fj: (phkl)
Because it has been cold these last few weeks, when I got out of bed to have my hot morning oatmeal (oatmeal nuked in milk, then mixed with whey protein and low-calorie chocolate drink powder), I would not sit down at the computer in my thin robe, but immediately put on the American Apparel black cotton flared sweatpants and the black cashmere sweater -- the only one that survived the moth attack in LA. Of course, as every morning, I would get totally engrossed in work and Internet, so but for food breaks, I would at some point look up and go, shit, time for gym, slip on boots and a coat, go to the gym, change and work out, shower and brush and shave, and then put the sweatpants and sweater back on. Nobody needed to see me anyway so who cares what I wore.

Except I caught my reflection in the mirror and I looked totally hot and cuddly and soft in it, and it was super comfortable on my skin all day. Except for my feet. My feet get so cold, even in boots, if I don't move and have the heating low. Still, I wore this for a week or more, I forget.

Ok, you know what, if I am going to do this home working in sweat pants for real, I might as well commit. I finally have a style of my own for work. As soon as my bank account no longer gives me anxiety attacks I will get 5 more of those sweatpants in colors, and save up for discount cashmere sweaters. While doing some browser testing on eBay I already bought a pair of cashmere socks. Maybe those will keep my feet warm. It'll be my work uniform.

When I am not meeting with clients, of course.
fj: (phkl)
And I am absolutely thrilled. I ordered this Celle chair weeks ago, when it didn't seem that bad an idea at the time financially, and I had to wait because I didn't want it in the stock black on black. I had to take the back off upon receipt so I could get it up the narrow staircase -- and boy were those bolts tight, I had to use the drill -- but now it is behind my desk, and my desk is at the right height, and I am comfortable again behind the computer. Everything is supported and angled just right, which is so important when you compute over 8 hours a day. No sitting on the couch propping up elbows with pillows, no never being comfortable in the folding dining chair, no, a real office chair with tilting and everything. I can feel my shoulders let go of tension as I type.

It is an investment every tech worker must make.

Wish it was a little brighter, though. I will have to decorate it with some white covers.
fj: (phkl)
...but is getting even with her mother:

I don't think they will be patching up. Set your TiVos.
fj: (Default)
James The Insane Movie Director was getting his short screened in a major museum in London, on a 16 foot screen on an endless loop in the evening as part of a late exhibit. Of course I'd be there, so I tucked the skinny dark green low-rise check pants nto leather Wellington boots, put on my Captain America T-shirt I feel I can now wear again in London, and the Miyake black suit jacket, and was ready to go. I was not repeating last week's mistake of looking bland. In fact, I didn't like any of my overcoats with it so I grabbed a fleece gray trow off the sofa and wrapped it around me for a Yamamoto Meets Jean Valjean look. These people do not know me, they don't know I am a meek nerd most of the time.

Of course, when they said 'late' the museum meant 10 PM, so I got to see all of two minutes of the film but I did get to see how busy it had been, and James introduced me some, and I mingled, after which we went to a local pub, where we talked and mingled more. One person congratulated me on my new president-elect, which I had to correct, but then we talked anyway, another one was appalled at the Porp 8 passing in California of all places! and I had to explain that 'Liberal Everything-Goes California' is a Hollywood / TV export snowjob just like the idea that 95% of the US does not have awful weather most of the time. Which it does, and much of California is very conservative, it's just that neither meme makes it on Lost and Scrubs much.

And it was all great fun because I met new people and it was just a great Friday night. After which James and I needed food and his partner and friends wanted to go home and smoke, so the five of us said goodbye to the rest and piled into a taxi to Seven Dials, and James and I had late night cheap noodles and beef in a gleaming white plastic joint I'd never have gone into alone and talked about self-worth when your deals fall through, and needing love, and just picking yourself up out of holes when you stupidly made yourself believe you were Golden but you were not, and making rent, and just find meaning and fuck, nobody is hiring but the sites and the shows still need to be made so we must be able to get in at some level.

And I go "Dude, get this: we're having noodles at 11:30 in fucking London after a night of watching your movie be screened in the fucking Tate and everyone came by to see it. That's pretty special. Not everyone gets lives like this, you know." Then we went to his house and joined the others, where I got to hear from a Social Worker about bizarre cases, we discuss having sex with USers, and the actor waxes on working with a major movie star in the movie he is now shooting, does random local accents, tells me Belfast and South African are the hardest ones to do, trades camp accents with Jonathan, James' partner, from different backgrounds so accurately it sounds like I walked into my gay gym, and does the Hamlet speech in one single breath as a party trick. I came home at 4.

These people now think I wear big shawls out when it is cold. Hey, maybe I just will.
fj: (phkl)
My most watched item on

This photoset.

1013 views since it hit the front page of Apartment Therapy. The pic with the most views has 984 or so.
fj: (phkl)
You know, if George Lucas really had wanted to do a service to global cinema, he could have done something far more useful than using his digital toolbox on his own movies.

Joan Crawford in "The Story of Esther Costello" (1957), eyebrows digitally retouched

Because the above is not what she actually looked like in the movie... )

All I did was retouch the eyebrows. 10 minutes for two frames. And ok, I don't know good eyebrows so I turned her a little chola, but still, think about what a craftsman could do. Now, wouldn't this have bben better than Star Wars Ep IV - VI Special Editions?
fj: (Default)
Trying to find a light bulb I actually like, I hopped on the bus to go to a B&Q, a UK chain of large DIY stores. I got side-tracked by wallpaper. I do want to give a specific area of wall in the flat a specific color, but I can't really paint as a renter. So I experimented with wallpaper and adhesive tape.

Wallpaper is not my medium. Geezus it is tought to get that right, and I get to reposition. It'll work, though, if I tweak it. If I get it all done right I may submit this place to Apartment Therapy's Small Cool Contest next spring.

Also spent this afternoon in the park sleeping away having been up till 3 AM at a warehouse dance fetish party. The late October weather is lovely here this weekend, which is nice after a few weeks of chill that made me wonder if I had to turn the heating on.

Now off to Sunday roast at the pub, like I cap every Sunday.
fj: (phkl)
Utterly unrelated to thinking brunch would be an hour earlier than it was and the fact that my ex and biggest fan of my interiors was coming over, I found myself in the Oxford Circus area Saturday mornin at 9.30 shopping for some finishing furnishings. Hence the Tord Boontje Garland lampshade for the naked bulb in the hallway from my previous entry, and a real lampshade for upstairs, and a rug. It takes me three department stores to buy a simple chocolate floor rug, and it is not because I am looking for the most exclusive one, but because I am looking for the right one. Which in my case is usually the item that has the fewest detailing and the simplest shapes or colors, but without looking dowdy.

'Really simple and just nice' is actually a difficult combo to find, usually, but when you put that all together it works. My table and chairs are a set IKEA designed for outdoors and made in white plastic, but they were the smallest really simple and nice tables I could find. My teacups are round and stark white china. Yet when you put it all together I was happy with how the whole afternoon tea for 6 people ended up looking and being in the small flat. It was just nice. [ profile] zombietruckstop noticed at the actual brunch, at a place called Christopher's American Grill, hours before tea at my place was to happen, that I was wearing combat boots to brunch. Yeah well, it is the style these days, just look at any Uniqlo display, but also, getting the right rug is sheer combat. I won at John Lewis, by the way. The appartment is now looking pretty nice by day, but I still can't get the lighting right for night, which is mostly a problem of lightbulbs.

As far as brunch went, the company, setting, location, and food was lovely, but I couldn't escape the thought that Christopher's missed that little essential item about what sets American Breakfast and Brunch Food apart from all other cuisines: conspicuous abundance. It was totally delicous, lovingly presented, and perfectly portioned for the European upscale restaurant experience, but I felt like someone missed the point of what makes a specific cusine unique, you know. It would be like going to a Japanese restaurant and getting correctly-made sushi just haphazardly dumped on a bed of lettuce on an individual plate. You'd be all like wait, this is indeed sushi, but uh, you know, the Japanese are supposed to go for the whole esthetic thing?...

After brunch I ran off home with my purchases, cleaned, installed, and went to Tesco for the actual food to serve for tea. Tesco is basically the Walmart of the UK, but if you grab their 'Finest' store brand you really get good stuff. The strawberries were the best I have had in a while. I served them and other fruit with ramekins of Devon clotted cream (I thought the top layer had gone rancid when I opened the pot, but upon reading it turns out this "Golden Crust" is a feature. I am obviously lacking in my knowledge of creams, not something I ever expected of myself) and pre-made sandwiches cut down to quarters. It all ended up working well.

We walked through Kenington and Vauxhall because [ profile] pinkfish wanted to see how I ended up, and then I told them about how [ profile] mattycub and [ profile] zombietruckstop had told me at brunch about going to Eurobeat: The Musical About Eurovision and somehow, thanks to the insistence of an American with a aspirations of being a British Dizzy Queen, ten minutes and a credit card later Barry, Adam, [ profile] pinkfish, and I had tickets and had to be on our way for dinner to be in time for the show. After which we ended up in a tiny busy club in Soho dancing to 80s electro hits after having charmed our way in for free by telling the door Drag Queen about the theatre. It was kind of nice, all.

Now, after my Sunday roast at the corner pub, as I try to do every Sunday, I am looking back on a week on seeing many friends and making new local ones. Suddenly the anxiety that was building after 3 weeks of no interaction is gone, I may not need to resign myself to being a hermit. Now just the job thing.
fj: (Default)
Clothes from LA arrived -> more money spent at muji for closet organization drawers. Everything fits.

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fj: (Default)

This Year We Are Doing Yellow
"This Year We Are Doing Yellow", Nokia N73, Düsseldorf, 2008

fj: (Default)

Trust Me, These Shoes Cost More Than 300 Fucking Dollars
"Trust Me, These Shoes Cost More Than 300 Fucking Dollars", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (Default)

Beige Actually Is A Color
"Beige Actually Is A Color", Nokia N73, Düsseldorf, 2008


May. 8th, 2008 09:49 am
fj: (phkl)
“The people who complain about retouching are the first to say, ‘Get this thing off my arm.’ ” I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”

Retouchers, subjected to endless epistemological debates—are they simple conduits for social expectations of beauty, or shapers of such?—often resort to a don’t-shoot-the-messenger defense of their craft, familiar to repo guys and bail bondsmen. When I asked Dangin if the steroidal advantage that retouching gives to celebrities was unfair to ordinary people, he admitted that he was complicit in perpetuating unrealistic images of the human body, but said, “I’m just giving the supply to the demand.” (Fashion advertisements are not public-service announcements.)
Pascal Dangin, master digital retoucher, in "Pixel Perfect: Pascal Dangin’s virtual reality.", Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 2008-05-12

As found for me by [ profile] jpeace, who turns 28 today, and brings me the best gifts from the Internet every night.
fj: (Default)
Never tell a beauty editor you need a moisturizer unless you are ready to walk home with 5 under promise to rate them. Bonus scented candle.

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fj: (Default)

Daily Choice
"Daily Choice", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (health)
Inge called me yesterday afternoon to go shopping for a T-Shirt at Selfridges*, since she had a gift card. We never found one she liked, but we did have much time to catch up while walking through racks and racks of actual designer clothing. Then we had the tiniest bit of fashionable Dim Sum, and we each went home. Had a sucky evening; somewhere during yesterdays five meals I managed to get foodpoisoning. I actually dreamed of vomiting violently, and woke up relieved to find I hadn't. It is raining here and I feel sick, so I guess I am spending the day in bed sipping diluted OJ and processing on all kinds of levels, if only to contemplate the stak of tehnologies I am using to play music (Using VNC on my laptop in bed to control the browser on the laptop hooked up to my speakers).

*The store Neiman Marcus wants to be when it grows up.
fj: (Default)

Had The Neighbors Over
"Had The Neighbors Over", Nokia N73, London, 2008

fj: (Default)
In October, going back to LA after being in NL, I was wandering around the tax free shopping at Heathrow, killing some time between planes, until I glance at the information screen to see that my flight was not just boarding already, but now closing. I had lost track of time, I thought, and had to run as fast as I could, with a heavy carry-on, clear accross I do not know how many gates. It felt like miles, and I am not built for running and do not have that stamina. It was awful, and when I arrived it took 30 minutes for my heart to start not beating in my throat and my body not to feel as if it was about to fall apart. This, btw, was all before we boarded, it seems that at HWR 'now closing' means 'sit in the seats at the gate for another 30 minutes before first class is even allowed in'. But I did decide it was time for a watch again.

I stopped wearing watches. My wrists sweat a lot so they were always uncomfortable, and just another object I could lose, and cheap watches just looked cheap, especially on a belt loop where cheap plastic watches always ended up instead of on my wrist. But now I am super adult these days, I do not lose as much because I demand of myself I put stuff back in logical places, and I know what my style is. So Friday when Dean IMed me what my tax refund was, I did not go to NYC, but I did go shopping, and bought some upscale fashion watches. Two, different brands. No need to go bland and neutral if you have a diverse collection to match with what you are wearing today. I was very happy with both choices, and was accustoming myself to wearing watches again, thinking about having a fun collection to choose from every day. Today when I pulled the bag out of my locker at the gym after a work-out, the watch I had put on top of the bag sine it had been the last thing to come off, my new watch that was thick, square, with a chunky red glass face, fell out too. Face down. On the concrete floor.

I threw it away immediately so as to not have to look at what I broke anymore, and tried to remember my mantra of It's Just Stuff. I have spent a childhood being clumsy and breaking things and getting all kinds of parental shit for it to the point that all I could ever do was lie about whether I had broken something, and as an adult I have decided I would never make anyone feel bad, including myself, about breaking stuff. It's Just Stuff. But I have been kinda sad about it all day. I could have bought the same one today when I was out, but maybe I shouldn't have nice things like that because I only break them. I guess I will wear the other watch only on special occasions then.

Also, in making a snack to carry to the gym post-workout today, a process that involves mixing dried dates and protein powder into a dough, I got the proportions wrong which made the 'dough' so tough I looked up and saw smoke come out of the back of my food processor. That was disconcerting. I like this food processor. I never thought I'd make a food processor release smoke out of its ears like as in a cartoon.
fj: (talking)
Not so good day. I am missing LA bad since the Tuesday Night group I was slowly becoming part of did something really cute last weekend that I might have been invited to, and the coming weekend would have my favorite party and two bar nights where I would see my friends who were making it fun for me to go to bars with and even meet new people and carouse, after a decade or so of being bored trying that in other cities because I never had bar friends.

Instead, the not working after a week of working has ceased to be fun, I am tired of how London actually does nickel and dime you for everything when you pay the foreigner-tax. Examples of that are how I can't get a landline without a deposit, I can't get off my mobile PAYG plan for a regular monthly mobile plan that works for me because I am not passing the credit check, so calling 'free' sign-up and information numbers will keep getting billed at my standard mobile rate, I can't get a tax identification number until after April 8th so I will get taxed heavier but I can get refund at the end of the year if no-one screws anything up, which these burocracies cannot be trusted not to do: I have already, at my mobile rate, had to call back my electricity company after they left a concerned voice message that they couldn't get my account right and had to verify everything again. I even gave them the serial number of my meter the first time, yet they asked to verify it as if I hadn't. They had already sent me a Welcome To Your New Account letter.

I really like my flat, I really like my neighborhood, but getting lost today around Bond Station under gray skies to find an Uniqlo store to replace my sweaters because they had a sale on cashmere advertised in all newspapers, and then once I was in one finding out they mean goddamn "cotton cashmere" (89% cotton, 10% cashmere, 1% wool) made me, well, pissed off. This city can be such a rip-off. Meanwhile, my agent is trying to sell me on a 4-day-per week 3-month contract, commuting weekly to Germany. Airport security every week twice a week, living in hotel rooms or some business apartment mid-week, trying to sort out a gym and my food for four days a week without eating restaurant food that will leave me unhappy all the time, hanging out watching TV in the evenings from boredom, for 3 months... I am really not sure I left LA to go do that. The day rate is pretty darn good, though. Maybe I could write one of the three books I have in my head. Who am I kidding, it'll end up with me taking work to the room.

Oh yeah, the sweaters. So one lazy afternoon I am in The Loft (still not selling and the article in the LA Times about how DTLA "has failed" is so not helping), on the fashionable platform futon bed, languishing in the afternoon with the sun coming in, probably waking up after napping, and I am looking at my huge beautiful organized clothes closet of which I left the door open. And I see, wings delicately lit against the shadows, a moth flutter out. Out of my clothes closet. Out of the sweater drawer, to be exact. A moth. So much for cedar blocks. I went in denial, but when I unpacked my sweaters here the damage could not be denied, nor the uncanny accuracy of that damn insect to chew holes always in the belly-button area. One Comme des Garcons, one Montana, and two basic cashmere V-neck sweaters have been thrown out. I am chalking them up as a casualty to the move. But one needs sweaters here. So I bought two anyway, it was a sale.

So, one of the reasons I moved here was to be closer to my family. Well, all of them are converging this weekend. Let's find one of those super-cheap European flights I have been hearing all these years about so I can spend Sunday morning with ten nieces and nephews instead of sleeping in from kissing new hot men in the early hours of Sunday morning in LA. Where do I find these Ryanair Easyjet things anyway?

I need a hair cut.

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