Friday, December 9, 2011

Holidays are here!

First, I'd like to welcome as my very first ad. In honor of that, I'm going to talk about my work. Where I use fabric. Every. Single. Day. Fabric, fabric, fabric. Sew it, glue it, tape it. I craft stuff for money. Out of fabric. (I think that is what is called optimizing) I have used, and they are great, which is why I asked them to place an ad. BTW, click on that link and get free shipping. How awesome is that? I should use my own link!

I've been very busy professionally over the last month or so making Christmas happen. Here is the first of the spots to air...

Simone Williams, Carol Binion and I made all the little costumes for Bix Pix animation studios in Burbank. I'm not sure where the costumes end and the computer sweetening begins, but I assure you, there are tiny little clothes made of felt and polar fleece in there somewhere.

Last week I wrapped up about three weeks of crazy busy work on a Christmas commercial for Ford Taurus that will run on Jimmy Kimmel Live next week. It is spectacular, and involves breakaway costumes, dancing girls, dancing boy elves, Little People elves, miles of rick rack and a crap ton of sequins. Both myself and Maria Hora who was my stitcher on the job each ruined a pair of scissors working on it all. Anything that could get snow or glitter on it did. I will link and show photos as soon as it airs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

shake my money maker!

I have no idea if I'm doing this back asswards, but after following a link on Mister Jalopy's Hooptyrides blog (which I've been reading for years) to (which I've been meaning to patronize for years, and finally did) I realized I can sell ad space on my little blog. Duh.

And thus I enter 2002.

Because I do this for the ART, I'm being choosy for now. I've invited MOO and to tattoo their names on my virtual ass, because I have been customers of theirs in the past, and I trust their products. Let's see how this rolls...

I think the Elves are up to no good

As we enter the holiday season, Dexter has been getting us prepared by inserting the novelization of the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon into the bedtime book rotation. Early October is never too early to be thinking about Santa when you are four.

This book sucks for a variety of reasons, the most heinous to me is that the pictures are cartoon illustrations inspired by the Rankin Bass animation, but not actual STILLS of the cartoon itself. Also, they play a little fast and loose with the dialogue as if it's not licensed, and they are staying just on the right side of the law which makes the whole thing a little stilted to read aloud.

None of this matters to the child, who clearly has no taste or standards.

So after repeated readings, what has become very apparent to me is there is a gigantic corrupt coverup going on at the North Pole.

One of the plot points is Rudolph floats off and ends up at the Isle of Misfit Toys, who request that Rudolph put in a good word with Santa if he ever makes it back alive.

From the beginning of the story, we are to understand that Elves Make All The Toys. Therefore, they must have made the misfit toys and secretly dumped them on this remote island to cover up their ineptitude. Is Santa even aware this is going on? And why was the dolly even there? She looks fine!! And why is Aslan in charge? And why can't they leave? Is it the Hotel California of Toys? Steve suggested the Island of Dr. Morrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving... a giant bag of Kirkland chicken breast tenders!!

As I go to the bag AGAIN for what seems like the 3rd or 4th time to thaw out 8 pieces of chicken I marvel that there is still MORE. This is a good thing. I have not had to buy chicken in a month. Whatever it cost, it was worth it, it was cheaper than buying it all by the pound, one small pack at a time. It goes on my permanent "oh alright, I'm gonna make a trip to Costco" list of things I can no longer live without.

I'm sure the meat is filled with hormones and the chickens lived in horrible conditions and died miserable deaths.

But having that bag satisfies me in so many ways- I feel like a frugal, efficient modern woman cooking tasty, healthy meals for my family, even when I am working. It gives me that Enjoli feeling, like I'm kicking ass and taking names. All wrapped up in some frozen, packaged chicken breast tenders.

Somewhere, a Kirkland marketing exec just jizzed all over his desk after I typed that.

(edit-when I went to steal the photo of the bag off the Costco website, it turns out that the chicken is hormone free, and I don't have to thaw it. The jury is still out on if they were in good moods or not when they were slaughtered.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

what dreams are made of...

     I'm having a stolen day today and I'm using it for the forces of Good. Work got cancelled, but I'm still on the clock for machinations beyond my control that for once rule in my favor. I realized as I'm walking out the door to do some long overdue errands that the theme of my day is Dreams.

     Errand one is dropping my 5 year old niece's Halloween costume in the mail. I made her a bunny suit that looks exactly like her pet rabbit. She has been asking for it longer than they've even owned the rabbit and this Halloween is shall be hers.

     Errand two is getting my Ringling Brothers Clown College diploma framed.  The piece of paper is old enough to vote and buy it's own porn. We found a framer that does great work inexpensively, and have been slowly working our way through things that need framing.

    Errand three is driving all the way to Santa Monica to Truetone, a guitar store that specializes in repairing electric guitars. Steve's has been busted for 5 years. The guy who busted it had just moved to town when he broke it, has now already lived his arc of Los Angeles life and departed for somewhere else and the guitar is still sadly not repaired. Today is the day it becomes whole again.

Many small drops into the good karma bucket!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Scooby Doo, where are you?

I think I know what happened to Fred...he grew up to be a "confirmed bachelor of a certain age" living in Silverlake. I spotted his van at the Trader Joe's on Hyperion the other night.

The Mystery Machine!
(BTW, this TJ's has a particularly notorious parking lot. Please admire the fantastic parking job of the disabled guy on the phone in the foreground.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lunchbags and Lunchboxes or How To Be A Preschool Rockstar

Sometimes Dexter's lunchbox does not make it home from school, but gets left behind on the shelf or in Daddy's car. When this happens, Mom rolls old school, packing his lunch in a paper sack. As laid back as his preschool is, I have never seen any kid's lunch in a bag, so I do like to step it up with illustrating the bag. Dexter always requests I draw all of our faces on one side, with our neighbors who live next door on the other side of the bag.

our family

the next door neighbors
 At the beginning of the summer he started requesting the faces get decorated as well, the two themes being the members of KISS and various Star Wars characters. Requested by character name, and assigned to each person specifically.

Darth Vader, Young Obi Wan, Yoda, and R2D2

Gene Simmons, Ace Freely, and Peter Kriss
 As summer progressed, he decided it was time for a new lunchbox. His old one was getting really beat up and worn, and was looking very babyish. We started looking together right after July 4th. He wanted Lego Star Wars, but the only ones were Clone Wars. He wanted Mario Bros, but we didn't see that. Then he realized what he really wanted was a Lego Star Wars/Pokemon/KISS/Spiderman/Green Lantern/Super Mario/Captain America lunch box.

This was a tall order, but I thought it could be made. I found a bunch of images on the internet and enlisted our neighbor Ben Lewis (seen above in lunchbag cartoon form) to use his Propmaster Photoshop skills and hook up with a vinyl label guy to make some new lunchbox art. I bought the most basic lunchbox I could find, peeled off whatever stickers were on it, removed the rest of the adhesive with Goo Be Gone, and passed the blank to Ben.

Behold, the most amazing lunchbox you have ever seen, and the dream of every four year old boy.

When Dexter walks into school, a swarm of little boys crowd around to gaze upon it. They hold up various action figures in their grubby hands to find its picture on it. So far, the lunchbox has made it home just about every night.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Langer's Deli

I like sandwiches. And today, I had the best one I've ever had. The #19 from Langer's Deli in Los Angeles. I am loathe to admit this, but this pastrami sandwich blows away any NYC deli's version.

Steve and I had a discussion the other day sparked by our delicious pork sandwiches from Forage. Steve maintained that the #19 was the winner across the entire spectrum of sandwiches he's ever eaten in his entire life, including Sack O'Subs. I said it was not fair to put deli sandwiches in the same category of regular sandwiches. Perhaps they could compete in the "hot meat on a bread" category (Phillipe's etc) but cold sandwiches are their own category. Grilled cheese, hot dogs and hamburgers would have to have categories of their own as well.

So today was the day I tried it.

I now believe that if there was a Westminster Sandwich Show, that this #19 from Langer's Deli would be Best in Show. If you can compare a tea cup poodle to a sheepdog and pick a winner, then you can compare pastrami to grilled cheese.

The first indicator that I was dealing with a world class sandwich was that though this deli is located at the intersection of El Shitto (Alvarado) and Filth (6th) across from MacArthur Park (where someone left the cake out in the rain and it is now full of used needles and bum poo) it has been at this location for 60 years with no signs of stopping. There were 4 cashiers poised and at the ready for the lunch rush that was just starting. They have no parking on site, requiring patrons to walk a block through the crappy neighborhood, but yet the place was already filling up. As I glanced around for the few moments I had to wait while they bagged up my order, you could see how the place was just about to be absolutely swamped, but they were ready. The phone was already ringing constantly with orders. They have curb service.

We took the sandwiches home. After the first bite, I knew.

It starts with the bread. This was the best rye bread I've ever had. Soft and tender on the inside, with a hard, crunchy irregular crust on the outside. The bread alone was worth the trip, and I would have gotten a whole loaf if I'd known. The pastrami itself was so tender and perfectly cooked and seasoned. It was not sliced, but sort of flaked or chunked, and not too much. This was not one of those monstrosities piled with two pounds of meat. You could fit the sandwich in your mouth. The other layers were some kind of coleslaw, russian dressing and according to Steve, cheese. I did not detect cheese. I also did not stop to pull it apart, because I was having a transcendental sandwich experience at the time. There are times where you just savor, living in the flavor moment and not question the how or the why.

The sandwich was so perfect, that I ate only half (plus one bite) and have saved the other half for a few hours from now.

Edit-it is now a few hours later, and I have finished the sandwich. I feel a loss, a deep sadness, now that my sandwich is gone. How will I ever eat another sandwich anywhere else?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's not shillin' if they don't pay me...or how to spend $20ish in L.A.

I have two local businesses I'd like to mention today...

 The first is Forage in Silverlake, Sunset Junction to be exact. They so don't need my help that they don't even have a sign out front, so I'm not going to even bother to hyperlink to it. Suffice to say, you will easily find them by the line out the door and the clusterfuck in the previously tight but manageable parking lot.

We'd been hearing about it in the nabe since they opened. The place that was there before (two places before?) was mediocre but serviceable, never really crowded. In late June, our pal Patrick Rowe-Sowa couldn't not stop drunkenly raving about it, practically challenging Steve to a sandwich smack down right there in the bar. Even though his formerly-Vegan taste buds are suspect, we gave it a try today.

And it was damn good. I would say it was in the Top Ten Sandwiches I have eaten. This sandwich gave Beefy Boys a run for the money. (I don't remember what Beefy Boys was really called. It was in the West Greenwich Village, run by two very handsome and beefy young gentlemen and their grandmother. They were only open for lunch, and closed when they ran out of food around 2pm.) We got the pork belly sandwiches. I'm not sure what goodness was on it besides roasted pork and mayo- it looked like shaved celery root, carrot and magical unicorn horn. It ain't cheap ($$ as they say on the Yelps) two sandwiches, one mexican coke and a small side of lemon kale salad cost $29.15, but it was a nice treat.

The second business I'd like to give a shout out to is the Little Rockstar Children's Salon in Sherman Oaks. We finally got Dex's hair cut and it was the first time a stylist actually did "please leave it long on the top and short on the sides and back." The salon was cute, clean and quiet. They had FIVE different cars to sit it while getting your hair cut, and Dex tried them all out, settling on the Ferrari. The stylist was a cute little babuska named Romida, who was a sweet, grandmotherly type, and she knew exactly how to talk and coo to a small child to keep him calm while she wielded three different clippers around his head. She even showed him how to do a fauxhawk at the end. Well worth my $20 bucks.


after with a fauxhawk


Sunday, August 7, 2011

More kvetching about tourists

I'm not the only one who is feeling a bit overrun with tourists, this is from the Huffington Post.

Normally, I would be all "Too bad for you, fancy pants cliff dwellers with a view!" But those streets are really narrow and windy, and it is no joke about fires. There are many designated scenic overlooks all around the area with plenty of parking and safety railings. If you can pull the van over and not block traffic that is one thing, but to block the street and people's driveways is a completely different story. The best part is the guy's kids selling them lemonade. They should sell bottles of water for $3 a pop. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Use a Parking Structure

I think my next few posts will be helpful tips to the tourist population of Los Angeles. All of whom seem to be in my way as I head in to work.

First, WELCOME. How lovely for you that you decided to visit Los Angeles in August. Before the internets, a real live travel agent would have told you to go somewhere else at this time of the year, but hey, progress! Here are some of the things you can do while you are pretending that Hollywood and Highland is like the rest of Los Angeles.

 1. Pulling into the parking structure- If you have the arrow, DRIVE. IN. PLEASE. There is a long line of people behind you who also want to drive in. Those pedestrians on the sidewalk waiting to cross will be just fine. See the red hand they are looking at? That tells them to stay put while your green arrow is telling YOU to DRIVE IN. No need to be polite and wave them across, they get their turn next. Please just pull in to the parking structure.

 2. This is a huge parking structure, with 6 floors and thousands of spaces. It's okay to go down to a lower floor to park. In fact, it's encouraged. See the light up tote board that says there are 8 available spaces on Level 3, but yet 567 spaces on Level 5? Guess which one is easier to park on? So please, for the love of god, just keep driving down and stop lollygagging on Level 3. Those 8 spaces are behind poles. Please just drive.

3. Try to remember where you parked. They use numbers and colors, but you might want to take a photo of the pole. That's actually just a helpful hint and not anything that makes me insane. That will probably be the only non-anger driven comment in this whole post, so embrace it.

4. If you went down to level 5, you were easily able to park near the escalators and elevators. Here's a pro-tip. YOU ARE UNDER GROUND. You spiraled down each floor to park. You will want UP to get out. The top button means UP and the bottom button means DOWN.  When you press them, that means you would like to go in that direction in the moving box room. 

5. Why are you taking a picture of the Louis Vuitton store? Between that and the shot of the staircase, I can tell all your pictures are going to suck. I should just steal your camera to put it out of it's misery.

6. Get out of my way. I'm trying to cross the street. Perhaps you might like Venice Beach or Disneyland? Why don't you go there instead. 


8. I hate you all, and I also hate the event company that is staging whatever bullshit premiere that has decided they need to not only block the street, but not allow anyone to CROSS the street. And is parking cars on the street diagonally, just as set dressing. Please die.

9. It is 11:56am and I now hate all of humanity. I hope you're happy, fuckers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Giant Sunflowers

I grew some gargantuan sunflowers this summer in my little garden. Called "American Giant Hybrid," they were not kidding around. They are at the point now in mid summer where the heads are drying out and I guess they should be cut down, but there are still more flowers blooming off the central stem, and what I'm finding freaky is that the satellite flowers are now having satellites growing off of them.

Here they are. Sure, they are big, in early May...

 Oh my god, the heads are gigantic, and they look like they are about to lean over and eat Dexter.
 They've got extra flowers blooming off the central stem, and the other day, I notice smaller flowers shooting off of them.
 Clearly, when they said "hybrid giant" they meant some freaky genetically engineered FrankenFlower. I'm a little concerned about the next step, which is to cut them down and make room for the next crop rotation. They are the Ents of the floral world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm back, blogger, I'm back.

After a very long blogging hiatus, I am returning. Though the challenge of creating the comedy haiku to fit the 140 character limit has been swell, more and more I've wished I had an outlet for my ideas. The whole Google+ thing this week was the tipping point. Youtube thinks I'm Steve, my original Google+ acct thinks I'm Steve (how about that? I'm on my SECOND Google+ account, and it's only been around since Monday) Our original blogs were so old they were published on a webpage Steve made before he started working at G4 six years ago.

I've been trying to synergize all of my shit, and the answer was not trying to make all the old stuff work together but to start fresh. Sure, I finally got my facebook and twitter to be friends, but what about the blog? I started that blog in 2004! There were a hundred posts...that I couldn't even archive because blogger changed so much. And my long abondoned personal web page? So long abandoned I never added my new agent, whom I left a year ago? 

Fine. I'm taking a big gulp of KoolAid and jumping off the cliff into the robynsimmsjohnson abyss.

On a more positive note, I have been inspired by a few blogs- Hello Moye, finslippy and Mommy Lite. Blogger is WAY easier to use and now has all the bells and whistles that I wished it had when I left.

It's good to be back.