Thursday, November 20, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I saw this on the Jezebel blog and thought it was worth repeating. I will have some more interviews in the next week or so. Also Esther Pearl Watson is working on some really cool things right now. More on that later too!!

The quote below was in response to an article about Doctors recommending Botox to a 26-year-old woman.

"I'm going to tell a story. It's about biscuits. Please bear with me. A Buddhist priest told me this story, about how he used to be the chief baker in his monastery. He tried to make the best biscuits he could make - fluffy, buttery, warm, delicious biscuits. But no matter what he did, the biscuits were never good enough. Too dry, or too moist, never quite right. He was getting very dissatisfied and upset with himself. Then, he realized that he was trying to capture the essence of the biscuits that he had as a child and that the biscuits he remembered were an idealized, unreal version. The reason his biscuits never tasted good enough is because they never could be, but only so long as he tried to capture the essence of an unreal, imagined perfect biscuit. When he realized this, he decided to make the 'biscuit of today' not the biscuit of the past. It was imperfect, unlike anything he remembered as a young child, but the most delicious biscuit he had ever had, because it simply WAS. It was not idealized or perfected, it was just itself. And it was perfect in its imperfections, because there was nothing else it could be. Ladies, I think it is high time we all start being the biscuit of today. Love yourself as you are, perfectly 'imperfect.' And do not put a knife (or botulism) anywhere near your cooter."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New York Interviews

I am going to be in NYC next week from 11/11 to 11/15. I'd like to do some more interviews. Email me at or give me a buzz at 626-399-4394 if you'd like to be interviewed. Cool beans!

Leslie from Greenville, SC sent me this picture and I had to share. I think it is golden! Here is what she says.

"I found this metal sign at the smokiest bar in Spartanburg County. The bar is called the NuWay and the carpet is as sticky and mushy as mud and everyone (accept me of course) in the entire bar chain smokes and they cook fried food all day and night long! What better place to speak of beauty my dear?"

Here is Leslie's Etsy site.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pittsburgh Beauty Treatments

Here is a short clip of our Pittsburgh beauty treatments. Esther and I both got fancy nails and Esther got her hair did.

Yikes the grinding drill sounds of the nail tool makes my hair stand on end. The nails were nice and ladylike at first, but soon I felt like my fingers couldn't breath and I couldn't pick things up or do art stuff. SO not good. I had to get them OFF!!

It turns out the only way to get the dang things off is by soaking your fingers in acetone for 30 minutes. HORRIBLE!!! While I was soaking all I could think about is the bad chemicals seaping into my skin and growing cancer nuggets. Beauty shouldn't be dangerous right? What other stuff do we do that is soaking chemicals into our system? Does anyone care? What about all that hair spray? That can't be good to breath in. Oh my! I never really though about it before.

My nails still aren't the same. You can see the little dent in my nail bed where the fake nails were adhered. Esther said her nails are fragile and thin and breaking too. Just a little more growth and my nails will be fresh and not damaged. Beauty is a bitch!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kansas City Symmetry

Below is an interview with two women we met while visiting Kansas City.

The ladies of Design Ranch gave us the best tour of this unexpectedly groovy city! I am so bad! I haven't properly thanked them yet (special thank yous are going out to all the people we met soon). Haven't had a moment since we got back. I need to organize myself better. TANGENT. OK back to the job at hand.

For me Kansas City turned out to be one of my favorite places on our trip. The people there were generous and kind and AWESOME! I had the best BBQ of the whole trip there too, visited Hammer Press and we were treated to a private tasting of crazy good snow cones by Fresher Than Fresh the best snow cones on either side of the Mississippi! On top of all that we met a bunch of cool people at Hallmark Cards and they let us look at the archives which was incredible. I could have stayed there for hours.

Anyway while we were on the tour we saw a little sign in the shape of panties and discovered this charming little panty and bra shop called Birdies. Of course we had to meet these women and interview them. Here is what they have to say about beauty. Interesting!

Please excuse the choppiness of the video. I am still learning about editing. Weeee!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Beauty Coming Soon

Hello People

I have to apologize for neglecting the blog since we got back. After the trip we quickly got sucked back into the vortex of life. I am almost caught up on things and will be devoting some more time to our project soon. In the meantime, here is a beautiful piece of art we found at a gas station. Genius.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beauty School Up-Do

After breakfast, we stumbled upon a beauty school in Pittsburgh. An up-do was only $15. The price was right for me!

My student couldn't find the up-do book. And an instructor had to come and show her how to get it done. Donna said the students often took the up-do books home. So I had to tell them what kind of style I wanted. I had no earthly idea.

Donna was pretty insightful. When getting an up-do, I imagine it makes the experience all the more worth while when you discuss relationships.

A lot of ratting and hairspray.

More ratting and hairspray.

Ah. Perfection.

I was told to wrap toilet paper around my "do" before I went to sleep. I'm not sure if it really made a difference or if I did it in the correct spot. Still, I liked having an excuse to wrap TP around my head. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trust me your flaws ain't that bad

How come the minute I got back to L.A. I felt all blobby and ugly and awkward? Maybe cause I just spent a month eating and drinking my way across the country and only went running once. But dang, I didn't think that way while on the trip. On the trip I enjoyed every day as it came at me and didn't get all negative thoughty-like. I am going to get those feelings back. Just have to work at it.

Not surprisingly, during our trip we found that most people are obsessed with their own perceived flaws. They see bad things in themselves no one else notices. This is what leads to spending lots of moola on creams and lotions and getting people to operate on you or inject botulism into your head. No judgements, I am the worst when it comes to creams and stuff. Anyway I drew my perceived flaws.

This made me feel all bad so I decided I should do the opposite. This was much nicer and made me feel better. Doing the opposite of negative thinking really does make you feel good. I am practicing this from now, thinking positive first instead of thinking bad first. Below is a drawing of my good stuff.

Remember this, no one sees your flaws but you and if someone does point them out then they are being crappy and who cares what crappy people think.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nails: Pros n' Cons

Hey we are on the 2nd to last day of our trip. YAY. Yesterday we had an AMAZING time in Kansas City, which I will get to later. I want you to know that this blog will go on despite the trip ending on Saturday. There is so much stuff we have not shared. It won't be in order, but who cares? Right?

OK so I got these nails in Pittsburgh. I am not sure how I feel about my hot pink, sparkly, airbrushed lady nails, so I thought I'd write down the pros and the cons of these dang thangs.

Kinda pretty
Good for scalp massage
Guys will open things for you
Scratching stuff is easier
Makes typing hard so people won't ask you to do it (this would be a con if you like typing)

Hand puppets on your hand is way cuter

Pointing is more dramatic
Makes nice tapping noises
Express your individuality through airbrush n' color!
Not good for hard labor so don't do hard labor
Picking a Uke is so rad with fancy nails

You can't open Slim Jims
Lady like
Holding things looks nicer

Can't open stuff
Grabbing things is not easy
Zippers hard
They get caught on stuff and bend backwards. Yow!
Food gets stuck under
Can't perform surgery
Can't dial cell phones
Typing hard (could also be a good thing)
Makes you a little helpless
Lady like
Nose picking impossible and GROSS
Even though you look cool picking the Uke, the sounds aren't good
Contact lenses impossible to take out
Nails can't breath
OB Tampons (ewww) I won't explain (not my bag)
No teeth picking
Slows down the digging thru purse process
Painting ruins them
Makes it looks like you don't work hard

So I don't know. What do you think? Is it more beautiful to have lady nails or can I go back to normal?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pittsburgh Nails

Martha and I had acrylic nails put on at Bobby's Nails in Pittsburgh, PA. It took half and hour each and cost about $35-45 each. First you are fitted with plastic crazy ass long nails that are glued onto the tips of your nails.

Bobby's Nails was run by a sweet family. Mom started us off and soon her daughter Thanh came in to do the paint work. Thanh was a wise soul taking journalism. "Some people who get their nails done are trying to fill in something that is missing in their lives. But beauty is really who you are inside."

It is hard to get used to. I can't play the ukelele or even tune it with these nails. How does Dolly Parton do it? Did't her long nails even inspire the song "9-5" while she was tapping on her guiltar? One thing these nails are good for is shampooing my hair. I can give myself a great scalp scrub.

We were told the most popular colors were black and gold for the Steelers football team. There were airbrushed nails with images of palm trees, skulls, and even beloved Jesus, but you had to wait for the dad to come in to do the fancy airbrush.

Martha's zombie hands don't look quite like the "I love nails" poster on the wall. Maybe she just needs to be holding diamonds and jewels.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Last Day in Beauty City

It is our last day in Paris, a most beautiful city! We'll be leaving tomorrow morning very early. Despite the wonderful time we have had here, I am feeling a bit homesick. It'll be nice to be able to use my cell phone again, although it has been good for me to not be obsessively checking things. I should learn from this. It'll also be nice not to feel like a big dummy when trying to converse. Je voudrais un vert de vin rouge is all I can muster. Oh and... bonjour, bonsoir, et merci madames ou monsieur, can't forget those. Dang that's it! I need to learn a new language.

I'd like to say we discovered some earth-shatteringly new about beauty from the French, so far not yet, maybe we will, it might come to me later. There is still time. I saved going into one of the Pharmacies here for today. They seem to have magical creams and lotions in them, we'll see what happens. Maybe there will be a cream to cure wrinkles? Or maybe I should just leave my wrinkles alone? I'll let you know once I go in, what things I find.

Here are some random images for now. The picture above is from a beauty shop across the street from our hotel. They have red velvet stanchions and a guard outside the front to keep the riff-raff out. Each of the heads (there are many adorning the building) has a rainbow sheen when you walk past. Very fancy! I would be scared to go in though. Intimidating rainbows and beauty guards.

This is a crepe-making man. He looks super pissed to be making crepes. There definitely should be crepe stands in Pasadena. So good, yummy and simple. Why not? Hey how about a crepe truck? Tacos and crepes! Culture merge.

McDonald's in Paris is not beautiful. Supposedly there is free wifi in all McDonald's, but I just couldn't bring myself to go in. It seems like it would burn to set foot in Micky D's, like a vampire and holy water. Just not right, you know? I also counted FOUR Starbuck's in the Latin Quarter. NOOOOOO!

Not sure who these guys are on the brownie yogurt packages. I am guessing soccer players. Soccer players really make me want to eat brownie-flavored yogurt. The packaging here is CRAZY. Esther has been going to the super markets every day. So very different from Von's. She has found some fantastic things. So anyway this is just a taste. I have MUCH more to share once I get back home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We are all the same on the whole for sure

I have had more time to hang out in Paris, but still haven't met a lot of Parisians so my thoughts are based on walking around with a bunch of Americans. Not that that is a bad thing. So my take as of day three is, people here are stunning, but they must have the same hang ups as us. I base this on the amount of flaw-correcting places I have come across strolling dans les Rues.

Suck in that gut and get some booty junk all up in your grill.

Brussez les dentes 90210 style.

Kick it lice. This is so NOT American. American's would never admit to lice.

That dude don't need nuttin. And you ain't gonna look like that with a laser on ya. That's for sure.

Please stop smoking. Yes.

See, they want lift too.

One good thing is that the naked boob is not something to be shocked by. I still can't understand the mindset behind all the fear of boob in the U.S. Boobs are good!

OK so I'll stop. Trying to meet some real French people for the real scoop. Sorry there is no art. I did not bring my scanner over here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I am a walking cliche

OK so Paris is fricking BEAUTIFUL! I said it. Sooo cliched I know. The light is beautiful, the people are beautiful, the architecture is beautiful, the food, the breezes, the language, even the wine is beautiful. Damn. I wanted to be original, discover a pimple on the legend, but so far I can't. Well maybe here is one.

I have seen a lot of graffiti mostly bad, but there was some beautiful graffiti out near the airport that you can see from the train into the city. They used unusual colors. Lots of pinks and yellows. Very different from L.A. and NYC.

But back to beauty, what I have noticed about the women is that they look fresh and clean, minimal, natural beauty. Maybe there is a part of town where people are prone to heavy blue eyeshadow, penciled-in eyebrows, dark black eyeliner and frosty pink outlined lips, but I haven't been there yet. I'd like to go there, but as of now I have only been in the 6th and 7th arrondisements.

The men are put together and handsome, young and old, even though many are smoky smoky. No slobs in the lot. It appears effortless. Granted I am only seeing the surface. I don't know if there is a different attitude about beauty. I have noticed just as many wrinkle cream ads and beauty treatment places as the U.S. and there are the usual women's magazines with skinny glamourous models everywhere. Tomorrow I will be meeting new people and maybe I can find out more. Dig a little deeper. For now here are some pictures.

Our waiter pouring Kir Royales at Les Deux Magots to go with my croque monsieur. Touristy but quite nice.

This light is at 9:30 pm! Unbelievable.

The people at the end of the road had their giant window wide open so you could peak into their home.

A strange mannequin in a window.

I thought these were soaps, but they are macaroons. Who knew? Even the cookies are beautiful. Jerks! OK that graffiti was probably by someone from the U.S.

I am going to rent one of these tomorrow. My feet are already killing me. I am wimpy. Here is something funny. I am watching Fatal Attraction in French, trying to figure out what they are saying. Je ne seront pas ignor├ęs!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

There is a french lady in my room

This painting overlooks my bed in Paris. I thought the wifi was going to be free at my hotel but it is not, so my blogs will be few and far between until we get back to the states. 5 euros for 45 minutes. Je suis whatever. UPDATE: I will find some spots outside the hotel and keep the blog up. So far everyone I have seen outside is beautiful. I am feeling insecure. Oh my.

This is us trying to be beautiful on the RER train after flying on the lovely red eye to Charles de Gaulle. So very perty and fresh.

One of my two windows overlooking Le Rue de Tourville. My room is very pink.

This is the view from my room. I am going to stop now before my 45 minutes are up and go get some bread, wine and cheese. Trying so hard not to go to sleep right now. I need to get on Paris time. Will report more on French beauty later this week.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Orr's Island Pearl

We stayed at Calef Brown's family cabin on Orr's Island. The one bedroom house was purchased by his father for $700 a long time ago and moved to it's present location.

Cooking in the cabin has been a treat. We picked blueberries off the bushes and made a pie! The salmon and corn taste like nothing else. At night you can see so may stars. I slept so solid. Enjoying the land with friends and family has always been my idea of beauty.

In the cabin, I found a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe titled "The Pearl of Orr's Island," a story of a young girl growing up among strong women and fisherman on the tiny Island. I adore reading about a place I am standing in, from a text written years ago. It reminds me how special it is to be alive. How very similar and so differently we all look at the world around us, each in our own time.