Thursday, February 26, 2009
"Mommy, put the wind away," he whispered, hugging me sleepily. I told him I had put the wind away, so he could relax now. He smiled and turned over, eyes already closed.
Now, in the hands of another, more gifted blogger, that tale could've been extended for a full post, and there would have been pictures and possibly poetry, and of course, ruminations on the Wonder of How Kids Think. I can honestly see it now, and it would have been a thing of beauty. Seriously.
You're here with me, however, and therefore, my first thought when he said this to me was, "Goddammit, why do I not have an effing band?" Because you see, people, if I had a band, then I would likely be hard at work on my new album. And maybe the album wouldn't have been coming together as well as we'd hoped, and the songs weren't flowing, or whatever, but then! After this touching moment, I'd have a flash of inspiration, and breathlessly rush to the recording studio, finding Tony, our bassist, and Jeff, our moody yet brilliant guitarist.
I'd tell them what happened, and together, we'd decide that "Put the Wind Away" would make a great song (sample lyric: "Don't tell me it's all gonna be okay/That's like trying to put the wind away..."). It would ultimately turn out to be the galvanizing force that pushed us to complete our album (which would, naturally, be called "Put the Wind Away"). I would craft an enigmatic album cover, fraught with Some Deeper Meaning, But Really, Pink Apples in Soft Focus, and "Put the Wind Away" would turn out to be THE break-up song of the year, and net us our first platinum record.
And then! I'd be making my rounds on the talk show circuit while the rest of the band glowered backstage, all cold there in my shadow with no sunlight on their faces and content to let me shine (for that's their way). David Letterman would ask me, "So, how did you come up with the name of your album?," and I'd throw my head back, laugh, and casually say, "Oh, Dave! It's the funniest story; you see, my son woke up in the middle of the night, and..." BECAUSE YOU ALL HAVE READ/SEEN INTERVIEWS WITH MUSICIANS JUST LIKE THAT.
Why?! Why do I not have a band? (Or, you know, any discernible musical talent?)
* * * * * * * *
Thank you all so much for your support and kind wishes when I was at Fashion Week; links to the rest of the posts appear in the BeautyHacks widget on the right of this page, but there is one post in particular I know a lot of you have been waiting for: My TIM GUNN INTERVIEW!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
At 11, I truly believed that the Gap was the ne plus ultra of fashion, and still remember the fresh oversized sweatshirt my aunt and uncle sent me that year, an oh-so-fetching shade of puce, dotted with images of brown autumn leaves and a mock turtleneck with a matching leaf motif. I wore these constantly, and very often--for reasons that are wholly unclear--with purple corduroys, which only served to enhance my already-questionable outfit.
At 13, I posed for my school picture, blithely unaware of the fact that my shirt-- a sheer taupe and black chiffon blouse with pastel floral embroidery-- was really meant to be worn with a matching tank top, and so it was that in my elementary school yearbook, there is a shot of me, grinning widely, oblivious to the fact that you can very clearly see what I was wearing underneath: A SPORTS BRA AND MY MOM'S OLD SLIP.
I was 15 when I was told a much more sophisticated friend that I'd read an article about Mariah Carey, and she'd spoken about her love of "Ver-sayce dresses." My friend looked at me strangely, and then gently broke the news that "Versace" did not, in fact, rhyme with "her lace."
What I'm trying to say is that my current love of fashion was not something that I was born with. (CLEARLY.) I didn't grow up inhaling back issues of Vogue magazine, or saving all my babysitting money for the newest neon bangles (if you MUST know, I spent it on Sweet Valley High books THERE I SAID IT). I really only began following fashion (and thereby ditching the tube socks and heinous leaf-covered sweatshirt) in my late teens.
I read up on fashion history, became hopelessly obsessed with a passel of designers and styles, studied various designers' viewpoints, learned THE CORRECT WAY TO PRONOUNCE THEIR NAMES, MY GOD and even briefly considered a future in fashion. I ended up taking the road more traveled (i.e., a corporate career), but even so, despite the fact that fashion is not my life or primary occupation, I do take an active interest in following the seasons' fashions and trends. I love the excitement of seeing what the next big looks are going to be, figuring out what trends I actually like (I'm sorry, but I will NEVER BE ABLE TO GET BEHIND LEGGINGS-AS-PANTS), and most of all, deciding how to adapt and incorporate them into my own personal style. I love couture, but my wardrobe is primarily from mid-tier locations. I am not above picking up a pair of cute t-straps from Payless, and I get unreasonably happy whenever Target does a new designer capsule collection. I LOVE fashion, but I'm not defined by it.
I mention all of this because I am truly honored and, well...humbled to have been chosen as BlogHer's representative at Fashion Week this year. I know there are many other bloggers who have been into fashion since birth, and others who likely own a lot more designer gear, but all the same, I think (and hope) that my fashion-related history--including my many missteps--will provide you guys with a view on this incredible event from someone with a different perspective. My first post addresses Fall 2009 trends, and my reviews of two shows I attended earlier this week (Michael Kors and Nanette Lepore). Next week, I'll be writing about a few more shows, and share my interviews with FREDERIC FEKKAI AND TIM GUNN ZOMG.
What those posts will NOT cover is the insane fashion world-related freakout I'm about to have, so without further ado:
Diane von Furstenberg and Andre Leon Talley!
Newest "member" of the Real Housewives of New York City, Kelly! HEIDI KLUM! Frederic Fekkai (and me)! Tim Gunn! I know. I KNOW. This week, I was also lucky enough to FINALLY meet Casey!
She was in town for another (equally incredible) event, and we had an amazing time together. We spoke about everything under the sun, but among other things, we discussed just how lucky we both feel that we are to have been given these amazing opportunities. I really am awed and excited by the experiences of the past week, and I hope I can do it justice when sharing it with you...while at the same time feeling just a teensy bit smug that I was somehow able to refrain from giving Tim Gunn a bear hug during our interview and shrieking "I LOVE YOUUUU!"
It's the little things, you know?
Friday, February 13, 2009
(WHERE DID HE EVEN GET THAT FROM? And perhaps more importantly, why did I compound the problem by photographing him with the lollipop?)
I've been mulling over how to handle things without making a Big Huge Deal out of it (which would totally just make him realize that he's holding all the cards), and then Fate brought the solution right to me. Perhaps T won't listen to me when it comes to food-related guidance...
But maybe he'll listen to this guy? Let's give it a shot with some oatmeal and blueberries...
Now all I need to do whenever I want him to eat a particular food is...don a felt cap, a paper Quaker Man mask and order him to do my bidding in a booming, jovial, vaguely Santa-like voice.
You're probably wondering how all this happened, right?
Well, I was recently contacted by Quaker to be a part of their "25 Bloggers, 25 Days" Program for a new anti-hunger initiative called Start with Substance. Their goal is simple, but inspiring: To donate 1 million bowls of oatmeal to people in need. There are 25 bloggers hosting this event over 25 days, and each of us is receiving a case of oatmeal to be donated to our local food banks (as well as discount coupons for Quaker Oats’ products to award to two commenters...I'll choose at random, and Quaker will send them directly to the winners). So, where do I (and the Quaker Man? And YOU) come in? Well, the one blogger with the most comments on their Quaker post will get to choose the hunger charity of their choice to receive $5000 from The Quaker Oats Company. If I win, I'd be donating the money to The Food Bank for New York City (which, by the way, has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator).
All you need to do is this: Go to Quaker's Facebook page and print the image of the Quaker Man. Take a photo/video of yourself/your family with him (do not do anything...unwholesome with his image, guys. RESPECT THE QUAKER MAN.), upload it to the Facebook page, and submit the link in the comments section here.
I know, I know--It does require effort. But this is an incredibly worthy cause, and people. If the sheer number of times I've been tagged for assorted memes lately is any indication, we are all spending a LOT of time on Facebook anyway. A LOT. So why not put just a few minutes of our time on there to good use?
I'm not normally hyper-competitive (except when I'm playing Taboo, that is), but I would really, really love to win this for The Food Bank for New York City, a charity I wholeheartedly--and regularly-- support.
We have 24 hours to get this done--photos must be uploaded and linked in the comments here before 9:00am CST on Saturday, February 14. Full rules are available here.
A huge thank you from me (and Quaker!) in advance if you choose to participate.
Come on, guys! Let's do this thing! *cue Rocky theme*
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Unfortunately, for Bearca, I actually took her seriously, and together, we embarked upon a new and Very Important Life Project called "write a rap about the iPhone's auto correct function entitled 'Duck This Shot,' and somehow get it produced and aired as a Digital Short on Saturday Night Live." Modest goals, you know? And so, it is with trepidation and excitement, I bring you our collaboration. And hey, if anyone wants to rap it for us on video and/or pass this along to Lorne Michaels, that would be super awesome.
Duck This Shot
~A Bearca-Metalia Joint
Oh, funky fresh iPhone, auto-correctin' when I type.
But the words you wanna use are so much hype.
Hard enough to type a message on your tiny-ass screen...
But when I'm done I read thru, and on your words I ain't keen.
Sometimes I really *need* to say "f*ck this sh!t."
But see, this really gets my iPhone in a snit.
Oh, pollyana iPhone, it thinks it knows a lot.
So it changes my dope words to "duck this shot."
I want to say "hell" much more often than he'll".
Yet you presume the latter always fits the bill.
And I doubt that's a problem that only I've got.
So, whatever, iPhone. Duck this shot.
"Duck this shot," by the way, is even WORSE.
It implies use of a gun! That's more ill than a curse.
I may be a hardcore rapper but on this I ain't silent.
Sorry, iPhone, I don't condone violence.
Even when I try to be clean, you go and do me wrong.
Why you play me like that, iPhone? My devotion is lifelong.
I type the word "fricking," you change it to "tricking."
Duck that shot man, I'm gonna go down kicking.
And who could forget about that time I went shopping?
Textin' my aunt about the stuff I'd just gotten.
But you "fixed" my (misspelled) "stuff." Oh. Em. Gee.
So my text to her read "I got some real good STD."
And what up, iPhone - why can't I type "yo"?
Always changin' it to "to," but rappers gotta flow.
If I can't use "yo," then that's just wack.
You're cramping my style, man - stay the hell back.
Don't even get me started on your "for" to "fir" switch.
Each time you pull that drama, I'm like, "son of a bitch!"
Insanity, I tell you, it's a real must see.
It's almost March! Who's typin' ‘bout Christmas trees?
"Don't" is another word that makes me wanna start a riot.
You always seem to think that I mean to say "diet."
Come ON now, iPhone, you're gonna make me cry.
All this talk of diets--wat'chu trying to imply?!
One final correction that I just can't dig,
Is when I misspell "which" and you change it to "Whig."
iPhone, you never even got my tacit consent!
You trippin' if you think that this is British Parliament!
But iPhone, please don't think that I'm bein' a hater.
I love you like a candy freak loves Now n' Laters.
You bring joy to the people from city to city.
I love you like octuplet mom loves little kiddies.
Monday, February 9, 2009
There’s always this weird week-long stretch amidst every
This means even MORE half-zipped, bedazzled Bebe velour hoodies with nothing underneath than unusual (WHYYYY??!!), frayed denim miniskirts with Uggs, and my personal “favorite," tunic-masquerading-as-dress-sans-pants-or-leggings-and-oh-my- hell-I-think-I-just-inadvertently-saw-that-woman’s-LadyTown.
Fake Spring Week commenced yesterday, and we decamped for the zoo immediately, apparently along with every other family in the tri-state area, all hyper-enthusiastically determined to SOAK UP THE SUN! AND FRESH AIR! AND ANIMALS LOOK A BABY GOAT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ISN'T THIS DELIGHTFUL.
The thing is, it’s still winter, so there wasn’t all that much going on in the way of frolicking wildlife. What the zoo lacked in warm weather animals, though, it made up for in…mud.
And seeing as I’m not immune to the seductive charms of Fake Spring Week, I ruined a pair of adorable new suede flats in said mud. They were only $16, but they were reduced from $98 (thank you, Banana Republic), so the pain of my amazing idiocy is very, very real.
My parents accompanied us, which was great for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that my dad was able to capture this picture.
As I mentioned on Flickr, I’m FULLY aware of the Speidi-like nature of this shot (“Tra la la! Here we are, casually swinging this here child, AS EXPRESSLY CONVEYED TO NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE SEPARATE PHOTO AGENCIES WITH WHOM WE HAVE WRITTEN CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE ZOO without a caaaare in the world!”). But I assure you, if nothing else, my horrible outfit (cropped coat! long tunic sweater! NO! Just…no.) tells you this was in no way planned.
THIS one, I’ll admit, was.
T enjoyed the animals immensely, and Lo enjoyed the rare sensation of direct sunlight.
I enjoyed watching them take it all in, of course, but I also enjoyed repeatedly singing “I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat! Take a good hard look at the motherf*cking boat!” under my breath while roaming throughout the zoo. Oh, what’s that? You HAVEN’T yet seen the genius Digital Short from this week’s SNL? It works on so many levels. (Mainly, the ones relating to boats, and being on them, but whatever.)
And while we’re on the subject, can we discuss whether or not my secret crush on Andy Samberg makes me a cougar? (Do I even want to know the answer?)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I’ve been called for jury duty! What should I wear?
Oh imaginary reader existing only in my mind. I stressed about this, truly. I was all, “do I wear a suit? Skinny cords with a tunic? Business Casual? WHAT?” My jury summons, however, specifically told me not to wear see-through garments, so I figured that jeans—NICE ones—were a safe bet. After all, I reasoned, who wants to be the overdressed douche in a suit, which just screams “I think I’m better than this! And THAT’S precisely why I will get selected for a jury out of sheer spite!” As it turned out, jeans were perfect. I realized that when I got on line with a number of Overdressed Suit Douches Checking their Watches with Over-exaggerated Air of Indignation, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, The Mullet People, Largely Clad in Floral Sweatsuits. While I won’t say that I blended in, I was neither overdressed nor underdressed.
What should I bring with me?
Well, that depends. If you’re me: A MacBook (free wifi in the courthouse!), change for the vending machines, an iPhone (smuggled in in my wallet and buried deep in my bag—cameraphones aren't allowed in most courthouses), and a light yet entertaining book (Little Earthquakes, in case you were curious...PERFECT for this type of extended sitting around). If you’re my courthouse compadres: Soft-core porn. Apparently, there is this author named “Zane” who is QUITE popular with my fellow jurors. After seeing, like, 23 people reading Zane-authored books, I sneaked a peek inside one, and I kind of put two and two together.
What happens once you’ve been signed in? Do you get called for a case right away?
HA! There is a hell of a lot of sitting around. Some people are lucky, and get chosen as potential jurors for a trial right away, but my first day of jury duty was last Monday, and that entire first day, I literally sat in the room from 9-4, until I was released for the day. That’s why bringing a laptop (or, you know, porn, as the case may be) is key. Seeing as I had no Zane books, this was pretty much what I look liked all during most of my time there:
Well, the people who work there are nice, right?
The security people and the bailiffs are lovely. You know who isn’t, though? The guy charged with overseeing the potential jurors in the main room. Look, I’m SURE this guy deals with people all day telling him just how important they are and why they need to get off jury duty nownownow. THAT SAID? It is his job, and if it sucks so much, choose a different line of work. No one needs to hear you say “I run this room. Unless you’re bleeding profusely, don’t even approach my desk to talk to me." All that does is make me hate you and make up a sad little life for you, one where you go home every night to a shrewish woman named Mildred who wordlessly tosses you a half-frozen Salisbury steak TV dinner as she shuffles off in her drab, shapeless housecoat to watch Wheel of Fortune and you go down to the basement to play with your model train set, the only source of joy in your life. YOU MADE ME THINK THIS, ASSHOLE.
What happens if you get chosen for a case?
If you’re me, you’re probably kind of overjoyed, seeing as it’s your second day of sitting around doing nothing. You bid an almost tearful adieu to your new jury duty friend, and hustle on over to join the rest of the jury…panel? Is that the proper term? Whatever, let’s just say that it is. You then proceed to a very Law & Order-looking courtroom with around 40 other prospective jurors, chosen at random. It then gets even MORE Law &Order-y, what with the “all rise! Honorable Judge Blah Blah presiding!” Judge Blah Blah had awesome, AWESOME Blagojevich-like hair.
Did you want to pet Judge Blah Blah's hair? Remember, you're under oath.
HELL, yeah. Not made of steel, here.
So what was your case about?
I have no idea whether or not I can really talk about the case per se, but…hmm. Well, remember that Notorious B.I.G. song? The one about how you have to either sling crack rock or have a wicked jump shot? THIS CASE WAS NOT ABOUT WICKED JUMP SHOTS WINK WINK NOD NOD MEANINGFUL LOOK. And it was most certainly not about alleged wicked jump shots in the vicinity of a school. Allegedly involving an undercover cop. No sirree. ALLEGEDLY.
Wait! But how do they actually select the jurors from your group?
Sixteen people are selected at random from the group to go sit in the jury box, and voir dire gets underway, whereby the judge and attorneys for both sides commenced interviewing these prospective jurors.
I’ve been told that in some states/municipalities, the remaining juror pool is not permitted to witness the voir dire of the selected potential jurors, but we got to stick around. Which is awesome, because “voir dire” is Latin for “let the cavalcade of hilarious excuses commence.”
Excuses, you say? What kind of excuses?
- Prejudiced against police because of parking ticket.
- Distrust of police because brother played music too loud, and cops therefore deported him (I’M PRETTY SURE THERE WAS MORE TO IT THAN THAT.)
- Pentacostal faith forbids judging people. (Any Pentacostals out there? Is that true? I’m finding conflicting information online.)
- Difficulty speaking/understanding English (Judge: How long have you lived here? Man: Um, 27 years. Judge: Sit yourself back down, sir.)
- The statement “I am not very smart and don’t like listening to people talk a lot.”
- Assorted racist statements, guaranteed to be offensive to everyone.
- Acute ass pain. Let me repeat that for you: ACUTE ASS PAIN. Someone actually stood up and said this, people.
Would you have tried to get off of serving as part of the jury?
We were all sworn in at the start, and as much as I would have rolled my eyes incessantly had I been picked, I would have been a good, honest (potential) juror. I would, however, have made my feelings on the crack penalties in this country (i.e., unnecessarily harsh) clearly known to both sides during voir dire. Consequently, even if I had been selected to be one of the 32 panelists interviewed over the course of Monday and Wednesday, I don’t know if I would have made the cut. In the end, as much as I whined about jury duty, after seeing the process, I wouldn't have minded being a part of it.
Oh, you think you’re pretty special, don’t you?
Yes, but only in comparison to the guy who was smoking outside the courthouse while pushing a baby carriage with an infant inside. Did I mention the mini-boom box he had blasting from atop the carriage? Because it was, you know, there.
Congratulations, people! You now know everything I know about jury duty!