All posts by la_cybele

The Manly Homemaker

Every relationship has to learn how to compromise and find the middle ground for decisions. I got the house style I always wanted. My husband got to install the kitchen of his dreams. And this kitchen remodel (well, more like first floor remodel, but that’s another story) has caused me to reflect on current design for the home.

What I found is that men are more involved in these things than I had previously realized. Browsing through the flooring stores, the home improvement warehouse and the appliance stores I saw couples. I saw men expressing deep interest in faucets and carpets and light fixtures. I realized that manufacturers realize this. They must have realized it a few years ago and I’m just catching up.

There’s a general masculinizing of houses and product design going on. Take for example this new vacuum cleaner: The Dyson DC07. How can a man not look at that and want one. It’s the manliest vacuum I’ve ever seen. It’s got Root8Cyclone(TM) technology! Go there and watch that flash animation about how the suction works and tell me you’re not excited about it! I’m not kidding, did you watch it? It boasts that it’s the only vacuum with a quick draw hose! It’s like a lawnmower for the living room rug.
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Want a little stroll down memory lane at the office supply store? I stumbled on this display (pretty much literally) on my way to work one day. There, in the middle of a parking lot are two dozen street lights. No two the same. I found them at the corner of Vermont and Santa Monica, known as the Vermonica shopping plaza. (Catty corner from the subway station and down the street from LACC.)

You’ll find a Staples, Rite Aid, a donut shop and various restaurants and shops. And there in the center median of the lot is this odd assemblage. To be honest, I found it rather unattractive at first because they’re such a jumble – if each were set apart or on a street with others of the same type I think they’d shine a bit better. But here they go from ornate to positively pedestrian with little to cleanse the pallette in between.

It Tastes Like Pretty

Who knew that a simple ice cream parlor would miss me if I stopped going there? About two or three years ago I developed a passion for Mashti Malone’s ice cream. What’s so special about it? Sure, green tea ice cream can be had anywhere, but Mashti’s has such beautifully flavored selections: Ginger Rosewater, Orange Blossom with Pistachios and Rosewater & Saffron. For those watching their weight they have some spectacular sorbets including Rosewater or Pomegranate. Of course they have other flavors, including a kick-ass almond praline and chocolate fudge. Everything is made fresh by Mashti and his cohorts, including his younger brother, Medhi.

Well, Will and Susan and I happened by (well, were driven by my strong desire) on Thursday night (before the Red Lion) and no sooner had we been dished our selections did Mashti tell me that he missed me, he had car payments and I needed to come back. He even promised me my super secret special recipe ice cream if I came back, a special flavor he made for a restaurant on La Cienega (he didn’t say which) that was Saffron and Cardamom with Pistachios, pure scoopable heaven to me.

Mashti also imparted the great news, that you don’t have to travel to La Brea (between Hollywood & Sunset) much longer. They’re expanding and will have parlors on the westside, the valley and Glendale (on Brand Blvd. near the Jamba Juice). And for those further away, they ship through their online store.

Tonight’s Playlist

Red Lion again tonight. Here’s what Rob graced us with in his first set:

robredlion.jpgDark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)
Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)
Lullaby (The Beatles)
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John)
Penny Lane (The Beatles)
Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)
Fame (David Bowie)
Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)

Are You Prepared?

Has anyone else noticed these billboards yet? They’re put up by the Los Angeles Department of Health and direct you to their site which then sends you to a site identified as – the Los Angeles Bioterrorism Unit.

Yes, we have our own bioterror unit. Read the FAQ and you find out what the LABT is doing to prepare for bioterror and what you can do.

And what can you do? Prepare as if there were going to be an earthquake. Yes, in addition to having plenty of clean water on hand, make sure you anchor all paintings and pictures on the walls and bolt your house to its foundation, this will keep you from getting some dreaded disease. It goes on to warn you not to lay in stocks of antibiotics and those gas masks will do you no good against viruses like smallpox Ö I don’t feel better. Great job health department.

Tasty Tasting

slwine.jpg I am not much of a wine aficionado, and when I do pick some up, I’m more likely to go someplace like Topline Wine & Spirits in Glendale because anything you buy in a warehouse has gotta be great (and the Lord de Pastry next door does the best coconut cookies).

The Man and I played yuppies this afternoon and went to a wine tasting at Silverlake Wine. Today’s feature was Pinot Noir. They poured four wines with hors d’oeuvres by Dan Matern, Chef d’Cuisine at A.O.C. which were minimalist and absolutely dreamy. The tasting was hosted by one of the co-owners, Randy. His style was more of a “hip-hop/taste the flava” sort of thing than the formalized tastings that I’ve endured on trips to Napa. Their attitude is a wine is good if you like it. My favorite was the Sokol Blosser 2000 Pinot Noir. The general ambiance of the store is all stripped down hard surface and practicality, but the personalities are warm and friendly.

I’m curious to check out their Blue Mondays where they serve wine by the glass and cheeses from the Cheese Store of Silverlake from 4 to closing.

A Brief Respite from Los Angeles Reality

The Red Lion Tavern & Biergarten is a trip. To say the least.

On Thursday night I sat with a few friends, my husband and fellow bloggers Will and Jay in the lower bar (there are three) and enjoyed the musical stylings of Rob, the pianoman. Well, enjoyed is an odd word choice, perhaps heard is better.

First, The Red Lion is a German-style beer gardens (complete with an actual patio with lattice and plants) that serves a selection of European beers in classic style. Not overly Teutonic, just a hangout in the neighborhood. The food is average, though the menu is extensive. I had the potato pancakes (and later fries) but several in our party tried the schnitzels. Jay partook of some strange concoction he picked up a propensity for in Germany – a mixture of beer and Sprite (a Radler?). I guess it’s like a wine cooler only with beer. I stuck to my standard gin and tonic, which is hard to mess up.
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The New Quarters Are Here!


Governor S. unveiled the new California state quarter today in Sacramento.

I remember voting for this on the site last year. You can see the finalists here.

It’s okay. I mean, it’s nice they put John Muir and Yosemite and a condor on it and all. But I like a simplicity to my quarters. I like Connecticut’s and Mississippi’s, they’ve got it down to one image. I look at other quarters like Louisiana and it’s just a mess of clip art of something, so it could have been worse. I guess I should just be grateful it won’t have the Hollywood sign on it.

My Car Makes Me Nice

cybeleprius.jpgI have a Prius. It’s a nice car, but it has an agenda. It’s trying to turn me into a nice person. Really.

The car has this onboard computer and screen that compels me to drive curteously. Sure, cut in front of me, no biggie, my breaking just regenerated 12KwH. I’ll just smile and thank you.

Sit at a stop light Ö no biggie. The Prius’ engine will cycle off, so I’m not burning any fuel. Really.
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Mmmmmargaritas (eventually)

When I grow up to be a big juicy lime, I wanna be a margarita. No, wait, I wanna be a gimlet. Oooh, ooh, can I be a gin and tonic, sapphire, please, pretty please?

When we first moved to our house, I was disappointed that we had only a lime tree. I mean, if you’re gonna have some citrus in your back yard (which is one of the best things about living in SoCal), I thought I would have preferred an orange tree or maybe one of those meyer lemon trees.

But now that I’ve started drinking, I’m quite happy with my little lime bush. She bears fruit practically year round, with the biggest crop starting around late May. So, there you have it. Come by on Memorial Day and I’ll make you a fresh squeezed gin and tonic that’ll knock your socks off.

Weekend Pilgrimage – Amoeba Music

About once a month my husband (hereafter referred to as The Man) and I like to make a trip to Amoeba Music. I have only recently started building a music collection. I don’t know why it took me so long, I think I was suspicious of the CD format for a long time. I had vinyl as a kid and tapes as a teen and I didn’t really want to buy everything again. But I got over it, mostly because I have my own office now and can have music on any time I like. I’ve become a verified junkie.

As much as I like Amoeba, I always feel like an outsider. I’m not too skinny, I don’t wear makeup, I have no tattoos and my piercings are limited to my earlobes. There’s a kind of peer pressure, you wanna carry around cool music. Folks look at the long plastic cases (which I carry on my arm like a series of sharp purses) and size you up. I’ve taken a targeted approach to my visits. Sometimes I have lists of groups I want to look for, sometimes I’m just in a browse mood. But I think the key to a successful visit is to be hungry for some music. Be in the mood, be open and wear comfy shoes.
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