Friday, April 29, 2011

If you build it, they will come...

Sure it's from a movie, but it's also my motto for the next few months. It feels good. I feel good. Well, that's a lie, because actually at the moment, I am suffering with yet another bothersome cold that my sweet little germ-pool child has cast upon me. But other than that... I feel good.

I am currently watching my husband standing atop a 12 foot ladder attempting to install a ceiling fan. It is really fun entertainment for me at this moment, in my weakened state, but I digress to my original point. If you build it they will come...

With the music out of our hands for the moment, my husband and musical partner in crime have had some free time on our hands. We dabble in the yard, we chase after the kid, re-arrange a room...and we drink red wine. Yep, and we enjoy the heck out of all of that.

Before the baby came, we had the brilliant idea of turning our two car detached garage into a rehearsal/recording/hang out/pool room. It was a great idea. The garage is huge, and if we just put about twenty grand into it, it could be a dream.

So, after the baby came, we realized our big room was a big expense that we were just smart enough to avoid, although we had already ripped out the walls, built in the garage door to a one-car garage door, and installed a sliding glass door facing the pool.

And so... it has sat that way for 10 months now, slowly filling up with all the toys and baby accoutrements that your child quickly outgrows. But a few days ago when I was digging in the dirt, I cast my eye over to the garage and sat up straight as the inspiration struck.

What was I doing? How could I have been so blinded by a price quote? I know how to do things! I know how to build things with my own two hands, inexpensively, and make them look really good. I did my time with interior design, put in a good year or two on the showroom floor, learning all the creative tricks that designers know. With all that I learned, it helped me become the snob I am today. No, not that kind of snob... I am the reverse snob! I'm the person who wants to tell you how 'little' I spent on something, and how I took it and brushed it over with my magic wand and turned it into a masterpiece! I am a flea market junkie. I am a Craigslist antique furniture stalker. I am a estate sale hound.... and I have more cool vintage furniture than I know what to do with. I have been this way for years and years, and I think the reason why I have always been the one throwing all the parties is because I actually had furniture for everyone to sit on.

And so, baby in arms, I have attacked the hated garage, and now to my husbands delight, we are hard at work creating our 'creative space'. It may take a month or two, it might bring colorful curse words to our lips, and it may bring out muscles we never thought we had... but you better damn well believe we will be recording in that sucker by July.

I mean it is already hang-able. I'm hanging out in it right now, and I am just thrilled, yes I am easily pleased- but so are most of my friends so we are gonna have a darn good time in this sucker.

So as we build it, and they all come over, make sure to bring a hammer, a drum kit, and a smile and we will put you to work right quick. I'm so not kidding, you know who you are...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grow baby grow

It's happening... that special time when the weather begins to turn warmer, the flowers begin to bloom, and I wish I had my pool heated because I am so ready to jump in. I love this time of year, because I begin to spend large amounts of time outside, reaping the fruits of my labors of love from the past year, plus get that tan I have been missing all winter long.

I am happy to say I have inherited a very green thumb, and I get a massive thrill planting exotic wildflowers and succulents together just to see what will happen in the spring. Well, this year I have succeeded... and the combinations of colors, shapes and forms are so appealing to my eyes.

Exactly eleven days ago I planted my sunflowers, and as of yesterday I can see the little sprouts of at least seven, maybe eight, giant sunflowers. I couldn't be more proud. Last year I planted them too, and they grew taller than I... actually, I was gearing the birth of my son around one of them, and sure enough, as soon as his sunny face was looking down upon me, my water broke. Sunflowers are a sign of joy and happiness to me, so to see my little tadpoles emerge, it is a sure victory for my summer.

My husband and I put in a garden every year, and we are doing our best at teaching our nine month old son, the joys of gardening. He helped us plant all the corn, beets, broccoli, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes and cucumbers... he did pull a couple of them right back out of the earth, and I pray for their speedy recovery, but I had to let him do it- he was having such a good time.

Art imitates life... and as I finish planting the last seed, we are singing the last of the vocal scratch tracks of the twelfth song, for our upcoming album 'The Lovers'.
Half the songs are all ready at the drummers door, and we will begin the recording process just as my sunflowers are a few inches high. I think this year I will gear our album progress with my sunflowers... yes, that seems about right. While they grow taller and stronger, we will add bass, violin, mandolin and cello, and when the first flower face emerges we will be adding piano, lead guitars and vocals. Finally, when the seeds arrive to freckle the face of my sunflowers, and they are smiling down from over our heads, we will be finished with the mixing and our album will be born.

Grow baby grow. It's gonna be a great summer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The City of Lost Angels

I have heard time and time again how people have grown up in small towns and they move to Los Angeles to become big stars. It is so very true and happens day after day, month after month, year after year. This city is where a lot of dreams come true, some people make it up to that big screen, some people go back home, and some people get lost along the way.

Since I moved to Hollywood eleven years ago I have seen a whole lot of this goings on, and you cannot turn a blind eye to the homeless situation that surrounds you on a daily basis. So the best way that I have dealt with it, is to endear the Lost Angels to my heart... Here is my road map to the greatest homeless folks around the city:

#1 Sir Poops A lot: This was my first encounter with the stinking sensation- I had just moved to the corner of El Cerrito and Franklin Ave and was walking to my favorite coffee shop on Hollywood Blvd. when I noticed a man squatting on the sidewalk, going ehhh... Number Two. It was a startling shock, and I tried not to vomit, so instead I smiled at him- tipped my hat and moved quickly away so he could finish his business in ummm, private. I ran into Sir Poops quite a few times in that same neighborhood, and now every time the clubs close down at 2am and I see all the girls take off their towering high heels to walk down the sidewalk barefoot, I just cannot seem to wipe the smile off my face.

#2 The Cat Lady: This lady was a phenomenon because she almost did not seem homeless, with her jeans rolled up and her shirts torn in all the right places, and her brilliant smile never left her face. I liked her the best, not because of her fashion sense, but because of her cat. She had the coolest tiger striped cat that would ride on her shoulders as she walked in between cars on the North/East corner of Highland and Franklin. I swear that cat was never spooked and was so happy just to ride around on his owner... now this is not an easy feat, and since I own a cat, the first time I encountered the Cat Lady I went home to try it with my own feline... I will never do that again, and I still have a scar on my back to show my idiocy.

#3 The Angry Woman: Now this little lady is still there, and I see her daily as I pass the North/West corner of Highland and Franklin. There standing in front of the big old Church is the angriest woman I have ever encountered... and sometimes the quietest, you never know what you are gonna get. I have learned in passing to keep your head down and to avert your eyes, walking quickly and briskly by. Do Not Sing, Do Not Smile, Do Not Make Eye Contact- EVER! For this Angry Woman will yell obscenities that would make a preacher sweat, and will scare the living crap out of you as she chases you down the street... not far, but far enough that you will cross the street before walking past her again.

#4 My Bum: This guy has got the best gig and is super resourceful. Firstly, he was located one entire summer near the underpass of Gower and Franklin, one street away from the Hollywood sign, ten feet away from a liquor store, and another ten feet from the Gower exit; where he set up daily shop with his 'Donation' sign and a bottle of booze at his side. Now, this guy was not only thinking Location, Location, Location, he also had handily set up a 4 man tent, and was living in street style. I really liked this fella, who was always friendly and chatty, I was sorry to see him go when the winter came. It was my Niece who loved him most, we passed him daily when she was staying with us that summer, and she would smile and wave at him and say "There's my Bum!"

#5 And finally, the most endearing of all, and new on my list... The Showman. This is the man I just recently encountered on the corner of Vine and Franklin, as I was exiting from the freeway, and stopped at the stop sign, my eyes did a double take at what I thought I was seeing on the South/West corner. Oh yes. I've seen it all now. Cock, hairy balls, and a smile- was all this guy was wearing. My eyes began to burn, and I was instantly taken back to College, where my roommate had this poster hanging on her bedroom wall, of some hot piece of man with the saying 'Not all men are created equal'... Yep. It's true. What's funny is that when I told a few friends about it, they asked- 'well was he totally naked?' and I had to try to go back to that shining memory and figure out where his clothes were, yes, I believe that his pants were around his ankles- but other than that, Nope... I got nothing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Abbot Kinney's not so secret accessory

It was bound to happen. Finally, after 9 months and one week of being Mommy and Daddy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- it was time for us to be ALONE. My husbands mother was in town for a visit and we though 'Perfect', we will book a hotel- not too far away, but far enough away that we felt like we were somewhere else than home. Venice Beach it was, only 40 minutes away, and I had been hearing lots of good things about the Abbot Kinney scene; lots of cute little shops, restaurants, bars and of course the beach was right there too.

We woke up Sunday morning giddy with excitement of our impending adventure, spent as much time as we could that morning with the baby, giving him an extra amount of love to tide him over for any separation anxiety he may encounter... Who am I kidding- it was me that was all ready having the anxiety. I couldn't imagine not being there for my little dude when he woke up in the middle of the night, nor for that matter when he awoke happy and playful in the morning- I would not be there. Oh lord, my husband saw me dragging my feet and he packed my ass up and threw me in the car. I swallowed hard and waved bye to the baby and Grandma, who by the way is far more capable than I, to care for a child so I knew he was in loving, kind hands which, as we drove mile after mile, I kept reminding myself of this fact so I gently unclenched my fists and began to finally relax and enjoy myself.

I looked over at my husband and he gave me a wink and smiled. It was then that I had a flash of memory of this person who I had fallen in love with, this man who stood by my side for years, who sang straight to my heart... Wow, how I had forgotten him this way? That little baby had come into my life and wiped my mind of so much, but it felt so good to remember the man that had started it all.

Our quick escape was going well when we decided to take a walk down Abbot Kinney and check out what everyone was talking about. As we drove around trying to find a parking spot I noticed a woman walking with a stroller, and I smiled to myself- you never notice those things until you become a parent, and it brought just a slight pang to my heart as I thought of my little boy. No! I was going to enjoy myself so I quickly looked away and noticed a parking spot.

As we began to walk down the colorful street lovingly hand in hand, we passed another family, with a stroller built for two, and we smiled warmly at the couple, who in turn gave us a dirty glare and walked away quickly. We shrugged our shoulders and laughed saying 'yeah they hate us because they think we are just single and carefree', and this made us laugh a bit harder. Then we passed a noisy bar packed full of beautiful, carefree, single and tan beach people who were spilling onto the street from all the open window seats. It was then that I almost fell over noticing on every open window seat there were babies strapped to their mothers or lazily lounging in their car seats, while the parents drank beer and shot the shit with their friends on a Sunday afternoon.

I turned to my husband who's lower jaw was on the floor, and I said 'Am I crazy, or is there babies EVERYWHERE?' This made us turn our heads and look down the street and sure enough, on every corner were groups of strollers, toddlers toddeling, babies Bjorning, and happy families socializing with each other.
My stomach was now turning and I wanted to scream 'But I have one of those too!' Only... I didn't at the moment, and to these parents I looked like that creepy lady who is eyeballing their children with lustful eyes.

We suffered though our stay in Babies Ab' Kinney with frequent phone calls to Grandma, and lots of wine. I would love to say I had the best sleep of my life, but I was awake most of the night thinking of my little boy, and as soon as the continental breakfast was over, we were on our way home.

As we pulled into the driveway, we see our little boy happily watering the plants with Grandma, and I run to him to squeeze him and he looks at me like 'Oh hey, hi Mom, now put me back down, I'm playing here.' But he cannot get out of the family hug since now my husband is hugging him too with all his might.

It's tough being a parent, but it is also the greatest thing in the world. We were a couple for so long, and we did so many fun and carefree things whenever we wanted. Now that our life is so different it is important to remember each other and to have your own private time together, and don't get me wrong-we did have a lot of fun. We will do it again I'm sure, but you had better believe if we ever go to Venice and Abbot Kinney again we are bringing our son, our very own most treasured and precious accessory.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Timeless fashion... and Johnny Depp.

All right, I don't usually talk about certain things, wait... who am I kidding, I talk about nearly everything. But today I want to talk about clothes. Namely the clothing set on the slender back of Angelina Jolie in the movie 'The Tourist'. We watched the movie the other night, and while I found the movie fun, and the backdrop set in Paris and Venice gorgeous, and hey I mean- Johnny Depp is in the movie so I really enjoyed the heck out of it, let's be honest. But let's get back to my point- the CLOTHES! I cannot stop thinking about them! The retro elegance of Colleen Atwood's choices and creations as costume designer were utterly divine!

The richness in fabrics, the cut, the softness of silks! Oh my! It was like she brought back all the class of the old time movie siren and combined it with Jacki-O, all perfectly tailored to one of the most gorgeous women of all time, the film is a fashion knockout. Colleen said ‘The idea was to create a world of quiet elegance, reflected in simplicity of line and colour’. “My inspiration for [Jolie's character] Elise’s costumes were the Hitchcock movies: minimal elegance,”

Yes, you may have noticed, I like clothes. Oh! And I did not even mention the jewelry- one piece in particular, was a diamond choker that was created by Robert Procop and made from an antique tiara that was so spectacular I was drooling the entire time.

To any of you who adore fashion- watch this movie! To any of you who enjoy looking at Angelina Jolie- watch this movie. And finally, to any of you who adore Johnny Depp- watch this movie!
That's all!

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Bullshit, and Ol' Bessy

It's a good night to be in Los Angeles. Tonight at 11:00 at one of my most beloved watering holes- The Kibitz Room, the band Ol' Bessy is playing. Ol' Bessy is fronted by one of the most all around talented musician (with moves that rival Paul Stanley) Mr. Mac Dunlop. Check out my link at the bottom of the blog for more info on the band. I, along with half of the underground music community will be there tying one on.
And finally in response to my last post regarding Aerosmith and American Idol, it was pointed out that no T-shirts from 'Get your wings' had the bands faces without the name Aerosmith stamped on the front. Well thanks for the support, and for calling me a bullshitter. Mostly I do enjoy stretching a story to color it in my favor, but a response is necessary just to cover my bases of storytelling.

One: The shirt does have their faces on the front, and the logo on the back. No, it is not a official concert T-shirt. I got it at a thrift store years ago, I'm a musician and have been broke most of my life and an Aerosmith T-shirt for a buck or two was right up my ally.
Two: If I would have said that the cashier was a middle aged Asian woman, the story would not have been any fun at all would it?
Three: I am not insulting your favorite show American Idol.

And finally Four: This is my damn blog and I will sometimes say things that don't agree with everyone's liking.. and from now on, I will not apologize for any of it.

Now, bring on the Kibitz and Ol' Bessy!