Monthly Archives

May 2009

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Design Dialogue: Floor-to-Ceiling Art

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Ever since I uncovered the above photo in my inspiration folder, I have been haunted by it. Who can I thank for this beauty? Where did it come from? Can I live in this house? We’ll probably never find out the answers to these questions, but we can admire the way that wall of art works. Floor to ceiling, baby. I have a little patch of wall that is begging for me to apply the same treatment. This would require buying some frames, though, and that in and of itself is a daunting task. To go with matching frames or an eclectic mix? Decisions, decisions.

Here are some other examples of gallery-style displays I so adore:

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100 Movies: 18, 19

And the countdown continues in my quest to watch and find something inspiring in every single one of Yahoo’s 100 Movies to See Before You Die
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The first time I watched this movie was in journalism school. Maybe it was the early-morning class time, maybe it was difficult to concentrate on a movie when I was wearing pajamas, as I was wont to do in college. Whatever the case, this supposed best movie of all time didn’t capture my attention the way I was told it should. This time around I watched it all the way through, waiting for the answer to the question, “What’s Rosebud?” Along the way, I found the most compelling scenes to be ones newspaper-centric, including the telltale headline above. As soon as it hit the screen, I noticed the sarcastic quote marks around the word singer, and I made mention of it as only a newspaper gal would. Sure enough, a few scenes later, Leland explains how Kane operated: “The whole thing about Susie being an opera singer, that was trying to prove something. You know what the headline was the day before the election, ‘Candidate Kane found in love nest with quote, singer, unquote.’ He was gonna take the quotes off the singer.”

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There are a lot of things to roll your eyes about with this movie. Rosie Perez dancing at the beginning, for instance. Background music that doesn’t match the action on screen. Or the apparent lack of plot throughout. But if you want to watch a movie to spark a conversation, this one is the ticket. Racial tensions and temperatures run high. The only likable character in the entire movie is old drunkard Da Mayor, whose sage piece of advice (“do the right thing”) is largely ignored by the rest of the cast, most of whom prefer to hang out on a street and bitch about the injustice of the world. At least they are hanging out in front of a bright, mad red wall to underscore the anger simmering just below the surface. Symbolism = inspiration.

Where’s the South Bay?

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I adore this Ork poster, but I have one beef: Where’s my hood? Where are Torrance, Hermosa, Redondo, etc.? I know the South Bay cities are technically independent of L.A., but their identity is firmly ingrained in being part of greater Los Angeles, the “Southland” if you will. If we were to go on municipalities alone, the map would have to exclude Santa Monica and West Hollywood, too. Then what would this poster look like? Swiss cheese, that’s what!

(P.S. If the South Bay were included, the “cityscape” would be more aesthetically pleasing, as well, in my humble opinion.)

Time to Make My Summer Mix 2009

A Really Tall Palm Tree

After spending an afternoon swimming last Friday, it dawned on me that it was time to make my Summer Mix. I typically come up with playlists for each season. Not only is it fun to have fresh tunes on the iPizzy, it’s fun to look back at the past years and what I was listening to. For instance, apparently I was really digging Spoon’s “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” a few years ago because there are four songs from that album on my Summer 2007 playlist. In 2006 I was going through a major Stones/Bob Marley phase. I’ll refrain from going back any further, although I can tell you that in 1991 “Summertime” was all over my mix tapes, so this is a tradition that precedes digital music players.

So far I have a baby list compiled (16 is nothing! Usually I end up with 50+ songs on my lists, easily). I went for a laid-back L.A. vibe, as if there would be any other kind, and I can vouch for these songs after test-driving them with the windows down each day this week on my evening commute. I might just have to add “Summertime” to the mix to make it complete.

Fashion Forward: I’m Neutral

During a recent trip to the mall with a friend, a good portion of our time was spent scoping out nude heels. My pal was obsessed with finding the perfect hue, the perfect height. I pointed out a few contenders, but she was very particular about it, insisting that one pair was too pink and another wasn’t pink enough. She eventually found her Goldilocks “just right” shoes, but not at the mall and not before I had some fun looking up neutrals on Etsy.

Here are a few of my favorites for the season:

Brilliant Move: Frame Your Cameras

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Just an hour from closing, the flea market was a virtual ground zero of junk, apparently exploded from the ground up. I half-expected to see a severed limb or two on a blanket along with the myriad hammers and hoes that littered the landscape. But instead, there it was, the latest in my collection of wayward cameras. “Hello, friend,” I said to the mid-1970s SX-70 Polaroid land camera. I fiddled with its accordion structure, finally deeming it fit for Medevac to our place.

It now occupies a space on the shelf next to my Argus Seventy-five and 1980s-era Polaroid camera. The shelf is getting a little crowded, so I may have to attempt a new way to display my treasures, perhaps something along the lines of this idea via Apartment Therapy (thanks, Kristi!):

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Photographer Tim Melideo affixed these bad boys with velcro and some fishing line. I love the look of this, perhaps with the framed areas painted a vibrant hue for an extra punch. (Check out Tim’s engagement photos while you’re at it; they’re sublime.)

100 Movies: 16, 17

And the countdown continues in my quest to watch and find something inspiring in every single one of Yahoo’s 100 Movies to See Before You Die
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Butch Cassidy: Alright. I’ll jump first.
Sundance Kid: No.
Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
Sundance Kid: No, I said.
Butch Cassidy: What’s the matter with you?
Sundance Kid: I can’t swim.
Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

I have this notion that every “western” movie is all sepia and dusty and crusty, so I stay away as much as possible lest I shrivel up and turn into beef jerky just by watching one. But aside from the periodic sepia sequence and one ridiculous bicycle-riding scene, this movie is pretty damn funny thanks to Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It’s inspiring to see lives — even ill-fated ones with loads of bad choices — lived with no regrets. The duo make the best out of every situation. The best scene by far is the first robbery in Bolivia, in which they need a cribsheet to speak Spanish. Bravo!

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“But, Mrs. Mulwray, I goddamn near lost my nose. And I like it.
I like breathing through it. And I still think you’re hiding something.”

Jack Nicholson is large and in charge as a confident private dick who unravels a political scheme one stinky layer at a time. This is a far cry from his stint as district attorney in Chinatown, where he did “as little as possible.” He even gets the crap beaten out of him and a slice taken out of his nose for being “too nosy.” Do you think that stopped him? Of course not! Perseverance, how inspiring!

Fashion Forward: Audrey’s Sleepmask

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After wrapping up my Cannes Film Fest work yesterday, I had the most delicious night’s sleep. I woke up when it was light outside! The only problem? I woke up as soon as it was light outside. All these days of waking up in the middle of the night, I’d gotten used to sleeping in the dark. I turn to Audrey Hepburn for inspiration, since she seemed to have the right idea in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” As it turns out, Etsy is full of sleepmask sellers who have the right idea about keeping you in the dark.

(Next time I’ll look for Audrey’s ear plugs to keep the howling dogs from waking me up at 7 a.m.)

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Tune Time: Little Joy, Part 2

You might remember this song from this post, when I was having a fit over a video showing the trio sitting in an L.A. living room plugging away on guitars. This “real” video also speaks to me. Let me count the ways:

1. Orange Beetle.
2. Exotic locale.
3. Guitar playing in a zipline cable car.
4. Beer.
5. Unreal vacay reel footage that looks like it could be real, if you were a videographer and had access to a vintage Bolex camera and 8 mm film.

Psst: Friday night, June 5th, the Troubadour. Be there or be square.

Fashion Forward: Greek Vacation

Can I tell you how much I’ve always wanted to visit Greece? Not for the ruins, not for the history. For the beaches! So many islands, so many ways to soak up the sun. And finally, finally …

Eurotrip 2011 is in the works. Husband and I have been talking about a nice, long trip overseas, and my only demand is that we spend several days swimming in the Mediterranean, preferably at several different Greek isles (we might just have to move there indefinitely), although there is one spot I dream about over and over again.

Ahem: Picture yourself lounging on a beach chair on the white pebbles of Myrtos Beach, gazing at the turquoise sea. At night you would eat spanakopita and pastitsio at a taverna while covered up in airy summery frocks like the Etsy finds below:

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