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When Tara Met Blog
Monday, August 20, 2007
It's official

I'm now a California resident. You'd think buying a condo here would have made it official for me already, and come September I'll have lived here for a year (wow), but now it's really sunk in because I finally got my Cali driver's license. Crazy!

I haven't had a new license since first getting mine at age 17. Well, I did have to get a new one when I was 21, but it was still the same looking card just a different picture. I also thought I looked sleepy in my last picture, so I was determined to look upbeat this time. Since getting it I've proudly been showing my new license to everyone (although they don't care), even to you (what do you think):

The reason for my procrastination was due to the fact that I didn't want to take a written driver's test again. I have two girlfriends out here who failed it their first time even though they've been driving for years. So I made sure I studied the handbook for 45 mins and good thing because it's a 36 question test and I still got 5 questions wrong. If I botched one more I would have failed, which is insane since I studied but a lot of the questions had two right answers it was just picking the righter one. Plus, there are different rules out here than in New England. I had no idea a white curb means for mail delivery or that you can only turn into a bike lane 200 ft before making a turn, etc. Anyway, luckily I passed, several people in front of me didn't and I was getting more nervous as it came time for my test to be corrected, more so than taking the damn GRE's.

One cool thing about California State DMV's is that you can make an appointment online, but although things were more efficient I was still there for over an hour and at the end I was informed laughingly that they would be mailing me my license. I was so disappointed, I just assumed all they had to do was print it out.  

You may also notice that I'm an organ donor. I blogged back in 2005 that I wanted to be one because of this story, but I never got around to it, well now I've finally have.

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Sunday, August 19, 2007 6:05 PM PDT
Sunday, August 19, 2007

A new club--Elevate Lounge, and restaurant--Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant officially opened this weekend.  In downtown L.A. 21 floors up, with panorama-heavy wraparound balconies, this lounge is offering competition for the nearby Standard. 

I went this Friday night with my guy and four of his friends, so I was the only girl there with five guys, not bad, and from here on out let's call them my "male entourage" ;)

The place had a cool dance floor, great views and chic atmosphere that reminded me of The Gansevoort in NYC. There's glass along the initial part of the balconies and at first I thought it continued all the way up, but was delighted to see that it didn't and instead an open-air lounge. The martinis were lethal but not the best tasting, they had a flirtini on the menu at least, but not a key lime one, ah well no place is perfect. There was a line to get in later on, but when we got there at 9:30 there wasn't a problem at least not as a girl though. 

Here are some of the photos of the place and my male entourage ;)

Elevate Lounge Los Angeles

News: Downtown Entertainment Scene Hits New Heights With $5 Million Takami

Posted by Tara at 5:38 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 9:24 AM PDT
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Magic Numbers

el rey theaterI won two tickets to hear Magic Numbers in concert on Tuesday night. How? I entered my name in a raffle at the Citysearch event that I blogged about two posts down. For a second I thought I won tickets to Justin Timberlake's concert which was also in the raffle, but instead I won tix to Magic Numbers. My response was "Magic what?" I had no idea who they were and I was pretty tired that day since I was up at five a.m. that morning flying to San Fran on a seven o'clock flight just to return at three later that day--all for a business meeting. The concert wasn't until eight and my eyes were already drifting asleep on the plane's flight to L.A., but who turns down free tickets, right?

The show was held at the El Rey Theatre near LACMA and La Brea Tar Pitts. The outside marquee was very retro and I learned by the sign that the event was being presented by KCRW (the local LA NPR channel). I groaned after seeing that since I figured I was now in store for some classical music that would surely put me to sleep. I had never been to the El Rey and expected it to be a sit down assigned seating theater but there was a good size line outside and inside was more like a club with a fancy bar, a cafe upstairs and a dance floor and stage in the center. It was really pretty actually with red carpet floors, fun nightclub lights and fancy crystal chandeliers.

The crowd was pretty young and very hipster: guys in artistic shirts with Scottish paper boy caps on, girls with handkerchiefs tying back their hair and quirky framed glasses. A bunch were wearing shirts with the band's South Park-like logo. It was weird seeing fans of the music group, yet we were there not knowing anything about them. 

We ordered some wine and later champagne ($8) in plastic cups and snagged chairs along the left wall. There were two opening acts and intermissions in between. First up were two girls, Ingrid Michaelson with indie-pop songs similar to Lilly Allen's style. I thought I recognized their last song "Keep Breathing," but I figured it just reminded me of something else. Turns out, via some research on their site, the song was featured on the recent season finale of Grey's Anatomy. Bingo! Next came The Little Ones which were very energetic and were like a cross between the Beatles and Modest Mouse. magic numbers in LAThe Magic Numbers meanwhile, are from England (I gathered from their accents) and are comprised of two girls and two guys.  Their music reminded me of The White Stripes and the 60s melody blend of The Mammas and the Pappas. In the end, I was actually really pleased with all the acts and the songs were all stuff that I'd like to listen to again. So, considering we had no idea what we were in for, it was a lot of fun as was the not knowing. 

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:24 PM PDT
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Remember where you came from

was the theme to Amber birthday party this weekend. Pretty original, no? I wore a leather jacket with an I Heart New York shirt with rhinestones underneath, jean skirt and black heeled shoes. I also put on a gold bling necklace to also represent being an Italian New Yorker. Raphael wore a shirt with a rodeo picture on it and a cowboy hat since he's from Texas. Others wore Chinese robes, Vietnamese hats, Ohio farmer looking overalls and so on.

costume party

Dressing up was not just encouraged but guests were threatened that they definitely had to wear some sort of costume and those who didn't were warned that they would be given one. Their given costumes came in the form of large signs that said things like "I'm too cool to wear a costume," "I'm from Lamesville, U.S.A." "0% Creative," etc. They were so funny that I kept looking forward to the next costume-less sap that walked through the door. Check out this group shot of the name tags, I mean "lame tags."  

The place was also decorated with corn stalks and leaves in tribute to the state of Indiana where Amber is from.

Oh and lastly here's a picture of Amber's yummy strawberry cupcake cake (I need to get that pan).

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2007 9:20 PM PDT
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Martinis Massages and Pink Tacos

Oh my!

W Los AngelesI was recently invited to a night of martinis and massages with Citysearch and bliss spa at the W Los Angeles in Westwood. The event was in the hotel's "the backyard" by their pool and cabanaarea, similar to Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. I had never been to this W and I'm always up for free drinks and massages, but it turns out the "massages" were only hand massages and the line was too long to bother. Oh well, bliss spa did give out some sample products like a travel size lotion and coupons. The cabanas were cute and my coworker and I were able to snag one and drink in two martinis each, they had cucumber mint flavored ones that were refreshing. The appetizers were $5 each so we ordered some coconut shrimp and hanger steak, both of which were very yum. As for swag they had a gift bag with a Citysearch pen and t-shirt (XL).

Pink TacoAs for the Pink Tacos part of my headline, I also tried out the newly opened Mexican restaurant/bar Pink Taco in Century City. We sat outside on their patio overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard in a nice big booth with orange umbrella overhead. The food was yummy, my salad  huge, but a bit too spicy for me. For drinks they had a pomegranate margarita, which I almost ordered but went with a glass of pink champagne to keep with the pink theme. Why is the place called Pink Taco though? Well they actually have pink colored tacos on the menu and the interior is very girly punk with pink and black colors and gothic print.

PS: My latest Film School Rejects post is up. "Are you tired of being single? Do you wish you had some one to snuggle up to each night, to dedicate your whole life to? Someone who will be with you ’til death do you part? Well, if you are thinking about tying the knot, we can help you resist temptation with our list of the Five Films that Make You Glad You’re Not Married, which contradict Meg Ryan's flicks."

PPS: My list above just got picked up by a paper in Minnesota, The Hutchinson Leader.

Posted by Tara at 6:16 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2007 8:58 PM PDT

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