Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Job or Joke

Girl Meets World

It’s been 2 years since the incarnation of this blog. While its proprietors have made it through relatively unscathed (well, at least we didn’t die), the magazine industry has somehow managed to kill itself instead. We don’t know what happened. Some blame the economy. Others blame the internet. (It’s always easy to blame the internet—it doesn’t know how to fight back. Poor internet.)

But, I guess how it happened, although interesting to some, isn’t really important. The issue at hand is that a girl’s gotta eat. And, at $15/500-word blog post, girl’s eating nothing but PB&Js for a mighty long time. Poor girl.

What is girl to do?

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Look Book #2: ???

Sunglasses a la VU era Lou Reed, Martin Rev

Billowing tops a la Liz Bougatsos

Sunday, October 12, 2008

words are dead to me now

I decided several weeks ago to start listening to jazz. Many months ago—maybe it was during the summer, maybe it was during the spring—I was in an elevator and some music was playing and I realized that all these words, the useless lyrics I memorize almost instantly, probably occupied a large segment of my brainpower. There is a card catalog of songs up there to draw from whenever necessary. The songs are useless, the lyrics are useless, and my brain should be occupied with other things anyway.

I don't know when this started, this lyrical attachment I have. It's really obsessive. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with listening very heavily to Bob Dylan in 7th grade. I believe I saw "Don't Look Back" on A&E, decided Bob Dylan was cool, and found Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume One in my dad's record collection. It was the only Dylan record and was unopened. Every day after school I came home and listened to it several times the whole way through. This went on for months. The record is now worn out. I spent afternoons on end first trying to decipher the lyrics, then thinking about what they might mean. It was a good exercise.

Anyway years and thousands and thousands of songs later I have decided that this has all gone too far.

A few nights ago, my friend R. final delivered me my first jazz mixtape, and I'm impressed. On an unrelated note, he was talking about rock poster collectors and made an astute observation about this group: whereas regular people think about real things, rock poster collectors think thinking about music is thinking about real things. This is a mangled translation. Yet again I realized that I have been allocating too much mental space in this direction for awhile.

I am switching to wordless music for a little while. In the meantime, I will share my final musings on Liz Phair and call it a day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Printing Out The Internet

I started working on a new project / blog / eventual publication called Printing Out The Internet. It will get better with your help.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

wedding party

It is now Fall and cool and crisp and for no apparent reason I started thinking about weddings. I am lucky enough to have few married or engaged friends so I never go to weddings. But my few memories of weddings are lovely and severe. Every wedding I have ever been to has been held in Pennsylvania. Most every wedding reception has been held in either a fire company or grange - here is a link to what a grange is for those unfamiliar with this terminology. Many of these weddings have a happy / depressing working class Deer Hunter wedding reception vibe (the real fun starts around 3:13 or so):

These weddings generally feature a fuzzy navel fountain, which is a pretty awe-inspiring sight. I remember being very young and being forbidden from drinking fuzzy navels, listening to like Peter Gabriel or Genesis or Huey Lewis and the News or Exposé.

Just now, I was listening to some Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac / late 80's Stevie Nicks and it got me thinking about weddings. Not sure where this association came from. The mind works in mysterious ways.

"Seven Wonders" (Fleetwood Mac)
"Seven Wonders" (dub remix)

Many weddings involve country line dancing, like my cousin's, two summers ago. My cousin and her husband met each other at a country line dancing bar. Their dance-based romance is inspiring.

When I was 13 or so my great-uncle got married in a gazebo on his farm. Since these family members were bluegrass lovers, the wedding processional was fiddled, and the reception featured a pig-roast. Obviously as a young adolescent I was mortified.

The most recent wedding I attended, over a year and a half ago I think, was a friend-of-friend situation. I was a designated emergency date after my friend Daniel's days-fresh breakup. Obviously my date was less than chipper due to his recent heartbreak, but I tried to make the most of it. Since the guy getting married was in a band, his amazing "wedding band" was a real band and they played super-romantic and excellent wedding songs. Everyone danced. The best was when they did "Sea of Love" I thought I was gonna cry. Also the bride / groom dance was to some Van Morrison song, I think off Tupelo Honey. It was right then that I started believing in marriage, maybe for the first time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

side effects of look book making

Aside from the overwhelming desire to not only shop (I have started RSSing the shopping blog Racked) but also read women's magazines like Elle and Glamour, I have discovered an unexpected side effect while attempting to craft my fall look. Everywhere I go, I look at other girls' style and think, oh that girl looks cute. Oh those shoes are hot. Oh that dress is really flattering, etc. I had a fairly insane revelation since I've started checking out girls everywhere:

Male friends of mine talk about how there are cute girls everywhere, how there are an endless supply of attractive and f_able women in NY and they're right. It is really overwhelming. Somehow while performing the most girlish of activities I have finally started to understand some key part of the male psyche. I guess there are cute boys everywhere too but I'd have to say that their fashions are a lot more consistent. And I think that thing about girls dressing for other girls is definitely true.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back 2 Basics Look Book #1: Long Hair

This season's brand narrative is developing very very slowly. I will have to work it out in installments. It will come together eventually, but for now it's time to revisit some basics: Fall 09 is about long brown hair. But, like, aggressively long, aggressively straight. The hair is brought into the foreground.

Initially I thought that Blue Lagoon-era Brooke Shields would be the bedrock of my summer style if summer 08 could be re-lived. How could this look — tans, long hair, strong brows, white stuff, minimal clothing — possibly transcend summer? After serious discussion, it was decided that the "look" was really just long hair. Everything else was just an accessory crudely used to cover the body. I started looking for other applications of long brown hair as accessory.

In Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn pulls back part of the hair to maximum effect. The hair represents her girlhood, and when she cuts it she graduates to young woman.

After watching The Science of Sleep on HBO, I decided that super-straight hair is the way to go. Charlotte Gainsbourg's style is pretty understated. She has a fairly boyish figure, and the straight long brown hair provides a feminine counterpoint.

Sloane Peterson, ultimate babe brunette. Also, note Sloane's white fringe jacket. This may be addressed in a forthcoming installment of this brand narrative.

Obviously, forever and forever.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall Preview

Seasons change, people change.

I swear to god, this blog will die soon. It will be replaced by newer, realer, better things that are slightly less vacuous. Until that day comes, Fall 2008 looks like this:

1. "jazz"
2. an extensive analysis of the Scientology-esque Susan Miller talk at the Apple Store
3. fall lookbook
4. an introduction to printing out the internet
5. don't make me over playlist

I can't talk about any of this in detail right now (thanks Caliente Cab Company!) but I figured I'd at least show you the TOC.

This week's Gossip Girl highlights
Apparently this episode is called "Darkness Falls" (it's about a blackout, duh.)
- Chuck, on Serena and Dan getting back together: "Congrats on you and Humphry. Water always finds its own level."
- In the same conversation, Serena to Chuck: “You are not using Blair as sexual Draino.”
- Lastly, the young girls assaulting Dan and Serena in the park, sharing their perspective on the relationship based on the Gossip Girl blog. The girl who's "a Serena". I love this show.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

what i've learned from gossip girl season two, so far

After a very long summer, Gossip Girl is back, and my innate need for drama now has an outlet outside of my own life. There was an article in the ny times mag this weekend about Twitter and "ambient awareness" which includes a brief mention of "parasocial" relationships people have with television characters:

"If you’re reading daily updates from hundreds of people about whom they’re dating and whether they’re happy, it might, some critics worry, spread your emotional energy too thin, leaving less for true intimate relationships. Psychologists have long known that people can engage in “parasocial” relationships with fictional characters, like those on TV shows or in books, or with remote celebrities we read about in magazines. Parasocial relationships can use up some of the emotional space in our Dunbar number, crowding out real-life people. "

So, real people, here are my observations of the fictional but strangely pertinent social drama that is Gossip Girl thus far:

- Chuck Bass has a little Christian Slater / "Heathers" in him. They share similarities in facial expressions as well as vocal inflections, if not style choices. J.D.? Are you going to blow up the school this season?

- Also, in episode one, Blair — the fictional Miriam perhaps — unleashes a true girl-to-girl, pep-talk pearl on Serena:
"The only thing lamer than dating Dan Humphrey ... is mourning Dan Humphrey."

Since Gossip Girl became OMFG post-writers strike, Chuck and Blair have morphed from the most despicable to the deepest and most realistic characters. Their love / hate relationship is captivating. We shall see what happens as the lord / dutchess / milf love triangle unfolds.

P.S.: The apology from Blair to the Dutchess: "Dutchess, I'm so sorry about the [insulting] Botox [comment she made]. Your work is flawless."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Also, Astrology Zone live in Soho

Some serious news you can use—
My friend J. R. emailed me this hot tip last night:

Appearance of Susan Miller Next Month: September Apple Store, New York City, SoHo Store Saturday, September 13, 2008 3 PM - 4:30 PM Apple Store in SoHo 103 Prince Street New York City, NY 10012 Apple store in Soho: (212) 226-3126 (ask for Frank)

I will appear in the New York Soho Apple Store with my friend, astrologer / engineer Henry Seltzer who created this superb TimePassages™ astrology software for Mac or PC. This software will allow you to do your natal chart and find out all the planetary positions in place on the date of your birth and what they mean to you. It's fast and easy, written for laymen who are not professional astrologers. No need to look up complicated aspects in astrologic textbooks. Little dialog boxes, balloons, and longer reports pop up to explain all about your chart, as well as about upcoming transits. You can print them out and save them. TimePassages™ Software costs $39 and runs on the Mac (for OS X) and PCs. Join us for a free, interactive session at the Apple Store in SoHo, in New York. We will do the natal charts of those who volunteer in the audience, and even if you don't get chosen to have your chart shown on our big lecture screen, we will take dozens of questions from you. Also, I will stay afterward to say hello to each of you as well. Our appearances are always lively and always more like parties than lectures! For more information on Henry's TimePassages™ software for the Mac or PC, please click on this link:

See you all there, seriously.

Notes from Denver, Tuesday

1. Watching the DNC on CSPAN is a totally different experience. You get to see all the speakers, no pundits, the happening tunes. This is serious business: "I'm So Excited" was so breathtaking, all the delegates were really letting loose, lobster hats and all. I really can't recommend this more.

2. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY, Brooklyn 12th District) is awesome—I've never seen her speak before. I am glad I've voted for her in the past few elections.

3. When they introduced Lilly Ledbetter (a plaintiff in a pay equity case in the Supreme Court) from Alabama, the intro was an instrumental version of Madonna's "Lucky Star". Does anyone know why? Following speaker Mark Warner, they played "The Power of Love".

4. Mark Warner is pretty great.

5. I want to go to the Democratic National Convention next year. Without commentary, it's as compelling as, like, the Oscars. I am sad I haven't been paying attention to politics since late in the primaries.

6. I enjoyed Bob Casey Jr.'s Pennsylvania shoutouts (Latrobe, anyone?). I do not enjoy his pro-life politics. He looks exactly like Bob Casey Sr.

7. The caption for Bill Clinton in the lengthy, SNL-referencing, Chelsea Clinton-narrated Hillary intro is "Hillary's Husband".

8. "Are You Gonna Go my Way", "You Really Got Me", "American Girl", "Smooth (Santana and Rob Thomas)".

9. Bill mouthed "he's good" to a neighbor off-screen after Brian Schweitzer's rousing speech. Bill is visibly fired up. Michelle is visibly fired up. Schweitzer may be the next Barack Obama in '12.

10. Deval Patrick strangely reminds me of Mike Bloomberg.

11. This is the best Hillary speech I've ever seen. Bill mouths "I love you" during Hillary's speech. Aw. Oh Hillary, I've missed you. I'm happy to see her again, even though she annoyed me during the last few months of the primaries. Hillary is awesome. I should have voted for her, she is a good leader. She gave the right speech. Finally, a few good McCain take-downs.

12. Do political conventioneers get plus ones?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Daddy's Girl

this song is really outta control. in preparation for a recent karaoke sessions i randomly downloaded some truck driving music i once heard at my friend j.'s store. check out this serious gem, "daddy's girl" by red sovine.

Basically, it's about a dude wanting a son, but getting a girl instead. but he actually loves her, even though she's a girl! the rousing chorus:

Daddy's Girl, Daddy's Girl,
I'm the center of Daddy's world.

I know I'm Daddy's number one,

For he loves me like I was his son.

He then provides some HILARIOUS anecdotes about tomboyin' with his daddy's girl. fishing! dodgers games! the daughter softens up the dad! finally, the daughter grows up and gets married but will always be a daddy's girl.

DEFINITELY more uplifting than the similar but obviously very different Nirvana classic "Been A Son" ie:
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns
She should have been a son.

Monday, August 18, 2008

why oh why

- did i dream about buying a Zune at Rite-Aid two nights ago?

- am I unable to stop listening to this amazing and semi-instructional Lil Mo / Lil Kim song from five years ago called "10 Commandments" (link forthcoming here)? In which we get a taste of what "The Rules" would be like if it was written by Lil Kim? Results include "mad trips to Jaca" and your man at home every night, "cooking you a steaka". These are things I never knew I wanted, but I think I clearly do.

- has it taken me so long to realize that watching really good fireworks in a quiet rural place accompanied by the sound of engines revving in the distance is a near-spiritual experience, resulting in a feeling that approximates being touched by god in some way?