Thursday, June 28, 2012

fresh off the press

Yesterday, at long last, the newest batch of Dude and Chick cards arrived on my doorstep from Minnesota, still smelling of fresh ink. I'm really proud of this round of designs - my favorite is the High Five card, which I will now use for everything. Scott (our product photographer, #boyfriendperks) created a new lighting setup for shooting, and it really made a difference. I'm looking forward to reshooting the rest of the catalog in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

funny ha-ha

It's hard to find time for all the cool stuff that's going on constantly in this town. Los Angeles and NYC are very different, but one thing's true about both cities - there's always someplace to be. Last weekend, Scott and I finally got it together to take in a comedy show on Saturday night, at the Main Room of the Comedy Store. We biked a solid five miles and overpaid for a few beers, and were rewarded with a thoroughly hilarious marathon of comedy, including Michael Kosta, Sam Tripoli, Jeff Garlin, Brody Stevens, Bill Burr, and Ari Shaffir. My trademark bitchface even got a shoutout from the stage! After the show, we stuck around and mingled with the talent before the ride home.
Also this weekend: a killer at-home manicure (with an assist from some masking tape, see step one and two above), a trip to the beach with our BUTT towel companions, and the public debut of Scott's treasured NIN shirt, found on eBay.

Monday, June 25, 2012

behind the scenes

A couple of weeks ago, we took a break from our regularly scheduled Saturday to shoot Greg and Sarah's Silverlake apartment for Design Sponge. We got a bright and early start to catch the good light, and Scott got his photographer on while Sarah art directed, Greg kept us fed, and I made beer runs (aka "helped"). You can see the official photos here, above is my iPhoned behind the scenes version.
1. Asparagus benedict for breakfast by G
2. Took a break to cheese it up for an xmas card-worthy Fam Foto
3. Scott in his natural habitat
4. Pretty posies that Sarah and I rescued from the Silverlake farmer's market
5. Grilled sweet potato and tofu tacos ready for assembly
6. The photog and art director, showing off their classy tee selections for the day

Friday, June 22, 2012

recent reads

After coughing up a tidy sum of library fines (you're welcome, LAPL) I've been on a pretty good run lately, book-wise. Usually, after a really good read, I'll get the old reading hangover - almost any subsequent book feels stale in comparison. But over the past month or so, I've managed to stave that off with the following list...

The Art of Fielding / Chad Harbach - My dad nailed it with his recommendation on this one. I realize I'm hardly the first person to like this book, but I like to think twelve years of softball added to my enjoyment. The characters were so carefully rendered they felt like live people I'd spent real time with - I was heartbroken when I hit the end, just because I wanted to continue with Henry and Schwartz and their tragic everyman lives. TAoF is a novel about baseball in the same way Friday Night Lights was a television show about football.

The Fates Will Find Their Way / Hannah Pittard - Inevitably, everything you hear about this book will reference The Virgin Suicides, which kind of sucks, considering Eugenides isn't exactly an easy act to follow. But I suppose that's what you get when you write a novel in first person plural about a young girl's disappearance. Regardless, TFWFTW is a great book - engaging and windy and roundabout and dreamlike, like listening to a great storyteller relate his version to you over too many beers.

The Leftovers / Tom Perrotta - I just really love Tom Perrotta. At this point, I've read all of his books save Election, and the man just knows how to write a good story about screwed up normal folks. The Leftovers has a bit of a gimmicky premise - it's set three years after a rapture-like "great disappearance" has occurred - but it's really about loss, and confusion, and how people continue to live after a catastrophe. The interview Perrotta did with Fresh Air the other day is fantastic and interesting as well. I'm interested to see the HBO series - clearly Hollywood loves Perrotta as much as I do.

Prospect Park West / Amy Sohn - Smutty fluff, but the good kind. PPW tells the somewhat-intertwined tales of four different women/mothers in Park Slope. The four of them are sort of distinctly unlikeable, and the focus on race (in pre-Obama upper class Brooklyn) and celebrity status is a bit heavy handed at times, but the whole book read like a snappy Sex and the City episode. I picked this up after hearing a beach-read recommendation for Sohn's new book, Motherland, and got exactly what I was looking for (that is, froth that lasts longer than a trashy magazine).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

weekend adventures

Friday brought an unexpected visit from our friend Greg, who is hitchhiking around the country and happened to stop in LA. He brought endless stories of his time in the desert, through Texas and New Mexico on his way from New Orleans to the coast, and punctuated them with his impressive tan lines from hours in the sun wearing his favorite old-man socks. After a super-late night, we made our way to the coast and swam for hours in the finally-warm ocean under cloudy skies.
In other news, my pincurl obsession continues, Scott built a new shooting setup for the new Dude and Chick product we will document this week, and I had a short stint as a hand model against the pink background above (my arm is sore).

Friday, June 15, 2012

predictable obsessions

Last weekend, I went on one of my coveted solo movie outings to take in Moonrise Kingdom. I'm a big fan of Wes Anderson's visual creations - but not always the entirety of his movies. The Royal Tenenbaums is still one of my top five re-watchable films (insert rant about Bottle Rocket being his only decent movie here) but Darjeeling and Zissou left me a little cold in the full-shebang department.
Maybe it was just the magical feeling of the whole thing, combined with a long, quiet walk home to fully digest it. Maybe it was the charming interview with Terry Gross that I listened to earlier in the week (in which Anderson weirdly avoids mentioning either of the kids by name - they are simply "the boy" and "the girl"). But I really, really loved every second of this movie. The awkward child actors - and there were many, my far and away favorite being Redford, the ignobly wounded, dirtbike riding ginger - gave off a feeling of pre-adolescent importance that I found charming. Their words and actions reminded me of that giddy fantasy feeling of starring in a Very Relevant play based on your own Very Interesting life. Of course Sam is an orphan, fitting the description of every hero and heroine of all the stories I wrote.
Anyhow, I was able to ignore my hypocritical annoyance with the crowd of twee couples in three-piece suits and fifties housewife dresses and fully embrace my completely predictable, art-school grad love. And then I went home and proceeded to draw. You can say a lot of things about Wes Anderson, but his work always makes me want to create things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

play us a little something

The last week or so has been an exercise in patience for my anxious mind. Dude and Chick is coming up on some exciting things - not the least of which is our first release in a while, which has been postponed by John's second case of strep throat this year. I've never enjoyed waiting for things I want (does anyone?) but am trying to remind myself of all the back-burner tasks I have lurking around the studio. It's been productive but tedious, and my mind wanders to all the cool stuff on the horizon. And so, in an effort to have a little fun, and also to commemorate the end of my favorite season of Mad Men so far, a little sketch of our accordion-playin Joanie made it all the way to a quick color.

Friday, June 8, 2012

small prints

Scott's newest work is in a show that opens tonight: Small Prints, presented by Humble Arts, is a collection of 50 curated images that "encourage artists and viewers to move past the idea that “bigger is better,” in exchange for a more intimate interaction with photography." Each piece is uniformly framed, and only 8x10 inches. I wish we could make it out to Boston to see the tiny parade of beautiful work, but I'll have to settle for picking through the images on the website. Above is Scott's piece, a photograph of his gray hair and his father's intertwined.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

one year in los angeles

Last weekend marked our one year anniversary with Los Angeles, a city that now feels like home. Scott and I went out to El Coyote to celebrate - the first place we ate out here, on our apartment hunting trip.
It feels like we've come a long way from Minneapolis, geographically of course, but also as a couple, and in our work. If you would have told me five years ago that 2012 would find me in Southern California, working full time as co-owner of a stationery line, living with Scott - I'm not sure I would have believed it. During our drive to LA, I remember looking out the window at the desert, excited but anxious about the beginning of something different. I started over when I moved to Minnesota in 2004, but this move had nothing to do with school, or jobs, or friends. Just the two of us looking for a change.
Taking a moment to appreciate how far we've traveled, the new home that we've made together, the joy of sunshine every day and working at a job I really love feels...significant.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

all hail the michelada

Welcome to my current obsession - the Michelada. It's essentially a Mexican Bloody Mary - with beer subbed for vodka. They're on the menu at most of the Mexican restaurants in LA, often for happy hour, but I always passed them by in favor of margaritas. Well, NO MORE. I love a good bloody, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back - the carbonation of a good, cheap lager with the tomato juice is weirdly refreshing. Scott and I had the professional version on the patio at Chavo the other night, and of course went home and crafted our own concoction, which you can try if you so desire.

you'll need...
tomato or clamato juice (or, if you're a dork like me, you can use V-8 for a slightly more vegetably taste and pretend to be healthy)
Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce works too)
chili salt 
1 lemon
1 beer (Tecate is my personal preference)
Chili-salt the rim of a pint glass, then fill with ice. Squeeze in all the juice from the lemon - if you're cheating with prepped lemon juice, use about 1/4 cup. Shake in as much Tabasco as you can stand. Add a shake of salt, and a couple of glugs of Worcestershire sauce (about a tablespoon). Top off with 1/2 cup of the tomato based juice of your choice. Stir it up real good, then add beer - you'll have some of the can left, which you can add as you drink it down. Enjoy on a patio with friends and guacamole, naturally.

Friday, June 1, 2012


The whirlwind of visitors has finally come to an end, but we went out with a bang over Memorial Day with our friends Malcolm and Michelle, in town from Minneapolis. Sifting through my iPhone snaps, I can't believe we survived, considering the ridiculous amount of In-n-Out, margaritas, and frozen yogurt that was consumed. Above are just a few highlights, some of my other favorite photos will inevitably seep into future posts. I miss those crazy kids already.
a) Malcolm and our girl Kelly have formed "The Piggies." I know.
b) I never see Scott happier than when he's hangin' with Malc.
c) Babes lookin' fly at Wurstk├╝che.
d) Design in the wild.
e) Gods of astronomy at the Observatory.
f) Obligatory h-wood sign pic of Mich.