Archive for 2011

In Remembrance

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In the disquiet of these days
I carry you with me

Deep within my pocket
At the bottom of my footfall

In every cloud that brushes by

- Kylie Johnson, poet and ceramicist

Ten years later, we remember. (courtesy of Anthropologie)

1 Comment »

Now Our Lives are Changing Fast

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's a rare person that can wrangle 20 of his closest friends to commit to a weekend of wine and sunshine 4 years running; but Mr. Joe S. accomplished it with nary a complaint.  A few weekends ago, the boyfriend and I took our first trip with this motley crew.  Most of this group has known each other for years and have remained banded together no matter where their lives have taken them.  Watching the camaraderie and the dynamics proved to be a great source of entertainment.

The setting...a beautiful country house in Los Alamos with its own chicken coop and vineyard and one of the most incredible views of the night sky.  We brought tequila and a blender, others brought food and wine and snacks (can't forget the snacks) and Joe provided the soundtrack.  We dubbed it Wine(house) weekend, part silliness and part sincerity and, at least to us, apropos of the singer. 

Here's what it looked like--

Lunch at Panino in Los Olivos

Wine tasting at Longoria Wines in Los Olivos

View of the main house from the pool

Add caption

Antique shopping in Los Alamos

Walking through the vineyards at night

Breakfast prepared by the owners

Here comes our party bus!

Shoestring Winery

Brunch prepared by our resident chef, Jared

The 1880 Union Hotel - historic landmark in Los Alamos

Add a comment »

Summers in LA

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Los Angeles comes alive during the months of June, July, August and September.  There is so much to do and see that it can even get a bit overwhelming because you want to be able to do it all.  From picnics at Griffith Park (the Central Park of LA, but much bigger and with natural terrain), wine tastings at Barnsdall Park, open air concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theater or the Ford Amphitheater, pool parties, day or night, at the Mondrian, W Hollywood or the Thompson, afternoons at the Getty or LACMA, the options are endless and even daunting.

Here's how I've been enjoying the last few weeks:

W Hollywood/Drais
View from W/rooftop basketball court


Entrance to Tim Burton exhibit
Old Zoo at Griffith Park

Boyfriend and Layla exploring the lions' den
Inside the caverns of the Old Zoo
The Getty

Picnicking at the Bowl
The enigmatic Dudamel

Sarah McLachlan and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Annenberg Community Beach House - Santa Monica

Eat 'real festival

How have you all been enjoying your Summer?

Add a comment »

Music is Life

Sunday, June 26, 2011

When I can't express myself, I turn to music.  When the noise in my head gets too loud, I turn to music.  When I need to remember, I turn to music.  When my happiness knows no bounds, I turn to music.  So many memories and emotions are tied to music that all it takes is a few notes to evoke a wistfulness for the past.  Music can inspire, can give hope for unknown possibilities and elicit a positivity within myself that propels me forward.

I don't have the technical skill to talk about music, but I know what I like and I know how what I like makes me feel.  I love it when I come across a writing that describes exactly what I like about a certain song or artist but didn't know how to verbalize.  This article on the LA Times Music Blog is one such example.  The writer found the words to properly explain the power of Adele and gives an example:

"Another way is to play her “Rolling in the Deep” — No.1 on the singles chart for the fifth straight week — very loud and listen to a pearl of a pop song that combines essential ingredients of the Western popular music canon. So much funky, dynamic unity drives “Rolling in the Deep” that after it's over you want to hear it again because it'll be a different kind of great next time around."

From LA Time Music Blog
I've mentioned in an earlier post, A Few of My Favorite Things, that KCRW is where I go when looking for new music.  Recently, DJ Jason Bentley had The Civil Wars on Morning Becomes Eclectic and I fell in love with the beautiful harmonies of the indie folk rock duo.  I didn't get the chance to see them live while they were in LA, but most any review you read about their performances talk about the explosive chemistry between Joy and John Paul.  Mumford & Sons inspired a love for folk music in me and so, for now, this is the sound I look for when purchasing new music.  Check out their live set on KCRW and judge for yourselves.

Barton Hallow album cover - from

And speaking of explosive performances, I saw Florence + the Machine at the Greek Theater and, to no surprise, Florence Welch didn't disappoint.  This was the third time I was seeing this group, and I can honestly say that I do not get tired of listening to them perform their album Lungs over and over again.  Florence has this undeniable quality of making a song feel new again and the Machine is there to back her up every step of the way.  Here are some pictures:

And a little taste of Heavy in Your Arms:

I plan on having a summer filled with music along with fo
od and friends and laughs and love, because music is the perfect compliment to all of the above.

Add a comment »

Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And what's the perfect accompaniment to a bloody mary...oysters, of course. 

A couple weeks ago, while walking around our local farmer's market, we found a local fishmonger who brings in a variety of oysters to be consumed either on the spot as market goers rush around you or taken home and enjoyed at leisure.  After partaking in a half dozen of their best selection, we decided to have our own oyster party.  For me, enjoying a dozen or so cold oysters dressed with lemon juice and Tabasco is a perfect way to spend a lazy warm Sunday afternoon.  And we can't forget the Bloody Marys, especially since the BF has been perfecting the art of constructing one. 

Here's what our spread looked like:

Oysters were just the beginning.  Grilled shrimp, avocado salsa and summer succotash made it complete.     

The shrimp are done, just waiting on the green onions

The BF's first attempts at shucking an oyster

Layla keeping the BF company

Looks good, doesn't it?