Thursday, October 25, 2007

I think I may have gotten my husband addicted to TLC

When I told him I was staying up late at night watching documentaries on TLC he called me crazy.

When he watched the TLC documentary series "John and Kate plus 8" about a couple that started with twins and wanted just one more child, but ended up having sextuplets; he said he found the couple to be annoying.
When we watched "Kids by the dozen" about families with 12 or more kids; he said those people were 'crazy' but admitted it had some entertainment value.

When we watched the series about a dwarf family "Little People, Big World", he said it was okay but he wouldn't go out of his way to watch it.

That all changed last night, while watching "Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic Cheats, Lies and Videotapes."

I think I had him at "man mountain". His eyes were as big as saucers when he saw the $7,000 custom wheelchair the size of a loveseat that had to be ordered for one patient with a 5 foot waist (since their extra wide wheelchairs were still too small for him). He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the man being wheeled down the hallway in a couch/wheelchair being pushed by two people; the same man who doesn't think he has a problem. But the kicker was when we saw a clip of someone having to literally pull up mounds of stomach rolls to show the doctor what was on their lap. I think the wine may have shot out of his nose at that point.

The clinic was full of a bunch of characters, and it was funny and heartbreaking to watch them either denying or acknowledging they have a problem.

Tonight we're watching "Crazy Sexy Cancer," an irreverent and uplifting documentary about a young woman diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer who finds her life-in strength, humor, friendship, even love-while searching for a cure.

He's so in.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quote of the day

“Any network that can be used to share cat pictures can be used to bring down a government.” - Henry Jenkins (founder and director of MIT's comparative media studies program)

More insight from Henry Jenkins on our cultural revolution in his book Convergence Culture.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog for the Rich & Famous

A $75,000 Swami Conversational Robot
A cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence robot that recognizes family members, can carry on conversations, develops relationships, and answers questions with fact-based advice. The OMG factor on this robot is off the charts. You'll swear he's human, right down to his facial expressions.

I saw this on the Today Show and believe me when I say he looks real! Like Blade Runner AI real. The photo does not do it justice. Meredith Vieira asked the robot if "Matt Lauer was a good boy this year" and the robot responded, "It depends on what you mean by good." It was so real (and creepy) that it blew me away. I'd love to have a robot like this. For $1.59 million you get a private concert with Russia's Kirov Orchestra.
You and 499 friends will hear pianist Lola Astanova, led by maestro Valery Gergiev, in a show hosted by Regis Philbin in your hometown. For good measure, the Steinway concert grand piano stays behind.305-Carat Uncut Diamond Necklace
Weighing in officially at 305.18 carats, it is one of the largest natural diamonds unearthed. It sparkles with rich golden, green, and amber tones yet has not been polished, cut, or altered whatsoever.
Diamond studded cell phone set in rose gold
A $73,000 cell phone studded with 7.2 carats of white and pink diamonds and featuring 24-hour global concierge service. There are only 100 in the world.

Neiman Marcus 100th Anniversary
These are just a few of the outrageous "fantasy gifts" that Neiman Marcus, celebrating its 100th anniversary, is showing off in its 81st Christmas Book that is mailed to 1.8 million people and can be found online here.

"I think it captures some of the fun of the holidays that we give up as we get older," said Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus Direct.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wild Kingdom of Los Angeles

I see the strangest things when driving through Los Angeles. Random. Like this which caught my eye with the life sized stuffed animal tiger perched on top of a throw away sofa chair.

Monday, October 15, 2007

LA Decompression Festival (it's a small world)

Photo by Lush.i.ous

The photo above was posted on LAist. I thought "Who are those clowns?" and then "Wait I know those clowns!" (pun intended). That's my friend Chris with the red wig and bumble bee stripped tights, and that's his wife Annemarie. I don't recognize the third clown.
Turns out Chris and Annemarie produced a stage called "Clownarchy" which featured clowns, stilters and aerial acts. They had a blast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bette Midler's daughter Sophie is a carbon copy of her mom

Bette Midler (61) and her daughter Sophie von Haselberg (20) at NY Fashion week. Same nose, same cheek bones, same eyes, same hair, same figure. Wow - talk about some dominent genes there.

Galaxy Soccer Game 10/13/2007

Yesterday we went to a Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Toronto FC Major League Soccer game at the Home Depot Center.

It looks like I have a white streak in my hair, but I swear it's just a blond highlight and bad lighting that make it appear that way.

Beside me in the photo is my friend Leslie (and beside her is her husband Bart). U. took the photo with his iPhone.

It was the second to last Galaxy game this season to be played at home. They needed to win this game in order to stay in the running for a spot in the Playoffs.
We sat right behind the players and watched the team win its fifth consecutive game by defeating Toronto FC, 2-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 in Carson.

Since we were sitting so close, we also had the honor of watching the new Ms. Galaxy be crowned up close and personal. Who knew there was such a thing?

I spent many client lunches at the Home Depot Center restaurant overlooking the soccer field, but this was my first time attending a soccer game and sitting inside the stadium. (Now the restaurant is closed to the public.) U. asked if I was reliving the memories. Ha!In the weeks leading up to the game I knew Mr. Galaxy aka David Beckham was injured, so I didn't expect him to be playing. But then earlier in the week this announcement came out: "Galaxy President Alexi Lalas said Thursday that he was he's hopeful Beckham could play in one or both of the team's final home games."

In the end he didn't play. He wasn't on the bench either. Disappointing. Even with an injury he still should have been on the sidelines rooting his team on.

Since we were sitting in the VIP section with it's own private bar (the best seats in the house) we were looking for Posh, but didn't see her either.

I heard that Beckham came out onto the field, (from the club's suite) after the game was over to congratulate the team, but I missed it.

Overall I felt many of the penalties called against Toronto were unwarranted, but it was fun to watch the Canadian fans who would have won for most spirited, and it was a good time. Soccer games are MUCH shorter in duration, and require less fan commitment than baseball games. I've been to Dodger games where we had a 14 inning stretch because the game was tied forever and to make matters worse it was freezing and the stands weren't selling anything (not even coffee or hot chocolate). Compared to MLB games, a 2.5 hour MLS game is a breeze.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jimmy Carter for President anyone?

This is a documentary I don't want to miss.

"Jimmy Carter Man from Plains" is an intimate portrait of a Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States of America (1977-1981), Nobel Peace Prize winner (2002), and great American statesman who continues to work to promote human rights and act as an international peace broker. The documentary film is scheduled to be released to movie theaters on October 26, 2007.

The film was directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme, whose documentary credits include "The Silence of the Lambs" (which he won an Academy Award for directing), "Philadelphia", "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" and the Talking Heads concert movie "Stop Making Sense."

"Every time I see this film, President Carter makes me believe that - as frightening and appalling as so many things are in the world today - that there is nevertheless a very real possibility for peace and better lives for future generations if we strive to somehow get along and if we aspire to defining the upside of being human." - Jonathan Demme

Thank you Mr. President.

View Trailer

Friday, October 12, 2007

Eve of Wedding Anniversary #6 (Candy)

So it's a little past 11 PM and my husband traveled straight from Chicago to Los Angeles and bore the rush hour traffic from LAX through downtown LA (Romeo couldn't have said "I love you" better) to make our Friday night date night.

We enjoyed wine tasting at Colorado Wine Company (purchasing 5 bottles of wine to bring home), dinner at a neighborhood Italian restaurant (which I'll write a review on later) and now we're home. It's an early night since it's raining, and understandably feeling beat and sleepy, my husband went to bed.

Tomorrow we will have been married for 6 years.
Writing about it on the actual anniversary date feels a bit cheesy and forced, but writing about it on the eve of the anniversary somehow seems appropriate.

We agreed to no gifts, although in a way this is a gift to my husband.
You're always on my mind. I love you. I respect and admire you. I can't say enough about how much you mean to me. I think you're the cat's meow.

No gifts, but my husband wants to buy me a necklace of my choice. (Believe me - I pinch myself constantly.)

After 6 years how do you say "I love you"?
Well before you arrived tonight I washed all of the bed linen. I know how much you love freshly washed sheets. And while you were out walking the dog in the rain, I made the bed with the freshly laundered linens. Just so you could have sweet dreams tonight (while you listen to the rain outside our bedroom); home sweet home after being away on business for 3 days.

We have a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon that we've been saving, and decided to pop it open on our anniversary. I questioned whether #6 is celebration enough to open the bottle, but you said it was and you'd rather celebrate being married to me for 6 years than anything else.

When we flew back from New York and Astrid (our 2 year old daughter) decided she wanted to sit by the window (instead of the middle seat) during take off, as I was fastening Astrid's seat belt and making sure she was seated safely, you reached around and buckled my seat belt to make sure I was safe.

We show each other we love each other in sweet gestures.

But sometimes we still get butterflies when we look at each other.

So what are we doing on our anniversary day?
In the AM - coffee & breakfast with Astrid (for father/daughter one on one time and so mommy can sleep in), then Yoga together.

In the PM - Galaxy soccer game with friends. (As my girlfriend and I get out our binoculars and gawk at David Beckham, my husband will say we're crazy but smile just the same at our excitement.) Then dinner and drinks afterwards at a cool restaurant in downtown LA.

I can't believe it's been 6 years!
Has it really been 6 years? Wow. Time flies by so fast ever since I met you. I feel that I've known you all my life and I get a kick out of how every time you talk about your former fiance' of 7 years, you say my name instead of hers. A very sweet Freudian Slip.

Oh and just because we're on that subject... It's been a running joke between us about this 7 year relationship with another woman. You told me that having a child trumped all those years, but now finally you cannot dispute I have been your longest relationship. Six years of marriage and two years of dating = 8 years. Finally.

Whenever I look into our daughter's face I think of you.
She's a golden child just like you and beautiful in every way imaginable. I am so proud of what we've accomplished as parents. Together we created the home, family and life we always wanted.

Happy Anniversary honey!
May all our wishes and dreams come true in this adventure called marriage.

Al Gore awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Former Vice President Al Gore and a United Nations panel on climate change were named cowinners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work against global warming.

Gore, who shares the award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said at a news conference that global warming “truly is a planetary emergency,” and that he would donate his portion of the Nobel prize money - about $750,000 - to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit environmental group. Gore is chairman of its board.

The honor was given to Gore and the IPCC ”for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change,“ the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its statement Friday morning in Oslo.
Letter from Al Gore:

Subject: I am deeply honored

Dear Rose,

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis--a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,
Al Gore

Lead in Lipstick

Lately we've heard a lot about lead in toys, and now a new study shows lipsticks contain lead as well.

Lipsticks tested by a U.S. consumer rights group found that more than half contained lead and some popular brands including Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Christian Dior had more lead than others.

Lipstick, like candy, is ingested. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of public health, environmental and women's groups, said the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick.

One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy -- a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead.

See the complete list of lipsticks tested.

"Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure," said Dr. Mark Mitchell, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.

"It's critical that manufacturers reformulate their product," said Stacy Malkan, a co-founder of the coalition. "It's possible to make lipsticks without lead, and all companies should be doing that."

I was quite alarmed to find that lipstick contains lead. The study found MAC (the brand I use) lipstick had less than the 0.1 ppm detectable level of lead (0.03 to be exact), which is the FDA recommended limit for candy, but it's still worrisome that it contains any lead at all that I could potentially be ingesting daily (or be absorbing into my body).

The study however only tested red lipsticks. I'd like to see how the other colors stacked up as well.

The study came out yesterday, and as of today the FDA said it would look it.

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Julianne Hough and Helio Castroneves dancing the Mambo (Week 2 of Season 5)

Their enthusiasm is contagious. Makes you want to sign up for a ballroom dancing class.

Julianne Hough is still the master of choreography

Julianne Hough and Helio Castroneves (2 time Indy 500 Champion) dancing the Foxtrot, Week 1 of season 5.

Julianne's dances are so much fun to watch.

Former Bond girl Jane Seymour dances the Foxtrot

Jane Seymour, age 56 is the oldest female contestant to appear on Dancing with the Stars. In this video clip she's dancing the Foxtrot to "Let's fall in love." She looks great!

Jane dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina until she had an injury at age 16. You can tell from her dancing that she has a ballet background. She's very graceful.

Sadly her mom died after the 2nd show, so she took a break from the show to attend the funeral and mourn and then she trained hard for her next dance, the Tango, and dedicated the dance to her mom.

I haven't been watching this season, but I've searched for clips on Youtube just to check out the new round of contestants (i.e., Wayne Newton, Marie Osmond, Melanie B. aka Scary Spice) just for curiosity sake.

A catchy little tune called "Love" by Matt White

The simple black and white video with a model posing with him while he's singing isn't half bad.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Funny stuff - another show I have to watch (Flight of the Conchords)

This clip from "Flight of the Conchords," a series on HBO, had me cracking up.

I have the entire first season just waiting for me, and I can't wait to watch it. (My husband also heard good things about the show and was recording it all along.) Hope the show is as funny as this clip.

I brought my own cloth grocery bag

My name is Rose. I do not live off the grid. I have never owned a pair of Birkenstocks. I do wear deodorant. I do shave my legs. I do own an SUV. I do eat organic. I am also happy to admit that for the first time I brought my own reusable cloth grocery bag with me to the grocery store.

Of course I've been hearing about the environmental ramifications of using paper and plastic bags (fills up our landfills, pollution, wasteful, etc. etc.) and I get it. But for some reason I just never did it until recently. What changed? I got a bag!

Would more people use cloth grocery bags if they had one? In NY as part of their campaign to be the greenest state in the U.S., they have designer bags for sale (like the one that says "I'm not a plastic bag" pictured in the photo above.)

For me the change came when my husband brought home a cloth bag. He brings home a lot of chotchkies, as he works in advertising. Most either just add to the clutter, get tossed in the trash, or I wear the free t-shirt as a night shirt to bed. Until recently when he brought home a Reuters cloth grocery bag. A light bulb went off - I can use that when I go to Trader Joe's so I don't have to get their paper bags.

We reuse the plastic bags we get from Whole Foods (for picking up after the dog, and wastebasket liners), but the paper bags we get from Trader Joe's are just piling up in our laundry room, making me feel guilty whenever I see them. As a mother of a 2 year old I feel a sense of responsibility to do the right thing.

So the next time my daughter and I went to Trader Joe's, we brought our cloth grocery bag. I was all proud of myself. Then the clerk asked, "Do you have another bag?" Okay so I need to get more bags - but it's a start!

In many counties (like Germany) you bring your own bag or you pay for one at the store. San Francisco recently banned plastic bags (the first city in the U.S. to do so). There's also a new California law that took effect on July 1, 2007, implementing a state wide plastic bag recycling program, as well as requiring stores in CA to set up an at-store recycling program for customers.


  • Worldwide, between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed each year.
  • In the US, about 12 million barrels of oil and 14 million trees go to producing plastic and paper bags each year.
  • California retailers distribute more than 19 billion plastic retail carryout bags annually. Less than 5 percent are currently recycled.
  • Plastics bags are one of the 12 most commonly found items in coastal cleanups.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where's Waldo?

Well it finally happened - Blogger is charging

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Please select a plan:
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blade Runner - 25th Anniversary (Final Cut)

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe….all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.”

Yes, yet another version of the movie, called the "Final Cut" of the 1982 classic cult movie Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott is now playing in theatres to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film.

There's also a box set for sale which features a digitally remastered version of the film (that they've been working on since the year 2000), plus a 3 hour documentary, interviews with cast and crew, 45 minutes of "never before seen" deleted scenes, and 5 other versions of the film.

I'm a big fan of the film (and Philip K. Dick stories) so I'm excited to be able to see it and the backdrop of futuristic Los Angeles in the year 2019 on the big screen for the first time. It's playing at the Landmark theatre starting this Friday.

10850 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Tickets & Showtimes

Monday, October 01, 2007

In the Shadow of the Moon

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Summary: "In the Shadow of the Moon" is a documentary film by Ron Howard about the race to the moon, Apollo 11 - the first successful manned lunar landing mission, and the subsequent lunar expeditions. The surviving crew members from NASA's Apollo missions tell their story in their own words.

An uplifting, inspiration film about a time in US history when we were seen as true pioneers. The first lunar landing gave the country (and entire world) a sense of pride and accomplishment. I loved the behind the scenes stories told by the astronauts themselves. (Alan Bean from Apollo 12 is really funny.) I found the first hand accounts to be insightful, heartfelt, and eye opening. The only criticism I have of the film is that it does not have a face to face interview with Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The film does try it's best to feature him in archive footage, and the other astronauts talk about him, but the man's absence in the film is still noticeable (and perplexing!).

Courage vs. Bravery
While watching the documentary I was reminded of a word game I sometimes listen to on the radio - one question was, "What's the difference between "courage" and "bravery". People with courage can do brave things but they're still afraid. Those who are brave have no fear. These astronauts were truly brave and real heroes with "the right stuff."

Plaque on the Moon
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted a plaque on the lunar surface on 20 July 1969. It reads: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."

Buzz Aldrin
"We feel this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown." Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

Did you know Buzz Aldrin was the 1st astronaut to have a Ph.D. and his nickname was "Dr. Rendezvous"? He was also the 1st one to pee on the moon. What did you think he was doing when he stopped at the bottom on the ladder?

So when are we going to Mars?