Monday, August 3, 2009

Examining Manhattan Design

For those of you who weren't aware, in the little snippets of time that I seem to find in a day once every...oh, I don't know...two or three weeks, I've been writing for a website called Examiner.com. I was named the "Manhattan Architecture & Design Examiner." It's really fun actually, and I wish I had more time for it. Plus the more views I get, the more likely I'll be to actually make like 10 bucks or so. Maybe more someday...
Anyway, check out my articles, one is right here. And spread it around to your friends so more people open it. And of course, please send me ideas to write about so that hopefully I can start to post even more!

(Can you tell by my lack of blogging that I really don't have time for this or...blogging...for that matter? But hey, I'm trying!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Wrestler

I finally got around to seeing the Wrestler the other night and have some post-viewing summations:

1. Mickey Rourke is not human for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Real human hair would break and fall out from that much bleach
- His face looks like a combination between a once very attractive young man and an aging lion
- His body looks like the guys from 300 but supercharged
- Even with all of these superhuman characteristics, he can still act. This cannot be a normal mortal.

2. Marissa Tomei is hot. I guess I never thought of her as such. My Cousin Vinny or that famous Seinfeld episode never convinced me. This role did.

3. Pro-wrestling must be a very sad existence if life is anything like Randy the Ram’s.

4. When you go to a deli, it really doesn’t matter if the package of potato salad you ordered comes to 0.48 lb when you ordered a half-pound. Deal with it.

5. Second-hand clothing stores are entirely overlooked as great gift spots.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Truth about NYC Parking...Revealed

A few months ago, I was spending a lovely weekend in Queens (per usual) when I decided to take an afternoon excursion to Continental Ave. to make a quick return. I parked, fed the Muni Meter ticket machine and placed the parking tag in my window. I figured an hour would be enough - I really was only returning something.

Perhaps I should have factored in that my return was at Sephora.

Which of course means that my hour was equivalent to five minutes.

Naturally, I looked at my phone after what I thought could have been no longer than 20 minutes, and realized I was 10 minutes past my meter's expiration. Grabbing my bag which contained more items purchased than returned, I ran to the street only to find a traffic-enforcement-man writing a ticket for the Volvo. I ran up to him and pleaded, but of course, he had already picked up the pen and started writing on his ticket pad, which is apparently an equivalent material to the stone slabs of the 10 Commandments. The traffic violation can NOT be erased nor discarded once written into that sacred pad, how could I have not realized that?

As I was huffing and puffing to no avail, a man stopped at the nearby traffic light saw my dilemma and said, "Hey, just wait until someone comes back to their car and ask if you can have their ticket." Confused, I just stared. He continued, "If you turn in a parking tag that expires after the time on your ticket, they won't debate it."

Genius.

Even the officer had no response to this man's brilliant idea - he merely shrugged and slapped the ticket on my windshield.

Well, I took the stranger's advice and waited outside my car for a few seconds when I noticed the lights go on and the engine start up in a car two in front of mine. I approached it to find a woman and daughter, both with their windows open. Trying not to alarm them, I asked the woman if I could have her parking tag and briefly explained the situation. "As long as I don't have to be involved, sure, here you go," she said as she handed me the tag.

Wielding her tag, which expired an hour later than the time written on the ticket the officer had written me, I had a plan. A few days later, I sent in the traffic ticket along with the parking tag, proving that my meter had NOT yet expired and my ticket had been wrongfully administered. For any non-New Yorkers reading this who might not get it: the parking tags printed at the meter do NOT show any information other than the time of expiry, the date and the meter number. So all parking tags printed by one meter will read the same, the only variable being the hour of expiry, depending on how much time was purchased.

Along with the ticket and tag taken from anonymous woman and daughter, I sent a letter to the NYC parking enforcement office explaining that the officer had made a mistake and must have misread my parking tag.

A few weeks later, I received a letter from the City of New York Parking Adjudication Office saying that they had "reviewed my request" and were offering me a lower fine, $26.00 rather than $35 or $40 (can't remember which, but their offer was about $10 less than the original ticket.) The letter said that if I agreed to this concession, I should send in a check along with the letter, but if I did not accept it and felt I deserved further concessions, I should "do nothing." I would be contacted within the next four to six weeks about whether I would need to appear at traffic court or my ticket would be revoked.

So I did nothing.

Well, sure enough, a few weeks later I received a letter from the same office which said the following:

"This is a determination following a hearing-by-mail on the parking summons listed above. Respondent's general denial of the facts in the summons is supported by documentary evidence. The violation is dismissed. Total amount due = 0."

Victory!

So what's the moral of the story? If you live in New York City or often drive into it's five boroughs, don't be afraid of city parking. And if you do get a ticket and think you have a chance, fight it. And don't give up. Imagine, I could have conceded to the reduced fine and paid $26, fearing that I might have to appear in court or perhaps even pay a higher fine. Instead, I did nothing. Literally. And look what happened. All thanks to the anonymous man and his drive-by advice and the anonymous woman's willingness to part with a worthless little piece of paper that came out of a Muni Meter.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ed2010 Beautifies

So I went to this Ed2010 Beauty Editors event in the city a few weeks ago and a story surfaced on the site, sent to me by dear Ms. Marano with an e-mail saying, "You're like, so famous." Kidding, she was, of course. But, still kinda cute that I was up there with these other lovely gals.

I don't at all remember saying the second quote the reporter has me down for - perhaps I just erased that moment from my memory. Anyway, next time all your journos and writer folk are browsing the site's famous "Whisper Jobs," pop over to the Events page and see my mug :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

NIN+JA 2009 = Rock God Central

I can't believe almost four months have passed since I made this post. Four months ago I found out that Trent may be making his last tour for...who knows how long...and a few months after that I found out that a big reason was probably because of his new fiance.

Biatch.

OK - I didn't mean that. She's probably a lovely girl - surely she wouldn't have landed Trent otherwise. I was just bitter that I may not see them in concert again...indefinitely.

But I don't think that will be the case. I'm sure that at some point, maybe 5 years from now, maybe 10, Trent will come back to the stage, happily married, maybe with a child or two in tow, and blow us all away like he always does.

But I digress. It was about four months ago that I found out about the NIN/JA show, and last night I saw it. Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction: a reunion tour 18 years in the making. It was back in 1991 that the two acts were together for the first Lollapalooza concert, a festival I attended last year to see NIN (who else) headline. While NIN has stayed on top of the music game since that first fest in Chi-Town, Perry Farrell's band has not fared as well, for whatever reason. Last year, the two old friends decided to bring back the early 90's magic that brought to life what is now one of the biggest annual music festivals in the world. And what a power lineup the two of them made. They rocked Jones Beach like few others could and every fan (old and young, polished and scrubby) was in their grungy glory. Last NIN show for a while or not, this was the definition of a concert worth the price of admission.

One thing I realized after seeing the show is that Trent knows his fans better than they know themselves. He declared a break not only because he needs one, but because we do. As much as I loved seeing him and the rest of NIN perform last night for the umpteenth time, it became obvious after seeing Jane's Addiction follow them, that it's time for the NIN fans to let Trent go for a while...to find some new music to get obsessed over.

As you may all know, I'm already doing that. My recent (albeit short-lived) passionate obsession with YYY was one of my obsessive spurt. The Foals was another. And then there's TV on the Radio. All worthwhile obsessive spurts though. And ones that put a refreshing spin on my musical tastes. It became painfully obvious at last night's show that not every NIN fan has moved onto new musical discoveries. In fact, it seemed that lots of them haven't moved on from 1991 at all.

Seeing Jane's Addiction take the stage after Trent gave me that sort of enlightened appreciation for all things NOT Nine Inch Nails. While Perry Farrell's energy is almost the polar opposite of Trent's (this NYTimes reviewer pegged it when she called him a "fidgety ringleader), it was still as attractive to me or perhaps even more so than Trent's. It's time for us to give Trent a chance to enjoy life - even if it is with a woman that is not me.

But really - his long history of anger, depression, doubt and angst gave us (or me anyway) years of definition via music. Listening to the band perform Terrible Lie last night, I was transported back to seventh grade, my bedroom, a cassette player Pretty Hate Machine on tape, me listening to it secretly, feeling rebellious as I fell more and more in love with the darkness and intrigue that is Nine Inch Nails. It sounds cheesy but NIN came to define much of my adolescence, and obviously resonates with many people in the same way. But we have all grown up, and so has NIN. Every time I see any concert I'm reminded more and more of how important music is in the world, in life. It would be a crime to only really know one band.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pizza Hints

These are the kinds of "hints" I get from a certain someone periodically throughout each day. But I must admit, I often give in since they are too enticing not to try. What do you think of this recipe?

I've made pizza a few times - the dough is the hardest part to get right. In fact, every time I've made it, I've done it almost exactly like this recipe states - yet it always comes out soft and thick as opposed to thin and crispy. I'll give this one a try and see how it goes.

Any pizza makers out there have any advice?

Work and Make-Up-dates

Hi all. Sorry I've been MIA lately. Work and makeup and boyfriend and life in general seem to have taken over my ability to write a blog lately. I'm trying to be better now.

I have so many updates I can't even wrap my head around where to start. Right now I'm trying to prepare stories for boutique DESIGN and get ready for the next two days of being in the city on appointments, seminars, etc. So I guess for starters, before I drive myself mad thinking about everything, check out this picture of Nia from the photo shoot we did yesterday with Kent.

Isn't she gorgeous? We did several different looks on her. A few beauty looks, one pretty crazy/dramatic look and then a fashion shot outside. Tell me what you think.

Later I will give you something more juicy, I promise. But for now, just stare at Nia...she won't mind. Well, her picture won't, anyway.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rain, Rain...F*** OFF

If only life in a rain-drenched city really looked like this. Black, white and dreamy.



Unfortunately, it looks more like this.






NOT glamourous - don't let it fool you.

I AM GOING CRAZY NEW YORK! STOP RAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please?

P.S. How come when I lived in London this didn't seem to bother me a bit? Hmm, maybe it was the afternoon tea and cute London buses. They sure put a smile on a face, rain or shine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

As of Late...

...I have supremely sucked at blogging.

I hereby resolve to be better. Starting tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

M.E.X.I.C.O.C.U.

These past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Between R going to L.A., me going to Mexico, getting boutique DESIGN and DREAMbooks produced and out of the office, embarking on the production of Evteks News and Fabrics & Furnishings International's Summer issue and readying myself mentally and physically for Vegas next week - I guess I've had a lot on the brain. Perhaps why I haven't much been blogging, and am now talking like Yoda.

I may be slowly losing it folks.

But - the bright side is that between all of that work, work and more work, I managed to fit in a few fun-filled activities that I'd love to gush about.

First off, there's Mexico. I haven't had much time to fill you in on my trip and what went down in the country of swine flu (which is totally being blown out of proportion, btw). For a brief rundown of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, check out my blog on boutique DESIGN. But here, I'll tell you a little more of the fun details that BD readers may or may not be interested in. The first day at the resort, we toured the entire property from the all-pool villas to the residences that not only have their own private pools and hot tubs, but sit right on the beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea - which I do believe could not possibly be a more perfect shade of aquamarine. That night we dined at Saffron, the resort's authentic Thai restaurant. (Banyan Tree is a Thai brand with lots of properties dotting Asia and Europe, but the Mexico spot is the first North American opening.) The food - everything from green curry to roasted veggies to duck to sesame seed ice cream - was delicious, and the ambiance (an outdoor deck which juts out over the water of the resorts man-made canals) even better. It was good preparation for the next day which would be full of activity.

On Thursday, we trekked out to Coba, where we climbed the only still-climbable Mayan temple in the Riviera Maya's collection of ruins. Riding bikes through the ancient city, ziplining through the trees, canoeing through lakes and swimming in a cenote worked up quite an appetite for us journos, and sure enough it was satiated by a traditional, Mayan-style meal complete with fresh tortillas and ice-cold cervezas. Yum. Then we had to go back to the hotel and only two hours later...eat again. That was rough. But we managed - perhaps only because we weren't fed a seven-course meal like the night prior. Thank god.

The next day was Tulum - another ancient Mayan city; this one used as a trading port in the old days, and also as a giant calendar to predict the seasons and time of year by charting the solstices. Perched right on the beach, the city is as beautiful as it is haunting. I could only imagine what it must have been like thousands of years ago, living only by the sun and hoping for a plethora of goods to come your way through the port - how primitively exciting! That afternoon, after two days of trekking through ruins, it was time to be treated to an intense relaxation session, i.e. a three-hour Thai massage. How awful, right? Of course it was fabulous and of course the three hours seemed like one. I could use another round right now.

The last day, we had some time to relax, after an eco-tour through the canals of the Mayakoba development where I and the rest of the crew got to plant our very own trees! That's right, I now own a Button-wood Mangroves in the Riviera Maya...or at least that's what the Banyan Tree team has lead me to believe. After a day of lounging, we ventured to Playa del Carmen, where we happened upon the best taco bus ever. This woman sure knew how to whip up a fried jalapeno. We capped off the trip with a dinner at a traditional Mayan restaurant and were ready to head home.

As much as the adventure of the journey had me going, I was anxious to get back to NYC, especially to a certain Apt. 5K, where I was warmly welcomed with a kiss and a rose. (Note to self: think of this moment whenEVER feeling down about...well...anything.)

P.S. When I started writing this I ambitiously thought I'd cover Mexico and the Kills concert - hence the title, M.E.X.I.C.O.C.U., but I'm saving that for the next round.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yes, I still love him

And of course just as quickly as he disappoints me, he makes me proud with his bad ass moves to uphold his musical integrity.

Thus my undying love for Trent remains - despite his HORRIBLE decision to marry another.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You Got if from Your Mama

If you have curly hair - the kind you want to rip out of your scalp more often than is healthy because it simply won't cooperate - then perhaps you've heard of Ouidad. If not, you need to since it's the curly girl's hair fixer-upper.

And it's likely that if this plagues you, it's on your Mama too. So treat her and you to the Ouidad Mother’s Day duo discount: Bring mom into the New York City salon between May 3rd - 17th and receive a 30% discount on her services.

Were my Mama a New Yorker, perhaps I'd bring her in myself - but instead I will be visiting her in good 'ole C-Town to take care of her post-surgery for the weekend :( She has to get her finger joint replaced and will have the dreaded club cast on for four days so I'll be there to play Ms. Nurse Daughter...at least for a day or two. We won't be able to do our usual hike in the park, but it will still be nice to spend time at home.

What will you be doing for Mommy?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unrequited Love

I thought this was the saddest moment of my life, but alas, 'twas only preparation for the REAL saddest moment of my life.

My lifelong mission for Trent is officially over.

Cry for me.

Touch Tocca (yeah, that's repetitive)

Wish I could afford some of these gorgeous Italian pieces, but maybe you can. If so, send me pics. of what you bought - I'd love to see your new treasures and covet them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Testing 1, 2

The fabulously talented NYC photographer, Kent Miller and I got together for a test photo shoot on Wednesday night. While he's still working on the photos - here's a preview for you makeup lovers and/or photographers out there.

It helped of course the Elizabeth is such a natural beauty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zipping Through Me-He-Co

On list of things to do before I die, a few were checked off just on my one trip to Mexico last week (hopefully contracting a pandemic-worthy disease will NOT be one of those check marks, that's still TBA.)

But - one was zip-lining and yes - it is now CHECKED.

More to come on the trip I swear.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paradise

It's where I am right now.



Granted it's a work thing, but the Banyan Tree Mayakoba is an oasis on the Riviera Maya that no one has to butter me up to give a good write up about.

It just deserves one.

More to come...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Listen to This

Good, original, inspired music. It's not easy to find among a barrage of Britney Spears radio hits (which I shamelessly love and turn up at top volume no matter what, where or when), sappy emo twits, headbanging dimwits and rappers who care more about telling you how much money they have than laying down a good beat.

But it IS out there, if you look hard enough. Even if this guy is not your style - he's one of those left who understands the value of good composition, originality and heart. It's all in there - each track a reminder that it CAN be done. Good music is attainable - it's real - even post 1984.

Give it a listen. You may love it, you may hate it - but after hearing this album, written and produced all from the confines of a 1 BR Queens apartment by one man, I doubt you'll argue that he has talent.

And he's my boyfriend, so yeah, that helps ;)

Outrage Defined

Allow me to be slightly preachy for a moment: If you thought that most Muslim countries were liberated and that they scoff at American assistance, I'm sorry, but you are sadly mistaken.

Even a decidedly liberal rag (which happens to be my go-to) reports on the atrocities of certain extremist Muslims. Women in Afghanastan are actually facing the legality of marital rape in addition to making it law that they "make themselves up" if and whenver their husband desires it. Here's an expert from the NYT article:

"One provision makes it illegal for a woman to resist her husband’s sexual advances. A second provision requires a husband’s permission for a woman to work outside the home or go to school. And a third makes it illegal for a woman to refuse to “make herself up” or “dress up” if that is what her husband wants."


It is things like this that make me realize how fortunate we women are to live in America. Can you imagine having to ASK your hubby if you can go to school - and if for some ridiculous reason he says no, you have no choice but to obey? In my book this qualifies as an outrage.

Global Warming from Stoves - Not so crazy?

According to the NYT - primitive cooking from villages in third world countries could actually be contributing to global warming.

That's a hell of a lot of campfires.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

just another tax complainer

Am I the only one whose life seems to end and then begin again every year after April 15th? The fact that I have been doing my own taxes since I was 16 could have something to do with this. I thank my dad for that. He was always of the mindset that if I was old enough for a responsibility, I'd need to know and understand all the subsequent responsibilities it carried. Well at least that's how I look back on it.

When it was time to learn how to drive, Dad took me in his '88 Ford Ranger pickup truck with no power steering, no power breaks, a clutch that was most certainly on its way out, and a bucket seat that couldn't come close enough to the pedals for my little leggies. Yet everyday, we would take the truck to my famous "corner" until I could conquer it. What's to be "conquered" at a corner? Nothing really - unless it's a T-stop, at the top of a hill, and you're just learning to drive. For those of you who don't drive stick, stop signs atop hills are a budding driver's nightmare as it's likely you have yet to get the hang of the clutch and will inevitably stall. Stall I did. Over and over and over again. But then one day - miraculously - I got it. My right foot seemed to magically press on the gas at exactly the right pressure and speed to complement my left foot coming off the clutch. I had found the touch. And after that, I'd never stall again. Pretty much the most difficult vehicle on which to learn the art of motor vehicle operations, the pickup prepared me for anything. To this day, I wouldn't be afraid to get behind the wheel of a beat-up jalopy, slap a few pillows under my bum and hit the road.

In addition to my old car mastery, I also had to learn how to change a flat tire, put oil in my car, check fluids - you know, all those tasks that are actually quite simple yet seem to baffle many girls who've driven for decades.

Thus was the case (and in many ways, still is) with my taxes. I was 16 and started to work at the local grocery store, and soon after, the local restaurant. At year end when my W-2's came to the mailbox, I would not be sending them off to some H&R Block employee, nor would Dad be opening them, examining them and sending the appropriate tax return into the IRS without me ever seeing a Schedule A, B, or C. No, he would sit with me and make sure I understood how to fill out the form - how it works and why.

I'm actually pretty grateful he did this. There's a sense of control one feels when they know they can handle taxes - documents that are more intimidating than they are complex.

And yet every year - I do something I am markedly good at - I procrastinate. And of course every year I wait until no more than one week prior to the 15th to actually use my tax-filling-out skills. And this year...was the worst.

Had I the chance to reverse time, I would go back to January 1st - gather everything I had and do my taxes then. Alas, I cannot and instead spent days under unhealthy amounts of stress and buried under unruly heaps of documents.

Luckily, it's over - and again, the year begins.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

tonight the IRS made me a bad girlfriend

My adoring and fantastic boyfriend just called to tell me he was leaving his sister's art opening in Williamsburg. (I have been cozy at my apartment in Westchester all night attempting to work, watching Lost and squeezing about a million key limes to get a half of cup of lime juice for a pie I will be making tomorrow.) I - thinking this would be the goodnight conversation - was all ready to snuggle up in bed and say goodnight to my dear when he says the following,

Dan: "I have a crazy idea."
Me: "Oh yeah, what's that?"
Dan: "I was thinking I'd hope on the L and catch a train from Grand Central up to see you."
Me: (in complete shock and feeling a slight panic set in) "Are you serious?"
Dan: "Yup."
Me: "Are you sure?"
Dan: "Yup."
Me: "You're sure you want to do this?"
Dan: "Yes."
Me: (now thinking simultaneously, 'Omigod I have been squeezing limes all night thinking I'd have all day tomorrow to do my taxes' and 'Omigod I can't say no, of course I want to see him,' and 'Omigod the IRS is going to come after me because if he comes over I'm literally NOT doing my taxes,' and 'Omigod he is the best boyfriend ever how can I tell him no?!') "Ummm...OK."
Dan: "Do you want me to?"
Me: "Well of course I want you to."

Long pause here. Me thinking all of those things again and again and again.

Me: "I have a lot of stuff to do tomorrow."
Dan: "Oh, you do? Like what?"
Me: "My taxes. I have to do them tomorrow - that's it. It's tomorrow or nothing."
Dan: "Ok, so I won't come."
Me: (proceeding to have crying-fest breakdown over how awful I feel) "But I want you to come!"

You can probably predict how the rest of this went, but the highlights are Dan saying that he wanted to surprise me and had even PACKED his things to come up here, and me bawling hysterically about how I ruined it and he'll never do anything like this again for me, to which he lovingly responded that of course he would and it's not my fault and to not feel bad and every other kind thing he could say that further made me melt.

If my boyfriend decides I'm a heartless bitch and never tries to surprise me with a trip from Brooklyn or Queens all the way up to Westchester - sans car, no less - I am BLAMING THE IRS!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I. Want. This.


No time for real posting here, unfortunately.

Probably won't have time to for weeks, reason being I am inundated with obscene amounts of fabrics, wallcoverings, bathroom furnishings and other interior goodies. No, they're not actually around me, but pictures of them have been flooding my inbox as we create our annual DREAMbook product guide. When I get the chance, I'll share with you some of my favorite finds.

Here's one. It's a pillow, from (I think) my new favorite textile designer, Louise Body. Ho hum, this one small item is out of my pillow budget, which currently is about -$3.00.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Dose of BeautyNews


Check out the April edition of BeautyNewsNYC and you'll see some articles from myself and friends.

One of mine is on the cover so you'll see it here.

Happy beautifying :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NINJA



If you hadn't yet heard, Nine Inch Nails is going on tour this summer with Jane's Addiction; the two together making for the ultimate 90s rock collabo - or so I'm told.

The truth is, I don't really know Jane's Addiction. At all. It's awful that I'm so Trent-obsessed, yet I'm unfamiliar with anything Perry Farrell other than "Jane Says." And yet I find that the two are often paralleled (not compared, but put together, so to speak), perhaps because of their Lollapalooza connection. Farrell founded the show back in the early 90s and Trent played the first one. The two have had a connection that's only grown since then and respect each other greatly. But somehow I never took to JA - not sure why, I just never became a fan. It's one of those things that someone like myself has no excuse for in intellectual music convos, and I've had other such strange aversions within the musical realm. I remember growing up and becoming a massive Tori Amos fan alongside friends who also loved her. But those friends equally loved Ani DiFranco. I had no idea who she was. I do now - no doubt - but at the time I thought, "Who's that, and why does she keep getting lumped in with my Tori?" If you were talking about Tori AND Ani then you obviously were not as big a fan as I was nor did you truly appreciate her genius.

Maybe it's an only-child-ism that forced me to rule out the rest of the "group." It was never this thing AND that thing for me, it was always JUST one; NIN being an example of that. Trent was enough - there was room for no other.

It's funny how we grow out of such patterns. Nowadays, I can't imagine putting one or two bands on a pedestal so high that no one else could begin to touch their greatness. Quite the opposite - I tend to find a new band every month to obsess over; almost as much as I did Tori and Trent back in seventh grade.

But then again, those two still have their pedestals for me and always will. Maybe that means I haven't changed at all - or maybe I have, but SOME things never do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Call for Sweet Products. Please?


But before I get to all that other stuff I've said I would blog about - I must tell anyone who might catch a glimpse of this that I am on the hunt for products. Very cool products. Products that can be placed in boutique hotels. Or spas. Or restaurants and nightclubs. (I.e. I'm not looking for your favorite sneakers - we're talking furnishings people.) Specifically products in the following categories: textiles, wallcoverings, bathroom, flooring and bedding.

If anything comes to mind - you know, that really awesome marble floor you saw in that office building you had that luncheon at last week, the super slick sink you saw at the bathroom of the new club you hit up last week - after the luncheon of course, the sheets in the window of Crate & Barrel (yes they have a hospitality division now) which you walked be the morning after the club, slightly hungover but coherent enough to think, "Hey, those are cool sheets."

Anything at all, send it my way and I will do the investigative work. It may end up in our annual product guide, DREAMbook and I'll owe you. Thanks y'all.

Shameful

That is what my recent lack of blog posts is. Just shameful.

As I read the blogging triumphs of my friends, particularly a one Miss Isms and another Chelsea Gwynne, I am driven to utter embarrassment at my complete neglect for my own blog. I'm sorry dear, I haven't forgotten about you - really. Let's give us another shot, eh?

Alright, I shouldn't be soooo hard on myself, and considering the upcoming tidal-wave sized barrage of work that has begun to crash over me and practically drown me before I've even had a chance to meagerly try a breast stroke - the blog slacking will likely get worse.

BUT, I must remain optimistic and in so doing, here is a list of topics I plan to blog to you all about in the coming days:

- Tartuffe (yes people still perform that play)
- Auditioning when you're not an actor but sort of are at heart
- Gommorah - not the one from the bible that begins with Sodom, the movie version
- Layer Cake, round 2 (still don't get it)
- NINJA - as in Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction. Yes.
- Dangerously bold lipstick

And perhaps some other topics that cross my mind...we shall see where the wandering takes us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Oh Baby Baby"

It is official. This is Brit's brand.

It's not just her favorite phrase to coo over pop-drenched drum beats and synthesized vocals. It's not only the key phrase of many of her biggest hits.

It is her identity.

It's somewhat sad to think one of our generation's biggest pop sensations can be pared down to a phrase that is so simple and syrupy it hurts: "Oh Baby, Baby." (Mind you, this is a very specifically-sung version of a surely popular lyric. For the purpose of this stream of consciousness of mine, disregard any connection you make with real music and this lyric.)

Perhaps you'd like examples? Surely.

Baby One More Time: "OH BABY BABY, how was I supposed to know?"

OR, also from that first classic:

"OH BABY BABY, I shouldn't have let you go."

And another?

Oops I Did it Again: "Oops I did it again. I played with your heart. Got lost in the game OH BABY BABY, oops you think I'm in love..."

Sure, I got more.

I'm a Slave 4 U: "OH BABY, Don't you wanna, dance upon me?" (OK, fine that one's missing a "baby," but I'm counting it!)

And of course...

If U Seek Amy: "OH BABY BABY have you seen Amy tonight?"

Is this all mindless? Yes. But mindless-ness as it relates to Britney is mindless-ness I like ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why I Love My Boyfriend

Because I wake up to e-mails like this:



And of course for many many other reasons.

<3

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You're on my Radar

I'm too tired now. But I'll give you a taste:


The Brit blog soon to come.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fade Into You

I was in the aisle in Stop & Shop yesterday talking to the boyf - we were discussing music - particularly the new Neko Case album that Rebecca let me burn for him since he heard one of her songs at a play reading we went to and fell in love with it. That topic led us to Mazzy Star, since Neko reminds us of her. I mentioned Fade Into You as her best and biggest hit. Well, my darling didn't remember how it went and shockingly, I could barely remember any lyrics other than the chorus line. One of my all time favorite songs, and I couldn't drum up the lyrics. Of course I had to rectify that by google-ing them immediately. In honor of this generational classic ballad, here they are. Cue in nostalgia...


I want to hold the hand inside you
I want to take a breath that's true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth

You live your life
You go in shadows
You'll come apart and you'll go black
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew

A stranger's light comes on slowly
A stranger's heart without a home
You put your hands into your head
And then smiles cover your heart

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew
I think it's strange you never knew

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tenant Hell


Last Saturday, my dearest Samantha was moving out of our lovely apartment in the legendary Van Tassel apartment building in Sleepy Hollow that for two years now, I have fondly called home. This happened to be a day where I had no less than 86,094 things to do. Essentially a normal Saturday. One of these things I committed myself to - in addition to and during the moving of course - was baking a banana bread for my dearest Daniel. Amid rushing home from the gym, writing, and helping Sam move, I concocted my version of the Hodgson Mills bread with three times the bananas, extra almonds and...well I can't give it all away now, can I?

I was feeling pretty good about my accomplishments for the day as I poured the deliciously goopy batter into the pan and popped it in a freshly warmed oven. I jumped on to the next task: "Sam, give me a box!" I said, as I raced through the apartment on Superwoman fumes. I grabbed the largest one there was and we started our exit down the three flights of stairs. (You might think that next I'm going say that I fell or dropped the box or something equally painful, but just wait.)

As we were leaving the apartment, behind the massive box I managed to muster up the strength to ask Sam if she had her key. "Yes," she replied, as I locked the door behind me, ready to return in a few short moments to a perfectly cooked banana bread. Dan would be so proud of my multi-tasking - which so efficiently involved the cooking of the bread.

After descending the three flights and dropping the box at the curb, it came time to go back upstairs. And that's when the madness ensued...

Kelly: (calmly) "Can I have the key, I need to go take the bread out of the oven."
Sam: (calmly) "The door's propped."
Kelly: (plainly) "No it's not."
Sam: (still calm) "Yes it is, unless you un-propped it just now."
Kelly: (a tad nervous) "It's not propped, I un-propped it. Can I have the key?"
Sam: (quite baffled) "What key?"
Kelly: (tension and frustration quickly surfacing) "The key, you said you had the key."
Sam: (waving car key in my face, tension and fear now undeniable) "Yeah, the CAR key!"
Kelly: "No, the HOUSE key! You said you had it!" (DUH!)
Sam: "I don't have the HOUSE key! I have the CAR key!" (CRAP!)
Kelly: "Why the f**k would I care about your stupid car key?!" (now in a complete screaming panic while jumping up and down)
Sam: "I don't know! I thought you were being polite!" (the all-too-nice-and-innocent Sam that you cannot possibly be mad at)
Kelly: "F********************K!" (now both jumping up and down. The scene is straight out of I Love Lucy. Guess who's Lucy)

The events that happened next involved: me running to the office of course to find no one there on a Saturday, as usual; me running to find our trusty upstairs neighbor, Paul, and attacking him for his phone to retrieve the maintenance emergency number; Sam doing at least two laps around the entire block to find someone, anyone, to help, including the on-the-corner-man whose name escapes me; Sam running into several street-side bodegas looking for - I'm not sure what, really; and us discovering that our neighbor is actually a fireman. When he saw our crisis he got on the phone with a friend and we overheard, "Should I go get the axe?"

This is all happening a mere half an hour before the NEW roommate is set to move in. I suddenly have a 12-second fantasy of her walking up the stairs, suitcase in hand, move-in clothes on, ready for a new start, only to see a somewhat-hot fireman axeing down our front door. I think she would have turned around.

We got through to the emergency on-call man who should be on the property at all times. I told him we needed to be let in. Now. The oven is on. No time to waste. I hear him on the phone saying to someone else - not me - (insert ridiculously stereotypical Bronx accent), "I gotta go, there's gonna be a fi-ah!" Since I couldn't discern his words and he didn't realize I was still on the phone as he spouted complaints to his company, I decided to call him back to be sure he was on his way. He answered rudely, yelling, "YEAH! I'm comin', I'm comin', Jesus Christ!" He arrived in a huff about 15 minutes later, only to yell at us for "Ruin-in' his lunch wit his girlfriend," which he had "just sat down to," and now had wasted "25 bucks." He left more angry than he came. Sorry pal, but this IS your job.

Luckily the new roomie managed to miss all of this.

Sam rushed inside and immediately pulled the bread out of the oven.

Perhaps not surprisingly - considering mine and Sam's tendency to create mini-crises over which to panic - the bread was cooked to perfection. That night, it was consumed by the Geiger family, who knew not a thing about the near-catastrophe surrounding it's baking.

Self B-Day Present


No that is not me wearing these super-hot pants. And surely the pair I bought is at least 3 sizes larger than the one painted on this leggy model. BUT - I bought them nonetheless. They look pretty fly.

And I like them.

Happy Birthday to me!

I deserve a self-b-day present, no?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coming Soon...

...guest blogger.

On my blog.

Get excited.

As Promised


I know it was a while ago now that I promised a follow-up review to my initial YYY It's Blitz! impressions. Apologies - being on deadline at BD and trying to plan some semblance of a birthday didn't allow me much time for blogging. But I am here.

After listening to It's Blitz! I dunno...maybe 10 times at this point...I think I can sum up the album pretty succinctly, or at least attempt to. Here goes:

In this album - the band's third, complete studio record - the YYYs are noticeably more positive in their message. The positivity errs on the side of poppy, sometimes too closely. The angst is mostly gone. Perhaps this is a nice change for the YYYs - I can only imagine what the recording process must be like when all your band members are either angry, depressed or battling serious anxiety. But is it good for us? The loyal fans who are expecting that emotionally-charged and passionate-but-catchy sound?

The answer is both yes and no. No, for obvious reasons. We're expecting something. And we're not getting it - exactly. But can we really expect a band like YYYs not to push themselves, not to experiment? If that's what we want, we are closing our minds to the possibility that uncharted waters can be good. And luckily with It's Blitz! that is the case. Which brings me to the "yes" part. Yes it's good for us because the YYYs manage to do something new and different and do it well. The dance-vibe that the band has only touched on in the past has been mastered in new songs like Heads Will Roll and Dull Life. Even Zero makes you want to move. It's good indie rock which, in my opinion, we don't see done well often enough.

While the music's fervor is considerably less stormy, it is still charged - this time with a more get-up-and-dance affectation. Still, there are refrains within certain songs that hit that nerve - the nerve you want hit but can't quite describe how it happens. The chorus in Hysteric - though reminiscent of a Jerry Maguire line, how cliche - undeniably hits that nerve, particularly if you've got someone to relate it to.

Lucky us who do.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Love.

I want.



Maybs for my bday I shall gift them to myself :)

NO, it's not because the boyf has them - I just like them! OK?!

alright maybe his new pair made me jealous...

:(

Friday, February 27, 2009

Smitten Kitten


Our dream at boutique DESIGN has finally come true. You know, the one about cats! Maybe I haven't talked much about it - but now the cat's outta the...oh god, now I'm just getting cheesy. I think I'm overtired. ANYway, we've finally found reason to publish a web article about our editor-in-chief's favorite topic: CATS!

The reason? Well, we have a fun little weekly DREAMbook newsletter about product design. At the bottom we always put a little sort of "treat for distraction" like a game or a funny photo. Last week we used a picture of the cutest kitten ever (guess whose) and asked for submissions of kittens whose looks could challenge. The response was stunning. Many designers and other industry folks sent in their submissions and lead to DREAMbook's aCATemy awards.

Have fun and read our superlatives.

Embarrassing

"So at one point I said that I didn't believe in the Holocaust. Well, I changed my mind. Maybe it happened. Will that make you like me?" - Dick Williamson

I'm sorry - but this is just ridiculous. This guy denies the Holocaust ever happened - no concentration camps, no gas chambers, it was all a big, blown-out farce. And then realizes that perhaps people won't like him for that. Perhaps even Catholics, whom he intends to lead, will think he's a dick. So he re-negs. And gets rewarded with the revocation of his excommunication from the church. BUT, of course, in his "statement," he never says he was wrong or that it DID actually happen:

"I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologize."


i.e. I'm sorry if what I said was insulting, but if you are or were, in fact, insulted - that's your fault.

This does not make me think happy thoughts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spreading the Love

My dear and distant friend Chelsea (aka Chelsea Gwynne in the blogosphere) has woken me up with quite the compliment on her blog this morning - now this afternoon...wow where'd that morning go? She passed along a gift of blogging recognition to me and a few other of her fave bloggers and I couldn't be more honored as her blog is in my mind one of the best around. So now I will pass along the love to some of my own favorites - though I must say my list is not as personal as Chelsea's - most of those I follow are not run by dear friends, though some certainly are. The badge and the note:

"These blog are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight more bloggers who must choose eight more bloggers and include this cleverly written text in the body of their award."

And now some of my loves:

Chelsea Gwynne - (but of course!) for having the most reflective but also refreshing thoughts on an almost daily basis. Miss you girl!

Etre, Faire!
- for writing and reflection that is both optimistic and intellectual. You MUST write more, my dearest Hannah.

A Spoonful O' ISMS - for a smart sarcasm and appreciation for the best borough unlike any other.

Carpetbagger - for always keeping me abreast on the movies of the day with wit and analysis that almost always matches mine.

HotelChatter
- because I don't know where I'd be career-wise without your hospitality industry snooping and investigative/gossip reporting on the hippest hotels out there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Take a Listen


You know I can't divulge the cool secret of how to get the whole album of course (well, unless you're my friend and you ask me nicely...which everyone who reads this is my friend so basically if you want it, I'll send you the link.)

But in the meantime, with a simple click you can listen to Zero - the first single released from It's Blitz! - the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new album out in April. (See below post.) In my mind this isn't actually the best track on the record, but it's the single they put out - so give it a go and let me know what you think.

yeaH. YeaH. YEAH!

It's been leaked. And I've got it.



(Must give a thank you to RG for the hook up.)

It's Blitz! the name of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album excitedly proclaims. I shall have to update you further once I've listened to the full album more than once, but here are my initial thoughts:

The whole thing sounds much softer to me than what I'd imagined and have come to expect from the YYYs. While this softness pays more homage to Karen O's clean, always fresh pipes, it also leaves something to be desired; at least for a YYY fan used to more edge. I can appreciate the haunting sort of vibe that the slower, toned-down ballad-esque songs have to offer, but I'm a fan of the raw, grittiness that I've come to define YYY by.

I shouldn't get too critical - there is some rockin' killer stuff here - in particular, on tracks two (Heads Will Roll) and five (Dull Life). Dull Life starts out slow like it is going to be a downer, and then suddenly the drums kick in and the heavy guitar and suddenly you have a signature YYY-make-you-want-to-jump-around-swing-your-hair track. Karen repeatedly laments, "It's a dull life," but this song is far from that and so is her proclamation that it is. It slows down for a refrain that sets up for the perfect re-build and subsequent breakdown. They've remembered that their followers expect such song construction from YYY. It's what they're all about and this song nails it.

Heads Will Roll is hot. Immediately you know it's a dancer. And not just because Karen says, "dance till you're dead" within in the first 10 seconds, but because the synth immediately lets you know. It's got a bit of late '80s, early '90s dance music feel, but that's fine by me. In fact, I got that feel from a lot of the dance-y tracks on It's Blitz! It seems like the bass could be turned up on some of these, and even the tempo picked up a bit - but perhaps finishing sound quality checks will be made for the official album. Or perhaps this is just how they want it.

The sexiest and also saddest is a track called Runaway. It's almost orchestral in its use of instruments - though I'm pretty sure they've got the standard stuff in the studio. (But who knows these days with sound machines...) There's a lot of "Ooooh ooooh ooohs" in this one, but in no way does it seem unnatural or because there was need for filler. "All along/Not that strong/Without these open arms/Run, run, run away/Lost, lost, lost my mind," it sings.

It's Blitz! seems more coiffured than their two previous records. It's an absolute departure from their typical style - which perhaps is testament to the YYYs' trust in their fans to follow them wherever in the music world they choose to go next. You won't find any Art Star-screaming on this record, though you will hear Karen's sexily distinguished shrieks, which seem to be more polished these days. The album doesn't have anything quite on par with Gold Lion or Black Tongue - but those will be hard for the trio to ever top, in my opinion.

What I do know for sure is this: I can't F-ing WAIT for the tour. Will be stalking their myspace page hourly until those details surface.

Check. Me. Out.


OK, check out Michael and Rebecca too...I guess...I mean...I GUESS they're the stars of the show...

:(

Haha, just kidding - I don't mind being behind the makeup brush and out of the camera at all. Did some hot looks for RG - she's got pics up on her Facebook. I'll post some when I get the bigger files. In the meantime, just read the BD blog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And We're Live, Folks!



(What a terrible still it has landed on, ah well.)

So...I've received confirmation that my application for The Best Job in the World has been accepted! What does this mean? Well - I'm not sure. Perhaps nothing. BUT - the more people like you view it and rate it, the more likely it will be seen by the higher-ups over there, right? I'm not sure, but I can only hope.

What am I talking about anyway? I know I've been sort of elusive here. I guess I was trying to get the damn thing done and never bothered talking about what it was. OK, so here goes...

About a month and a half or so ago, I came across an AP article in the NYTimes about something being called, "The Best Job in the World." Intrigued of course, I read it. I learned quickly that the tourism board of Queensland, Australia, was looking for the perfect person to basically be their resident pseudo-journalist for six months. In reality, the job is more like Queensland's face of PR than its face of journalism. They want someone to live on one of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for six months, experiencing everything from swimming through the coral to hiking the terrain to bonding with the locals. In return for partaking in these seemingly-fabulous adventures, the person will blog weekly via video and other media. The person will be paid a whopping $100,000 to do this and live in a lush 3-bedroom house starting in July.

It seemed too good to be true. Perhaps it is. But I wasn't willing to let it slip by me without at least giving it a shot. So I got my act together and with the help of a certain Red-head-itor, shot a movie of myself, describing why I think I'm the best gal for the gig. I only had 60 seconds to work with. That's a lot harder than people may realize. The resulting one-minute film was something somewhat amateur, but also honest and heartfelt. I hope the reviewers feel that, anyway.

As someone who has traveled to very distant lands and found myself relishing almost every minute of every trek, whether alone or with friends, for work or for pleasure, I couldn't imagine a better six months, nor a better person to talk about really living in a place. When I lived in London, I was one of the few folks in my group who made a concerted effort to be-friend REAL English folks, even though I was surrounded by dozens of Americans who were much easier to be-friend than the reluctant and suspicious foreigners. When I went to Como, Italy, I stayed in a hotel about an hour from my work destination - because even though I was there for work, I wanted to take the opportunity to truly experience the culture of the place, even down to the daily bus commute across the country-side. When I was in Belgium, I made sure one of our work contacts took me out for an authentic Belgian beer and meal, and sure enough he took me to a place I would have never found on my own. I could keep going, but I think the point has been made: I can't underestimate the importance of allowing oneself to understand and appreciate culture on a very personal level. This is why I think putting me in a foreign place and expecting me to convey to the world why it is worthy of a visit or even a life, would be a rewarding choice both for the employer's choosing this winner and myself.

But...here's the catch: lots of people also heard about this opportunity. I mean, lots. When the Times article was published in the middle of January, 200,000 people had already applied. Today was the deadline. How many have sent in their pitches? Who knows. I wouldn't doubt that it could be a million, making my chances exceedingly slimmer. There's also the issue of what I'd be leaving behind. But obviously this is a mere dream at this point. I'll cross those bridges if I should ever actually come to them. My chances of getting in are slim. Very slim. But I'd be kicking myself eternally if I never gave it a shot.

With that said, I hope you'll give a look at my video and give it a decent rating - if you like it, of course. Well, actually, just give it a good rating anyway, will ya?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

done and DONE


I finally hit the "submit" button today. No turning back now.

Let the anticipation begin.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

please tell me he's kidding

Joaquin Phoenix has lost it. And it's forced David Letterman to perform at his best. Phoenix' lack of interest in anything brought the A-game out of Letterman and made for a 5-minute performance that's priceless.



I hope he's not serious about the whole hip-hop thing. Sorry Joaquin, we already have a Matisyahu, there's no room for a look alike or any other such nonsense.

And the Money Woes Continue

I recall a fleeting idea to move out west (CA specifically) for a while - you know - for a change in pace. Not that it's out of the question, but reading this has made that seem somewhat less appealing.

Then there's the whole auto catastrophe. I always lived by the Uncle Walter philosophy - don't buy new cars. I don't know how many other people have lived by that, but apparently enough to put one of America's main manufacturing segments into dire straits.

And finally of course there's the banks - many of which are as good as dead. I heard a report on NPR this morning on my way back from Queens to Westchester (a drive I find oddly soothing and pleasant in either direction) where a former hedge fund manager referred to these major banks as "Zombie Banks." They're neither alive nor dead, but there is no way to bring them back to life. Just like in Night of the Living Dead, you HAVE to kill them - that's the only way to start anew. It's a scary thought - on many levels - but I'm sort of leaning toward agreeing with it.

Not to get all political or economical on y'all - in fact I'm not expert in either field. But it's pretty darn hard to not talk about this stuff these days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Saddest Moment of my Life

Was reading this.

Guess I'm going to see a LOT of Trent this year. It's my last chance folks, wish me luck in getting to him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Just Might be Into It...

I've been thinking about seeing He's Just Not that Into You. Is that totally crazy? It's so not like me. I usually run from those kinds of films. But I'm somehow drawn to it. If you've seen it and it sucks, please warn me before I actually waste ten bucks - or more.

Lost on soon. Now THAT'S worth my viewing time - no doubt.

Botched Facial or Crying Catastrophe - Not Sure

So last night I got this awesome (or so I thought) facial at Tribeca Beauty Bar. I went in with flaky, dull skin and a few minor blackheads on the nose area. You know - nothing major - but definitely an obvious non-facial regular.

When I left, I was glowing. Like, really glowing. And I felt awesome.

Thennnn...my night turned kinda...well...let's just say bad. This "badness" I speak of resulted in a tidal wave of tears which lasted no less than two hours. Once I took a second to look in the mirror, it was as if my tear trail had been emblazoned onto my face in bright, tomato red. I went to sleep and woke up in the same state.

Presently, my face is on fire. And red as hell to boot. I'm sure the crying didn't help anything, but somehow I feel like this is not normal. And considering that I get a facial oh...I don't know...maybe once a...umm...well, this was the second one ever...I have a feeling that tingly mushroom scrub may have something to do with this.

I'd take a picture but I'd rather you continue reading my blog and not run away from the site of me. So instead, I'll leave you with this image so you can imagine the loveliness of the treatment process itself - which was magnificent, I must say - and help me forget about my current cherry-like existence.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Holy Lineup


Umm. So. Yea.

Bonnaroo. 2009.

nin. TV on the Radio. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Erykah Badu. Mars Volta. Neko Case.

That lineup?

I may have to go to ANOTHER music festival this year.

The thought of it is making me shriek like a little schoolgirl. Ok, maybe that's only happening on the inside. But still.

Roadtrip, camp-out blowout - Who's with me?

Monday, February 2, 2009

BeautyNews O.D.


Just in case you weren't aware - I mean, of course you ARE, but just in case - the Feb. issue of BeautyNewsNYC is up and there's some fun reading from some familiar folks. There's a cover story from me on VDay hair products, a cool contribution from a hotel CEO about budget travel, a cute review from Becks about Sassoon salon, and a very special guest appearance from my very own BF. He's quite the writer you know :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fly Like Paper Get High Like Planes

It often takes me at least a whole day to decide if I really liked a movie or really hated it - I guess it's like that for me with many things. But, it took me a few seconds to know I liked Slumdog Millionaire. And then, the next day, I decided that I really liked it. And that I totally love Dev Patel (the adorable lead character, Jamal.)



Why did I like it so much? Is it because everyone else liked it? I don't think so. I hated Benjamin Button, and it seems everyone in or around "The Academy" thought that was fantastic - good enough even to be nominated for 13 awards.

Is it because it was a touching love story? Partly, but not totally. There have been lots of "love stories" that I've found to be completely gag-worthy. Sleepless in Seattle? No thanks. The Notebook? Make me vomit. I am pretty sure the love factor wasn't it.

Maybe it's because the music grabbed me. Well, I gotta give it props for that. Whoever the sound director was did an excellent job at choosing authentic Indian and American hip hop music to contribute to the film's grit. But that's still not it.

Although all of these things helped to make for what I believe was a great flick, I think the one thing that stuck with me was the overall feeling of sincerity and authenticity. It showed us some horrific realities about the slums of India, but not in such a way as to say, "Oh, look at these poor slumdogs living in India, how horrible, don't you feel bad for them?" No. It was more like, "This is India. Yes, it's bad here. So? That's not the point."

Here was a kid who's just like any of us - he wants to love and be loved. Simple as that. All of the horrific things that happened to him growing up gave him the drive to go after what he wanted - his companion.

Perhaps that's an all too simplistic description of a movie with a lot of things to say, but generally I like to boil down how I feel about something into as simple a statement as possible.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mongrel mind

Song of the day. Or maybe of the week. Or month:

Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio.


You know how sometimes a song makes a reappearance in your life and suddenly it's on repeat in every music playing device you own? Cue in Wolf Like Me. Sexy.

Say say my playmate
Won't you lay hands on me
Mirror my malady
Transfer my tragedy

Got a curse I cannot lift
Shines when the sunset shifts
When the moon is round and full
Gotta bust that box gotta gut that fish

My mind's aflame
We could jet in a stolen car
But I bet we wouldn't get too far
Before the transformation takes and bloodlust tanks and
Crave gets slaked

My mind has changed
My body's frame but god I like it
My heart's aflame
My body's strained but god I like it

My mind has changed
My body's frame but god I like it
My heart's aflame
My body's strained but god I like it

Charge me your day rate
I'll turn you out in kind
When the moon is round and full
Gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mongrel mind
Baby doll I recognize
You're a hideous thing inside
If ever there were a lucky kind it's
You you you you

I know it's strange
another way
to get to know you
You'll never know
unless we go
so let me show you
I know it's strange
another way
to get to know you
We've got till noon
here comes the moon
so let it show you
show you now

Dream me oh dreamer
Down to the floor
Open my hands and let them
Weave onto yours

Feel me, completer
Down to my core
Open my heart and let it
Bleed onto yours

Feeding on fever
Down all fours
Show you what all that
Howl is for

Hey hey my playmate
Let me lay waste to thee
Burned down their hanging trees
It's hot here hot here hot here hot here

Got a curse we cannot lift
Shines when the sunshine shifts
There's a cure comes with a kiss
The bite that binds the gift that gives

Now that we got gone for good
Writhing under your riding hood
Tell your Gramma and your Mama too
It's true
We're howling forever

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thanks Wall Streeters for so humbly turning down your bonuses...RIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT


It looks like bad news bears for the home furnishings industry. Like many other businesses, it's in trouble.

Quite a scary thought - particularly for my colleagues and I who rely on the market being stable for our own job success. This article in yesterday's Times tells all. And my favorite part is this quote from Ray Allegrezza, an editor at Furniture Today, another trade publication akin to FFI:

"If you had a billion dollars, you could buy the entire portfolio of publicly traded furniture companies, including Thomasville and La-Z-Boy, and still have money left over to go to McDonald’s."


So...in other words, one eighteenth of last year's Wall Street bonuses for a year of failure could have saved the entire furniture industry. Great.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oscar Schmoscer


I know, they announced them a few days ago - old news. But I didn't get a chance to talk about it. So I'm a little late. Sorry.

Let's get down to it. Oscar nods. This is the first year in quite some time that I've actually paid a decent amount of attention to the movies in the running. I attribute that in large part to the boyfriend - we bring out each other's film enthusiasm. (He in me more than I in him, I admit. He's got it without me, but we've found that there are few things more interesting to talk about than the complexity of a good - and sometimes a bad - movie.)

Anywho - down to business. Benjamin F-ing Button. Or as my fellow blogger and long lost college journo classmate love, Chelsea so correctly called it, Benjamin Boring. She's right. Because it was. Boring. Brad Pitt was boring. And worse yet, it was LONG and boring. Terrible combo. AND it was lame to top it off. Just lame. But if you read my previous post on it, you already know about my loathing. That said, I can't understand WHY it got 13 nominations. THIRTEEN. It should get best makeup, no doubt. Anything other than that is undeserved, in my opinion. In fact, the only review of it I read that was accurate was a one-paragraph blurb in the New Yorker that confirmed I was NOT in fact, the only hater.

Then there's Milk. Excellent. Sean Penn: Excellent. Josh Brolin: Excellent. James Franco: Hot. Oh, I meant excellent. And totally hot...but gay...in the movie, that is. Well I guess that was sort of everyone in the movie. Penn's performance was so warm - I just wanted to hug him.

Another film we saw was Man on a Wire, a fascinating documentary about the man who strung a tightrope between the twin towers in the 70s and walked across it not once but eight times. Would be very happy to see that win some statues.

I didn't see either of the Winslet films - The Reader or Revolutionary Road - but I have no hesitation in saying I believe Kate should take it all away. She is and has been one of Hollywood's most talented and graceful women I've seen in my lifetime.

There are still many nominated flicks I'd like to see, but I'm most excited to see Slumdog - which I believe is happening tomorrow night. And Frost/Nixon will probably happen sometime soon as well.

Thoughts and opinions on which other movies I should be sure to catch?

Thanks!

Just want to give a shout out and big smile to everyone whose been flipping through our online issue of BD. We really appreciate the support and are excited that you guys are enjoying it. If you missed my last post, here's the link again. Happy design reading!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

boutique DESIGN is totally techno

I'm still a sucker for print mags - I mean, who isn't? The smell of a fresh print run, the vibrancy of a bold stripe of ink on a glossy white page, the thrill of the "flip."

But it's 2009 and life is changing. We have a new president, jobs are dropping like flies and the ones that are still alive are increasingly techno-minded. If you don't know what Twitter is, you're SO not hip. If you don't text message you might as well ditch your cell and use a payphone. If you're not on Facebook you're basically a dinosaur.

So to keep up with the world, because we always do, boutique DESIGN has gone digital. And it's way cooler than we could have ever dreamed. EVERYTHING is clickable! OK, not EVERYthing...but like everything that you'd want to click. E-mail addresses, company websites, links, etc. And you can read all of our stories without ever having to take your eyes from your screen - since we know they're glued there.

Don't worry, it's not replacing the mag - we'd never leave our fellow print lovers in the dark. Still, this might just be the future of the publishing industry, so start getting used to it.