Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Broke Mac Mountain

Broke Mac Mountain, a parody for geeks. You're gonna love it. See it here.

Jake got the Nod!

You know, I really didn't expect this after he got dissed by the Globes. But my #1 Hollywood dreamboat got the shout-out from the Academy today, and I think that's reason enough to celebrate with this over-the-top display of beefcake, don't you?

Oh, come on, you didn't think I was going to write a serious entry or anything today, did you?

Monday, January 30, 2006


So tomorrow is the big day. That is, it's the day the Oscar nominations are announced. The competition is pretty fierce this year, and maybe even more so than previously thought after last night's surprise Brokeback shutout at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Of course, the Academy is not SAG, and Defamer has a pretty hilarious post here.

As much as I loved Brokeback Mountain and have been advocating it to everyone I know, I'd really like to see Good Night, and Good Luck get some recognition from the Academy, especially in the areas of writing and performances by an actor (both lead, David Strathairn as Murrow; and supporting, Frank Langella awesome as William Paley). Of course, I'd like to see Jakey get a nod, if for no other reason than to see him in all his glorious hotness dressed up in a tuxedo, and as my sister pointed out, to prevent him from throwing a little bitchy hissy fit like he did pre-Globes. Plus if he gets nominated, he's sure to maintain a high profile for the next five weeks, giving the papi ample opportunity to photograph him with his adorable two dogs romping at the dog park in Laurel and Runyon canyons. You gotta love that.

I'll blab more about this after the nominations are released tomorrow morning.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Playing with Picasa

  Picasa's not the cat. Phoebe's the cat. Picasa is the software. Yes, her eyes really are that blue.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

San Diego Getaway

I went to college in San Diego (SDSU class of '85), so it's always a treat to spend a weekend there. I only live about an hour and a half away which is the perfect distance for a quick getaway, but it seems like I never visit often enough. This is the view from the gateway to the Gaslamp Quarter, looking north, right in front of the Convention Center. The second shot was actually taken only a few steps earlier. Oncoming trains always scare the holy bejesus out of me.

I can remember very specifically the last time I was in this section of San Diego. It was for Street Scene 2001, which happened to be the weekend before 9/11. I remember very vividly that the 9th was a Sunday not because I recall that 9/11 was a Tuesday, but because it was my brother's birthday and a group of us had Sunday brunch in Pacific Beach. We went to Street Scene Saturday night, and I had a bizarre kind of premonition. In those days, they closed down blocks and blocks of the downtown area and placed stages on various streets where different styles of bands would play. It's very chaotic with thousands of people going in every direction and debris flying everywhere. At one point I stood amidst the pandemonium and had a very cold and frightened feeling, like this is what the end of the world would look like. Little did I know what was in store for NYC three short days later.

Of the bands playing Street Scene that night, I saw Berlin and 311. Berlin played on a stage that was surrounded by urban dwellings, not unlike this building. I was very close to the front of the stage, and I alternated between watching the band and watching the residents observing the band from their homes. One unit had a cat who seemed very interested in Berlin's show. I think the cat was riding on the metro.

Back to the trip this weekend. I lunched at this newish Italian place, Acqua Al 2. I guess Acqua Al 1 is in Firenze (Florence). The reason I shot this picture is because the embossing technique on this sign inside the restaurant is one you rarely see, but oddly enough, it is one in which I have been trained. It's called "repujado," and it is an old Mexican craft that has damn near been lost through the ages. I studied it from an amazing Mexican art teacher in an old abandoned church in East L.A. where I was the sole English-only-speaking student. Most Americans think of embossing as repousse, which is French for the same. Repujado differs not so much in technique as it does in style. You can scroll through an amazing repujado gallery here.

I stayed here at the Marriott Gaslamp. It was the old Clarion hotel and has been completely renovated in just the last couple years. It's an amazing transformation. It's totally stylish and modern now. Check out the junior suite. There was some terrible (for them) mix-up, and we got the junior suite for whatever the normal room rate was. This is Altitude Skybar on the top of the Marriott with a view of Petco Baseball Park, the Convention Center, Coronado Island, the bay, etc. It was totally happening. I also dined downstairs at Soleil where, after dinner and desert, they bring to your table a cone of cotton candy, I shit you not. Loved the lucite ceiling fans. Loved all the glass in the lobby. The whole weekend was a feast for the eyes.

Jake of the Week

Jake Italian VF Posted by Picasa I realize I'm late for my Jake of the Week photo, but don't you agree it was worth the wait?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Newest Knit Bag

denin cable purse Posted by Picasa for me

Monday, January 23, 2006

I Confess

I eagerly await the cat capture contest on Flickr each week. But when I saw the new theme was "the sink," I was only painfully too aware that I didn't have anything to offer. Thing is, I had seen Phoebe do this in the past when I got behind on litter box duty, and so I must confess, I deliberately let the box go a couple days until I caught her in action. And yes, now that I got the shot I was after, the litter box has been rendered fresh as a daisy to the delight of three happy cats.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Never Been Thawed

I want to recommend a terrific indie film called Never Been Thawed.

I had the good fortune of seeing this movie several months ago at a director's screening. (A friend of mine has the lead female role.) Revolving around a club of frozen food collectors and enthusiasts in greater Phoenix, the plot of this "mockumentary" features an eclectic assortment of characters, their relationships and conflicts. The Christers, a punk rock band turned Christian punk rock band by exchaning the word "fuck" for "pray" in their lyrics, are thrown into the mix for good measure.

I found the concept to be fresh, the characters original, and the dialogue hilarious. Watch for masterful strokes in the details such as the magazines, items on walls and table tops, lyrics to the band's songs, and of course, the frozen food packaging. Standout performance by Shelly Frazier (okay, that's my friend, but sweartogod when Billy Crystal saw it, he singled out her performance).

If you appreciate satire, you'll love this movie. See it twice. And the good news for NetFlix subscribers is that it just became available this week, so go ahead and get it in your queue!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

I finally saw Brokeback Mountain this weekend. Much has been written about the film, and I don't know what I can say that would be especially enlightening or new. Yes, I loved it. Yes, Heath Ledger's performance was amazing and utterly Oscar-worthy. Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal was ridiculously handsome. Yes, I cried, but really not as much as I was led to believe I would. I didn't find it to be a weep-fest, not at all. I mostly cried because Jake was kissing someone other than me. That part really choked me up.

One thing I want to say to heterosexual men who are resisting seeing this movie. Let it go. Your worry, fear, anxiety, or what-have-you is for nothing. It's not worth missing probably the best picture of the year for what is so little gay sex. Keep this in mind - it's not gay porn. "The scene" is nothing more than a lot of rustling around in the dark, heavy breathing, and a little grunting. It's over in a flash, and neither of them is even undressed. Ang Lee's entire style of film-making is one of restraint which basically translates into the fact that there's nothing gratuitous in the movie, not sex, not violence, not anything. There's not a frame of film that doesn't serve the plot. In fact, if you'll indulge me a couple stereotypes for the purpose of making my point, here's something to consider. As a straight woman, I had to endure a Western for two full hours, chock full of cowboys, rodeos, tractors, hunting, fishing, and hicks, all of which is decidedly unappealing to me, but nevertheless, I totally loved the movie. By contrast, a straight man endures probably no more than 90 seconds of gay intimacy in trade for what is two hours of a total dude cowboy flick.

Trust me, guys, you're gonna love it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Six to Eight Black Men

David Sedaris Posted by Picasa David Sedaris is one of my all-time favorite writers and humorists. The first time I read him, my sister was staying the weekend at my house when she lived out of town. She woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of what she thought was me sobbing. She came into my room to see if I was okay and found me laughing so hard, I couldn't even answer her. I should warn you not to read him on airplanes unless you're willing to make a complete ass of yourself. Trust me, I speak from experience.

You can click here to listen to him live, reading one of his pieces entitled Six to Eight Black Men. Straight-up hilarity.

(p.s. The link works, but I usually have to click it once, get the error message, click the back arrow, try again, and it works. Go figure.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Obligatory Close-Up of a Rose

yellow rose
My friend's husband who has breast cancer received excellent news today. The final pathology report from his surgery last week determined that he is cancer-free and needs no further treatment. Hear the huge sigh of relief.

In the meantime, a very dear and nearly life-long family friend is being worked up for lymphoma, and I don't think his outcome is going to be as rosy. I saw him during the holidays, and he looked systemically ill. They lived across the street from us when we were growing up and are like family to us. They were my parents rock when my dad was ill. This one's going to be rough.

The Dirty Knobs

The Dirty Knobs
I saw The Dirty Knobs this weekend at the Blue Cafe in Long Beach, and they kicked my ample Italian ass like never before. The Knobs are the side project of Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and Heartbreaker's fame (pictured right there with dredlocks and a grey and black beard). Their gigs are basically a guitar-intensive jamfest, and if you need proof, just look at the wear on that fretboard for crissake! It's great to see real rock stars in small club venues just playing their hearts out to real music fans. It was packed, but as you can see, I was very close to the stage (only one person stood between me and Mike). I've seen this band several times before, but Saturday they were smoking hot. Campbell makes it look so fucking easy. Also pictured is Jason Sinay, formerly of Five Easy Pieces. Good times.


for the D-listed girls Posted by Picasa Some faves.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


lifesavers Posted by Picasa You know it's time to go back on Prozac when you find yourself crying at the end of books about knitting!

Virtual Potpourri

You know how it is. Everyone you know sends you the funniest thing ever, and then you go on some random blog like this one, and find even more crap. So as a service to you, my loyal readers, I've sifted through the trash and collected only the finest content.

But first, a word from our sponsor, Chaser Plus, as recommended to me by a real live rock star's mother.

Okay, first off, I need to apologize to anyone with discerning taste in music. But this brief and educational filmstrip puts into song that which we must keep in mind daily in order not to get fucked again in 2008.

On the lighter side, you maybe saw this on Leno. I'm a Letterman girl myself, but even I was amused.

And finally, I'm going straight to hell for this one:

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jake of the Week

JG Posted by Picasa Jake wins an award in Palm Springs

Intense Hotness Posted by Picasa We need a second picture this week since he won the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, whatever the hell that is.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Housing Envy (a variation on a recurring theme)

little pink houses Posted by Picasa I don't think is what John Mellencamp had in mind when he wrote the song.


marquee Posted by Picasa More on this later. I'm dragging today. This is why.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Have you ever noticed...

Have you ever noticed that it's more fun to hear a song you love when it's randomly played on the radio than it is when it's played at home from the CD you already actually own and can play virtually anytime you want? Why is that?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Doesn't count - this is a post about dogs

Jake, Boo, and Atticus Posted by Picasa Jake's adorable dogs cuddling him. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't get much cute than that. THEY LOVE THEIR DADDY!

R.I.P. Lou Rawls

Okay, let's just get this out of the way. You can decide you hate me and never want to read my blog again, but the truth is, I play celebrity death pools. That's not entirely accurate, I only play one, The OBE Memorial Celebrity Death Watch. And today, only six days into the new year, I had my first match... Lou Rawls.

Don't get me wrong, I didnt' want Lou Rawls to die. But when I heard he had advanced stages of lung cancer last month and that he wasn't expected to live much longer, I put him on my list. And today, he is my first hit for 2006. It's that simple.

Here's my 2006 list:

1. Aaron Spelling
2. Gerald Ford
3. Lou Rawls
4. Michael deBakey
5. Lady Bird Johnson
6. Kitty Carlisle
7. Pete Doherty
8. Joey Bishop
9. Eunice Kennedy Shriver
10. Ozzy Osbourne
11. Liza Minelli
12. Kirk Douglas
13. Betty Ford

Thursday, January 05, 2006

California Dreamin'

home sweet home
Here's a picture of how I'm not living, taken on one of my many drives around town, dreaming of another life.

My friend's husband's mastectomy went well today, and he's resting comfortably tonight. Thanks for the good thoughts. They'll know pathology results Monday.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Cleo Posted by Picasa I'm feeling guilty because of my three cats, only Alfie and Phoebe have received any play here (and like an ass, I've gone so far as to publish the same picture of Alfie twice). So I need to remedy that. Here goes.

This is Cleo! Objectively speaking, she's probably the prettiest kitty in the house. And damn, she totally knows it! (Seriously, click on the picture so you can see Cleo's beautify magnified.) I always feel guilty about Cleo. She's my most independent cat, and subsequently, I usually feel like I pay way more attention to the other two. So for the five minutes or less a day that Cleo demands her share of love and attention, I make sure I give it to her. She's enjoying the light from the afternoon sun in this shot and posing as saucily as she can. Easy for her, she's pretty sassy.

Night Sky

night sky (click it!)
The fact of the matter is, my camera doesn't have uber-zoom enough to shoot the sky. Nevertheless, I more or less lucked out with this in that you can actually see the planet Venus hanging out with la Luna. Aren't the girls of the sky pretty? Now that I own my very own tripod, I'll be able to experiment more with nighttime, long-exposure photography to which I'm rapidly developing a strong affection. I've had my digital camera for about 10 months now, and I've shot more than 6000 pictures. My mother has had hers for 1.5 years, and I think she's taken 50.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Chess Piece. Crap Shoot.

Posted by Picasa This photo was shot last summer when I was on vacation in Chicago. There's a chess pavilion in Lincoln Park, and this statue pictured is nearby the area where the locals gather to play their afternoon match. It was really an enchanting spot, if only it weren't 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity on an otherwise pleasant summer day.

But I digress; that's not what I wanted to write about.

I received some extremely unexpected news from one of my closest lifelong friends today. Her husband has breast cancer. He's my age, 42, and he's having a double mastectomy on Thursday. I'm so stunned that I can barely process a coherent thought about it. They have a 5-year-old daughter, and somehow I had the presence of mind to ask what, if anything, they've told their little girl. Turns out, they've told her nothing (seriously, what's a young child going to do with that information?), and they thought they were doing a good job of not discussing it in front of her. But when they put her to bed a couple nights ago, she asked what a biopsy was. When the mom told me this, I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Five years old. Jesus.

So please keep positive thoughts for Thursday. Based on the biopsy, he has the lowest grade possible of breast cancer, but the pathology report following surgery will really elucidate the prognosis. Breast cancer is so rare in men that we forget they can get it, too. Statistically speaking, it's unlikely that most of us will ever know an afflicted male. And seriously, these were odds I really didn't want to beat.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Close-Up Scratch

close up scratch
Alfie was really sick of me pointing the camera in his face, so in order to look away, he invented an itch on his chin. Cats do this. When they want a distraction, they suddenly have an itch that must be scratched right now. But who can blame Alfie... he's been putting up with me for years. He's my oldest cat; but for an old guy, he's really just a big baby.

At any rate, this photo holds three distinctions on Flickr. First, it's my #1 most viewed photo; and secondly, it's also has been called a favorite by more Flickr users than any other in my photostream. It's also my only photo that's been invited to join the group "Search the Best - By Invitation Only."

So it's pretty safe to say that this is my best shot to date. And it's also safe to say that Alfie is one of my very favorite subjects.

Jake of the Week

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Rocco's Christmas

Rocco. Posted by Picasa

Rocco on (not in) his new bed. Posted by Picasa

Rocco and Bella (not pictured) own my brother and sister-in-law. Bella is female and, therefore, very independent. Rocco is a little baby who loves to be cuddled and petted which is why my brother says about him, "he's like a drug on women." It's a dead-on assessment, and I confess that I am not immune to his charms. In fact, I'm one of his biggest fans.

I knit (knitted? what's the past tense of knit? I don't know!) the cat bed on which Rocco is posing. To date, I don't know if Bella has shown the least bit of interest in it. But tell the truth, don't you just want to cover this little guy with smooches?