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A-list gluttony

first_imgNatives of LA love to complain about it: the pollution, the superficial, fastpaced lifestyle, the total lack of history and culture. These people live in LA for business, purely practical reasons, and once out of it they’ll move elsewhere: a calm and gentle place, a place with museums and opera houses, a place where everyone isn’t chasing their first million, a place where people have some spiritual and emotional sense, a place with people whose IQs don’t equal their weight in pounds. A place like San Francisco. It’s hard to live and survive in the movie business without being one of these types, and if you’re in LA you’re in it for the movies. That was certainly the reason I’d come to LA Not the films themselves perhaps, I could see them anywhere, but the movie culture: the stars, the sets, the general milieu. LA is the movie Mecca, the place where the deals are made, the pictures are shot, the stars are born. LA doesn’t have its own Empire State building; it doesn’t have the White House or Golden Gate Bridge. It doesn’t have Aspen mountains or Mississippi rivers. But LA has one thing unlike anywhere else on earth: more movie stars per square metre than every other place in the world. And those were the people I was there to see. Unfortunately I hadn’t arrived during Oscar season. It turned out the tickets were far too expensive and hotel prices (even hostels) were in the stratosphere. I guessed every movie geek in America made pilgrimage to Mecca at this time. So I arrived in winter, still sure that there would be enough movie stars wondering around the streets to satisfy my blood-lust. I booked into a hostel as close to the centre as I could afford. I’d heard that no one walks around the sprawling metropolis that is LA and the public transport system is nonexistent; and since I needed to be where all the action was (surprisingly there aren’t any hostels in Beverly Hills) I settled in Santa Monica, the next port of call for rich and famous. I’d prepared my trip like a paparazzo professional. After months of studying Hello!and Heat, I knew all the hangouts of the stars. I knew the glitzy vegan restaurant that fed Gwynnie and Madge, the nightclub where J-Lo liked to shake her booty. All these places had been filed in my memory and locations mapped out before I even arrived. I woke up bright and early on my first morning, rising with the LA sun and donning my jogging gear from a trip to Venice beach. Of course I had no intention of doing any exercise (being an Oxford student and not an LA starlet) but I knew that Johnny Depp took his morning excursion at said beach and I was going to witness it. Depp must be the sexiest creature in show business and probably the only thing that could get me out of bed at 6 am. So there I was, decked out in lycra, the fattest sight in a fifty mile radius, waiting for a glimpse of the high–cheekboned Adonis to rush past me. I waited and waited, my exposed parts slowly burning in the LA sun, and waited and waited. By the end of the morning I’d seen someone who closely resembled Luke Perry from 90210, an extra I remembered from an episode of Nash Bridges, and a dog-walker who I was pretty sure must have had a number of famous people’s dogs in his clutch. Such was my disappointment that I debated whether or not to follow the dog-walker back to his clients’ houses, in the hope that I might catch sight of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt. But I was in no fit state to encounter any of my idols. If there was anything worse than not meeting Brad Pitt, it would be meeting him while I closely resembled Edwina from Ab Fab. That being the case, I trekked back to my hostel to gather my wits, slather myself with sunblock and begin again. The next stop was The Viper Room, death place of River Phoenix and, I’d been reliably informed, the place to be for the young celebrity about town. This time I wore my hippest clubbing gear. I wasn’t deluded enough to think I could actually get in the club but I needed to blend in along Sunset Strip. As it was I blended in very well, spending the entire evening in an alleyway holding the arm of some filthy rich, desperately drunken teenager while she vomited the entire no-carb contents of her stomach all over my fake Manolos. Not quite the Hollywood experience I expected. A week later and the situation hadn’t improved. I’d covered half the square footage of LA and still any and every remotely famous person had eluded my grasp. I had images of Gorgeous George leaving eateries a few seconds after I’d entered them, of Winona Ryder dashing out of department stores before I’d had a chance to clock her, of Cruise and Cruz engaged in a kiss and make-up snogging session only a few feet away from me at any given time. I’d taken to nipping around street corners in the hopes of catching them unawares, of looking at the world through binoculars so I wouldn’t miss a thing. I’d even begun to follow the dog–walkers’ home. Unfortunately, despite my most concerted efforts, the situation didn’t improve. Two weeks in LA and the only remotely famous person I saw was the fat bloke from The Full Monty. A bloody Brit. I probably could have seen him down Camden Market. I packed my bags and headed for San Francisco. Maybe I’d bump into Britney in Maccy D’s.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004last_img read more

From sumo suits to goalie gloves: Kaylie Collins is USC Soccer’s spark

first_imgCollins said she would love to be a role model for the younger girls in her family who play soccer; she enjoys seeing her little cousins at her games and has her 10-year-old sister Kelsey time her when she works out back home. McAlpine could hardly think of specific memories because Collins has always brought the same playful exuberance from the moment she arrived at USC. Kaylie Collins didn’t know that her sumo suit was wildly inappropriate given the situation. It was Halloween 2017 and the USC women’s soccer team had arrived at McAlister Field for practice. None of the players knew that head coach Keidane McAlpine was angry at the team. Collins, possibly weighed down by her costume, got on the field just after her teammates — by then, it was too late. Although Collins is obviously a vocal presence on the team, Plumptre said her goalkeeper consistently leads by example, turning her position into a lifestyle. Though Collins may not be satisfied with her performance, McAlpine said he was proud of the work she has put in the last three years. The goalkeeper position is difficult, and McAlpine emphasized that it takes a lot of reps and film study to build the muscle memory and understanding of the position necessary to succeed at the college level. However, with Collins, it’s only so long before things get goofy. Plumptre remembers when she, Collins, Petredes and redshirt junior forward/defender Samantha Bruder drove to a random parking lot to shoot impromptu music videos last semester. For example, in another Halloween episode the next year, Collins and senior midfielder Daria Petredes dressed up as McAlpine and associate head coach Jason Lockhart. She was unfazed by the previous year’s debacle and her bravery paid off, earning McAlpine’s seal of approval for the costumes. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2016, Collins was named the team’s culture committee leader in 2017, a role she still holds today. Her job is to create an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone on the team, with special attention placed on making new players feel welcome. It says a lot about Collins’ enthusiastic personality that a redshirt freshman was put in charge of team chemistry, and McAlpine said it was a perfect fit from the beginning. Despite her poor timing, Collins’ friendliness and energy was well-received by the team. Kaylie Collins “We were just talking to her the other day about how sharp she looks, how you can tell it’s making sense mentally,” he said. “The game has slowed down for her so she’s in the right places, her communication is better. She’s way more dialed in and explosive.” Senior midfielder Ashleigh Plumptre joined the program at the same time as Collins and is also part of the culture committee. She said she and Collins made an effort to ensure there was no age-based hierarchy on the team. The duo tries to schedule social events where players can experience Los Angeles together. From ice cream outings to beach days, Collins and Plumptre work hard so that teammates know each other as people rather than just as players. “Family is huge, and it’s the same thing as having a teammate come out and time you,” Collins said. “I think everyone on this team has that switch in their brain where they’ve come from tight-knit families, they get on this team and they treat it like one.” “[Collins is] easy to talk to, very welcoming, great energy, super friendly… so it lends itself well for those younger players and new players coming into the team to have an upperclassman, in particular one who has excelled and done so well on the field, to have that person be the one to welcome you and give you that much attention. It puts them at ease and helps them start off the right way.” Head coach Keidane McAlpine In fact, it’s one of the unifying forces on a Trojan squad that has been one of the best in the nation since she arrived in 2016. The redshirt junior goalkeeper is already accomplished on the field — she was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in 2017 and was the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year last season — but perhaps her biggest impact has come from her role as a supportive teammate and leader. “We would play this song and everyone had their own move, so we made a dance video with the car in the background,” Plumptre said. “And we would be on the car. It was like our prop, and we’d make different music videos.” Redshirt junior Kaylie Collins implements mindfulness into her pre-game and practice routines, a habit that has helped her build confidence and improve her performance between the goalposts. (Kevin Fohrer | Daily Trojan) “She’s easy to talk to, very welcoming, great energy, super friendly,” McAlpine said. “So it lends itself well for those younger players and new players coming into the team to have an upperclassman, in particular one who has excelled and done so well on the field, to have that person be the one to welcome you and give you that much attention. It puts them at ease and helps them start off the right way.” “It’s good to keep having that model I can look back to and mirror,” Collins said of Prudhomme. “That redshirt year was everything for me, and I’m so glad that I get to stay another two seasons because I don’t feel like I’ve reached [my peak] yet.” “Last year I thought I could’ve been so much cleaner, and I take responsibility for that,” she said. “I think coming up this year I’m ready to prove to myself that I do deserve those awards at some point. I feel ready.” Collins is going above and beyond; she has become a proponent of the mindfulness movement in her pregame routine. It’s important for her to visualize positive results so she can not only improve but also stay calm through mistakes and move onto the next play. She credits the new approach as a reason for her continued success. Collins remembers sitting out with an ankle injury in the past and watching her fellow goalkeepers’ reps. Evaluating the position from afar was just as impactful as her participation in drills. McAlpine believes that Collins’ ability to galvanize her teammates comes from her experience growing up in a tight-knit family. Though Collins is from a small town in Northern California called Clayton, she welcomes plenty of fans at every game since she holds close relationships with her extended family in Southern California. “She has to communicate well as a goalkeeper, but she looks after herself well off the field. She’s always the one in the training room, she’s always doing extra recovery,” Plumptre said. “She’s super healthy, eats right and is always checking in with our nutritionist.” Collins cited her redshirt season as a crucial step in her development. She had the chance to learn under senior goalkeeper and future professional Sammy Jo Prudhomme in a season in which Prudhomme was named 2016 Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year. Most importantly, the Trojans won the national championship that season, an invaluable experience for Collins. “I run out in my sumo suit and everyone is looking at me like ‘Kaylie, no,’” Collins said, laughing. “And I’m like ‘Guys, it’s Halloween!’ I’m jumping up and down in my sumo suit, and then we all get in a circle two minutes later and we find out we’re just going to run the whole practice.” “It’s hard to encapsulate in words. You walk in and she’s just like a firecracker,” he said. “On game day she’s bouncing around, dancing, really energetic, and I think that’s contagious. Any time you get that type of energy from one of your leaders it’s hard to feel down.” It’s not all laughs and jokes with Collins, though. Her mix of talent and dedication has made her one of the more decorated goalkeepers in the nation even with two remaining seasons of eligibility, but her drive to get better means she is more frustrated by the accolades than proud of them. “I’m at the point right now where I feel like I can get to a game, sit on the sidelines, go through the warmup in my head and feel ready to go,” she said. “That’s what I want to be able to do, is have that much power of doing it in my own head and being a controller of my thoughts … For a goalkeeper, it’s so important.” Collins’ experiences on and off the field have always been defined by confidence: the confidence to be outgoing, the confidence that unlocks her top performance in goal. Her confidence is at an all-time high, and, heading into a season where the Trojans have national title hopes, that’s exactly where it needs to be.last_img read more

Mixed verdict in case against NY politician Jumaane D. Williams

first_imgCaribbean American New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams was sentenced to time served after a jury on Monday reached a mixed verdict on charges relating to his arrest for protesting the planned deportation of Trinidadian-born immigrant rights activist and community leader, Ravi Ragbir.Guilty on one count The jury found Williams, 42, the son of Grenadian immigrants, guilty of one count of obstructing an Emergency Medical Services, but not guilty on counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.Williams, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn and Lieutenant Governor candidate for the State of New York, was immediately sentenced to time served.Judge Steven M. Statsinger said the sentence was for the few hours that Williams had spent in police custody after his arrest.The misdemeanor conviction will not impact on Williams’s ability to run for public office or to vote.Moral compass went awry“I believe and still believe your heart was in the right place, and your moral compass, which is otherwise as far as I could tell completely accurate, went a little awry,” said Judge Statsinger after imposing the lenient sentence on Monday.Williams had objected to a lenient plea offer from the Manhattan district attorney. Instead, he said he wanted to go on trial to further highlight the Trump administration’s draconian immigration policy.Williams, later told reporters that the “rulings validate what I have known to be true- that the actions for which I was arrested were necessary and impactful.Williams and his attorneys, Ron Kuby and Rhiya Trivedi, had presented a case arguing that his actions to stop the deportation of Ragbir were reasonable, and that the actions by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and ICE, which Williams was impeding, were not themselves unlawful given New York City’s status as a sanctuary city and “the rough conduct which federal and local officials exhibited at the time of the arrest.” On January 11, Williams was arrested, along with 17 others, including New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, as he protested the detention and imminent deportation of Ragbir.Eighteen days after Ragbir was detained, a US federal judge ruled ICE’s actions to be unconstitutional.Ragbir’s deportation has since been stayed, and he remains in the United States.last_img read more

Lily May wins British girls’ championship

first_img Image courtesy The R&A. England’s Lily May Humphreys has crowned a superb season by winning the British girls’ championship at Enville, defeating Emilie Overas 7&5 in the 18-hole final to seal the biggest win of her amateur career.  Humphreys, from Stoke by Nayland, Essex, has already won the English women’s amateur title and the European Young Masters this season.  The blistering start made by Humphreys to win four consecutive holes eventually ran out of steam after the pair halved both the 5th and 6th before Overas made small inroads into reducing the deficit by bouncing back to win the 7th with a birdie three. England’s Lily May Humphreys has crowned a superb season by winning the British girls’ championship at Enville, defeating Emilie Overas 7&5 in the 18-hole final to seal the biggest win of her amateur career.  Humphreys’ win earns her an exemption into Final Qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open next year and she will aim to secure a place in the starting field at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Humphreys surged into the lead on the par five 1st after a birdie four secured the hole was soon 2up on her Norwegian opponent after Overas could only manage a double-bogey on the short par three 2nd. She added: “This win means so much. I have so much confidence after this win and we had lots of fantastic support too, it couldn’t have been much better.” Click here for full scores Humphreys surged into the lead on the par five 1st after a birdie four secured the hole was soon 2up on her Norwegian opponent after Overas could only manage a double-bogey on the short par three 2nd. Humphreys closed out the match on the 13th after Overas conceded the hole, sealing a memorable win to lift the title.   She added: “This win means so much. I have so much confidence after this win and we had lots of fantastic support too, it couldn’t have been much better.” Overas sealed her place in the final by a fine margin too, defeating Elena Moosmann of Switzerland by two holes. Afterwards the 15-year-old said: “This is the best I’ve ever played to win a tournament. I was six-under-par through thirteen holes so I guess that’s pretty difficult to beat. I didn’t feel the pressure, I just went out to play my best.” In the first of the semi-finals, Humphreys narrowly overcame Germany’s Paula Kirner by one hole to secure her passage to the final. The England girl international extended her advantage to three holes after an excellent birdie on the 3rd, before taking a firm grip of the match at 4up after the Norwegian made a bogey on the 4th to lose another hole. The blistering start made by Humphreys to win four consecutive holes eventually ran out of steam after the pair halved both the 5th and 6th before Overas made small inroads into reducing the deficit by bouncing back to win the 7th with a birdie three.center_img Humphreys’ win earns her an exemption into Final Qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open next year and she will aim to secure a place in the starting field at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Lily May wins British girls’ championship Afterwards the 15-year-old said: “This is the best I’ve ever played to win a tournament. I was six-under-par through thirteen holes so I guess that’s pretty difficult to beat. I didn’t feel the pressure, I just went out to play my best.” The England girl international extended her advantage to three holes after an excellent birdie on the 3rd, before taking a firm grip of the match at 4up after the Norwegian made a bogey on the 4th to lose another hole. The fightback was short-lived however; Humphreys responded in kind by birdieing the 8th to restore the lead back to four holes and laid one hand on the trophy after rolling in a birdie on the par five 10th to move to 5up. Tags: British girls’ championship, Lily May Humphreys 20 Aug 2017 Lily May wins British girls’ championship Humphreys, from Stoke by Nayland, Essex, has already won the English women’s amateur title and the European Young Masters this season.  The fightback was short-lived however; Humphreys responded in kind by birdieing the 8th to restore the lead back to four holes and laid one hand on the trophy after rolling in a birdie on the par five 10th to move to 5up. Overas conceded on the 11th to widen the gap to six holes before the duo both made birdie on the 12th to halve the hole. Overas conceded on the 11th to widen the gap to six holes before the duo both made birdie on the 12th to halve the hole. Click here for full scores Humphreys closed out the match on the 13th after Overas conceded the hole, sealing a memorable win to lift the title.   In the first of the semi-finals, Humphreys narrowly overcame Germany’s Paula Kirner by one hole to secure her passage to the final. Overas sealed her place in the final by a fine margin too, defeating Elena Moosmann of Switzerland by two holes.last_img read more

One Woman’s Mission To Declutter, Organize and Donate

first_imgStory and Photos by Art PetrosemoloToday, modern houses with big families can have lots of stuff. It may get out of hand as the reality TV documentary series “Hoarders” so graphically illustrates.Everyone wants to declutter and organize but unfortunately there just isn’t an “app” for that. It takes willpower and, at times, professional help.Home organizer and entrepreneur Jessica Carroll makes her living helping people actually declutter and organize, not just talk about it. But she doesn’t stop there. She works with local charities to see that all that goes out the door finds new life and a new home with families that need it.Carroll, 36, a single mother of four children ages 9 to 17 got started in the business by accident. “I was working in an after-school church program in Asbury Park and many of the children didn’t have clothes or toys. We even had kids in pajamas,” said the West Long Branch resident. Carroll began bringing in clothing her children had outgrown. “But I wanted to do more,” she said.About the same time, the school principal asked Carroll if she would organize the office. “I was organized even when I was in elementary school and thought I could help. I just took to it,” Carroll said. “The principal was happy with the results and I even surprised myself.” It opened her eyes that she might be able to be paid as a professional organizer.The final push into a business came when while watching a TV episode of “Hoarders” on A&E, in which professionals help compulsive hoarders with real life struggles achieve a major cleanup. She remembers thinking, “I can do that – and maybe I can take it a step further and help those organizing and decluttering donate what’s going out to those people who need it most.”Carroll, who started and runs a Red Bank networking group called WINGS (Women, Inspiring, Networking, Giving, Supporting) brought up the subject with her colleagues a few years ago. Everyone was enthusiastic and several in the group hired her to help them organize.She had no idea how broad the business would become. “When you think of organizing, the first thing that comes to mind is a closet,” she said. “Closets are just the tip of the iceberg.” In the past five years, she has organized and decluttered closets, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, attics, sheds and everything in-between.The first step is called “purging” and it means walking away from things that you don’t use, don’t love or don’t cherish. It all goes into large, black contractors’ bags, Carroll explains.She can suggest shelving as part of the plan (strong, plastic and easy to assemble from a big box store) or to work with a small local contractor to have shelves, counters or boxes built as needed. “But I encourage people not to rush out and buy new stuff when they are trying to declutter,” she said. “First, it’s best to use those plastic storage boxes or other containers already sitting in your garage that you bought years ago.”Carroll asks customers to look at organizing in a new way and to focus on one room at a time even though they may eventually need the same thing done in multiple rooms. “Ultimately the client has to make the decision on what stays and what goes,” she said. “My goal is to be sure clients are happy with their decisions.” All the old treasures that a client agrees to part with get hauled to Carroll’s SUV and dropped off (sometimes 30 bags in a week) at her mother’s house in Ocean County. Mary Varian folds all the clothing and separates other items for donation.Organize By Design helps keep the shelves filled at many charities. Carroll knows who uses what, so for example, Birthright in Red Bank gets maternity and baby clothes, Lunch Break will get new toys, and the Goodwill in Ocean gets lots of clothing. “For some clients, knowing what they downsize and declutter is donated to a charity is very important,” said Carroll.Carroll laments the closing of the Clothes Closet in Asbury Park, which was a free community thrift shop and one she kept supplied on a regular basis. “I always am thinking of the kids I taught in pre-school and how they needed so much,” Carroll said. All of her clients receive donation receipts for tax purposes.Carroll’s jobs may be as small as one room or a garage or as big as the 5,000-square-foot penthouse in New Brunswick she helped organize and pack for moving. She works in three-hour blocks (at approximately $100/hour) which gives her the flexibility to see her children off to school and be home as needed.There seems to be no shortage of clients for Organize By Design and new ones find Carroll by referrals or from her Facebook page. Although the primary business is to declutter, downsize and donate, her clients have asked her to do even more – like decorate for the holidays and wrap presents.Carroll’s clients are loyal and use her again and again for her organizing skills. Her first client still retains her 10 hours a month for a variety of organizing tasks. “She is a busy woman,” Carroll said, “and feels better when her non-work life is organized.”As can be imagined, Carroll gets surprised, at times, when she finds valuable antiques, paintings, gift certificates and even cash as she helps a client dive into a mountain of good intentions. She works with local antique shops and appraisers to help clients find out if something is indeed valuable before they part with it. “And sometimes customers are as surprised as I am when they come across an envelope of money or gift cards they had forgotten about years ago,” she said.For a business she backed into, there seems to be a bright future ahead for Carroll as she helps old and new clients part with what they don’t need or use and find it a new home. “Everyone wins then,” she said, smiling.last_img read more