LACMA: Rain Room


The Rain Room is the most coveted ticket in Los Angeles right now.  Being sold out for months, Amber B and me befriended an adorable rockabilly working at the ticket counter and pulled off the ultimate last min ticket grab. We got high fives from LACMA staffers as we squeezed in just before closing time.

We walked towards the bright spotlight in an otherwise dark room, there were a few people already “immersed in the experience” and the only thing separating us from them was 317 gallons of water.  Amber B and me stood there on the perimeter shaking with excitement, we nodded at each other and stepped in.

I don’t know HOW the sensors work.  If you wave your hands in front of you while you walk, you create a little buffer between you and the wall of water.  I chose hands free, with my face as close as possible to the falling water.   At one point Amber B dropped to her knee to take a photo and the water triggered on, soaking her in a millisecond.

When I turned to Amber B, her eyes were bright with joy as she squeezed water our of her pink hair, we hugged like little kids do in the rain, and giggled as they threw us out at closing time.


Rain Room Through April 24, 2016

Reservation Only


Calçotada: A Gastronomical Event


Do you ever ask yourself why you love food so much?  Do you remember how you went from being a food lover to a foodie?   I used to love fun dip, and corn dogs.  Now I geek out over fresh octopus, heriloom vegetables and aged balsamic.  This transformation isn’t really a coming of age.  One doesn’t just wake up and say, I think I will spend $90 on dinner tonight.  No, like everything else in western culture, we find things we like through peer pressure, and no one is more convincing that  something like blood sausage is the greatest gift to your gullet like Anthony Bourdain.

No Reservations Season 4, Episode 11 first aired Aug 2008.  Bourdain goes to Spain.  He eats $100 anchovies, melts chocolate eggs in the sun and introduces the world to the Calçot.  A Spanish green onion, pulled from the ground, roasted on grape vines, wrapped in newspaper and left to steam for hours.  In the meantime, guests pour wine into thier mouths, eat cheese, make fresh romesco and wait for the glorius green onion to acheive the perfect consitancy to eat in one fell swoop.

Saturday April 25th, my culinary dreams are becoming a reality.  These Calçots, in the hands of the chefs from R3Izakaya, Cody Requejo and Alex Ruperto, will be roasted in batches in the traditional style, we will also be cellebrating a few of our other Spanish favorite dishes including spanish cheeses, two types of paella, and a sophisticated fin, pan de chocolate.

We are so lucky to be able to host events like these.  Whether you consider yourself a food lover or a foodie, we present to you an event of gastronomical proportions.  (Mr Bourdain not included).

Saturday April 25th 6PM

420 Portland Circle Huntington Beach CA 92648

$40 per/person (cash only) wine and sangria included

The Nudes


Long before I was born, my grandmother was a painter.  The inside of our ranch house looked more like a museum than a homestead in the Arizona desert, the walls were covered in her paintings from her life as an impressionist in the Pacific Palisades in the 1950s-60s.

As the wife of a cattle rancher she was a paradox.   She cooked gourmet meals, she made her own clothes, she loved her dogs, she was elegant, always proper and a bit of a recluse.  And though I was in my 30’s when she passed away, I had never seen her paint.


A few years ago, I was cleaning out a storage area with my Dad and saw a stack of frames in a back corner.   “What is that?” I asked.  “Those are your grandmothers, they stay here.”  My dad is a man of few words, and when he says something he means it, so case closed.   Once a year, in conversation, I would ask about the stack of paintings and he usually growled a “no”.  But this year, he said, “ah well, I guess we could take a look at them, but I think the only thing thats back there are the nudes”.  If I wasn’t sitting down for that conversation I would have stumbled.  After hanging up, I held my hands together tightly in front of my face and smiled, thanking the universe for my good fortune.

FullSizeRender-3Nudity can be tough, it’s difficult to be realisitc about the human form in todays photoshopped world.  Nudity, sensuality and sexuality and vulgarity are often confused, but not here, in these paintings.  For me, having these nudes is a mark of self acceptance, a connection with my bloodline.  When I look at these paintings, I see my grandmother in black and white, wearing flat canvas shoes and a painting smock.  I see her eyes close and her teeth glow when she throws back her head and laughs.

This isn’t the same woman I grew up with, but this is the one I remember now.  Once upon a time, long before I was born, my grandmother was an artist, and an adventurer.  The nudes have told me so.







The First Berkshire

Most of us do not have the option to live amongst farms and ranches. We don’t know where our food is coming from and we can’t see how our food is being cultivated. Which is why I have the upmost admiration when it comes to a choice our friends Chari and Craig made to purchase a working organic farm in Temecula.  There is nothing easy about farming, but what work is more important than growing the very food that keeps us alive?


Today,  one particular Berkshire became a very important “first” in quite a few of our lives.  This particular pig, was the first pig, Chari and Craig raised specifically for a food source.  This pig was the first pig Chef Cody Requejo and Chef Alex Ruperto butchered from head to tail.  This was the first time Van’s 3 year old son Knox had been to a real farm.  This was the first time I honestly took a look at my food while it was still breathing and acknowledged what an honor it was to be a part of this pigs life and death.


How do I honor this pig in a post?  I will tell you that he was a Berkshire pig, the finest and most sought out of all pork heritages. He was raised on a diet of fruits, vegitables and nuts from Chari’s farm as well as neighboring farms.  He lived out in the open air in the sunshine and under the stars amongst turkeys, goats, chickens and potbellied pigs.

When it came time to break him down, neighbors pitched in and helped the chefs maneuver the 220 lb pig from station to station, leaving the men with sore muscles for the next couple of days.


None of the Berkshire went to waste, the chefs, honored and humbled by this task,  fabricated every part of the pig from the head meat to the intestines.  The meat was divided evenly between two farms who raised the Berkshire, and to the chefs of r3Izakaya.

On March 28th, we are going to eat this pig.   Chef Cody and Chef Alex are preparing an ecletic menu to celebrate the life and death of this very fine Berkshire, and I am going to take a wild gamble that eating this hand raised pig will be a first for you too.




Sexo y Violencia


El Chocolate busts a sweet move over Dirty Sanchez (photo from @luchavavoom insta)

Valentines Day, a day of love professions, flowers, chocolate, lingere, “surprise” engagements, packed restaurants, overpriced hotels, cheesy cards, high fructose corn syrup, cheap stuffed animals, stress, disappointment, tears, scorn and sometimes fire.
Don’t get me wrong, I love love, but forced occasions I can do without.  Valentines day is one of the biggest offenders in my book.  I’m not the only one who feels this way, every year around Feb 14th an epic show comes to the Myan Theater in DTLA for 2 awesome nights.  The pretty ladies put on their feathers and their fishnets, the men put on their sequined tights and luchador masks and for about 3 hours they put on a show you can’t help but LOVE.

Los Gallos cock ring

Lucha Va Voom is a celebration of cultural diversity, physically demanding acrobatics, raunchy humor, high impact wrestling, grandiose costumes, strip teases, and audience participation.  Each night The Myan is packed with people that don’t think Valentines day belongs just in a pretty little pink box, some of us think it’s ok to mix in a little sexo y violencia and most of all laughter.
Being able to laugh with someone truly is a sign of love.  Whether you find yourself with your lover or with your girlfriends this weekend; remember to laugh, laugh at the ridiculous of the life you are living.  Laugh with each other sometimes even at each other, because we are only human and this is all we’ve got.  If you are having a hard time, getting to that happy place….stick a feather in it and jump on the couch and scream LUCHA VA VOOM!

Fancy no pantsies (photo cred @izalavamp insta of @metalzipper)

Sick of Being Sick



This cold/flu season has been NUTS.  These “colds” have lasted weeks.  The “flu” is packing hospitals across the country.  I have had a sore throat on and off since new years eve and came across this recipe from David Wolfe which has been a huge relief on my raw vocal chords.

For a sore throat, mix warm water, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar), dash of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  It tastes pretty good and it works within the hour.

My old friend Colloidal Silver has kept the really bad stuff away, but Sunday I was little too carefree and the fever took me.  With 3 days to go before a much anticipated trip to Costa Rica I turned to a Oil of Oregano.  I have heard about its miracoulous powers, so with watery eyes and a runny nose I threw myself at the mercy of the alchemists at Mothers Market and hoped for the best.

Well, it works!  And it works fast.  I take a shot glass of water and add 5 drops of oil.  Like a big girl I shoot the OOO and for the next few hours it tastes like I just had pizza.  Repeat 3-4 times a day drink lots of water, get some rest, and finish packing for Costa Rica.

I hope this helps get you through this sick season, the Banshees have a few parties around the corner and you are going to need your energy to keep up with us.





Sometimes it’s nice to go to a party that you didn’t throw.  Especially when it is to celebrate true love between a classic beauty and an adventurous beast.  By candelight there was laughter and tears of joy.  As the moon rose, the champagne flowed and the new family mixed with old friends.  We reveled in love and happiness as we bore witness to true love.


CinemAttack: Wheel of Anderson

Mark your calendars for Friday Jan 16 Cussers!!  Band of Banshees and Toddland are putting their “spin” on CinemAttack’s Wheel of Anderson at The Frida Cinema. CinemAttack hosts exceptional movie events everymonth for all you film nerds and we couldn’t be more excited when they asked us to help style and host the pre-show costume contest for their Wes Anderson night.



For all of you who missed our first Wes Anderson party, here are some of our fave insta posts at #wesandersonclustercuss.



This night is going to be super fun.   CinemAttack’s creative crew made up a 4 foot wide spinning wheel with 8 iconic WesAnderson films,  the wheel will be spun 10 min before the curtian goes up and where it stops nobody knows!  Check out the trailer, and get cracking on that costume!

Costumes are not mandatory, but Band of Banshees and Toddland are handmaking most of the prizes, and who doesn’t want to win a copy of Dudly’s World?

Check out the Wheel of Anderson Trailer

Doors open at 8:45PM

Costume Contest starts at 9:30PM Audience participation voting, even if you don’t dress up you still get to screem like a Banshee for your favorite costumes.

Wheel Spins at 9:50PM  Mystery Movie starts at 10PM

Get your tickets here!

LACMA: Samurai


The Samurai exhibit at LACMA is so impressive it envokes a physical reaction upon entrance.  Amber B, immediatly had goosebumps, and I burst into my “happy dance”.   All forms of armor are meant to give friends and enemies a sense of awe.    This stunning private collection is nothing short of awesome.

Photo by Amber B

Japanese craftmanship is a testament that humans can create perfection.  The amount of precise detail from the horse costumes to the intricate helmets is unequivocal to any armor exhibit I have ever seen.  (And yes, as a matter of fact, I have seen a fair amount of historical museum quality armor, but that is a story for another day).

Photo Cred: Amber B

The legacy of the Samuri dates back to the 14th century, and the condition of these pieces are immaculate. The tale of these elaborate helmets is to distinguish the Samuri as an individual.  As an idvidual, the Samuri is more terrifying than a uniformed soldier.   Battle fields were filled with smoke to make it hard to see, through smoke these unique helmets with eyes and ears and horns would emerge striking terrror in the opponents.  It was hard not to think how beautiful these battles must have been……. right before the stabbing,  clubbing, bleeding and dying part.

I loved this exhibition, and it’s commitment to the essence of Japanese culture,  beauty, perfection, honor and tradition. Beautiful collection and stunning curation.

Free for LACMA members, $25 for non members.  (don’t forget LACMA is closed on Wednesdays)

SAMURAI: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.




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