Wednesday, December 31, 2008

evelyn lee brings wonder to our lives, again.

evie and i were google chatting last week,
pensive over the hard 08 we are just about done with,
and sending each other music via itunes,
when she dropped this little gem into the chat.

a fragment of a poem by rumi,
the indian poet:

you've flapped and fluttered against limits long enough
you've been a bird without wings
in a house without doors or windows
compassion builds a door
courage cuts a key
step off into the air
like a baby hawk
strut proudly into the sunlight
not looking back
take sips of this pure wine being poured
don't mind if you've been given a dirty cup
it's nothing.

so this is my re-gifting for the year.
i leave you with that perfect suspended thought,
so you can find your way
and cut your key.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RE-GROUPING : ashley,scotty, colette, hillary . . . people stop showing up at comme ca!

the past couple of weeks around here have driven us to eat french food
at an alarming pace.

i blame both the advent of Comme Ca,
the restaurant that is drawing raves and my craving for skatewing
and mushroom risotto,
and the fact that our friends keep insisting we meet there.

like ashley furnival:

yes, she is the only gal i know who can combine chiffon and plaid and make it work.

i don't know how.

and we literally ran into hilary super there:

an old navy pal, who just happened to be going there the same night we were,
and we happened to be sitting three tables from,
but knew it

gotta love status updates. 

then scott knudsen and colette mcgriff, in town to party,
meeting us up to hug on the pups,
then french 75 the night away:

look.  home-made truffles. 

i am going to be muy gordo soon. 

watch this space.  i may need it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

the next time you're in los angeles may i suggest you book a table at Lucques ahead of time?

here's why:

it is, i think, my favorite restaurant of all time.

there, i've said it, and no, i'm not taking it back.

it is the combination of environment (somewhat minimal, somewhat elegant, somewhat rustic, all leather booths and mirrors and fireplaces and concrete floors and beamed ceilings and tented ivy-covered courtyard and flickering lights and murmurs), and service (calm, discreet, and attentive without asking you how you're doing when your mouth is full), and food.

the food!

i don't know how you classify this food.

suzanne goin made a name for herself here first, but is more well known for A.O.C., her small plate tapas celebrity extravaganza, but no, Lucques is not that place.  Lucques is food you experience, without feeling self-concious.  it is food you savor, perhaps the way the word was meant to be used.  you begin a meal with a pat of sweet butter, almonds covered in olive oil, and coarse sea salt.  you see (and this had to be explained to me), you can dip an almond in the butter, then touch it to the salt, then feel the combination of meaty flavor, butter, and rough sharp salt roll around on your tongue.  and the food just gets more complex from there, without ever, EVER, being referential or absurd.

i walk into this place and feel the world slip away.

it's a gift, one they have kept going for years.

and like all good things, it's a little hard to find.  you could drive right by the glossy black door and slightly hidden sign:

but since you'll be picking us up first,
we'll help you find the way.

Friday, December 26, 2008

gifts beyond reason, given freely and without judgement or expectation -

to say that tim and i are generous with each other throughout the year
is to downplay the rather celebratory way that he has taught me to live life.

we gift each other things as varied as stargazer lilies and cupcakes to trips and designer clothing;
we recognize that our hard work bring with it advantages,
and we take them,
share them,
and spread them around as much as we can.

so christmas is not a denoument for us,
so much as a chance to slow,
and thank our little family for the other presents the year has given us.

because grr and avec bring us things that are harder to quantify.
unexpected compassion.
insistent good spirits.
unquestioning belief in our goodness.
persistent need for our attention.
steady breath at night.
sneak attack kisses.
caroling of barks upon arrival.

they give what we should to each other, and to one another.

unquestioning belief
in the goodness of man.

happy holidays, little ones.

and thank you for the gifts you bring.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


thanks for tuning in, kidlets.

big love out to you all,
thanks for all the love, laughter, and good thoughts
you've given me all year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the blogworld collides : meeting jim at his holiday wonderland

to quote disney:
it's a small world after all.

upon moving to los angeles,
i reached out to old friends,
production friends,
and for the first time,
BLOG friends.

or, as gretchen calls them:

jim, of jim's notes,
has been a frequent commenter,
a regular source of good laughs,
and an excellent cook . . . on his blog.

so, when he invited tim and i to his home for a holiday party,
we had to go and see the blogworld,
made real.

needless to say, the house was a riot of lights and color,
and jim?

riot of lights and color.
actually a killer host, kept handing out these drinks called "snowballs"
(stop laughing)
which you can find the recipe for on his blog.

it was a really nice gift,
making the virtual into the real.

merry xmas, blog world.  it's been a good year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MOTTO TUESDAY : retail therapy

i think james perse's l.a. flagship caught me off guard.

cause the t-shirt king has the right idea.

we all need to

go on.

i'll wait.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

holidaze in el ay.


i don't know if i'm more surprised by the fact that i was disappointed with the execution,
or the fact that i actually did a double take.

who MAKES horns like that for cars?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

things i learned at the los angeles AICP party :

um . . .

let's see . . .

1) don't wear a NAVY prada suit jacket.  no one will get it.  everyone will think it is black, like every other guy's jacket.  they won't even see the warped shawl collar lapels.

2)  don't have as many vodka 7UPs as kira.  see picture above.

3)  don't mock isadora's charity tent by licking the metal bottle for the camera.  it WILL end up on facebook.  it WILL taste like painted metal.

4)  don't tell brooke that the woman in the short dress with the big thighs is oscar de la hoya.  she WILL turn and ask "where"?

5)  don't act so surprised that everyone hasn't seen tommy lee's dick in the sex tape with pam anderson.  even when he walks past you and you smile knowingly and they ask why.

6)  don't assume the go go dancers will be as hot as the ones in montreal.  or paris.  or key west even.

7)  do go home early. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

PRETTY GIRLS ALL IN A ROW : why i will always love JLO -

"don't be fooled by the rocks that i got"
the pink diamond
the bentley for the birthday
fly girl
"out of sight", particularly for the one seduction scene with clooney
marchesa gowns before people knew about marchesa
high heeled timberland boots
the skin
the hair
the body
the eyes
and oh yeah, this:

which is kind of like saying:
all of the above.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a quick visual review of BLACKMAN CRUZ, the finest store in los angeles :

little story first.  when i was just out of college, on my first shoot ever, i wandered into the blackman cruz showroom on la cienega.  adam blackman, one of the founders, let me look at, sit in, and touch everything i wanted to, never hassled me, told me stories about everything.  when i picked out a table, and realized i couldn't afford the shipping back to chicago, he smiled, and told me i shouldn't worry about it.  i was meant to have the table, i would have the table.

perhaps this bit of random kindness lingers with me to this day, perhaps i just like free shipping, but blackman cruz remains a place of wonder for me, a place of imagination, a place where i feel comfortable even as i feel elated.  adam still walks the floor, still smiles and tells me stories, and i still imagine a life where my home is filled with their vision.

filled with:

stone sphinxes

samurai marionettes

antique optical lenses

worn limestone busts

hanging leather pod chairs beside cast glass tables.  mastadon skull on back wall.

cast bronze lamps and studded leather books.

forties lamps on biedermeir tables.

cast bronze bases under travertine dining tables

maybe if i just sit here long enough,
adam will wrap it ALL up and send it my way . . .

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the SIX CHICEST THINGS about november : belated edition

1.  the illustrations of richard haynes, 
from his blog "what i saw today"
which get more and more hypnotic each month.
 2.  the leather trimmed ysl coat i didn't buy,
which became a best pick.
3. anna wintour.
amid rampant rumours of her "retirement",
even about her replacement being fellow editrice, carine roitfeld,
ms. wintour remains, glacially, classically,
even, apparently, dining with ms. roitfeld.
ladies and gentlemen,
THAT is truly chic.
4.  the new rick owens lookbook.
the boy is oddly disheveled,
as the clothing remains as lust-worthy as always.

6.  the gay times "recruitment" poster in london.
after right-wing conservative groups in england claimed gays were recruiting straights,
the gay times held a contest to find the most compelling poster to truly "recruit" a straight man.
the winning entry, above.
the text simply says:
"anything she can do . . . "

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

timothy michael thaddeus francis johnson's birthday : ruminations on angels, hollywood views, and hot dogs.

so i know that everyone thinks our life revolves around food and shopping.

and they're right.

there, i said it.  somehow the combination of food and shopping has given us:
joyous nights out,
amazing travel stories,
tons of new friends,
reconnections with family,
and rather full lives.

so, tim's birthday happened mid-transition down here, and we decided to break the mold a bit.

we shopped AFTER we ate.

first stop, a perennial los angeles favorite,
where tim gets his salmon pastrami reuben sandwich,
and we contemplate the hollywood sign
while sitting on the roof barney's in beverley hills,
the greengrass cafe:

now tim's brother may chastise him for the gray that has crept into his hair,
but personally,
tim's developing this craig meets clooney thing that i kinda adore.

plus, he still puts up with my need to pose with store displays:

and then, a drive cross town to the new location of blackman cruz.
i'll post more on this in a seperate post.  but it's beyond my favorite store in america:

the walking the dogs,
then off to a very special dinner.
see, i told tim we were going to a place that served his favorite food in the world.

any guesses?

that's right.

a condiment.

the man loves ketchup more than anything else in the world food-wise.  it's sick. 
when we first met, i could almost not get him to put down the bottle.

until i started wearing low-cut things to dinner.  but i digress.

it's not the best food in l.a.
but this place may have the most FUN food in l.a.

five types of ketchup.  with three types of fries.
i was lost.
he was in heaven.

there is a lot of small food.  all ketchup based:

(must admit: chili puppy dogs were amazing.)

it was, as we like, a FUN birthday.