Blogging from my phone!

Really. I’m doing it now. It’s done.


Some people loooove candles or bedsheets or electronics, but the thing that really excites me has four legs and lets me be lazy. Chairs are so cool. You can put anything on a chair—yourself, a dress you’re too bored to hang, a purse, or nothing.

In filling up my new apartment, I discovered I have a chair fetish. I like all kinds of chairs. And you can find a few unique models for reasonable prices, unlike tables or couches.

I discovered my chair fetish during a short-but-intense period of being a crazy GiltGroupe.com person. I also looked at Rue La La often. I only bought little accessories, like French Quarter light switch covers (so necessary!), but here are a few things I would’ve bought, had I the funding and the space:

Linvin Queen of Love Armchair (can be used outdoors!) in Candy Pink, $695, reduced from $995

Emma at Home "Matryoshka Mug Shot Wall Art," $495 on Gilt, orig. $685

Zentique Club Chair on sale for $999

I forget how much this painting was, but it was too expensive for something I could paint myself.

1795 Leonide Chair. A little overexposed, but nevertheless interesting.

Friday morning I woke up at an ungodly hour to talk briefly about San Diego Magazine’s Best of San Diego party on a CW morning show.

Then I headed over to Point Loma to help set up.

Balancing 3,000 wine glasses for the guests to grab upon arrival!

The staff and I had our hair and makeup done for the shindig.

With my good friend Jenny!

Next day, ballet class and moving. The move is complete! Also: I built a storage thing with about a thousand parts, and did some grocery shopping.

As I found out at VONS, not having a stove means you go overboard on the microwave dinners.

On Sunday, I had to say goodbye to my bestie Cheryl and her family. She is moving back to L.A. Wah!

Izzie, Cheryl, and Ava: a really good-looking family not related to me. 😉

Afterwards, our friend Erin and her husband Peter came over to my new studio. Peter plugged in my TV and cable box (whoo-hoo! I’m alive!) and loaned me a hammer and nails.
We topped off the weekend with 8 slices from Pizza on Pearl, which Erin, Peter, and I finished between the three of us. I ate myself sick and it was awesome.

So many flavors in one pie and we ate them all! Plus salad.

Diet starts Monday!

More disinfectant!

The move into my new apartment has been slow because I don’t have much furniture, except a bed. I’m still not fully in.

Sunday, my grandma took me shopping.

First we went to Crate & Barrel. She got me the Klyne chair-and-a-half and ottoman-and-a-half (in the color “dolphin” (gray), to be delivered next month), plus some throw pillows, a can opener, and a floor lamp.

We dropped off the lamp, pillows, and can opener at my place. She had also brought towels, extra utensils, a new coffeemaker and toaster, liquid soap, and kettlecorn for me, too. You know, the essentials.

Back in the car, heading south.

She told me that “Kate” (I’m supposed to know that’s Middleton) likes Jimmy Choo, but most of the styles are kind of strange-looking. She’s excited that “brown” is in for Fall. She doesn’t like Kim Kardashian’s hair when it’s pulled back, and she is done with The Bachelor—she says the people must only be doing the show for publicity because they never get married. HA! Kinda true.

THEN (my idea), we went to a place called IKEA.

My first trip there was the night before with my friends Cheryl and John. They were looking at something there, and I accompanied. But I’d never seen the warehousey part What a sight!

She had to comment on how many people were there.

She had to ask—very seriously—regarding a bookcase, “What holds it together, glue?”

We had to get these carts. We were each pushing one, and she said (again) very seriously, “Sometimes it’s better to pay for service.”

There was an IKEA guy talking us through the delivery process, since we got held up at the idea of lifting a box onto the cart (aisle 6, bin 13). He said we’d still have to stand in line at checkout.

She told him she thought the service at IKEA was terrible. He said, “Those darn Swedish!” She said, also trying to be light, “Yes, why are you like that?” Me: “No, he’s not Swedish!”

Poor guy!

Then, as we’re driving out:

Grandma: “I’ll have Uncle Boyd [her handy son-in-law] assemble everything on Monday.”

Me: “What if he doesn’t want to put together my furniture?”

Grandma: “Then he can do it on Tuesday!”

Oh, man! My poor family! I’ve been loving having the help of family, but I bet they’re so happy I stayed away for so long!!!

Wearing a kimono with my friend Judy on the streets of Ginza (but just for the photo! Then back inside!)

Well, I’m back from Japan and I’ve just been getting over jet lag and working a lot!

Japan was really cool and impressive. Tons of great shopping. (P.S. I did not get the sunglasses I wanted (sold out), but I did get a simpler version from the same collection.)

Something old and something new

There was a lot of raw fish to eat, and sometimes, with the memory of the smell from the world’s largest fish market, and the dried fish juice on my feet (after the fish market), it was a bit of a challenge. But it was all so fresh and gourmet! I also had Kobe beef and another kind of beef (Wagu?)…I forget.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Gardens were soooo quiet. It was just so peaceful, I could’ve stayed in the park forever—if only it’d been a little cooler (and if there hadn’t been more shopping to do!).

Tokyo is the cleanest city I’ve ever seen (no one owns a dog), and safe (you can leave your wallet in the street and no one will take it. Not that I did).

The shopping was my favorite. I covered Ginza, Omotosando, and Marinouchi districts. I also saw the Harajuku girls dressed up and walking around in Harajuku.

What a trip! See my Facebook album for more pics (love the one at the top! it’s from a kimono dressing workshop—they wrapped a million layers around me, especially towels around my stomach to make me look more straight and upright and flat).

“Gaijin” means “foreigner” here in Japan. Pronounced “guy-JIN.”

I think it’s similar to “gringo” but it’s all foreigners, which includes Chinese and everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived here for 20 years and you totally get it—if you’re gaijin, you’re gaijin. But! That’s not to say they’re not loving me over here. 🙂

I bought some wooden flip flops. I’ve always wanted some. At a Japanese department store, Matsuya Ginza, a woman in a kimono sold them to me. I asked about the socks. She didn’t understand. I bent down and touched hers. “Ah! Socksu!” They are actually called “tabi.” I got some tabi and the shoes, “geta.”

I thought it might be offensive or touristy to actually wear them, but I went upstairs to breakfast in them, and the staff were so excited. One woman said hers were too uncomfortable to wear. I think they feel fabulous!

I gotta admit, I have small feet in the U.S. (size 6.5), but giant ones here. I got the largest size, and my feet are still hanging off the back (slightly) and off the sides, for sure.

Next, I tried to buy these sunglasses. They’re probably not flattering, but I just want to see. They are so interesting!

I’d asked Horton Plaza in San Diego to call me whenever they get them. No call. Ever.

I was sure they would have them in Tokyo.

I went to the Prada lady and was like, “Do you have…circles?” And I made a circling motion at my temples, but not like “You’re crazy.”

She didn’t understand.

So I went for broke and used the name of the style. “Minimal baroque?”

“Sold out!”

Heart-breaking! “How long ago?”

She didn’t understand. (So funny, she doesn’t know “how long ago” but she knows “minimal baroque.”)

My friend said, “When…?”

“Two weeks ago.”

Darnit! So close.

At least I have my flip-flops. And socksu.

Oh! Also, I bought John Irving’s The World According to Garp in Japanese. I buy this book in every country I go to, except I couldn’t find it in Icelandic and I think I forgot to look in Brazil. Irving is more widely read around the world than in the U.S. And I just love that book.

Okee, bye bye!

Right now I am sitting in the Star Lounge at LAX, enjoying a glass of complimentary Cabernet from the open bar. I already had a cappuccino and some cookies. Life is good.

But make no mistake: this is not how I normally roll.

Sometimes people ask me what a “press trip” is. (I am going to Tokyo on a press trip today.) A press trip sends journalists, writers, and editors to other places in hopes that they will write about those places. A magazine or newspaper does not assign a story and then pay for the writer to go (who has the money?). Rather, a tourism board, or a new hotel, or even a renovated nightclub will fly members of the media to the place they hope will get exposure or publicity. They try to show the writers a good time in hopes that they’ll write nice things (“give good ink”) about the place and that someone will publish it. Often, there is a tour of some sort, special meals, even a hotel massage.

Because of this, I have been able to travel to some awesome places—and fly/stay way nicer than I usually do. It’s a bit confusing because normally I’ll be on a Southwest flight, sitting in a middle seat by the bathroom. But every once in a while…

I’m thinkin’ Japan needs visitors. Singapore Airlines has a new direct flight from LAX to Tokyo, and they’ve invited some of us over there, and Shangri-La Hotel is putting us up!

When I lived and worked (on a mag staff) in New York, I turned down a lot of trips because the editors there make you feel so guilty about leaving the office. Everyone is crazed and deadline-panicked all the time. The work ethic you need to have requires you to rethink your values.

But I have such a cool boss in San Diego. Like me, she is a native San Diegan. Initially, she was invited on this trip, and then she passed it to me. (Lucky day!) I still feel bad leaving the September issue unfinished, but she made a good point that is one I always forget: I don’t make enough money to travel like this, so I should take it. True, true! Guilt be gone.

People think I have such a glamorous life, and it does feel fab at times, but I’ve always said—you can’t pay your rent with a free iPod, Nike shoes, or a trip to Tokyo.

And that’s why I’m moving into a studio with no stove or oven. But I’ll be okay.

Winky, winky.

As of yesterday, I’d visited my new studio twice and never noticed something…until I looked at a picture…

See this photo of the kitchen? What is missing?

There’s no oven or stove! Can you believe it?! I was so occupied with making sure the closet and bathroom were big enough, I didn’t even notice the kitchen!

That shows you how into cooking I am!

Darnit, though, I have new pots and pans… I guess I won’t become a better cook while I live here. It’s going to be salads, canned soup, sandwiches, cereal, microwave dinners, and takeout.

Wouldn’t it have been funny if I had lived there for like, two weeks and got up to make spaghetti and got out my new pot and filled it with water and salt and was like, “Hey, wait a minute….”

My mom got me a “Pasta boat.” It’s this plastic thing where you microwave pasta in it, and it’s vaguely in the shape of a cruise ship. I’ll have to try it out—because I’m Italian and I gotta have my pasta! But I can also always go over to my parents’ house and make lasagna and freeze it.

Anyway, I’m mostly moved in, but I need to buy specially-shrunken-sized furniture to fit the place.

The studio is really cute—it’s two rooms, plus a bathroom that’s large enough for me to blow-dry my hair and all that.

So! Also! Tokyo—! I’ll be going on Tuesday. Press trip…I get back on Sunday. I’ll fill you in when I return!

Movie: The Help

My friend Erin P. has joined some random, local cinema society (average age: 74…not kidding, we heard a giant thump during the movie—an old guy fell asleep and keeled over in the aisle). She had two tickets to an early screening of The Help, with Emma Stone. So I went after work.

I hadn’t been too interested in the movie—I thought it looked cheesy, but afterwards…well, I’m a believer. It was really moving. And funny. Actress Jessica Chastain was soo amazing, as was Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer. They were my favorites.

A lot of the lines were hard to understand because of everyone’s strong Mississippi accents and talking too fast. At one point, I asked Erin what one of the characters had said, and she shouted out something really racist, including the “N” word, when the movie and theater had gone quiet. (Granted, she was repeating the line, but like, a minute later.)

There were a lot of women in this movie, which you don’t see very often. Even Steel Magnolias had more men than this one. So that’s great. And I learned a lot about race relations in the 60s. After having read biographies, novels, and oral histories (mostly for school, I’ll admit), I thought I knew all there was to know about how people were treated and what fed the Civil Rights movement. But honestly, this movie was an education. And it was interesting.

It was also funny. But I mentioned that earlier. Two thumbs up!

@shebrihart, well, well, well! Look at you! SO proud! And I can’t believe you’re still in touch! SO impressed!
Well, ladies, come on, now. A triathlon? What are we so afraid of?

Okay, I’ve had a few drinks, but…what freaks us out, and what should we be planning for 2012? I just met a girl who was freaked to turn 30. We’re all freaked about something.