Sunday, December 31, 2006


Being a curmudgeon, I actually stay home on this night, I'm too cheap to pay $50 to get into a club that I wouldn't normally deign to park in front of, and what with those lovely LA specific drink checkpoints, I tend to leave this night to the party-hearty. This year at Casa Pansy entails Netflix, Fettuccine Alfredo, fresh raspberries, a half bottle of Chardonnay and compliments of my friend Lynn, Borghese Fango treatments for hair and face. I might be hungover for the first day of 2007 but I will be baby-soft.

I sincerely hope you, Constant Reader, have a happy and prosperous 2007.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gerald Ford has died. Okay, I will burn in hell, since the guy seemed like a really nice man. He took the spoofs with good humor from Chevy Chase and "The Simpsons" and his wife did wonderful work. I'm not even old enough to not be able to forgive him for pardoning Nixon, but I don't. So there. But I am sad he's gone: he seems like a man that I could have shared a glass with.

However, I am not going to so forgiving when President McCain pardons Bush..

Friday, December 22, 2006

Marina from Perfume Smellin' Things and Ina of Aromascope have today posted an interesting blog about the first five fragrances they owned and loved, which reminded me of my youthful shopping addiction, and a story...

I was lucky enough to grow up in a lovely (if a little pretentious) college town in New England. One of the advantages of having grown up there in the late 60's and early 70's was that unlike todays "No Child Left Behind (except those whose schools we've criminally underfunded)" the powers that be thought that an actual fully rounded education complete with Art and French and music as well as sports was not only a good idea, it was mandatory. Luckily, there were literally a pool of bright young things from one of those colleges more than willing to teach children as young as 6th grade the intracases of singing or sculpting or using the potters wheel or French. I think it's important that I was exposed to these things: It's inculcated in me the slightly obnoxious idea that there is practically nothing I cannot do if I merely give it enough of a shot. You might not want to be the first person I try brain surgery on, but if you're say the fifth, you'd be golden.

In any case, one of the things that the school would have is Summer School, to which my family packed us kids off. This was more than the usual summer school: yes there were the people there who had flunked math, but there were also those kids from the college who for credit would stage shows, give classes in art, pottery, and fashion design. As you would guess, I took shop.

Did you buy that one for even a minute? Didn't think so. Well, one year they also did field trips. One of which was to New York. To look at galleries in SoHo culminating with a trip to the Met. In one Prince Street gallery was one piece of art that did it: a photo-realistic picture of a page of the New York Times crumpled up. What page you ask? One of the classifieds with an ad for Potamkin Cadillac. So realistic that you had to get right up close to realise that it was not indeed a crumpled wad of the August Times. Since that thrill lasted about 2 seconds and the Apple Store wasn't going to open for another 30 years, my friend Debbie and I ditched and headed to Bloomingdales. We knew that the group would be meeting at the Met and had previously researched our escape; we told one of the other kids what we were doing (one we knew would eventually tell but not think to ask to come along) and made a dash for the Subway.

I'll spare you most of the details of the actual trip, except to write that I found a pea-green Calvin Klein bomber jacket on sale at a ridiculously low price and somehow managed to whinge my way into making management accept an out-of-state check to get it. I got a stern lecture upon my return to the group about the perils of The City. To this day however, I think I would brave snarling wildebeest, land mines and even bad lighting for designer goods at 75% off.

And you wondered how I got this way?

Friday, December 08, 2006

The gentrification of downtown LA

Lately there's been a flood of downtown buldings that have gone from empty office space to "lofts". Now, as an ex-New Yorker of a (ahem) certain age, I have a very narrow definition of what a loft is. A loft is former manfacturing space that enterprising semi-ex-hippies carve out into space to be gallery for their art and living space. They sell with "fixture fees" that cover the cost of putting in plumbing. "Lofts" are middling sized office space repackaged as open apartments that the developers are not willing to spend the money on drywall to actually carve up into anything as conventional as, say bedrooms. These "lofts" have sprung up all over the Historic Core area of Los Angeles at prices that make me wince: is there are reason that I would pay the better part of a million dollars (like I have it) to live in the Higgins Building at Second and Main, with the construction of the new Police headquarters across the street starting every weekday at 7 and with the nearest grocery store in South Pasadena when a two bedroom condo at the corner of Palm and Beverly firmly in 90210 and two blocks from both a Ralph's and Bristol Farms costs the same?

Je ne think so pas.