Friday, July 30, 2010

Road Trip

Tomorrow I am driving to Oregon with one of my very best friends. We are heading to the central coast for a week, to rest, read good books, fly kites, explore historic lighthouses, hike, walk on the white sand beaches, ride buggies on the sand dunes, and visit as many nautical-themed gift shops as we can handle. We're also going to visit Portland to go to Powell's and eat some Voodoo Donuts. I'm so excited for our adventure!

But what good is an adventure without a sweet soundtrack?! I asked my friends via twitter if any of them would want to make me mix CDs for the drive, and I am happy to say that I received some awesomely-titled mixes. Here are just a few of the CDs I was given:

Night Drive Mix
Road Rage Mix
Lisa Likes Miley Mix
Awakening Summer Mix
On the Road Mix
And my favorite title....the "I'm not trying to seduce you, but if I did, there is a strong to quite strong chance that I would play this CD Mix."

Thanks to those of you who provided me with some sweet tunes for our 18-hour drive up the 5.

Time to hit the road!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is not a post about shampoo. This is a post about an amazing O.C.-based photographer named Jacques Garnier. But if you want, you can say his name in that same coy half-whisper that they do in the shampoo commercials.

I had an incredible opportunity to interview Garnier for The O.C. Gazette's August issue.

Click here to read my article about Jacques and his 15-year documentary photography project of the El Toro Marine Base. And check out his website here to look at his amazing photographs.

Seriously, you'll be shocked at how beautiful these photographs are. I have always seen the base as an eyesore, but Garnier's pictures, like all great art, challenges you to see something more....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Letters of Note

I had read about a book that was released earlier this year called Other People's Rejection Letters, a compilation of, yep, people's rejection letters. I haven't read it myself, but it includes everything from Jimi Hendrix's rejection letter from the Army to a kid's note to his parents: "I hate you. I'm running away." Sounds like an entertaining book, and a good read for anyone who's ever felt devastatingly rejected!

Anyway, a bit of internet searching for famous letters led me to an incredible website that I just can't stop reading. It's called Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.

The site is an online collection of famous, important, tragic, and sometimes just darn funny postcards, faxes, memos, letters, and notes. There are actual scanned photographs of the correspondence as well as typed up transcriptions so they are easy to read.

Some of the many letters I looked over today included a note from Conan O'Brien to a girl who asked him to her senior prom (he couldn't go but was kind enough to write back!), a letter from Christa McAuliffe to a young fan about how excited she was to be the first teacher in space (she and her entire crew perished when The Challenger exploded 73 seconds after take-off), and a fascinating note to Marlon Brando from Jack Kerouac, trying to convince him to star as Dean Moriarty in the movie On the Road...which has still never been made into a movie. Could you imagine Marlon Brando as Dean? Oh, gosh!

I love letters, notes, and handwriting. A couple of years ago I went to the British Library in London and got to see Jane Austen's letters (I wish I had her handwriting), Captain Cook's journal, Handel's handwritten Messiah, and Beatles lyrics. They were so delicate and beautiful.

It's easy for us to see handwritten stuff as archaic and disposable, which makes me sad; letter writing has become a lost art. Letters are so personal and intimate. I feel like I shouldn't be reading some of these letters online, letters that were meant for a single person to read. But now they are historic documents that give insight into people's thoughts, motives, relationships, and personalities. They are just fascinating to me!!

Check some of them out on Letters of Note!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Feet

I so wish I could be one of those girls who could prance effortlessly around all day in five-inch heels. I love heels. Well, I love the look of them, anyway. They obviously create the illusion of height and slenderness, but they also effect gait, posture, and even demeanor. You can’t feel ho-hum in heels.

However, I am not biologically capable to Sarah Jessica Parker around. Not even for short distances, like from my car to the office. First of all, I’ve lived with chronic back pain for over a decade, and stilettos have adverse effects on the spine. Second, I have a hard enough time not stumbling or running into things with both feet firmly on terra firma (the firma, the betta! Ha…Latin joke!). And, third, let’s be honest…I’m just not cool enough to wear heels except on New Year’s Eve and at weddings.

The great news is that flats are so stinkin cute these days. You can get them in whatever colors, textures, bells, and whistles you want. Today, I bought these from Nordstrom (half yearly sale…what?!). I want to lick these sparkly shoes...they glisten like the glaze on a Krispy Kreme! I’m still flat-footed, ungraceful as ever, and barely 5’4”, but my toes are twinkling, and so is my smile.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Melting

For those of you who have not been following my string of cranky tweets lately and might not understand my disdain for this diabolical heat, let me be crystal clear: I hate hot weather. The heat sucks my will to do anything right out of me. I get fussy, restless, and whiny.

I hate having to straighten my hair with a 400 degree iron when it’s 100 degrees in my room. I hate that I can’t touch my seatbelt without getting burned. I hate having to wipe off my sweat-stache while I’m putting on makeup. I hate that the ice cubes in my latte virtually melt from Starbucks to my car. I hate that my shower is negated ten seconds after the fact because I’m already sweating again. I mean, I can’t even wear my snuggie when I’m reading anymore!

I grew up in Southern California swimming every day, hitting the beach four times a week, and lifeguarding as a teen. For a long time, I had a respectable tan and that chlorine sheen to my hair. I was a real California Gurl, Katy Perry…West Coast, represent!

But those days are over. Long ago are the carefree days of basking in the cancerous sun for hours at a time, when premature wrinkles and melanoma were only fleeting thoughts. Gone are the days of laissez-faire summer hair, when a headband was enough to make a bushy bushy blonde hairdo cute. And the days of daisy dukes and bikinis on top? Oh wait...they never even happened. (And for the record, I DO mind sand in my stilettos! Er, at least I would if I wore them!)

My style is now daily moisturizer with SPF 30, dark wash jeans—no matter how hot it is (dude, they're slimming), cardigans every day, ballet flats, and straightened hair. The uniform is on lock, Katy…even in the summer. Heck, I almost wore a scarf last week.

Doesn’t the thought of a crisp fall night, snuggling in a blanket with an amazing book, drinking a hot pumpkin spice latte sound so much better than sweating your butt off at a beach bonfire and smelling like smoke for the next three days even though you washed your hair—twice? Yeah, that’s what I thought!

Take heart, friends…only sixty-five days until FALL!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh, Arnie Boy...

When I was a kid, I collected cow stuff. Cow calendars, cow stuffed animals, cow print stuff, you get the picture. One of my favorite things was my cow alarm clock. I saw it at JCPenney, and it was $49.99, which is a ridiculous price for an alarm clock in general, but if you’re ten, is really a lot! Saving up for that clock meant eschewing purchasing all those awesome Lisa Frank stickers, glitter erasers, and Sanrio pencil cases that I was so fond of. But I was determined to save my allowance, and in a couple of short months, bought the clock.

I named him Arnold, because he sounded exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The alarm was a cow bell (it actually scared me awake for years) followed by a moo and then “Wake up! Don’t sleep your life away!” Picture Governor Schwarzenegger saying that to you. That’s what my clock sounded like.

Anyway, Arnold was a good and faithful servant up until only a few months ago, when a corroded battery (Kirkland brand, if you were wondering) cut his charmed life short. And until yesterday, Arnold sat mutely on my nightstand, gathering dust, but still watching over me every night. I couldn’t just throw him away. He’s not an old, broken clock. He’s more like a vintage cow figurine now.

By the way, that kind of reasoning is why I’m a cat carcass and a few Hummels shy of being featured on Hoarders. I knew I had to let Arnold go. So I asked my dad to take care of it. That conversation went something like this:

“Lisa, just throw it away.”

“DAD…I can’t. I mean, haven’t you seen the Toy Story movies? I can’t just throw him away! This is his home.”

“Lis, he’s the one who gave up on you. It’s not like you asked much of him…just to tell the time once or twice a day. It’s time to say ‘hasta la vista’ to Arnold.”

So…I did.

Poor Arnold.

Friday, July 2, 2010