Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Foxy, Roxy...Simpson?




Man. At moments like this, it really sucks that I can't teleport to wherever I want to go. Okay, that always sucks. But... Ashlee Simpson in a professional theatrical production? If I were in London (which damn, I just was), I'd hightail it to the West End and gawk at Chicago ASAP. How did this possibly come about? I know that last year there were rumors about Britney making an appearance in Sweet Charity, but that girl can dance if nothing else. Ashlee, on the other hand, has no redeeming performance qualities. I approve of her new nose, and am impressed by the Olympic stylistic team that reworked her into the hotter Simpson, but no matter what they do to the outer package, she will never, ever be a Broadway star.

I don't think.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just Call Me PicassNo




I'm sitting here watching Miami Ink, that reality show on TLC about tattoo artists and their clients, and I simply cannot imagine what it takes to be able to do that. Not getting the tattoo - I won't do it, but can picture why you would - but drawing it.

I can't draw. I mean - really. My friend Caroline told me the same thing at our sophomore year art class, before she promptly whipped out her pencil, drew this perfect representation of her hand, looked at me, and said: "See? I told you I can't draw." Shut up.

This has happened many times since. People claim they can't draw, and okay, maybe they're no Picasso, but they can draw a horse and make it look like a horse. Me? I draw a horse and it looks like a hot dog. Actually, everything I draw sort of looks like a hot dog, and sometimes a peanut. Maybe I'm just hungry? When I was little, I used to ask my mom what I should draw and - I swear to God - she'd always answer: "A sailboat." I was infuriated, because I couldn't draw a sailboat, and why couldn't she ever come up with something else? I quickly realized, though, that the problem did not lie in her lack of brainstorming capabilities, but with me, myself, and I. People try to give me little tips, thinking they'll be the ones to crack the code, but nope; there's nothing to be done.

I've accepted this means certain professions are closed to me. Namely, anything that requires me to stand before people and try to get across a message pictorially. Art teacher, teacher in general, Win, Lose, or Draw contestant. I used to get kind of depressed about this, but I'm slowly geting used to it. Especially since tonight my meditation teacher (yes, I know, how very LA of me) told me I'm a spiritual healer. Hmm. I think that trumps art teacher?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Chips and a Cocaine With That?




Have you heard of this?

I was watching some primetime show or other a couple nights ago, when the news began its promos to lure me in. Their big tag for the night was "Would you drink Cocaine?" Um - wha? As previously blogged, I have this huge fear of all things sniffed up my nose/cocaine-related, so I was immediately suspect of this "legal alternative" to the stuff.

I tracked down their website and seriously - what a hilarious/disturbing concept. It's an energy drink with something like 3 or 4 times the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, holds a warning for pregnant chicks, and features a numbing (?!) substance that coats the back of your throat to simulate the drug's effects. Okay - really? True, I was fascinated by those Cool Caplets that Tylenol sold (sells?) that created an "instant cooling sensation" down my throat. But - it wasn't trying to simulate the effects of an illegal substance and it wasn't trying to numb me for God's sake.

I also love how there's a link on the website to "Charities", listing AA etc. as if this product is really helping the cause. Get out of rehab and pick up a Cocaine; maybe rehabs will even distribute them upon discharge! Why not? The sad imitation probably won't leave you wanting the real stuff or anything.

Oh, and that letter newly posted on the site by the founder is something to behold. I realize that I, too, added to the "overloading of the server", but isn't there something ridiculous about posting a letter to clamoring fans of an energy drink? All that being said, will someone please try this and let me know how it goes? I don't do the whole numbing thing, but it sounds like lots of other people will...? Thanks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hugs and Milkshakes




You know those defining moments with a new friend when you know it's either thumbs up or all down hill from here? I had one of those with my new roommate last night when I invited her to a movie premiere event the magazine hooked me up with. It was for a documentary about this crazy Indian woman (okay, and saint) named Ammah, who hugs everyone. The movie was made by these French dudes who barely spoke English, but found it appropriate to stand before us all and give a big speech about the film. My roommate and I sat in stony silence. The movie began, and at first it was sort of interesting. Disturbing, but interesting. But after an hour and a half of the same fugging hugging scene, all I could think about was finding a bathroom, a cheeseburger, and my bed, in that order. She and I kept sneaking looks at each other to see what the other thought, but no one was giving it up. What if the other one was all about India (like I used to be), all about the hugs?

It wasn't until the very end, when we were forced to sit through 20 minutes of French credits in complete darkness, when we gripped each other's arms in shared despair, that we knew we were on the same page. When we started giggling it was all over; we couldn't stop. People stared, people judged, but the dam had been broken.

We finally escaped the whole affair and ran down Hollywood Boulevard to her car and our freedom. We agreed this had been a crucial test and we had both passed. The deal was further sealed when we shouted "Milkshake!" in almost perfect unison as we spotted McDonald's. Ah, bliss.

Monday, September 18, 2006

(Broken Down) Streetcar




I am not Blanche DuBois, and I do not like to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Last night in a parking garage, upon returning from San Francisco, I found my battery dead. This was clearly my fault, since I'd left the lights on for three straight days, but I still felt very sorry for myself. I was alone, it was late, I was on the open, abandoned roof of a garage, and my car was broken. And I really had to pee. Just as the lip started to quiver, I saw a car drive past me, and down the ramp towards the exit. Without thinking, I sprinted after it. (Sidenote. Me running = not a pretty sight.) Like that creepy dude from the one ghost story my mom knew, the one with the hook who stalks couples making out, I frantically rapped on the side of their car. After they recovered, they turned the car around and helped me jump the battery. It was nice of them and I was grateful, but being friendly and thankful at 11:30 p.m. is not my idea of a good time.

Then came this morning. I packed my little lunch, picked out my cute little outfit, and bounced down the street to my car. Some days I actually look forward to work, and today was one of them. Until I turned the key and nothing happened. Had I left the lights on again?! Nope. It was just dead and dead. Who'd I get to jump it this time? I jogged down to a group of construction workers (cuz who doesn't want to stop and chat with them, really?) and pouted my lip in a way I hoped was pitiful/alluring. My luck had run out. No, they didn't have the cables, no they couldn't help me. Ugh. Even worse than putting myself out there is putting myself out there and getting rejected. It was time to surrender; I shuffled back to my car and called Triple A.

After a couple fun rides there and back, jam packed with awkward small talk, riding high in the tow truck, I'm at home and my car is in the shop. It'd been nagging me with a couple of other problems too, so it's getting a full makeover. I won't get into the office today, but I'll try to get as much done as I can from here. Just as soon as Ellen is over...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Didn't Know About This Why?




How come nobody told me about this stuff before? I've spent my whole grocery-shopping adult life purchasing separate jars of peanut butter and jelly, while I could have had the one-stop experience of Goobers? My God, I'm in love. I'm currently enjoying the strawberry jelly combo, but rapidly burrowing my way through; soon it will be time to try the grape. I love that I don't have to work to get even parts pb to even parts jelly - I just dip in, scoop, and let my tongue enjoy the flavor dance. It's rare to find such a convenient convenience food.

I'm mourning all the years we've missed together, but I'll surely make up for them somehow. The only thing I've got left to try in the peanut butter aisle is that Milky Way concoction with the happy black and white stripes giving me that come-hither stare. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Big Dose of Birth Control




Sometimes after a stressful day at the internship, where I've been writing beauty blurbs like a mad woman, or tripping down the street to catch the last post, or reviewing DVDs about people who speak to elephants, I think to myself: I want a baby. I know this is a ridiculous thought, and not really appropriate for my stage in life, but at times it seems like such a peaceful, little idea. I could ditch some products because of that whole glowing thing that happens, eat 4 turkey hotdogs instead of 2 (okay, 3), and hold my belly in that "I've got a secret you can't know" way. Maybe I'd suddenly like scrapbooking and stencilling and I'd fill my hours with both. Maybe I'd get into that nesting thing and actually clean my bathtub, or at least the sink. I'd pick out crazy names and little shoes and the world of crazy animal chanters would be far behind me.

But then days like today happen and I realize those cozy times are a ways off. My bosses (husband and wife) have a new baby boy who's cute as heck, and I love when he's around; I coo and gurgle and kiss his feet, greedy for a baby fix. Today the 'rents had an important meeting and they needed a last minute babysitter. I jumped at the chance, happy to smush those fat little cheeks against mine. The first half hour was great, everyone all "Look at Amy, she's a natural!" I nodded knowingly and continued the rounds. Then he started fidgeting and crying and fussing and the only thing that made him stop was holding him like a football, at a very specific angle, while walking very quickly up and down the hallway. This got old fast. And even though I was helping out the Big Bosses, my Little Bosses wanted me working and kept shooting me isn't-that-cute-but-not-really faces. I tried to sit and write, jiggling him on my knee while I typed with my left hand, but he wasn't having it. By the time his parents returned, very grateful, I was shot. I know I'll love being a mom one day, but I'm definitely not there yet. I handed the little booger back, very happy to ease back into my comfy chair cross-legged, turn on my Nano, and feel responsible for only myself.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Britney's Baby (One More Time)


Everyone's favorite train wreck delivered a baby boy early this morning. No one's reporting on a name yet, and I'm not letting myself get excited about the possiblities. Although she's lost her mind in most other ways, in terms of naming, Brit has remained true to her "country" roots and stuck to the basics. But maybe, we can only hope, she envies those A-listers with their Apples and Hazels and Suris and Shilohs and Moses(es?) and will choose something that puts a little bounce in my step. Frappucino? Scrunchie? Cheeto? The world is her oyster.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Glazed Over




As I think I mentioned before, I dyed my hair dark brown last week. My hair - I think? - is naturally a medium brown color, but no one really knows anymore. Either way, this is a nice change from all the overgrown, overdone highlights I had before. I stalked the drugstore aisles and considered just doing the color myself, but stopped when I had visions of my eighth-grade self and the semi-permanent stains I left all over my hands, forehead, and bathtub. Nevermind.

I ended up finding a supercute place in Venice Beach (which I'm now realizing is a hike from the new digs) where my stylist chatted away to me about the East Coast and kept me in a constant supply of Cokes (not Diet). Here was someone who finally listened to me, looked at my picture (Maggie Gyllenhaal - swoon), and did what I wanted. She told me to come back in two months, handed me another Coke, and sent me on my way. As happy as I was, though, my cheapskate mind got to thinking. Two months? One of the reasons I went to an overall color was to avoid the constant touch-ups highlights demand.

Enter my new product find to the rescue: Luminous Color Glaze by John Frieda. Created for natural or colored brunettes (they've got a red and blonde version, too) this stuff kicks up the color you already have, while slowly depositing more. It's like the Natural Glow of hair care. You apply it in the shower after shampooing, and although it's a tad smelly and a little messy, it's a breeze compared to all those gloves and scary tubes from a box and a lot cheaper than the salon. You're supposed to use it every wash to maintain the color and shine, (and softness - your hair is like butta afterwards), but I'm still experimenting with that. For now, I'm just happy to have found a product that will keep my color looking fresh, carrying me to that four month mark before I have to return to Venice.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I Want to Live at Ikea




I do. People tell me I just haven't visited enough to hate it, but I don't think that could ever happen. All those fake apartment layouts get me thinking like the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - I want to hide from the yellow and blue people and sleep over.

Today I went to Ikea by myself for the first time and could finally go through at my own speed; it got me thinking about a couple potential improvements.

1) Ikea should really consider hiring people to pretend they live there. I'd like a mom baking at the counter, a kid playing NES on the couch, and maybe a teenage girl lying on her bed and talking on a rotary phone. It'd be like everyone's favorite Disney ride, "The Carousel of Progress," except I could stay and stare without being electronically pushed along.

2.) Expanding on this idea, I'd like to see snacks provided along the arrow-guided route, Costco style. The cooking moms could put their cupcakes or pigs-in-a-blanket on the kitchen table and we could hop in and grab a few before journeying on. I do like wrapping up my trip with some Swedish meatballs at the cafe, but I could use some sustenance along the way.

Ideas aside, I have a kick-ass platform bed coming my way tomorrow. I can soon pretend my room is inside the store and I've cracked the code of how to stay after hours.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thin is Good




The first time I saw our model today I gasped. Not because of how attractive she was - yes, she was pretty - but because when she turned to the side she disappeared. She was literally a two-dimensional being. I tugged on the stylist's arm and whispered, "She's so thin." Before he could open his mouth to comment, the photographer interrupted. "Thin is good." Really.

Our magazine isn't supposed to shoot skeletal, heroin-chic models - it doesn't support the healthy, real-person image we want to project. Admittedly, I get frustrated sometimes with the homespun, earthy feel we have, but on this one point I agree. At the casting last week, I pointed out the model's toothpick legs, but no one wanted to listen. Fast forward to today - everyone alternately praising her bony collarbone and then trying to hide it so our Editor-in-Chief doesn't freak when she sees the photos. Mixed messages don't make me happy.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Baby Suri! She Lives! (?)


Dare I believe the blogger buzz? Does Baby Suri really exist and did Katie Couric actually show the pics on the night of her big CBS debut? If what I hear is true, great planning on her part; no better way to boost your potentially iffy approval ratings than by pimping out the TomKitten.

I hate (hate) to admit this, but Suri looks like both Tom and Katie (Holmes not Couric - but wouldn't that be fun?) and she does, in fact, have both "pretty blue eyes" and "beautiful black hair" like all those creepy, robot people told us she did. Is this what all my obsessing boils down to? A normal baby that photographs well? I refuse to believe this is the end!

And on a sidenote, was Katie Couric really allowed to do that? Vanity Fair is releasing its October issue tomorrow, with the promised Suri pics inside, and I can't imagine they wanted their story scooped by KC; I feel like she broke some sort of journalism code of honor. Not that I won't be plunking down my 5 bucks anyways come the break of dawn...but still.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lessons Learned in London



Fashion: Skinny jeans are not a new finding over there. Pairs in LA are spanking new, sharply creased. In the UK, similar pairs have worn, fringed bottoms and holes in the knee; old news. Same with flat boots. I spent every day of last year searching for the perfect flat boot (picture Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings) because I knew they were it. But could I find them anywhere? No. Sad, ugly imitations? Yes. But nothing worthy of Middle Earth. Now, photos of what I envisioned are popping up all over the interweb and Harper's Bazaar. And everyone in London is wearing scuffed-up pairs they clearly purchased about the time I was scouting last fall. I'm furious.

Candy: Everyone knows British sweets are superior to ours (just look at their teeth) but did you know about their Cadbury bar filled with Turkish Delight? I didn't think so. Narnia in a wrapper.

Tabloids: They are exclusively about Prince Williams's girlfriend Kate, dubbed "HRH: Her Royal Hotness."

Beverages: Not once, but twice, did I make the mistake of ordering a lemonade this weekend. Few things in life are as delicious as a tangy, pulpy glass of juice made from lemons. FYI: In Britian, "lemonade" means "fake-sugar-sweetened-Sprite-knock-off." Do kids sell this stuff at stands?

Lines (ahem, queus) at Airports
: Brits will stand in any line they are told to without comment or complaint. Heathrow is a nightmare right now. Even though I showed up on time, brought no squishy lip gloss, and packed but one bag, I barely made my flight home. The only thing that got me there was my obnoxious Yankee entitlement; if there was a beginning of a line to get to, I got there - and loudly. By the time my fellow Americans and I sprinted to our gate, it was last call and we just made it on. At take off, less than half the seats were filled even though the plane was fully booked. I'm fairly certain the people who missed it were all English and are still waiting in security, politely inquiring for a spot of tea.