Friday, December 28, 2007

After Christmas Sale - Bloomingdales

Apparently, the Bloomingdales in Century City had drastic markdowns after Christmas (additional 50% off already mark downed prices). The selection for both shoes and clothing were slim but very good deals. I wanted to purchase something so bad yesterday, but couldn't find anything that was the right size. I think if i were there the day after christmas, i probably would have had a better chance, but I was too busy shopping at saks. oh well, no big deal.

Surprisingly, century city mall was empty last night. I ate at one of the newer fast food places (i think it replaced a burger chain). It was Lawry's Carvery A Cut Above. Menu prices were:
Prime Rib Sandwich $14
Roast beef Sandwiches $9-10
Turkey Sandwiches $9
Brisket Sandwiches $10

Platter meals (served with 2 sides-choice of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, creamed corn)
prime rib $15-25 depending on 6 oz, 9 oz or 12 oz cut
turkey, brisket, or roast beef au jus $13

Since it was not too busy, the carver let me try a bit of the prime rib, roast beef and brisket. All were very good, but I decided on the roast beef. It was just as tasty but $4 less than the price of the prime rib. The brisket would have been fine as well.

I had the roast beef bleu sandwich (with bleu cheese) along with mac and cheese. Very tasty sandwich but not too impressed with the mac and cheese and would definitely not order it again. Too bad they don't have their tasty creamed spinach on the menu. They have the absolute best.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pesto Sauce - LA Times

Note: Adapted from Nancy Silverton and chef de cuisine Matt Molina of Pizzeria Mozza.
Pesto sauce
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or to taste

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the pine nuts, garlic, basil, parsley and salt into a smooth paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, mixing well to incorporate. Just before serving, season with lemon juice and additional salt to taste.

Dylan's Candy at Saks

Saks had candy (christmas and nonhalf priced all day. I had stayed at a hotel in NY in december and dylan's gummi bears were in the hotel room bar for $13. I was tempted but didn't purchase it. I saw it for half price at the saks sale and decided to purchase it there. I usually just buy the haribo gummi bears at rite aid for $1.79, but dylans was in a small plastic pail so nicely presented and had a selection of different colors/flavors from the usual selection (blue and purple gummi bears?) and plus more quantity of gummi bears. The price of $6.50 was reasonable, so I purchase it. my verdict - i was happy with my purchase since dylan's gummi bears are soft and delicious, especially the blue and purple ones.

After Christmas Sales

So I went to Saks Fifth Avenue the day before and after Christmas after hearing all discounted shoes (all clearance items actually) would be an additional 50% off after Christmas from 8 am to 12 pm. Parking wasn't too bad although it looked bad - there are just a lot of lame drivers out there who either drive really slow and/or don't know where to go and need direction. Shoe racks were full the day before Christmas (actually, shopping wasnt too bad in Beverly Hills surprisingly). The day after Christmas, I arrived around 11 am. Shoe racks were almost empty; hardly anything left. Long shoe line to purchase, hoards of women surrounding salespeople to get the other shoe mate. It was basically a madhouse. I didn't find anything. After 12 pm, leftover shoes were an additional 40% off.

I walked over to Neiman Marcus (definitely not as crowded since it was only an additional 25% off clearance items.) I did overhear a shoe salesperson offering an additional 40% off to someone purchasing shoes.

I then walked to Barneys. I had been to Barneys the day before Christmas. Barney's had the same items for sale at the same price before and after Christmas. No additional markdowns. I mainly was in the jeans for sale section. All types marked down to $99-$139 from $150-250. Still expensive but slightly better selection and price in denim than Saks or Neiman. Selection of cute, fashionable Barneys shoes/handbags on sale were limited but pricey still even after the markdowns. Some shoes are so weird looking that I often wonder who would pay so much for such a weird looking shoe that would be out of style in no time, if it ever was in style in the first place.

My opinion goes the same for some handbags too and some are so goddamn heavy to begin with, once you add your things too it, it becomes a drag to carry around. Why don't high-end designers make lighter handbags? There are very few out there that are fashionable. An example would be Marc Jacobs line. I saw the regular priced handbags that were very pricey ($1200-1800) but all were too heavy. Even prada's line was too heavy. Geez. Nice styles but so not functional. Too bad.

I was so tired at the end of my 2 hour shopping extravaganza, I went home and took a nap.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Star Sighting

Laura Dern at Sur La Table in Santa Monica (2nd and Arizona) by herself. She looking into buying an ice cream maker. She is very tall and thin - I'd say at least 5 '10-5'11 but don't know if she was wearing heals.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tivo Renewal

Originally paying $10.95 a month. Called 877-289-8486 (case # 8060278) to change plan to $99 a year plan (other option was $9.95 a month). Qualified for multi service discount.
This plan expires 12/20/08
Second tivo expires 10/5/08

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NY Extended Weekend Getaway - Dec 15-18

NY was a lot of fun. It was very cold. Too crowded everywhere, but very holiday spirited, especially around midtown (saks fifth avenue window and cartier store are very festive). Saw Nutcraker (NY City Ballet) on Sunday ($45 tickets for 4th level seating which was the best available at the time of purchase, but i was still able to enjoy it). tickets sold out eventually. Saw ny knicks game on monday night against indiana pacers. ny knicks lost by quite a bit. a guy holding a "fire isaiah" sign immediately was kicked out by security guards the second he showed the sign". It was during the last final minutes of the 4th quarter, so it wasn't a big deal since knicks were far behind the pacers. i saw spike lee sitting in the front row - there is always a picture of him at a knicks game in all those entertainment magazines, so it was expected to see him there. got to show support thru the good and bad times or else you'll be called a "bandwagoner" if you suddenly become a big fan when they do really well. too bad knicks haven't been doing too well lately.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Virgin America Flight

I just came back from a roundtrip LAX to JFK flight. Virgin America seemed more spacious and technologically advanced than the airline I usually fly, American. My flights to and from JFK were both delayed, 1.5 hours to jfk and 0.5 hours from jfk, which was slightly annoying. Service was good. You can order free non alcoholic drinks or alcoholic drinks ($5) right from your computer screen at your seat. Drinks came within 10 minutes of ordering. I also ordered a beef/mozarella cheese with pesto sauce for $9. Took about 15 minutes to arrive. Beef tenderloin was ok quality. Taste was pretty good for airline food, although sandwich would have tasted much better panini pressed. Sandwich also came with a mini toblerone. yum.

entertainment was good - they had recently released movies to choose from, but movies must be purchased for $8 using your credit card right in the screen slot. movie selection included: bourne ultimatum, superbad, knocked up and ratatoullie. free movies were offered at the bottom of the movie selection but were movies that i never heard of or the one i selected called "elevator girl" was a short 5 minute film.

you can select radio or albums or watch music videos. All types of different music options. music video selection was limited.

tv was not very good. i was only able to watch 4-5 channels out of 20 - error message on most although cnn, oxygen, etc were listed. sci-fi channel was always available and a channel called 'current'. didn't use much of the tv. i watched premium tv (free) which were mostly single episodes of some current tv shows available. example included 1-2 episodes from shows american dad, the office, scrubs, two and a half men. it got old quickly.

lots of options on virgin america, but i just wished more of the tv worked and more episodes were available on premium tv. $8 charge for movie was slightly high.

you can chat with another seat from your seat; also, you can play a selected number of games.

i don't think it was enough for me to use them again and again for future flights but if i get a great deal like the one i got for this flight, i definitely would. the delays were really bad.

side note: make sure you're on the right flight. apparently the jfk-sfo and jfk-lax were on the same runway and the jfk-sfo boarded right before the jfk-lax. there was a girl in front of me who realized she was on the wrong flight once the person who was assigned to that seat came. i guess virgin doesnt scan or check b/c how come no one told her that this was the wrong flight for her? what if no one was assigned in the same seat as her and she ended up flying to lax? it's a good thing someone was assigned to that seat.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Las Vegas 1 day trip to see Celine Dion's A New Day

It was totally worth flying out and coming back the same night just to see celine. I had so much fun. Everything went perfectly as planned except for our return flight home which was delayed for 45 minutes. Celine dion's A New Day show was amazing-probably the best show I've seen in vegas. The dancers and special effects were great. The governor of las vegas happened to be at the show also - apparently, he had honored her earlier, so she announced a special thanks to him. He and his wife had seats in the very front row. i even bought her cd for $22. i'm glad i did not miss her Las Vegas show and it's too bad i waited 5 years to see it. This was a show i would have seen again and again. I even won $152 playing blackjack with only $20 to begin. What luck!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Las Vegas

I purchase 2 last minute tickets last night to Las Vegas for flight today. Have evening flight and returning same evening aroung midnight. Tickets were not cheap! I checked american, southwest, jetblue. Best schedule for me was US Airways. Total per person was $265 each ticket. Got last minute Celine Dion tickets - her last show is this weekend in caesars palace.

Star Sighting Last Night at The Grove

Last night around 10 pm, I spotted Lindsay Lohan at Barnes and Noble at the Grove with another female and male. She looks the same as she does in movies.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Problems Encountered with Travelocity Booking?

I got the below information from regarding someone who was having trouble with a flight change after calling travelocity customer service several times with no luck. The advice was to get thru to Travelocity's President:

Travelocity corporate headquarters
Michelle Peluso, President
The corporate HQ # is (682) 605-3000.
Possible direct phone number(682) 605-1374
Email could be

Hmmm. Interesting.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ralph Lauren Goose Down Pillows again

I loved my previous RL goose down pillow that I purchased in November. The RL ran out before I could order more. They are not on sale anymore at $55 (the current price is $69), but I have a coupon code for 30% off total purchase thru Monday, 12/10, so it comes out to about $53 including tax. My head just melts in the pillow.

Magee's at the farmer's market

Had dinner at magee's before watching Juno. They have the best reuben sandwich - the corned beef is so delicious. Regular corned beef sandwich $7.75, reuben sandwich (with saurkraut and swiss cheese) is $8.25. I have to ask for the fat to be trimmed a bit before carving. Corned beef is already pretty juicy with fat juices, so extra fat is unnecessary for me. side dishes are ok. not to crazy about the macaroni salad.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Juno - The Movie

Just came back from watching Juno. Same guy directed Thank you for not smoking movie which i did enjoy. I had seen previews of Juno and it didn't look like a movie I really wanted to see until I heard a rave review from Sam the entertainment guy on ktla news and then read a good review in the WSJ. no matter how good the story is, who really wants to see a pregnant teen movie?

I probably wouldn't watch this movie again but I did enjoy it. A friend I saw it with did not enjoy it. it was a heartwarming movie.

Judge Judy

I enjoy watching Judge Judy every now and then. I recently did a google search for her and found out the following:

Each person gets paid $100/day to appear their case. If the defendant loses, the production pays up to $5000 to the plaintiff, rather than paying the judgement themselves. Both air and hotel are also paid for the plaintiff/defendant to appear.
Judge Wapner from the old People's Court has critized Judge Judy's style and thinks she is rude. Surprising.
No tickets are given to anyone who wants to watch her show unfortunately. All people in the background are extras.

Also, she makes $30 million annually.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Transit plan aims to ease traffic on Pico and Olympic (La Brea to Centinenla)

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a plan to significantly expedite the flow of traffic for commuters in a citywide effort to improve the heavy traffic situation in Los Angeles.

The plan is to lengthen green lights in favor of drivers heading East on Pico Boulevard and West on Olympic Boulevard and eliminate delays caused by cross traffic and parking.

Phase 1 of the plan proposes to ensure consistent rush hour parking restrictions along bothOlympic and Pico
Phase 2 would create preferential flow signal timing, allowing quicker travel times for motorists heading west on Olympic and east on Pico.The two corridors would remain two-way streets under the initiative but act more like one-way streets, the Villaraigosa spokesman said.
After evaluating the results of the initial steps, the city plans tore-stripe Olympic and Pico in
Phase 3 of the project, adding more westbound lanes on Olympic and more eastbound lanes on Pico, the Villaraigosa spokesman said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nespresso Aeroccino Automatic Milk Frother

The Nespresso Aeroccino Automatic Milk Frother is great. It makes a pretty thick, warm foam in just 50 seconds. Just add milk to the line and press the on button. I add this additional foam to make my cappuccino creamier. It so easy to clean also. I purchased it at Sur La Table with a credit I already had for $89. So far, so good. Also sold at Williams-Sonoma and Macy's for the same price.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

CBS Early Morning Question - How much does the President get paid?

President Bush make $400,000 a year- Presidents get paid well because framers of our constitution were very concerned about bribery. They didn't want a president who was on the chief who could be easily bought off.
$400,000 is the presidents base salary. President also gets:
$50,000 expense account for job related expenses
$100,000 travel account
$19,000 entertainment account
Tax payers cover the cost of Air Force One and Presidential Helicopter.
President pays for his own dry cleaning and has to pay for his own clothes. Any meals connected to his official duties are covered by tax payers but not meals in the family quarters.

President Bush will get a yearly pension of $180,000 when he leaves office.

No federal employee can make more than the president. Vice president Cheney makes $212,000. Members of congress get paid $170,000.