Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I am reading "Vanity Fair" - a 500 page magazine my husband bought from the supermarket a couple weeks ago, because it's the pre-Oscars edition. I haven't had time to read it until now, four days after the Oscars. But now I can, because I'm home sick from work and have finished my library books.
I'm reading the editor's letter, penned by Graydon Carter, a man with an extraordinary hair-do that includes both a pompadour and a flip. In the photo, he leans his chin on his hand and smiles cunningly at the reader - it's like we're sharing our little secrets.
In the letter he discusses what he calls a "brouhhaha" that has arisen between his magazine and a Hollywood star. I had no idea such turmoil existed, but according to Graydon, it has taken the world of Hollywood and celebrity publishing by storm. He describes the germ of an idea that began the conflict - curiosity that "people" seem to hate such a beautiful and accomplished celebrity. Was it envy? Did people think she was flaunting her wealth and privilege?
Then he tells how he went online and visited the star's website. "To be frank," he writes, I found it no more elitist or out of touch than many women's magazines."
I sit there in my day-old pajama pants on my Topanga deck, sucking cough drops. I have waded through 128 pages of ads for Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Chopard jewelry before getting to Mr. Carter's message to his readers. The page it is printed on faces an ad for a Louis Vuitton bag, one that, according to the Louis Vuitton website, is priced at $5,200.00.
Mr. Carter goes on, "the thing is, because [the star's website] reflects the vision of a single woman, and one with a privileged upbringing, a close family, an Oscar.....I realize that it might be a bit much for most working moms, no matter how content they are or successful at making their lives work."
Behind me, in my house, two Latina women are at work cleaning the kitchen. Our regular cleaner has been in an automobile accident, and her sister and her friend are taking care of her clients while she's recovering. Rosa needs to keep her business going, even laid up. My Spanish is not good enough to ask Rosa's sister about insurance coverage, and even if she wanted to share these private details with me, her English is not adequate.
I speak to Rosa on the phone, and she's a little groggy from pain medications. She can't walk for another two weeks, and her car was totalled. She doesn't say it, but I can only think with such leg injuries she will need physical therapy. It will be hard to start cleaning houses again, especially in hilly Topanga, and in a house like ours with many stairs.
It wouldn't be fair for me write this without visiting the movie star's website, so I do. She has great style. No Vuitton bags, but there's a Fendi bag I admire, for about the same price. She lists some favorite restaurants of hers, including some I've been to - some I've featured on this blog.
I have a job that allows me to stay home with a cold, with paid sick leave. So I can sit on a sun-washed deck and read about a personal cat-fight between a movie star and a glossy magazine editor. And read him concede that ordinary working moms might find a blog written by a privileged woman to be "out of touch."
And then I give that a second thought.
There are people like Rosa who can only depend on her family network to carry her through a time of medical crisis. A simple accident can mean disaster to people who struggle to make their lives work.
I'm not sure what to do. I add another twenty dollars to the customary check to pay her, but it doesn't seem like much.
Just think what the price of a Louis Vuitton bag would mean.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
The terminal is oddly quiet, since the last arrival was over an hour ago. The usual throng of arriving passengers and those awaiting them is not present.
Posted by Aunt Snow at 11:58 AM
Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The radar map on Weather Underground is showing, in real time, the radar image of the storm that is supposed to hit us later this evening.
Here's the Southern California coast, from Manhattan Beach, down at the three o'clock point, the coastline curving up into Santa Monica and then turning westward to Malibu, and rounding the bend at Oxnard, going north. Point Dume in Malibu is the little pokey-out place close to the center of the map.
Our house is in the mountainous area just above the little white oval number one. We're probably right where the little green number 51 is.
That mass of green and yellow? That's not land.
That's the storm that's advancing on us. Fast.
Outside, in the creek below our house, the frogs are croaking for the first time this dry winter. They know what's coming.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
After so much drought, you would think I'd be pleased at the sound of raindrops on the roof of our house.
But no. Not while we have four giant pits dug in our backyard, in the middle of a septic tank repair. Will it all flood and collapse?
|Pelicans fly over Santa Monica Beach|
Posted by Aunt Snow at 10:29 PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Scott's estate sold the building in 2011, and this January it re-opened as the trendy Ace Hotel, complete with a restaurant, pool, and a very cool rooftop bar.
|Ace Hotel facade|
From the rooftop bar, at the right time in the afternoon, the sign's shadow can be seen, thrown against the flat surface of the building to the north. As you sit, beneath faux-Morrocan awnings, sipping hipster cocktillian concoctions, behold.
UPDATE: Here's a link to a story that gives the history of the "Jesus Saves" signs: http://jesussavessign.blogspot.com/
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Who doesn't like pickled vegetables?
Here are assorted pickles from Baco Mercat, a restaurant on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. Cucumbers, onions, fennel, beets and red grapes are nicely pickled in a sweet-sour vinegar solution.
They go real good with a cocktail.