October 28, 2013

The Bigger the Trigger



I probably should've used a gun for my illustration here, but no, beacuse.

Pizza.

Tumblr has a little obsession with the cheesy goodness. This photo alone had over 200K likes/reblogs, and there's plenty more where that came from. I quite literally cannot scroll through my dashboard without a picture like this passing by. They're all just as basic, greasy and in-your-face as the one above, but they get the most love on everyone's page. And danggit. NOW I WANT SOME PIZZA. Thanks pizza picture, I know what I'm having for dinner.

It's crazy how the simplest images can trigger someone's brain. Food was far from my mind, but one little snap from someone's camera has me looking forward to a slice of heaven later (okay... 4 3 slices). It's not even a professional-type picture or the kind that looks like a still from a Dominos commercial. Somebody probably whipped out their phone, took this in their kitchen and posted it as an obligatory here's-what-I'm-eating update. Hashtag food porn. A photo, a song, a snippet of a song, a faint scent, the tiniest little things... They can compel our brains to react in any which way, whether we want to or not. That's kinda scary, right?

Suppose I was on a diet (I'm not), or what if I had that gluten allergy everyone's worried about these days (I don't). I'd see a picture like this and cave on all my good nutrition intentions. The bigger the trigger the worse it hurts, and as someone who has very little self control when it comes to gratification, this is a slippery little slope.

October 16, 2013

Venice Beach



































October 15, 2013

Pasadena


Every time I think of Pasadena, California, I'm reminded of a scene from the movie Blast from the Past, starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone, a.k.a. Cher Horowitz, a.k.a. who I wanted to be from 1995 until about 1998/9. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but let me write it out anyway.

Brendan's character, an innocent and sheltered bachelor, finds himself all alone and wandering the streets of LA. When he meets Cher Alicia's character, he asks if she's from Pasadena, because his mother said he had to marry a girl from Pasadena. His mother said he had to marry a girl from Pasadena. Later, when she meets his mother, she lies and says she's from Pasadena. But the lie is worth every penny because Mom's face lights up like a jack-o-lantern.

Ever since then, I've had it in my head that Pasadena is this rich little retirement community, complete with nice families and no crime. Nevermind that there's a little thing called the Rose Bowl that comes through every year. Because that's not really a big deal or anything... but seriously, Pasadena is a beautiful town to the east of Los Angeles, and the view of the mountains is just dang dreamy.


Okay... Who am I kidding, this post isn't really about Pasadena. It's about the only reason we went to Pasadena. It's a nice place and all, but once I spotted this sign, photos of the landscape stopped being taken.



October 14, 2013

Santa Monica


I came to learn, the hard way, that LA is one of those metropolitan areas where you really need a car to get around. The public transit will get you where you need to go for the most part, but it won't necessarily get you where you want to go. If I'm near any coast, I'm gonna wanna go to the beach. Period. No questions asked. Give me a towel, a bottle of water, and my sunglasses; I'll be good to go all day. 

After having walked all around Hollywood and Downtown LA the day before, my heels were burning with blisters and my heart was still longing for some sandy satisfaction. Thankfully, it was the weekend, and I had my friend (& her car) all to myself, which I thought meant a few hours laying on the beach. She, insanely unfortunately, does not like the beach. How does one live in Southern California & not like the beach is beyond me, but a little no judgement. 

And so, off to Santa Monica we went, without so much as a towel or a bottle of water. The views made up for it.





Like any good promenade, there were shops, restaurants and street performers all along the avenue.


And the most clever converse display window I've ever seen...


After a bunch of walking around (read: a little), we worked up an appetite, and my friend lit up when I asked about a spot called Umami Burger.

I soon found out why.


As an appetizer, we split an arugula & baby spinach Truffled Beet salad, and then I got my life right with the Hatch Burger (complete with green chiles, roasted garlic aioli & house American cheese). I dipped it in a side of spicy diablo sauce, and this was easily the best burger I've ever had in my entire life. This coming from someone who doesn't even eat red meat.



Organic hard cider & fries on the side. Don't mind if I do. 

Did.


We left Umami just in time to catch the sunset, and sadly I haven't mastered my camera well enough to capture the sight as beautifully as my own eyes did. Still, the combination of the sun falling over the mountains, just as they meet the ocean... If I could've paused that moment in time, I might (read: would) still be there right now.



Until next time, Santa Monica! I'll definitely be back.




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