Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
When Lauren Conrad hanged up her stilettos and called in time on The Hills everyone wondered what she would do next. Well she decided to put pen to paper and write a book. L.A. Candy is the story of Jane Roberts a sweet 19 year old who moves to LA with her best friend Scarlett when she lands an internship with one of the best event planners in town. While Jane attends to the whims of her demanding boss, Scarlett gets stuck into her studies at University of Southern California. The racy life of LA is a far cry from the safe haven of Santa Barbara and Jane finds herself drawn to the diet of cute guys, designer clothes and cool clubs. So when she is approached by a producer to star in a reality version of Sex and the City which is called L.A. Candy, she and Scarlett jump at the chance. In a few months, the show catapulted Jane into stardom and she is LA’s new IT girl. However as she soon finds out fame comes with a lot of baggage and Jane has to distinguish between her real friends and those who are just out for what they can get.
I was very sceptical when I heard that Lauren Conrad was releasing a book. I mean we have all been here before with Z list celebs releasing book after book. Jordan, Madonna, Pamela Anderson and Naomi Campbell, eat your heart out. However I must admit that this book is a really good read. It is well written and the characters may be a touch cliche but they definitely evoke feeling; whether it is compassion or loathing. You find yourself caring about what happens to these people. This is the first release from Lauren’s three-book deal and judging by the huge cliff hanger at the end of the book I can only assume that there is a sequel lined up.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Well last Monday I set off on my adventures to the USA. Now we all know that America is a very big place what with 52 states and all and my goal is to see as much off it as possible. So I decided that a trip to Atlanta to visit relatives would be a great way to spend the vacation. I missed out on the Olympics in 96 so I guess this trip would be as good as anything. I flew with Continental Airlines with a stopover at Cleveland, Ohio; the plane ride was pretty cool with the small screens on the back. I watched the Beyonce film, Obsessed which was as tedious as I thought it would be and My Life in Ruins which starred, Nia Vardalos who starred in my Big Fat Greek Wedding. The changeover at Cleveland was a tad dramatic mainly because I had forgotten to write down my Uncle’s address so I was subjected to a bit of interrogation from the officials at immigration. After they had satisfied themselves that I was not a terrorist I was let through and made my way to the gate for my connecting flight to Atlanta. I must have looked lost because a toilet attendant asked me if I needed help and escorted me to the gate. On the way she asked me where I was headed and when I told her she gave me a puzzled look. “Where?” she asked. So I repeated what I said. “Ohhhh Aaaaat – laaaan – naaaa!!!,” she exclaimed.
Just over two hours later I was in Atlanta and ready for action. Last year I was in Dallas and Fort Worth which were cities on a very small scale but Atlanta is a very different proposition. The city has an amazing history and has always been the home of the Black middle class and in particular a certain Martin Luther King. It is also where the Black Universities such as Morehouse and Spellman are based hence the fact that the place is dubbed the Black Mecca. Downtown Atlanta is where a lot of things are such as CNN, Coca Cola, Georgia Dome, Georgia World Congress Centre and the Olympic Park. The place is also very easy to navigate because you can walk to most places or take the subway or bus which is called MARTA. Altantans are a friendly bunch and don’t expect to sit down alone for two long because some Southern dude will come marching up to you for a chat. Like I said, people from Atlanta are friendly. Canada and New York beckon next week and I cannot wait to get to Canada because I have been dying to go there since like forever.
Well my blogging will be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks so please bear with me. Updates will be published as soon as I can step to it.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Along with fashion, books and magazines; interiors is another one of my passions. Over the last few months I have come across a variety of fantastic interior blogs. Fashion bloggers may rule blogsphere with beauty bloggers not far behind but those who write about stylish cool living are a new force to deal with. Enter Adrienne Smith whose blog Mustard Seed Collective portrays the best in interior design, style and art.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
The name is inspired by the Parable of the Mustard Seed has always been one of my favorites from the Bible, and it basically says that even a little bit of faith, when acted upon, will produce great things. And I consider myself to be a creative person, and all creative people know it takes more than just coming up with an idea, you have to act on it. So for me the combination of creativity and belief in a vision equal a collective of decor, fashion, art, etc. I have actually been considering changing the title of my blog, but time will tell.
Where do you scribe?
As far as my blog goes, I write from my bed. It's the most comfy place-- maybe a little too comfortable. It's not uncommon to find me falling asleep at my laptop but as long as I don't push it off the bed, I'm good.
Why that place?
I spend eight hours of the day at work behind a desk staring at a computer. If I am going to keep working on the computer once I get home I want to do it in the most relaxing spot possible. My desk is actually a sewing maching my father gave my mother before I was born. She made a lot of my clothes on that machine, it has a lot of knicks and scratches and I plan to refinish it one day but I have been more focused on my bedroom. If you're on a limited budget like I am you build a space piece by piece. Patience is a requirement.
What is on your desk at the moment?
A scarf to protect the desk from further scratches, which matches the one at the end of my bed. A few sketches, mostly doodling, notecards that I am designing, a bowl of beads that I am still deciding what to do with, dried pink roses-- which I love because they dried nicely, look great and I don't have to worry about watering them. Two white ceramic hands, a giant wax candle with intricate scrollwork and my favorite issues of Domino and Elle Decor.
What form of inspiration do you have on the wall or desk ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I wish I had the guts to cut and tear out pages from a magazine, but I usually tab the pages so I can keep them neat. My laptop has many saved articles, images, tips, and blogs, all of which inspire me in various ways.
Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I am more tidy than messy, but I definitely have my messy moments. Sometimes it's just easier to push something to the side or pile it as high as it can go, but I make sure to straighten up before it all comes crashing down.
What will your office look like when it is ready?
I am going for an eclectic look, so I might keep the sewing machine desk. New floor-length drapes are in order, even though I love the way the sunlight comes through the one pictured early in the morning. Also a nice wall treatment, two chairs, one for sitting and the other for a guest or to drape a scarf on, an area rug, hopefully from Designers Guild to anchor everything, and a white lamp to give it all light. I will also add my own crafty touches to make it mine.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Where do you scribe?
I scribe in my room, at a desk I have had since I was 11 years old and which is ugly and horrible and which I can't wait to replace. I really wish I had my own space, but I still live at home, and can't afford to deck out my room the way I want to. Plus my mother is very pedantic about the wall space in her house, and she makes a face everytime I do something new with my room. I have so many nice artworks that I cant wait to hang up, and so many books and magazines overflowing because they don't fit in here anymore. Mum always remarks that my room resembles a $2 shop.
So why do you choose that place to work?
I come from a huge Lebanese family. There is always someone here making noise or disrupting everyone else. My room is my own space and I shut the door and attempt to drown out the sound. It doesnt usually work - we are a very noisy, communal people.
My laptop which I adore, a whole load of library books which I am using to research for my University thesis, (see www.sarahayoub.com;" for information on my research). Folders which have my past work in, another folder with potential writing ideas, and scrapbooks that contain clippings on a variety of subjects for more areas of thesis research. There's also a load of current magazines that I am supposed to be reading, coloured post it notes, a notebook, a pile of unread mail which concerns supernanuation (hence why it is unread - I simply do not get that stuff), bobby pins, pens and highlighters in a mug and tin bucket, The Times Complete History of the World, a Dictionary and thesaurus, a book on Australia through Time and my camera. Oh, and three bottles of moisturisers (all with different scents) and handcream, because I have very dry skin and hands and I am hoping that in those moments of writer's block I can do something about it without moving!
Friday, 14 August 2009
The Broadroom airs in September.
Another lady who has moved on since S&TC is Amy Sohn who penned the 'other' S&TC books which were fabulous guides to the show and the movie. If you don't own one of these then you really cannot call yourself a S&TC fan. Well Amy has a book out called Prospect Park West which is about the Brooklyn bourgeois. Set in the lush Park Slope we are introduced to four yummy mummies who are experiencing serious life crisis. Meet Melora Leigh, an acclaimed actress who is frustrated with her career and the pressures of raising her adopted toddler, so goes shoplifting. Rebecca Rose fills the void in her marriage by starting a dangerous flirtation with a handsome neighborhood celebrity. Lizzie O'Donnell, a former lesbian (or "hasbian"), is happily married to a sexy guy with an adorable baby so wonders why she is still drawn to women? Then there is supermon, Karen Bryan Shapiro whose main goal in life are her four-year-old son's well-being and snagging that perfect apartment. Four different women with one thing in common, none of them are satisfied with their lot. Interestingly enough Sarah Jessica Parker has bought the rights to the book and plans to turn it into a TV show.
Prospect Park West is available to buy in September
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Born and raised in the Bronx, Reggie Rock Bythewood studied acting at Marymount Manhattan College. In 1990 he landed a job as a writer on A Different World where he met wife to be Gina who was also on the writing team. He went on to write for Fox's drama series New York Undercover, where he was the show's supervising producer. He penned the script for Get On the Bus which was directed by Spike Lee and went on to write Dancing in September, a drama which stared Tichina Arnold who now stars in Everybody Hates Chris. Blythewood's directorial debut came in 2003 when he pitched Biker Boyz to the Hollywood bosses. His most recent works has been writing the script for the biopic of Biggie Smalls in Notorious which was released earlier this year.
Gina Prince Blythewood holds her own alongside her husband; her body of work includes Disappearing Acts which is based on the book by Terry McMillan and the romance, Love and Basketball which starred Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. Love and Basketball won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. However her most remarkable work to date has been The Secret Lives of the Bees in which was produced by Will Smith and his wife Jada. The Secret Life of the Bees was a hit at the box office which is not surprising considering the talent in the cast which included Queen Latifah, Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Hudson, Sophie Okinedo and Paul Bettany. On top of the she has also directed episodes of Girlfriends and Everybody Hates Chris.
Black film making has come an awful long way since the 80s and if someone had told that an predominately Black cast would star in a Hollywood film about bikers I would have told you to shut up right now! However it looks like the Blythewoods are about to take Black film making to a completely different level.
Reggie and Gina reside in California with their two sons.
So come and find us on Facebook.
Friday, 7 August 2009
I was really sad to hear about the untimely death of John Hughes last night. Hughes was one of the most important directors of his decade but he also lent his hand in producing and script-writing. His films such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful helped define pop culture in the 80s. They were the first films to cover teenage angst in a way that no one had done before and captured the way the youth talked and issues they had to deal with. In a nutshell John Hughes made movies that spoke to teenagers. Unlike directors today, Hughes made a lot of films in a short amount of time but still managed to maintain pure quality. My favorite John Hughes film is The Breakfast Club for it's compelling dialogue and characters which is closely followed by Some Kind of Wonderful.
John Hughes excellent body of work includes.
Sixteen Candles -1984
Weird Science - 1985
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986
Pretty in Pink - 1986
The Breakfast Club - 1986
Some Kind of Wonderful - 1987
Planes, Trains and Automobiles - 1987
She’s Having a Baby –1988
Uncle Buck - 1989
Home Alone - 1990
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - 1992
Home Alone 3 - 1997
Maid in Manhattan - 2002
Look out for a retro review of Sixteen Candles next month. Check out the tribute video above and tell me which is your favourite John Hughes film?
Thursday, 6 August 2009
I used to love this show back in the 90s so I am delighted to hear that Melrose Place is back, better and bigger. Melrose Place was one of the most successful show of it’s era as well being as a pop culture phenomenon it received tremendous media kudos. The show was so hip it made the cover of Rolling Stone but sadly it came to an end in 1999. Now ten years later it is back with a new look and a new cast. The focus is on the lives of cool and stylish twenty-somethings from a wide variety of backgrounds who live in a trendy apartment complex in Melrose which is a hip area in LA.
There is Ella Simms played by Katie Cassidy who is a smart, savvy, up-and-coming publicist who is determined to get where she wants at any costs. She persuades Jonah Miller, a struggling filmmaker who is played by Michael Rady to let her manage him much to the dismay of his live in fiancée Riley Richmond played by Jessica Lucas who is a school teacher. Riley confides her reservations to medical student, Lauren Yung played by Stephanie Jacobsen but Lauren has problems of her own; she is in a lot of debt and must come up with a creative way to pay her tuition. Then there is Auggie Kirkpatrick a sensitive sous chef with a dark past played by Colin Egglesfield. The new kid on the block is Violet Foster played by Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, a small town girl who moves to LA and has a deep secret. Last but not least is the rebellious David Breck played by Shaun Sipos who is the estranged son of Dr. Michael Mancini (who was in the original Melrose Place) played by Thomas Calabro. We can look forward to seeing him pop up in the show from time to time and doing battle with Sydney Andrews played by Laura Leighton – his former sparring partner. Sydney is now the landlady of the complex but is still as devious as ever and is a force in the lives of all the characters. The remake plans to attract fans of the old series while picking up new viewers for the new show.
"We were huge fans of the original but when we set out to do our version, we wanted to pay tribute to the old show but create our own show with our own characters," says Todd Slavkin, executive producer.
Check out a post I wrote about the stars of the original Melrose Place and where they are now.
Melrose Place airs on CWTV this autumn.
Monday, 3 August 2009
Look out for the next Blogger Meet Up in autumn. If you are a Blogger and would like to join us in our meet ups then please leave a message and I will drop you a line when the planning commences.