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Friends Forever!!!

First things first, I wanted to explain that I am not moving to Canada anytime soon!  Friends have been asking me lately, “When are you moving out of Los Angeles?”.  Well, my dearest friends, not until my immigration paperwork gets processed!  Jeff + I haven’t even turned it in yet, as it is not complete.  Once it is turned in, it could still take 6-7 months to process.  Booo!!!  Legally, I could live in Canada right now.  But since I can’t legally work there, I need to stay in Los Angeles + Jeff needs to work in Canada.  This little lady is not playing the housewife eating bon bons + watching daytime soaps (even though I secretly wish I could)!!!  Jeff says I gotta work till I pop one out!



I’ve meant to write up this post for a long time.  A couple of weeks ago, my mom’s best friends from high school, Ayako-san, Taeko-san, Tomiko-san + their respective husbands came to Los Angeles for a visit.  We had an “American” dinner (i.e. lots of beef + large portions) at my parents house + lots of beeru (beer)!!!  My mother + her friends sang their alma mater for after dinner entertainment.  It is tradition to sing this when they get together, as Tomiko-san is a music teacher.  Hang on + keep watching!  Towards the end of the video, the husbands feel a sense of exuberance + everyone starts clapping + joining in!

I’m so lucky to have had the chance to see my mother with her childhood friends, singing + telling stories!  They all attended the Saitama Kenritsu Kawagoe Joshi Koto Gakko.  What?  You don’t know what that means?  I’ll tell you.  It means: Saitama State, Kawagoe Womens’ High School. 



It is a pretty well respected womens’ high school.  Getting into a good high school is VERY important in Japan.  It’s our equivalent of getting into a good university.  In Japan, the emphasis + importance is placed on what high school you went to. By the time they get to university, they’re studied out.

My mother grew up in Saitma, where my family in Japan still live.  I can’t wait to see them again + introduce them to Jeff.  They will really think he is a white giant!!!

How amazingly special is this picture!!!???  From the left: Ayako-san, Taeko-san, Tomiko-san + my mum.  It’s so funny because my mom was rather frumpy in her youth + in her adult years she turned into a straight up DIVA. 

Aren’t they sweet in their gym outfits?  They told me that my mom was a dynamo at the hurdles.  She would run + jump over the hurdles like a gazelle on caffeine.  All would watch with jaws dropped at her skillz.  This definitely did not get passed down to me. I can barely walk.







Ridiculous.  It’s like something from a Life publication.







I can’t stand it.  So cute.  There’s my mom in back chowing down on ramen like a champion.  Taeko-san on the left is a make-up consultant, + you can see it in her effortless style!  It was hard finding pictures of all four of them together, because usually one would be taking the picture. But they were always with each other.  BFFs!!!  2 Good 2 B 4gotten!!!!!

Ayako-san is a tea ceremony teacher.  Here, she is teaching me to whisk the matcha (very finely milled green tea) with a bamboo whisk.  She is politely watching my poor wrist action.  The goal is to whisk vigorously to create a froth + achieve a, “lake” appearance in your tea cup.  It’s harder than you’d think, y’all!!!  I was trying to whisk REAL hard without spilling tea everywhere!!!!  I think I actually burned a couple calories.


Ayako-san looking in my cup in astonishment.  No “lake” after all my vanquished efforts.  She is a master!  She whisked up a “lake” with zen-like movements of her wrist + nary a twitch from the rest of her body.  Like watching a hula dancer who’s hips are shaking, but the upper body remains completely still.



What a fun night!  A couple days later, my mom asked me if I wanted a cup of matcha.  I said, “Oooh, yes! Let’s!”.  Look at what she did!  She busted out the hand blender!!!!  No bamboo whisk!  Oh my Lord!!!  She’s been in America too long.  Good work, mom.  You’ll make your friends really proud.  She is unbelievable.  My mother never ceases to surprise me.




Okay, I have to say something!! Remember the kokeshi dolls I acquired from yesterday’s post?  Remember I said that Megumi was very curious about them in a creepy way?!  Well, yesterday, I had them all facing in a nice, obsessive-compulsive straight row.  This morning, when I went to admire them, THEY HAVE MOVED.  I’m not even kidding you guys + I’m not going crazy!!!!  I did NOT touch them, I swear!!!!  Neither did Megumi!!!  There’s no way she could have jumped up + pushed them around, because they didn’t move in alignment, but it’s like they twisted!!!  The middle one is twisting towards the smaller one + the smaller one has slightly twisted also!!!!  Satan, get behind me!!!  I’m keeping my eyes on these dolls…

Today, my parents came over with my dad’s truck to take a huge load of boxes to their house. 



My parents are freakishly strong + energetic.  I’m a very lucky daughter!!!  Bye for now!!!  Thanks for reading, everyone!!!!

Little Tokyo Love

This video caused me to go temporarily insane.

That video, my friends is one of the many reasons to love life.  Oooooh, I want to cuddle that intelligent Beluga!!!  If you’ve already seen it before, too bad!  I always forward links or videos to friends, thinking I’m really cutting edge, + they’re always like, “Seriously Shelli, I’ve seen that a million times.” or “What, do you live under a rock?”.  I’ve been compared to a coma patient that has just woken up.  It’s true.  I should get out more, but I don’t.  And I don’t plan to!

I love living in Little Tokyo!  Why would I go anywhere else?  Everything I want is within walking distance.  Uuuuuugh, I’m going to miss living here.  I walked to my optometrist this morning, Dr. Kurata.  Do you like my new frames? 

I had a hard time taking a picture with my IPhone.  Or maybe I’m trying to emulate a pirate minus the eye patch.  My frames are by Ic! Berlin.  German, but of course.  Remember: Japanese or German products only need apply.




Everything I need is in Little Tokyo!  My hair stylist + friend Kayo cut Jeff’s hair before he left for Canada.  Kayo is a scientist of hair – a real genius!  Most of my friends + family go to see her.  She usually cuts + colors at Umberto Salon in Beverly Hills, but works in Little Tokyo 2 days a week because she loves styling hair so much.  I’m not going to forward a link, because she’s already so booked by word of mouth, that it’s difficult to get an appointment with her! Recognize!!!





Shin-Sen-Gumi just opened up down the street!  I used to drive all the way down to Gardena to eat at the location there.  This ramen shop is great because you can choose your toppings, how firm you want you noodles to be cooked, how oily your broth, etc.  It’s the ultimate in ramen customization!!!! Plus, they serve Spam!!!!!!!!  The protein of Asia.  What’s not to love?



The waiters enthusiastically SCREAM in Japanese: “WELCOME!!!”, “2 AT TABLE 5!!!”. “TABLE 3 IS CLEARED!!!”, “THANKYOUVERYMUCH!!!!!!!”.  It’s a little jarring + hard to hold a conversation with all the yelling, but at least they’re consistent.  I still relish in their militancy very much.  It flows through my blood…







Today as I was getting my mail, my condo manager Shin-san motioned me into the common room.  He said, “Look at all these things, take whatever you want!  If people don’t take these things, I’m just going to throw them in the trash!”.  Shin-san is not much of an environmentalist.  There were various, not so memorable tchotchkes that were up for grabs.  My condo complex houses many elderly Japanese, + lately they have been unfortunately moving to nursing homes or passing away.

But, look at what I found!  Beautiful Kokeshi dolls!  The one on the left does not appear very old, but the two on the right I have to do more research on.  They look old, yo!!!

Look at the intricacy of the painting!  One of them has “Hakone Onsen” hand written on the botttom in calligraphy.  Onsen is Japanese for “hot springs”.  I’ll have to bring these to the “Antiques Roadshow” (aka Jeff’s favorite show), y’all!!!!

They’re so simple + beautiful.  Aaaaaah, Japanese aesthetic, how I love you so……







For some reason, Megumi was very intrigued by these dolls.  Which kind of creeeeeped me out a little….

Yet another reason to miss Little Tokyo.  The MOCA Geffen Contemporary is one block west of my condo.  I have a membership + can just stroll on down there whenever I want.





Right now they are exhibiting: “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981”.  Go see it, because it’s very in depth + really expresses the raw art, photography + music scene that was happening in California during that time period. People were very jaded + angry back then, y’all! Again, this is in collaboration with fabulous Pacific Standard Time .    Check out my past blog, “Eames to the Nth Degree” for more on Pacific Standard Time.

Well, don’t look to this blog if you need tips + advice for moving, because this ain’t it!!!  I managed to box up a bunch of stuff.  The problem is, I don’t have a tenant yet + I’m not sure of when I’m moving out, so my drive to really get packing is like zero.  That’s how I found that Beluga video on youtube.  It’s called procrastination, people.  This makes it hard for me to know what + how much to box up, because I’m not sure of what I’ll need to keep around to live on without feeling like a complete bachelorette. 



Don’t get impressed, because 3/4 of these boxes are empty!!! Hah!!!





As the night progressed + my IPod played on, I managed to get a good amount of boxes packed up.  There’s nothing like some Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music + Selena to push things along.

I did the fishy face because I was tired + at a loss.  Plus, I’m not very photogenic.  I wish Jeff was here. 😦


Like a Phoenix / Saving Private Megumi

Hoorah, everyone!!!!  My blog has a new look!!!  I love my new fancy face fonts!!!  What do y’all think?  Like?  Hate?  Taking a stance of ambivalence?  Well, with beauty comes heartache…this new format caused ALL of my previous posts to look wonky + horrible.  Thus, I had to MANUALLY ALTER ALL OF MY POSTS.  How do people have such good looking blogs?  Are they web designers?!  Do they have jobs???  Jiminy Crickets!!!  Luckily, I’ve been able to work freelance here + there a couple days a week, so I’ve been able to edit + pack my condo (sort of).

So, what about the couple that wanted to move into my condo???  Well, turns out the husband was a pretentious mama’s boy, which caused my real estate agent to put up the red flags + turn them away.  Thank goodness, I do not need persnickety tenants!!!!  Oh hell to the no!!!  Thankfully, I have someone coming to look at my place on Tuesday, so all is good in the hood.

I’m feeling very positive about things!!!!

So positive, that last night I decided to open up a bottle of cheap champagne that I probably got as a throwaway wrap gift from some costume designer + has been sitting in my refrigerator for a million years unopened, just because it’s “champagne”.  So what?!  Crack that sucker open, I say!!!

I made a stir-fry broccoli with tofu + faux meat crumbles.  Did you say champagne doesn’t go with Asian food??  As if!!!  Bubbly is always a good choice!!!  Sad thing is, I had to watch a youtube video about how to open a bottle of champagne.  I usually let someone else potentially get their eye taken out by a champagne cork.



This is how I felt: 

Like I said before, I’m not a fan of John Hughes films.  But for some really odd reason when I thought about celebrating, being on a float during a parade came to mind.  Don’t ask, because I don’t have an answer.



Today, I made Okinawan sweet mashed potatoes.  Mash those bad boys, add some butter, maple syrup, (aka, Liquid of Canada) cardamom, salt + pepper.  So pretty!!!  They’re purple, y’all!!!





What the heck?!  AAAAH!!!!  Get out of there, Megumi!!!!  I’m food styling, you crazy feline!!!

Speaking of Megumi, I forgot to tell everyone that Jeff + Megumi majorly bonded on his most recent trip!!!!   Some of you know that Jeff is super allergic to cats.  This, my friends, is a travesty.  This, was a sledgehammer to my heart when I first learned about his terrible affliction.  I love me some kitties!!!  I love them so much, I want to squeeze the very last breath out of their fluffy, soft beings!!!!  Case in point:

I really didn’t know what was to become of Megumi because she is a bit of a basket case.  She is skittery, neurotic + has a crippled paw that I call her “beef jerky paw”.  If she was human, she’d probably have a bottle of Valium in her bathroom.  I found her underneath the 10 freeway, y’all.  She doesn’t do well with other animals + people, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to have her adopted.  The notion of putting her up for adoption made me want to have panic attacks, but because of Jeff’s allergies, I didn’t know what I was going to do!!!!  It was a source of major agony for me.





How could I turn my back on this precious creature?!  HOW, I ASK YOU?!


Usually the week before Jeff comes into town, I would shuttle Megumi off to grandma + grandpa’s while I meticulously cleaned the condo.  This past visit didn’t offer the luxury of doing this, so I told Jeff he would have to suck it up + we’d pray that his throat didn’t close up.


Well, looky here!!!  Jeff’s family, are you seeing this?!  Can you believe your eyes?!

Too cute!!!  My two favorite mammals together!!!  In harmony!  Sympatico!!!



Saints be praised!!!  There were no trips to the ER!!!!  No wind pipes were blocked!  Jeff + Megumi would have chats, (she’s very chatty) + I was overjoyed.  I’m thinking with allergy shots for Jeff, routine vacuuming, brushing Megumi + purchasing a air purifier, Megumi will be accompanying me up to Canada!!!!  Oh joy + happiness!!!!

After Jeff went back up to Canada, I ordered Allerpet C on Amazon.  Tons of allergy websites swear by it – it reduces dander on the cat.  Once a week after brushing, moisten a towel with Allerpet + wipe the cat down real good.  You’re supposed to get contact with the cat’s skin, but Megu is so darn downy, that I don’t know if she even has skin!  She’s all fur!  I’ll let you all know how all this goes down when the 3 of us finally get to actually live together under one roof!!!  Keep your fingers crossed, cuz if not – the one wearing glasses is going to have to go!!!  Just kidding, Jeff!!!  I love you!

Don’t Go On a Juice Fast When Packing

Note to self:  don’t go on a juice fast on a major packing day.

My dear friends!!!!  My real estate agent showed my very, very clean condo to a young couple yesterday + they are interested in moving in on November 15th!!!  Well, hold your horses, y’all – we’re in the process of doing the credit check, so the deal is not done yet.  Easy does it.

Now what does that mean???  I’d better start packing, that’s what!!!  Today was going to be my big packing bonanza.  I already moved a huge load over the weekend, but today was going to be the day!!!  So, what did I decide to do?  Yes, I am a genius!  I decided to do a juice fast on today of all days!!!  Reeeeeal smart.  Do you want to see what I accomplished at around 2:30? 



One. Measly. Box.

Hey!!!  I’m not proud about it!!!  In fact, I’m downright ashamed!!!






I juiced four times today with my bomb-ass Braun juicer that I bought for $3 at the Buddhist temple bargain sale across the street from me.  It was only used once + clean as a whistle!  If I could only buy Japanese + German made appliances + goods for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. 








Juicers take up a lot of fresh veggies.  Be prepared, people.  Get your chop on the day before.  Then you won’t be as apt to abandon the torture.






I feel disoriented, super fatigued, I looked at a picture of Jeff on my screen saver + almost started crying + sometimes I say to myself, “did it just get really cold in here?”.  I’m a mess, y’all!!!  In my defense, I did some filing + bills.  But, I am so out of it, that when I went to mail my bills, I closed the door without keys + locked myself out of the condo.  My condo manager, ol’ reliable Shin-san had to let me back in.  What a loser.  This is how I feel:








For my last “meal”, I eased myself out of the veggie juicing by indulging in a bowl of instant miso soup.  It was the best bowl of miso soup I’ve EVER HAD IN MY LIFE.  What savory delight!!!!!!!!  I destroyed that bowl!!!! 



That may look like a boring bowl of miso soup, but believe me dear readers when I tell you it was salty heaven!!!!  Do not take for granted the humble liquid gold that is miso soup!!!  I’m going to try + make this juice fast a once a week routine, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  I’m not going to lie.  It was rough.




Well, on a happy side note, I’ve received our marriage certificate + my FBI report!!!  Yaaaaay!!!  I’m officially not a criminal!!!  A copy of these two documents shall be added to my immigration application!  Getting closer!!!!

Senior Citizens Love the Bangles + Chaz Bono

While visiting my parents, as they were both futzing around in the kitchen, my mom bursted out singing, “It’s just another Manic Monday!!!” at the sink.  “Where did I hear that?  Why am I singing that?” she asked.  I’m thinking to myself, “Yeah, why IS she singing that?!”.  “Manic Monday” is a hit song from 80’s girl group The Bangles.  Why the heck would my mom randomly be singing one of their songs?





My dad replied, “Well, remember when they played that song on ‘Dancing with the Stars’!”.  “Oh yeah!!!!  Right!” mom replied as they BOTH started singing “Manic Monday”.  They’re so crazy.  I remember getting my Bangles tape in elementary school in my Easter basket.  HELLOOOOO!!!!  Ladies!!!  What about, “Eternal Flame”?!  Let us not forget!!!!  Middle school anthem!!!!!


Later, they watched “Dancing with the Stars” on DVR, (I guess cuz they got so excited chatting about it).  When Chaz Bono came on, my mom screamed, “Shelli!!!  Chaz!!!!!”. 














If some of you aren’t aware, Chaz Bono is Cher’s son.  Born Chastity Bono, as a female – he has just recently undergone gender reassignment + is now known as Chaz.  Look how proud Chaz looks in this picture!!!  I love it!!

My parents are so hilarious, this is what I am going to expect on a day to day basis once I move back in, + I will savor every detail!!!  I can’t wait!!!!!  Get it all in before I relocate to the Great White North!!!

Moving, Brain Fog + Richard Gere

I’m starting to wrap my head around moving out of my condo + getting it ready to rent.  My real estate agent has started the process of finding potential renters yesterday.  The plan is to start moving everything to my mom + dad’s, keep most things in boxes, so that once that permanent residence card to Canada comes in the mail – I’M OUTTA HERE!!!!  I don’t want to have to mess around with moving +  finding a renter right before I leave for Vancouver.  Yuck.  I want to be ready, y’all.  Ready.

Plus, I’m trying to wean myself off of coffee, so it’s been slow to say the least.  I just do one small cup in the morning + regulate with tea in the afternoon.  It makes one feel like they have a styrofoam helmet on their head + took a pill that comes in a container that says, “do not operate with heavy machinery” on it.

But, let’s just say: listening to Dusty Springfield while cleaning + organizing = good.  As I was purging the condo, I looked around + became really sad.  I love my condo + my neighborhood!!!  I’m going to miss it so much!



Oh, look at my sweet Megumi taking a snooze!!!!  She matches my decor.  How appropriate.  Heh heh.









Yes.  Another picture with Megumi in it.  Now don’t say it all at once, I know!  I’m lucky I have Jeff or I would be “one of those costumers”.  I could be happy with a million animals running all over me + then a neighbor would report me to animal protective services.  Yes, thank god for Jeff.




Tonight, I finally watched, “An Officer and a Gentlemen”.  I don’t know why it’s been so long because I LOVE movies from the late 70’s/early 80’s (note: only early 80’s!!!  No John Hughes or Brat Pack for the love of god!!!)! And I LOVE Debra Winger, even though she can be a little annoying + whiny.  Richard Gere is pretty swoon worthy, even though he has teeny eyes + I got really excited watching all the military exercises.  I want to go to a boot camp!  Louis Gossett Jr. plays the gnarly drill sergeant + I kind of wanted to be like him. Is that weird?  I must admit, I got all girlie during the love story parts + cheered in the end.  Oh, earlier in the week I also watched, “Sophie’s Choice”.  I guess it was early 80’s film week for me.  I’ve seen it before, but I decided to torture myself for a second time.  Why???!!!!  WHYYYYYY???!!!!!!  I can’t even get into “Sophie’s Choice” because it’s too depressing + beautiful + you’ll just have to find out for yourselves.  Now I realize why I hadn’t seen it a second time.  Sob. 



On a happy note, in the movie Kevin Kline is very handsome + charismatic with a very dashing moustache!!!!  Cha cha cha!  Oh, Meryl….sigh!!!!

Kimchi + Bratwurst

Hey y’all!  One of my fav gal pals Debbie had friends from NY, Sarah + Lisa visiting for the weekend. When Sarah + Lisa are in town, I’m down for a major hang out session!  I heart Asian girls from NY!!!!  They are a different breed!  They talk street + they’re kind of mannish.  First stop, Gonjiam in Korea town. 

I love going to Korean restaurants with Debbie because, a)she orders in Korean + b)she always figures out the bill.









Korean uncle mafia.





Look!!!  Sooooooo good!!!!  Kimchi, savory pancakes, beef soup + rice!!!  Very comfort food!  Like a spicy hug for your tummy!!!





This was a heaping dish of pig’s feet, radish, cucumber, watercress, etc.  I was not a huge fan, because I’m not accustomed to the chewy factor of the pigs ear.  But, yo the girls scarfed it down till there was nothing but a few shards of carrot!!!!  Oh, that’s another thing.  Asian girls from NY can EAT!!!!



An offering in the parking lot of incense, watermelon + soju.



Afterwards, we stopped by the Korean market + these bananas were called, “Macho Bananas”.  What the heck?!  Macho bananas?!  Hahahahaaaa!!!  Only in Los Angeles.  Oh + by the way, if you were wondering, you are correct – they were GIGANTIC.



That night, Debbie, Sarah, Lisa, Cristina + I headed to Alpine Village in Torrance for Oktoberfest.  Last year, Debbie, Cristina + I made a pit stop at Alpine Village after the Lobster Festival (I LOVE A GOOD FESTIVAL) during the day + it was a jolly time.  Night time was a completely different animal!  It was PACKED!!!!  Look at the prohibition list!!!  You’d think we were going to a Suicidal Tendencies concert!  Alpine Village is a little low rent + rough arount the edges, for the record. But that’s why we love it.  The people watching is sensational!!!!

Success!!!  We’re in!!!  How cute are my friends, right?!  Cristina is our honorary Asian.





The ever long beer lines.  Huzzah!!!!!





Bier ist sehr gut, nicht wahr?






The cute The Haderlumpen & Udelhoevner Dorfmusikanten Oom Pah Pah band from Germany!!!





The MC of the band (in the red hat) looks a lot like this other guy I know….











We got our sausages, potatoes + saurkraut + there was absolutely no where to sit + people kept saying they were, “saving the spot”.  Crisitna yelled, “You guys!  Stop asking tables with girls!  You have to find a table full of dudes!!!!”  It worked!  I used my powers of persuasion + said, “C’mon, look at these girls!” + voila!  Dudes are such suckers!!!!!






The crowd at Alpine Village is the best part of it!  I would say it is mostly Latino/Chicano.  It’s so nice to see that they are so interested in their German heritage + their national drink!  Everyone was so happy + having a really good time!!  I loved the people that dressed up! 


Oktoberfest is like Halloween, where girls get to have an excuse to dress slutty.  I say, more power to you!  Why the heck not?!





These peeps were from Eagle Rock + were veteran Oktoberfesters.  Yes.  She is wearing a beard.  I asked her why + it was some over intellectualized statement about sexual confusion or somethinglikethat + she kind of lost me.  But, they knew how to have a good time + were good Oktoberfest guides + teachers. 



The guy at the switchboards was not amused.





There was a lot of beer raising + yelling throughout the night.  I love screaming in German.  Ja!!!!!!!!






At one point, the band took a break + Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believing” came on + people were freaking out + singing along.  This homie was not psyched.  Totally straight faced.




After Journey, that’s when this guy Heino showed up + the crowd went temporarily insane!!!!  Heino is a famous German pop singer from the 50’s-60’s, as my Oktoberfest guides told me.  This guy was so amazing + hilarious!!!  Like a straight, mod Karl Lagerfeld!!!!







I want to learn more about Heino!!!!!  Obsession commence!!!




















More beer raising.







We had such a fun night of yelling + dancing + yelling!!!  Considering the rough crowd, everyone was really getting along, but as the night progressed, dudes were having too many “wobbly pops” as Jeff calls them.  Crisitna + Lisa noticed things were starting to unravel at peaceful Alpine Village + their party alerts went on.  They came back from the bathrooms in a rush saying, “Yo, things are getting bad out there!  We saw a couple fights, let’s get out of here!!!”.  You would’ve thought that we saw a knife fight, because we boned out of there so fast, we left a trail of dust, like road runner style.





Good call, ladies.  Safety first!!!




Yesterday, we just hung out at Manhattan + Hermosa Beach + walked around + lounged.  We were total zombies, so this is the only picture I took. 

Aaaaaaah.  The End.

California Pride

This Pacific Standard Time art collaboration that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog is really something else.

I am really proud + excited to be Californian + be surrounded by art + design that really personifies the West Coast + Californian ideals.  I think these exhibits come at a perfect time, considering that soon I will become a permanent resident of Canada.  It’s like a bittersweet goodbye to my beloved state + the artistic environment that I may have taken for granted, now that I realize all the art + culture that was surrounding me growing up.

Yesterday, we visited the JF Chen antiques + furniture gallery/showroom that was showcasing their huge vintage Eames collection for Pacific Standard Time. 


I really thought Jeff was going to pee his pants when we stepped inside.  It was like a museum.  Everything was for sale, but the deal was that if an item was purchased, the paid for item was to be on display as if on loan until the exhibit was to come to a close.















I went to the ladies’ room + this is what I wanted!!!!  Danish modern mirror!!!!  Drooooooool!!!!!  Dreamy.








The old department for Superman was super (haha!) close by, so I wanted to take Jeff there to say hello to everyone + debut myself as Mrs. Nishino-Fayle.  Yes, I’m a hyphen!!!!  Oh, explanation – this is where I was working before I left to go pack a 40 foot shipping container + get married. 



The gang!!!!  Cacey, Annie (The White Duchess), Ninska (Nina) + Kurt!!!!!  I missed everyone like loco!!!  We chatted, ate a bunch of their potato chips + headed down to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Better known as LACMA for all those who are savvy.



On exhibit is the “California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, going on until March 25th – so everyone, vite, vite!!!!  Go now!!!  Go!!!!!  Go nooooooow!!!!!  So well curated + displayed!!!! 








The exhibits showed how Californian design evolved over time through the influence of German + Austrian emigres post WW II, the materials that were used in a post war era, the population explosion of Los Angeles suburbs + the needs of the growing atomic families, etc.






The contents of the Eames House living room was on display in painstaking historical detail.  But alas, we weren’t allowed to take pictures.  But it was really fun to see after being at the house yesterday. 

The best part is a conversation I overheard between two toothpick baby hipsters chatting in their respective bathroom stalls.  Hipster #1 was not excited about celebrating her birthday + was just going to do a quiet Sunday brunch (which is the female Angelenos most beloved past time, by the way).  Hipster #2 asked, “Why aren’t you excited???”.  Hipster #1: “I’m really not that excited to turn 26.”.  Hipster #2 replied, “Well, it could be worse!  You could be turning 27!”.  Hipster #1: “Omigod, you’re totally right, I know!!!”.  This whole conversation is even more ridiculous to me because I just had a conversation with a friend about how she was turning 37.  When the hipsters came out of the bathroom stalls + saw me washing my hands + realized they weren’t alone in the bathroom whilst they were conducting their flippant conversation they bowed their heads sheepishly.  That’s right!!!!!!!






At the permanent exhibit was “The Centaur” by Pablo Picasso.  Jeff sneaked a picture for me because when I was 4 years old LACMA had a huge Picasso exhibit that my dad took me to.  I remember this piece + how blown away, confused + mesmerized I was by it.  This piece is really symbolic to me.  I thank my parents so much for exposing me to the arts for my whole life. 







Jeff + I were really excited to stumble upon the temporary exhibit of Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud”.  It’s a huge installation piece that was crazy controversial in it’s day during the civil rights movement in America.  A huge statement on the race wars in America, it was only showed in Germany + was subsequently placed in storage for almost 40 years in Japan.  Keinholz’s more famous “Back Seat Dodge” installation almost caused LACMA to lose it’s funding in 1966.  His depictions of reality, violence + sexuality gets the good old US of A up in a tizzy. 



This is not my picture, but from the LACMA website because you were not allowed to take pictures.  But what the amazing thing was that  we were allowed to walk into the installation + really get a really close look at all the details.  I’m not going to describe “Five Car Stud” to all of you, because you should go + see it, or educate yourselves about it.  This is a teaser!

I haven’t been to that many museums in such a short time in a really long while.  I thank Jeff + Pacific Standard Time for being such a patron of the arts + for Jeff being my best friend!!!!  I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!

Eames to the Nth Degree

Charles + Ray Eames overload!!!  Is there such a thing?  Possibly, yes.  For those of you who’ve aren’t familiar with them, Charles + Ray Eames were an American husband + wife design team that were HUGE contributors to architecture, furniture design, photography, film, etc.  Most of what the general public would think of as “mid-century modern design” was probably influenced by Charles + Ray Eames.  Don’t they look fun?






Some iconic Eames furniture pieces – this only scratches the surface of what the Eames contributed to the world of design.




Yesterday was POURING rain!!!!  Everyone said that Jeff brought the rain to Los Angeles.  Jeff called it “a light mist”.  Macho.  People were decked out in all their rain gear – you would have thought it was a tornado warning.  Angelenos freak out when it rains + it’s like the whole city shuts down.  We went to the A + D (architecture + design) museum on Wilshire.  The show was: Eames Designs: The Guest-Host Relationship.  “The role of the designer,” said Charles Eames, “is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.” 



Rainy, rainy streets.




Another Eames philosophy was to find, “the uncommon beauty of common things.”  Not a very good philosophy to promote to a hoarder.  Easy, Jeff.  Don’t get any ideas.






After A + D, we traveled across the street to the Petersen Automotive Museum.  I think 92% of Angelenos have never been to this museum.  It is fascinating + I highly recommend it, y’all!!!  Usually it is the kiss of death going to the Petersen with Jeff because he’ll take 30 detailed pictures of one car.  There’s THREE STORIES of cars. Lots of them.  Luckily, he forgot his camera. 




History buffs, pay heed.  If you’re not much of a car aficionado, the Petersen Museum is still a good visit for insight into the evolution of car culture + the development of the city of Los Angeles.  Incroyable!!


This guy is at the model T display as an example of how the cars would always get stuck in the mud.  But, really Petersen museum?!  He always gets a chuckle + witty remarks from the viewers cuz it’s like, “What the heck is really going on here????”.  Jeff made me put this in the post.  Guffaw, guffaw.






The rotating exhibit is, “Scooters – Size Doesn’t Always Matter”.  Snicker, snicker.  So, if you are a mod + have Quadrophenia on rotation on your plasma, go check it out.  It shows the complete evolution of the scooter from the turn of the century to the luxury Vespas of today.



Today, the weather was absolument gorgeous!!!!  To die for Los Angeles weather!!!  Thus, Santa Monica, tally ho.  First stop?  The Eames House.  Visit by appointment only, park on Corona Del Mar + no pictures of the inside of the home. Only the exterior.  Nestled in a eucalyptus grove that smelled so fragrant after the rain!!!! 








The contents of the living room have been moved to Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is a bit of a bummer because it would have been nice to see the living room intact, considering all of it’s contents have never left the house since 1949, when the house was completed.  Everyone!!!  Right now in southern California, Pacific Standard Time is happening – a six month celebration of art in L.A. from 1945-1980, with over 60 cultural institutions from Malibu to Palm Springs + down to San Diego exhibiting + showcasing southern California as a influential center for arts + culture.

Charles + Ray’s grandson was on the premises being interviewed by what we assumed was a Japanese reporter.  He shot a film about the dismantling of the studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice that Jeff loved.  We bought a copy + Jeff was able to flag him down for a chat + an autograph.  Jeff was thrilled.  Eames Demetrios was thrilled as well when Jeff told him about meeting me on “Inception” because there is a character by the name Eames + Leonardo DiCaprio’s character spins a toy top, which is a huge symbol in the Eames philosophy.  Hmmm.  Coincidence???  Me thinks not…..







Afterwards was a hop, skip + a jump to one of my best friends from high school, Adrianna’s house.  She is preggos with her first wee bairn, + I haven’t seen her tummy grow since I’ve been gone!!!  Here she is with her tummy + her beloved greyhound rescue, Enid!!!!  How I’ve missed them!!!!  Hi Adi!!!







Jeff is convinced that he + Adi are related.  Crazy???  Yes.  Unfounded?  No.  Adi’s maiden name is Day.  Jeff’s paternal side come from a well documented line of Days from Cork, Ireland.  Here they are looking at Adi’s genealogy binder.  Because everyone should have theirs handy!!!!  Look alive, people!!!  Get with the program!!!  Slackers!!!



For lunch, we walked up the street to Ocean Avenue for a packed picnic because we are thrifty like that.





A perfect Southern California day – beat that, Vancouver!!!!













The Eames Office on Pico was our next stop.  It was bigger than I expected.  They had the 1961 “Mathematica” exhibit commissioned by IBM showcased. 
















It was amazing!!!  There were historical timelines, quotations from famous mathematicians, physics displays, photography + film from the original exhibition.



Oh + let’s not forget – a really amazing gift store.  My favorite part.






Okay, LAST STOP.  The Santa Monica Museum of Art.  Located in Bergamot Station – a collection of galleries located in an industrial location that’s been around for years.  I remember going there in high school feeling artsy.  The exhibit was on Beatrice Wood.  An eccentric bohemian who was known as the Mama of Dada (Dadaism).  I LOVED learning about her!!!  She had a pottery studio in Ojai, east of Santa Barbara.  She only wore Indian saris + was frequently seen with Roche + Duchamp during the early 1900’s, consequently it is assumed that she was the inspiration for the Truffaut film, “Jules + Jim”.  One of the few French New Wave that I actually love.
















After the excitement of Beatrice Wood, we drifted off to the many galleries that Bergamot Station has to offer.  It’s one of those places where, if you’re a local, you take Bergamot Station for granted.  But if you’re visiting – please go!!!!







Julius Shulman – world renowned architectural photographer.  Neutra, Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, Koenig + various other Case Study houses.  Jeff was beside himself for real. All I was thinking about, was that Los Angeles traffic that was approaching.  And believe me, it was.  We braved traffic during rush hour + were better men/women because of it.  Today was a plethora of information , art + culture that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.  This need, should not go on so long ignored.

Jeff’s 2 Day Birthday Festivities Pt. 2

Jeff’s Birthday weekend, part 2.  Jeff is well loved. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2ND Jeff insisted all of his West Coast family (family also includes the Hoiles of course) to be together to celebrate his birthday, so for that to happen, we celebrated on Sunday.  The Hoiles had us over for the partay.  Tom, Deb, Matt, Tobin, Steve, Liz, Keiko, Hana, Benjamin + cousin Neil were all there! 



Appies, y’all!!!  Shaka!!!






Filet mignon + shrimp kabobs on the grill, yo!!!  Decadence to da max!!!




Now that is the way to party.  Veganism, goodbye.  Sorry, Charlie.




Here’s little button Hana using a remote control as a cell phone.  Ridiculously cute!!!!!!  Unbearable!!








The dinner spread!!!!  I kept instructing Keiko + Matt, “The Ta-Daaaa Pose!!!  The Ta-Daaa Pose!!!  Arms spread!!!  TA-DAAA!!!!”.  Like an obnoxious stage mom.






Jeff wanted a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. What do you think of the caption? 45 IS a big deal!!!!  The zombie kid at Dairy Queen made me want to reach over to check his pulse, but I got a slight crack of a smile from him when he saw my ecstatic happiness when Isaw the cake.    Before the cakecame out, Matt, Tobin + I busted out the crown that we all collaborated on the day before with our sweat + tears.






Hana had to give the crown a whirl.  45???  Me thinks not.  A mere babe in the woods.  A wee bairn. Jeff is definitely a young-at-heart 45.











Okay, how many times does it take to wrangle 4 children into a semi perfect group photo?  Let’s take a count.



One.  Where’s Tobin?  Oh, there you are!!!






Two.  Do you like Hana’s Uncle Jeffrey moustache??








Three.  Uh-oh.  Things are starting to unravel.  Yikes.  Focus Hana, FOOOCUUUUS!!!!!  Tobin!  Matt!  What the heck!!!??





Four.  Jeff + Hana, come on!!!!  Keiko, kudos.  Always ready for a photo op. Well done.   Well done.




Five!!!!  Success!!!!  Oh wait, Hana + Keiko aren’t looking into the camera.  Oh well, as long as everyone is facing forward with their little faces towards camera, that equals done to me!!!










Oh hey, I know what’s going on here!!  I see the love gaze flowing between these two!!!!!   What the heck??!!! Alas, I always knew Jeff was Hana’s main squeeze, before I even met Jeff.  I digress. She’s always asking me, “Where’s Jeffy?  Where’s Jeffy??”








After cake, Jeff + Hana blissed out in each other’s arms.  They were so content, that they didn’t even notice the bright light of my flash. So cute!!!!!!!!  Buddies!!!  Happy Birthday, Jeff!!!!!!!!!

Punch it, Los Angeles!!!

Guess what?  I’m finally in Los Angeles.  And guess who came along with me?  Jeffrey Andrew Keith Fayle.  Yep, that’s right.  Believe it.  Jeff doesn’t start his new job for another week, so he decided to squeeze a SoCal trip in.  Also, it’s mostly because I think he knew I’d be inconsolable + despondent facing the reality of brown, smoggy Los Angeles alone.  Codependent much????

Eew.  Flat + brown.

My mom + dad came to pick us up at LAX which is always a joy to see their faces after a long trip.  The weather would be considered warm by Canadian standards, but my mom was wearing a mohair sweater.

For dinner we decided to take our chances at Sushi Gen in my Little Tokyo neighborhood.  I’ve been there a couple of times, but haven’t been back in a long time even though they are located right next to my condo due to their long waits.  My dad has been dying to eat here for ages, being the foodie that he is. They are considered one of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles.  Luckily, we arrived early enough + we were seated right away in a booth!  Score!!!! 




My mom + I got the Chirashi Deluxe.  Chirashi is something you get at a sushi restaurant when you’re too tired to pick out what you want because it’s a smorgasbord of sashimi on top of a bed of rice.  It was the best sushi we’ve all ever had!!!!  Look at how gorgeous!  Fresh!







At the end of dinner my parents punched it.  In Nishino family translation that means, “I do say, that dinner was a culinary masterpiece!!!”  They’re so hilarious, so I made them pose for my dad’s signature gesture.  A really nice way to be welcomed home.

Jeff’s 2 Day Birthday Festivities

Who get’s to celebrate his birthday for an entire weekend?  Jeff does.  He’s 45 y’all.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1ST – Jeff’s actual birth date


A present from yours truly.





Tobin’s new chapeau.  All the rage with the kids.







Bent plywood magazine side table/stool!!!  How moderne!!!!








Later, I had Matt + Tobin help me with some decorations for Jeff’s birthday party for the next night.  It was a group collaboration, not without a couple creative differences.  We had to stop every once in a while + re-group with a board meeting.  Serious teamwork.










That evening, I took Jeff to Deep Cove to have dinner at a great restaurant called Arms Reach Bistro.  It was tasty + stylish without being pretentious – so very Canadian!!!!






We got into a little fight before we reached the restaurant.  Here’s me expressing my discontent in a very mature manner.





Jeff caught my very discreet expression + so I obliged him with a reluctant stiff smile.  Not bad, right?!






I couldn’t stay mad at Jeff!  He’s too cute!!!  We hugged it out after a little talking + we enjoyed our dinner.  We had a beef carpaccio appetizer (Canadians call it an “appie” as in a beef carpaccio appie – funny, right?) which I’ve never had before.  It was UNBELIEVABLE!!!!  OMG it was so good, like melt in your mouth good.












After dinner we went for a movie.  FYI, Canadian movie theaters really need a serious makeover.  Ever heard of stadium seating?  Surround sound???  Consider it, Canada!!!  They’re all pretty small + outdated + make me feel like I’m in middle school at the Janss Mall going to see Beetlejuice. 



I can’t wait for the Muppet movie to come out!!!!!  Oh, Fozzie bear, you charlatan!!





I wanted to go see Moneyball, but since it was Jeff’s birthday we went to see Ryan Gosling in Drive.  I mean, who doesn’t want to see a movie about baseball + statistics?!   Let’s just say Drive was highly lacking.  Jeff enjoyed it for some reason.  The actors were extremely good, but there was absolutely no character development + the storyline was majorly weak sauce.  When we got back to Tom + Deb’s, they were still up so we shared some bubbly to celebrate Jeff’s 45th year on the planet.  Tom just got back from a trade show in Europe + bought this perfect Mr. T shirt for Jeff in Spain.  Pity the Fool.  Pity the Fool.



What are we doing here in this picture?  I don’t know but it looks like a bunch of ballyhoo to me.  Stay tuned tomorrow for Jeff’s 2 Day Birthday Festivities Part 2.