Dec 27, 2010

Ugh. What the hell's up with these "Pre-Fall Collections?" Last time I checked, pre-fall was summer.

Dec 25, 2010

MGMT's "Kids" beginning is so reminiscent of the beginning of the "Undeclared" theme song. By the way.

Dec 13, 2010

Obviously, I've been spending a lot of time looking at the UCLA Library Digital Collections.

Here's an interesting set to ponder:


1877, "Lands of the Los Angeles City Water Company":

Dec 12, 2010

I just saw this photo in the UCLA Library's digital Walter E. Bennett Photographic Collection of the audience during The Beatles' concert on August 15, 1966 in Washington, D.C. It's pretty great. Makes me think, though, that I still do not understand the craziness. I have never, even it my most ridiculous fandom, ever been so excited about anything.

Dear UCLA Library,

Please stop posting your audio files as .rams. I don't have or want Real Media Player.

Pretty please,
Second day of food poisoning-related inactivity was spent watching Undeclared (best show) and reading every post I've ever written on this blog. FYI, 2007 was the golden year. Take a look back. Less internet-curating, more entertaining writing.

And some stats, which I just realized blogger does on its own and no longer requires me checking Analytics.
52% of my readers use IE. How strange. 80% use Windows. Top three countries of origin are unsurprisingly USA, UK, and Canada (all time means only since May of 2010 to Blogger; that must have been when they started this service). Although today, the top three countries are USA, Malaysia, and Poland.

These are weirdly the most popular posts: 1 and 2.

Dec 10, 2010

Thanks to food poisoning, I have spent all day watching television. Just finished Max Dugan Returns. I was creeping out myself by finding Matthew Broderick attractive, given that he is supposed to be like 14 years old. Good thing IMDB was there to save my conscience--he was 21. Phew. Simultaneously and also awkwardly attracted to Donald Sutherland. So bizarre.

Dec 9, 2010

I want this, a lot. Buy it for me, please, at The Quiet Life, purveyors of awesome T-shirts.

Dec 8, 2010

Songs of the Norwegian Fjords

I bought this record last week! Good thing the internet already has it photographed so I can save all that tremendous effort. Anyways, it's wonderful. Also, the artwork is sublime. LITERALLY, ASHI DIAMON.

Dec 5, 2010

woahhh Sugihara
For real, lateness is annoying.
"...the streets downtown point to other destinations, that these streets still resist the city's American occupation in 1847."
I believe in handwriting!

and, finally: I want to live in this house: which was supposedly Mary Blair's house (!) and is sorta awesomely on Fredonia just as I am watching Duck Soup

Nov 20, 2010

This list is for Brittany.

  1. Athlete - Flying Over Bus Stops
  2. Billy Joel - Captain Jack
  3. Riz Ortolani - Cannibal Holocaust Main Theme
  4. Ray Charles - What'd I Say
  5. Cato Salsa Experience - Up & Around
  6. MF Doom - Operation Greenbacks
  7. Les Orchestra Members of The Brown - Twilight Time (This artist name doesn't make an sense)
  8. Delays - There's Water Here
  9. Jethro Tull - Dharma for One
  10. Drive-By Truckers - Never Gonna Change
  11. Robert Frost - The Gift Outright (this is the only track on this list I've listened to before)
  12. David Bowie - The Dreamers
  13. Susan Barrett - Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't Ma' Baby
  14. Rufus Wainwright - Spotlight on Christmas
  15. Miles Davis - Footprints

Nov 19, 2010

Dear music supervisor of NFL for women or whatever commercial,

I am offended/confused by your choice of Lesley Gore's awesome "You Don't Own Me" track for that terrible commercial. It doesn't even make any sense.


Nov 6, 2010

Banned words, banned books, etc.

Unrelated, but I'm sure Billy Bragg would have something to say about banning words. Billy Bragg & Mavis Staples at Royce tonight. Pretty fab. James Spader and Tom Morello were there. And some other guy that all the ushers were trying to place but couldn't. Perhaps you can help: he's about 5"10 or perhaps a little shorter, very pale skin, dark black hair, sorta greaser-y. Probably plays a villain, but in a not muscular way. That's how far we got in the recognition.

Also, Bragg and Staples TOGETHER doing "The Weight" was definitely awesome. Bragg didn't, however, play "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key," which for sure would have made my week.

Bragg's shirts, also silly-ly known as "Bragg Swag," were of course printed on Union Made or some other brand like that. As way too many patrons pointed out to us, he would have to after playing "There is Power in a Union." BUT, if I am going to spend $25 on a tshirt, it has to be soft. These were shirts were soooo not even close to buyable. Get your act together, unions!

Nov 2, 2010

Just in case you don't routinely peruse the commons collections on flickr, this is a reminder that you should. OMG Gottlieb jazz collection, yowza!

[Portrait of Cab Calloway, New York, N.Y.(?), ca. Jan. 1947] (LOC)

Nov 1, 2010

What? There is an Ed Begley, Sr? who was also an actor? woah.

Oct 24, 2010

A surprising move for Walmart.
Earthquake Quartet? Bizarre.
Is there a future for Mariachi Plaza?
There are three Subway shops in the Pentagon? Hmm.
Human skin lampshade. Scary.
Don't miss the boat. NO on Proposition 23. duh.
Censoring in the US?

In other news, I went to the new Which Wich today, a new development I have been most decided about. It was, however, only open for a private party. Immense disappointment! I did spot Josh from Sabrina the Teenage Witch (don't know his real name but yeah Sabrina the Teenage Witch! best show of middle school times).

Oct 13, 2010


There is definitely some piece of music used in "No Reservations'" underscore that has been used in the foreground of some other show that I can't think of. And, it's driving me crazy. Please help!

UPDATE: I think it's used in Sundance's "Iconoclast." Hmmm.


Crazy: "Some 40 years ago," MGM dumped many thousands of musical scores to be used as landfill in the building of the 405 freeway.

Every day I watch some PBS, and every day I learn something outrageous.

Sep 26, 2010

Reasons why I love Clifton's Cafeteria, even though the food is terrible.

I just found this post I wrote October 19, 2009. I don't know why I never published it. Perhaps, I knew subconsciously Clifton's would one day change and I would have to not so much defend it's honor but remind you of what it once was.
  1. "Clifton's" is a portmanteau of Clifford Clinton. I love portmanteaus.
  2. All the really good fonts.
  3. The fancy floor outside the entry. Macadamed maybe? I don't remember the correct descriptor. (But today, September 26, 2010, I do: it's terrazzo).
  4. It's Huell Howser approved.
  5. The fake bears make me nostalgic for The Country Bear Jamboree, which Disneyland should never have removed--or made a movie about.
  6. The variety of antlers available for viewing in quite some random places.
  7. The gang of Bible Crusaders in orange shirts using the second floor as it's pamphlet-folding headquarters.
  8. The creepy mini-chapel that talks to you when you push a button.
  9. It's pretty cheap to eat there (but not this good).
Hey Glow,

Why don't you let people actually ride the carousel?!


P.S. Infrared-scanning of the audience/other audience-based art does not a good art piece make.

Sep 2, 2010

Dear Apple,

"Learning" is not an adjective. Get your parallel structure act together!!

Only looking out for you,

Aug 12, 2010

Good news, we escaped the No Country for Old Men Herman Munster Cowboy Hallway Creeper!

Aug 3, 2010

I've liked Ferraby Lionheart's music in some form or another for maybe close to a decade, but tonight's show was really super spectacular. Way better than anything he's recorded. Big sound! Thanks to some of Leslie & the Badgers and some others as his backing band. Really, really swell. oh, hey, the show was free! His new album comes out tomorrow, but, sadly, it's not this sequined-suit-wearing sound that I want it to be.

P.S. There was prestidigitation (!) involved. Legerdemain/prestidigitation--which is a better word? Tough decision.

Jul 6, 2010

I wore a hat for a long time today. But I've also not worn a hat for the past couple hours. My head still feels like it's wearing a hat. This is very strange.

Jun 17, 2010


I was doing some math while I was waiting for my friend to get her book signed. Anthony Bourdain's going to be 70 when his daughter is 20.

In case you were wondering...

Originally uploaded by neonspecs
who would win in a knife fight between Giada de Laurentiis and Nigela Lawson, Anthony Bourdain (pictured in the super blurry picture above) is pretty sure about Nigela taking it.

Jun 14, 2010

King Wimp

I've been cleaning out my purse again and found a receipt on which I scrawled "to have and have not Rex Wimpy." After some quick googling, I now know that Rex Wimpy did the special effects cinematography for many films including one of my favorites, To Have and Have Not, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (I believe that's the film on which they first met). Anyways, what a silly name, Rex (King) Wimpy!

Jun 7, 2010


Originally uploaded by neonspecs
This is one of my favorite signs in Las Vegas currently lit, which I guess is saying a lot because there are tons o' signs in that town. Of note is the apparent need to shorten Italiano with an apostrophe, getting rid of only one letter but a whole syllable.

According to a pretty fantastic campaign from 1910, home-made bread is slavery! See more at the grand Daily Mirror blog (not connected to the UK tabloid).

I always joke that a lot of today's fashion is clothing my grandmother would wear. Here, in fact, is a jacket my grandmother actually owns and wears all the time. Strange.

May 25, 2010

I saw Fred Armisen at the Silverlake Jubilee this past weekend.
1. I was surprised I remembered his name, considering I rarely watch SNL, because it is terrible.
2. Why is he in LA?
3. After reading the Wikipedia article on him, he plays drums on a Les Savy Fav album. What?!

Anyways, he lost out, though, 'cause he left before The Living Sisters even started. Loser.

Apr 18, 2010

After the glow, the scene, the stage, the set

I saw Pavement this past Thursday night in Pomona and it was definitely magical, that is until we were stranded on the side of a freeway, but I'll get to that later. Most important information on that evening is that they played five out of my top seven pavement songs:
  1. Spit on a Stranger
  2. Roll with the Wind
  3. Shady Lane
  4. Cut Your Hair
  5. Range Life
  6. Harness Your Hopes
  7. Stereo
I'm pretty satisfied with that outcome, as the italicized ones are B-sides I probably should never have hoped them to play (but can we just all agree that Roll with the Wind is spectacular?).

So then my friend's car has some sort of issue, in which the car fills with smoke and loses power breaking capability. Let me tell you, that is some scary stuff. And then we stand, freezing, on the side of a freeway in the middle of the night waiting for a tow truck. I obviously did not envision this occasion in choosing to wear a dress that morning. It's a good thing everyone bought shirts at the show; wearing three shirts did help a little. This situation would probably have been less frightening had I not watched so many Law & Orders and or film noirs that include scenes similar to these.

All in all, however, it was a pretty successful Nochella weekend: Pavement, first day of new job, long shift at old job (money!), Record Store Day (including buying a Robyn Hitchcock album I somehow missed which has a song titled "Raymond Chandler Evening"--what could be more perfect?!), pizzza I hadn't had in 14 years, square dance, maybe the best donuts in L.A., and learning how to make bagels.

Mar 31, 2010


Me and Sahr from Fela dancing from Terry Richardson on Vimeo.

Duck tape or duct tape? Is there a difference?

Y'all know how much I love the L.A. River. WSJ discusses the Pasadena Museum of Art's current exhibit (Lillian, we still have to go!)

Can freeways have character? Do they deserve to be preserved?

Pretender, contender, or defender? I don't like any of them.

In other news, I encountered one of the kids from that newish Parenthood show at Royce last week, and she was not cool. As I guess I sorta expected. The show was alright but now I'll just think about her ridiculous eye rolling and expectation of preferential treatment.

Mar 15, 2010

Caspar Milquetoast

To start out the 2010 book list, I just finished Webster Unabridged, a compendium of comic panes and strips by H.T. Webster, published in 1945. The humor is SO outdated, which is humorous in itself. It's so America 1940s. I checked this book out of the library, however, because of Caspar Milquetoast. 

Some of you long-time readers of this blog, if you exist, may remember the blog subtitle: "It always comes back to David Niven." I had to take that down because it hadn't been coming back to him in a while (Although the title and url both stem from Niven film Around the World in 80 Days (1954)). Well, now it has! I first heard the word milquetoast when I professed my love of David Niven to my mother. She responded: "That milquetoast?!" His foppish top hat and umbrella cane probably irked my mother, while these accessories are probably what I liked best about him. Consequently, I began to associate the term with formal, serious people. 

In case you don't know, it actually means timid or bland. And it is purely an American word, appearing in American English dictionaries but not British English ones. So, it turns out my mother's description of Niven, the ultimate Brit, was not quite ironic, but whatever is the appropriate term here, coincidentally incorrect? The word comes from the aforementioned character in H.T. Webster's series of The Timid Soul single-pane comics. In turn, he got the name from milk toast, a food often eaten at the time by people with ill or sensitive stomachs, a calming, mild food. Caspar is always afraid, worried, and meek (Check out the page I scanned in for you). Exactly what David Niven isn't. 

The Incredible Mr. Limpet (Snap Case)A more appropriate character would be Mr. Limpet of the children's classic, The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Don Knotts! Such a great movie. (Edit: I was spot on. I just checked Netflix and they even describe him as "a bespectacled, milquetoast bookkeeper.")

Anyways, the book linked in the list is not this book, because Amazon doesn't carry it, but a similar looking collection and one that is only 50 cents! You should definitely get it or find one at your library.

It's that time again.

It's "mistakes" like these that make Thom Andersen mad. 

Removing the 2008 Edition to make room for the 2010 Edition. 2008 was either a year I actually read a lot or I actually remember to at least list them here. Of course, I highly recommend all Chandler, but my favorite is still The Long Goodbye. Read it, stat! Also, the L.A. River book is really illuminating. Y'all know how much I love the L.A. River. (Everytime I write LA now, since watching Los Angeles Plays Itself, I feel a pang of guilt and have to put in the periods).

Books I Read: 2008 Edition

Mar 5, 2010

Subtitle Award of the Week

Sundance Channel, from French:
"You see how beautiful the models are? Well, beautiful in inverted commas."
Yessss, inverted commas. So great.

Mar 4, 2010

Evolution of the Telephone.

Thank you, State Library of New South Wales.
"Big chunky phone because you need a big serious phone for the world war. You can't be texting about the Third Reich. You cant be sayin' 'Hitler just invaded the Sudetenland omg omg'" - Craig Ferguson

Feb 23, 2010

If there is an adjective I really hate, it's "directional." What kind of useless word is that? Ummm, it's going in a direction? Yes, I know in fashion it is supposed to mean "pointing toward the future," but it is stupid and silly, and its usage should cease promptly.

Feb 10, 2010

Dear Silverlake Lounge,

Your reasonably priced $6 gimlet surprises me. 1) It is a real gimlet! Made with gin! and Rose's Lime Juice! and that's it! 2) It tastes good. So shocking.

I commend you,

Feb 6, 2010

I saw Warren Christopher at the mall on Thursday and he was super adorable, although I feel like that may be an inappropriate way to describe a man who was not so long ago the United States Secretary of State. Anyways, he is super adorable and immaculately dressed. A man with much panache.

In other celebrity news (Warren Christopher is a celebrity, right?), Leonard Nimoy went to see Patti Smith at the Hammer and I got really excited about this. Eric McCormack (Will, really, he won't ever be able to be anything else) went to hear Neil Gaiman at Royce, and so did Eric J. Lawrence, your Local Public Radio Music Librarian (KCRW, at which I volunteered this morn, takin' your moneyyyyy) [If you happen to read this and it weirds you out that I am reporting this and increasing your celebrity to my four, maybe five loyal readers, EJL, let me know and I will delete it].

Finally, as also a member of KCET (yeah, look at me, your unemployed friend so liberally donating her time and money [I want to use the word "largesse" but can't figure out how]), I attended a "gala" at the California Science Center and California African American Museum with Tavis Smiley (whom Greg hates for reasons unbeknownst to me). I actually like Smiley a little less after I heard him speak this evening. He just seemed so not happy to be there, plus he complained about a lack of appreciation for culture in Los Angeles, which was just annoying. Eh, but the food was great (Creole, Jamaican, Ethiopian, and something else), and a few of the exhibits were nice. I especially recommend "Harlem of the West: Jazz, Bebop, and Beatnik" at CAAM and the awesome paintings/carvings of musicians that are from the walls of an old jazz club in Texas, of all places (Jake Morrow, you don't read my blog, but you should go check out this exhibition to see the section of Harry Smith. Hurry, it closes soon!). Smiley's America I Am at the Science Center was whatever. It's probably great if it's been a while since you were in high school or if your school was racist. It's never bad to be reminded of the things covered in the exhibition but it wasn't mind-blowing or anything like that.

As a result of this post, I looked up the origin of "panache." Wikipedia says it was once a marker of character worthy of suspect, until Cyrano de Bergerac. Literally, it means plume. FYI.

Feb 5, 2010

Sometimes I really want to buy something from eBay, but then I just can't because the seller includes prayers and random apostrophes in the description. This is quite unfortunate.

Jan 26, 2010

Dear Facebook readers,

You may have noticed, if you are reading this on Facebook, that in my last post all the movies were missing. That is because you aren't reading it on blogspot. So get to it, folks, and see this blog in all it's unemployment-time-filling splendor.


Jan 25, 2010

I watched 149 movies in 2009.

What follows is a list of my top films from each month. This took me several hours to make. Complete waste of time, but I didn't realize it was going to take so long until about an hour into it and then it was too late. I had already started! Apparently, I don't like current movies. Only ten of these did I see in theaters or, in the case of PBS documentaries, when they debuted on PBS.


February: I only watched one movie in February and it wasn't amazing.





July (this may have been the best month of my movie-viewing. so many to list!):






Updated: Who I want to be when I grow up.

  1. Huell Howser's assistant/successor.
  2. Tambourine player in The Parson Redheads.
  3. A guest on Sesame Street.

Jan 22, 2010

here, here Paul Smith

"Unfortunately, it’s just so normal now for people not to believe anything and for people to lie about things, and gamble on them, and not be sincere. In a way, sincerity is the new fake because no one even believes you if you are sincere."

Jan 20, 2010

With chains and knives!

Roland Reiner Tiango. awesome awesome awesome. check out his stuff.

"Whoomp (Sqaure It Is)" is a terrifying thought.
Paul Rand!!!
Wes Andersen seems to be less annoying and more adorable in animation. Perhaps this is a reason.

"Indie wasn't crappy for a purpose (anymore)"
Do you have some extra old guns and knives lying around?

(bonus points to anyone who knows what the title of this point is referencing)
John Krasinski reminds me a lot of Andy Griffith these days.

Jan 17, 2010

Two things that would prevent me from buying a watch.

  1. No hour demarcation of any kind.
  2. This slogan: "German precision and American testosterone."

Jan 16, 2010

Dear Wes Anderson,

I like you. Then I don't. I like you. Then I don't. You're making this really tough for me. But right now, I like you.


Jan 14, 2010

More articles.

Christmas song Jews.
White House vegetables not actually White House vegetables.
History of Christmas cards, sorta.

Super interesting article on Highland Park Jews.

Jan 12, 2010

Dear iTunes,

Why is that whenever I play a song from a Greatest Hits compilation, you display Steve Miller Band album art, but when I play the one or two songs I have that are actually by Steve Miller Band, you show Crosby, Stills & Nash art?


Jan 11, 2010

Dear fashion,

I may have already written about this, but it seems you are stealing my dreams. First, wingtips. Then, clogs. And, now, monocles. I'm not sure what to say about this. Before I was hesitant to buy these things because they were so expensive. Now that everyone wants them, they are much more accessible (well not quite yet for the monocles), but, at the same time, everyone has them.

What a conundrum!

Dear Wall Street Journal,

You use "according to a person familiar with their thinking" too much. Does this person even have any value?

I am not sure,


Dear Boyle Heights,

Thank you so much for this.


Jan 10, 2010

Dear Crimean War,

Thank you for the cardigan sweater (and apparently also the balaklava, although I don't have much use for that). What other woolen items will you reward civilization?

A hearty thanks,

Jan 9, 2010

Interesting articles I read today.

Anthony Bourdain reflects on 2007.
Jonathan Gold was only freelancing? Crazy.
I'm sad I never went to the Southwest Museum.
Although it took me way more than 25 minutes to get through to my gate last week, this article makes a convincing argument for the "Israelification" of American airports.
The Offline American.

Jan 3, 2010

LAist uses my photos again:

Jan 1, 2010

Dear Israel,

Your toilet paper embossed with hearts is novel, but let me introduce you to the concept of toilet seat covers.


Question which your answer will allow me to judge your character.

What are your top three Stevie Wonder songs?