Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Journey to Endor

All my life I’ve been waiting to see the Redwoods, and finally yesterday I got the chance.  Photos can never do these trees justice; you must experience their surreal majesty in person.  I visited one of the most well-known areas for viewing the giants, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park near Crescent City, California.  In another unintended turn down film history lane, this park is coincidentally home to Endor, the planet of the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi.Do you know that over 90% of the original redwoods have been logged by greedy-ass humans?  Gross, right?These behemoths can grow over 370 feet tall and over 20 feet in diameter.  They are some of the oldest living beings on this planet.  It is truly depressing to walk among these ancient groves knowing that dumbass humans cut down the biggest, tallest, strongest, and oldest specimens in the early 1900′s.  The hubris of a man taking a saw to a 1,000 year old tree is truly disgusting.   Walking through this forest, knowing it is now only a shadow of what it used to be because of human interference, makes me hate people more than I already do.  I didn’t actually think that was possible. Take the time to visit this place and remind yourself how insignificant we are compared to the resources we destroy.  Sitting humbly at the base of one of these granddaddy trees does wonders for recalibrating one’s perspective.  Enough preaching, if you could give a fuck about preserving the Earth, well then maybe you care about visiting Endor.  Whatever gets you there, it’s worth a trip to backwoods California to gaze at the big tall trees.  Psychedelics are optional, but you have a much greater chance of glimpsing an Ewok if you bring some along.

 

Dita Von Teese: Strip Strip Hooray

Saw Mizz Dita Von Teese and her burlesque buddies on Memorial Day in Portland at the Aladdin Theater.  I anticipated this show for months, set out on an epic journey to be there, and even built a Pacific Northwest trip around it.  So did it live up to all the expectation? 

In two words:  FUCK YES.

Dita started the show with her now classic martini glass routine.  She lip-synched a song about liking it slow, and stripped down from a perfectly fitted tux to a gorgeous corset. Her body is every bit amazing as it looks in pictures.  Her waist is really that tiny and her skin is milky white and flawless.  In between Dita’s four performances, other well-known burlesque stars like Dirty Martini and Catherine D’Lish punctuated the stage with their unique flavor.  This show was interesting because there wasn’t any singing and really not much in the way of dancing.  I’d call it more coquettish posing and prancing.  It is like watching a live editorial photo shoot.  Strike a pose, click.  Strike a pose, click.  The audience takes in a series of beautiful images, but really not much more.  The whole shebang amounts to a gorgeous puff of powder, but what it lacks in substances it makes up for in style.Not to say there are no skills involved; Dita completed much of her mirrored-compact routine en pointe in Louboutin ballet point shoes.  She definitely looked a little nervous and strained during the more challenging balancing requirements of the act.  Truthfully, there were more than a few moments where Dita telegraphed her anxiety.  When the fasteners on her garments didn’t cooperate with her quick release commands a palpable panic swept over both her face and her gestures.  I found this surprising for such a seasoned performer since I’m sure in this type of show wardrobe hiccups are par for the course. While physically stunning, there is a classic stripper disconnect between Dita and the crowd.  Many of her hand-selected co-stars made more meaningful connections with the audience than Dita.  No one looked better, but there was definitely a wall up between Dita and her fans.  Almost as if she was looking past us, or maybe down at us?  Dita closed with a big opium den number set in part to a remixed version of the Cure’s Lullaby.  The incredible finale climaxed with four gloved hands pawing Dita’s body into ecstatic submission.  Nary a nipple was exposed, but the entire show was a pleasing, erotic, and light-hearted delight.  This show was well worth the price of admission, and even worth traveling a distance to catch.  We owe Von Teese a great debt in keeping the art of burlesque alive and relevant, and she’s obviously one of the most stylishly influential women on the scene.  Three cheers for Dita indeed, Strip Strip Hooray!

Resort 2013: DKNY

IMPORTLAND

Want to make a late correction to today’s post.  I believe I may have misidentified the shop where I bought my dress as Flutter Clutter when it is in fact called EdenEden has a website at edenportland.com.  I’m going to leave information on the sister shops in this post because both are worthy of attention, but to be clear, Eden is the extra cute store where I bought my reasonably-priced reworked vintage.  I wholeheartedly apologize for any confusion.  There is just so much sweetness in Portland, it is hard to keep it all straight. Stumbled upon a darling shop in rosy Portland today called Eden.  I was drawn in by a rack of adorable dresses outside the store and made my way in to discover a number of unique treasures.  Eden stocks all sorts of fun, like quirky found items, granny’s thrift store dresses reworked into modern shapes, souped-up vintage furs and lingerie, delicious perfumes, books, cards, cute tid-bits, and whimsical what-nots.  Often when I stumble across a store of this nature, it is full of sweetness, but the prices are astronomically bitter.  Not at Eden; their special finds are priced to move.  How does $52 for a one-of-a-kind frock sound?  Sounds totally reasonable to me, so I picked one up.  Check out both websites flutterclutter.com and edenportland.com; the online inventory is more limited than the in-person browsing experience, but you can get a taste of their eclectic offerings.  Enjoy free shipping on orders exceeding $100.  This shop is well worth a look and full of intriguing gift ideas.

Famished from shopping, sustenance shifted to the priority.  Prasad answered the prayer of our longing tummies.  Vegan, wholesome, and delicious, Prasad provided us a hearty meal we devoured with a smugness that comes with consuming only the healthiest and guilt-free dishes.  With fresh-squeezed juice and a protein-packed salad followed by a soothing peppermint tea, we left refreshed from our weary travels.  Portlanders keep a number of vegetarian restaurants and food trucks thriving, and Prasad is a standout among them.  Prasad shares space with a yoga studio – Yoga Pearl.  Didn’t get a chance to take a class, but yoga + a delicious vegan lunch sounds like a fantastic afternoon to me – a great concept for a shared space that is well-executed.  Leave it to Portland to get it right.

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!

Today was spent in humble reverence to one of the most formative films of my childhood: The Goonies.  I got to see Mikey’s house in the flesh ya’ll!  More than 20 years later, the path up to the home is well-tread.  The friendly owners let you walk directly up to the hallmark of 80′s nostalgia and take photos.  No Truffle Shuffle required for entry.  Also located in Astoria, check out the Clatsop County Jail which Goonies fans may remember from the opening scene of the 1985 classic.  The former jail now serves as the Oregon Film Museum. Even if these other two locales have been buried deep under years of accumulated subconscious pop culture history, surely you remember Goonies’ big finish filmed at Haystack Rock?  This iconic monument lives right off the coast of lovely Cannon Beach.  Visit gorgeous Ecola State Park for access to sweeping views of Haystock Rock and all its rock formation friends + orange and purple starfish and turquoise sea anemone too.

Goonies Never Say Die!

Rainbows, Hoh, and Twilight Tourism

After a delightful stay in Vancouver, I headed over to Victoria, B.C. and chowed on the best vegetarian Chinese ever at Lotus Pond.  This 100% cruelty-free joint blew my mind with their extensive menu of mock meat and use of unusual vegetable varieties.  Ever had a lotus root?  Me either.  Fake seafood, check.  Faux duck, quack, quack.  Food is served hot, quick, authentic, and delicious.  The service is kind, attentive, and unobtrusive.  Overall grade = a solid A.From Victoria, we took a little ferry ride to Port Angeles.  This is where we inadvertently got sucked into a vortex of Twilight tourism.  Rather than fight it, we decided to embrace the fromage, so we dined at Bella Italia.  This is the restaurant where Bella and Edward supposedly had their first date.  We avoided the overpriced “mushroom ravioli special,” opting instead for a decent bowl of minestrone and a mediocre Margherita pizza.  I asked the waitress if the place gets overrun with crazy-ass Twilight bitches, and she said for awhile it got so bad fans would steal the restaurant’s fancy leather-bound menus – which is such a profoundly dorky and pathetic move. After dinner, we hopped in the car and drove a little over an hour to Forks, Washington where we stayed at the hilarious Three Rivers Resort.  This “resort” obviously used to cater mostly to fisherman, but has wisely shifted its marketing focus to appeal to the voracious and insatiable Twilight fans.Even though our cabin smelled like a mean girl’s pussy, the owners were super nice, and the little cabin was an interesting departure from the standard hotel scene.  That said, I’m glad we only stayed one night.  Taking the advice of the kind proprietors of Three Rivers, we ventured down to the La Push reservation to Second Beach.  The elders blessed us with a sunny day, so we strolled the immaculately clean sand, snapped photos of the offshore rock formations, and spotted starfish in the tide pools.  Second Beach = trip highlight. Heading down the 101, we explored an enchantingly surreal hike through the mossy Hoh Rainforest.  Within this dense green wilderness lives some of the few undisturbed ancient trees protected from the logging industry.  As one of the few remaining unmolested areas of its kind, Hoh absolutely warrants protection from human destruction.  After our 6 mile hike, we turned back on the 101, and saw an extremely auspicious double rainbow over head.We had dinner in Aberdeen, the birthplace of the band Nirvana.  From Cobainland, we traveled a little further and crossed the border into Oregon by way of Astoria where we settled in for the night.  Tomorrow begins the second half of our journey where we will investigate The Goonies, Dita von Teese and the Redwoods.  Keep your tray tables stowed bitches, we ain’t done yet.

on the road

Many of you know I’m in the midst of an epic road trip.  Twelve days and over 1,300 miles by air, road, and sea.  5 days into the journey, I’ve come to rely on a few unexpected items.  Here are things that have helped me survive, navigate, and stay connected while away.  Laptop, Kindle, cell, I need a least three outlets.  Since I don’t want to unplug every lamp, alarm clock, and TV in every room I stay in, a power strip is key.  Slip one in your bag; you’ll use it everyday.  Many cell phone companies fuck us over by preventing us from roaming on foreign networks.  They don’t want to pay a premium to other service providers to allow their own subscribers network access.  Enter Google Voice.  When you port a number to Google Voice you can hear voice mails, send texts, and make calls even if you can’t connect to a cellular network.  I’m not going to get into all the technically amazing shit you can do with Google Voice, but I highly recommend you look into this rad, FREE service.  On a similar tip, when the GPS isn’t working because you are in the middle of BFE, make sure your ass has an actual map, and ensure the map is current.  We’ve become too reliant on technology.  Learn to find your way around without it.  The most interesting places on this planet do not have cell towers. My wardrobe travel essential this trip has been my hooded army green drawstring-waist jacket.  It has sheltered me from the rain, kept me warm, but not hot, and has plenty of pockets for items I want to keep close.  A loosely structured jacket pulls together an outfit while also maintaining a feminine silhouette.   Bring every kind of wipe you can fit in your bag: anti-bacterial, flushable, baby, whatever.  Wipe the remote and any other surfaces to protect you from the skeeve.  If you watch Hotel Impossible, you already know why.  Mitigate the funk.

Bethenny and Jason on the Rocks?

We’ve all been on quite a ride with Mizz Frankel haven’t we?  At first, in the earliest days of RHNY, I was sort of fond of her.  Perhaps she was just the least offensive member of an all-around offensive group, but for the most part we were rooting for her.  As her fame, brand, and wealth grew, so did her narcissism, impatience, greed, and need for control.  In my opinion, her merger with Jason was just that – a calculated business decision aimed at furthering her appeal to a larger (more lucrative) audience.  Along came Bryn, and with her new baby Bethenny had all the the perfect ingredients to market cocktails, shapewear, skin care, books, and more to eager moms.  Not to mention Bethenny leveraged her new role as “mommy” to snag sponsorship deals with major players like PampersFirst during Bethenny Getting Married? and later throughout Bethenny Ever After, the couple’s total incompatibility became full-on apparent.  This last season grew so uncomfortable, I couldn’t even find the humor and fun in writing my silly little recaps.  So it comes as no surprise that rumors are flying concerning both parties consulting divorce lawyers.With divorce rumblings comes financial talk.  Several lawyers were asked to comment on what Jason is likely to gain from the split.  Now, I ain’t one to gossip, but I heard that Bethenny pushed Jason to sign a pre-nup and a revised post-nuptial agreement.  Trust, her assets are protected.  Based on her upbringing and past behavior, I contend that Bethenny would not jeopardize her fortune or her daughter’s future for any man.  Along with the rest of you, I’ve been predicting the demise of this showmance for sometime.  During a recent episode, a morsel of information slipped out that only served to cement my hunch about their impending split.  Bethenny stated that Jason goes to church every Sunday.  Specifically, she said “Jason goes,” the inference being that she stays home and he goes without her.  That struck me as a profound proof of the distance between these two.  Consider how much bullshit Jason endures for Bethenny.  How many events must he attend where she is the “star,” and he is the purse-holding husband pushed off the step-and-repeat so the paps can get a clean shot of the money maker?  She can’t spend one hour in church with the man?  Look, I’m no Bible beater, but church might actually do Bethenny some good.  Even if it didn’t, it would show a willingness to support Jason and do something as a family that isn’t 100% focused on Bethenny.  The trouble with the current version of Bethenny is that everything in her life and the lives of her hired sycophants is Bethenny-centric.  Why do you think Julie left?  And let’s not even get into all the unnecessary conflict Frankel caused with Jason’s salt-of-the-Earth parents…And as for the infidelity rumors with Matt Hesse?  The two clearly have chemistry, and Bethenny eyes him with a particular undeniable gleam during their on-air interactions.  He knows she wants him and he’ll milk her sexual attraction to maximize his professional and financial future.  He’s a self-proclaimed modelizer.  Obviously fucking Bethenny is a resume builder, not a dick stiffener.  Let her taste a bit of her own overly acidic Skinnygirl medicine with this handsome opportunist.  As this plays out, I predict the following:  1) First, the couple will offer a wave of denials until a confidential agreement is locked down tight; 2) Jason will NOT end up with anything close to half of Bethenny’s fortune, but she will overpay on the pre-nup/post-nup to preserve and protect her privacy and misdoings;  3) She will hold off announcing the split until after she finds out if her 6 week trial run talk show gets picked up for a full season (it won’t).

Resort 2013: dependably elegant Oscar de la Renta

Josephine Skriver Elsa SylvanLindsay LullmanKristina RomanovaKelsey RogersSara Blomqvist Zuzanna Stankiewicz (best name ever)Xiao Wen JuArlenis Sosa