On Shia.

A couple weeks ago my course leader arranged a symposium for our Fashion Spectacle class. A handful of people in various parts of the industry came and spoke with us about their exeroences. About halfway through the day he said that we would be Skyping with UAL alum Nastja Säde Rönkkö and that she had a performance piece for us.
When the Skype call started we were all shocked to see Shia LeBeouf’s face pop up on the big screen! Afterward I learned that a few people thought it must have been a video. He introduced himself and then began reading from Guy DuBord’s The Society of Spectacle. It took a couple of minutes for me to catch onto what he was reading and to get my head wrapped around what was happening. To be honest it was hard to pay attention and not immediately start texting and tweeting about it!
It was a really interesting and exciting experience. I feel lucky that I got to experience it first hand and I am very thankful to our course leader for arranging it. We’ve been talking about how spectacle is built into our society and how necessarily fashion- particularly fashion photography- fit into that. Of course Shia is not a fashion photographer, but he is the best possible person to explore this concept of spectacle with. Because he is a well known celebrity his mere presence makes him a spectacle- the media attention and his ‘antics’ make the spectacular nature of his existence even more pronounced and obvious. However, to make it more interesting, the text he was reading decries the society of spectacle that we live in and his presentation was utterly boring and void of spectacle as it were. It was early morning in LA, he was dressed very casually, drinking coffee and reading to a bunch of students a text they should have already read. The spectacle ceases to be spectacular… But then one remembers again who he is and he just keeps reading and reading and reading for ages and the whole thing circles back around to being utterly spectacular.
The whole experience is a bit of a mind bender. Is he a brilliant artist? Or is he a wannabe cavorting with great artists? We might never know, but I absolutely love participating in the conversation.

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

I never read A Million Little Pieces… and I probably never will. (Although I really like the cover art…)

Bright Shiny Morning was loaned to me by a friend with good taste. The only reason I read it was because she told me to… I am  glad I did.

I tend to be one who it much more interested in story and plot than writing style. I love books, I love to read… but what I really, really love is a good story. This isn’t that. At least, not really.

This is a well written collection of snapshots of life in the greater Los Angeles area. Some of them are heartwarming. Most of them are depressing. (LA is nothing if not the City of Broken Dreams) All of them are interesting.

Just read it. Or, you know, don’t.

Coffee: Intelligentsia Pasadena

Little in this world brings me more pleasure and joy than a delicious, well crafted cappuccino.

A perfectly crafted cappuccino is what I always expect and what consistently delights me at Intelligentisa.

Everyone knows Intelligentsia is my favorite. It’s everyone’s favorite. I lived around the corner from the shop in Silverlake (but was too poor to go as often as I’d have liked) and I make a point of stopping at the Venice Beach shop any time I am within a 50 mile radius. The Pasadena store is the newest one- I’ve heard from a few different people that it’s the best one… I don’t know that I would argue that point.

Each store has a distinct personality. The tile floor of the Silverlake shop is the coolest thing in the world, but the baristas are decidedly unfriendly. There are often celebrities hanging about and always a surplus of bearded hipsters.

The crowd at the Venice store is just as hip, though a little more laid back. The decor is radically different and I’ve had much friendlier service there. I’m a little partial to the Venice store because that’s where the instructional videos are filmed.

But enough about the other stores. This is a blog about my experience at the Pasadena shop.

(First, I need to confess. I am totally uncool. I bought a t-shirt.)

The only parking spot I could find was a 15 minute spot around the corner. I had to force myself to be cool and not stress about the time. It really only takes four or five minutes (if that) to really savor a cappuccino. Much more than that and the last sip will be cold.

The line was a little slow (good things take time) and the shop was packed (4:30pm on a Sunday). I ordered a cappiccino for here and an iced latte to go (for the road. I’m a glutton. Don’t judge, it was a long drive).  A handsome man made me delicious beverages and I found a seat to sit and enjoy my perfectly crafted cappuccino.

The first sip kicked me in the mouth a little. I considered adding some sweetener- then chastised myself for ever dreaming of doing such a thing. The second sip was sweeter and more delicious. By the third sip I was really in the zone. I decided that I would marry any man who took me on a date to get perfect cappuccinos. (Hey, we all make bad plans when we’re under the influence!)

I knew not to expect anything less than perfection from Intelligentsia and they didn’t let me down! (My latte was the bomb, too.)

The crowd at the Pasadena store is decidedly more “normal”- people on dates (presumably), people studying, people taking a break from shopping. This store is less intimidating than the other two- there is no one staring at you as you walk in judging you by your tattoos (or lack thereof).

In conclusion: Go there.

The saddest part.

Spotted: Lisa Rinna

Driving down Beverly on my way out of Hollywood I saw Lisa Rinna coming out of the Jewish grocery store. I couldn’t get my camera phone out fast enough to actually catch an image of her, but that is her getting into the car. 
She looked good. Not super hot, but very attractive and her lips look pretty good in real life, haha.