Archive | September, 2012

On Booze: Lambrusco

29 Sep

Welcome to ON BOOZE.  The title taken from a book of the same name – a compilation of drinking stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Since intoxicants are something I derive great pleasure from, I thought I’d share any new revelations or happy experiences I encounter whilst imbibing.  Or, maybe we’ll just talk, just have general conversations on the subject.  Who knows what’s in store for us…

“I don’t have a drinking problem ‘Cept when I can’t get a drink.” – Tom Waits

Without further adieu, I introduce…On Booze.

LAMBRUSCO.  I’m a beer girl.  100%, no getting around it.  That being said, when I do delve into wine, I prefer red.  Now, during the summer, when day drinking is at its best and beer gets hot too quickly, from time to time, I find myself having a crisp, white wine.  There’s something cool and fresh about it that accompanies a warm/hot summer day exquisitely.  Well, almost.  Except for the fact that I’m always wishing it was red.   Although I enjoy the white, it’s not my favorite.

Lambrusco. Photo by Marco Carboni. Pulled from wikimedia commons.

You can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon a certain type of Italian sparkling wine called Lambrusco.  I’m always late to the party.  I clearly missed Lambrusco 101 during my college years and went straight to Advanced Natty Ice.

A sparkling red, it’s chilled and bubbly, how fun!  It’s the best of the white wine world, but with added pigment and fun carbonation to boot!  This is not to be confused with the bad tasting and ill reputed wine coolers and spritzers; Lambrusco has an authentic and distinguished taste and handle to it.  Some brands are sweeter than others; I’m learning that I prefer the drier variety.  I’m going to dip into fall with this baby; I officially name this my Drink of Fall.

You can typically find them living in the champagne and sparkling wines sections (alright Obvious Police) of your local liquor or grocery store.  I really like this particular brand that I picked up at Whole Foods.  See below –  it will run you around $15.  I hear Trader Joe’s carries a good one as well…

These people are having such a great time! It must be good!  Everyone needs a monocle & baby while drinking!

Happy Drinking!

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When the 80’s Attack

17 Sep

By Wladi87krasov. Pulled from wikimedia commons.

Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw…I’m a step away from making a mix tape and crimping my hair with the random 80’s onslaught that has inhabited my life recently.

The 1980’s.  It was exaggerated and bright time period, the music, the styles, fads and fashions were all overstated and embellished.  It’s a vibrant and care-free middle child to the war ridden 70’s and self-obsessed and angsty 90’s of recent past.  Recently, we’re taking hold of our 80’s heritage and now we’re re-obsessed with color, with fun music and clothes that are a throwback to that time period.   Because of this influx, it’s not surprising there’s been a triple invasion of 80’s culture to my simple life.  I love the 80’s, but other than it’s music, I don’t find myself on its radar most of the time.  Until this week.  This week, that was not the case.

This is what happened:  I started reading a new book, knowing nothing about its contents and was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  Turns out, it is centered around the glorious decade that is the 80’s.  Then, some friends and I happen upon a random bar we’d never heard of before and…well, you’ll see, but I’m guessing that you’re guessing it has something to do with the 80’s and, like, you’d be right, bitchin!  Go ahead…keep reading –

Awesome. Photo by Michael Surran, pulled from wikimedia commons.

READ – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Note:  this will be the worst book review you’ll ever read, continue at your own risk.

It’s the year 2044, the earth has gone to complete shit, our 18-year-old Protagonist lives in “the stacks” (think trailer park except with all the trailers stacked vertically forming a new version of The Projects.)  An extremely high-tech, detailed and comprehensive virtual reality called OASIS has been created by a mastermind, Steve Jobs type, to help the population cope with its current living circumstances.  Kids attend school here, people hang out, travel, everything you would do in real life, they do in this alt-world.  When the creator of this parallel universe dies, the Contest is born.  The users of OASIS are challenged to “find” three gates hidden in this virtual reality world he’s created.  Once you find them and beat all the challenges presented, you become the beneficiary to his estate and the recipient of his billions of dollars, etc.  Being the 80’s lover that he was, people begin studying everything 80’s.  Since this takes place 33 years in the future it is amusing the way the author references current film directors, fads, video games and musicians as a thing of the past.  It’s an interesting little headfuck and a very easy and enjoyable read.

Awesome pinballs at Blipsy Barcade.

GO – Blipsy Barcade – What a wacky place.  The description is in the title, Bar. Arcade.  See!!  I’m a little upset with myself that I didn’t stumble upon this gem of a place until now, but better late than never, I suppose.  It is stuffed with old video games, mostly from the 80s; you won’t find any of that too cool for school Mortal Combat or anything Tekken.  It has two pinball machines (my personal favorite), Donkey Kong, Mrs. Pacman, Joust, Robotron, Double Dragon, Rampage, Spy Hunter, Asteroids, Centipede, etc. and they all cost a quarter to play.  A quarter.  Again, a quarter.  No rip off artists here.  There was a great DJ spinning 80s (and some 90s) music and the crowd was milling about dancing, playing and generally being non-pretentious.  Good for them!  It was busy, but not crowded; you could still move around.  It’s the epitome of a shitty dive so bring cash; no credit cards accepted.  I’ll be going back in the very near future.

For the Record series at Rockwell.

DO – For the Record: John Hughes – So very very much fun!  Dinner Theatre at it’s best!  As we are assigned our seats at the bar we immediately notice they have some drink specials – cocktails named after some classic references, such as Long Duck Dong, She’s Alive, and my drink of choice, The Abe Froman. The energy in the crowd was wonderful and you can tell everyone was there in the same capacity.  No judging, no agenda, just to enjoy what was the classic John Hughes movie and all of its comedy and music.  As a child of the 80’s, I appreciated everything about it.  All the references, dance moves, song choices and inside jokes.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house and since the cast moves around the space constantly, you’ll never feel like you’re going to miss an entire bit.

These performances are actually a series.  “For the Record” puts on many different shows, all with the same idea…music and short excerpts usually formed around a certain movie or director.  Some past shows include “Boogie Nights” and Quentin Tarantino.  Do yourself a favor and try to catch John Hughes in time, or wait until the next installment – Martin Scorsese.  Man, if they do anything to do with “Casino” I’ll be institutionalized. – hit up goldstar.com for discounted tickets

If you find yourself looking for a little extra 80’s in your life and you’re not in the mood for fluorescent clothes or a “Pop-Up Video” marathon why don’t you go ahead and give these a look-see –

Hotter Than Hades

16 Sep

Yesterday it was over 100 degrees in Los Angeles.  Today?  Also, hot.  Too hot.  Most of the time the heat goes unnoticed by me since I work long hours in an air-conditioned environment, usually even wearing a sweater or jacket.  I know, don’t hate me.  I’m oblivious to the heat unless it goes down on the weekend and then I’m whining like a little bitch.  I whine because I, along with many Angelenos, do not have AC.  Sure, the heat index is worse in a lot of other places, South Florida, Arizona, etc., but those lucky bastards typically have AC, which makes it bearable.  In fact, in Florida it’s considered an actual emergency if your AC breaks.  You would be permitted to call the emergency number on the repairman’s answering service.  Lucky you.

Here are some things you can do to stay cool if you are without air-conditioning on a terrible, horrible, disgusting, hot day.  Side note: While doing these things you should wear as little clothes as possible (you’re not a slut if the temperature is over 85 degrees) and ice water, beer and creamsicles are heavily suggested.

1.  Go to the MALL – Embrace your inner teenager and go to the mall. Window shop in the free air-conditioning and have an Orange Julius.  Go with your boyfriend so you can hold hands awkwardly and make out in the corner.  Or, if you go with your girlfriends, be sure to wear almost the exact same thing and style your hair in the exact same way.  Oh, and don’t forget to talk loudly and laugh and squeal a lot.  These additional tips won’t help with the cooling process, but since you’re there, it will help with your overall nostalgic experience.

2.  Go to a MOVIE – Go to your own tiny dark hole filled with joyous AC and be entertained (in theory).  For a few brief hours, you will forget that there is a scorching hot world outside.  There are some good movies out/coming out soon too.  Some suggestions: “Beasts of a Southern Wild”, “Lawless”, “The Master” (this one gets a gold star since it will keep you in there for 2 ½ hours), “Jesse and Celeste Forever” and “Expendables 2” (hey, it’s supposed to be good if you like that sort of thing).

3.  Go to the GROCERY STORE – Make like The Bundy’s and go.

 

4.  Take COLD SHOWERS – This is for when you can’t leave your house, because if you did, you would incinerate.  When you are forced to sit in the hot box stillness, this will help you make it through.  Or, you can try the younger sibling of a cold shower; it’s basically a cold shower without the full immersement part.  Wash your hands and without drying them, run the excess water along your arms, legs and chest and stand/sit in front of a fan.  It’s wonderful.

5.  Go to a BAR/RESTAURANT with AC – Also, it should have closed windows and doors so that delicious AC can’t escape out into the cruel, cruel world.  Bring a deck of cards and hang for a while.

6.  DRIVE AROUND in your air-conditioned car – But, what about the astronomical gas prices, you say?  Well, friend, sometimes reaching nirvana via cool air is worth the extra money.

7.  Phone a FRIEND – “Help me I’m poor.” [Think Kristen Wiig in “Bridesmaids”.] Maybe some sympathetic friend will take pity on your bad situation and adopt you for the day.

8.  Take a NAP – Seriously.  If you are able to, maybe you can sleep-out the heat.  When you wake up it will at least be cooler than it was went you passed out from heat exhaustion.

9.  POOL – I put this last because this option is unattainable in my world and hence makes me want to cry.  Not for lack of trying, I’ve got a B & E wound to prove it.  IF, you are one of the fortunate souls that has pool access, move this baby all the way up to the number one slot.  Enjoy that.  No no no, I’m not bitter! Of course not, I’m happy for you.  You and your pool…as I weep heavily into my hands.

The silver lining is that we are working on the last days of summer and fall is right around the corner (hopefully).  Sooner than later, we can say so long to this damn heat wave and hello to a new set of temperature extremes to complain about!

Photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho. Pulled from wikimedia commons

To the Theatre!

12 Sep

Beautiful interior of The Pantages Theatre. Pulled from wikimedia commons.

UPDATE: If going for the lottery – the matinee on Saturday is at 2pm and the matinee on Sunday is at 1pm & Sunday nights at 6:30pm and all other nights at 8pm, so you’ll need to show up 2 1/2 hours prior to those times…

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Theatre in LA.  There are a lot of stigmas attached to a sentence like that.  Things like poor performances, bad productions, etc.  But, times they are a changin’.  Over the past few years, there has been an increasing amount of chances to catch a quality show, and not necessarily just touring or regional productions either.   More and more opportunities are arising for you to see shows that are held in high regard in the theatre community and, in some cases, will actually star some or all of the actors that originated the roles, now that is the bomb-schbomb diggity.  The pinnacle of this LA theatre uprising being the new arrival of “Book of Mormon” at The Pantages.

You need to do this.  This is what you need to do.  “Book of Mormon”.  Ahem, Ahem.  I SAID, “Book of Mormon”!  If you are unsure of what I’m referring to, please, let me educate you.  I guarantee, this will be one of the funniest things you’ll ever see.  It’s wrong.  So very, very wrong.  It’s a musical, created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone who are also the wonders behind “South Park”.  It won nine, yep nine, Tony Awards in 2011 and it is so sensational I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t do my best to force people to go.  It’s like George Carlin, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor all had a talk with the comedy gods and decided now was the time to shower the people of earth with their celestial comedy magic once again. So down it rained and this show was drenched with their satirical genius.  Not that anyone should or does need forcing, but you will be thanking me later.

Book. Of. Mormon.

This show will define the modern musical.  It’s a fresh spin on a classic musical format.  There are the same impressive notes and pristine vocal abilities present, the same big builds and ballads, but the lyrics, the lyrics and overall content is what changes things.  If you were to just listen to the melodies of these songs, you would never guess in a million years the words that were about to come out of their mouths.

Now, tickets are expensive, you’re looking somewhere in the arena of $100++++.  I personally think it’s worth it if you’ve got it, but if that sole fact is keeping you from seeing one of the greatest shows you’ll ever see, ever, than there is another option for you.

I feel like nearly everyone outside of New York City is unaware of the following information, I surely was.  Let me introduce you to – the lottery.  No no no, I’m not saying your only other option is to win the state lottery, [imagine at me looking at you funny] good luck with that, big dreamer.  What many theatres have is a ticket lottery available for all or many of its shows.  In the case of The Pantages where “Book of Mormon” is playing from now through Nov. 25th – you show up roughly 2 ½ hours prior to show time (SEE UPDATE above: matinees start at 1pm and evening shows start at 8pm), submit your name and how many tickets you would like (1 or 2, and you can only submit your name once), and then they have a drawing 2 hours prior to the show.  If you are a lucky human and win them, you pay $25 per ticket in cash and your day/week/month/year has instantaneously gotten better.  And I mean by a very large margin.  If you’ve got the time, give it a try.

Another perk to checking out this particular production is that The Pantages is located directly next door to The Frolic Room. One of the most identifiable and iconic dive bars in Los Angeles.  You can drink there.  Because it’s a bar.  You should do it.  You’d be in the presence of some of the most famous ghosts in Hollywood history dating as far back as the 30’s.

Since we’re talking about theatre, another thing you should be aware of is goldstar.com.  As we know, theatre tickets can be very expensive.  This site has discounted tickets and frequently you’ll end up paying up to half of the original price; the seats aren’t bad either.  You sign up, enter your city and they’ll send you email notifications with all sorts of discounted activities coming up in your area.

One last thing, I’m not saying you to have to dress to the nines, but put a little effort into your theatre-going wardrobe.  Once upon a time, people dressed up because going to the theatre was an event; there was something special about it. You get to see, first hand, actors singing and acting their hearts out, so the least you can do is refrain from wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt, OK?  Can’t we keep it just a little classy?  And with that final note – enjoy the theatre!!  Click here for Center Theatre Group site where you can check out upcoming productions and here for another helpful Los Angeles Theatre site –

Here’s a little test – listen to the below video in its entirety.  If you’re laughing or your mouth is agape (in a good way) you should go see it.  If not, well, there you go.  You’re off the hook…

Business or Pleasure?

4 Sep

Antique vibrator. Photo by Wknight94, pulled from wikimedia commons.

Jimmy Jane is hiring.  Not for an HR position or sales manager, but for a product tester.  What kind of products, you ask?  Well, Jimmy Jane happens to be one of the fancy-schmancy, premier adult toy companies these days.  Wow, if only they made products for men.  I feel like this would be right up there with video game tester in the fantasy job department.  Or maybe an ice cream tester for the ladies. (Not that guys don’t like ice cream and girls don’t like video games…I’m generalizing here.)  Man, talk about putting in for overtime…

Click here for the application – do you have what it takes??

Advertisement from the New-York Tribute published in 1913. Pulled from wikimedia commons.

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