*NOTCOT in tech -

Ultimate Ears 700s Unboxing

ue0.jpg I love products to play with during breakfast. Perfect way to start the day? I had a chance to poke at Ultimate Ears (recently added to the Logitech family, and locally based in Irvine!) over breakfast at King’s Highway with a guy who works for Logitechin Palm Springs at the Ace and he let me keep them to play with (especially after they’d been in my ears!) and just to be super clear, no, i’m not writing about them because of that! As for why i’m including them in the netbooks section ~ every netbook totally needs a good pair of headphones to go with them ~ since often when netbooking, you can be somewhere pretty public (be it at the cafe or in an airplane)!

On top of the nice sound quality ~ it’s the design details of this particular set that grabbed me. I love how subtle, tiny and pill like these Ultimate Ear 700s are ~ they totally reminded me of my chill pill necklace and capsule pills in general when i saw them. So tiny! Not the kind of headphones that basically end up looking like funky earrings… Also while the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (bit too much plastic and not all too interesting box graphic design) ~ the case is perfect to protect your buds in your netbook case or bag and at the very bottom in the inside has the cutest little infographic showing you to wrap the cord around your fingers. Silly, but someone clearly spent a bit of time on the details! Also extremely subtle, the right side earbud is red, the left is black! Take a peek at the unboxing and design details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 11.22.09 -

Mercedes AMG Driving Academy: Laguna Seca

mercedesamg00.jpg I’m jealous. Above is a pic of what my dad just told me is the “US-Spec AMG SLS for us to play with on the drag strip, slalom course and time trials.” So, while i was traveling, my dad (i blame my jetsetting inclination on him) took off to the Laguna Seca Raceway up in Monterey for the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy. He got to drive the brand new AMG SLS and was lucky to be one of the first to experience the new AMG Driving Academy launched in the USA. 16 cars were specially flown in from Germany to accompany the 20 full time cars availble for the course. Luminary driver/instructors included: Tommy Kendall (USA), Bernd Maylander (F1 pace car driver) and Susie Stoddart (Mercedes DTM team driver from Europe). Basically i came home to emails of his incredible adventure… from giddy stories about how mindblowing the drives were (teasing me how much fun i would have had going 160 around the track in one of those beauties) to tales of the chef grilling alongside the track for lunch to inside looks at the stunning carbon fiber drive shaft to the amazing friends he made on the trip and stories he heard… bottom line? The course was totally worth it, and he’d do it again in a heartbeat… in fact, there are 5 levels of courses happening around the US as well as Europe… i think he’s caught the bug, since he’s already dreaming about Sweden. I think i might have to try and convince him to take me along next time! But for now… i’ve convinced him to let me share his pictures with us ~ take a peek on the next page to see the experience!

p.s.
There is also the amazing carbon fiber wrapped car that looked amazing ~ pics to come of that one soon!

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*NOTCOT in design -

SHAG at Corey Helford Gallery

shagchg00.jpg On breathtaking gallery openings ~ SHAG’s “Autumn’s Come Undone” show at the Corey Helford Gallery is incredible. I showed you a preview earlier, and now the full show preview is available here… the show consists of new paintings as well as huge 6-foot wide panoramic giclee panels on canvas ~ in singles, pairs, and triples ~ these larger than life panoramas have so many details going on at once you can literally stand and stare at them constantly discovering more and more! The way they are displayed in the gallery is beautiful in and of itself ~ take a look at the scene on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 11.19.09 -

Ace Hotel Palm Springs

psace0.jpg The Ace Hotels practically radiate visual inspiration at every turn… but at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs add being at the foot of the mountains in Palm Springs with that crisp desert sky at night as you float in the pool and hot tub ~ only to run out and press the “Make Fire” button on one of the many fire places surrounded by adorably designed chairs as you look up at the Stan Bitters ceramics ~ or wander to the bar where what appears to be the coolest sunglass wearing stuffed bear you will ever see is perched behind the bottles ~ challenging the coolness of the coyote of a mascot above the reception whose silhouette is all around the hotel… and the THINK signage in the lobby “compliments of IBM corporation” is just priceless. OH! And there are yurts too… with beautiful domed skylights colored with geometric gel patterns… and hammocks too! So as you can see, there was too much besides my room, that i couldn’t help but share with you… so MANY pictures on the next page. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Pressler’s Endorphin Diseccted

endorphin1.jpg Back in March of 2007, Dave Pressler sent over some adorable little Endorphins ~ and ever since, they’ve moved with me to various homes and always lived under or near my monitors. Who doesn’t need some super happy little endorphin critters nearby at all times? Well, he’s gone and dissected one of his larger ones, and anyone fascinated with anatomy can’t help but to stare at what he’s dreamed up is really INSIDE these guys… look at those fangs! And that skull in its… stomach? And that mini spine! It’s all so fascinating, go see closeups on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Remains by Cathy McClure

mossimal1.jpg On intriguing art that just showed up in my inbox, Moss in association with Edelman Arts presents Remains by Cathy McClure. “Hands wielding scissors, McClure massacres the motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until she gets down, as she says, ‘into the guts of the piece’.” The truly amazing part isn’t that she guts these toys (didn’t we all as kids?) ~ but she then re-casts the parts in bronze and reassembles them! The result is fascinating… is it now high art? is it still a toy? do they still work? Apparently the original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice boxes are all re-installed, but you can’t help but wonder how those gears will handle the new weight… looking forward to seeing these in person, they will be at Moss in NY November 20th through December 31st, with a quick trip to Miami for Art Basel Dec 2nd through 5th… see more pics and information on the next page.

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*NOTCOT in design -

Audrey Kawasaki Mini Ovals

akwood.jpg On late night art lusting ~ these 4”x 4.5” laser engraved wooden ovals with one of a kind drawings with colored pencil were Audrey Kawasaki’s contribution to the give away gift bags at Baby Tattooville (which, yes, i’m very sad i wasn’t at this year!)… see a few more of these mini’s up close on the next page as well as a stunning medical curiosity themed complimentary limited edition giclee print…

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*NOTCOT in design -

SHAG: “Autumn’s Come Undone”

shag.jpg On upcoming shows i’m rather giddy about ~ SHAG’s “Autumn’s Come Undone” at the Corey Helford Gallery opens this Saturday, November 21st at 8pm. The press release has me intrigued “For the past decade, Agle’s iconic environments and playful narratives have sublimely captured California cool, mid-century modern design and lifestyles of the retro glamourati. His new exhibition “Autumn’s Come Undone” represents a turning point for Agle, adopting darker themes and a deeper palette to explore life’s excesses. “Something happened to me in the last year - call it an unexpected change-of-heart, if you like, but a lot of the unfettered hedonism my artwork espoused has begun to catch up with me,” Agle explains. Somber hues of okra, burnt oranges, and delicate grays, replace Agle’s signature acid brights, and as his subjects near the autumn of their lives, they venture away from suburban comforts to embrace a simpler, more authentic way of life.” And from the images (a few more sneak peeks on the next page!) i’m excited to see so many animals showing up in this series!

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*NOTCOT in playful - 11.18.09 -

Brain Pattern Egg Qee - Emilio Garcia

brainegg0.jpg Adorable! Brain Pattern Egg Qee ~ hand painted by Emilio Garcia. I’ve loved his brainy frogs ~ and this egg is too cute ~ its fun to see the creation process step by step ~ see pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 11.17.09 -

The Integratron

integratron0.jpg While in Palm Springs at the Ace, i was told that i HAD to go see the Integratron. How good a word is that? I didn’t even know what it meant, but was instantly intrigued. So, while on super secret brainstorm adventure in Palm Springs this weekend, we jumped in the car, took off an hour into the desert not quite sure what to expect… although we did know that it had something to do with amazingness, alien abductions, domes, a sound bath, and something about our neurons getting massaged. Dome + sunset + desert = gorgeous pics.

So while i’m still on my thing about circles lately ~ and concentric circles from directly below… the architecture of the Integratron blew my mind to wander around in… and honestly, i think there must be something wrong with me, because the Sound bath (you lay on the mats in the dome, and they “play 9 quartz crystal singing bowls live, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system.” and it’s on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 2009 Hot List) ~ i couldn’t lay through the whole thing, it made me feel like i wanted to scream and dissonant sounds vibrating through my head just started to hurt. BUT that being said, it was pretty amazing the way they resonated around the space… really staring at the architecture and lighting as the sunset around us was far more fascinating to me. So take a peek at the random pics on the next page… LOVE the colors in the desert sunsets…

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*NOTCOT in design -

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Packaging

shuhair0.jpg Shu Uemura Art of Hair finally got their online store going ~ i’ve been obsessed with their moisture velvet conditioner and masque ~ they quickly made the list of products i actually end up buying again and again. I’ve also been anxiously waiting for the black glossy Shu Uemura paddle brush ~ which has finally arrived on the webstore! While this in and of itself wasn’t all that extraordinary, what struck me was the packaging when it arrived. Black shipping box, sealed with black on white Shu Uemura Art of Hair tape sealing it ~ upon opening, black and white typographic logo pattern ~ and custom tissue paper as well… and each object individually wrapped and buffered in tissue paper padding. I can’t even imagine what they would do for gift wrap! It was so beautiful, i had to photograph first and open after, as hard as that was! Also a few peeks at the paddle brush ~ while i usually use wood brushes with wood bristles, i’m loving this one! So see it all on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in travel - 11.13.09 -

Ace Hotel Palm Springs Room 214

acepalmsprings0.jpg Don’t mock. It’s friday night. I know. It’s friday the 13th even! And honestly, as many events and people are convening in LA for a combination of art events, MOCA anniversary, and so much more this weekend ~ after that endless travelfest the last month and a non stop week since i touched back down ~ i couldn’t help myself when a few fun folks said “Ok!” to having our own top secret brainstorm session where we’d clear the weekend and meet up in Palm Springs. So after a delicious (intellectually and nourishingly) breakfast meeting at Chateau Marmont, i hopped back in the car and drove east… running super low on sleep and high on ideas, i stumbled into the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and into Room 214 with only my laptop/camera bag and purse… and have been sucked into photoshopping and before i wander back out to feed myself and see whats going on with the wedding folks right outside… i just had to share this little oasis with you. Stepping in, life slowed down, mind felt clearer, body felt calmer. And the welcome card tells me “Life is not about surviving the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.” Wise words to live by ~ so let’s dance? I have a feeling there will be much more to share this weekend… the Ace family always does manage to get me so inspired with their attention to details, great design, and just awesome experiences…

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*NOTCOT in design -

PRISM Gallery: MindTheGap

mindthegap0.jpg Popped by the opening of the inaugural PRISM Gallery exhibition, MindTheGap, featuring the stunning works of Barry McGee and Phil Frost. There are so many angles a post on this opening could take, just doing a quick google of it, quickly you can see who’s who that showed up, the architecture, the artists, the gallerist… so let’s just focus on what was truly most inspiring about the event. The art. The details. The space. And to take in such overwhelming amounts of pattern heavy art that took a bit to process… and perched on sunset in West Hollywood, the three tiered roof with breath taking LA views were exactly what you needed… although the sparkling lights of the city felt as if you were staring into another patterned piece of art to lose yourself in. With all of the work shown, you could easily spend some time discovering details, turning away, turning back, and still see something new. So explore some of my favorite views of the show on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 11.10.09 -

The Grilled Cheese Truck LA

grilledcheese0.jpg NOTCOT Field Trip? Posted The Grilled Cheese Truck earlier this week on NOTCOT.org, and when we noticed it was going to be on this side of town for lunch, simply had to pop out to see what all the commotion was about. (Also, i have a soft spot for grilled cheese… and their logo reminds me of The Magic School Bus… i half expected to see Ms. Frizzle pop out to take us on a cheesy adventure)… With website, twitter, and facebook page (like many of these social media savvy specialty lunch trucks) the updates were constant as their precise location kept changing down to the minute, and we finally found them at the Los Angeles Fine Arts & Wine Storage Company parking lot, only half an hour into it and quite the line had already formed, inescapable scent of delicious greasy cheesiness omnipresent. Even CBS news was there tasting and shooting away… With a mix of your classic grilled cheeses, to your gourmet grilled cheese (add in mac+cheese, bacon, avocado, bbq pork and more) ~ and even dessert options (marshmallows, nutella, bananas) ~ as well as tomato soup shots and more ~ it was hard to choose! As with all of these specialty twitter happy lunch trucks, the lines are long, ordering seems to be the bottleneck, and it seems best to meet up with a bunch of friends to hang out with in line… also, go early! Because depending on zoning/landlord regulations, they can usually only stay put for a limited amount of time, so not everyone will get fed! So take a peek at more pics of both the truck and the food ~ this is the first time i’ve peeked INSIDE the truck! And since it took quite a while to get the food, and i promised to get Linhchi back to her house by 1:40, we shot the food pics in the car (sometimes at red lights)…

p.s.
was reading up last night on this Lunch Truck Phenomenon that seems to be sweeping the nation lately ~ some fun resources to note: Find LA Food Trucks and California Taco Trucks (run by dan’s old boyscout friend, Cyrus Farivar!)

p.p.s.
While fun and amusing ~ i think overall, if i’m going to spend an hour+ at lunch with friends, i’d rather do the sit down thing ~ but good times, and a fun chance to catch up with some old friends!

p.p.p.s.
From an im conversation right now, we’ve decided that when the process of getting the food and hanging out with friends is a lot of the fun… where is our champagne and oysters truck?

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 11.09.09 -

Dayna Decker Chandel Couture

chandel5.jpg Dayna Decker Chandel Couture ~ the same way looking up at chandeliers has been mesmerizing recently, looking down at the wide woody crackling wicks of Dayna Decker Chandels. They smell divine, but i can’t get over the lovely glass votive lined in black with the patented EcoWood Wick is “made from organic wood via a natural manufacturing process, and burns cleaner than an ordinary cotton wick. When lit, the EcoWood Wick displays an intriguing “teardrop” shaped flame and emits a soothing crackling sound.” Quick video to share the crackling with you on the next page as well as unboxing and product shots of the chandel!

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