Things I Loved/Hated This Week #36




Years ago, I can’t exactly recall when or where, I became aware of this site. ( I was probably doing research on backpacking. I’m completely befuddled by this mode of travel. It seems far too démodé for me. I’m not the kind of person that extensively wanders, I prefer to do an in-depth study of my surroundings for weeks at a time. I WANT to be the kind of person that flits from continent to continent, but I’d feel like I was missing out. I was determined to be that kind of person during my trip to California, but my mother finally convinced me to find a place to stay instead so that I could have a base of operation. I saw the validity of her argument, but I didn’t want to be so typical. I’m extraordinary, you know? I’m also incredibly humble. HA! As a Leo, and a proud one, I refuse to deny how delightful I am and rightly so. But, I decided that it would be a good idea to have a permanent place to stay in Hollywood after I spend some time with family friends and I began researching. No easy task, reader, whilst in the Wisconsin hinterlands (I’ve used that phrase at least five times so far and I can’t get enough, it sounds delicious) because I was using the magical Internet box and my laptop with the world’s worst connection. It took minutes (MINUTES!) to load simple pages and I struggled awfully to even see pictures of the places I was looking at. Oh, reader, they were frightening. Generally ugly, poorly photographed, in bad locations, far too pricy, in places far too far away, jungle themed (far too many jungle themed rooms in Los Angeles county) or far too cheap to be real. It was hours of agonizing and crushing disappointment. Then, I recalled Airbnb and fell quite in love with one of the first results. It has a checkerboard tile kitchen with eau de nil walls, is located almost on top of the Farmers Market and Grove, has wireless Internet, looks clean, is furnished almost exclusively in IKEA, and wasn’t incredibly unreasonable. Still expensive, but whatever. I put in a request and it was accepted and I’m staying there for two weeks. It’s in West Hollywood, which I hear is a good thing. I know nothing about Los Angeles, but I’m determined to learn all there is and to twerk with Miley up and down Melrose. Stop your scoffing, it’ll happen!

The Chateau Marmont:


My father and I were talking the other night about what I was going to do in Hollywood. He knows how much I love food and Old Hollywood and so I was telling him about the Chateau Marmont, where the celebrities have lived and dined and partied since it was built in 1929. I told him that I was planning on lunching there once or twice and going to the bar if I can manage it because I read it’s one of the hottest places in town at the moment. What I wouldn’t do to bump into celebrities in an elegant setting. To my shock and delight, he handed me a massive wad of cash and told me to book a room there for an evening. IF YOU INSIST! Not sure when I’m going. The first night I wanted to go was booked up, then I don’t want to go while I’m in the apartment I rented, so I’ll probably go the day I check out of the apartment, but that’s a Sunday, and what celebrity is going to have a drunken pool party on a Sunday? Well, which one wouldn’t, actually? I would. I’ll plan one. I guess there are oftentimes spontaneous parties. Can you imagine? I can. Of course I can, my imagination is rampant. In my research, I have discovered that it’s hard not to see a celebrity and that everybody looks at you there to see if you’re somebody, which of course, I AM. I’ve always been Somebody, I’m just waiting for the rest of the peasants to catch up. Not you, you’re reading the blog, you understand. So there are elegant rooms and suites and bungalows and a guest-only pool, a bar, a restaurant, a very exclusive lobby, customized stationary (squeal!), a courtyard, and celebrities galore! Lindsay was just kicked out because she didn’t pay her bill! We could have been roomies and split the cost! I think of all the parts of my Hollywood trip, I’m most excited about this. I’m going to spend every hour I’m there on the prowl. Even though, by then, I’m pretty sure I’ll be famous in my own right and Miley and I will be twerking by the pool. It’ll be just like her music video!

Don’t try to understand. Just put your hands in the air like you don’t care. But guys, this is like a big deal. Me + Marmont + celebrities + bar + Old Hollywood glamor = who the hell knows? [UPDATE: I just booked my room for July 21st and burst spontaneously into tears. Prepare yourself for that blog post.]

Miley Cyrus:


Ever since I booked my train to Los Angeles, I’ve become obsessed with Miley. It all goes back to her “Party in the USA” song and the fact that her grandmother on Hannah Montana was Dolly Parton. That’s like my life come true. I have a whole celebrity family and she’s one of my grandmothers. The others are: Joan Rivers, Martha Stewart, and Theresa of Golden Sisters fame. I love my celebrity family. I wish it were real. I wish one of them was actually related to me. I’d just die. I’d be a happy ball on the ground, weeping. Back to Miley. I immediately learned every lyric of her iconic song so that I can recreate it next week using the new video function on Instagram whilst I’m in Hollywood. Are you excited? Are you tweeting about it? #bengoestohollywood <– LET’S TREND THIS WORLDWIDE! I can’t wait to say this in a real conversation, “It’s definitely not a Nashville party.” I’ll sing it in karaoke bars. I’ll sing it up and down Melrose. I’ll sing it whilst crashing Mario’s party on Extra. I’ll sing it as I fall asleep. I’ll sing it while I’m hiking in Runyon canyon. I’ll sing it while I twerk with Miley. That’s my ultimate goal, honestly.



Will it happen? My psychic intuition is saying yes. I’ve since devoured her new song and strange music video and can sing most of it. I have trouble with the beginning because she mumbles. (MILEY, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, YOU SING BEAUTIFULLY AND ENUNCIATE WELL. LET’S GO TWERK WITH ZAC EFRON. INTRODUCE US. MARRY US!) I am passionately in love with her new fashion sense and want to dress just like her, but that’d be awkward since I’m a man. We’d go out every night and hang out with Kelly who would introduce me to Joan Rivers (you quickly see how this is all fitting together) who will invite me onto her podcast, In Bed With Joan, (watch it, peasants) and then she will have so much fun with me that I’ll become a regular on Fashion Police and gladly fill in when one of the hosts can’t attend. This will boost my cash and I’ll buy one of Joan Crawford’s old houses and host twerk-off parties with lots of champagne. It’ll be a Hollywood institution. Prepare yourselves, readers. I’ll keep you up to date. But, first, I have to meet Miley.

Squat Challenge Results:

Photo on 6-26-13 at 11.24 PM #2

[Hey! Are you checking out my ass? THANKS!]

Guys, nobody has mentioned it, yet, but I’ve noticed it — I suddenly have a bigger BUTT. This has had unexpected repercussions. I ordered a pair of pants from a company that I’ve heard tremendous things about and when they arrived, they didn’t begin to fit around my voluptuous backside. I’m basically J-Lo. I’m Rob Kardashian. I’m Kim, for Christ’s sake! Perhaps this is because I’ve never had anything remotely like an ass before. I get all of my physical traits from my mother’s mother’s side of the family and they don’t have anything going on back there. Upsetting for a person with fantastic legs. Have you seen my thighs? They’re spectacular. They might be my favorite part of my body. What’s your favorite part of my body? Feel free to comment below. Tweet me! I’m only two-thirds through the thirty day squat challenge and I’m thoroughly delighted by the results. I’m not stupid — I realize that my ass is not two watermelons squashed together, I wouldn’t want that anyway — but there is something there that wasn’t there before. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day and didn’t recognize myself. It was delightful. I hope that as the squat challenge continues, my booty will develop even more! I brought up booty. You know what that means, right? MANDATORY BEYONCÉ DANCE PARTY:

Always a good one! Have you heard her new song? It leaked this morning. I totally didn’t download it. iTunes definitely doesn’t say that I’ve listened to it 29 times. Now 30. It’s a good one. It’s going on my Hollywood playlist. (No it’s not because I don’t actually have it. *winks*) Anyway, I highly recommend that you do the squat challenge. Google it, the charts are everywhere. Squats are actually a lot of fun. Who knew? They’re my favorite exercise of the moment. Feel free to slap my ass if you see me in public. Not at the Chateau Marmont, of course, well, yeah, feel free even there. Especially after I finish twerking with Miley at the pool. GET READY:


Bonobos Customer Service:


I recently ordered a pair of khakis from Bonobos because I heard they do great things to your ass. Now that I have an ass, though, (as you’ve seen) I expected the results to be beyond fabulous. Well, they were, but my ass has grown so magnificently that they wouldn’t fit into the pants. I was appalled/delighted, but the company does returns for free, so I exchanged them for a bigger size. I hadn’t heard anything back for almost a week, so I sent them an email kind of begging them to hurry up and send them to me since I wanted to wear them on the train to Los Angeles and show off my well-proportioned posterior. I may have said that in the email… I received a prompt response. They didn’t want me to look shabby on the train (direct quote), so they upgraded my return to overnight for free! Bless them. UPS doesn’t do Saturday deliveries unless requested, so if I needed them by Saturday, the Ninjas (those are what the customer service people are called) wanted me to call. So I did. At first, the Ninja, I forgot her name, wasn’t very friendly, which annoyed me. She wanted me to pay TWENTY EXTRA dollars to get my pants shipped quickly. I said that this had not been mentioned in the email, so she had me forward the emails. I did and then she started laughing a whole bunch. I guess flirtatious writing can get you free stuff, or they’re just a nice company. It’s probably both. So, she upgraded my pants and they should be on me tomorrow. I’ll be so BEAUTIFUL on the TRAIN and at the RALPH LAUREN RESTAURANT. I’ve really taken to capitalizing words I want to emphasize. I find it much more useful than bold print. Thanks ninjas for my pants!


The Word “Quirky:”



I am very sensitive to language and I am so happy to see this word is finally phasing itself out. If I have to hear one more description of how quirky something or someone is, I’ll lose my mind. Just because a person chooses to dress in hand-tailored vintage from Goodwill doesn’t mean they’re quirky. It means they’re hipsters. Just because you put mismatched vases on your mantelpiece doesn’t mean your quirky, it means you have an eye for design. Just because the bakery sells donuts, cookies, tarts, AND pizza doesn’t make them quirky, it makes them savvy businesspersons. And let’s just hold up. Since when did businesspersons become a single word? What is this, Germany? Do you speak German? It’s a ridiculous language. They have a bizarre affinity for joining their words together. So instead of writing “the lovely yellow bridge,” they’d write “thelovelyyellowbridge” AND add an umlaut. I can’t deal with that. I can deal with this letter: ß, though, I’m completely obsessed with it and think we should install it in English. It’s a double s, so instead of writing mess, we’d write meß. FUN! It even looks fun. So, a quick and sudden death to the word quirky, please, just don’t start overusing eccentric, because I have a deep fondness (fondneß!) for that on.

Not Buying A Shirt At Burberry:

Burberry cotton shirt S-XXXL khaki

Yesterday, I was at the Mall of America and struggling with a budget. Since I’m going to Hollywood in A WEEK, I had to resist many purchases. I will forever regret not buying these gorgeous pink oxfords at Nordstrom. [Middle right.] I would have worn them everywhere. I can’t think of an outfit I wouldn’t have worn them with. They reminded me of the pink dress shoes that Versace created for H&M a few years ago that I was obsessed with. They were perfection, but I’ve told you about that pink suit a hundred times, I bet. Instead, I bought a simpler pair of brown shoes. [Bottom left.]


They were originally ninety some dollars, but I got them for less than thirty. I was pleased and they were Calvin Klein. I’m a big fan of Calvin Klein’s clothing. I’d like one of his suits. Maybe I’ll get one for Alison’s wedding? I have a Calvin Klein blazer, but it needs some help from the tailor. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed by a good tailor. After that distressing disappointment at Nordstrom, I found myself in the Burberry boutique. I love Burberry. I’m completely enamored of everything they make. Perhaps you’ll remember my post of a while back where I wrote about the things that would make me happy? A Burberry coat was one of them. I was mournfully stroking them and one of the shop assistants asked if he could get one in my size. I thought about it, but I would probably have started weeping in earnest, so I turned him down. Instead I found myself in an elegant sale’s closet and found the most wonderful button-up dress shirt that was done in their iconic fabric. It was $190 and that was over half price off. I needed it. I was desperate for it. I couldn’t buy it. I will always think of that shirt as one of the purchases that slipped away. If I had had more money or I weren’t planning on spending exorbitant amounts of money in California (you’d collapse if I told you how much I’ve charged already), I probably would have bought it. Maybe I’ll find one in Goodwill someday?



When it comes to procrastination, I am unbelievably talented. I can stretch out an activity or task for days when it shouldn’t take more than a half hour. Really, I should have some kind of award for my terrible time management. Yesterday, I was doing my usual novel editing interspersed with exercise as I try to do all the time, but I thought it would be much more important to read all about the mysterious moving Ancient Egyptian statue in the Manchester Museum. It was, actually. I read every article that had been published and I’m completely obsessed. It’s like the beginning of an Amelia Peabody mystery! I still need to write a letter to the author of those wondrous books. I’ll put that on my neverending (why is that not a real word?) to-do list. I should seek some kind of therapy for my procrastination. The former activity should have taken two hours at most, but I was up until three o’clock. There was also some research on ancient Egyptian trade routes, Miley Cyrus’ hair, the Chateau Marmont, how to register at Central Casting, reviews of trains, a spontaneous One Direction solo concert, a kitten grooming session, and a nap. Whatever. #YOLO. Today, I’ve been awake for three hours and only managed to cross three easy things off of my list. Fourteen more. Sweet baby Buddha. I’m going to start going by California time, though, so it’s really only early afternoon. Now I feel more accomplished. More time to not accomplish anything I wanted to!



I don’t know when it happened, but everybody has turned into a prude! I can’t deal with it. You can’t make jokes anymore without somebody weeping about it. I have no solid examples to share with you about this one, it’s just a change in culture that I’ve been feeling for a while. Everything has to be so PC, it’s exhausting. Thank God there are still comedians out there like Joan Rivers who completely refuse to apologize for any of her jokes, no matter how scandalous they are. And let’s be honest, the more offensive they are, the better. I like nothing more than shocked laughter. When I become a comedian, for it’s one of my bucket list jobs (I should actually write a joke or two first, I’m sure), I’ll be the same way and make a worse joke about Helen Keller for the amusement of my fans. I was going to make an hilarious (a hilarious? Always confuses me.) comment about waxing on Facebook last night after doing some research — what? I was curious. The NSA is probably looking at my Google history with alarm. I think that as a creative person, I am always thinking up new scenarios and ideas and I like to know more about them…so…I read a lot about ass waxing. Who hasn’t? But, I decided it was for the best not to post my comment, which I’ve since forgotten, sadly. I’ll reserve my discussion on ass waxing here for you, my highly cultured audience. You’re not a bunch of prudes. You’d better not be.

Aluminum Foil:


I never knew how much I hated aluminum foil. I have an utter and complete loathing for it. I was told by people who seemed to know what they were talking about that it makes a great liner for baking dishes. LIARS! It’s crinkly and tears easy and you’re suddenly terrified that your brownies are full of aluminum. I hate all kinds of things that come in a roll. I hate saran wrap. I’ve told you about that. I hate parchment paper because it insists on reforming a cylinder no mater what you do. I hate wax paper because it’s wonderful, but you can’t bake with it without the wax melting into your cake. Who wants that? The only thing I like is a good Silpat. Yes, they’re a bitch to wash, but those things are magical. Nothing sticks to them. I’ve never had a bad experience with a Silpat — well, there was that one time I undercooked a batch of macarons. That was a stressful evening. They should make Silpats in custom sizes or design baking dishes with removable Silpat liners. Can you imagine the delight? I’d gladly spend $100 for a Silpat-lined 9×13 baking dish. It would be heaven. HEAVEN! But, no, I used aluminum foil because I thought it would make my life simple. Nothing stuck to it, that’s true, but it shredded. Perhaps if I had a more durable roll of foil it would work better? I mean, it’s all there for a perfect marriage. Aluminum foil doesn’t roll up, you can mold it to whatever shape you want, it’s nonstick, it’s pretty, and it actually tears well. I guess I’ll try it again with GOOD aluminum foil. Oh, aluminum is pronounced ah-loo-min-ee-umm like in the mother country. Get it right.

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