Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Gentle Art of Conversation

The companies names have been changed to protect the hopelessly crass.. and me.

Okay, today was a nice day.  I got up early and went to an event sponsored by the lovely and talented (the woman makes shoes for god's sake- reeeeally nice ones.  To order even..) Wendy put together at the Strange Invisible Perfumes shop in Venice, CA (which you will read more about at a later date on Marina's blog)  

Then I met a friend for lunch at California Chicken Cafe (so yummers and so cheap!) and we wandered around Santa Monica.  We stopped into a store that she frequents that sells, bath salts.  Yes, that's it, it sells all sorts of bath salts.  My friend is a, car dealer, which tangentially touches upon my job since I work in finance at, Chrysler.  As a matter of fact I happened to be carrying a tote bag that day to take notes for the SIP event that I got at work proudly emblazoned with the, pentastar logo.  At lunch we lamented the state of, Chrysler and the fact that the new owner Cerberus was cutting jobs and thinning out the number of models available.

In any case, we stopped into the bath salts place and the owner and my friend chatted.  My friend mentioned that we had lamented the state of, Chrysler.  The owner went into a mini-rant about how, Chrysler was pretty bad to begin with and now was just "pathetic".  That she was appalled when she moved here years ago to see the, autos that Chrysler was foisting off on our area when back home in Washington, DC General Motors was putting out a far better product.

Okay, fine.  Point taken; truth be told I think that some of the line should be cut.  I think the new Sebring is a disaster: a nice car hobbled my bad detailing.  I think it may even go under, or be taken over by another company.  But I am standing there in my Burberry polo happily smelling of about six things better than your crap-ass bath salts could aspire too, full of yummy Cal Chix and behind three glasses of SIP's champagne and wondering over the depth of your bad manners.  I mean, Chrysler is part of LA.  You are in LA.  I am holding a bag that is emblazoned with, Chrysler and the pentastar logo.  I would not walk into your store and loudly declaim that your bath salts are sub-par and point out that no modern bathtub could possibly hold your avoirdupois and suds, even if I thought it, because that would be rude.  I would not point out that you were in a business that has no future, since everyone showers these days anyway (disclaimer: I am going with this for the sake of the simile.  I like baths.  I like bath salts.  In a perfect world my bathroom would resemble the Beauty Level at Bergdorfs.  With a wave pool).

Was there a tipping point where people became so out of tune to that fact that they were talking to other people that they don't take into context that their likes and dislikes are perhaps not universal and should not be presented as such to the casual acquaintance?  My friend Bitsy hates capers.  We are old and censorious friends, so I can laugh off her notion that I am evil and deformed for loving those little hellish balls of silt while chiding the fact that her taste buds froze in 1978 and perhaps she should join the rest of us who have moved off soft foods.  

But for the most part I think it's best to save the really negative stuff until you're sure you are in like company.  Trust me you'll look less like an a##hat.  Even if you're confronted with a recently remodeled entryway featuring key lime and hot pink: look at a point about three feet away and exclaim "how energizing!  I feel brighter just walking in the room!"

Because somebody ALWAYS works at Chrysler..

Oh and as an aside, to straight guys (like any of you are reading): get into perfume.  I was one man amongst about 20 really fine ladies offering up various parts to sniff...

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Godchild turned 16

We had dinner at a place on Glendale Blvd. in Silverlake called Gingergrass.  Yummy Vietnamese fusion food, great service and not bad price-wise.  If you're in the neighborhood and hungry, it's well worth a trip.

The kid got books (from her parents) and Bandit (from me), all of which pleased her.

I'm happy that she was pleased by my gift but was terribly proud that she wanted books.

That and her taste level is such that I want to borrow them...

Photo: Gingergrass

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


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.

Photo: Bitsy

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Pansy's Movie Sunday

This Sunday was hot, so it was the blessed AC at (and passes, the only reason to brave) The Pacific Theaters at The Grove.  I won't go into the idea that in the midst of an actual city comprised of actual neighborhoods that people want to congregate in a bad simulacrum of some town square in Iowa; just the endless piped-in music makes me pray for the big one.  But I had passes, soooo...

First up was "Mamma Mia" and a good time was had.  I love that this is making money and am shocked that Hollywood is shocked that this, along with "Sex and the City" would make money.  This if anything should put paid to the idea that the Gays control Hollywood.  Hello!  If we did, these movies are all you would see!  C'mon: Meryl bouncing around, singing up a storm and playing around in a role that she is truthfully 20 years too old for?  (before you throw stones, she's supposed to be the mother of a 20 year old, the product of a youthful, serial fling when she was a dancing queen of 17.  Do the math)  Not to mention the movie doesn't make the point that it's happening in, say 1999.  Because that free-love could have happened in '79.  Trust me in '89 there was no free love.  There was no shared chap-stik.

Later was "Brideshead Revisited".  I will reserve most judgements until I can re-read the novel that I last read about 1978 or perhaps revisit the miniseries that Netflix refuses to send to me, but I think that the movie simplifies and dumbs down both for modern audiences.  The people in the novel are almost alien to modern audiences, for good or bad (I vote good) the idea of repressing ones self in the name of religion, class or what's generally considered to be good taste is in these days as obsolete as the crank that Charles and then Sebastian uses to start his car.  As a matter of fact modernity and good taste conspire to smother this movie: modernity in that the relationship between Charles and Sebastian can be neatly boxed in a single uncomfortable kiss and good taste manages to strangle much of the rest.  But if you've never read the book or seen the 1981 miniseries, you'll have a good time.  

The only other thing that struck me is that the guy who plays Charles and I have exactly the same eye color, even to being green, grey or blue depending upon the clothes.  That and the fact I was mentally registering the crystal. silverware, statuary and drapery I suppose reflects upon the whole experience as stuff-porn rather than being engaging as actual storytelling.  But I am all over the stuff-porn, especially when it's this high grade: this is Columbian Flake Stuff-Porn, delivered by high-cheekboned earnest RSC actors.  For G-d's sake Emma Thompson's here, dead as smelt, directed to take a role that is supposed to be captivating but..

Oh go see it.  Any movie that's designed to be for someone who is thinking, like this. deserves it. 

So, the three of you who might read this and who might or might not channel Anthony Blanche, what did you think?