December 16, 2009

Adventures in Bus Riding

This is a picture-less post, guess my words will have to paint it for you.

I took the bus home from work today. Sometimes I do this. It's common in most cities, but it's "weird" in LA. I just like not driving occasionally. Iron Butterfly's Inn-A-Gadda-Da-Vida happened to be playing over my head phones when a young guy took the seat next to me on a mostly empty bus. He pulled a bible from his backpack and began reading it.

He was clean and dressed like kids dress, with layered saggy pants, a too small t-shirts and a hoodie. It's dark out, so I can see in the reflection of the glass window I'm trying to gaze out of that he is nodding his head slightly, as if agreeing with someone who is speaking to him. The nod grows to a full on head bob and he begins gesturing with his hands as if he is now speaking to whoever was just talking to him. He glances up and down from his bible and gestures more broadly now, as if he is giving a sermon to the entire bus.

Los Angeles seems to be riddled with people with mental disabilities, it's sad and I feel bad for him, so I try to look harder out the window to not make him feel self conscious. AC/DC's If You Want Blood comes on and I drift off into thoughts about how awesome it would have been to see Bon Scott perform live and then I feel a tap on my shoulder.

The guy next to me is looking me straight in the eye, no sign of whatever form of crazy was tormenting him before. He asks me if I believe in Jesus Christ.

Without getting into my religious beliefs, I can say that I believe there was, at one point, a man named Jesus Christ who existed. So I say yes.

He goes on to tell me, at a very high speed, that the LA Christian churches are coming together this Christmas season to recruit people to spread the word of Jesus Christ. Would I please spread the word to 10 people before Christmas day? And at the end of his spiel he lets out a huge sigh and smashes his fingers into his eyes like he couldn't BE more relieved that it was over.

Then he looked up at me expectantly with huge eyes. Now, I don't have any clue what the 'word' even is and are there really 10 people that don't already know about Jesus Christ? I mean we're not talking about a local band here. I'm not even remotely pro trying to influence anyone's religious beliefs. But I looked at this kid, so hopefully and nervous and there was no way I could say that I wouldn't tell 10 people. Dashing his hopes and hard work would have been too heartbreaking. So I said yes, that I would tell 10 people. I lied to the nice religious kid at Christmas time. Yay me.

He gave me a big smile, said Merry Christmas, faced forward in his seat and immediately started to fist bump with, who I am assuming, was the person he was speaking to earlier. He was happy and I was happy I made him happy.

Then a large rent-a-cop who had been listening locked eyes with me, smiled and started shaking his head as if him and I were going to share a 'check out the crazy' moment. But he was in full view of the kid and so I scowled at him for trying to collapse my pretty house of cards.

About 15 minutes later the kid tapped me on the shoulder, asked if I "stay around here," which I really didn't know how to answer since we were on a moving bus. Turns out he didn't really care and moved on to his next question, which was if I have a cell phone number. So I guess that's what I get for lying.
December 9, 2009

Vintage Christmas

One of my favorite ways to be a conscious consumer and ecological shopper is to buy vintage. I can't tell you how much I hate running into someone who has the exact same J. Crew top on. (Don't get me wrong, I love the Crew, but so do a lot of people and that's the problem.) Etsy.com has some of the best and most reasonably priced vintage collections. I came across a pearl of a vintage shop the other day and must share.


Good Vintage is just that - in fact I'd have named it Fantastic Vintage. These shoes are 8s so too big for me. But I can dream.


Isn't this just the prettiest little nightie? I would spend all summer in it.


I would love to add this to my dessert plate collection, but it would really go perfectly in my parent's 50's modern home.


This little condiment caddy would be so cute in the middle of my kitchen table.

All photos are curtesy of the Good Vintage Etsy site.
November 24, 2009

Foxen Winery

{Pretty cows on the CA country side}

What is the perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving week? For me it was discovering the most awesome sustainable winery in Southern CA wine country. Foxen winery is my new favorite place...um, possibly ever.

{Barrels of sweet, sweet nectar}

When Hillary told me that the first interview they were doing for the documentary (up on the website as a teaser in a few weeks) was at a solar powered winery about 3 hours north of LA, it never even crossed my mind not to go. Wine. Enough said.

{The Gang at The Shack}

While Hillary and the boys got their shots, the lovely staff at "The Shack" (one of two tasting rooms at Foxen) and I bonded over some of their fantastic wine. I can't even say how much I enjoyed chatting with all of them. They know their wine, that's for sure, but are not at all snooty and I felt no pressure to swirl or aspirate. I just drank and loved it and that was cool with them.


Foxen is a sustainable winery, that became solar powered in August. I would call them minimalists, their entire facility is beautiful, but sparse. Excess and waste is not on their agenda and it shows in the best way. I am a red fan and love Cabernet's, but they have a Sauvignon Blanc that will knock your socks off. I loved everyone so much I had a hard time deciding what was coming home with us. But not that hard.
November 17, 2009

New Destructo Box



What do zombies mean to me? More than you might think. I'm actually married to my husband because in our dating infancy our love for zombie movies (and our distaste for Woody Allen films - don't even try, I've heard all the arguments, you won't convince me) brought us closer. "They're coming to get you Barbara" and "BRAAAAAIIINS" became little inside jokes in our conversations. Our tastes vary a bit when it comes to our favorites, he's more of a classicist voting Night of the Living Dead, while I prefer the neo-zombieism that comes with super strength and speed, ala 28 Days Later.

No matter which camp your tastes fall in the latest cartoon from Destructo Box (the brain child of Phil McLaughlin and Joey Reinisch) is zombie-rrific. These two churn out hilarious cartoons a couple times a month that are sure to strike your oddly funny bone. Enjoy!
November 16, 2009

Hillary Rust: An Interview - Part 2

{Hillary and his Trek}

Finally - Part 2 of my interview with Hillary Rust (yes, he's my husband) about the awesome enviro-cycling documentary he's making.

PM: You mention pace as the main reason for taking this trip on your bike. Are there other reasons?

HR: Yeah. If you did this trip by car it's too easy. It would take you 3 days and you might roll the windows down, but driving your car isn't really all that inspiring to people. Anyone can drive their car from here {Los Angles} to Austin. If you can grip the wheel and move your ankle a few inches up and down you're golden.

The schedule is slightly different but I'm essentially riding what they ride in the Tour de France and adding in interviews and content. I'll be going slower than them, of course, but it's going to be a challenge. 100 miles a day will kick your butt. Add in a few interviews both planned and unplanned and you've got yourself a good little mountain to climb.

Then there's the environmental aspect. We're gonna have a "chase" vehicle but hopefully it will be a hybrid and we'll do a comparison between me on the bike and the car. Obviously the car wins in some ways, but it also costs more to build and maintain and you lose out on "earning" it. If that makes sense.

PM:
What type of physical or mental training are you doing to prepare yourself for such a long ride?

HR: I drink beer and stay drunk as much as possible so I don't have to think about it.

I ride everyday. I don't always ride that far but I know if I put in enough time on the bike I'll be okay. I should probably eat better and really focus on my diet but that's not really my style.

I've done tons of 80+ mile rides back to back, meaning like two or three or four days in a row. My muscles get sore or whatever but it's definitely doable.

One thing I'd really like to do soon is get with a cycling trainer and just do a quick interview on camera and find out what they think I should be doing. I think that would add a little to the doc.

{A waterless damn here in So-Cal}

PM:
What has the process of breathing life into this project been like for you? Is there any part of creating and finding people who want to participate or sponsor the documentary that you didn't expect?

HR: I didn't expect so many people to be into it. I thought I was gonna have to do a lot of like, talking people into it. It hasn't been easy but everyone I talk to wants to see it happen.

I get up like 2 hours before I have to be at work and do research and send emails and just try to get as many eyes on the site as possible and think of every option for interviews and sponsors and the best way to approach each.

Then I go to work and try to focus on everything else that needs to get done and ideas come to me and then I get home and I find myself writing more emails in between loads of laundry and bites of dinner.

As far as the team all i can say is HOLY COW! I know I'm crazy and idealistic or whatever but these guys are awesome. Zack can make cooking dinner look fun and look good, Brent has been all over and shot in some crazy situations and is just a pro, and Emerson...I've worked with that fool enough to know he can get it done. We are all on the same page as far as how we want it to look and what it should be about and the best ways to accomplish all of that and it just makes me really happy to have them.


{Queen Mary in Long Beach}

PM:
Finally, what is your best case scenario for the final outcome of the doc?

Best case is we get like 500 hours of footage and we can edit it down into either an hour and a half feature documentary or we can make it into like 4 parts that are half an hour each and that we can get enough interest behind to make like 10 more about the rest of the country and that we can all make a living doing it until it doesn't make sense to do it anymore.

I'd love to see it as a series on the travel channel or something.

None of us are greedy and we really just want to get to do something that we believe in and make it really really good and interesting but also helpful to lots of other people and maybe not go broke doing it.

Is that bad?

Seems fair to me! Check out the documentary website here and let Hillary know what you think. He feeds off of comments, so bring it.
November 9, 2009

Hillary Rust: An Interview - Part 1

As many of you may know from my various social network announcements, my husband is making a documentary wherein he'll be riding his bicycle from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX. Along the way he plans to investigate and speak with people who are doing cool things to make this world a more sustainable, beautiful and generally healthier place for us all to live. You can read his entire proposal and watch some of Zack McTee's pretty camera work, of which I am a huge fan, here.

To get you excited about what H and his amazing team have come up with, I decided to ask him some questions. And boy did he answer, so much so, I split the interview into two parts. Here's what he has to say about his project...

Decker Canyon in LA - A photo from one of Hillary's many rides.

PM: Where did the idea for this documentary come from?

HR: Without going all the way back to my childhood memories, the doc as it is conceived today came up about a year ago. Zack Mctee and I went on a few bike rides and like everything else we do we ended up talking about shooting some video of it. Then we shot some video.

I've always wanted to ride cross country but it's a pretty selfish endeavor. So to actually get to do it I had to come up with a way to make it about more than just me and what I want to do, yet somehow make it stay within my ideals.

Hence, a documentary about me riding my bike talking to people about sustainability and reusing...okay let's be serious, it's mostly about me talking. I love to talk.

PM: You say in your proposal that you "want to meet America." What types of places do you plan on finding people to interview? Are you looking for a specific type of person?

HR: Well, we've got a map up on the website that gives a general idea of where we'll be but there's a guy named Greg Peterson (www.yourguidetogreen.com or www.permaculture.net) in Phoenix that has had an urban garden for like 15 years now that I want to talk to. Then there's the people at Earthship.org based out of New Mexico. There's Marfa, Texas which is just nutty and everyone should see it.

But really I want to meet regular people and talk to them about anything and everything. I want to know why someone chooses to live in desert of southern California for their whole life. Maybe they don't see it as a choice. Maybe it's all they know and they never thought about moving or living a different way. How do they get by? How do they get water?

Also, who makes composting toilets? Can I learn how to make soap out of avocados? Who's making music in El Paso? What is Bosque De Apache National Wildlife Refuge? You know? I want to see everything and meet everyone and know everything.

Some people are never going to get to go do this type of thing and I want them to be able to see it all too. I guess I want to inspire people to try to do something bigger and better and to think about the impact they have on the planet and the people around them. This country is so big it's easy to forget that we're all Americans even if we live in different states and have different needs, etc.

What do you got next?

Hillary is a fan of industrial objects.

PM:
What cities are you most excited to stop in?

HR: Well, right now I'm day dreaming about the open road and just pedaling for hours on end. 70+ miles with no cities at all! That may sound weird but being trapped in Los Angeles makes riding a challenge. Don't get me wrong, I love getting to ride everyday but the traffic and the stoplights are just as annoying on a bike as they are in a car. You get a little more freedom...you asked about cities.

Phoenix seems overwhelming and I don't think we could ever do it justice with the time frame we have to work with but I'm still pumped on it since it seems like a city that size shouldn't exist, being that it's in a desert.

Tuscon is a complete mystery to me and I would love to see it. Santa Fe has gotten hyped to me in a big way and I've been there a few times and always had fun.

I'm interested in the El Paso music scene even though I literally just decided that El Paso would be our "music" stop. But after looking into it there is all sorts of amazing sonic stuff coming out of the EPT.

It helps that I have friends and family along the way in most of the cities that I want to see. Of course Austin will be cool especially if we can keep our schedule and end up there for SXSW.

PM:
Do you have any planned interviews or tours at this point that we can look forward to discovering with you?

HR: Uhm, we're trying to set up an interview with Foxen Winery in Santa Maria, CA for later this month. They are apparently solar powered and organic which is basically what the doc is all about. So we're gonna film me riding up there and try to get them to talk to us about how they got into the whole thing...and maybe taste some wine.

We have the teaser video up on the site obviously, but we really want to have something to show to people so they can get an idea of the actual content we plan on having.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2. In the mean time check out Hillary's blog, Bike LAne or look at the photos he takes riding around LA.
October 26, 2009

Imagining Things That Already Exist

As I am prone to do at least once a quarter, I'm currently grappling with my current role as a cog in the corporate wheel. It's really not something I ever planned on being. However, I've found over the years that to be happy I need things like insurance and a steady pay check. It's just the type of person I am. But and so, the Hubs and I are always discussing ideas and ways we can take the time we give to our employers back and make it ours again, putting it towards making the world a better place. Or whatever.

One thing Hillary wants is a warehouse that he can build, make and do in (his preference is to make it our abode, but we have differing views on that). Then we started thinking about making it some kind of community creative/creation space that we could rent out for events and we could have bands play and have locally sponsored coffee and I could open the record store I've always wanted (yes, I wanted one at 19 and I still do). This is where the conversation always goes south, because I start saying things like - I wonder what kind of insurance we'd need for that type of thing and would we need a liquor license for the parties and how would we keep the guests at the events from stealing all my vinyl merch? And all H wanted to do was dream up our Inspiration Station and here I go bringing reality all crashing down on his head. What can I say? It's what I do.

From an Anthropologie back a year or so ago...not sure of the date.

So last night he begged me to stop and to just sit for 10 minutes and think of exactly how I'd want our warehouse if we took money, location, and all rules and legalities out of the equation. So this is what I came up with:

It's an old red brick warehouse with 2 floors, and tons of long thin windows lining both sidewalls. The front double doors are over sized wooden antiques. They open up to the first floor which is mainly just open event space with polished concrete floors. The second floor doesn't start until about a quarter of the way into the building so there is a balcony that looks down to the entry way, which has approx 24 ft. ceilings.

To the left is my record store. (Name suggestions are welcome.) There are 4 big, thick boat anchor chains coming down from the high ceiling that suspend a series of old windows, still in their frames that make up the walls of the record store. The entire building is wired for sound. The first floor brick walls are lined with local art and in the back there's an industrial kitchen and storage space.

Perhaps something like this, only floating in mid air.

The second floor is all art space with big wooden planked, white washed floors. Tons of tables, big sinks, a dark room in the back corner, an antique printing press. The roof is entirely landscaped with trees and bushes and big patches of grass, specifically for laying on. In each corner there is a small garden - veggie/herb/tea/cutting for all to use.

So that's the place I created in my head and I really, really like it. So much that I want to make it happen in the town we will eventually end up. And so then today I just do a Google search because I wonder... and low and behold there is already something like this where we'll be someday. It doesn't seem QUITE as cool and it's much, much bigger than we were thinking, but it's the same general premise. And now I'm bummed.
October 14, 2009

Zack & Lauren's Trip Across the US

Want to see something that would charm the grumpiest of the grumpy and pretty much put you in a good mood for the rest of the day? Well here you go.

Cross Country Road Trip from zack mctee on Vimeo.



You're welcome.

Blush Article


Amazing earrings from Fahmina

As you all know I've been contributing to the fabulous eco blog Living Green with Glamour for a couple months now. I have been having a ton of fun writing about cosmetic goodness. This week I had the pleasure of spreading my wings a bit and was asked by the Blush blog to give my top eco-fashion picks for fall.

In the top 5 are the fantastic earrings above! I am in love with the sassy sexiness of them. Snag a pair at the GwG online boutique. Check out the article and see what other tasty treats I put on the list.
October 7, 2009

Eddie Still Inspires Me

{Me in...let's say college and my Guild}

I've been feeling musically inspired lately. This comes in waves for me. Lately I've been wishing I had a piano around, but apartment living and frequent changes of scenery have put a hold on my dreams of becoming Regina Spektor any time soon.

My father, an amazingly talented guitar player himself, taught both my brother and I to play the basics. When I was in high school he bought me a small bodied Guild acoustic. For a second I was all - umm, dad, just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I need a small guitar. Oh that smell? Just my bra burning, no need to call the fire department. But then good ol'dad told me that Chrissie Hynde played this exact model. Chrissie Hynde, that goddess of rock and shaggy hair, a foul mouthed feminist who I still idolize. I've been in love with my Guild ever since.

Sadly she has never made it out to my LA home, for a various number of reasons (she spent some time in the git hospital, but is feeling much better now, thanks for asking). Luckily...or something... Hillary has a duct-taped, Takamine which is super hard to play because the action's too high and oh yeah, it's not my Guild, but she makes a tune come out and really that's all I need for now.

I am mediocre at best. I took some lessons in college but was really just paying to ogle at my super cute guitar teacher who I had SUCH a crush on. Our lessons went something like -

Cute Teach - Hey, Sara! Did you practice this week?
Me - No, but I think it would really help me learn that Ani DiFranco song if you could just play your guitar at me for the next 30 minutes while I sigh and stare into your huge brown eyes.

So I really never progressed very far and now just play for myself. When I'm home alone I like to try and figure out Kate Nash songs and sing them in a British accent. But who doesn't? I have about 5 songs in my arsenal that I can sing and play and I feel pretty good about. Maybe even play them in front of someone who isn't on the fence about being friends with me. I haven't added a new song to the collection in a long time.

But so then today I was in the car and that Pearl Jam song came on - Elderly Woman, Blah, Blah This Title Is Too Long. I used to LOVE Pearl Jam. Sophomore year of high school, when I was all flannels and combat boots I used to listen to Pearl Jam and act angsty. Good times. Obviously I know all the words and it just passes through my brain that I wonder if I could play this song on the guitar.

So I get home and look up the chords and I can totally play it. So now I have 6 songs and my neighbors can suck it because I'll probably be playing this for the rest of the week.
October 2, 2009

Hugs from the Left Coast

Please enjoy this song by my extremely talented friend, Collin Magdziarz...




Isn't he awesome?! This little video is a promo for the Local Music Showcase in my town of origin, Hammond, IN. It is organized and sponsored by Thunderclap Recording, which is located on the lower level of the house I grew up in and if I'm not mistaken that is where the video above was recorded. Most likely by the multi-talented John Carpenter (no, this one does music, not movies...although he's starting with the movies) who is the head engineer and owner of Thunderclap. Many a night, as a child I fell asleep to the sounds of demo-making Eighties bands drifting up from the basement through my open bedroom window.

But back to Collin...he's amazing. He sang the recessional song at our wedding, which was Here Comes Your Man, by the Pixies and pretty much brought the house down. Also, he played acoustic guitar for a Lior song during the ceremony and literally learned to finger pick specifically for the occasion. It was flawless.

Obviously he's in a band. Nate & His Kite. I have their EP and it's in my car CD player pretty much all the time. I actually just realized that one of their songs is called Porcelain Curse - which maybe should be the theme song to this blog! Although my fav song is Sway, which is super catchy and pretty much any time I hear the word 'sway' I start singing the chorus in my head.

So if you're in the Northwest, IN area (that means you too Chicago) go check out the next Local Music Showcase at the Towle Theater. There is one coming up Oct. 9 and is full of awesome musicians, like another friend of mine, Marc Quagliara from Groovatron.

Here's Collin singing the Pixies song at our wedding. Featuring the lovely and talented Lucy McLaughlin on back up vocals and the guitar stylings of JD Dragus. You have to get through the clapping, Hillary and I were smooching.

September 28, 2009

Book - Skinny Bitch


So I have had Skinny Bitch sitting on my shelf for the past year and a half, ever since my friend Wendy sent me her copy. I'd heard tons about it, I just had other books up first on the roster. I knew it was a book about being healthy and looking great, but wasn't a fad diet, which a detest. My friend Deana raves and credits it with her veganism. So my interest was definitely peaked. Finally, this weekend, I got around to reading it.

I have to admit, I spent the first couple of chapters thinking things like, why do these authors keep callling me a fat ass? I am in no way fat. I mean who couldn't stand to lose five pounds, but, really, stop with the name calling already. And then I wondered, when there was the pitch for a meat free diet, if maybe I wasn't their target audience. After all, I've been a vegetarian for the last 15 years. Perhaps this book is for people who spend their time gorging on Big Macs and need a good talking to.

But then I got to Chapter 5 - "The Dairy Disaster" - and I learned some things. Things that have penetrated my brain and changed they way I am currently thinking about the food I eat. I'm not declaring veganism at this very moment. I hate labels. Okay, who am I kidding? I love labels, but I'm just not making the leap all at once. I am sure as hell going to cut WAY back on my consumption of animal products. We'll see what follows. I mean, fifteen years ago I was just going to stop eating chicken because it looked exactly like the inside of a cat I saw dissected. And here I am, meat free since that little incident in college in a dark parking lot with an Arby's Roast-beef Sandwich.

Now I could tell you what I learned, but what was influential to me, might not be so to you. So I recommend reading the book. You may read it and think - Hm, that's interesting, but not enough for me to give up bacon or pizza and especially not bacon on pizza. And I think that's fine too. At least you'll be more educated about what you're putting in your body and can make choices you're comfortable with. I mean no one does a line of cocaine and thinks it's healthy for them, but at least you know what you're getting into.

One of many things this book does well is pack a ton of information in a compact, fun to read little package. It's actually pretty humorous when the harsh words the authors have are directed at evil corporations who are screwing us, instead of at you personally. It has a great set of resources in the back should you find yourself swayed.

In coincidental news my husband has declared vegetarianism. He's calling it a science experiment, I'm calling it VICTORY! Mwah-ha-haaa
September 24, 2009

Hugs from the Left Coast


I have some seriously talented friends and/or family. So I'm starting a new blog series called "Hugs from the Left Coast," which showcases the awesome accomplishments of the people I know.

So my actor/comedian friend, Tim Baltz, has been doing a funny promotional series for the Big Ten network called Friday Night Tailgate. Him and his co-host Steve do pretty hilarious little snippets about Big Ten schools and their sports teams.

One of my favorites, posted above, showcases Tim's style of humor nicely and the centaur, unicorn bit made me laugh out loud (no text abbreviations on the Manifesta).

Check out more college humor about the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin and Iowa State here.

Awesome job, Tim. Remember your friends when you hit the big time!
September 22, 2009

We've Got The Look!


Has it really been a month since I last posted? Crap, another month of my youth down the drain. Can I even call it my youth any more, now that I'm 30? Oi, that's depressing, let's move on.

Porcelain Manifesta is all gussied up. Do you like it? I'd been wanting to take the blog out of blahsville for a while now, but didn't really know how to go about it. I have zero design skills (in cyberspace, at least) and don't own Photoshop to try and even attempt it. Did you know you can hire people to do it for you? I'm a huge fan of hiring people for things. The husband? Not so much. So I had thrown that idea out the window when we put ourselves on a budget at the beginning of this month. (It seemed like a married person thing to do.)

But THEN I came across a graphic designer on Etsy. Who knew? She was so great and the best part...so affordable! So if you want a face-lift for your Blogger hosted blog but don't kick enough design knowledge to DIY it, check out Wicked Sister Designs on Etsy.

Also the Manifesta now has a Facebook page. So become a fan and never miss it! Scroll down to the bottom of the blog for the little linky deal.
August 23, 2009

A Little Self Promotion Never Hurt



I have some exciting news! The amazing Deana behind Green With Glamour and it's blog Living GwG has asked me to contribute a weekly blog article about fantastic beauty finds in the world of eco and sustainable products. I have always been of the mind that making the right choices in our daily lives means change, not sacrifice. So I'm very excited to be a participant in Deana's project. Read my first article here and sign up for the newsletter or become a fan of Green With Glamour on Facebook to be notified of future articles.

Elsewhere on the interwebs my amazing friend Darci featured our wedding on her equally amazing wedding blog - With This Ring. Check out her extremely flattering posts (in 2 parts) here and here.

And one last plug for the Hubs. Hillary's a huge bike enthusiast and has been writing about his riding adventures on his blog - Clog LA. Check it out and get a glimpse at the world through Hillary's eyes - scary!

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Sara I. Jones vs. Sara Rust

I took my husband's last name. It wasn't a given, we had a discussion about it. Sara I. Jones, was my identity for 30 years. I always used the I because Sara Jones may just be the most common female name in the world, although I haven't checked. Also I is an unusual initial, so it made me stand out at bit. I like my husband's last name, Rust, but the sound of Sara Rust had too many "ra" sounds for me, initially. But Hillary kind of felt like if I was going to be so traditional as to get married in the first place I should take his name out right, dropping the Jones altogether. I am fickle with tradition. I like it when it suits me, but am ready to toss it aside when it doesn't. We let it marinate for a while and a few months before the wedding I could tell that this was something that was important to Hillary and so Sara Rust won fair and square over my contention with aesthetics.

I like my new name. It's still short and sweet, but Rust is much less common than Jones, although I do have to spell it or else people think I'm saying Russ or Rusk. Plus I like sharing a name with my husband, being married is fun. It's really the Mrs. that is slightly off putting. I'll take Ms. any day.

But then I was thinking about my writing career and I decided that aesthetics are important in a name. Hillary agreed. Having a name that's catchy and memorable is key and if it comes in triplicate, even better! So what would it be - S. I. Rust, S. J. Rust, S.I.J. Rust? Meh. I think I'll leave the initials out. In the end I ended up with the best of both worlds - Sara Rust for my private life and Sara Jones Rust for my public.
July 31, 2009

Bolt Action Thrill At The Hustler Free Speech Party

{Photos by Ronnie Erwin}

DISCLAIMER: This blog entry is for mature audiences only and should not be read by A) any of my young cousins whose parents will yell at me at the Christmas party B) My Grandma C) Mom, you can read this, but just a heads up, this will be one of those times when you wonder where I got "that mouth." Dad, well, sorry you missed the party, man, you would have dug it. And for everyone else, this blog entry has a bunch of sex in it, but we're all adults here (I'm serious kids, get off the computer and go play outside) so it's fine.

I wouldn't call myself a fan of porn. I've seen my share. I mostly think it's silly, but it does not disgust or offend me. It's just that freakishly large clits, strap-ons and horrible plot lines don't really do it for me in the excitement arena. I prefer my own imagination if my husband isn't around, but that's just me. I do understand why people (mostly dudes, let's face it) like it and why escapism is such a huge industry. I'm also all about getting paid for what you're good at and if your real and true talent is taking it in the ass on camera, then sister (or brother), I think it's great that you can make a living that way. I'm not going to rush out and get the DVD, but I support your right to make that DVD.

So when I found out that my favorite, newly LA band, Bolt Action Thrill, was playing the Hustler FreedomFest, a benefit to support the adult entertainment industry's (and really all American's, because it's a slippery slope - no pun intended) right to the freedom of speech, I knew I had to be there.

Luke Powers {Photos by Ronnie Erwin}

Thanks to my good friend Mark, who serves as the band's defacto manager, I got to chill back stage with him and the guys. It's been fun getting to know the band, besides insanely amazing rockers they are all just awesome people. Young people, somewhere around 22, I believe. I have this vague inner struggle when I'm around them between the 20 year old partygirl-me of long ago, who would be crushing on all of them and the 40 year old mom-me of the future, who wants to make sure they are getting plenty of fruits and veggies with their whiskey.

Bassist Richard Erwin & Sunny Lane {Photos by Ronnie Erwin}

But despite their inexpirence, what became very clear to me as we were surrounded by porn stars pulling their tits out, posed girl on girl action for the cameras on the red carpet and a full and ready bar, is that these guys are serious about their shit. They drank, but not too much before the show, and they were chugging out of giant water jugs to stay hydrated. They passed on somking a J with a formerly famous telvision star so they could stay clear headed. They had plenty of fun posing for photos with a porn star or two, as they should have, they're rock stars. But when it was time to perform it was business and they were ready. They sounded amazing, burned the place to the ground and then got wasted. Well played, boys.

Another highlight of the evening, for me, was that 2 members of the band had their parent's there. Fuck yes! Support your kids! If they're up on stage whaling on the bass guitar while a porn star is rubbing her butt all over them, stand there and take pictures, scream and clap. That's your job.

One more thing I took away from the night, and I will try to stay off my soapbox, is that many female porn stars have bodies...they are curvy, with butts and hips and at least one of them had real breasts. I know because she was swinging them around on stage and I saw her naked twice in her dressing room, which had no door. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, spurred on by your average guy (and girl). My point is, maybe Hollywood and the fashion industry should take a page from their black sheep sibling. If we had more porn stars modeling for Calvin Klein maybe we wouldn't have so many young girls with body image issues. Just a thought.
July 20, 2009

Sadness


Hillary and I had the saddest weekend. Our 11 year old cat, Tres, died on Saturday afternoon. He had a bout of bladder stones, which he was prone to, and went to the vet for a procedure he's had several times over his life. Things went well until they tried to bring him out of the anesthetic and he just couldn't wake back up. I was stunned, shocked and devastated. I never even gave a thought to the possibility that I might not carry him back out of that vet's office.

I rescued him from the pound when I was in college. He was the runt of the litter and abandon by his mother before he should have even been weened. He was flea ridden and full of worms. What can I say, I love an underdog. Maybe that was part of what made our bond so stong, he knew I took a chance on him. For all my love and care (not to mention money for all his treatments) I got to spend 11 years with the sweetest, most loveable cat I've ever met.

His level of affection was more on par with a Golden Retriever than a house cat. He always met me at the door when I'd come home from work and when I put my face close to his he would lick the tip of my nose every time. Sharing an affinity for sleep, many times on the weekend I'd wake early in the morning to him moving my hair with his paws so he could lay down next to me. And there we would lay, both of our heads on the pillow, backs pressed together until 10, 11, sometimes noon. I will miss those mornings and his raspy meow and his unwavering adoration.

I know there is an upside, he's no longer in pain and doesn't have to endure the medicine and the trips to the vet he was growing more and more intolerant of.

But I will miss my sweet, sweet boy.
July 17, 2009

Honeymooning - Part 1

{The resort we stayed at on the North Rim of the GC, sat right on the edge.}

The Monday after the wedding H and I flew back to LA, took a day to unpack and repack, and hit the road for our honeymoon and our first vacation together that didn't involve visiting family and friends. Our plan was to drive the 10ish hours to the Grand Canyon, which we did, but it was more like 15 hours because Hillary likes to take the scenic routes. So, being me, I sat with my arms crossed, annoyed in the passenger seat because we weren't taking the direct route. But then I realized I was on vacation (not to mention my honeymoon) and I needed to not be a controlling B, and that's when the fun started for me, and probably Hillary too.

{Superimposed?}

The place we stayed at the Grand Canyon was awesome and we had our own little cabin, which wasn't quite as nice as our cabin at Jenny Lake, but it was very cool and kitschy. The photograph above is from the patio we had drinks on both nights we were there. Obviously, the view was breathtaking and the dirty martini's where to die, but they didn't have any blue cheese olives, which was a bummer.


The second day we took a little walk around the hotel. We really didn't even have to walk, views like the one above were everywhere. Hillary worked at this place 2 summers in college so he had a few things he wanted to show me. So we set off for a 'spot' he knew of. We followed a dirt trail from the hotel. Tourists swarmed around the two scenic spots right in front of the hotel, but as soon as we got five minutes away we stopped seeing anyone, which was nice, because tourists to the Grand Canyon are the same tourists that go to Vegas. So really, best to keep your distance.

{I took this photo, but I was having a heart attack - get away from that edge, you're not a Mountain Goat!}

Now, I know my husband (!) is a guy who likes to take the road less traveled, he marches to his own drummer and all those other cliches. But what I learned in the wilderness is that he literally blazes his own trail. Every time I turned my head to take in the view, he was off in the middle of the weeds or trying to climb up a boulder. It made me nervous. Hello - ticks! Bears! Rabid Elk? Okay, maybe not. But I'll stick to the trail, thanks. So when I saw him beckoning me, holding up a bunch of branches as if I was supposed to duck under them, I was like No Way! But he coaxed me off the path and we picked our way through brush and briar until we got to a group of boulders that hung out over the canyon, which Hillary immediately started to scale.

{Not the rocks H made me climb, but I'm no more comfortable on these, although I was trying, see?}

All I could see was his foot slipping and him plummeting to his death, leaving me a widow after only 4 days of marriage. When he noticed I wasn't following, he came back and dragged me up to the top of the rocks. As soon as I stopped hyperventilating I did enjoy it a bit, but was happy to see the trail. One of the reasons I married him, he challenges my neurosis.
July 14, 2009

Honeymooning - Part 2

{Our cabin at Jenny Lake Lodge}

We spent the second half of our trip in Wyoming (I know you don't know what the first part was yet, but remember we're going backwards.) We stayed at a swank resort in Jackson the first night. Jackson is a cute little town, but full of tourists. So we did a quick tour of the main street and then hit the hot tub and pool back at the hotel, since our accommodations up until then had been much more rustic. We spent one cush night and then back into the wilderness we went.

{Our view from the cabin}

Although, I can't say our cabin at Jenny Lake Lodge was very rustic. But we were in the middle of Teton National Park with no television and, more importantly, no cell phone service. The cozy little room had everything you could ever need, however, including 2 wine glasses and an opener which were put into good use during several games of Scrabble that maybe didn't end very newly weddish. But we never stay mad for long.

{Downhill was the fun part}

Each cabin got two cruiser bikes to explore the park with. After we checked in we took a ride over to Jenny Lake to see what we could see. I was having a great time, until the second half of the ride was mostly up hill and we left the shady cool of the trees far behind us. I'm pretty sure near the end I got off my bike and said something like, "We're stranded with no food or water and I'm pretty sure there is a bear tracking us!" Then a motor home zoomed by and honked it's horn.

{I'm pretty sure it moved a little}

The second day we decided to take a walk around Jenny Lake. We came prepared this time and took water bottles and snacks, mostly nuts and chocolate. It was gorgeous and we had a great time, walking through the woods, brain storming on our future. It felt very honeymooney.


{Hidden Falls - worth the ankle turning}

We walked for a while, nothing strenuous, because Hillary and I had a talk about how I don't wear hiking boots and I don't find scraping my knee and walking through spider webs fun, so NO hiking. Then we see a trail head for Hidden Falls, and I was intrigued, even though Hillary said it'd be more like hiking. And it was. The trail was rocky and kinda slick and man, I can dance in a pair of 3 inch heels for hours on end, but put me in some sneakers on an inclining trail and I turn my ankle every five minutes. But I did it and it was awesome.

{Marmot, not a chipmunk - he kept his distance}

We even tried to keep going and make our way higher to Inspiration Point. We stopped about twenty minutes in because we found a nice flat rock for snack time. We were only sitting for a few minutes before some uppity chipmunk tried to jump into our bag of almonds, which I snatched away, appalled. He hung back, waiting for us to throw him something, but we weren't having it. Then his friend ran up and touched my leg with his tiny, greedy, chipmunk hands. As I screamed, painful sessions of rabies shots flashed across my mind and I was back down the mountain before you could say Teton.
July 8, 2009

Obviously This Sucked

{Our new house - in my dreams}

The Manifesta is back! We're all married and honeymooned and I have a lot of stuff to catch up on so in the words of Huey Lewis - we're going back in time. I'll be starting with the 4th of July and taking you back over the next few...let's face it, probably weeks, until we get to the wedding and the awesomeness that surrounded it.

{The view from the party}

So we were lucky enough to hang with our Best of the West over the 4th at a friends extremely nice digs. We had a great time, with even better people and enjoyed all of the fireworks happening around the city from the deck.

{From Nearlyweds to Newlyweds}

Being that we know we won't be in LA forever, this was a great way to spend the holiday! If only every weekend would be similar...although I'd probably have to check into rehab pretty quick.
May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Recap

{Not from this weekend, but it seems appropriately Memorial Dayish}

My long weekend was so filled with awesomeness, that to not share would just be cruel. My only regret is that I didn't bust out the camera even once to document.

Friday, Lauren and I ravaged H&M at the Beverly Center and came home with some tasty treats. I can't wait to take my new black organic cotton mini-dress out on the town (next Saturday perhaps, for my LA so-long-to-singledom celebration? We're going Hollywood style and will be gracing the Roosevelt with our prescence.)

Then Hillary and I went out to the valley to party with our favorite rockers, Bolt Action Thrill. I drank so much beer I was stumbling in my 3inch wedges. Thank goodness Hillary is the DD of my dreams.

Saturday night we celbrated Staley's 29th year at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary with a viewing of To Catch A Theif. Carey Grant and Grace Kelly in the South of France. Are you kidding me? How had I not seen this movie? Lauren and I drooled over Grant's outfits and I've decided to buy Hillary some ascots. Then Lauren and I drank too much wine (and whatever else) and got lost in the crowd on a wayward bathroom trip. We picked our way through, what seemed like, miles of people huddled together on blankets in the dark, trying not to step on ankles or block anyone's view of the movie. After too many "SIT DOWNS" were thrown our way we finally tumbled down on a patch of grass laughing so hard we could barely breathe. We found our group eventually after some nice people took pitty on us and shared their popcorn for a while.

Sunday was chill, as Sundays should be. Hillary and I saw Terminator Salvation, which is exactly what you want from those kind of movies, but left me annoyed that they didn't work harder with the lead Terminator to cover his British accent. Every time it popped though I hit Hillary on the arm to make sure he noticed why I would be bitching about the movie later.

And today I will pick up my wedding dress. (WHAT??? OMG!!) Then Zeppelin will be heard loudly coming from the turntable, as I get this apartment ready to have other people in it while we're on the honeymoon. 29 days and counting.
May 23, 2009

"Little Bribes" Music Video

Death Cab for Cutie - Little Bribes from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Mix Death Cab with some stop motion video and you get genius. 

Fan made by Ross Ching

I love. 

May 14, 2009

Bolt Action Thrill

Apparently, I fucked with the wedding gods by vowing to never be a stressed out/crazy bride. And then this happened. Needless to say, that vow is out the window and I've been on the verge of puking for the last three days. I have a few ways of decompressing when I need to, but neither yoga nor drinking a bottle of wine are really conducive to the commute home. 

So I got in my car, rolled down the windows and put in the Bolt Action Thrill EP. I turned the volume up to the point just below where it starts to be painful. Now obviously, what comes next would be best carried out on an empty country road, like they have back home, and in a car that has more power than my little Toyota. But I turned onto Wilshire at Westwood and to my surprise it was pretty open for 5:00, rush hour, LA traffic. 

The drummer, Richard Burkhardt, counted off the first beats of "Demons of Love," my favorite track (tied with "Late Night Broadway"), on a cow bell as the speedometer reached 50. Deep breaths. Luke Powers' screaming guitar riffs played as I rounded out 60 mph, my shoulders relaxing as the music began pushing the messy clump of problems out of my mind. At 75 mph the knot in my stomach began to disappear with Dustin Boeh's sexy lyrics and versatile voice. Red light at Beverly Glen. 

I was able to get back up to 65 again before the speed trap in front of the 76 Station, just past the golf courses. That's just about where the EP ended, so I put it on repeat and the Louisville boys continued to sooth me with their throwback rock 'n roll. The guitars are dirty and so are the lyrics. 

We've seen them live on a few occasions and it's always a great time. As musicians the guys run a tight ship and carry out an impressive live sound. As a band they suck you in with their charm, good looks and shear enjoyment of their craft. Their excitement is infectious.

In Beverly Hills an old lady in a straw visor started shaking her hips to the chorus of "Down N' Dirty," which made me laugh for blocks. A line from my other fav, "Late Night Broadway," goes "pretty little baby /give me what I need/ sex, rock n' roll and speed." Two outta three ain't bad for a Thursday's drive home. La Brea? Oh Shit! I missed my turn. What wedding disaster? 

Get some Bolt Action Thrill for yourself at www.BoltActionThrill.com or get their EP, Four Lessons For Lucifer on iTunes. 

If you're in Los Angeles, check them out on June 25th at the Cat Club or The Key Club on August 17th. You will not be disappointed. 

May 13, 2009

Suggestions


I'm in love with this photo. Little People, Big Cats...TLC's should make this a spin off!

So I've been meaning to say for a while now that you should all be reading Cabins. The new-ish blog by Hogan McLaughlin. It's full of great music and his own art. Love it!

Also Hillary and I are on the brink of wedding disaster. Read my wedding blog for details. Maybe if everyone thinks really really hard, the place will come up with enough money. On three...one....two...three!
May 5, 2009

My First Memory


I'm so honored to be featured on YourFirstMemory.com this week. I've blogged about this site before. It's the creation of the talented Zack McTee. Go here to watch other amazing little bites of life. 

Neither Zack or I planned it, but my memory is perfect for mother's day. So this one's for you mom, you're irreplaceable (Aww.)

The other big news this week is Porcelain Manifesta is Twittering. I know I'm totally behind the curve, but if you're into the tweets, follow me at @pmanifesta

May 4, 2009

Food On Foot

{Bags of donated clothes}

Every year my office organzies a volunteer day with an excellent Los Angeles organization called Food On Foot. So Hillary and I joined the great folks from my office yesterday afternoon to organize the clothing donations and pass out food to some of Los Angeles's homeless.



{Our team getting the clothes ready}

Food On Foot describes themselves as a non-profit "dedicated to providing the poor and homeless of Los Angeles with nutritious meals, clothing, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets." The volunteer's brought in our own clothing donations and added them to the pile of bags from others. Then we started organzing the clothing into piles for men, women and children.


There was a lot of clothes this year and the gave the group lining up for food and clothes a great selection to choose from. After we organzied the clothing we all got into position behind a food station.

{Team Muffin, ready to pass out the goodness}

There were muffins, cookies, chicken, fruit, loaves of bread and many more choices for Los Angeles's hungry. Everyone was so polite and thankful to be getting the food. It is always such a great expirience to interact with these people. A wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

April 30, 2009

And Moving On...

{Photo from my brunch themed Easter dinner I didn't have time to blog about}

Life has had me in a full nelson for the last little while and things have been getting swept to the wayside, that includes this blog. I'm sorry for that, but you know how it gets sometimes. It's been all good things, however, so nothing to complain about except too little time. It's really a shame I've never been into uppers. If I just slept less my house would be spinc-n-span, all of my work would be completed, you'd have tons of blog posts to read and cupcakes for everyone!

So here's what's going to happen. I'm going to get it together, get the photos off of my camera, collect my thoughts and form them into words. Then I'm going to write some posts about all the cool stuff that's been happening and we'll be fast friends again. It'll be like I never left...until, of course, I do again...but you'll forgive me because I'm getting married. (in 7 weeks!)
April 12, 2009

The Peeps WIll Get You


Happy Easter from Moon County! And moi, of course!
March 29, 2009

Catch Up


I've been called to carry out my civic duty and serve on a jury. Without spilling all the deets, it's a criminal trial and it's a doozey. They've said it will last 13 biz days and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not longer because a) my work will kill me, we are so busy right now and b) I'm due back in Indiana for my bridal shower and b-ette party in about 2 weeks. But so, here are some things I meant to blog about, but was too drained from blancing the scales of justice all week:

Last week I had a day off and Hillary and I went to LACMA. Where we strolled around and looked at art all day. They have an impressive collection and we had a great time. I took the pic above of H and this...

{check out more New Math here - via}

...totally encapsulates the day. 

Hillary was featured on my new favorite blog - Your First Memory. Check out his interview and see a picture of him as a baby here

And my latest blog obesssion is The Bright Side Project! Check it out for the beautiful wares they feature and leave a comment with your answer to one of their thought provoking questions to win some of the designer's goods. Such fun to read the variety of answers they get.

And the most exciting news of the weekend is that our great friends Matt and Linz bought a house in Louisville this weekend! I can't wait to see it and stay with them in their new abode. Congrat's my lovlies! 

March 20, 2009

We're In A Commercial


G1 Spec - Omnipresent Light from Phil McLaughlin on Vimeo.

Did I mention Hillary and I are famous? Well that's cause we're not. But we helped my talented cousin Phil and his friend Aaron with a commercial they were making for contest. They could win a bunch of money so you should go here and vote for them.  Because don't you think they totally deserve to win?
March 14, 2009

Finished - Part 1 of 3

{Hillary took this through a screen window. I always listen to instrumental music while I write, music with words distracts me.}

There has been a lag in my blogging as of late, but I have a good excuse. I have hesitated to post this, or really even tell anyone, for reasons I'm not totally sure of...maybe I sort of feel like I'll jinx it. BUT...I have...finished...my...THESIS!!!!! Okay, well, so not exactly. But I've finished the final draft, I have the required amount of pages (final count of 162) and have mailed it off to my advisor to be proofed. 

So what happens now, is she reads the whole thing makes suggestions and any grammatical corrections I may have missed (can't catch them all) and sends it back to me. I will correct and make some small changes then I send it off to be juried and it's pass/fail from there, but the latter is totally out of my mind. So the hardest part is behind me and now I just wait.

Interested in what else I've been up to? My friend Deana over at GWG sums up our Thursday evening filled with high fashion and brushes with celebrities!