Friday, March 30, 2007

April is the Cruelest Month...

Spring Fever is a disease I have battled my whole life. My third grade classroom had a bank of windows that overlooked the four squares court and then opened onto a rolling hill that was Blueberry Hill Elementary School's playing field. I would stare out those windows imagining all the more important things I could be doing instead of reciting multiplication tables--like giving dignified funeral services for dead baby birds. And there were flowers to pick in neighbor's lawns only to leave at their doorsteps (after ringing the bell and running away). I would usually be snapped out of my daydreaming quite literally by the tall, skinny, pasty, evil Mrs. Santos snapping her fingers in my face to wake me out of my alternate, and much more pleasant, universe. On a side note, I still hate being snapped at. I think it is, along with being shushed, one of the most degrading acts you can do to a person, especially a child.

But back to Spring. I have a hard time focusing this time of year. I get restless. I want to be outside. I want to play. I work at a school and often feel sorry for our bouncing off the walls kids in our windowless but very cool converted warehouse building--totally neat to work in but I think the architects forgot that they where making a building that would be inhabited by hormonally crazed middle-schoolers--with its polished concrete floors and exposed beam ceilings it looks more like a gen-x multimedia studio than a school. Apparently, our first Director, the program designer, wasn't into recess (can you say kid who was always picked last in dodge ball?). So we as of yet don't have a field. Understand why I feel sorry for these kids? Instead of snapping my fingers or yelling at them for schoolyard behavior, I usually say something like, "I know you guys are excited for Spring Break but...this isn't appropriate behavior for the halls." I mean, they don't even have the bank of windows for daydreaming.

On the flip side, working at a school has the benefit of real breaks, like the kind you have as a kid. Just when I think I can't take one more day inside, I get two weeks for Spring Break, so I can go out and play. Now, I'm not searching for dead birds or giving caterpillars rides on my swing set, instead I spend the days planting flowers, tooling around the neighborhood, or drinking mimosas while lounging in the backyard. Play is good and it feeds the mind. I would go a step further and say that daydreaming out the school window was just about as important to my growth as the silly gold star I could get if I got all the words right on the spelling bee.

Isn't that what Spring is all about? The budding potential of things to come. The excitement of what will be. The beginning of things.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Los Angeles and Artistic Vision

There's a lot of writing as of late about Los Angeles as the center of the cultural universe. These people aren't talking about just pop culture such as the possibility of Paris Hilton going to jail for DUI or Winona Ryder trying to make a comeback. Los Angeles has become the art mecca of the 21st century--where NY and everywhere else look to to see what's goin' on, so to speak. I can dig it, I get, and I've been gettin' it since I moved here in '97. Here are a few recent tidbits...

Werner Herzog (from this Esquire article)

Los Angeles is the city with the most substance in the United States--cultural substance. There is a competition between New York and Los Angeles, but New York only consumes culture and borrows it from Europe. Things get done in Los Angeles.

Caryn Coleman (from this abLA article)

Sometimes I read articles on the art world and, in particular, Los Angeles that make me wonder if I'm living on a totally different art world planet than the people writing or quoted in the piece. Last week there were two such things that made me feel this way...

On's diary Painting the Town by Andrew Berardini, says:
Los Angeles loves to hate painters—whether homegrown or imported.Really???? I don't think I've ever had that conversation or if that opinion (if partially true) is strong enough in LA to make such a bold statement.

And then the New York Times had the article The Art’s Here. Where’s the Crowd? about LA art scene (downtown, the Hammer, you know the drill) and Gary Garrels is quoted as saying:
“The rest of the world is promoting the city as well or better than L.A. does,” said Gary Garrels, the chief curator at the Hammer Museum, who moved here two years ago from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “All of the curators and galleries that are dynamic are coming to Los Angeles and looking at what’s going on here.”Ok, so I'll admit that I actually do a bit more business with people on the east coast than in LA sometimes but I can't imagine that the rest of the world is promoting LA as much as LA is let alone more. I mean, even this NYT article is about a year after the fact.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Free Shoes

They are a slightly too large 6M but they were free! OK, not really. But they were brought into my life through an gift card from my brother for my December birthday. My friend, Bee, hates gift cards. She thinks they are cold and impersonal. Well, I am the opposite. Gift cards fill me with warmth and joy. With this card, I was able to purchase these:

Then I kind of forgot about it. Then I realized, spring has sprung and baby needs a new pair of shoes...espadrilles to be exact because they are all the rage this season. I love when you find a forgotten gift card--it's like finding a long lost $20 in a pocket.
(by the way, you can click on the books and cd pics for more info)

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Kids are funny. I couldn't believe that the kid's school district took this case all the way to the supreme court, but then I read who is representing (and for free I might add) the school district--none other than the most repressed man alive, Kenneth Starr. You know him as the guy that was so obsessed with Bill Clinton that he ultimately got him impeached for getting a BJ. My personal belief is that Starr was secretly in love with Clinton and so ashamed of his own feelings that he tried to destroy the man. And with all the whacked out conservative gay-bashing politicians turning out to be closeted homosexuals these days, I think my hypothesis may be gaining validity. And now, because there is nothing that this repressed little man needs more than a bong hit, he is on to destroying free speech. Starr, Jesus says its OK, free speech and bong hits...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shopping Tuesday: Colorado Wine Company

I am writing about them...
  1. Because they are cool.
  2. Because they have a cool new website design: Colorado Wine Company
  3. Because I love wine and I love that this store is around the corner from my house.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Who is My Baby Daddy: A Sperm Doctor Snafu

You've probably already read about Thomas and Nancy Andrews. They went to a fertility clinic for in-vitro fertilization treatments and ended up with a baby that was too dark for their liking and DNA tests confirmed that the baby, now a toddler, was not the biological child of Thomas. While I totally understand that they did not get the service that the clinic was supposed to have provided and it seems perfectly legit to sue in this situation, I am bugged by the overt racism of their complaint. They worry that their "daughter will be the object of scorn and ridicule by other children, both in school and as she grows up." I'm not sure I understand this. Ridiculed because she is half African American? Ridiculed because she is half Dominican? Ridiculed because she is darker than her sister (who she looks just like, in my meager opinion)? I'm not sure these are the right people to raise this child.

I know this is not a PC statement, but maybe not everyone should be parents. I acknowledge that we live in a if a want it, and I can afford to buy it, then I have the right to have it culture, but maybe, just maybe, snafus like this are a little nudge from the universe reminding us who really is boss. I mean these people had a beautiful, healthy baby. There are so many parents who look to adoption after infertility and I wonder if another couple could give this innocent child the unconditional love that she deserves. Just a thought.

On a weird side note, their attorney's name is Howard J. Stern--I know, there are probably a lot of Howard, Initial something, Stern lawyers out there, but I still think its weird in a funny kind of way.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Props to the Hood (Eagle Rock in the New York Times)

Hey check this out...

Looks like Big D and I have done it again. I attribute our ability to snuff out up and coming neighborhoods to poverty and a good eye. When we first moved to Los Angeles, we decided on Los Feliz because of it's proximity to our grad schools, because the bungalow was $600 (the cheapest we could find) and because it had a walkability factor that I was craving after living in Vegas suburbia. This was shortly after the LA riots and people liked to mention this fact to us when we moved there, "You are moving to Los Feliz? You know, the riots came up nearly to there." Or westsiders would say, "Oh, that's east of Hollywood, right?" But I didn't care, I could see the potential for the neighborhood and now look at the Los Feliz/Silverlake area. I'd say I was right.

After getting our MFA's we moved on to the westside. First, to the only dumpy area in Santa Monica, right near the Community College. At the time, this area had been ravaged by the bad rent control policies that ghettoized the apartment complexes. Again, we liked the cheap rent ($800 I think) and there was a little neighborhood yoga studio in walking distance. With changes made to the rental laws and the wild real estate boom in recent years, the area has totally turned around and now it's filled with cute shops and yummy places to eat (like The Counter, which has the best veggie burger ever--and this is a fact that is not open to debate).

Then there was Venice, oh Venice, my favorite place on earth. Our landlords were a married couple that had lived in the area since the beginning of time and had bought their home in the 60's for $6,000, a fact that still beguiles me. They were serious Christians and viewed their work as the lord's work. They would buy bankrupt/foreclosed properties and fix them up, kick out the crack dealers, and then rent them out to upstanding individuals, like myself, thank you very much. I loved that apartment with it's little yard and brand new hardwood floors. They even installed new recessed lighting on dimmer switches for us. I'd buy that place today if it were for sale. Anyway, we all know what happened to Venice. Abbot Kinney is now a second Montana, even, dare I say, 3rd street promenade. And you can't touch a decent house under a mil.

Then it was on to Mar Vista. This was our first foray into real estate. Take yourself back a few years when the market was so hot you could actually see a glow over the West LA sky. Big D just knew we had to get a piece of it. So I somewhat grudgingly went along (I really loved that Venice apartment). We bought a fixer condo in the no man's land area of Mar Vista, the part squished between Venice and Washington blvds. After much blood, sweat, and tears (and I mean this literally) we flipped it two years later for a nice profit. And left behind not only a really cool renovated condo but a funky little neighborhood with stores like, A Mano, Soaptopia, and even a hip coffee house, Venice Grind.

We spent a few months chillin' in Culver City, in a hideout of a cottage I like to refer to as my Innisfree, because it provided the peace I needed to regroup after the condo drama. In the time we moved in and out of Culver City, so much change has happened there that it would take too long to describe. Just check it out next time you are there. Let's just say it's not your parent's dull, dingy, watch the weeds grow boring Culver City of yesteryear, its filled with galleries, boutiques, and bistros--and that wine bar, Bottlerock, which I will try next time I'm in the CC.

So, that takes me to now. Last night, as we sat outside in our very own yard in Eagle Rock, a fire crackling in the fire pit, drinking pinot, and listening to M. Ward, Big D said, "It's been a year since we signed escrow." And it has been quite a year--from the major plumbing work to the birds that prefer to nest in the shingles of our roof than in the multitude of lovely elderly trees. Transitional neighborhoods can have there ups and downs but I love the vitality and the community I have found here and can't wait to see all the changes in the neighborhood come to fruition. This time, I think we'll be here a while.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Post and Ye Shall Receive

A couple days ago I posted the hideous photos of hip high weeds growing in my front yard. Well, like magic, they are gone! I am calling the dirt that remains Desert Landscaping:

So, I am hoping this posting technique will work in reverse and bring good things in as much as it takes bad things out of my life. Internets, please bring me this:

Oh, and did I mention----I AM ON VACATION FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS, take that SUCKAS!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Two Weeks of Freedom

Need I say more?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bringing Down the Neighborhood (or maybe just fitting in)

See, I wasn't kidding about my garden of weeds, what I like to refer to as California Native Landscaping I'm especially fond of the added touch of garbage, aren't you? Here's another view:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Strange Pairings: John Waters and Court TV, Paul McCartney and Starbucks

I have a love/hate relationship with our mass-marketed, tie-in obsessed, hyper-commercialized media culture.

On the love side--John Water's 'Til Death Do Us Part. Remember when he was so underground, it was almost taboo to openly admit you found him amusing or liked his movies? Now he is the shining star of Court TV. This is the weird part, Big D and I have been OBSESSED with Forensic Files for about a year--and then John Waters comes along with this totally campy murder drama show where he plays the "groom reaper" a kinda Vincent Pricesque character that appears throughout each episode--and I'm thinking, I must be getting old because no corporation used to market to me, the tail end of the gen-x nobody nothing group. And now here I am watching several good murder shows (and not that crappy law and order shit my parents and every other baby boomer consume like lines of coke spread out on the TV screen). So even though I no longer have Six Feet Under, I now have Dexter, Showtime's mind-fuck serial killer show, and Forensic Files (love this shit, love it) and 'Til Death do us Part, to fulfill my death fascination TV, no make that TIVO experience.

On the hate side--Anything Paul McCartney. He is such a has been--even before the turkey neck idiot married the pegleg. I wish he would just go away. I'm perfectly fine with Starbucks though I think Pete's is better as far as a chain is concerned. But I always tend to set celebrities up against each other and I'm on the John Lennon side. And, aside from that, I think of Bob Dylan was the true music innovator in the pop/rock genre of the previous century. However, I did love The Beatles Love Songs album (cassette to be exact). So, if this merger doesn't help me download Beatles on i-tunes then I frankly don't give two shits about it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some Junk Mail:Motivated christains* to work @ home

This is so Goddamn funny to me...and not just because I recently drank a whole bunch of vino. I'm sure posting this breaks all rules with what you are supposed to do with junk mail but I keep getting this faith-based crap in my e-mail and I think it is hilarious. So, any good Christians out there lookin' to pick up a little extra cash? (I'll send you the link if your interested)
*"Christains "was the spelling used in the title of the junk e-mail I received. Maybe this is some alternate spelling I am not aware of but I always thought, as it is spelled in the compelling ad, that it was spelled, Christians.

Shopping Tuesday: Regeneration in Eagle Rock

Regeneration: recycle/repurpose/rethink

I love this store. And not just because it is in Eagle Rock. Though, I do love that it is in Eagle Rock. So, I want to keep it here. Therefore, please shop here before she packs up shop (literally) and moves west (like to Venice...beach that is). She has more in the store than online so if you don't find what you are looking for by clicking on the photo above, please stop in next time you are in the Rock.

Afterthought: If you know anything about Eagle Rock, wouldn't you agree that the title of this store kind of describes our community? I love that!

Monday, March 19, 2007

War in Iraq: Four Years On

All I can say is Congress and the Senate, you have the power to stop this war. Nancy Pelosi, your appointment symbolized America's referendum on the War on Iraq. We want you to stop this madness. Bush won't stop this. But you can stop this war before more soldiers die or come back with their limbs blown off of them. Please honor the people of the United States.

And please remember this war began on false pretenses. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no link between Hussein and Al-Qaeda has been established. Oh, and by the way, how's that hunt for Osama Bin Laden (you know, the guy responsible for 9/11) going?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Angelina Jolie: Mommy Dearest for the 21st Century

You probably guessed the answer to Friday's Riddle:

Q:What do prada and third world orphans have in common?

A:They are both the must-have accessory for the rich and famous.

And while I am sure life will be better for the 3-year old Vietnamese boy in Branjolina's mansion in the Palisades over the Wal-mart sweatshop he was destined for otherwise, I just have this unsettling feeling that life with Angelina Jolie might have a little "no wire hanger" in it. I mean, she referred to her own flesh and blood as "the blob" that "seemed so privileged from the moment she was born." I'm sorry but this sounds crazy to me. Even though I've never had a baby, I am pretty certain that a newborn is just about one of the most helpless needy creatures there is, despite to whom he or she may have been privileged to be born. And the statement that Ms. Jolie made regarding her biological child, "I’m conscious that I have to make sure I don’t ignore her needs, just because I think the others are more vulnerable.” is literally insane. Really, what could be more vulnerable than a newborn?

Where do you think her next baby buy will come from? I am guessing South America? Or the Middle East? Living in Los Angeles, I am used to this celebrity obsession of having more than one of anything--It's as if there's a collector switch that turns on in their brain. It's similar to those women who devote an entire room of their house to precious moments dolls or the guy who gets into movie posters. However, when a celebrity's collector switch gets turned on it's with things like Manolo's, Mercedes, and mansions. One just isn't enough. And now it's children. I wonder what the next fad of the outrageously rich and famous will be. Maybe purchasing countries? Any takers for Darfur...or Iraq? Just a thought.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Free Association and St. Patrick's Day

Ok, this is how the thought goes...

Oh, it's St Patrick's day.

I hate green beer (when I was a teenager, my brother puked green beer all over himself and left the clothes in his closet to ferment--it was pretty hideous when we finally realized where the stench was coming from)

But I love Dublin (I remember standing in the rain in Dublin while Jessica painted lyrics on the wall where u2 once recorded--Dublin was her Mecca)

"Daniel Day! Daniel Day!" (living in a flat in London, we got word that Daniel Day Lewis owned property across the courtyard. I think we actually believed we could sweetly entice him to appear to us by yelling his name across the green)

I married a Scot-Irish. He doesn't drink green beer.

Happy Saint Paddy's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Soul Mate - Pinkberry

I Love You!
If you have not yet experienced Pinkberry, I feel sorry for you. I love things that aren't at first lovable. And that's how this stuff is. The first bite is eh, but then you keep eating and before you know it you're addicted. It's sour and plain (hey, just like me--they say you always fall for your mirrors).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another (not so) Secret is...

You're Fat!!!!

I had the sneaking suspicion that something was up with the women's clothes sizing. When I was a teenager, I could wear a two or four. Now I'm zero-zero??? Then I read this... and my suspicions were confirmed.

American women are delusional. Fat is not a lifestyle, it is a disease. No matter what size manufacturers put on a label, you are fat. This article should embarrass us as women. Not only do we buy into the idea that scrawny illiterate coked up b-list celebrities are the ideal of beauty, we allow ourselves to be marketed to in the most condescending way possible--changing numbers on clothing? The whole system is set up to see women fail and the corporate machine profits from it. First, teenagers buy clothes at adult stores. Then, 50-somethings try to compete with the 15 year old and buy the same clothes. It's a win-win for retailers but what happens to the 15 year old? She's in credit card debt by the time she's 18. And the 50-something? She's in debt too...and still fat. So she spends money on the diet industry which makes her more broke, and, after losing a few pounds, gains more she is fatter then before and it just continues. Finally, she ends up depending on some pharmaceutical's anti-die from heart attack medication. American women...can we get real with ourselves and stop being corporate pawns?

On a final note, I often hear Marilyn Monroe invoked when fat women try to defend their disease. For the record, a vintage size 12 is a modern day 4-6!

Monday, March 12, 2007

"The Secret" is...

You're fucked. Deal with it and move on.
-ancient Chinese proverb, author unknown

I'm in Los Angeles Today

Well with the traffic, smog, high cost of living, and crime, Los Angeles is just about the ideal place to live. The only problem with Los Angeles is the weather. For example, today is 80 degrees, breezy, with clear blue skies. How's a girl supposed to go to work in a windowless office when it's this nice outside? That would be like flipping a bird at the big guy in the sky, right?

Ridiculous News Title of the Day

Brain injuries a 'silent epidemic'

An epidemic? Really? I guess since bird flu and west nile didn't really pan out as epidemics, the news media is going for a more homespun epidemic--driving in cars! Or, advancements in medicine that keep people alive after horrifyingly bad accidents! Yes, medical advancement, you are now an epidemic. I am so scared, I called in to work today cause nobody's getting me in the car during the dangerous Los Angeles morning rush hour, no way.

Also, since the war is topical, the article refers to it--"Millions of cases of traumatic brain injury happening far from war zone" -- Then the article makes mention of all the brain injuries soldiers coming back from the war have (nevermind that these injuries will stop when the government stops this war) but acknowledges, "most cases of traumatic brain injury...happen far from the war zone. More than 40 percent of TBIs are the result of traffic accidents — the most common cause of this type of injury."

I see where this is going and it ain't pretty...the law requiring all drivers and passengers to wear helmets. Imagine it, cruising down the PCH with the top down and your helmet securely fastened.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bleach is Your Friend

I am writing this post in response to this entry that I come upon in blog-world :
and all other white-bred, upper-middle class (though that isn't very impressive if you live in Vegas, the armpit of the world, where you can work at the local Von's and be upper-middle class--we're talking cheap cookie cutter housing people) bored housewife bloggers who are looking for ways to complicate their lives in a desperate attempt to fill the void (not that there is anything wrong with that).

And back to me...

It is quite possible that my mother, the original clean freak, actually said the title of this post, "Bleach is your friend" to me as an innocent. Not much of my mother's habits resonate with me today, but this one stuck. Bleach is your friend. Why? Because it kills things, gross things like viruses and bacteria. It also gets whites white better than anything else.

I like chemical cleaning products. They kill things too. Lysol is one of my favorite brands for cleaning products. Here are a few things that Lysol kills:

Some of the germs LYSOL® Disinfectant Spray eliminates on hard non-porous surfaces include:


  • Staph and Strep

  • Salmonella

  • Escherichia coli

  • CampylobacterFungi

  • Athlete’s Foot Fungus

Mold and Mildew Viruses-

  • Rhinovirus -The leading cause of the common cold

  • Rotavirus - The leading cause of infectious diarrhea in children

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – The leading cause of lower respiratory infection in children

  • Poliovirus Type 1

  • Adenovirus Type 2

  • Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2

  • Hepatitis A

For more about the joys of Lysol, visit:

In the afore mentioned blog the chic also talks about pesticide free gardening. There are a few things wrong with this:

  1. She lives in the desert--She shouldn't be wasting water gardening.

  2. She lives in desert--why is she wasting water on a water fountain?

  3. She lives in the desert (in an over-sized tract-house) in which I am sure that she runs the air conditioner which causes the ozone to be destroyed--life in Vegas without an ozone or water--well, that's a nice future that she is creating for daughter.

  4. She lives in the desert????

Now back to me...

Being the true naturalist that I am, I use only California Native Plants so that I don't waste water. Ok, that is so totally not true but I love how high and mighty it sounds. Actually, my home in Los Angeles has no landscaping because we be way too po', so stuff just kind of grows on its own. My favorite method for routine gardening is to spray anything that obviously looks like a weed (and I can't pass off as a desert flower) with weed killer. I prefer Round-Up.

As a footnote, I grew up in Vegas. Some of the best people I know live in Vegas. I am kind of possessive of Vegas--cause I was there first dammit! So my apologies for any offense.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Kernel of Truth?

Does this...

(Selma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault)

mean this asshole...

(Tom Leykis and bimbos)

is right?

Ann Coulter is Fun!

Here's Why:

  1. Don't you get the sense that she was the ugly gawky-limbed girl in high school that everyone made fun of? I bet they called her "spaz"
  2. She likes to be made fun of. Psychologists call this a negative personality disorder.
  3. She is pretty in conservative republican circles, but ugly to the rest of the world.
  4. She sounds (and looks) like a transgendered person.
  5. She prostitutes herself for attention and money so she actually encourages us to make fun of her--it's her career.
Here are some FUN quotes from our gal:

Oh, and this is really FUNNY

Thanks Ann for brightening my day!