Friday, December 24, 2010

A Very Whalen Christmas

Our wallets are empty this year, but our hearts are full. So we worked up these little ditties for your yuletide pleasure. Give 'em a listen, or toss 'em aside. But know that we love you and wish you all very happy Christmases and New Years!
xo Grob

please go -here- and listen, or hit [alt-option]-rightclick to download and keep for next year

Thursday, December 2, 2010

For mom & dad, the sibling who gets me, and Rob. A wish list. You're welcome.

Paperback, if they have it.

Ann-Louise Roswald Georgie clogs in navy. From Carla's shop.

This adorable typewriter and carry case. (And yes, I'd rather have this than an iPad).
A big girl purse. I like this one by The Sak.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This one's for Jammees.

Over the past few years, my husband and I have, on occasion, discussed the various implications of the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Now, I put that in caps because it's a proper noun. And it's a proper noun because neither of us have any doubt that this thing is going to happen. It's one of the many horrifying and indisputable facts of the future, much like heat death or the Palin Administration. There will be zombies. Even the Mormon church leaders know this. Why do you think food storage is so important? And these zombies, they won't be the undead, slow, lumbering kind of zombies. They'll be the pants-crappingly fast, rage-infected kind. Whether the infection will be blood born or bite transferred, I'm not sure. If it's airborne, there's no hope anyway, so i'm not wasting time by planning for that kind of attack. The only question left is, what will we do when these fast, angry zombies finally come?

Well, after years of research (and by "research", I mean reading Cracked and watching 28 Days Later and Walking Dead) I have a plan. And Rob has a plan. Our plans our different. My plan is better. Here's why:

Rob's plan is underdeveloped. As far as I can understand, he just wants to drive out of zombie range. When has that ever worked? Ain't you have a TV, Rob? First of all, traffic. I don't even want to think about LA gridlock in the face of zombies. They're stronger than you think. They'll just punch through our already broken windshield's (yes, both of our cars have broken windshields) while we're sitting on the 5 listening hopelessly to radio static. Plus, at some point you run out of gas, and then you've got the dangerous prospect of foot travel. Now, if you're traveling by motorcycle, that could work. You can weave through traffic and get better mileage, but then there's the question of supplies. Your stores become limited without trunk space. That's why, if you decide to travel (which you will have to do unless you have the option of building an underground zombie shelter complete with food storage...have you ever seen a zombie dig? I don't think zombies dig. Plus, if they can't see or hear you, I think you're good. As far as I know, they're sense of smell is limited, making underground a great place to go.) you MUST have a destination.

Now, I've mentioned this before, and I stand by it. Costco. Or Walmart. Preferably Costco, though, because they have a more vast selection of non-perishable food. (Remember, zombies=no electricity=no refrigerator.) In the past, I've been greedy. I haven't wanted too many people to seek food and shelter in the same place as me. But now I'm realizing, there are enough Costcos for all the uninfected, probably. So we can all go to the nearest Costco. Those buildings are impenetrable fortresses. And, as far as I know, zombies aren't the best climbers, so the bravest of us can perch on the roof and pick them off with sniper rifles when we get bored. Then, and this is the newer part of my plan, we build intricate underground tunnels between Costcos for communication. That way, we can build up our zombie-fighting militia power until the military comes through for us, which they inevitably will after we run out of food and, faced with the prospect of starvation or turning into zombies ourselves, finally turn to our suicide pistols and put ourselves out of our misery.

This plan is only necessary if the government continues to ignore my demands for a zombie apocalypse emergency plan. So, in the face of governmental incompetence, I hereby propose the aforementioned plan as the official zombie escape protocol.

And now, I have to get back to researching my paper on Oscar Wilde, class and sexuality.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lame post after long hiatus.

My new favorite guy: Philosoraptor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This kind of thing makes me want to, literally, cry tears of blood and vomit all over people's faces. Like, literally.

This is where it gets tricky: she doesn't abuse the word like a red-headed step-child every time. But while it's possible that she was, literally, a model during her freshman year or that she, literally, talked to Nicole about, just, whatever, I doubt that she ever literally died, even though I certainly wish she had. I mean, I'm pretty sure the "Fashion Police" are not literal and therefore, one can not realistically be expected to receive a verbal lambasting from them. But what do I know? I don't have a show on Bravo. Yet. But when I do, I will literally find Rachel Zoe at the Bravo Holiday Karaoke party and, literally, punch her in the kidney.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the new dustbowl

honestly, i just thought this was a remarkable gallery. please take a look.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I don't know who does this stuff...

but I'm glad they do.

Guess what? I am not a racist.

Sometimes when I'm not setting Whirly Word records on my iPhone (three hours...jealous?) or seeing how many Fruit by the Foot inches I can cram in my mouth while watching Toddlers in Tiaras, I like to see what the city is like outside of my 550 square foot cave. The outside world can be a frightening place for people like me, what with all the skin-scorching sun and heart-rate elevating activity. But even those risks (coupled with the very real chance that I might clumsily trip and plunge, nostrils first, into a pile of fresh Pomeranian poo) don't scare me more than the idea of spending a day inside the house with myself.

Yesterday, I got lucky. Rob and I BOTH had the day off. This is only the second time this has happened since 2009. It's a rare event, like a solar eclipse or a day when I wear mascara. We had to take advantage of it. This time, instead of sleeping in until two and then spending the rest of the day watching clips on Hulu, we rode our bikes along the L.A. river and went to see Toy Story 3, a set of activities which, at least in hindsight, seems almost unforgivably Mormon. I guess the shoe does fit.

After the movie we went on a walk around the reservoir. (I realize engaging in this much activity in one day makes us seem like the type of people who own pedometers. Don't worry, we don't. We don't even own enough exercise apparel to work out more than a few days before having to do the laundry.) The path was pretty crowded last night, something that, like fresh air and sunshine, I'm not usually in to. But it got interesting when I started noticing the same guy running back and forth on the same stretch several times. I couldn't figure out if he was just retreading the same 50 yards or lapping the lake like the Flash. At one point I turned to Rob and said, "Is this guy just going back and forth?", but just as the words were coming out of my mouth and the runner was within a few feet of us, I was a different guy! There was not one super-fast black guy in a white headband, but two super-fast black guys with white headbands. I promise I'm not one of those white people who thinks all minorities look the same. These guys really looked and dressed eerily similar. I was tricked. But that didn't stop Rob from saying as one of them passed us again on the other side of the lake, "Look, Gretta! Is that another one?"


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food trucks.

I love em. Especially the Canter's truck. Egg salad please and thank you. A couple weeks ago, while on a mind-bending adventure with my favorite five-year-old, we saw this one. Needless to say, there was no line.


Rob said this girl reminded him of me.

Compliment? I say yes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cash Resurrected and Re-Imagined

i (rob) personally think that a good deal of Johnny Cash's best stuff was recorded in the twilight of his life, with producer Rick Rubin, including the recently released "Ain't No Grave". there was a music video made for the track, and some dude decided to artsy-fartsy-fy it up, and the result is almost more haunting than the song itself, if that was ever possible.

anyway, hope you enjoy it as much as i did -- unless you're an epileptic. then you're not going to remember it. you'll wake up in an ambulance somewhere, wondering how you got there.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Signs of my brain's own private apocalypse.

  • Today on the way to school, I saw a little wiener dog limping on the side of the freeway. So I did what any rational person would do. I impetuously pulled over, turned on my hazards and jumped out of my car. On the driver's side, of course. Because, naturally, that's where the Mack trucks speed by at 65 mph. Then I chased the little bugger. He was hopping on three legs and he had porcupine quills all up in his business, which only made me more determined to save him. What I was going to do when I caught him is entirely beside the point. Let's not forget where I was demonstrating all of this heroism: on the freeway. In Los Angeles. On the interchange between the 5 to the 10. In my infinite wisdom, I chased him up the 5, across a median and across another on-ramp before it occurred to me that I was being a damned retard. So I ran back to my car, tried to look up animal control, could only find Pet Finder, gave up, and finally called Rob and made him take care of it. Which he did because he's so awesome.
  • On Saturday, I saw a dead baby bird on the side of the house and, like I assume all mentally stable people do, started weeping. I made Rob promise that he would bury it while I was at work. Then on the way home, there was another baby bird in the same spot. I was about to get all up in Rob's face for neglecting to give the baby bird the front yard (more like a front dirt-patch) burial it deserved, but I noticed this one was breathing. Being a 26-year-old grown woman, I immediately started hyperventilating and began to panic. (What can I say? I'm a natural.) Rob got to work saving the little fella while I crouched down and, somehow, between hysterical sobs, assured the little bird that it shouldn't worry and it was going to be OK. However, I can see how having a giant lady hovering over you and blubbering would not be super comforting for a tiny woodland creature who's just trying to make it in this city like everyone else. Rob saved the little guy, restoring him to the nest we found on the side of the house and I held the ladder while intermittently gasping for breath and wiping my eyes. Everything's back to normal now, except that I obsessively check the spot where I found the birds, just to make sure no more have fallen out of the nest. So far, so good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The First Horse[wo]man of the Apocalypse

in the interest of full disclosure, rob's posting this one.

some people ask me why i don't try out for, or watch aMERICAN iDOL. i give you exhibit A++prime


i would also like to say THIS is exactly the reason why the record companies aren't selling any records. they're pandering to her. to people like this. hell, she may be a perfectly nice person when she's not wrapped up in the cocoon of the fictional idea of success and happiness of a dreadlocked hippie white girl, but this is is insane.

... i digress...

the dying music industry panders to this mouth-breathing atrocity, so people who thirst for good music go underground. they go to the dark recesses of the internet to find beautiful, remarkable, inspiring music -- music that the record label won't take a "chance on", until the band's already found a way to sell 50k+ copies on their own. (but unfortunately, those same dark recesses of the internets also shine a dark, sad, doomed light on things like this)

if you'd like to hear another, less-biased opinion, i invite you to read the post from which i originally found my utter disgust and revulsion for the bowels of america.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Will exploit for food. (Actually, cash is better...)

I've decided a book deal would be a great way for Rob and me to assuage our perennial financial distress. Other money-making tactics have proved to be far too elusive. Like, say, being a sign artist at Trader Joe's (which sounds to me like the funnest job EVER) or, you know, my husband getting paid an actual living wage in this God-forsaken claptrap of a town. (Just kidding! LA is the BEST! It's as overcrowded and expensive as New York and infinitely less charming. Loves it!)

So after a night of extensive research (going to Barnes & Noble and looking at stuff), I've decided that the best way to get a book deal without actually, you know, writing stuff is to keep a blog documenting other people's startling and priceless stupidity. Mostly photographically. And then make derisive and bitchy, and therefore hilarious, comments. Observe:

Regretsy. I want to be best friends with this woman. She's like a ridicule ninja.

Passive Aggressive Notes. After living with roommates in Provo for four years, how did I not have this idea?

Cake Wrecks. Things that look like poo and/or wieners are hysterical to me. Because, apparently, I'm a 14-year-old boy. My husband is so lucky. Also, grammatical errors and misspellings are funny when they're in my food and not my newspaper.

I am neurotic. If this had been my idea, I wouldn't have had to bother with submissions. Could have written the whole damn thing by myself.

I need my own idea. Which means I need your ideas. What? If I'm not clever enough to write, like, an actual book, how can I be expected to decide what to write a funny blog about? Feel free to leave your ideas...I mean our the comments section.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guess what?

If bigamy were not illegal in this state, I would marry this video. (Also, I have personal issues with polyandry, but that's for another post.) Check out this beautifulness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Itty Bitties.

I'm more than three times the age of these girls.

And I will never be this sexy. Probably because I insist on wearing clothes. Well, if you can call sweatpants and a homemade snuggie "clothes".

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grob 2.0

730 days of rad.

I am majorly, totally, butt-crazy in love with this guy.

*Pictures swiped from here (engagement) and here (wedding).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mushroom people.

See that cute lady right there? That's my mom. I love her because she birthed me, she kept me alive, and she helped me make sure my shoelaces were precisely the same length* before she slapped my bum and shoved me off to kindergarten. She taught me how to read music with flashcards, how to perform, and how to graciously accept compliments when you think you don't deserve them. She has tolerated me in my most intolerable times, like the time I kept her awake all night before my purple belt test because I was too nervous to sleep, or the time I wailed from my bedroom window on Sepulveda Blvd. for someone to "pleeeease help me!" because she'd sent me there for being naughty.

Because of this lady I like cats even though I hate the idea of them and I love dogs even though I hate the smell of them. She saddled me with what is apparently a genetic obsession with miniatures, potato chips, good grades, and wild mushrooms.

My mom is one of those people that has so much talent, it's rude. People always tell you that everyone has her strengths and weaknesses, and you totally believe them until you meet my mom and find out she's a world class musician and painter and gourmet chef and she's brilliant AND she's pretty AND she's nice and her only flaw in the world is that she takes too long to order at restaurants. A flaw which I totally inherited, and which is infinitely less endearing in me.

I'm glad she decided to have kids instead of become a famous violinist. I wouldn't have wanted a different mom. I like being a mushroom person.

*I've got problems.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Let the curtains fall.

After about a year of not having a working light in our bedroom, we finally called the land lady and got it fixed. Which means we can have the curtains closed when we're getting dressed in the morning. Which means the neighbors don't get to see us in our underwears anymore. Which means, now, they just might start making eye contact with us.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Evolution of a Not-quite Hipster. In other words, "What happened? I used to be cool!"

For just your average shop-girl/grad student, I have a disproportionate number of friends in the wedding business. Wedding photography business, I should say. I have my very own, very talented wedding photographer Amelia Lyon, of course. (I say my like I keep her on hand for any last minute weddings I may be involved in. OK, fine. She doesn't belong to me.) She's really the one who got me started looking at the wedding blogs. Then there are the 7 million and 45 other friends I have who have taken up photography as their entrepreneurial pursuits. So I'm looking at all these wedding/engagement photos of these beautiful people, wearing their beautiful clothes, letting me spy on their beautiful lives, and this is what I see: however cool I may have been at one time, I am no longer that cool. (Do the kids still say cool?)

Number One: My Wedding.
I blew it. I didn't hand-make place settings out of tiny mason jars full of honey from the beehive in the backyard with tiny screen-printed name tags nor did I have vintage typewriter center pieces. And we didn't take any pics on my grandmother's tandem bike. Sad fact: my grandmother doesn't even have a tandem bike.

Number Two: My Husband.
Has a mountain bike, not a fixed gear. And when he rides it to work, I'm going to make him wear a helmet, so he'll look like a dork. Also, I can't get him to show off his chest hair like some of the studly dudes in the photos I've seen. Or shave his beard into a handlebar mustache with the ends waxed and curly. Then again, he could complain that I don't wear flower/feather headbands nearly often enough.

We're pretty hip on paper. Silver Lake address. Check. Musicians. Check. I wear Toms. Double check. That's a check for each pair. But it doesn't really translate. At the end of the day, we're just a couple of dorks, sitting around and watching "Modern Family" in our crazy underwear. But maybe that's what makes us cool? Or maybe Rob's bike just needs a basket?

In the mean time, take a look at this and use it to gauge just how awesome you are. Or aren't.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You know what facebook? I can find better ways to feel bad about myself.

I don't care how cool and detached you think you are, when you get defriended, it's like getting a punch in the boob. Not only do I NOT have anything awesome going on in my life to brag about in my status updates, but now i've got these big time "friends" whose profile pictures are their head shots who don't seem to want to count me among the 5,000 other r-tards they pretend to like on the Internet. Not that I care. I've got other stuff going on anyway. knitting. I've been knitting this penguin and...dammit. See? I told you I was boring.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Swedes do it better.

For such a teeny tiny population (about 9.2 million according to the Oracle), Sweden sure manages to churn a disproportionate number of genius musicians out into the world: ABBA, Roxette, Miike Snow, The Perishers, The Hives, Europe, International Noise Conspiracy, and, of course, Ace of freakin' Base. Maybe it's the universal health care? HAHAHAHA! Just kidding, friends who oppose our country's recent healthcare developments! Please, don't stop loving me....

Do watch this, though.

Amazing, right? What's Naruto? Who cares?! Do you hear this guy's voice? He's combined the two loves of my life in a really long, but really cool youtube video.

In a related story, I spent too much money at IKEA yesterday. That place is as awesome as Disneyland, if not more so. It's organizational products make it so our tiny hobbit hole feels less like a doll house and more like a real live place to live. Also, I got to overhear at least 3 couples fighting. Why do couples always fight when they're shopping for furniture? IKEA: where relationships go to die. I guess that's Sweden's flaw. Tearing American couples apart. You have to admit, it's a small price to pay for 7-minute TV theme song medleys and expedit shelves.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

1st Warning.

There are a lot of misconceptions about where I live. Some people think Silver Lake is just one of the obscure L.A. neighborhood where all "the gays" are. Other's think it's made up exclusively of ironically mustachioed hipsters. The bulk of the people I run into like to tell me about how it's populated by pot-smoking, organic food-eating, hippie socialists. That's usually when I whip my Communist Party membership card out of my hemp messenger bag*. I keep it next to my locally-made, vintage bong**. Shuts them up pretty quick.

Actually, I just tell them the truth about Silver Lake. Which is that it's awesome! I, for one, am a big fan, anyway. I love all the diverse families and organic eateries and the close-knit community atmosphere. It's a pretty traditional neighborhood. We've got a park across the street where the kids play soccer games on Saturdays. We've got my friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven just down at the corner. Everybody's got a kid or a dog or no kids and two dogs or whatever kid/dog combination works best for them. They have conversations about where the best public schools are or what the new library's like. Pretty regular stuff. Except it's better than your neighborhood because our propane tank thingies look like robots.

Some days, though, neighbors leave scraps of paper under people's windshield wipers.

Over the past few years, I have noticed the unfortunate recurring theme of the passive agressive Silver Lake car note. Although this note is a little more aggressive agressive, what with the threat of the ominous follow-up warning. What happens on the 2nd warning, I wonder? A call home? And a parent conference after the 3rd warning? Can you tell I've had my share of experience with "warnings"? I'm not sure if it's unique to this area, I just know I haven't really seen it anywhere else. I guess it's what happens when you give the power of the pen to an angry hipster. (Wakka wakka!)

This does prove, however, that anonymous ranting exists independent of internet message boards. For some reason, I find that comforting.

If you enjoy reading/receiving passive aggressive notes, boy do I have a website for you.

*My messenger bag really is made of hemp.
**I don't actually have one of these.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My life is boring and I have nothing to brag about.

I only have things to complain about. Which I do almost constantly. It's part of my charm. Rob was the lucky winner of my soundboard competition due to his eternal patience and incomprehensible adoration of me. Even I have to admit that my psychotic breaks can be pretty endearing. I had roughly 17 of them last week. I can't remember what they were about, just that they were carefully thought-out, reasonable, and well-communicated. (Everyone knows that weeping and sniffling through your elliptical argument can only add to its credibility.)

They don't cancel classes due to PMDD, so I still had to go learn about literary theory last week. On my way to the car after class, I checked my e-mail on the phone. There was this one from Rob:

It reminded me that even while the earth and heavens conspire to twist my undies up in bunches, my face has not been shredded to ribbons by a chainsaw bear. And isn't that all that really matters?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Not to brag, but I know some pretty talented people.

These are my friends. They're in a band called Fictionist. You can buy their album on iTunes. Lasting Echo, it's called.

Blue-eyed Universe from Fictionist on Vimeo.

Now, I have no reason to be as proud of these fellows as I am, but I prefer to bask in the glow of other people's success than hide in the shadows of my own crippling doubts and fears. It's warmer. The Jesus-looking one, that's Brandon. He and I were boone companions back in high school days. Now he lives so very far away. But someday, when these guys are super famous, I'm going to say, "Me and the Jesus-looking one? We gave a speech at our high school graduation. Neither of us remembers what was said in it, but we have the vague memory that it was in rhyming couplets and intended to be humorous."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Out of a Forest by Tobias Gundorff Boesen

Just a beautiful something to help you forget that life is sometimes retarded. Enjoy!

Out Of A Forest from Tobias Gundorff Boesen on Vimeo.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Team Coco. Forever.

This video may contain some adult language. Well, adult for the Whalens, Sixth-grade for the Parkinsons. Basically, if you are Rob's mom or nephew, don't push play.

I love this for the following reasons:
1. Denis Leary.
2. Denis Leary indirectly sticking it to Jay Leno.

I didn't want to get too emotionally involved in Late Night Gate since a) I've been much happier NOT caring about the entertainment business in my post-Hollywood Reporter days and b) the situation was almost too retarded to acknowledge blog-wise. I mean, come
on. Does anyone even know anyone who prefers Jay Leno to Conan? You know what? Don't tell me if you do. I'd rather just go on believing that everyone thinks like me. It's easier that way. Everyone does think exactly the way I do, right? You guys are all left-leaning Mormons? You think the Twilight saga is silly? Lady Gaga is overrated?

Is anyone still reading?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

When I should be studying Derrida...

I made a me mosaic.
1. 10/18 Gretta brought along her camera and she took pictures of Coco!, 2. Bacon on Toast, 3. television!, 4. Once There Was..., 5. Rob Whalen is a Rockstar, 6. Duck Hunt Bokeh... The Sequel., 7. winter, 8. Construction junction, 9. nostalgia, 10. Marriage of Seasons (Ben Heine), 11. snail, 12. Lightning in Perhentian Island, Terengganu, Malaysia

You do one, too:

Open two windows. 1) 2)
Choose 4 columns 3 rows.
Answer the following questions in the flickr search bar. Then pick your faves from the first page and paste into the spaces on the other window. Does that make sense? Of course it doesn't. But you're smart kids and I know you can figure it out.
1. First name.
2. Fave food.
3. School you went to.
4. Fave color.
5. Fave famous person.
6. Fave drink.
7. Dream vaca.
8. Fave dessert.
9. What you wanna be when you grow up.
10. What you love the most.
11. You, in a word.
12. Your nickname.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bad Robot

Or maybe a good robot?

location: sunset blvd., silver lake

The world may never know.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valen Times

I did this on the envelope.

This card is by ghost academy.

I do.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Support Your Empire.

Why? Because I'm inbetween my Chaucer paper and my Major Critics paper and my brain feels like Cream of Wheat. This is the only thing that has made me smile in the last two hours.

In other news, Rob hasn't shaved since September. Two days ago at church he was compared to Jesus and Charles Manson within the same 3-hour block. That, my friends, is the way we spell success.

P.S. The journalistic one-space-after-the-period practice is no longer second nature to me. It's official ... I'm a grad student.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let's start this day off right, shall we?

Yes, I realize I'm starting this day off at 12:49 p.m., but after seeing the real life "Up" kid, I feel like I can really sink my teeth into some Chaucer and Plato.

In other news, Middle English is wrinkling my brain.