28 November 2012

Paper Anniversary

I really didn't know what to expect a year ago when I started this blog.  For me it was a way to remember reasons to be happy and maybe as extra motivation to get out of the house when I was really sad.  This move to DC in some way is dredging up some of those feelings I had last year - too much change can be too much sometimes. The blog continues to help.  And I was always incredibly grateful for people who read this blog and for their very kind comments.

So how to celebrate the one year anniversary with the traditional gift of paper.  This entire medium eschews paper. I then leave you with a song from Sunset Rubdown called Paper Lace.

27 November 2012

Son of a Gun - Last Meal in LA

I really wanted to eat at Animal but I couldn't get reservations.  I've heard so much about that restaurant for the past few years that it was a disappointment.  Thank goodness Lauren and I were able to walk into Son of a Gun, same owners as Animal, right when it opened and were seated.

The menu changes daily and I was hoping that the above picture would be clear enough to read but not so much.  I'll try to work from memory which means I may be able to name the main ingredient.  

Both of us were feeling the need for vegetables.  I think I insisted on the kale salad which essentially was a Caesar salad but with kale.  It's funny to think that I had never had raw kale until maybe three years ago. 

I believe this was the trout crudo with peppers.  I liked the heat from the peppers.

This was my favorite - the fried chicken sandwich with spicy b&b pickle slaw.  This sandwich had me doing a little dance at the table.  It wasn't a very expressive dance since I had already knocked my water glass off the table and all over the shoes of the guy sitting at the table next to me.  I was so embarrassed but he was crazy gracious saying it was only water.  That type of graciousness is commendable.

I feel like this was pork cheek but I cannot remember.  But I think it was.

For dessert, we had the frozen lime yogurt, graham crumble and meringue.  It was good but not craveable. 

And this marks the end of my LA adventure.  Just a couple of observations -

Traffic in LA is as horrible as people make it out to be.
Airbnb completely failed me.  There is nothing worse than staying in a place that is dirty and unwelcoming.
The weather was a dream.
I can see why people want to live there.

25 November 2012

The Master of Nightmares

When I heard about the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), I thought maybe.  But I knew that I was going to the museum already so I decided to pay extra for the exhibit.  And it was worth it.

I have only seen a few of his films.  The Shining scares me like no other film and I love the humor in Dr. Strangelove.  I especially love that I saw the latter film in my Sophomore year World History class.

The exhibit was incredible showing different props from each of his films, scripts, personal notes, and scenes from the films to show his extensive work.

I walked into the Shining room and freaked out seeing these dresses.

Jack's typewriter.

Even the fetus from 2001 was eerily creepy.  Kubrick did creepy really well.

This was a diorama from a scene in 2001.

Then on to other parts of the LACMA.

This was an incredible city created from bits and pieces.

And the Serra was one of the last rooms I entered.

This is the very heavy rock which caused a scene in LA as it journeyed to the museum.

My Favorite Christmas Present: Sufjan Stevens

It has been almost 8 years to the day since I first saw Sufjan Stevens at the Black Cat.  That was the Seven Swans tour and I swooned at his music.  I have loved most of his songs released since then and was able to see him in 2007 at the Kennedy Center and at the Beacon Theater in 2010. Tonight I went to Sufjan Steven's Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Pageant on Ice at the 930 Club and now I feel like the holiday season has arrived.

The program was a good mix of songs sung by the band and those meant for the sing-a-long.  We were given programs with lyrics for our efforts.  Sufjan, band members and audience members spun the Wheel of Christmas to choose our next song.  My favorite was singing Joy to the World with the band ending the song with Impossible Soul.

My favorites were the songs that he sang for us including Sister Winter and That was the Worst Christmas Ever!  I've heard stories of what motivated Sufjan to put out his Christmas song albums but I'm just really grateful that he did it.  His are some of my favorite versions of classics including O Holy Night and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (sad that neither of these were sung tonight).

The encore was two of his earlier songs including Chicago. 

And in case you haven't heard it yet, please listen to Sister Winter.

24 November 2012

Downtown LA

I know it's taken me a while now to cover the LA trip but a lot happened there and a lot has happened since.  I'm just trying to keep up with everything. 

After Baco Mercat, I wandered over to the Museum of Contemporary Art which is right by the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Frank Gehry's buildings do look somewhat similar but it's good that I like his style.  Walking toward this building really reminded me of going to the Guggenheim in Bilboa especially how each corner and curve became something new and beautiful through the lens of a camera.  It just so happened that the sky was really gorgeous the day I was there.

I've read about the relationship between the MOCA and the LACMA and it hasn't been all positive.  I only visited one of the three MOCA buildings but I wanted to see the permanent exhibit and I had already seen the other exhibits in other museums.

I like Rothko a lot.  I liked this room a lot.

I knew I would like this museum if only because these Giacometti's were the first art pieces I saw.

23 November 2012

On Thanksgiving Past

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year was a quiet year but it made me appreciate the more recent Thanksgivings in my life.

2009 A little Southern touch in the food thanks to Jamar and Candice.

We were so full by the end of the night that the desserts were barely touched.

2010 Started with the Macy's Day Parade and ended with charades.

Kanye was on this float.  He received a lot of boos from the crowd.  I think it was really close to the whole Taylor Swift incident.

One of my favorite dinners around the table.

2011 Spanish style with Trish's invisible boyfriend and flamenco.

Our Spanish turkey.

22 November 2012

Collin Time

Yay for friends that I haven't seen in far too long.  I met up with Collin, Mallory and Lauren at Chego where it's all about "everything you've ever wanted.  In a bowl."  I heard about it from Brigham so super excited to try it.

Collin ordered all of the fine food so I can't remember what we ate exactly.  It's funny looking at the pictures because they all kind of look like the same dish.

I believe this was the Sour Cream Hen House.  I know it had chicken and it was my favorite dish of the night.

Smashed Kabocha cup which is sweet potato puree w/soy glaze, bread crumbs, herbs and seasonal veggies.

Lauren had told me about these earlier that day - Ooey Gooey Fries and they are worth talking about.  Beer battered fries with sour cream sambal, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, cotija, chillies, cilantro and pickled garlic.

Brussels Sprouts - caramelized and deglazed with soy vinaigrette over yogurt curd and honeycomb, crowned w/salsa ensalada, fried shallots and sesame.

This sandwich is not on the dinner menu but it had similar ingredients to all of the other dishes but with pork.

The food was very good but the best part was seeing Collin and meeting Mallory.

20 November 2012

The Huntington

My trip to LA was all about museums and food (apart from the wedding).  I've heard about the Huntington for years and I can't believe it took me this long to visit.  It's one of the most beautiful museums/gardens I've ever seen.  If I didn't have to meet up with Lauren for lunch, I could have spent all day wandering the grounds.

The Huntington is a large property full of botanical gardens, museums and a library.  It is one of those museums founded in the early 20th century by a very rich man who thankfully appreciated beautiful things.

I started by walking through the grounds which includes a large assortment of cacti, rose gardens, Japanese tea garden, fountains and statues. 

The Japanese garden was so precise.  It amazes me how much work must go into them.

I loved the museums which is housed in a few different buildings, including the residence.  I slowed down to look at the original manuscripts and could have spent hours looking at Birds of America by John Audubon.  It consists of 435 hand-colored, life-size prints of 497 bird species, made from engraved copper plates of various sizes depending on the size of the image. The work contains just over 700 North American bird species.  Very few of the books exist as a whole because they've been taken apart to sell the prints separately.

Orchids in the Conservatory.

The library in the main house.

This is a picture of Lady Emma Hamilton by George Romney.  I was surprised to see it since I recently watched the film That Hamilton Woman which was apparently Churchill's favorite film.

I think this is the ugliest baby statue I've ever seen.  I really tried to get a good photo of it but the lighting was working against me.  It looked like an old man or Brad Pitt in that movie where he is an old man as a baby.