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.


"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 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.

- 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.'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. 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 :)