Greetings From Californ-i-a

I have officially fallen in love with Los Angeles. I obviously knew it was a beautiful place and heard the shopping was phenomenal, but seriously–the place IS beautiful and the shopping is well, amazing too. Upon arrival to my hotel in Santa Monica which is a 5 minute walk from the beach, I was able to sit by the pool and do absolutely nothing. Instead of taking this time to tell you how beautiful the weather is (29-34 degrees on average),  I will try my best to tell  you a little bit about the trip itself.

As I sit here on the balcony of my hotel room in Newport Beach writing this post, I can’t help but to mention how beautiful Newport is. If you thought Santa Monica was beautiful, you should check out Newport. Newport Beach, which is a little more ritzy than Santa Monica ( in my mind at least), is where I plan to move once im done school (providing I win the lottery of course). The beaches are stunning, the shopping is great, the weather is perfect and the restaurants are exceptional–what else could one ask for?

I can’t say a whole lot else about Newport at the moment given that I have only been here for a day, but I did get a chance to meet Penelope Spheeris today. Although the name is unfamiliar to most, this gem, who is actually a super nice and extremely kind lady, has directed a number of shows and movies such as Wayne’s World and The Little Rascals. In addition to meeting this exceptionally cool lady at my hotel, I also got the chance to check out Fashion Island which is an amazing indoor/outdoor shopping complex in Newport. Fashion Island was recommended to me by a friend, and I would most definitely pass on the recommendation to anyone who hasn’t been to LA.

I’m still trying to get tickets to a Lakers game, but I have made a reservation at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant for Monday night and am so excited. I still plan to shop, to suntan, to relax and to swim, and I also plan to check out some other cool parts of LA. Time flies by so quickly, but I will continue to take pictures and continue to have a blast before I head home to Calgary. Yipee.

Happy Market Collective/Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had a nice relaxing day filled with lots of chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, I felt the need to share my little Easter gift with you all–visually of course! This Easter gift, brought to me by the Easter Bunny (and Mr. Bernard Callebaut)  is both delicious and cute! Despite their cuteness, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not have any difficulty eating them.

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Aside from the rabbits, I also had the chance to check out Market Collective in Kensington today. This venue, which was created to showcase the works of local artists, artisans and musicians was amazing. The people were friendly, and these same people were extremely talented. From brilliant jewelry designs to stunning photographs, Market Collective was definitely worth going to. Because I am trying my best to save some cash for my LA trip, I managed (with difficulty) to restrain myself from buying a number of vintage looking rings and necklaces. What I DID buy was this totally cool picture of a Fender Telecaster taken by Victoria Wakefield. Her photographs are amazing www.avwakefield.com

 

Una’s!

So now that I finally have a little time to write on my blog, I feel that I must express how totally cool Una’s is. For those of you who are wondering what the heck “Una’s” is, I am more than happy to fill you in! Una’s (which is located on 17th Ave) is a tiny little pizzeria which serves an amazing variety of pizza, pasta and wine. The tiny little restaurant which doesn’t look all that exciting from the outside, is an amazing place for dinner, or even just to have a few drinks with friends.

Upon our arrival, Laura and I took a seat at a cute little table located just in front of the bar. Although the tables are close together (and rather close to everything and everyone for that matter), I felt extremely comfortable and well, at home. From the friendly staff to the bathrooms which play stories narrated by a lovely sounding british lad (yes, stories are read to you in the washroom), this is a must-see restaurant.

Aside from the totally cute and modern layout of the restaurant, I must also mention how I enjoyed the food. Although the pizza was quite different from the pizza that I had recently tried at Pulcinella’s, the pizza that I ordered at Una’s was rather great–I would definitely go to Una’s again!

You must see their menu: www.unapizzeria.com

 

“3A Essay”

Need a break from studying? This is sure to make you smile…

Hugh Gallagher wrote this is a “fake” college application in 1990 and actually sent it out to a number of colleges. Here are the application directions followed by Gallagher’s essay:

3A. ESSAY: IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?


I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

Latte Love

At this time of the year, I am sure that most of us are suffering from a lack of sleep (at least I know I am…). I wake up, and the first thing I think of is coffee. Perhaps I have become slightly addicted to the delicious soy lattes at Good Earth, or maybe I have just become reliant of the caffeine. Either way, I feel the need to share my excitement about the Phil & Sebastian Coffee Company in Chinook Mall. For those of you who appreciate a good cup of coffee, I promise that you will not be disappointed by Phil and Sebastian. Not only do their ingredients come from small, quality-driven farms located in Alberta, but the company also strives to develop relationships with the growers, millers and exporters. Although you pay slightly more for a cup of coffee, it is absolutely worth it—in fact, I occasionally run down to Phil and Sebastian Coffee Co. twice during a shift at work—not because I need a coffee “fix”, but simply because the coffee is so delicious (and the little foam-hearts on top of my coffee make me smile).

Blow

He sits in front of his tactile world and figures everything will be great because everything is obtainable, right? The workload is done, and he remembers that he will be “very successful”. Funny how “success” can be so absolutely ambiguous. He dreams about manipulation. He dreams about women and money and the things he can buy with women and money and then suddenly realizes that he has nothing and nobody authentic in his life. He keeps on blaming because he is proud. So he leaves. He leaves his matchbox of an apartment and drives to get his next fix. Good luck getting high on life, high on anything, when the crash will hurt far less than the burn.

Ivo i Anita

As I rummage through cupboards looking for peppermint tea, I discover a lonely box, nearly empty, which literally, looks Clever.

It brings me back to that grocery store, still colorful in my mind, with perfect, foreign items perfectly aligned and perfectly friendly.

Even though I cannot read, pronounce or understand most of the words, I recall this place being one of the highlights of the trip. Everything about it—the walk to and from this place, the smells, the bumping of carts, the journey at this place, and the encounter with the things and people in it, is what I remember.

And when I forget this place, I remember another. This place, equally as beautiful, is a place where I would awaken to the thick smell of perfection—perfectly brewed coffee at its best. Dark, rich, real coffee served with plain biscuits made in the heart of Opatija is what I remember. I remember the shutters, the flour pots, the buzzing of people and cars, the bakery, the smiles, the lifestyle. Perhaps it is this lifestyle that I dream of. 

I dream of having nothing to do but relax.

I dream of no cell phone,  I dream of no car and I dream of walking in sandals and swimming in the salty sea filled with beautiful yellow fish.  I dream of awakening to the smell of the stove and coffee. I dream of awaking to a tiny white-walled room splashed with linen colored orange, I dream of the beach and the ocean and the smiles and the language and the pasta and the walks and the scenery and the leaning tower and the company and the family and the men on horseback sketched on canvases and the feeling of being far, far away.  I dream of the leather jackets, real pizza, overpriced orange juice, cathedrals and beautiful Italian hotels.

Technicolor Memories

When the lights doze off, the sounds awake, you’ll relive the memories once again.

Push them out, the reminiscent reminders that you clench onto with quixotic fear.

The past so romanticized, the present abandoned, the future becomes less resolved.

Your drives become lookouts when your lookouts should be drives to experience the new, the exciting, the unlike, the uncomfortable.

This feeling may be your war of wars, your fear of fears, an inevitable loss in a twisted game,

which leaves you with the realization that the pretending must stop and present must begin.

Your careless resistance adds fuel to the fire and encourages the mind in a state of constant animation.

So, kindly and sweetly paint pictures of blue cars and grand canyons until the past is learned from,

the present accepted,

the future illuminated.