Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm packed and ready to head to Italy! Here's what I have for nine days and nights:

In the backpack (above):

  • Peep toe platforms

  • Flip flops

  • B&W striped calf length leggings

  • Black leggings

  • Lacy foot socks, 3 pr

  • Bathing suit

  • Goggles

  • Black capris (channeling Ms. Hepburn)

  • Gold high-waisted pants

  • LT grey khaki cutofffs

  • Long sleeve denim snap shirt

  • Tan merino cardigan

  • Travel skirt (can pull up to strapless dress)

  • Grey cotton dress (pajamas that can double as an outfit w/ leggings)

  • Tanks, white, yellow & white, magenta

  • Camisoles, navy, white

  • Sheer hexagon print top

  • Sheer metallic ribbon top

  • Brown cotton ruffle lace t shirt

  • Floral print t shirt

  • Ribbon hat

  • Pink handknit shawl

  • Leopard print neck scarf

  • Cosmetics

  • Toiletries



  • Black cashmere sweater

  • Dark wash jeans

  • Foot socks

  • White blazer

  • Loafers

Purse (above):

  • Wallet

  • Passport

  • Phone

  • Earphones

  • Adapter

  • Charging cord

  • Travel wetnaps

  • DSLR camera

  • Scarf-cum-camera wrap

  • Glasses

  • Sunglasses

  • Eye patch

  • Ear plugs

  • Umbrella (rain forecasted!)

  • Handkerchiefs, 2

  • Moleskine

  • Lip balm

  • Eco bag

Tucked in a linen napkin and tenugui after reading an email, from the trip coordinator, warning that Italian hotels tend not to provide washcloths.

We'll see how well I did as the trip goes. Weather us supposed to be like So Cal, in which case I am quite confident. Off I go--ciao!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Artsy Autumn: Natural History Museum

I can't recall whether the NHM feels familiar because I went here on a school field trip back in the day, or because Night at the Museum was filmed there. In any case, it's an awesome space and was a treat to make a day of attending. I was especially excited about the Dinosaur Hall, which was very educational and well done, in terms of information and presentation.

[triple t-rex]


The Pacific Standard Time exhibit was small, covering only the second story in the rotunda area. Still, I appreciated the timeline presentation and the historical tie the NHM has to Los Angeles art and artists. (We tend to forget that Exposition Park -- now sadly in disrepair and neglected with more recent and glamorous event venues -- lies in a very central part of LA. I hope that changes and this wonderful area is restored to its 1984 Olympics glory.)

After a delicious lunch of Peruvian fare, and a walk back through the Rose Garden, NHM Visit Part 2 commenced: American history hall, gemstones, and dioramas of African and American mammals. Delightful!

I now have a handy PST booklet and have marked all the exhibits I'd like to see. Onwards!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coffee with Chemex

I had a chance to purchase filters and brew coffee in the unmarked but unlikely faux Chemex coffee maker I thrifted a few months ago.

The filter is actually a sheet folded into quarters. The paper is supposed to be 30% thicker than regular filters, therefore straining more impurities out if the grounds.

Thanks to my awesome jot water kettle, I have 210-degree water at the touch of a button. I placed the filter in the Chemex (3-layered side against the spout), scooped in my grounds, added enough water to just cover them to allow "bloomage," and then slowly poured additional hot water until I got to my serving size. Took about four minutes, same as the brew time in a French press. Cleanup was a snap: lift filter and toss; rinse glass. Et voila:

I'm not sure if you can see from the photo, but the Chemex brews a mighty clean cuppa. And it tastes clean, too. Verdict: yum. I can see why so many reviewers say they'll never have coffee any other way again.

Now that there's a coffee maker for my section, I can deal with mediocre brew during the week and enjoy the slow drip-drop Chemex coffee on weekends. Now, off to the grinder.