Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Library Store featured in Los Angeles Magazine!

Just found out that Christine’s store, aka The Library Store, is going to be featured in February’s “Hidden L.A.” issue of Los Angeles Magazine as one of their best “below-the-rader boutiques”.  Hooray!

Cooler still is the fact that the magazine only chose six stores to feature in the retail section of the issue. That’s right, amigos…of the hundreds, if not thousands, of super cool retail haunts in the Los Angeles metro area, The Library Store is one of the top six picks. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, and on top of all that, The Library Store was also voted Best Bookstore last year by the Los Angeles Downtown News. And, as anyone who has shopped there before can tell you, unusual books are only one of the many, amazingly-eclectic gifts on sale at The Library Store.

I dunno, I might be a little biased here, but, I don’t remember rad things like this happening before Christine took over the buying. So, rock on, sweetie. You and your super cool staff deserve every honor you receive!

For those of you who haven’t checked out the awesomeness for yourself, The Library Store is located in the heart of the historic Richard J. Riordan Central Library at 630 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles.

And if you can’t make it there in person, check out the scads of groovy gifts available on their website here. Long live The Library Store!

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Oscar Nominees 2011

I’m sure everyone will be talking about “The King’s Speech” and it’s very-well-deserved 12 Academy Award nominations today, but, the biggest surprise for me this morning was all the Oscar love for  “Winter’s Bone”! The fact that a gritty, totally-authentic independent film like that could score a whopping four Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) wow, that is just plain rad!

I mean, we expected a nod in the Best Actress category for the the film’s lead, the luminous Jennifer Lawrence, but the fact that her co-star, the always-amazing, John Hawkes snuck in there with a Best Supporting Actor nomination is like, over-the-top awesome! Yee-haw!

And speaking of Best Supporting Actor, holy crap…how do you chose between those five guys? There is literally no fat in that category this year, man. I’m pretty sure Christian Bale will take the golden guy home for his exceptional work in ‘The Fighter”, but, is it wrong to hope for a five way tie?

Also, very excited to see “Inception” score so many nods today as well. And even though Christopher Nolan got bumped from the Best Director category this morning, he was bumped by the Coen Brothers for their badasss remake of “True Grit”, so, that makes it a little easier to take. Plus, Nolan scored a producer and writer nod for “Inception”, so, wherever he is, I’m sure he’s smiling…

Was kind of surprised to see “Black Swan’s” Mila Kunis get bumped from the Supporting Actress category, but, that little upstart Hailee Steinfeld gave one of my favorite performances of the year in “True Grit”, so, sorry, Mila.

Also, was totally stoked to see “Toy Story 3” clean-up in so many categories and become only the third animated movie to score a Best Picture nomination. I have watched this movie with Greta literally dozens of times since it came out, and, trust me, it holds up beautifully. So, rock on, Woody and Buzz!

I was also thrilled to see Oscar co-host James Franco score his first Academy Award nomination for “127 Hours”. I don’t think he’s gonna win with Colin Firth in the mix, but, how cool would it be if he did? I mean, what does he do with his award, just stuff it in his pocket and keep on hosting? Crazy!

And finally, how cool is it that Mr. NIN himself, Trent Reznor, can now and forevermore call himself “Oscar nominee Trent Reznor”? So cool…

To see a full printable list of this year’s nominees, click here. Oh, and if you’re coming to our Oscar party, you best start hunting squirrels now, because our “Winter’s Bone” hillbilly stew recipe calls for lot’s of vermin!

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Williams-Sonoma “Star Wars” kitchen collection on sale!

I have been waiting for the chance to blog about the super-cool “Star Wars” Collection at Williams-Sonoma for a while now. But, every time I wanted to write about it, something came up, and then, when I heard that the entire collection of cookie cutters, pancake molds, sandwich molds, aprons and spatulas was on sale for 20% off through Sunday 01/23, well, I knew the time had come.

Released a little over a year ago, every piece in the “Star Wars” collection was personally approved by Mr. Lucas himself. And, from the looks of it, the dude likes to eat, so, I’m thinking he knows what he likes in his kitchen gear. And, hello, it’s made by Williams-Sonoma, so, you know this shit is gonna last forever.

We started our collection with the “Star Wars Heroes and Villains Pancake Molds”, and, though the  details on Darth Vader and the Stormtrooper’s masks run together a bit when they cook, as you can see from our pics, the Yoda head pancake looks freaking awesome on the plate.

We also have both sets of the cookie cutters — which work beautifully and look amazing either frosted or un-frosted — the Darth Vader spatula and the “Galactic Empire Cupcake Decorating Kit”, which is like, my childhood fantasy come to life. So cool! Where were you when I was ten, Williams-Sonoma?!

Anyway, whichever side you chose to align yourself with — as you can tell, we lean towards the dark side in this household — the “Star Wars” collection at Williams-Sonoma is a must for any true fan. To paraphrase Obi Wan: “These definitely are the kitchen gadgets you’re looking for! And they NEVER go on sale!” So, get shopping already!

Oh yeah, and make sure and pick up one of those handy Williams-Sonoma Pancake Pens too. They make pouring the batter into the molds easy as pie and they open at both ends, so, clean-up is a dream!

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Oprah in Australia!

Underwater marriage proposals, Gayle and Oprah cuddling with Koala bears, soaring helicopter rides over the heart of the Great Barrier Reef? Whew…what’s not to love about Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventures this week?

Seriously, even dyed-in-the-wool Oprah haters like my wife would have to agree that this is damn fine daytime TV. Need further proof? Well, all the stuff listed above happened in the first half of the first episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday. Yep, and there are still three more days of shrimp-on-the-barbie Australian awesomeness to air! Yee-haw!

So, even if you missed the first couple of episodes, set your Tivo’s now. Because this week on Oprah is gonna rock so hard that I don’t even care if I sound like a total girl gushing about it. Go, Oprah!

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2011 Golden Globes wrap-up

OK, after reading several, far better and far more in-depth accounts of all that went down at the Golden Globe Awards last night, I just have two things to add.

One, I thought host Ricky Gervais, though a bit crass at times, was even better as a host this time than he was last year. Yes, he pushed some buttons, but, man alive, some of his shit was hilarious. The bottom line is that he kept the crowd on their toes and I haven’t heard any of the Gervais-haters say they were bored by the show. So, kudos to you for keeping it real, Ricky!

The second thing is that I was really pleased, if not entirely surprised, by most of the winners. Everyone who won seemed really excited and honored to be there and that always makes for a good show.

And though I cheered out loud for several of the winners, I gotta say, seeing a dyed-in-the-flannel, 90’s alt-rocker like Trent Reznor collect a Golden Globe for his brilliant work on “The Social Network” soundtrack…wow…that was the highlight of the night as far as I’m concerned.

I downloaded Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack last week on Amazon and have been listening to it non-stop. The movie itself is collecting a little too many awards for my taste — if I have to see that smug-ass Aaron Sorkin pick up another award for his hugely-overrated screenplay, I might puke. Urgh! — but “The Social Network” soundtrack deserves every award it wins. So, rock on, guys!

And finally, if there was any doubt about who will not only be nominated, but also win Oscars this year in the major acting categories, it was wiped away last night. With the exception of a surprise Best Supporting Actress nod for the amazing Hailee Steinfeld for “True Grit” — which might give Melissa “The Fighter” Leo a real run for her money — I think everyone pictured here will repeat at the Oscars.

Yeah, Annette Bening is overdue for some Oscar gold, but her ham-fisted work in “The Kids Are All Right” is so not her finest hour on film. She’ll get another shot someday and if it makes her feel any better, she won’t lose an Oscar to Hilary Swank this time out. So, there’s always that!

Which means, we’ll have two royals in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories at this year’s Academy Awards: The extremely-deserving Colin Firth for “The Kings Speech” and Queen Amidala of Naboo herself for “Black Swan”. Yee-haw!

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The Return of Alexa Chung!

Hooray! for the first time in, like, well…forever…NBC’s Golden Globe Pre-Show was actually worth watching. And it had nothing to do with a strangely-overdressed Natalie Morales or that stupid-old WGA scab, Carson Daly. Nope, this time, they had a real fashionista on the red carpet, someone who knew their shit and had a rocking sense of humor to boot. And guess who that fair lass was?

That’s right, my girl, Alexa Chung, has returned to American television, amigos! I don’t even know why they needed those other two layabouts, because when it came to hip, fresh, and fun red carpet interviews, Alexa Chung ruled the roost.

So, if anyone at NBC is listening, please, for the love of God, ditch the three-host approach and give Alexa full-reign over the red carpet next year. She’ll kill it!

Long live the new queen of all media, Alexa Chung!

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The Elvis Sandwich @ Peanut Butter & Co., NYC

Last Saturday would have been Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, and though we didn’t get to celebrate his big day like we usually do, we did ring in Elvis’ 75th birthday in high style last year. So, let’s just consider this post my 2011 birthday tribute to the King. Happy birthday, dude!

Last January 8th, Christine, Greta and I had just arrived in New York City for a friend’s wedding. There was snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, but, it was Elvis’ birthday and we were determined to try the Elvis sandwich at Greenwich Village’s legendary Peanut Butter & Co..

I mean, sure, we’d had peanut butter and banana sandwiches before (at Graceland no less!) but the fine folks at Peanut Butter and Co. add two key ingredients which really set that freaking sandwich on fire: honey and bacon. It sounds kinda weird, I know, but, trust me when I tell you that this tasty-ass sandwich is a thing of rare beauty, amigos. Incredible!

Washing the whole thing down with a truly decadent Fluffernutter Shake — which consisted of peanut butter, milk and Marshmallow Fluff! — we scooped up a few jars of dark chocolate and honey-infused peanut butter to go, wished the King a happy birthday and set about touring Manhattan.

And when it came time for our last meal in NYC a few days later, guess where we headed? You guessed it, right back down the street to Peanut Butter & Co. for more of their savory/sweet Elvis-y goodness.

Now, if book-ending your first big family trip to New York City with Elvis sandwiches doesn’t spell true fan devotion, well, I don’t know what does.

Happy birthday, EP. We love you!

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