Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm Really Into Poetry Now

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

thanks, Annie G, for shining the light

Monday, April 09, 2007

For the Record

Ah, the wonders of drug use.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Courtney Parton

Right on the heels of today's revelation that Kurt Cobain has surpassed Elvis Presley as the highest earning dead person, Courtney Love has resurfaced with a remarkable new face. The reason I say remarkable is because even though she couldn't be much older than 40, the first person I thought of when I saw the picture was Dolly Parton, who couldn't be much younger than 70.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Jeebus! Things have really gotten out of control when the widow of a punk icon shows up somewhere looking like Miss Piggy's impersonation of Dolly Parton. (n.b. I love Dolly Parton - no disrespect.)

Someone make the plastic surgery madness stop. Honestly, I'd rather see wrinkles and lips withered with age.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Important Terms

Here's one I've been meaning to do for a long time now. This post is designed to clarify the true definitions of a number of terms which are, disturbingly, used interchangeably. Please pay attention.

Monkeying Around
Monkeying around is when you're hanging out, possibly with the kids, teasing them, giggling, maybe playing tag or pillow fighting. This is an innocent term meant to describe lighthearted frolicking.

Used in a sentence:
OK everybody, quit monkeying around and come to dinner!

Funny Business
Funny business is a term for mildly illicit sexual contact. Like if you were hooking up with a coworker and you sometimes made out in the copy room, that would be funny business. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with work though, that was just the first thing that came to mind. The sex (or sexual contact) in and of itself could be just great, but it's the circumstances that surround it that lend the air of malfeasance.

Used in a sentence:
Fine Brad, you can stay over, but no funny business.

Messing Around
Everyone pretty much knows this one, or at least they should. Messing around is jolly behavior that may be a little detached and/or poorly thought out, but is essentially harmless. It can apply to makeout situations, but it can also apply to those occasions where really you're generally just sitting around doing nothing of any consequence.

Used in a sentence:
I meant to go to the party, but I got caught up messing around with that dude from next door who keeps coming over to watch American Idol.
The Zubrick brothers were always too busy messing around playing Dungeons & Dragons to meet girls, which is why they were both virgins until their early 30's.

Roughhousing is a term used to describe aggressive sex, possibly S&M but not generally so organized as that, and definitely no costumes or whips. Making up after a rancorous quarrel can cause roughhousing, or sometimes just whiskey and hot weather. I think this happens most often in trailer parks.

Used in a sentence:
I'm sorry I can't meet you for brunch, but last night unexpectedly descended into some serious roughhousing between me and the old man, and I am plum beat.

Monkey Business
This is gay anal sex.

Used in a sentence:
Mitchell always meant to get married and have kids, but by the time he was old enough, he was really into monkey business.

Horseplay is no laughing matter. This term connotes anal rape.

Used in a sentence:
No horseplay.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A New Sheriff in Town

Join me in welcoming an old friend to the blogosphere. This shit is genius.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Return of the Beard

From today's Style section in the New York Times. This amused me, but I've been saying it for a while now. The backlash against metrosexual men was inevitable - no woman I know wants to date a man with smaller pores and better accessories.

For the record, I love dudes with beards. But only full beards. I fucking hate goatees. I was once strangely attracted to a moustachioed surfer, too.

Paul Bunyan, Modern-Day Sex Symbol

Published: March 23, 2006

LAST December John Martin sat in on a focus group for a trend-forecasting company at which young professionals were asked about their grooming habits. Mr. Martin found he had nothing useful to contribute. His shaving regimen involves the use of a razor about as frequently as the seasons change.

"Everyone else was chiming in about the products they use," said Mr. Martin, the advertising director for Vice, a lad magazine based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "I was totally mystified. I blanked."

Mr. Martin's idea of a style symbol, seriously, is Ulysses S. Grant, whose beard he came to admire after watching the 2003 Civil War-era drama "Cold Mountain." Two years ago, when he began experimenting with different beard styles, which he described as ranging from neat to burly to unkempt, his facial hair was an expression of individuality in a tide of metrosexual conformity. Now 10 of his 15 co-workers at Vice wear full, bushy beards. In that, they vie with the pro-facial-hair contingent of an editorial rival, Spin, where a rash of new beards has broken out.

"It's a sign of the times," Mr. Martin said. "People are into beards right now."

At hipster hangouts and within fashion circles, the bearded revolution that began with raffishly trimmed whiskers a year or more ago has evolved into full-fledged Benjamin Harrisons. At New York Fashion Week last month at least a half-dozen designers turned up with furry faces.

"This is some sort of reaction to men who look scrubbed, shaved, plucked and waxed," said the designer Bryan Bradley, who stepped onto the runway after his Tuleh presentation looking like a renegade from the John Bartlett show, at which more than half the models wore beards: untidy ones that scaled a spectrum from wiry to ratty to shabby to fully bushy.

"It's less 'little boy,' " Mr. Bradley said. "For a while men have looked too much like Boy Scouts going off to day camp."

On city streets, too, trends in scruff have reached new levels of unruliness, a backlash, some beard enthusiasts say, against the heightened grooming expectations that were unleashed with the rise of metrosexuality as a cultural trend. Men both straight and gay, it appears, want to feel rough and manly.

Other designers who appeared in scruffy beards during Fashion Week included Brian Kirkby of Boudicca, Nathan Jenden and Matthew Williamson. Santino Rice gave the look national exposure on "Project Runway" this season, with weekly variations. Among the models that Ralph Lauren cast in his men's show was a wildly bearded young man with long tresses, like Brad Pitt circa 2002.

And with their fully furry chins Ariel Foxman and Bruce Pask, the editor in chief and the style director, respectively, of Cargo magazine, the metrosexual manifesto, seem now to be endorsing a lumberjack ideal.

"It's a nice masculine aesthetic," said Robert Tagliapietra, who with his similarly bearded partner, Jeffrey Costello, designs a collection of pretty silk jersey dresses under the Costello Tagliapietra label. "We both like that aesthetic of New England cabins with antlers on the wall, plaid shirts and a beard."

Beyond the fashion world, any number of celebrities are exhibiting luxuriant facial hair, including George Clooney with a Hussein-like beard in "Syriana"; Heath Ledger in GQ, looking like Snoopy's sad cousin, Spike (the beagle with a skinny mustache who is always depressed); and Mel Gibson on a good day. At the New York premiere of "V for Vendetta" last week, Hugo Weaving appeared (with his co-star Natalie Portman, an adopter of last summer's iteration of the Mohawk) in the beard of the moment, grown for the stage production of "Hedda Gabler."John Allan, the owner of several clublike grooming salons in New York, reports seeing newly bearded customers, but not enough to warrant concerns for the health of his shaving business.

"It will be interesting to see over the next six to eight months what mainland America is going to do with it," Mr. Allan said. "For the past several years we've been stripping guys of their body hair. Maybe now it's time for the pendulum to swing the other way."

Whenever a countercultural trend becomes a mainstream one, there is a natural tendency to look for deeper meaning. Do beards that call to mind Charles Manson suggest dissatisfaction with "the system"? Are broody beards, like the dark and somber mood of the fall fashion collections, physical manifestations of a melancholia in the air? Are they a reflection of the stylistic impact on mainstream fashion of the subculture of gay men known as bears, who embrace natural body hair?

But such theories seem to have less relevance — and beards less shock value — than they once did.

"Style has separated itself from viewpoint," said Tim Harrington, the lead singer of the rock band Les Savy Fav, who is known for his full beard and balding head. "This is not like when beards were worn by hippies. Now you pick a style for aesthetic reasons as opposed to a viewpoint. I wonder if beards can have the oomph they once had when it feels like someone will ask you: 'Where did you get that beard? Is that beard from Dolce & Gabbana?' "

No survey ever conducted about women's attitudes toward beards, even those not underwritten by the Gillette Company, has indicated that more than 2 or 3 percent of women would describe a full beard as sexy. ("I hang out with those girls who are in that 2 or 3 percent," Mr. Martin, of Vice, said.)

Yet the return of the wild beard carries a certain erotic charge that has been missing from beards since the Furry Freak look of the 1970's, or at least those who grow them hope they do.

Andrew Deutsch, a designer of interactive Web videos, swears that having a beard has changed his life, giving him an air of confidence. "I met my current girlfriend a week after I started growing my beard in November," Mr. Deutsch said. Now he finds himself constantly touching and stroking the beard, as if it were a talisman. "It's like a security blanket on my face," he said.

That a full beard can suddenly look right — or, more accurately, not so awful — illustrates how quickly ideals of masculinity can change.

"You know, it's funny," said Lola Phonpadith, a public relations manager for the fashion company BCBG. "I've been talking about this with my friends for weeks. I'm kind of into guys with beards today, and I'm embarrassed to say that. But the pretty-boy look can only last for so long."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Checkered Vans

Checkered Vans! I got checkered Vans! And they have changed my life. Not in a conspicuous way, but in a way that is significant to me. Checkered Vans! Footwear of Spiccoli and innumberable stoned, detached surfer type California dudes. How unlike me, how very diametrically opposite. Which is why it works, really. Because who would expect me -- an if not openly neurotic person, at least one who is secretly so -- to be sporting footwear so clearly associated with laid back beach and skate park creatures? It just doesn't make sense.

And yet it does.

I've had a fear of sneakers for a really long time. Being more of a heels and/or sandals type of gal, I've always been wary of comfortable footwear, at least comfortable footwear for when you're not exerting yourself physically. (Emotionally and mentally is a different story -- I feel more at home and in control in three inch heels than in anything else, generally speaking.) I feel vulnerable in any sort of flat shoe. Bland, uninteresting, vaguely dykish. In high school I went out on a limb and bought some dark green suede Pumas and my (asshole) high school boyfriend made a disparaging remark about me in them. (Honestly I don't remember what it was or I would absolutely disclose it here.) But ever since then I've had a real fear and hesitation about wearing a sneaker.

And yet.

A few months ago I saw a girl wearing checkered Vans and I realized how fucking great they looked. And I kept them in the back of my head but waffled back and forth about whether I a) wanted to rock them or b) could rock them. And in the end, what do you know? I found a sweet ass pair. And they fit physically, but they also fit, um, what's the word? Psychically? Metaphysically? (ok, i'm not really sure that is an appropriate term.) At any rate, they just made sense. And now I run around town sporting my sweet ass Vans. And they attract compliments from young and old, male and female alike. My dad even told me he liked them. (I don't think my dad normally notices shit like that.)

Bottom line: checkered Vans have made me happy. Purchases *can* make you happy. (Selectively, of course.) What you wear says something about who you are. No doubt.

Where are your own personal checkered Vans? Do you own them? You should.