Monthly Archives: January 2011

Homme Movies: True Grit

Dear True Grit,

You are a good movie. I enjoyed watching you. The other evening, my beautiful friend ActorWriter Brian asked me if I wanted to see you, and I was like “Not really.” But I changed my mind (out of sheer desperation to see a movie) and we went with our pretty friend NotQuiteSureWhatHeDoes Jonny, who left halfway through the film because he got, like, totally bored. The plot of the film is as follows (spoiler alert: I give away the ending!):

1. Someone kills Hailee Steinfeld’s dad.

2. She enlists the help of Cartoon-Texan Matt Damon and Gurgle-Voice Alcoholic Jeff Bridges to find her father’s murderer.

3. Everyone they come into contact with dies. In totally long, gratuitous scenes with tons of close ups of everyone’s fingers getting cut off.

4. After everyone in the whole world is murdered, they finally kill the dude that killed Hailee’s dad.

5. Hailee turns into an old woman and the whole audience is simultaneously reminded 0f their own mortality and everyone cries.

I know it sounds like I didn’t love you that much, True Grit. But I really did. Even during the boring middle 1.5 hours, I was captivated by how gorgeous the film is. The production design (by Jess Gonchor) is stunning. Because I am obsessed with the West, all the beautiful wide shots of dry, sweeping landscapes kept me happy when the plot got boring. Even the typeface used on the closing credits was impeccable and cohesive with the style of the film. True Grit is definitely one of those movies that you don’t really enjoy until after you’re done watching it. And then it sticks with you and you want to see it again.


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Homme Sweet Homme: Trovata

Dear Model,

I like your hooded jacket by Trovata. And your face. You look like you’re made of wax.


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Whut Glamour: Fashion Sketches

Dear Richard Haines,

I absolutely love the beautiful sketches you made that are featured in the NYT’s Paris/Milan Fashion Week coverage. The drawings give a sense of the fashion, but are also tremendously appealing and sensitively rendered. They are truly works in their own right. I’ve always liked fashion sketches, but I kind of want to be converted into a cartoon-fashion-sketch so I can enter into the wonderful cast of characters you’ve created in your drawings. Lovely.


PS: View the complete slideshow of sketches here.

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Five Haute Things for the Homme: Accent Lamps

Dear Diary,

In about a month, I’ll be moving into a (yet to be found) apartment and the one thing I’m most concerned with is light. I like my apartment to be super bright at all times. Having too many lights on makes me feel cozy and protected. And like I’m slowly killing the earth (sorrlz). For the sake of the environment, I use compact fluorescents whenever possible (Ikea has great ones, by the way. They have a warm tone unlike most of the depressing, pore-accentuating bluetone ones on the market). I like lamps that have something to say. Something like “Hello Orlando, welcome home! If you were responsible enough to have a dog, he would greet you at the door and love you unconditionally. But instead you have me, a lamp that you bought. And I love you because if you didn’t exist no one would ever turn me on and I’d be useless.” Here are a few examples of such lamps:

Eclipse Light by Maurício Klabin

I like this light because it was designed in 1982 and it’s called the “Eclipse.” I was born during a lunar eclipse in 1982. Even if you weren’t born during a lunar eclipse in 1982, you can still appreciate the playfulness of this lamp, which has a shade that can be molded into a number of different fun configurations.

Diesel Fork Table Light from The Conran Shop

This lamp is ridiculously expensive ($747) but I like it anyway.

Crane Desk Lamp from CB2

I don’t know when the public is going to start an uprising against this “Grellow” color from CB2 but it’s kind of everywhere. I find the color really appealing and fun for now, but wonder if it’s going to look barfy in a few years. It’s a fun way to add a color pop to a room, and at the end of the day it’s just a little lamp, not a giant sofa, so it’s no biggie if you hate the color by 2014. All that being said, the shape of the lamp is utterly pleasing and classic.

Isamu Noguchi Table Lamp [Model 1N] from the Noguchi Museum Store

My mom went to the Noguchi Museum (in Queens) a few years ago and came back with all these crazy adorable Noguchi lamps. Because there are so many out there, paper lamps can look super cheezeballz, so it’s nice to see them nicely designed and manufactured.

Alan Table Light by 7Gods

This lamp is kinda crazy and I’m not sure I’d ever have it in my own place, but it’s very beautiful. I’m trying to envision where it would make sense, maybe some kind of 80s Regency, all white/glass/mirror house in the Hollywood Hills? Whatever I still like it. Sorry.

Okay, so go buy all these lamps now and illuminate your life.


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Marthatimez: Beer Chicken!

Dear Foodlez (like a Foodie, but a Food-Poodle instead because I don’t like the word “Foodie”),

Did you know you can stick a can of beer inside a chicken and then bake it? I thought it was common knowledge but I found out recently that some people hadn’t heard of it so I thought I’d bring it to your attention. Apparently roasting a chicken with a beer inserted in it makes for a tender, tangy meal. I’ve never actually done this before, but my handsome friend Matthew Lanphier did the other night and I must say it was totally delicious. You can get the recipe from Martha and make this delicious treat for the worthiest of your friends. The recipe Matthew chose had a delicious Fig-Jam Pan Sauce. We paired it with baked sweet potato fries and a simple salad and the meal was great.


Beer-Can Roasted Chicken with Fig-Jam Pan Sauce Recipe

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked sweet potatoes are actually relatively healthy, and totally delicious. I used more pepper than my fellow diners would have liked, but I am a total fiend for fresh ground pepper and I loved how spicey and fresh the fries tasted. The moral of the story is that you need to  know your audience, so don’t over-pepper if you are feeding a bunch of weaklings. For the sweet potato fries, I use a simple recipe taught to me by my mother, Catherine Marian Soria, who happens to be the best mother in the whole universe. Here’s the recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into fry-sized slices.

3. In a large bowl, drizzle potatoes with olive oil until they are evenly coated (you don’t need too much, about two tablespoons per potato).

4. Season with fresh ground pepper and fresh ground sea salt. Rosemary may also be added for a special kick!

5. Bake until ends are brown and crispy, 15-30 minutes depending on thickness.

Simple Salad

This one is simple. Buy a salad mix from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and toss lightly with:

Galeo’s Miso Dressing

Once you try this dressing you will never want to use anything else. It’s the best salad dressing in the whole entire world. No joke.

Happy dinner partying!


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Fake Joan Didion Quote of the Week

“Will someone get these nuts away from me!?! I can’ t stop eating them!” – Joan Didion*

*Not a real Joan Didion quote, sadly.

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Typoglamour: The Yosemite School

Dear The Yosemite School,

I went to you for 9 years, but I never noticed how totally glamourous your signage is. I believe this sign was installed in the 1950s when the school turned from a log cabin into a bigger, more modern building. I had many funtimes at The Yosemite School. Probably because of the sophisticated typeface on the school’s sign.

Orlando Dumond Soria, 8th Grade Diploma – 1996


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Whut Glamour: Neo80z Crop Shirts

Dear Gay Calvin Klein,

The current 90 degree weather in Los Angeles has me thinking about spring fashion so I decided to go online and check out what have you in store for the next few months. The most exciting and ridiculous part of your collection is the 80s inspired cropped off shirts. Since my childhood, I have had a secret obsession with crop tops. When I was little, they were all the rage. The fact that they’ve just been revived is the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my whole entire life. They’re not quite as casual/sporty as the ones I remember from my youth, but they do have the same sense of playfulness. I highly doubt dudes are going to start wearing these all over town, but I wouldn’t mind it if they did. Just as long as they look like these Ken dolls:

View whole Calvin Klein Spring 2011 collection here.


PS: These are more like the 80s crop tops I remember:

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Too Cool For Azul

Dear Frida Kahlo,

This week Emily and I were discussing blue and I naturally thought of your amazing homestead, La Casa Azul. La Casa Azul is the house you were raised in that is now a museum dedicated to your life and your hilarious and lighthearted paintings. Thinking about your blue casa made me start thinking about other blue casas, so then I went on the interwebs and LOOK what I found!:

La Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo Museum):

Other gorgeous blue houses:

I like the bright color of this one:

I’m pretty sure the makeup artist from Blue Man Group lives here:

I love this one. Wouldn’t mind having it as a weekend house:

I love a good craftsman house, and I love it even more when it looks like a smurf:

A secret fantasy of mine is to live in a cabin that looks like it could implode at any moment, especially if it has a bright blue wall:

I like this whacky house, and its whacky color:

Someday, I’ll have a blue house. And a meaningful committed relationship. Someday.


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Gladvertising: Levi’s

Dear Levi’s,

I have been raving about you to everyone on set because it has recently come to my attention that your combination of good product and amazing lifestyle branding have completely won me over. While I was living in New York last year, I went to the movies and your “Go Forth” advertisement featuring a Walt Whitman poem was played before the previews began. That ad (below) is probably the most beautiful ad I’ve ever watched. It’s sexy, raw, and showcases perfectly the glamour and adventure of the West. It made me miss California. The images of crazy kids running around having fun in the wilderness are totally exciting and remind me of my childhood in Yosemite National Park, playing with rocks and twigs every day after school. I also loved how lively and positive these ads are, a call to action to get people inspired (about buying jeans). Here are some of the print ads from the “Go Forth” campaign:

Here’s that amazing commercial I mentioned before:

And another pretty commercial:

And then there’s the more recent “We Are All Workers” campaign, which isn’t quite as visually appealing but is tremendously relevant. I love the way it references Dust Bowl era photography without seeming to demean it. There’s a sense of respect for the travails of Americans during the Depression while somehow glamorizing the fashion and pragmatism of the era. The whole thing feels very Steinbeckian, as if the images were film stills from “East of Eden” or “The Grapes of Wrath.” The literary and cinematic quality of the images gives them an intelligent aura, which makes me want to buy stuff. Here are some of the “We Are All Workers” ads:

And one of the (gorgeously photographed) commercials:


PS: These campaigns were produced by Wieden & Kennedy

PSS: In addition to having awesome ads, you guys also make the best jeans. A tip to the wise: never pay full price. Levi’s stuff always goes on sale and it’s always dirt cheap. Yet another reason I’ve fallen in love.

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