Sunday, October 30, 2011

i like big dinosaur butts and i cannot lie

I had a dream that I was putting together an Amelia Earhart costume for Halloween, which would have been awesome, but last night was also PEN’s kickoff reading for Night in the City, a month-long celebration of L.A. literary and film noir. So instead, AK donned a fedora and I Googled pin curls.

I think I looked more 1940s with the placeholder scarf than with the curls, but AK pointed out that the look I was going for was femme fatale, not war bride.

Sort of Veronica Lake-ish?

Here’s Veronica Lake making a public service announcement to all the Rosie the Riveters out there, telling them not to wear their hair like hers.

We hit the reading at the Last Bookstore and although the lit crawl that was to follow sort of disintegrated, we met up with Pedro, Stephen, Christine and Jody (below, as cheerleader) at Spring Street Bar. It turned out to be the perfect vantage point for watching costumed revelers. Some club nearby was having a big thing, and the stream of “sexy [fill in the blank]” got thicker and thicker.

Our favorites, though, were the two beautiful and sexy (not “sexy”) girls in calavera makeup at the other end of our table, and a wacky girl whom we guessed was a…devil cat with a big butt? She was wearing furry green horns and a matching tail, and had stuffed balloons in the back of her velour pants.

She showed us a small sign that said “Bronty the VegeSCAREian.” “See, I’m a brontosaurus!” she said, and proceeded to do her impression of one, which involved roaring and pawing at the air.

There was also a lion carrying strings of marshmallows and a rifle. I had a vague but visceral flashback to third grade, when Mr. Rosenbaum read us Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. Christine tested it out: “Lafcadio!”

The lion cheered. His friend said, “Wow, I was just saying, 'Does anyone know who the fuck you are?'” I like to think we made the lion's night.

Other than that, you know that whole don’t-be-racist costume campaign? I am in agreement, but I also had the thought, Yeah, but who really dresses up as an Indian or a terrorist? Plenty of people, as it turns out, and a lot of them were in line for the club thing.

We moved on to JP’s annual amazing Gothtober party, where the costumes were brilliant and bizarre, sometimes nearly naked and occasionally sexual but usually not “sexy.” This was a crowd who viewed their bodies in terms of performance potential.

Earlier in the night, when we’d seen a Dr. Frankenfurter with a pretty impressive upper body, I’d thought of this girl I’d gone to grad school with who had these crazy ripped biceps. At JP’s, that same girl (who may or may not be identifying as a girl these days) was playing Dr. Frakenfurter in several elaborate vignettes in the middle of the dance floor/living room.

Flipping gender (and other goofy constructs) on its head and then back again and then turning it sideways is exactly what Halloween should be about. That and candy, of course.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

use only as directed

The good news is that my pupils are almost back to the same size. The bad news is that it took me a $30 co-pay and a lot of freaking out to learn that you really shouldn’t douse one of your contacts in the kind of eye drops that say “Remove contact lenses before using.”

I guess I sort of thought all clear-colored, eye-related solutions were the same? And I’d forgotten about that one time I ran out of contact solution and soaked my contacts in eye drops all night, which made my eyes into giant fireballs, but I guess they were fireballs of the same size?

Anyway, this morning I put my contacts in, went to Zumba at the gym, impressed myself with how well I could shake my ass, was not impressed by the actual shakiness of my ass, took a shower and—when I looked in the mirror to put eye shadow on—saw that my left pupil looked like Puss in Boots when he goes all big-eyed:

…and my right pupil was more like Puss in Boots as seductive hero.

Except he wouldn’t be seductive or adorable if he was all lopsided and crazy-eyed. I literally had crazy-eye!

I panicked, as per usual, and called my dad (he’s an optical engineer—maybe he knew about these things? He didn’t, but he told me not to panic, as per usual). Then I made an appointment at the optometrist’s office below mine, which seemed more convenient and friendly than the ER. At this point I was thinking maybe the eye drops were at fault, but my brain was also shouting, You might have a brain tumor! I might have a me-tumor!

Dr. Gording shined some lights in my eyes, said he didn’t see any signs of inflammation and concluded the drops were to blame. “You’re a little young for a stroke,” he said, sort of as a joke, but my brain was like, Aubrey Plaza! Aubrey Plaza!

On Marc Maron’s comedian-interview podcast WTF—which AK got me addicted to, to the point where I kind of want to stake out his house because he talks about our exact couple-block radius of Highland Park all the time—Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Rec fame talked about how she had a stroke when she was twenty!

But I haven’t lost speech or movement, just another little shred of sanity, so I guess I’m good. Dammit, I do all the things you’re supposed to do. I floss. I buckle up. I paint my nails in a well ventilated area. You’d think that a moment of rebellion might do me good. Next time I’m going to abuse a drug, I guess I’ll go find some ecstasy or something, and then at least I’ll have some fun in exchange for my crazy-eye.*

*Note to the adoption agency social workers and/or potential birthparents who I’m pretending/hoping are now part of my reading audience: I’m kidding. I don’t do drugs. But also, I don’t judge people who do, and a baby born with a smidge of weed in his or her system would probably just be really mellow, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

sane crazy people

My final post for Ironing Board Collective went up today. It’s almost embarrassing how much brain space guest-blogging took up, and how sad I am that I will now have to devote my brain to other things. Or maybe you’ll just see more style-related, photo-filled posts here at Bread and Bread. Just a little warning. Anyway, my post is about high school fashion designers. They’re pretty great.

I am hoping that this moving-on thing will be good for my wallet and the overcrowded closet AK and I share. Seriously, I can’t keep buying clothes. I have shit I need to save for. 1) Car. 2) Baby. Not necessarily in that order.

Speaking of pathologies, this weekend AK and I saw Take Shelter, which is maybe the best movie I’ve seen this year (although The Future is up there) and definitely the best movie I’ve seen about mental illness. Curtis works on a construction crew, loves his wife and daughter (who is deaf and awaiting cochlear implant surgery, insurance willing), and is starting to have intense nightmares and midday hallucinations about an apocalyptic storm.

In other movies, one of the following would happen:
1) He would go from sane to batshit roughly overnight, and the movie would be about his saintly, long-suffering family.
2) He wouldn’t be crazy after all—an apocalyptic storm would come, and he’d be a hero.
3) He would be crazy, but he’d also be spectacularly good at math. Or able to talk to dead people. Or at least a tortured artist.

I won’t tell you exactly what happens in Take Shelter, but it’s none of the above. It’s a movie about a very sane person dealing with the fact that he’s crazy, if that makes sense. Although I’ve never (knock on wood) had hallucinations, my recent brush with a handful of anxiety disorders would lead me to believe that the movie is very realistic: There’s one part of you that’s grounded in the world everyone else lives in, and you know that you’re simply freaking out for understandable experiential and biological reasons. There’s another part of you that is absolutely convinced that the slightly darkish area on your back is not a spot your sunscreen missed at Emily’s pool party but a melanoma that will be reabsorbed into your body and grow to the size of a malignant football, like that lady you read about in that magazine. And the second part of you says to the first, Yeah, but sometimes even paranoid people are being followed.

When Curtis has a dream about his dog attacking him, he doesn’t go after the dog with an axe (because that would be crazy). He builds the dog a pen in the yard. Later he finds the dog a good home with his brother. Curtis is a highly responsible crazy person, which makes him more likable and the movie more terrifying—because he does everything right and it doesn’t stop the crazy.

A couple of critics on KPCC complained about the last scene of the movie, but AK and I agreed it was a beautiful piece of poetry in an otherwise uber-down-to-earth movie. You can read the scene as a metaphor for how his family will be dragged into the waking nightmare of mental illness, or for how they will lift him from it. Either way, none of them are alone.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

project baby: here's where you come in

I’ve always hated the concept of networking. I picture a bunch of dudes in suits with shiny teeth and ulterior motives exchanging business cards—in other words, that scene in American Psycho. That’s not what you want if you work at a nice little nonprofit (which is why we in the 501(c)3 field call it “community building”). And that’s definitely not what you want if you’re trying to adopt a baby.

Nevertheless, our open adoption agency frequently reminds us that ten percent of matches between adoptive parents and birth parents are made via personal networking (as opposed to the agency sending out our profile). So we’ve done what any loving parents-to-be would do, and created a Facebook page.

All you’ve got to do is:

1) Log in to Facebook, go here and click “like.”

2) Share the link with your friends.

Maybe you (or one of your friends) is a high school teacher who has a student who recently peed on a stick and did not get the result she was hoping for (I can totally relate, although in a flip-flopped way). Maybe you’re a doctor with a patient who wants to find a stable and loving home for that blur on the ultrasound monitor. Maybe you, person on the internet who might be reading this, are pregnant yourself. If so, let us introduce ourselves.

We are two friendly women in our thirties, white and Latina, who want to adopt openly. Open adoption means the birthmother gets to decide who will raise her child, and she gets to stay in touch with the child as he or she grows up. The birthmother never has to wonder how her baby is doing, her kid never has to wonder about his or her roots, and the adoptive parents get to be honest with their kid right from the start.

A pretty good deal for everyone, don’t you think?

I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve helped us through the emotional roller coaster that is Project Baby. This is the happy part, where there’s actually something concrete you can do to help (see above). And unlike when you “like” a Save The Whales page or something, this could actually accomplish something. And if you link us to a birthparent, we promise not to ask you to babysit too often.

Friday, October 21, 2011

save some dates: private dicks and fem(inists) fatales

Pretty much all literary events that don’t happen during National Poetry Month in April happen in October. And those that don’t happen in October get squeezed into November. It’s shaping up to be a busy (and fun) month for me and my fellow writers.

First, Jamie and I will both be participating in the month-long Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film festival. You may remember that I was lukewarm on The Big Sleep, but I do love me some dark alleys, dirty secrets and stylish fedoras. Will I dress in costume when I read a bit of Chandler’s work and a bit of my own with the fabulous Pam Ward on Nov. 6? You’ll just have to come and find out.

What: Noir Genius: Weldon Kees and Jorge Luis Borges
When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
Who: Jamie FitzGerald, Dana Gioia, Lou Mathews, Robert Mezey, Mariano Zaro
Where: Libros Schmibros, 2000 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033

Big Noir Open Reading—with Features
When: Sunday, Nov. 6, 3-5 p.m.
Who: Cheryl Klein, Pam Ward, Mike Sonksen
Where: Gemini Manor*, 1341 N. Mariposa Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Flash forward about three decades. L.A. still has plenty of dark alleys and dirty secrets, but the fedoras have been replaced by corduroy bellbottoms, and women are roaring in amazing, imaginative ways that still haven’t gotten proper credit. Seriously, why are the Black Panthers and the ACT-UP crew held up as icons of empowered coolness while first-wave feminists are seen as whiny women in Birkenstocks?**

Maybe we’ll address this on Nov. 14, when I’ll moderate a panel of some of my favorite foremothers as part of Pacific Standard Time. I am seriously so humbled and excited to be part of such a big exhibit/citywide party celebrating two of my favorite things: art and L.A.

What: Telling Stories, The New Short Fiction Series presents the Woman's Building Writers Workshop
When: Sunday, Nov. 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Who: Bia Lowe, Deena Metzger, Terry Wolverton; their stories will be performed by Jesse Holcomb, Barbara Keegan and Sally Shore; after-panel moderated by Cheryl Klein
Where: Annenberg Beach House***, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402

*I hear this is some crazy old ramshackle mansion that was a big party house in the eighties. That alone is enough to get me there.
**I am not saying this to imply a hierarchy among movements. I believe all equal rights movements are created equal.
***Another seriously fantastic location!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

treat yourself!

AK and I have very different relationships to illness. I have a high pain threshold but worry that every new ache or bump or freckle is a sign of a life-threatening illness. AK is not a worrier, period, but when she’s hurting, you’re gonna know about it. She would, preferably, like a battalion of friends to gather round with chicken soup anytime she coughs.

This morning I had a follow-up to my 2009 boob ultrasound, which I’d been worrying about off and on for weeks. In a heroic attempt to let me get some sleep in my precarious mental state, AK threw our noisy cats out of the room at 6 a.m. On the way back to bed, she slammed her toe into the cat tree and broke it.

So, as you can imagine, we were both at our best.

The good news is that my boobs are cancer-free (so when some guy leaned out of his car and yelled, “Nice titties!” on my way home, I had to agree). A trip to urgent care confirmed that AK’s pinky has a spiral-shaped fracture (that is her actual x-ray on the left), but other than a limp, she’s good.

So there we were with a free afternoon and light hearts.* Enter Parks and Recreation again: We’d just watched an episode in which Donna and Tom celebrate “Treat Yourself” day. They dine out and go to the mall and try on outrageous clothing. When one of them asks, “Should I get this?” the answer is always “Treat yourself!”

AK had to go back to work (not a treat!), but we did make time for lunch (build-our-own-burgers at Jake’s in Pasadena), and then I treated myself to a little Treat Yourself! at J. Crew and Forever 21. Nothing I bought was over $20, but it is possible to go broke in $20 increments. I’m hoping this habit of mine will settle down once I stop fashion blogging. But not today. Today I’m playing fuckabout (as Kaply calls it) with nothing on my to-do list; it’s crazy how long it’s been since I had a day like this. Today I’m treating myself.

*Well, as light as a heart can be when it knows how ridiculous and unfair and random the world is. Every time I go into the strangely spa-like breast center, I think about how not everyone will leave there with good news. Not everyone even gets to go there if they don’t have insurance. And I think, Why shouldn’t I be the one who gets bad news? even as I desperately hope that I won’t be.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

parks and non-wrecks

I had a very important epiphany yesterday, about why I love Parks and Recreation so much. I was reading this Ironing Board Collective post about New Girl, a show in which three normal guys suffer the hijinks of a zany girl who, if she existed in real life would be 1) totally dysfunctional and/or 2) really hurt by the crap they say to her.

This is the premise of a lot of TV shows and movies, although usually it’s a guy being immature and a boring, normal woman enduring him. So, um, score one for feminism? And of course there are the shows where all the characters relentlessly sling insults at each other: Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls. Occasionally the insults are irresistibly witty, but mostly…I can resist.

So here’s why Parks and Recreation is great: The characters aren’t always nice to each other, but they care what their peers think, and when there’s conflict, they react the way actual humans would. Recently* Ann spent most of an episode trying to get Ron and April—the show’s resident antisocial employees, who still aren’t cruel; they just want to be left alone—to make small talk. She finally succeeded when she told them a grisly story from the hospital where she works.

The main characters are slightly wackier than most you’d meet in real life, but they’re mature(ish) and competent. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) is a wonky feminist who loves her job and the historic murals at City Hall. Ben (Adam Scott) is a geeky accountant, but he doesn’t wear his pants up to his armpits or have trouble making conversation. Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe), with his manic positivity and love of health food, is pretty much a carbon copy of my chiropractor.

No one has to be the long-suffering straight man because no one has to be the hate-able manchild. Everyone is a little of both, just like in real life. So watch it.

*Maybe not recently. AK and I watch P&R on Hulu, where recent and three-year-old episodes live in timeless harmony.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

march and mirth

1. a caffeinated review of the ides of march

AK and I drove through drive-thru Starbucks on the way home tonight to get hot chocolate because it’s a night that calls for coziness. But they accidentally made mine a mocha, so here I am, all wired up with nothing to blog about. But since when did that ever stop anyone from blogging?

The thing we were on our way home from was The Ides of March, a movie so dark it was hard to believe it was actually in color. Afterward, I kept telling AK that I didn’t want to work in politics, until she was like, “Okay, I get it.” As if she’d been pestering me to run for city council or something.

Ides is a really smart movie about people resorting to dirty, dirty means to justify noble ends; it also feels like George Clooney’s answer to the people who keep actually pestering him to run for office.

That answer is: Sure, I can look good saying idealistic things, but I’m going to imprint you with this image of me as a sleazeball with poor judgment so that you’ll shut up already. Remember? I like to have fun. I have a house on Lake Como and fuck models. Why would I want to live in a world where those things are a liability?

Evan Rachel Wood is good as an intern with apparent daddy issues. Marisa Tomei is a little bit ridiculous as an anything-for-a-scoop reporter. Partly it’s how she’s costumed: in these thick-rimmed glasses and men’s shirts and strategically tousled hair. She looks like someone doing an impression of a reporter. I think an actual reporter would wear, like, a nice sweater and sensible heels.

2. houses of mirth

Apparently it is Craftsman Weekend, which may be a holiday unique to Pasadena, California. This morning my dad and I took the Arroyo Terrace Walking Tour of the Greene & Greene homes near the Gamble House. Beautiful stuff—dark shingles, Japanese-inspired horizontal lines, hand-carved everything. I think my favorite detail was a wall made of clinker bricks (the wonky bricks at the bottom of the kiln) that looked like it was growing out of a row of arroyo boulders.

Even though a lot of these houses would go for about five million dollars today, the people who live in them drive Subarus and Leafs (Leaves?). An elderly man who lived in one remodeled Greene & Greene home (remodeled to make it smaller) saw the tour and invited us to wander around his yard. It reminded me that not everyone in the one percent is a stay-off-my-lawn snob.

Tomorrow is book club, where we’ll talk about The House of Mirth. Edith Wharton does an amazing job of breaking down the numerous subspecies of the upper classes. There are the wealthy society people, the secretly poor society people, the nouveau riche climbers and poor “gentlewomen” who rely on charity yet have servants. I’m really confused by the latter.

But, anyway, Pasadena’s old moneyed seem like they fall into that category of people who don’t need to be flashy because they’re so secure in their positions. I feel like they have season tickets to things and buy books. I don’t believe in art that’s only for the upper crust, but I’m also grateful for anyone who thinks art is worth something. If I were rich (isn’t it great how everyone has a contingency plan for what they’ll do when they strike gold?), that’s how I’d use my money. Also, I would buy a pony. But it would be a rescue pony.

Okay, I think the caffeine is wearing off; I’m too tired to hit “publish,” so this will probably go up in the morning. Thanks for hanging with me in the wee hours.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

i am the 32 percent?

In writing and in life, I’m mostly about specificity. But I’m inclined to forgive the Occupy [fill in the blank] protesters for their so-called lack of specific demands. Partly because AK (who is usually very pragmatic when it comes to politics) is smitten by them and I’m easily influenced. Partly because, when you want the world to change fundamentally, like at its core, it’s hard to boil such a paradigm shift down to a checklist. Partly because there are specific demands: Hold banks accountable for ruining the economy. Tax the rich.

Over the weekend, I watched a lovely, ragtag group of protesters make their way down C Street in San Diego, a military town with a wonderful literary/activist niche of which my City Works editors are kick-ass leaders. As I contemplated missing my train to join their ranks (I didn’t; shocking, I know), I wondered whether I could rightfully call myself part of the 99 percent. I mean, there’s a 99 percent chance I am. But one of the great things about this alleged class war is that it includes people from multiple classes. Take these ladies:

I have a history of being hyperaware of my own privilege, and of making everything about me. So instead of taking to the streets, I made a mental list:

Evidence I’m in the 99 percent:
  • I went to public schools up until grad school, and I have a five-digit student loan to show for that.
  • My family rarely went out to eat, went to the movies, flew anywhere or stayed in hotels.
  • I drive a 14-year-old car.
  • I’ve gotten four pedicures in my life.
  • I buy most of my clothes in thrift stores and sale racks.
  • My last three apartments had bars on the windows.
  • I’ve worked since I was 14 years old.
Evidence I’m in the 1 percent:
  • Those public schools were in an affluent suburb, and my parents paid for my undergrad degree.
  • My family owned a VCR and camcorder before anyone else we knew and we took several vacations each year.
  • Even though we never had a new car, we had five old ones.
  • When the investments that made us poor in the ‘90s finally paid off, my dad set aside some money for my sister and I, to be used at a later date. It is, technically, um, a trust fund.
  • I’ve never been involuntarily unemployed for more than a few weeks at a time.
So I guess that lands me in, what, the 32 percent? Or maybe just this group:

Friday, October 07, 2011

chasing waterfalls, and what i read in september

Right now I’m in San Diego for work, staying the Crowne Plaza Hanalei. It has a Hawaiian theme, in case you couldn’t guess. There are waterfalls and tiki statues in the hallways, and canoes hanging from the roof of the valet area. My room is nonsmoking but you would not know from the smell.

I don’t mind, though, because it reminds me of the approximately four times I stayed in a hotel room as a kid. Mostly my family went camping, which my dad, at least, found vastly preferable to expensive, smoky hotel rooms. Meaning, naturally, that my sister and I loved the forbidden fruit that was hotel life.

Once in a while he was forced to attend a conference in San Diego, and his organization put him up at a budget hotel. We came along so that we could all go camping afterward. The hotel had waterfalls and koi ponds, smoky rooms and a pool that I did my best to spend every waking moment in.

I don’t know if I’m staying in that hotel now, although the era of the architecture seems about right. Either way, I’m pretending it’s the very one and that tomorrow, while my dad is working, my mom will take us to the mall across the street and buy us a My Little Pony.

What will actually happen tomorrow is that Jamie and Lee-Roy and I will go to the San Diego City College International Book Fair and see Jesi and Lenise and other local literary folks. Lenise and I had amazing mustardy Brussels sprouts and sweet potato pizza tonight at a place called Local Habit. We caught up on our respective crappy years and the not-so-crappy stuff going on in the present. Almost as good as a pony.

Oh, and while we’re vaguely on the topic of literary things, here’s what I read in September, since I know you were wondering where my monthly list was:

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding: Hmm, I wrote a review of this, but it looks like Goodreads didn’t save it. I’m too tired to rewrite it now; the book was just okay.

I Remember Nothing by Nora Epron: Nora Ephron's humor stems from acknowledging brutal truths: People die; the only thing failure really teaches you is that failure is possible. Instead of making for a depressing read, this makes her writing as comforting as one of the decadent desserts she's known for (but which her sister will no longer let her bring to Christmas dinner). This collection of essays, which also covers lighter topics like email and meatloaf, is a fast, funny read. And, like all the best comedy and literature, it reminds you that you're not alone.

Death of a Circus by Chandra Prasad: I'm a sucker for circus novels, and the cover of this one (yes, I judged) was pretty irresistible. The novel itself is a bit rocky--a slow beginning whose purpose I'm still unsure of, and a general aimlessness throughout--but there are some undeniably good ingredients in here, from a shape-shifting animal trainer to an ambitious wire walker. I think the writer had some interesting thoughts about the racial dynamics of the time (the early 20th century) and the political microcosm of the circus, but they never quite coalesced for me.

Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut: Partway through this book I said to my AK, "I'm not sure how I feel about this collection of Kurt Vonnegut short stories." She said, "I get it. The strength of his writing is his heart, and that doesn't always come through in short stories." I said, "I was thinking more of his misogyny and weird libertarian politics." She said, "Oh."

Now that I've finished the book, I agree with her--stories like "Adam," in which a Holocaust survivor marvels at the birth of his son, and "More Stately Mansions," about a poor woman's decorator daydreams, are thoroughly kind to their characters, sometimes to the point of not fully developing them. (Which doesn't mean I don't take issue with the rape fantasy that is the title story.) At his best, Vonnegut is generous, clever and appropriately skeptical of all political systems. At his worst, he's politically problematic (to me, at least), simplistic and a not-very-scientific sci fi writer (in "EPICAC," a man responds to a robot's request to "define poetry" with no apparent irony; the robot proceeds to spew brilliant sonnets). The stories add up to a book that feels a bit dated, but in an interesting way.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

everything i need to know i learned from lululemon

You know Lululemon, right? You don’t? This means you’re not into the kind of yoga that requires a $128 hoodie to practice. Lululemon is a company that “creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a better place.”

Or so it says on my reusable Lululemon shopping bag, which is currently holding my lunch and which, I suppose, could be considered a “component.” It’s a stylish mishmash of red and white text, with a silhouette of a girl in dancer’s pose. Let’s see how it suggests staying active and stress-free, shall we?

Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.

The world’s non-hoodie-based media sources would agree with this one. Luckily I’ve invested all my savings in this $78 Weightless Running Skirt. I just know its value is gonna skyrocket like a tract home in the Inland Empire.

Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.

I actually spent about four months this year doing just that. It involved a lot of crying and Googling diseases I might have. If that’s living in the moment, I’ll take Zoloft, thank you.

Write down your short and long term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

Wait, I thought I was supposed to live in the moment.

The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!

Aaaaaah! No offense, Lu, but this is not making me feel very stress-free.

Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

Shit. I’m totally fucked, in that case. Wait, you’re kind of implying that stress causes illness, but I smell a dangerous fallacy. What did they call this in AP econ? Ergo hoc, post proctor hoc? Something like that? I would believe that 99% of illnesses cause stress, which is a different equation entirely.

I wonder what conditions are in the 1% that don’t. I had a friend who went skiing and got a bad sunburn, and her doctor told her that the sun damage to her eyes would turn them blue in a year. I guess that wouldn’t be too stressful.

Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.

Oh. And here I was thinking that Nature was good. Stop trying to fuck up my life, Nature. But, ha! I just set two personal, two business and two health goals. Take that, Nature! I’m gonna be an X-Man before you know it.

Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.

Okay, here goes…. I dunno, it looks kind of mediocre. Just sitting there, not making any money or doing any yoga.

Friends are more important than money.

Which is why it’s okay to spend $52 on something called a Silver Bullet Sleeveless Tech tank top.

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

Which is basically saying “Your outlook on life = your outlook on life.” Calling the Department of Redundancy Department! (Sorry to get all English major on you, Lu. You make way better Vinyasa Scarves than I ever could.)

The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.

So you’re saying I shouldn’t have set those goals? Or I shouldn’t have set goals that would lead to happiness? Like, maybe my goal should have been to encounter a swarm of angry bees this fiscal year?

Personally, I think the 405 is the source of some unhappiness.

Dance, sing, floss and travel.

Done and done. Except dancing and singing make me kinda happy, and when I flossed, I was not living in the moment. If today were my last day on earth, I would not have spent it flossing.

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

Got it. No more flossing for me. It’s all $78 Astro Wunder Under Crop pants from here on out. Namaste.

Monday, October 03, 2011

fur and hair

When I stayed at the classic-movie-themed Chelsea Pines Inn a couple of years ago, the hallways were lined with posters from the 1960s advertising Blackglama, which was, I gathered, a fur company. They all featured black and white photos of divas like Marlene Dietrich, Lena Horne and Raquel Welch beneath the headline What becomes a legend most? Answer: Blackglama!

If you clothed yourself in a dead animal, it seemed, you went from “slightly past your prime” to “legend.” I’m all for the awesomeness of older ladies, but I’d like to think that true legendary status could come across via wool or tweed. Even leather, which, at least, is a byproduct. (West Hollywood, where I spent a sunny, fur-free day at the book fair this weekend, just outlawed fur. Good work, WeHo!)

But this month’s Vogue is unapologetically full of fur, and Janet Jackson is the new face of Blackglama. Who knew it was still around? I have to admit she looks great, and this jacket is more Rhythm Nation than uptown lady who lunches. But come on! Did all those buckets of red paint mean nothing? Was being anti-cruelty just another trend that came and went?

In less controversial, but perhaps more fun, fashion news, my post about my secret love of frizzy hair is up over at Ironing Board Collective. Meanwhile, we’ve started calling Ferdinand “Blackglama.” He is a legend, and it becomes him.