Atta Ikede

September 19, 2009

The September Issue

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:04 pm

Keep your eyes open for this one. Here’s a link to a quick synopsis.

I didn’t watch/read the Devil Wears Prada, which is apparently loosely based around Anna Wintour, but I think it’s clear the main point there is that she’s a scary elitist control freak. Hehe.

In contrast, the september issue is basically a series of fascinating vignettes that are kind of laid out together around a basic story arc about putting out the September 2007 issue of Vogue.

A lot of reviewers are saying that the heroine of the movie is Grace Coddington, the former model turned fashion editor – she was gorgeous in her youth and though she’s had some plastic surgery to correct damage from a car accident, and she doesn’t cut the svelte stylish silhouette of Anna Wintour, there’s a really amazing shot of her gazing out at what I think are the parks behind Versailles where you can still make out how beautiful she still really is.  I agree with that. She is the heroine of the movie, mainly because she’s a real artist in what seems like (and ultimately is), a shallow and ridiculous world. It’s hard to believe somebody with an eye and talent like that works with a guy who packs LV luggage full of water bottles for his tennis lesson.  There’s a great scene towards the end where Anna acknowledges that Grace is a genius.

But I think Anna’s a heroine too.  These people work hard! She’s a soldier! And she has ideas! Anna Wintour is easily the Steve Jobs of her industry.  I think attention to detail and loving your work and being a leader shine through no matter what you’re doing.

It’s true that the art and style elements of fashion are usually eclipsed by the pretentiousness and “let them eat cake” cluelessness of that industry, but even then, I am now starting to wonder if the typical corporate dysfunction and job-security related bottlenecking that goes on in many companies is really any less ridiculous.

On a slightly unrelated note, the other thing that movie made me think about is COLOUR! Yes. No more black jackets for me. 1 is enough. I have 3. No more black skirts, sweaters or pants either. A line has to be drawn.


3 more important domestic lessons

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 11:24 am
  1. Buying a very cheap shower curtain that’s as thin as one of those el-cheapo plastic grocery bags is ok! I got one for 1.99 in a “dollar store” in nearby chinatown that had aisles so close together that two people of my size can barely squeeze past each other and so crammed with off-brand merchandise from China covering every possible household need that you can spend all afternoon in there marveling at the Engrish and hyper-sketchy packaging and wondering what kind of mainland connections the non-english speaking, middle aged counter clerk/presumable shop owner has.

  2. Buying very cheap pot scrubbers from the same dollar store is not ok. They were suspiciously soft when I poked at them in the store, but $6 for $1!? Maybe $1.50? Anyway, that was a big mistake. It’s really gross to use a soft limpy sponge-like blob of foam to actually scrub anything. After a couple attempts I gave up and relied on my dishwasher 90% of the time and only used the scrubby to wash the odd spoon here and there.  Even with such light use, I used them up pretty quickly and just threw the last one out earlier this morning. From now on it’s all about the cute Japanese bear shaped scrubbies. No other scrubby shall enter any kitchen in which I wash dishes.

  3. If you squeeze a lemon on a marble countertop, do not leave a mess of lemon juice splashes on the countertop overnight. More importantly, do not put a ceramic plate in the middle of the lemon juice splashes and leave that plate overnight either. In fact, I suspect that lemon juice splashes + overnight = bad situation on any countertop in any situation.  I’ll be googling for marble scarring remedies later. Oops.

September 18, 2009

Embarassed to be an engineer

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 2:50 pm

The ipod app on my iphone had been stuck playing songs on repeat for the last 2 months!

Somehow I activated the repeat song function and couldn’t turn it off! I lived with it for so long because:
(1) i lost my headphones and didn’t buy new ones for 6 of those 8 weeks and
(2) in the last two weeks since i bought new headphones and had this problem, i was so zoned out walking home that I didn’t even notice the song was on repeat and only had the “doh! that was on repeat!” moment when I was practically at the end of my walk and too lazy to google for instructions on how to un-repeatify the playlist! For example, I listened to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean on repeat for the entire 25 minute walk to work today without noticing it was on repeat. Scary, truly.

Anyway, I just pulled out the silly thing out so I could listen to some music at work and thankfully had an aha moment before I even put the headphones in my ear. A quick google search turned up instructions and I’m proud to report I am now listening to smashmouth repeat-free.

September 17, 2009

Hello, Mo!

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 7:36 am

This morning on NPR, I heard that Mohammed is the most popular name in the world! Wikipedia confirms this.

Apparently, it’s also the #1 name in several European cities including, most recently, London.

Pretty funny.

September 1, 2009

In-N-Out Burger

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:28 pm

To answer your first question, I got a grilled cheese there. Grilled cheese = everything but the meat.

This is a west coast only chain that specializes in being old-skool fast food. The fries are made of real potatoes. The workers are paid normal salaries. The tomato, lettuce and other toppings in your burger were actually chopped there. The menu only has like 4 things: burgers, shakes, pop and fries. All that plus a tacky 50ish decor, 100% processed american cheese and surprisingly low prices. People around here love it. “Well, if I’m going to get fast food, I only go to In-N-Out” is a very common sentiment among California types.

I’ve been there twice now, and I have to say, it really does set the standard for fast food awesomeness. I have the following observations to share with you:

  1. Fancy cheese is really lame in a burger. Processed cheese is definitely the way to go.
  2. Get the grilled onions. mmm ….
  3. Fries made from real potatoes aren’t as crunchy as those made from reconstituted, but they’re satisfying. A few make you full.
  4. It’s nice to bite into fast food and see a real tomato there. A real crispy lettuce leaf. Sigh. I got a veggie burger at BK once and made the mistake of opening the wrapper. I’ll never forget that sad, sad sliver of tomato. Sad.
  5. And most importantly, In-N-Out burger is the only place where you will see the following cross section of humanity happily sitting in red plastic chairs stuffing their faces with burgers and fries: (1) Yacht club types  in their blazers, pearls, and deck shoes with no socks (2)  hipsters (3) hippies (4) aging hipsters & hippies with their babies (5) all shades of middle america – chinese, white, indian, hispanic, black (6)  one or two bum-like people. It’s amazing.

10 years later

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:10 pm

PB emailed me when I got back to SF. Did I have any reflections after my visit home? Were there any surprises?


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