Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good grief.

I have always wanted to go to the Charles Schulz Museum - but Santa Rosa seemed soooo far away. This trip, I was determined - and rented a car just to haul it all the way out there.

With so many visuals these days, my kids aren't that familiar with the Peanuts characters, or even the holiday movies. They know who Snoopy is, and that's about it. But for me - I grew up reading the strip and loving the animated features.

The 'museum' plan is broken down into three parts, a gallery at the far end including a large store which sold a lot of the same things we have out here at Knott's Berry Farm.

The second building houses a reknown indoor skating rink and the Warm Puppy Cafe, where Charles Schulz actually sat and ate breakfast every morning.

It was a sweet little place, and you can tell that it is PACKED with kids having their birthday parties there every weekend.

But it's the main museum itself that I just adored. It seemed to capture the essence of Charles Schulz himself. As you enter you see a wall image of the famous Charlie Brown football scene, looking closer you start to realize that the image is made up of strips - over 3500 of them, that's 10 years of Peanuts!

The bottom floor has changing exhibitions and a look into the evolution of the strips. I'm such a sucker, I had to take a pic of these adorable bathroom door signs:

Also on the ground level was an outdoor HOLOGRAM garden. What the? The kids loved running around in the 40 degree rain. Me - I think I'd enjoy it more in the Spring, frankly.

The first floor was neat, but it was upstairs where we spent most of our time. The permanent exhibitions are here, there was a wall that they had excavated from the Schulz home that had pre-Peanuts paintings on a nursery wall. And since I am a big fan of modern art I just LOVED the Christo 'Wrapped Snoopy House'.

But right next door...the Kid could not pull himself away from the Education Room. Here they offered 'art' lessons: drawing Snoopy, doghouse origami, but the Kid's favorite were the interactive zoetropes.

The docent explained that you could draw a series of pictures and watch them 'move' as you spun the drum. That was it. The Kid could not contain his excitement.

The docent suggested the Kid draw something like a 'ball bouncing.' Jigga please. My kid is not going to draw a ball bouncing - I knew immediately it would involve something with lightsabers and I was right. The kid quickly (cause I was pressuring him to hurry up - there's more to see!) drew a series of panels of two Jedis battling.

The docent came back and certainly was surprised to not see a ball bouncing - but he put the Kid's artwork in the drum, spun it, and what do you know - there were the Jedis moving in a lightsaber duel. I think that little art lesson meant more to him than even the previous day's trip to Skywalker Ranch.

I'll say it again, I adore simplicity. When you can break things down with subtle lines that aren't overdrawn or overworked, I think that is true talent. My favorite part of the museum was the replica of Charles Schulz's office. I just liked seeing the positioning of his desk, the materials he used - you can tell a lot about people by the looks of their desk.

I love that he sketched every day, meaningless, 'not so good' things. But then he threw them away, only to be retrieved by his secretary who took them home, ironed them, and kept them for safe keeping. You gotta love that.

This museum was truly a reflection of a great man who did amazing work and touched many people's lives just by drawing 'funny pictures'. I'm so glad I finally got to visit.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

L.A. face with an Oakland booty

I have been up to the Bay area three times this past month. I really am starting to love it there. Perhaps I should move. Hm...

This particular trip was A LOT of siteseeing. Lucasfilm + Skywalker Ranch for one! (recap here) Also the Charles Schulz museum and lots of other tasty and fun things which I'll write about soon.

But the coolest thing of all was this time around I decided to stay at the Hotel Tomo in Japantown. I figured Japantown was THE place to stay because there are so many restaurants with good Japanese food that stayed open late.

The cool thing about Hotel Tomo is that it's an anime/manga themed hotel! How neat is that?

The lobby, the hotel restaurant, even the rooms - were all totally pimped out with colorful murals and cool furniture, it was pretty awesome.

There was even a Giant Robot vending machine in the lobby...

...and all day great old skool Japanese shows playing on the tvs.

But the best part? The reason why I love this hotel? My room looked out onto Benkyodo my favorite and the best mochi store in all of San Francisco! Are you freakin' kidding me?! I just wanted to stare out the window all day. AND I DID.

At night I could see the light in the window where they were prepping the next day's mochi. IS THIS MY HEAVEN OR WHAT.

I am...a mochi stalker. I'd look out the window to see when they opened up in the morning and then I'd run down EVERYDAY and get fresh mochi.

Not exaggerating, I ate fresh mochi every morning and every night for four days straight. And I am sure I am a better person because of it.

More posts coming about the rest of the trip, but really - can you top an anime themed hotel that is across the street from daily fresh mochi?? I think not.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

He gives presents to everybody who has a lot of fiber in their diet.

My tree is up!

It's a very pop-culture themed tree...


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Of travel I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere.

Am I busy? You could say that...

My desk if FILLED with projects.

I have a lot of events coming up, stop by and see me at one of them!

Pop Monster's Artist Market
Saturday Nov. 27
12 - 6
24416 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA

Eat My Blog charity bake sale
December 4th
Tender Greens - West Hollywood
(I'm bringing Yoda Oreos!)

Play Hair Lounge - holiday pop up shop
(Brig - winner of BravoTV's Shear Genius 3!)
December 1st through January 7th!
2315 Keuhner Dr. #109
Simi Valley, CA
(805) 577-8888

Unique L.A.
December 11 & 12
11 - 6
California Market Center Penthouse
110 East 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's a lot like life.

For Thanksgiving I am going to fill this "bowl" with chips because that's what the Pilgrims would do - listen to Depeche Mode and eat guacamole.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I was looking for a job and then I found a job, but heaven knows I'm miserable now

Look out.
I have become...a crazy coupon lady.

I had a job believe it or not, but as quickly as it came, it went away. Ah, such is life in this economy. What can you do. So things are tight - and I like to save money, who doesn't?

It started off sanely, I swear.

But lately it's become sort of a contest against...myself - to see how much I can save.

Now I won't rest until my bill is...

ZERO. And I've become damn good at it.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Peter Pan: Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.
Wendy: Never is an awfully long time.

When I wrote Kid Emo & Grr Baby, the kids were four and two years old.

This week The Baby...MY baby, turns five. Which means really, he is not a baby at all. And really I should stop calling him 'the Baby'. But really, I never will. Because he will be my Baby forever. ~sniff

To prove it, shortly after this picture was taken he took the faux moustache and used it as a uni-brow. So in your face, adulthood.

Happy birthday to GrrBaby.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Open your eyes, I see your eyes are open, wear no disguise for me come into the open

I am constantly cleaning this house. With two kids, the mess is out of control - at leastby my standards. When you clean up kid's toys you start to notice a pattern, a pattern of what they are into at the moment - what they are thinking about.

Darth Maul riding a motorcycle tells me the kid is into Star Wars and transportation.

A pile of crayons and books tells me they are into art and color.

But this? This I'm not sure. The Baby left this in the middle of the floor as he ran off to school:

Ok seriously, what. A fake moustache, a mask, and a fan from Paul and Darlene's wedding. It's like he's planning to travel back in time and crash the wedding in disguise? Watch out for that masked midget with the moustache. He's eating all the buffet shrimp.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anything your heart desires will come to you

Going to Disneyland once a week means getting it down to a science. I know the best places to eat, cleanest restrooms and where you can run and hide from the tourists, hug your legs and rock back and forth crying. Joking. Er. Sort of.

Doing Disneyland in just a few hours means it has to be quick and calculated. In addition to my old Disneyland tips and tricks Part 1 and Part 2, here are a few more...

Disneyland Wait Time App
Apps are your friend. Get yourself a Disneyland Wait Time app. MouseWait is fantastic. Say you are in Adventureland and the Baby INSISTS on going on across the park to Star Tours. One handy check and you see if the line is a 5 minute wait OR a 65 minute wait. It will save you walking time and aggravation.
Height RequirementsAgain, using your phone - keep this page up that shows the height requirements for all the rides. That way if you have a short kid, you can calmy explain that the height requirement for Big Thunder is 40", and he has another 6" to go.

Sadly, there is no app to quell the disappointment of a crying child. I'm sure they're working on that.

Eat Breakfast
Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. While there are nice expensive sit down breakfasts to be had at the park (believe me I love those) a little tip is that Tomorrowland Terrace also offers an affordable breakfast until 11am.

Since lunchtime lines are a nightmare it's easy to fill up on a hearty LATE breakfast here so that we can power through the rides while everyone else eats lunch.

Have fun and good luck navigating the park this holiday season!


Monday, November 15, 2010

I like big bundts and I cannot lie

If you've been following the Food Librarian you know that she's been making a bundt cake a day leading up to National Bundt Day. That's 30 bundts in 30 days. Pretty weak, don't you think? I think she should do 365 bundts in 365 days. Come on, step it up!

Joking aside - it was a lot of work and she came up with some amazing things. And today IS National Bundt Day! I even got into the spirit myself and made a Neapolitan Mochi Bundt. It came out even better than I had hoped!

Now you can celebrate every day as Bundt Day with my "I like Big Bundts" cards and pins.

Congrats to the Food Librarian, and happy bundting!

Neapolitan Mochi Bundt recipe, here.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Small Gift

A few months ago I got a call from Sanrio, asking if I had any vintage product. Me? I may hate clutter but there's one thing I never throw away and that's Hello Kitty related items.
They were in luck because I had things in pristine condition from the 1970's and 80's That I've kept for the past 30 years.

Turns out they were putting together a book to celebrate 50 Years of Sanrio. It was an amazing collection of vintage pieces from Sanrio lovers just like me.
To celebrate they are having pop up events throughout the country and right here in L.A. they are having ongoing events at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for the next week. I attended the opening night party, complete with food trucks, cream puffs, carnival games and celebrities! (recap here) I'm telling you, it's amazing.

You only have til November 21st, so go visit the Small Gift L.A. event before it closes!!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A grand day out

I went to San Francisco last weekend for the big Foodbuzz Fest - and while the festival was good, exploring the city was even better. It's always nice to travel with friends who like the same things. That being food, comics and food.

First stop: Hayes Valley. In all my travels up to the Bay, I've never made it to Isotope Comics - I've always meant to, it's just that my weekends are usually jam packed. I've known of the store for years, as well the friendly, knowledgable owner James Sime.
I call this pic: Battle of the Hair.

I went with Paul whose Cool Jerk books are availiable throughout the country - including Isotope. If you didn't know, Isotope is known for having AMAZING artists draw custom art on...toilet seats. Yep. Clean, new ones - mind you.

There is a 'gallery' of them that lines the walls - here you can find a gorgeous Catwoman by my fave Darwyn Cooke. I was lucky enough to witness Paul being handed...
...his very own brand new clean toilet seat to draw on. It's a huge honor and I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

Don't ask me how he got that on the plane. I told him to tell security he doesn't trust public toilet seats and that's why he carries his own with him at all times. Sounds...reasonable?

From there we headed down to the Mission where Darlene wanted to visit...a Pirate Supply Store. What. It's true, that's what the store seems like, but in actuality it's a Writing Center. 826 Valencia goes all out with the theming.

Props to them for the packaging. It was hard to NOT buy a bottle of Pink Eye, but then again - the plane. I don't know what security would say if you tried to board with a bottle of Pink Eye AND a toilet seat.
A slight walk further lead us to a store Parlene strolled around and I booked out of as fast as I could. A taxidermy plant shop, sure - but the mouse dressed as the Pope will give me nightmares for years.

After much begging we continued on to Tartine because lord knows I'd cry Dolphin Tears if I couldn't get me a Tartine morning bun. It's the only reason I fly to San Francisco. Not really, but I do dream about pastry.

I loved looking in the pastry cases. Such gorgeous things - especially the gougeres that were bigger than my head.

And if that wasn't enough - just up a block is Bi Rite ice cream. Truly the best ice cream ever, even in 40 degree weather I've stood in line for it. It's that good.

A simple 2-3 mile jaunt through the city (I drove, what are you nuts?) and my pop culture need AND my belly were full. Just the best day ever.


I no longer need a strategy
Thanks to modern technology

Lately when things go wrong, I get the feeling that the universe is laughing AT me not with me.
This is glaringly apparent when I look at my receipts...
Ok seriously. LOL butter? How funny does this butter think it is?

I know - it's "Land O Lakes" butter, but still. This butter has a sense of humor.

Really. It's like you're reading my mind. I am pretty cranky, but I did NOT order a side of PMS, no way, no how.

What this REALLY is, is Potato Mac Salad at King's Hawaiian. I think someone just put this in the computer to amuse themselves, frankly.

These both happened on the same day. Odd coincidence. Makes me want to look at all my receipts a little more closely from now on.