Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

i like big dinosaur butts and i cannot lie

Image
I had a dream that I was putting together an Amelia Earhart costume for Halloween, which would have been awesome, but last night was also PEN’s kickoff reading for Night in the City , a month-long celebration of L.A. literary and film noir. So instead, AK donned a fedora and I Googled pin curls. I think I looked more 1940s with the placeholder scarf than with the curls, but AK pointed out that the look I was going for was femme fatale, not war bride. Sort of Veronica Lake-ish ? Here’s Veronica Lake making a public service announcement to all the Rosie the Riveters out there, telling them not to wear their hair like hers. We hit the reading at the Last Bookstore and although the lit crawl that was to follow sort of disintegrated, we met up with Pedro, Stephen, Christine and Jody (below, as cheerleader) at Spring Street Bar. It turned out to be the perfect vantage point for watching costumed revelers. Some club nearby was having a big thing, and the stream of “sexy

use only as directed

Image
The good news is that my pupils are almost back to the same size. The bad news is that it took me a $30 co-pay and a lot of freaking out to learn that you really shouldn’t douse one of your contacts in the kind of eye drops that say “Remove contact lenses before using.” I guess I sort of thought all clear-colored, eye-related solutions were the same? And I’d forgotten about that one time I ran out of contact solution and soaked my contacts in eye drops all night, which made my eyes into giant fireballs, but I guess they were fireballs of the same size? Anyway, this morning I put my contacts in, went to Zumba at the gym, impressed myself with how well I could shake my ass, was not impressed by the actual shakiness of my ass, took a shower and—when I looked in the mirror to put eye shadow on—saw that my left pupil looked like Puss in Boots when he goes all big-eyed: …and my right pupil was more like Puss in Boots as seductive hero. Except he wouldn’t be seductive or adorable if he

sane crazy people

Image
My final post for Ironing Board Collective went up today. It’s almost embarrassing how much brain space guest-blogging took up, and how sad I am that I will now have to devote my brain to other things. Or maybe you’ll just see more style-related, photo-filled posts here at Bread and Bread. Just a little warning. Anyway, my post is about high school fashion designers. They’re pretty great. I am hoping that this moving-on thing will be good for my wallet and the overcrowded closet AK and I share. Seriously, I can’t keep buying clothes. I have shit I need to save for. 1) Car. 2) Baby. Not necessarily in that order. Speaking of pathologies, this weekend AK and I saw Take Shelter , which is maybe the best movie I’ve seen this year (although The Future is up there) and definitely the best movie I’ve seen about mental illness. Curtis works on a construction crew, loves his wife and daughter (who is deaf and awaiting cochlear implant surgery, insurance willing), and is starting to have in

project baby: here's where you come in

Image
I’ve always hated the concept of networking. I picture a bunch of dudes in suits with shiny teeth and ulterior motives exchanging business cards—in other words, that scene in American Psycho . That’s not what you want if you work at a nice little nonprofit (which is why we in the 501(c)3 field call it “community building”). And that’s definitely not what you want if you’re trying to adopt a baby. Nevertheless, our open adoption agency frequently reminds us that ten percent of matches between adoptive parents and birth parents are made via personal networking (as opposed to the agency sending out our profile). So we’ve done what any loving parents-to-be would do, and created a Facebook page. All you’ve got to do is: 1) Log in to Facebook, go here and click “like.” 2) Share the link with your friends. Maybe you (or one of your friends) is a high school teacher who has a student who recently peed on a stick and did not get the result she was hoping for (I can totally relate, altho

save some dates: private dicks and fem(inists) fatales

Image
Pretty much all literary events that don’t happen during National Poetry Month in April happen in October. And those that don’t happen in October get squeezed into November. It’s shaping up to be a busy (and fun) month for me and my fellow writers. First, Jamie and I will both be participating in the month-long Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film festival. You may remember that I was lukewarm on The Big Sleep , but I do love me some dark alleys, dirty secrets and stylish fedoras. Will I dress in costume when I read a bit of Chandler’s work and a bit of my own with the fabulous Pam Ward on Nov. 6? You’ll just have to come and find out. What: Noir Genius: Weldon Kees and Jorge Luis Borges When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. Who: Jamie FitzGerald, Dana Gioia, Lou Mathews, Robert Mezey, Mariano Zaro Where: Libros Schmibros , 2000 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033 What: Big Noir Open Reading—with Features When: Sunday, Nov. 6, 3-5 p.m. Who: Cheryl Klein, Pam Ward,

treat yourself!

Image
AK and I have very different relationships to illness. I have a high pain threshold but worry that every new ache or bump or freckle is a sign of a life-threatening illness. AK is not a worrier, period, but when she’s hurting, you’re gonna know about it. She would, preferably, like a battalion of friends to gather round with chicken soup anytime she coughs. This morning I had a follow-up to my 2009 boob ultrasound , which I’d been worrying about off and on for weeks. In a heroic attempt to let me get some sleep in my precarious mental state, AK threw our noisy cats out of the room at 6 a.m. On the way back to bed, she slammed her toe into the cat tree and broke it. So, as you can imagine, we were both at our best. The good news is that my boobs are cancer-free (so when some guy leaned out of his car and yelled, “Nice titties!” on my way home, I had to agree). A trip to urgent care confirmed that AK’s pinky has a spiral-shaped fracture (that is her actual x-ray on the left

parks and non-wrecks

Image
I had a very important epiphany yesterday, about why I love Parks and Recreation so much. I was reading this Ironing Board Collective post about New Girl , a show in which three normal guys suffer the hijinks of a zany girl who, if she existed in real life would be 1) totally dysfunctional and/or 2) really hurt by the crap they say to her. This is the premise of a lot of TV shows and movies, although usually it’s a guy being immature and a boring, normal woman enduring him. So, um, score one for feminism? And of course there are the shows where all the characters relentlessly sling insults at each other: Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls . Occasionally the insults are irresistibly witty, but mostly…I can resist. So here’s why Parks and Recreation is great: The characters aren’t always nice to each other, but they care what their peers think, and when there’s conflict, they react the way actual humans would. Recently* Ann spent most of an episode trying to get Ron and April—

march and mirth

Image
1. a caffeinated review of the ides of march AK and I drove through drive-thru Starbucks on the way home tonight to get hot chocolate because it’s a night that calls for coziness. But they accidentally made mine a mocha, so here I am, all wired up with nothing to blog about. But since when did that ever stop anyone from blogging? The thing we were on our way home from was The Ides of March , a movie so dark it was hard to believe it was actually in color. Afterward, I kept telling AK that I didn’t want to work in politics, until she was like, “Okay, I get it.” As if she’d been pestering me to run for city council or something. Ides is a really smart movie about people resorting to dirty, dirty means to justify noble ends; it also feels like George Clooney’s answer to the people who keep actually pestering him to run for office. That answer is: Sure, I can look good saying idealistic things, but I’m going to imprint you with this image of me as a sleazeball with poo

i am the 32 percent?

Image
In writing and in life, I’m mostly about specificity. But I’m inclined to forgive the Occupy [fill in the blank] protesters for their so-called lack of specific demands. Partly because AK (who is usually very pragmatic when it comes to politics) is smitten by them and I’m easily influenced. Partly because, when you want the world to change fundamentally, like at its core , it’s hard to boil such a paradigm shift down to a checklist. Partly because there are specific demands: Hold banks accountable for ruining the economy. Tax the rich. Over the weekend, I watched a lovely, ragtag group of protesters make their way down C Street in San Diego, a military town with a wonderful literary/activist niche of which my City Works editors are kick-ass leaders. As I contemplated missing my train to join their ranks (I didn’t; shocking, I know), I wondered whether I could rightfully call myself part of the 99 percent. I mean, there’s a 99 percent chance I am. But one of the great things about thi

chasing waterfalls, and what i read in september

Image
Right now I’m in San Diego for work, staying the Crowne Plaza Hanalei. It has a Hawaiian theme, in case you couldn’t guess. There are waterfalls and tiki statues in the hallways, and canoes hanging from the roof of the valet area. My room is nonsmoking but you would not know from the smell. I don’t mind, though, because it reminds me of the approximately four times I stayed in a hotel room as a kid. Mostly my family went camping, which my dad, at least, found vastly preferable to expensive, smoky hotel rooms. Meaning, naturally, that my sister and I loved the forbidden fruit that was hotel life. Once in a while he was forced to attend a conference in San Diego, and his organization put him up at a budget hotel. We came along so that we could all go camping afterward. The hotel had waterfalls and koi ponds, smoky rooms and a pool that I did my best to spend every waking moment in. I don’t know if I’m staying in that hotel now, although the era of the architecture seems abo

everything i need to know i learned from lululemon

Image
You know Lululemon , right? You don’t? This means you’re not into the kind of yoga that requires a $128 hoodie to practice. Lululemon is a company that “creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a better place.” Or so it says on my reusable Lululemon shopping bag, which is currently holding my lunch and which, I suppose, could be considered a “component.” It’s a stylish mishmash of red and white text, with a silhouette of a girl in dancer’s pose. Let’s see how it suggests staying active and stress-free, shall we? Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient. The world’s non-hoodie-based media sources would agree with this one. Luckily I’ve invested all my savings in this $78 Weightless Running Skirt . I just know its value is gonna skyrocket like a tract home in the Inland Empire. Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effe

fur and hair

Image
When I stayed at the classic-movie-themed Chelsea Pines Inn a couple of years ago, the hallways were lined with posters from the 1960s advertising Blackglama, which was, I gathered, a fur company. They all featured black and white photos of divas like Marlene Dietrich , Lena Horne and Raquel Welch beneath the headline What becomes a legend most? Answer: Blackglama! If you clothed yourself in a dead animal, it seemed, you went from “slightly past your prime” to “legend.” I’m all for the awesomeness of older ladies, but I’d like to think that true legendary status could come across via wool or tweed. Even leather, which, at least, is a byproduct. (West Hollywood, where I spent a sunny, fur-free day at the book fair this weekend, just outlawed fur. Good work, WeHo!) But this month’s Vogue is unapologetically full of fur, and Janet Jackson is the new face of Blackglama. Who knew it was still around? I have to admit she looks great, and this jacket is more Rhythm Nation than up