This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Real Or Not - L.A.'s always in full bloom

There she was again, all blond hair and breasts perfectly cupped and peering out of a shiny, black Catwoman top on the cover of GQ. I wasn't jealous so much as mesmerized. I once went to school with this girl, now very much a woman.

It was a hand and a fistful of years ago; we were both 18. I remember how self-assured and wise she was, even back then. She had a big sister quality as though she had everything figured out while the rest of us were still floundering through the last trials of adolescence. She knew exactly what she wanted in life and she went after it.

What I don't remember exactly are those breasts.

That GQ cover caused quite a stir-- not about her, but about them-- the breasts. Silicon, natural, or Photoshopped? I can't say either way. None of us had fully bloomed by then, least of all me. But I do know that I'm fuller now than I was then [ but not by much.] Really though, why does it matter if they were real or not? And the answer is, it doesn't, but the conversations continue nonetheless.

Just a few days ago, I was watching a Netflix with a friend and he spotted a girl with huge knockers. Remote point. Rewind. Ext. Zoom In. Freeze Frame.

"Think those are real?" he asks.

I take one look.

"No way," I answer. "No one has perfectly shaped disco-ball sized globes anchored to their chest like that. Plus, look at her teeny-tiny waist and lollipop head..."

Real or Fake? is a question that comes up often in L.A. Here women's breasts are always in bloom. Most of the time though, you can easily pick out the fakes. If a women is a size 0 with minimal body fat, it's nearly impossible to have 38DD boobs. Not even here in mythical L.A. does that exist naturally-- unless you're a freak of Barbie proportions. (Heidi Montag is the closest you're gonna get to Barbie and I don't think Heidi even has any of her original parts. If she were on Amazon, she'd be listed as refurbished.) Also, if a woman refers to her breasts as "the girls" or has some other pet name for them, I'm willing to bet they're fake, too.

Breasts change as we gain weight, lose weight, have babies, grow older... They are almost never identical, even to each other. As for me, I'm happy where I'm at. There are definite benefits to being lesser-chested. I'll never have to wear one of those industrial strength sports bras and as I grow older, there won't be enough material up there to sag.

And as for my former schoolmate? I offer my sincere congratulations on all fronts, not because of GQ, but because of all the other recognition she's finally getting in a career I know she's quietly been building for years.

Copyright ©2010 by KLiedle
Photo credit: " Bloom*" -- imapix/flickr

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hollywood On Horseback

For awhile now, I've been yearning to go horseback riding again. Although, I've always been an outdoorsy girl, I hadn't been on horseback since I was 12. I was at summer camp. Ranch Camp, to be exact-- a rather unfortunate experience that I recount here.

I even worked at the L.A. Equestrian Center for a summer, but nope...never went for a ride...until last week. I booked an hour-long ride through Sunset Ranch, off Beachwood Drive in the Hollywood Hills. The staff was friendly enough and after filling out what seemed to be a ridiculous amount of liability paperwork, I was off.

I enjoyed riding along with my horse-for-the-day, Mustard. Mustard, did not seem to enjoy it nearly as much. He had some sort of rivalry going with one of the other horses, Buckley, I think was his name. Every time Buckley even approached to pass, Mustard's ears would go back and he'd let out a long, deep snort of disapproval. This was widely entertaining yet I was glad that I'd only opted for the hour-long ride this time around. It was just enough time.

We rode with a small group along with a leader by the name of "Poncho." [I doubt that was his real name, but then again, this is Hollywood.] Poncho would get a little anxious if anyone went faster than a short-lived trot. Mostly, we rode at a rather slow pace which, although enjoyable, got old fast. I'd recommend Sunset Ranch if you want to get outdoors and go for an afternoon ride. Next time around though, I think I'll upgrade to a trot or maybe a gallop ride someplace else-- who knows?

© 2010 by KLiedle
Photo credit: KLiedle

For More
Wild Horses Run Free: Ranch Camp Gone Awry

Ironically, just after writing the above article, I read about the existence of a book called,
P.S. I Hate It Here: Kid's Letters From Camp. I just may have to look into that...

Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rhino Boy And His Magic Cape Whizzes Over To YouTube

"Rhino Boy" originally aired on
All Smoggy episodes on
Selected episodes now on YouTube

Created by Scott Vogel and produced by Kendra Liedle and Scott Vogel, each short episode of IT'S ALWAYS SMOGGY IN L.A. explores the unique effects the entertainment industry has on the people who live here. Our episodes can by kooky, they can be dark, and they can be twisted, but they are unquestionably L.A.

For future episodes and more information about the show, please see the official website:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recycled Jewelry, Fingernail Clippings, and Mother's Day gifts.

In this month's Elle Magazine Fashion Insider, I read about a couple of companies who are fashioning jewelry from recycled materials. Thrive, a company based here in L.A., makes jewelry from electrical circuit boards, old hard drives and the like. It's not exactly my style, but I applaud the efforts of a company using 'found objects'--especially computer and electrical items. With a new upgrade of something every time we turn around, I imagine they have lots of components to choose from.

Lauren Manoogian, also featured in this month's Elle, is a designer that uses anything and everything from old office supplies to used airplane parts to make jewelry for her Manu line. The resulting pieces have a very ethnic, eclectic look to them. Some necklaces look like floral leis, while others look very African-inspired. It's nice to see that flashy is out and earth-friendly, low key pieces are becoming the latest style statement.

I prefer to purchase items directly from artisans or fair trade wholesalers and online outlets like Ten Thousand Villages and World Of Good. Most items are very moderately priced and purchasing from them makes a world of difference for artisans in other countries around the world.
This being May, these designers also reminded me of my strangest Mother's Day gift ever. When I was about 12 [too old to make a finger-painted Mother's Day card yet too young to have money to buy much of a gift], I decided to give my mom a handmade necklace.

Weeks before Mother's Day, I started growing out my fingernails. Finally, when they were long enough, I painted each fingernail with alternating stratas of red, white, and blue. Why those colors? I really don't know. I used to be patriotic, I guess. After the polish dried, I cut my nails-- and collected the colorful, crescent-shaped clippings. Using a needle, I poked holes into each clipping and strung them onto dental floss. This, as I remember, was extremely time-consuming and harder than I was expecting. The resulting necklace did actually look kinda cool. I was impressed with myself as I handed the gift to my mom. She unwrapped it with the usual present-opening glee.

My mother held the necklace up, examined its colorful shards, and exclaimed something like, "Wow, very unique. Very colorful!"

"They're my fingernails. See!," I pointed out to her, excitedly.

"Thank you!" she said, in a flat tone that meant she had no idea what to say or how to react.

Yes, I obviously spent alot of time on it. Yes, it was uniquely me. Yes, I was her only daughter. And yes, moms are supposed to accept Mother's Day gifts no matter what. It's the thought that counts. Luckily, my mom is an artist herself, a musician-- we're all a little odd--so instead of being repelled, she was actually intrigued by the piece and shall I say, "grotesquely impressed."

She actually wore it to work and got complimented on it, even. No one knew where she would've gotten such a piece of jewelry.

"My daughter made it for me," she would say and smile, certain that no one would ever guess that she was wearing her own daughter's painted fingernails around her neck. Even now, I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm sure that somewhere, my mother still has that necklace--although I doubt she's worn it since.

Perhaps, I could've made money had the style really taken off. I'd love the idea of people the world over, celebrities included, being photographed wearing my fabulously ethnic, unique jewelry and never knowing they were wearing human fingernails around their neck. THAT would be awesome! I'd laugh to myself as I skipped all the way to the bank.

Copyright ©2010 by KLiedle
Photo credit: BrentDanley/flickr