Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spy Tactics from Dr. Evil

Apparently, Dr. Evil was onto something in Austin Powers when he requested souped-up sharks to be used as tools in espionage and naval warfare. It seems that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is pursuing this creature for exploitation in exactly this way (ok, neural implants for control is the same thing).

Now, I will readily admit to having more political passivity than a doorknob, but does anyone else out there think this is the stupidest idea they have ever heard!?!? I am trying in vain to add some political validity to my blog, but seriously, this was in Austin Powers! It's funny, not functional! I realize that I'm a bit late to the political party here, but weaponizing animals (insects included, apparently DARPA has some clever explosive-smelling bees) just seems a little too Animal Farm/Chronicles of Narnia for my taste.

Sharks with frickin' laser beams at Salon.com.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Skip Loves a Good Wipe Out

Please excuse my prepubescent boy humor, but this is awesome!

Randy's Cliff Jump.

Skip Likes a Good Cup of Joe

The type-A, organizational, list-making freak in me loves the person that put together this handy ratings list for San Francisco coffee spots, the aptly-titled CoffeeRatings.com. The rankings are based on important details like Barista savvy, ambience, crema (I worked at Starbucks, I know how important that is) and espresso machine (one would assume the Gaggia Titanium SS version I covet would blow away the competition).

I'm pleased to see my local Blue Bottle Coffee Company is #3!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Skip Plans Ahead

I remember fondly when Lollapalooza drifted through town with hardly a mention on Q101. With a line-up that included Jane's Addiction and the Rollin's Band, a Jackopierce/DMB-loving high schooler like myself would never consider attending such an overtly anti-Aware manifestation of mass concert chaos.

But oh how things change in 10 years!

Now, I can think of no better reason to go back to the Windy City for the weekend (August 4th-6th) than to see the best line-up of bands I have ever beheld on one schedule at this year's Lollapalooza in Grant Park. It is pure concert heaven!

The gals and I have already decided to descend on Chicago for a weekend of music and my Mummy.

New York Follow-up

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Spots Skip Hits; Part II

And the fun never ends!

*The Knitting Factory; the most gloriously depressing concert ever with The Damnwells and Augustana.
*Sheraton Chelsea; who needs the uppity Soho Grand? This is my new, cheap home away from home and I didn't even have to move.
*City Bakery; one morning (or lunch-time) I will get sick of this place, but not yet...
*MZ Wallace
*One Little West 12th; wow, that's a lot of meat.
*AMC Theatre; Broadway and 19th. Just don't try to confuse the staff by ordering something other than popcorn and soda.
*Le Pain Quotidien
*Whole Foods; again, I'm now stalking Bradley Cooper nightly.
*Spring Street Natural; one of my New York favorites, I don't care what anyone says.
*Mesa Grill; I heart Bobby Flay. A lot.

Skip's Sloaney

By now, most readers know that I am an Anglophile (I have a lot of self-love). Their inclinations towards frustrating inefficiency, tawdry celebs and unattractive newscasters make the English just so cuddly and endearing. I can't help it. And, now you too can vicariously participate in the haughty culture of the British elite (or avidly follow their every move which is just as English) with your very own 'Sloane Ranger' name!

Thanks to my pal, Tara Wintour/Fern Amanda-Hillier, I am re-christened Ruby Arabella-Harding (all Sloaneys must have double-barrel last names).

At Sloaney Names.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Spots Skip Hits; Part I

In an ill-disguised effort to make my fair readers jealous, I'm promising to keep my blog up-to-date as I skip about New York (for business and pleasure). The only problem is that due to my hectic itinerary (I'm very popular and important), I can only provide Zagat-like commentary on my travels rather than expound on each experience individually.

Don't worry though, the regularly-scheduled blog entries will return shortly.

*Bistro Les Amis; the best bread I have ever carb-loaded.
*HK; there is nothing like club music to wake you up in the morning.
*Hell's Kitchen Antique Market; I am reminded why 'I prefer new things.'
*Saks Fifth Avenue; gotta love 'the original.'
*Bloomie Nails
*Bergdorf's; also known as 'heaven.'
*Tabla; our waitress was 'in it to win it.'
*Libation; I am way, way too old for this.
*Chez Fabs; the hostess with the most-ess.
*Chelsea Market; Eleni's, Hale & Hearty Soup, French Oven, oh my!
*Murray's Bagels; the 'best bagels in New York.'
*Starbucks; and more Starbucks.
*Tracy Reese
*Diane Von Furstenberg; seriously, close the curtain, I'm naked in here!
*C.O. Bigelow
*Whole Foods; across from my hotel, which is very dangerous.

Until next time, over and out.

Skip's Scorn

Though I am determined to keep my blog as positive and happy-go-lucky as humanly possible, I'm forced to make a small exception and share my newly formed, bitter disdain for America West airlines (US Airways, whatever) with my impressionable readers...

It all began at check-in when my luggage weighed in 7 lbs. over regulation (stupid shoes) and the AW agent still charged me $50 despite my bestest puppy-dog eyes and pouting lips. This was a sign, there was nowhere to go but downhill. My (delayed) one-hour flight to Las Vegas (a pit-stop on my way to Ohio) ended up being two-hours of intense, gut-flipping turbulence (please recall my terror in the air) ultimately ending with an emergency landing in 'Ontario,' wherever that is, because it was too windy and we were running out of fuel. The person behind me ralphed on the rocky ride, the stewardess (that's right, there was one) had no idea what the next step was and the fine people of Ontario (still in California in case you were wondering) didn't know how to handle a commercial airliner seeing that it is actually a UPS hub....

Another two-hours and my Vegas virginity was finally broken as I landed at 1am, spent 45 minutes attempting to find a new flight, was finally reunited with my bag, arranged for a hotel (the ever-fabulous Amerisuites, where my friend Jon the night manager told me to 'take a deep breath and stop calling me') and fell asleep in my pool-side room (a term I use very loosely).

The fun didn't end with my sweet polyester-pillow dreams though. The next morning I waited in line to check-in for my new flight for 45 minutes only to be told that I was already checked-in and that my bag was still overweight (yes, thank you). Then I waited another 45 minutes in a glass tunnel because I was 'selected at random for a security screening.' Are you kidding me?!?! Do I look like a terrorist?!?! I was wearing a Burberry coat and pearls! I pleaded with Sam, the 85-year old security guard (don't mess with him), and again, the puppy-dog eyes and pouty lips did not work. Am I losing my touch? Gaaahhh!

24-hours and 21 minutes later I finally arrived in New York (Ohio, as a destination, was a casualty of my airline-agent rage at 1:22am).

Needless to say, I will never go to Las Vegas again and I will never again fly America West (US Airways, whatever).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Skip is a City Girl

On the eve of my latest trip to New York, I have discovered the perfect city wardrobe...it's just not in my closet and it's not exactly seasonally appropriate. But, how cute would I look?!?!

At Reyes Collection.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Skip Waxes Lyrical

Last night I had the singular pleasure of seeing Matt Pond PA in concert at Slim's. In spite of having to listen to the world's worst opening act in the history of music, Matthew Moon (no, really, the link is meant as a warning not a marketing opportunity), and the unfortunate last-minute cancellation of Youth Group's performance (due to inclement weather, which just makes Matt's perseverance all the more meaningful), I can't say anything bad about the concert. It was flawless.

Slim's is an ideal venue and on a blustery Sunday evening, the crowd was relatively manageable and thinly spread. And, of course, Matt Pond, both funny and warm, is impossibly talented. His voice glided forth with an effortless and perfectly polished pitch, articulate and heartfelt at the same time. It is as if he always speaks with such euphonious tones (and minimal head movement). Though his songs suffer from a bit of the sameness curse, his style is so unique and his lyrics so new that he is destined to be famous...and, for the record, he's mine.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Protect and Beautify

I've heard through the grapevine that the iPod Invisible Shield is not exactly user-friendly. Of course it covers your pod in a nifty, thin, clear plastic shell, but it requires water and creates air bubbles and blah blah blah. The entire process sounds a might complicated for a lazy lady like myself.

So what kind of alternative is there to the Invisible Shield but that doesn't look like a space suit for your Nano? The Moshi iGlaze; ultra-fine gloss, scratch-resistent, removable with no residue and zero air bubbles. Perfect. I'll take the matchy-matchy milk white.

PS- And who out there doesn't like saying 'Moshi?'

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Skip Loves Hawkes

Surprisingly, I'm not much of a wine connoisseur. Though I pride myself on being a perfect snob (having an unwavering opinion on everything even those things I know nothing about), I just don't think I have the palate/patience to taste true wine talent.

I do know, however, that I love Hawkes Wine; the graphic label, the distinct logo, the buttery, yummy taste, the teapot museum... I can't get enough.

Skip Strikes Again

Seriously. Somebody stop me...my penchant for fanciful stationery is once again preventing my life from progressing.

In spite of my recent, very successful attempts at downsizing my posessions I hit a road-block when confronted with my curious and quaint collection of cards and letterhead. No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to throw away the Easter cards, Bon Voyage letterpress notelets and French General sticker set (for embellishing my letters to penpals). Blank and in mint condition it somehow seems wrong to be throwing away so much potential! And who knows when I might want to send a 4th of July card, Pilgrim cards or forlorn letters to a lover on scented and monogrammed paper?!?!

I'm furious with myself. To make matters worse, I just pretend-spent my mock millions ($132 to be exact) on Crest and Tuppence stationery at 16 Sparrows.

I suppose the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Skip Has a Big Mouth

Really? Sometimes I ugly myself out.

Blogging Buddies

My incredibly brilliant and campy friend, Lauren (pictured right) has a blog. In fact, to give credit where it is due, were it not for Lauren's inspiration and my interminable opinions on every subject, I would not actually have a blog. (I know, I know, a near miss. Whew.)

In recent weeks, Lauren has been out-blogging me on quite a regular basis (likely because her life is way more fun and she, more funny, than I) and today she truly trumped me. She discovered a superb taping of 'The Fruitcake Lady;' an ancient, yet demure woman giving advice to lazy, middle-Americans on their asinine problems. It is pure entertainment.

Wonderful, wonderful, Lauren.

Aw, Shucks

This past weekend I had the most lovely pleasure of celebrating my friend Sean's birthday on Tomales Bay; shucking oysters, BBQ-ing and drinking some beers in the afternoon sun. Despite retching at the very thought of those foul, slimy masses of living tissue sliding down my throat (indeed the event was captured on film), it was a most glorious day. I was acccompanied by fabulous friends and the midday sun which make any afternoon perfect.

I recommend the outing to anyone in the market for the ideal weekend...just be sure to eat something 'solid' before you go and BYOB.