Sunday, October 26, 2008

Poltergeist is on..

It is of course a classic.

And it's one of the short list of movies in which Beatrice Straight was in.  Of course, she won the Oscar for Network, which was richly deserved.

Why am I bringing this up?  Because Ms. Straight was a regular customer at Rizzoli when I was the buyer there.  I witnessed her descent into Alzheimer's, and as sad and horrific as that disease can be I can only hope that if it's my fate that I can go the way she did.  I don't know how she was in private, but in her visits to the store she was filled with love.  Things were wonderful, the store was beautiful, I was so handsome with my bright blue eyes.

Never mind that they're green.  I wear lots of blue and they change depending upon my shirt.

I'd look at this ginger-haired lady in excellent care, with her hot blue eyes drawing me in and wonder is where she is better?  Certainly if I have to go to Alzheimer's I would like to go to the pleasant place she did.

Somehow I think I'd be more Violet Venable.  Since I was never able to put off Sebastian in my yoof...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tagged again!

Now I've been tagged by Caitlin from Legerdenez!

So I'll add six more random facts:

I HATE to dust.  I'll do the dishes, the laundry and I'll scrub the sink.  But dusting I hate.

I prefer to walk rather than drive, within reason.  Like two miles.  

I like chocolate, but I prefer cheese.

I collect old phones.  I have four or five.  In a one-bedroom apartment.  I think the collection is complete.

I love cars and can pretty much name the make, year and model of anything practically made (certainly in America) from about 1950 on.

I'm a very light sleeper.

I'm not going to tag six more people, though..

Image: one of my phones, courtesy one of my other phones

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.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Speaking of food...

"Two Fat Ladies" is out on DVD (available at Amazon and your local retailers).  For those of you who never caught them when they were shown on the Food Network, The ladies were Jennifer Paterson (right) and Clarissa Dickson Wright, who maundered about the English countryside on a vintage motorcycle with a sidecar visiting wonderful locations and making food that would cause Ellie Krieger's head to explode.  Everything was game or meat cooked gleefully cooked with loads of lard, butter and salt.  You might be thinking "But Pansy, this is Paula Deen with an accent and a twin" but you would be wrong.  The Fat Ladies used fats long and lushly, but would never have been caught dead using whipped toppings or Cheez-whiz.  For them everything was scrupulously farm-fresh and free-range, a decade before that became every supermarkets bastardized codeword for "slightly more expensive".

Part travelogue, part comedy-duo and part lessons in historical English cuisine, this is a cooking show that takes for granted that you might just know how much wine to poach a fish in without being told precise measurements.  One that doesn't tell you alternatives if you are leery of eating any of the ingredients and one that thank goodness doesn't amp up the cuteness or down-hominess to 11.

Sadly, in 1998 Paterson was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently died, so there can be no more of this fun, informative, quirky and entirely British series, and that's a pity.  Luckily they're on DVD for us to savor.  Boy do I want some Bubble and Squeak!


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Santa Barbara and food..

Today I woke up and decided that I wanted to go to Santa Barbara, 90 miles up the coast.  Ostensibly this was because it was the last day of a show at the SB museum.  It was also because it was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive and because I had a hankering for guacamole.

Taqueria Super Rico in Santa Barbara is most likely looked down on by the locals as some tourist trap but I love it.  So did Julia Child so I don't think I have to apologise..

Santa Barbara is an almost ridiculously picturesque town, all Spanish tiles and missions and hills spilling into impossibly blue waters.  There are beautiful beaches, painfully cute neighborhoods full of cunning shops and the sort of laid-back, no pushing atmosphere that I wish didn't put my teeth on edge.  I wish I was the sort of person who could happily follow someone who is weaving back and forth doing 22 mph on the street by the beach looking for parking with equanimity.  I wish I could smile serenely and row between second and third, not gritting my molars to dust and muttering "get the bloody f*&k out of my way you complete idiot before I am forced to kill you!"

I can't.  Even with a gullet full of truly excellent guac.  I'm too type-A.  I am too New York.  Even after looking at a room full of Picasso drawings on a sunny day, maundering down Cabrillo Boulevard.  I suppose there's something to be said for knowing oneself, even if it means knowing you're an asshole...

Photo: my iPhone

Friday, October 03, 2008

Vanity Fair Covers 1913-2008 coming to LACMA

October 26th - March 2009

If you're in Los Angeles, this is the show to see...

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

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.

Adding on..

This device is rather marvelous in many ways.  Being an Apple product it's pretty seamless in the way it works, especially if you use a Mac for day-to-day stuff.  My music is on iTunes, my (few) photos are on iPhoto and I keep my contacts and mail on .mac, which is now MobilMe.  Well, I mostly have used Yahoo for my mail since it's attached to AT&T and I've had it since the mid nineties, but .Mac I've also had since it's inception so that's what's hooked up to the phone.  This meant that the entire process of getting all of my mail and contacts was to log on to the activated phone as I left the Apple Store, and we're done.  Upon getting home I synched up the thing to iTunes and synched the music I wanted, the movies I felt like and the photos I wanted.  I was able to choose photos for my contacts, and since I thought ahead and used iTunes to copy my old ringtones over, Bitsy and Sue are ringing the same as they have for the last 5 years.  The apps are interesting and it will take me a while to get through them all to test the effectiveness of them, but there is something that I can confidently state about this phone: it was made for people who live in a walking city.  Visiting Bitsy in Manhattan I was struck by how useful it was, on the street we could look up an address, find ourself with GPS in relation to it, and be in time to get back home to recharge the little bugger.  Los Angeles is more far-flung and car based than NYC or the SF that Jobs demonstrates all the time.  We'll come back to that complaint come later..

First negative: the iPhone does not use FireWire for recharging.  I can get over the fact that I cannot synch up the bleeding thing using FireWire.  Whatever.  But after years of selling us FireWire chargers and cables (A system that Apple freaking invented) now I can't even use them to charge?  GRRRRR.  Off to buy more overpriced USB cables, since I don't think this little darling is going to want to be far from a recharge.

Second negative: this was a huge one for me and one that I simply did not understand nearly two years ago upon intriduction and really don't understand now.  In 2008.  In states with hands-free laws.

There is no voice dial.

Let me type that again:


Which leads me back to the idea that the people at Apple live in some city where automated maglev transpods are at every other corner, where they tap in their destination via iTunes and settle back for a nice conference call with Steve and Jon about whether the new shade of green for the Nanoes should be key lime or puce.  While looking for the best Margarita and texting via the App store.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are on the 405 or PCH or Beverly Drive or 95 or the GW Parkway or the 7 Mile Bridge or 7th Avenue and would like to tap our bluetooth earpiece and clearly state "call"  "Bitsy"  "Mobile"  "Yes" rather than dig the phone out and keeping one eye on traffic and try to call up the menu with Bits' phone number.

Steve, Bubeh, would you want you mother doing that?  Would she want you to?  Especially when you live in California with all those new laws where you drive that SL55 way too fast?  No.  It's a major disappointment about a critical safety feature that other companies mastered 5 years ago.  Shame on you.

The last thing is that god love them, Verizon did have the network.  AT&T does not.  I barely get a bar in my house, a block away from a building owned by them.  I don't get the vaunted 3G at home, and only at work when I am in sightline of a window.  Mostly this is the equivalent of Dad handing you the valet key to his shiny new red Corvette: you know it's a Corvette, but the chip in the key makes it perform like your Aunt Yetta's Citation.  I am willing to bet the MBA I don't have that someone from Apple contacted someone from Verizon about the iPhone.  I'm sure the meeting went something like this:

Apple: We have this phone that will do everything (demonstrates everything).  With this phone we will control the world! (cue lightning)

Verizon: (checking the amount of pennies they will lose by not charging for every text message and photo download).  Ahhh, thanks, no.  We have a "'Get-Lightning-Now' app for $1.00 a strike"

It's only to be hoped that the person who said no is sitting in a room somewhere hooked up to electrodes forced to watch "The Famous Teddy Z" and iPhone sales numbers until Verizon can get in on the action....

Would I buy?  I did.  Would I recommend?  Yes, with reservations: check to see that you have coverage.  But dayam- this thing really is the blackberry for the rest of us..
Photo: Gizmodo