I Can’t Brain Today

So, you remember that thing I posted a while back, about how I feel like I have a limited amount of creative energy and sometimes that energy gets channeled into things other than blogging? Well, it’s happening again, only this time, rather than knitting, that energy is being channeled toward my job. Which is GREAT. It’s been a long time since I felt challenged at work, and I’m going to milk it for as long as I can. And while that’s happening, I may have limited interest in and time for blogging. Just so you know! I continue to be not dead … just a bad, inconsistent blogger.

Carry on.

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Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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These Are The Buildings In My Neighborhood

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in Long Beach, California. As I’ve also mentioned, I love it, and one of the reasons I love it is that it’s full of old buildings. OK, OK, not OLD old. Not European old, or even east-coast-of-the-US old. But old enough to make me happy. Today, the Mister and I went on a small walking adventure throughout the area southwest of our apartment and took pictures of some of the cooler buildings we saw.

Be advised: this post is very long and EXTREMELY picture heavy. It focuses entirely on architecture, so if you find that kind of thing boring … prepare to get bored. Be also advised that I take credit for none of the photography here. The Mister took every last one of the photos (except two, and you’ll know them when you see them).

Let’s start off by heading down Ocean Boulevard, toward downtown Long Beach. Here’s a view looking west down Ocean. In most of southern California, the Pacific is to the west. But in Long Beach, just to make things confusing, the ocean is to the south–from this vantage point, to the left.

Here we have a Spanish-style fellow (there are a LOT of Spanish-style buildings around here). Note the enormous bougainvillea out front. We have a lot of that around here too.

And yes, the weather is nice. It wasn’t super warm today–maybe low to mid-60s–but warmer than apparently everywhere else in the country.

This particular area of the city has a great many smallish (say, 12-14 unit) apartment buildings. A lot of them were built in the late 1920s and have charming names.

Hard to read, but this one is called “The Empress.” Not sure what’s going on with the scaffolding back there. (It occurs to me that I should have left these photos bigger. Next time.)

The Art … Nouveau? Deco? (art nerds, help me out) one on the left is called The Regent.

Here’s a better look at it.

This one is called St. Regis. The Mister and I saw a commercial being filmed here in December (more on filming in a second).

Here it is from the front. Very San Francisco, no?

Next up, a couple of this area’s more famous buildings. First is the Villa Riviera.

The Villa Riviera has a pretty interesting history. It was the second-tallest building in southern California when it was built, and it housed a lot of naval officers during WWII. Long Beach has very close ties to the US Navy–my paternal grandfather married my grandmother (who lived on Ocean at the time) in Long Beach when he was in the Navy–but that’s a whole other post. I believe Charlie Chaplin also lived in the Villa Riviera at one point. The roof is actually copper. And guess what else it has up there?

See ’em?

Gargoyles! Woo!

Here’s another iconic one–the Long Beach International Building–that you’ve probably seen before, even if you weren’t aware of it at the time.

And where might you have seen it before? Well … ever seen “Anchorman”?

Or “Dexter”?

Quite a bit of filming goes on in Long Beach because it’s cheaper than filming in Los Angeles proper. In the early 20th century, Long Beach actually had its own film studio, called Balboa Studios. These days, the city mostly acts as a stand-in for other SoCal locations (San Diego, LA, Orange County) and places like Miami.

OK, let’s head north, or inland! Downtown Long Beach has lots of awesome old hotels, most of which I think are now used as apartments.

I don’t think this next one is actually a hotel, but it’s hotel-ish, so I’m including it.

One of the bigger old hotels is the Broadlind, so-named because of its location at the corner of Broadway and Linden.

In addition to the many old hotels, there are a few newer MOtels, some with outstanding sign design.

And we have a giant old bank building.

Now let’s head back toward where I live. The neighborhood I live in is pretty old and mainly residential (but with commercial areas a block or two away to both the north and the south). As such, there are lots of cool old apartments around for gawking at.

We also have many fine alleys.

This next one’s a good one. Called the El Cordova or the Rose Towers, it was designed by George Riddle, the same architect who designed the building I live in.

Old George was a big fan of Spanish-style buildings with courtyards. This photo of my building illustrates how similar it is to the Rose Towers, below.

He designed two or three other buildings on my street as well, including the Casa Nido across the street.

Even the boring public-service buildings in this neighborhood have personality. Behold the fire station (there’s an even cooler fire station in nearby Belmont Shore … I’ll take a picture of that one of these days too).

It usually has a life-size fake sheep out front (sometimes wearing a serape), but our theory is that they take it inside on weekends.

And our tiny, tiny library …

… with its extremely excellent signage.

And that, my friends, is why I love Long Beach. Sure, it’s got its scummy areas. Sure, I’ve been burgled here (not in my current apartment), and I’ve been attempted-robberied too. But it’s such a cool city, and the area that I live in has such a unique personality, that I’d have to think long and hard about moving anywhere else.

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm  Comments (9)  
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Cuteness Times Two

It’s been quite a week, ladies and gents. My work has gone batshit insane (in a basically good but stressful way), and it will probably get even crazier in the weeks to come. So posting might be kind of spotty.

I have two random and extremely adorable items to discuss today. One is the interesting thing I noticed about some bread the Mister was making sandwiches out of the other day.

We had to eat it before it ate all the lettuce. It was a Sandwich Showdown. Seriously, though … Cutest. Bread. Ever.

And speaking of cute, it’s apparently turned chilly at night again. You know how I can tell?

Yeah. Because of that.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm  Comments (11)  
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In Which I Advise People Searching For Things

Once again, I have been trolling through the search terms that brought people to my blog over the past week. And once again, I have found myself wondering if those people found what they were looking for. I thought that today, I’d address some of these searches head-on and see if I can clear a few things up.

eshakti. It’s good, you’ll like it. Order some dresses. But I warn you, eShakti clothes are like Pringles. Once you pop, you can’t stop.

lop cookie. Sorry, can’t help ya!

whisky urban decay bourbon comparsion. I actually did this! Long story short: Whiskey appears to be Bourbon without the glitter.

boobs fit shirt. Can’t help you either, I’m afraid. Boobs not fit shirt, ever. Boobs fit knit shirt only. Very frustrating for Principessa. Principessa only wear t-shirt and cardigan. Never nice, crisp, professional button-down shirt. At least not with all buttons buttoned up.

wet n wild color icon eyeshadow single brulee. An outstanding drugstore choice. Dupe for MAC Blanc Type. Buy it.

stairs profile. I have drawn a diagram in Paint to illustrate this.

Hope that helps!

flapper makeup. This may or may not be somewhat reminiscent of flapper makeup, depending on whom you ask. Proceed at your own risk.

old fashioned hard cosmetic train case. One word: ETSY.

cool scarf pattern free black yarn: One word: RAVELRY. Also, if you get that “free black yarn” thing sorted out, come back here and hook me up.

too fat for that outfit. THIS PERSON IS ON TO ME. Quick! My vertically striped muumuu, distracting jewelry, and oversized handbag!

cq nail polish vintage gray. A nice, non-purple-leaning, pale gray. Sort of putty-ish. I like it a lot.

how to wear a pi shawl. So many options!

grassa. It means “fat” in Italian. Mystery solved!

jogging fat acceptance. The two are compatible. I promise.

how to get noel fielding hair. Well, you see, it’s your basic back-combed structure, slightly root-boosted and framing a cheeky fringe. Oh, wait, that’s Vince Noir hair. But is there a difference?

taupe nail polish. I recommend Sephora by OPI Metro Chic.

haus of gloi “didn’t like”. You may have come to the wrong place. Around here, haus of gloi “did like”. “Did like” quite a bit.

principessa rhinestone black t shirt. Fetch me my Bedazzler, for I have had … an inspiration!

flapper hat: It’s called a “cloche,” which is French for “flapper hat.”

drool homer and homer drool. These two warm the cockles of my heart. Whatever the fuck that means.

principessa grassa. I LOVE it when people search for me by name.

kombu. Come on, Mary. Don’t fear the seaweed.

urban decay 24 7 15. ONE OF US … ONE OF US … ONE OF US …

how to wear midnight cowboy eyeliner. I wear it on my upper lids. That probably makes me a weirdo, but I like the way it looks, so I don’t care.

turkey roast beef sandwich. Mmmmm … sandwich …

I mean, “drool homer”. I mean, “homer drool”.

dupe for mac blanc type eyeshadow. As mentioned above … Wet ‘n’ Wild Brulee, baby! Get you some!

lush skincare routine. Angels on Bare Skin or Buche de Noel cleanser + Celestial moisturizer. My skin’s never been happier.

wet and puffy. OK, seriously? This is the second time someone has found my blog using this search term. Which post of mine involves these two ideas? (Note to self: check to see if I wrote about taking baths during PMS week at some point.)

barefoot. As much as possible!

what are those boots that people wear over riding boots? I have no idea. That sounds like a lot of boots to wear at one time.

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm  Comments (14)  
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Seven Things You Never Wanted To Know About Me, But Now You Do

So there!

World-renowned ukulele player and incorrigible nail-biter Kathy Fucking Jacobs tagged me for this one. So without further ado … seven random facts about me!

1. The reason I moved to California was to get a master’s degree in criminology. Yeah … didn’t happen. But now I’m a technical/Web editor for a nonprofit professional organization, so, you know. It all worked out.

2. The Mister and I have no idea when our “anniversary” is, so we randomly settled on Valentine’s Day. One less thing to remember. It’ll be seven years next month.

3. I have to force myself to read or watch fictional stuff. Almost everything I read is non-fiction, and my favorite things to watch are documentaries and nerd TV like National Geographic. One of my goals for this year is to read some frickin’ novels for a change … I’ve started with Frankenstein.

4. I taught myself to knit out of a book when I was 10. I knitted off and on throughout my teens and 20s. Then a few years ago, I picked up the needles again and haven’t put them down since.

5. I love clothes and make-up (obviously), but I don’t really care about shoes. Mostly because I refuse to wear any that aren’t a) flat and b) comfortable. The Mister says if it were socially acceptable, I’d go barefoot all day, every day, everywhere.

6. I live in an apartment that was built in 1928, which is pretty old by American (and especially West Coast) standards. One of my favorite things about Long Beach is that it has old buildings. One of these days, I’ll take pictures of a bunch of them and do a photo post.

7. I really, really, really want a dog. A Basset Hound. Also, a Scottie. And a chocolate lab. Maybe a bloodhound too. OK, a few dogs. We’re gonna need a bigger apartment.

I told you mine, now you tell me yours! And if you already did this list business, post a link in the comments!

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm  Comments (6)  
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Some Friday Blathering

Item Number One. It is raining out. This makes me extra glad that I took this particular day off. I’m sitting in the living room, cat and coffee by my side, down blanket on my lap, pretty much marinating in my own smugness.

Item Number Two. The rain situation also makes me glad that I opted to go outdoors and take sock progress photos yesterday instead of waiting until today. It’s further along than this now, but you get the general idea.

This is the front:

And this is the back:

I went ahead and put a glaring mistake in there too, just to get that out of the way. The flawed sock looked so happy in the sunshine that I was almost sad to bring it in.

Item Number Three. I really, really should have wrapped my Christmas presents to myself. I didn’t, and as a result, I have a Sephora box and an Urban Decay box just SITTING there on my coffee table, taunting me. They’ll get what’s coming to them in about a week. Oh yes, they will.

Item Number Four. Robot Cat attempts to hide from the vacuum cleaner, but her eyeballs give her away every time.

Item Number Five. Thanks to my mom and her provision of a “gift certificate,” I have ordered knee-high boots. Details and pictures to follow.

Item Number Five Point Five. Just an FYI. My mom comments on my blog, but rather than identifying herself as MY mom, she identifies herself as the DOG’s mom.

Item Number Six. I had no idea people would feel so strongly about my haircut! Thanks for all the opinions and input … makes me feel a little more confident about wearing my hair straight and bangs down!

Item Number Seven. I was thinking about doing a “skin care update” post, now that I’ve been using various Lush products for a few months. Anyone interested?

Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 11:19 am  Comments (8)  
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My Blog, As Searched For By Others

One of the nifty features of WordPress is that it lets you see what search terms brought people to your blog. If the terms that brought people here over the past seven days are any indication, I cover the following topics:

  • vince noir
  • mac vanilla pigment
  • seasoned squid salad
  • knit an easy shawl
  • lush 9 to 5
  • haus of gloi

Sounds about right. Although the people who searched for

  • wet and puffy
  • what is difference between shimmer and sparkle
  • cannot pucker
  • portable small electric boiling ring

may have left disappointed. Also, if the person who searched for

  • urban decay underground dupe

finds one … hook me up!

Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm  Comments (5)  
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Read In David Attenborough Voice

From this vantage point, we can just make out the domestic cat (Felis catus), who appears to be making an unusual attempt to engage in social behavior.

The domestic or “house” cat is typically a solitary and inscrutable creature, emerging from the bedroom only when she requires food, a litterbox visit, or a manic, unfocused, late-night scramble around the apartment. However, in cold weather, the housecat will occasionally initiate physical contact with one of her human roommates, a valuable source of body heat. If she’s lucky, the cat will also have a chance to sneak onto the armchair and under a down blanket, thus securing a warm and comfortable resting spot for the evening.

Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm  Comments (6)  
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Not Dead

Nope! Still alive! Still very much bogged down in the Christmas knitting! The good news is, the end is in sight. The even more good news is, I have new clothes and am ever so excited to show them to you. The even MORE good news is, I also have new Fyrinnae and am even MORE excited to show THAT to you.

The less good news is, I cannot in good faith promise that I will have any time or energy for blogging anytime soon, what with the impending “Holiday Season” and all its attendant wrapping and mailing and cooking and baking and decorating and collapsing on the kitchen floor in a greasy, flour-encrusted heap of existential (though festive) angst, sobbing and heaving great breaths of gingerbread-scented air until I just wish for death to wrap me in its sweet embrace and when, WHEN, LORD, WHEN WILL I EVER SEE THE SUN AGAIN–

Oh. Sorry. What I mean to say is, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and the to-do list is starting to loom. So once again, I must be a terrible blogger and say please, hang in there! There will be pictures of clothes coming soon! And eyeshadow! Maybe even cookies! One of these days!

Published in: on November 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm  Comments (5)  
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It Was So Cold Last Night …

HOW COLD WAS IT?

So cold that the cat swallowed her tiny cat pride and took refuge in my sleeping bag.

Insert your own “letting the cat out of the bag” joke here.

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm  Comments (9)  
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