Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Snoop Dogg's Orange Juice

I just can't get over the fact that Snoop Dogg brought a glass of orange juice on stage with him when he presented a VMA a few weeks ago. Granted, it was probably more screwdriver that orange juice, but the sight of him prooved a long standing point of mine: Snoop has a very strange amount of power. It started a few years ago when he began popping up in cell phone commercials. "A gangster rapper in a cell phone commercial," I noted. "He's either sold out or he has something he can hang over the heads of all the right people." Now it's clear. Any bean pole who can sip a glass of citral pulp in front of all the celebrity A-listers without anyone pointing out the elephant in the room (that Snoop is in fact, very dorky looking) has some crazy power going on.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why I Heart Studio 60

How much do I love Studio 60? About as much as I love avocados. If that metaphor doesn't clarify things for you, consider this: I used a whole avocado between the two sandwiches I ate today.

Amanda Peet makes me want to become a lesbian. Her character is a combination of a surprise party that actually surprises the guest of honor, and the naked hit-woman she played in "The Whole Nine Yards."

Speaking of "The Whole Nine Yards," Matthew Perry succeeds in not playing a re-vamped Chandler. Sure, he's still the comic relief on the show, but he's harder. He announces that he's hopped up on pain killers through out the show (a nod to his own former addiction, perhaps?) and he doesn't hit his jokes as hard as he did as Chandler. He even managed to tell himself to stop talking at one point (a classic Chandler move) and only make me think of Chandler a little bit.

Sarah Paulson= a long awaited break in stereotype. She plays a comedic actress who prays before each show. She makes a cameo on The 700 Club and backs up a skit called "Crazy Christians" all in the same episode.

The only worry I have for the show is this: can they live up to the precedent they have set for themselves? Within the first ten minutes of the show they beat their industry to a bloody pulp. Bam. They smack the Studio 60 logo on the screen. It’s the final, knock-out punch for the fight and thesis statement for the show. Granted, their ratings probably skyrocketed through the roof during those ten minutes, and even the entertainment industry is willing to take a few seemingly genuine jabs at themselves if it will make them popular (as Amanda Peet showed us through out the rest of the show) but how long can they keep up the act?

For a long time, I hope. I hope they take risks, and if they take it farther than their network wants them too, I hope they go out with a knock-out punch.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grand Central Station

I'm in the deadline version of Grand Central Stations right now. Projects are arriving on little railways and must be ready to take off on their departure time or I'll have a train full of angry employers. My reputation is on the line. In other words, no time for fancy talk. Stay tuned for an article on Snoop Dog coming your way this weekend.

Disclaimer: Showing the flag backwards in this photo is not intended to be disrespectful. It was simply the best angle for taking this picture.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dog Watching

My Grandmother is an avid people watcher. In fact, I think the real reason that she gets to the airport three hours before her plane takes off is not because she’s afraid there will be a line at security, but because she wants to make sure she has plenty of people watching time before she has to board the plane. But I say forget people watching. I am into dog watching.

If you are anything like me, or most other people I know, the site of a slobbering tail wager makes you smile. Forget the basic pleasantries polite people make with each other as they pass one another on the road (smiles, nods, mumbled hellos, etc.). Call me rude, but there are actually times when I don’t even look at the person walking their best friend. Instead I say hi to the dog. He might stop to collect a pat or take a sniff, or he might not. Either way, the point is this: when I am out in public, I enjoy dog watching, not people watching.

The good news is this: I have found my version of the waiting area at the airport. I have found the best place in Northern California to dog watch.

My friend Marissa and I spent last Saturday wine tasting in the Healdsburg town square, and we had lunch at the The Healdsburg Bar and Grill. Out of sheer luck, the hostess sat us at the best table in the house. We were sat in the corner of their outside area; it felt like we ate our lunch at a picnic table in the square. While we ate, we had the pleasure of watching the most beautiful dogs walk by. I saw my first puggle, an adorable combination of a pug and a beagle. We also saw two champagne colored standard poodles with moustache hair cuts. They were very sophisticated and fit right in with their cultured, upper class surroundings. We saw a very friendly looking well groomed mutt, and a dog, whose breed I couldn’t place, who had a spot that spread over his left eye and left ear. My favorite, however, was a Weimaraner with a coat that was a delicious shade of tan and grey.

I think the reason that this particular spot was such a dog watching find had to do with the culture and economics of the area. Healdsburg is a rather well off area, and Wine Country has a certain air of unique-ness about it. Wine Country culture is a unique, granted. Where else in the world can you go to a wedding that has waiters walking around offering two types of wines before the ceremony even starts? But in my experience, people in Wine Country are aware of their uniqueness. Other cultures take pride in their culture as well, just try calling a Welsh person English if you don't believe me, and I'm not saying it's a bad quality. But when people become aware of a quality in their culture that they are proud of, they can exaggerate it. Perhaps the reason the best spot for dog watching in Northern California is a corner of Wine Country because the people in the area are aware of their unique culture and are flaunting their uniqueness with their choice in dog breeds.

Friday, September 01, 2006

When would you go?

The Summer of 1816

Bryan Adams may sentimentally croon about the first real six string he bought in the summer of ’69 and Jay Gatsby can spend all the time he wants reaching desperately towards a green light on the other side of the shore, but if I could go back in time, I would visit Geneva, Switzerland in 1816. Granted, 1969 would probably come in a close second if I could visit Height-Ashbury, but 1816 still gets the number one slot, hands down.

The weather in Switzerland in the summer of 1816 was very weird. At first everyone was enjoying nice sunny summer weather, but then a volcano in Indonesia erupted and they were suddenly subject to stormy, depressing, eerie, and England-in-the-winter-esque storms. The change in weather was only appropriate, considering the gothic events that were about to transpire.

Mary Shelley, her stepsister Claire Clairmont, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Byron’s physician John Polidori were staying in the Geneva District, an area that many people considered to be a sacred area of enlightenment. On the evening of the 16th the weather proved too awful to safely travel home, so the crew stayed at the Villa Diodoti, the home Byron had rented for the summer. They spent the evening reading German ghost stories aloud, and at the end of the evening Byron challenged everyone in the room to a scary story writing contest. The next evening they gathered again. Percy Shelley shared a story that no one seemed to care enough about to remember and Byron wrote a short bit that he never expanded on, but Polidori wrote the beginnings of The Vampyre, the first modern day vampire story. Mary Shelley did not write anything just then. Several emotions were stewing inside her, feelings of guilt were haunting her and she was depressed about her inability to have a baby, but she could not articulate those feelings into a story just then.

The next night, Lord Byron gave a reading of Coleridge’s haunting poem, Christobel. Percy Shelley became so frightened that he began seeing the villaness’s face transposed on his wife’s face, and he ran screaming from the room. I think this event alone deserves time travel, by the way. I’d love to sniff around and see if there were any other reasons, other than sheer terror, that made Shelley hallucinate so dramatically.
Finally, a week or so later, Shelley had a dream in which a student had created a creature. She wrote in her diary, “I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life…” The next morning she woke up and wrote the first few lines of Frankenstein.

I am a huge fan of Gothic Literature and Romantic Literature, and the events that transpired during that week and a half period in the summer of 1816 had an influence on both of these literary genres. I also love the dynamic of this group of legendary writers. I think the best way to observe these events would to be from a sort of Romantic/Gothic writer Band Aid: a lucky girl who was somehow invited to hang out with her stars for the summer.


Letter From The Editor/Writer/Photographer/Coffee Gopher/Founder

Hello to all, and welcome to JaimeLand. Grab a cup of coffee, and let's have a chat. Do you want to talk about photography or fashion? How about Harry Potter or Graphic Novels? Wine, Jane Magazine, Indie Rock, or your grand purpose in life? How about the purpose of marriage and weddings, and whether or not soulmates exist? Do you need help planning a trip to San Francisco or the U.K.? I'm all over it. Or tell me a story about your family heritage. I'd love to know how your great grandparents met, because you'll definietly be hearing about my family stories. This blog is all about these kind of subjects and more. It's a place for me to express random opinions (like how Christina Aguilera is going to be the next Madonna, forget Britney), share little tokens of love (have you tried the special iced coffee at Northlight?), tell stories (want to know what poem makes Percy Shelley run from the room, screaming in terror?), and post pictures that I don't feel belong on my other site Photos By Jaime. This blog is all about me. And you. So, welcome all to JaimeLand. Enjoy your stay.