Monday, August 31, 2009

City Surf Project

Read The OC Gazette's interview with Dave Boehne at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ugly Is SO The New Black

Do you ever wonder if the current style is "ugly"? The 80's were a dark time in fashion in my opinion. I'm no style consultant or historian, so that is purely opinion, and one that I firmly, FIRMLY, stand by. I'm not comparing our current fashion era with the 80's. I actually really like the current fashion trends for the most part. Those cute little leather ankle booties - I've got a pair. Those great rugged moto leather jackets - I've got one of those too. Skinny jeans - check. Gladiator Sandals - amen. All things metallic - oh baby. But some trends I see I just wonder, "Is ugly the new style?"

For instance, why would you ever want to bring back the crop top? WHY? And yet I see them as I walk through the Irvine Spectrum and look into the windows. I know it's not Rodeo Drive, but still, they're there. In the store window. Which means someone out there is buying them. And wearing them. But the real one that I just can't wrap my brain around is the slouchy pant style. The ones that balloon at the top and then get fitted at the ankle. The ones that look like MC Hammer and Aladdin got together to design. Those ones. (Note: I googled it and they are called "Harem Pants".) I just don't understand those! They even make runway models look fat. So where does that leave the rest of us women of the world? It takes me back to that feeling I had in my college calculus class right before I dropped it-confusion.

But that's the fun of trends and fasion. They're like movie trailers. You see them and pass a quick 'yay' or 'nay' judgement upon them despite the fact that you are not a movie critic, but just a humble graphic designer from Orange County with no real authority on the matter.

- Amy

On my iPod: Tegan & Sara's Take Me Anywhere

P.S. check out one of our favorite fashion blogs - a guide to Orange County shopping with the lovely April Erin.

P.S.S. The September Issue of The Gazette is out now! Look for it in your mailbox or at one of our rack locations!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Steven Tyler, new magazines and a call for ideas!

This story starts with a brown paper package not-tied-with string. It was a box of freshly printed Gazette Magazines to be left for our entertainment writers, Jill and Gary of Jill and Gary aren't the kind of people for which "the standard procedures" will do. I mean Gary is a 7ft tall [overexaggeration] photographer extraordinaire and Jill is like a walking box of music trivia cards. One feels one must go the extra mile to impress such impressive people. That task was mine so i took to what comes naturally to me, timely doodles. Jill and Gary were recently mourning the cancellation of the Aerosmith tour they were set to go see in August. So on their box of freshly printed Gazette Magazines, I scrawled out an image of Steven Tyler - diva coat, feather boa, striped pants and all.

Speaking of feather boas, we need your help for some great ideas on future Gazette editorial topics. Do you know of any great local histories you'd like to see us cover? Any interesting neighbors we should know about who's story we should share with the world? A local charity you're involved with that's serving local needs? Let us know, we want this to be your local magazine for your reading pleasure!

Which brings me to the final point: we will be at the Mission Viejo Reader's Festival this September 12th along with jukebox hero Henry Winkler (the Fonze) and suspense super-writer Dean Koontz. So come out and say "hi!"


On My iPod: We're actually listening to the Glasvegas Pandora station

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Show Must Go On :: ZZ Top & Aerosmith

I was 14 rows and a cancelled show short of reaching Steven Tyler. Today I am left with a fan club tee and the dream of if only...I should have packed myself in my father's suitcase when he flew out to Phoenix last month to see this phenomenal tour pairing. (He officially earned his bragging rights when he met Steven Tyler and Joe Perry - he's got pictures to prove it!) Well, as our EntertainMe writer, Jill, would say, "I raise my juice glass to you." Get well soon Mr. Tyler - coz' I don't wanna miss a thing.


On my iPod: ZZ Top's Tush

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

it's Crunch Time at THE GAZETTE Office

Every month, our deadlines come together in a devastatingly beautiful union; all ad approvals, editorial revisions, photo retouchings, and contributor pieces are declared "past due," and everyone in the office seems to take on what I call the "hell week jitters." Despite Sara's blurred vision, Amy's cramped hand (an early sign of photoshop-carpal), Jen's waning sense of humor, and my own increasingly biting sarcasm, we always seem to be able to press on and make it through the week alive- and what's more, the magazine always seems to come out okay (dare I say "amazing?") in spite of the organized chaos around here.

While there doesn't seem to be a consistent "method" to maintaining our sanity around here, our chosen strategy this month includes:
- chocolate crossiants,
- Bad to the Bone BBQ, and
- Kings of Leon

And I'll leave you with this tasty morsel; a completely spontaneous -yet thoroughly awesome- picture:

A Baby Hippo!

One day this little guy will become a dangerous brute and a threat to smaller life forms everywhere (including us), but for now, isn't he the sweetest?


On my iPod: Kings of Leon's My Party

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is This Your House?

Each day as The Gazette creative team feasts at our parking lot picnic table oasis we look with awe at this house up on the hill. But it is so much more than a house - it is a mystery. We have yet to see any signs of human life - "Boo" Radley, are you in there? So if this is your house, and you are having a backyard soiree any time soon, can we please come, too? Amy will bring the chips & dip.


On my iPod: Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime
"And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack..and you may ask yourself...what is that beautiful house?!"

Friday, August 14, 2009


Today I'd like to post a shameless endorsement. This one's in memory of Billy Mays, may he rest in peace. This all-smiles, "it really works!," endorsement [cue smile sparkle] goes out to Pura Vida Day Spa in Laguna Niguel. The spa is our next-door neighbor here in 3 Flags Center and are a blast to work next to (our quirky center boasts an eclectic mix, with a wig shop flanking a South African Food Store and a Music School - needless to say all our neighbors are a blast to work next to). The other day Pura Vida had an open house and lured me into their store with the enticement of free mini taquitos and a complimentary microdermabrasion treatment. Get my face primped while feasting on Fred's Mexican Food? Yes please.

So I tried the first treatment which was free. Saw a little difference in my problematic skin, and thought i would try a series of the treatment. They cut me a sweet deal, as great neighbors do, and 5 weeks later i can actually say that it really did work! Between the treatments, the new face wash they gave me and a newfangled face-massaging brush called a Clarisonic (think one of those power toothbrushes, but bigger and for your face), my face is smooth and clear and wonderfully presentable! Now i don't have to fear the brutally exposing fluorescent lights at my office! Here it comes... the kicker endorsement statement...."Thank You Pura Vida!" [enthusiastic thumbs up and broad grin go here].

-blemish-less* Jen
on my iPod: The Apples in Stereo's Energy

*blemish-less as in mostly... personality flaws and character traits don't count and should be blamed on either my upbringing or the effects of mass media...

ps- should you want to go in and say "hi" to the ladies at Pura Vida, look for their special deals in The Gazette first! Click here and go to page 25 for all their latest economy-proof specials. Then say "hi" to Sally, Marilee, Anita, Rocio and the rest of the Pura Vida team for me!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away...well this little apple went to the computer hospital yesterday. But don't worry, Mac is going to make a full recovery. And just in time for press week, too!


On my iPod: Jack Johnson's No Other Way

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why Does Everyone Want To Be Michael Cerra: A Movie Review on 500 Days of Summer

I love movies. I especially love movies where characters burst out into a song and dance number mid-scene. I can't help it, I was raised on musicals. I blame my mother for it. Whoever said, "you are  a product of your environment" was right, and I'm exhibit A. So when Joseph Gordon-Levitt as angsty Tom Hansen, clad in a sweater vest and puma sneaks, breaks out into dance to the tune of You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oats, I knew I was going to love 500 Days of Summer. I had no doubts about loving it when I saw the trailer; I had no doubts about it when me and my friends decided to see it this past weekend; I had no doubts about it when I bought the ticket; But once we got to preview number three in the theater and it was another "indie flick" trying to be the next Wes Anderson, I began to worry. There's only ONE Wes Anderson. No one will ever match The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore. That's his style. Get your own. I actually blame it all on Juno. I think I was the only person who didn't like that movie. I understand why everybody liked it and it wasn't that bad, but now the theaters are clogged with actors trying to be Michael Cera and Ellen Page, with films that are trying way too hard to do self-loathing, under-achieving, awkward, normalcy. So I was worried I was going to have to sit through one of the said wanna-be films.

The movie begins. A black screen with writing in the bottom left corner:   "Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. [Followed by an expletive I don't think I'm allowed to write in this blog. Use your imagination]"  Cut to music and narrator. Everyone in the audience was laughing that knowing laugh - that 'I've-been-there-too' laugh.  Then a narrator begins to speak. It sounds just like Alec Baldwin narrating Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. Sigh. 

The movie follows Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an underachieving 20-something who has a degree in Architecture but is stuck writing one liners at a greeting card company in NYC. Then there's Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), the cute new secretary with baby blue eyes and throw back 60's hair. It's love at first sight - well for Tom. Eventually a relationship ensues after bonding during a work party at a karaoke bar, despite the fact that Summer says she doesn't want anything serious. The movie cleverly jumps from the end of the relationship to the beginning, filling in the middle pieces as it goes along, with the narrator jumping in now and then to keep the story grounded and clear as it chronicles the couples fateful end. The storyline isn't deep by any means. It's more or less like a group of snapshots- each giving you little insights to certain moments in their relationship, each revealing a little more about the characters and how it all went wrong. It was fun knowing how it started and how it would end. It was like we were in on a joke that even the characters weren't in on yet. It made each scene like a little clue. So even if at times it did push the line of "tyring-too-hard-to-be-indie" [Note the crazy pants Zooey's character wears when she's introduced and the typical "You love the Smiths too?!" line] it was well balanced with moments that we could all relate to.

Overall, I loved the movie. Maybe because I saw a little of my old self in Zooey Deschanel's character, maybe because I always wanted a boyfriend who went to IKEA with me [if you see the movie you'll understand my reference], or maybe just because I love musical interludes. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it. And I like the message they left us viewers with as well: 1. There is such thing as love. (Kind of a 'duh'.) 2. Loving someone that's real, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies included, is so much better than chasing after Mr. or Mrs. Perfect. Or in this case I guess it was more of, loving someone that's real is better than getting abused by Mr. or Mrs. Perfect who ends up actually being a [enter previously unnamed explative in here].


On my iPod: The Smiths' Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me  (Yeah, yeah.... I know.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mourning The Death of The Polaroid

One of our favorite blogs to read for inspiration here at Gazette HQ is Shannon Leith's "Art in Everyday Life".  She posts daily and the abundant quantity of posts is only rivaled by the quality of what's posted. Did that make any sense? What I'm trying to say is her blog is awesome. She is one of the most amazing photographers I know and we have often used her to shoot our magazine covers. [note: This upcoming month's cover will feature her photography!] You know those girls that you want to hate because they're beautiful and nice and smart and funny, but you just can't because they really are as great as they seem?  She's like that when it comes to art. Not only is she an amazing photographer she also does Doodles, Graphic Design, Crafty things, and one of our favorite artforms: the polaroid. Tonight you can catch some of her polaroid photography over at local OC gallery Hibbleton, as a part of the show "Instant Gratification: a Polaroid Party". The show starts at 7:00 and it will be going on weekly on Thursday-Sunday throughout the month of August.  It is a mourning of the extinction of the Polaroid 600 Series camera in this digital age. A vigil to commemorate the late great artform of polaroid pictures. Several Polaroid 600 Series Cameras will be available, fully loaded, for guests to chronicle the party through their eyes. Wear your best shirt, bring a comb, check your teeth and say cheese to celebrate the end of a golden and vignetted era. for more info.


On my iPod: The Beatles' You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Girls Say, Girls Say, Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey

Tuesday night's sold out No Doubt show was rock steady. After playing 52 shows on their reunion tour, four of which were in Irvine, they still rocked their hometown: the incomparable County of Orange. My family and I made the short trek over to the Verizon Ampitheatre and anticipated a magical evening. Openers The Sounds and Katy Perry got my sister (Gazette writer, Gracy Wilkins) and I on our feet dancing. And then the lights went low, the moon rose up and Spiderwebs blessed my eager eardrums.

I'd been waiting for this moment all summer! Since I first saw them perform in 2000 on their Return of Saturn tour (remember the pink hair?) with Lit and The Black Eyed Peas (pre-Fergalicious) I have kept wanting more. I mean it's Gwen Stefani, guys wants to date her and girls wants to be her. She is gorgeous and amazingly talented! The band's energy was unbelievable... I can't wait for their next album. The set closed with my favorite song, Sunday Morning, off of one of my favorite albums of all time: Tragic Kingdom. What a great night to spend with Orange Countians and one of the OC's greatest bands. Nothing gets me more excited than hometown heroes; well, maybe Kevin Bacon... but we'll save that for another day.

- Sara

On my iPod right now: Limbeck's Home is Where the Van is

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: The August Issues of The OC Gazette

So if you haven't already found one in your mailbox or picked one up around town, the latest editions of The OC Gazette are available now!  I'm starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf when I say, "it's our best issue yet", but you'll believe me when I tell you it includes an interview with the NBA's unofficial bad boy, new LA Laker Ron Artest; a guide to some of our favorite local artists involved in the summer art festivals, including Matt Collins’ musical coffee tables; a look at the new 'green' Surfrider Foundation Headquarters; a behind the scenes tour of KLOS' Breakfast with the Beatles with Chris Carter (formerly of Dramarama); a list of local OC events for the month of August, a profile on Boogie Box Fitness, the newest dance workout craze from Orange County natives Dede Barbanti and Kathy Lamm where you can dance off 1100 calories in ONE HOUR; and a spotlight on CIELL Cycling, the amazing new state-of-the-art cycling studio in Ladera Ranch. See? I was right wasn't I?  Not only can you find all of this in our most recent issue, but you can also find some awesome online exclusives at including an interview with LA Laker Sasha Vujacic on what it's like to be a reigning NBA champ, and a local wine tasting guide for the month of August.  So pick up a copy at any of our rack locations, or visit us online to check out the magazine that is ever dedicated to everything local in Orange County, The OC Gazette.

- Amy

On my iPod right now: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's The Line

Plus: Check out our Entertainment writers', Jill and Gary of, latest pictures from the No Doubt show at Verizon Amphitheater last night by clicking here!

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