Archive of ‘entertainment’ category

Adventures of the Dress: Kickstarter Campaign

I have been involved in a special project with my close friend (and very talented author, photographer, designer and all around badass) Cara Vescio, for…well, years. I don’t even remember when this started, to be honest. I do remember when she first came across her cousin’s old wedding dress while cleaning out her garage, and she just knew she could use it for some future photography shenanigan. She always had a photography project up her sleeve, and loved to hoard random outfits just for the possible occasion.

But this dress had a plan of it’s own.

What started out to be one fun photo shoot, turned into twenty-plus photo shoots of twenty-plus different women all over the world in this same dress. Each of us brought it to life in our own way. Or was it the dress that brought us to life? We each put our own flare to the dress and our shoot, but I am here to tell you, that putting that dress on, lacing up my black converse underneath…that dress morphed into my personality, my true personality. I felt alive, gorgeous, confident, crazy, I felt like I could do anything. I could be anyone. More importantly, I could be myself. Each of us had a story to tell, a struggle, a life. We were all fighting something, as we all do. And this project was one of the small pieces of the puzzle that help make everything make sense again.

adventures of the dress kickstarter

Here’s where we come in…Cara is putting together a 120-page coffee table book of these photos and our individual stories. And she needs our help! She is launching a Kickstarter campaign May 7th – June 7th, to raise money to publish this book. What is Kickstarter? You can read about it here but in plain terms, it’s a way to fund creative projects that you believe in. It’s been around for awhile now, and has proved to be very successful. It’s a way to see people’s amazingly creative ideas to come to life. I’ve personally contributed to a few Kickstarter campaigns in my day, and I do not regret them.

There will be different tiers of donations for different amounts, large and small. The best part? It comes with presents! For example, if you contribute $45, you will receive a hardbound copy of Adventures of the Dress, if successfully funded. And come on, don’t you want a book that has a couple pictures of ME in it?? There will be other reward levels with different gifts, some relating to one of the models if you know them (um…me). I have no idea what the rewards are, but I can’t wait to find out!

Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for their pledge toward a project unless it reaches its funding goal. It’s very important that the launch day of the project is big! If you know you want to pledge something, if possible, please do so in the first few days (launch day May 7th!). The more people that pledge that day, the more likely we’ll get high in rankings and be on popular pages and get way more exposure. I’ll post here the direct link to the project on launch day, but anyone can just go to https://www.kickstarter.com and search for “Adventures of the Dress” and easily find it.

Wanna see the cover?

adventures of the dress kickstarter campaign

I have seen so many pictures from shoots that she did with these women, and trust me, they are great. Look at that one up there! So fun. I did two different shoots and I have no idea which photos she chose of me to go in the book. One of the shoots was smack dab in the middle of Comic-Con, and when people asked us what I was dressed up as, Cara responded “A John Hughes film”. Yeah. You’re not going to want to miss this opportunity.

THANK YOU all for reading this really long post! I completely believe in this project, and am so proud of all the women involved, and thankful for Cara to let us play dress up and tell our stories- the good, bad, and the ugly. Sometimes you just have to put on a tattered and torn tulle wedding dress to realize life is really great.

Airborne Toxic Event at The Greek

DTLA

So, I’m I’m LA right now. It’s noon-thirteen. On a Friday. I got back in bed after a lovely breakfast at The Standard, where I demanded they put avocado AND eggs atop my dry toast, so I could pretend it was a Saturday and I was at home doing my usual home things. I’ve been sitting in bed (again) for approximately an hour and nineteen minutes, and I am just loving it. Reading, listening to playlists, gazing out the window at the TCW building (what goes on in there anyway?) listening to the fire trucks blaze by, smelling the sushi place eleven floors below me, and watching the sky grow a bit darker every seven minutes or so. (If you take anything away from this post, it’s that I loathe even numbers.)

It rained last night. And I’m hoping it rains today! I thankfully brought my new puffy black jacket, and am just tickled I get to wear it today. You know, when I get out of bed.

Last night I was at the iconic Greek Theater listening to an iconic band, The Airborne Toxic Event. Do you know the song Sometime Around Midnight? You know, the one that’s beautiful and heart wrenching? Yeah, that’s them. TATE and I have a history. You know when an album suddenly becomes the soundtrack for a particular era of your life before you even know it’s about to happen? I was suddenly living in this dinky place that used to be someone’s garage, my bed was in my kitchen was in my living room, and I routinely had to shove pieces of paper towels in the crack of the window so the spiders wouldn’t crawl through and lay eggs in my ear. But I loved that dingy, light filled place, because that’s where I was. It was right after Airborne Toxic Event released their album Such Hot Blood. Sure, I knew a few of their songs from the last few albums that were on the radio, loved them, but nothing hit me so deeply as Such Hot Blood. The music, the lyrics, his bleeding heart. They were reaching into my soul, pulling out my heart and watching it bleed. And I wanted them to do it. There is a different song for each part of my heartbreak. Different words for each memory, each pain, each dream, each hope. I have lived through far too many Fifth Days, yet I can’t get enough. All your songs are sad songs, but they’ve been hurting and healing me, and I am so grateful for that.

TATE

So, back to last night…fall was just about to hit Southern California mere hours after the concert ended. But we had perfect weather for the outdoor venue. The air was just crisp enough, the wind gently meandered through the trees and made Anna’s dress billow in time to her violin on stage. They sounded amazing, performed amazing. They had such a good mix of songs, from all their albums. They might have left out a couple of my favorite ones on their set list, but they played enough of them to touch my soul and break my heart all over again. To finally see them live was…well, it was epic, guys. I’m a bit sad it’s all over and I’ll have to wait for their next tour. But I’m so glad I made the effort to trek all the way up to LA and take a day off of work to see them. And I’m so glad this little band from Silver Lake made it big and got to play The Greek. They totally deserve it. You guys are amazing. Please keep writing music and keep breaking our hearts.

And now I wanted to leave you with some amazing photographs of the show that I did not take, but this awesome photographer Ryan Tuttle did, but alas, I can’t use them without his permission. BUT! Here’s a link…go check them out, he is quite talented. And has a pretty rad job, am I right?

you know me.

air traffic controller - you know me

There’s this band from Boston. They’re called Air Traffic Controller. I saw them live in LA a while back, you may remember. Well, they just released a video of my very favorite song by them, You Know Me. Bose recorded it live, and it is simply perfect. I love him in that hat. I love her in that red lipstick. I love the empty warehouse and use of lights in the daytime. This is such an amazing song, and this recording is just epic.

When I met Dave, he told me he wrote this song for his wife, then introduced me to his wife, who was working the merch booth. This is such a great band. They are freaking talented, ridiculously nice, and are just amazing on stage. I recorded their performance of this song on my phone that night, but since I was literally touching the speakers, the sound quality is horrible, so I didn’t post my video. Instead, I thought you might want to see the professional, high quality live performance Bose recorded in Brooklyn.

Enjoy!

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | Spotify

// Image above: Screenshot from the video, courtesy Bose

Shiny Toy Guns at Belly Up

belly up tavern

Remember how much I adore Shiny Toy Guns? It’s possible it’s at the point of obsession. Only I don’t follow them to their homes or anything creepy like that, just follow them on Instagram and Twitter and stuff. Oh, and make Carah Faye awesome robot necklaces and stuff. And travel far and wide to see them play live. But nothing creepy!

They haven’t been to San Diego in quiet awhile. I’ve had to drive to LA the past few years to see them. Not a bad drive, and oh so worth it. Folks, we’re lucky to live in San Diego and be able to drive to LA when bands don’t come here (says the girl that’s gone to WAY too many concerts this year. Just kidding, it’s been an amazingly fun year). So, STG decided to do a little farewell to summer tour here in the southwest, and San Diego was the last stop of the tour. At Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Have you guys been there? It’s a great venue, small and intimate so you can really get up there and see your favorite band up close. It’s only the second time I’ve been there, if you can believe it. But I’m a fan! Anyway! Shiny. My older sister and I went together. Turns out we’ve never gone to a concert together. How weird is that? So basically she saw me at my worst. Slithering up to the front when my band came on, and just totally geeking out. I was dancing so freaking hard that I was sore the next three days, wondering why I was sore if I didn’t work out? Ohhh right. The concert. How fun is it to go to a concert when you know every single song?

Wanna see some pics? Sure ya do.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

The show started out with this amazing fog. Oh, I forgot to tell you…Yahoo! was filming the whole thing. I don’t know why yet, I’m dying to see what they do with it and what it was for. Shiny Toy Guns are amazing live, in general. But this show…was freaking amazing. The lights, fog, performance. It was over the top. And so dang hot in there! It’s amazing they did as great as they did, I would’ve been slumped on the stage singing, the heat was totally unbearable. For the first, I don’t know, 8 songs or something? They just ran into the next song, no stopping. It was unbelievable. They were completely unbelievable. I was in heaven. Okay, more pictures!

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

Oh, Chad. His voice makes me quite happy. I don’t quite know what it is about their music, but it resonates with me so deep. Music has always been such an important part of me. But their words, stories, voices, performances…they just do it for me. You know?

And I have a complete friend(??) crush on this chick. Carah Faye Charnow.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy gunsshiny toy guns

Her voice! It does unbelievable things. And she dresses rad. So there’s that.

Can we please talk about how Mikey Martin cannot sit still? I love that! He instagrammed the next day a picture of a black eye he gave himself. Ha! Love it! What a drummer, am I right? You can’t see it great here, but he had awesome makeup on that night.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

I love me some Jeremy Dawson, too. Him and Carah seem to have a very close friendship. She left the band a number of years ago, moved out of the country. He’s the one that flew out there, spent tons of time with her and convinced her to come back. I remember the day they released the video to announce her coming home. Such a good day for me! Their latest album, |||, is a love story about them and the heartache they experienced as a band and them coming back together. Especially the song, Carrie. My sister, who doesn’t know any of their music, told me later that Carrie was her favorite song they played. If that song evokes emotion in people that don’t know the story, how do you think the band feels when the perform it? They lived that heartache. I love that they let us into their world so we can feel what they felt.

shiny toy guns

Nice hat buddy. Now get out of my way.

shiny toy gunsshiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

And then they were gone. They of course did an encore of Major Tom and a couple other epic songs. You think we’d let them go away without an encore?? You don’t know their fans very well.

Okay, so…check them out! ok?

website
twitter
instagram
spotify

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a Bon Jovi & Guns n’ Roses cover band show going on at Belly Up tonight that I need to attend.

Don’t judge me.

Bootleg HiFi

bootleg hifi

A couple of weekends ago was a real tough weekend for me, emotionally. To avoid falling deep into the pits of despair, I did what any quasi-sane person would do…take the day off of work and spend some time in LA!

I braved the Thursday evening traffic after work all the way from San Diego, through Camp Pendleton, Orange County, then Downtown LA to Bootleg HiFi, where a band I really like was playing that night.

la sunset

Have you listened to any Air Traffic Controller? Guys…they’re real good. A small band, which is why they were playing at this TINY venue. I knew it wasn’t going to be a large venue, but thought it would be sort of like Soma or Belly Up in San Diego. Nope…smaller. You walk in after this bouncer acts like he’s the best thing since…I don’t know, since the bouncer at a hot club in the 90’s? He was acting like he was so cool and important. Which totally made me laugh the second I looked in the door to see how tiny and insignificant this place was. Yeah…cool job you have there, bro. Good thing you scrutinized my license since I’m fifteen years older than you.

Anyway, you walk in, give the lady your ticket, turn around and there’s the merchandise table. Take three steps to your left and you’re at the main stage. I mean only stage. And there’s a bar ten steps ahead. Three belly tables and the rest of the standing area is roughly 50′ x 70′. I head to the back room to try to find the bathroom. I walk through an open door, run into a photo booth in a tiny room with two bathrooms. I hear singing coming from the women’s room. Male singing. Clearly a singer is warming up his voice. He finally comes out and I say “you sound great” and smile at him like “caught you!” He was totally embarrassed I could hear him, and rushed over to the backstage area which was just four steps away. I thought about heading in there to hang out with the bands since the entire thing was open, but thought better of it.

This post is getting boring. How about looking at some pictures of the place?

bootleg hifi

I got me some booze here.

bootleg hifi

And this is where I got salvation.

Okay so, Narwahls get up and play. And by gosh, guess who one of the lead singers was? Jack’s kid, from LOST! We’re totally in LA, right? I was surprised, but they were actually pretty darn good! Especially for an opening band at a tiny local venue. And for a little Hollywood kid who has small parts in stuff. I really liked their sound and energy, they were totally entertaining.

Narwhals

He’s the guy on the right. Good voice, but the other singer (center) I thought was better. In case you care.

So then…Air Traffic Controller! Again…tiny venue, so I was practically sitting on the stage. I doubt anyone would’ve said anything if I did, actually.

air traffic controller
air traffic controller
air traffic controller

Here’s what I love about Air Traffic Controller. They have heart. You can hear it when you just listen to their music. You can feel their emotions, their pain, their happiness, good memories, their love or heartbreak. You feel it. You know when you really dig a band, then you hear them live and you’re totally underwhelmed? This was NOT the case. They were so engaging, sounded amazing, true to their own music, and their heart showed through even more, if that’s even possible (it was possible). They’re also just crazy talented, great to look at (what?! That helps!) and I am always down for a band that has a man and woman singer. I don’t know what it is, maybe I like the back and forth. He kind of sounds like They Might Be Giants, and that’s fun, too.

Some of my favorite songs by them are: You Know Me (he wrote that about his wife), Pick Me Up, Ready or Not, Magic, Blame. The House is their latest single. You know the house where everyone hung out at when you were a kid? It’s about that. He had that house. You can listen to some of their stuff on their website, or just hit Spotify. It’s all on there.

I met lead singer, Dave, at the merch table after the show, along with his wife and the awesome chick that has a killer voice and plays a ton of different instruments, Casey.  Wow, super great people, seriously. So glad I got the opportunity to see them live! And to meet them! Did you see how cute he was in that hat up there??

bootleg hifi

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night Re-release

beatles a hard days night

That’s right folks, they’re re-releasing A Hard Day’s Night. What? You don’t know what that is? Only the best Beatles movie ever made! Okay fine, one of the best. Let It Be is a close second. And Yellow Submarine is just so quirky that you can’t hate it. But A Hard Day’s Night actually has a plot. And it’s really funny. So there’s that.

Anyway, my point…they’re re-releasing it in theaters this week (today!) because it’s the 50th anniversary of the original release. And I am STOKED! If you recall from this post and this post, I’m sort of a fan. Here’s a great synopsis of the movie, from Janus Films:

Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which the bandmates play wily, exuberant versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything-goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems, including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, which reconceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.

Here’s a great article in Rolling Stone about it: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ Reborn: Behind the Beatles Film’s New Restoration

And here’s where you can find if there’s a theater playing it near you, and there’s a trailer: Janus Films

If you go see it for the first time, let me know what you think, k?

Fake Palm Springs Day

What do you do when you’re dying to go to Palm Springs for the weekend to lounge by the pool but you don’t have time to drive there and don’t have money to spend at The Viceroy? You host a Fake Palm Springs Day at your own pool, of course!

fake palm springs day

The first thing you need is an invitation, of course. I decided for this particular Fake Palms Springs Day, it should just be my mom, sister and me. I felt our nicknames would be more fun for this invite. No, you don’t have to get out of control and make an invite. But you know how I need to make an invite for all unimportant events! It’s called “obsession”, folks.

Next thing you need is drinks. What’s a day at the pool in Palm Springs without drinks? The pool in my complex isn’t fancy enough to have a swim up bar (too bad) so we had to bring our own. A couple bottles of crisp white wine shall do the trick! (*Note: glass is usually not allowed at pools, so please be sure to have your back toward the property managers unit so she doesn’t see you open the wine bottle and pour. You don’t want to get kicked out of Palm Springs, do you?? We did use plastic wine glasses, though.)

fake palm springs day

Ah yes, the food. Finger foods are the order of the day, here. My sister brought cheese & a baguette from Venissimo (of course) and I whipped up some wraps. Huge flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s, slathered whipped cream cheese on them, topped with turkey, sliced olives, green onions & lettuce, garnished with grape tomatoes. We kept the menu simple. Sliced fruit or hummus & veggies would be real good, too.

Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day

That lavender spread was so good. And look how gorgeous that soft cheese is that has the dark blue line through it? Seriously delicious stuff here, folks.

So, we got our snacks, drinks, I made sure they both brought their hats, water, magazines to read & towels, and we were set! An entire afternoon of sun, at a pretty pool with virtually no one there but us, catching up and getting fat off cheese. What could be better?

Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day
Fake Palm Springs Day

We were having so much fun we decided to make it last through the evening. We skewered up some chicken & veggies and bbq’d our hearts out and watched the sunset off the balcony.

bbq

It was a stress-free relaxing Sunday with the fam before we had to start the dreaded work week again. What are you waiting for? Better plan your Fake Palm Springs Day before summer goes away!

How to Throw a Kick-Ass Academy Awards Party

Academy awards

How fun are the Academy Awards? It’s my favorite awards show, hands down. Even if I haven’t seen all the movies that are nominated, I love watching the red carpet and checking out the outfits. The gorgeous dresses, the hideous get-ups. The hair, the accessories. Totally into it! But let’s face it…watching four hours of that can get boring if you’re by yourself or just one person. You know what you need? A kick-ass party! Let’s get to it, shall we?

First you’ll need a guest list.
Make sure to invite a sprinkling of people that are funny and give good commentary. It’s also a great time to invite people over that you’ve never had over. It’s nothing formal, very casual, and you have hours of entertainment so you never have to worry about the scary lull in the conversation. There will always be a movie star to make fun of. Don’t know who to invite? How about these fine folks? They look fun.

friends

Second Champagne!
As soon as each guest arrives, hand them a glass of champagne. After all, this is a fancy red carpet event. You don’t have to serve champagne all night, feel free to switch to wine or cocktails. Perhaps have a signature Oscar cocktail? Don’t forget to have water and other non-alcoholic bevvy’s available.

champagne

Third you need a menu.
The best things to serve at your Academy Awards party is finger food. Appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. Canapes. Whatever you’d like to call them. I suggest yummy cheese from Venissimo served with sliced baguette & sliced hard Italian salami. Clusters of red and green grapes sprinkled around the food, hummus with pita bread & fresh veggies (get interesting with these, not just carrots and celery. Think baby bell peppers, sugar snap peas). Here’s where things get fun, folks. There are tons of commercials with this thing, and also some pretty boring speeches. During that time you get up, go in the kitchen, and pop some amazing frozen appetizer in the oven. You’ve already stocked up on a bunch, the only prep work is shoving them on a baking sheet. What results is a wide variety of constant hot food. Everyone gets super excited when you pass that stuff around. Just grab anything you see in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s. Or anywhere for that matter. But I say the classier the better. Because I like to pretend that I’m classy.

In addition to pre-made frozen delectables, here are some tried and true appetizers that will make people think you know how to cook: Rosemary Mozzarella Skewers, Pear Pancetta Crisps, Blackberry Brie Bites. You can also have your guests each bring an appetizer or dessert to contribute.

Fourth How about some games?
Let’s make things fun, shall we? Print out these ballots and give one to everyone so you can all be involved and care about who wins/loses. Maybe have a prize for who gets the most! And make the loser do dishes. You’ll also need these Oscar Bingo Cards. Or be creative and make your own.

Fifth What’s the Oscar’s without popcorn?
Print these bad boys and fill ‘er up.

printable popcorn box

Sixth What to wear
You can do anything you want here. Totally fancy red carpet attire, casual, or get creative and have everyone dress up as their favorite character from one of the movies nominated. Make people guess who you are!

blake lively red carpet

So there you have it, folks. Your guide to throwing a kick-ass Academy Awards party. Let’s make it amazing, shall we?

Blog Tour: Elegantly Wasted

The Wasted Series

Remember when I interviewed Cara Vescio, author of The Wasted Series? Well, she’s on a blog tour this month! I’m not on the blog tour, but I totally love this series and the author, so I thought I’d let you all know about it so you can check out the blogs and maybe even win stuff. I like stuff. Do you like stuff?

Here’s the tour schedule:

Monday, February 10th – Wine, Books & Fringe
Wednesday, February 12th – The Best Books Ever
Friday, February 14th – Midwest Galley Girl

Monday, February 17th – Cloey’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, February 19th – Mythical Books
Friday, February 21st – Crystal in Bookland

Monday, February 24th – Paper Charade
Wednesday, February 26th – We’re Jumpin’ Books
Friday, February 28th – Aspiring Joy

So check it out! And if you’re dying to start the series, buy it here!

Follow the author here: Twitter | Facebook | The Wasted Series Website

The Beatles 50th Anniversary

Today marks The Beatles 50th Anniversary to the United States. Fifty years ago today, they touched down at John F Kennedy International Airport, made their way to Manhattan to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. 700 adoring, swooning, fainting fans were in the live audience, and 73 million people watched history unfold on TV. Where were you when it aired? I wasn’t alive yet. But both my parents were. And were huge Beatles fans.

The Beatles

In August 1964, The Beatles came back to America. The start of their tour found them performing at Cow Palace in San Francisco. That day also marked the day my teenage mother and her best friend Edna made the trek from Los Gatos to San Francisco, dressed up as housekeepers and snuck into The Beatles’ hotel room. The Fab Four weren’t in the room at the time, but the girls made sure to touch each surface in hopes John, Paul, George & Ringo touched it first, and took some souvenirs along with them. Used napkins, matchbooks, little things like that. What an experience!

I guess appreciating Beatles’ music has been in my blood. I started collecting vinyl in junior high. My dad and I would hit every used record store and search it for original Beatles albums. Just having every album wasn’t enough for me. I needed the original label. Over the years I accomplished my goal, and even have a few fun pieces. The White Album (simply titled The Beatles) with white vinyl. A double LP with red vinyl, and one with blue vinyl. My mom once owned the infamous Yesterday and Today album, with the picture of raw meat and naked baby dolls. She had peeled the second cover off to reveal the banned cover underneath.

So today, to honor The Beatles and the way they changed the face of music, here are some ways you can celebrate:

  1. Listen to their music. Vinyl, iTunes, CD, whatever
  2. Don’t get a hair cut
  3. Say things like “Give us a kiss” & “I have a hole in me pocket”
  4. Watch one of their movies. A Hard Day’s Night is by far my favorite. Let It Be is heart wrenching.
  5. Watch I Want to Hold Your Hand. Really funny movie about massive Beatles fans!
  6. Go see any live band

Never forget how important music is in our lives. It helps shape us, gets us through rough times, and celebrates all our good times. Music makes us laugh, cry, contemplate, understand. It has the power to bring us back to different experiences in our lives, good and bad. But even the bad times we learn from. And music helps us do that.

John, Paul, George & Ringo…Thank you for pushing the boundaries time and time again and making our hearts soar. You helped shape so many of our lives!

The Beatles

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more