Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the Humblebrag and Irony

Archie Grand Notebook  
The New York Times is just killing it with its ingenuity.  Just when you think that everyone has already said everything that could possibly be said in an era of Internet self-publishing (Thank you Shishboombang)-- print gets stronger and smarter.  In my opinion, the NYT takes the cake when it comes to the printed word.   Word!

As I write a NYT accolade from across the coast in Los Angeles, there are two recent articles that stand out in my mind as being worth a mention. The first, How to Live Without Irony, recounts how we have gotten so caught up in the culture of making fun of our own selves. Everything has become one big joke, everyone is just one big laughing-stock, and nothing takes on meaning of any kind. Entire identities revolve around jokes, gaffs, and the absurd.  "Irony functions as a shield against criticism" meaning irony functions as a shield against feelings.  The article begs the question: "Do we fear ourselves?" Maybe, as hipsters?!   

The second article, If I Do Humblebrag Myself, does an outstanding job calling us ALL out on the stupid passive-yet-over-confident-statuses that we post on Facebook, Twitter, yada yada and other forums of insta-feed.  I just posted one this afternoon, "I can (almost) write again! Hurrah!" What a complete sucker I am.

Article 2 oddly relates to Article 1 because once again the trending theme of how we all exist day-to-day is by making fun of ourselves as the per usual of life. 

These articles (please click the links which are embedded above and actually read them!)--though not earth-shattering or paradigm-shifting pieces-- provoke thought and observation about the world in which we live and the people with which we share our lives. With humor and wit, these articles make us more aware of the absurdities of every day life as well as brush us (or our parents) up on popular culture.  When it comes to current accounts of people (and the culture that inevitably comes with people),the NYT will not let you down as a source of insight into the human race. Human behavior is the best writing material, as far as I am concerned--simply because-- You just cannot make our $*% up!

On How Venice is a Carnival No More

Have you sauntered down Rose Avenue in Venice, California lately? Forget for a moment about the gentrification of nearby Abbott Kinney and Main St where there are the following
1. A hipper than its own good coffee shop- Intelligentsia (with its $7.00 coffee) 
2. Nerds- a Google campus inside a building designed by Gehry (yes, I am referring to the Binoculars)
3. A fancy clothing boutique for men-  Jack Spade/Steve Alan
4. a slew of popular eateries - Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, Tasting Kitchen--not to mention-- Gjelina, have you even tried to get a dinner reservation there lately? I think the waitlist puts you months back and gives you a time slot for dinner at like 4 pm or 11 at night.
5. "Enviro-health conscious" minded peeps --I cannot even count the number of trendy bikes strapped with yoga mats and latte holders I've spotted in Venice. 
My whole diatribe/mathematic equation about gentrification is besides the point.  

Let's get back to Rose Avenue and its fleeting grunge.  Also, the shabby-ramshackle-seedy Lincoln Boulevard might also turn the corner if it hasn't already with the most monstrous Whole Foods plopped at the corner of Rose & Lincoln. According to the LA Times, Lincoln Boulevard is sometimes now referred to as "the Linc" by weasel hipsters (okay, fine, I added the word "weasel").  

So does that mean goodbye to Venice grunge? The only place to find it might just be the boardwalk.  Epic drum circles still exist, but the homeless and the bohemians have been pushed off even the boardwalk and into the dirty sand (which might as well be the Pacific Ocean).  SuperBa, Venice Beach Wines, Cafe Gratitude, Moon Juice, some yoga studio, Big Red Sun, another yoga studio, and live/work lofts chic up the town.  That's cool, I am fine with it. I go to most of the restaurants on bike post-yoga anyways, but I have a question: As chic as Venice becomes-- Can the Tranny Clown stay?--as a symbol of yesteryear when we were cheaper, rougher around the edges, and even a bit tacky? 

On Making a Comeback

Image courtesy of Vogue
Hello dear Earthlings! Three long months have past without a blog post from the Shishboombang world.  I am not sure what happened. I drifted off to some Tumblr pages for awhile, got lost in the throes of online shopping, and have worked a ton.  Oh yeah, and then there was Pinterest. I want to come back to the blogosphere--will you take me back in? I am more than ready to post some blurbs that I only hope will shock, woo, and entertain you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

On Homebody Fridays

My favorite thing to do after a long work work is to be spend Friday nights in or close to home.  The farthest I'll venture is to the nail spot a handful of blocks from my apartment or to my fav KTown watering hole (Beer Belly), but sometimes not even. Some Fridays, I pull on PJ pants the very second I walk through my front door.  As long as my house is stocked with fixings for a hearty salad and some wine, I am set.

Beezies in the kitch.
Tonight is sure to be extra special. A close girlfriend is dropping by after work to walk with me to get pedicures.  After our pamper sess, We will eat a home-cooked meal and share a a bottle of wine. . . . and when she decides to hit the road for home, I will curl up to my Hulu queue (I have some new episodes of the New Girl on there!) and browse the new mags I haven't had a chance to glance at-Vogue and Los Angeles Magazine. I like how the night is stacking up.

Monday, August 27, 2012

On Loafers

I am tired of heels. My runner's feet and calves are also tired of heels. As a working woman in the 21st century, I am happy to say there are plenty o' options out there when it comes to the closet. What I need to be adding to my fall attire are a brand new set of LOAFERS! Ideally, they would be the cheeky pair from Stubbs & Wooton, as pictured here:

Friday, August 17, 2012

On How to Be Smart

I am happy to say that I am not returning to school this fall!  As a recent alumna, I want to keep my wits about me.  The last thing I want is a soggy, lazy brain so I listen to TED talks, NPR, and radio broadcastings direct from France (Paris 1) on a regular basis.  Links to two of my most favoritist (see I am smart!) TED Talks can be found below: 



Sunday, August 12, 2012

On The Olympic Highlights

I inconsistently followed London 2012.  Inconsistently followed, meaning:
I occasionally pulled up the New York Times Results during the workday.  
I occasionally streamed video highlights when I got home from work (and ok fine, I streamed one while AT work.)
I occasionally caught a tweet or a FB update that I couldn't ignore and then Googled the facts.   
I wouldn't say that I consistently followed the Olympics because: 
I didn't set my alarm for ungodly hours to catch the events.
I didn't cause my office to experience an interruption in their internet connection (unlike what happened with city workers at Los Angeles City Hall ).
I didn't sit through a game/match/event in its entirety (though I did watch the women's marathon for about 2.5 hours, just until the top American women finished. Go Flanagan!).

The highlights-worth-mentioning of 2012 London are as follows:
1. I was with my boyfriend in a bar when the Opening Ceremony(/psychedelic trip) aired.  We stuck around for the majority of the Parade of Nations and the whole time we were wondering why North Korea paraded in with the D's if the parade is organized in alphabetical order in the language of the host country.  After massive Googling with discovered the official name for North Korea is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Hmmm. Click here for some other interesting facts about why some countries parade under the names that they do. 
2. A German Diver, Stephan Feck, did a back flop instead of some fancy dive. 
3. Many men collapsed due to exhaustion during Long Distance Walking, yep, walking. 
4. A funny internet meme, Mckayla is not impressed is a viral result of a young US gymnast's disappointment for being the second best vaulter in the world. (I mean come on! only second!)
5. It was a real struggle trying to figure out what country would take the Gold for a Women's 2 on 2 Beach Volleyball Match.
6. Mixing up the flag  of two deeply-divided-yet-once-one-nation countries is never a good thing. 
7. Runners are nicer guys than swimmers? Galen Rupp seems like a more wholesome character than both Michael Phelps (who ditched his girlfriend) and Brian Lochte (especially since Brian has a decorative grill). 
8. Olympians try to get their game on in arenas other than the Olympic stadium. 
9. Brits that win gold medals get a mailbox painted gold in their hometown.  

The Olympics renewed some with a sense of patriotism,motivated others with new workout goals, and taught many people more about the world in which we all live.  Are you going to watch the closing ceremony?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

On Salad for Dinner

I suggest pairing this salad with a dry,
white wine, it is summer after all!
Those who know me know that I eat salad for pretty much every meal. Salad is one of my all time favorite concepts.  Tonight I nixed the lettuce and made something new.  It was scrumptious and I think you should try it.  Here's what's in it:
Steamed Potatoes 
Fresh Chopped Basil
Diced Hardboiled Eggs
Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On A Rock

Opening Day. Photo courtesy of LACMA.org.
Recently I spent an evening at LACMA.  One of the museum's many draws that evening (aside from live Jazz, catching up with a friend, and an opening exhibition) was a gigantic rock atop a concrete walkway.  I am sure many of you have heard of it-- Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer. The hoopla caused by bringing this celebrity rock to the Miracle Mile meant more to me than seeing the rock actually set in place.  The process of getting the rock to Los Angeles is better explained here and will soon be made into a documentary.  Will you watch it? A movie about a rock?  Some interesting deets about this rock:
The rock will remain where it currently is for the next 3,500 years. (Who came up with that number?)
Heizer once dug a series of holes in the Sierra Nevada and is currently working on a three square mile project called "City".  He has been working on "City" since 1970. 
He tried to build Levitated Mass with a smaller boulder back in 1962 and the crane snapped. 
This exhibition cost upwards of $10 M. 
So is a rock, just a rock, just a rock? or so much more?
You tell me. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

On So What is Pantone Anyway?

Alright, alright, it took me a little while to get this one straight, but Pantone is a company best known for its color matching system.  This system is basically a catalog of color shades that enables people to match colors across industries (ie so a florist can talk to a graphic designer and be on the same page about a certain hue) and across countries (no need to keep rouge straight from rojo straight from rosso).  This system is mostly used in the printing industry, but Pantone is worth noting because every year they release the Color of the Year.  This hue dictates everything from the shade found on movie posters to cardigans to eyeshadow. This year it is something sassy: Tangerine Tango.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On A Summery Thing to Do

I have this never ending bucket list of things that I want to do this summer.  I feel like I need to keep telling myself that I won't be returning to grad school in the Fall and that some things can wait until September or October and that I don't need to fit it all into what's left of July and August. 

One thing that I have done and enjoyed very much and would like to do again very soon is an outdoor wine tasting.  There is nothing like getting off work, taking off your shoes, spreading out a blanket, and tasting wines as the sun softens overhead. 

For those in LA there are many options.  Barnsdall Art Park has wine tastings every Friday--where I was last Friday. It's a touch pricy ($25 for a 4 wine flight) but all the proceeds go to restoring the Hollyhock House.   Malibu Wine is a bit of a trek, but there is no need to make a reservation and it is open 7 days a week ($12-$14 for a 4 wine flight).  

Malibu Wines pictured here.
Last summer, I will never forget a wine tasting I had in Santa Barbara.  It was right on the pier at the Conway Family Wines' Deep Sea Tasting Room.  This summer, I might try a tasting up in Oxnard.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On An App Worth Your Time

There are a lot of good apps out there, but there is also a lot of nonsense that you need to weed through to get to the good stuff.  That said, there is one app that I do recommend (aside from the essentials: Yelp, Instagram, Pandora/Spotify, Shazam, Fandango). While it doesn't have the best name, MPhotobooth, it has the best function.  MPhotobooth brings to you your own portable, personal photo-booth.  Last I checked, photo-booths are a party in and of themselves. Check the latest from my recent trip to Northern AZ.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On Spending Time Outdoors

It's summer and it is time to get outside, friends! Days are longer. Weather is better.  Think of the things to do in the great outdoors! 
                                                                      For Those in L.A.
1. Hike                                                           Echo Mountain, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (for a quick one!)
2. Bike                                                           Along the coast or on Ballona Creek Bike Path
3. Run                                                            Griffith Park, Silverlake Reservoir, Mandeville Canyon Trails
4. Picnic                                                         Barnsdall, Kenneth Hahn State Park
5. Outdoor Movie Screening                             Oscar Outdoors, Eat See Hear, Street Food Cinema
6. Beach day!                                                  Malibu! Redondo! Manhattan!
7.Weekend camping trip                                  Jalama Beach near Santa Barbara
8. Dine al fresco                                              Just about anywhere!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On What I Cannot Stop Doing

I cannot stop taking photos of the L.A. skyline. It is like my little weird obsession. I have hiked and ran Runyon, Griffith, and Verdugo numerous times.  From various vantage points, I have had ample opportunity to look down at the city from above, and yet every time I do it, I feel like I am doing it for the first time, and I never fail to snap a picture.  My entire photo library in my phone looks like this:

And that is not going to change anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Where to Eat Tacos

I used to religiously go to Malo for their Monday taco deal, but now I no longer make the trek to Silverlake/Sunset Junction area for my Mexican cravings. I drive straight on Beverly from my house to Escuela Taqueria.  It is BYOB and very conveniently located across the street from Erewhon (my fav, yet expensive health food store in this city).  At Erewhon you can kill two birds with one stone: buy booze and get cash back (Escuela only takes straight bills y'all).  BYOB'ing drastically reduces your dinner cost and gives the waiters zero clue as to how much you have been swilling down over the course of your meal. The chips are homemade.  The tacos are delish.  The place is small.  The atmosphere is jovial and cozy.  Just perfect for a cheap night out! Eat outside! It's summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Floral Pants

Went the funky route and wore floral pants and high booties to work today.  They are high-wasted and slim fitting at the ankle with a little slouch in between.  They are all shades of pink, eye-catching, and just fun. Perfect for a sunny Thursday with a lunch outing to the Farmer's Market.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Breaking Bread Together

I keep asking my tasteful friends (all of my friends are tasteful, that is why they are my friends!), "Have you heard of Kinfolk Magazine?" Every single one of them has replied, "No. What's that." So I need to tell you that Kinfolk Magazine if my new favorite 'zine. Kinfolk is a proponent of small gatherings--something I would like to champion this summer. I love small gatherings because:
1. I live in an apartment in a dense, urban setting with no yard. 
2. I am in my twenties, but have tendencies as if I was in my forties and large gatherings can get out of hand, especially in your own home. 
3. I like intimate, warm groups of people. 
4. Small dinner parties are budget friendly. 

Speaking from experience, the easiest thing to do is to host people that you love and want to welcome into your home.  Kinfolk inspires its readers how to go about doing that. Kinfolk describes its approach as, "simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived".  You gotta love that! 

The magazine's images make me want to run to the market to pick up fresh bread, olives, cheese, and wine, and to call some buddies to chow and to chat with the loveliness that comes from being together.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On Getting Away from the Big City

When I need a break from city-living, I go camping. Out in Joshua Tree (where I will spend Memorial Day Weekend) there is no cell service (big plus!), no showering, no cars honking at intersections, and no to-do list. Nada. High heels, ringing phones, and Facebook status updates quickly become replaced with sand, jack rabbits, huge fantastic rock formations, and the unique, obscure Joshua Tree (pictured above). My anxious thoughts become replaced with calmness and a whole lot or doing nothing or doing very simple things--like running, and running, and running. Happy Long Weekend. I hope you get the chance to get away too.  Xo.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

On the Movie of the Summer

The new Wes Anderson movie, Moonrise Kingdom, looks to me like The Summer Masterpiece. The trailer incorporates all things summer: camp cabins, tall grass, canoes, tents, flashlights, expeditions in the wilderness.  Get excited, it opens May 25th. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On What I Want to Do Very Soon

I am so sorry for my lengthy blogosphere absence. I was caught up with finishing my Master's degree, and I am happy to announce from this point forward I am free and clear of academic obligations. With my freedom comes a bucket list of things I would like to do this summer. There are movies to see (I saw The Dictator last night!), restaurants to check out (Little Bear, Wursthaus, Eveleigh to name a few), and events to attend (Thursday evening Farmer's Market up at Yamashiro, outdoor movie screenings).  At the top of my summer "to do" list is to have a picnic in Barnsdall's Park just as the sun starts to set--The Golden Hour I call it.  I will bring wine, cheese, crackers, salami, crisp apples, almonds, and spread out on a blanket to bask in the summer sun and the sweetness of my new found freedom. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On Having a Fashion Designer Friend In Town

Author in New Spring Dress
Last weekend, my long-lost Brenda came to visit.  Years ago, I think we started talking because we liked each others' style. Some would call those roots of a friendship shallow, but if you know how much I deeply admire all things fashion, you would define the friendship as deep & everlasting.  

We both don't live in the same place anymore. I miss her. Having her back for one fleeting Sunday funday was all the affirmation I needed to realize just how much my closet misses having her around as well.  

Even though we didn't plan it, our entire day together was subtly fashion-oriented.  Our first destination was the American Apparel Factory in DTLA (aka the legal American Sweatshop) where we window shopped the color wheel.  Next, Fashion District where I found the perfect spring dress that I would not have tried on if it weren't for B, "Try it on. Just try it on. Get it. Get it." (aside: I don't think Brenda has ever talked me out of a purchase.) We then headed up to Los Feliz and vintage hunted and got some more ideas.  To wind down, our day ended with apertifs and light bites from my favorite sidewalk bistro (Le Figaro) where the people watching on Vermont is fantastic.  We weren't looking at the people, per say, but at their clothes.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

On My Spring Wish List

Yooooohoooo! It's almost April.  Isn't it about time we get excited for Spring? Easter? Florals & Pastels? Sun past 5'o clock? Green grass? Picnics? Bike rides? Dining al fresco? Outdoor concerts?  I have created a list to incite some excitement about the Spring season that is upon us.  

1. First thing first, I want to wear my hair in a single braid. Braids are flowy, flirty, and girly. Perfect for Spring. 

2. Lacey Shorts 

3. Magazines- tis the season of periodicals, you can take them to a cafe, read them in the tub, and fold them, tear them, cut them to shreds for art projects.  Hard cover books are so winter! 

4. A bright blazer. My navy, houndstooth, dark brown, and black blazers are just so tired when I compare them to this tangerine number at left. 

5. Concert tickets- I just got some to Washed Out in May! 
6. Ice cream cones
7. Maxi skirt- The maxi dress was so last year. I feel this is the year of the skirt instead of the dress. 
8.  Fresh fleurs to keep your house nice and cheery! In the spirit of the season. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Party Favors

Even though I didn't run my best race, I had a good experience at the LA marathon this past Sunday. The best part of the whole sha-bang you ask? 1. feeling fit and trim from all the training and 2. all the freebies! 
Marathons have got swag, major free swag! 
My loot includes, but is not limited to:
 Countless power/nutrition/trail bars
Energy shots/blocks/beans/goo
A long sleeve tee in flashy colors
A bag of jasmine rice (uhm, don't ask? What kinda marathoner has time to cook up some rice on the course?)
Animal crackers and chocolate grahams
A bunch of bananas
A few water bottles
a slew of unflattering photos
An assortment of fliers for upcoming races
A subscription to Women's Health, Outside Magazine, and Runners' World
Oh and a heavy finisher's medal (now that's bling)
Not to mention two bouquets of lovely flowers my spectators brought to me.  
Friends, thanks for all the love and support!
I just signed up for the San Francisco/LA challenge so that means redemption run in SF mid summer. 
Run, run, run!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On The Fruit of the Moment

Remember that old adage,"an apple a day. . . . "
Well fudgetaboutit!
A pear a day and you, my friend, are invincible. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

On The Little Things

Things have been intensely busy for me lately, but I am still trying to take time out of my day to stop and smell the roses.  On the Metro ride home from work today I caught myself thinking of all the little things that make life so wonderful and satisfying.  
Things like:

 +Discovering a new song that you want to put on repeat. 

+Getting to the train platform exactly as the train pulls up.

+Vanilla yogurt, berries, and almonds for breakfast. 

+Shoes without socks

+ Good color coordination

+The feeling of running