I’ll write a real post….

After I make all ya’ll look at this gif. Thank you, Cheryl Cole (Or is it Tweedy? Is she still married to that lyin’ ass  footballer?), for your gif-able reactions. I swear I will use this gif appropriately someday in my Internet life (once I gather the courage to participate in an LJ community, formspring thingy, or something like that, of course). For now I post this for posterity. TYFYT.

FYI

Do yourself a favor and follow up on two of the quickest, smartest, funniest, most well-dressed people I know:

ANNIE POTTER & THE CAIRO OF SECRETS

From Orange to The Big Apple

And it’s not just because they are my friends. Or that they will resume their studies in two of the gnarliest cities in the world. Or that they’re going to take over the world in their own way or whatever. It’s because they actually are quick, smart, funny, and well-dressed all in one. That’s a combo hard to come by.

Trends: Pen Necklaces

Do any of my growing-up-in-the-90s friends remember this PBS show called Ghostwriter? It’s about a group of Brooklyn teens who solve mysteries with the help of a dot of light and two apostrophes, or Ghostwriter.

ghostwriter

That's Ghostwriter sneaking inside the "O" of his name.

Aptly named Ghostwriter because “he’s a ghost and he writes to us,” Ghostwriter communicates with the kids by forming words and sentences with letters and text he can find nearby. This show was my show. I wanted to move to Brooklyn, have a posse of best friends, and be a part of a secret mystery fighting society where initiation ended by anointing the new member with a pen necklace. The pen necklace was meant for convenience so that any time Ghostwriter began “talking” to them, the kids would be ready to respond.

I thought the pen necklace was the coolest thing ever. Like friendship bracelet, making your own lanyard keychain cool. Meaning, REALLY COOL. It overtook my love of bringing a black and white marbled notebook everywhere I went a la Harriet the Spy. I don’t know why it had that effect on me. But I guess even as a nine-year-old, there was something satisfying about whipping out a pen at a moment’s notice, and from a loop of string dangling around my neck no less! Come on, that’s smart right?

Fast forward some years later to Mad Men. Boom. Boom. Boom. That sound is Joan Holloway pounding through the office in her hottest outfit wearing a motherfucking gold pen necklace. Gold pen necklace. GOLD PEN NECKLACE.

Don't mess.

Don't mess.

I didn’t know pen necklaces dated back to the sixties. I didn’t know they could be so elegant. But they can and they are mean and people need to start wearing this along with caftans. Seriously, guys, the thought of stepping outside from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in this southern California valley heat makes me wince.

When I was in Monterey I hit up this fancy schmancy pen/stationary shop in the hope of finding a pen necklace but nothing. By the way, some of these pens are insane. Like, insanely out of my budget. A Cartier pen for $300. For real? I mean, I understand it’s all about craftmanship and it will last you forever ladeedah but $300? Dang. That is a world I will never understand but kind of want to experience. You know, for 15 minutes because I imagine cushy living like that is easy to get accustomed to and 15 minutes is enough to let the guilt start settling in.

But back to the topic at hand. I Googled “pen necklaces” and guess what guys and dolls, you can get your own vintage-inspired Joan Holloway gold pen necklace from 1928 Jewelry!

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

The one Christina Hendricks wears on the show was actually found at the famous Pasadena flea market at the Rose Bowl so I’m sure if you wanted the real thing you could hit up a flea market near you. But at $20 a pop and without the relentless thrift hunting, I’m willing to take inspired to the real thing. All my Joan Holloways, writers, practical but stylish folks, or anyone who wants to look fly as hell as you sign off your checks and balances, you all need to buckle on this pen necklace train and work it. I know I will.

Gold tone pen necklace for $20. Also comes in emerald and gold and ruby and gold hue tones for $28. Buy here!

From My Brother's iPOd to Your's

Anybody who knows me knows I’m always on the hunt for new music. It’s a past time that I share with my little high school freshman brother who’s got a penchant for booming bass, beatboxing solos, and songs about my girl leaving me and, damn, I’ve got an icebox where my heart used to be. A couple days ago, I introduced him to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” and he went bananas. “I love her beats,” Geoff said. Later that day he added that song to his MySpace profile and recorded it on his cell phone. (OFF TOPIC: Ever since the promos for Pineapple Express came out, “Paper Planes” has been everywhere. Power 106’s been blasting it plus various remixes including my personal favorite, the one with Bun-B and Rich Boy. Check it.). And don’t get me started on Matisyahu. We were listening to the Live at Stubb’s album in the car when number 7, “Beatbox,” comes on. Geoff’s ears perk up and he goes, “Who is this?” Matisyahu. “Oh.” We get home and he Googles away “matisyahu.” Needless to say he was very surprised but impressed upon discovering the man behind the mic.

Anyway, I just hijacked Geoff’s iPod to see what he listens to for a good wind me down or wind me up. Here are my favorites, some of which may bring back high school dance memories:

And, of course,

Enjoy.

Big Things Poppin'

So I’m back in L.A. Do you know what this means? Quality radio! And by quality, I mean better than D.C.’s radio options. I’m not one to hate but let’s be real. It’s L.A. However, Kane, I do miss you and your “War of the Roses” segment.

My hip hop radio stations here blast the hyphy which is just delicious and I think DJ Spinderella is still holding it down at 100.3 Awesome. I miss Steve Harvey preaching it to the choir in the mornings, though. Sniff. At least I can catch Morning Becomes Eclectic from now on so I can get my indie fix. Haha. Oh, and Love Songs on the KOST with Karen Sharp kills me every time. Love Songs on the KOST is equivalent to Delilah After Dark. Love dedications and all that mushy shit. I love when people request songs like “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

Recently, I discovered Roscoe Umali after hearing his song “Live It Up” on Power 106 (Where Hip Hop Lives!). I’m all about representing (He’s a Los Angeleno and Filipino so there you go) so here’s a YouTube link for your listening pleasure. His debut album is still in the works and features the likes of E-40, Talib Kweli, Murphy Lee, and Dead Prez. Production talent from Amil G and DJ Khalil. Not too shabby at all.

Remix with Pitbull and Sinful

Not Guilty Pleasures

I’d say that my friend Karen and I have a varied and rather good taste in music that, for not watching MTV or listening to the radio all that much, tends to be updated quite frequently . She’s one of the few people I know who can spar a decent game of “So have you heard this remix? Oh, really? What?! You’re crazy. YouTube that shit.” I just read that. How snobby. But, really, we’re not!

Regardless, we both acknowledge music sides of us that some would probably be embarrassed about. A couple days ago when Karen got drunk off 50 cent beers, she let it slip that she was bananas over Hall & Oates. She still is. How one can be embarrassed over liking Hall & Oates is beyond me but according to a fellow 50 cent beer boozer, well, Hall & Oates isn’t exactly a group you freely admit to listening to. Eff that. Hall & Oates totally owned that sexy “rock and soul” sound. For real. Turn on “Sara Smile.” You’ll see what I mean.

Check out this Brian McKnight cover of the same song.

If Hall & Oates isn’t your cup of tea, might I suggest my boy Lionel Richie? Oooo, boy.

Enjoy. And when someone questions your “questionable” taste in music, well, whatever, they don’t know what they’re missing. Especially when it concerns great adult contemporary ballads of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

"I Just Don't Know Why My Dad This to Me."

MTV will debut a new show in the fall called Exiled. It follows some of those girls you may remember from a little show called My Super Sweet 16. I know. Another show with those idiots? Hear me out. Fed up with their children’s behavior (Uh, ya think?!), the parents of these teenage terrors bitch slap their daughters with a dose of “reality” by transplanting them from their luxurious life in all-American Suburbanville to Remote Area, Third World Country. All I gotta say is, Thank You MTV!

In closing, thoughts on My Super Sweet 16 from British comedy writer/journalist Charlie Brooker. Love him. 

Check Out Onra

Onra is a Paris-based hip hop producer. His backstory schtick: He traveled to his Mother Country of Vietnam, collected and brought back old Vietnamese pop records, and then used them as samples over catchy hip-hop beats. The result is Chinoiseries, an album of short instrumental hip-hop songs. The best part about Chinoiseries is that you can hear the crackling vinyl. I love that!

I recently found out about Onra through surfing the wonderful world of “Random Active Muxtapes.” Thank you Muxtape user, samuraispy. I have no clue who you are but you’re on my favorites. Holler.

Back to Onra. I’ll be honest, I’ve only downloaded three tracks from the album but I’ve heard samples of all the songs on the album and intend on downloading the rest. “The Anthem” is my favorite. I must have listened to that damn song a good seven times in ten minutes (Totally possible – it’s not even two minutes long!) today. He’s got two other albums out with Quetzal and Byron. Listen to sample songs on Onra’s Myspace. They’re quite good. Definitely worth giving a try if you’re looking for something different from the T-Pains and Flo-Ridas. Although, I have a guilty spot for that bunch too.

Viva el taco!

I want to inform you all of a new law in L.A. that prohibits taco trucks from staying in one place for a long time. The consequences of breaking this law are serious – hefty fines and possibly a year in jail. I know. Let’s not talk about it. There’s a whole campaign now to put a stop this law.

All I have to say is L.A. isn’t L.A. without its taco trucks. My mom used to work in downtown L.A., off Rampart, one of the really taco truck concentrated areas. As a kid, I remember the drive to my mom’s office every day after my dad picked me up from school. After exiting the freeway and entering the more busy and residential areas leading up to my mom’s office, I would see taco trucks parked in grocery store parking lots, at the sides of restaurants, in little alleyways, basically any place you could fit the familiar truck with its blue windows and quilted silver plating. The crowds outside the trucks were insane but all I care to recall is the smell of carne asada every time my window was open. The whole moment was Pavlonian; I kid you not, my mouth would start to water and my  stomach would immediately growl – GROWL – after the taco scent wafted into my nose. Crazy, right? What can I say, I’m crazy over tacos. 

After I read about the taco truck law, I Googled “taco trucks” and came upon this amazing blog called The Great Taco Hunt. Holy shit, guys, I nearly shat my pants. Just look at the photos!

Oh, so heavenly. 

This one is not from a taco truck but it’s a taco from a restaurant called El Taurino, one of the restaurants, in addition to taco trucks, I used to pass by on the way to pick up Mom from work! I got so excited when I found it on the blog I just had to post it!

Feeling so nostalgic now! Sniff, sniff. 

I got so riled up with this taco nonsense that I went on Yelp to see if I could find a decent taqueria in D.C. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find one as I’m obviously biased but the people on Yelp are usually good. Supposedly there’s a place off 14th street so I guess I’ll have to trek there sometime soon. BUT I also found a post from a year ago that mentioned “Those Taco Truck Thingies”…in D.C.!!!!!!!

You guys, this could be it! Will my taco prayers be answered? Will I finally find that amazing taco I have been craving since I arrived a little over four years ago? I’ll keep you updated. 

In other food news, if you are in D.C., head on over to Ooohs and Ahhhs off U Street, on the way to the 9:30 Club. The food is yummy if not a tad bit pricey, but the portions are huge and the staff is way helpful and nice. Also, inside the restaurant they played a bootleg version of Ironman with Japanese subtitles. Awesome.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

Today I’m biting off Mindy Ephron, AKA Mindy Kaling, and her blog by sharing a thing I’ve bought that I love.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer (or the regular tinted moisturizer if your skin responds well to oil)

product_183_laura_mercier_of_tinted_moisturizer.jpg

I’m not a make up fiend or anything. Definitely not one of those girls who swears by Nars Orgasm blush or MAC lipgloss. I’ve never tried either of those but I’ve heard they’re great. I am, however, one of those girls who wants to look like she has flawless naturally glowing skin. Yeah, I know. I sound vain and completely superficial, but at least I’m not one of those passive gloaters who bangs the weights down so everyone can see how much they just pressed. Losers. Seriously, who does that?

I think the obsession with good skin started when I saw Hilary Duff in Cadet Kelly. I could not help but marvel over her peaches and cream complexion. Seriously, her skin looked so good. Since then, I’ve been trying to achieve that naturally flushed pretty look. Of course in order to look like you have good skin you have to HAVE good skin. This is where having face washing, toning, moisturizing rituals come in handy. But what about the uneven skin tone? The redness? The surprise breakouts? The obvious capillaries? This, my friends, is where Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer comes in.

If you’re like me and can’t be bothered with applying heavy foundation to your face every day, tinted moisturizer is your best friend. It’s light, sheer, and provides just enough coverage to smooth out spots, wrinkles, and redness. I’m recommending Laura Mercier specifically because her tinted moisturizer line covers all skin types and tones, blends into the skin like fucking white on rice, and contains SPF 20 (My favorite — ladies, do you want to end up with sun spots and immature wrinkles? Hells no. SPF is smelly but you will love your young looking, wonderfully healthy skin when you are 60).

I have yet to find a tinted moisturizer on par with Laura Mercier. You don’t even have to cover your whole face. Just dab it on the spots that need a touch up. It’s like erasing all your redness and blemishes. When my friend, Mel, saw the counter lady touching up my cheeks she was like, “Whoaaaaaa. It’s like she Photoshopped your face!” Direct quote. No lie. After Mel said that I was bought. I looked in the mirror and she was right. How much does this shit cost? Forty-two fucking dollars for that tube? Oh, but it lasts me more than a year? And I’ll only need a little bit at a time? Damn. That’s hot. I’ll take it!

I’ve been using this brand for a little over a year now and could not be any more satisfied. It hydrates so well and my skin has actually improved if you can believe it. Although, this could also be attributed to the fact that I drink more water now but you know what I mean.

Price: $42. Available online at lauramercier.com, or at Sephora and select department stores