Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tow Yard Art

I love taking pictures of everyday things I see while I'm training in the field and trying to make them look more like art.  Here are my latest efforts from a couple of days outside....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Under Construction

OK, don't're safe here.  But I've been dying to use this photo in a blog post and just haven't found the right subject....until NOW!

I've been doing some thinking during the summer, and I've decided to expand my hockey blogging into some new arenas.  For that reason, I'm giving this blog an overhaul, including a new look.  Those of you interested in my personal life only are probably doing a little happy dance right about now, and that's OK.   Heaven knows my life is crazy enough outside of hockey that I'll still have interesting things to write about. 

If you like my hockey life as well, or if you follow me only because of my Kings rants and raves, don't worry.  All will be revealed shortly, and I'll make sure to leave a bread crumb trail so you know where to find me talking hockey.  And you won't have long to wait!  Training camp starts in a few weeks, and my new venture will be ready for it.

Regardless of where you follow me - here, the new hockey site, or both - I appreciate your support, comments and feedback.  Connecting with you makes me happy, so let's keep the conversation going!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

99 In The Shade

Auto insurance is a crazy business, so you have to find ways to have fun, even at a salvage yard in the middle of summer.
At least someone is working hard while I'm taking pictures...  

Double letters let you know you're in the "Back Forty"
Cool accessories are how we vehicle owners roll here in Cali!
And who says china marker isn't fun?

Monday, August 16, 2010

My New "Signature" Bag

Anyone who has seen me in person over the last two years is well acquainted with my constant companion and signature accessory -- my Michael Kors "Lattington" bag.

It was love at first sight when I spotted it in a Vanity Fair ad, so sophisticated and yet rock and roll, as well as the perfect shade of purple to match all my Kings gear.  I ripped the ad out of the magazine, dragged Nadine down to the Michael Kors store at The Grove one sunny afternoon in September 2008 (incidentally wearing a Kings jersey because we went shopping after a Kings Rookie Camp scrimmage), added some temporary debt to the credit card, and never looked back.

Sadly, the poor thing has been dying a slow death from too much love.  I've hauled it across the country and back several times, stuffed all manner of hockey gear it, and put it places no classy bag should ever go.  And for almost two years, my Lattington has loved me right back in so many ways.    But I think the handles are tired and ready for some rest.

I've taken my poor Lattington to my shoe and leather repair shop, searched on line, and even spoken with the Michael Kors store, but sadly, repairs are not feasible and it's time has come.  I can't bear to part with it completely, because it's held so many wonderful memories, but it's earned a rest from the rigors of daily use.  So I've been quietly scouting around for another signature purple bag.

Today, Brighton came to the rescue.  Meet "Blondie."

It's a messenger bag, the color is "grape," and it's perfect!  Love the two little pockets on the front for things that need to be within easy reach, and the strap extends perfectly across your chest for hands free shopping. 

Even the fabric lining is fab!

 But the best part is the detail in the leather texture...

In the words of Barbra Streisand, "It's like buttah, baby..."  So expect to see it VERY, tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Music: Empire of the Sun

I didn't know anything about the band Empire of the Sun when Tammy invited me to check out their show at the Music Box in Hollywood last night.   But given her current musical tastes are running in the vein of foreign and electronic, I knew it wasn't gonna be anything like John Mayer.

Going to a new venue in LA is always interesting, because there are a ton and a lot of them are great.  The Music Box was a great set-up for an act like this, although I will admit I was a little worried about what I was in for when I saw this.

Thank goodness I left my Sharpie and studded belt at home!  And the velvet rope Nazis made me spit out my gum when I came in, but somehow plenty of cameras made it.

Things started out weird with an opening DJ set that included a Lady Gaga-like set piece.  And by set piece, I mean her.

She never moved from the chair the entire 30 minute DJ set, although she did uncross her legs once while she was reading and eat one potato chip after 2 minutes of robotically slow movement.    And I think she fed a potato chip to the DJ when he came over to check on her.   Yeah, I don't dig performance art so much.

As for Empire of the Sun, the band's My Space page describes them as pop/electracoustic/alternative, which is pretty much what the recorded versions of their songs sound like.  Translated to live performance, the show was part Kabuki theatre, part NYC disco rave party.   The music was so loud the floor was vibrating,  and I'm pretty sure there were more dancers than band members.

I couldn't help but think the experience was a little like it would have been seeing Prince for the first time.  It's a little on the weird side, but the overall vibe is good.  Or maybe I just had Prince on the brain since the DJ included "Controversy" in his set.  Lots of synthesizers, some grooves better than others, but overall not the worst time I've had in my life.  And I hope they sell lots of records because guitars (sadly) were destroyed at the in smashed on stage.  Yeah, Prince has smashed gear too.  I think the comparisons work.

Hopefully my ears stop ringing by Friday....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Praise of Real Jerseys

There was a post on one of the many hockey blogs I follow this morning on the "new" jerseys the NHL will be marketing to women this season.   After I got over my initial shock and immediate dislike for the design, I started posting it on my social networks online.  The reactions were less than favorable, for the most part, although in some cases for different reasons than mine.

Then one of my fellow Twitterites posed the question, "What would you like to see instead?"   And you know what?  I don't want a different option.  I want women to wear the AUTHENTIC jersey of their team, because that's the way it should be done.  So until the OFFICIAL team jerseys include tapered waists, the name of the team and not the player on the back, and sparkly stuff, I'm not wearing one with all that mess.  Here's why.

The tradition of women wearing men's clothing is as old as time.  Greta Garbo in a tuxedo.  Wearing your boyfriend's letter jacket in high school.  And the whole idea is that it ISN'T made for a woman.  It represents pushing the boundaries of how a girl is supposed to look.  Or in the case of the letter jacket, the affection of someone who likes you enough to give you something of their own so everyone else knows you belong to them.

Now some of my fellow female hockey fans may say, "But Meg, guy sized jerseys are unflattering.  I want people to see my figure.  No dude will think I look sexy hiding in an enormous hockey jersey."

I could not disagree more.  First off, I can't imagine Sandy accepting Danny Zuko's letterman sweater in the movie Grease and saying, "Oh Danny, I love this sweater as much as I love you, but we just have to take this in at the waist, honey..."

I've also gotten opinions straight from dudes.  Take Rusty, the Fox cameraman, for instance.  He spent a lot of time last season getting Nadine and I on highlight reels, so this is a guy that appreciates attractive women.  We were having dinner after a Saturday afternoon game last season and ran into him at ESPN Zone.  While he was hanging out getting some food before he shot the Clippers game later that night, he was telling us about growing up in New York, going to hockey games as a teenager, and marveling at all the sexy women wearing hockey jerseys.  Men's style jerseys!  "There's just something about a woman in a hockey jersey," he said.

And if you need more proof, here's actual photographic evidence of a real dude reaction from last season.

I rest my case.

I realize the world is changing, and I pride myself of being progressive about most things.  But on this subject I'm happy to work it old-school.  So ladies, show your love for your team the right way -- by honoring their OFFICIAL jersey design.  Your boys will love you for it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A CUT Above

"To the victor go the spoils" - or so the saying goes. So thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers loss of Lord Stanley's Cup in June, I won a bet I made with my friend Tammy and had the privilege of dining in one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles.

Tammy and I both appreciate a good meal, and when we made the bet, we knew someone was pulling out the spare credit card. We did not bet on dinner at a specific restaurant, only that the location would be the winners choice and there was no budget. In LA, that gives you some dangerous options, to say the least. When were getting around to scheduling the evening and discussing restaurant choices, I really didn't have anything specific in mind when Tammy started throwing out names of steakhouses. We both enjoy a good steak, and it's not the kind of meal either of us enjoy on a regular basis. But I also wanted her to help choose the location, because I thought it would be fun to go somewhere neither of us had been before. That helped narrow the choices sufficiently for us to choose CUT in Beverly Hills.

Attach the name Wolfgang Puck to anything related to food and you know you're in for an amazing experience. Locate a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (which is owned by the Four Seasons hotel group) and you have an evening fit for a princess (That would be me, in case you were wondering who the princess is in this little dining drama).

Can I move in?

I had a bit better luck than Tammy in the traffic department, so I enjoyed a cocktail at Sidecar (conveniently located right next door) while I was waiting.

The gentleman seated next to me was enjoying some bone marrow flan off the restaurant menu. Gorgeous presentation, but a little off the scale in experimentation for my taste buds.

When Tammy finally arrived, we got seated and she started perusing the wine list.

The sommelier stopped by and asked if we needed some help deciding, and I was impressed immediately by two things. First, the sommelier was a woman. Second, she didn't linger and make us feel pressured to choose. She made some lovely recommendations and left us alone with our thoughts. After an additional few words of encouragement from our charming waiter, Tammy chose a perfect syrah for our meal.


Then we set about the formidable task of deciding what to eat. If you've never enjoyed dining at a place like this before, everything is a la carte, so you order entrees and side dishes separately and the portions are large enough to share. And because you're spending a Kings ransom on a steak, they even bring the various cuts of meat over on a gleaming silver tray so you can inspect the degree and consistency of the marbling (or in steak parlance, fat, which makes it more tender and juicy when cooked) in the cut of meat you're considering. And we also received a bit of eduction on Kobe beef, which apparently is under embargo right now, so unless you go to Japan you cannot enjoy "true" Kobe beef, although you can have very fine beef in the "Kobe style." So many decisions....

Of course, in addition to being charming, our waiter was French (originally from Lyon) and retained just enough of his original accent to contribute the perfect ambiance to the ordering process. This was our conversation:

Adorable French waiter: "And for you madam?"
Me: "I'll have the Nebraska rib eye, please."
Adorable French waiter: "Lovely! How would you like it prepared?"
Me: "Rare."
Adorable French waiter: "Very good...*raising eyebrows*...and your side order?"
Me: "I would love to try this incredible macaroni and cheese."
Adorable French waiter: "*smiles and nods*...The perfect meal!"
Me: "Can I take you home with me?"

Before we got down the main course, we did have a lovely crab and shrimp appetizer. I promptly apologized to Tammy for photographing my food, but I don't live like a princess every day, and documentation was necessary.

I had every intention of taking pictures of my incredible steak, the heavenly mac and cheese, and some truly amazing creamed spinach I shared with Tammy, but the wine and the appetizer got the best of me. Plus there was a very handsome fellow at the next table that kept glancing over at me. Initially, he sat down alone and I thought he might be security, ready to throw me out of the place for photoing Mr. Puck's lovely food and attempting to steal his secrets. Luckily another man joined him, so he's probably just an out-of-work actor.

And even though we had absolutely no room for dessert, we got just a little something sweet to finish off the loveliest meal I've had in a long time.

Sadly, it was time to leave.    And even more sadly, THIS chariot was not included in the deal... 

But a girl can dream, right?