In my Netflix queue

I just added "The Dinner Game" to my Netflix queue. The premise sounds amazing and hilarious:
"Writer-director Francis Veber's clever comedy shadows a group of French intellectuals who gather each Wednesday night for a dinner game, in which the challenge is to bring along the most idiotic guest."

Covetable Solids

From my solid perfume round-up in the NY Post today:

Do a solid for someone (or yourself) this winter. This season’s best fragrances come in the prettiest packages — for wearing or just showing off. Besides being pretty, solid perfumes won’t leak or spill. Here are our new favorites:

* Juicy Couture "Viva La Juicy" gold compact, $55 at Bloomingdale’s


* Leslie Blodgett "Bare Skin" pocket-watch perfume case, $35 at Sephora


* Bond No. 9 "Nuits de Noho" token-case perfume, $98 at Bond No. 9 (9 Bond St., or bondno9.com)


* Michael Kors "Very Hollywood" ring, $40 at Bloomingdale’s


* Estee Lauder "Beautiful" year of the tiger solid, $89 at Lord & Taylor


* Harajuku Lovers "G" solid perfume, $18 at Sephora


* Estee Lauder "Pleasures" glimmering takeout perfume solid, $89 at Lord and Taylor


* Kat Von D gun-metal ring with both "Saint" and "Sinner" perfume solids, $30 at Sephora

Trends of the Decade

Happy Christmas at Lillie's!

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My new obsession: Maybelline XXL Pro Extensions mascara.


I love eyelash primer + mascara duos, and this one is especially super-fantastic.

All you need is love.

Joking around on set.



Tailcoat by Jeremy Scott. Photo by Liz Sullivan.

Cassettes.


Technological innovations, shmechnological shminnovations. I still haven't been able to bring myself to throw out all my mix tapes and cassette albums from the 80s and 90s, even though I haven't had anything in years on which I was actually able to play a cassette. Not for want of trying -- I've tried finding a cassette component for my Tivoli system. Yeah, not so much. Once I went to Circuit City asking for a cassette player. The 15-year old salesperson working there didn't even know what I was talking about. "You know, those plastic things with a ribbon inside that you can record stuff on?" He thought I was crazy.

Here's a photo of a bunch of bootleg cassettes I picked up in Cairo in 1999 -- a bunch of super-amazing (and super-90s) mixes -- that have been languishing in my Case Logic cassette organizer for ten years!

Anyway, the good news is that my sister and I went to her old apartment today to pick up some stuff for her new place, and she has a mini Sony boombox that has a cassette player built in! So I brought it home and now I'm listening to a remix of "Cherish" by someone named Pappa Bear -- courtesy of El Sharq's Countdown Music series MTV Vol. 8, which I picked up on a street corner in Zamalek.

Words cannot adequately describe how excited I am about listening to all these tapes tonight. Now, if I could only find my high school mix tapes...



Now I am listening to Ultimate Kaos' "Casanova." Amaaaaaazing.

The prettiest food ever.

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Very cool, Google

Love the new Google real-time scrolling Twitter search results. VERY cool.

Well said.



I met Jen Bilik on the last day I was at the Biggest Loser Resort in Utah. She is very cool -- runs a business called Knock Knock Stuff, which sells funny, useful products with jaded and witty (and sometimes passive aggressive) statements emblazoned on them.

Anyway, I love her blog, which I first found when doing research about the Biggest Loser Resort. Jen spent ten weeks there total (and worked much harder than my wussy 1 week of whinging and wheezing), and I've been looking forward to reading her summary (she left about a week ago). The summary blog entry is great.

One of the things I really empathize with is her superwoman mono-focus abilities -- she can put her mind to anything and succeed, as long as it's just one thing. "My kryptonite is balance," she says. I totally get that.

Anyway, check it out if you like. Congratulations Jen on losing over 40 pounds!
With all the talk about the end of print media, I often find myself wondering what else I'd be able to do to make money. I really can't think of anything. Sometimes I think I might want to visit a career counselor.

Anyway.

Growing up, I never wanted to be a writer. Until I was about 19, I thought I would be a doctor. Too bad science isn't my strong suit. So I kind of took a roundabout path of getting to this point -- I love fashion, I enjoy working in media. And as for writing, it feels liberating to me. I'm just at the beginning of my writing career -- people do this years and years, entire lifetimes -- and what I'm realizing is that writing isn't just a job. Once you're a writer, you'll always be one, whether you like it or not.

I'm kind of obsessed with Nicholas Hoult

I love "About a Boy" and I've watched the first two seasons of "Skins" over and over again. Had no idea he's in Tom Ford's new movie "A Single Man."

Parker Lewis Can't Lose

When I was 13, I loved this show. Parker Lewis is, like, the archetypal early-90s cute high school boy. Aw.



Lunch!

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A wise piggy once said...

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Am excited.

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Ha ha.

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Morning

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Me in Carl's new hat

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Carl in Carl's new hat

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Fashion Wink

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Polygamist almonds are better and cheaper than Whole Foods almonds.

Ha ha.

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Reel

Danica Lo / Reel from Danica Lo on Vimeo.

Standing on the tarmac after deplaning.

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The plane I'm about to board.

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Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky airport

Here I am. Four hour layover and Chick-fil-A isn't open yet. I did manage to scrounge a Peet's Coffee green tea. Much cheaper than Starbucks. I have no idea what I look like, but I've had an hour-ish of sleep and have been traveling for 10 hours already. Everything's been such a kerfuffle since leaving Utah.

Welcome to your new life, self.

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9 mile hike, Saturday morning

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Final weigh-in

I lost 8 pounds and five percent body fat in one week at The Biggest Loser Resort!


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The thing is...

I find it almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to not be fat. Like, I can't imagine touching my stomach and feeling a flat, firm, muscular surface. I just have no idea what it must be like.

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Things I've learned at The Biggest Loser Resort

Today was my last full day at The Biggest Loser Resort in Utah. Here are some things I've learned:

1. I like hiking. A lot.
2. I like being outdoors in the middle of nowhere. With a trustworthy guide.
3. In order to reach my goal weight by June 2010, I need to create a 1,000 calorie deficit each day until June 2010. I don't know how this is going to work out.
4. Consuming 1200 calories a day is plenty -- when done right.
5. Taking Ibuprofen no longer makes me curl up in fetal position.
6. I thought I liked step aerobics, but I don't. My fond memories of 90s step must be cloudy.
7. Calgel manicures last through anything. Mine are still perfect!
8. Adidas trailrunners are my new favorite shoes.
9. I learned how to use a Camelbak pack.
10. The Golden Spoon makes delicious froyo.

I have my final weigh-in tomorrow morning at 6:40 a.m., before our final 9-mile hike. I craftily scheduled it in the morning because, well, you're lightest in the morning before you consume water and food. Let's see how this goes.

On the schedule for tomorrow: Exit weigh-in, breakfast, 9 mile hike (uphill for the first half, eek), swimming, lunch, visitng Coyote Gulch (an artisan community down the road from The Biggest Loser Resort), packing, getting on a shuttle back to Vegas, trying desperately not to eat anything at the airport, getting on a plane back to New York (red-eye, sigh). Then hitting the ground running back in the city -- so much to do on Sunday.

My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks so I'm going to be making myself some 32-year-old resolutions. Lifestyle change here I come -- if anything, I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. The question that keeps plaguing me, though, is -- How long can I go without eating fried food? Hm. We shall see.

Sean goes to John's without Elmo

A couple of months ago I went to John's Pizzeria with Sean Taylor, Eric del Pozo, and Chrissy DeLorenzo -- three college friends. It was part of Sean's annual 31 Days of Pizza project where he visits a different pizzeria every single day during the month of October and posts reviews, videos and other fun things on his awesome website.

This is what happened:

At the top of Galoot Hill.

I'm going to miss the hiking in Utah.
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Rock

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Petrified Dunes

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Piano rock. That's what it's called.

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Mokey marbles, aka sandstone poo.

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Rock climbing, day 5.

Not exactly 101.
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Not exactly 101. Maybe rock climbing.

Morning hike day 5.
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It's 23 degrees and I'm going hiking.

Who is this person I've become?



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Day 4 at The Biggest Loser Resort + Prophets, the FLDS and other polygamist communities

By this time four days ago (um, 7 p.m.), I was ready to crawl into bed. But it's day four at The Biggest Loser Resort and I'm buzzing to do something tonight. Unfortunately, the options are limited (since I don't drive and we're pretty much in the middle of nowhere), so I'm just going to lay low and read a book or something. If it wasn't freezing outside, I'd read out by the pool, but I'd guess it's in the low 40s right now -- tomorrow a cold front is blowing in, brr.

Instead of hiking today, I left campus and met up with Heber Holm of Polygamy Tours (yes, click on that, it is a real company) and he drove me (in a Cadillac Escalade, woooohoo) to Hildale, Colorado City and Centennial Park, three strongholds of polygamy that line the Utah-Arizona border.



It was amazing.


Caption: The old meeting house for religious service, which has, since Warren Jeff's imprisonment, been used almost exclusively for funerals. Holm told me that when media is able to take photos of a parade of FLDS women walking down the street in this community, it's often because they're walking from the funeral service to the cemetary, which is just up the road on the left.

Not only was the scenery truly spectacular -- the communities border on the edge of Zion National Park -- but the towns were totally jawdroppingly fascinating. I took a bunch of pictures of buildings (and only managed to sneak a few of people -- it was the middle of the day, most kids were in school and there were some women driving around) -- notably Holm's family homestead, their school (in his generation alone, he had 67 brothers and sisters from 11 sister-wives -- all one father), and their family gymnasium. And by "school" and "gymnasium" I mean School and Gymnasium. Like high-school style. Just for his family. Holm told me that most large families will run their own home school. Makes sense, I guess, financially.


Caption: The Holm Family gymnasium.

Touring the area with Polygamy Tours was an unparalleled cultural experience -- most of all because Mr. Holm grew up in the FLDS (that's high-hair, prairie-dress-wearing, polygamist sect to you) community and left of his own volition at the age of 16, whereupon he moved to St. George, Utah, about an hour away. A few of his brothers also left the FLDS, including Richard, with whom Heber founded the tour company. Richard Holm had been a practicing polygamist and the FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs exiled him and repatriated two of his wives.


Caption: This is the cafe and location in Canaan, just outside Hildale, where Carolyn Jessop was picked up by car after escaping from the FLDS community.

The brothers can provide an incredible amount of insight into the FLDS community -- more than any media story, tv show or documentary can show. Holm was totally candid and answered every question I asked.


Caption: A girl in Colorado City, Arizona.

A few miles down the road from Colorado City is Centennial Park -- a polygamist community far more progressive than the FLDS whose faith is called "The Work of Jesus Christ." They're a break-off group from the FLDS and allow a lot more freedom for its community members -- the women don't wear prairie dresses, for example (though they still do dress conservatively, wearing longer skirts, etc.), and the children are allowed to play sports and families have access to television and entertainment. The Work of Jesus Christ Prophet (leader) is John Timpson, who (and this was like a celebrity sighting for me at this point) was at the Merry Wives Cafe in Centennial Park at the same time we had lunch there!




Caption: The Work of Jesus Christ Prophet John Timpson's house (still under construction) in Centennial Park, Arizona.

I've never been in the same room as a polygamist prophet before.

Polygamy Tours rocks, Heber Holm rocks, and if I come back to the region, I'd for sure take the tour again, no question about it. Highly recommended.

St George, Utah.

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The prairie-dress wearing, high-hair fundamentalists.

Today I'm taking a break from getting my butt whupped by the trainers at The Biggest Loser Resort. I'm heading out to Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona to see the FLDS community firsthand.

Back in 2007 or thereabouts, around when Carolyn Jessop's book was released, I did a lot of research on the FLDS. It's a fascinating (and a little frightening) culture. I interviewed Carolyn Jessop once about the very particular hairstyles and dresses the FLDS women wear -- she told me that Skechers is their preferred brand of footwear, something I find highly amusing.

Anyway, I am beyond excited to check out Colorado City for myself. Am actually heading out there with an ex-FLDS member.

More TK.
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I love an empty gym.

What a luxury -- you never find this in New York.


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"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn