Category Archives: Blah Blah Blah

Uteruses Before Duderuses: Happy Galentine’s Day!

Standard

To the delight and/or horror of people around the globe, February 14 is upon us.

Treat yo' self!

It’s like Lillith Fair minus the angst — plus fritatas. – Leslie Knope

This day can only mean one of two things:

You’re in a relationship and you are celebrating in high style with your snugglebum or…you’re sitting at home on the couch bemoaning your “single” status with Chinese takeout, a bottle of booze and a cardboard heart of half-eaten chocolates and shame.

Or, like me, you could take a tip from Leslie Knope and have a Galentine’s Day with a lady friend.

Treat yo’ self!

 

Chick-Rock: 90s Style

Standard

The 90s alternative music scene was the place to be if you were a girl with vocal chops, guitar-shredding skills and a bad ass attitude. A high angst quotient didn’t hurt either. 

And what a decade for fashion.

It was like a 1960s-era Las Vegas lounge club exploded and managed to pull some bits of the 40s and 70s into the blast. I still remember the silver holographic spandex tank top I bought along with the white pleather jacket with enough (faux) lambs wool trim for a small Tibetian village.

Baggy jeans and one-size-too-small tees? Lipstick so marroon your lips were perma-stained? FLANNEL?  Oh…and let’s not forget the mini-skirts and knee-high tights!  I so belonged in a grrrrl band (or on the Sunset Strip — the jury is still out on that).

Fur fur fur fur fur. Hell, it was the 90s.

See that furry thing that Kate Moss is sporting? I owned something similar and it made my 17 year-old heart feel quite fashionable. Looking back on it today, I probably looked more like a runaway prostitute than a fashion model.

Let it also be known that the 80s fashion trends are swiftly turning their eye to the grungy 90s. Prepare yourself for jean shorts with tights, matte lipstick galore, distressed leather jackets, combat boots with dresses and lots and lots of P-L-A-I-D. Most of this is already a thing but the South is slow to respond. I guess we like to think it over before we jump onto the fashion train.

The one thing I will not miss are mom jeans. No matter how tiny your waist or tight your tush, no one looks good in mom jeans, but apparently they are popular in Buenos Aires.

Between seeing what is emmerging this spring on the runway, hearing that The Breeders are touring again, and watching Clueless this weekend (a young Paul Rudd — I mean hello!) I have become fondly reminiscent about one of my favorite things from that decade: the music.

So to give you a peek inside my boy-crazed, music-fueled, and hormonal teenage brain, here are some of my favorite chick-led bands from the 90s.

Cause like…girl power is bitchin’ and stuff!

Dear Year Thirty-Three…

Standard

“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” – George Harrison

Dear Year Thirty-Three,

I have a few requests, thoughts and ideas for you based on the previous thirty-two years of my life.

Request #1: I like all the time we have spent together. I really do. However, I would prefer it if we could just slow down and relax together. Take a breather. Have a chat and some coffee. Be comfortable with silence. Breathe.

Request #2: Being on the “other” side of thirty, I would like it if the gray hair at my temples, the pre-wrinkles around my eyes and the increasing inability to stay up past midnight could be viewed as signs of growth and not aging. I think that’s more on my shoulders than yours, though.

Request #3: Thirty-three is considered a Master Number in Numerology. How about this year we focus on growing toward some of the aspects of the number (compassion, courage and healing) and begin to let go of some of the more banal aspects of life. Again…pretty sure this one is on me.

I know that we take a lot out of each other and it can be draining, so I wanted to give you a few kudos for what you have brought into my life.

Thank You #1: Thank you for simply allowing me to be. I realize that’s more of a thank you to my parents for conceiving me, but still…thanks. Even with the heartaches and headaches of life, I still believe that the world is a marvelous place full of beauty and love. I hope that I will always look at life that way.

Thank You #2: Thank you for bringing hundreds of wonderful people into my life. Some I knew only for a short time while others I have known literally since birth. Everyone has brought something to me, whether it was happiness, sorrow or a combination of the two. I have had conversations that have expanded my way of thinking. I have made memories that will never cease to make me laugh and smile. I have gained and I have lost a fair number of people but I wouldn’t consider my life to be authentic without having a little darkness to balance the light.

Thank You #3: Thank you for never letting me feel “settled”. Thank you for always keeping my mind moving onto something new and different. Thank you for introducing change into my life as a way to keep my roots from getting so deep that I am incapable of movement — even if for a short time some of that momentum seems to take me backward. Thank you for showing me how to let go of things that have served me well but are no longer necessary for the expansion of my consciousness and my potential.

I anticipate the following year and plan to do great and marvelous things on your behalf. I hope that you look at the time that you have given me and overlook my shortcomings, failures and missteps.  These are not setbacks. They are just fuel for the next 33 years.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

E

P.S. Herb Alpert’s “Rise” was the number one song on my birthday back in 1979. This must have been where I got my love of music because I have always thought this song was awesome (and not just because The Notorious B.I.G. sampled it).

Dragon*Con 2012: For The Secret Nerd In All Of Us

Standard
USS Enterprise Dog

I wonder if he can go to warp speed?

Whether you’re a closet Cosplayer or live to dress up like your favorite fictional character — or even think the whole thing is a nerdy waste of time — this video shot at this year’s Dragon*Con in Atlanta is a pretty epic show of fandom force.

I really get into Halloween and love costume parties so I have a feeling I would fit right in at one of these things. I have mad love for people who have imagination and a sense of wonder when it comes to life and these lads and ladies prove that dressing up isn’t just for the kiddos.

Props to the people who dressed up like Jareth The Goblin King and Sarah from Labyrinth.

Hearing a remix of “Real Hero” by College doesn’t hurt things, either.

Also…Boba Fett in a red Borat bathing suit @4:02.

What else could you ask for?

Holy 1960s Television Apocalypse, Batman!

Standard
Is that your battarang or are you just happy to see me?

“We found that just by the way we stood, affected women dramatically, and if you look at our show, you’ll see that we always stood with our legs open our fists on hips and our bat bulges forward, which had a profound effect on women!” – Burt Ward

I found a few of my favorite clips from perhaps the most ridiculously awesome show ever to ever grace American television: Batman.

 

I watched the hell out of it when I was a kid (thank heavens for syndication) and for some odd reason I always wanted to be Robin. So much to the point that my mom made me a yellow cape with a large “R” sewn onto it.

Don’t ask me why I chose his lame ass as a role model. Maybe I just wanted to wear tiny green shorts and a black mask on my face.

“You shake a pretty mean cape, Batman!”

If he were my partner I’d have to kill him with my battarang.

What…there’s no such thing as shark repellent?

And le’ts not forget this little gem: http://holysmokesbatman.com/

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

Standard

Ray Bradbury

“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They’re Caeser’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” [Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451]

While I can’t say I’ve read all of Bradbury’s books or short stories, the one I can vouch for is Fahrenheit 451.

It was one of those “required” books that I read because I had to, but that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it. I think perhaps the only book I was ever made to read for school that I did not enjoy at all was Animal Farm. Somehow it just didn’t work for me and I loathed even picking it up (and this coming from the girl who actually enjoyed reading The Good Earth).

The idea of talking animals just rubbed me raw. I would have preferred them to be human. I did like Charlotte’s Web, though, and read it several times. I guess I just prefer dancing pigs to talking porcine revolutionaries.

It didn’t help much that no one explained to me that it was a freaking treatise on the evils of Stalinism and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. I just thought it was a barn yard full of talking animals. Way to go, public education!

Upon hearing of Bradbury’s death I decided to read 451 again but I’ll have to buy another copy. I lent mine to someone in college and it never found it’s way back to me. I honestly can’t even remember who I gave it to but hopefully it still resides on a bookshelf and is repeatedly taken down, read lovingly and dog-eared to death.

Books are the stuff of miracles. They transport you to a different place and time and give you an experience that you could not otherwise have. They are one of my first loves and it took me years to be able to actually write in and mark my books. I felt like I was betraying them! They kept me entertained like no fancy device ever could and the way the smelled and felt — especially the older ones — was like holding a bit of history in my hands. They are perfect in every way. I love them.

Fahrenheit 451

“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”
“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.” [Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451]

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury

Where The Wild Things Mourn: Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)

Standard
Maurice Sendak

. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions. Fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives. They continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things. – Maurice Sendak

I heard about Maurice Sendak‘s passing today while listening to NPR’s Morning Edition.

I have to say that it broke a little piece of my heart.

A tiny piece that still believes I’m a seven year-old sitting in the floor of the library at Webster Elementary listening to Mrs. Gonce reading Where The Wild Things Are  for about the fortieth time.

I was a pretty voracious reader and could easily spend hours lying on my bed and devouring anything I could get my hands on.

Almost every weekend I would either check-out books from the school library, or if we were out on summer break, I would go to the public library and get books for the summer reading program.

Between playing with my sisters, tromping through the woods with neighborhood kids and the lure of a brand new Nintendo, I still found time to read.

Call me a dork. I don’t mind.

To me, reading was this sort of sacred time when I was able to be alone with my thoughts and absorb these magical words on a page that turned into movies in my head.

I became the characters and felt their emotions, embarking on their journeys of discovery and awakening, and learning more about myself in the process.

Besides Shell Silverstein, Madeline L’Engle, Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis, Sendak was one of the most-read authors from my childhood.

I appreciated these writers for not feeding me the simplified drivel that fills most children’s books. They gave me difficult words, uncomfortable concepts and disturbing mental images — and I loved it all.

Where The Wild Things Are

If there’s anything I’m proud of in my work–it’s not that I draw better; there’s so many better graphic artists than me–or that I write better, no. It’s–and I’m not saying I know the truth, because what the hell is that? But what I got from Ruth and Dave, a kind of fierce honesty, to not let the kid down, to not let the kid get punished, to not suffer the child to be dealt with in a boring, simpering, crushing-of-the-spirit kind of way. – Maurice Sendak

Sendak’s illustrations from Wild Things are something that will always stick with me.

I would stare at them for hours, taking note of the colors and lines and the playful-yet-terrifying personalities of the monsters.

I liked the idea that Max could get so close to these grotesque things but still remain strong enough in his own mind to avoid being eaten. He was able to assert his own will (unlike a in his real life) and still be loved.

When Spike Jonze began work on his movie adaptation of Wild Things it was almost more than I could stand. I would scour the internet for photos and interviews, patiently waiting for the day when I would get to see one of my favorite childhood memories come to life.

I was not disappointed.

Between the amazing puppetry, the production design and the music (Arcade Fire and Karen O. from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs) I have a new and more adult understanding of what the book was really about.

It’s amazing how beautifully the original 10 sentences were interpreted into a full-length movie.

It was much darker than I anticipated but then again that’s really what is at the heart of the book.

At an early age, Sendak became acquainted with death and loss, as his extended family was killed during the Holocaust.

His brother Jack, however, understood Sendak’s creative imagination and helped him retain his own sense of self, even as his parents longed for him to be different.

As Sendak well knew, children feel the same emotions as adults.

They feel the same love and joy.

They hurt the same and feel betrayal, loss and despair, just like their parents.

“I said anything I wanted because I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood. I don’t believe that there’s a demarcation. ‘Oh you mustn’t tell them that. You mustn’t tell them that.’ You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it’s true. If it’s true you tell them.”

Mr. Sendak, you will be forever cherished by me and countless generations who demand truth, imagination and a certain darkness in their bedtime stories.

Thank you for believing that kids deserve more from their literature than a freshly-scrubbed hero who always does well in school, says “thank you” to his mother and father, and happily eats his broccoli before going to bed without a fight.

That’s an adult’s idea of what a “good” child should do.

That’s an adult giving a moral treatise to an eight year-old and it’s simply not true or real.

Children want to see themselves in their books.

They want honesty.

They want to know that life isn’t all ice cream and puppy dogs and rainbows but that we’re all in it together — and we’ll all survive — even with a few scars and bruises to serve as trophies of experience.

That is truth.

I Want All The (Jon) Hamm

Standard
Creepy Vintage Ham Ad

Clearly, she does want all the ham. Perhaps with some fava beans and a nice Chianti (slurp slurp slurp).

First, I have to share this hilarious bit of standup from Patton Oswalt’s Finest Hour album. Otherwise this entire post will not be near as funny and awesome.

When I hear of the word “ham” my mind silmutaneously flitters between hearing comedian Oswalt’s voice in my head telling his “I Want All The Ham” joke, and drool-inducing visions of  Jon Hamm, the actor.

Know Your Ham(m)

There are vast differences between ham (America's favorite lunch meat) and Jon Hamm (America's favorite hunk-o-meat).

If you’ve been living under a rock Hamm plays Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men.

Incidentally, he is also hilariously funny.

And now, to the joke (click the image to listen at SoundCloud):

Patton Oswalt - Finest Hour

Patton Oswalt - Finest Hour Album

And now, on to the Hammier portion of this post.

There’s nothing better than a good-looking man who also doesn’t really care that he’s good-looking (except maybe a good-looking man who doesn’t care that he’s good-looking and is also naturally blessed in the Ha-Ha Department).

Cute-Nonchalant-Dudes-With-Humor, meet your leader, Jon Hamm.

SNL – Vincent Price’s Halloween Special

SNL – Darlique and Barney

 Jon Hamm’s School of Eyebrow Acting

Emotions with Jon Hamm
(This isn’t necessarily the work of JH, but it is an interview on Conan about a fantastically awesome Tumblr dedicated to his incredibly ridiculous faces.)

JH was most recently seen in Bridesmaids, playing the uncouth and stereotypical FWB (Friend With Benefits) of Kristen Wiig’s character. Since this clip is generally NSFW (Not Safe For Work) — man I’m full of acronyms today — I will post the link so you can watch the fun when you’re not at work .

Just to give you a hint if you haven’t seen it, think of him as a wealthy playboy pelvic-thrusting Jack Rabbit with a less than attractive O-Face and absolutely no clue as to what a woman wants.

See below.

Jon Hamm - Bridesmaids

OH...no.

And finally, you can have ham and Hamm in one convenient package.

Introducing Jon Hamm’s John Ham.

The Vintage Creepy Ham Ad Girl would love it.

Slurp slurp slurp.

Don Henley – The Boy of Summer

Standard
Ringo Starr gets no love.

"He's not even the best drummer in The Beatles!" - John Lennon when asked whether or not he believed Ringo Starr to be the best drummer in the world.

Many people argue that artists embarking on solo careers after the demise of their band don’t have the swagger they once did when they were part of the unit (see: Mick Jagger, Billy Corgan, Art Garfunkel, Debbie Harry, Gene Simmons and Ringo Starr).

It’s okay, Ringo…we know you tried.

While I agree that there was something clearly special about the talents that once-combined to form the original band, sometimes a solo artist can thrive on their own (see: Michael Jackson, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins [both from Genesis], Robert Plant, Gwen Stefani, George Michael, Neil Young and oh yeah…the rest of The Beatles).

Also see Don Henley, former lead singer and drummer for the 1970s supergroup, The Eagles.

As American bands go, no other group out-sold them during the entire bell-bottomed decade. Even though much of the band’s success was built upon his partnership with co-founding member Glenn Frey, Henley has enough accolades of his own to qualify as a solo success.

I grew up listening to The Eagles (thanks to my parents’ extensive record collection) and can pretty much sing every song they made. They broke up in 1980, though, so my memories of them all pre-date my existence on Earth (minus a few months).

Don Henley, however, was my bridge between the past and the present.

I always liked The Eagles for their songwriting style and lyrics. They wrote more of a story than a song and I could very easily make up videos in my head when I listened to their music (which is pretty much what I do for every song in the world).

The same goes for Henley.

Boys of Summer stands out in my mind as one of the 80s classics thanks to some well-written lyrics (brown skin shining in the sun, Deadhead stickers on Cadillacs and Wayfarers).

The images conveyed are written all over every 1980s movie in history and made me yearn to be older, cooler and yes, boobier, even at scant five years-old.

Those  were the days before we had any idea of the dangers of obtaining that healthy glow and Malibu Barbie was a best-seller (minus the melanoma).

The days when yuppies — the 80s’ cultural response to hippies — were flaunting their new-found wealth, prep school educations and fancy cars. And don’t forget Republican wunderkind Alex P. Keaton’s interpretive dance inspired by the stock market crash of 1929.

The days when sunglasses ceased to be just a form of eye protection and became an iconic piece of fashion history, AKA, the Wayfarer, AKA, Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise is bringing the cool back.

"She told me I could make more money in one night than I'd make all year. Enough to pay for my father's car. She told me she'd be my girlfriend. She told me a lot of things. I believed them all." - Joel Goodsen

In honor of the impending summer (in some parts of the US it seems we’re there already), I’m posting three of my favorite Don Henley songs from his solo-career-solidifying second album, Building the Perfect Beast.

These songs make me wanna throw on some Keds, put the top down and take a drive.

Now who’s lending me their convertible (and some sun screen)?

————————————————-

And finally, the only original video I could find.

What’s up, Donny? Don’t like the YouTube?

Zou Bisou Bisou: My Ode To The New Mrs. Draper

Standard
The New Mr. and Mrs. Draper

“Everyone’s going to go home from this and they’re going to have sex.” - Megan on Don's surprise birthday party

Ah, Mad Men. You never cease to amaze me.

Last night’s season premiere (a full two hours!) was everything I wanted and more. Unlike AMC’s other runaway hit, “The Walking Dead,” — a personal favorite — I don’t need much to fulfill my desires (no zombies, no guns and no heart-attack inducing surprises). All I need is really good set design, some culturally-relevant references circa 1966, and a wise-cracking Roger Sterling.

Oh…and the new Mrs. Draper.

Megan Draper is the quintessential 60s woman but with a semi-European twist — she’s French Canadian. This gives her the leg-up (pun totally intended) on the competition and a considerable advantage on the liberated female front. She’s fashionable, beautiful, smart, and has a heart the size of Texas The Northwest Territories.

Compared to Betty, she’s like…far out, man. While there’s no denying that Betty is lovely to look at and charming eye candy at country clubs and social soirees, she lacks the nurturing and empathy that Megan instinctively possesses. She is selfish and self-obsessed, childish and impulsive. Megan teaches the Draper children to sing “Alouette” while Betty would prefer to lock them in their rooms until they reach puberty. Megan is bright and cheerful and optimistic while Betty is clearly unhappy and the victim of life itself. Megan works and has ambitions and goals completely unrelated to motherhood and suburban living. Betty just wants a new house so she can have a fresh start and continue living the life of a pampered princess. Megan brings out a more calm and more relaxed side of Don whereas Betty’s constant bitterness only encouraged the same in her husband. Even Sally Draper would admittedly like to punch her in the face.

My favorite juxtaposition of the two women is from the finale of season four (“Tomorrowland”) where Megan accompanies Don to California to look after the children. While dining out Sally spills a milkshake all over the table while arguing with her brother Bobby. Don and the kids, who are so used to Betty flying off the hook at every mishap, are taken aback by Megan’s calm approach to a typical situation: keep calm and carry on (you’d think she were British).

And to put the proverbial nail in the coffin of my support for Team Megan, I present to you in poorly-recorded video straight off the television: Megan Draper’s coquettish little version of “Zou Bisou Bisou” (I love this song). Megan is playful, fun and a total sex kitten, but not so offensive that she alienates herself from the wives and girlfriends of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce men (except for Roger’s young wife, Jane, who is equally attractive but a heartless gold digger). Even Peggy seemed intrigued by her little number.

Don Draper may not like surprises but I sure do!

Work that mini-dress, girl (Betty would be appalled).

——————————————-

Interested in the history of “Zou Bisou Bisou”? There’s a short yet informative article over at The Daily Beast.

If you want to see the original video and lyrics en Français (mon Dieu!) click here.