Absolutely loved one of the editorials that ran in this month's W. Shot by Mario Sorrenti and photographed in Marfa, Texas, it's all hot white light and vignetted blue skies. Makes me want to get out to the desert ASAP.
...is so dead in January it might as well be a corpse. Zing, Disneyland. Zing, everyone who wasn't at Disneyland today when I went.
In addition to cotton candy, I also purchased a 25 cent fortune from Esmeralda The Fortunately Coiffed Fortune Teller. Here's what it says:
Born under a very lucky star, your disposition, naturally good [haaaaayls yeah, it's naturally good], has been made uneven by the selfish and snobbish people you have met, and it has made you unhappy [well, yeah, you'd be unhappy too if your friends were Mike and Posey]. This condition is soon to end, for your lucky star will soon place you in a new change of life that will be far more pleasant. While you will never have any great amount of wealth [wait, WHAT?!], you will never want for the things that you should really have [then I should really have these]. Your natural ability for business it will be well to cultivate [okay, I'm just applying a healthy amount of sic to that because I thought this woman was Spanish, not Yoda], for you will have need to look after big business affairs very soon. A marriage [WOOHOO!] late in life [WHAT!] will be based not on passion [UNLIKE!], but a calm, even affection, and will result in good [Esme, I beg to differ, honey, and I might add that I don't think I've ever been calm in my entire life]. Beware of dark friends [take that, Mike Posey!], especially ladies [oh...in that case, take that, Mike Posey!] [zing.]. Anything done on the 16th of the month will succeed [even a grizzly bear brawl? Because I beg to differ...unless, of course, we strike up a calm, even affectionate relationship with one another, in which case:]
♥, but not too much
After a rather brokenhearted Charlie learned that his bike had been stolen on Saturday (it's happened twice to me since moving here, so I can relate), we consoled our friend with the Joe's Special at Joe Jost's, and headed up to Signal Hill to check out the views post-rain. As expected, they were stunning - but the most notable part about it is that the smog had cleared enough for us to see the Hollywood Sign. Those of you who are locals understand how amazing this is, as often you can't spot the famed white letters even from Hollywood. So to see it from our perch atop the hill was something to experience. Then I gave my camera to Jody and she attempted to take a photo of Charlie and I. Attempt is really a generous term for what we came up with, isn't it?
It's a quiet Sunday afternoon here in Long Beach. Jody's making art, Ashley's practicing her cello, Mike's grading papers, and Chet Baker is our soundtrack for the day. It's impossibly bright, the kind of post-rain searing sun explosion that one comes to expect here in Southern California after a storm. Mr. Baker was our rainy day soundtrack as well, and I've decided that he's the bees knees whether it's pouring rain or sunshine is pouring through the window.
Here are a few snaps I took this week amidst the tumultuous weather.
Post-rain romp on Tuesday
This stunner lit up the sky on Friday afternoon when I was picking Brady up from the airport. It's been years
since I'veseen a rainbow from edge to edge and the double rainbow behind it. Unfortunately, my iPhone
couldn't capture the whole thing at once, but here's a pitiful idea of how awesome it was.
I've always been interested in fashion, even before it was immediately evident by my often (still) questionable sartorial choices. As a kid, I'd flip through the deluge of catalogs we'd receive in the mail every month and I'd always take on the peculiar challenge of figuring what I'd wear if I could only shop from that one catalog. Obviously, for some brands (like J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, or Anthropologie) this mental exercise was far easier than it was for others (Land's End. Chadwicks of Boston. Newport News. Like I inferred before, we had a lot of catalogs coming to the house). One of the worst offenders was the venerable L.L. Bean. Duck-billed rubber/leather hybrid boots. Mom jeans. swooping sunglasses that hugged the face like a, well, hug. Even as a kid, I categorized these products swiftly as Do! Not! Want!
Imagine my amusement now that given the resurgence of workwear-is-the-new-homeless-chic movement currently making its rounds amongst well-styled fellows, The Bean is au courant once again (or maybe for the first time?). It's gotten mentions on Selectism and Street Etiquette recently, not to mention the hearty high-five it received in my February issue of GQ. The company also hired Alex Carleton (founder of Rogues Gallery) on as creative director on a new line debuting in March called L.L. Bean Signature. Expect buffalo plaid, savants!
In the meantime, I perused L.L. Bean's website and put myself to task creating a collection of what I'd be found sporting if my shopping options were suddenly whittled away to one. What I found were a handful of classic basics likely more at home in a gentleman's closet than my own, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised to discover the perfect Breton sailor stripe top for thirty-five bucks. L.L. Bean, you may just impress me yet.
Click here (rightthissecond) to experience Peter Gabriel's rendition of The Arcade Fire's "My Body Is A Cage." Also click there (rightthissecond) to read about his upcoming covers album Scratch My Back. He's playing + orchestra at the Bowl in May. I say: Let's scoop up those cheap tickets and kick off Summer the right way. Who's with me?
It's been a real helluva day here in Long Beach. A few storm fronts have been moving through town this week and while yesterday's gales and torrential downpours seemed extreme, they were no match to the storm that blew through today. Our entire street was flooded and the rains just kept coming, overflowing onto the sidewalks and front yards, cars creating tidal waves as they passed. On top of that, there was a tornado warning in effect for Long Beach. A tornado! Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the complete ass-over-teakettle wackery of a Southern California beach city tornado?
Despite the immanent doom, we simply couldn't sit by and watch the maelstrom turn our neighborhood into a watery playground. So armed with little more than t-shirts and gumption, we turned our noses up at the notion of curling up on the couch with a blanket and instead faced the gales full-on. Throwing caution to the wind, we splashed and jumped and played and enjoyed the unusually fearsome weather, even as the hail pelted our skin and the frigid water froze our feet - we couldn't be contained. Not on a day like today!
This is when the hail started in. Have you ever been caught in a hailstorm? Turns out, it totally hurts.
There were parts on the street where the water was calf-high. Absolutely insane.
I already showed you the behind the scenes photos last week, and many of you have probably already been over to Jess's webspace to see the final results, but for those of you who haven't, or for those of you who easily forget, then you're in for a real treat on this stormy Monday morning.
Last weekend I joined Jessica Kemp - CHEF! (and a small army of helping hands - Tyler, Ashley, Anne) in Whittier for another Your Best Friend dinner at the mercurial hand of Mrs. Kemp. The mission was improbable and appropriately far-reaching for an artistic mind like Jess's: 10 courses paired with her top ten songs of 2009. The real kicker was that she'd be serving this masterpiece to her largest dining group yet: 8 people. So if you're keeping track, that's 80 plates to prepare, 80 dishes to serve, 80 individual masterpieces to recreate, without 80 hours to do so.
I'll spare you the suspense because by now the jig is certainly up: It went off with nary a hitch and more than one person compared Jess's food to having a religious experience. Direct quotes from the dining room, people! I can't make this stuff up!
The day before the dinner, we met up to do a dry run of all ten courses as well as shoot those courses for Jess's website. She goes into more detail about this, but Jess and I are artistic soulmates when it comes to collaborations. We're about as different as different can be when it comes to the kind of art we create, but I've yet to meet anyone with whom I collaborate with more fruitfulness than Jessica NelsonKemp. With us, the ideas are constant and the results are varied but no less consistent in execution. Basically, she and I are an unstoppable force when it comes to creative endeavors. And from this springs our best collaboration to date: Food + photography.
It was a 15-hour day, but with Jess's food, and with the patient help (and more creative inspiration) from Tyler, Ashley, and Anne, we were able to shoot all ten courses. Without further ado, here are the photos along with the songs they appeared with. For full descriptions of what's on the plate, you'll have to head over to Jess's website (hint: Do it. Now. It's worth it if only to salivate over the bacon-date-chipotle sausage she made from SCRATCH).
#10: YACHT - Ring The Bell
#4: Neko Case - I'm An Animal (this was my favorite course, by the way. Anne
brought yellow limes with her from Ontario and they made the dish. Fantastic.)
#1: Dirty Projectors - Useful Chamber