Friday, December 19, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:28 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
On a Clear Day, You Can See Century City..
And Palos Verdes, and Catalina. Of course, If I wasn't shooting the picture with my kind of crappy iPhone camera, it might look half as spectacular as the view from Lago Vista Drive was this past Sunday after the rainstorm.
We're having big time rains this week, and the snow level is dropping. This is the week that all of the professional photogs head out for those pictures of downtown with the snowcapped mountains in the background. Ones like this one.
Picture credit: my iPhone
Posted by tmp00 at 8:14 PM
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:38 PM
Thursday, December 04, 2008
There's a new Wii commercial
Posted by tmp00 at 9:53 PM
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The American carmakers are appearing before the Senate Banking Committee asking for a bridge loan. The GOP seems not to want to give it, citing the Auto Industry's refusal to make fuel-efficient cars.
Of course. longtime politicians have a grip on the lives of the average constituent that's tenuous at best: they argue against subsidised health care for Americans while enjoying free health care for themselves. They pontificate on what the American Auto industry could have or should have done while being chauferred around Washington in a Limo, sirens blaring because Senator Thingummy needs a Venti Latte, STAT. So they villify the US Automakers for making big fat trucks that nobody wants, like Ford's F150 pickup, the best selling vehicle in the US for 26 of the past 30 years (and as of May still firmly in the top 5), ignoring the fact that Toyota spent a bazillion bucks to open a new plant in Texas to build their own bloated, gas swilling Tundra. A plant that they closed for a few months due to the "unseen economic issues" But Toyota is the green company right? They aren't out there asking for money either.
Well, one could argue that they have been in a different position: their government is severely protective of it's industry, keeping the Yen low, keeping foreign competition out while States such as Texas, Alabama and Tennessee are willing to give major deals to foreign carmakers to build plants in their states. There's of course nothing wrong with that, but it does make one want to ask how disingenuous it is for Senator Shelby of Alabama to act all self righteous about the US Auto industry when his state rolled out the red carpet for Mercedes Honda and Toyota and just recently Hyundai. Meanwhile the Big Three are languishing under the burden of legacy costs like pensions, healthcare pacts and Union contracts that the other boys don't have to pay for.
People are often decrying the US car companies as being behind the times and having shitty products. I was discussing this with a co-worker who had an 80's Chevy that was terrible. I had to point out that this was 20 years ago when all cars were terrible and yes, American cars were in particular. But all of the quality reports these days say that the Americans are on the top ten with the Japanese while Mercedes languishes near the bottom of the quality list. including it's Alabama built M-Class, named "worst reliable midsized SUV" in 2007.
People say that American cars aren't economical, but two minutes on the EPA website will show you that Chevy's Aveo and Cobalt get 34 and 36 MPG highway, an Impala 29, a Malibu 32 (to it's direct competitor Camry's 31). Heck, a Corvette will get you 26 on the Highway. That's right, a Corvette. Ford? How about a 35MPG highway Focus? A 28 Highway Taurus? How about a 30 highway Chrsyler Sebring? Or a 29 highway Dodge Caliber?
People say that the Americans don't do hybrids like the Prius. Well, the don't yet, but they have hybrids Malibus, Vues, Escapes, Auras, Yukons and even Escalades. And 2 years from now we'll have the Chevy Volt, the real-life every day useable modern car to crack the 100 mpg mark and move past hybrid into a real-life electric car. If I drove a Volt the only time I would use gas would be on a trip I woudl have to remind myself to take to use up the gas before it went bad.
Did the US Auto industry suffer from a lot of bad decisions and bad cars? Yes it did. Did they have a big part in putting themselves in this dillemma? You betcha. But the insurmountable fact is that many jobs, directly and indirectly come from the American auto industry. Turn on your TV or pick up a paper and look at how many ads are for car dealers and imagine them gone. Drive down your local auto-plex and imagine the showrooms empty. Look at the magazine rack and imagine it half empty. These companies have a big economic reach and unless you live on the moon that reaches extends right into your wallet. I might also humbly point out that 50 years ago it was the manufacturing might of these companies that won us a World War.
To the people who think that Toyota and Honda will take up the slack I'd like to ask, when and how? They'll rehire all the workers, take over all the plants and begin immediately producing Camrys to the adoring masses freed from the banality that was Buick? I don't think so. In the time it would take for these bridge loans to be paid back, this country would swing into an economic crises that our grandparents would remember from the thirties. I am too old to wait on a breadline. Are you?
Image: Cadillac Ranch Webpage
Posted by tmp00 at 6:25 AM
Monday, November 17, 2008
This past weekend it seems like the whole of Los Angeles smelled like smoke. The fires that range from Sylmar to the north to Diamond Bar to the southeast have made the air quality just this shy of unbreathable. The Pasadena Marathon was cancelled over fears of the health of the runners, and even walking a few blocks has me wheezing like an old man. Oh, all right, an older man. All of this pales of course to the problems of the people who actually lost their homes; there's nothing scarier about life in SoCal than a wind-whipped fire. Not even an earthquake comes close for me, and I don't live in a fire zone.
To give you an idea of the air quality, here are two pictures: the one on the left was taken from the overlook on Mulholland Drive near Cahuenga this Sunday, Nov 16th. That's the 101 freeway and the barely visible buildings are in Hollywood. The one on the right was taken from the terrace of my friends house in Beachwood Canyon of that same view in November about 5 years ago on a smoggy day. The towers in the background are in Downtown LA. You would normally be able to see the towers in the background in the picture on the right. There's something a bit surreal about smelling smoke and breathing the chunk-style air and just sort of going on with your life. If I had musical talent in addition to a working sense of irony I would have played the violin..
Posted by tmp00 at 6:16 AM
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 5:26 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:29 PM
I'm watching CSNBC and listening to Chris Matthews babble and I have to write: I love when people who make a million a year pretend to be able to tell what people who make 35 thousand a year live like.....
Posted by tmp00 at 8:50 PM
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Posted by tmp00 at 8:27 PM
Lines are long...
This was the line at the Beverly Hills Library at 7am when the polls opened. I waited about 30 minutes to vote. My coworker waited two hours in Pasadena- and she got there at 7am as well! It's going to be an interesting night!
Photo: my iPhone
Posted by tmp00 at 12:33 PM
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:19 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:08 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 4:41 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My friend Divina at Fragrance Bouquet tagged me! Argh!
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you (Divina!)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write six random things about yourself
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Five (er, edited to SIX) Random things about Tom:
I hate carrots. Especially cooked. I will eat almost anything else. Capers, anchovies, liver, whatever. Just not carrots.
I love architecture. In my dreams I win PowerBall and drive all over looking at buildings. I also own Case Study House #22.
The car I presently own is the first that isn't a convertible. It is to be hoped that it will be the last one that is not one. I love convertibles even if I am so fair-skinned that I only put the top down in the late afternoon and slathered with sunblock like spackle.
I love to cook. I am quite good at it. Zachary Quinto, if you're reading, I can prove it.
I tend to buy too much underwear. When I am at the outlet mall I cannot pass up J Crews deal for 5 pairs of boxers for $20. i will never get in a car accident with nasty manties.
*edit* I realise that it should be 6 things. which leads to number 6:
I have sometimes the attention span of a fruit fly.
The six people I tag (sorry kids!): Marina. Gaia, Patty, March and Lee (Yes, they count as three, so there) and Wendy.
Posted by tmp00 at 6:29 AM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
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Sunday, October 05, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:24 PM
Friday, October 03, 2008
Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913–2008 is the first major exhibition to bring together the magazine's historic archive of rare vintage prints with its contemporary photographs. The exhibition explores the ways in which photography and celebrity have interacted and changed, with portraits from the magazine's early period (1913–1936) displayed in conjunction with works from the contemporary Vanity Fair (1983–present). The Los Angeles presentation, which is sponsored by Burberry, will be the only U.S. stop on the exhibition's international tour. Photographers to be represented include Cecil Beaton, Harry Benson, Julian Broad, Imogen Cunningham, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Mary Ellen Mark, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Edward Steichen, Mario Testino, and Bruce Weber.Photo and text: LACMA
Posted by tmp00 at 6:09 PM
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Pansy gets an iPhone..
Well, my contract with Verizon wireless ended as of yesterday and heedless of the fact that I can't justify the purchase at all I now have a white iPhone. I consider (iConsider?) it my bid to help the economy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Posted by tmp00 at 6:23 AM
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 7:38 PM
Friday, September 26, 2008
Dahling I love you but give me Park Avenue...
This past week I was back East visiting. I was in Eastern Connecticut on the shore for my friend's birthday and in NYC a day or so on either end. New York was conspiring to be its most attractive: the weather was perfectly balmy without being too warm, the skies clouded over only once and then briefly, and I think I have finally gotten used to the fact that in this post-Giuliani city, the general filth I remember has been replaced by an almost uniformly well-scrubbed sheen. Even getting to the Airport is now a cinch, thanks to the Subway and the new AirTrain system.
Of course intellectually I know that the city is about three times more expensive than what I can (barely) afford in Los Angeles, and that if I did live there it would have to be in a 12th floor walk-up in Queens with 12 room-mates. I also know that this brief bit of glorious perfection weather-wise is marred as I type with monsoonal storms, which will be followed in succession by the personal horror that is Winter then the months -long mud fest that precedes Spring. I don't forget that the very thing that most people hate about LA I happen to love: the idea that we shut ourselves up in our little individual cars and don't interact that much with our fellow man. In LA we live in our own little bubbles. I like my bubble. It has AC and I get to choose the radio station.
But walking down Fifth Avenue after a day of shopping, daydreaming about one of those fabulous apartments (or even one of the less fabulous ones in the Village) I start to get seduced into thinking "what if?"
Photo: my cell phone
Posted by tmp00 at 6:11 AM
Friday, September 19, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 8:28 AM
Friday, September 12, 2008
My Boss was on this train
I am very happy to read that he was okay, and as is his wont helped the injured off the wreckage. That's the kind of guy he is. I'll save the ribbing that this is what he gets for catching a 3:30 train home on a Friday for sometime 300 years from now when it might be funny.
Really, this kind of s^it can happen at any time randomly. Kiss your wife, hug your kids, have a slice of cheesecake, drive a convertible in the moonlight. It could all be over tomorrow, or you could have to do triage when you're there but it ain't over for you. Life's short. Smell a flower. You never know.
Photo:(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / September 12, 2008)
Posted by tmp00 at 10:22 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
90210 premieres tomorrow
Posted by tmp00 at 9:24 PM
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Gentle Art of Conversation
Posted by tmp00 at 10:40 PM
Friday, August 15, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 11:02 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
ANGELYNE IS LA
My friend Bitsy in New York sent me this picture of iconic LA gal Angelyne out shopping. For the three of you who are unawares, Angelyne is a local celebrity and has been one since the early 80's when her billboards popped up all over Hollywood. She drives a hot pink Corvette (the latest one apparently an ad trade from a Hollywood Chevy dealer; she's no dummy, that Angelyne), has masses of blonde hair and a girly, breathy little voice and has managed to pop up in the credits to the TV show "Moonlighting" and movies "Earth Girls are Easy" (as a customer at a gas station) and "The Day After Tomorrow" (Look closely, the billboard that pastes the obnoxious TV reporter is her). She lists her age as 44 according to voter records. I am changing mine to 16 then. No visit to LA is really complete without an Angelyne sighting: keep your Britneys and whomever-from-"The Hills", she's the real deal.
I love her, really, she's the quintessence of everything that I love about LA. The frank inability or desire to let age, decorum or even gravity dictate your look. She's all dressed up and ready to fall in love, to quote Divine, and she makes my day go that much faster for that fact. You go, girl!
BTW- Paris Hilton, meet your future self. If your lucky.
Posted by tmp00 at 6:07 AM
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 10:21 PM
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 8:33 PM
You may have heard about the fiasco with .Mac/MobileMe. Basically Apple decided that they would roll out this new service at around the same time they would intro the new iPhone. Of course many people had problems, including me. Apple reports that all of the problems are fixed, and that I'm not one of the 1% affected. Except for the fact that I can't email anyone. Oh, that's not true, I can email people from my Yahoo! account. The one that doesn't cost me $99 per year. Think I'll be renewing? I think not.
Posted by tmp00 at 6:54 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
On Shaky Ground...
We had an Earthquake today, centered in Chino Hills. It shook the complex I work in, which was interesting- the 20's part of the building was moving in a slightly different direction than the 70's portion. Really no more damage than some frayed nerves and a few fallen ceiling tiles. But it's a reminder of what can befall Southern California literally without warning.
Personally, having lived in areas with Tornadoes, Hurricanes, brutal winters and Koch-era Times Square, I prefer the quakes. They come without warning and you're either dead or you're not. For me, that beats huddling in the cellar waiting for the storm to pass....and no that's not (just) me being flip, I've been there. I've lived through one of the smaller big ones and the damage while expensive wasn't as widespread as say the damage from Katrina. Yes, people in '94 died (72 to be exact), but most people were simply inconvenienced. I remember that year there was a killing cold snap in the Northeast that winter. Frankly, I still would rather be picking up the stuff in my apartment that had fallen over with no heat in shirtsleeves than freeze.
Posted by tmp00 at 8:20 PM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 10:13 PM
Monday, July 21, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 7:46 PM
Kath and Kim are coming to America..
Sadly not this Kath and Kim. These two are the real, the original ones from the hoot-and-a-half Australian show which could briefly be seen by the six of you who had Trio, the digital-cable station that flared briefly and died too soon. NBC is doing a new version which looks to have drained any of the humor of the Aussie version.
Why do they do these? Who knows. I am sure that there are layers of stuff that, not being from down under I am missing. The sad thing is that American TV rarely manages to take one of these and better them by Americanizing them. Here's hoping that someone from Australia takes pity upon us poor yanks and offers a region-free DVD of this series and soon. Or better yet, Bravo could shove aside one of the 8 bazillion repeats of "Date my Ex" to show this gem..
image: New Zealand Herald
Posted by tmp00 at 6:25 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Brini is back!!
For the two of you who haven't seen her in action, Brini Maxwell has decided to grace us with snippets from her old NYC cable-access show via iTunes! Each episode is great fun, and I guarantee you'll end up taking copious notes. Also available is season one of her show on the criminally short-sighted Style network (uhh, where is season two, people?) as well as her book, Brini Maxwell's Guide to Gracious Living.
Brini Maxwell is the devilishly clever creation of New York actor Ben Sander. Coming across somewhat as Sue-Ann Nivens on acid, Brini delivers surprisingly helpful tips and tricks for those of us who, unlike such home-improvement divas like Martha Stewart, sadly lack 14 room houses, 7-figure incomes and hordes of (off-screen) gay boys devoted to keeping the copper pots clean. Brini's original show was shot in her tiny New York apartment, and was devoted to showing all of us how to make a small space cheerful, welcoming, and surprisingly chic. Brini whips up everything from Janet Lee's meatloaf to Dina Merill's strawberry pancakes on a hotplate in her galley kitchen, usually spurred on by her sidekick Mary Ellen (the hilarious Thom Hansen). I defy you not to Google her recipe for devilled eggs (all right I won't torture you, it's on her myspace page).
Her studied seriousness (and her slightly passive aggressive catchphrase "now why didn't YOU think of that?") makes Brini Maxwell priceless, but it's the honest usability of her tips, tricks and recipes that make her completely brilliant..
Photo borrowed from Brini's myspace page
Posted by tmp00 at 6:11 AM
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Chris and Don: A Love Story
This holiday weekend I decided with my friend Sue to celebrate the country's 232nd birthday by seeing this documentary, about the 30-odd year relationship between author Christoper Isherwood and artist Don Bachardy. Isherwood, as you know was the writer of "Christopher and His Kind" and "Berlin Stories", which was the basis for the play and film "Cabaret". Bachardy became a noted portrait artist during his years with Isherwood, painting or sketching people from Governor Jerry Brown of California to film stars like Joan Fontaine (who famously despised the portrait) and Bette Davis (who did not).
Chris and Don met on Will Rogers beach in Santa Monica in the mid-fifties when Bachardy was 18 and looked younger. Isherwood was nearly 30 years older than Don, yet made no attempt to hide his relationship from the Hollywood circles he moved in. Some, as told in a funny anecdote about visiting the set of a John Ford movie simply thought (or chose to think) that they were father and son. Others (like Joseph Cotton, whom I previously would have thought better of...) were openly insulting to what they thought of as at best an ornament, at worst a catamite. Cotton loudly and publicly derided what he called “half-men.” Such good manners...
What makes the movie so compelling is Don Bachardy. It's clear that there was true love in that relationship; Bachardy admits that there were tensions based on both the age and class differences: middle-aged Isherwood was a Cambridge drop-out and grew up to the Manor (literally) born while Bachardy was raised by middle class parents in Glendale. Bachardy had wild oats he wanted to sow, and sow them he did with Isherwood's permission. He does admit that he forced Isherwood to do the same and was chagrined that Isherwood found young and attractive partners. Although there was their share of tension and more (after all in many states homosexuality was still illegal), you get the impression that not only was there a great deal of love there but quite a lot of respect.
Don is interesting- he's taken on the mannerism and even the speech of Isherwood, and sleeps in on a daybed in his office in their shared home. Full of life at 75 he no longer drives; he bikes around greater Santa Monica and (in a scene that caused my fellow to viewer to gasp "he's putting us to shame!") is shown merrily working out at his local gym. He also still works, he's shown with several life models on portraits. He's as trim and charming as the 18 year old man that Isherwood fell in love with.
In this year in which Gay Marriage is going to be a wedge issue, especially in California, it's interesting to note that there are relationships that on the surface seem to flout convention, but underneath it's the conventional, and wonderful emotions that are universal to us all.
Photo: Zeitgeist Film
Posted by tmp00 at 9:09 PM
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Posted by tmp00 at 9:27 PM
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I saw Wall-E
This weekend at the theaters at the Americana at Brand in Glendale. The Americana is the new mega-mall in Glendale built by the people who built The Grove in Los Angeles. Both feature simulated town squares with giant fountains with "dancing waters" and stores arranged in a simulacrum of some mythical town square. What makes The Americana stranger is that it's right on the main shopping street of Glendale, sucking people off the actual town square into its relentless maw of consumerism. Believe me that the irony of being in an air-conditioned room full of people wolfing down junk food watching this movie was not lost upon me. Nor was the irony of a company like Disney, who will make a fortune hawking useless, non-biodegradable plastic Wall-E and EVE toys preaching the evils of rampant thoughtless consumerism. I wonder if it was lost upon the good people at Disney...
Posted by tmp00 at 9:11 PM