Thursday, November 22, 2007

This is my computer, an iBook in the iSearing shade of Key Lime. I bought it the first year that I started my present job and I thought it was the absolute bomb. I still think it was one of the better designs out of Apple for a few reasons: the green parts are slightly rubberised, which means that the computer doesn't slip around on the desk, or more accurately on the book that I balance it on when I am using it on my sofa as I watch TV. The screen is fairly well encased (it was designed with kids in mind) and the white keys are easy to see in the low light conditions that are a hallmark of my sofa and the rounded front of the case make a prefect wrist rest. Despite having only about 400 megs of RAM (Max) and a 433 MhZ processor, it has handles everything from web surfing and DVD playing to basic PhotoShop that I've thrown at it. Of course, iTunes long ago went out to an external hard drive (I bought it with a then unheard of 20 gig one, which my co-workers were convinced I would never fill) where I have been backing up my crap. Luckily I have been backing up my crap, since my little citrus companion developed a problem and wouldn't boot up. One of my co- workers is looking at it and might have to wipe the drive at worst and has urged me to get a new computer: he says that I am basically asking the computer equivalent of Helen Hayes to do a marathon every day and it's pretty much time to retire the old girl. I suppose I'll have to, it's been nearly eight years. But I have to write, having lived with a computer with a handle and citrus colored rubber bumpers, I don't know how I'll be able to go to bland, cool whiteness.


Well, after a lot of hazzerie I have a new MacBook.  So far I am thrilled.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Los Angeles Auto Show

This week was the start of the Los Angeles Auto Show, otherwise known as that thing that I go to every year to look at cars I cannot afford. It's the event where I answer the question, can I still enter and exit a sports car with some measure of grace?

Luckily the answer is still "yes"

Apparently the big news is hybrids- General Motors showed hybrid Escalades, Tahoes and Suburbans. As much as I loathe gigantic SUV's I have to tip the hat to a system that will allow them to get the same mileage as a mid-sized car.

Here's my impressions:

My lotto winnings would go towards a Cadillac XLR-V

Or perhaps I'd spend half that on a Mercedes SLK and spend the rest on plastic surgery.

The Honda S2000 is lovely, but the sport version they had on the floor had a rear wing on it that would have been more at home on a bi-plane and was in a color that could only be called "erectile dysfunction yellow"

Both the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice are wonderful little cars, but I don't know about the fiddly tops: having to get out of the car to put the top up would be a pain. But they are cheaper than any of the above by about $10k, so...

The Mazda MX-5 (I think they don't want us to refer to it as a Miata anymore) is still the best: it's small enough but still has decent room inside and enough trunk room with the optional hard-top stowed to have some bags in the trunk. So that putative weekend getaway with the BF could happen. If I had the money for the car. Or the money for a weekend away. Or, fo that matter a boyfriend.

Of the sedans I looked at I was impressed by the new Malibu, which is really nice and the new CTS which is gorgeous..

Hands down the cutest thing at the show? The Smart Cabrio. I don't know how many they'll sell of these at $16,000, but they are hella cute and I could easily see myself tootling around in one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Perfume People

Most all of you (out of the millions that read this blog) know that for the last year and a half, I have been writing once a week about perfumes at Perfume Smelin' Things (linked to the right- I'm too lazy to look up the code). After all this time I have learned that there is some power in this; I've seriously pi$$ed off at least one person and apparently amused a few more. I've forged cyber-friendships that I really want to make face-to-face ones, and in one case happily have, having met Marina who opened up her blog to me and allows my natterings a far wider audience than I perhaps deserve.

The thing that has struck me about these people is that to a (wo)man, they all have the same quality: unstinting generosity. I've been the lucky recipient of scents that I would have never stumbled across, shipped by people I have only had pleasant cyber-chats with. I'm not kidding myself that they await with bated breath a review of these scents, and in one case they have generously sent bottles of things I've mentioned I liked simply out of kindness. Which is, I believe the most noble of instincts. Of course, I try to give back, especially since I live in LA and can bop into our local parfumerie and get samples at whim.

In short, I find it heartening that in this world increasingly painted as a place full of meanness of spirit, coldness of heart and cruelty towards others that there are generous people out there sending out sweet-smelling packages for the sole purpose of cause the recipients delight. You all know who you are so I won't name names; even if you haven't sent me anything and are reading this and have sent to another a scent that you love or even just thought that the recipient might find momentarily interesting, I salute you. Perfume people are the best...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

An Open Letter to a Helicopter Pilot

A Hallowe'en Lament

I don't know who you are, or for whom you work, but I do know at this point I pretty much hate you. From the time I got home at about 5 to the time I typed this at about 8, you have been hovering without moving an inch about 100 feet above the intersection of Doheny and Santa Monica. I know you don't work for BHPD, since they don't have helicopters. If you work for the Sherrif's department or the LAPD, I don't know what you are there for since the only crime that I could see were some of the Halloween costumes, and it's difficult to direct traffic from 10 storeys up. If you are from a news channel, I know you have to justify the expense of SkyCamWhatever but I seem to have missed your 30 second shot of stalled traffic. Which, just as an FYI is not news- certainly not news that needs hours of hovering closely over a residential neighborhood.

I hope you read this and at least let us know if this new Halloween trick is going to be an yearly "treat". If you are going to make the naighborhood kids feel like extras in "Apocalypse Now", we'll at least want know to dress for it and to put some Wagner on our iPods, which you will be drowning out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Real Housewives of Orange County

or, White People Can't Jump, But They Can Bore

Anybody caught any of this? It's one of those shows Bravo has foisted off on us in between seasons of "Project Runway". It's premise, I suppose was originally an answer to "The O.C.", showing that in addition to being vapid, self-serving idiots (as the denizens of Newport Beach are portrayed on the now cancelled Fox series) they are also clueless, unnatractive dolts, living in some gated community called "Cota de Craptastic" or something (which is like a larger version of "Knots Landing"'s Seaview Circle, but without the wit, humor or hotness of early Alec Baldwin). intermarrying, driving expensive cars, drinking like fishes and in general being very, very dull.

I know people in Orange County. They are warm, wise, witty people who have interests rangeing a bit further than which fake-bake is less orange and whether Slade really likes the underage brunette bimbo or the older blonde who looks like a drag queen. One episode was enough. I'd rather watch Rachael Ray. I'd rather watch lint. I'd rather iron, and those of you who know me know exactly how little of a recommendation that is.