Monthly Archives

February 2009

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An Empty Inbox

Pick Me

Yesterday I opened my personal email account and noticed something astonishing. In the upper righthand corner, Yahoo quietly reminded me (the type is super small, folks) that I was viewing messages 1-20 of ___. Guess the number. Seriously, just think of a number.

Were you guessing 100? Five hundred, perhaps? Because you’d be wrong. I had been hoarding nearly 1,000 emails in my Inbox. Any other day I’d stay in denial, read my new messages and leave them to rot in the Inbox, as well.

But something in me snapped. I started clicking my way through these purgatory messages, which were neither in the trash nor designated a proper folder. They were just sitting in Inbox, as if I would get back to responding to that email you sent me in February 2006 like no time had passed. “Dear Jane, Sorry it took so long to get back to you! I got sucked into a parallel universe time warp and …”

I’m not the only one who is feeling the urge to keep their Inbox clean. Jena over at Bone and Branch did the same thing recently, noting that “it feels fantastic in a big fat way!” I concur, Jena, I concur.

As I hit “delete” on old travel plans, 2007 TurboTax receipts and expired coupons to the Moroccan restaurant, I imagined myself plucking weeds from my garden of correspondence. There are zero weeds now, so when you send me a flower I’ll be more likely to see it.

Tune Time: Matt and Kim

Matt and Kim is Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino, a simplistic dance/punk duo from Brooklyn, N.Y. Beware sourpusses: They’re a very if-your-happy-and-you-know-it-clap-your-hands kind of band. Maybe it’s because I’m in need of a major attitude adjustment, but I find their brand of catchy melodies and huge smiles just the perfect medicine right now. And if their infectious energy gets on your nerves, well, just pretend you’re the person throwing food at them in the “Yea Yeah” video below. Cathartic, I tell you! You’ll have a smile on your face despite yourself.

Psst: You can download songs for free on their website.

Wine + Cookies + Howl

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In just a few short weeks, the movie “Howl” will start filming in New York. The plot centers on the obscenity trial stemming from Allen Ginsberg’s poem. There also will be an “animated reimagining” of the poem, which strikes me as bizarre, but in a good, I-sorta-want-to-see-that kind of way. Also bizarre in a good way? James Franco as Ginsberg. Discuss.

I’ve always had a fascination with the beats (evidence here and here), and this poem is no exception. It starts with one of the most perfect opening lines ever written: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.” It’s my lifelong pursuit to match the brilliance of this line. My luck, the best I’ll be able to come up with is “The night was dry, yet it was raining,” a la “Don’t Throw Mama From the Train.”

Tonight was perfect for re-reading “Howl,” drinking a glass of wine and — wait for it — wait for it — baking cookies from scratch.

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My cookie army is complete.

Fashion Forward: Angelina’s Gems

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The Oscarcast held many delights, for sure (Kate Winslet’s best-actress win, the dominance of “Slumdog Millionaire”), but the best thing by far was Angelina Jolie’s earrings. I was so green with envy I set out to find a similar pair. With the affordable handmade finds below, even those of us without an Academy Award nomination can have emerald dangling from our earlobes.

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Photoshoot: Malibu, Part 1

In the Wave's Way

Rocky Road

Starfish Smile

Oceanscape 1

Oceanscape 2

Oceanscape 3

We were on a Sunday drive, a leisurely jaunt along the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped at inspiring quiet spots along the road, smelling the ocean air and rubbing our toes in the cool sand. Then I saw the starfish, a beautiful salmon color. It stood at the ready, as if to say, “I’m ready for my closeup.” So I obliged.

Stay tuned for Part 2, more images from this road trip.

Photoshoot: La Brea Tar Pits

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Skull + Bones

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Woolly Bully

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Snaggletooth

I get it, I get it. The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is meant to entertain children, which might be the reason Husband and I were the only two adults sans kids to enter the museum on a recent Saturday afternoon. Even the website makes it seem kid-friendly, luring parents in with a cuddly, cute, albeit entirely unrealistic story called Shasta’s Sticky Situations.

But this Shasta story is a ruse, I tell you! Nothing but pure propaganda to get you to the museum, which is full of the bony carcasses of creatures that died in the tar pits long ago. In juxtaposition to Shasta’s tale (about a dire wolf pup who makes fast friends with mastodons and bears twice his size), at the museum you can watch a violent 1960s-era cartoon in which animals feast upon one another willy-nilly while the narrator gets way too excited about the carnage. I found the video utterly horrifying, but I glanced around the room at the toddlers, none of whom looked even the slightest bit fazed. Later they ventured into the museum, oohing and ahhing while checking out evidence of these very real cartoon deaths.

Tune Time: Coconut Records

Maybe it’s all the rain lately, but I’ve found I can’t get enough of Jason Schwartzman’s songwriting. The new Coconut Records CD, Davy, takes off right where Nighttiming left off, in this sort-of hazy dreamstate that lifts the spirits and soothes the soul. Beware the side effects, though. This music makes the listener want to watch “Shopgirl” and “I Heart Huckabees,” or maybe that’s just me.

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Look! Design inspiration, too! Jason Schwartzman, you blow my mind!

Media Minded: The Mentalist

We almost went to a hypnotism show in Las Vegas last weekend, but ultimately we didn’t. Can I tell you that I was secretly glad? I watch shows like “The Mentalist,” thinking, “Oh, c’mon, no one could ever read my twisted mind, let alone hypnotize it!” But what if they could? What if I ended up on stage mooing like a cow or doing the Roger Rabbit like it was 1988? Worse yet, what if I ended up like the fool on the “CSI” episode who dove off the top of her high-rise apartment building because she was hypnotized into thinking she was diving into the ocean?

On a related topic, check out this list of the top mindfuck movies.

Fashion Forward: Swing Coat

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Catalog finds: Newport News + Spiegel

I haven’t purchased a winter coat in four years. In fact, the only coat to my name is parked in a hall closet at my dad’s house halfway across the country in Clearwater, Kansas. This arrangement, coupled with my fondness of layering, suited me just fine … till about a week ago.

That’s when (a) the West decided to get cold, (b) I became a wimp or (c) some combination of (a) and (b). I shivered up and down Wilshire Boulevard, thinking that all these mild winters had finally spoiled me, that my California self had beaten my inner Kansan into submission. But when the cold breeze and dark skies followed me to Vegas over the weekend and my trusty layering failed miserably, I decided it must be time to give in and buy a coat. Not just any coat. One that is timeless, stylish (so I don’t have to turn around and buy a new one in a matter of months).

Enter the swing coat, my favorite classic design. My biggest pet peeve with the majority of coat styles is that so many have tiny armholes. Sleeves bunching up inside? Not cute. Arms packed in like sausage? So not cute. Roomy armholes to accommodate layering and my non-toothpick arms? Totally cute.

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Handmade finds: My Black Dress + Linsey Gordon

Photoshoot: Las Vegas

Bright Light City

The Strip at dusk, 2007

They Call It Xanadu

They call it Xanadu, 2007

So Very Vegas

Sunrise at the Stratosphere, 2008

We’re heading off to Las Vegas today for a long weekend of well-deserved fun, penny slots and all-night benders. Wish me luck. I’d hate to lose all 2000 of my pennies.