Saturday, August 30, 2008

Random Appreciation of the Day: Logan Wolfe Edler

I don't know Logan Wolfe Edler, but heck, if I don't want to know the secrets of Logan Wolfe Edler's success and his awesome name. Seriously, try saying Logan Wolfe Edler a few times. It's like music.
I know this sounds random, but in my never-ending quest to work on a TV show, I have searched tirelessly for understanding, for enlightenment, for that hideous word "connections." To that effect, I recently (and by recently, I mean 10 minutes ago) checked out the IMDb crew lists for the pilots ABC just picked up, and Logan Wolfe Edler, a PA on The Unusuals, appears to be the King of PAs. Look at the guy's credits. The man has worked on essentially every movie I'm interested in seeing for the next year and a half, a bunch of movies I've seen and loved, and a handful and half of television shows that, you know, rule.
Logan Wolfe Edler, if you're out there, secretly googling yourself in the middle of the night (and there's no shame--everyone self-googles...), and you come across this post, won't you show me the way?

Santa Ana

I took the 5 down to Santa Ana yesterday to visit an old roomie from grad school. Made the bad choice of wearing orange, which she did as well, and we were a bit matchy all day. Got some looks from the residents of Balboa Island, a fancy little chunk of Newport Beach, where we walked, patronized Cinnamon Roll Fair (alas, the delish s'mores bar I got there has destroyed me for all other desserts), and wondered when the time would come that we would actually be sophisticated enough to buy our olive oil at a place like Olive Oil & Beyond.
Lunch at Togo's, a chain I may have been to once before, but forgot, and I have a feeling I made the same mistake last time and got tuna. Tuna there is not my kind of tuna. Sadness.
After Balboa, we went to the Bowers Museum to check out them terra cotta warriors. Recommend doing that NOT after one has walked around in the sun all day. We waited for 40 minutes, hoping to get free tickets, and then said, what the hell, and paid the exorbitant prices. Well, my friend did. Thanks for the birthday gift, Kar!
Dinner at Original Mike's. I think Mike has an ego problem. Your basic bar/restaurant food. My rotisserie chicken was fine, unremarkable.

Okay, I'm freezing. My roommate over A/Cs our apartment. Cold damn!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Disney Studios...

are amazing. Went and saw a screening the other night. Got free popcorn, soda, and two free movie tickets--and the movie I saw didn't suck! I'm not allowed to talk about the movie, but let's just say it was a very girly movie set in Manhattan that was surprisingly funny, even if the lead male looked a little pink around the eyes throughout.
I would love to work at Disney someday. Looove. But I suppose I have to earn it. Easier said than done.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Primer

One can go off poetry rather easily. But I've always liked Bob Hicok, and I particularly like--and respond to--this poem, and you can read here.

what I dream about when I dream about earthquakesam

Dreamt about earthquakes in high-rise buildings. Other things, too, I'm sure, but I don't remember. Earthquakes stay with you. It's what I was afraid of when I was little and the stairs would end in space, and I'd lose my balance, or the slope of a road would become impossible not to fall from, or I would start falling. Is this the nature of the world? We're told plates shift almost perceptibly, slowly, changing the face of the earth so gradually that man cannot witness it in his life or ten lifetimes.

But the earth is like evolution. It spasms. We walk the line and ignore the zags because they are rare and either cannot be foreseen or cannot be avoided. It's those spikes, those landfalls, those soaring temperatures and plummeting meteors and explosive events that are of consequence, and yet, we're supposed to ignore them. They are rare after all. You can't live your life in constant dread. But things that are rare still happen and enough. Impacts occur. People do get struck by lightning. Even twice.

There's nothing we can do to stop the forces of nature. Nothing at all. But there are things we can do to stop the human forces that inflict terror in lives. We can vote for Obama. We can recycle and buy reusable tote bags. We can ask less of the ecosystem and more of ourselves. We can save this beautiful, dramatic, dangerous world, or it will save itself--and let me tell you, I'd rather take my chances in a world we've care for than one that we've pushed to the brink, one where the zags become the line, and anyone with two feet falling off the edge.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Martian Child

I really wanted to see Martian Child when it came out, mostly because it stars John Cusack and has to do with a child who thinks he's from another planet. I don't know why New Line refers to it as a romantic drama, since it's more about the relationship between Cusack and the boy than between Cusack and Peet. Exponentially so.

Anyhow, it got decidedly mixed reviews, and I was broke, so I didn't see it. But I rented it the other day and watched it tonight, and maybe I'm sentimental, but damned if I didn't like it. It's a good movie. Better than Grace is Gone probably because it seems so... legitimate, you know? Maybe you have to be a little strange, the sort of person who could imagine this scenario and sympathize and not judge, to like it.
Really the only thing I didn't get was where it was supposed to be set. They go to a Cubs baseball game, it was shot in Vancouver, and they say it's Christmas, but it looks like summertime the whole movie...?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Viva la Individuality

So back in July I wrote about Coldplay and how what I've heard from their Viva la Vida album has won me over despite my incipient hatred for their U2 mimicry. That's because Viva la Vida, the song, and Violet Hill were so good. And then I listened to Lost and, as back in the day, took it for a U2 song until I looked up the lyrics. Come on, Chris Martin! You're killing me! I want to love your lovely songs, but I feel like I'm betraying Bono. Aagh! What to do? What to do?!
OK, I downloaded the song. Are you happy now, Chris Martin? Are you? Sigh.

this week

New battery for my computer coming! Blue screen of death I saw last night a fluke? Let's hope so.

The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Leda's Bake Shop are supremely good (not so fond of their cupcakes). I don't like nuts in my cookies, usually, but these delights have almonds and coconut and are delicious. Holy heaven.

Burn Notice. Love that show. Love Bruce Campbell. Too bad he's married.

Vitello's Express opened just down the street from me. Had lunch there today. Pizza's a bit overcooked, but I haven't given up on it yet. It's still a baby.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Best LA weekend

My roommate from college came down and visited this weekend, which also marked my one year anniversary in LA. Friday, we had breakfast at Jinky's. Delicious. Then we went up to the Getty (amazing) via that scary tram and saw the insects and plants of Merian and Her Daughters exhibit. Very cool. Did a little coloring. Saw some paintings and photos. Just wildly impressed by the Getty landscape. Bought a Cyclops magnet from Greece! Rome! Monsters by John Harris, a book that seems particularly cool and a bracelet that immediately began to fall apart. Every time I buy an accessory--once a year, maybe, for $15--its life span is less than that of most flies. Damn. But I am a total fan of the gorgeous Getty. Afterwards, we went to Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood and had some very nice penne arrabbiata. Then, we drove up the PCH to Malibu, which took quite some time, and chilled out at Surfrider and watched the cute surfers crash into each other. Then we walked up the beach and around the lagoon to the Country Mart, which I had thought was, you know, a single-building market, not a collection of plazas. Nice shops. But I wouldn't want to live in Malibu. It seems like the end of the world.
Then we had dinner at Duke's. I had huli huli chicken, which is fun to say. Tasty stuff. The evening was all about Death at a Funeral, which I'm not sure about. It's funny but the jokes are, when you think about it, stale. But they've become so stale that maybe they've fermented and are thus intoxicating? Maybe.
Yesterday, exhausted, we had breakfast at Panera in Studio City, and I was the good LA hostess and brought my old roomie to Rodeo drive. I personally prefer Beverly, but whatever. Then we had lunch at Marty D's, which was nice, but it's primarily hot dog joint, and I'm not a hot dog person, so I don't really feel a pressing need to go back any time soon. Then we went to Hollywood Forever Cemetery, at which point the nuclear sun and sweltering heat laid us out.
But we pressed on and drove up to Griffith Observatory... WHICH IS SO AWESOME. Tip: you'll see a lot of cars parked on the side of the road, and you will think you should park there. Screw the idiots. Go all the way up. The parking lot will likely say "Lot Full," but people are leaving all the time. There's no need to park on the side and hike all the way up.
The Observatory offers awesome views, an astronomically stellar (sorry, that was quite punny, but also true) group of exhibits. I would have liked to hit up the planetarium, but money-wise, I went a bit mad this weekend and now have to be quite careful. We were full-on worn out by that point and went back home to chill out. Finally, we had dinner at Marmalade, which is deeply charming but in a family way more than a romantic way, which surprised me. And then we played Catchphrase with my roommates and their boyfriends. I won't comment on how that went.
Exhausting weekend, great days, crap nights (our couch sucks for sleeping), and I will be looking forward to sleeping all next weekend.
Not that it will happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ice creammm

I know we're all supposed to bow down and worship at the altar of Scharffen Berger, but I personally prefer a nice Hershey bar. So color me dark-chocolate shocked when I tried Dr. Bob's Scharffen Berger Really Dark Chocolate and LOVED it. The ice cream is almost the consistency of brownies, and it's not bitter at all (probably all the butterfat and cream--whatever, it's delicious and so rich, you're not liable to eat a whole pint in one sitting like some others). Anyhow, highly rec'd.

Monday, August 11, 2008

my new job

So I'm, for the moment, working part-time as a blogger for Discovery's new network, Planet Green. I'm posting mostly on Alter Eco, Adrian Grenier's new series, and in the "Work and Connect" section of the site. The posts are just starting to go up, so feel free to mosey on over. If you ever had any question about making your life a little greener, or you just want to look at Adrian's pretty mug, Planet Green is the place to go. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

RIP Bernie Mac

Not to make light of a truly terrible death, but I had a dream last night that I had pneumonia and was hallucinating a giraffe in the bathroom. I'm not sure that would have made him laugh, but I think it's sufficiently strange that it should be noted here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

coming on a year

It's almost my 25th birthday and almost a year since I moved to LA, and I've been so restless lately, with my job and my poverty and not being able to explore because of those latter two things, that I've started eating like I'm in France. Open-faced sandwiches, day-old baguettes, delectable. Tomorrow I may go across the hill to get some macarons. Gotta make do how you can.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

it's only bad news when the grandma does it

But I bet you ten bucks when Matthew McConaughey does it, it'll be awesome.

Does this dude not completely look like Jack Black?

painting from the Norton Simon in Pasadena

I mean, holy crap.

Abre los Ojos

Did you see Vanilla Sky? Kinda wish you hadn't? Yeah, me too. We shoulda known from the title that it was going to suck like soft serve from a truck on Columbus Ave.
But Abre los Ojos, the film that Vanilla Sky basically apes shot for shot? Brilliant. Why? I don't know. It could be Eduardo Noriega, who doesn't have that smugness. It could be the lack of Cameron Diaz, who is just too crazy. It could be Madrid, beautiful Madrid, or just an excellent cast overall, or Amenabar's tone and direction. I think it is, in fact, all of these things. It's a wonderful movie, intimate, and all the absurdities of Vanilla Sky, still present, seem not just plausible, but certain.
Watch it on Hulu for free. But not too late at night, or you might have a dream that you and Eduardo fell in love and kissed and then found out he was your half-brother. Which would blow.

Spokoinoy nochi, Solzhenitsyn

I know it's been a while since the great man died, and most people in America haven't read a word of his. I've read parts (because the whole might kill me) of The Gulag Archipelago and all of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. It stays with you, let me tell you. If nothing else, to get a taste of his work, might I suggest his Nobel speech?

The thing is, it's hard for me to get around the idea that the gulag was something that people were imprisoned during my life span. WW2 was terrible and also a 20th century event, yes, but it's been in a million movies, and it becomes tangible. Russia, for all our problems with it--we, as a nation, have never tried to understand what was going on there. Nearly every American film about 20th century Russia and Russians has been absurd. And it's unfortunate because mutual understanding would certainly benefit all parties.

With Solzhenitsyn's passing, I believe all the great Russian writers of the 20th century are now dead (and no, I'm not including sci-fi writers in that grouping). Am I wrong? I hope so.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Maps and Legends

Maps and Legends was not what I had hoped it would be by its title. I anticipated a neo-Borgesian collection of short stories on places that did not exist and people that never were. Chabon's essays, however, on such things proved just as, if not more, palatable. And I want to disclose right here that I though I do like his work, I am no a rabid Chabonian (have I said this before?), despite having read most of his work. To be honest, I find fiction written by Jewish men about Jewish men to be a bit -- hmm, how do I say this without sounding anti-Semitic? (Jewish men are hot! They really are. Also, this does not apply to Jewish women. Does that help?) -- over-represented in the really well-written, celebrated literature of our times, and that, along with books about Brooklyn, no matter how good they are as stories, can feel like fields too well-trod. Like, so well-trod they've turned to mud, and you'd really like to go somewhere else where you can run rather than trudge.

Which is why I liked Map and Legends. It's not absurd navel-gazing by a Jewish guy. It's brilliant, introspective essays on his influences, his childhood, and yeah, sure, Jewishness, but in an honest, not obnoxious way. He's not a self-absorbed tool. He's funny, he's frank, and he's smart as hell (I think I said that before). Dude can write a personal essay, and that puts him on another level, which is quite nice. So go him.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Colorado Boulevard

Hey, hey, Pasadena! Today was my one day off (I'm working six days a week at the moment, and it's kicking my otherwise awesome ass), and so I slept in and then thought and thought and decided, hell, why not go to Pasadena?

So I checked out the wicked awesome Norton Simon museum (much nicer than LACMA, I think). Buddhas abound, as do Dutch and French paintings--a lot of minor pieces by major players. I took some pictures and will upload them later as soon as I'm sure that's okay. This isn't commercial use, so it should be, right? Anyhow, I loved the sculpture garden and saw a painting by a guy named Quiringh. Now I already want to name my sons, should I ever have any, Quentin and Elliot or Ambrose, but Quiringh is a rocking name. I doubt I'll use it for a book, so y'all can have it. It's a little quirky, even for me. Also, I received a free print of The Flight into Egypt as a souvenir. How kind of them!

Then I went down to the Paseo Colorado to grab a super-late lunch, buy some cards at Apostrophe Books and some chocolate-covered popcorn at Harry & David's, which I guess I don't like as much as I used to.
Then I drove a little further down, skipping sadly past Vroman's, to take in a second-run showing of the Sex and the City movie. For $2, I could watch it and not feel bad. And, honestly, there were bad parts. Charlotte's just twice as absurd on the big screen, and Samantha's clothing wildly inappropriate for her age (actually, it's her ponytails that bug me the most, but moving on...), and I don't buy for a second that you could forgive someone for walking out on your wedding... but.
Yeah, there's a but. I am happy that, after all, the wedding we get at the end is one about Big and Carrie, not fashion. I think Big had a point, but he expressed it rather late in the game. And he doesn't get points for the way he "proposed." But neither does Carrie for accepting. Anyhow, there was some interesting stuff in the movie. It certainly could have been worse.
Speaking of which, for Mike's birthday, I took him to a matinee of Step Brothers before work. That movie is just the sum of randomness. It's funny, sure, but in a what-the-hell kind of way. I love Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, and now they really need to do something else for a bit.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen