Monthly Archives: September 2012

Quotable: Happiness and the Individual

Standard

“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.”

Bertrand Russell 

Advertisements

Wednesday Watercooler

Standard

Time is seemingly just skipping on by this year.  I swear just a few weeks ago I was lamenting how it was already summer and now – all of a sudden, fall is upon us. If you take the time and think about it, the older you get the faster time respectively seems to fly -when we’re younger, we have a lot of ‘novel‘ first experiences that stick their roots in us as monumental; as we get older, there are less and less of those unique milestones in our lives.  Think about the first long drive you took – I bet it took forever, but on the way back didn’t it seem like a breeze?  But if you’re one of those people that’s dragging their cute butt through the week, keep reading and maybe this will kick things into a higher gear.

Science

Amidst a considerable amount of controversy, UK based Channel 4 made a daring (and entertaining) move by observing participants under the effect of the recreational club drug MDMA.  The study was designed by David Nutt and Valerie Curran – respectively professors of neuropsychopharmacology (say that five times fast) at Imperial College London and psychology at University College London.  This study, much like a previous study on psilocybin, was conducted both in hopes of observing brain changes via fMRI and in the treatment of mental illnesses like depression and PTSD.  Though not all volunteers will be shown on television, amongst the 26 were Evan Harris, a former member of Parliament, Lionel Shriver, a writer, and actor Keith Allen.  If you’re like me, you won’t want to miss this – watch live this today (9/26) and Thursday (9/27) here.

Football

I can’t say that I’m a huge football fan,  actually it’s one of my least favorite sports – next to the nonsports of professional golf and cheerleading. How-to-the-ever, I know enough football fanatics – including my best friends and parents, that I  definitely can empathize with the current referee situation.   On Monday, the Green Bay Packers faced off with the Seattle Seahawks in what ended up being an unfortunate loss by the CheeseHeads due to some Bone Headed officiating by replacement referees.

The NFL Officials are currently on strike – asking the league to provide thousands of dollars a year toward their pension plan.  Per usual, the owners are being obstinate – hiring abysmal replacement referees and doing the best they can to keep the 2012-13 season in play.  Also to note, the less clothed and talented Lingerie Football League had apparently fired some of the same replacement referees from their own league.

Entertainment

Following in the stellar footsteps of Daft Punk, Skrillex is venturing out of his dubstepbox and doing huge things for himself.  Currently on his plate is the score for the upcoming James Franco movie the Spring Breakers as well as the upcoming Disney movie, Wreck It Ralph.  He’s catching some considerable flack from parts of the EDM world but I think it’s actually pretty neat.  I can’t think of many DJs, beyond Feed Me and potentially the ‘Mau5, that would excel at doing the score for the movie so major Kudos to Skrillex.  And to boot, he gets his own cameo alongside John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman; the cameo isn’t in the trailer below but no matter -it still gets me excited!

Technology

Google Maps is at it again; no, this isn’t an anti-iPhone post – rather, it’s me getting excited about an innovative look at geography. They’ve paired up with the Catlin Seaview Survey to provide amazing underwater maps like the one below.  We all could use a vacation, and now you don’t have to leave your desk to take one – head on over right now to take a gander at sea turtles, coral, schools of fish and sunsets from exotic locations like Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

Doing it Right: All Day We Dream of Cities and Angels

Standard

Over the last few months, I’ve managed to both migrate friend groups and music scenes; if you know much about LA you’ll realize that these are more or less the same thing. In Los Angeles, your taste in music and culture – apart from everything else – are truly what separates you from the rest of the bunch, essentially dictating which of the multitudes of subcultures you belong to. Though I have a firm and steady love for all things music – especially electronic, for the past few years I’ve been listening to a lot of trance, house and drum & bass. Well, about five months ago the trajectory of my life shifted – I started wavering away from my former group of friends into unfamiliar territory: the co-mingling worlds of deephouse and techhouse.  Sure, I’d been to a few underground parties in the past but this was so different. My friends were essentially spoon feeding me music, events and DJs like I was a newborn child. I’ve always told my friends that the best way to experience a new type of music or new DJ is to see them live – and now I can say for a fact this is true.

Looking back at all the wonderful events I went to this Summer, I can tell you with 110% certainty that my favorite was ‘All Day I Dream of LA Sky‘ with Lee Burridge and Matthew Dekay. I went with a few of my new, close friends (remember: I’m excellent at this fastfriend thing) after an epic birthday weekend in Ojai.  To be honest, I had no expectations because I didn’t know what to expect.  But there were beautiful people sprawled out across the parking-lot-rooftop-turned-dancefloor, gorgeous light fixtures of all colors swaying with the slight breeze and the music – oh, the music.  And I couldn’t be more thrilled, because they’re bringing the party back to Los Angeles one more time….today! As I type this, I’m getting all sorts of goosebumps reminiscing about just how amazing the last show was and this giddy feeling is developing in my heart, is it time to dance yet?!  If you want to see what you missed last go around, just take a gander at the video below!

Kitchen Kitten: What the French, Toast?

Standard

In the past year, I’ve shifted my focus on a lot of things – one of those changes has been spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, cooking and baking up a storm. I’ve perfected my stir-fry technique, developed my own special way of cooking chicken, and have a go-to recipe for lamb.  I filleted salmon the other week just to see if I could find a cooked fish recipe that I could enjoy.  I tried my hand at baking cupcakes, pretzels, and cookies all with the other hand firmly on a glass of wine.

It all started because I was sick of being a picky eater, and figured if I could learn how to make the things I enjoyed eating, then I would eat more.  Isn’t it great when you’re right?! The me from 5 years ago would laugh at my 27 year old self, because now I absolutely love it. Being in the kitchen is such a calming and cathartic process, and there’s no better feeling than cooking something up that you as the chef can’t get enough of. This thought goes into my head each time I savor a bite – this is amazing, and I did it all myselfIt’s such a source of pride, and I gift that’s so easy to share with friends and family.

Way back in the day, back when I was a litttttttle girl, my mom and I would indulge ourselves by making breakfast for dinner.  Sometimes we had pancakes, other times we had waffles…and then every once in the bluest moon she would make me my favorite – French ToastApparently, I wasn’t as helpful as I like to remember being because I’ve avoided making it for most of my adult life.  Good thing that’s recently changed for the better.  I have a super simple recipe – and kind of like Yan said, ‘If I can cook, so can you!’

French Toast – Prep Time :05 // Cook Time :15

Equipment:

  • Non Stick Skillet, 12″
  • Pie plate, or plate deep enough to soak the bread
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Whisk or fork

Ingredients for 2 Servings:

  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tbs Butter / Margarine
  • 8 Slices (1/2″) of White Bread – Challah, Sourdough, etc
  • Soft Butter
  • Maple Syrup
  • Optional, but I’d have it: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract, Fresh Berries, Powdered Sugar, Whipped Cream

Instructions:

  1. Add milk, salt, and a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon and/or vanilla extract to pie plate
  2. Break eggs into plate and whisk until consistent
  3. In your non-stick skillet, melt 2 tbs of butter on a medium-low heat
  4. Dip bread, one slice at a time, into the mixture – coat both sides well!
  5. Once four slices are dipped and ready, put them in the skillet for 4minutes a side, or until browned
  6. When finished, place the 4 slices on the cookie sheet and repeat with the other 4

Add some maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar or whipped cream and – voila, breakfast (or dinner) is served!

The Wednesday Watercooler

Standard

Has this week been slow for anyone else?

This might just be a symptom of a larger personal problem, but I tend to have these incredibly busy weekends packed to the brim with fun and friends –  this past one was no different. In typical Amanda fashion, I managed to find a menagerie of different ways to enjoy myself.  Friday night I went bar hopping, ending up at the sexy and swanky Harvard & Stone before I found myself poolside at 4am; the next day I cruised down to the Standard in Hollywood to enjoy some sunshine and live DJs by their pool and ended the night getting down and deep with Crazy P & Marques Wyatt at King King.  Sunday was relaxing…until I went and got a tattoo with a good friend out in Venice Beach; but that’s a story for another post.  So, now here I am – middle of the week and I’m halfway between reminiscing about old memories and planning for new ones, that said – these are the things popping up on my radar this week…

Tweet, tweet!

Twitter is essentially swarming with 140 character fun – no matter what your sense of humor (slapstick, ironic, british, laugh out loud, etc), there’s someone out there that is so just your style that it’s silly.  Well, if you’re looking for someone new to follow and fall in hilarity with – take your pick from the following:

Sick of hearing first world problems come out of the mouth of your favorite DJs?  Well, let https://twitter.com/DJsComplaining soothe your soul.

Basically everyone hates the TSA; in fact, I’m sure when the TSA are trying to fly they hate the TSA too – next time you’re stuck in an airport watching strangers get frisked, pull up this twitter handle and chuckle a little: http://twitter.com/TSAgov

After a Newsweek tweet earlier this week asking users for their stories on #MuslimRage – the hashtag went viral, and so did the humor.  Check out some of the best tweets here: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/09/17/world-hilarious-muslims-rage-on-twitter/

Word Problems

Take a gander at the clusterfuck of letters below and see what the first three words that speak to you are.  Mine were Love, Beauty and Happiness; a lot of Facebook friends played along with me last week and I had a blast seeing what everyone else got.  The most humorous choice was “Carne asada burrito”, which does sound damn good right about now…

Politics:

In an interview released earlier this week, Clint Eastwood finally sat down and confirmed what we hoped was true. To quote his interview with Extra, which you can watch for yourself below, Eastwood jokes:

 “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get…the Democrats who were watching thought I was going senile, and the Republicans knew I was.”

And to boot, a viral video of Mitt Romney talking at a $50,000 a plate fundraiser has surfaced and it’s been causing quite a scene. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it in it’s ridiculous entirety, you’re in luck. The Mother Jones, a liberal political blog/magazine, posted it here.

Creature Comforts:

Any Collective Soul fans out there? The cat in this video belongs to Gregg Gillis, better known to my generation as Girl Talk.  I maybe watched this video 3 or 4 times in a row, each time ‘squee’-ing in delight…why? Watch for yourselves and see, and maybe even sing along!

Burning Man:

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that those crazy fun Burners have resurfaced back into the real world.  But, not for lack of not wanting to.  Every day I see more posts from friends that refuse to let go of that one magical week in the desert, and with a pictures like the ones below – I can’t say I blame them.