4.29.2011

What They Wore: Royal Wedding Edition.

Last night I found myself very interested in the nuptuals of William and Kate. And since I spent some time living in London, and even found myself married a Brit one time, I took the liberty of making myself an official style correspondent on the royal wedding.

Posh and Becks. Posh has her happy face on.



Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, donning a hat that only draws attention straight to her trainwreck of a nose. (If you think I'm exagerrating, click HEEERE).



Sir Elton John.

Although I really wish he would have gone with something from this collection instead:

It's a timeless look, really.


Queenie opted for the rarely seen "smile".



Camilla being cute as a button.



Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie with some crazy shit on their heads.



Carole Middleton. A lovely mum.



Kate's sister Pippa. There's not much I can say about this outfit because she looks great. However, some people are all worked up over it because she wore white. Whatever. If this outfit was really considered inappropriate, the shitload of royal advisors probably would have mentioned it somewhere along the way.



Wills and Harr-Bear doing the whole "royal" thing.



And of course, the real deal Holyfield, Kate Middleton wearing a beautiful Sarah Burton gown.







This little girl is clearly the star of the show.


Congrats, William and Kate!

But seriously... "...for richer or poorer"...?

On what planet are these two ever going to be poor...? Come on.
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4.27.2011

El Compadre Restaurant.

Friday night, Boyfriend and I met up with my friend Danielle at one of her favorite Mexican hotspots: El Compadre. It didn't take much convincing on her part- I was sold at "mexican food" and then we sealed the deal at "flaming margarita".

Location: From the 101, exit Highland, go west on Sunset. El Compadre is located directly across from the giant Guitar Center store (which is why we accidentally drove right past it as we were busy staring at the giant Guitar Center store). Street parking. We lucked out and found a broken meter just around the corner on Sierra Bonita.



Decor: Lights are loooow and it will feel like you're walking into a cave. Give your eyeballs a good five minutes to adjust. The front door spits you right into the middle of the restaurant, so be prepared for all eyes to be on you when you make your grand entrance. According to Google images, celebs like Kendra Wilkinson, Amy Adams, and Blink-182 have all been photographed here. Unfortunately, the only people of interest I saw were the mariachis, and of course our waiter when he delivered my meal. The decor is lots of dark wood, big wrought iron chandeliers, and tiled faux roofs over the booth seating areas. It feels a little like you're on a Mexican pirate ship.

I pulled this picture from the internets. It's really not this bright in there.

Cocktails: We all started out the night with their signature drink, The Flaming Margarita ($9). The drinks are served up with a floating piece of orange peel that has some kind of flammable liquid in it, which they light on fire. There were several fruity flavors to choose from- I went with the mango. It was the shit and I would recommend it to anyone who likes mango. A word to the wise: Don't mess with the orange peel until that shit burns out. Danielle said she one made the mistake of tipping over her orange peel one time, which resulted in her drink tasting like lighter fluid.


I know. These pictures are shit. But it was verrrry dark in there and this is what you get when you combine candlelight and an iPhone.

Food: Since it was Good Friday, my menu options were limited (for all the non Catholics out there- no meat on the Fridays leading up to Easter). Since I was starving and nearly ate my own arm off on the drive to the restaurant, I went with a standard safe pick: Cheese Enchiladas. I don't remember what the price was because I was already a flaming margarita and a Negra Modelo deep, but I'm sure it was pretty inexpensive.

This picture does not do it justice. Trust me, it was really tasty.

The enchilada plate came with two CHEESY enchiladas, a generous serving of rice and beans, and a side of shredded lettuce (the way a true Mexican would eat it). I ended up ordering a small side of guacamole and sour cream (I think $.50/.75 each) because I like to maximize my fat intake at all times. I was very happy with my meal because it was delicious, not very spicy, and despite the tons of cheese, it never got rubbery or overwhelming. In fact, it was so good, I ended up eating every last scrap on my plate. Not an exagerration. Based on food, this place gets 4 out of 5 chins.

I was so happy with my food (and the complimentary chips and salsa) that I would definitely go back. And I would also recommend this place to anyone looking for a fun and relaxed atmosphere that doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Boyfriend and made it out on $37 and that included two meals and five drinks. Not bad for a Friday night in Hollywood.
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4.24.2011

Easter Meal.

So guess which Catholic has absolutely no plans on Easter this year. I'll give you a hint. It's me.

My family plans fizzled out at the last minute when: My mom decided to go to my aunt's house, my brother is going to his in-laws, one sister is hosting a dinner for a friend who just lost her young child to cancer last week, and my other sister is doing who-knows-what and/or probably spending the day with her boyfriend in San Diego. Whatever. I didn't want to spend the day with those dead weights anyway.

Yesterday, Boyfriend and I had done some quick research on a place to take my mom for Easter brunch. We decided on a little cafe-type place called Fresh and Fabulous. Only, when I called my mom with the invite, she passed on the offer saying she wouldn't have time what with preparing food to take to my aunt's house.

So after pouting all morning long about not having shit to do on this most blessed day, I decided to go with Boyfriend's idea of going to brunch on our own. I slapped on some clown paint and tried to make myself look human. And then we headed down to F&F to get out feast on.

For those of you who've been to Oxnard before, F&F is located downtown in the old Woolworth building.



We discovered when we got there that they actually serve brunch every weekend. Only it's $4 cheaper when it's not on Easter. And there were a few special holiday items on today's menu as well (the ones in bold), so I guess it was worth the extra 4 bucks.



Since we'd stopped in the day before to check it out, we'd already seen the inside of the place. It wasn't everything I'd dreamed of. But it looked clean and just about all the items on the menu sounded really good (and cheap).



Yours truly. Excited for food.



The special Easter brunch menu started out with complimentary mini Hot Cross buns. One white bread, one I have no idea wheat, I think. I've never actually had a Hot Cross bun before today, but I'm going to say I'm not a huge fan. Sidenote: I used to work with a guy whose last name was Cross. Some of the girls I worked with thought he was cute. My BFF and I used to call him Hot Cross Buns. I don't think he ever knew about it.



As you can tell by looking at the menu, there were several courses to this brunch. I hadn't really thought about how or when each course would be presented, but it did seem a little odd when all of a sudden our table was covered with a bunch of dishes all at once. And what seemed really weird, was that everything was served on small plates. As soon as my main dish came out and I saw that it was on a side-dish sized plate, I wanted to kick myself in the balls for falling for this $16 brunch.

Spinach quiche, glazed spiral cut ham, and grain toast with a shitload of butter (Two points for that one, F&F).


Plain scone with strawberry jam, lemon curd, and cream.


Fresh fruit.

It turns out my American supersize-me eyeballs were deceiving me because not only did there turn out to be plenty of food on these tiny plates, I actually had leftovers on each one.

FOOD REVIEW: Boyfriend and I were shocked at how good the food was. I mean, it wasn't the best I've EVARR had, but based on how it looked and how it was presented, it was a very nice surprise. The quiche was moist, the ham was juicy, and the toast was amply buttered. The fruit wasn't super great, but I think that's just how it goes when they're not in season. The scone was rich and dry, and topped with the lemon curd and cream, it was perfect. Like I said, the food was surprisingly good and I would recommend it for anyone looking for an inexpensive cafe that doesn't leave you feeling like a weighed down greaseball. Three and a half chins for this one.

SERVICE REVIEW. Our waitress was the same one who was there yesterday when we stopped in, so I felt like we already had a repoire with her. And by repoire, I mean we'd asked her two questions. She was a small Asian girl who was very sweet, always smiling, and very courteous. It seemed like maybe she was new to the waitressing business because when I asked about their happy hour specials she "Yes, we have happy hour!" and pointed to a print-out on the counter. And when Boyfriend ordered the asparagus and boiled egg salad she made bug eggs like that was the craziest thing she'd ever heard. And after we'd ordered, she smiled and said "Coming right up!" like were at Mel's Diner. But none of this was done in an ironic or silly way. It was done more in a way like this was her first waitressing job. And I know everyone has to start somewhere, I'm totally not bashing on her- she was VERY sweet. It was just kind of funny. It was also funny when we were served all of our food before receiving any kind of napkin or silverware (we'd already eaten the hot cross buns like cavemen).

DECOR REVIEW: The more time that went by, the more we realized this place is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. It just doesn't seem fitting for a cafe that serves light and fresh Mediterranean fare to have red pleather diner-style booths, mismatched chairs, red and black art deco design, dark green walls, and 60's style hanging lamps.


The counter/ bar area. PS: I hate red and black, but that's neither here nor there.


Really cool vintage hanging lamps.


The baked goods section. According to their website, they've won some awards through the VC Reporter Readers Poll, including one for their cupcakes.


The stage area where they have live music in the evenings.

WORTH NOTING:If you're going to use a credit card, you have to add your tip BEFORE they run it. When the manager/owner/ someone of importance saw that we were paying with a card, she apologized and explained that if we wanted to add gratuity- "Which you don't have to"- she would need to know right then. That was a little awkward because I imagine she has to explain that to almost every table. My advice for F&F would be to either print it out in huge bold letters on the bill that tip needs to be included before they run the card, or else get a new credit card machine that allows them to add tip afterward.

The Strawberry Rosemary Lemonade is good. But it's served up sans ice. Make sure to ask for a cup of ice cubes on the side.

There's plenty of free parking on A street.

F&F doesn't have a liquor license, so it's wine and beer only. They DO serve Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, and Margaritas, but they all substitute wine instead.

I REALLLLLY want to like this place because the food is good, the staff was nice and it's an independently owned local shop. But the restaurant itself is so weird that at times, it felt like we were on Candid Camera. I hope someone takes this place under their wing and gives the decor some continuity because right now it's all over the place.

Hope you're enjoying your Easter/ almost end of Passover/ Candy Day/ weekend.
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4.18.2011

Very Important Day (For Reasons Other Than Taxes).

THIS JUST IN: Cinnabon is giving away two free bites to every customer that goes into a mall-based Cinnabon TONIGHT BETWEEN 6-8PM.



It might not be worth it to drive out to the mall and deal with parking traffic, but if you're already going to be there, make sure to get your free sugar-coma on.

Or, if you're a parent, buy yourself a full size cinnabon and then make your kids fight over the two bites. That's what I would do.
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4.15.2011

Love Your Pet.

WARNING: There are very sad photos and videos coming up.

I usually don't post this many enties in one week. And I usually try not to post about subjects that make me sound like I'm getting on my soap box. But this topic is something that really fucking bothers me and it really deserves all the coverage it can get.

Do you know who Kisha Curtis is? She's a heartless bitch who starved her puppy to near-death. And then threw him down the garbage chute so he could die in the trash. Just in case you think I'm exagerrating, click here to get the full story.

What the fuck is wrong with people that they think it's okay to abuse animals? This isn't an isolated case either. The SAME shelter that's nursing Patrick the wonderpup back to life is also working on a dog named Marvel who was impaled on a pole and left to die. Maybe if this country had stricter laws about it, there wouldn't be so many cases of animal cruelty. Abuse of an animal is still abuse and $1000 fine is NOT a fitting punishment for it.

This video show images of what Patrick looked like on the day he was discovered. It's sad and hard to watch. But he's getting better and stronger everyday and the hope that he'll pull through a be a great pet makes me want to help him.



He's making huge progress through the help of the Associated Humane Society, Popcorn Park Zoo, and donations from across the nation. I made a donation and you can too by going here. It doesn't have to be huge. And I know it's easy to say "I'd love to, but I'm broke" (and then proceed to meet with friends for drinks tonight). When I thought about donating $25 for a puppy who's been tortured his whole life and still has the will to live- or splurging on two extra cocktails- it was a no brainer.

Here's a video showing his latest progress:



As you can see, he's just a sweet, happy pup who's eager to learn about the world all around him.

I feel so bad for what he's had to endure. And I hope he makes a full recovery and becomes a great pet for a loving family.

And I hope his previous owner rots in hell.
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4.13.2011

Remember That Wedding I Was In?

Last Saturday I was in a wedding. I've known the bride since junior high and I've known the other bridesmaid since second grade. It was a pretty big deal since we're all good friends and the bride was the last one in this little group to get married.

The day started off great with an appointment to get my hair and makeup done. This is the first time I've really splurged on something like this (I did my own makeup when I got married) so I was luh-luh-loving the pampered life. In my head, I had high hopes of walking out of the salon looking like the most beautiful cross between Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, and Helena Christensen. In reality, I walked out of the salon looking like Miss Singapore.

Allow me to clarify: I loved my hair and makeup. LOVED. Everything came out beautiful. I had just set my sights in the wrong direction. Next time, I need to think more along the lines of Lucy Liu and Margaret Cho. For some reason, I thought my stylist was also a magician and could turn me into a 100lb caucasian supermodel. Lesson learned.

By the time I got home from my Toddlers and Tiaras makeover, I only had a few minutes before it was time to leave for the hotel. I decided to get my strength up with a little power snack so I'd be ready for the big day.



The next couple of hours were spent throwing back mimosas, eating homemade Danish cookies leftover from the rehearsal dinner (I was the only one eating them. And by eating, I mean inhaling.), and making sure the bride had everything she needed. The other bridesmaid and I managed to snap a few pix in our spare time. Of ourselves, of course. That's What Friends Are For.



The ceremony was originally supposed to be held on the grounds of the beach hotel where they were staying, but shit ended up getting cold and windy, so plans got moved indoors.


It was a beautiful day. Based on this picture, you'd never even guess it was like Hurricane Katrina out there.


This bride was ready to get the show on the road. Seriously. She left us in the dust as we headed to the ceremony.


Made it through the wind tunnel and still looking good. Well played.

This is where I start to fail on the photo opps. I was busy with being a bridesmaid and posing in wedding party photos and generally trying not to look like an asshole. So I missed a lot of key shots. Like my outfit. This is the best shot of my dress and flowers.



The reception was buffet style. You know what that means. :::Jackpot in my stomach::: This is an awful photo, so you'll have to take my word for it: This shit was DEEEEELICIOUS. I served myself up some chicken in white wine sauce, green salad with a crazy looking bread roll, pesto pasta salad, haricot vert, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Also known as, everything at the buffet.



I made my speech and it went off without a hitch. Except for the fact that I fucking forgot it, like a moron, back in the bridal suite. I did my best at winging it and even got a few laughs which was a relief because I was desperate enough to pull out the old :::mic tap::: "Is this thing on...?"

The wedding had some special touches customized to this particular bride and groom. The cake toppper was a nurse pulling a fireman behind her. The garter song was Fire by The Ohio Players, which I was super excited about because I love me some disco. (You know the song. The one from the Hells Kitchen show with Gordon Ramsey.) (Don't pretend like you've never seen it.)

Boyfriend and I were seated a table full of close friends and we had a great time. I'm sure you'll be surprised to know I had two slices of cake because I realized (after I'd eaten it) that I had been served white cake with strawberry filling, when I really wanted the carrot cake with apricot cream cheese filling. Well since no one puts baby in the corner, I casually sauntered back up to the cake table and got seconds. What. Sue me.


So full, I can't even breathe.

That's my wedding wrap-up. A beautiful day for a beautiful couple. Congrats Mark and Kim.


PS: Mark's dad is Terry Bradshaw's twin. You can see him standing off to the right.
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4.12.2011

Sidework.

Lately, I've been doing some sidework for a friend. It's nothing major, yet it still gives me nervous diarrhea and makes me fear for my life every time I do it.

I'm taking photos of houses that are either a) about to be refinanced (1% of the time), or b) about to be yanked by the lender (99% of the time). I have to get four shots of each house: One head-on, one at a side angle, one of the address, and one of the street it's on.

Although I need the money and foam at the mouth every time I receive a new list of houses, it still scurrrs the shit out of me. Especially when the properties are in a less-than-desirable neighborhood.

So far, I've had the following encounters:

1. Neighbors across the street or next door are watching me like a hawk because they know I'm up to "no good", so I have to pretend like I'm lost and making a phone call.

2. The owners and/or children who live at the house are outside washing the car and I have to sit in my car across the street like a fucking creepazoid until they turn their back.

3. The next door neighbor gets in his car and follows me through the houses until I manage to lose him with Mario Andretti moves.

Now, I know I'M not the one in the wrong. I pay my bills and I don't let shit fall behind to the point where the bank is knocking on my front door. But I know these people are looking at me like I'm the bad guy. And when "these people" look like they could be featured in a collection of Homies dolls, you do NOT want to be the bad guy.


How would you feel and what would you do if you were in my situation? Would you go undercover brother style and try to make it look like you're not really doing what everyone knows you're doing?? Or would you stand your ground and not be ashamed to take pictures of these houses that you know are about to be foreclosed on?

Or- how would you feel if you were the person whose house was being photographed? Or if it was your neighbor's house?
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4.08.2011

Random Stuff.

There are a few things I wanted to cover in my next blog entry, but since none of them are related, I'm just going to throw them all together and acknowlege that there's no cohesive theme here.

1. The Saturday after my birthday was when I received my gift from Boyfriend. He booked a spa day for me (drooooool) with my favorite esthetician-slash-massage lady. It was exactly what I had been hoping and dreaming and wishing for. So much, in fact, that I had even been begging a former spouse of mine for my birthday last year, but he wouldn't get it for me. As you can imagine, I was pretty fucking excited about my spa day since I'd only been looking forward to it for the past 18 months.

I've been going to this particular spa woman for about ten years now and she never fails to deliver the goods. After every visit, I end up walking out feeling like a rubbery pile of relaxation. If you're in the Ventura County area and feel like treating yourself, give her a call. You won't be disappointed.

Denise Rincon Skin Care

Here a few shots of her studio:









2. This is officially my first blog birthday. I started this mofo the weekend after my 30th birthday when I realized a) I like to eat a lot, and b) I'm not doing shit with my life, maybe I'll start a blog. One year later and I'm on my 100th post. It's like magic the way that worked out. Also magic? I have 122 readers. Now, I know 122 readers in a 12-month time span is nothing to call Guinness over, but I'm still impressed with myself. I'm super grateful for each and every one of you who take the time out of your busy days to read this booshet. This blog has turned into a huge part of my life and I really feel like you guys read because you're genuinely interested. (And if you're not, that's fine with me too because I'm shameless like that.)

If you like my blog, feel free to tell all your friends about it. AND feel free to join my Facebook group (pleasepleaseplease) if you haven't already. I can't guarantee trumpets and fanfare, but I can promise updates on all of my posts, including ones on Sprocket Ink. And probably also random photos of shit I eat that don't make it to the blog.

3. I'm going to be in a wedding tomorrow. My good friend Kim who I've known since junior high is getting married and I'm one of the two bridesmaids. It's my job to fluff her dress and hold her flowers. I'm most likely going to give a speech. Fingers crossed this shit doesn't get ugly. And by ugly, I mean blackout drunk.

I'll keep you posted.
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4.05.2011

31 is the New Black. (Part 1)

Last Friday was my birthday!!! Yes, my birthday really is on April Fools! And yes, I really am the big old boring 31. Somehow it seems like 30 was more acceptable, like it was still grouped with the 20's, so I was cool with last year's birthday. But I feel like 31 is kind of grouped more with the 40's and I'm feeling old and like my obsession with Judge Judy is all making sense now.


Anyway.


Friday night we had a few friends over for my birthday party. It wasn't anything big because I'm not rich and everyone knows house parties always SEEM cheap, but end up costing $arm and $leg because you wouldn't be caught dead running out of food or drink so you always stock up enough to feed 20x the amount of people actually invited. Originally, I couldn't make up my mind about how I wanted to spend the evening: A nice dinner out with Boyfriend... Inviting a bunch of friends out to the pub... House party... I opted against the private dinner because we can really do that anytime. And I nixed the pub because all of my friends are married avec kids and they can't get sitters and don't have money to blow at the bars (that makes two of us) and act like recluses at the mere mention of going out in public. So all things considered, I was very happy to have a little get together at home.


Since I'm not a fancypants, everything at my party was on the cheap. I purchased Pillsbury Funfetti cupcake mix and frosting and made the cakes myself.



Party hats and plates: Dollar bin at Target.



My favorite decoration of all: The birthday banner that Boyfriend made on the down low.




The party menu consisted of chicken dino-bites, frozen CPK pizzas, chips, veggies and dip. Why? Because I like them.



The night was spent shooting the shit while drinking White Russians, PBR's, and shots of whiskey.











Once everyone was nice and too-liquored-up-to-be-embarrassed, we fired up the ol' Rock Band.











And don't forget the gifts and cake.



The rager lasted into the wee hours of 12:30am. (We're wild. I know.)

I really had SUCH a great time and I'm so grateful for all the cool people in my life- friends, family, bloggers, commenters, etc. I'm really not even joking. Looking back and knowing I was thiiiiiiiis close to canceling my party because I got in a funk Thursday night (thanks for slapping some sense into me, Boyfriend), I'm so glad I didn't.

Happy Birthday to me.

The birthday festivities continued all weekend long, so expect like two more entries about this booshet. For now, I'll leave you with a quick vid from me and Biscuit.

video
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