Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blood Oil Water

This is a photo my mom calls, "The Grapes of Wrath." I cherish it. She's the blonde wearing the scarf and attitude on the far right. Her brother Jimmy is balancing the apple on his head. He's just as funny and sweet to this day. They grew up in Arkansas and harvested apples in the summer. This precious photo hangs in my entry hallway.

My mother grew up in a small town called Nashville, Arkansas. In high school, she was a cheerleader, voted Miss Congeniality and was on the Homecoming Court, but at the end of the day, you either had money or were poor.

Her family wasn't in the lucky crowd, so after graduation, she picked up and moved to California with her sister and a friend.

Thank God we live in America, where one is not bound by class rules. Or better yet... Thank God I live in Southern California, where it really doesn't matter. I've lived other places and this is my happiest place on earth.

Blogger Petunia Face referred to a Langston Hughes quote the other day. It's one of my favorite poems.

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-- And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I love inspiring films that don't necessarily seem so. "There Will Be Blood" was dark and authentically American. Parts of the film took my breath away. The music alone. I suffered countless earaches as a kid and at moments the soundtrack mimicked the constant marching sound I’ve described to people, but no one ever understands. It is still with me.

Throughout the film, haunting and repetitive classical music built tension like "The Shining."

I could go on and on in detail about the scenes, but if you haven't seen it, I could ruin it for you, so I won't.

"The Grapes of Wrath" kept coming to mind while I watched it. When the final stunning scene was over, I jumped online and was pleased to discover I was on the right track.

PT Anderson was homesick in London when he saw the California-themed cover of Upton Sinclair's novel, "Oil!" He picked it up and it served as the inspiration for this film.

Anderson was born in California. He wrote/directed "Magnolia," which I assume is named after the street in the valley, where he grew up.

PT researched oil's roots by visiting museums in Kern County, where I spent a few years reporting. He went to The Kern County Museum in Bakersfield and the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft. I did live shots many mornings in those museums, browsing artifacts from The Dust Bowl and Hee Haw between segments. There's a city named Oildale in Kern County for goodness' sake. Maybe the cover below is the one that spoke to PT? It reminds me of driving down from the Grapevine into Taft, then into Bakersfield.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Know When To Fold Em

Glamour Girls & Two Wild and Crazy Guys. That's who's leaving for Las Vegas this weekend. The first visit in seven years. Lucky seven folks. Couldn't resist.

I'm feeling Sharon Stone in Casino. Pale dresses accented in gold. Big hair, diamonds real and fake. In fact, lots of fake everything.
For the men, two wild & crazy guys. Tight open shirts revealing chest hair and ridiculous necklaces. No holding back on the hair gel.

Oh yeah. This is a Robert in his new shirt & necklace. Rowr.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Golf Swings & Guitar Strings

My girlfriend Christy helped host a fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer OC Alliance this weekend. She did an outstanding job - as she does with everything. We also got in some playtime to celebrate her hard work.

It was at the Mission Viejo Country Club, where Michael is a member. That's me, Lori & Christy in the clubhouse.

I got some photos of the guys teeing off. Christy & Lori stayed cool in the shade. Apparently my bright sundress caught the attention of one grouchy member. Just one. :)

We three rebellious musketeers were booted off the course for not wearing proper attire. :(
Luckily the boys had already enjoyed a round.

We headed home for some Guitar Hero. Now I know what all the fuss is about.

There I'm cheering on Robert. Then I got sick of being the groupie.
I know I'm the last person on the bandwagon.

GH fans... I still can't get "Slow Ride" out of my head!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bittersweet Glen Sloggett

Cheaper and Deeper

Hope Street

I like the duality of Glen Sloggett's photographs. A bit of happy & sad. Incomplete. Something's amiss.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

East Meets West

Vampire Weekend performed on Jimmy Kimmel last night with the Crenshaw High School drum line.

Nice restraint drumline. I know the Shaw rocks the house.

I've been to some football games where I can't focus on the game because the drumline is stealing the show! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bat For Lashes

My brother Mafoo sent me this video. He knows Suzi well.

I love Natasha Khan's wistful whispery sweet voice. I love the dark edge to the song.

As for the video, I immediately thought of my crush David Lynch & his use of animal imagery. Then I thought of Sexy Beast & that creepy jackrabbit character. I haven't seen Donnie Darko, but I've interviewed Richard Kelly (for Southland Tales, fun!) & know his work is similar.

If you've seen my previous post on Gregory Crewdson, I'm feeling his style here too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Look In a Mirror

One of my style inspirations recently posted one of her drawings on her blog - a look in a mirror. She added a bit of color in photoshop & wow!

She was already one of my fave websites because she looks like Tori Amos and has ridiculous style on a realistic budget.

Half of her site is in German, but the photos speak for themselves.

Flight of Fantasy

I was at Universal Studios today, on a set created for War of the Worlds. I didn't see the film, but I was reminded of a photo by David LaChappelle. Here it is below.

Is it the same place?

Illustrious FOX11 photographer Don Phillips is pictured above. His nickname is Kool Aid because he bursts out the doors of live trucks. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sweet Swede Lykke Li

I want to see Lykke Li when she plays the El Rey May 19th with El Perro del Mar. It happens to be a Monday, so let me know how it goes. At least I have her addicting videos.

The photos below are from Thanksgiving 2007. (Yes, that's when I put up my tree.) I swear, our night IS this video. How do I make my dress into her jacket....

LA Female Bloggers.. Unite!

Are you a blogging gal in SoCal? Want to learn more about expanding your blog? Maybe you'll be interested in an upcoming event.

I had the lovely chance to meet a fellow female blogger last week - Cassandra behind coco + kelly. Her blog rocks & she is even more awesome in person. She found this lovely portrait for a steal in LA & created the sweet vignette below.

Cassandra came over for coffee... which turned into dinner & vino. During the evening, we learned we are both encountering big change in life & welcome even more. We thought, why not plan an evening for LA ladies who blog?

If you are interested, head over to this page at coco + kelly and let her know you're on board. I'm helping out too, so feel free to leave me a comment - always fun - or email me. Ideas are welcome!

Blogging Tips!

Wet your whistle at All Things Bright & Beautiful. She has lovely posts, interesting interviews & a list of blogging tips on the right side of her page.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Random Moments in SoCal

I'm always on the road and notice interesting things that have absolutely no use for a story, but make my day.

The first photo was taken on Easter. I was driving down La Cienega just past the Beverly Center, when I saw this cart. Our backseat was filled with Easter baskets, candy and toys. It touched me when I saw the plush teddy bear hanging from the suitcase zipper.

I was in Watts last week when I saw this "Jesus Is Watching You" sign. I instantly thought of Banksy, who posts tongue-in-cheek graffiti. This sign is posted on the outside of a church. I don't think it's a joke.

I'm still surprised at the last photos. I was at Sunset & Crescent Heights when I saw the guy on the motorcycle with the parrot perched on his shoulder. I thought it was a prop because of the busted feathers, but then the bird turned his head to give me a tough look.

When they took off, the bird didn't even flinch. But his feathers were indeed, ruffled.

Chicken Soup For The Soul

I rushed to the doctor Saturday morning because I've lost my voice. He not only wrote me a prescription for Z-Pack, on another prescription paper, he wrote down 4 home remedies and said they're just as important.
If he made house calls & carried the black doctor's bag, it would feel just like a modern-day Little House on the Prairie!

Here's my doctor's orders...

1. no talking for 36 hours : check.
2. humidifier with distilled water : check.
3. tea with honey & lemon : no dice. i don't like the combo so I'm drinking green tea
4. fresh chicken soup: check!

How to make fresh chicken soup? Robert & I didn't have a recipe. (I know. Dangerous.) Here's what we did. He bought carrots, onions, celery, chicken broth and chicken breasts. We sliced the veggies in generous chunks, but you can slice thinly. We sauted the veggies lightly to soften and sauted chicken thorougly in a pan before cutting them into desired chunks. You can shred your chicken if that's what you like.

Heat up several cans of chicken broth in a pot & add your favorite spices. We threw in garlic salt, bay leaves, rosemary, sage and thyme. Once it's simmering, add chicken & veggies. Then add fresh chunks of potato. We used red. Cook for 20 minutes. I added salt and pepper to taste at the end.

Anyone know how to bring a voice back in other ways?

So U Think U Can Drive...

Danica Patrick is the first female winner in IndyCar history. YES!

At the Indy 300 in Japan, she beat out pole sitter Helio Castroneves by nearly six seconds with just over two laps to go. If you're not into racing, he won Dancing With the Stars.
What you don't see in the photo is Helio holding his tiny 2nd place trophy in his hands. Being a good sport, he looks down at it, like "That's all I get?" Danica then leans on her beast of a trophy, which you see here. Gotta love Helio.

I have completely lost my voice so I couldn't scream, but I was crying (with pride!) while watching her race to victory. Good for her.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Standard Afternoon

We were sipping mojitos & Long Island iced teas poolside at the Standard when Stefan noticed our view. He commented on the moon peeking between the palms & I grabbed my camera. What a lovely night.

Here's the group pre-Dana. Me, Robert, Stefan & Jaime.

Debauchery ensued once Dana arrived & the sun went down. Here's the most innocent photo, which is right inside the hotel. Note the girl in the box.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tall Drink of Water

With my air conditioning still on the fritz, it's been getting a bit steamy in my house.
I'm reminded of my old stomping grounds - Atlanta.

This is Ralph Lauren Home's Mayfair collection. It's 1940's inspired and reminds me of the steamy South. Elegant & fresh styling often contrasts the oppressive weather.

Love the cool combination of black, cream, white and silver.

It's as refreshing as a tall drink of water on a hot afternoon. (That's the saying!)

* Happy weekend! *

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grand Prix Princess

Me and Wilmer Valderrama before his big race. It's this weekend at the LB Grand Prix! I can't wait to see him as Ponch from CHiPs.

More after the jump!

Fabulous Female Artists

Erika Yamashiro loves the same things as me. Kitties, cupcakes, butterflies & brunettes who don't look at the camera! :)

She's making her US debut at project: gallery along with 3 other female artists. The show is called "familiar friends".

The artists - Erika Yamashiro, Lisa Alisa, Cherri Wood and Lindsay Campbell.

It's (this) Saturday April 19th 7-10pm
project: gallery
8545 washington blvd
culver city, ca 90232

Here's the show description from project:gallery.

Alongside veteran NY "superflat" artist Lisa Alisa, the three emerging artists present work showcasing their unique styles, while giving us their versions of the female form. Bordering between innocent and erotic, each artist expresses their varying degrees of femininity through their alter ego's on canvas. We are left to ponder where self portrait ends and the characters begin.

I just made my plans for Saturday night. Done. It's open to everyone. Maybe I will see ya there? Robert will be with me... sans parrot.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Windows to Paradise

Las Ventanas in Cabo is one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. I wish were there right now.

My air conditioning died overnight so I kept waking up because of the heat. I'm also in a bit of pain, so things I might normally laugh off are upsetting me. I'm a sensitive person to begin with, but I'm even more so today.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso. I want to wade in the pool and gaze at the horizon. I want to have another dinner at The Restaurant & then sip on a margarita at the little bar below.



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