I have a lace fetish.)
  • Skirt by Counterparts (Dug from the depths of my closet.)
  • Shoes by ShoeDazzle (So insanely cute and comfy, red suede amazingness. Am in love.)
  • Jeweled Feather Ring by...No Idea (Maybe Guess? It was a gift from my sister. Funny story, another cousin's girlfriend was wearing the same ring.)
  • Rose Gold Cuff by H&M (Bought to match the ring, maybe $5? I love cheap.)
  • Beaded Bracelet by ME! (I'm taking a jewelry class through Santa Monica Continuing Education. So fancy.)
  • Feather Earrings by Owlita (Now defunct. Tragic, because these earrings are AMAZING.)
  • Flower Clutch by You'd Think It Would Say (All I know is it's Made In Italy, and I love it. It reminds me of Beauty and the Beast.)

Ceremony & Reception

  • One-Shoulder Dress by Laundry by Shelli Segal (SO IN LOVE. My wonderful mother purchased it for me.  And it's a freaking size 8. Want to live in it.)
  • Shoes by Style&Co (Macy's brand, one of my favorites. Fits my wide feet and actually makes medium sized heels.)
  • Ring by Guess (OMGILOVEMYBUG.)
  • Earrings by Kensie (I love sparkles. Another gift from my favorite mother.)
  • Floral Wrap by Collection Eighteen (Another Marshall's find, apparently it's a Tahitian pareo? I thought it was a scarf.)
  • Purple Clutch by Style&Co (I got it for like, $6. Amazing.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"It's hard to dance with the devil on your back..."

Saturday night.

Santa Barbara Bowl.

My best friend.

Florence & The Machine.


She was amazing. A revelation, a mystical little pixie sprite flittering about the stage in a body suit and dramatic cape. Her music speaks to me on a level I can't even describe. I saw her in 2010 as well, also with the same friend, and Saturday was just as incredible.

We danced, we sang, we jumped about, and had an altogether magical evening.

My only complaint is that her set was far too short. The SB Bowl cuts people off at 10PM, and she was off stage at 9:30...disappointing, but didn't ruin what was an incredible concert.

Wuv, twoooo wuv...

Last night, I went to see one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Princess Bride", on the big screen at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks.

This would have been awesome enough, but Cary Elwes, aka Westley, aka THE STAR OF MY PRE-PUBESCENT HEART, did a Q&A after! SWOON.

He was hilarious, and shared some great stories about the making of the movie and his friendship with Andre the Giant.

Things I remember:

  • He hadn't seen the moving since the premiere in 1987, but he knew SO many quotes off the top of his head, even lines that weren't his.
  • Danny DeVito was originally offered the part of Vizzini, but he turned it down. Wallace Shawn spent the whole movie worried his performance wasn't good and he was going to be fired.
  • A guy asked if in the course of normal life, when his wife asks him to do something, if he ever says "As you wish". I wish I had gotten his reaction on film, but suffice it to say it was a version of "Yeeeah...noooo...that has never and will never happen. Of course, she's going to watch this now and demand it. So thaaanks." He did say he will never mind getting "as you wish" from fans, because this movie "gave him his career" and he will always be grateful. Very classy.
  • He has one sexy voice.
  • Um, there were little people in the R.O.U.S. costumes. WHAT?!?!
  • One of them went out one night, had a few to drink, and got pulled over driving home. He tried to get out of it by saying, "I have to go, I'm in a movie, I'm a rat in a movie!"
  • Andre the Giant was a big guy, and a biiig drinker. They'd go out and Cary would try to pace himself, and Andre said, "You drink like little boy!" They were out in NYC once and Cary thought they were being followed, and Andre said they were. Apparently one night he'd had a bit too much and had fallen on a fellow bar patron. After that the NYPD always had an off-duty officer follow him around when he went out drinking to protect the littler people around him.
  • He came up with the "mostly dead all day" inability to walk. Amazing physical comedy.
  • Mandy Patinkin would sing in between takes. Of course.
  • Robin Wright is a very very funny woman, and they would goof off together doing accents.
  • First day of shooting, she was lit on fire in the Fire Swamp, and totally acted like a pro.
  • It was one of his first leading parts and his first role in an American film.
  • He said making the film was like "capturing lightning in a bottle", and every element from the cast to the crew to the material was perfect. I agree!

There's nothing more fun than seeing a cult classic like "The Princess Bride" in a theater full of other die-hard fans. Huge laughs, line recitations, and just a feeling of absolute true childlike joy. Definitely an amazing experience!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Things I Love: Springtime Fashion

I'm a big fan of lists. Shopping lists, goal lists, to-do lists, to-fuck lists (except that one's less of a list and more of a piece of paper with MICHAEL FASSBENDER scrawled in lipstick). Lists are precise. Structured, yet flexible. Demanding, yet rewarding. Lists are sexy.

No doubt, many lists will make their way onto this blog. Today's list category: Things I Love!

Spring is sprunging all over the place, and I'm a flirty fashion mood. So here are five of my current sassy springtime obsessions.

1. Sock Buns

Simple genius, damn adorable. SO much better than my standard "pile of hair" method for lazy days (by which I mean, every day). Learn how to do it yourself over at Hello Giggles.

2. Button Earrings

So springy and adorable! I'm having a yellow moment, see the headband above. This pair came from ModCloth, via the easter basket given to me by my mother. Thanks, Mama!

3. High-Low Dresses

The ladies over at GoFugYourself refer to these as "mullet" dresses, and they bugged me for awhile. Then one day a few months ago, my switch was flipped, and all of a sudden I'm obsessed. The one shown above is from ThreadSence.

4. Funky Flats

I'm not much of a heel girl, though I'll wear them when I have to. Of course I love the look of them, but I'm definitely a fan of comfort, so 9/10 times you'll find me in flats. Cute, adorable flats like these Style&Co ones from Macy's. I bought them over the weekend and am obsessssed. Denim. Bow. Studs. Sold!

5. Pastel Jeans

I am allllll over this trend, but I'm afraid it'll be played out by the time I feel comfortable enough to rock it. I tried on a few pairs at Express a few weeks ago and definitely felt like my thighs were not a fan of bright highlighting colors. Maybe soon I can try again, until then I'll merely dream of mint jeans and salmon skinnies... The picture above comes from J.Crew.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rehab for the Domestically Disinclined

Y'all, I'm turning into one hell of a kitchen queen. No lie.

I've never been much of a cook. You give me a box of brownie mix with three step instructions and I will inevitably miss a step, spill all over myself, and forget to pre-heat the oven. When I do finally slide my delicious treats into it, I'm so goshdarn proud, I pour myself a glass of wine in celebration and forget about them until they end up a charred brick of broken chocolate dreams.

It's a little pathetic.

Since I started living alone, I've mostly subsisted on Trader Joe's delights, scrambled eggs, frozen dinners and take-out---not exactly the diet of champions. Overall, cooking has always been annoying, stressful, and time consuming. Why make something myself if I can go out and BUY it? My quest to eat healthier started in January, and I upped my game (Oooh stir-frys! Oooh salads!), but I was starting to get really bored.

So, I tried a recipe. Emily Bites Lasagna "Cupcakes", to be exact. And they were amaaazing. And tasted like real grown-up food, who woulda thought? Then I tried her Cheesy Taco Pasta. Indulgent and incredible. Then, for a week straight, I ate a Taco Wrap Deluxe every single day. Hello, guilt-free Taco Bell? I AM ALL OVER IT.

I had a little baby epiphany---if I follow recipes and you know, pay attention, I can make delicious healthy things for CHEAP?! Simple math that has eluded me for years.

Today, I feasted on her Banana Pancake Bites, which were so damn good I ate every single one over the course of the day. (Yeah, I still have moderation issues.) This week I also tried her Zucchini Squares, which, zomg, soooo good for breakfast or dinner!

(Clearly, this post should just be titled "An Ode To Emily Bites".)

I'm actually starting to enjoy cooking, believe it or not. It can still be a little tedious to me, but I just turn on a dinner-themed playlist and get my cook on, often awkwardly dancing around the kitchen with food in my hair. I have a whole Pinterest board full of things I'm stoked to try, and I have fashioned a new fantasy future myself:

Domestic Goddess. High heels, sexy apron, plate full of joy.

I am going to bake the shit out of life, and you will all fall in love with me via your bellies.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

My parents' dog decided to stage a gender-bending performance of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in our front yard.