December 28, 2009

one-sentence movie reviews

of films i saw in 2009:

avatar: ferngully with better special effects and without all the snazzy dance sequences
away we go: maggie gyllenhaal shines in dave eggers' best film of the year
coraline: best 3D movie of the year (yeah, i went there)
the cove: part eco-documentary, part spy drama -- the ocean's-11-style commando team really takes your breath away when the oceans turn red with blood
district 9: biggest surprise of the year -- not at all what i expected
fantastic mr. fox: wes anderson is brillant -- best film of the year
(500) days of summer: made downtown LA seem romantic
food, inc.: eye-opening if you haven't read omnivore's dilemma, preaching to the choir if you have
the hangover: FUNNIEST MOVIE OF THE DECADE...if i were a 19-year-old guy
harry potter: too scary
he's just not that into you: i will never be wowed by an easy romantic comedy, but i will be entertained for 2 hours
i love you, man: notable for the introduction of "totes magotes" into the vernacular, also for leaving the movie-going public under the impression that silver lake and venice are 10 minutes apart
inglourious basterds: tarantino at his finest -- i left this gory nazi film feeling strangely uplifted and energized
julie and julia: see review for "he's just not that into you"
monsters vs. aliens: snoozefest '09
new moon: the pea coat and ray bans didn't make up for how pale he was
paranormal activity: not sure how i got talked into seeing this, but i closed my eyes and plugged my ears for the last 5 minutes, and that was the best decision i made all year
up: i cried...twice
up in the air: accurate, if hard to swallow, portrayal of generation Y in the workplace; loved it, despite being a starwood girl
where the wild things are: it wasn't for kids; it was for hipsters

December 24, 2009

15 best songs of 2009

 my favorite songs of 2009...i apologize in advance for #14 and #8.

15. harold t wilkins - fanfarlo
14. crickets - new boyz
13. heads will roll - yeah yeah yeahs
12. robots in love - beautiful small machines
11. blood bank - bon iver
10. coin laundry - lisa mitchell
9. stillness is the move - dirty projectors
8. body language - jesse mccartney (though the re-release with t-pain isn't as good as the original from '08)
7. shooting stars - bag raiders

6. feel it in my bones - tiesto feat. tegan & sara 
5. pick up the phone - dragonette
4. better things - passion pit
3. howl - florence + the machine
2. 1901 - phoenix
1. bulletproof - la roux

honorable mention (released late in 2008): what am i doing here - shwayze

December 23, 2009


mom, zoe, and i did our annual holiday cookie bake-a-thon today. clockwise from top of table: white chocolate macadamia cranberry cookies, peanut butter kisses, my signature chocolate mint shmooshes, sugar cookies with royal icing, german shortbread, gingersnaps, corn wafers. inquire within for recipes.

December 21, 2009

ugly holiday sweaters

i am very on board with the recent trend of ironic ugly holiday sweater parties. i'm invited to several each season, and my j.c.penney purchase from black friday 2008 has served me well (far right).

getting a good sweater is serious business. if you don't make a move early in the season (like my black friday acquisition), you could be left with lackluster holiday apparel. instead of an ironic homage to the tasteless, you've just got an ugly sweater. SF weekly published a great article today on the "tragic shortage" of appropriately ridiculous sweaters, and it featured my favorite, the meta sweater:

December 18, 2009

favorite NPR names

great day for NPR names! heard my girls doualy xaykaothao, lakshmi singh, and soraya sarhaddi nelson on morning edition today. i wish ofeibea could have checked in to round out my top 4.
my top 12 NPR names:
12. adolfo guzman-lopez
11. mandalit del barco
10. john ydstie
9. lourdes garcia-navarro
8. hettie lynne hurtes
7. sylvia poggioli
6. kai ryssdal
5. renita jablonski
4. soraya sarhaddi nelson
3. ofeibea quist-arcton
2. lakshmi singh
1. doualy xaykaothao

December 16, 2009

tagging on melrose

i accidentally drove down the wrong street off melrose last weekend and encountered blocks and blocks of back-alley mural art.

for those of you with a mirror, you should know that i purposefully framed this photo to exclude the naked body of said "ho."

December 15, 2009


accepted to harvard business school this morning!

12/16 update: also got the call from stanford's graduate school of business last night. i'm in!

December 13, 2009

the united states is #1 in something

interesting (though heinous) infographic from regarding charitable giving in the united states. my caveat to their #2 tip for picking a winner (near the bottom) is that some non-profits are making charitable events efficient sources of fundraising. yes, attending events hasn't traditionally been the best way to give, but it doesn't have to be that way!


December 11, 2009

gimme that christian side hug!

occasionally, i encounter a cultural crumb so bizarre that i cannot fathom the metaphorical muffin it fell from. as i watch this rap video espousing the purity of the "christian side hug," i can't help but notice the hundreds (thousands?) of people screaming in the audience. their muffin is not even sold at the same bakery as mine.

money quote: "jesus never hugged nobody like that!"

December 7, 2009

crowd-sourcing for the masses

the awesome power of google search meets the (sometimes) awesome content of twitter's about time.

i think google's new real-time search feature could be a really valuable way to get answers to all my pressing (and also not-so-pressing) questions. can't wait.

December 4, 2009

how to know where your donation is going

california attorney general jerry brown recently released a report indicating that over half of charitable contributions in the state never end up in charities' coffers. most of the funds raised are used to cover the cost of fundraisers. having attended some of these lavish galas, i can tell you first-hand how disheartening it is to calculate how many lives the money spent on the floral centerpiece could have saved.

but it doesn't have to be that way! philanthro productions in los angeles is a non-profit event production company that throws social events to raise money for charity, and in 2009, over 95% of event revenue went directly to charity. in fact, at many events, 100% of cover charge goes to the non-profit partner.

philanthro (which also has chapters in san francisco and san diego) is part of the solution, not the problem. the attorney general recommends that you find out what percentage of donations will go to pay for fundraising expenses before you contribute. be a savvy giver, and party with philanthro. by attending philanthro events, you can have the peace of mind that your money is being spent transparently and efficiently.

(full disclosure: i currently serve as president of philanthro productions los angeles and sit on the corporate board of directors)

frosted mini spooners

consultants love flow charts, and consultants who love cereal (me) will especially like this graphic from eating the road. glad to see my beloved frosted mini spooners made it on the list. but, luckily for cap'n crunch, sometimes i don't care about the roof of my mouth.

(click to enlarge)

best youtube sports moments of 2009

i love me a "best of" list (expect lots of them in the coming month).

mashable published the 5 best youtube sports moments of 2009. they're all pretty good, but vijay singh's hole-in-one is out of this world.

December 3, 2009

some people are anti-juice

buzzfeed put out their list of the 50 best protest signs of 2009. some of my favorites:

great list, but they were missing a couple:
i'm not newt gingrich or anything
the "offical" language

why didn't we think of this sooner?

prediction: the countdown traffic light will encourage more stoplight texting.

corduroy skirts are a sin

via andrew sullivan

spread local holiday cheer

find me this weekend at the Unique LA show in downtown los angeles. reviving the romantic downtown image of 500 days of summer, it's going to be a great place to do holiday shopping and support local artists and designers. plus, proceeds benefit our local heroes at 826LA.

December 1, 2009

how will you die?

new infographic from GOOD today showing the leading causes of death by age, sex, and race.

biggest surprise for me? black women age 15-24. unlike young people in any other group, suicide isn't even on the list, but HIV makes the top 3.

(click to enlarge)