Monday, February 25, 2008

just loathing in las vegas...

so i spent last weekend in las veagas and i have to admit it was my least favorite vegas trip to date. las vegas used to be my favorite city but it's quickly becoming just like everywhere else, one strip mall at a time. they're demolishing all the kewl older hotels that actually had CHARACTER and replacing them with tall ugly buildings that all look the same.

my 311 concert experience at the joint in the hard rock hotel was horrific... but in a nutshell:

i was really looking forward to the vegas show. small venue + all GA pit. = awesome. after getting mangled in the pit, i stepped to the back of the venue to look for my guy and our friend. while i was trying to text my bf, some a**hole swiped my cell phone out of my hand as a poor attempt to catch my attention. i was like... "haha, funny" and took it back from him. after not being amused by this game, he decided to SHOVE people who were walking by INTO me. sooo i shoved him back and started cursing at him and asking him what the F his problem was. he then grabbed me by the throat. i was livid but for some stupid reason my initial reaction wasn't to kick him in the balls maybe because i couldn't believe what happened. or maybe because i'm a petite chick and this guy was bigger than me and he was with a friend and i didn't know if his friend would then kick the crap out of me. so i step back, curse at him and walk away and find a security guard. the a**hole LIES to the security guard and says i grabbed him by the balls. WTF. and the security guard can't kick him out because he didn't see it happen. but by this point, random guys who witnessed the incident approached the a**hole who grabbed me and were all in his face. and so the a**hole "decided to leave the concert on his own," as one of the security guys put it. his friend looked pretty PO-ed to be leaving. and i felt like a snitch but i wasn't about to let some a**wipe ruin my concert experience without having his own experience ruined.

and so, shaken up, i continued to look for my bf while avoiding drunk people sloshing drinks around; a LARGE area of floor covered in vomit and drunks with lit cigarettes in their hands. and i asked myself... "what the hell happened to 311 concerts?!!" this was my 20th? 311 show and by far my worst concert experience. (what i posted on the 311 bb)

however some of the highlights from the trip included rick drinking too much tequila and puking out the window of our rental car onto the door handle and down the side of the car door... Mmmm. he was pretty much a walking zombie after that but it didn't matter because monsieur qui sait tout about las vegas aldrin wasn't wearing dress code friendly shoes so we didn't get into any clubs. (who knew everybody had a stigma against chuck taylors at night?! apparently aldrin didn't, but pretended he did... so it's unclear why he wore those shoes anyway). i'm sure we didn't miss much (especially because ashlee simpson was singing her new single at LAX) and at least we're still $40 richer -- the cost of the outrageous cover charge.

on the bright side, i scored some terrific finds at a local thrift store while rick, tim and aldrin went go-carting. (i found a dress, a velour bodysuit, two pairs of shoes, two mugs, white stockings and a BUNCH of books... for $25.50. SCORE!!) i also took some kewl night shots of the Circus Circus and what remains of the New Frontier (just the sign) with rick's friend nate, who i finally got to meet. ANNNND i did take some kick ass photos of the las vegas sign in a way which i guarantee no one has ever done before!! 8) and rick bought me an awesome-looking 311 tee shirt i never saw before and a kewl roxy necklace.

and so, although i don't totally oppose las vegas, i am on the hunt for my next, new favorite city... unless las vegas wants to rebuild the boardwalk casino, the stardust, and the new frontier and promise me they won't tear down anymore kewl hotels... then i'll reconsider the breakup.

Friday, February 15, 2008

hearts, love and cupcakes. and MSG.

i worked for james on valentine's day, assisting a jewelry product shoot. my job was to clean titanium wedding bands with acetone to make them as lint-free as possible. after the acetone treatment, we used compressed air to blow them off. so basically we were just inhaling acetone and freon. after that, james showed me how he retouches his images and had me try it. i did an awesome job but i took forever. (he gets one image done in 20 min!!) so i have to get faster. the plan is for me to retouch his images while he's shooting so he can accept more work which is good because more work for him means more work for me!! i like working with james because i can get away with saying things i normally wouldn't say to a boss. needless to say, he teases me right back. he's a good guy though.

rick had to pick his brother up at the airport after work and drive him to their parents' house (a good hour long drive each way) so that gave me plenty of time to go to the foodstore, go online and bake some heart-shaped lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles. Mmmm!! rick didn't get home until 7:30; luckily we exchanged gifts at 6 am that morning. i got him a nice button-down quiksilver shirt, a pair of brown quiksilver pants, a pair of khakis and a box of hand-picked See's chocolates. he got me a pelican case for my camera (i really needed one) and two necklaces i ordered myself on etsy. :) i am seriously addicted to that website.

because of the time, we had to flake out on our thai food reservations near the grove and instead, we went to a closer, smaller restaurant i recently discovered and loved. on our way to the restaurant, we stopped at james's house to drop off some cupcakes. he was pretty happy about that. :) our dinner was good. we did what we usually do: order and split three meals because we are pigs when it comes to thai food. unfortunately, on our way home i discovered that the food at the new thai place i found gives me sinus headaches. :( it happened last time too but i didn't think the headache was caused by the food. i usually don't get headaches, so when i got a headache 20 min after eating at this restaurant AGAIN, i realized it was the food. damnit!! my theory is they use a lot of MSG.

when we got home rick almost immediately fell asleep on the floor with miss gray and i wasted time online. and yes, of course i teased him about it today.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

busy week!! :)

monday and tuesday: i worked for james. on monday we shot headshots for his new website. (look for mine, i'll be on there too!!) on tuesday i assisted him while he shot a line of jewelry for a client. the woman used two models, her husband and her 6'2'' best friend and the photos came out amazing. we ate a late lunch/early dinner at this tiny thai restaurant. i was a little weary at first because the sign said "thai-chinese cuisine," but there was nothing chinese about it (which is good because i like my thai food to taste like thai food) and so *drumroll* I HAVE FINALLY FOUND A THAI RESTAURANT IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THAT LIVES UP TO MY STANDARDS OF THAI FOOD!!! finally!!~hoo-ray.

wednesday and thursday: i worked for dave and his producer kevin. i built the production books with kevin and delivered them on wednesday. i also bought tons of junk food and over 150 cans of soda (that barely got consumed on thursday!!) on thursday dave shot four olympic athletes (tyson gay, amanda beard, reese hoffa and nastia liukin) for a sega's new "bejing 2008" video game. the shoot went really well. all of the athletes were friendly and down-to-earth, especially miss amanda beard. she liked the necklace i was wearing (one i purchased from stoopidgerl on etsy) and so i introduced her to the wonderful world of etsy.com!!

friday: i worked for dave again, this time on a last minute shoot for another video game cover. the inspiration for the shoot was lara croft and james bond. the female model was russian and in need of a green card and the male model the company chose was off the hook. he was british, full of energy and highly entertaining. at multiple points during the night, he was running up and doing back flips off trees. pretty crazy.

saturday: rick and i went to melrose to return the clothes and hooker boots dave purchased for the video game shoot. most of the garments were non-refundable or final sales (boo!!) but as a bonus, my boss dave is allowing me to use the store credit. so i have $150 to spend in on questionable clothing. (no, i'm just kidding. it's not that questionable). on one of the final sales, the guy working there allowed me to exchange one of the corset tops for a large, silver panther head necklace.

sunday: was supposed to be an LA Polaroid Nerd Out on the santa monica pier but not many nerds could attend, so there was a mini Nerd Out at jake and george's house with lou, and me and rebecca as models. jake is the proud owner of forty or more of wallace seawell's handpainted backdrops. so it was pretty awesome to be photographed against the backdrops that were once used for portraits of peggy lee, sophia loren and gregory peck. jake took some ridiculously awesome shots of me wearing my canvas mossimo cut-out dress, a blonde crackwhore wig and retro rollerskates. wait until you see...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

in case you needed a good laugh...

in addition to the thousands and thousands of personal photos i have on my computer i also collect inspirational photos from other photographers and some assinine photos that just crack me up. for example this gem ALWAYS tickles me: it's a photo of america's biggest publicity stunt scam artist couple, heidi montag (obviously post-surgery) and spencer pratt.

BAHAHAHAHA!! could either of them look more like a tool?! even more amusing was the fact that this photo (another funny one i saved awhile back) coinsidently happened to be next to the heidi/spencer photo in my folder:

how very appropriate.

Friday, February 1, 2008

til 4 in da mornin'

yesterday was an interesting day...

i went to beverly hills for an interview for a personal assistant job for a website launch this weekend. didn't get the job (or else they would have called me) but all is well because the gig would have required driving and i hate gigs that require me to use my car/my gas. since i was in the area, i decided to visit my friend hal but en route to hal's office, my brain made me go into a thrift store. i wound up buying more ridiculous things i will use for future photo shoots including a vintage polka dotted mossimo canvas dress with side cutouts (it looks like a 1970s go-go clown dress); a pair of hot pink snakeskin (hope it's fake) pumps; and a pair of wooden platform clogs that i now wear around the house.

i tagged some images for hal and edited some photos hal took of me the night i wore a 70s dress and sat on his stove with a large knife. (needless to say, very interesting shots). we stayed in the office until 7:30 in order to avoid the peak traffic hours. hal wound up eating dinner with me and rick (rick cooked!! :) aw) and then hal and i embarked on a late night photo adventure.

we met with his creative genius friend sarah who got in touch with two strangers she found on myspace just an hour prior (a brother and sister) who wanted their photos taken. also involved were four of sarah's friends. we met the strangers at a starbucks and acted like we had a plan for a shoot when in reality we had no idea what we were about to do. everyone was in his/her car following us as we feverishly looked for a potential location to set up a guerilla-style photo shoot. after finding an abandoned building next to alley, we set up and took some photos with sarah's lighting equipment. everyone was really enthusiastic, even the bum who lives in the covered parking lot of the abandoned building. the brother and sister duo were fantastically friendly and fun and everybody quickly became friends.

hal and i scouted out our next location while sarah wrapped up her shoot. after scouring a car was for a working outlet (no luck), we found a construction site with exposed beams of steel or iron, staircases leading to nowhere and lots of equipment (hoses, electric cords, ladders, you name it). in order to get to this location we all had to climb over a chainlink fence and climb down a steep ladder into the foundation of the "building" ... with equipment. it was quite an experience. lots of interesting shots.

after freezing our toes off for who-knows-how-long (and sarah accidentally breaking one of her lights), we finally decided to call it a night and go to a local diner. sitting in the diner, lethargic with red noses and cold toes (and a few of us a little tipsy)... i felt like i was in college again. i didn't get home until 4:30 in the morning. it's comforting to meet people who are dedicated to making art happen and are even more wildly imaginitive than i am because it gives me a reason to do crazy things and makes me feel as though these things aren't that crazy.

photos to come on my flickr.