Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Four Days Over

Our game. My highest scoring word was "toxic."

I'm spending my remaining hours of Christmas watching Elf on tv. How the four day weekend has flown by. My parents came up from the OC and stayed with us for a couple days. It was only the second time they stayed overnight. I felt pretty grown up having them here, even though my mom cooked all the meals. Funny how some things don't change. We showed them Disney Hall. We walked around the Farmers Market at The Grove. And we played a very good game of Scrabble with my dad. It was a complete game, with my dad and I getting rid of all our letters (Octopus couldn't get rid of his Q). Hope you all had a great Christmas.

Not quite what you want to see at the Farmers Market. Especially during the holidays.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #19: Little Drummer Boy

David Bowie and Bing Crosby Christmas duet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Goodbye Time

I'm in the kind of mood where I put on The Carpenters and listen to Superstar over and over again. Only tonight I'm listening to Dusty Springfield do The Windmills of Your Mind over and over. I'm a late discoverer of Dusty Springfield (as in I bought Dusty in Memphis over the weekend and before that really only knew her from Son of a Preacher Man). It's the kind of night where I listen to melancholy music, mull over time passed, feel a sense of loss over another year gone by. The kind of night where it should be snowing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"I've Been Channed!"

That's "channed" as in chanchow, thank you very much.

Apparently, this phrase has come into use in the DC area. At first I was aghast and embarrassed that this phrase existed, but now I'm amused, even flattered, and in my self-promoting effort to become part of pop culture (and possibly an entry in wiki or a superpoke on Facebook) I am sharing this story with my millions of readers.

The origins of being "channed":
Several years ago I was at magazine party in NYC and some guy started talking to me. At the end he asked me for my number and, for some reason, I gave him my business card. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but I wasn't looking to date him and I hoped that he wouldn't call. (I know, I should've just said No, but being a girl, I said "here's my card" when really I meant No.)

A few days later he called me at work. I was pretty surprised and secretly wished that the call had gone into voicemail. Here's the gist of the conversation:

Him: "Do you want to hang out this weekend?"

Me: "Uh, well, I don't think so... Cuz, um, I have to do my taxes."

Zing! He got the point.

Fast forward to last year when this guy started working in the same office as one of my good friends. This friend was at the same magazine party and he relayed this story about being turned down for taxes. Long story short, he now refers to this as being "channed."
So here's my definition:

to chan (also, to be channed): to reject or decline by giving a barely plausible or transparently made up explanation. For example, "I have to chan him" or "Bitch channed me."

Have you channed or been channed? Please do share. And please feel free to use this word in your normal, everyday life!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


"...a homeowner in West Los Angeles tore down an 1,886-square-foot home and replaced it last year with a two-story, 13,874-square-foot residence -- on a 13,000-square-foot lot." - From the LA Times article.

LA is considering a law that would limit the square footage of new and rebuilt houses in certain parts of the city. I'm all for this. I don't like big houses. I don't want to live in one. I don't want to live near one. How big is too big? In my opinion, unless you have a huge family that lives with you, I don't think you need more than 3,000 sq ft.

One of my favorite things about Eagle Rock is that there is no tract housing. The area is full of houses built in the 20's and 30's. Every house is different and the size of the house is proportional to the size of the lot. Some houses are pretty big and grand, but for the most part they are old and have character and are situated on big lots.

The Wire is the Sh*t

Dominic West as McNulty (foreground).

I'm not big on crime dramas (other than SVU) or other macho stuff, but after hearing about The Wire I thought I'd put it on our Netflix queue. Man oh man, this show is good. It takes a few episodes to ease in-- there are a lot of characters and the accents are hard to understand (we've started watching with subtitles)-- but once you're in, you're hooked.

We just finished watching the first season. Season 2 is in the mail. Season 5 (the final season) begins on HBO in January. A friend says that the show has gotten better every season, so I'm looking forward to spending this winter with the cops and criminals of Baltimore.

From 300 (I hated this movie). That's him again in front, looking a little too hunkalicious for me.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #18: Michael Jackson at the '84 Grammys

Sorry, I couldn't resist posting this footage of MJ at the Grammys with his entourage- Brooke Shields, Webster, Janet and LaToya (looking like Wonder Woman).

This will be the last MJ post for a while, I promise.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Awards Show Season

'Tis the season that awards nominations get announced. The only awards show I ever make a point of watching is the Oscars. Last year I even won the Oscar pool in my office. I really love winning. It feels so good.

The Grammy nominations came out today. I've never really been a fan of the Grammys. The only Grammy memory I have is watching Michael Jackson win a boatload for Thriller. Which reminds me, can you believe that Thriller came out 25 years ago? What's your favorite song off that album?

Back in his heartthrob days...

Monday, December 3, 2007

I've Been on a Quiet Health Kick Lately

A few months ago I decided to cut back on alcohol. Now I have just a glass or two of wine a month. I also cut back on coffee, to about a cup a day. And most importantly, I'm eating less meat-- only four meat meals a week. The meat thing has been the hardest. I never thought I ate much meat, until I realized that cutting back required a conscious effort (as opposed to not drinking, which hasn't been that hard for me). Limiting to four meals (and not five or three) was pretty arbitrary. Four seemed like a challenging, but doable, number. It's like I'm on a meat budget.

I'm not making grand plans to cut out alcohol or meat completely, although the idea of becoming a teetotaller is appealing. I think I'm just trying to be healthier. So far it seems to be working. I sleep better, I feel better overall. I think I've even lost some weight. And of course not drinking saves a lot of money. So all in all it's good.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Alligator Spotting with the Family Octopus

We hoped that this gator would dive into the water and get all crazy violent, but all he did was open his mouth and move a leg.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We spent the holiday in Florida with the family Octopus. On Saturday we tried something new and took the cousins for a field trip to the Everglades. The Octopus and I were the oldest in the bunch, so we sorta felt like group leaders. The power was almost intoxicating.

Sunset over the glades.

Monday, November 19, 2007

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things ...

Where I like to go and where I like to take visiting friends and family:
  • Huntington. My favorite place in LA. Skip the art exhibits and just walk around the grounds. The Desert Garden (esp the Succulent Greenhouse) is a must see. And the much anticipated Chinese Garden opens in February.

  • Griffith Observatory. My second fave place.

  • Norton Simon Museum

  • Santa Monica Farmers Market

  • Broadway in Downtown

  • A movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery or at one of the historic theaters downtown

Friday, November 16, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #17: It's the Holidays!!!

Cannot believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are just about here. If this doesn't make you smile, then you're a grinch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Um, Uh, Hi ... I'm Boring

Sometimes I feel really boring. I hang out with friends and acquaintances and I feel like I don't have anything interesting to say. Sometimes I catch myself telling the same story twice to people, and I don't stop myself because I don't have anything else to say and I know they're too polite to tell me they've already heard it.

Strangely, I have the easiest time talking to people at work. Not because they're all my bestest friends, but because we can bitch and moan forever and ever. We understand, we suffer.

Is complaining the easiest way to bond? I suppose I could talk about movies, books and music, which I do, but I can only talk about that so much. I could talk about my family, but that's too personal for most people. Have I already blogged about this?

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Do, I Guess

I wonder what the average age at first marriage is these days. I haven't checked the stats, but I would guess that in the U.S. it's around 25 for women, 28 for men. I would guess a little older than that in Western Europe and younger in Asia and Latin America (significantly younger, in some places). When did your parents start bugging you about getting married (assuming they bugged you at all)? Do you feel there is a double standard with men and women?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Turning Back the Clock is Overrated

Today feels like the longest day ever. I can't believe it's only 9pm. I don't like that it gets dark so early. I need sun. I feel myself getting sad. LA life has made me really dependent on sunshine. I don't remember feeling this way in NY.

On a brighter note, I am really getting into succulents. I just got this great book called Designing with Succulents. Not only are they super cool looking, they require little water and are very good for fire prone areas like LA. Their leaves are filled with water and they don't act as fire ladders since they are usually low to the ground.

Chiricahua: "Wonderland of Rocks"
Last, but not least, I am making arrangements for our next trip: Arizona. The Octopus and I have been nostalgic for our 2005 road trip where we hit a bunch of national parks, so we decided that Arizona is the place for us. We'll be skipping the Grand Canyon and other Northern AZ sites in favor of the lesser traveled Montezuma's Castle, Saguaro and, what looks to be very interesting, Chiricahua. I'm looking forward to getting more national parks brochures.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My How They Grow

Remember this succulent arrangement that I did back in June (my post here)?

Well, I gave it to my mom and today, a little over four months later, it looks like this!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Like an Oven

I walked out for lunch just now and I felt like I was in Vegas. The air is bone dry. When you inhale, you feel like your nose is on fire.

Smoke from the Malibu and Inland Empire fires is collecting in the Valley. I wish I had my camera so I could take a picture. The colors are layered. You have the houses and the trees, then a thin strip of light blue sky, then a heavy layer of gray pink smoke.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Priorities

When I was in sixth grade, my homeroom had a project where every student was given the same 30 things and had to list them in order of importance. I can't remember very many of them now, but I know that health, a long life, money, family and religion were among them. We were each given a big board (about 2' by 3') to write out the list and then the boards were hung from the ceiling.

Wonder where my list is now. It may be packed away in my parents' garage. I remember that at the top of my list was a long life (I was really afraid of death back then) and at the bottom was religion. I should make a new list now, file it away, then take it again every ten years.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back Online at Home

We returned from a weekend in the Bay Area to a dead modem. No internet access at home. Fortunately, I didn't have to work from home or respond to urgent emails, so this didn't bother me much. I reminded myself that there was life before internet.

I'm back online now, but I realized during those two days just how much time I spend online at home. I usually turn on my computer within an hour of getting home from the office. Why I do this, considering I spend all day in front of a computer, I don't know. I probably spend a good hour+ on the computer at night. Checking email, facebooking, looking things up on wiki.

I really need to cut back. I don't remember what I used to do before I had internet access at home. Did I read more? Talk to friends? Now I just watch Dancing with the Stars on TV and then go online to wiki all the stars and their partners...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #16: Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand

I originally wanted to post Judy Garland singing San Francisco, but I like this duet almost as much. It's a melancholy rendition of Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy and I really like it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Conversation between Me and Mr. Octopus

Does this bamboo make me look fat?

Me: Do I look weird in this picture?

Him: No, you look fine.

Me: Do I look normal?

Him: Yea.

Me: You mean average?

Him: No, you ...

Me: Do I look fat?

Him: Uh, is there a handbook for trick questions that I should get?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Live Strong

Check out this story of Nicolai Calabria, age 13, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro despite being born with one leg. His blog here and his NPR interview here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #15: Cirque du Soleil

I remember hearing that a yoga teacher of mine in NY had joined Cirque du Soleil. I googled her, and sure enough, here she is. This is pretty amazing (and sexy) dancing.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

In and Around Santa Barbara

Santa Claus lives in Santa Barbara!

We had a great time in Santa Barbara this weekend. We stayed at the Inn of the Spanish Garden, which I would highly recommend, and had a fantastic Italian dinner at Olio e Limone. We walked around town, shopped a little (I picked up a bottle of Pasolivo olive oil), and watched a bucketload of Entourage on DVD. We also visited Los Olivos, a little town in the Santa Ynez Valley (where Sideways was filmed), and had a yummy lunch at Los Olivos Cafe.

Mission Santa Barbara

The Presidio

The chapel in the Presidio

At the huge and wonderful Saturday Farmers' Market in downtown Santa Barbara

Hierloom tomatoes galore

Driving back to LA

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He's My Husband, Not My Kid

Maybe it's an Asian culture thing, but my parents, without fail, always find a reason to say "poor Mr. Octopus" every time I talk to them on the phone. It's usually in the context of my telling them that I didn't cook him dinner, or that he's still at work, or that I went out with my girlfriend and didn't take him. As if I should have dinner waiting for him and take care of everything. I know I shouldn't let it get to me. They're of a different generation and all. But it really rubs me the wrong way. I feel like Asian women of my generation are doing double duty. We were expected to do well in school and get good jobs, only to get married and have our parents expect us to cater to our husbands.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How Do You Shop?

Pick up any fashion magazine and you'll find out what's new for Fall and what's in for Spring. But does anyone really shop seasonally, i.e., have a seasonal wardrobe that they rotate in their closet? Not me. My wardrobe is basically the same year round. Sure, I wear more skirts during the summer and dust off the coats in the winter, but other than that, I wear essentially the same crap all the time.

This is especially true when it comes to work clothes. My work uniform is basically black, gray and brown. Sometimes I'll throw in a little color with my top, but it's usually muted by my dark pants and sweater. Very boring, I know. But it's now time to update my work wardrobe because everything has become either ill fitting or worn thin. So for the first time I'm doing a real wardrobe makeover (for work). I want 3 or 4 pants, 5 shirts, a couple bags and a few pairs of shoes. Given that I want this stuff to hold me over for the next few years, what should be my budget?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"You Look Like a Kid"

I hate it when people say this to me. Especially people at work. I introduced myself to a new woman at work the other day, I told her what my job was, and she said, "Wow, you look like a kid!" Then she saw the cool look on my face and immediately said, "Oh, it's a compliment!" And I said, "Whatever, bitch." Just kidding, I didn't say that.

I suppose telling someone "You look so young" is slightly better, but even that is annoying, especially at work. I mean, I don't mind getting carded when I buy drinks (in fact, part of me kinda likes it), but at work I think those kinds of comments are inappropriate. This is a sore spot for me because I've always looked young and felt like people didn't take me as seriously.

I started taking Spanish a few weeks ago and my teacher looks pretty young. I thought she was in her mid 20s. During our first class she was explaining the difference between senora and senorita. We asked what should be the default when you don't know if a woman is married or single. We assumed senorita because that might be flattering. She said no, not necessarily. She always prefers people to address her as senora (even strangers) because she's in her 30s and married. She also wants people to call her ma'am, not miss. I don't feel strongly about being called me ma'am, miss or mrs., but I guess everyone is different.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Only in LA

Bonnie and Clyde

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, AFI will be screening 11 classic movies simultaneously at the Arclight on October 3, each movie to be introduced by its star or director. There'll be Jack Nicholson for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Julie Andrews for The Sound of Music, Clint Eastwood for Unforgiven, George Lucas for Star Wars, Warren Beatty for Bonnie and Clyde, and Sylvester Stallone for Rocky, among others.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

South Pasadena Car Show

We took a walk through a classic car show after brunch at Firefly Bistro today. I really like looking at old cars and can kinda understand why people like to collect them.

A Porsche. Probably my favorite car there.

Ford Woodie

Jaguar, from the front and back.

Ford Cobra


Thursday, September 13, 2007


It came as news to me today that UCI is setting up a law school, the first public law school in California in 40 years. The David Bren School of Law at UCI is scheduled to open its doors in Fall 2009.

But that's not why I heard about it today. UCI is in the news because its Chancellor abruptly fired the law school's Dean, Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, because he decided Chemerinsky is too liberal. (Lawyers may remember Chemerinsky from Bar/Bri classes-- he was the constitutional law guy who lectured for hours without any notes).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"One Day We're All Going to Be Old"

This is what someone in my office just said. He said it in response to a question about what motivated him to spend so much time taking care of a sick aunt.

Sometimes I forget that old people were once young. That they once went to school, went on dates, drove cars, drank beer out of the bottle. I feel bad for the old, homebound people whose relatives don't visit them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Adjusting to Another Year, Another Birthday

It was my birthday last week. It was a pretty quiet one. Mr. Octopus took me to a nice dinner. I didn't have a to-do with friends. I think that may be happening this week.

It seemed like I had my last birthday about 8 months ago. I'm not one to make a big fuss about age-- I know that I'm still "young"-- but this birthday is a little harder than the last. Not because I ticked up one more year, but because I really feel like I'm hammering in the same spot with my life.

A friend of mine who is around my age recently said that we are in the prime of our lives. Somehow it doesn't feel that way. I've been out of school for a while and working steadily for several years. Life is stable, I have no real problems, I have a lot of be thankful for. But still I feel uneasy, like my life is purposeless and insignificant. I know the next step in life is having kids, but taking that out of the equation, what is supposed to be my focus? I'm not going to throw myself into my job, so what else is there? New hobbies? Home improvement projects? Exercising? Planning trips? Learning languages? Everything seems so unimportant.

For so long there was always a goal. Studying, finishing school, getting a job. Where am I supposed to channel my energy now? Is this why people train for triathalons?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fleeing Hurricane Henriette

Casa Natalia's Beach Club

We spent the Labor Day weekend in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico-- the less touristy of the two Cabos (Cabo San Lucas being the other one). It was our first time to Cabo and we stayed at Casa Natalia, a great boutique hotel in town. The town itself is small, sleepy and dusty. It was super hot while we were there, over 100 degrees each day. We had a good time, but were really happy to head back home before Hurricane Henriette made landfall.

Our room.

The church in town.

Locals filling up before the hurricane. The line actually extended back much farther (there were dozens of cars in line).

Returning to LA. Flying over Baja.

Friday, August 31, 2007

When Gene Met Terry ... and They Haven't Spoken Since

I was listening to NPR's rerun of Terry Gross' 2002 interview with Gene Simmons. The KISS frontman was obnoxious and pretty insulting . Transcript here

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Oldest Guy

I watched some U.S. Open tennis on USA tonight. James Blake was playing some guy named Fabrice Santoro. I thought I heard McEnroe say that Santoro was 35, but I figured I'd misheard. Sure, he moved more slowly and didn't have the big guns, but I couldn't believe he was that old. I looked him up just now and yup, he's 35. In the end, he lost to Blake in five sets, but that's okay. Yay for one of the oldest guys on the tour.

August Uninspired

Sorry for the especially weak and uninspired posts lately. I can't really think of anything to blog about. Some random things:

I saw Divorce, Italian Style and thought is was pretty good.

I've been spending too much time on Facebook.

I have too many drama queens in my life. You know the type-- you say hi to them and suddenly they start ranting about how terrible life is. (Don't worry, if you're reading this, you are not one of these people.)

I've lost my travel bug. All for the better since traveling is so expensive.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Your Friday Afternoon Video #13: Spicy Ramen Challenge

If you think you can handle spicy food, try Special #2 at Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo next time you're in LA.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Say This, But I Want to Go to Vegas

Not to gamble, or to party, or to have some stranger rub up a against me. I want to go see Cirque du Soleil, eat at Lotus of Siam and stay at a hotel overlooking the strip.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

E a r t h q u a k e

I haven't given much thought to earthquakes since moving to LA. I mean, it's always in the back of my mind, but I don't really worry about it. I think I worried more about terrorist attacks when I lived in NY than I do about earthquakes now. Still, The Big One is coming. Apparently, a big one hit Peru yesterday.

Are earthquakes the scariest of natural disasters? I guess it depends on where you are. If you're home, then maybe not so scary. If you're in a highrise and you can feel the building sway from side to side, then that's scary. I used to work in the tallest building in LA and was told that it was built to withstand a very powerful earthquake because it was set on rollers (whatever that means). I'm glad that I now work in a short, but new, building. I take comfort in knowing that Eagle Rock is a good 20 miles or so from the beach, so death by tsunami is highly unlikely.

There is a small town in Chilean Patagonia called Puerto Aisen that has had over 7,000 earthquakes this year. It's just been rumbling for months. None of the quakes has been as big as the one in Peru, but the locals are bracing for the big one. It's torn families apart and driven some to alcoholism.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Am I Weird?

Even though I've been married for a while, I still love flipping through wedding magazines. I might love it even more now that I don't have wedding plannning stress. I especially like looking at wedding invitations. How pretty are these? And these?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Giuliani for Obama

Caroline Giuliani, that is. Rudy's daughter and soon-to-be Harvard freshwoman has a Facebook page describing herself as a liberal and a member of the "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)" group. Or rather, she had such a Facebook page, until Slate broke the story.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Attention: Bourne Lovers

Did anyone really like The Bourne Ultimatum? I think the first one was the best, then the second. I thought Ultimatum was good enough, but a distant third to the other two. The action made me a little dizzy. The story was too thin. And why Julia Stiles? Yawn. Too many close ups of her boring face. And what did she mean by "It was hard for me, you were..." (or whatever she said). (Possible spoiler for those who have not seen: please don't tell me they used to be together.)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Most Summersy Weekend

August is here and I realized on Friday that we have not once been to the beach this summer. We're not really beach people and we don't actually live close to the beach, but still this was shocking to me. What a shame, living in LA and all. The last time we went to the beach was probably last summer.

So we put on our bathing suits, packed our 50 spf sunscreen, slipped on our flipflops and headed west. We decided to go to Venice Beach, one of the more laid back of the LA beach communities. We took five freeways to get there. The 2, the 5, the 110, the 405 and finally the 90. After circling around for street parking we bit the bullet and paid $15 to park all day.

Aaah, the Venice boardwalk. If Berkeley were on the beach, this would be it. The smell of incense and pot. A few street performers and a few more drunkards. People riding their beach cruisers. People getting their first tattoo. It's all here. I sang the theme song to Three's Company as we walked, even though I know they lived in Santa Monica.

Mr. Octopus braved the yellow green water, as I watched from dry land. It felt good to be out in the sun. Small planes flew banners advertising the movie "Hot Rod." Indian people went into the water with their clothes on. A family of French tourists struggled for a half hour to put up a tent. We met up with some old friends at the Figtree Cafe and had a three hour lunch.

We pulled up to our driveway at 6pm, groggy from being in the sun all day. But there was no rest to be had because we were meeting friends at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a screening of Pee Wee's Big Adventure. For anyone visiting LA in the summer, I highly recommend seeing a movie at the cemetery. They screen every Saturday, projecting the movies against the backside of the mausoleum. Bring your friends, blankets and booze and picnic as the sun goes down. If you want to take a walk, you can lay some flowers on Rudolph Valentino's grave or pay your respects to Cecil B. DeMille, Mel Blanc and Johnny Ramone.

The cool thing about going to a movie in LA is that you never know who you'll see. Take, for instance, Pee Wee himself. He walks the streets among us, but who knew he would be at the cemetery. The crowd went wild when the emcee introduced him. The crowd got on their feet, hooting and whistling, looking at each other thinking, no WAY. Pee Wee also brought out the ladies who played Dottie and Simone. The cemetery screens Pee Wee every year and the crowd had a lot of hard core Pee Wee fans. The kind of people who get up and dance Pee Wee style when the tequila dance scene comes on. You figured these people probably saw Pee Wee in the theater 20 some years ago in the theater, just like you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Getting Gastric

I don't much care for Star Jones, but I think her frank article in Glamour is pretty good.

Bloodless Bullfights

We have them here in California. Instead of stabbing bulls with things that have darts on the end, bullfighters in the San Joaquin Valley use velcro. More here and here. Interestingly tidbit: olé is derived from the word Allah.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

If a Person Could Be a Pet Peeve

Dare I say, looking a little like Michael Jackson?

...that person would be Winona Ryder. She bugs me. Always has. I never thought she was a good actress. She always has that pained, unnatural, breathlessness about her. Kinda like Julianne Moore (who I also don't like). I can acknowledge that she's pretty, but only grudgingly. I laughed when I heard she got busted for shoplifting. I thought she was over, at long last.

But according to Vogue (or perhaps because of Vogue), Winona is coming back. She is on the August cover. And so, of course, I took a look. For the past few years, the August issue has been the "Age Issue," which is very helpful for telling woman what clothes, makeup and cosmetic procedures are age-appropriate. I'm in my 30s. So is Winona (she's 35). It sorta bothers me that she's a representative of my decade. But to put a positive on it-- better Winona than Gwyneth.

Anyhoo, I bought the August issue. It's not so bad. I learned something: Hillary's traveling chief of staff is a 30-something woman of South Asian descent named Huma Abedin. She started out as an intern in the first lady's office and worked her way up. Now she's Hillary's right hand.

Early Sunday Morning Wanderings

Woke up at 8am. Octopus is still sleeping. The house is bright and quiet and I'm sitting on the floor of the living room listening to Alicia Keys. It's not too hot yet. This is my favorite time of the weekend. The day ahead of me. When I lived in NY, I thought the best way to spend my weekend doing nothing. Somehow I thought doing nothing would make the time go by more slowly. I was wrong. Now I want to make a lists of things to do and start checking them off. That way when Monday comes around I can look back and remember all the things I did. Have I already blogged about this?

Things I want to do today:

1. Go to hardware store and get garden hose and replacement sprinkler head.
2. Go to yoga class
3. Swifter the house
4. Make a couple succulent arrangements
5. Wrap gifts for relatives
6. Go shopping for exercise clothes
7. Back up pictures and music

(My life is so exciting!)

I'm really excited for The Bourne Ultimatum. I even had a Bourne-like dream last night. My parents (or people posing as them) were plotting against me and I had to escape. I didn't know who to trust, what to believe. I vaguely remember something about jumping off a train. Only it wasn't a real train, it was more like a ride at an amusement park.

(Sidenote: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck lived in Eagle Rock when they first came to LA. They were on Hill Drive, the nicest street in the neighborhood, and I believe the house they were in is now for sale.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Beware: Kids Crossing. Sort of...

A guy in Ohio started putting life size, cut out kids along streets to slow down traffic. We should put these up around LA. More here.

Summer Movie Unspectacular

The Namesake

The best movie I've seen so far this summer is Knocked Up. Regular readers know that I already blogged about that movie. It's a bummer that I haven't seen anything really good since then. Here's a run down.

A Mighty Heart. I didn't pay to see it, but I would have. Much better than I expected. Angelina Jolie was good, and that's saying something since I don't think she's all that.

The Namesake. I'm lukewarm about this one. The first half is good (the part about the parents), but the second half not as good (the part about Kal Penn and his lady troubles). A little too melodramatic at the end.

The Simpsons. Saw this last night and was disappointed. A couple disclaimers: I'm not a Simpsons fan (don't love them, don't hate them, just don't watch them) and I had high expectations because of all the good reviews. South Park the movie was better.

Transformers. Didn't watch the cartoon in the 80s and didn't care for this movie. Corny jokes, weak story and way too much CGI fighting. The end fight goes on waaaaay too long.

Ratatouille. The animation was so good that the rats looked real and grossed me out. Rat-as-chef concept is not enough to sustain a full length movie. As one of our friends said, "there just wasn't enough at stake." Rent Flushed Away instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Remember Knut?

Sadly, he's not this cute anymore.

Not so little Knut has a book out in Germany. The American version comes out this Fall.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Going Super Small

A woman in Washington State downsizes to a house the size of a parking spot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shopping for Teenagers

A couple teenage relatives of mine recently celebrated their birthdays. They live in Europe and I hardly ever see them, so I decided to get them presents. I drove to the Glendale Galleria, the nearest mall to my house, and tried to imagine what kids that age want. I decided that clothes were the way to go, even though I haven't seen them in years and have no idea how big they are now.

I walked through the mall and saw a bunch of kids going into a very dim store. It turned out to be Abercrombie. I've never been into an Abercrombie. When I was a teenager, everyone was shopping at GAP, J. Crew and Banana Republic. Abercrombie was just beginning to open shops and I remember their clothes were being sporty and boring. Kinda like Eddie Bauer. Well, times have changed because now it's jumping. After Abercrombie, I followed kids into another store. Something called Hollister.

These stores made me feel old and crotchety. They were both really dark (I felt like I was in a club), packed to the hilt with everything from clothes and plants to flat screens and couches, and had a fragrance that hit you over the heard the minute you walked in. My senses were being assaulted. Help! I like my stores to be open, bright and spare.. So after I bought some clothes, I made a beeline to my idea of shopping heaven: Williams-Sonoma.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Open House

Is it strange that I go to open houses even though we already have a house? Last week I saw a house where the seller had all sorts of personal pictures and info out in the open. I thought you were supposed to de-personalize your house when you put it up for sale. Take down the pictures in the hallway and stuff like that. Well, this woman had her B.A. from Columbia up on the wall. She also had tons and tons of pictures of herself (they looked like headshots) and her young son all over the place. I googled her when I got home (cuz I'm like that) and found out that she runs some self-help business on how to be a sexy single mom. Last year I saw a house with an Emmy Award on the mantel. I wanted to get up real close to see the name, but the agent was standing right there and I didn't want him to think I was a weirdo.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Santiago, Chile

Only good things to say about Santiago. The city is modern, clean and safe and the people are friendly. There isn't tons to do, but it's a good (and necessary) stopover for other points in Chile.

Santiago is in a very active earthquake zone and yet it has a great subway system that everyone uses. If only LA were like this.

Riding the teleferico.

The very cool and colorful Bellavista neighborhood.


Quiet evening in the city.